Metavid

Video archive of the US Congress

Senate Proceeding on May 4th, 2011 :: 4:21:00 to 4:34:50
Total video length: 8 hours 58 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

Note: MetaVid video transcripts may contain inaccuracies, help us build a more perfect archive

Download OptionsEmbed Video

Views:241 Duration: 0:13:50 Discussion

Previous speech: Next speech:

Jeff Bingaman

4:20:50 to 4:21:10( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: senator from new mexico. mr. bingaman: i would ask unanimous consent that i be allowed to speak for up to ten minutes as if in morning business. the presiding officer: the senator is recognized. mr. bingaman: mr. president, the country faces two large economic challenges. the first is growing our economy, creating jobs, getting the economy back on track. the second major challenge is

Jeff Bingaman

4:21:00 to 4:34:50( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Jeff Bingaman

Jeff Bingaman

4:21:11 to 4:21:31( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: cutting the deficit. i'd like to talk about both of those very briefly. i have four charts here. one that relates to jobs and growing the economy and three that deal more specifically with the deficit. unfortunately here in washington, the debate has shifted almost entirely to a

Jeff Bingaman

4:21:32 to 4:21:55( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: discussion of the deficit. too many people in washington are pretending that our efforts to generate growth in the economy have been accomplished, that it's a done deal, that we have recovered from the recession, we can now focus full time on how to cut the deficit. the facts are that this is simply not true.

Jeff Bingaman

4:21:56 to 4:22:16( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: professor alan pwraoeurpbd, an -- blinder, an economist at princeton, former deputy chair of the federal reserve, testified before the senate finance committee a couple of weeks ago, and he made the following statement: he said the economic recovery is mediocre at best, and unemployment remains high.

Jeff Bingaman

4:22:17 to 4:22:38( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: to me, these conditions describe a bad time to put the economy on a diet. on a diet of either spending cuts or tax increases. end quote. let me point to the first of these charts to underscore the point that professor blinder made. the recession that we have just

Jeff Bingaman

4:22:39 to 4:22:59( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: gone through created a very deep hole. and if you look at the number of private-sector jobs that were lost between november of 2007 and the end of -- and essentially march of 2010, you can see that it is the -- for

Jeff Bingaman

4:23:00 to 4:23:20( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: february of 2010, it is 8.8 million jobs that were lost as a result of the recession. while things are getting better, it's clear that they have not gotten enough better. we have now created 1.8 million new jobs since we began adding private-sector jobs.

Jeff Bingaman

4:23:21 to 4:23:41( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: so we still have a shortfall of about 7 million jobs that need to be created in order to get back to where we were in november of 2007. and of course there have been a lot of new people come into the job market since then. so we really need to create more jobs than that. we are encountering some strong headwinds in our effort to dig

Jeff Bingaman

4:23:42 to 4:24:03( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: out of this recession. the strongest head wind, of course, is the high price of oil and gas, which is a tax on consumers. it is a tax on our businesses. and it comes at a very bad time. and we all are looking for ways to try to deal with that, but frankly, it is a difficult thing to legislate a solution to.

Jeff Bingaman

4:24:04 to 4:24:24( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: another headwind is one of our own creation, and that is the constant drumbeat that we hear to cut spending at all levels of government. cut it here in washington, cut it at the state level, cut it at the local level. my own strong view is that we should heed professor blinder's

Jeff Bingaman

4:24:25 to 4:24:45( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: advice. we need to continue to work to keep investing in those things that will help us create good-paying jobs. timing is important. we clearly need to reduce the deficit, but we should adopt policies this year that will put us on a long-term path to reduce the deficit. but i hope these policies will

Jeff Bingaman

4:24:46 to 4:25:06( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: delay major cuts in spending and major increases in taxes until we can come out of this recession some additional distance. now let me talk about the deficit, the second of the challenges that i talked about before. we have a chart here called federal revenues and outlays as

Jeff Bingaman

4:25:07 to 4:25:27( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: a percentage of gross domestic product. this is for a 40-year period, from 1970 to 2010. and it's a chart that the congressional budget office prepared and has presented to us. clearly there are some important points you can take away from

Jeff Bingaman

4:25:28 to 4:25:49( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: this chart. number one, on average over the last 40 years -- that's since 1970 -- the federal government has accounted for 20.7% of gross domestic product, the spending by the federal government on average has accounted for that. over that same period on average

Jeff Bingaman

4:25:50 to 4:26:11( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: we have raised 18.1% of gross domestic product in the form of revenues. so on average we have been running a deficit of about 3% each year, 3% of gross domestic product each year during this 40-year period. today that 3% of gross domestic product is about $450 billion.

Jeff Bingaman

4:26:12 to 4:26:32( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: the one time during this 40 years when we achieved a balanced budget and even ran a surplus for a four-year period was at the end of the 1990's and in the year 2000. how did we manage to do that? well, beginning in 1990, the congress passed and president

Jeff Bingaman

4:26:33 to 4:26:53( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: george h.w. bush signed a bill that both restrained spending and raised taxes. again in 1993 and again in 1997 congress passed, and in that case president clinton signed budget plans that did even more

Jeff Bingaman

4:26:54 to 4:27:14( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: to do what had been done in 1990. that is both of those plans restraeupbld spending and -- restrained spending and raised revenues. we enjoyed a strong economy during those years in question and that of course helped to bring more revenue in to the government and helped to get us to a balanced budget and a surplus. so what went wrong that caused

Jeff Bingaman

4:27:15 to 4:27:35( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: us to once again fall into deficit? i'd cite three factors that caused it. first, the tax cuts that congress enacted in the last decade. beginning in 2001, then again in 2003, congress passed what had been -- have come to be known as the bush tax cuts. these fairly drastically reduce

Jeff Bingaman

4:27:36 to 4:27:56( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: the revenue coming to the federal government. at the same time that we were cutting taxes, we ramped up federal spending primarily for defense. and that's a result of the afghan war and the iraq war. the estimate there is something like $1.3 trillion has gone into those efforts.

Jeff Bingaman

4:27:57 to 4:28:17( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: and in addition to defense, we ramped up spending on health care primarily by including a prescription drug benefit in medicare. now all of that increased spending occurred without any increase in revenues to pay for it. i repeat, none of this spending

Jeff Bingaman

4:28:18 to 4:28:39( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: was offset with increased revenues. the third factor, of course, that has brought us into the very serious deficit that we now face is the slowdown of economic activity. this contributed substantially to increased expenses for the government in some of the entitlement programs --

Jeff Bingaman

4:28:40 to 4:29:00( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: medicaid, food stamps and a variety of them -- but also decreased revenues. when people are earning less money, they pay less in taxes and less money comes to the government to pay for those services that the government is providing. the deficit, of course, has worsened substantially in the last two years because of, first, the reduced federal taxes

Jeff Bingaman

4:29:01 to 4:29:21( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: that are being collected, largely a result of the recession. and second, increased federal spending both because there's more demand for government services as a result of the recession and also because we passed the recovery act to stimulate the economy. and i think most economists

Jeff Bingaman

4:29:22 to 4:29:42( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: would conclude that it has helped to stimulate the economy. the pew fiscal analysis initiative analyzed the policy's legislation that have caused the surpluses of the late 1990's to become the deficits that we see today. and they produced a list showing their conclusions.

Jeff Bingaman

4:29:43 to 4:30:03( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: now, this is right here on this chart, and you can see these are in the order of importance. the order in which they contributed to the current deficit situation. the top two drivers in this list are the 2010 and 2003 -- are the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts.

Jeff Bingaman

4:30:04 to 4:30:24( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: they cut for about 13% of what we face today in deficits. and the iraq-afghanistan wars which account for about 10% what have we face. all told, tax cuts cost 21% of deficits since 2001. defense spending costs 15% of deficits. this is increased defense

Jeff Bingaman

4:30:25 to 4:30:46( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: spending. two-thirds of that was due to iraq and afghanistan. increased non-defense spending caused 10% of the deficits we currently face. the recovery act itself caused 6%. medicare prescription drug benefit caused 2%. the the next and final chart i have

Jeff Bingaman

4:30:47 to 4:31:07( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: here shows how these policies have affected the deficit over time. the changes caused. this is a chart which is labeled "why c.b.o.'s debt projections changed between 2001 and 2011." the specific policies and drivers.

Jeff Bingaman

4:31:08 to 4:31:30( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: i know this is very difficult for anyone to -- to see on a television, but let me just make the main -- the main point. the main points are that the changes caused by the legislation make up the large segments at the top of the chart, including interest charges.

Jeff Bingaman

4:31:31 to 4:31:53( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: they caused 65% of the deficits, when you -- when you look at these policy changes. the remaining 35% of deficits are due mainly to the economic and the technical adjustments to c.b.o.'s projections, primarily to reflect the lower revenue that we have enjoyed because of the recessions. now, how do we dig out of the hole we're in?

Jeff Bingaman

4:31:54 to 4:32:14( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: i'd say some simple, obvious things. number one, we need to keep the focus on growing the economy. as professor blinder said, do not put the economy on a diet. this is not the right time to do that. second, we need to agree, as we did in 1990 and 1993 and 1997 to

Jeff Bingaman

4:32:15 to 4:32:35( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: a balanced package of spending cuts and tax increases that will once again put us on a path to a balanced budget. we have some serious proposals to work from in achieving this new deficit-reduction plan. of course, the president's deficit-reduction commission, the simpson-bowles commission. senator domenici and alice

Jeff Bingaman

4:32:36 to 4:32:56( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: rivlin, the former head of the congressional budget office, put out a bipartisan commission report which is very constructive. the president himself has -- has given the framework for a plan. there's a bipartisan group of senators, a gang of six, that are working to come up with a proposal. and, of course, senator conrad,

Jeff Bingaman

4:32:57 to 4:33:17( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: who chairs the -- the budget committee, is putting together a proposed budget plan for that committee's consideration. all of these items that i've -- all of these plans that i mentioned follow the model used in the 190's of combining both spending cuts and revenue increases.

Jeff Bingaman

4:33:18 to 4:33:38( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: the only proposal that does not follow this model of a balanced package of spending cuts and tax increases is the budget that was passed by the house republicans two weeks ago. rather than raising revenue while cutting spending, it would cut revenue while cutting spending. in my view, this cannot lead us to a lower deficit.

Jeff Bingaman

4:33:39 to 4:33:59( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: there's a lot of political polarization here in washington. i remain hopeful that we can get a critical mass of right-thinking people to do the responsible thing, to come together on a balanced package of spending cuts and revenue increases that -- that we can commit to going forward.

Jeff Bingaman

4:34:00 to 4:34:22( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: we should be able to agree on -- on policies that grow the economy and shrink the long-term deficit. i pledge my best efforts to achieve these objectives. i urge my colleagues to work to do so as well. mr. president, i yield the floor, and i suggest the absence of a the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll of the

Jeff Bingaman

4:34:23 to 4:34:28( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: senate.

Personal tools

MetaVid is a non-profit project of UC Santa Cruz and the Sunlight Foundation. Learn more About MetaVid

The C-SPAN logo and other servicemarks that may be found in video content are the property of their respective trademark holders. None of these trademark holders are affiliated with Metavid