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Sean D.
Republican WI 7

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  • Requirement in Budget Submission With Respect to the Cost Per Taxpayer of the Deficit

    by Representative Sean P. Duffy

    Posted on 2013-03-05

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    DUFFY. Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the gentleman for yielding.

    My good friends across the aisle talk about loopholes and tax reform. They might forget that over the last 2 years, this House and this party have put forward legislation that does away with the loopholes as part of a larger tax reform proposal.

    My friend across the aisle continually talks about a smart and balanced way to balance the budget. He talks about responsibility. But if you ask him, Mr. Speaker, for his legislation, when does the Democrat bill balance? When does their budget balance? It never does. Ask him: does it balance in 10, 20, 50 years? How about 100 years? Does your budget balance in 100 years? Never does it balance. That is not a balanced approach.

    The Senate hasn't put forward a budget in 4 years. The President's budget, not one Democrat in this Chamber or the Senate voted for the President's budget. And that one, too, never, never balances. That's not a balanced approach. America deserves better.

    But on this current legislation, America and Americans have a right to know how much their government is accumulating in debt in their name. Grandparents and parents, they have a right to know how much debt is going to be passed on to their grandchildren and their children. Those little preschoolers, those toddlers, those infants that are going to inherit this massive debt, they have a right to know. How about those young adults that are getting out of high school and tech school and out of college? They have a right to know as they look at their car loans, at their student loans, at that new house loan. They have a right to know how much they're going to inherit and pay back over the course of their working years for this irresponsible debt. Americans have a right to know.

    This legislation is important because this is the first step to making sure that America knows the fiscal trouble we're in, and to encourage our friends across the aisle to get together and not use terminology of a balanced approach but actually give us a balanced budget.

    Mr. VAN HOLLEN. Mr. Speaker, the American public does have a right to know. I don't know how many times we have to say this on the floor of this House: We passed virtually the identical bill 30 days ago, approximately, and I'm not objecting to this bill. People have a right to know. We should have transparency. We should reduce the deficit, and this bill does nothing to reduce the deficit.

    What we need to do is make sure that we get our deficits under control, that we stabilize the debt, and that we make smart choices for the people in this country.

    Yes, there is a difference of opinion. We believe that as part of reducing the deficit, we should make targeted smart cuts, but we should also cut some of those tax loopholes. Now the gentleman mentioned that we passed a tax increase on $600 billion over the next 10 years. That's right; we finally said, for higher income earners, you're going to go back to paying the same rates as you were during the Clinton administration.

    But the gentleman suggested that budget history began on January 1 of this year. We were all here--not everybody, but most of us--when we passed the Budget Control Act in the summer of 2011. What did we do in that act? We capped spending--$1.5 trillion in spending reductions. That was the right thing to do. Now we've done $600 billion in revenue. So I think most people can do the math on this. We're not nearly close to the kind of ratios that the bipartisan commission, the bipartisan fiscal commission, Simpson-Bowles, we're not close to the balance that they talked about in terms of revenue and cuts, not even in the ballpark.

    So let's focus on the fundamental question, which is, number one, getting the economy moving again, not losing 750,000 jobs this year, and then reducing our deficits in a smart and balanced way over a period of time. But yes, by all means, let's have the President do a calculation, which one of the earlier Republican speakers did on the floor of the House. We can all do that. Of course as indicated, that calculation changes day to day. But by all means, let's get it. But let's not pretend that this piece of legislation does one thing to create one job or reduce the deficit by one penny.

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