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Public Statements

Reform Entitlements

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. PITTENGER. Madam Speaker, for too many years our leaders have irresponsibly put off the tough decisions necessary to place our country on sound financial footing. President Obama seems to not be focused on the problem, as he never even mentioned our nearly $17 trillion debt during his inaugural address and State of the Union speech.

Yet Peter Orszag, former Budget Director for President Obama, recently told a bipartisan group of freshman Representatives:

Unless you deal with the debt, you're playing games with our economic future. Unless you find savings with entitlements, you're playing games with the debt. You better go fix it.

American taxpayers deserve and expect an accountable government, not a bloated bureaucracy in need of credit counseling. Each passing year makes the decision more difficult and the changes more painful. Medicare will be insolvent by 2024, which means we are rapidly squandering any chance to fix the problem.

Our $17 trillion debt, which currently results in $220 billion in annual interest payments, is a drag on our economy, deterring our ability to create jobs for American families. Reforming entitlements must be done to help our economy grow today and provide for the future.

Any plan to reform entitlements must preserve the current benefits promised to this generation while providing guaranteed options for future generations; however, we must be strong and take action. We must enact a responsible plan to preserve these important safety nets for future generations; for if we do nothing, we will watch as American families suffer even more after Medicare and Social Security collapse while our Nation faces economic collapse.


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