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Camp on Obama Budget: A Government that Takes More and Spends More Cannot Create a Climate for Job Creation

February 13, 2012

Washington, DC – Today, Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) made the following statements in response to President Obama’s 2013 budget proposal.

On Taxes & the Economy

“The President’s budget includes the biggest tax increase in history and the biggest budget deficit ever proposed.  The President’s $2 trillion tax increase will destroy jobs and further weaken our economy.  Furthermore, the President is filling the tax code with even more special interest lobbyist loopholes, instead of joining Republicans in job-creating tax reform.  The President has decided to play the age-old Washington game of picking winners and losers and handing out favors to industries he thinks will help him politically, making the code less fair and more complex for average Americans.

“It is time for the tax code to treat American workers and employers fairly.  The tax code should not favor one company or industry over another.  The tax code should treat auto manufacturers no differently than those making solar panels, and it should treat those making wind turbines no better and no worse than those innovators making new cancer treatment drugs.   

“On the individual side of the tax code, the President’s proposals would push federal tax rates close to 45 percent.  No matter how much money someone makes, the federal government should not be taking almost half of everything they earn, especially not on top of all the other state, local and gas taxes Americans already pay.”

On Unemployment

“Though the President’s budget lacks many of the critical reforms necessary to move Americans from an unemployment check to a paycheck, his proposal highlights the fact that he continues to support reducing the number of weeks available in the Unemployment Insurance program to a maximum of 79 weeks – down from the 99 weeks available today.”

On Medicare & Social Security

“Again the President has refused to address the looming bankruptcy in our entitlement programs.  These programs provide critical income and services to our nation’s seniors and those with disabilities, and they deserve Presidential leadership.  His inaction has put not only these programs at further risk, but also the Americans who rely upon them.”

On Trade

“The need for enforcement of our trade laws is critical to ensuring that we have a more level playing field with our global competitors, and the President has made strengthening trade enforcement with China a priority.  I look forward to seeing the details of the trade enforcement unit that the President mentioned in his State of the Union speech.

“However, I continue to be concerned about the President’s push to diminish the role of USTR in the Administration through the recently announced reorganization efforts.  USTR is one of the most effective and efficient operations in all of government when it comes to opening up new opportunities for American workers and employers.

“In addition, enforcement is only one side of the trade equation.  We must still push forward aggressively with opening new markets, including by promptly implementing the three free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea and by concluding the Trans-Pacific Partnership this year.  I am disappointed that the President’s budget fails to incorporate any meaningful mention of the TPP or any future trade negotiations.”

On Health Care

“Today’s budget does nothing to actually strengthen Medicare for the future.  Instead, it will only further jeopardize seniors’ access to health care.

“The budget is also noticeable for what is not addressed – any assurance that continued spending on the Democrats’ unconstitutional health care law will make health insurance more affordable – something that has eluded consumers since the law was enacted.”