Mr. Speaker, this time of year, we all hear about New Year's resolutions. Some of us make them, some of us make them and break them, and some of us don't even make them. But maybe Uncle Sam needs to make a few New Year's resolutions as we go into 2009. I have six suggestions for Uncle Sam.
The first thing Uncle Sam needs to do is get on a diet and trim down the excess spending and government waste. The government, us, we spend money on everything. There's a philosophy here in Washington, D.C. that the government is the solution to every problem from the time a person's born to the time they die and the government should control all the money and decide how that money should be spent. There's another philosophy that I believe in that government may be the problem and that problems are best solved by individuals. But in any event, we cannot continue to spend and waste the taxpayer money on so many different programs. Uncle Sam needs to go on a diet.
The second thing we need to do is practice what we preach and not be so hypocritical. Recently we had the Big Three auto boys down here in Washington D.C., and we raked them over the coals because they make so much money. We criticized the UAW because they make about $74 an hour. But yet we get our automatic pay increase and we can't even get a vote on the House floor to rescind that pay increase. Somewhat hypocritical, Mr. Speaker. Uncle Sam needs to practice what it preaches.
The third thing that we need that do is quit spending somebody else's money. You see, the money that we spend, Congress, it's not our money. It belongs to the good folks who sent us up here. We've all seen the big motor homes going down the freeways that have a bumper sticker on the back that says ``We are spending our children's inheritance.'' We kind of think that's funny, but that's what we're doing. And for the inauguration, Mr. Speaker, I suggest that we get a big sign and put it out here on the Capitol grounds that says ``Uncle Sam is spending your children and grandchildren's inheritance'' because that's what we're doing. We're spending money that we do not have. And it's the philosophy that government knows better how to spend the taxpayers' money than the taxpayer. And I think that's wrong. We ought to quit spending somebody else's money because we certainly don't have the money and our kids, our grandkids, and our great grandkids now are going to have to pay for the things that we do. Uncle Sam needs to quit spending somebody else's money.
We need to quit rewarding the fat cats and those who live on government handouts. And that covers a lot of folks that they are up here trying to get money from the Federal Government. All the different special interest groups, all the Wall Street fat cats, all those people who live off the government and want something from the government but don't give much to society. The people punished, those are most Americans, the middle class. The middle class always has to pay, and they continue to pay. And it's unfortunate because they pay all the bills while those special interest groups are up here, and they'll be up here next week and the week after with their hand out wanting somebody else's money, wanting Uncle Sam to redistribute the wealth that belongs to the middle class to someone else. And that's just basically wrong.
We talk about stimulating the economy. We need stimulate the economy, but we cannot stimulate the economy by spending more money. That doesn't make sense. We need to spend less money. And one thing we can do, Congress has the power to do, is let those middle class people who pay taxes, who foot the bill for all of this that we do, give everybody that pays taxes a tax break and let them decide how to stimulate the economy instead of us and Uncle Sam trying to make that decision.
We need to reduce our debt. We hear about debt. It's a trillion dollars, give or take a few billion. How much is a trillion dollars? It's a one with twelve zeros behind it. That's how much a trillion is. I can't even write that down. It's a massive amount of money. But, you know, Uncle Sam, we live in a credit card government. We just borrow the money. That's the society that we live in, and the government does the same thing. We just borrow the money, probably from the Chinese, pay interest to the Chinese, let them own our country rather than the American taxpayer. We need to certainly reduce our debt. We cannot continue to spend, borrow, tax our way into prosperity. It just won't work.
And lastly, number six, we need to do what most Americans do when they budget. We have to have a budget. Most Americans figure out, well, I'm goingto get this amount of money, cutting out the taxes, and then I can spend it on this. We do just the opposite. We decide how to spend money, oh, and then we'll just get the money. We'll tax it or go into debt. Uncle Sam needs to budget like other Americans.
These are some considerations and some New Year's resolutions for Uncle Sam. I hope we impose a few of those. I think it's time we stop the credit card government.
And that's just the way it is.
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