12/17/2010 02:07 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Merry Christmas, Billionaires

Americans spoke clearly on November 2nd: Congress must get serious about reducing the deficit and become better stewards of their tax dollars. But after endless talk over the last two years about fiscal responsibility, an exploding deficit, and our crushing debt to China, the House voted on a bill that will balloon the deficit by another $858 billion dollars.

Even though this package included several programs I proudly support -- an extension of unemployment insurance, and increases in the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit, and renewable energy tax credits -- I could not justify mortgaging our children's futures to provide a Christmas bonanza to the privileged few.

I refuse to support increasing the deficit by at least $81 billion to provide a tax break to the wealthiest persons in this country. I refuse to support a bill that would grow the deficit by $23 billion to provide an average tax break of more than $1.5 million to only 6,600 families a year. And I unequivocally refuse to threaten the long-term viability of social security with a back-door first step at dismantling of the entire social security system.

Last week, many of my colleagues and I voted to give every American a tax cut by making the middle-class tax cuts permanent for the millions of families, consumers and small business owners who drive our economy. But last night's revised tax deal -- with a deficit-busting, gift-wrapped bailout for millionaires and billionaires -- was unconscionable.

Two years ago, I founded the Populist Caucus as a way to advocate for fiscally responsible policies that will help middle-class Iowans and working families across the country. And last night, I voted against this bad deal because we cannot keep kicking the can down the road when it comes to difficult decisions about the deficit, especially with a package that threatens the financial stability of our Nation.

Merry Christmas, billionaires. Check under the tree -- you got your holiday wish.

Watch my remarks on the floor last night:

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