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Public Statements

Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2013

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. HENSARLING. I thank the chairman for yielding, and I especially thank him for his national leadership on this pressing issue of the national debt.

Mr. Chairman, last week, Secretary Geithner came up to Capitol Hill to warn of the threat to the American economy of the European debt crisis. Now, Mr. Chairman, the American people know that the greater threat to the American economy is the American debt crisis. We face the absolute worst debt crisis in America's history, and yet it has been almost 3 years since both House and Senate Democrats have submitted a budget--almost 3 full years.

Now, to his credit, the President has submitted a budget. To his shame, it adds $11 trillion to our national debt on top of the $5 trillion that he has already imposed of additional national debt. Mr. Chairman, everyone knows that the spending trajectory of the Federal Government is unsustainable. And what does our President do in his budget? He takes an unsustainable spending trajectory and doubles down. He makes it more unsustainable, which makes it unconscionable. Perhaps worst of all, Mr. Chairman, even though he knows what the drivers of our national insolvency are, he refuses to deal with them.

But don't take my word for it. Listen to the editorial pages of major U.S. newspapers, many of which are pretty liberal in their orientations.

The Boston Herald writes:

President Barack Obama has apparently decided that he is not going to be part of the solution to the Nation's enormous deficit, which would make him, yes, part of the problem.

The LA Times:

It's past time for the administration to lay out a credible plan for bringing the deficit and debt under control. Sadly, Obama's budget proposal shows that he would rather wait until after the election to have that reckoning.

USA Today:

The best test of a budget proposal these days is whether it reins in the national debt. The election year budget President Obama sent to Congress on Monday fails that test.

It's pretty clear the President's policies have failed and are hampering our economic recovery. Because they have failed, regrettably, our President has resorted to the politics of division and envy, which is fairly evident in his budget. He has not appealed to the better angels of our disposition and not to the noblest aspirations of our fellow citizens. Instead, he appeals to their basic instincts.

The Nation is truly, truly at a crossroads between two very, very different paths. The President's path is one of crushing, unsustainable debt; a massive tax increase on struggling families and small business; and, most troubling, a diminished future for our children and grandchildren. In short, it is the road to becoming a European-style social democracy of the 21st century.

Mr. Chairman, it is past time to quit spending money we don't have. It is past time to quit borrowing almost 40 cents on the dollar, much of it from the Chinese, so we can just turn around and send the bill to our children and our grandchildren.

Where the President and other Democrats have failed to lead, House Republicans, under the leadership of our Budget chairman, Paul Ryan, have acted. We have a vastly different path for America's future. It is a path of opportunity. It is a path for economic growth. It is the path to prosperity, and it is the path of fiscal sustainability that, over time, not just reduces the national debt but will pay it off.

Number one, let's look at the differences. Our budget would absolutely prevent the President's single largest tax increase in American history, $1.9 trillion of new taxes to be imposed upon our job creators and other hardworking Americans. And you know what's ironic, Mr. Chairman? Even if you gave the President every single job-hampering tax increase he's asked for, it's about 16, maybe 17 percent of the $11 trillion he wants to add to the national debt. You can't tax your way out of this problem, Mr. Chairman.

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Mr. HENSARLING. So we know it's the middle-income who will end up paying this.

Second point: we repealed the President's failed health care program, the one that we now understand is going to cost almost $2 trillion, the one that now the Congressional Budget Office tells us will cost almost 2 million jobs, and the one that creates the Independent Payment Advisory Board, as the chairman has said, that includes 15 unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats who will begin making health care decisions for our seniors, like my 79-year-old mother, my 83-year-old father. You know, if one of them needs a hip replacement, if one of them needs a heart bypass, I want that decision to be made between them and their doctor, not the 15 unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats who have one, and only one, purpose, and that is to impose price controls and ration the quality and access to health care for our seniors.

You know, I hear the buzz line, but it seems to me that ends Medicare as we know it. Looting $500 billion out of Medicare to pay for the President's health care, that seems to end Medicare as we know it. Putting a global price cap, that seems to end Medicare as we know it. And most of all--since we've heard from the trustees of the Medicare and Social Security trust fund that it's going broke--allowing it to go broke, which our friends on the other side of the aisle do, seems to me to be ending Medicare as we know it.

Our budget will end the road to bankruptcy by controlling spending. Under the President's budget, spending has gone from its traditional 20 percent of our economy to 24 percent, and it's on its way to 40 percent over the course of the next generation. Our budget will control spending and limit government so we can have unlimited opportunity.

What is this debate truly about, Mr. Chairman? Here's what I think it's about. And I have shared this correspondence with my colleagues before. I heard from the Calhoun family in Winnsboro, Texas, about this debt. And he wrote me:

Congressman, I have never felt so embarrassed and ashamed about anything I have done in my life as I do about leaving this mess in the laps of Tyler and Caitlynn, my precious grandkids. I have written both of them a heartfelt apology for them to read when they get old enough to understand what I allowed our country's governing authority to do to them.

Mr. Chairman, we have no greater moral responsibility than to preserve the blessings of liberty and opportunity for this gentleman's grandchildren and the next generation. It's what we do. We are Americans. We're not just operating on borrowed money. We're operating on borrowed time.

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Mr. HENSARLING. Two paths. Two choices. One duty. I hope history records that we acted worthy of ourselves, that we acted worthy of our forefathers, that we acted worthy of this great Republic for which so many have sacrificed over the years.

No more borrowed time. No more borrowed money. Let's seize the moment in history. Let's adopt the Republican Path to Prosperity budget.

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