June 09, 2021

Smith Opening Statement: House Budget Committee Hearing on President Biden's FY22 Budget

As Prepared for Delivery

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

As President Biden has said repeatedly, "Don't tell me what you value. Show me your budget, and I'll tell you what you value."

When President Biden released his budget, he sent a clear message that his administration values Washington control over America’s working class.

Under President Biden’s budget, government spending reaches historic highs, and raises our national debt to unsustainable levels. It creates the highest sustained tax burden in American history and nearly doubles tax collections over the next ten years while breaking the president’s pledge NOT to raise taxes on American families earning under $400,000.

His budget gives Washington the greatest and most coercive command and control over Americans’ lives and livelihoods ever witnessed in modern history, while abandoning government’s core Constitutional function of providing for our national defense.

In a budget that gives on average a 16 percent raise to every non-defense agency next year, the president struggles to find one new dollar for homeland security – when we have a crisis at our southern border.

Within ten years under this budget proposal, America will pay more to settle the interest on our national debt than it costs today to take care of our seniors on Medicare. It will cost more than our entire national defense, and nearly ten times more than what we will spend on veterans' health care next year.

The misplaced priorities of this budget are not the only frightening part - it is how President Biden says he wants to pay for some of it. One of the ways he hopes to finance some of his massive government spending is to permanently grow the IRS by $80 billion dollars; a bureaucracy with a history of targeting conservative political groups.  Given that history, the American people are right to be worried.

Because, instead of finding new ways to grow America’s economy and create opportunity, President Biden is bent on finding new ways to tax America, while countries, like China, outcompete us on the global stage.

If we want to strengthen America, we need to start by focusing on the right economic conditions that give workers a chance to succeed, instead of settling for an agenda that the President’s own budget admits will underperform.

Based on the projections outlined in this budget, the President’s spending and tax plan would lead to the worst economic growth of any decade since the Great Depression. What is worse, it completely ignores the real cost of government spending – the high prices Americans are facing at the pump and in the checkout line due to rising inflation.

Here are some facts that have gone under-reported recently:

Since President Biden took the oath of office, monthly inflation has quadrupled. Core inflation in April increased at the highest level in nearly four decades. And yet still, the President's budget assumes $69 trillion in new spending will not significantly fuel this rise in the cost of living that disproportionately harms the working class.

President Biden needs to level with the American people. If we continue down his path, by 2031, a quarter of our GDP will be government spending, and Americans will be on the hook for a whopping $39 trillion in debt.

We need a budget that bets on the working class and supports their families; a budget that prioritizes constitutional responsibilities like national security; fosters better job growth, rising wages, and economic security; and gives our children a chance to inherit the American dream, not a list of broken promises.

I am not sure if there is such a thing as a perfect budget in Washington. But it is clear that the budget President Biden is proposing falls far short of the mark, and frankly America can do better than the President’s disappointing vision for the future.