PROVIDING FOR FURTHER CONSIDERATION OF H.R. 1, AMERICAN RECOVERY AND REINVESTMENT ACT OF 2009 -- (House of Representatives - January 28, 2009)
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Mr. SHERMAN. I thank the gentlewoman for yielding time.
This bill contains aid to States, which is important because the worst thing for us to do in a recession is to fire cops and teachers. This bill includes $114 billion of business tax incentives, which are well crafted because we do not cut tax rates. What we simply do in this bill is allow businesses to take deductions in 2009 that they would otherwise be taking early next decade. And, in fact, of that $114 billion listed as going to business, well more than 80 percent comes back to the Treasury early next decade.
But what can we tell markets today about what is likely to happen to the national debt over the next decade? We are saddled with an $11 trillion national debt. The Fed has quietly issued $7 trillion of guarantees and loans. We've sent nearly a trillion to Wall Street, all on top of a trillion dollar deficit.
Before we do more, we should put into statute the tax increases and expenditure cuts, painful as they will be, that will go into effect in the year after unemployment drops below 4 percent. Sure, we would have to modify such provisions before they go into effect. But we need to adopt both halves of Keynesian economics, both stimulus now and austerity later, and we need to put both halves in statute. Otherwise, those of us who will be advocating fiscal restraint in the future may well lose, and our only recourse will be to prevent the full measure of stimulus that this economy needs now because we are fearful that we will not be able to reverse it later. And, in fact, that is what has happened.
This bill provides inadequate stimulus today and inadequate recapture of that stimulus, actually virtually no recapture of that stimulus, early next decade.
If we're going to use Keynesian economics, let's put into statute both halves. Otherwise, we can provide only empty promises to our children and empty promises to Wall Street and to the world economic community that we will do something about this deficit next decade.
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