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Let the Bush Tax Cuts Increase

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Mr. DeFAZIO. Colleagues, we are truly through the looking glass here into a strange world. The Gang of Six has supposedly met the President's requirements that we would have $3 trillion in cuts and $1 trillion in revenues. But actually, they are cutting taxes.

Now how does that work? Well, that only works inside the Washington, DC, Beltway. When you reduce revenues, you will increase revenues because you pretend that you wouldn't have had those revenues otherwise. It's a little bit complicated, isn't it? It is incredibly complicated. There is a lot of smoke and mirrors here.

There is a simple way to deal with this crisis. We need to rein in spending. We also need to make investments that will put people to work. Now, the Republicans don't think the government can invest in anything that puts people to work, except they haven't noticed that we have an infrastructure that's falling apart. We have 20 percent unemployment in construction and related fields. If we were to begin to invest and rebuild America's infrastructure, all private sector jobs put those people to work. They start paying taxes, then part of the deficit goes away, and the money will be spent on something that will benefit this generation and future generations. But, no, they categorize all Federal spending the same. They just want to slash it all.

So how about a plan that targets investment, putting people back to work that reduces spending appropriately across the government and actually pays for all of this with revenues? How could you do that? Simple. Let the Bush tax cuts expire. Let all the Bush tax cuts expire. That's $4 trillion. It's not too complicated. It would take us back to those bad old Clinton years when rich people paid taxes. The ``job creators'' they call them.

You can't make the job creators pay taxes; it will ruin the economy--that's what they said when Clinton raised the taxes back in the nineties. Guess what, we ended up with 3.8 percent unemployment, and we actually balanced the budget and paid down debt. But, yes, the wealthy and all Americans carried a fair share of that burden. I would love to go back to those bad old days.

We've been now, for a decade, living under the theory that reducing taxes creates jobs, especially reducing taxes on billionaires--you know, the job creators--creates jobs. It's not working too well, is it? No, it's really not working at all. But the Obama administration and the Gang of Six have apparently bought into this flim-flam. Let's continue the Bush tax cuts. Let's continue this stupid Social Security tax holiday that hasn't created a single job. Sure, there are a lot of American families that could use an extra $20 a week. But their spending an extra $20 a week does not create jobs. And now Obama wants to give employers $20 a week on each employee, saying, Well, they'll go out and hire millions if they get an extra $20 a week. Corporations are sitting on trillions of dollars of cash, trillions of dollars of cash. They don't need more cash. And for $20 a week, they're not going to go out and hire anybody.

So here's the plan: let the Bush tax cuts expire. That's $4 trillion. We've met the targets. We didn't cut Social Security. We didn't cut Medicare. We didn't cut veterans benefits. We didn't cut student financial aid. But we are $4 trillion ahead in this game. And then cancel the stupid Social Security tax holiday, but still borrow the money. We're borrowing the money to give people a Social Security tax holiday, borrowing the money to put back in the Social Security trust fund after we reduce the income.

Stop reducing the income to Social Security, go back to the statutory rate of taxes, and guarantee the benefits to people. And borrow, instead, that $110 billion to rebuild America's infrastructure--$110 billion, that's about 4.7 million jobs. And that is not just construction jobs, but engineering jobs, small business jobs, manufacturing jobs all across the country. It will put America back to work, and that would reduce the deficit by about another 25 percent.

So if we cancel the Bush tax cuts, $4 trillion. Okay, we're now at the President's ``big deal'' target which we're not going to meet under the Gang of Six or any of these other constructs around here. Cancel the Social Security tax holiday. Instead, borrow that money one more year, as the President has proposed, and invest in infrastructure. It will put millions to work. And then when those millions go to work, they'll be paying taxes, and that will reduce the deficit by another quarter.

So we've solved three-quarters of the problem without killing programs essential to the American people and without cutting taxes on the job creators.

The Gang of Six is proposing that billionaires should see their taxes cut by about 25 or 30 percent. That will help us balance the budget? It is time to get back to the real world and out of ``Alice in Wonderland.''


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