February 28th, 2009
10:54 AM ET
9 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. George the Democrat Obama fanatic.

    All I hear from Republicans is "lets stop all this spending NOW. " "Now that a Democrat is the president" where was all this at when Bush was in office?

    February 28, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  2. markens

    stop whining, rebugblicans. you guys have no credibility to the amercan people.

    February 28, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  3. t b

    The American dream vanished years ago thanks to people like Senator Burr and his party's leader for the last decade–George W. Bush. Ask people in the Lower 9th Ward about living the American Dream. Ask people in Minneapolis who lost loved ones in the bridge collapse because funding was cut from transportation about the American Dream. We may not have a conservative in the White House, but at least we have a role model. Bush never worked for his success a day in his life. He never came from poverty to success. Bush represented and worked for the exact opposite of the American Dream. The notion that there is any American Dream left to vanish is absurd. We are working to create a new American Dream, which involves not just succeeding for yourself at the expense of others, but bringing your neighbors with you.

    February 28, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  4. H. Charles

    Republican Response Take Two!!

    February 28, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  5. greg

    The Republicans invented the 'bailout' and supported two of them before Obama became President. This, after their president spent us into disaster with his stupid war. And of course, these same Republicans do not provide alternatives AND gladly tack on their own earmarks to the bailouts. Why don't they just shut up and try to find someone in their party that is connected to REAL Americans?

    February 28, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  6. Scott, Tucson

    I believe we need to rally and take back the government from the morons that are suppose to represent all of us. Once those stooges are in office, they quickly forget who put them there in the first place. It's always us the American people that have to sacrifice and never the politicians. Maybe it's time for another American Revolution?

    February 28, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  7. Jason

    Umm Mr. Burr I never once heard you complain about the excessive spending George Bush did on Iraq. Now Obama wants to invest back into our country and your complaining? Mr. Burr YOU ARE A SMUCK.

    February 28, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  8. Marie Canada

    It's time for the GOP to grow up and realize people can't eat the American dream but are stuck in a harsh reality they created over the past 8 years.

    These characters are the enemy of the country with their lame ideiology and callous attitude toward 95% of the population.

    February 28, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  9. Les

    As a lifelong democrat, I feel totally appalled by the action of democrats in both houses. These people doesn't think about the future. I find all democrats and that includes ObamaChimp in the Whitehouse self serving, diehard socialists.

    Anyone who does not serve the will of the people is a CHIMP, when party supersedes welfare of the country, these people become menace to society and should be voted out of office. How can Democrats in both houses voted for $787 billion + INTEREST spending bill when we don't have it? You cannot spend what you do not have, you cannot get out of debt by putting yourself into more debts. That;'s what ObamaChimp stated before he was sworn in last January, "we're going to spend our way out of this." The real deficit of USA is $56 TRILLIONS.

    The one who'll pay DEARLY for this unending bailouts are the future generation. Children and young adults in grade school all the way to college would be lucky if they can get a job at Mcdonalds flipping hamburger. There are people who totally stop paying their mortgages because OBAMACHIMP promised to bail them out. I was talking to a gal over a month ago who voted for Obamachimp, she stopped paying her car payment, according to her ObamaChimp will pay for it.

    Next year, another election season, those who voted for the SPENDING BILL, will receive what is due to them. This lifelong Democrat, did NOT vote a single democratic candidate last year, and will never vote for a democrat candidate as long as I am alive,


    February 28, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  10. katiec

    I chuckle everytime I hear a republican talk about unity. As a party
    who brought us to our knees, puts party over the survival of our
    country and has no creditibility on spending, non-spending of
    taxpayer money, they now have the "ability" to solve our economy,
    etc problems?
    As a party who has been in complete control the last eight years,
    anything submitted by Democrats these last two were immediately
    voted down or vetoed, they have the nerve to complain about
    They insult the intelligence of the American people.

    February 28, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  11. Jon

    Yes, by all means! Back to policies of Bush, that will fix everything. Perhaps we could claim WMD's in Mexico and invade them.

    I never ceases to amaze me how stupid some Americans are. Hello, Bush in power last 8 years. Hello, Republicans control congress for most of the last fifteen years.

    Senator Burr, you gotta a lotta nerve, sir.

    February 28, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  12. kb

    And this comes from one of the Republicans that put us in the fix we are in.......take off the blinders and wake-up!

    February 28, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  13. Ilona

    This statements are not helping the the American problems.

    February 28, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  14. big papa

    Another disgruntled, impotent conservative Confederate...

    ...may they suffer mightily for their treason and obstructionism...

    ...they want America to fail...

    ...America should ensure that THEY (confederate conservatives) fail...

    ...and NEVER recover!

    February 28, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  15. Robert, Houston, TX

    Republicans need to stop their whining. These whin-o "RINO"s (Republican In Name Only) don't have any problem with spending; they're just mad that they are no longer in power to be the ones spending.

    They should all just jump off the bridge to nowhere. Don't worry. They won't hurt themselves-it never got built. Palin (a Republican) used the money to build a road to nowher instead.

    February 28, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  16. funny

    Funny isn't it.. for years the republican party has made jokes about the blacks, the gays, the Jews, ... Anyone and everyone that didn't agree..

    How's it feel now to be the butt of all jokes around the world?
    How's it feel to have no one listen to your cry's?
    How's it feel to have no voice left in the world?
    How's it feel to have no one listen to a world you have to say?
    How's it feel for the world to tell you, we are not going to listen to you spew hate or not going to tolerate your support of hate or hate groups?
    How's it feel for the rest of the world to tell you NO..

    And in 2012 we will tell you NO again

    February 28, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  17. Nathan

    This should be filed under "blah blah blah."

    I read the entire thing through from beginning to end, and it's nothing but rhetoric. It says absolutely nothing, and proposes not one sing thing. A bunch of whining.

    How this got to be featured in "political ticker" is a mystery to me.

    February 28, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  18. Hayduke

    Republicans understand the American dream to be this: if a previous generation works hard enough future generations will not have to work, they can live off the blood and sweat of past generations. If the Democrats want to tax the wealthy this eats away at the wealth, the fat of past generations' work, and destroys the Republican American Dream of wealth without work for future generations.
    Republicans say the words working together, but they function on how individuals will fix the problems. Case in point; give Americans a tax break and the individuals that get them will work the country out of the problem. Republicans believe that business will look into the future and see the path which is best for America. Just look at what has happened when Corporations have been allowed to set policy on Health-care to Auto design in the face of peak oil.
    Republicans want to destroy our ideas as based on our Constitution. Read the preamble to our Constitution because it states why it was written.

    February 28, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  19. Gary

    Senator Burr, we have rallied, behind President Obama. You need to get on board or get out of the way. The American dream has been slipping away, because of your party's stupidity.
    You and your Southern colleges need to quit spewing your hatred. DeMint even called his followers to hit the streets. Sounds like inciting a riot to me.
    Your state even went Dem this election, your days are numbered.
    With the 3 stooges we have down here in S.C. it won't be long for us too.
    Larry, Curley and Moe, AKA Sanford, Graham and DeMint are the proud leaders of one of the saddest States in the country. Hold your heads up proud guys.

    February 28, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  20. Wes

    Amazing how these delusional men forget we are trying ot recover from the reign of the Bush and he may have sunk our country beyond the point of no return.

    Barack Obama is doing what the best economic minds, republican and democratic, recommend that we do to recover from this mess.

    And their well thouh out suggestion is we turn it over to the Ding Bat Sarah Palin in four years?

    Give me a friggin' break.

    February 28, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  21. GlenR

    This is just another example of the GOP's delusional view of the country. The American dream has disappeared for millions already as a result of GOP policies yet they insist on acting as if everything was fine until the day Obama took the oath.

    February 28, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  22. Anonymous

    Once again, Republican nay-saying without any alternatives. What are Burr's tough choices? All the policital rhetoric in the world can be said....but the only concrete plan I see is Obama's.

    From what we hear, the affluent lobbyists are the once pushing this nonsense, 'plan to nowhere' that the Republicans are trumpeting these days......

    If republicans want anyone to listen to them, they have to have a concrete plan.....not this gibberish.

    February 28, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  23. Jim in Bisbee

    Of course it is humorous for Republicans, who lived years of denial during the Bush administration, to be pointing out what they consider to be current denial.

    Point one finger at someone else, and you should notice you have your three other fingers pointing back at you.

    I hope the Republicans someday snap out of their self-absorbed demagoguery and return to becoming a healthy political party.

    February 28, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  24. Moe, NY

    American's are rallying together, and have been since we elected President Obama. The November 2008 presidential election was the starting point. The mess this country is in right now is due to Republican/Conservative leadership (or lack of). I find it refreshing that money is now being used to help America and her people. I became sick and tired of our tax money being sent out of this country, while our country and her people struggled. I am, also, sick and tired of the Republican's playing the "our children" card. This is the same old fear mongering Republican rehtoric the Republicans have been using for years, now they are just using "children" to make the American people fearful. I am backing our President, and am hopeful that his people/infrastructure/health policies will begin to restore our great country to its former prosperity....a prosperity for all, not just a few! President Obama ran for election on a "Change" platform which the American people embraced. I would suggest that the Republicans and Conservatives stop being obstructionists and lend a helping hand. Also, I wish the Republicans/Conservatives would can the "Socialism" scare tactic as that too is getting old and is, in my opinion, just more fear mongering on the part of the Republicans and Conservatives. Remember a wise man once said: "We have nothing to fear but fear itself".

    February 28, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  25. Stick it to the kids

    Let's keep spending and spending and spending. Let our children and grandchildren pick up the tab. The era of big government is back. WooHoo!

    February 28, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
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