U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today warned that the cost of the Democrats’ proposed $3.5 trillion tax-and-spending spree would ultimately fall on the backs of hard-working, middle-income families. Thune noted that Democrats continue to be unfazed by their reckless spending proposals and job-killing tax hikes.
Excerpt of Thune’s remarks below:
“Mr. President, inflation is rapidly becoming a serious problem.
“Currently inflation is near a 13-year high, and has outstripped wage growth for many Americans, including the lowest-earning workers.
“In other words, the rise in the price of everything from goods to groceries has resulted in a de facto pay cut for American workers.
“So why are we experiencing this level of inflation?
“Well, one big reason is Democrats’ decision in March to flood the economy with unnecessary government spending.
“President Biden and congressional Democrats took office mere weeks after Congress had approved a fifth bipartisan COVID relief bill.
“And it was abundantly clear that we were not in immediate need of trillions more in government spending.
“But that didn’t matter to Democrats.
“Now that they were in control of Congress and the White House, they wanted to take advantage of the COVID crisis.
“And so in the name of “COVID relief,” they pushed through a massive, partisan piece of legislation filled with unnecessary spending and handouts to Democrat interest groups.
“Schools – which had barely touched the tens of billions they’d already been given – got billions more.
“State governments – the majority of which did not need more government assistance – got access to a staggering $350 billion slush fund.
“Labor unions were made eligible for loans designed to rescue Main Street small businesses.
“I could go on.
“Mr. President, at the time, Republicans warned about the bill’s level of spending.
“And we weren’t alone.
“More than one liberal economist warned that pouring that much money into the economy at that time could result in inflation.
“And six months later, here we are.
“Inflation is near a 13-year high.
“And Americans are worrying about whether their paychecks will stretch to cover the higher prices they’re facing.
“Mr. President, in the face of that fact – and considering the substantial amounts of money we had to borrow to meet the COVID crisis – you might think that Democrats would be taking a moment to reflect, and maybe think about ways to rein in excessive spending.
“But you’d be wrong.
“In fact, Democrats have decided to double down on their failed strategy and pass another massive government spending bill – even bigger than the last one.
“Right now, Democrats are putting together a $3.5 trillion spending bill to follow up on their $1.9 trillion spending bill from this March.
“To put those numbers in perspective, the entire federal budget for 2019 was less than $4.5 trillion.
“Mr. President, dumping that much money into the economy is pretty much guaranteed to continue to fuel the kind of inflation Americans are currently experiencing.
“In fact, there’s a good chance it could make things much worse.
“And that’s not the only way Americans are likely to suffer as a result of Democrats’ proposed tax-and-spending spree.
“Americans are also going to feel the pain of the $2 trillion in tax hikes that Democrats are contemplating.
“Mr. President, it always fascinates me how Democrats think that you can just tax without consequences.
“To hear Democrats talk, you’d think that you can impose $2 trillion in tax hikes and everything will just keep going along unchanged.
“But of course, that’s not the way it works.
“There is no such thing as consequence-free taxation.
“Raise taxes by any meaningful amount, and people are most likely going to change their behavior.
“A small business, for example, may think twice about hiring an additional worker if it’s facing a tax hike.
“A larger business may decide not to open that new plant it’s been planning, or it may institute a hiring freeze, or it may decide that it needs to encourage some early retirements.
“Mr. President, Democrats’ $2 trillion tax hike would be the largest tax hike in decades.
“Democrats are proposing to raise taxes on large businesses.
“On small businesses.
“On retirement savings.
“The list goes on.
“And every one of those taxes will have consequences for ordinary Americans.
“Democrats are proposing a corporate tax rate higher than that imposed by communist China.
“That’s going to put American businesses at a disadvantage on the global stage.
“And when American businesses suffer, American workers suffer.
“Democrats always seem to forget that most Americans are employed by businesses.
“And that as a result, when you raise taxes on businesses, ordinary Americans tend to feel the consequences.
“If Democrats succeed in passing their $2 trillion tax hike, it’s going to have serious economic consequences for regular Americans.
“Consequences like fewer jobs and opportunities.
“Slower – or nonexistent – wage growth, especially with higher inflation eroding household spending power.
“And fewer benefits.
“Americans can also expect to see higher utility bills, thanks to Democrats’ proposed tax hikes on large businesses and on energy development.
“Mr. President, I’ve been talking for a while now and I haven’t even gotten to the spending side of Democrats’ tax-and-spending spree.
“Frankly, it’s difficult to know where to even start.
“This proposal reads more like a spending encyclopedia.
“There’s spending on pretty much every topic from A to Z.
“There are the big-ticket items, of course – the supposedly free stuff that Democrats are emphasizing, such as free community college and free pre-K.
“Then there are the items Democrats aren’t advertising as much.
“Like the $200 million – yes, $200 million – for a park in House Speaker Pelosi’s district that features luxury accommodation and a golf course.
“Given that, I’m not sure why this park needs $200 million from the federal government, but I guess being speaker hath its privileges.
“In fact, one Democrat representative admitted as much, noting that it seems “Speaker Pelosi gets maybe a little bit more … on some of these bills,” but then went on to argue that she deserves it for being speaker.
“But moving on …
“There’s a nearly $80 billion increase in funding for the IRS.
“Yes, I said $80 billion.
“That’s enough to nearly double the agency’s size.
“But I guess you’ve got to have a lot of new agents to collect all those new tax hikes.
“Then there are new and expanded subsidies for electric vehicles.
“Under Democrats’ proposal, a couple could be making well over half a million dollars yet still claim more than $12,000 from the federal government to purchase an electric car.
“There’s the “Civilian Climate Corps” – several of them in fact – at various government agencies.
“$20 billion for a “National Climate Bank” to subsidize Democrats’ pet environmental projects.
“And – and I am not making this up – a new tax break to subsidize membership dues to unions.
“Plus much, much more.
“And, of course, with all that government spending comes new government regulations.
“A long, long, long list of them.
“Mr. President, the consequences of Democrats’ tax-and-spending spree could be devastating – for our economy and for American families.
“And unfortunately Democrats have the ability to force this legislation through on a solely partisan basis.
“I know that there are at least some members of the Democrat Party here in Congress who are uncomfortable with the stratospheric levels of spending Democrats are proposing.
“And I hope that their cooler heads will prevail.
“Meanwhile, I, and every Republican, will do everything we can to protect Americans from Democrats’ reckless tax-and-spending legislation.
“Mr. President, I yield the floor.”