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Mr. PAUL. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
Madam Speaker, we are here today to try to prevent the national debt from going up another $1.2 trillion, but in a way, it's a formality because most everybody knows the national debt is going up $1.2 trillion. This is sad because this process is a very mixed effort to try to curtail spending. And this power of the President to ask for a debt increase, and then we have to get two-thirds of the Congress to prevent this from going up, this is a creature of Congress. It's also a creature of a mental status here in the Congress of overspending on just everything.
It would be nice if we could blame everything on the current administration or even the previous administration. But the crisis that we're in has been building over a long period of time, and it's very bipartisan. There's been way too much cooperation in this Congress because those who like spending cooperate, and they keep spending. And for a long time, we were able to get away with this because we were a very wealthy country. Now we're nonproductive. The good jobs are overseas, and yet the spending is escalating exponentially.
We're really not facing up to the reality that the problem is spending. Yes, we have to deal with the debt. But the debt is a consequence of too much spending. Where do we spend too much money? In two places: overseas and domestically. And we need to stop the spending.
Really, in my mind, it started about 40 years ago when there was a guarantee that you don't have to worry about debt because we always had somebody there to buy the debt. If we would have had a market rate of interest where you didn't have the Federal Reserve buying the debt, interest rates would go up and would force us to live within our means. As long as you have a Federal Reserve there with no linkage to anything of soundness--since 1971, the Congress has been reckless, and the deficits have continued to grow, and the crisis that we're facing today is an inevitable consequence.
I believe we're in denial here in the Congress. If we had the vaguest idea of how serious this crisis is financially, not only for us, but for the world, we'd cut spending because you can't solve the problem of debt by accumulating more debt. It's just impossible to do this.
And one other thing that I think we fail to do on both sides of the aisle is really cut spending overseas. It is considered that if you spend more money overseas you have more defense, and there's no truth to that. Just spending over $1 trillion a year overseas doesn't necessarily give you more defense. And yet nobody's willing to cut. Some of these automatic cuts that are just supposed to be in line that come out of the supercommittee, everybody's squirming already. How are we going to prevent these cuts?
And this pretense that we might cut $1 trillion over the next 10 years is total pretense. We're in total denial that it's cutting something. There's a proposed increased baseline budgeting of $10 trillion. We're going to cut $1 trillion over 10 years? That's $100 billion a year.
Our national debt is going up $100 billion a month. So it's really a charade. But the American people know it's a charade. They're tired of it, and they've heard about this for so long, and we need to make up our minds. Are we going to live within the confines of the Constitution? Cut the spending and balance the budget and get out of this mess.
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