by Congressman Tom McClintock on the House Chamber Floor
March 27, 2012
Eve of the Budget Debate
The House is about to consider a budget in a dangerous hour in the life of our country. Last year, we barreled past several urgent warning signals: the loss of our nation’s triple-A credit rating; the size of the national debt surpassing our entire economy; a record third year of trillion dollar-plus annual deficits.
I believe this to be one of our last opportunities to avert a financial crisis unprecedented in our nation’s experience and on a magnitude far greater than that now destroying Greece.
The blueprint passed by the House Budget Committee last week is a disappointment to those who believe the budget can and should be balanced much sooner, and I do not entirely disassociate myself from those sentiments.
But the immediate issue before us, as Lincoln put it, “is not ‘can any of us imagine better?’ but, ‘can we all do better?’” The approaching financial crisis demands first and foremost that we turn this country away from the fiscal precipice and place it back on a course to solvency.
This budget does so. Indeed, it improves on the House budget last year that was killed in the Senate, but wich according to Standard and Poors, would have preserved the triple-A credit rating of the United States Government. This budget, I believe, will restore it.
It is a long road back, balancing by the late 2030’s and ultimately paying off the entire debt by the mid-2050’s. But even relying on the static scoring of the CBO which presents a worst-case scenario – it still means that my children – who are now in college – will be able to retire into a prosperous and debt-free America.
There is a great deal in it for Conservatives not to like. That is not the issue. The issue is, will this Congress and ultimately this government change its fiscal trajectory enough to avert the sovereign debt crisis that fiscal experts across the spectrum warn us is just a few years dead ahead?