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Sense of House Regarding any Final Measure to Extend Certain Expiring Provisions

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. BARTON of Texas. I thank the distinguished policy chairman, and I thank the gentleman from Idaho for his evenhanded leadership in the debate.

Mr. Speaker, I voted to send the Senate bill to conference, and I hope that both parties in both Chambers appoint serious conferees and really try to come up with a solution to the problem.

I do want to point out a few facts that have been avoided on both sides of
the aisle. It's really not a payroll tax. It is a Social Security dedicated trust fund tax.

Since Franklin Roosevelt and the Congress created Social Security in the 1930s, payroll Social Security taxes go into the system by workers, employers, and self-employed individuals, and then benefits come out.

Last year, for the first time, we reduced the amount of Social Security taxes going into the system and gave an IOU from the Treasury into the Social Security trust fund. The extension, whether it's for 2 months or 1 year, of that same policy this year is taking $120 billion to $150 billion out of the system that's real money and putting into it an IOU that we will pay at a date future. This would be like if I went to the doctor and the doctor tells me that I have got lung cancer, and I say, ``Well, what should I do, Doctor?'' and he says, ``Smoke more cigarettes.''

I mean, we paid more out in Social Security benefits this current year than we paid in, and this exacerbates the problem. I would ask that we come up with a permanent solution, Mr. Speaker, and not keep avoiding the problem.

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