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Public Statements

The National Debt

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. DOLD. Madam Speaker, our national debt now exceeds $15.5 trillion. I think it's fair to say that Washington has a spending problem. Republicans and Democrats alike have overspent over the years.

In the past 4 years, Washington has spent over $5 trillion of taxpayer money that we don't have. The degree of how much this actually means to the American public, I think, is incomprehensible. Most people that I talk to just say that's a heck of a lot of money. I talk about the deficit of $1.5 trillion that we spent this last year and they say I just think it's a lot of money. It works out to be about $3.4 million a minute in deficit spending.

But if we take eight zeros off these numbers, to put it in perspective for the American family, I think it gives them a good idea about what their budget would look like. The annual family income would be about $22,280. The money the family would spend in a given year would be $37,080. New debt on the credit card would be $14,800. The outstanding balance, which I think is important, is $155,000, and the total discretionary budget cuts that were put in for 2011 for this family, $398.

Madam Speaker, that's what we're facing. We must pass a budget that takes the step necessary to rein in the out-of-control spending that our country has today and put ourselves on a path to economic prosperity. We have no other choice.

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