ALEXANDER Says we must meet two “urgent” goals: reducing our debt, and meeting our financial obligat Alexander: “We Can’t Go From Being the Most Creditworthy Nation in the World to Being a Nation that Pays Its Bills Out of a Cigar Box”
less than we did last year. Now, that is a reasonable proposal. The state of Tennessee, where I was once governor – the current governor is presiding over a state that is spending $1 1/2 billion less than it spent last year. Now, they don't like to do that. There are some unfortunate consequences from it. But they still balanced their budget, they are still getting along, and they are hoping for the day when the economy recovers and they will have more revenues coming in without raising taxes.
So step one is to cut what we are spending today in next year's budget. Then we cap, according to the economic output of the country over the next 10 years, the amount we spend over those 10 years. Then the third step is to balance the budget – the most obvious solution of all – over time, to say we are not going to spend more money than we have coming in. This is our proposal to begin to control spending in a government that borrows 40 cents out of every dollar it spends, a government the economists tell us is costing our nation 1 million jobs because of the high level of debt. This is an urgent problem. It urgently needs a solution.
In conclusion, almost all of us here in the Senate are good at making speeches. That is one way we get here. But we have not become as good at the rest of our job, which is to get a result. The American people expect us to do that. They have to do that in their everyday lives. So they respect our principles, they respect our speeches, but they know our principles sometimes conflict, and in the end, we have to have a result. We have to have a result here. We have to find a way, first, to significantly reduce the debt and, second, to do it in a way that honors the financial obligations of the United States.
I have suggested five ways we can do that, including cut, cap, and balance. In order to do that, it means each of us is probably going to have to accept as a part of the solution an idea that is not our first choice. But why should we be exempt from that requirement? That is what we have to do in a marriage. That is what we have to do in a family. That is what we have to do in a business. That is what we had to do in creating the Constitution years ago. This Senate wouldn't exist if it weren't because of a grand compromise. Otherwise, how could we justify two Senators from Wyoming and the same number of Senators from California, which is so much larger?
To get a result, after we make our speeches, we need to be willing to accept some ideas that are not our first choice. That is why I am a cosponsor of several different kinds