U.S. Congressman Paul Gosar spoke about the current state of the economy during a Colorado River Tea Party rally held Saturday afternoon at Arizona Western College.
Other officials attending the rally included Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne, Yuma County Supervisor Russ Clark and Yuma Mayor Al Krieger.
“We have lots of misinformation in regards to the budget,” Gosar told the gathered audience.
“When you know the facts (and) understand the facts, the facts set you free.”
He advocated Congressman Paul Ryan's budget which “balances — whether you like it or not. But it take 10 years to balance. That is the predicament we are in.”
He also spoke about sequestration.
“I was the only Republican in U.S. Congress in Arizona to vote for sequestration because doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is called stupidity or insanity,” he said, noting government spending must be reigned in.
“It is not a revenues problem or a taxing problem because we have stayed very consistent. It is a spending problem is what we've got here and we have to acknowledge the way we are spending. We can make cuts all the way around here, but we've got to have the discussion about our big three — Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security.”
He pointed out that the funding for disability payments through Social Security only has about 18 months of funding left and that Medicare Part A may be insolvent by the end of 2015.
“Almost every economist will tell you that if one, two or both of those go down it starts a string of events we can't stop,” Gosar said. “That is why you have got to have the conversation” about spending cuts.
“Anybody that says our debt isn't a problem, they are lying to you,” he continued. “Anyone that tells you we are not going to touch Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, they are lying to you. You've got to know the facts. I am not here to scare you. I am here to get your help and support because we have time and we can make changes.”
It was a long road to arrive at the current economic situation, and it will be a longer road yet to come out of it, Gosar said.
“When times are fat and sassy, we gave things away a little bit at a time and we didn't hold politicians accountable. But now that we've gotten through that, we own this problem, and you solve it one step at a time. It is not coming back overnight the way it was. What we are going to have to do is show the American spirit. We are going to have to reclaim part of our Constitution piece by piece, by piece.”
He closed with a warning about the currently fractious nature of the GOP.
“Start getting involved making sure people are part of the solutions, because when you start tearing yourself apart, you are going to lose,” he said. “You are about to lose this country, and you are picking apart each other.”
Chris McDaniel can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6849.