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American Jobs And Closing Tax Loopholes Act Of 2010

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. McCAIN. Madam President, I am pleased to be here to cosponsor and support my friend from South Dakota, Senator Thune, on this amendment. As the Senator from New Hampshire just stated, isn't it time we stopped burdening our children and our grandchildren with massive debt?

Our office is being flooded with calls concerning the extension of unemployment benefits. We want to extend the unemployment benefits under this amendment until November, but we want to pay for it. We want to do something groundbreaking around here that hasn't happened in a long time: We want to pay for it. We want to pay for the expiring unemployment provisions until November. We want to extend the expired tax provisions, including a tax credit for research and experimentation, and the State and local sales tax deduction through the end of the year. We want to drop the tax increases, drop the $4 billion extension of Build America bonds, and drop the $24 billion in State Medicaid bailouts. We want to fully pay for this with spending cuts. The amendment does provide relief for the doctors by adding an additional 2 years to the doc fix and reforming our broken and onerous medical malpractice system.

Let me point out that day after day during the ObamaCare debate we came to the floor and said: You are using phony assumptions as to assessments of the entire cost of ObamaCare, and part of that was the ``doc fix'' which wasn't going to happen, which was going to cut Medicare payments to physicians by some 21 percent. We said every time: You are not going to do this. You are not going to cut physician payments by some 21 percent for doctors who provide care for Medicare enrollees. Over on the other side, they even admitted it. So now we have to do the doc fix. We have to make sure doctors who treat Medicare patients are adequately reimbursed; otherwise, they will stop treating Medicare patients.

So it is kind of hypocritical for us to be blamed for the delay in the ``doc fix'' when that was the assumption--that was the assumption, that there would be a 21-percent cut in the selling of ObamaCare to the American people.

This amendment saves the taxpayers $113 billion in unnecessary spending. It rescinds $38 billion in the unobligated spending of stimulus funds. It cuts wasteful and unnecessary government spending. It collects the unpaid taxes of Federal employees. It freezes their salaries and caps their numbers. It imposes a 5-percent, across-the-board cut in government spending for all agencies except the VA and the DOD, and it creates a new deficit reduction trust fund where rescinded balances and monies saved through this amendment will be deposited for the purposes of paying down the Federal debt.

Now, regarding the 5-percent across-the-board cut in government spending for all agencies except Veterans and Department of Defense, do Americans know the size of government has doubled since 1999; that the cost of government has spiraled out of control? A 5-percent cut would be minuscule as compared to the dramatic increases we have imposed--yes, during the previous administration, as well as this administration--including a $1 trillion unpaid-for Medicare Part D prescription drug program.

So this amendment cuts taxes, it cuts spending, and it reduces the deficit. The deficit has now spiraled so far out of control that there is no rational economist who believes this is sustainable without some kind of profound financial crisis. Now we are up to a projection of a $16 trillion deficit by the end of the next decade. We are amassing as far as the eye can see--I think now it is up to $1.6 trillion--debt just for this year alone that we are laying on our children and our grandchildren.

As I have said several times on this floor, there is a revolution going on out there. It is a peaceful revolution. It has been derided by the liberal left and many in the media. But the fact is, they are angry and they have every right to be angry. They have every right. The greatness of America is that every generation has passed on to the following generation a better Nation than the one we inherited. With this overwhelming burden of debt and deficit in the name of economic stimulus, in the name of job creation--which, obviously, has not met the predictions at the time of the passage of the stimulus package--have turned out to be totally false.

So here we are. We are in a situation where we have an opportunity to extend the expiring unemployment provisions, extend the expired tax provisions, including an important tax credit for research and development. It drops things such as Build America bonds. Build America bonds. Please. Right now, that is just an additional $4 billion. We are going to cut spending, and we will provide relief for doctors by adding an additional 2 years for the doc fix.

Obviously, that fix needs to be enacted. I am in support of that. But isn't it a little bit of a hypocrisy to come to the floor and say we have to get this done, we have to have the doc fix, when all during the debate on so-called health care reform, the 21-percent cut for Medicare patients was part of our selling the American people that the cost of ObamaCare would be less than $1 trillion? Isn't that a little hypocritical?

I wish to quote from the New York Times recently:

If the economists are divided about what just happened, the rest of the world is not divided about what should come next. Voters, business leaders and political leaders do not seem to think that the stimulus was such a smashing success that we should do it again, even with today's high unemployment.

There is no better example than last May's unemployment numbers that show a drop from 9.9 to 9.7, until you get into the not-so-fine print: 41,000 jobs created in the private sector, and 440 new jobs, approximately, to hire census takers. That is what the stimulus is all about? Give me a break.

So this is our chance. This is our chance to show the American people that we are going to cut their taxes, we are going to take care of the unemployed, we are going to make the doc fix, and we are going to at the same time cut spending and start at least a beginning attempt to get this burgeoning deficit under control. It reduces the deficit by some $68 billion.

Are there tough things in this measure? Of course. Of course there are tough things in this measure. But it is about time we started making some tough decisions because we do have an obligation to our children and our grandchildren which we have, up until now, clearly abrogated.

I hope my colleagues will consider voting for this amendment and get us on the path toward reducing this debt burden we are placing on future generations of Americans.

I yield the floor.

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Mr. McCAIN. Will the Senator yield for a question?

Mr. COBURN. Yes.

Mr. McCAIN. After passage of legislation that was trumpeted everywhere that from now on we were going to pay for additional spending, how could that happen?

Mr. COBURN. It happened because we waived the pay-go rules and we were outvoted. The pay-go rules are a farce.

On May 27, $59 billion. With the new bill, another $50 billion. So 46 and 18 is 64, 74, 173, 193, 262, and now 50--that is $312 billion added to the deficit this year above the $1.5 trillion we are already going to run.

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