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May 01, 2024

Schweikert: Using AI to Our Advantage Can Help Us Stabilize the Debt

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative David Schweikert (AZ-01) delivered a speech on the House Floor last night to contrast the Bureau of Economic Analysis’ estimate that real GDP grew at 1.6% in the first quarter of 2024 despite the Atlanta Fed’s final estimate that real GDP growth would be 2.7%. Rep. Schweikert also emphasized that the United States pays higher interest rates on the 10-year Treasury yield than 13 other countries in the industrialized world due in large part to the amount of debt that’s being borrowed as well as persistently high inflation rates. Additionally, Rep. Schweikert discussed the opportunity to use artificial intelligence to promote disruption and stabilize the nation’s debt levels.

Excerpts from Rep. Schweikert’s floor speech can be found below:


Click here or on the image above to view Rep. Schweikert’s remarks.

On Q1 GDP growth coming in well below the Atlanta Fed’s expectations:

[Beginning at 1:16]
“The Atlanta Fed had been estimating [that Q1 GDP growth] of this calendar year [would be] about 2.7%. [The Bureau of Economic Analysis] came in and said no, we’re wrong. It looks like we’re at about 1.6%. That’s a big deal, and it helps explain why we were having such difficulty getting the math to line up. Now, why is this a big deal? The other concept I’ve been trying to sell and trying to sink into our skulls here is the bankers — the people that buy U.S. sovereign debt — when you have to borrow $2-3 trillion a year, when you have to refinance several trillion a year. Don’t make the bond markets upset with you. As of today, the 2-year Treasury Note went over 5.05%. We’re not there yet, but we’re almost to last year’s highs. It’s the highest this calendar year, but we’re back to really expensive debt, and I have some data here that says we’re still not back to the historic average of where U.S. debt should be. So if I came to you right now and said one of the reasons Members of Congress need to act like adults — besides our obligation to govern — do you really want to make your bankers nervous?

On the United States paying higher interest rates on the 10-year Treasury yield than 13 countries in the industrialized world:

[Beginning at 6:22]
“The United States right now pays higher interest rates on a 10-year Treasury bond than Greece. We pay higher than the United Kingdom, Canada, South Korea, Greece, Spain, France, Germany, Japan, and Switzerland. They’re down here at the bottom, but understand you take these industrialized countries — we’re functionally 14th on the price. King dollar — the currency that’s used all over the world for exchanges — most transactions of the world, we represent about 46-48% of all transaction, so we dominate that as a reserve currency. Yet because of how our inflation runs, because of how our governance has been running, because of our demographics, because of what we’re talking about in taxes and plans to grow the economy, and a stunning amount of debt we’re borrowing — we have 13 countries in the industrialized world that have cheaper 10-year Treasury bonds than we do.”

On Rep. Schweikert’s AUDIT Act ensuring AI is used to audit the Pentagon:

[Beginning at 31:42]
“The GAO just announced [that the Defense Department failed to achieve a clean financial audit for the sixth consecutive year.] They can’t audit it. They have no idea what the inventories are or all the things we should know in an audit. Why do we tolerate that? Why isn’t this Body losing its mind over something like that? Just from a national security standpoint, how do you know if maybe they need more, maybe they need less, maybe we have too much of something? We don’t know! But you walk around campus here, and there’s all sorts of people in uniforms, all sorts of people from defense contractors saying, ‘We need more of this.’ How do we know? We can’t audit you. It turns out a couple of the audit companies, CPA companies, compliance companies have come up with audit AI — artificial intelligence — that crawls through the books, crawls through the inventory, crawls through the asset lists. You can use AI to audit the Pentagon, and if that works you can use AI to to look for fraud in Medicare, Medicaid, and other programs. How about durable equipment fraud that you read about so often? You can use AI for that.

“Those are ways to use technology to make this government smaller. I’ve already done whole presentations on the morality of this government using its resources to cure diseases because it turns out it’s really good economics. It’s moral. Family formation — less people dying. Remember, we’re about to have the fifth year in a row where life expectancy in prime-age males is shorter. But this Body will knife each other when we’re just trying to add technology to telehealth because it will force someone out there to change their business model and maybe also find a better, faster, cheaper way to do it because they have to compete against technology. I will argue disruption and adopting the technology is the only path I can mathematically come up with to stabilize the debt. We just need to stabilize it so the debt doesn’t grow faster than the economy. But to do that, you’re going to disrupt bureaucracies, you’re going to disrupt incumbent business models, and that’s the way America is supposed to work.”

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