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Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2007

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Location: Washington, DC


CONCURRENT RESOLUTION ON THE BUDGET FOR FISCAL YEAR 2007 -- (House of Representatives - May 17, 2006)

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Mr. MARIO DIAZ-BALART of Florida. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Chairman, first and foremost, I want to thank the members of the Congressional Black Caucus. Putting together a budget is not an easy task. It takes a lot of work, a lot of time; so I want to thank them for doing that and for proposing what I think is a piece of legislation that really dramatically shows the differences between the two sides.

Compared to the committee budget, this substitute increases taxes by $96.6 billion in fiscal year 2007 alone, and it increases taxes also on the American people by $516.9 billion in the next 5 years.

Now, I know that when you deal with numbers of this scope, it is hard for people, those of us here sometimes and people back home, to really kind of grasp what that is, put that in perspective. So I wanted to try to put what those numbers, those tax increases on the American people that this amendment proposes, what they really are like.

The tax increase proposal for fiscal year 2007, again $96.6 billion, proposed by this amendment, and I have a board here that has a picture of the State of Florida, the State that I am honored to represent, and they just had a legislative session in the State of Florida. The tax increases in this amendment are larger than the entire budget of the entire State of Florida. Now, keep in mind what we are talking about. The State of Florida, the fourth most populous State in the entire country, which funds from their budget schools and housing projects and every road in the State and environmental protection, including Everglades restoration, and law enforcement and prosecutors and health care and the court system and the public defenders and the judges, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. So if you get the entire budget of the entire State of Florida, it is smaller than the tax increases that this amendment proposes just in 1 year. Just in 1 year. I think that kind of puts it in perspective.

But that is not all, because if you look at the tax increases proposed for the 5-year program that this amendment proposes, which is a tax increase on the hard-working American people of $516.9 billion, and I have another board, that tax increase is larger than 1 year's expenditure of Argentina, the Bahamas, Belarus, Belgium, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Egypt, Guatemala, Honduras, Jordan, Libya, Pakistan, Panama, Puerto Rico, Thailand, Uganda, Uzbekistan combined. So some people say we are spending too much money on foreign aid. No. The tax increases in this amendment over 5 years are larger than what these countries spend in 1 year for all their expenditures combined. I think that puts it in perspective.

But we can go further. We can go further. Let us put the entire Western Hemisphere, this amendment is asking the taxpayers of the United States in 5 years to pay in new increased taxes more than the entire expenditures of the governments of the entire Western Hemisphere combined. Yes, Mr. Chairman. Brazil, Argentina, Panama, Belize, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Haiti, Paraguay, and all the Caribbean. If you funded their expenditures for 1 year, it is still not as large as the tax increase that this amendment imposes on the American people for the next 5 years.

But some people may say, Well, I do not know a lot about those countries, maybe they are just not that large. They are. But maybe they are not that large. So let me see, what is the biggest economic superpower that we hear about all the time? Let us pick China, Communist China. We know what a huge superpower it is. We know that it is an incredible monster of an economy. Let us look at what their expenditures are in 1 year, and let us compare it to the tax increases that this amendment proposes to impose on the American people in increased taxes over the next 5 years.

The expenditures of China for 1 year, $424.3 billion, and yet this tax increase on the hard-working American people over 5 years is larger than that expenditure of China. But also throw on top of that the entire budget of the State of Florida, and you still have about $20 billion of wiggle room to play with.

It is important to realize that there is a huge difference between these two bills. Under the budget, the following tax relief under this proposed amendment would obviously expire: the $1,000 child tax credit that all families benefit from; the 10 percent bracket, which the entire middle class benefits from; the repeal of the estate tax, which obviously would kill small businesses by that tax increase.

And the worst part, though, is not only does it increase taxes to an incredible degree, it also then cuts expenditures. For example, there is no provision for supplemental funding for the combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq or even for natural disasters; so it increases dramatically taxes, but does not fund our war effort. At the same time, it cuts defense spending by $6.6 billion in budget authority and another $4.6 billion in outlays. Again, it asks to do that at a time when our men and women in uniform are in harm's way.

Again, I want to thank the sponsors because it is a dramatic difference, but for all those reasons I would obviously urge a ``no'' vote.

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Mr. MARIO DIAZ-BALART of Florida. Mr. Chairman, first I yield myself 15 seconds to clarify something.

The gentleman just said that only the wealthy would pay. Here is a board that I showed. There aren't enough wealthy people in the United States to pay this amount of new taxes, and if they can't pay for it, who is going to pay for it? The American people are going to pay for it.

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Mr. MARIO DIAZ-BALART of Florida. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself 30 seconds.

We keep hearing from the gentlemen on the other side that they only want to raise taxes on those making over $200,000. Well, the numbers just don't add up. In order to raise the amount of taxes they are talking about, which is, again, larger than the budgets for 1 year for just about all the countries in the Western Hemisphere, they would have to let all the tax cuts expire, including the child tax credit, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, and they would still have to find another $63 billion in tax increases for everybody else as well. So that is what the numbers are.

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Mr. MARIO DIAZ-BALART of Florida. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself 30 seconds.

Again, I just want to repeat that this amendment is such a huge tax increase that they would have to increase the child tax credit; the 10 percent bracket; the marriage penalty relief would go away, that tax cut; the education tax relief would disappear under their proposal; the pension reforms would disappear under their proposal; the AMT relief would disappear under their proposal; and they would even increase the death tax. Yes, even taxation with no respiration takes place in this amendment. It is a huge tax increase. And they cut defense while doing all those things. The numbers are there.

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Mr. MARIO DIAZ-BALART of Florida. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself 30 seconds.

Mr. Chairman, this is very simple. If you think that we should eliminate the child tax credit and raise those taxes on child credit, support this amendment. If you believe that we should eliminate the 10 percent bracket, support this amendment. If you believe that the marriage penalty should be increased, that the tax on marriage should be increased, vote for this amendment.

If you do not believe in the education tax relief, vote for this amendment. If you do not want the pension reforms that we have that have taken place, vote for this amendment. If you support not relieving the AMT, support this amendment. And if you believe that people should pay taxes even after they are dead, support this amendment. If you believe also that we should cut defense, support this amendment.

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Mr. MARIO DIAZ-BALART of Florida. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself 15 seconds.

For the record, our budget has no cuts in SCHIP or Medicaid whatsoever. Get the record straight. It is not there. We also have no cuts in defense. Their amendment does cut defense radically.

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Mr. MARIO DIAZ-BALART of Florida. Mr. Chairman, again there is a huge difference between our budget and this budget by the CBC, the prestigious Members of the Democratic Congress. They increase taxes on the American people by almost $1 trillion over 5 years while cutting defense spending in a time of war.

To put it in perspective one more time, let us look at this. Look at all the countries south of Mexico, and excluding Florida, all the Caribbean, all of Central and South America. Their revenues, their expenditures over 1 year are smaller than the tax increases that this amendment proposes to impose on the hardworking American people over the next 5 years. That is the reality.

The bottom line is if you believe in massive tax increases large enough to fund the expenditures of all the countries in Latin America, if you believe in that, you would support this amendment.

If you believe that the American people are paying enough taxes, that we have got to use it more efficiently, and that we should not cut defense spending in a time of war, I would then urge my colleagues to respectfully oppose this well-intentioned but devastating amendment to the American taxpayer and to the American economy.

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