“We are at a fiscal cliff, and it can’t get any worse,” he said. “The (financial) can can’t be kicked any further down the road. It has already been crushed.”
He made this observation during the Tuesday, Oct. 2 meeting of the Rotary Club of Rockmart and Polk County.
Gingrey said he does not believe there is any choice and everyone will have to reach a compromise on where to find revenue, cut spending and whether or not to let the Department of Defense take a drastic cut.
Michael Paulk, Meggitt, inquired about consensus in Congress to alleviate major cuts to the U.S. Department of Defense.
Gingrey said Paulk referred to the negotiated deal during the Budget Control Act passed by Congress in August 2011. It allowed the President and Secretary of Treasury to increase the debt ceiling.
He noted that - for the first time ever - Congress said, “We are not going to let you do that unless you cut that much spending.”
According to Gingrey, the decision was to make a mandatory cut of $1.2 trillion with one-half coming from the Department of Defense. The other half would be from other spending.
“That is what we are facing and must be done before the end of 2012,” he said. “We will have a divided congress, but these problems are so severe that we must work them out no matter who is president or who controls the congress. We must find a way to mitigate such a drastic cut to the Department of Defense.”
He emphasized that there will be cuts but not the estimated $500 billion so that the defense of this country is hollowed out.
Gingrey commented on the smoke and mirrors that politicians play in regard to whether or not a budget is balanced.
He pointed out that there are unfunded liabilities that are never counted in regard to Medicare and Social Security.
“If the federal government did what everyone else does in the private sector in regard to telling the truth about what they owe, it is much more than people have been told.That is unbelievable but it is a fact.”
He said that - in the last 4 years - Uncle Sam has accumulated another $6 trillion worth of debt. . . probably three or four times that much debt is not shared with the public.
Rep. Gingrey also bid farewell to the group. They are among his constituents in District 11, which he now serves.