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Public Statements

The Budget

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, four years, four long years, that is how long Kentuckians and Americans from coast to coast have had to wait for Senate Democrats to perform their most basic of legislative responsibilities.

Later today, we hope, that long wait will come to an end when they finally release a budget plan.

Given what we have heard about that budget so far, it is obvious why they refused to release one for so many years.

We hear it won't prevent programs such as Medicare from going bankrupt.

We hear it contains yet more wasteful ``stimulus'' spending, spending that turns out to be a lot more effective at generating jokes for late-night comedians than jobs.

And in order to finance more spending, we hear it relies on more than $1 trillion--that is trillion with a T--in new taxes, including on the middle class. Remember, Washington Democrats already got more than $600 billion in taxes this year. So where is this new revenue going to come from, charities, the home mortgage interest deduction? Will they go after families and small businesses yet again?

At least there is one thing we almost certainly know: their budget will never balance--not today, not tomorrow, not ever.

If that was my vision for the country, frankly I would want to hide it from the American people too.

Look, a budget like that would be a disaster for our country. It would betray those who are going to need Medicare when they retire.

It would betray the younger Americans who would be forced to grapple with the consequences of Democrats' failure to get serious about the debt.

It would betray the hard-working middle-class families that simply can't afford higher taxes, especially in the Obama economy.

And if that is really the kind of budget Senate Democrats plan to offer, it would sacrifice Americans' hopes for sustained economic recovery at the altar of higher taxes and bloated, unaccountable government.

It would also draw an important contrast with the budget Republicans put forward yesterday.

Because here is the thing: Republicans believe we should be growing the economy, not the government--and the House Republican budget reflects just those priorities.

It is a budget that does something else too; it actually balances.

That is important for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that it would help unleash economic growth and bring down our country's massive debt load. Interest payments on the national debt alone are set to exceed everything we spend on defense in just a few years' time, so the path we are on clearly is not a sustainable one.

With that in mind, I hope Democrats offer something serious today. I hope they face up to the fact that they already got the revenue they are going to get. So that they can start dealing with the real issues that are leading us to fiscal ruin.

And I hope they will finally stop trying to shield the Washington establishment from every single attempt to inject a little accountability and reform, because if the reports I have seen are correct, the budget they plan to offer would do none of these things. It would only speed up the dangerous trajectory we are on rather than change it; entrench government waste and cronyism rather than root it out; and make things worse for the families we represent rather than give them hope. Hope is something the American people really need right now. They have been battered by the President's economy. They are tired of seeing their money wasted on an endless labyrinth of self-perpetuating bureaucracy.

So I am calling on my Democratic friends to shelve the extremist liberal budget we have been hearing so much about. Let's get serious here and start doing the things necessary to make government more efficient, more pro-growth, more responsive, and more compassionate--in other words, enact the same priorities Republicans have and, frankly, the priorities many of our constituents have too.

After 4 long years, Senate Democrats should be willing to do more than just protect their buddies in government at all costs--to offer Americans something better than a budget that would expand the IRS and crush the middle class.

The American people deserve better than that. Haven't they waited long enough already for true growth-oriented reform?

I yield the floor.


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