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House Floor Budget Comments

Washington, D.C. – Congressman McClintock today delivered the following remarks on the House floor:

Mr. Chairman:

This debate over the budget reflects a great struggle between American families and their government — over whether they, or the government, can best spend the money that they have earned.

This budget bends that struggle slowly back in favor of those families, by returning to them a little of the freedom to spend more of their own money and make more of their own decisions once again.

The prosperity of American families is directly affected by government spending.

Government cannot put a dollar into the economy that it first hasn’t taken out of the economy. True, we see the job that is created when government puts that dollar back in; what we don’t see as clearly is the job that is destroyed as government first pulls that dollar out. We see those lost jobs as chronic unemployment and a stagnating economy.

Every billion dollars spent in Washington means nine dollars taken from an average family – either in direct taxes or in tax-driven price increases as businesses pass along their costs to consumers. A trillion dollars of new taxes, as the Senate has proposed, means $9,000 per family.

We’re told, don’t worry – that’s paid by businesses. But businesses don’t pay business taxes – they only collect them – they pass them on to us as consumers through higher prices; to us as employees through lower wages; and to us as investors through lower earnings – usually on our 401(k)’s.

And a trillion dollars of deficit, as we ran up last year, really means $9,000 of future taxes for every family, robbing our children of their future.

It is about time we started thinking of these numbers in family-sized terms – because ultimately these numbers have a very real impact on families who are struggling to balance their own budgets, set their own priorities, and look after their own needs.

These days, we pass more than a third of the costs of government on to our children, and finance the remainder through a tax system in which politicians pick winners and losers through an appallingly unfair and distorted tax code.

This budget calls for doing away with those tax distortions that reward some and punish others; distortions that shift capital away from economic expansion and into the service of political interests.

And this budget calls for flattening and lowering tax rates to assure that no American family pays more than a quarter of its earnings to the federal government. Those nations that have adopted similar reforms have been rewarded with explosive economic growth.

That means fairness for every American taxpayer and an economy unshackled from the burdens and political favoritism of our current system.

In short, Freedom works and it is time we put it – and America – back to work.