THE OFFICIAL TRUTH SQUAD -- (House of Representatives - April 17, 2007)
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Mrs. BLACKBURN. I thank the gentleman from Georgia.
Madam Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to be on the floor tonight and talk a little bit about what the hold-on-to-your-wallet Congress is doing to Americans as we come to this tax day. You know, we circle April 15 on the calendar every year. I tell you, everybody knows that. They look forward to that day with dread. And I have said so many times I think the only thing good that happens that day is my nephew, Chip Wedgeworth, has a birthday every year on April 15. So that is the highlight of our April 15.
I think the reason that Americans look at April 15 with that sense of dread is because they know, our constituents know, that we are overtaxed. They know that the government is overspent. It is plain and simple to them. They know that the government does not have a revenue problem, they've got a spending problem. And they never take the time to go through the disciplines that are necessary to reduce what the Federal Government spends. Those are things that American men and women who are working know. They know that government is overspent; they know that they are overtaxed. They know that the government doesn't have a revenue problem, that it has a spending problem. And Americans do mark this date on the calendar. They resent what it stands for.
I thank the gentleman from Georgia for what he is doing on this issue.
Madam Speaker, it is so nice to be on this floor and be joined by my colleagues who are real people, who live real lives, as the gentleman from Tennessee was talking about his business; people that understand what it takes to start a business, to run a business, to maintain a business. They are not part of the liberal elite. They are part of real people, this wonderful American middle class that makes this Nation run.
You know, I think another thing that kind of gets to people as they are sitting there trying to get those taxes in the mail tonight and figure these forms out, these thousands upon thousands upon thousands of pages of the tax form, you know, I had one of my constituents in a town hall meeting say he couldn't read the Tax Code, it was bigger than the King James version of the Bible and he has never been able to get through the Bible, and so he definitely couldn't get through the Tax Code. That is how big and unwieldy this thing has become.
But they look at this and they know that what we've got is a bureaucracy that is out of control. It is unresponsive; it is out of control. And the liberal elites who have created this bureaucracy think they are smarter than everybody else. They think that they know what should be happening for and to the rest of the country. And you know, I am right in there with them, don't like that very much.
I think that our constituents all know, too, that just as we are talking about, they know that they are overtaxed and government is overspent. They know that government is never going to get enough of their money.
And my colleague from Tennessee mentioned sales tax deductibility. Madam Speaker, I think it is just really so very sad that this Congress chose to let those tax deductions expire, which in effect will enact the largest tax increase in history on the American people, all to put more into the coffers of a government so that the liberal elites get their hands on it and they spend it. There again, the people know that they are overtaxed and they know government is overspent.
As we talk about what is before us today, I think that it is important. I was looking at one of the gentleman's posters that he has down there about mandatory spending growth. Isn't it amazing that we see this mandatory spending growth? The budget that our colleagues across the aisle, the Democrats, have chosen to pass makes our tax reductions temporary, makes tax relief for all of our families temporary, and makes spending permanent.
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Mrs. BLACKBURN. If the gentleman will yield?
Mr. PRICE of Georgia. I would be happy to yield.
Mrs. BLACKBURN. I think what we see here is so important, and what you've just said speaks to the issue. Because a budget should reflect not the priorities of the government, but the priorities of the people. And what we have seen in the budget that our friends across the aisle brought that eliminated the tax reductions, that increased the taxes, that adds to that, knowing that people are overtaxed, knowing that government is overspent, is the fact that all of these automatic increases, mandatory spending growth, not addressing entitlement reforms that are needed, but allowing that to be put on autopilot, and increase and increase and making that spending permanent while you make the tax reductions temporary.
Mr. PRICE of Georgia. Will the gentlelady yield?
Mrs. BLACKBURN. I will yield.
Mr. PRICE of Georgia. This chart really points that out, ``Ignoring Entitlement Reform,'' which is exactly what occurred 2 1/2 weeks ago when our friends passed our budget.
When the Republicans were in charge, with the Balanced Budget Act
we passed in 1987 we saved nearly $130 billion. With the Deficit Reduction Act just a few short years ago in 2005, about $40 billion. With the budget that was adopted 2 1/2 weeks ago, none, zero. No entitlement reform. No automatic spending reform. And consequently, what you know and what I know is that we are on track to spend that 62.2 percent in a few very short years.
Mrs. BLACKBURN. The gentleman is exactly right. That is why we have to look at that budget document on this tax day and say, they laid the marker down. They showed us what their priorities are. Their priorities are a bigger government and higher taxes on the American people.
I would invite all of them to join us, join us in reducing taxes. Join us in making these tax reductions permanent. Join us in making sales tax deductibility permanent. Join us in being certain that middle-class Americans get first right of refusal on their paycheck, that it is not the Federal Government that gets first right of refusal on that paycheck. Before those deductions are taken out, let's be certain that the American people have the opportunity to sit down at that kitchen table and decide how they are going to spend those hard-earned dollars, because it is their work.
You know, American families, individuals in my district in Tennessee, we talked a lot about taxes as we went through this district work period. I had one of my constituents stand up in one of our meetings and he said, Marsha, I've got sweat equity in my paycheck; I've got a lot of sweat equity in my paycheck when I get it. And it just galls me every time I see a little bit more of that paycheck going to Washington, D.C. for programs that don't work. He talked about the spinach farmers and the fisheries and the peanut storage people and Katrina relief and all these things that were the waste; and the additions and the add-ons and the pork barrel spending that got put into the bill that would have funded our military.
On this tax day, as people are going to the mailboxes tonight, they know that they are not undertaxed, they are overtaxed. They know that government is not underspent, it is overspent. And they know that the Democrats laid down a marker. They made a choice when they did this budget. That budget choice was, do you want to stand with the American families and let them have first right of refusal on that paycheck, or do you want to give first right of refusal to the bureaucrats and the liberal elites in Washington, D.C.? And they made their choice.
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