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Waiving Requirement of Clause 6(a) of Rule XIII with respect to Consideration of Certain

Location: Washington, DC



Mr. KIND. Mr. Speaker, I thank my friend from Massachusetts for yielding me this time.

Mr. Speaker, just in quick response to my good friend and colleague from New Jersey and his income tax chart, that really shouldn't be surprising to anyone here in this Chamber, because the whole basis of our income tax system is based on progressivity. Meaning, those who can afford more, those who are most wealthy, are asked to contribute more, and that is the fair and decent thing to do in our society.

But the one thing that that chart does not show is one of the most regressive taxes in the entire country, which is the payroll tax, the FICA tax, which is cut off at $90,000. And that is something that everyone under that 50 percent category is paying taxes on based on every single dollar that they earn. Yet they conveniently ignore that fact, and the fact that they are robbing those trust funds right now, both Social Security and Medicare, which comes from the FICA tax in order to help pay for the tax breaks for the most wealthy.

I agree with my friend from Florida, who I serve on the Budget Committee with, that we do have a challenge with entitlement spending. We have to lock arms in a bipartisan fashion to get those growing costs under control. But his party has forfeited any basis of fiscal responsibility related to entitlement spending by passing the largest expansion of entitlement funding in over 40 years with the new prescription drug plan, something that is not paid for, something that in fact has no cost containment measures in; it specifically prohibits any price negotiation with the drug companies, and it is blowing a hole in the Federal budget. And that is outrageous.

And what is even more outrageous is something that my ranking member on the Budget Committee, Mr. Spratt, pointed out on page 122, and that is the fifth increase in the debt limit ceiling in the last 6 years. This has been the largest, the fastest expansion of national debt in our Nation's history under this Congress and this current administration. And what is even more alarming is we no longer owe this debt to ourselves. China is the number one purchaser of our government deficits today, and they are soon to be followed by Russia and Saudi Arabia. Why? Because of the petro dollars that are flowing to those two countries and who are in turn starting to buy more of our debt.

The amount of debt that is being accumulated is truly staggering, and deficits do matter. And this is something I am going to point out during general debate, because of who suffers when we run deficits? I will tell you who suffers. It is the children and the students of this country who are suffering, when we are going to see another $4.5 billion worth of cuts based on current funding levels for higher education programs under this budget, where they are defunding special education funding, going from 17.8 percent down to 17 percent when the bipartisan goal has been funding it at a 40 percent federal cost share. Those are the people who are suffering when we run deficits. We have a better alternative with the Democratic substitute, a substitute that pays-as-we-go and I hope our colleagues support that.


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