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Public Statements

A Balanced Budget

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. PITTENGER. Mr. Speaker, we teach the importance of a balanced budget to our schoolchildren, such as those we had today, but apparently this basic financial principle is not good enough for our President, who says he won't even chase a balanced budget for the sake of balance.

Mr. Speaker, to help the President find a better reason, I would suggest we examine the economic damage caused by runaway public debt. In 2011, Greece, Italy, and Portugal each amassed public debt greater than 90 percent of their economic output. For Greece, the debt was a stunning 165 percent of their gross domestic product. All three countries are now undergoing wrenching austerity and suffering through prolonged recessions and unemployment.

What would this scenario look like for hardworking American families? The burden of unsustainable public debt and increased taxes would lead to higher interest rates on mortgages, car loans, and other credit. Ignoring this problem would bring on higher inflation, reducing the purchasing power of American families and inflicting the most pain on the poor and middle class.

Mr. Speaker, we must support our families. We must support a balanced budget.

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