The Tennessean today reported that Tennessee 5th District Democrat Jim Cooper testified at a Senate hearing and said “… that the country’s huge debt is a “fiscal cancer.””
The Tennessean goes on to report that Rep. Cooper has authored a bill to address the issue and “… create a bi-partisan commission that would look at entitlement programs that are driving deficit spending and make recommendations that Congress could approve or disapprove but not amend.”
This from a Congressman who voted, less than 72 hours before to expand the country’s debt and usher in a deficit spending entitlement program the likes of which were contemplated only in the dreams of die-hard Democrats.
The full text of Cooper’s remarks are even more astonishing. Again, despite having voted for the health care bill on Saturday in the US House, on Tuesday Cooper told the US Senate, “I believe that the greatest threat to our nation’s economic security is our long-term fiscal imbalance.” He is referring to 2008’s $56 trillion in unfunded liabilities currently facing our Economy which are likely to grow to $60 trillion in 2009. Those are Cooper’s numbers.
Identifying the source of these problems, Cooper says of the cancer he is warning against, “The President and Congress have acknowledged that the bulk of our budget problem is in health care. That’s why both the House and Senate reform proposals make an effort to reduce the deficit now and in the future.” He follows that up by stating, in testimony to the Senate Budget Committee, “I am not satisfied that the House bill passed this weekend meets these goals.”
He concludes, “So, how can we fix it? The best course is more direct spending cuts, but we all know how likely those are. The second-best solution is a top-level commission to force congressional action.”
Only in Washington, DC does this pass for wisdom and responsible governance. Were I to put the Congressman’s words into the language of normal Americans it would go like this:
“Senators, our country is in a huge amount of trouble because we have spent money we do not have for years. This behavior is like a cancer that is killing us and it’s getting worse. I should know. Just 3 days ago I added over $2 trillion dollars to the $55 to $60 trillion dollars of unfunded mandates in the area of health care alone that threaten to cripple our Economy. The President and Congress all understand that it is precisely that sort of health care spending that has put us in this mess and so we’re going to fix it. Yessirree … we’re going to reduce that pesky deficit spending. We all know the best and most effective way to do that would be to reduce deficit spending. So, we’re not going to push for that because it might be hard on our chances to get re-elected. What we should, therefore, do as a fall back position is to have another Congressional panel to make non-binding recommendations to Congress telling them they should cut spending while not actually insisting that they do. That way everyone acknowledges the problem, we are all seen as doing something about it and nothing really has to change. And by the time the country implodes, we’ll all be out of office. Any questions? Thank you for the opportunity to testify today.”
Please – don’t believe me when I tell you it is really that bad. Go read the Congressman’s words for yourself.