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Public Statements

The Economy And Government Spending

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

THE ECONOMY AND GOVERNMENT SPENDING -- (House of Representatives - March 18, 2009)

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Mr. CASSIDY. Thank you. It is interesting, as you are talking, two things occurred to me. You mentioned how taxes have the ability to create uncertainty.

Now, if we just take this, not from the nationwide but bring it down to a family in Louisiana. This new budget is going to tax oil and gas exploration. Well, it turns out 90 percent of oil and gas is done not by ExxonMobil but by small wildcatters, if you will, and these folks employ about 320,000 people in my State in petrochemical. Now, these are great jobs. These jobs give benefits. They allow people to pay their mortgage. They are not service level in that sense, but they are jobs of the type that you can raise a family.

So earlier we heard our Democratic colleagues speaking about our need for energy independence, and I am struck. I am new here, so I don't quite understand it.

We want energy independence. We want to create good jobs for working
folks with good benefits, help the uninsured, but at the same time we are penalizing a domestic energy industry, which cannot move because it is domestic, which is helping our energy independence and which is creating these jobs.

Mr. PITTS. Would the gentleman yield?

Mr. CASSIDY. Yes, sir.

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Mr. CASSIDY. Will the gentleman yield? It is a little bit ironic because I actually think our hopes are bipartisan. Our hopes are that we create jobs for the American people. Let's give it to our Democratic colleagues. They felt like spending this $1 trillion dollars is actually going to stimulate jobs.

Now, as I listened to you, Mr. Pitts, speak about your committee, John Marshall's quote occurs to me, ``the power to tax is the power to destroy.'' I think our function here is actually to connect the fact that we share that hope for more jobs. But our fear is this tax, which is being justified by this deficit spending, will destroy. It will destroy these kind of jobs that we have in Louisiana for folks who may not go to college, but nonetheless are earning $70,000 to $80,000 a year and sending their kids to good schools with good benefits. And we are going to destroy it in the name of creating new jobs. When I was running for office, Congressman Rooney, that was backward logic: Let's destroy in order to save.

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Mr. ROONEY. If the gentleman will yield. And the question that you have to ask yourself, say that there are jobs created, and certainly there may be short-term jobs created. But what happens when the money runs out? You either have to pass another stimulus bill to keep those jobs or the small businesses are going to have to absorb those jobs. But if they have to incur increased taxes, they are not going to be able to do so. So whatever jobs are created through the current stimulus are a flash in the pan. And we are seeing there are a lot of things in that stimulus that we don't like so much, like bonuses for AIG. That is why we voted ``no.'' And we are criticized for doing that. But it was the right thing to do. I think that in the end, with what you're saying, Dr. Cassidy, is that there may be a short flash in the pan for jobs, but it is not the long-term jobs that this country needs.

Mr. CASSIDY. The thought also occurs to me that obviously the jobs that are created that do have long-term benefit are created by those small businesses. And so the thought occurs to me, someone said, a commentator of some sort, it is good that the stimulus package is going to have people hire two more, say, police officers. That is good. It helps safety on the street. But two more police officers does not create 10 more jobs. On the other hand, if we can enable that small business, that small business will create 10 more jobs. So, again, it just keeps echoing in my mind, ``the power to tax is the power to destroy.''

Mr. AKIN. Reclaiming my time. We have shifted the topic here just a little bit. But I think it is very important. And you're making excellent points.

What I'm hearing is we are talking about taxes. Let's just talk a little bit about an average guy that has a small business, because 70 or so, depending on how big you call a small business, 70 or 80 percent of the jobs in America are in small businesses. So let's talk about the average guy in a small business. First of all, most of them are making or have a $250,000 income. So starting right off the bat, we are going to tax these guys, because they are the rich guys.

Mr. CASSIDY. And gals.

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