SOLVE THE DEBT PROBLEM – James Lankford (House of Representatives - July 06, 2011)
--- (Mr. LANKFORD asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. LANKFORD. Mr. Speaker, today I rise after spending the week of July 4th in the heartland of America, central Oklahoma, where I had the opportunity to hear the thoughts of the families in my district regarding our economy and the debt.
No one approached me during the last week to tell me they wanted more government spending to create jobs. No one asked me to create more instability in our economy by raising taxes. In fact, no one told me they wanted to celebrate Independence Day by seeing more government dependence.
But over and over again, people asked me to work on solving the problem of the debt, not just voting for another blank check debt ceiling. We need real spending limits to offset our serious budget shortfall. We can't pretend that we can borrow forever with no consequences.
There is a limit to how much debt this Nation can carry and our worldwide markets can sustain. Our current real debt equals our GDP. And I would hope that many others in this House would see that as a problem as well.
Second, we need to address our entitlements. These programs are critical safety nets for the neediest Americans, but they will be worthless for everyone if we allow them to go insolvent.
And, finally, we need a balanced budget amendment to our Constitution, with real teeth to hold Washington accountable. There is simply no other way to bring future stewardship of taxpayer money. Fifteen years ago, the Balanced Budget Amendment failed to pass the Senate by one vote after it passed this House with overwhelming bipartisan support. Our fiscal reality would be very different.
Mr. Speaker, we are at a crossroads in our nation's history. We do not have a debt ceiling vote crisis, we have a debt crisis. We need to stop focusing on a single vote and instead focus on the future consequences of our actions. It is time to put America back on track to debt reduction and job growth.