Press Room

I'd ask unanimous consent, I have a couple of charts that are oversized. The reason they're oversized is because you can't get it all on one chart. And I'd ask unanimous consent to display those charts if I might. What most people don't realize is the federal government is now twice the size it was in 2001.

Think about that. We're spending twice as much money as we did in 2001. As a matter of fact, if you go back 15 years, our deficit this year is bigger than what our entire budget was. That's how out of control the federal government is. And the point of a budget, there is a political reason we're not having a budget. Everybody understands that. Nobody's going to say it.

The political reason that no budget was proposed and run through the senate to create a conference committee with the house is because we don't want to make the hard choices in election year. And budgets for families are about making hard choices. And yet here we're supposed to represent leadership in our country, and w refuse to make hard choices about the direction. I had the great opportunity to speak with some members in the war college class here not long ago, and we got into talking about budget.

And they said do you realize how difficult it is for us to try to spend money when you send us a continuing resolution and we don't know about it until ten days before it's going to take effect? How difficult it is for us to try to manage in a prudent way the money that the federal government spends when we have no budgetary guidelines? There is waste out the kazoo when you ask us to do that. So the very fact, regardless of the fact that there law that says we will pass a budget which has been totally ignored by the majority leader is the consequence of that are tremendous.

What most people talk about is how do we get out of the problem. What I would put forward in terms of our budget, is there's not a problem in front of our country we can't solve. What we lack is leadership to pull us together as Americans to say here's the problems. Here are the solutions. Let's find the compromise in the middle for the solutions and let's solve our problem.

We have refused to do that. But most importantly, we refuse to look at ourselves. I have a couple of examples. GAO put out its second annual report. The first one was last year. The second annual report this year in terms of duplicated programs. And we've had amendments on this floor fail routinely that said we ought to know what we're doing before we pass another bill. We ought to know what's already out there. That's been rejected by my colleagues. But I'm going to show you charts that shows you how ridiculous we are in terms of how we're well-meaning but absolutely stupid in terms of how we address problems that we perceive are the federal government's role.

209 different programs in the federal government for science, technology, engineering and math initiatives for our education system. So, we just spend $3 billion a year on that.

The overlap is unbelievable. And here's the chart. It shows all the different programs with all the different agencies involved. All of them overlapping. Most of the money wasted in terms of how we spend it because there's no concentration. There's no coordination. And what we have a ridiculous array. Not that it's wrong to want to have more science, more technology, more engineers and more math students.

But what we've done is we're spending all the money on the bureaucracy when we could have five programs -- one for upper level, one for lower level, one for minorities, one for disadvantaged, one for others. It's mind-boggling how many programs we have, and there's not a metric to measure whether any one of these is effective. And that's $3 billion a year. I would tell you that we could have one-tenth as many programs and spend one half as much money and have more students come out with science, technology, engineering and math background. But we've decided to do it piecemeal and never do the oversight and never consolidate.

If we want to get out of a $1 trillion deficit, we do it $1 billion at a time. You don't do it with $1 trillion at a time. The other program which is even more difficult to ascertain is in the department of justice grants.

Let me go through those if I may just for a second to show there's 253 duplicative programs in the department of justice. 9 billion a year. And here's what GAO tells us. People who apply for one grant for one thing turn around and apply somewhere else for exactly the same thing. The department of justice doesn't know. They just gave them two grants for exactly the same thing, because there's so many different grant programs and nobody's watching the store.

The point is, nobody would run their household this way. No business would operate this way. States that are successful don't operate this way. And the reason we do this is because we don't have a budget and we don't have any oversight and we're not minding the store. And the way to change what's coming for our country is to start doing everything that's necessary to address the problem.

We're spending money we do not have on things we do not need. And nobody in congress wants to do the hard work of ferreting out what works and what doesn't and making the hard choice, because every one of these programs has a constituency. And so the parochialism and the constituent constituency in short-term thinking we're now bound up in keeps us from saving ourselves.

Last quote -- and I'll finish up with this -- John Adams said “there has yet to be a democracy that did not murder itself.” We're on that way if we don't change direction. It's not a democrat-republican problem. It's all our problem. And it won't matter what your political persuasion is when we face the very difficult coming times if we don't respond with a cogent budget for this country.