Senator Jeff Sessions delivered the Republicans’ radio address this morning. He took the opportunity to excoriate President Obama for lying about his budget plan, and Senate Democrats for ignoring their legal duty to adopt a budget. He addressed his listeners as though Americans, preparing to vote in November, were a jury:
Hello. I’m Jeff Sessions, United States Senator from Alabama. I’m also the Ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee.
Before entering politics, I was a federal prosecutor. I tried many cases and spoke to many juries. The brilliance of our legal system is that it places judgment in the hands of everyday citizens. Twelve complete strangers, from all walks of life, sit in a jury box, carefully weigh the evidence, and then reach an impartial verdict.
Our democracy works much the same. Voters hear the arguments, weigh the evidence, and then go to the ballot box and render a verdict.
As a prosecutor, I learned to trust the wisdom of these everyday citizens. I also learned, more than anything else, jurors want the facts. Today my goal is to present to you the facts as honestly and directly as I can.
Americans feel right now like the world has been turned upside down. They sacrifice to pay their bills and then watch federal workers throw lavish parties on their dime. They hear warnings of a debt crisis and yet learn that we still borrow nearly $4 billion a day. They send their tax dollars to Washington on the hope those dollars will be wisely guarded and then discover that those dollars have been lost and wasted and abused. They balance their family budgets only to find out that the United States Senate, under Democrat control, will not even bring a budget plan to the Senate floor.
The American people see the financial chaos. They know it must stop. They know their families are at risk. And that their country is in danger. Yet the President does not rally the country to action. Instead, he says our debt course is nothing to worry about. He continues to insist that his budget plan will pay down the debt.
This is the pivotal question of our time. This is a question on which our future depends. Does the President’s plan pay down our debt? Or does it leave our nation on a certain path to financial disaster?
Let’s review the facts.
To pay down the debt requires a surplus. Under the President’s 10-year budget, there is never a surplus. The single lowest annual deficit is $543 billion. The annual deficit in the 10th year grows to $652 billion. Despite $1.8 trillion in new taxes, his budget increases our spending and debt every year, adding $11 trillion to the debt overall. Just the interest alone on our debt would exceed defense spending in seven years. These are not my numbers; they come from the tables in the President’s own budget document that he printed and sent to Congress.
For the President to say his plan will pay down the debt is one of the greatest financial misrepresentations ever made to the American people.
Adding to the chaos, the Senate Democrat Majority has decided to adjourn through November having utterly failed to meet its most basic obligations. For the last three years, in a time of national crisis, Senate Democrats have deliberately violated the legal requirement to produce a budget plan. How can they ask the American people to send them one more dime in new taxes when they won’t even meet their legal duty to write a financial plan and tell how that money will be spent?
They also failed to pass a single annual appropriations bill—not once, but twice—the first time a single spending bill wasn’t passed in Senate history. They would not even bring up the crucial national defense authorization bill—for the first time in 50 years. And they presented no plan to prevent the huge tax hikes and steep cuts to defense known as the fiscal cliff.
All these failures create uncertainty and weaken the economy.
People should know that the Republican-led House on the other hand, met its obligations. Most significantly, it passed a budget to rescue America from a debt crisis. Compared to the President’s plan, the House budget achieved $3.3 trillion in greater deficit reduction while fostering economic growth.
If given the chance, Republicans will get this government under control. A Republican Senate will pass a budget. Failure is not an option.
We believe in a better way forward. A way that brings us closer to—not further from—our heritage as a nation.
We believe in growing the economy, not the bureaucracy. We believe in helping more people live good and prosperous lives. We believe in preventing the safety net from becoming a restraint. We believe in lifting people onto the employment rolls instead of leaving them on the welfare rolls. And we believe that compassion should not be defined by much money the government spends on poverty but how many people we can help rise out of poverty.
And we believe in the good, decent, hardworking citizens of this Republic.
These are the facts. The case is in your hands. God bless you, God bless our troops, and God bless America.