Providing for Consideration of H.R. 933, Department of Defense, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013by Representative Peter Welch
Posted on 2013-03-06
WELCH. I thank the gentleman.
Mr. Speaker, this is not a perfect bill. This is a disgraceful bill. And this process is not on the level.
Yesterday, Wall Street celebrated its highest close in history. And today it's going higher. A few years ago, they came here, hat in hand, insisting on a bailout. They got a bailout. And it was paid for by Main Street, who didn't cause the problem but suffered the consequences, and it was paid for by the middle class, who didn't cause the problem but suffered the consequences. And now we have a budget that is doubling down, grinding down on the middle class.
What economic philosophy is at work here? America has always been at its best when it has had budgets that promote economic growth and middle class opportunity. This budget has adopted a notion that austerity is a goal in and of itself. And how will we get to fiscal balance without economic growth and an expanding middle class? Our colleagues say in this budget it will be by putting the heel of austerity on the throat of middle class opportunity. That is wrong.
Forty-four percent of the cuts are focused on 14 percent of the budget. That's kids going to college; it's little kids showing up in school hungry who can get a meal; it's TSA workers who are going to get furloughed and who pay their bills month to month. This is disgraceful, and it is also a repudiation of what has made America great--a confidence that we are all in it together. And if we have a budget where we share the pain and we share the opportunity, we'll be the better for it.
Wall Street has a second reason to celebrate today because this budget is absolutely doubling down on promoting the well-being of the haves at the expense of the middle class in the great American tradition of middle class opportunity. Profits in this country are the highest they've been since 1950. Wages are the lowest they've been since 1966. We need to stand up for the middle class.