February 28th, 2009
10:54 AM ET
2 years ago

Burr says Washington in a ‘state of denial’

Sen. Richard Burr, R-North Carolina, says it's time for those elected to lead.
Sen. Richard Burr, R-North Carolina, says it's time for those elected to lead.

(CNN) - North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr said Washington is in a “state of denial,” in Saturday’s weekly Republican radio address.

“It seems that every morning you pick up the newspaper, you’re reading about another multi-billion dollar government spending plan being proposed or even worse, passed … We become numb to what the dollar figures really mean, or the obligation that accompanies them,” he said.

Pointing to the “spending priorities of the Democrats in Washington” and President Obama’s proposed budget, Burr warned that “for the first time, we could see the American Dream vanish.”

Burr said Republicans and Democrats agree on where they want to go, but they disagree on how to get there.

The North Carolina senator called on Americans to rally together “to find solutions with unity of purpose.”

“It’s time for those elected to lead. Will we rise to the challenge, and make the tough choices necessary? Or will we simply hand the obligation to our children and wish them good luck?” he said.

Full text of address after the jump

Full transcript of Senator Burr’s address:

“This week, President Obama shared with all Americans his priorities and concerns about the serious economic challenges we as America are facing. I appreciated his optimism and agree with him that our country has the ability to overcome this significant economic challenge.

“The strongest tool we as Americans have is our ability to rally together and to find solutions with unity of purpose. There is no limit to our ability and potential when we as a nation and as a people work together.

“Many times, disagreements between the two political parties in Washington get all the headlines. What’s not reported is the fact that Republicans and Democrats agree on where we want to go, but we disagree on how we’re going to get there.

“These uncertain times present us with a defining moment. The actions and decisions we make and the actions we take in our nation’s capital and in the state capitals across this country will have a profound impact on the way of life for years to come.

“Families facing tough decisions at home know this because they are confronting the same challenges. Washington needs to understand this reality as well. It’s difficult to fully appreciate, but every time Congress and the President spends a dollar, it’s actually a dollar PLUS interest that our children and our grandchildren will have to pay back.

“We must remind ourselves of this fact every single day. Unfortunately, Washington is in a state of denial. Our spending habits haven’t gotten better, they’ve only gotten worse.

“It seems that every morning you pick up the newspaper, you’re reading about another multi-billion dollar government spending plan being proposed or even worse, passed. The numbers are so large, and the deficits so staggering, it’s difficult for the average person to imagine how much money we’re talking about. We become numb to what the dollar figures really mean, or the obligation that accompanies them. Let me take a moment to try to explain what is happening in Washington right now, and what it will mean for all of us down the road.

“This week, the president submitted to Congress the single largest increase in federal spending in the history of the United States, while driving the deficit to levels that were once thought impossible. If we just look at what our debt spending will cost us in interest payments alone, we are talking about 4 trillion dollars over the next 10 years, more than a billion dollars of interest payments every day. Think of that 4 trillion as a finance charge on your credit card bill – you have to pay, but you get nothing for it in return. This finance charge obligates more than $52,000 for every family in America over the same 10 year period.

“These payments don’t even make a dent in the balance we owe. In fact, the balance on our credit card continues to grow as we continue to spend. Like a family that find itself choking under the weight of credit card balances and finance charges, the federal government is quickly obligating the American people to a similar fate.

“This is why we must keep our eye on the big picture. For two centuries, the American Dream has depended on the simple belief that men and women work hard so their children would have a better future. Looking at the spending priorities of Democrats in Washington in the proposed budget and over the past month, it’s hard to escape the reality that for the first time we could see the American Dream vanish. Now, instead of working hard so our children can have a better life tomorrow, we are asking our children to work hard so that we don’t have to make tough choices today.

“It’s long past time to show restraint and to make the tough choices that will help put our fiscal house in order. Generations of Americans past have often been called on to make great sacrifices for their country. Many have made the ultimate sacrifice. Is it not time for government to make sacrifices for future generations? It’s time for those elected to lead. Will we rise to the challenge, and make the tough choices necessary? Or will we simply hand the obligation to our children and wish them good luck?”


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (187 Responses)
  1. Melissa

    lol, not at all. Actually, its the Republicans who are in a state of denial and want to keep things exactly the way they have been for the last 8 years. I don't think so. We've had enough of the hatred and negativity from the Republicans. We've had enough of them screwing over everyone around them. They need to shut up now and let the Democrates fix what the Republicans screwed up.

    February 28, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  2. Jeff

    What a load of BS. The Republicans created the current enormous deficit and are largely responsible for allowing the current mess in the financial market through sweeping deregulation.

    The American Dream died in 1819 when the supreme court labeled corporations an artificial person, possessing both individuality (legal rights) and immortality, with one purpose...to make money no matter the cost to society. Markets are no longer "free" and capitalism has been squashed under the iron boot of corporate capitalism.

    Ever ask yourself how bad our situation would be if the financial sector meltdown had happened in the health care sector instead? What if it was hospitals and insurance companies instead of banks were closing their doors?

    February 28, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  3. Slickingdon

    Doesn't the GOP get it yet ? The American dream has vanished for
    millions people from 2000 – 2008. They had the best opportunity to
    circumvent the situation that were are in, but they stuck to that antiquated
    ideology. Now that it's the Dems that have control and have to fix the
    mess, they do everything with the little power they have left to stifle any
    progress to revitalize the struggles that this country faces.

    February 28, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  4. Shannon

    I guess he didn't read the intire paper. Where was he when Bush was spending spending spending live america is vegas. Hummmm. Good question right....

    February 28, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  5. Shannon

    I guess he didn't read the intire paper. Where was he when Bush was spending spending spending live america is vegas. Hummmm. Good question right....

    February 28, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  6. jason, tx

    I'm an ex-Republican. boy, wonder why? look at that idiot!

    February 28, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  7. Mike O

    And the media is helping them maintain it- preferring to talk about Michell Obama's toned arms rather than 60 simultaneous political demonstrations across the country- on supposedly political sites like this one,

    February 28, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  8. Fan of Common Sense

    The politicians in D.C. are not in denial. THEY JUST DON'T CARE.
    All they care about is their power and their wealth. The future of this country means absolutely nothing to them. Zilch!

    February 28, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  9. Chill out

    Another republican clown. Whine and cry like the babies they are. Get use to it clowns this is the way it is.

    February 28, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  10. Mike Dallas

    Just whose kids do you think will be paying for the 5 trillion deficit the repubs left for Obama?

    The margin was 53% to 46% last November and the repubs were the 46% which indicates you LOST and lost big, so you may want to come up with something other than "tax breaks" as a solution to today's problems.

    February 28, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  11. Ed

    The American Dream has been urinated on by the Republicans in Congress and in the White House for the duration of the Bush years, but now the Republicans are worried the American Dream may dissappear? Oh, the irony of it all!

    February 28, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  12. John L in StL Mo.

    Listen to this guy, its obvious he hasnt check his voting record , he went for every one of G Dubbya s packages, now all of a sudden he wants to a conservative, another sheep in wolves clothing.

    February 28, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  13. Obama 2.0

    Burr?
    isn't that something you get caught up in your cheeks?

    February 28, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  14. paul oregon

    the repub.dont get that the real american people made a decision
    on were and how they wanted to go and get there .
    IT WAS CALLED THE PRESIDENTALY ELECTION OF 2008.

    February 28, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  15. SarainDallas

    Sen. Richard Burr said Washington is in a “state of denial”? What a joke!!! Were was he the last eight years??????

    Repulicans need to get the heads out of their butts!

    February 28, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  16. NC Paralegal

    Sen. Burr since you find if too difficult to work with Pres. Obama you know, the Person that NC voted for, then I will personally work with the Democratic Party of NC to make certain you won't have to deal with these kind of things in the future. Sen Dole had a hard time working for NC ..oh that's right NC doesn't have a Sen Dole.

    February 28, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  17. SB

    SO WHAT IS YOUR SOLUTION WHEN EVERY DAY COUNTS?? Fast action is required as the economy is plummeting still...more layoffs every week. My hospital laid off staff this week and every hospital in my market area is going through downsizing. You can't just talk about unity of purpose you must DO something constructive.

    February 28, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  18. Carl Justus

    Another republican bought by the rich to spout garbarge and lies.
    The republicans beleive you cut taxes and the more you cut taxes the more money will come into the treasury, it that is true then let us eliminate all taxes and the treasury will be overflowing with money.

    The problem with is it will be all borrowed money, instead of borrowing 1.9 billion dollars a day light Bush did for eight years, it will be 5 BILLION DOLLARS A DAY THEY TALK ABOUT THE DEBT THAT OBAMA IS MAKING SO THE POOR CAN GET ENOUTH MONEY TO BUY FUEL, FOOD AND CLOTHING.

    February 28, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  19. HJA

    The GOP hasn't got a clue. All they ever say is Its the democrats fault, they are destroying the country. Excuse me? What have you idiots done for the past 20 years besides pay off your cronies and waste every dollar you got. The GOP put us where we are and they can't admit it . Denial, denial. They never change and think the American people are stupid enough to believe them. Problem is some are that stupid.

    February 28, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  20. Mike, Cary, NC

    Brrrr only cares about Big Tobacco & nothing about NC's industry. We've lost so many jobs due to his refusal to do anything for this state. Hopefully, we can say goodbye to this Jesse Helms clone in 2010...

    February 28, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  21. Michele Bachmann "We're running out of rich people!"

    hhhmmmm do they know Reagan is .... gone?

    February 28, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  22. Jack in Florida

    They still don't get it, do they. The last 8 years brought us to this point and we need a change in direction and a change in thinking. Get on the bus or get out of the road........Senator Burr better be careful or he will get run over..........sweep him out of office!

    February 28, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  23. KW, Vail AZ

    Seems strange to me that when Bush and the Republicans were running up the debt they were saying that deficits didn't matter. Now all of a sudden they have been reborn. How many times can you be born again?

    February 28, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  24. jim hall

    Why is it that the republicans are just now begining to be concerned with the spending of the taxpayers funds in this country . Where was their concerns during the afgansthan & Irqa war an the no bid contracts that were awarded to these major contractors an allowed for them to be paid an paid again an again for their shoddy work at the taxpayers expense for billions & billions of dollars of taxpayers dollars.
    the only reason that i personnaly see for their concerns now a days is that this time the spending is being design to help restore this country after the republicans have screwed it up so majorly that this sepnding is defiently necessary in order to help the working poor in this coutry recover some meaningful standard of living to their lives an not for some C.E.O.'S OF SOME MAJOR CONGOLOMERT COMPANY TO BE GIVEN OUT IN BONUSES AN PERKS FOR SOMEONE THAT HAS RUN A COMPANY OR BANKING INSTITUTE INTO THE GOURND DUE TO THE LIKE OF REGULATOR OVERSIGHT UNDER THE BUSH & CHENEY ADMINSTRATION THANK YOU

    February 28, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  25. North Carolinian

    dont worry senator. you wont be apart of washington for very long. Well do you like senator dole.

    February 28, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
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