WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Representative David Schweikert (AZ-01) delivered a speech on the House Floor to explain how national debt numbers have exploded to the point where Americans should also be concerned about their own retirement savings on top of saddling future generations with crushing debt. Rep. Schweikert noted that federal trust funds will dry up within the next decade if borrowing costs continue to exponentially rise. Additionally, he pointed out that 60% of clean energy projects funded by the Inflation Reduction Act are actually going to foreign companies.
Excerpts from Rep. Schweikert’s floor speech can be found below:
Click here or on the image above to view Rep. Schweikert’s remarks.
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On the Left coming to grips with the fact that U.S. national debt has gotten out of control:
[Beginning at 4:31 mark]
“Something started to happen the last two weeks, and I just brought one of them because the number of times the handful of us here who actually care about debt have almost been mocked. And then something happened — suddenly we have some of the most Leftist publications in America, I mean, here’s The Atlantic, ‘It Turns Out That the Debt Matters After All.’ What is happening? Our brothers and sisters on the Left all of the sudden had an epiphany going, ‘Oh, God. Maybe what some of those people on the Right have been saying that it’s out of control?’ Did I mention [the U.S. government borrows] $63,000 a second? The debate used to be you’d come behind the microphones to say, ‘Don’t you care about your grandkids?’ Then the math got so bad we started to come and say, ‘Well, don’t you care about your kids?’ And it was shocking. It was just shocking, the input we’d get. […] Demographics aren’t Republican or Democrat. But now the math has gotten so bad it’s no longer your grandkids, your kids. It’s now you and I. It’s those of us who will be heading into retirement, it’s us.’
On the exponential rise in federal borrowing costs:
[Beginning at 6:52 mark]
“I came here last week, and we were trying to recalculate what the Supreme Court’s decision in regards to student loans meant and [whether] that was going to be a placeholder to move up and down some of the debt numbers. We basically took what Treasury was saying, and we couldn’t make the math work. So we spent a couple of days saying, ‘Okay, if we take the historic [trends] of the last quarter we’re in of the fiscal year and say, here’s the tax receipts we typically get, here’s the spending we typically get, we will borrow more money this year than all of defense and all of discretionary [spending].’ So I take back what I said last week saying, ‘Hey, we might be getting a bit of a reprieve.’ It doesn’t look like the reprieve is actually in that math. One of the models if you use the mean number, not the outliers, basically says we will borrow more money than every dime of what you think of as government, all of defense and all of discretionary — that’s what we get to vote on — will be on borrowed money. We were not supposed to be hitting numbers like that for a few more years. And it’s a combination of multiple things. Health care costs have exploded. We know because we have documented this one in the first seven months of the year, spending on Medicare went up 16%. Interest is up dramatically. Next year, just interest will be functionally three quarters of $1 trillion. How many people have you had talk about it that interest in just 4-5 years will be bigger than all of defense? And then tax receipts have started because of this great Biden economy, well the tax receipts are starting to collapse because you don’t go and sell assets and pay capital gains when your capital gains are mostly inflation. The wheels are coming off people, and we need to take it seriously.”
On federal trust funds running dry within a decade:
[Beginning at 10:22 mark]
“But if you actually do the right way to look at a spending chart. Go pick a base year, add in inflation, and what does that curve look like? Nondefense discretionary [spending] is up 154% if you use 1990 as your base year, and just say, here’s inflation. Here’s what the line would look like if we held it steady. But it’s up 159%. Defense is only up 35% over the inflation trend line. I get more crap for showing this board because the poor folks who are having to try to build the budgets and the hallways in this place being full of people begging for more cash. But there is no cash. Understand it’s all borrowed right now. The trust funds. So you come in here and say Social Security Trust Fund is gone in the 10-year window. It’s all gone. The Highway Transportation Fund is gone in four years. So the Highway Trust Fund, all that money, is gone. The Medicare Trust Fund is actually gone in about a year before the Social Security Trust Fund, meaning the whole Part A Medicare Trust Fund, the whole hospital portion, which is close to about 40% of all Medicare funding, the trust fund is gone. All these are empty and functionally within this nine-year window.”
On 60% of clean energy projects awarded by the Inflation Reduction Act going to foreign companies:
[Beginning at 15:12 mark]
“And then you have the insane policies that this place did over the previous couple of years when the Left controlled it when you had a Democratic House, Democratic Senate, and a Democratic President. Do you remember the Inflation Reduction Act? Insane name [which] had nothing to do with reducing inflation. It was spending money. It kept inflation going. But about two hours ago, the Wall Street Journal published an analysis of these grants that they’re giving away to big industries. Now they’re in the clean energy industries, but they’re still really big industries. Well, it turns out the vast majority of the cash this government is giving out from last year’s Inflation Reduction Act is going to foreign companies. Yep, our taxpayer dollars that were supposed to help us build a U.S. clean energy industry. 60% of clean energy projects awarded from the Inflation Reduction Act are foreign-owned businesses. Yay policy! So you see, we’re borrowing $63,000 a second. We are crushing our kids and grandkids and many of your own retirements because they’re the ones that have to pay this debt back. And we’re doing projects funded by last year’s legislation that was only supposed to cost about $280 billion. And then Goldman Sachs comes and says, ‘No, the spending on all these grants and these giveaways and supplements functionally could be $1.2 trillion. CBO comes in and doubles their estimate, and now we find 60% of that money is going to foreign companies. This is not what we were promised. The President, the Democrats promised us this was to create a U.S.-based infrastructure for clean energy, except the vast majority of their money — our money — is now going to foreign companies. Great job, guys.”