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Mr. CHAMBLISS. Mr. President, I wish to speak on what almost qualifies as a historic event:
For the first time in 4 years, the Senate will try to complete a budget resolution.
Since 2009--the last year the Senate passed a budget--the government has run deficits in excess of $1 trillion every year. The Democrats' budget resolution that we are currently debating will, in fact, only reduce net deficits by $279 billion.
I have spoken on the Senate floor and around the country for the past 2 years in favor of a budget that will end excessive spending, provide a platform for tax reform, and rid ourselves of oppressive debt and deficits. But I am afraid that even after the Senate has completed its work, I will still be advocating for those changes.
Senate Democrats have not used their proposed budget resolution to make government better. Their proposal does little in the way of reform, and actually grows the government instead of the economy. It is discouraging to anyone concerned about excessive government debt, and it is discouraging to the job seekers who are, unfortunately, so abundant right now.
What the Democrats have proposed is not a budget at all. It is merely a spending plan to further stunt economic growth and job creation, while condoning increasing the deficit and growing the government. I believe the American people expect a budget that provides a platform for our economy to grow. A budget that increases government spending, increases debt, and further endangers our Medicare and Social Security is not what Georgians or people across America want.
We have a real opportunity now to correct a lot of missteps. We need a budget that will reform our Tax Code, grow the economy, reduce poverty, and fix our entitlements.
Yet here, in the middle of a global economic crisis, we are going to vote on a budget that does none of that.
Mr. President, tonight the Senate voted on a budget that will balance in 10 years the--budget proposed by House budget chairman Paul Ryan. I can't think of better way to show the American people and the world that our government is serious about getting back on track and reclaiming our country's financial dominance. Simply put, Mr. President, even with all the provisions combined, the Murray budget doesn't get us out of debt. The Ryan Budget does.
A budget that balances in 10 years should be the starting point for discussions, and we need to make that budget a reality now to secure America's future. Economists, budget experts, and analysts across the country have come to the conclusion that the debt we have already accumulated is having a negative effect on our economy. We have known for a long time--and have been told many times by economists--that when a country's gross debts reach 90 percent of GDP, its economy will contract substantially.
We have seen in places such as Japan and Europe that when debt gets out of control, the government's response to control debts must be tougher. Unfortunately, as my friend from Alabama, Senator Sessions, noted yesterday, the International Monetary Fund, the Bank for International Settlements, and the European Central Bank have all analyzed our debt and found that we are now at 103 percent of GDP. That is a staggering and shocking number. It is a hopeless number.
We haven't balanced our budgets in so long that we have ended up harming America's economic engine--and the Democrats' proposal doesn't fix anything. It merely continues our unsustainable spending.
We voted on a spending measure yesterday that lowered our discretionary spending down to 2008 levels. With some hard work, we can keep our discretionary spending at sustainable levels. However, what we haven't addressed is the continued rise in mandatory spending which has increased substantially since 2008.
We simply cannot continue to let mandatory spending go unchecked. This budget's approach to restraint is half-hearted, at best. President Obama likes to remind us that he is in favor of entitlement reform. I would like to give him the benefit of the doubt about that--but is this the best his party can come up with? We are a nation that believes in caring for the most vulnerable among us, but if we continue to operate our programs this way, on a path toward bankruptcy, we will never be able to keep our promises.
We can no longer allow the American people to suffer by not providing the economic basis for recovery and growth. The equation is simple: A balanced Federal budget that is free of excessive debt leads to a healthy economy and sustainable job creation.
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