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Mr. GOODLATTE. I thank the chairman for yielding and for his good work on this budget.
Thomas Jefferson once wrote:
To preserve the independence of the people, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude.
In this choice of two futures, unfortunately, Congress has all too often chosen the latter path of out-of-control spending and expansion of government power. There is a spending addiction in Washington, D.C., and it has proven to be an addiction that Congress has not controlled on its own.
The Nation has gone, in a few short years, from a Federal deficit of billions of dollars to a deficit of trillions of dollars. The government is printing money at an unprecedented pace, which presents significant risks of inflation. Our debt is currently an unfathomable $15.5 trillion and mounting rapidly, as is the waste associated with paying the interest on that debt. Yet Congress has done little to address this crisis.
Families all across our Nation understand what it means to make tough decisions each day about what they can and cannot afford. Yet far too often, this fundamental principle has been lost on a Congress that is too busy spending to pay attention to the bottom line. Americans must exercise restraint with their own funds, then government officials must be required to exercise an even higher standard when spending other people's hard-earned money.
While I believe that the House budget we are considering today is a good budget and I support it, it is dependent on fiscally minded Congresses being elected for the next 28 years who will be committed to upholding this budget, as well as a President who will sign fiscally responsible appropriations measures into law. That is why I am also a supporter of the Republican Study Committee budget. While this RSC budget is bold and some say drastic, these measures are needed to solve our Nation's fiscal crisis.
Mr. Chairman, unless each Congress--regardless of party affiliation--is forced to make the decisions necessary to actually set a budget--unlike the U.S. Senate--and create a balanced budget, the temptation will always be there for Congress to spend more than it receives in revenues. And that is the advantage of a constitutional balanced budget amendment which would ensure that the principle of fiscal responsibility is forced upon all future Congresses.
The balanced budget amendment is a commonsense approach to ensure that Congress is bound by the same fiscal principles that America's families face each day. I am pleased that the Republican Study Committee proposal seeks to balance the budget in 5 years and puts us on a path to save Medicare.
Finally, I urge this Congress to demonstrate leadership and make the tough but bold decision to stop the government spending spree. We cannot continue to saddle our children and grandchildren with debt that is not their own.
I support the Republican Study Committee budget. I support fiscal responsibility.
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