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Public Statements

Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2008

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

CONCURRENT RESOLUTION ON THE BUDGET FOR FISCAL YEAR 2008

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Mr. BECERRA. I thank the gentleman for yielding. And I agree with my colleagues.

As we discuss here what we are going to do in this Democratic budget resolution, I think the first thing we have to remember is we are going to pass a Democratic budget resolution. Guess what? Last year, the Republican majority did not pass a budget resolution so we had no guidepost, no blueprint to tell us how the Congress would spend its money. And does it surprise anyone to know that we went further into debt?

Unfortunately, as we continue to hear our colleagues, our friends on the Republican side say they want to see further tax cuts, what they don't mention is all those tax cuts that they passed in the last several years, the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts that the President proposed, they paid this way.

This is what they did. They took out this credit card. Because every single one of those years we have been in deficit. And after using up the Social Security trust fund dollars, because they had to use the entire amount that was preserved for Social Security to help pay for the tax cuts, they still were in debt. So, guess what? They had to pull out the credit card, and we have been deficit spending for the last 7 years to pay for these tax cuts that have principally gone not to the middle class but to the folks who are on the highest level of our income scale.

This chart shows what happens, and it goes to the point of the gentleman from Oregon. What happens here is if you continue to extend the Republican tax cuts, you are going to help those that make over $1 million. The AMT, which the gentleman from Oregon pointed out, is going to hit folks that are making less than $200,000 or so most, the folks that were not helped by the Bush tax cuts. That is where we want to concentrate our tax cuts, right here, to help middle America.

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Mr. BECERRA. Precisely. We are going to provide middle-class Americans with these targeted tax cuts, targeted tax relief; and, as you mentioned before, Mr. Doggett, we are also going to be able to balance the budget in 5 years and have a surplus by 2012.

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Mr. BECERRA. The real distinction comes here. Our tax cuts will be targeted towards the middle class, not towards the wealthiest. And, at the same time, we have priorities. We are going to balance this budget. We have committed to our PAYGO policies that we will pay for whatever we propose. But, at the same time, we are going to try to make sure that interest payments on the national debt don't consume everything, because today this is what happens when you do deficit spending.

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Mr. BECERRA. This is a debt tax, what happens when you do deficit spending. Deficits do matter. Under the last 7 years of Republican leadership with these tax cuts that have gone principally to very wealthy people, this is what happens. You have interest payments of over one quarter trillion dollars, yet veterans and education programs are suffering. This is what happens when you do deficit spending. You end up spending over a quarter of a trillion dollars to pay interest on the debt. That does nothing to help anyone.

Meanwhile, we have said we are going to focus money on veterans and education. We are not going to do it on interest payments. If you are fiscally responsible, you can do that.

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Mr. BECERRA. It is $29,000 per person. A child born today is born with a birth tax of $29,000 he or she will owe.

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