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Senate Proceeding on Oct 21st, 2009 :: 3:10:10 to 3:24:15
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Joseph Lieberman

3:10:06 to 3:10:28( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: are supported by a strengthened medicare system. so i'm -- mr. president, i'm very hopeful that we will see a strong bipartisan v us to move to this very important measure to strengthen and protect medicare for future.

Joseph Lieberman

3:10:10 to 3:24:15( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Joseph Lieberman

Joseph Lieberman

3:10:29 to 3:10:49( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: thank you, mr. president. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from kentucky. mr. lieberman: i thank the chair. mr. president, i rise to declare to my colleagues that i intend to vote against cloture to proceed on the motion to proceed to this measure regarding the sustainablgrowth rate.

Joseph Lieberman

3:10:50 to 3:11:10( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: and i want to explain why and thank senator stabenow for her leadership on this and to say this is one of those where substantively i agree with just about everything she had to say sustainable growth rate formula, which was put in in the late

Joseph Lieberman

3:11:11 to 3:11:31( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: 1970's which turned out to be a very effective attempt to bring fiscal responsibility, budget balancing, even a surplus, believe it or not, at the end of the clinton administration, historians may note, perhaps people forget, we actually had a federal government but it turned out that this

Joseph Lieberman

3:11:32 to 3:11:53( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: sustainable growth rate formula for the reimbursement of d really was unworkable and unfair and has resulted in the refusal of a lot of doctors to treat patients under medicare.

Joseph Lieberman

3:11:54 to 3:12:16( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: so why -- why would i not vote for cloture to proceed to take up this matter and then vote for it? it's because there are -- there are larger questions involved. in some sense i think this is a precautionariy tale, the vote on this matter. it is a precautionariy tale on

Joseph Lieberman

3:12:17 to 3:12:37( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: what we will face on succeeding votes in the senate and most immediately in the health care reform debate that we will soon take up on the floor. which get we're in with our federal

Joseph Lieberman

3:12:38 to 3:12:58( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: deficit and debt because there are people here in the house or in the white house over the last had bad motives or, you know, bad values. in fact, in most of the cases,

Joseph Lieberman

3:12:59 to 3:13:22( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: such as this, when money has programs it's been done with the best of intentions. but the ultimate effect has been bad for our country and our future because it has put us into a position of that is unsustainable, that

Joseph Lieberman

3:13:23 to 3:13:44( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: threatens to cripple our economic recovery and burden our children and grandchildren and beyond so they don't live in a country with the kind of economic dynamism and opportunity that we were blessed to be raised in. if you would allow me to paraphrase, i would say that the

Joseph Lieberman

3:13:45 to 3:14:05( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: road to an unsustainable, damaging american national debt is paved with good intentions, with votes for good programs. and it's just time for us, together, across party lines, to sound the alarm, blow the whistle and make choices regarding priorities.

Joseph Lieberman

3:14:06 to 3:14:26( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: we can't have, no matter how good or worthwhile programs that we're not prepared to pay for. the numbers are stunning. i'm privileged to be serving my 21st year in the senate. the numbers of our federal indebtedness today

Joseph Lieberman

3:14:27 to 3:14:51( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: shockingly high that if you told me that 21 years ago or 10 ago or even five years ago, i simply would n have believed it. the fiscal year that ended on september 30th, fiscal year 2009, we now know, learned about a week ago, america ran a

Joseph Lieberman

3:14:53 to 3:15:13( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: deficit of we know tha that america now has an accumulated long-term debt we know that the congressional budget

Joseph Lieberman

3:15:14 to 3:15:37( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: projected that over the next ten years, we will run deficits that will add long-term debt. so $12 trillion add $9 trillion. that's $21 trillion of debt. it's unbelie

Joseph Lieberman

3:15:38 to 3:15:58( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: and we say it's unsustainable. that's a big word. what unsustainable means that a point, this sized debt is going to cripple the economic recovery that is just beginning in our country. it's going to create

Joseph Lieberman

3:15:59 to 3:16:22( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: hyperinflation because at some point people are going to stop buying our debt and we're going to have to raise inter more and more people to do so. at some point, if we don't fix this the government is going to be left with no alternative but to print more money.

Joseph Lieberman

3:16:23 to 3:16:43( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: that's the road to inflation, to lost jobs, to a lower quality of life. so all these things that we've done which time, which are good, we've got to pay for them or else this is not going to be the country that -- that we want it to be

Joseph Lieberman

3:16:44 to 3:17:05( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: for succeeding generations of americans. we're actually going to reach a point where we're not going to have the money to do the first thing th the federal government isupposed to do, which is to defend the security of our country, to provide for the common defense in what is obviously still a dangerous world.

Joseph Lieberman

3:17:06 to 3:17:27( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: so this is a precautionary tale, a precautionary vote. we're coming to a big debate on health care reform. i'm for health care reform. but it's not the only thing i'm for. in fact, i'd say that at this moment in our nation's history, it seems to me that there are two things that matter more to

Joseph Lieberman

3:17:28 to 3:17:49( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: our country as i see it than health care reform, although i wish we could do one is to sustain the recovery from the deepest recession that this country has had since the great depression of the 1930's. as i say, to crawl our way

Joseph Lieberman

3:17:50 to 3:18:10( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: gains in gross domestic product look like they're coming, but it's fragile. it's not and, of course, almost 10% of the american people are out of work. that is, the people looking for work. in fact, it's higher than 10%. so to me, the top priority that

Joseph Lieberman

3:18:11 to 3:18:31( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: we all should have -- i say for myself -- is economic recovery, to get people back to work, to keep our economy strong. the second -- and it's related to the first -- is to begin to deal with the terrible imbalances in our federal books.

Joseph Lieberman

3:18:32 to 3:18:52( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: because that will compromise economic recovery and cripple our economic future and the opportunity and grandchildren will have in the future. so it means we've got to make choices. in the health care debate coming, we've got to make sure as the president has said that there is not one dime added to the deficit as a result of it. i think we've got to make sure

Joseph Lieberman

3:18:53 to 3:19:17( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: that what we do within the context of health care reform does not -- not only doesn't increase the deficit and the long-term debt, but doesn't add costs and increase premiums, for instance, on working people,

Joseph Lieberman

3:19:18 to 3:19:38( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: middle-class families to pay for their health insurance and on businesses which every incentive to add workers to grow to s as it exists now. those are the standards that i'm going to apply to my own action on the health care reform proposal. i want to be for health care reform. i am for health care reform.

Joseph Lieberman

3:19:39 to 3:20:02( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: i know the system needs to be changed. but this is a precautionary vote coming up because while the amendment -- the medicare physicians fairness act which would repeal the sustainable growth rate formula is substantively just, it's not paid for.

Joseph Lieberman

3:20:03 to 3:20:25( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: it just adds almost $250 brl -- brl -- $250 billion to the deficit, to the debt for coming years. and i just don't think we can do that anymore. i'm relieved to know in terms of the immediate impact of my vote against cloture on this matter, the bill -- the heah care reform bill that came out of the senate finance committee does

Joseph Lieberman

3:20:26 to 3:20:47( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: take care of the problems with the stainable growth rate for another year. and that gives everybody, doctors and most important, medicare recipients breathing room. but we just can't go without paying for what we are spending no m

Joseph Lieberman

3:20:48 to 3:21:11( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: right it is because there is a greater harm being done to our country. i must say which this medicare physicians fairness act has come to the floor and taking it out of health care reform where it

Joseph Lieberman

3:21:12 to 3:21:32( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: certainly belongs is also a precautionary tale. i've said i'm against the public option of health care insurance, essentially a health insurance plan. one, because, you know, we believe in a market economy and a regulatory government.

Joseph Lieberman

3:21:33 to 3:21:54( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: we believe that the market economy is the best way to create growth, economic growth, wealth. it's served the american people very well. we also know that the market economy of itself doesn't -- as somebody long ago said -- have a conscience, so the government sets rules. we have oversight.

Joseph Lieberman

3:21:55 to 3:22:15( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: we have regulatory rules. we have antitrust laws, for instance. and that's the way we maintain fairness in the -- in the economy, in the marketplace. i don't remember another case about fairness in the marketplace, in this case whether there is real competition in the health insurance business,hether the

Joseph Lieberman

3:22:16 to 3:22:37( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: health insurance companies are being fair in their rates, et cetera, et cetera. all questions. i don't remember another case where the answer to that was to create a government-owned corporation to compete with the private sector. i spent six years, great years that i was privileged to serve as attorney general of connecticut.

Joseph Lieberman

3:22:38 to 3:23:01( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: we sued a lot of businesses for unfair trade practices, forbid rigging, for price fixing, et cetera, et cetera. we appeared before regulatory commissions on behalf of the people of the united state sorts of businesses, but nobody ever had the idea that instead of us doing that, we should create a

Joseph Lieberman

3:23:02 to 3:23:23( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: oil company, a government car company, a government company to sell automobiles, a government coany to take care of contracting. i mean, i cld go on and on. it just -- and one of the reasons is, particularly now, that i don't have confidence that -- that we can discipline

Joseph Lieberman

3:23:24 to 3:23:46( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: ourselves from making it into another causef the increasing skyrocketing federal deficit. and this bill is evidence of that, because here's a respect, the doctors saying i need this ten-year fix to this problem, and we just did it. this really ought to be done as

Joseph Lieberman

3:23:47 to 3:24:09( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: part of overall we've got to have a commission, we have got to have some system here to deal with the great threats to our economic future, which is medicare is going to run out of money in 2017, eight years from now. social security is already dipping into the trust funds, taking more out than we're getting in now. it may change in a year or two,

Joseph Lieberman

3:24:10 to 3:24:16( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: but that's the way it is. so with respect to the sponsors of this proposal, medicare

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