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Mr. LARSON of Connecticut. I want to thank the gentleman from South Carolina. I am glad to associate myself with his opening remarks and those of the gentleman from Louisiana (Mr. Melancon).
Let me say that we were fortunate this past weekend at our issues conference to have the President of the United States address us. He said somewhat tongue-in-cheek, Look at what I have inherited.
I think, Mr. Chairman, as you have done throughout your stellar career, you have outlined from a budgetary perspective the God-awful mess that President Obama has inherited. In fact, this is a cavernous hole that he finds himself in, as does our Nation.
Mr. Melancon pointed out exactly how deep a hole has been dug and what this problem means to every American, not only from the standpoint of our national debt, but clearly from the number of jobs that have been lost, from the number of people who have lost their homes, and lost their health care.
Now you have done a great job as chairman of our committee always bringing forward in detail. But, you know, Harper's magazine did an article just this past month called ``The $10 Trillion Hangover'' in which they specifically, almost but not as succinctly as your charts and graphs have indicated, but spell out how we got to this point.
I think Americans all across this great country as our new President struggles to deal with the hole that this previous administration has left us, want to know how we got here and how we make this steady, determined ascent out of this cavernous hole.
But the daunting task before this President is laid out before the American public with the 3.6 million jobs lost, with the projected recession in growth, and what we have heard from every single economist that has come before us is the difficult and uncharted waters that we are in. And that doesn't count what we anticipate might happen with the other shoe, credit default swaps and derivatives, and where the bottom is on that.
And yet this President, with the help of this Congress and under the leadership of Nancy Pelosi, strives to make that move, that steady, determined ascent by both providing economic investment and economic recovery and, as important, economic stability for all of our citizens. So I commend the gentleman for bringing forward what is at best a very bleak picture for America, but to be counterweighted by the determination of this Congress and Members who have come here to the floor this evening to make sure that there is a steady ascent from the depths of this cavernous hole, dug in unprecedented fashion, where people were asleep at the switch, not watching what was going on, and running up unprecedented debt, where two wars were unpaid for, a Medicare bill unpaid for, tax cuts unpaid for, all to come home to roost. But determined we are as a Nation and as a Congress to make a steady and determined ascent out of the depths of this cavernous hole dug by this previous administration.
I thank the gentleman.
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