MY FAREWELL SPEECH; Congressional Record Vol. 158, No. 172
(Extensions of Remarks - January 01, 2013)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E2027-E2029]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []

                           MY FAREWELL SPEECH


                           HON. CLIFF STEARNS

                               of florida

                    in the house of representatives

                        Tuesday, January 1, 2013

  Mr. STEARNS. Mr. Speaker, as I close my 24 years in Congress I wanted 
to take an opportunity to express my sentiments in two areas; one) the 
continued bailouts that have occurred and the continued Keynesian 
resolution to all our economic problems and two) what should be done to 
get our budget and subsequent deficits under control.
  With the recent bailouts in Congress Americans are wondering if 
Capitalism works. And when is the next bust going to happen. Having 
voted against the TARP for Wall Street and the huge Stimulus package, I 
am wondering the same thing. Do we have to deflate our money every time 
there is a crisis with the Federal Reserve stepping in by printing huge 
sums of money and transferring it to the Treasury Department, they then 
hand it out to businesses that they deem important and necessary? 
Congress has no say so in this matter once the bill is passed. There 
are rarely any safeguards with the legislation and complete cart 
blanche authority is given to these two government agencies, which is 
down right awful. Mr. Paulson changed his strategy from buying the 
toxic loans to bailout Wall Street firms and banks. Then the 15 largest 
banks that received this money were the same ones that made money off 
the sale on packaging of these financial devices that get bail out 
because they are considered to big to fail. Rubbish.
  But what is the pretext for these bailouts? It is Keynesian 
economics. His mantra of ``But we only owe it to ourselves!'' is the 
password for all economic theory. We did in every major financial 
crisis in America and England also. The government becomes almighty. 
His ideas have become the basis for socialistic governments around the 
world. To get the economy moving again, Keynes taught, it was the 
responsibility of government to create full employment, even if it had 
to borrow money and assume huge debt to do so. Rather than get rid of 
the problems that created the economic depression, greed, corruption 
and incompetence and then allowing the markets to work and punish those 
folks who caused the problems; these folks get bailed out. Why? Because 
of Keynesian economics and political might. Those at the levers of 
power are generally connected to Wall Street or big financial 
institutions. Again contrary to basic business logic.
  Although excessive government spending and mounting public debt 
appear to provide some good in the short term, but in the long term, 
Keynesian economics only make things worse and create grounds for the 

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collapse of any country again. Keynes had an answer for this when he 
said, ``In the long term, we are all dead.'' In all my 20 years in 
Congress we have never seriously tried to reduce debt or reduce the 
deficit even under Republican control. Yet this colossal public debt is 
hurting our sovereignty and will eventually move us to a one-world 
government. Even with the TARP bailout we had to bailout Chinese banks 
including European banks. Globalism creates interdependence, which 
creates a crisis everywhere. Is it the responsibility of the Government 
to prime the economic pump? What is good for a family surely must be 
good for a nation. What would a family do in an economic crisis? Just 
the opposite to what Congress and the Administration did. They reduce 
spending and become more productive. They would not take on more debt. 
And they would look for other ways to not just save money but also 
increase the revenue to the family. Take another job or become more 
efficient and if there was incompetence or corruption involved. Put 
those individuals in jail and allow their businesses to go bankrupt. Do 
not reward bad business decisions. But we have done just the opposite 
with these bailouts. Giving money to financial institutions that 
created the problem with no supervision or controls. As the Inspector 
General for the Treasury Dept. recent report has indicated. Half of the 
money given out is unaccounted for and there again are incidents of 
corruption. The Government spends taxpayer's money to do what they 
think is in the best interest of those in power. A sad commentary.
  So what is Keynesian economics? Simply said it is that the government 
has all the answers! It can create something out of nothing, that is, 
prosperity. Or said another way, the government is the almighty. That 
is Keynesian economics. And how do we solve the mounting debt we build 
up to cover the deficit stimulus spending? They tell us by rising 
population and controlled inflation. But, abortion is legal in America 
and therefore we cannot count on the rise of population. On inflation, 
few management systems, including dictatorships, have been able to 
control inflation. So where will the money come from to pay this debt? 
To make the borrowing possible, all nations will be tied together to 
create a world bank to set up an international economic construct. 
Keynesian economics has put this construct together so that in the very 
near future we will have international control of our banking system.
  So what is the alternative solution? Yes there is a predictive 
business cycle but built into the economy there are factors that could 
pull an economy upward from depression and recessions. During these 
times, savings would rise and therefore interest rates would fall, 
making money available for industry to expand thereby helping to create 
jobs. The economy would slowly rise and with it interest rates, which 
would cause the economy to eventually weaken. So the cycle would 
continue. Keynes did not believe this would work and that a nation 
would remain in a depression. He said that at the bottom of the 
business cycle there would not be enough savings to reduce interest 
rates and cause the cycle to move up again. The static values of 
savings and investment would not work. The business investment and 
enterprise could not be depended to work. There was no constant 
guarantee of an upward movement of the economy. He believe there needed 
to be a tonic, a catalyst, to get the economy moving again. That tonic 
was planned government investment.
  Did a family need that to pull themselves up? No. So why would a 
nation. Keynes created a permanent condition of government borrowing 
and deficit spending. In fact that became the recommended course of 
action for all nations. People must abandon the insane idea that they 
can borrow their way out of bankruptcy.
  My second reason for speaking tonight is on what is the solution to 
our continuing budget deficits.
  After twenty-four years I have seen it all. The fake budgets and the 
competing fake budgets. The President in every administration in which 
I served has not offered a real balanced budget, which included Social 
Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
  I think again we should go back to what Thomas Jefferson said in 

       I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our 
     Constitution. I would be willing to depend on that alone for 
     the reduction of the administration of our government to the 
     genuine principles of Constitution. I mean an additional 
     article, taking from the federal government the power of 

  We have had a war in Iraq and President Bush did not put the war 
effort on budget but instead just offered supplemental spending 
amendments to cover the cost. This could only be financed by borrowing 
because the taxpayers would not make the sacrifice to pay for the war 
so the cost had to be hidden. There were no checks and balances here 
because the Republicans including myself voted for this spending. But 
debt will destroy our country. Going back to Jefferson, he reiterated 
several times that one generation cannot--either morally or in fact--
bind another. He stipulated, ``No generation can contract debts greater 
than may be paid during the course of its own existence.'' And further 
he said, ``. . . the earth belongs in usufruct (trust) to the living . 
. . the dead have neither powers nor rights over it.'' If one 
generation can charge another for its debts, ``then the earth would 
belong to the dead and not to the living generation.'' Jefferson 
continued, ``The conclusion then is, that neither the representatives 
of a nation, nor the whole nation itself assembled, can validly engage 
debts beyond what they may pay in their own time.'' Madison did not 
agree and used the example of a large bridge. But Jefferson argued that 
there could be no exception. Because the power to borrow was too 
dangerous to allow exceptions--any exceptions would expand to destroy 
the amendment.
  I would strongly argue that the Jefferson amendment is necessary and 
with the exception of total war, must be paid for by the present 
generation and even with war the present generation must make 
sacrifices to pay for the effort.
  Another lesson is to limit the power of the federal government 
through federalism, which I mentioned earlier. This balance between the 
states, the federal government is the balance that was required to keep 
the country safe from plutocracy in all its forms and in all its 
locations--banks, the military, and governments. The destruction of 
states' rights and the centralization of power unchecked in the federal 
government have contributed to what is today called the imperial 
presidency. It was never intended the President could force through his 
own legislation without Congress's intervening and reaction. Today 
Congress pretty much follows the President's desires almost as 
leadership worship. Isn't his job mainly to be sure that the law of the 
land is enforced and enact a legal foreign policy? And nothing else.
  The Framers of our Constitution realize how important the rule of law 
was and knew how the English monarchs issued the courts to serve their 
own purposes. They also understood there could be no order without law, 
no law without morality, and no morality without religion. They were 
not secular humanist, that is so prevalent in our country today. The 
President should spend more time in office protecting these laws.
  And lastly, I firmly believe we need to sunset many if not all of the 
government programs and carefully evaluate the good ones and 
consolidate programs to protect the taxpayers from duplication and 
waste. Even with Republican revolution, we could not shut down any 
government programs. In fact when I had amendments to reduce the budget 
by 1% across the board, it failed. I have even tried to reduce some 
programs less that 1% and again Congress did not have the courage to 
even make this reduction. If Congress cannot do this, then a base-
closure commission like we did for the military bases should be set up 
to eliminate and reduce obsolete and unnecessary government programs. 
Without this type of action, our government continues to grow and the 
bureaucracy will ultimately be too strong to counteract.
  Time and time again I see votes on the House floor that have a 
wonderful name to them, such as the Habitat for Pelicans, the 
Protections of Wildlife Reserve, Save Our Water Restoration Act and so 
on. The pieces of legislation are brought up under what is called 
suspension, i.e., without going through regular order with no ability 
to amend them. They pass overwhelmingly because members just assume 
they are good. But they cost money and when you are operating in a 
deficit mode, you cannot afford them. But they pass anyway.
  Let me close with what we need in all cases is wisdom, which is not 
specially directed toward Americans but to all countries and to 
individuals. There are seven demonstrations of these wisdoms, which we 
should remind ourselves.
  This is from Isaiah 11:1-3 and are the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
  1. Fear of the Lord
  2. Understanding
  3. Knowledge
  4. Counsel
  5. Strength of purpose
  6. Piety
  7. Humility
  These correct actions by an individual are as important as they are 
for a country. Without these gifts, no country will last or endure.
  As I close my career in Congress, I want to thank my family, 
especially my lovely wife, Joan, for her constant and continued support 
and all my loyal supporters for their encouragement and good cheer. God 
Bless America.

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