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Public Statements

Fiscal Cliff

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. FLEMING. For 2 years, President Obama and Democrats have clamored for a so-called ``balanced approach'' to fix the budget deficit by raising taxes in exchange for entitlement reform. We must reform entitlements. We know that, without reform, Medicare becomes insolvent in just 10 years. Then there's welfare. For the first year ever, we spent over $1 trillion on welfare, and food stamp usage is up now to 15 percent of the population. All of this is creating annual trillion-dollar deficits, which, along with anemic economic growth and stubbornly high unemployment, means 23 million Americans still have no jobs.

Now some Republicans say they'd consider a balanced approach, but how much revenue is gathered from the tax increases proposed by Democrats? About $80 billion a year. That's barely enough to run Washington for 8 days.

Mr. Speaker, we are less than 4 weeks from falling off the fiscal cliff. It's time for Democrats to come to the table with something more than job-killing taxes. If they have serious ideas for entitlement reform, the American people deserve to hear them. Unfortunately, Mr. Speaker, the reason we haven't heard Democrat ideas for entitlement reform may be because they have no plans to cut or to reform entitlement spending at all. This is just another game from their playbook--raise taxes and increase spending, as always.

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