We are reaping what has been sown...

The Bankruptcy of the United States

James A. Traficant

There can be no life, liberty, or pursuit of happiness in America without jobs.


from the United States Congressional Record

March 17, 1993
Vol. 33, page 5321

Mr. Speaker, we are here now in chapter 11. Members of Congress are official trustees presiding over the greatest reorganization of any bankrupt entity in world history, the U.S. Government.

We are setting forth, hopefully, a blueprint for our future.  There are some who say it is a coronerís report that will lead to our demise.

I am going to support the rule.  I am not sure yet if I will support this budget.  I want to hear an awful lot more, not being a member of the committee, and I am not going to vote for things I do not understand or do not like, but let there be no mistake.  After 12 years of Ronald Reagan and George Bush, we are standing here.

Let me say this to the minority party.  Every program that Ronald Reagan wanted in 1981, he got.  Reagan got it.  There was a Republican Senate majority and there were 70 Democrats in this House that might as well have been Republicans, and we have the program.

The major assumption was very simple.  We are going to cut taxes, put money in the pockets of the American people, and when they spend this money our gross national product is going to rise so great that even though we reduced your tax liability on a percentile basis, we will balance the budget, quoting Ronald Reagan, in 1982.  It is going to take the fall of our Congress, I think, for that to happen.

Mr. Speaker, let us give this new administration a chance. Democrats gave Ronald Reagan a chance.

But let me give one word of caution here today.  America already has race wars, let us be honest about it.  We already have gender wars, let us be honest about it.  We already have age wars, let us be honest about it.

One thing this Congress had better not get involved in and get trapped into is a class war on money.  In America, if you can not earn all that you can, there is something wrong and there is no more a spirit of free enterprise.

I want to say this to the Members.  We may talk about taxing the rich, but the rich people have already taken their companies and their jobs out of America.  Be careful that the rich people do not take their money out of America, because the government already raises our kids, defends our families, educates our kids, feeds our kids, houses our kids, and the government is doing a very poor job of it.  I think mom and dad would be better utilized there once again.

So I am going to listen to the debate.  I do not know if I will vote for this budget.

Finally, I do not know if the budget makes one damn bit of difference, because we waive it all the time and I do not think we have ever followed it.  I think we have an excellent chairman who worked hard.  If we are going to have budget, we should follow it.  If not, we once again as Members waste both our time and the people's time.

Let me say this just in closing.  Today is not the mother of all debates and the mother of all decisions.  When that tax package comes, you will have the mother of all votes on the floor.

Let me say this, I am not for voting any more taxes on the backs of the American people, because I believe the tax of 1990 put on right here today, and I am very concerned about the tax package being discussed in this Congress.

I am one Democrat who believes we should stimulate the private sector.  We already have more government jobs than factory jobs, and I think that is an indictment of our Congress.

One basic tenet to this Constitution is life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and there can be no life, liberty, or pursuit of happiness in America without jobs.

I would like to see the mother of all debates center around the jobs bill.


Jim Traficant went to prison for alleged bribery and kickbacks.  To download a PDF photocopy of Mr. Traficant's comments as published in the Congressional Record, right-click here and select "Save Target As..." from the menu options.

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