U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) today released the following statement on special interest giveaways added to the legislation passed this week to avoid the so-called "fiscal cliff:"
"America's national debt is today $16.4 trillion -- $52,000 for every U.S. citizen -- placing us on the path to bankruptcy and risking our children and grandchildren's futures. In the coming weeks and months, Republicans and Democrats will need to come together and make many hard and likely unpopular decisions to get our country's long-term finances back in order. To accomplish this, we'll need the American people on our side.
"That's why it's so incredibly disappointing that Members of Congress saw fit to add hundreds of millions of dollars in special-interest handouts to the recently-passed "fiscal cliff' bill, which had the simple purpose of avoiding massive tax rate increases on average Americans. A partial list of handouts attached to this the bill includes:
· $430 million in tax breaks for Hollywood film and TV producers
· $70 million in tax incentives for NASCAR track builders
· $59 million in tax credits for algae growers
· $15 million in subsidies for asparagus growers
· $7 million for buyers of 2- or 3-wheel electric scooters
"It's hard to think of anything that could feed the cynicism of the American people more than larding up must-pass emergency legislation with giveaways to special interests and campaign contributors. And this growing cynicism -- largely justified in my view -- will make it harder for us to deliver the tough medicine needed to address our crushing national debt.
"I reluctantly supported the flawed "fiscal cliff' agreement because I could not stand by and watch taxes go up on all Americans, but these provisions obviously make that vote harder to justify today.
"If we don't end this shameful conduct and begin winning back the basic respect of the American people, it will be all the more difficult to gain their support to tackle the many difficult challenges we face."