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Public Statements

Issues Facing America

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mrs. BIGGERT. Thank you, and I thank you for doing this.

I think that we've got such great women that have come into this Congress in this last term and are really, you are all moving forward and really, I think, setting the tone for what's going to happen in the future, and I appreciate that.

But, you know, it is time for America to live within its means. I got an email from a constituent from Lockport, Illinois recently, and she wrote to me imploring Congress to say no, no to all personal income tax increases. And she further explains that she's a single mom. Just think of how many single moms are out there having to work to keep their kids clothed and in school and keep her home going.

She said that she is a single mom, struggling to keep her home, raise her son, and pay her bills. She says, I cannot pay any more taxes. I will lose everything. There are so many like that out there.

A gentleman from Downers Grove, Illinois, wrote to me and said, it's sad to see the constant disagreement in Washington over almost all issues, including national security, foreign affairs, et cetera. But the budget must be controlled. This is the hard-earned money of American taxpayers that must be spent wisely. Less is better.

We must live on budgets and not be able to borrow whenever we run out of money, as the gentlelady just said. We don't have a credit card. Most people don't have the credit card that they can go and get their limit raised. Neither should we. We have to cut taxes and stop spending. So let's get people back to work so that this country can prosper and be great again.

For too long the government spent the taxpayers into a debt that they can not afford. And despite trillions in the so-called stimulus, the economy has grown only weaker as a result.

So consider these troubling statistics. Our tax burden is approaching the highest levels in our country's history and is expected to rise. Unless we take action now, it could exceed 20 percent of GDP in just 3 years, a record we've only seen once in 35 years.

Similarly, household taxes are excessively high. Even in the slow economy, at over $18,000 last year, the average household tax burden has almost doubled in the last 50 years. What's worse is that the interest on our debt for 1 year is equal to the entire budgets of the Departments of Labor, Agriculture, and Veterans Affairs combined.

In individual terms, it means that each American's share of our debt is over $46,000. When I think of my family and future generations, this means that my nine grandchildren would collectively owe over $414,000 if they had to pay their share of our debt today. Before my youngest grandson graduates from college, he would owe $103,000 on our national debt. This is unacceptable. And that's why we took this first step to address the crisis yesterday by passing the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act. And our colleagues across the aisle would argue that this plan goes too far by restricting future borrowing. But the reality is that this bill simply caps spending at the same sustainable rates as past generations, about 20 percent of GDP, a post World War II average. No more and no less.

Don't we care as much about our children and grandchildren as our parents did? I do, and so do the people who sent us here to Congress. So we need to show our creditors, our competitors, and the American people that we are willing to make the tough choices needed to restore confidence and growth in the United States.

I'm so proud of all the women that are participating in this and are really making a difference and showing that we can move forward and balance our budget and live within our means like families across America.

I thank you for leading this effort.

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