Courtesy of U.S. Congresman Jeb Hensarling
WASHINGTON – Newly elected House Financial Services Chairman and outgoing House Republican Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) appeared on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos to discuss the House Republican solution to the fiscal cliff that will protect our economy and American jobs. The following are excerpts of the interview.
Chariman Hensarling on the president’s bait-and-switch:
“Well, again, as the speaker has said, unfortunately, what we see out of the president is my way or the highway. Before the election, he said he wanted $800 billion worth of revenue – $1 of revenue for every $2.50 of spending reductions. And now, after the election, it's a little bit of bait-and-switch. Now he's asking for $1.6 trillion. And if you look closely, for every $1 of tax increase, there's about 20 cents of spending reductions.”
“Listen, the president, again -- if he would -- if he would do what he said before the election, as opposed to the bait-and-switch, what Republicans feel like is a little bit like Charlie Brown running to kick the football and Lucy pulls it away. But ultimately it's a spending problem. That is where the problem is. The American people know it. And this talk of taxes is almost irrelevant to the size of the trillions and trillions of debt.”
On the job-harming impact of President Obama’s tax increases:
“No Republican wants to vote for a rate tax increase. I mean, what that is going to do, according to the National Federation of Independent Business that commissioned a study by Ernst & Young, is cost 700,000 Americans to go from having paychecks to unemployment checks. Because of what that's going to do to the economy, George, hardworking Americans are going to see a 2 percent reduction in their paycheck if they keep them.”
On our spending-driven debt crisis:
“Well, I must admit, I didn't know the president could surprise me once again, but to say that he no longer wants to have a debt ceiling -- in other words, we no longer need even a speed bump on the -- on the highway to bankruptcy -- I mean, let's look at Greece. Greece has been very adept at increasing their debt ceiling. And now they have 25 percent unemployment, 50 percent youth unemployment.
“There are people who can't even finds jobs in cities who are having to move out, according to press reports, into rural areas to subsistence agriculture. I mean, that -- that -- that could be our future.”
On the need for entitlement reform:
“And as Senator Coburn said, if you gave the president every job-harming tax increase that he's asked for, it's about 3 percent of the spending. And the president himself has said that the drivers of our debt are Medicare, Medicaid, and health care. Nothing else comes close.
“I give him an A for honesty, but an F for effort. You can't get it done, George. You can't take us off the road to bankruptcy unless you deal with the structural reforms to our entitlement spending, protecting current seniors, but helping ensure that my 10-year-old son and -- my 10-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son that these programs are around for them.”