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Public Statements

"Ryanomics" -- The House Republican Budget

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, "Ryanomics,'' the House Republican budget, the so-called path to prosperity, is based upon a fanciful theory of trickle-down economics. This is a well-worn idea that belies the facts that we've seen proven time and time again.

That truth is that giving tax breaks and hollowing out the Tax Code with loopholes for the wealthy, while cutting spending for the social safety net and the poor, while cutting everything else that makes America great, that somehow this is going to create prosperity for all. Indeed, the Republicans have played from this same playbook before, and it has failed.

It has failed again, and it continues to fail. This was an economic theory first proposed by the American hero, Ronald Reagan. They called it Reaganomics. Trickle-down economics is what they liked to say: it would trickle down to the poor. George Herbert Walker Bush called it ``voodoo economics.'' I think he was right on with that because in practicing voodoo, they just ask you to believe. And that's what Ryanomics is proposing for us to do. The numbers just don't add up.

Today, we only have to look at Europe to see the terrible effects of severe austerity. The Republican prescription of cut, cut, cut has been tried, tried, tried repeatedly across Europe and has only exacerbated the problems over there. Now, under the guise of balancing the budget in 10 years, we've got Ryanomics II, or Turbo Ryanomics. They're going to take $15 trillion and balance the budget in 10 years, doubling down on a theory that Americans rejected just last year. Four or 5 months ago, we rejected Ryanomics; but here we have Ryanomics II, or Turbo Ryanomics.

Mr. Speaker, I'm not here to solely criticize the path that Republicans have charted for this House with their budget priorities. In fact, I agree with them that Congress must make difficult choices about future spending. The problem is that all too often this body asks very little of the rich and the powerful, handing out tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires like candy, doing this at the expense of the middle class and the poor. You have seen the income disparity between the top 2 percent and the middle class. The gap continues to widen.

Shared sacrifice should truly be that. It should be something that all Americans share in. Why does Congress continue to give tax breaks to big corporations that outsource jobs but fail to invest in education and scientific research that would help the American economy by creating jobs and reducing unemployment? Why would they continue to give tax breaks to those who don't need them, rather than educating the next generation of workers so that this country can continue to compete and be at the top of the global economy?

Despite the fact that trickle-down economics has been roundly criticized and discredited, my colleagues across the aisle choose to double down on what hasn't worked, and they want to continue to relentlessly cut, cut, cut the programs and the services that Americans depend on every day and which help drive our economy. I believe we must reduce our debt--and we must do that in a responsible and sensible way that slows spending over time. We can no longer leave working Americans behind while we allow the wealthy to walk away with the largest share of national prosperity.

Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support the CPC, the CBC, and the Democratic budgets that keep our promises and invest in what works to grow the middle class.


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