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Cornyn: It’s About People, Not Numbers

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March 20, 2013 | 2,355 views | Post a comment

As a parent, I want nothing but the best for my children. As an American, I want to see my country prosper and protect her citizens. As a senator, I cannot stand by and watch this administration wage war on America’s youth.

(The following appeared in the Austin American-Statesman.)

By U.S. Sen. John Cornyn
Austin American-Statesman
March 20, 2013

WASHINGTON -- During his 2012 budget negotiations with House Speaker John Boehner, President Obama famously declared that “we don’t have a spending problem.” This past week, responding to a question about our $16 trillion national debt, he told ABC News that “we don’t have an immediate crisis.” When asked in the same interview if he would offer a budget that would eliminate the deficit, his answer was a blunt, unequivocal “no.”

For their part, Senate Democrats have returned from a four-year budgeting hiatus to unveil a plan that would raise taxes by up to $1.5 trillion, increase spending by 62 percent, and add $7.3 trillion to a national debt that already eclipses our economy. Not surprisingly, their budget does not balance.

Since President Obama took office, his tax-and-spend policies have given us $6 trillion dollars in new debt, chronically high unemployment, rising insurance premiums, and a credit-rating downgrade. These are the policies that gave us a failed “stimulus” program and a government takeover of our health care system that continues to discourage job creation. With the federal government’s unfunded liabilities surpassing $100 trillion and annual interest payments on our debt exceeding $200 billion, we simply cannot afford more of the same.

Make no mistake, this debate is not just about numbers in a ledger. It’s about people. It’s about the longevity of a great nation and its ability to care for its citizens. As a B-17 pilot in World War II, my father fought to ensure that his children and grandchildren could grow up in a country of prosperity; a country where hard work is dignified and opportunities abound for all. He and countless other members of that greatest generation left their country better than they found it. As I look to his grandchildren -- my two daughters -- I cannot help but wonder if they and their children will be able to say the same of my generation.

Every dollar this administration taxes and borrows is a dollar ransomed from the prosperity and well-being of future generations. This has created a growing economic burden that threatens the programs that Americans rely on: the Social Security checks that keep the heat on in the winter; the Medicare payments that bring comfort to the elderly, and the Medicaid services that assist our citizens who need their country’s help the most. If we continue down the President’s path, these programs will not exist when the children and young adults of today enter retirement.

As a parent, I want nothing but the best for my children. As an American, I want to see my country prosper and protect her citizens. As a senator, I cannot stand by and watch this administration wage war on America’s youth.

This is why I have sponsored a Constitutional amendment to require the federal government to balance its budget. We must ensure that our country lives within its means, lest we rob future generations of the quality of life that is an American’s birthright. This is a moral obligation, and if we fail to meet it we will have spoiled the gifts of American prosperity that have been nurtured and handed down to us, generation after generation.

The Balanced Budget Amendment, which is backed by every Republican senator, is a sincere approach to putting our fiscal house in order. The alternative couldn’t be clearer: more debt, more fiscal cliffs, and a one-way ticket to a European-style meltdown. Rather than wage more political battles while we jeopardize our children’s future, policymakers must face these issues with the honesty, the moral clarity, and the determination they demand.

Senator Cornyn serves on the Finance and Judiciary Committees. He serves as the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee’s Immigration, Refugees and Border Security subcommittee. He served previously as Texas Attorney General, Texas Supreme Court Justice, and Bexar County District Judge.
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