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Public Statements

3% Withholding Repeal and Job Creation Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. PAUL. I hope this is the beginning of a conversation with the other side and with the President. I told the President personally that I want to help with the problems we have in our country. We have 14 million people out of work, with 2 million additional people out of work since this administration began. So we are serious about our Republican jobs plan, and there can be some areas of some common interest.

There currently is a supercommittee talking about some of these tax reform ideas. Our side is putting forth a message, we are putting forth a plan, and we are willing to work with the other side. The problem is, it is my understanding the other side has walked away from the table. The other side is unwilling to talk or to engage with us. I have asked the President personally to come to Capitol Hill and talk to us. I have talked with the members of the supercommittee and have indicated we are willing to work with them.

We have some good ideas to create jobs, and some of these ideas the other side has already agreed to. Lowering the corporate income tax. There are Members of the other party who understand we need to be competitive with the rest of the world. So lowering the overall rates, simplifying the code, and getting rid of some of these loopholes. These are things the President talks about as he campaigns. But if he were serious, he would come and talk to us. Instead, what I have heard at his campaign stops is Republicans are too stupid to understand his plan so he is going to break it up. Well, that may get laughs at his campaign rallies, but it isn't getting anything done.

I think the American people need to know our jobs plan will create jobs, and we are willing to talk with the President and with the other side. I think we are willing to get things done, and I think we have important things in the bill that will do that.

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Mr. PAUL. Yes. Routinely, decade after decade, polls show anywhere from 75 or 80 percent or more support a balanced budget amendment. We need it, because we have shown ourselves to be fiscally irresponsible. Through the years, we have had Gramm-Rudman-Hollings and we have had all different types of restraints, but we disobey our own rules. We say, oh, it is an emergency. But then suddenly all the routine spending we do becomes emergencies, and the debt gets bigger and bigger.

Those in the debt commission say the most predictable crisis in our history is the coming debt crisis in this country. They are seeing it in Europe. We need to be serious in our country and fix these problems before we get to a crisis situation. That is what our Republican jobs plan does. It addresses it--a balanced budget amendment, tax reform, and a regulatory moratorium. We can't keep heaping on new regulations that put us at a competitive disadvantage with the rest of the world.

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Mr. PAUL. Those who say balancing the budget would be extreme, I think what is extreme is a $1.5 trillion deficit. We are en route now, at the rate we are spending money, to a decade within which the budget will be consumed by entitlements and interest. There will be nothing left for national defense or for anything else if we keep on the same spending pattern. So we do have to do something.

What we have shown so far is that fiscal restraint has been an utter failure up here. After Gramm-Rudman-Hollings we had pay as you go. That was broken 700 times in the first 5 years we were supposedly paying as you go by simply saying it is an emergency. Every routine expenditure became an emergency and so we went around it. So that is a good context for the Republican jobs plan--that everything will be in the context of balancing our budget.

But then there are other important matters, such as tax reform. Historically, the one thing government can do to create jobs or to lessen unemployment is to lower the upper rate. Kennedy did it in the 1960s and unemployment was cut in half. Reagan lowered the top rate from 70 to 50 and unemployment was cut in half. Reagan lowered it again from 50 to 28 and unemployment was cut in half. And interestingly, as you cut the top rate, you didn't cut revenue. Revenue stayed at 18 percent of GDP through all the lowering of the top rate.

What lowering the top rate does is it unleashes economic growth. The other side has this vision they are going to hire people in government and somehow fix unemployment. You can hire hundreds of thousands of people and you don't put a dent in it. To cure unemployment, or lessen unemployment, you need to have millions of people hired, and that can only be done in the private sector. I think that is the difference in the vision between our side and their side. Our vision is unleashing the private sector, and theirs is to hire a few more people to dig ditches and fill them in. It is a different vision.

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Mr. PAUL. The line-item veto, interestingly, that the Senator proposed and got to the floor in the form of a bill separate from this has cosponsors from both parties. It does have bipartisan support. Many on the other side of the aisle see some of the waste. There is no reason why we couldn't begin to work together on some of this.

But, once again, I get back to if the President is going to go on the road and call us too stupid to understand and his jobs plan has to be broken up, that is not a good way to get to a consensus. The President needs to come to Capitol Hill and needs to talk with the other side and work on these ideas.

Do we need a line-item veto and do we need a balanced budget amendment? Do we need to do something different or just do the same? The problem with just doing the same is we haven't had a budget in 2 or 3 years around here. The appropriations bills are supposed to agree with the budget, but they can't because there is no budget. There is a rumor that the appropriations bill will go to the conference committee between the two Houses and they will actually airdrop in whole other appropriations bills.

Do we need more scrutiny? Do we need a balanced budget amendment? Do we need a line-item veto? Absolutely. Because what we are doing around here is not working and is adding up to trillions of dollars of annual deficits.

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Mr. PAUL. I think the overriding message--and I appreciate the comments from the Senator from Ohio--is that we have a jobs plan and we have our ideas. There is overlap in our ideas with some of the ideas from the other side.

The message is, we are willing to talk to the other side. We are willing to say these are some proposals, and let's try to find areas of agreement.

We think it is more important than a campaign right now. We think it is more important, the joblessness and the economy, that we try to do something about it. We are willing to come to the table. We are willing to bring our ideas, we are willing to have a debate with the other side, and we want to get solutions. We are not doing this just to be partisan. We want to figure out a way to make our economy better.

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