Statement on Proposed Tax Increases

 

October 15, 1987

 

Billions in new taxes -- this is how the Democrats on the Senate Finance and the House Ways and Means Committees now propose to meet the 1988 Gramm-Rudman-Hollings deficit reduction targets. With Republicans on both panels not participating in the drafting sessions, the Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee proposed a tax hike of approximately $7.6 billion, with a promise of more to come. Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee proposed a tax hike of $12 billion -- $12 billion in additional taxes to be laid upon the backs of the American people.

 

If there were a legitimate need for these taxes, I would be less angry, but these tax hikes would only cover utterly unwarranted domestic appropriations bills totaling some $15.6 billion more than our budget request and $5.3 billion more than last year.

 

Simple prudence, a simple sense of responsibility, would make it possible to meet the deficit reduction targets with no new taxes. I look forward to working in this spirit with many in Congress -- I believe the majority -- who join me in rejecting new taxes. And let me repeat that if reason should fail, if Congress should actually pass a tax hike, my answer will be simply this: veto.

 

This Democratic tax hike is an exercise in fiscal irresponsibility. It's a breach of faith with the American people. It is unwise. It is uncalled for. It will not be tolerated by me or the American people.