2:50 PM EST
Roscoe Bartlett, R-MD 6th

Mr. BARTLETT. Madam Speaker, during the Clinton administration, Washington was telling America that we had a budget surplus and we were paying down the debt. Now, while we were telling America that, we had the embarrassing necessity of raising the debt limit ceiling. Why would you have to raise the debt limit ceiling if you're paying down the debt? Surprise, surprise; Washington was not being truthful.

What we were doing was taking money from lockboxes, surplus trust fund moneys, Social Security and Medicare, and paying down the public debt--one more dollar of debt in the trust funds, one less dollar of debt in the public debt. That did nothing to reduce the national debt. And we had other trust fund surpluses for which there was no lockbox. We happily took and spent that money. If we kept our books on the accrual method, there never was a moment in time when we, in fact, reduced the national


Now, talking about accounting methods, our government keeps Enron kind of books. If we kept our books the way we force all but the smallest businesses to keep their books, using the accrual method, we would be showing about $60 trillion in debt. That's $200,000 in debt for every man, woman, and child. Clearly, clearly unmanageable.

We should be ashamed that we're here today talking about raising the debt limit ceiling once again. We should be here debating how we're going to balance the budget and then pay down the debt, because I have 10 kids, 17 grandkids, and two great-grandkids, and we have already mortgaged their future. We don't need to do anymore.