Rep. DesJarlais: Debt Limit Compromise Represents Missed Opportunity - And Response (3)

Thursday, October 24, 2013 - by Rep. Scott DesJarlais

From the beginning I made it clear I would not support any government spending bill that provided funding for ObamaCare. I stuck to that promise throughout the entire government shutdown because I believed it was the right thing to do for both our country and our community. 

But while I am certainly disheartened the people of Tennessee are now going to be subjected to a law that is a complete and total train wreck, there is something else that is equally concerning.

Politicians in Washington will consume themselves over the next few weeks fretting over who the media perceives as the winners and losers of the government shutdown. The spin doctors will be deployed and the battle will continue to rage on the cable news shows. 

But what will be lost in this back and forth is a very simple fact: we are still without a plan to prevent our nation from falling off the fiscal cliff.

In my opinion, the debt limit compromise that passed the House and Senate represents the biggest missed opportunity I have seen since arriving in Washington. And it shows the American people that the Washington establishment is still more concerned about poll numbers and elections than the American people.

We have accrued more than $17 trillion in debt. It is such a large number I imagine some find it incomprehensible. Often times I get the feeling that the media and my Democratic colleagues dismiss it as merely another GOP talking point. However, despite Washington’s eagerness to ignore our debt, it is very real; it grows every single day; and we have no credible plan to stop it from consuming our economy. 

In 10 years, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that our debt will be around $26 trillion and roughly 77 percent of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In 2038 debt held by the public will hit 100 percent of GDP. CBO made it clear in a recent report that this level of debt will lead to investors questioning our government’s ability to pay its debt obligation and make it more difficult and expensive for our nation to borrow money. Further, CBO states that our debt will have significant negative consequences for both the economy and the federal budget. That is why I felt it was critical for Republicans to stand their ground in defunding ObamaCare. The president’s health care law is projected to add another $2.6 trillion to our debt in just the next ten years.

As Republicans we have a responsibility to fight for limited government, balanced budgets and a return to our constitutional principles. Last week’s debt limit compromise did none of these things. I think it is very telling that the only way that this bill raising the debt limit could pass the House was that all 198 Democrats voted for it. What is the point of having a Republican majority if we are going to let Democrats dictate what will and will not pass? 

I promised my constituents that I would go to Washington and fight for what is right – not simply for what is easy. I do not care if that means I am at odds with my party’s leadership. I do not care if that means I get attacked in the press. This bill was not good for the American people, it was not good for my constituents and I know I did the right thing by voting against it.

I truly hope that this event will serve as a learning opportunity. And in three months, when the debt limit must be raised again, I expect my party to do the job the American people sent us here to Washington to do. If Republicans do not force this administration to stop the spending madness, who will? 

* * * 

Rep. Desjarlais, 

Why is it that many modern Republicans act like they have been asleep since 1980 (Reagan elected), woke up in 2008 (Obama elected), and think its still 1860 (secession)?  I hate to bring this up because its a stubborn little fact that you people in the Tea Party constantly overlook, and that is that our debt to GDP ratio in 1948 was 128 percent.  It's around 100 percent right now, not the 77 percent that you stated.  The debt is at $17 trillion, and our GDP is hovering at $16 trillion. 

In terms that farmers can understand, for every dollar of goods and services produced in the United States in 1948, there was $1.28 owed in national debt on that $1.  Of course, that was coming out of a two front war, but we are just now coming out of a two front war.  Your family may not have been here in WWII, but my family was here, and the people of this country during that time were "The Great Generation."  They knew what sacrifice was, and being a country doctor back then didn't mean having one of the highest incomes in the county.  

Humility sir, is very lacking in today's political arena.  Shutting down the government and putting veterans and our military at risk of not being paid in an attempt to get established law repealed is a fool's errand, and I hope all the military personnel in the 4th TN Congressional District realize this fact. It would be a great start for you to realize it. In fact, all things are possible through God, although I doubt such an epiphany for you is possible.  You and your compadre's have done serious harm to this country.  

Rip Van Republicans.   

Stephen Durham 

* * * 

Mr. Desjarlais,

Why is it that Republicans are only against spending when a Democrat is in the White House? Why was the affordable healthcare a good idea when it was a Republican idea, but now is the worst thing that has ever happened to our country?  

The debt limit is directly related to the budgets that Congress put forth.  If you don't want to raise the debt limit, don't spend the money..... pretty simple, that is the responsibility of  Congress. When you talk about out of control spending in Washington..that is you. 

The deficit has been decreasing every year that this president has been in office and is expected to be at 4 percent of GDP this year, with a continuing drop expected to be at 2 percent of GDP in 2015. Deficit was at 10 percent of GDP when this president took office. 

Your party's recent obstructionistic grandstanding to defund the Affordable Care Act and hold the country hostage, cost our economy $24 billion. How does that get paid for? 

The only missed opportunity here, was for our elected officials to work together in the best interest of the country, not just for a few. 

John Fricke
chattanooga

* * *


Rep. DesJarlais,

It’s my opinion that the recent shutdown of government, which was doomed from the start and destined to be costly to the economy, gives us an opportunity to understand hatred.

Hate is something we all are familiar with but it’s hard to define.  Having disdain, contempt, or feeling animosity falls short of hate.  The way to recognize true hatred is when the one afflicted is willing to harm himself or innocent others in order to hurt the object of his hatred.

An example would be the ugly men who contrived and carried out 911.  They were all willing to cause their own demise to carry out a single strike against our country even though that single strike would ultimately result in no lasting damage to America.  America would recover and continue on.  That is real hatred.

And real hatred is what we see many in today’s Republican Party demonstrating.  Those Republicans, who self righteously insisted on government shutdown, and put the world economy at risk, were of the same mindset as the 911 perpetrators.  They were willing to risk or even destroy their own personal political careers, inconvenience millions of people and cost the U.S. economy an estimated $24 billion just to bring their hatred to the forefront.

I believe you are disenguous in saying you're disheartened.  I believe your hatred gratified by the hurt you caused.

Just as the 911 perpetrators rationalized in their own twisted hateful minds their hatred as righteous, the guilty Republicans would explain the devastation they themselves perpetrated in the same way.   Neither crew cared who or what they hurt in pursuit of gratifying their hatred.  Now that is real hatred.  Proponents of hatred, whose motivation and platform is fueled by hatred and only hatred must be drummed out of politics. 

I long to see the Republican Party rise from its ashes as the party true Republicans deserve.  I want to see them motivated by love of country, fairness, responsibility, transparency in government and other high-minded ideals.  I want people who have good judgement and who can recognize when you're "cutting off your nose to spite your face".  

This hatred-first-at-any-cost bunch; e.g. you, Cruz, Fleishmann, Bohener, and those like-minded, needs to be replaced in short order by true Republicans who do not harbor and run on a ticket of self-righteous indignance and hatred.

David Saluk




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