Reverse the Curse: Restoring Fiscal Responsibility

Floor Speech

Date: June 13, 2022
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. MANN. Madam Speaker, I thank Mr. Arrington for doing this tonight. I thank him for being such a champion and continuing to raise this issue, which is incredibly important to all of the Midwest, the West Coast, the East Coast, our entire country, vitally important.

I enjoyed the trip to west Texas the other day, and, yes, they grow more cotton than we do in Kansas, without a doubt.

As mentioned already, we are more than $30 trillion in debt. We have added almost $6 trillion in the last 2\1/2\ years, mostly in the name of COVID. We spent more money in the name of fighting COVID than we spent to win World War II, in inflation-adjusted dollars. Let that sink in. It is absolutely mind-blowing.

The debt is now $92,000 per American. For every American, your share of the American debt is $92,000. For my wife and four kids, our family's share is $552,000.

When you rack up this kind of debt, you really only have two choices. When you spend out of your means, you can pass it on in debt or you can raise taxes. I am really concerned with the potential tax increases that this out-of-control spending will lead to.

That is why I rise today, because America is facing an economic crisis, and Democrat leaders are failing to provide the American people with any real solutions. Instead, they are just making things worse. Two aspects of this administration's budget proposal will cause irreparable harm to the economy and health of rural America.

House Democrats, for their part, want to distract the Federal Reserve with social policy while inflation is at a 40-year high. We have to solve this problem by decreasing spending, not by increasing taxes.

In America today, farmers, ranchers, and ag producers are coping with problems that this administration has caused, like a broken supply chain, rampant inflation, and labor shortages. Now, the administration is threatening the stepped-up basis again and seeking to impose new capital gains taxes on the people who feed, fuel, and clothe us all. When the assets of family farms transfer to the next generation, the Federal Government should not jump in and impose taxes on the unrealized gain of these assets to pay for this out-of-control spending. This principle is called the stepped-up basis. It has a long precedent in the tax code, and President Biden wants to dismantle it to pay for all of this spending.

Adding insult to injury, the President's budget imposes capital gains taxes on farms that have been in families for more than 90 years. Think about that. In 1940, the average cost of Kansas farmland was $50 an acre. Now, irrigated land is over $4,000 per acre. Imagine the capital gains tax implications on that history of ownership. This proposal would impose hundreds of thousands of dollars in new capital gains taxes on farmers, killing most farms overnight.

In March, I introduced a bipartisan resolution, along with 82 of my colleagues, that supports the preservation of the stepped-up basis and opposes any efforts to impose new taxes on family farms and small businesses.

The President's budget is an attempt to extort money from rural Americans to pay for his party's Big Government, socialist spending spree. The farm-killer tax and the elimination of the stepped-up basis aren't game changers for American family farms; they are game enders. Congress owes unwavering support to the American farmers, ranchers, and ag producers.

A few days ago, the Department of Labor released yet another report of record-breaking inflation for the month of May, the highest in over 40 years. House Democrats are responding this week by forcing a vote on a bill that would handcuff the Federal Reserve and force them to focus on social policy in addition to their statutory mandates of fighting high inflation and dealing with the unemployment rate, the missions for which the Federal Reserve was created. As if the economists at the Fed don't have enough to worry about, House Democrats now want to assign them the task of setting social policy. Unbelievable.

President Biden and Washington Democrats are completely out of touch with the American people on this issue of inflation, and they are out of touch with the needs of rural Americans. They need to wake up to reality and get to work on providing real solutions to the problems that Americans are facing.

Record spending and debt will lead to America's demise, and we cannot allow that to happen under our watch.


Mr. MANN. Which will lead to hungry Americans. When you are well fed, you have a lot of problems. When you are not well fed, you have one problem.