Bryan says GOP tax plan excessive |

Bryan says GOP tax plan excessive

WASHINGTON – Sen. Richard Bryan, D-Nev., says the GOP’s proposed marriage penalty relief plan is risky and goes far beyond those who are penalized by the existing tax rules.

He said only 42 percent of the $250 billion in tax cuts covered by the plan actually go to married couples who are now penalized for filing joint returns.

“This so-called marriage penalty relief bill is nothing more than an elaborate bait-and-switch scam,” said Bryan.

He said he supports relief to married couples unfairly penalized by the IRS but that the Republican plan would go to others who are not now penalized by the system. But the proposal he and other Democrats in the Senate Finance Committee submitted was defeated Thursday on a party-line vote.

Bryan and fellow Democrats Bob Graham of Florida and Charles Robb of Virginia then suggested an amendment that would delay any tax cuts until the solvency of Social Security and Medicare are provided for. He said that too was defeated along party lines.

“The American people expect us to be fiscally responsible when it comes to managing the federal budget,” said Bryan. “But today’s party-line vote in the Finance Committee clearly shirks that responsibility and unfortunately reverses the fiscal restraint and prudence we have so ably demonstrated over the last several years.”

Bryan said before budget surpluses are spent, the top priority should be reducing the enormous national debt and making sure Social Security and Medicare are solvent.