Rep. Campbell: "Spend Now, Pay Later" Budgets Must End
March 14, 2013
March 14, 2013 -- Speaking at a Budget Committee markup of the FY2014 House Budget, Rep. John Campbell (R-CA) responds to a Democratic amendment to replace 1 year of the Sequester's cuts with 10 years of tax increases and promises of future reductions. Campbell explains this is effectively spending $85 billion of the taxpayer dollars in 2014 with no plan to pay for the debt this new spending will accrue. Rejecting the Democratic amendment, Campbell states that the "spend now, pay later" irresponsible way of budgeting is not a solution and must stop in this Congress.
Full Transcript of Rep. Campbell's Remarks:
"I thank Mr. Woodall for yielding. Mr. McDermott talked about regular order. We would all like to see regular order, but it's not because we didn't try to have it. As has been mentioned twice, we passed a bill in the last Congress that replaced the Sequester entirely with other cuts. I think most if not all of you, probably, voted against that bill. By doing that, what you were saying is you preferred the Sequester cuts to the spending reductions we had in this alternative. That's okay. That's a legitimate, obviously, policy position to take. But, it's one that you took openly, signaling that you preferred the Sequester cuts to some other alternative."
"Now, that bill went over to the Senate. If there were regular order, the Senate would have modified it, amended it, and sent a different bill back that then would have generated the conference committee that Mr. McDermott suggested. But, you can't do that if they don't pass something. And, the democratically-controlled Senate chose not to send anything back. No alternative. Which means they decided that the Sequester cuts were better than anything else they could think of or anything else, perhaps, that they could pass out of the Senate. So, they affirmatively made that decision. Again, that's a policy choice. That's their choice. But, that's what they decided. That is why we didn't have regular order. That is why we have the Sequester before us now. It is because you all and the Democratic Senate made a decision that the Sequester was better than the alternatives that you thought were before you."
"So, we have it. You have another idea here. And, to this idea...I remember the old saying -- I'm not this old, it's from the '30s -- that I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today. Which is what I see going on here. You want to replace one year of Sequester with ten years of tax increases and other promised reductions? One year of Sequester for ten years. Ladies and gentlemen, that's how we got in this problem. "Oh, goody, let's spend $85 billion right now. Let's spend it all on this good stuff and make everybody all happy and we'll pay for it over the next 10 years. And, who knows? Maybe we won't be in Congress then. It will be somebody else's problem. We'll worry about it later." That is what has gotten us into this mess. We keep doing things where we'll spend now and pay for it later...over 10 years, 20 years, sometime in the future, maybe never. That's what we have to stop doing. "
"This isn't a solution for the Sequester. This is a deepening of the problem. This is the continuation of the kind of things we have done before and it doesn't deal with the other, I think, 7 remaining years of the Sequester except to say that we'll replace it with something else later. To quote the Ranking Member earlier, just about 30 minutes ago: "Someone else's problem, some other day." Which is what we'll do with the next 7 years of the Sequester. I appreciate the effort, but we don't make a problem better by making it worse. We had a long time before the Sequester and, at least on this side, we tried various ways to replace it with other things and got no constructive response. We are where we are and this is not going to be the solution. I yield back to the gentleman from Georgia."