U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today discussed President Biden’s budget, which would raise taxes by $3.6 trillion over 10 years. The budget would raise taxes on middle-class families by allowing the tax relief Republicans passed in 2017 to expire. It also proposes at least 30 separate tax increases, including a hike in the capital gains tax, a hike in the top income tax rate, and a new death tax.
Full text of Sen. Thune’s speech below (as prepared for delivery):
“Mr. President, I’m grateful to Senators Klobuchar, Blunt, Peters, and Portman and the two Senate committees they lead for their bipartisan investigation into the events of January 6 and for producing a detailed report in a short amount of time.
“The report makes clear that there is more work ahead for the committees.
“More importantly, it also highlights the immense bravery of the men and women of the U.S. Capitol Police who defended the Capitol complex on January 6.
“In the coming days, after a thorough review of the 100-page report, I will discuss its recommendations with my colleagues and work to institute reforms that will make a meaningful change to better protect the U.S. Capitol.
“Mr. President, on a different topic, in his 1996 State of the Union address, Bill Clinton famously declared that “The era of big government is over.
“Well, after taking a look at the Biden budget, it’s clear that the era of big government is back.
“And it’s bringing big government’s usual companions:
“And, it seems likely, big inflation.
“Mr. President, the Biden budget, which the administration quietly slipped out the door before the holiday weekend, would raise taxes by $3.6 trillion over 10 years.
“All told, the Biden budget proposes at least 30 separate tax increases, ranging from a hike in the capital gains tax to a hike in the top income tax rate to a new death tax.
“And it would raise taxes on middle-class families by allowing the tax relief Republicans passed in 2017 to expire.
“Under the Biden budget, in just a few short years working Americans could be facing thousands of dollars in higher taxes.
“All these hikes, of course, are an attempt to pay for the Biden administration’s new spending.
“Under the Biden budget, government spending would exceed $6 trillion every year.
“To put that in perspective, the total federal budget in 2019 was $4.4 trillion.
“An increase to $6 trillion-plus per year – $8.2 trillion by 2031 – is a massive hike.
“Over the course of the Biden budget, government spending would equal around 25 percent of our gross domestic product – far exceeding the average of the past five decades.
“So what would the consequences of all this spending look like?
“Well, I’ve already mentioned $3.6 trillion in new tax hikes.
“And then there would be the deficits – which would exceed $1.3 trillion every year for the next 10 years.
“By 2031 – the end of the Biden budget window – our debt would be $39 trillion.
“Our debt would equal 117 percent of the U.S. economy: the highest level in our nation’s history.
“The interest payments on the debt would triple over the next 10 years – to $914 billion.
“Yes, by 2031 we would be paying nearly $1 trillion a year just in interest.
“That’s more money than our nation will spend on Medicare this year.
“So, Mr. President, let’s review: The Biden budget equals taxes, spending, and debt.
“And here’s the real kicker, Mr. President.
“The Biden budget hikes taxes and hikes spending and drives up the debt … for pretty much nothing.
“After an initial good year or two, the Biden budget projects permanently weak economic growth.
“For a majority of the next 10 years, economic growth wouldn’t even hit 2 percent.
“All that government spending and debt isn’t going to result in prosperity – it’s going to result in permanent economic stagnation.
“And that means permanently diminished opportunities for American families.
“Weaker career prospects.
“Mr. President, Democrats like to talk as if government can provide security and salvation.
“But the truth is, government is not an engine of prosperity.
“Government might serve as a safety net in difficult circumstances.
“But government will never make you prosperous.
“It’s a robust economy, not a robust government, that will produce prosperity – that will produce good jobs and good salaries and good benefits and good careers.
“And that’s why one of the most important jobs of government is creating the conditions that will allow the economy to flourish.
“That’s what Republicans worked to do with the tax relief we passed in 2017.
“And as we saw before the pandemic hit, it was working.
“The Biden budget, on the other hand, focuses on creating a flourishing government.
“And the economy would pay the price.
“And working Americans would face a future of diminished earnings and reduced opportunity.
“Mr. President, there’s a lot more that could be said about the Biden budget.
“I haven’t even mentioned the diminished investment in our national defense, which could have very serious consequences for our national security.
“Less than three years ago, the bipartisan National Defense Strategy Commission released a report warning that our readiness had eroded to the point where we might struggle to win a war against a major power like Russia or China.
“And while we’ve made some real progress since then, we still have a lot of work to do to ensure our military is prepared to defend our nation and meet the threats of the 21st century.
“The Biden budget would send us right back to the situation we faced three years ago.
“I guess it’s not surprising that a budget that fails to be serious about fiscal realities would fail to be serious about national security realities.
“But it’s deeply concerning that the president doesn’t seem to understand the importance of investing in our national defense.
“Mr. President, President Biden has made the priorities of liberal interest groups the top priorities for his administration – whether that’s canceling Keystone XL’s good-paying jobs and economic growth to please the environmental left, or overturning the Mexico City Policy so that taxpayer dollars can go to fund abortions overseas.
“On the question of abortion, President Biden’s budget abandons decades of bipartisan compromise and eliminates the Hyde amendment, which protects taxpayers from having their tax dollars used to fund abortions here at home.
“You would think that if we can’t agree that the human rights of unborn children should be protected, we could at least agree that taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to pay for the killing of unborn children.
“Almost 60 percent of Americans oppose using taxpayer dollars to pay for abortions.
“But President Biden has made it clear that his allegiance to the radical abortion left trumps the opinions of the American people.
“And so his budget eliminates the Hyde amendment and imposes a number of other pro-abortion measures – like additional government funding access for the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood.
“Mr. President, the Biden budget might be good news for liberal interest groups.
“But it’s bad news for the American people and bad news for our country.
“And I hope my Democrat colleagues will think twice before forcing this massive government expansion onto the American people.
“Mr. President, I yield the floor.”
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