The Debt Ceilingby Representative Chris Stewart
Posted on 2013-01-15
STEWART. It is an honor to be here tonight.
Ladies and gentlemen, I rise in defense of the American people. I believe that we are at a tipping point in our history. I really believe that we are at one of those inflection points at which we will decide our future, at which we will decide who we are as a people, at which we will decide the America that we leave to our children in a way that hasn't been decided before. This is a generational moment. This time is that important. At its heart, I think the debate comes down to this: Will we reclaim the moral and fiscal discipline that created the American Dream? Will we reclaim the moral and the fiscal discipline that created the world's first and the world's greatest middle class? Will we reclaim the moral and fiscal discipline that made us, as Abraham Lincoln described us, the last best hope on Earth? That is the essence of our challenge. That is the great and defining argument of our day.
In this debate, I'd like to remind all of us of a few critical facts. One of them is that this Nation, a Nation that is bankrupt, cannot provide for the security of its people. A Nation that is bankrupt cannot provide for the needy or for the poor among us. A Nation that is bankrupt cannot provide for the future of their children.
Yes, during these challenging times, it will require a commitment to fairness, and it will require a commitment to compassion. It always has. There has always been compassion in this Nation. That defines much of who we are--allowing the safety net to continue for those who truly need it. But where is the compassion in allowing a program, like my parents depended on in the final years of their lives, to continue down a pathway towards bankruptcy? Where is the compassion in [[Page H155]] creating so much uncertainty that our own children no longer have faith in their futures or in the social and safety net that has been there for previous generations? If you believe in compassion and fairness, then help us fix these problems. Help us to save them. Help us to provide so that we can pass them on to future generations.
Since the last election, this administration has talked about one thing and one thing only, and that is taxes. We have had that fight, and he has won. He got his tax increase, and that will raise between $60 billion and $70 billion, but the last deficit was $1.1 trillion.
Mr. President, what about the other trillion dollars now? What do we do now? We have a 6 percent solution. It's a great start if you like raising taxes, but it doesn't address the problems at all.
My father was an Air Force pilot. He was a pilot during World War II, and I had the great honor of serving for 14 years as an Air Force pilot as well. If there was one thing I learned from my father and those brave men and women with whom I served, it was courage, always to have courage. That is what we need now. That is the only thing that can save us.
Mr. President and Members of this body, let us have the courage to do the right thing even if that thing proves to be hard. Our debt is unsustainable. We talk about saving our Nation for our children. We don't have that long. Let us take the steps to restore financial sanity in this Congress in this day.