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March 21, 2013

‘Free drinks tomorrow!’

Majority budget promises to solve problems…later

The Senate majority’s budget will cause $5.2 trillion in deficits, does not address Social Security or Medicare, two of the largest areas of federal spending, and never achieves a balanced budget, according to senior Senate Budget Committee member U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo. Excerpts of Enzi’s opening Senate floor speech Wednesday evening are included below with links to watch and download the audio and video from each portion.

“I rise today to share with the American public exactly what they are getting with the majority’s budget for the coming year.  I’ll be blunt – it’s not good news.  In fact, after four years of not bringing up a budget for consideration by the Senate, what the majority has offered is a severe disappointment.  We have got to grow the economy, not the government, but unfortunately the majority’s budget focuses on growing the government – more taxing, more spending, more government.” VIDEO (35 seconds)

“It reminds me of a sign I saw in a restaurant – ‘Free drinks tomorrow.’ Of course, if you came in tomorrow, they’d say ‘no, no, read the sign, it says free drinks tomorrow.’ That’s the way we budget around here. We’re always promising these things but they don’t happen.” VIDEO (18 seconds)

“And don’t be confused by the language the majority will use – they will say that their budget takes a ‘balanced approach.’ But it does NOT balance.  There’s a big difference. Balanced approach to them means fair tax increases. I’m not sure what that means, but that’s what they mean by balance.  It’s tax and spend.  It’s increasing deficits and increasing debt as far as the eye can see.  This is NOT the plan that America needs to get its fiscal house in order.” VIDEO (35 seconds)

“Earlier this evening, the Majority Leader commented that we can learn from the bipartisanship shown by Senators Mikulski and Shelby on their work on the bill that will fund the government for the rest of this year. I think it was a massive opportunity and expenditure of effort that they did, but what I want to point out is that they had the opportunity to work things out together. Together, that’s bipartisan. That means sitting down together and figuring out what both sides think are the priorities, and seeing if there isn’t some way to put those into a single budget. I know it hasn’t been done in years, but it’s something I imagine America dreams about. I wish the majority would have provided that same opportunity to the Budget Committee. Maybe then the majority would have brought a bipartisan budget to the Senate floor.” VIDEO (54 seconds)

“To my constituents back home in Wyoming and fellow citizens across the country, let me be clear – it is YOUR money, NOT the government’s money.  As legislators, we have to do a better job of taking care of the funds you provide us, and ensuring it is spent wisely.  The majority thinks it knows best how to spend the money you work hard to make.  The budget that they have offered seeks more than $1 trillion – let me repeat that – more than $1 trillion in new taxes over the next 10 years.” VIDEO (41 seconds)

“Somebody sent me this little chart that I have to share. This says republican on it. ‘Ok, I’ll raise taxes if you promise to cut spending.’ Well, Lucy says ‘It’s a deal.’ But we’ve been watching this cartoon for years and years, and we know what happens. When we go to pick up the spending cuts, the football suddenly gets lifted out of the way and we wind up on our back. The American public winds up on its back. That’s not the kind of spending cuts we’re looking for. We’re looking for some real spending cuts.” VIDEO (2 minutes)

“We’ve had this system around here for a while where we work from contrived crises that have very specific dates at which the sky falls and the United States is demolished. Of course, that does generate a lot of publicity and all the media leading up to that crunch, and a group goes off and makes a deal. And we find out about that deal on the last hour. And our choice at that point is take it or leave it. Well if the sky is going to fall and America’s going to be destroyed, what’s the choice? That’s not the way to do it. We’ve got to quit deal-making and start legislating.” VIDEO (2 minutes)

“The majority’s budget would severely harm my home state of Wyoming.  The more than $1 trillion in tax increases would mean losses in personal income, household disposable income, and job opportunities.” VIDEO (51 seconds)

Here is a link to Senator Enzi's full floor statement as prepared for delivery.

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