May 2nd, 2009
12:17 PM ET
5 years ago

Jenkins: ‘Washington’s books are a mess’

(CNN) – Kansas Rep. Lynn Jenkins said Saturday that while she likes President Barack Obama, she’s worried about where the Democrats will take the country.

“This is my first year in Congress, and what I’ve seen since I arrived in Washington has been truly eye-opening,” said Jenkins, the first freshman member of Congress to deliver the weekly GOP address.

“As a mother with two children, I'm concerned – like any mom would be – about the debt we’re piling on future generations,” she said.

Jenkins - who was the state treasurer in Kansas for six years and practiced as a certified public accountant for nearly two decades - slammed the stimulus package, the omnibus spending bill and the recently passed multi-trillion-dollar budget as examples that “Washington’s books are a mess.”

Republicans and some Democrats have criticized Obama’s spending plans as wasteful and excessive, but the president has said the hefty price tag is necessary, given the scope of the economic crisis.

“This week, we marked the president’s 100th day in office. And while, like most of you, I like the president personally, I think the Democrats’ first 100 days running Washington can be summed up in three words: spending, taxing, and borrowing,” she said.

“Middle-class families and small businesses across America are tightening their belts and making sacrifices each and every day during this recession, and Republicans believe that it’s time for Washington to do the same.”

Republicans, she said, “are fighting for middle-class families and small businesses every day here in Washington.”

“And we are ready to work in a bipartisan way on real solutions to create jobs, rebuild your savings, and get our economy moving again. Let’s hope the Democrats in charge are as well.”

Full transcript after the jump

“This is Kansas Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins.

“This is my first year in Congress, and what I’ve seen since I arrived in Washington has been truly eye-opening. The pace that Democrats in Congress and the White House are spending your tax dollars is simply staggering. A trillion dollars for the so-called ‘stimulus’ bill. Nearly a half-trillion on an ‘omnibus’ spending measure with nearly 9,000 un-scrutinized earmarks. And $3.6 trillion on a budget that Democrats just passed this week, which includes trillion-dollar deficits as far as the eye can see. As a mother with two children, I'm concerned – like any mom would be – about the debt we’re piling on future generations.

“I know a thing or two about handling taxpayer dollars. I was the state treasurer in Kansas for six years before I came to Congress, and before that I practiced public accounting as a certified public accountant for nearly two decades so trust me when I say Washington’s books are a mess.

“Remember when the President promised strict oversight of how states and local communities are spending those critical ‘stimulus’ dollars? Well, in the last few weeks, we’ve heard about plenty of ‘stimulus’ waste. Taxpayer dollars earmarked for a homeless program in a town with no homeless problem. Millions to extend an ‘Artwalk’ in New York. And more than a million dollars for sidewalks and trash cans outside a casino in Michigan. This bill was supposed to be about jobs, but it’s gone off the rails in practically no time at all and millions of your tax dollars are being wasted. It’s quickly turning into a symbol of everything wrong with Washington, D.C. – unchecked spending, no accountability and oversight, and more and more debt piled onto our children and grandchildren.

“This week, we marked the President’s 100th day in office. And while, like most of you, I like the President personally, I think the Democrats’ first 100 days running Washington can be summed up in three words: spending, taxing, and borrowing. The plans they’ve passed in the first 100 days will add more to our nation’s public debt than all previous Presidents combined in 200 plus years. They’ve taken away President Obama’s promised middle-class tax cut and paved the way for a new national energy tax to be paid by every American who dares to flip on a light switch.

“Middle-class families and small businesses across America are tightening their belts and making sacrifices each and every day during this recession, and Republicans believe that it’s time for Washington to do the same. We offered a budget that curbs spending, creates jobs by cutting taxes, and controls the debt. We’ve also offered proposals to help rebuild your savings, revitalize the housing market, and create twice as many jobs as the Democrats’ ‘stimulus’ at half the cost.

“More than two million Americans have lost their jobs this year, and by all accounts, our national recession has gotten worse than expected. Americans are worried, and rightfully so. They know that we can’t spend our way back to prosperity. Republicans are fighting for middle-class families and small businesses every day here in Washington. And we are ready to work in a bipartisan way on real solutions to create jobs, rebuild your savings, and get our economy moving again. Let’s hope the Democrats in charge are as well.

“Thank you for listening.”


Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (154 Responses)
  1. CO

    It was Bush who began the billion dollar stimulus last year and who amassed the enormous deficit over the past 8 years. Moreover, Republicans don't mind spending as long as it's for wars and defense. When spending is to help ordinary Americans then it's "socialism."

    May 2, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  2. CJ in CA

    Again, the same ole mantra from the GOP: cut taxes and spending. Exactly the wrong thing to do during a recession. And don't for get it was the GOP who helped to create most of the current deficit in the first place. Time for the GOP to 'GO in Peace' and for a new party to rise up from the ashes...

    May 2, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  3. chris

    The elephant in the room is that professional economists almost universally believe that direct stimulus is the only way the government can do anything to curb the tide of recession. This is why Bush spent massive sums on stimulus, and it is why Obama is spending comparable sums. So once again, Republican lawmakers like Jenkins are appealing to the lowest common denominator, which is a quickly shrinking demographic group.

    May 2, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  4. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Same old warmed over Republican speech with no substance. Republicans weren't worried about where Bush was taking the country, they just voted "yes". Only worry Republicans have is saving their butts by using the same old Bush theory of fear, they just don't get it.

    May 2, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  5. Simon in BC

    Where were all these fiscally responsible Republicans when Ronald Reagan and both Bush's were running up trillions in debt? Only Bill clinton brought it under control.

    The only good time to go into debt is when fighting a financial catastrophe such as the one created by the Bush administration. Doing nothing at this point could cause a depression as bad as the 1930s when nothing was done.

    Don't worry – it will all come back in taxes anyway. Look at it as an investment, just like if a company borrowed money to upgrade its buildings and equipment.

    May 2, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  6. S Callahan

    One has to remember....the government is essentially taking a loan to consolidate all it's bill...and hopefully are responsiblie debtors and will pay it back in a timely manner.
    At the local level one would think they have tighten their belts...except for Special Interests....so the question really should be asked..Where exactly is ALL this money going??

    May 2, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  7. PAUL W.

    “are fighting for middle-class families and small businesses every day here in Washington.”

    Wow, that's news. How, exactly, are they fighting for the middle class? By sending their children to a war for Holliburton? Getting them tortured in some middle east slum because we tortured them? Or how about cutting spending on levee maintenance for each of the four years leading up to Katrina? Yeah, if that is fighting for us, I'd hate to see what happens when you start working against us.

    May 2, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  8. John from California

    Kansas Rep. Lynn Jenkins claims that the Washington Books are a mess and since she's a part of the Republican party that caused this mess she should step forward with a tax increase on the richest Americans to help balance these books.

    It was the Republican tax cut for the wealthiest Americans that dropped Americas income and Republicans deregulation of banking that ruined our economy.

    So why doesn't the CPA congresswoman look real hard at the imbalance that was caused by her party and start cooperating with the Obama administration in fixing this economic mess instead of just rephrasing the party of "No's" same old arguments.

    May 2, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  9. ron

    Rght now , I am so angry with my GOP that I really don't want to hear anything from them . Puuuleeeeez don't tell me that you give a twit about the midle class , given what you did when you had ALL the power. Promise me that you will never try " supply side economics" again and maybe I will listen .

    May 2, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  10. karkri

    Republican are fighting for middle class families? Yeah, right!

    What repuglican party is she talking about?

    May 2, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  11. tonycerv

    I suppose we would be in a much better position if we stopped all this ridiculous wasteful spending on such petty things as education, healthcare for children and the elderly, and renewable energy technology. Put that money where it belongs-in bloated defense contracts!!

    People going homeless while they're looking for a job because of their unemployment benefits being cut you ask? Hey, those people need to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps like my immigrant great-grandfather did. That's called individual responsibility!! (As long as they still can't get into our gated community right Mrs. Jenkins? wink wink)

    May 2, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  12. John W. Olver

    Rep. Jenkins has demonstrated that she can parrot the GOP line. Huzzah, another mouthpiece for mendacity.

    She wishes the Democratic Party would show some bi-partisanship but that old lockstep march has been totally on the Republican side. their, and apparently her, idea of bi-partisanship is that President Obama do whatever the GOP demands. Funny, I recall an election a few months ago in which the Republicans were very soundly defeated. They are the ones who should be willing to bend a bit. But they are the party of Reagan, who is just one step removed from God and therefore never was and never can be wrong.

    What self righteous baloney.

    May 2, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  13. Mark WI.

    Republicans have never fought for middle class Americans! Keep trying party of NO. This is just another desperate attempt to try and gain some respect that was lost. Middle class America has been paying for the "stogie smoking,martini drinking,leather couch sitting,90th floor GOP party type", for far to long, and we are fed up with it!

    May 2, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  14. questioncw

    'Spending, taxing and borrowing' is at least slightly more responsible than just the 'spending and borrowing' we had under the GOP. I want to see balanced budgets without smoke-and-mirrors, and neither party seems capable of accomplishing this.

    May 2, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  15. dg

    thats what we get when antiamericans run this country

    May 2, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  16. Fitz in Texas

    “As a mother with two children, I'm concerned – like any mom would be – about the debt we’re piling on future generations,” she said.
    _________________________________________________________
    As a mother of two children as well, I deeply worry what we are doing to the next generation. The problem is, most Democrats, and some Republicans don't. They only live for the now and for themselves and for that each and every one of you should be ashamed of themselves. The sad thing is, you aren't.

    May 2, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  17. B. Brown

    The biggest way to plan for the success of "future generations" is to solve the mess we are dealing with today. Watching the GOP strategize is like watching a game of musical chairs, up down, up down. After the "I hope he fails" ploy, now it's the "I like President Obama but...as an accountant and concerned mother" we should still place our lots with the GOP (who incidentally got the country in this mess) ploy. Let's see how this one plays out.

    Even if we like some of the gimmicks, we shouldn't let the GOP know just yet because each new plot they cook up provides more comic relief. Incredible!

    May 2, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  18. Obama 2012

    I would like to know what her summation of the Bush administration was??

    May 2, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  19. suzi

    Please tell us,Ms Jenkins , what are your solutions? I've heard nothing at all in the way of solutions coming from repugs yet.
    Except more of the same crap that got us into this mess. You are the party of no ideas.
    Obama's in between a rock & a hard place. these are desperate measures for desperate times. Times , I repeat, caused by the reckless policies of the last 8 years. So, if you have nothing new to offer, shut the hell up.

    May 2, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  20. crusader k

    Ohhh...Lynn...

    "As a mother with two children, I'm concerned – like any mom would be – about the debt we’re piling on future generations..."

    We started the decade with a surplus. We're you concerned for the future generations when the Republican Administrationwas borrowing billions of dollars each month from China to pay for a war that was unjustified and had no clear plan or end in sight?

    "Republicans, she said, “are fighting for middle-class families and small businesses every day here in Washington.”

    I'd laugh if I thought you were telling a joke. For the past eight years the Government has de-regulated companies allowing CEO's to develop 'golden parachutes' while people, like those in Enron – remember them? – that had their whole life tied up in the company, are now Wal-Mart greeters. Were you fighting then?

    "“Middle-class families and small businesses across America are tightening their belts and making sacrifices each and every day during this recession,,,"

    Oh honey...where have you BEEN for the past eight years? The 'belt-tightening' didnt just start in the past 100 days. That belt has been tightened so much over the past 8 years I can't breathe.

    Unreal.

    May 2, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  21. Franky

    O.K...what's the name again? Sonya?? Alright, I put it in the bank, LOL!!! Ching! Hey, I'm gonna see who do bet on the horse...but shhhh, I may take someones on T.V or who knows, pick a horse that name is cool, LOL!!! All the boys all submitted theirs, they cheated, they had the Irish, Polish and some of our Jew friends hook them up. That's what they're good at it, we Mexicans are "huh" or "meh", but not so much...not me, I'm a man, I take it like it.

    By the way, tell Jenkins she shouldn't be worry, look at my family. She only has two kids?? God bless her and her family, LOL!!

    Is O.K GOP...in...2020 or so I'm gonna revive the GOP, I told you guys already, don't worry, I'm gonna make your dreams come true...well, that's according to my analysis but I got a good ratio than the media, LOL!!

    Put that in the bank baby!!!

    Holla back...

    May 2, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  22. Bob-Texas

    It would be nice if the GOP had some plan other than Political SPAM and other negative buzz. They will not change and that is the problem.

    May 2, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  23. Willow, Iowa

    The difference between what the Democratic Senate and President are doing and the traditional "tax and spend" Democratic stereotype is the fact that many many advising economists state we have to spend all of this to halt the recession and keep it from sliding into another depression. We can take care of some of this debt after getting the country going again. Krugman actually said that he worries that Obama will not spend enough. We paid off the depression and World War II in the last 50s. Some choices are hard. And the fact that Obama is spending all of this money on a stiimuls package, schools, bridges, etc. is a whole lot better than the previous administration spending it all on a war that was a lie. Bush was spending just as much, actually wasting the money or giving it to Halliburton.

    May 2, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  24. Patrick Steehler

    Where were you Ms. Jenkins when Bush and Co. were racking up billions on wars we don't need and crushing our constitutional rights. Go back to your family and let this Administration finish cleaning up your party's mess.

    May 2, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    "she’s worried about where the Democrats will take the country...."

    Selective amnesia from the GOP! Where are we RIGHT NOW?

    Yeah, exactly.

    LOL

    May 2, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
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