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Motion to Instruct Conferees on H.R. 4348, Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2012, Part II

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. DUNCAN of South Carolina. I want to thank my friend from Georgia for yielding to me tonight.

I think our colleagues on the other side of the aisle are in denial about deficits and debt. What it means--I put the debt clock right here in front for everyone to see, but if you can't see it, America is $15.74 trillion in debt.

In fact, we've had over $30 million added to the Nation's debt just since we have been talking this evening and the clock's running right now; $50,000 per American citizen in this country is your share of the Nation's debt.

You know, back in July of 2010, my wife and I, we took our boys, it was after a campaign, and we went out across the Nation. In 17 days we went through 19 States, and we visited no less than 11 national parks. Now, this was after the $1.2 trillion stimulus package passed by President Obama in the Democrat-controlled Congress.

But what did I see as I drove through the 19 States of this country's heartland? Where did I see the construction projects on the road, the $1.2 trillion in deficit spending to get the jobs we never got?

I saw the construction happening, road construction happening on roads leading into national parks. I didn't see it on the interstate highways that would allow transportation of commerce around this land. I saw it in the national parks.

We're $15.74 trillion in debt, and all the gentleman is asking to do is let's live within our means. Let's collect the highway tax, and let's just spend that. Let's not continue to perpetuate deficit spending. But, you know, we throw words around like ``millions'' and ``billions'' and ``trillions'' around this Nation, and we lose track of what a trillion is.

But let me just tell you, if we decided to get serious about paying back our Nation's creditors, and we did it at the rate of $20 million a day, and we did that every day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year--and, ladies and gentlemen, listen up--if we did that every day of the year, from the time Jesus Christ was born until now, we have only paid back $14.9 trillion of our debt, less than what we owe, at the rate of $20 million a day, for 746,000 days that it's been.

Now it's time to get serious about what we're doing in this country with regard to revenue and with regard to deficit spending. This the fourth year in a row we will be in excess of a trillion dollars, spending a trillion dollars more than we're bringing in as a Nation. All we're doing on the Republican side is saying, you know what, it's time America lives within its means. It's time we have a balanced budget.

We need a balanced budget to the Nation's Constitution to require this body, which shows no fiscal restraint, require this body to live within its means just like we have to do at home in our family budgets and our small business budgets. It's time to get serious in this country about our Nation's debt and about what our deficit spending means.

Quit spending money for jobs we never got from the Obama stimulus package.


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