Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) spoke this afternoon at a press conference on the Democrats’ $1.9 trillion spending blowout and the massive, unnecessary $350 billion bailout for state and local governments included in the bill.
Senator Toomey’s full remarks are below. You can watch and download his remarks here.
“The notion that our states and municipalities are in some kind of fiscal crisis just couldn’t be more wrong. It’s just factually untrue, as Senator Scott pointed out.
“In fact, amazingly enough, the numbers are in now for 2020. State and local tax collections were actually $20 billion higher than 2019. And 2019 was an all-time record for revenues, so let me say this again. Think about this: 2020 was an all-time record high revenue year for states and local governments across the country.
“Take California. If you take 2019-2020 and what they’re projecting for 2021, which we’re well into now, so this period of time is mostly behind us, they’re projecting $38 billion more than they had projected back in 2019. They’re blowing the doors off their estimates of their revenue. That’s what’s happening.
“Now despite that, last year we gave, and if you include state and local governments, about $500 billion on top of the record amount of revenue that they were already collecting. And now we’re being told they need another $350 billion? Really? A lot of the money we’ve sent them is still unspent. States are sitting on at least $60 billion in rainy day funds. This is going to do more harm than good. The states that have long-term fiscal imbalances have no incentive to fix them. There’s no reforms associated with this. Insolvent states like Illinois aren’t going to do anything to fix those problems. And even if there were a shortfall, states are sovereign entities. They can raise taxes. They can borrow money. Or they could cut spending.
“So when we hear ‘oh what about all the services that are going to be so dramatically curtailed?’ Well, how is that when you got a record amount of revenue? And how about a state like New Jersey, which their latest budget, they just increased spending.
“This has nothing to do with COVID. This has nothing to do with the economy. This has everything to do with just throwing a whole big pile of money at fiscally irresponsible states.”