Requirement in Budget Submission With Respect to the Cost Per Taxpayer of the Deficitby Representative Scott Garrett
Posted on 2013-03-05
GARRETT. I thank the gentleman.
Right now, as we stand here, the national debt in this country stands over $16 trillion, and one-third of that was rung up just during this President Obama's administration. And some outside expert says, what does that translate to you and me? Well, the average taxpayer may be in debt of $111,000 to the U.S. Government because of that.
On top of that, do you know that this is the fourth time that this White [[Page H960]] House, that this President, has failed to follow the law and to submit a budget to the House on time? But when he finally does, I really do hope that this budget differs from his other ones which were riddled with red ink and absolutely had no intent to balance, not in 5 years, 10 years, or 15 years. They never balanced. In short, his budgets have been an economic disaster. Maybe that's why there has been bipartisan opposition to these budgets.
In the Senate, which is Democratically controlled, he got absolutely zero support for his budgets in the past. So it's high time that this President gets serious about the deficits, acknowledges that frivolous spending is part of the problem, and addresses the issues with appropriate budgets.
I support this legislation before us.
Mr. VAN HOLLEN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
The floor manager mentioned that two times our Republican colleagues had put forth an alternative to the sequester. I know the gentleman knows well that we're in a new Congress, and starting in January, all the bills that were put forward in the last Congress were wiped off the books. They don't have any meaning at this point in time. And this year, since we've been in a new Congress, since the election, the number of times our Republican colleagues have put forth a proposal to prevent that sequester to replace it is zero--zero times in this Congress--when it could actually make a difference. Yet, today, for the fourth time, we're going to go and ask for a vote on our proposal.
Now, we're not asking our colleagues to vote for a proposal, although I think that public surveys show the overwhelming majority of the American people would think that our alternative to replacing the sequester is a lot better than the sequester. We're not even asking our colleagues to vote for it. We're just asking for a vote on it. Let's let the people's House do its work.
Now, we talked about the deficit. There's no argument about the need to reduce our deficits. We just need to do it in a smart way and in a way that doesn't hurt the economy and doesn't cost jobs; and our proposal does have a balanced way. It combines additional, targeted cuts over a period of time with cutting tax loopholes that are in the Tax Code over a period of time.
Our Republican colleagues keep talking about how bad the deficit is. We say we agree with you on that, but it apparently isn't bad enough that you would close one single tax loophole in order to reduce the deficit. In fact, that Grover Norquist pledge that's been signed by over 90 percent of our House colleagues says that you promise not to close a single tax loophole for the purpose of reducing the deficit. You can't get rid of a tax break for corporate jets. You can't get rid of the special treatment of hedge fund managers under the Tax Code if it's part of an effort to reduce the deficit. How is that serious deficit reduction? So what we've said is we need to do both. We need to eliminate a lot of those tax preferences and tax breaks for big oil companies and others; and we also need to make sensible, targeted cuts in other areas and reduce the deficit in a smart way. The alternative plan that we have proposed that we're asking for a vote on would accomplish the same amount of deficit reduction as the sequester through this calendar year, but do it in a way that does not cost 750,000 American jobs, because we don't do it so deeply, so quickly.
That's the difference, and that's why bipartisan commissions have recommended the balanced approach to reducing the deficit. So, again, the numbers for this year, which is the only thing that's relevant in terms of congressional action, is that there has been zero effort, zero times that our colleagues have brought to the floor a proposal to replace sequester. We're now asking our fourth time this afternoon simply to have a vote.
I hope that we can finally get one, Mr. Speaker.