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tv   U.S. Senate Senators Mike Enzi Bernie Sanders on Budget  CSPAN  October 18, 2017 1:49am-2:22am EDT

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reform package a final note on the budget is expected. >> the senate budget committee took an important first step towards tax reform by approving a fiscal year 2018 budget resolution focused on growing america's economy through tax policies and put more money in the hands of hard-working americans. this week we take the next step as the senate begins the blueprint for the long-overdue tax relief for families and job creators to jumpstart economic growth.
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as the budget committee chairman i'm proud that they are tackling these important issues after eight years of stagnant growth it is clear the nation needs a simple, fair and more transparent tax system that will leave more dollars in the pockets of hard-working families. the last time was 1986. think of how t much changed in those 31 years including the tax code. america's tax walls are technically complicated at work to slow the economy and hurt american families. incredibly, the current tax system actually benefits the foreign-based companieshi while harming others and we continually ask why jobs are
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moving in this country. a big reason is the hostile tax landscape. to help reversese the trend by setting the stage for progrowth tax reform that will lower taxes on american families and on job creators by $1.5 trillion over ten years. by keeping more money in the pockets of hard-working taxpayers these reforms if done right will boost investment, wages and productivity at home. a progrowth tax reform should rewarm hard work, reward savings, encourage investment.en you should thought in the tax base while lowering the marginal tax rate, streamline the tax law and limit government distortion of market-based decisions. our tax policy should provide for a globally competitive corporate tax rate and
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international tax system that doesn't penalize u.s. companies. it's no secret that tax policies influence the everyday dollars and cents of individuals and small businesses. they help to guideey such decisions such as whether to work an additional hour or invest inl additional capital. this is why economic experts know the potential economic growth should always be considered when talking about a tax cuts. contact the joint committee states to tax policy can directly influence the level of labor supply, physical capital, human capital and technology by changing the tax returns to certain economic activities were changing the cost of pursuing such activities, "-end-double-quote.
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for the product gdp from private-sector growth can provide additional dollars to the treasury let me repeat that. better tax policy will boost the value of r everything we produce and this will mean more revenue for the federal government. according to the congressional budget office, one percentage point increase in productivity could increase revenue in the treasury by $273 billion over a tenen year period.
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that is producing $273 billion over a ten year period. the return on the average growtw would decrease the over $2 trillion more than enough to pay for the decrease in revenues assumed in the static scoring conventions that don't account for economic growth and that's whathat iswhat we have to opera. it is a serious fiscal plan of congress and the administration of here to come and hear to reduce the tax burdens and a growing economy. the senate budget committee has
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put together a responsible budget to provide a path to create a more effective, efficient and accountable government for hard-working taxpayers. to accomplish this goal, the budget proposes five and one tenths trillion over the next ten years while investing in a strong national defense providing for the care of the most vulnerable citizens and not touching on social security. i'm going to start the budget was focused on achieving balanced by the ten-year budget window and by 2026, the resolution was insane economic growth and tax reform and an improved regulatory landscape to generate a 79 billion-dolla $79e budget surplus. the surplus would rise up to 197 billion by 2027. in addition to the reforms proposed by the resolution, it
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also continues the efforts to respond to concerns about the broken budget process. this promotes curtailing budget gimmicks come increasing honesty and accuracy by government scorekeepers and ending to spend now pay later mentality in washington. it's also important to note that the thorough and robust committee processdu that producd the senate budget resolution more than 150 amendments on both sides were filed in 29 were voted on during the markup process. the budget reflects bipartisan input and includes five amendments accepted from democratic members of the committee.m thehe next step for tax reform will build on the open and transparent committee process. majority leader mitch mcconnell and senate finance committee member promised tax reform
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legislation will also move through the committee process in other words any speculation people heard about where the tax is isn't quite as it has a process to go through this will provide t finance members and opportunity to offer amendments during the full senate to consider the legislation so it will be considered in the committee had been on the floor once it moves to the senate floor every member will be held to offer amendments before voting on the measure. this budget serves as a framework to expand economic opportunities for each and every american and it reflects our belief in the american entrepreneurial spirit that i am an american families and small businesses to keep more of their hard-earned dollars to the
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senator from vermont i know the budgets are not particularly exciting that's what this budget
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means. after failing to pass the so-called health care bill. the leadership is back again. while i totally disagree, i do
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appreciate that they are not giving up in terms of trying to protect the interest of the class against the majority of the american people. it is a plan that will do incalculable harm to the sick, the elderly and the poor. the budget we are debating on the floor of the senate this week is the robin hood principle in reverse. benefits of the
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republican plan would go to the top 1%. even more incredibly, the top one-tenth of 1%, one-tenth of 1%
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would receive some 40% of the tax breaks over a ten-year period. a tax proposal which gives 80% of the benefits to the top 1%, 40% of the benefits to the top one-tenth of 1% is not a tax proposal benefiting the middle class or working families of this country. it is a tax proposal designed to benefit the wealthiest people and the campaign contributors of the billio billionaire class. -- of the billionaire class. mr. president, this budget cuts medicaid by more than $1 trillion over a ten-year period. now, that's kind of strange. the united states of america is the only major country on earth
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that does not guarantee health care to all people. what the american people want, in my view, is to join the rest of the world and understand that health care is a right that we should not have 28 million people without any health insurance and even more underinsured with high deductibles and high copayments. yet what this budget does unbelievably is to throw 15 million people off of the health insurance they have with a trillion dollar cut in medicaid. and i hope my friend, and he is my friend, the chairman of the budget committee, might at some point during this long debate tell us what happens to somebody today who is struggling with cancer, with heart disease, with diabetes, with a
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life-threatening illness who suddenly loses the medicaid health insurance that they have, what happens to that person? i would hope that some of my republican friends would tell the american people what happens because study after study tells us what will happen, and that is, thousands of people will lose their lives. they will die because they will no longer have access to the health insurance they had. further, mr. president, this budget does what republicans have not yet attempted to do during the past year in their so-called health care legislation, and that is to make a $473 billion cut to medicare. so it's not only a trillion dollar cut to medicaid, it is a $473 billion cut to medicare. now, interestingly enough, i
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think many americans will recall that during his campaign for president, donald trump told the american people that he would not cut social security, medicare, and medicaid. he said that over and over again. on april 18, 2015 -- this is just one quote of many -- mr. trump said, and i quote, every republican wants to do a big number on social security. they want to do it on medicare. they want to do it on medicaid. and we can't do that, and it's not their to the people that have been paying in for years and now all of a sudden they want to be cut, end of quote. that is donald trump running for president. well, i would say to president trump that's what you told the american people during your campaign. now i hope you will tell your republican friends right here in the senate that they should
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respect the campaign promises you ran on and that if they pass a budget that cuts medicare or medicaid, that you will veto that legislation. i hope the president has the integrity to do that. i don't think he will, but i would hope that he does that. mr. president, poll after poll after poll tells us that the overwhelming majority of the american people do not want congress to cut medicare or medicaid. in fact, i think in this country today, if you ask people what their deepest concern is, they're concerned about jobs, they're concerned about income. i think even more so they are concerned about the health care they have, how much it costs, whether they're going to have it tomorrow. and poll after poll tells us the
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american people do not want congress to cut medicare, which, by the way, is the most popular health insurance program in this country, and they don't want to see medicaid cut as well because they know among other things, that about two-thirds of nursing home dollars comes from medicaid. so if you have a mom or a dad dealing with alzheimer's or some other terrible illness in a nursing home and massive cuts to medicaid are made, what is going to happen to your parent in a nursing home? people know that. they do not want to cut medicare and medicaid. a recent pew foundation poll finds that 85% of republicans and 94% of democrats want to either maintain or increase funding for medicare. 60% of americans oppose slashing
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medicaid, according to a recent quinnipiac poll. a recent "wall street journal" nbc poll finds that only 12% of the american people believe that the wealthy should receive a tax cut while 62% believe that the wealthiest people in our country should pay more in taxes. so what you have is the american people saying don't cut medicare, don't cut medicaid, don't give tax breaks to billionaires. in fact, ask them to pay more in taxes. that by and large is where the american people are coming from, whether they're democrats, republicans, or independents. so then the question arises why is the republican leadership bringing forward a budget that does the exact opposite of what
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the american people want? and the answer to that question, i am sorry to say, is not complicated. it has everything to do with a corrupt campaign finance system that allows billionaires and the wealthiest people in this country to exert their influence over the political process. that increasingly it is not the ordinary american, the middle-class worker that the congress listens to, but it is wealthy campaign contributors. today, we have a corrupt campaign finance system that enables multibillionaires, along with some of the most powerful c.e.o.'s in america, to contribute many hundreds of
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millions of dollars into the political process. many of us believe that the concept of democracy is one person, one vote. you get a vote, you get a vote, i get a vote. sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. majority wins. that's what we teach the children in the fifth grade and the sixth grade. one person, one vote, majority wins. but unfortunately as a result of the disastrous citizens united supreme court decision, the american campaign finance system has been totally corrupted, and we now have a situation where billionaire families can spend unlimited sums of money to help elect candidates who protect their interests. and not only can they spend that money, that is exactly what they are doing. mr. president, there was a very
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interesting article in "the boston globe" just the other day, october 14. and this is what the article says. headline -- the koch brothers and their friends want president trump's tax cut very badly. and this is what the article says. the message from the billionairy a word about the koch brothers. not everybody knows who they are. the koch brothers are the second wealthiest family in america. they are struggling to catch up to the waltons. not quite there yet. they are only worth $90 billion. struggling, but they are getting by, happy to tell you. and with that $90 billion, what they are doing, along with a few of their friends, is spending hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars every campaign cycle to elect people -- in this case, republicans -- who support their agenda. this is what the article says.
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the message from the billionaire-led koch network of donors to president trump and the republican congress it helped to shape couldn't be more clear. pass a tax overhaul or else. as the donors mixed and mingled for a policy summit at the st. regis hotel in midtown manhattan last week just a block south from trump tower, it came up again and again and again. quote -- it's the most significant federal effort we have ever taken on, end quote, said ken phillips, president of americans for prosperity, a koch-aligned group with offices in 36 states. quote -- the stakes for the republicans i have never seen them this high, end of quote. many in the koch network, a vast group of nonprofits and advocacy and political organizations describe the upcoming
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legislative push for a tax overhaul as an inflection point in modern political history. a do-or-die moment that would define whether their efforts over the years will pay off or not. the network leaders plan to dedicate much of their two-year, $400 million politics and policy budget to the effort, but they wouldn't give an exact number. $400 million in the next two years to pass this piece of legislation. and this comes from a family, the koch brothers, who are pretty up-front about what they believe. they do not want to cut social security or medicare and medicaid. they'll take that, but that's really not their goal. they want to eliminate social security, medicare and medicaid, and virtually every other federal program that provides
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help to the working families of this country. and oh, by the way, just in passing, if the estate tax, which is part of the republican budget, is repealed, just in passing, we might want to mention that the koch brothers' family would see a benefit of some $30 billion. so if your family is going to get a $30 billion benefit, putting a few hundred million dollars into seeing that legislation pass is not a difficult idea. mr. president, this budget makes it clear who the republicans in congress are listening to, and it is not the middle class or working families who do not want to see medicare cut or medicaid
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cut and certainly do not want to see a $1.9 trillion tax break to the top 1%. i am afraid that my republican colleagues are listening to their top campaign contributors who have told the republican party in no uncertain terms that if they do not get their tax cuts, they will stop providing republicans with hundreds of millions of dollars in campaign contributions. how sad is that? you think about the incredibly brave americans who have fought for democracy over the years, some of whom never returned from the battlefields, to fight for an american democracy that makes us a country where people rule. abraham lincoln reminded us a government of the people, by the people, for the people. not a government of the billionaires, by the billionaires, and for the billionaires. and let's be clear about something else. the entire economic theory that
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senate republicans and president trump have embraced with this budget is called trickledown economics. that's it it is. you give tax breaks to billionaires and large corporations, benefits trickle down, they improve the economy. this whole theory is a fraud and has been when it applied an -- has been when applied an abysmal failure. when president reagan and george w. bush slashed taxes on the wealthy and deregulated wall street, trillions of dollars in wealth have been redistributed from the working class and families to a handful of millionaires and billionaires. today, mr. president, we have more wealth and income inequality than any time since the 1920's. today the top .1% own as much wealth as the bottom percent. this would make a bad situation even worse by widening that gap
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with its trillions of cuts to social programs and gifts to the top 1%. the republican budget we are debating today would make horrific cuts to the needs of working families, and let me just give you a few examples. this budget would give the wealthiest family in america, the walton family of walmart, a tax cut of up to $52 billion. does anybody in their right mind think that the wealthiest family in this country needs a tax break of up to $52 billion? and they do that by repealing the estate tax. at the same time, however, if you are a low-income senior citizen -- we have too many of them in the state of vermont trying to figure out how to keep warm in a cold winter -- you and 700,000 other senior citizens and families might not be able to keep your home warm in the winter because of a cut of about
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$4 billion to the low-income home energy assistance program. this budget says that if you are the second wealthiest family in america, the koch brothers, your family will see a tax break of up to $33 billion, but if you are a working class kid right now in high school in vermont or in texas or wyoming and you are scratching your head as to how you can afford to go to college and in your computations you're looking at what a pell grant might mean to you, this budget would cut over $100 billion in pell grants and other financial assistance programs. this budget gives members of the trump family a tax cut of up to $4 billion, but if you are a low-income pregnant woman, you and over a million other moms,
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new moms, babies anded to letters, may not be able to get the nutrition you need thanks to a $6.5 billion cut to the women, infant, and children's, so-called w.i.c. program. at a time when millions of wowing class families all across this country are paying 40% or 50% or more for the housing that they need, this budget eliminates housing assistance for more than a million families due to a cut of about $37 billion to the section 8 rental assistance program and other housing programs. at a time when the cost of child care has skyrocketed, a very serious problem in my state, the republican budget eliminates head start services for 25,000 children each and every year by cutting this program by some $3 billion. in total, the republican budget would cut more than $5 trillion
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from education, health care, affordable housing, child care, transportation, and other programs that working people desperately need over the next decade. what is alarming is that despite this incredible giveaway for the billionaire class, the koch brothers and their networks say that it's starting up. they want more, and let us be very clear that their eventual goal -- not today, not tomorrow, but their eventual goal is to see that programs like social security, medicare, and medicaid are completely eliminated. mr. president, let me conclude by saying this -- this budget is not a budget for the people of texas. it is not a budget for the people of vermont or the people of wyoming or the people of the united states of america. this is a budget for the billionaire class which today is
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already doing phenomenally well. this is a budget for campaign contributors whose greed has no end, who provide millions and millions of dollars to candidates who represent their interests. this is a budget that must be opposed by the american people, and i urge the american people to tell their members of the senate to vote no on this budget. and with


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