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Public Statements

Recognizing Americorps

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. BROUN of Georgia. I thank my colleague of Pennsylvania for yielding me some time.

Mr. Speaker, this bill encourages Americans to support AmeriCorps. There are some around the country who would agree with that. There are others who would not because there are problems with AmeriCorps, such as moneys that have been expended on ACORN. Other funds and efforts by AmeriCorps volunteers have been utilized in campaigns, which I don't think is quite appropriate, particularly when we're trying to promote volunteerism.

Whether people would support AmeriCorps or not, I think that there is another issue that, if the American people were to fully comprehend and understand, the vast majority of this country would not support. It's what the liberals in this Congress are calling cap-and-trade legislation. I call it tax-and-cap legislation because that's what it's all about. It's about taxes. In fact, the President recently said, if this bill were not passed, he would not have the money to fund his socialized medicine program for which he is actually pushing very hard and for which he wants passed by the end of this year.

Now, socialized medicine is going to take people's choices away. It's going to take their choices of doctors away, their choices of hospitals, their choices of what medications they can utilize, whether they can even have a procedure or have surgery that is so desperately needed. It's going to be a program that's going to literally kill people because it's going to deny them care that's desperately needed.

So this tax-and-cap legislation--``cap-and-trade'' as it's called--is about money. It's not about the environment. It's about money. It's about more funds being brought into the Federal government to foster what I call a ``steamroll of socialism'' that's being shoved down the throats of the American people. It's going to slay the American economy. It's going to cost jobs.

The President has talked about using Spain as the icon for what we should look at. Well, in Spain, the icon that the President looks to, we have already seen that for every single green job that it has produced another 2.2 jobs, which were real jobs, permanent jobs, were destroyed.

In my congressional district in northeast Georgia, right now, today, in many counties, we have an unemployment rate of nearly 14 percent. The national average is over 9 percent. In northeast Georgia, it's higher, much higher. I have manufacturing entities within my district that tell me, if this cap-and-trade/tax-and-cap legislation is passed, they're going to lock the doors, and the unemployment rate in northeast Georgia is going to go up markedly from what it is today, which is roughly 14 percent. I think we're going to see 18 percent, 20 percent, maybe 25 percent unemployment in northeast Georgia because of one bill, because of one bill that is being pushed down the throats of the American people: this cap-and-tax--``tax-and-cap'' as I call it--cap-and-trade legislation, the Waxman-Markey bill.

It's going to be disastrous for the American economy, it's going to be disastrous for American workers, and it's going to be disastrous for the poor and those who are on limited incomes.

Why do I say that? Well, I say that because every single person in this country utilizes energy. Every single person, when they flip on their light switch, their electric bill is going up. Every single person in this country is dependent upon gasoline or diesel fuel. Why? Even if they don't have a car, even if they use public transportation, it is gasoline and diesel fuel that motivates America. But it's more than that. Groceries don't grow in the grocery store. Grocery prices are going to go up markedly because of this tax-and-cap legislation. Every single good and service in this country is going to go up because of this tax-and-cap legislation.

Now I'm a conservationist. I fought in the conservation movement for a long period of time. We have to be good stewards of our environment. There's no question. I want clean air and clean water just as much as the most ardent, rabid environmental activist in this country. I'm a physician, and I know what dirty air does to my patients who have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or chronic asthma and lung diseases. We must have clean air. We can do that, but we can do that without destroying our economy. We can do that without costing American jobs.

All we're going to do is run jobs overseas instead of having them here in America. We ought to have public policy that grows our economic base, not kills it. Tax-and-cap legislation would kill it. We ought to have public policy that stimulates the economy instead of kills it. Tax-and-cap will kill it.

We are in a bad economic situation today. People are hurting all over this country. We are borrowing too much. We're spending too much. We're taxing too much. We see the policy from this administration and the liberal leadership of Congress in both the House and the Senate that is going to not only extend this current recession, but I believe it's going to deepen it. I believe it will even take us into a severe recession to the point of a frank, outright depression. Tax-and-cap legislation is going to be the locomotive that takes us down those tracks, and it's going to be a high-speed train taking us toward economic ruin. That high-speed train is going to run off a cliff, and it's going to take the American economy and the American people with it. It's going to kill small business. It's going to kill big business. It's going to kill jobs. It's going to hurt poor people. It's going to hurt the elderly, those on limited incomes. It's going to raise the cost of medicine, raise the cost of health care.

And why are we doing this? It is so, as the President himself has said, that he can have the funds to create a bigger socialized medicine program and other socialized programs, bigger government, bigger spending, more economic doom and gloom that's going to be foisted upon the American people. We've got to stop it. And if the American people realized what was happening, they'd stand up and say no to cap-and-tax, cap-and-trade, what I call tax-and-cap legislation, as well as the socialized medicine program, the two big things that this administration and the liberal leadership in this Congress are pushing. Both of them are going to be disastrous. Both of them are going to kill jobs. Both of them are going to take away choices. Both of them are going to destroy our economy. Both of them are going to put our children and grandchildren in severe economic peril. And believe me, I believe it's immoral. I think it's totally immoral because we are robbing our children and our grandchildren of their economic futures. They will live at a standard that's much below ours today.

We have a clear picture of where the leadership in this Congress is taking us and the way the administration is taking us. All we have to do is look in Venezuela. This administration and the liberal leadership in this Congress is going down the same road that Hugo Chavez has taken the Venezuelans. Venezuela nationalized their energy systems. That's exactly what we're trying to do here with cap-and-trade. In Venezuela, Hugo Chavez nationalized the financial institutions. We've already done that. We've nationalized Chrysler and GM, and they're trying to force Ford into the same trap. We've nationalized the insurance industry. We're nationalizing everything of major consequence in this country economically. And now the leadership wants to nationalize, federalize, socialize the health care system in America.

Now where is that train going to take us? We've got a clear picture of that, too. All we have to do is look in Cuba, look in the Soviet-controlled Soviet Union prior to them making their reforms and turning toward a more capitalistic system. But we can look at Cuba. Cuba, prior to Fidel Castro taking over that government, was very prosperous. Certainly they had problems, but not the problems that they have today. In Cuba we have a very rich elite, headed by a Marxist, Fidel Castro. The vast majority of the people in that country are struggling, very poor, with no choices. That's exactly where we're heading in America today if we continue down this road, this steamroller of socialism, this high-speed train that's going to drive us off the economic cliff. We've got to stop it.

Republicans have offered alternative after alternative. We had alternatives to the housing crisis. The liberals on the other side were obstructionists. They wouldn't let our alternatives be heard. We had alternatives to the stimulus bill. I call it the nonstimulus bill because it has not and will not stimulate the economy. We had alternatives. The other side were obstructionists. They would not allow our ideas to be heard or brought to this floor for debate.

We've offered alternatives to the banking crisis. But what have we done? We've bailed out Wall Street. Republicans have offered many alternatives to bail out Main Street, but they are not heard on this floor. Over and over again, the other side has been obstructionist. They've blocked every effort that we have brought on our side, from the Republican side, to bring forth commonsense, market-based free enterprise solutions that would not have put our children and grandchildren's futures at peril. But the other side have been obstructionists. They have not allowed those things to be heard. They have been buried in committee. We introduced the bills. We had press conferences. The Main Street media around this country are very compliant with the leadership on the liberal side because they bury it and don't even report the alternatives.

We hear on the other side that the Republicans are the Party of No. Well actually we are the Party of Know, but it's K-N-O-W. We know how to solve these problems in America. We know how to solve the banking problems. We know how to solve the stimulus/economic problems. We know how to solve the environmental problems, the energy problems, the health care problems that America faces. But are our ideas heard? The other side is the side of no, N-O, because they say no to every proposal that we've made on our side.

The press also is the party of no, N-O, because they've not reported on any of the proposals that we've offered, and it's not right. It's actually going to be disastrous to the American people, and the American

people need to stand up and say no to this steamroller of socialism. Stop this high-speed train running off the cliff of economic doom that's going to take our children and grandchildren down into the chasm of a poor economy, struggling to try to pay off the debt for this totally inappropriate outright steamroller of socialism that's being forced down the throats of the American people.

We've got to stop it. And we can stop it if the American people rise up and say no to the steamroller, put a stop to this high-speed train that Nancy Pelosi's driving and Harry Reid's driving that is going to hurt our children, it's going to hurt our grandchildren, it's going to hurt America, and I'm not sure that we can recover in the next 10 decades, century. It may take that long to put us back on the right track, if we can ever get back on the right track.

We've seen over and over throughout history societies destroyed because of people doing things in a self-centered manner, and that's exactly what's happening in this country today. We are self-centered as a people. We need to look at serving other people, particularly our children and grandchildren, put this country back on the right track, and we can do that.

Former U.S. Senator Everett Dirksen one time said, when he feels the heat, he sees the light. The American people need to put the heat on Members of Congress in the House and the Senate and say no to cap-and-tax, cap-and-trade legislation, to the Waxman-Markey bill. They need to say no to the socialized medicine program that the liberal leadership on the Democratic side is trying to force upon us which will take our choices away. They need to say no to the steamroller of socialism, no to big government, and yes to free enterprise, yes to personal responsibility and accountability, yes to small business. We cannot borrow and spend our way to prosperity. We have to stimulate the economy by stimulating small business. We have to have money in the hands of small businessmen and -women around this country to create jobs. We have to have money in the hands of the taxpayers so that they can have money for a college education for their children, buy clothes, buy food.

The bill just before this one was about encouraging physical education for our children. I'm a medical doctor, and I have seen over and over again how fat and out of shape the kids in this country are. But our economy is going to be skinny and poor because of a fat, bloated Federal Government that the liberal leadership in this House and this Senate are trying to force upon the American people.

So the American people need to stand up and say no to all these steamroller of socialism programs, to the cap-and-trade, to socialized medicine; and say yes to the Republican alternatives that will look to the free marketplace and will stimulate the economy, get us back on the right track and help us have a strong economic future not only for us today but for our children and our grandchildren for the next decades to come.


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