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Mr. LANKFORD. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Just about 2 months ago, I went with my daughter, parked in a church parking lot, and let her take the wheel.
She's 15 years old, and we're in that process of her learning how to drive. I do that because I'm her dad, and I know the dangers that she's about to face. I quite frankly know the dangers to our neighbors around us and their trash cans and their garage if I don't spend time teaching her how to drive. That's my responsibility to do that because I'm the adult and I'm to step up and take the lead when it's there so as to avoid the danger that is coming.
That is where we are right now as a Nation. We can continue to pretend that this is not serious and that we can continue to spend more money; and if we only just spent a little more and if we only tax a little more, we'll tax our way out of this, we'll spend our way out of this. I promise it will get better. I know that we're at $15.6 trillion in debt; but if we only got it to $18 trillion, if we only got it to $20 trillion, then our economy will finally catch up and stabilize.
What the people back in my district say is the same thing that I know: The problem is bigger than that.
If we were 20 years ago saying let's tweak the Tax Code a little bit, let's do a couple of things, we could get a simple fix. It is not like that today. Just this year, we had $1.3 trillion in deficit spending. This President has racked up in 3 years and 3 months more debt than the previous administration did in 8 years.
It is time to make some hard choices, but they are the right choices; and that's what I hear from people back home. They say: Balance the budget. It's not right to take away money from the next generation so we can try to just continue to stir up more programs for us.
It is not right to just create a never-ending list of new options and to say if we just give more money to this group and to this group and to this group, it will fix it. It's not right that we don't protect defense. We have to do that.
People are frustrated. They are talking about the Tax Code. Just tax this person, just do this little bit, just add a few more pages to it. They want us to fix the Tax Code, not just tweak it.
Year after year I hear people saying to me, fix Medicare. Senior adults look at me and they get it. There's a problem. They want us to fix it. They want us to stabilize it. Considering all the things that were said last year, I'm amazed that PolitiFact said that the ending Medicare as we know it was the biggest lie of the year in politics, and it looks like it's in a race to win in 2012 again.
We are not ending Medicare as we know it. We are protecting it for the future because it is unstable. It is going insolvent. It is time for us to repair it and protect it and put it on a path that can be sustained for the days to come.
All the people in my district want is a reasonable, right plan that actually deals with the drivers of our debt, that actually deals with the tough issues and says stop playing with us, we're adults, let's fix this and let's get on with it.
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