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Taking from the poor and giving to the rich
December 9, 2005

Congressman Jim McDermott's Floor Speech on Proposed Budget Cuts

Written by Congressman Jim McDermott,


Mr. Speaker, I got up this morning and here is the Washington Post's eminent columnist, David Broder. He begins his story: "If the House of Representatives were a person, it would be blushing these days. Unfortunately, the House is beyond embarrassment."

Now, I used this before, but I wanted to bring it out here again because I think we need to demonstrate to people what is going on. We have Christmastime, and we have socks. We have poor people's socks and rich people's socks. And the rich people need $100 billion in tax cuts.
The Republicans, for whatever reason, have decided that it is $100 billion yesterday and today, $100 billion. Now where do you get the money for that? Well you have to cut somebody to get it. You have got to cut something, or else you are going to drive up the deficit.
So the first thing you do is take child care away from 300,000 children. And you put that in the sock, the stocking of the rich. And then you have Social Security, SSI benefits for the disabled and the elderly. And you take $700 million away from them and put it into the rich folks' stocking.
And then you come to child support enforcement. We do not want children who are in divorced families to get money from those deadbeat dads. That is not what the Republicans say. They say, let us save $21 billion. We will take it away from the children in divorces and put it in the rich people's stocking.
And Medicaid. Oh, well, they do not need health care. Why, there is $10 billion we can take away from poor people's health care and put it in the rich people's stocking.
And then there is student loans, $14 billion from college students. We are going to load it on them. That is the middle class. That is the lower-class people who are trying to get through on loans. We take their loans and we say, no, no, no, no, the rich people need it.
And then we have one of the best ones of all: food stamps. Let us take food stamps away from 300,000 people; 300,000 people getting food stamps. Oh, these are the rich. Oh, but we have to cut them. We have to take this away from them.
You cannot have food stamps, poor people or ordinary people; we got to give a tax break to the rich people. And then finally we have foster children. Way down here in the bottom of the sock. We have $600 million taken away from the program that we took those children out of another family and took responsibility for. We have taken these children away from a family we have accepted responsibility for in this foster care payment, and we cut it and we give it to the rich folks.
Now, you kind of wonder what might be left down here for the poor people. Well, look at that. A lump of coal. The poor people better save that lump of coal, because there is nothing in here for their heating bills, the LIHEAP program has not been expanded, and all they are going to have to heat their house is the lump of coal that the Republicans put in the poor people's sock.
Merry Christmas. I certainly hope you enjoy all the festivities. This is a bad bill. Vote "no."

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