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Pro-Growth Budgeting Act of 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. MULVANEY. I thank my colleague for yielding.

As we sit like good Congressmen and -women in our offices and as we watch these debates on television, sometimes we feel compelled to run over and participate in the debate. Certainly, that's what drove me over here today, and it's hard to know where to start. There is a long list of things that we could talk about here today.

Mr. Chairman, we could start, for example, with the gentleman from Maryland, who offered again today, as he did in the Budget Committee, the suggestion that perhaps the Recovery Act generated as many as 6 million jobs. If you actually listen very closely to what he says and read the documents that he cites, that's up to 6 million jobs saved or created. The truth of the matter is we could make just as easily the argument that the number is closer to 1.2 million jobs saved or created, and that's assuming that a job saved is a job created. We could have a discussion as to whether or not we should have been spending $400,000 per job, but that's not the reason we're here.

So I would suggest to my friends across the aisle, if they really believed that the Recovery Act was so wonderful, bring it up again. Please offer us another one. In fact, bring us one twice the size, and look the American people in the eye and say that $800 billion wasn't enough, that we want $1.6 trillion worth of another stimulus bill. Please, bring that, and let the President defend that as we have this discussion between now and November.

You could also, Mr. Chairman, go into more detail about what the gentleman from North Carolina mentioned about the PAYGO rules, which is something I'm a little bit familiar with. My predecessor was a big supporter of the PAYGO rules. The PAYGO rules were in place when this government ran up its largest deficits in history. The rule was never designed to cut spending, and it was never designed to lower the deficit. It never accomplished what folks so fondly, in hindsight, believe that it did in the late 1990s. You could go back and look. Really, what drove the surpluses of the late 1990s was the reduction in the size of the Federal Government. But, again, it's not what we're here to talk about today.

What the gentleman from Texas was talking about, however, is spot on, and he would come to the well, as so many folks on the other side will, and say that, well, it was those Bush tax cuts that really got us in the hole that we're in. I don't know why we call them the Bush tax cuts, by the way.

They were extended by a Democrat President and a Democrat Senate and a Democrat House at the end of 2010. I have always referred to them as the Bush-Obama tax cuts, but that doesn't seem to catch on.

But the assertion has always been that after those tax cuts, Mr. Chairman, went into place that revenues went down, that when we cut taxes revenue went down, because certainly that's what the CBO, under the current rules, would tell you would happen. Under the static models that are in place now, when we supposedly cut taxes, the CBO will tell you, well, if you lower the tax rates, revenues will go down.

Unequivocally, this is not what happened with the Bush tax cuts in 2000s. Revenues went up every year from 2003 to the beginning of the great recession.

That's why this bill is so important, Mr. Chairman. Washington does not know how to count. We count in this town in a fashion that only this town counts. The whole rest of the world doesn't understand how we count, and the CBO scoring is a big part of that problem.


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