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Public Statements

Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. JACKSON of Illinois. Mr. Chairman, in about a month, almost every Member of this body will be speaking at events in their district commemorating the life of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., and his famous, ``I Have a Dream'' speech. Amid the soaring rhetoric and the beautiful prose, Dr. King made a clear point. In a sense, we have come to our Nation's capital ``to cash a check. When the architects of our Republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American wants to fall heir. That note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.''

And I paraphrase, It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the people a bad check which has come back marked ``insufficient funds.'' But we refuse to believe the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vault of opportunity in this great Nation. So we have come to cash this check--a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.

Mr. Chairman, if we pass this bill, it will signal a refusal to pay our fair share into the vaults of opportunity for all Americans. It will drive up the debt and put pressure on our Nation's Capital to cut programs for the most vulnerable. If this agreement passes, when out-of-work Americans look in the 112th Congress for help in paying their rent, our Nation's Capital will look to those Americans and say, insufficient funds. When we look to veterans who need health care that is owed them, the 112th Congress will say, insufficient funds. When our schools look for funding they need to teach our kids, our Congress will say, insufficient funds.

Mr. Chairman, this bill will only drive up the deficit, which is already too high in the eyes of the American people. It will put even more pressure on Congress and the President to cut vital programs when we convene next year.

If this sounds familiar to the American people, it should. In the early 1980s, President Reagan's budget director, David Stockman, conceived of a strategy called ``starve the beast.'' By cutting taxes and increasing military spending, the President could force Congress to cut social spending in order to control the deficit. As Stockman put it, they would cut ``real blood and guts stuff.'' You heard it from the Budget chairman a few moments ago. When they're in charge, they plan to cut real blood and guts stuff.

Mr. Chairman, if this tax deal goes through, blood and guts will affect us. At a time when they're needed the most, they will put these important programs on the chopping block. Indeed, Mr. Chairman, we refuse to believe that the American people should be forced to accept this tax deal, to accept ``insufficient funds.'' We see $858 billion that should be in the vaults of opportunity of this Nation. And that's why we oppose this bill.

Members will follow me opposed to any argument that say there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity to rebuild this Nation.


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