Connect

Congressman Tom McClintock

Representing the 4th District of California

Running Out Of Ruin - Opposition to HR 1868

March 19, 2021
Speeches

(Washington, D.C.) - Congressman McClintock today voted NO on HR 1868.  The Congressman delivered the following remarks on the House floor during debate on the measure:

Running Out Of Ruin
Opposition to HR 1868
March 19, 2021

Mr. Speaker:

          This bill is just the first taste of the bitter brew concocted by the those who pushed through $1.9 trillion of pure deficit spending last week.    

          This measure involves our PAYGO rules.  You remember PAYGO.  The current version dates to 2010, when everyone was worried about a $1.3 trillion deficit and a $13 trillion national debt.  Isn’t that adorable?

          PAYGO requires across-the-board spending cuts to offset any bill that spends money we don’t have.  And we just spent a lot of money we don’t have.  As PAYGO works, the first installment payment for the Biden binge is $345 billion of spending cuts -- every year for the next five years.  That includes $52 billion in PAYGO and BCA cuts to Medicare, which is expected to go broke in 2024 as it is.  

          That’s just to pay for the party the Democrats had the other day.

          So how will they pay for it?   No problem.  Just Fig-get-a-bud-it. 

          Just wipe it off the books and start planning the next trillion-dollar spending spree.  That’s how both parties have addressed PAYGO since we passed it.  The net result is that the deficit has nearly tripled and the debt has more than doubled in less than a decade.

          At least the Republican tax cuts in 2017 helped produce such a strong economic recovery that our revenues went up – not down.  That should have reduced the deficit, but OUR failure to control spending instead drove the deficit still higher.   In short, “It’s the Spending, Stupid.”

          No nation has ever spent, taxed and borrowed its way to prosperity – but many have spent, taxed and borrowed themselves to bankruptcy and ruin.  History warns us that nations that bankrupt themselves aren’t around very long – because before you can provide for the common defense and promote the general welfare you first have to pay for them. 

  • Excessive debt saps the credit of a nation that is its lifeline in times of genuine peril. 
  • It consumes our future prosperity as interest costs swell. 
  • It saps the economic vitality of a nation by crowding out capital that would otherwise be available to consumers and homebuyers and businesses.
  • It robs the currency of its value, pilfering people’s savings and pensions.

  And it alienates capital markets until interest rates rise and interest costs balloon into a debt spiral.  Once this starts, there’s no way to stop it until the whole house of cards crashes down. 

          You want to know what that looks like?  It looks a lot like Venezuela.

          In the spring of 1945, there was serious concern whether we could continue the war into 1946 – bond sales were failing miserably, war taxes, spending, borrowing and inflation had hollowed out our economy and the nation’s credit was nearing exhaustion.  Now consider this: we are carrying a larger percentage of debt today than we were at the end of World War II, and I fear how we could respond to a similar sustained national threat today.

          When a colleague told the great economist Adam Smith that a British defeat would be the “Ruin of the nation,” Smith calmly observed, “Be assured, my young friend, that there is a great deal of ruin in a nation.”

          But as I look at the unprecedented and unsustainable debt these policies are producing, I can’t avoid a sense of foreboding that our nation is fast running out of ruin, and that a terrible day of reckoning is coming.