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Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, yesterday our Democratic friends took a vote that says a lot about the way they view the world. After nearly 4 years of spending and debt, millions of Americans are still struggling amidst the slowest recovery in modern times, and the economy is flat on its back. Our friends on the other side think a great way to go forward is to raise taxes. Under the guise of pretending to care about the deficit, Democrats are pushing an ideological goal of a symbolic tax increase that would not even fund the government for 1 week. The vote we had yesterday--with all but two of the Democrats on board--allegedly doing something about the deficit wouldn't fund government for 1 week.
They are not even pretending to care about the economy. They have sort of given up on the argument that this is about the economy. We know that because 2 years ago the Democrats agreed the higher taxes they are now fighting for would hurt the economy.
Let's look at the economy then and the economy now. At a time when economic growth was 3 1/2 percent, back in December of 2010, 40 Democrats voted to keep rates where they were on the grounds that it was the best thing to do for jobs. In December 2010, 40 Democrats voted to keep the tax rates where they were because it was the best thing for jobs. Yet now when the growth rate is 2 percent--it was 3 1/2 percent then, it is 2 percent now--and 13 million Americans are still out of work, they are voting to slam nearly 1 million businesses with a tax increase. Maybe they are expecting the GDP numbers tomorrow to be 3 1/2 percent. We will see.
That is one of two things, either our Democratic friends don't even care about the economy and jobs anymore and are just embracing Thelma-and-Louise economics--let's take everybody off the cliff and hope people support them for some other reason--or their economic world view is so far outside the mainstream of everyone else who has looked at the situation that they think 2 percent growth and 13 million Americans unemployed is good enough. Maybe they think that is as good as we can do. That is where this ideological crusade of theirs is taking them, right in that direction. I just hope for the sake of a struggling American economy that some of them soon see how misguided an approach this is.
Let me repeat, 2 years ago in December of 2010, when the economy was growing at a rate of 3 1/2 percent, 40 of our Democratic colleagues, the President, the Vice President, me, and the Speaker agreed to extend the current tax rates for 2 years because it would be good for jobs.
Just yesterday, with two exceptions, every Democrat voted to raise taxes on 1 million businesses when the growth rate--the GDP increased rate--is 2 percent and 13 million Americans are looking for work. That is not a prescription for the economy; that is an ideological crusade. That is not about America's jobs; that is about the election 4 months from now.
I yield the floor.
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