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Public Statements

Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2014

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. TAKANO. Thank you, Mr. Van Hollen.

I rise to address the so-called Path to Prosperity that this body is now debating.

I'm struck by the beltway media bubble that calls this plan bold and its creator, Mr. Ryan, a serious policymaker who isn't afraid to make the tough decisions. My Republican colleagues call this proposal brave and necessary, but I could not disagree more. I don't believe it's brave to break the promises we made to our seniors. I think it's dangerous. I don't believe it's necessary to cut funding for police, firefighters, and programs for low-income citizens. I think that's foolish. I don't believe that it's wise to provide tax credits for private jets and luxury yachts.

My colleague, Mr. Ryan, seems to be living in an alternate reality. He thinks that we can fund the Federal Government at 19 percent of GDP with an aging population whose health care costs are at 18 percent of GDP. Even conservative idol President Reagan funded the Federal Government at 22 percent of GDP when there was no retiring baby boom generation and health care costs only amounted to 1 percent of GDP. Would Mr. Ryan accuse President Reagan's administration of ``wild government spending?'' I don't think so.

The GOP budget boils down to three steps: phase one, cut spending; phase two, I'm not sure what their plans are; phase three, prosperity.

There's a gaping hole in Mr. Ryan's logic. His thinking is incomplete. How is cutting funding for infrastructure, education, and health care a Path to Prosperity?

Mr. Chairman, a century of evidence shows that austerity will not lead to prosperity. Democrats offer alternative proposals that deal with the real crisis in America--the jobs crisis.

A plan to reach full employment is the true path to prosperity. I urge a ``no'' vote on the Ryan budget.


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