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. Citizen

    The only people in denial are Republicans like this clown, that helped Bush and Cheney to loot this Country.

    February 28, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  2. Jeff from Jersey

    The C in CNN stands for CENSORSHIP!

    February 28, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  3. tony

    The Republicans are like a family that borrows to buy itself an exotic vacation, an extension to their house, and new SUVs, but when their kids are involved in an car accident and need to be rushed to the ER, now, want to save money and shop for bargains. Thanks to free market utopians, we are facing problems a lot more significant than budget deficits. The time to worry about government spending was when the economy was prospering, now we are in a crisis (thank you Phil Graham, Alan Greenspan, Chris Cox) and will need to spend to get out of it.

    February 28, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  4. William

    Keynesian economics helped us during the Depression. Why are you afraid of tried and tested macroeconomic theory? The problem was: Clinton and Bush II were suppose to be saving $$ during the good years. Clinton made a half-hearted attempt and Bush just went off the deep end. Lets use Keynesian theory and get things back to where we can start saving $$$ again.

    February 28, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  5. Zac

    As a % of GDP, Reagen dug an even deeper deficit hole than Obama. Carter left office with a 0% change in the deficit. Clinton entered with a deficit, turned it into a surplus. The only one's who are any good at blowing money over the past 40 years are Republicans.

    It will be interesting to see if Obama takes a note from the Republican book, or follows true liberal Democrat ideology and actually comes through on his plan of halving the deficit by 2012 (and a surplus by 2016).

    February 28, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  6. Bill

    Senator Burr,

    I agree with you except it is the Republican Party who put this country in the ditch with six years of GOP control of everything. The last GOP President George W. Bush flushed more money down a rate hole in IRAQ, tax cuts for engery companies like Exxon, who made record profits and the GOP controlled Congress walked hand in hand with George W. Bush flushing money down a rate whole. All you heard more tax cuts for the top 5% and nothing for nobody else.

    Please GOP go the way of the WIG Party you have done enough damage to this country that it will take 20 years to rebuild.

    Please how dumb do you think the American people are?

    February 28, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  7. marlene

    Fine words! What are the Republican alternatives? I didn't read anything in that speech that is a legislative proposal. Just more "Party of No". Marlene in Mich

    February 28, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  8. Joe in NJ

    "Ronnie February 28th, 2009 10:45 am ET

    Please tell me why the GOP didn't have a problem when Bush was spending money like this."

    Well, you didn't hear much from the Dems complaining about this either, except when the elections rolled around. Now all you hear from the Dems is how they "inherited" this horrible mess.

    February 28, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  9. No Hillary = No Obama

    What Washington and the country is in denial about is that the current President is more invested in his own ego and legacy then he is in taking it one step at a time & getting behind his desk instead of in front of the cameras. Grandiosity is the name of Obama's game.

    February 28, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  10. meh

    Les< Right. Someone who refers to our president as a "chimp" didn't vote for him due to political differences. Mmmmhmmmm
    Who do you think you're fooling?

    As for Burr, he's worthless. Vote him out!

    February 28, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  11. Who's in denial?

    Does this mean that the Republican's are now taking responsibily for all the rubber stamping they gave to Mr. Bush? Don't think so. Where was all the outrage the past 8 years? This is all the fault of President Obama because why? Talk about denial.

    February 28, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  12. disgusted

    That's funny. Every morning the worst thing I read is more people unemployed.

    February 28, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  13. Mathew


    February 28, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  14. pete

    Citizens are in a state of denial on the ineptness and corruption of our politicians.

    February 28, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  15. Tony


    February 28, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  16. MeRevolution

    Mr. Senator, there is no FUTURE without a PRESENT. I think this senator needs to restart from elementary school.

    February 28, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  17. Alicia



    February 28, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  18. mike

    Obama is going to tax our 'tax break' of $13.00 a week. Thanks BO.

    February 28, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  19. Tariq

    The American dream for a very long time was just that...a dream....funded by credit card debt as individuals and by China debt as a nation.

    Tax cuts to the rich did NOT WORK and did NOT CREATE jobs...and that made it the BIGGEST wasteful spending in our history.

    The war funding for a mismanaged was that we never had to fight to begin with....that's the second biggest wasteful spending in our history.

    Republicans, learn your history...otherwise you are bound to repeat it!

    February 28, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  20. Justin from New Haven, CT

    This guy needs to be voted out.

    February 28, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  21. arithmetic is liberal

    Where was his moral outrage 6 weeks ago on the heels of the least fiscally responsible administration in the history of America?

    February 28, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  22. Independent Dave

    Well, the Republican portion anyway.

    Onward Conservatives! Into the 20th century!

    February 28, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  23. davit

    Just how much did we spend on the Iraq war, without a peep from the repubs?

    February 28, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  24. Peter

    Whats the guys name again? Burrs or Boos? these guys are noise makers and no sane person can take them seriously!. They screwed the economy! and now they have become saviors of the American Public overnight?. To them small Government means contracting companies like Black waters!!! they should be investigated !! fully whether these contractors caused the deaths of American soilders by cutting cost to maximize profits on the expense of soilders safetyness!!!

    February 28, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  25. John

    Republicans: For big spending until they were against it.

    February 28, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
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