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Sen. Tom Harkin: Congress does not have a spending problem

- - Thursday, February 14, 2013

Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin took to the floor of Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday and echoed what House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi recently told Fox News' Chris Wallace: the federal government does not have a spending problem.

"Everyone keeps saying we have a spending problem," Mr. Harkin said. "And when they talk about that, it's like there's an assumption that somehow we as a nation are broke. 'We can't afford these things any longer.' 'We're too broke to invest in education and housing,' and things like that.

"Well, look at it this way, we're the richest nation in the history of the world," he continued. "We are now the richest nation in the world. We have the highest per capita income of any major nation. That kind of begs the question, doesn't it? If we're so rich, why are we so broke? Is it a spending problem? No."

The United States is more than $16 trillion in debt. Using data provided by the Congressional Budget Office, the Heritage Foundation notes that spending on President Obama's health care plan, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security will devour all revenues by 2045, and that spending for those entitlement programs is projected to double by 2050.