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Mr. NEAL. Mr. Speaker, we just heard a moment ago from the gentleman from South Carolina that there was an illicit or perhaps illegal initiative that was taking place across the country in the Midwest. So the answer in that instance is to notify the U.S. Attorney's Office if it's fraudulent. The answer there is to notify immigration authorities.
But this argument right here is not about illegal immigration. This argument today is about once again asking the wealthiest people in our society just to sacrifice a bit.
When the gentleman talks about $4 billion of fraud, there isn't anybody on the Democratic side that encourages or countenances the idea of fraud. Tell the American people where the expenditures go.
A million new veterans have been created between Afghanistan and Iraq. You're 20 years old, and you've been wounded in Iraq or Afghanistan, you're going to be in the care of the VA system for the next 50 or 60 years. We are obligated to take care of them. That's where the money goes.
We cut taxes in this country by Ð$2.3 trillion during the Bush years, and my Republican pals were all culpable in that argument. You can fight two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, now both north of $2 trillion, and cut taxes by $2.3 trillion, and people wonder why we're in the predicament that we're in.
Twelve successive years of tax cuts, and at the same time asking nothing of the people at the very top, who, incidentally, during the Clinton years were not even asking for a tax cut. Their argument was: Pay down the debt.
We are being asked to revisit with this budget what went awry during the Bush years. We are being asked with this budget to go back to the policies that got us into this predicament during the Bush years. We are being asked at this time, once again, to ask the poorest people in our society to shoulder the burden of tax cuts for the wealthiest in America--tax cuts that have not paid for themselves, tax cuts that will not pay for themselves, and tax cuts that do not take us on a sound path to fiscal stability in the near- or long-term future.
This conversation should be about balancing the budget, and it should be done by Democrats and Republicans, not with a sledge hammer, as is being proposed early this afternoon.
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