29, 1999 4:02 PM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jim Farrell or Andrew McDonald 202/2248440
Ups the Ante on Marriage Penalty Tax Relief: Calls for Doubling Relief Offered
by GOP for Working Families; Measure Would be Paid for by Striking Corporate Welfare
Tax Break for Multinational Corporations
- July 29 - Senator Paul Wellstone will seek to amend the Republican $792 billion
tax cut plan (S. 1429) being debated today with a measure to increase marriage
penalty tax relief for working couples earning the minimum wage, or less than
$34,930 annually. The Wellstone amendment would be paid for by eliminating an
undeserved corporate welfare tax break to be enjoyed by multinational corporations.
For a family of two parents both working full-time year-round at a minimum wage
job, the Republican plan would reduce their marriage tax penalty by about one-third.
The Wellstone amendment would reduce their marriage tax penalty by approximately
twice as much, or about 70%.
"This amendment would be a clear victory for working families over fat-cat special
interests and the Wall Street crowd who are so richly taken care of by the Grand
Old Party in this bill. Average Americans who get up and go to work every day,
raise their kids the best they can, and play by the rules don't have the high-paid
lobbyists jamming the halls of the Senate this week rigging the tax system in
their favor. Let's look out for those deserving Americans and give them some tax
relief right now," Wellstone said.
The Wellstone proposal would replace the Republican provision on marriage penalty
tax relief for couples claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) with the Finance
Committee Democratic alternative. The net cost would be $8.6 billion.
Wellstone's proposal would offset this increased cost by striking Section 901
of S. 1429, which costs $12.6 billion over 10 years. Section 901 allows multinational
corporations, including financial services firms, to claim more foreign tax credits
by reallocating interest deductions among their foreign affiliates.
Marriage tax penalties are bigger for lower-income families eligible for the EITC
than for higher-income families. Yet S. 1249 provides $112 billion in marriage
penalty tax relief for upper income earners, and only $5.6 billion for lower income
"This Republican bill attempts once again to push an ever growing portion of the
tax burden from the very wealthy and corporate special interests onto working
families and the poor. With the passage of this GOP tax bill, economic injustice
and inequality will continue to grow in America, not shrink," Wellstone said.
*Wellstone also will press for an amendment to S. 1249 which would limit eligibility
for the bill's tax benefits to taxpayers earning less than $1 million per year.
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