Floor and Committee Statements

 Mr. ISAKSON. Mr. President, I would like to take a moment to commend Senator Orrin Hatch. I listened to the debate over this bill not just today but for the better part of 3 years I have been a member of the Finance Committee. I have never heard a more dignified, deliberate, intelligent delivery on any subject than we all just heard from Orrin Hatch on the tax bill. Regardless of your politics, regardless of where you are from, it is good to know that America has dignified statesmen like Orrin Hatch to take the tougher issues, simplify them, get people to join hands, work together, and pass what is right for the American people. I am glad the American people are going to get to see that over the next couple of days.

   I publicly want to thank Senator Hatch for all he has done and all I know he has done in Washington during the last 3 years. In the 3 years on this committee, I have seen us--Republican and Democratic committee and subcommittee alike--work on every facet of the Tax Code to try to simplify changes down to doable amounts and doable jobs. I have seen everybody have input. I have seen everybody work together. Sure, we have had differences. Senator Hatch has always kept the mainstream there, kept his hand on the tiller, and saw to it that we never lost sight of doing what we need to do, which is to reform our Tax Code.

   I want to commend Senator Hatch and Senator Enzi, as well, for the work they have done on the Budget Committee to get us to this point and the unsung heroes that all of us know about, our staffs, whom we cannot do without. Jay Khosla and Mark Prater on the Finance Committee have been outstanding and have made this thing work, and I commend them for their work. On my staff, I could not have done what I have done without Amanda Maddox, Trey Kilpatrick, Monica McGuire, and Jay Sulzmann, who have all worked hard to see to it that we made the right decisions for the right reasons for the people of Georgia.

   I am very proud to be a part of this Senate today and of what is going to prove to be a historic day in the future. There are a lot of naysayers saying that this is not going to work. There are a lot of people who have come up to me today and have asked questions that have bad connotations to them. Yet I want, for just a minute, to talk about what I think this tax bill really means for the American people--for the folks who voted for me to represent them--and for what is going to happen in the years ahead.

   I had a reporter stop me today while I was coming up to the floor.

   He asked: Senator Isakson, where are you going to find the $1.478 trillion that you all are costing us by passing this tax cut?

   I said: First of all, we have not lost the money. Second of all, that is a static score. Third of all, I will be willing to bet you that we will take in a lot more money because of our having a dynamic economy than we will ever lose with a single tax cut.

   There are some people whose thought process is one of tunnel vision. They can't see outside the blinders. They don't understand that tax policy drives economic decisions.

   There are companies that in the last few years had been thinking about leaving America because of our tax rate that are now deciding to stay because of the new change. Don't underestimate the power of the territorial tax change that this makes for American business.

   A lot of CEOs who go to their annual stockholder meetings for C corporations in America have to go with a game plan to raise the return on their stocks in order to have people invest in their companies. Unfortunately, the easiest way to raise the return on their stock today would be for a domestic American company to move their headquarters out of the United States to Ireland or to some other place that had a lower tax rate. If you put more money on the table for the stockholders, it will be bad for the country, bad for your company, and bad for the American people as jobs leave America.

   Now that we have a territorial system that we are going to, there is an incentive to stay in America if you are located there and to come to America if you are not. We are not going to have any more fast food companies that are buying doughnut makers in Canada and then moving their headquarters to Canada to get a lower tax rate. We are going to have a lot of new companies that will think about becoming doughnut makers and will do it right here in the United States because the new tax system we will have will be fair and equitable for economic development and building growth.

   On the personal side, you really cannot argue with doubling the standard deduction. You can't argue with doubling of the child tax credit. You can't argue with simplifying the tax process itself and the filing of taxes. You can't argue with lowering rates--having seven different rate categories that are all lowered. You can't really argue with all of that because you know that is better for the American people and their pocketbooks in the short run, but in the long run, it will be better for them and their children and their grandchildren in terms of employment.

   I have eight grandchildren. My oldest just graduated from college, and the youngest is 9. In the years ahead--and I hope that I will get to see a lot of them--they are going to get jobs, and they are going to work. They are going to raise their families.

   What we have done today is going to make it easier for them to find employment for their kids, opportunity to develop businesses, and peace of mind because they will live in a country that will be vibrant and true.

   For those who want to ask what we are going to do about the money that we are giving up, I don't deal with static scoring; I deal with dynamic scoring.

   When I ran a company for 25 years, I made investments where I knew I had a place to grow. I made business decisions where there was positive growth ahead if I made the right decision. This Tax Code--this change in the Tax Code, this opportunity that we have--does all of those things.

   Do I know exactly what is going to happen? No, but I am willing to bet--and I have bet my vote already in committee and will later on tonight on the floor of the Senate--on the American people and the American worker and the American entrepreneur. I will bet on their taking advantage of a tax code that is fair to them and that gives them a chance to expand their personal opportunities. I will bet on them that they are willing to move forward with a better tax code for all of the country. I will make my bet on them that they will want to see to it that their children and their grandchildren will have the opportunities that they have had as well.

   I thank Chairman Hatch for what he has done in the last 3 years to make this opportunity come about.

   I thank the distinguished Senator from Washington and the Senator from Alabama, whom, unfortunately, we are losing in the next few weeks, for what they have put in this legislation. I thank them for what they have done in their looking out for their people.

   Did we make any mistakes? Maybe, but you never make mistakes when you are trying to do the right thing. You never make mistakes when you are trying to do a good thing. You never make mistakes when you take a risk because when you take a risk, at the end of that rainbow is a reward. When you take a risk in lowering taxes, the greater reward is more jobs, more opportunity, and a better America for our children and our grandchildren.

   I thank Senator Hatch for his work and for all that he has done to make America a better country and, in particular, for giving us the chance today to make our tax system fairer for all of the American people.

   May God bless him.

   I yield the floor.