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Public Statements

Reasons for the Economic Downturn

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

REASONS FOR THE ECONOMIC DOWNTURN -- (House of Representatives - February 25, 2009)


Mr. SCALISE. Thank you. I want to thank the gentleman from Missouri. What we've been talking about is the concern that a lot of us have with the runaway spending we have here in Washington.

And as we all sat in this Chamber last night and listened to the President, there were a number of things he said that I think we all agreed with. One of the things that he harped on was the concern about adding more money, billions and trillions of dollars, to the national debt, and I share that concern.

But I think what's even of more concern is that, if we look at what's happened in these last 6 weeks, we've seen not a reduction in spending, not a reduction in debts, we've seen a dramatic increase. In fact, in just the last 6 weeks since Barack Obama has been President, we've seen over $2 trillion added to the national debt. That's a 20 percent increase in the national debt. And that's the burden that our children and our grandchildren are going to have to inherit.


Mr. SCALISE. In a period of 6 weeks between the spending bill that was passed and signed into law last week, added $800 billion in new government spending--not a bill to help stimulate our economy; a bill to massively grow the size of government, many programs, as you discussed, that are permanent programs, not one-time infrastructure spending.

The other thing--and tomorrow there will be a bill filed; the President will be presenting his new budget. The expectations of what we're hearing is that that budget will be over $1 trillion out of balance. More money added to the national debt.

And on top of that, a bill that a lot of us that are concerned about this runaway spending voted against, but a bill that passed today was this omnibus bill: $400 billion of additional spending, representing an 8 percent increase in government spending at a time when States and families across this country are cutting back their spending because of tough economic times. Seems like Washington's the only place going on a spending spree.

It's hard to picture when yesterday you hear somebody talking about the dangers of adding more money to the national debt, ironically on Mardi Gras day, and it seems like today and tomorrow, when these bills are filed, adding trillions more debt, it seems like the same people are trying to act like the King of Carnival, throwing beads and trinkets to people with more government spending.

This was a picture that was actually in the New Orleans newspaper yesterday on Mardi Gras Day, and it talked about and it shows people throwing money, literally throwing money from a float. And it's titled ``Stimulus,'' and they said, ``We'll worry about the hangover tomorrow.''

And the sad part of it is, it's not our money that they're throwing. It's not only the taxpayers' money, but it's our children and grandchildren's money that they're throwing, because this is money we don't have. This is money that's going to go out and be printed up on a printing press because we don't have that money sitting in a bank somewhere.

And so it adds more money--over 20 percent in 6 weeks has been added to the national debt. And that's the burden our children and grandchildren will inherit. And this has to end.


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