The Corner

Sessions: Why Obama’s Plan Won’t ‘Pay Down the Debt’

From Senator Jeff Sessions’s remarks on Saturday, when he delivered the weekly GOP address:

To pay down the debt requires a budget surplus. Under the President’s 10-year budget, there is never a surplus. The single lowest annual deficit is $543 billion. The annual deficit in the tenth year grows to $652 billion. Despite $1.8 trillion in new taxes, his budget increases our spending and debt every year, adding $11 trillion to the debt overall. Just the interest payments alone on our debt will exceed defense spending in seven years. These are not my numbers; they come from the tables in the President’s own budget document that he printed and sent to Congress.

For the President to say his plan will pay down the debt is one of the greatest financial misrepresentations ever made to the American people.

Adding to the chaos, the Senate Democrat majority has decided to adjourn through November having utterly failed to meet its most basic obligations. For the last three years, in a time of national crisis, Senate Democrats have deliberately violated the legal requirement to produce a budget plan. How can they ask the American people to send them one more dime in new taxes when they won’t even meet their legal duty to write a financial plan and tell how the money will be spent?

Full speech below the jump. 

#more#

 

Hello. I’m Jeff Sessions, United States Senator from Alabama. I am also the Ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee.

Before entering politics, I was a federal prosecutor. I tried many cases and spoke to many juries. The brilliance of our legal system is that it places judgment in the hands of everyday citizens. Twelve complete strangers, from all walks of life, sit in a jury box, carefully weigh the evidence, and then reach an impartial verdict.

Our democracy works the same. Voters hear the arguments, weigh the evidence, and then go to the ballot box and render a verdict.

As a prosecutor, I learned to trust in the wisdom of these everyday citizens. I also learned that, more than anything else, jurors want the facts.

Today my goal is to present you with the facts as honestly and directly as I can.

Americans feel right now like the world has been turned upside down. They sacrifice to pay their bills and then watch federal workers throw lavish parties on their dime. They hear warnings of a debt crisis and yet learn that we still borrow nearly $4 billion a day. They send their tax dollars to Washington on the hope those dollars will be wisely guarded and then discover that those dollars have been lost and wasted and abused. And they balance their family budgets only to find out that the United States Senate, under Democrat control, will not even bring a budget plan to the Senate floor.

The American people see the financial chaos. They know it must stop. They know their families are at risk and their country is in danger.

Yet the President does not rally the nation to action. Instead, he says our debt course is nothing to worry about. He continues to insist that his budget plan will “pay down our debt.”

This is the pivotal question of our time. This is the question on which our future depends. Does the President’s plan pay down our debt, or does it leave our nation on a certain path to financial disaster?

Let’s review the facts.

To pay down the debt requires a budget surplus. Under the President’s 10-year budget, there is never a surplus. The single lowest annual deficit is $543 billion. The annual deficit in the tenth year grows to $652 billion. Despite $1.8 trillion in new taxes, his budget increases our spending and debt every year, adding $11 trillion to the debt overall. Just the interest payments alone on our debt will exceed defense spending in seven years. These are not my numbers; they come from the tables in the President’s own budget document that he printed and sent to Congress.

For the President to say his plan will pay down the debt is one of the greatest financial misrepresentations ever made to the American people.

Adding to the chaos, the Senate Democrat majority has decided to adjourn through November having utterly failed to meet its most basic obligations. For the last three years, in a time of national crisis, Senate Democrats have deliberately violated the legal requirement to produce a budget plan. How can they ask the American people to send them one more dime in new taxes when they won’t even meet their legal duty to write a financial plan and tell how the money will be spent?

They also failed to pass a single annual spending bill—not once, but twice —the first time a single spending bill wasn’t passed in Senate history. They would not even bring up the crucial national defense authorization bill—for the first time in fifty years. And they presented no plan to prevent the huge tax hikes and steep defense cuts known as the fiscal cliff.

All these failures create uncertainty and weaken the economy.

People should know that the Republican-led House, on the other hand, met its obligations. Most significantly, it passed a budget to rescue America from a debt crisis. Compared to the President’s plan, the House budget achieves $3.3 trillion in greater deficit reduction while fostering economic growth.

If given the chance, Republicans will get this government under control. A Republican Senate will pass a budget. Failure is not an option.

We believe in a better way forward. A way that brings us closer to—not further from—our heritage as a nation.

We believe in growing the economy, not the bureaucracy. We believe in helping more people live good and prosperous lives. We believe in preventing the safety net from becoming a restraint. We believe in lifting people onto the employment rolls instead of leaving them on the welfare rolls. We believe that compassion should not be defined by how much money the government spends on poverty but how many people we help to rise out of poverty.

And we believe in the good, decent, and hardworking citizens of this Republic.

These are the facts. The case is in your hands.

God bless you, God bless our troops, and God bless America.

Katrina Trinko — Katrina Trinko is a political reporter for National Review. Trinko is also a member of USA TODAY’S Board of Contributors, and her work has been published in various media outlets ...

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