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Battle Over Congressional Budget Heats Up

Thursday, 17 May 2012 | 10:19 PM ET
Financial Crisis
CNBC.com
Financial Crisis

In the looming battle over priorities in federal budgeting priorities, two lawmakers on CNBC’s “The Kudlow Report” boiled it down to tax cuts vs. spending cuts.

Although employment in the United States has posted sputtering growth over the past 26 months, Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, said lasting economic gains were impossible without stronger consumer spending.

“We can’t get a transportation bill out of this Congress because there are some people that believe that no spending is the answer to recovery,” she said. “Can you imagine the contracts we could let across this country in transportation, highway systems, airports, ports, if those dollars were already in the economy?”

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah argued that businesses were reluctant to spend.

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“What the Democrats fail to understand is that all this uncertainty in the marketplace puts a resistance on capital to make the investments necessary to grow the economy. Every time you hear the Democrats talk, their only solution is: ‘Oh, let’s just raise taxes.’ We’re not just one good tax increase away from prosperity in this country,” he said. “We’ve got to get rid of that uncertainty. We’ve got to be serious about tackling that debt and deficit.”

Chaffetz criticized President Obama for what he called a “failure of leadership.”

“Here’s the frustration: Never have the Democrats or the president put forward a balanced budget,” he added.

Kaptur looked to Obama’s predecessor.

“President Bush never balanced the budget,” she said. “He gave us Wall Street. He gave us wars that weren’t paid for.”

She added that tax cuts for the wealthy was the wrong move at this time.

“If you look at the top 1 percent, to give them more tax benefits when the middle class still hasn’t gone back to work, we’ve got millions of people unemployed, simply isn’t fair,” she said. “Why should those who have so much not be part of the solution?”

Tune in:

"The Kudlow Report" airs weeknights at 7 p.m. ET.

Questions? Comments? Send your email: lkudlow@kudlow.com

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  • Lawrence Kudlow is a CNBC senior contributor. Previously, Kudlow was anchor of CNBC's prime-time program "The Kudlow Report"