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American Needs to Wake up Before it is too Late

Location: Washington, DC

AMERICA NEEDS TO WAKE UP BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE -- (House of Representatives - May 04, 2005)

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a previous order of the House, the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Scott) is recognized for 5 minutes.

Mr. SCOTT of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I rise to talk to the House about this deficit and about our failure and the consequences facing this Nation if we do not respond and put some brakes on our spending.

This deficit is our greatest problem and the greatest threat to the financial security of the United States, which means the financial security of the free world.

Just think of it, when this administration, when President Bush took office 4 years ago, we had over $2 trillion surplus. Now, 4 years later, we have over a $4 trillion deficit, running up nearly $400 billion as we speak here this afternoon.

This is dangerous. It is not in the best interest of this country. Just think of this one fact: just on paying the deficit, paying the interest on what we are borrowing, 90 percent of which we are borrowing from foreign countries, China, Japan, India, 90 percent of our debt is being held by foreign interests. How insecure is that? And just the amount that we are paying, the interest is more than what we are paying for our own national security.

America, we need to wake up. We need to understand what is at stake; our future is what is at stake. And who is going to pay this debt? Not me. Not anyone in this room. Our children, our grandchildren. I have children; I have two young grandchildren. Is it right to saddle them with this deficit?

Just recently on the issue of Social Security, the President's answer for Social Security is to do what? Borrow more money to set up private accounts. That will do absolutely nothing to deal with the solvency of Social Security.

Something is wrong and this House must move to correct it. Not long ago or at a time of great crisis in this country, two great men sat here right here in Washington, D.C. One was Robert E. Lee and the other was Abraham Lincoln. They sat on the balcony of the White House and looked out at all the devastation that the Civil War had brought.

These are two great Americans. Abraham Lincoln said to Robert E. Lee, It is not incumbent upon us to complete the task. Robert E. Lee finished the sentence and said, But neither are we free to desist from doing all we possibly can.

Are we doing all we possibly can on this deficit, on this debt? No, we are not. We are on that side, and we are on this side, and we are on this corner. The American people are expecting us to come together, solve this deficit, pay as you go, put some strong fiscal responsibility in this House and solve Social Security.

There was a recent poll on Social Security that I bring of interest. It was just out in yesterday's paper. It had an interesting point. Sixty-two percent of the American people feel that the Republicans will do too much to solve the Social Security problem and sixty-one percent of the American people feel that the Democrats will do too little. Therein lies our challenge, but also lies our opportunity, from this side to come and from that side to come and we can come together and solve this issue.

Mr. Speaker, let me conclude with this statement, a very important statement. On the bleached bones of many past great civilizations are written those pathetic words: Too late.

Will that be our epitaph? When the history books are written, what did this Congress do to save Social Security, to pay down the debt?

Let it not be that the history books will write of us ``too late.''

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