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Public Statements

Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2014

Floor Speech

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Date:
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Mr. ROKITA. I thank the gentleman from Georgia for yielding the time.

I agree with the gentleman from Georgia. It's good to have debate. It's good to have choices. It's good to have options, but that doesn't mean every option is equally good. And we're faced with that situation right here, right now, and that's why I rise in opposition to the CBC substitute budget.

There are different ways to balance a budget. Many, most Americans, many of us here, think that taking 20 percent of the value of a country's GDP, like this Federal Government does and spends it, is more than enough to run it and most anything else.

But to be fair, there are other ways to balance, and one of those ways is to raise revenue. And I want to examine just a few of the ways that this substitute budget proposes to run the Federal Government by raising revenue.

I see from all the different ideas here that their intention was to take from whom they believe are the richest Americans, the wealthiest Americans, those who haven't paid their fair share, the 1 percent, however you want to phrase it, but let's look at it more closely.

One, taxing capital gains and dividends as ordinary income at a top rate of 39.6 percent, I think this budget forgets how many middle class Americans have 401(k)s, how many of us across the Nation invest in the stock market, how many union members still on the old pension plans, those dinosaur plans, still rely on the stock market for their retirement. What are these capital gains and dividends going to do to them? They're not the richest, for sure.

Taxing financial transactions at 0.25 percent of the asset's value, the same thing, Mr. Chairman. What about all the middle class individuals, so many Americans in this country that rely for their retirement not just on Social Security but on 401(k)s, union members who rely on pensions? And what's it going to be like for them when we're taking simply more from them from their retirement?

And then perhaps the most insidious, returning estate tax levels to 2009, not only are we taxing twice, but we are making it a bad thing, apparently, to pass on our hard-earned wealth to our children, our next generation. It's no way to run a country. It's immoral, in fact.

But let's assume all these tax increases. The fact of the matter is this budget still never balances, never comes into balance. And I was struck this morning, Mr. Chairman, by Mr. Mulvaney from South Carolina, during his 1-minute speech, when he said, when you contract with somebody to borrow money, that's what debt is. You intend to pay it back. When you contract with somebody and have no intention of paying that debt back, that's thievery.

That's exactly what we're doing, Mr. Chairman, to the children of tomorrow, to the people that do not yet exist, that do not have a vote in this matter. That's why I rise in support, and I urge all my colleagues to defeat this substitute budget.

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