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Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. NEAL. Thank you, Mr. Van Hollen.

What's striking about the debate that we're having today and this discussion is that essentially our Republican friends and colleagues are asking us to go back to the policies that got us here in the first place, the folly of those 6 years when they controlled the Presidency, when they controlled the Senate, and when they controlled the House of Representatives. So let me reacquaint all with their number forecast.

They offered $1.3 trillion worth of tax cuts in 2001, and then came back in 2003 and said that wasn't enough; let's cut taxes by another trillion dollars. The underlying argument that they offered at the time was that this would jump-start growth, despite the fact that as we came off the Clinton years with the greatest spurt of economic growth in the history of the world--a budget that was balanced for 4 successive years and 22 million jobs--their argument was: We can outdo that growth if we simply cut taxes by $2.3 trillion--and, incidentally, not for the middle class. These tax cuts overwhelmingly went to people in the 1 percentile. Remember the theory that tax cuts pay for themselves?

So, let's contrast January 19, 2001 with the end of the Bush years--$15 trillion worth of debt, deficits as far as the eye could see, all under the guise of economic growth. So, let me give you a number--not an opinion, but a fact. Those 8 years offered the most anemic economic growth at any time since Herbert Hoover was President of the United States. And what they ask for today in this budget is to have bigger tax cuts for wealthy people and eviscerate the guarantee of Medicare.


Mr. NEAL. This is the party, on the Republican side, that tried to privatize Social Security during those years, and all they want to do is shoehorn these legislative proposals into tax cuts for wealthy people. Their argument today, despite these record deficits, is, with revenue at 14.7 percent of GDP--headed toward the Eisenhower years--when the town has argued for years about revenue being between 19 and 21 percent, they're going to cut Medicare to give tax cuts for wealthy people.


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