Whip Hoyer Discusses Balanced Approach to Deficit Reduction In Colloquy

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I don't think anybody wants their taxes raised, including me. I’d like to have all the prices for things I buy cut in half. 50% off sale. We all like that. I like going and using my credit card, it’s so much easier. That's why credit cards encourage the economy. But you and I both know what happens when you use your credit card. At some point in time you get a bill and the people who sold you the good or loaned you the money expect you to pay them. And I will tell my friend that I understand what he's saying. We have just come through arguably the worst recession that we have experienced since the Great Depression and it was consistent with economic policies, which by the way started as you know in December 2007, in which we lost eight million jobs. But the gentleman continues to say he wants policies which in 1991 and 1994 were argued were policies, we are going to grow our economy, expand jobs, and have those folks that you talk about do well.

I ask the gentleman, he misrepresents our position. I want to make it very clear. We are not for asking people who are trying to make it in America, we are not for asking those who are struggling in America, we are not asking for those who rely on Social Security, we are not asking for those who rely on their Medicare benefits to pay the burden of the spending that we have been involved in over the last decade, which took us from $5.6 trillion of debt to over $10 trillion of debt. We are not asking for those struggling Americans which the gentleman raises as the specter of those we think ought to pay their fair share. Oh, no. We are asking for those who have done extraordinarily well over the last decade who have made millions per year over the last decade.

Some billions of dollars over the last decade, oil companies who are now making the biggest profits they ever made and others to pay a little more so that we can stabilize the finances of America. So, don't represent that it's Democrats who are asking those struggling small business people we are not doing that. Or those struggling working people in America who, by the way, have been stuck in the mud under the economic policies that were pursued consistent with the 2001 and 2003 economic programs, which has seen a growing disparate between working people and the wealthiest people in America.

Now, we can continue on that path and put on the backs of those struggling people you talk about, my friend, the responsibility to pay for things, or we can have a fair and balanced program. That's what the 74% in the Gallup poll want. They don't want their taxes raised. What they want is a fair and balanced obligation, a fair and balanced participation in contribution to paying the debts of this country that we have incurred, we have incurred them together.

You are not all responsible. We are not all responsible. Our side of the aisle, as you well know, this deficit was increased almost 90% under the Bush economic policies—far less than that under the Clinton economic policies, about half. But that's not the issue. Both the debt went up, we are confronted with it, we got to pay it. You and I believe not paying it is not an option. The Chamber of Commerce says clearly that they urge all of us first it is critical the U.S. government not default in any way on its fiscal obligations. The President of the United States and our side has said, you bet. We don't want to do that. So let's ask all of us to come to the table and those who can't afford it ought not to be asked. But those who can, should be asked to do so. Not to penalize them but to say we are all in this together. And those who are best off in America, those corporations like the oil companies who are getting subsidies at this point in time, who said they didn't need subsidies if oil was over $55 per barrel, they testified in Congress some years ago to that fact. It's been twice that and we are still giving them subsidies. All we are saying is that doesn't make sense. And we ought to have a balanced program.

That's what those 74% and 77% of independents are saying. They are not saying they want their taxes raised. They are not saying we ought to raise taxes and incur more debt. They are saying we ought to pay our bills. They are saying we ought to have a fair participation by all Americans in meeting this crisis that confronts us. I would hope that over the next three weeks that we could get to a place where we come together in a bipartisan way and ask all of us to participate. And those who can help us confront this, bring this deficit down, balance our budget, and those who can't but who are working hard to make themselves and their families live a quality of life, we'll help them out. And I think as I said I’m going to stabilize the economy, grow jobs, and we'll have a better country. I would hope we could do that, Mr. Cantor. I’m looking forward to it. Again I don't know that this cut cap and balance will get us there, and as I said we are not going to get there clearly under those provisions between now and August 2, and I think the gentleman knows that and I hope he has some other thoughts in mind, some other plan in mind obviously there have been a number of plans talked about at present in a speech about his plan. That was rejected. The gentleman says it wasn't specifically line by line. That's right because it was rejected before we got there. Mr. Boehner, your speaker, discussed trying to get a construct. So perhaps you have a plan that is above and beyond the cut, cap, and balance act that we might see that would be a balanced plan and that would help us.