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Public Statements

Annual Budget Debate

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

ANNUAL BUDGET DEBATE -- (House of Representatives - March 27, 2007)


Mr. JORDAN of Ohio. I thank the gentleman from Texas, and I thank him for his work with the Republican Study Committee. His leadership there is just so valuable.

Mr. Speaker, let me just make a couple of points about this tax increase that has been talked about this last hour, this largest tax increase in the history of the United States of America, why it is such bad policy for our country. And I want to just focus, as I said, on two points.

First of all, I think it's important to recognize how the competition is stiffer today. And what I mean by that is this changing dynamic that we see in the world market. There was a point maybe in the past where elected officials, where politicians could afford to make poor decisions, poor policy decisions and because America's economy was so far ahead of the rest of the world, we could succeed in spite of the bad policies that were enacted. But the facts today are such that it is important we get it right and we not put additional burdens on families, on taxpayers, and on our economy if we are going to compete in this world market.

Just a couple of facts. Think about this: China has 1.4 billion people. The country of India has 800 million people. The United States of America, we just hit a population of 300 million last summer. So, again, two countries, over two million people that we are competing against. China's economy is growing at about 10 percent. India's is growing at about 7 1/2 percent. If we are going to compete against those emerging countries who are moving towards middle class, if we are going to compete, we have got to have the right kind of policies in place. Tax increases are not the right kind of policies on our families, on our business owners, on our American economy. It is important we recognize that.

I have related this story to the Chair of the Republican Study Committee before, but I think it captures just how important it is to understand the dynamic that we find ourselves in in this point in history.

We have a constituent who has been very successful in manufacturing. And he wanted to, a few years ago, sit down with our United States Senator and talk about this dynamic that is taking place in the world market. And so we helped put together a meeting, and he sat down with our United States Senator around the conference table. He took one of the pieces, the piece that they make in their manufacturing plants and he had taped to that piece, he had two pennies taped to it. And he slid that

piece across the table to our U.S. Senator and he said, Senator, those two pennies taped to that piece, those represent, those two pennies represent our labor costs in that piece. He said, competing with China. He said China and India aren't beating us on labor costs. What makes it tougher, he said, we are so efficient. Our systems, our processes are so good we feel like we can compete with anybody in the world. What makes it tough for us to compete is the stuff you politicians do, and he pointed right to our Senator. He said it is the tax increases, it is the regulation, it is the litigation, it is those sorts of things in our economy, in our policy that make it tough for us to compete.

We have got to recognize that when we are competing in this world market today, it is important we get it right, because, again the competition is so stiff.

And then of course the other reason that has been talked about very eloquently, I think, this evening, why it is bad policy to raise taxes. It is not just because it is bad for the economy. It is not just because we have all this focus when we are dealing with the budget where we talk about budgets and numbers and revenues and projections. It is bad because it is about people. It is about families. And when you think about what really makes our country strong, what has allowed the United States of America to be the most prosperous Nation in history, it is the fact that we have that key institution that has been so strong, that family institution. And really, I believe what makes America so great, it is this idea, and the chairman was just alluding to this, it is this idea that moms and dads are willing to sacrifice so that their kids can have life a little better than they did. And then that next generation, as they grow up, they do the same thing for their kids and their grandkids, and it continues. And it has been that cycle that has allowed America to prosper.

If we are going to take an additional $2,500 per family away from them, away from their checkbook, away from their pocketbook, away from their goals, their dreams, the things they want to spend it on, we are making it tougher for that American Dream to continue. We are making it tougher on the families, that key institution in our culture. And that is why this budget, this $392 billion tax increase is wrong for our country when we think about competing in the world market, and it is wrong for families who make this country so great in the first place.

And with that I would yield back to the chairman of the RSC and thank him for his work here this evening and for his continued work for families across this country.


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