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“These ‘masters of the universe,’ as I sometimes call them, are quick to make confident predictions and even quicker to explain why the failure of their last prediction should not count against the one they have just made. They say the mammoth stimulus failed because it just wasn’t mammoth enough...

What we need is a middle class agenda. That means creating jobs through the private sector; producing more American energy; making the government lean and productive, confronting our dangerously rising debt; adopting a globally competitive tax code; upholding the rule of law in trade, commerce, and immigration; and finally delivering the good people of this country the honest and responsible budget they deserve.” 

WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee, delivered an opening statement today at a Committee hearing on fiscal policy, including President Obama’s second stimulus package, which would increase near-term borrowing by nearly half a trillion dollars:

An excerpt of Sessions remarks, as prepared, follows:

“If we learned nothing else from the financial crisis of 2008, it is that prosperity cannot be built on a foundation of debt. Excessive debt, public and private, provided the air that, pumped into the economy, burst the bubble. Surely we know that more debt is not the solution.

And if there is a second lesson we should have learned in recent years, it is a healthy skepticism for Washington elites. Many of the same people who fell asleep at the switch before the housing bubble burst are those now urging us to create a bubble of government debt.

These ‘masters of the universe,’ as I sometimes call them, are quick to make confident predictions and even quicker to explain why the failure of their last prediction should not count against the one they have just made. They say the mammoth stimulus failed because it just wasn’t mammoth enough. Or that the explosion in regulation will help the economy—we just have to regulate a little more.

Advocates of more stimulus frequently cite CBO’s economic models, but CBO, accurately it seems, projected that the president’s stimulus would actually reduce long-term growth. In 2009, CBO states in their report: ‘the increased debt will tend to reduce the stock of productive capital. In economic parlance, the debt will ‘crowd out’ private investment.’ CBO’s own projections also indicate that reducing the deficit by $2 trillion would eventually boost economic growth by 0.5 percent to 1.4 percent.

In a time of crisis, confusion, and fear, we should return to basic, core principles—the tried and true. Pay your debts. Spend within your means. And instead of asking the taxpayers for a bailout, Washington must end the dishonest accounting, waste, and abuse that goes on today.

What we need is a middle class agenda. That means creating jobs through the private sector; producing more American energy; making the government lean and productive, confronting our dangerously rising debt; adopting a globally competitive tax code; upholding the rule of law in trade, commerce, and immigration; and finally delivering the good people of this country the honest and responsible budget they deserve.

Thank you.”