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Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2013

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. McCLINTOCK. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself 5 minutes.

I want to congratulate the Progressive Caucus on producing a budget that actually addresses our crushing deficit, unlike the President's budget. Their budget produces deficit numbers that are right in line with the House Budget Committee's path to prosperity.

The difference between the two is that the Republican plan reduces the deficit by reorganizing our government services in a much more efficient and streamlined structure, saving trillions of dollars, while the Progressive Democrats would radically increase spending, supported by $6.8 trillion in new taxes over the next decade.

What does that mean in real numbers, $6.8 trillion? It comes to about $22,000 of taxes for every, man, woman, and child in America. That's about $88,000 for a family of four. Don't worry, we're told, we're not taxing working class families, just rich people and corporations.

Let's get a few things straight here. First, it turns out that many of the rich people aren't rich, and they aren't even people. They are small businesses filing under Subchapter S, the very same small businesses that we're depending upon to create two-thirds of the new jobs that Americans desperately need. To whack small businesses with crushing new financial burdens and then expect them to create more jobs is simply absurd.

Second, remember that ultimately businesses do not pay business taxes. Business taxes can only be paid in one of three ways: They're paid by consumers through higher prices; they're paid by employees through lower wages or no wages at all as jobs disappear; or they are paid by investors, mainly pension plans, through lower earnings. That's the only three ways they can possibly be paid.

Let's talk about fairness. In 2008, the top 1 percent of taxpayers, folks earning about $344,000 per year, earned about 17 percent of all income and paid 37 percent of all income taxes. As a class, they are paying their fair share, but the Progressives are right that some individuals within this class pay less than their fair share because of their disproportionate access to tax loopholes. The Progressives rightly want to get rid of some of these loopholes, and that's a good thing. But at the same time, they want to increase loopholes for others. They don't mind the government picking winners among their friends; they just want to do the picking.

The Republican plan calls for the ultimate elimination of these loopholes while lowering overall tax rates so that no American pays more than a third of their earnings to the government. That is fairness.

The underlying problem that's destroying our Nation's finances can be summed up with three simple numbers: 35, 33, and 76.

Between 2002 and 2012, population and inflation combined grew 35 percent. Despite the recession and the recent tax cuts, Federal revenues have grown 33 percent in the same period. Very close.

The third number is what is killing our country. Seventy-six percent is the increase in spending, twice the rate of our revenues, twice the rate of inflation and population growth. By the way, has anybody seen a 76 percent increase in the quality of our roads or our institutions or our law enforcement or our border security? We paid for it, but we're not getting it. That's what's out of control about this administration.

No nation has ever taxed and spent its way to prosperity, but many nations have taxed and spent their way to economic ruin and bankruptcy.

When we're told this is the worst recession since the Depression, I remember a time much more recently when we had not only double-digit unemployment, but double-digit inflation, mile-long lines around gas stations, interest rates at 21 1/2 percent. That was the end of the Carter administration.

Maybe we don't remember those days as vividly. It's because they didn't last very long. We elected Ronald Reagan, whose policies were very different than the current administration. He cut spending as a percentage of GDP. He cut the top marginal income tax rate from 70 percent all the way down to 28 percent. He reduced the regulatory burdens crushing the economy, and he produced one of the most prolonged periods of economic expansion in our Nation's history. This isn't a partisan policy. Warren Harding, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, and most recently Bill Clinton all followed similar policies with similar results.

Phil Graham recently estimated that if the economy today had tracked with the Reagan economy, 17 million more Americans would be working right now and income would be $5,700 higher per person.

We need to choose wisely, Mr. Chairman, here and at the polls in November.

I reserve the balance of my time.

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Mr. McCLINTOCK. Mr. Chairman, I think the reason these times are so impassioned is because we've arrived at a moment when two very different visions of society are competing for our Nation's future, and they're very much reflected in the budgets put forward by the two parties in this House.

America's prosperity and greatness spring from uniquely American principles of individual freedom, personal responsibility, and constitutionally limited government. America's Founders created a voluntary society where people are free to make their own choices, enjoy the fruits of their own labors, take responsibility for their own decisions, and lead their own lives with a minimum of government interference and intrusion.

When someone needs help, we freely give that help, but we ask in return that they make the effort to support themselves to the extent that they can. Our government views no one person or group as more or less worthy than any other.

We are Americans. We'll be judged on our own merits, and we'll make on own choices, including what kind of car we'll drive, what kind of toilets we'll have in our homes, how we'll raise our children, what kind of light bulbs we prefer, what we'll have for dinner tonight.

Today, a very different vision competes for our future, that of a compulsory society, where our individual rights are subordinated to the mandates of government bureaucrats, where innocent taxpayers are forced to bail out the bad decisions of others, and where consumers are compelled to purchase the products or underwrite the losses of politically favored companies.

Under this vision, the purpose of government is not to protect individual freedom, but to improve society, however those in power decide it should be improved, to take from those it declares are undeserving to give to those it declares are deserving or, to put it more succinctly, to take from each according to his abilities and to give to each according to his needs. That's what this is all about.

Not more than 100 steps from where we debate right now, Thomas Jefferson reviewed the bountiful resources of the Nation and asked:

With all these blessings, what more is necessary to make us a happy and a prosperous people? Still one thing more, fellow-citizens, a wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.

This is the Path to Prosperity put forth by the House Budget Committee. And let us be clear: the various Democratic plans, including the one before us now, fundamentally reject these principles and replace them with values alien and antithetical to those that built our Nation.

That is the question that our generation must decide in all of its forms, including the question put to us today by this substitute amendment.

I yield back the balance of my time.

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