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Senate Proceeding on Mar 12th, 2008 :: 2:27:32 to 2:38:18
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2:27:13 to 2:27:32( Edit History Discussion )

off the table so that we can look at it objectively. i just would -- would encourage all of my colleagues to join me, the republican nominee for president, john mccain, the two democrat possibility

Jim Bunning

2:27:32 to 2:27:41( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: ies for president, barack obama, hillary clinton, claire mccaskill, vote for this amendment, show america we can be trusted. i thank you, mr. president, and i yield back. mr. dorgan: mr. president?

Jim Bunning

2:27:32 to 2:38:18( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Jim Bunning

Jim Bunning

2:27:41 to 2:27:52( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: the presiding officer: the the senator from kentucky. mr. bunning: i would be glad to. mr. dorgan: i ask unanimous consent that following the senator from kentucky and the senator from pennsylvania, both

Jim Bunning

2:27:52 to 2:28:02( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: of whom i think a to be recognize ed, that i would be recognize ed for 20 minutes. the presiding officer: is there objection? mr. gregg: i would ask that that be modified, recognize ed for the purposes

Jim Bunning

2:28:02 to 2:28:15( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: of speaking but not for the purposes of offering an amendment. mr. dorgan: mr. president, i would ask that the request be so modified. i do want to talk to the two senators about being able to offer

Jim Bunning

2:28:15 to 2:28:26( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: the amendment about which i will speak. but i'll do that at another time time. the pr esiding officer: without objection. mr. bunning: mr. president, i ask that the pendheing amendment tbe set aside

Jim Bunning

2:28:26 to 2:28:35( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: and askhat my amendment, 4192 at the desk being b e called up. the presiding officer: without objection, the clerk will report report. the clerk: the senator from kentucky cialtion mr. bunning, proposes

Jim Bunning

2:28:35 to 2:28:55( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: an amendment numbered 4 4192. mr. bunning: i ask that the reading be dispense ed with.h the presiding officer: without objection. mr. bunning: i spoke about this yesterday and i have brought this

Jim Bunning

2:28:55 to 2:29:15( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: to this chamber before on numerous occasions. in fact, the senate adopted a very similar amendment by unanimous consent lasten year, and it passed on a recorded vote two years earlier. my oament would

2:29:15 to 2:29:32( Edit History Discussion )

repeal an unfair tax -- my amendment repeal an un unfair tax that congress enacted in 1993. the congressional budget office has said that over 15 million senior citizens are facetted by the tax --

2:29:32 to 2:29:53( Edit History Discussion )

are affected by the taxation of social security benefits. you know, when congress create ed the social security program to provide income security for seniors, parts of the structure of that program and

Jim Bunning

2:29:53 to 2:30:16( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: one of the reasons for its popularity was that benefits were not taxed. i say that again -- social security benefits were not taxed when the program was create ed. in 1983, the greenspan commission

Jim Bunning

2:30:16 to 2:30:46( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: and congress decide ed that hal f of the benefits of the -- of some seniors should be subject to taxation. and in 1993 raise that amount to 85% of the social security benefits that a senior citizen ci

Jim Bunning

2:30:46 to 2:31:13( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: receives.~ this tax affected supposedly wealthy seniors with incomes above $34,000 for single seniors and $44,000 for a couple. now, those are supposedly wealthy senior citizens. the goal of this seemed

Jim Bunning

2:31:13 to 2:31:37( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: to bee to impose a type of means testing on social security beneficiaries. in other words, tilting the benefit structure in favor of low-income seniors. making it more like a welfare program. this is the kind

Jim Bunning

2:31:37 to 2:31:58( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: of change senator patrick moynihan often warned congresson about, but the ways and means committee and the president ignored his warnings. if that was the goal, the legislation was fundamentally flawed.

Jim Bunning

2:31:58 to 2:32:23( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: the $34,000 and $44,000 amounts were not indexed for inflation. and i can assure you that seniors earning these amounts do not consider themselves wealthy at all. particularly with the increased cost

Jim Bunning

2:32:23 to 2:32:50( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: of prescription drugs, rent, or mortgage payments, gasoline, particularly, with unleaded regular being $3.20 a gallon now. heating oil and even food prices that seniors are experiencingin today. my amendment

Jim Bunning

2:32:50 to 2:33:16( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: is fairly simple. it drops the tax back to the pre-1993 level starting in 2008. this year in this budget. this means that the 85% tax tier would be eliminated and the maximum amount of social security benefits

Jim Bunning

2:33:16 to 2:33:38( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: that could be taxed would be 50%. the revenue from the 1993 tax was applied to the medicare trust fund. and my amendment would make the trust fund whole by offsetting ttthe costs of the tax rollback

Jim Bunning

2:33:38 to 2:33:57( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: by by $89 billion over five years with an adjustment to function 920 of the budget. the inspector generals and the c.b.o.'s budget operation report have identified over -- over over $300 billion

Jim Bunning

2:33:57 to 2:34:24( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: in potential savings on government programs over the next five years. and i believe the committee of jurisdictions can review wasteful government spending in order to offset this extremely important

Jim Bunning

2:34:24 to 2:34:50( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: tax cut for america's seniors. this was an unfair tax on ourn seniors when it was enacted. and it's time we repealed it. think of this now, a senior citizen, single, with an income of $34,000 receiving

Jim Bunning

2:34:50 to 2:35:09( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: maybe maybe $36,000 from social security and other income. half the pay 85% taxed on that social security benefit. # 5%. 5 -- 85% 8. that's the largest tax percentage of anything that we receive

Jim Bunning

2:35:09 to 2:35:29( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: from the government. say i receive $36,000 from the federal government social security benefits and other income. well, on the $34,000 i receive from social security, 85% is taxed. it's taxed at the

Jim Bunning

2:35:29 to 2:35:53( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: normal rate that i would pay whatever tax bracket that i fall under. the same goes with a married couple. married couples, both seniors, both have unusual expenses as far as prescription drugs. some have

Jim Bunning

2:35:53 to 2:36:20( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: prescriptionio drugs amounting to maybe $1,000 each per month. maybe $1,000 each per month. home heating oil, gas and electric to heat their homes or cool their homes, groceries, all of these things

Jim Bunning

2:36:20 to 2:36:40( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: add up for our seniors today. and this tax is completelyel and totally unfair to the senior citizens that we have today. i urge my colleagues to support this amendment, as many have in the past.t. this is something

Jim Bunning

2:36:40 to 2:36:57( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: that should have been done a long time ago. i have tried since its inception in 1993 to get this repealed back to the 50% level. and i have not been successful. the majority last year accepted this

Jim Bunning

2:36:57 to 2:37:13( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: amendment by u.c., unanimousonsent, it went to the conference committee and was kicked out. they accepted it, said they t would try to do it, and then because of the cost, it was kicked out. now, what

Jim Bunning

2:37:13 to 2:37:34( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: does that tell our senior citizens in the unite id states? that you're second class citizens, that you have to pay more on your social security benefits than anybody else? i don't think that's

Jim Bunning

2:37:34 to 2:37:51( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: fair. and i think it's time we did something about it. so, please, i ask my colleagues on the senate floor, please help us this year finally repeal this 35% unfair tax that we added to our seniors

Jim Bunning

2:37:51 to 2:38:06( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: in 1993. thank you, mr. chairman, and i will ask for torhe yays and nays when the amendment comes up. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from north dakota. a senator:

Jim Bunning

2:38:06 to 2:38:18( Edit History Discussion )

Jim Bunning: i want to thatnk the senator for his courtesy. mr. conrad: and for his work on the budget committee. is the senator seeking recognition? senator martinez would like time on a separate matter. it's not

Kent Conrad

2:38:18 to 2:38:32( Edit History Discussion )

Kent Conrad: a budget-related matter, but this might be a very good time to do that. we hate to have any dead time on the floor. how much time would the senator -- senator: between 10 minut and 15 minutes. mr.

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