News Releases

June 29, 2012

Senate compounds financial crisis

Uses pension and coal taxes to pay for floods, student loans, roads and other programs

The Senate went down a road today it ought not travel, according to U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., who said raiding trust funds in order to pay for highways only makes the country’s financial situation worse.

Leadership in both the House and Senate rolled proposals to provide flood insurance, discount student loan interest rates and fund transportation programs all into one big bill.  The Senate passed it today by a vote of 74-19 with one member voting “present”.  Enzi said in order to pay for it, the authors raided trust funds meant to pay for pensions and abandoned mine lands.

“Gas taxes, which are really user fees, have traditionally paid for roads.  This is money from those who use the roads.  When I brought this up in the Finance Committee no one said I was wrong, but they said now was not the time to act on the gas tax.  Instead they’ve decided to take pension and mine money to pay for other expenses.  Where is the next Congress going to get the money to pay for pensions and mines?” Enzi said.  “Social Security is also a trust fund.  They knew the outcry would be too great if they chose to take Social Security money to pay for highways.”

Enzi said this country already has an “addiction” to spending and borrows from foreign countries in order to feed it.  Getting into the habit of stealing money from trust funds that have money, to pay for other expenses only adds another layer of misery to our financial situation. 

“It’s got to stop,” Enzi said. 

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