Let’s be clear about what we are doing today: Nothing. This bill is going nowhere. It will not be signed into law and it will be totally rewritten in the Senate. Majority Leader Reid made that perfectly clear on the floor of the Senate last night. So, if you want to walk a $54.2 billion deficit increasing, tax-hiking, job-killing plank, vote yes. If not, vote no.
Let’s also be clear that this bill has nothing to do with jobs. In fact, virtually every business group is opposed to this package – the Chamber of Commerce, Home Builders, Associated General Contractors, the National Federation of Independent Businesses, the National Association of Manufacturers, and the list goes on and on and on.
Employers across the country say this bill will hurt our economic recovery. With unemployment stuck at nearly 10 percent, this is the last bill the House should be passing.
And, here we are addressing another fundamental flaw in the Democrats’ health care overhaul. Had Democrats not hidden the true cost of the law, we would not be here today voting on another so-called doc fix – a fix that expands the deficit by $22.9 billion, kicks the can 19 months down the road, has doctors facing a 33 percent cut in 2012, and will force us to spend tens of billions more.
We could have paid for a much better package, like the one Republicans offered on the House floor last fall, by simply standing up to the trial lawyers and passing common sense lawsuit reform.
Let’s also be honest about the real deficit impact, because it is much, much more than the $54.2 billion we have before us. Every member of this House knows we will be back voting to again increase the deficit in order to again extend these programs and to extend COBRA and FMAP subsidies, both of which were deleted from this bill early this morning.
Whether you eat the cookie in one bite, or several little bites, it has the same number of calories. We owe it to ourselves and to the American people to be honest about just how much deficit spending we are being asked to swallow.
Given that this bill adds $54.2 billion to the deficit but is somehow PAYGO compliant, I think we can officially declare dead the myth that PAYGO will instill fiscal discipline.
So, just what are we getting for all this deficit spending? Not jobs and not tax cuts. There is no net tax relief before us today. In fact, the Democrats are imposing permanent tax increases (at the worst possible time) to pay for temporary extensions of current law.
There’s a $17.7 billion tax increase on “carried interest”, including real estate partnerships and venture capital firms that would discourage the entrepreneurial risk-taking that is crucial to economic growth and job creation.
The proposed tax increase on small business income is perhaps even more troubling. President Obama himself claims that 70 percent of new jobs come from small businesses, yet the bill would increase taxes on certain small businesses by subjecting to employment taxes the business’ profits – as opposed to just the wages.
The bill also includes more than a half dozen complex changes to our international tax rules. These new changes collectively raise close to $15 billion, but have not been reviewed by the Ways and Means Committee. Given the desperate shape of our economy, and the need to remain competitive with other countries, we should not be rushing forward with massive tax increases without knowing their exact impact.
I urge my colleagues to vote no on increasing the deficit by over $50 billion and to vote NO on raising taxes permanently when unemployment is stuck at nearly 10 percent.