“News that the Transbay Terminal is something like $300 million over budget should not come as a shock to anyone.
We always knew the initial estimate was way under the real cost. Just like we never had a real cost for the Central Subway or the Bay Bridge or any other massive construction project. So get off it.
In the world of civic projects, the first budget is really just a down payment. If people knew the real cost from the start, nothing would ever be approved.
The idea is to get going. Start digging a hole and make it so big, there’s no alternative to coming up with the money to fill it in.”
“In this terrible situation, let’s be very grateful we had a well-funded, functioning government. It is very fashionable in America, has been for some time, to criticize government, belittle public employees, talk about their pensions, talk about what people think is their assessment of health care. Here we saw government in two ways perform very well.
…I never was as a member of Congress one of the cheerleaders for less government, lower taxes. No tax cut would have helped us deal with this or will help us recover. This is very expensive. At a time like this, no one thinks about saving pennies.”
“They have a goal besides getting rid of the safety net, they also want to reduce the corporate tax rate to 25 percent. And that, that is just going to cut the living daylights out of everything that we consider the government.
Now I think what the people are not expecting is, if this sequester keeps going and they start closing all the small airports in this country, which is what the FAA is planning, and they start closing all these aspects where people count on government, they’re, people are going to be stunned ’cause there’s a disconnect in their mind between government and no taxes. I mean, they just don’t understand, if you don’t pay taxes, there’s some services you don’t get.”
“It’s easy to say we gotta cut. We gotta cut! Let’s just cut! Cut more! Hell, let’s just cut everything! It’s easy to do that. But when you start affecting jobs and you start affecting people’s lives and you start affecting what people want, the people have to matter, OK? I mean, we have, we have to matter and the political element to all of this is, they want Obama to fail. Now you’ve got a budget of three and a half trillion dollars in this fiscal year. This will take $85 billion out of it. That’s damn near a third.”
“Why are we dividing ourselves along Democrats and Republicans, refusing to put revenue alongside of cuts? Mr. Speaker, we’re at the bone, almost, and sequester that is across-the-board cuts will literally destroy us and put us in a recession.
I stand here as a freed slave because this Congress came together. Are we going to be able to do it today to free America?”
“What’s wrong with big government? I’ve never had a problem with big government. I’ve felt our country’s always done best during Eisenhower, FDR, when we had we had big government … We’re not in a fascist state, so what’s the problem with big government? It’s not a problem. It makes things better.
I think with the taxing the rich now that’s finally happening now which we need to do – I mean, back in the 50′s and 60′s, if you made money you paid like 70 percent in taxes or even higher than that, and that’s when we started booming and creating a middle class.
I think that’s what you got to do is, you’ve got to tax people. I mean I make a lot of money, and I’m now in a 49 percent tax bracket. It’s painful, but it’s what you’ve got to, we’ve all got to chip in.”
“Those who analogize the federal budget to a family’s budget must know nothing about either.”
“[N]o one is saying that [taxes on everybody have to be increased] right now, and someone has to say it. …[I]f we are going to succeed, we have to face our problems squarely, and the deficit is one problem and that requires taxes on a lot of people not just the wealthy.
… If you talk to CEOs, they say uncertainty about the future, I need a rainy day fund and not enough demand. You deal with uncertainty with the deficit reduction, out years, not now, dealing with the issues that I mentioned earlier.
And then if you’re able to do that, you stimulate demand with a massive, massive infrastructure program, $1 trillion over five years.”