2:48 PM EDT

Tom Coburn M.D., R-OK 2nd

Mr. COBURN. Mr. Chairman, the purpose of this amendment is that the $463,000 represents over a 7 percent increase for this department, Office of Budget and Program Analysis. Again, I will restate the obvious.

I believe that the money that we spend on agricultural programs ought to be going to our farmers, and I object to the fact that we are increasing overhead and bureaucratic expense, and that this money is not available to the farmers in my district. This money is not available to put the FSA offices back close to the farmers instead of having it 90 miles away from my farmers.

So what we have done by this increase over the baseline from last year is spend money in Washington and not spend money on our farmers.

The purpose of this amendment is to bring us back to last year.

I again want to go back. Any dollar that is spent that should not be spent is a dollar of Social Security money stolen from our seniors and our grandchildren. The Social Security Administration estimates that in the year 2020 to 2022, to stay even with Social Security, despite no other changes, that we will have an effective FICA tax rate, a Social Security tax rate of somewhere between 22 and 24 percent, somewhere double where we are today. So if we continue to have this kind of spending, which

we know, if it is not absolutely necessary, will be taking money from our grandchildren, our grandchildren will repay this money. Any money that is spent in this bill for a service that is not absolutely necessary is a dollar stolen from our Social Security.

What does that mean? That means, number one, that the Social Security surplus is less. Number two, that means the debt, external debt that we hold today will not decrease by that amount, and that is what we have been doing with the excess Social Security money; we have been paying off bankers and foreign governments who own our Treasury notes and Treasury bills and putting an IOU in the Social Security system. So that also is a lost opportunity for savings on external debt.

Number three, it pretends to be a situation that rationalizes that in hard times, like we are in today spending money on a war in Yugoslavia, we can afford to have a 7-plus percent increase in bureaucratic overhead.

It is my feeling that the people in my district are best represented when the money that is spent for agriculture goes to our farmers, not to the bureaucratic administration of that aid to our farmers.

So, therefore, Mr. Chairman, I would make the point again that we are going to have close to $149 billion in excess [Page: H3551]

Social Security payments in the year 2000, and that this one small area, this one small amount of $463,000 is enough to supply Social Security in the future for several of our grandchildren, especially if it is not spent and compounded and earned.

Mr. Chairman, one of our colleagues, the gentleman from South Carolina (Mr. SANFORD) took 6 years, the years from 1944 to 1950, and took the amount of money that was put into Social Security. Had that money been saved and not spent and invested at a rate of 6 percent return, there would be $3 trillion from those 6 years in Social Security today. So by spending money, rather than saving money as it was initially intended, what we are doing is losing opportunity for our children.

Mr. Chairman, I plan on offering this amendment. I am in hopes that people will support the fact that we do not need to have this much of an increase to be able to accomplish this as the purpose of this budgetary office. It is my hope that we can have an acceptance of this amendment, that the chairman will look favorably on this amendment, knowing that the dollars to pay for this will come not only from the seniors who have trouble getting by today, will come from the commitment that we made

not to touch one penny of Social Security.

2:53 PM EDT

Sue Myrick, R-NC 9th

Mrs. MYRICK. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the Coburn amendment because I just believe it is time to keep our promise, and this is one place we have to start. We have told the American people that we balanced the budget, and I really believe that now we need to stick to our word, because otherwise we are not being true to them.

I understand and sympathize with the American farmers; I understand the committee's concerns and problems. In fact, we just passed a supplemental bill that added additional dollars for farmers.

But since this year's budget resolution calls for $10 billion in discretionary spending cuts, we have to make the cuts to stick to the balanced budget agreement and protect and preserve Social Security, and the time to start is now.

There is never a good time. That is the difficult thing about this place, because it is always hard not to spend money in a culture that is set up to spend, spend, spend. That is what Washington does and does well.

It is always easy to stick pork in bills to spend more money; it happens every day. I think that is wrong.

Mr. Chairman, we have to stand up for our principles of lowering taxes and protecting 100 percent of Social Security for our children and our grandchildren. They are depending on that. They look to us to be responsible, and as we do our bills, as this whole appropriations process goes forward, we have to be really conscious of that.

It is time to put the good of the country ahead of personal ambition and tighten our belts. Without cuts now, and this is a relatively noncontroversial bill, if we cannot do it here, how in the world are we going to reduce spending in the other 12 appropriations bills?

Mr. Chairman, for years, Congress has raided Social Security and funded pork barrel spending, and I believe it needs to stop; and today is a good time to stop it. I support the Coburn amendment, and I support fiscal responsibility.

2:53 PM EDT

Sue Myrick, R-NC 9th

Mrs. MYRICK. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the Coburn amendment because I just believe it is time to keep our promise, and this is one place we have to start. We have told the American people that we balanced the budget, and I really believe that now we need to stick to our word, because otherwise we are not being true to them.

I understand and sympathize with the American farmers; I understand the committee's concerns and problems. In fact, we just passed a supplemental bill that added additional dollars for farmers.

But since this year's budget resolution calls for $10 billion in discretionary spending cuts, we have to make the cuts to stick to the balanced budget agreement and protect and preserve Social Security, and the time to start is now.

There is never a good time. That is the difficult thing about this place, because it is always hard not to spend money in a culture that is set up to spend, spend, spend. That is what Washington does and does well.

It is always easy to stick pork in bills to spend more money; it happens every day. I think that is wrong.

Mr. Chairman, we have to stand up for our principles of lowering taxes and protecting 100 percent of Social Security for our children and our grandchildren. They are depending on that. They look to us to be responsible, and as we do our bills, as this whole appropriations process goes forward, we have to be really conscious of that.

It is time to put the good of the country ahead of personal ambition and tighten our belts. Without cuts now, and this is a relatively noncontroversial bill, if we cannot do it here, how in the world are we going to reduce spending in the other 12 appropriations bills?

Mr. Chairman, for years, Congress has raided Social Security and funded pork barrel spending, and I believe it needs to stop; and today is a good time to stop it. I support the Coburn amendment, and I support fiscal responsibility.

2:53 PM EDT

Sue Myrick, R-NC 9th

Mrs. MYRICK. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the Coburn amendment because I just believe it is time to keep our promise, and this is one place we have to start. We have told the American people that we balanced the budget, and I really believe that now we need to stick to our word, because otherwise we are not being true to them.

I understand and sympathize with the American farmers; I understand the committee's concerns and problems. In fact, we just passed a supplemental bill that added additional dollars for farmers.

But since this year's budget resolution calls for $10 billion in discretionary spending cuts, we have to make the cuts to stick to the balanced budget agreement and protect and preserve Social Security, and the time to start is now.

There is never a good time. That is the difficult thing about this place, because it is always hard not to spend money in a culture that is set up to spend, spend, spend. That is what Washington does and does well.

It is always easy to stick pork in bills to spend more money; it happens every day. I think that is wrong.

Mr. Chairman, we have to stand up for our principles of lowering taxes and protecting 100 percent of Social Security for our children and our grandchildren. They are depending on that. They look to us to be responsible, and as we do our bills, as this whole appropriations process goes forward, we have to be really conscious of that.

It is time to put the good of the country ahead of personal ambition and tighten our belts. Without cuts now, and this is a relatively noncontroversial bill, if we cannot do it here, how in the world are we going to reduce spending in the other 12 appropriations bills?

Mr. Chairman, for years, Congress has raided Social Security and funded pork barrel spending, and I believe it needs to stop; and today is a good time to stop it. I support the Coburn amendment, and I support fiscal responsibility.