BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT
Mrs. BACHMANN. I want to thank the gentleman from Texas, Louie Gohmert, and I want to thank you for the great idea that you proffered to this body earlier on, which is if we want that true stimulus, Mr. President, I recall you saying, Mr. Gohmert, then why don't we let the American people keep that stimulus dollar directly, pull the United States Government out as the middleman and let's prohibit the government from skimming off its portion to go into a bureaucratic cliff that no one knows where the money goes, let's let the American people keep their money. That was the Louie Gohmert plan.
People all across America have said to me, Do you know that Louie Gohmert? Have you heard of his plan?
And I tell them, You bet I know him.
I can't imagine a more stimulative impact.
As a matter of fact, I was with two ladies yesterday, women who don't necessarily think about politics day and night, and I told them about the Louie Gohmert stimulus plan. They said hey, I would love that. I would love to have of that money because, as the gentleman from Texas knows, in the last 50-52 days under the current Obama administration, the average American family has just had placed on their shoulders an incredible debt load of over $18,500 per family. That is just in the last 52 days. I don't know about you, my family cannot afford these current spending policies.
What we have seen in the last 52 days, out of a Democrat-controlled House, a Democrat-controlled Senate and a Democrat-controlled White House, is spending at historic proportions: $18,500 per American family. That's on top of the debt load that we already have.
What has been the response of the American people? In the month of January, the American people were spooked about what is happening in this economy. What did the American people do? Their personal savings rate has elevated to 5 percent. You know what that savings rate was before, Mr. Speaker, that savings rate was minus 1 percent. The American people are so afraid of these historic levels of spending, they are holding on to every dollar they have, and the personal savings rate has increased to 5 percent. I think that it is great that the American people are going down a savings route. It shows that inherently the American people are prudent with their own money.
But what has been the Obama plan? The Obama plan has been to raise spending to such historic levels that it will force the United States Government to continue to borrow more money from China, and the Chinese right now are a little skittish about buying more American debt. So skittish are they that our Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, had to go to China about 2 weeks ago and practically beg the Chinese to continue buying American debt. Our Secretary of State wouldn't be in that embarrassing position if the Obama administration wouldn't be so bent on spending this level of money.
Well, if we don't have to spend this kind of money, then we don't have to borrow from China. We don't have to have punishing high tax increases, and that is what is amazing to me in the President's budget. He was just here in the Chamber about 2 weeks ago with his State of the Union address, and he said that he plans to tax the American people under the new cap-and-tax plan.
Under this tax plan, which is hard to believe, I know, in the midst of a recession, adding to the burden of the American people $646 billion in new energy taxes. Well, we all remember how much fun it was last July to pay over $4 a gallon for gas, that is the road we are heading down again. In fact, some estimates say that the average American family will see an increase in their yearly energy bill of over $1,400 a year in their utility bill because of this energy tax. Why do we have to have this tax? Because spending is out of control. As a matter of fact, it won't just stop with the utility bill, it is also the gas bill when you go to your local gas station and fill up. The energy tax will impact the price of food. It will impact the price of goods at Wal-Mart. If you go to a local clothing outlet like Target, it will increase the cost of things there. Everything we touch will be impacted by the energy tax. We wouldn't need to do this if we didn't have these historic levels of spending.
One thing that was alluded to by our colleagues, Mr. Burton and Mr. Gohmert, is the fact that what we will see happen, other than punishing tax increases and going to other countries to borrow money, we will have to resort to inflation. What's that? Inflation occurs because the Federal Reserve is printing money 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and putting that money into the money supply. If we have $100 in the money supply and the Federal Reserve puts another $100 into the money supply, what does that
do to the $100 we have now? It means that our $100 is actually worth half of what it was before.
The cruelest tax of all is the tax of inflation, especially for senior citizens and especially for people who have spent their entire life trying to create wealth, and that is the genius of the United States of America, freedom. Freedom is the genius of our country. And with freedom, we have been able to amass private wealth creation.
Now I'm not just talking about billionaires, I am talking about my grandparents who lived through the Depression. My grandfather made a dollar a day working as a meat cutter, $7 a week. He had seven children that he had to feed on $7 a week. But they wanted to create as much private wealth as they could in their family. My grandmother and grandfather never became wealthy, but what did they try to do individually, they tried to save as much money as they could so that someday they could afford to buy a home.
My little grandmother was eventually able to buy a one-bedroom home. She was so proud of that home. She took such good care of that home because she wanted to make sure that my mother and her six brothers would one day have an inheritance. And at the time of her death, she was able to give them $10,000 each. That was her goal, to transfer to them some of her private wealth. And that is what I am so worried about, Mr. Speaker. That is what I am so worried about, that we are going to take away the right of the American people to amass private wealth no matter how much because they want to be able to use it to be able to pass on to their own kids.
They cannot do that, Mr. Speaker, when this body continues to spend money on the most worthless projects imaginable. We could spend the next hour in this Chamber going after worthless project after worthless project. We just saw in this body this week, President Obama signed it yesterday, almost 9,000 earmarks; 9,000 earmarks. And that is after President Obama campaigned and said I will be a new President. I don't want to see earmarks; I don't want any more earmarks. And what did he do in the first 52 days, putting a burden on the American people of over $18,500, including wasteful projects, 9,000 of them, and having the audacity to say to the American people, This is the end of the old way of doing business. From here on out, it is the new.
It is not the new, Mr. Speaker, not when you are looking at continual rampant spending to have continual rampant taxing. That is what is around the corner.
This horrible energy tax is going to forever change our American way of life, and now is our opportunity to stop it.
I know, Mr. Speaker, that Representative Gohmert and I were talking about that earlier today. The opportunity that we have between now and May when the Obama administration wants to make sure that the American people are saddled with this horrible new tax, and how do we know that? He has already built it into his budget. He has already assumed that you are going to be paying $4,000 per family in new taxes to finance these boondoggles that all of us come up with here in Washington, D.C.
I didn't vote for any of this. I am more proud every day that I voted against every one of these wasteful spending programs. I know that Representative Gohmert feels the same way.
With that, I would like to hand it back to Representative Gohmert, and I would be happy to talk about that with him.
BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT
Mrs. BACHMANN. If the gentleman would yield. I'm familiar with that story as well. Davy Crockett did come back to this Chamber, he did go to his fellow representatives and ask for money. And the disgraceful thing is that Members did not want to give money personally out of their own pocket to be able to help--it was a widow, I believe, they didn't want to give that money to the widow.
I have only been in this body for 3 years, but if there is anything that I have learned it is how easy it is to spend other people's money. It is so easy to be generous. But one thing that this body needs to remember, one thing that President Obama needs to remember, we are not a philanthropic society, we are not the family, and we certainly are not the church. And when government tries to be the church, when government tries to be the family, and when government tries to be a philanthropic society, we distort everything and usually mess it up.
If you look today, the news just came out that Freddie and Fannie, which were the engines behind this failure on the housing mortgage meltdown, Freddie and Fannie need another $30 billion of infusion of money because, guess what? They're now nationalized; they're owned by the American taxpayer. They can't stop spending money. They're addicted. As a matter of fact, our government charged Freddie and Fannie with making more loans to people who can't even afford to put down payments on houses. The government hasn't learned its lesson, and it seems unwilling to learn its lesson. I don't know why in the world we would want to take more money out of the hands of people who get how to save it and how to spend it and bring it here to Washington to people who have proved for all time that they have no clue how to spend it.
BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT
Mrs. BACHMANN. And if the gentleman would yield. We could go to the Old Testament as well and look no further than the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments say, ``Thou shalt not steal.'' And whether it comes from government or whether it comes from an individual, we are not to steal from our neighbor.
That's what has me so concerned about this new energy tax from the Obama administration because it literally will be widows and orphans that will be in the worst possible position. Because this energy tax will hit every aspect of American Society, it will forever lower America's cost of living and our way of life. We need look no further than Europe. Europe has already instituted this energy tax. It is continuing to lower the standard of living in Europe, and it is creating job losses all across the United States. Why would we be cruel to widows? Why would we be cruel to orphans?
This will not work. It has been a disaster. And now is the time for the American people to raise up, contact their Member of Congress, and say, please shield me from this Obama energy tax, I can't afford it. Why would we do this when we see crushing debt loads?
Earlier this week, Mr. Speaker--I was sharing this with Mr. Gohmert--I met with people from the furniture industry. And I don't know if the American people know yet, the furniture industry, if you look at their stock value, the stock value of the American furniture industry has dropped 90 percent. So if you have people who spent their life working in the furniture industry and that's what their retirement was made of, they have lost 90 percent of the value of their wealth assets. Why would you impose a cruel energy tax where we are going to require more jobs to flee from this country?
BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT
Mrs. BACHMANN. I would like to add to the stunning Steve King from Iowa for his comment. He is absolutely right that the cost of a good is labor and capital. But the third component is the added cost of government. That's the third component that goes into an item. And that cost is getting exceedingly high. And I know that my colleague from Texas, Louie Gohmert, knows this very well because, if you look at the energy industry, at oil and gas production, the amount of money that companies make in profits is exceeded dramatically by the amount of money that the corporations pay in taxes to the government.
People think that oil and gas companies have obscene profits, but they pay even more obscene levels of taxation. Literally, they have spent trillions of dollars that they've paid over to government in taxes, while they've kept billions of dollars in profit. But out of that profit pool, that is where the oil and gas companies have had to take that money to invest back into the business so Americans can enjoy more energy.
I am so pleased about the positive solution that's been offered by one of our colleagues, John Shadegg, and also Mr. Bishop, and also Senator Vitter, and it is the No Cost to the Taxpayer Stimulus Bill that says, very simply, let's open up and legalize all forms of energy production all across the United States--wind, solar, biofuels, oil, gas--all of them, let's open all of them up--in fact, I say hamsters running on cages. No matter what it is, let's make sure that we legalize the source of energy. And that is zero cost to the taxpayer. It relieves the American people's burden on dependable gasoline at affordable prices. Let's do that.
I know I was absolutely astounded, Senator Obama, during the campaign--and I will yield back after this quote. This is a quote from our now President. He said, during the course of the campaign, ``What I've said is that we would put a cap and trade system in place that is as aggressive, if not more aggressive, than anybody else's out there. So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can. It's just that it will bankrupt them because they are going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that's being emitted.'' He is admitting that his plan will bankrupt coal companies.
``When I was asked earlier about the issue of coal, you know, under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.'' That's the future that the American people have to look forward to, and I think that's audacious.
BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT
Mrs. BACHMANN. Thank you. I think we see two separate agendas at work here. The American people want low-cost energy that's dependable. We need that. Not only just individuals but also businesses, we need low-cost, dependable energy. But the Obama administration has taken a very different view on energy. Then Candidate Obama said he wants high-cost energy. Why? Because he wants to force the American people to have to pay the carbon tax that's about to come down the pike. We wouldn't need this terrible carbon tax that will completely damage our economy, especially in this time of recession, if the Obama administration wasn't addicted to spending. Because they are so addicted to these high levels of spending, President Obama, in his State of the Union address, said what he wants to do with that money. He wants socialized medicine. Is that what the American people want? The American people aren't crying out for socialized medicine, but that's what President Obama wants to give to the American people.
Not only that, but in his State of the Union address, he said his vision for America is that government's hand would be in the hospital room of a brand new baby with a brand new mother. He wants, from cradle to career, the Federal Government's hand on the life of that child. I don't know about you, but the people in the Sixth Congressional District of Minnesota, moms and dads want to have one of the parents at home with that baby to be able to love that child, rear that child. They don't want to send that little baby off to a government daycare center from the day that baby is born. That is President Obama's vision for child rearing, that the Federal Government would be involved in the cradle stages of a child's life. Massive spending demands a way of taxation.
This cap and trade isn't going to solve our energy problem. It will add to our energy problem because, again, it's going to take out of the pockets of the middle class of this country to put into the pocket of the Federal Government.
BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT