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Congressman Mo Brooks to Vote Against Financially Irresponsible $2 Trillion Debt Increase

July 24, 2019
Press Release

Washington, DC— Wednesday, Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05) delivered a House Floor speech announcing he will vote against a spending bill that helps increase America’s debt by another $2 trillion in just two years, to more than $24 trillion. This additional $2 trillion debt increases America’s annual debt service cost by yet another $40 billion/year (assuming an historically low 10 year treasury bill yield of 2%).

To put a $40 billion/year debt service cost increase into perspective, $40 billion/year is roughly the equivalent of two NASA programs. 

Congressman Brooks stated, “Numerous Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretaries of Defense have warned that America’s debt is our greatest national security threat, because debt and an ensuing national bankruptcy and insolvency have the ability to damage America’s military and national security more than any enemy ever has. I agree with and heed their warnings.”

Brooks concluded, “I cannot in good conscience sacrifice America’s future on the altar of debt addiction that Washington so glorifies. Nor will I, with my vote, increase America’s annual debt service cost by yet another $40 billion/year, indefinitely. For emphasis, and absent principal debt reduction, annual debt service cost is money that is never again available to serve America’s needs. Washington’s unwillingness to face our deficit and debt addiction is increasingly likely to doom a great country it took four centuries of sacrifices to build. Neither I nor the Tennessee Valley citizens I represent want any part of a debilitating national insolvency and bankruptcy that this spending bill helps make a reality.”

Click on the image above or HERE for

video of Congressman Brooks’ speech

 

Full text of Congressman Brooks’ speech follows:

Mr. Speaker, President Herbert Hoover once stated: “Blessed are the young, for they will inherit the national debt.”

Four young interns in my office, Nathan Olsen, Jill Oxley, Austin Snell, and Tyler Wiley recently shared their concerns about the debt burden they will inherit from debt-addicted Washington politicians.

These remarks reflect their concerns.

Ironically, their concerns coincide with a massive $2 trillion deficit bill Congress will soon vote on that bequeaths at least $24 trillion in debt to America’s future generations. 

Bequeathing this dangerous debt is the greatest disservice ever done by one American generation to another.

My interns itemized three ways in which excessive debt endangers America. 

First, excessive government debt and borrowing compete with and “crowd out” private borrower investment opportunities by decreasing available credit, thereby costing Americans jobs and better incomes.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, “when the government borrows, it borrows from people and businesses,” which limits American business and citizen opportunity, which, in turn, “drives them to be less productive, (cuts) their compensation, and … (makes them) less inclined to work.”[1]

In sum, excessive government debt stunts future growth and hurts the American economy and people.

Second, excessive debt hurts Congress’s ability to respond to challenges and emergencies. 

The Peter G. Peterson Foundation warns that “High levels of debt … reduce our government’s flexibility [concerning] future emergencies, unanticipated challenges, wars, or recessions.”[2]

The Peterson Foundation adds that “one reason … the United States was able to recover from the Great Recession [more quickly] than other countries was because our debt was fairly low — at 35% of (Gross Domestic Product).”[3]

As recent history proves, America can better respond to a financial crisis if we are not drowning in excessive debt.

Unfortunately, by year’s end, America’s debt will explode to roughly 78% of GDP, more than double that of a mere decade ago.[4]

That trend is dangerous!

Third, as America’s debt becomes more unmanageable, our creditors become increasingly concerned about government default and a national bankruptcy and insolvency.

The Congressional Budget Office warns that, “With the debt-to-GDP ratio projected to [grow to] unprecedented levels, it is increasingly likely that investors will become concerned about the risk of default.”[5]

America has entered dangerous, uncharted financial waters. The greater the debt, the greater the risk.

How do we safely navigate these dangerous waters?

Washington must learn from history and heed the advice of President John F. Kennedy, who said: “We do not choose to cut spending because it is easy, but because it is hard.”

Unfortunately, today’s Washington politicians reject President Kennedy’s wisdom because they are as hopelessly addicted to debt as a junkie is to heroin.

As a result, America faces a mountainous $22 trillion debt and a bipartisan debt agreement that adds yet another $2 trillion in debt in just two years!

If America is to soar to new heights rather than crash and burn on a mountain of debt, Washington politicians must act like adults.

Our choice is clear. 

Washington can rack up obscene deficits, accumulated debt, and pay hundreds of billions of dollars each year in debt service cost, with the ultimate catastrophe being a debilitating national insolvency and bankruptcy.

Or, Washington can protect America’s future, stop unnecessary spending, and bequeath future generations economic freedom and prosperity.

Mr. Speaker, I choose the path of economic freedom and prosperity for future American generations. 

That is why I vote against so many unnecessary and excessive spending bills that we don’t have the money to pay for. 

And, that is why I will vote against the proposed spending deal that creates a short-term debt junkie high while badly risking America’s future and health.

Mr. Speaker, I yield back.

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[1] Congressional Budget Office, “The 2019 Long-term Budget Outlook”, Congressional Budget Office, (June 2019): 9-11. https://www.cbo.gov/publication/55331

[2] “Key Drivers of the Debt”, Peter G Peterson Foundation,  Accessed July 18, 2019,https://www.pgpf.org/the-fiscal-and-economic-challenge/drivers   

[3] “Key Drivers of the Debt”, Peter G Peterson Foundation,  Accessed July 18, 2019,https://www.pgpf.org/the-fiscal-and-economic-challenge/drivers 

[4] Congressional Budget Office, “The 2019 Long-term Budget Outlook”,Congressional Budget Office, (June 2019): 6. https://www.cbo.gov/publication/55331

[5] Edward Gamber and John Seliski ,“The Effect of Government Debt on Interest Rates”, Congressional Budget Office, (March 2019): 13. https://www.cbo.gov/system/files/2019-03/55018-Debt%20Rates%20WP.pdf