“Is this their idea of an ‘American revival’ for our middle class?”
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Last night, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committees, took the Senate floor to highlight the harmful impact the Republican budget will have on Wisconsin’s economy and middle class. Yesterday, the Senate adopted the Republican’s non-binding budget blueprint, which has already passed the House of Representatives, by a vote of 51-48. This proposal will now serve as an outline for Congressional spending priorities in the coming year.
“Instead of taking the opportunity to work together across party lines and move our country in the right direction, the Republican budget resolution continues to take our nation down a road where Washington again stacks the deck against the middle class and rewards the wealthiest families and largest corporations in America,” said Senator Baldwin. “Many of the Wisconsin workers that I hear from every day are really struggling to make ends meet. They are working more; they’re taking home less, and worried – worried that for the first time in American history, their kids will have fewer opportunities than they did. The Republican budget doesn’t address those worries, it doesn’t address those anxieties, those fears. It doesn’t respond to the insecurity.”
WATCH video of Baldwin’s remarks here.
Baldwin’s full remarks follow:
“The American people have consistently and overwhelmingly voiced their concern that our country is moving in the wrong direction. Whether that be in regard to wage stagnation, unemployment, or simply realizing the American Dream.
“Unfortunately the budget resolution before us today sends a strong message to the American people that Washington isn’t listening. Instead of taking the opportunity to work together across party lines and move our country in the right direction, the Republican budget resolution continues to take our nation down a road where Washington again stacks the deck against the middle class and rewards the wealthiest families and largest corporations in America.
“There isn’t a single tax expenditure or loophole that is closed in the Republican budget. This budget refuses to ask the wealthy to contribute a single dollar more to deficit reduction. It does nothing to eliminate the carried interest loophole at a time when Wall Street billionaires pay a lower effective tax rate than some truck drivers, teachers and nurses. In fact, this budget would eliminate the estate tax for wealthy families who inherit over $10 million.
“This budget doesn’t just give a tax cut for the wealthiest 1 percent, it also calls for lowering the top individual tax rate at a time when the top one percent already earns more income than the bottom 50 percent.
“What’s more, the Republican budget resolution actually delivers a tax break for the wealthiest 0.2 percent of Americans over the next decade, providing an average tax break of $3 million to multi-millionaires and billionaires. In fact, there are more Senators who will be voting later this afternoon on this budget proposal than the number of Wisconsin families who would benefit from this tax break.
“And who picks up the tab for these giveaways?
“In my home state of Wisconsin, an estimated 158,000 hard working families would pay $1,000 or more in taxes under the Republican budget resolution. I wonder, do my colleagues on the other side of the aisle really believe that this budget gives Americans the ‘right to rise?’
“Is this their idea of an ‘American revival’ for our middle class?
“Not only does the Republican budget resolution fall short when it comes to making strong investments in education to create a strong path to the middle class, it actually falls flat by cutting these investments, failing to make college education affordable, and ignoring the huge student debt crisis across America. For Wisconsin families, the cost of college education will increase for up to 117,000 students because of the Republican budget’s substantial cuts to the Pell Grant program.
“At a time when our national economy moves forward with a slow and steady recovery, my state’s economy has continued to lag behind.
“So I can’t support this Republican budget resolution when it does not make the strong investments America desperately needs in our roads, bridges and ports that will create jobs, boost our local economies, and provide businesses with the quality transportation system that they need to move their goods to market.
“And I can’t support this Republican budget when about 46,000 Wisconsin jobs would be eliminated because of cuts to investments in transportation, education and other programs.
“At a time when both parties should be working together to pass a budget that grows our economy for the middle class and gives everyone a fair shot at getting ahead, this Republican budget resolution cuts investments in workforce readiness, leaving 40,000 Wisconsinites without the training that prepares them to put their hard work ethic to work moving our economy forward.
“Many of the Wisconsin workers that I hear from every day are really struggling to make ends meet. They are working more; they’re taking home less, and worried – worried that for the first time in American history, their kids will have fewer opportunities than they did.
“The Republican budget doesn’t address those worries, it doesn’t address those anxieties, those fears. It doesn’t respond to the insecurity.
“Rather, the Republican budget continues the same, failed, top down economics where Washington rigs the rules in favor of special interests, in favor of millionaires and billionaires. Unfortunately, the Republican proposal seeks to balance the budget on the backs of the middle class and those struggling to one day become a part of America’s middle class.
“This budget proposal marks another missed opportunity for the majority. The American people are right to believe that this budget takes our country another step in the wrong direction because it turns its back on building a stronger future.
“We can do better.”