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

Burr says Washington in a ‘state of denial’

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/28/burr.jpg caption="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. ServiceMember

    The great thing about what Obama is doing, eventually he will run out of other people's money!

    February 28, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  2. Kevin

    I have one comment for Sen. Burr. In the words of a Micheal Jackson song, "I'm starting with the man in mirror"!

    February 28, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  3. anthony


    The new Obama budget will put more money into education, which will help people like you who write run-on sentences and spend all days railing about liberals and taxes, apparently because you have no other thoughts in your heads.

    February 28, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  4. Dan, TX

    Down with the GOP. They must be snuffed out.

    February 28, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  5. The Independent

    When your politics are ideology based, you cannot be depended upon to offer a practical solution to problems. As Bill Clinton says, these folks are on automatic : Tax cuts, let corporations rather than government set the rules of business, and let the "free" market regulate itself. Never mind that this route gave us Enron, and the financial and economic mess we're in. I rather depend on incompetent government, than greed and profit driven folks who act according to the dictates of their own self interest.

    February 28, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  6. Lauren

    I am about sick and tired of this Republican verses Democrat fight.

    My god people, we want party unity, but when you have people on Main street who can not look past the Rs and Ds instead of looking at USA,,,, it will ruin the country.

    When will it end, the finger pointing, the immature comments about Bush AND Obama.

    February 28, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  7. robert l gray

    he party of hate crying the blues how sad after trying to destroythis country by george bush

    February 28, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  8. Tom in Delaware

    D on't
    E ven
    N otice
    I 'm
    A lways
    L ying

    Yep, I'd say he's got that right.

    And for you butt-wipes that say Republicans don't offer any solutions, well that's tough to do when they'll left out of the legislative process by that witch Pelosi and the buffon Harry Reid.

    Let's hope this Disney Fantasy of a Budget is voted down so we don't descend into the Abyss.

    February 28, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  9. robert l gray

    the party of hate and no hope they are gone for everyto bad conservatives hatemongers

    February 28, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  10. Nikita D. Williams

    Senator Richard Burr, thank for beng an American first! Now that we are adults can we start thinking & doing what adults would do?

    This country, the land I love, the home of the free and the brave, really needs to stand together.

    We can disagree, but being disrespectful is not profitable for any of us.

    Can we try to be civil, get along without slander our brother (male or female), openly or in private?

    Perhaps we can leave a better America ~...for ourselves & generations to come.

    February 28, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  11. magella

    Notice the pattern here?

    Burr: "for the first time we could see the American Dream vanish"

    Jindal: "Americans can do anything"

    They have nothing concrete to offer, so they are appealing to sound-bite ideals with the hopes that we are too dumb to notice that the American Dream has already vanished and that we can't, it turns out, "do anything" (or anything good).

    And even their party-line apology is a sound bite:

    Steele: "My bad"


    (CNN please please do not put me in moderation and for once post my comment!)

    February 28, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  12. survivor

    Complain all you want! The honeymoon is over – greed and excess has gotten us to thus point with our eyes wide open. The world is different and we must adapt – the GOP continues to push the same old political formula and can't mov e forward fearing change!

    March 1, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
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