DUFFY DISCUSSES JOBS, TAXES, SPENDING REFORM, DEBT REDUCTION, MEDICARE
WASHINGTON, DC — U.S.Congressman Sean Duffy (WI-07), a Member of the House Committee on Financial Services and the Joint Economic Committee, sat down for an extended interview with Fox-21 (KQDS) to discuss, among other things, jobs and the economy, reforming government spending and addressing the national debt, and Medicare reform.
Below are key excerpts from the interview, which can be found in its entirety on the Fox 21 website HERE.
- “You don’t help those who are job-seekers by punishing job creators.” — Duffy on having a more competitive, job-friendly tax rate
“But if you look at raising taxes right now when our recovery is on the rocks as it is, you don’t help those who are job-seekers by punishing job creators. We have a situation where America isn’t recovering from this economic downturn. I want to make sure we have an environment where our job creators feel comfortable expanding and growing and creating jobs. When a business is looking at where they’re going to invest and they have a choice of China or India or Mexico or the United States…we have the second highest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world. This has a big impact on those who make decisions on where to invest. I want to make sure we’re competitive in regard to how we tax our businesses and our job creators”
- “We don’t create jobs by raising taxes on those who we’re asking to create those jobs.” — Duffy on how keeping America competitive is good for Wisconsin families
“At a time when we want to see our businesses to expand and grow, to raise taxes on them – that’s not going to encourage that. We don’t create jobs by raising taxes on those who we’re asking to create those jobs…We need to bring our spending down and then we need to be competitive with the rest of the world. We have to understand that people truly have choices right now in this global economy. They don’t have to invest in America. They can invest anywhere in the world. Why are they going to invest here? High tax rates along with big mandates and big regulations drive more of our jobs overseas, and when we do that, the businesses are fine—the people who suffer are our families. They’re the ones who don’t have the opportunity for those good-paying jobs. I think that’s wrong and I want to make sure we have opportunity here in Wisconsin.”
- “Since 2008, non-defense, discretionary spending has increased by 24%. No one’s household budget has increased by 24%” — Duffy on the need to bring federal spending down to 2008 levels
Anchor: “You say government needs to be run like an American household. Do we need to expect the American taxpayer to see less services through cuts?”
Duffy: “Well I think if we go back to 2008 levels, I mean, the government ran fine at those levels. I think what we have to understand is, since 2008, non-defense discretionary spending has increased by 24%. No one’s household budget has increased by 24%. If you add in stimulus spending, it has increased by 84%. So what we’re saying is: “let’s go back to these ’08 levels and cap them there.” The government can still run at those levels, and run effectively.”
- “Right now we owe $14.3 trillion in debt…that’s $46,000 for every man, woman and child…we need to address it today.” — Duffy on the urgent need to reform spending now
“Right now we owe $14.3 trillion in debt – we have never been here –you break that down, that’s $46,000 for every man, woman and child. We’re at a point where, just around the corner, we’re going to have a debt crisis. We need to address it today. We have never been in this situation. We’re going to borrow $1.5 trillion this year. If you project out, we’re going to borrow, on average, a trillion dollars every year for the next ten years. This is unsustainable. We have to address it.”
- “If we don’t reform the way we spend, this country’s going to implode under a massive mountain of debt”— Duffy on the need to reform spending before raising the debt ceiling
Anchor: “Absolutely. One of the reasons I asked you in: there are a lot of things that are going on in Washington right now which can’t really be explained in a few short sound bites. And the first one I want to talk about is the debt ceiling. Basically what this is, for people who don’t know, is the country’s credit card, it’s ability to borrow money and right now the country has bigger bills than what it can borrow…”
Duffy: “Here’s where I’m at. First of all, I believe that we should cut up the credit card. And if we do, I’m willing to pay the bill. But we put out a proposal in the House with our House budget, where we propose cutting $6.2 trillion over the course of ten years. And what we do is cap spending at ’08 levels for five years and then allow it to gradually grow and as the economy goes, we’re able to actually get our fiscal house in order. The President hasn’t come out with a counter-proposal to that. And so what I’m willing to do is see what he’s willing to come out with but I don’t want to sit and negotiate with myself. So whatever deal is made or whatever the President proposes, I’m willing to consider it. But the bottom line is, if we don’t reform the way we spend, this country’s going to implode under a massive mountain of debt…I think this has a tremendous impact on our economic growth in the future and our prosperity and opportunity for not just the current generation, but also future generations.”
- “Medicare is unsustainable on its current course. That is not a Republican statement.” — Duffy on the need to save and secure Medicare
“First of all, you have to understand where we’re at with Medicare. Medicare is unsustainable on its current course. That is not a Republican statement. The President agrees with that, the Democrats in the Senate agree with that, Bill Clinton agrees with that. We now have to have a conversation in America about: ‘How do we fix this? How do we keep our promise to our seniors? How do we shore up this system? How do we save it, secure it, and make it work for this generation and future generations?’
“Let me talk about first what I think the President is doing and what we’re going to do. In PPACA, or Obamacare, the President takes a half a trillion dollars out of Medicare and puts it into Obamacare to help pay for insurance for the uninsured, those who aren’t in their retirement. This is a system that needs that money, Medicare does. And a lot of seniors will say: ‘I’m angry, too, that money was taken out of my Social Security Trust Fund and used for other things.’ We’re doing the same thing right now—well, not we, the President is doing that—with Medicare, taking a half a trillion dollars out. I think that’s wrong.
“Number two, what the President does to address this issue is he says: ‘We’re going to reimburse for medical services at a lower rate.’ If you talk to doctors right now, and even seniors, they know that the reimbursement rate is already incredibly low. To think that we can save the program by reducing reimbursements to our medical care providers and not affect access, that’s just not the case. If you reduce payments, you are going to affect access for our current seniors and the quality of their care. Not only that, the President puts together a 15-member, unelected, bureaucratic board that is going to make decisions about how much we reimburse for different procedures. So in the end, it’s a way of almost rationing care for current seniors by lowering the rate of reimbursement. And that’s going to affect current seniors today. I think that’s unacceptable.
“Now, what do we propose doing? Well if you’re 55 or older, you’re going to get the plan that exists today. We think that if you’re in your retirement, we can’t change the plan up on you – you’ve retired, you’ve structured your life around these benefits and we’re going to keep them for you. And as we look at what we do to save it and secure it and protect it, we inject choice and competition into the system. And we all know that when you have a monopoly, prices go up. But when you have competition, whether it’s in the computer industry or the car industry, prices come down.”