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Public Statements

Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2012

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. CHAFFETZ. Madam Chair, I rise in opposition to the amendment.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Utah is recognized for 15 minutes.

Mr. CHAFFETZ. I yield myself 3 minutes.

Madam Chair, I am so glad that we are going through this process this year. I think this is a healthy part of what we do as the United States, what separates us from a lot of other countries. And I'm glad that we are actually doing this. This is my second term in Congress. So last Congress last year, we didn't even go through this process. I think this is healthy.

I think we all care deeply, and we are very patriotic about this country, but I happen to have a vision that says that the proper role of government is somewhat limited and that there is a proper role for government, and that we need to adhere to that proper role.

It's funny, sometimes I hear opposition to the Republican proposal or the Republican budget, and I hear that we're going to sacrifice this and we're going to cut all that. Let's also understand that we're still going to spend $3.5 trillion with a capital T. That's a lot of money. People often ask me, they say how much is $1 trillion? It's kind of a hard number to get your arms around, but if you were to spend $1 million a day, every day, it would take you almost 3,000 years to get to $1 trillion, to $1 trillion.

Well, we're $14 trillion in debt. We're paying more than $600 million a day in interest on that debt. It's on its way to $1 billion a day in just the interest on that debt, and we're going to have to deal with the fact that we've got to pay that debt. We've got to cut up the government credit card. We have spent far too much money.

What I like about what we have proposed in the Republican budget is that we start to rein in the out-of-control spending; yet we still fulfill a lot of the obligations that we have to this country, particularly for seniors and others. We will still spend an exorbitant amount of money, but over the course of time, we will be on the proper trajectory to live within our means.

I think that is one of the foundations of this country, the idea of personal responsibility, the idea that we have to live within our means, that we are self-sufficient. And we have to deal with the fact that in Congresses previous, in generations previous, they have racked up this debt. And we go through and blame each other for that. But the reality moving forward is we have to put ourselves on a trajectory to balance the budget and pay off the debt. And that, I think, is one of the great moral responsibilities that we have in the United States Congress, the adult conversation that we have.

There are a lot of needs in this country, but we're broke, ladies and gentlemen. We're broke. And we have got to rein in the spending. And we have got to make the United States as competitive as we can possibly be. Because when we're competitive on the world stage--the United States of America is still the greatest country on the face of the planet--but if we're going to be the military and economic superpower, we have a responsibility to live within our means and to become self-sufficient.

I reserve the balance of my time, Madam Chair.

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Mr. CHAFFETZ. Madam Chair, the United States of America is the greatest country on the face of the planet. We have overcome challenge after challenge for hundreds of years.

What makes America great is that entrepreneurial spirit, that can-do attitude, that idea that was inspired in the Constitution. See, I believe that the Constitution is an inspired, sacred document. But if we are going to continue to maintain our being the world's economic and military superpower, we're going to have to change the trajectory in which we are doing business.

Taxing, spending, borrowing money--that is not the pathway to prosperity. The American Dream is built upon the ideal that people need to take care of themselves. There is a proper role of government. And what we truly need in this country is fiscal discipline, limited government, accountability, and a strong national defense.

The Republican budget that has been put forward puts us on that trajectory, to retain and regain that fiscal sanity that we so desperately need in this country. Not only does our budget balance over the course of time, but it actually pays off the debt. And that, I think and I believe, is what we should be doing and what this budget that is put forth by the Budget Committee on the Republican side of the aisle truly does.

We have a moral obligation to leave this country better than how we found it. And if we are going to truly drive jobs and the economy forward, we are going to have to recognize that we need to empower the individual. We need to empower the entrepreneur so that they can be the very best they can in a very competitive global climate.

So, Madam Chair, I would urge the passage of the Republican budget, and I would urge my colleagues to vote ``no'' on this alternative that has been put forward during this last half hour.

I have enjoyed the debate. That's what makes this country great.

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