Rep. Paul Ryan: "Let's Pass A Bill To Cover The Moon With Yogurt"
From a July 28, 2011, speech on the floor of the House of Representatives:
REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI): The gentleman, my friend over from Maryland, he was talking about the Reid plan, the Senate Majority Leader over in the Senate, his plan, and I've got the CBO score, too, it says it's $2.7 trillion — $2.2, excuse me, for a $2.7 trillion increase. That means it doesn't raise the debt limit less than we cut spending, so it cuts less, but more importantly, $1.3 trillion of that money is accounting tricks and budget gimmicks. Mr. Speaker, the American people are tired of all the accounting tricks and the budget gimmicks that go on in Washington. Let me explain what $1.3 trillion of this does. It says that imagine that we're at war for ten years in Afghanistan and Iraq at surge levels. We assume we're going to be fighting this war for 10 more years with over 100,000 troops in Afghanistan and — oh, gosh, wait! We're gonna withdraw our troops in 2014. Trillion dollars in savings! I've got a better idea: Let's pass a bill to cover the moon with yogurt that will cost $5 trillion today. And then let's pass a bill the next day to cancel that bill. We could save $5 trillion! Wait, I got a better idea. Our debt is $5 trillion, let's come up with a new plan to spend $14 trillion, then rescind it the next day, and let's save $14 trillion! This stuff is fiscal fantasy, you can't make this stuff up, Mr. Speaker. Suggesting that we're going to be in a war at these levels for ten more years when everybody knows we've already decided not to do that, that does not get us $1.3 trillion in "spending cuts." Only in Washingotn can you add up math like that. We need real spending cuts. I yield myself an additional minute to say, this is getting serious, Mr. Speaker. Very serious. We can't keep spending money we just don't have. 42 cents of every dollar coming out of this place is borrowed money. It doesn't just threaten our children and grandchildren anymore, it is hurting our economy today. Half of that money is coming from other countries, like China. Why on Earth do we want to give the president a blank check to keep doing that, giving our sovereignty and our self determination to other countries to loan us money to fund our government. Those days have got to end. This bill doesn't cut as much as we want, we passed a budget to cut $6.2 trillion in real spending cuts, this cuts about a trillion. Let's cut this trillion, bank that money and then go cut some more. That's what we're trying to do to be responsible. The problem in this town is not that we don't tax Americans enough, the problem is that we're spending way too much money and with that I reserve the balance of my time.