Fixing the American Economy

Floor Speech

By:  Paul Broun
Date: March 5, 2009
Location: Washington, DC


FIXING THE AMERICAN ECONOMY -- (House of Representatives - March 5, 2009)

Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I rise today because Americans have bought a product that is not living up to its guarantee. Promises made are not being kept, and the American taxpayer is paying the price for the defective product that they bought.

This body has let the American people down. And I'm not just pointing my finger at the other side of the aisle. Both sides have hoodwinked the American taxpayer for not being fiscally responsible.

If I sound alarmist, it's because I'm concerned that it's only getting worse. I'm frightened about the path that America's heading down with this administration and this Congress in the driver's seat. HARRY REID and NANCY PELOSI are driving this steamroller of socialism and, unfortunately, President Obama isn't putting up any roadblocks, and not even a slow down sign. And it's hardworking Americans who are getting run over.

Right now, in addition to a $700 billion bailout of Wall Street, a $1 trillion non stimulus bill, and a $275 billion housing fix, the middle class is also carrying on their backs the auto industry, Bear Stearns, AIG, Citi, Freddie, Fannie and countless others.

For too long, lawmakers in Washington have ignored the pleas from hardworking families and small business owners in their districts. For too long, lawmakers in Washington have depended upon hardworking middle class to pay for their expensive programs, of which they rarely see a dime.

But there is an alternative. The middle class can demand that lawmakers stop using them to pay for policies that benefit only two ends of the spectrum. That's why I rise today, Mr. Speaker, to offer a vision for those hardworking middle class families who pay for the Wall Street fat cat speculators, who pay for welfare recipients, and who pay for all this.

My vision includes providing tax relief to small businesses and families. It includes offering incentive-based relief for job creators. We must skip the pork wish list and, instead, directly stimulate the middle class and small businesses, since they are America's economic engines. In doing so, jobs are created, faith is restored in the markets, and America's entrepreneurial spirit is once again unleashed.

Contrary to what is being said, those of us who oppose the recent actions of this ``Credit Card Congress'' are not just saying ``no.'' Unfortunately, our alternatives to help our economy are not being considered.

I want to give a 5 percent, across the board, income tax cut. I want to increase the child tax credit to $5,000. I want to lower capital gains, dividend and corporation taxes to bring investors back to America that have been taxed out of the country. I want to create jobs by producing American energy with American workers in the form of solar, clean coal and nuclear energy. I want to increase student loan deductions so that you can send yourself or your child to school at any age, with minimal financial burden.

I want a health care system that is affordable for all people, one that is patient-focused, not government-focused, one where patients own their own insurance policies, one where the doctor/patient relationship is where health care decisions are made, not by some government bureaucrat.

The economic recovery plan that I support includes no bailouts and no pork-laden projects. It creates twice the jobs at half the cost through permanent tax relief for families and for small business here in America. This plan creates 73,000 more jobs in my home State of Georgia alone.

I also offered an amendment to the stimulus to give every American who files a tax return approximately $9,000, their share of the stimulus bill. Clearly, not spending a trillion dollars would have been a much better option, but since Congress was bound and determined to spend the money, wouldn't it have been better to place that money back in the pockets of taxpayers?

If a two-parent family, middle income, middle class family had received $18,000 in the mail, they could have bought a new car, gone on vacation, or even make a down payment on a home.

David McCullough correctly states that, and I quote him, ``History is a guide to navigation in perilous times.''

Let us not forget that in these tough times, that more government has never been a solution. Historically, socialism never has worked, never will work, and it will not work today. In fact, government actions were actually the stimulus that contributed to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's distension, easy money made available following relaxed interest rates, and ultimately, the push on American lenders to make loans, regardless of the borrowers' ability to pay.

As Margaret Thatcher said, ``The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money.''

Mr. Speaker, I rise in that spirit to remind you that America was founded by pioneers with dreams who worked, and in some cases, died to protect freedom and make a more prosperous life for their children. We must not forget this.

God promises us in Psalm 30:5 that ``Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.''

Now, I call upon all Americans, young and old, liberal and conservative, to demand a more efficient government, beat back the reach of big government, wipe away the tears of yesterday and demand a joyful morning in America, a future of freedom. America is depending upon it.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. BROUN of Georgia. I want to congratulate you, Ms. Foxx, for bringing up something that is extremely important. When you opened this evening's special orders, you talked about national defense being the major function of the Federal Government under the Constitution. I carry a copy in my pocket all the time, and I believe in this document as it was intended by James Madison and company.

If you look at this document, if the Amer ican people will look at this document, read what our founding fathers wrote, not only in the Constitution of the United States, but read what they wrote in the Federalist Papers, which were a group of essays to explain exactly what this document means. They will see that they've been handed a lie; that this document was never meant to be expanded beyond the 18 things that article I, Section 8 says that we, as a Congress, we, as a government, can do. And the 10th amendment puts a exclamation point upon that, because the 10th amendment says if a power is not specifically given to the Federal Government by the Constitution, in other words, those 18 things in Article I, Section 8, if it's not prohibited from the States, things such as having their own army, things like having interstate tariffs and those types of things, that those rights are reserved for the States and the people. And national defense is exactly the major function under the original intent of this Constitution.

And when we see people stand on this floor and cut down our defense--I'm a Marine, and I believe in a strong national defense, just like I believe in this document according to its original intent.

I congratulate you for bringing that issue up as you started this discussion tonight because the American people need to understand that this document was never meant to be expanded the way government has--the way the court has expanded it, the way the administration has expanded it and the way that Congress has expanded it--particularly beginning with FDR, with the New Deal.

That brings us to today. The New Deal did not work. I was taught in school, in high school, that it did work, but that's just a bald-faced falsehood; it's not factual. The New Deal didn't work. The only thing that got us out of that recession, that depression in the '30s and into the early '40s, was gearing up the manufacturing base to supply World War II. So it was small business and manufacturing that got us out of that depression, and we're heading in that direction today in this country, with these bills, one after another, after another, after another.

When the President came and talked to our Republican conference, I'm sure you'll remember he said that the stimulus bill was just the first of many big spending bills, of many socialistic bills, of many big government spending bills that he was going to bring to the floor and promote very quickly. The thing is socialism never worked, never will work, and it's not going to work today, and the American people need to understand what the Constitution says and what we're headed toward. We're headed toward the financial collapse of America if we don't stop spending our grandchildren's future.

So I commend you, Congresswoman Foxx, for bringing up the Constitution, because I think the American people need to understand clearly that this is not a living document. It's a document of which we need to go back to the original intent.

God asked a question in psalm 11. He asked: If the foundation is being destroyed, what are the righteous to do?

What we need to do in America is to start rebuilding the foundations that this America was founded upon, those foundational principles that made America so safe, so secure, so rich, so powerful, and the only great power in the world today. If we leave those principles, then it's going to destroy America, and we're headed toward a depression in America if we don't stop spending our grandchildren's future.

So I thank the gentlelady for yielding me a few more moments, because I am very fearful of the direction we're heading in this Nation today. We're heading in a direction that's going to be disastrous. We're going to lose what our founding fathers fought and died and sacrificed so much for, and it's up to the American people to demand better. It's up to the American people to demand from their elected Representatives a constitutional government, a limited government, a government that isn't intrusive in their lives.

So I thank the gentlelady for yielding me a few more minutes. I am just so passionate about this. We have got to stop this steamrolling socialism that's being shoved down the throats of the American public. It's going to kill the American economy if we don't do it.

So thank you.