[Congressional Record Volume 168, Number 107 (Thursday, June 23, 2022)]
[Pages H5872-H5875]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                       PENDING ECONOMIC DISASTER

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Lieu). Under the Speaker's announced 
policy of January 4, 2021, the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. Schweikert) 
is recognized until 10 p.m. as the designee of the minority leader.
  Mr. SCHWEIKERT. Mr. Speaker, just because we are doing some 
organization and because we are all up against the tyranny of the 
clock, I yield to the gentleman from West Virginia (Mr. Mooney).

                            Rugby World Cup

  Mr. MOONEY. Mr. Speaker, as a competitive college rugby player at 
Dartmouth College, I picked up a love for the game of rugby. I continue 
to enjoy watching the sport as a Member of the U.S. Congress. I proudly 
serve as the co-chair of the Congressional Rugby Caucus, and I am 
honored to be an advocate for the Rugby World Cup. I am thrilled to 
rise today to celebrate that the United States has been named the host 
site of both the 2031 Men's Rugby World Cup and the 2033 Women's Rugby 
World Cup, a monumental accomplishment that brings the third largest 
sporting event in the world to our shores.
  Earlier this year, my caucus co-chair, Democrat Eleanor Holmes 
Norton, and I introduced a bipartisan concurrent resolution to 
recognize and support the efforts of USA Rugby and its partners to 
bring upcoming Rugby World Cup tournaments to the United States. Rugby 
is one of the fastest growing sports in the United States with more 
than 100,000 USA Rugby members playing in over 2,500 clubs nationwide.
  The United States possesses all the necessary state-of-the-art 
infrastructure in its stadiums and potential host cities to ensure that 
the tournaments set a new standard of quality, comfort, security, and 
safety for players, fans, and sponsors. The eventual location of U.S.-
based Rugby World Cup events will be chosen from a group of over one 
dozen cities in the United States.
  Rugby is about so much more than the tailgaiting and tackling. At its 
core, rugby teaches comradery, resilience, and respect for the 
opposition. It is also a sport with a massive international reach. With 
rugby boasting 405 million fans across the globe, the Men's Rugby World 
Cup has become among the most popular sporting events in the world. I 
congratulate all the hardworking individuals at USA Rugby who have 
spent a huge amount of time and effort on the lengthy and involved bid 
process. I would also like to recognize the efforts and vision of the 
leadership from World Rugby and the World Rugby Council.
  This moment marks a pivotal turning point for the sport of rugby in 
the United States and around the world. This will be the first time a 
Men's Rugby World Cup has been held in North or South America. A new 
hosting concept has been put in place as the United States stages 
consecutive men's and women's events within the same organizational 
  A projected 4.1 million fans will attend both the men's and women's 
Rugby World Cup events in the United States. Recent Rugby World Cup 
tournaments have brought more than 242,000 international fans from 
around the world into the host countries and seen more than 1.7 million 
spectators flock to the stadiums, generating significant revenue at the 
local and national level.
  USA and World Rugby will now lead a multi-year effort to build 
anticipation for 2031 and 2033 while developing infrastructure to 
guarantee successful tournaments. Additionally, USA Rugby will use the 
next decade to drive significant investment in the game at the youth 
level, increase access to and diversity in rugby, take rugby to the 
next level at the high school and college levels, and grow USA Rugby 
membership to 450,000 members.
  Bringing this event home is great news for our country and for the 
future of the great sport of rugby in our Nation.
  Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Arizona for yielding.
  Mr. SCHWEIKERT. Mr. Speaker, I am going to try something tonight 
because I am very, very concerned this place isn't paying attention to 
the numbers and how much trouble I believe we are in. My argument and 
my thesis is very simple: If I am wrong, I am wrong; but if I am right 
and this place didn't prepare because of the numbers we are seeing, 
then we will damage the people, we will damage the economics, we will 
damage the country, and we will damage our future. We are not taking it 
seriously enough on how the numbers are eroding and how fast--how 
fast--the numbers are eroding around us economically.
  Now, originally, this was going to be a 1-hour presentation. Now it 
looks like I have 22 minutes because of the tyranny of the clock, so I 
will try not go too fast, and I promise I will dispose of some of the 
boards. As always, wave at me if I start rambling at high rates of 

                              {time}  2140

  This is our baseline. The problem is this chart is now a year and a 
half old and the numbers are much worse. The reality, 29 years from 
now, CBO--this

[[Page H5873]]

isn't some off group; this is our Congressional Budget Office--
functionally says we have $112 trillion. My back of the napkin now says 
$120 trillion of publicly borrowed debt in today's dollars, not 
inflated dollars.
  Functionally, 75 percent of that debt is Medicare. Twenty-five 
percent is Social Security. The rest of the budget is in balance.
  Well, what happens to Medicare particularly when you start having 
inflation like we do?
  And I represent a district that has had over 11 percent inflation. I 
represent the district with the highest inflation in America.
  Let's actually start to walk through what many of the experts are 
saying. And remember, I am trying to make a very simple point here. I 
am worried about my country. I am worried about our debt and the 
ability to pay, and it is skyrocketing; and then the cascade effect of 
how many people are getting poorer.
  Remember, in the first 15 months of Democrat control here, Americans 
are dramatically poorer today than they were a year ago.
  So let's actually walk through this. When Larry Summers--when I am 
coming to the floor using quotes for Larry Summers--you have got Larry 
Summers. In order to do what is necessary to stop inflation, the Fed is 
going to raise interest rates enough that the economy will slip into 
recession. That is one of the Democrats, at least up until he had 
heresy of telling the truth on Democrats' $1.9 trillion spending last 
year, and then you put him on the outs. But up till that moment he was 
Democrats' favorite economist.
  But now he is basically telling us we have structurally built in so 
much inflation, we are going to have to have the Federal Reserve force 
us into recession.
  Do you know what happens to people, what happens to poor people, the 
working middle class, the working poor when you are in a recessionary 
cycle, and how many years it takes for the public to get their lives 
  The economy is heading for a hard landing when we are now starting to 
see over and over and over the very economists that, a month ago, were 
saying we might be able to negotiate a soft landing. Oh, we may just 
tip a little bit of growth and unemployment and come back.
  And now those same economists, a month later, are saying, no, we are 
heading toward a hard landing. We are going into recession.
  By the love of the Dear Lord, I hope they are wrong. But if they are 
right, have you seen a single thing this body has done to prepare?
  The U.S. economy is heading for a hard landing, and this one is 
important. We have got to understand. We are starting to see numbers 
now that--and we had a Member of the majority here, I think a couple of 
days ago, come and somewhere they threw out, oh, but there is all this 
excess money in the people's savings accounts. That isn't true anymore.
  You do understand, the personal savings rate has plummeted from 26.6 
percent a year ago, functionally, a year ago, to 4.4 in April, and it 
continues to vault. And understand, that personal savings rate of 4.4 
is below where we were before the pandemic.
  If we start to hit recession right now, our brothers and sisters out 
there don't have that cash reserve in their bank accounts.
  Do you understand the concept of fragility?
  And now we actually start to see the other thing that really 
genuinely terrifies me, and we are going to do a couple of slides on 
this. And I know I am going fast but we are up against the clock here. 
We have a mandatory shutdown in about 20 minutes.
  Treasury yields are really starting to decline. And you have got to 
understand, we basically had budget projections, Congressional Budget 
Office and others, who had been basically building analysis of what 
will the debt look like? And they were using remarkably historically 
low interest rates.
  A year ago we had expert after expert coming in front of the Ways and 
Means Committee and other places, Joint Economic Committee, oh, we are 
going to be in historically low interest rates because we are getting 
sold as a society. We have all these people saving. We are going to be 
more like Japan. Turns out they are wrong.
  Remember the previous slide? The savings rate from the largesse of 
the giveaways, just structurally we are getting demographically older. 
We should be retaining. It is gone. The savings are gone.
  And now we are going into an interest rate cycle where they are 
having to start to raise interest rates on Treasuries and everything 
else to attract capital from around the world. If you have been 
watching the U.S. dollar, you understand what is going on with this.
  What happens when U.S. sovereign debt--if interest rates are 2 points 
historically--so we go a 30-year run, and if we are just 2 percent 
higher than what CBO modeled last year, 2 points, in about 25 years, I 
believe the math is, every dollar of tax receipts, tax revenues, goes 
just to pay interest. There is no more government. We are just covering 
our debt.
  Do you understand the fragility we have done to ourselves with this 
inflationary cycle?
  The average interest rate being paid on Federal debt--and this, I 
know this board is a little hard to read and hard to see. But 
historically, go back to the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, the period that we 
have modeled is way down here. This was not normal.
  God forbid, if we go back to normality in U.S. sovereign interest 
rates, and then we are functionally running $30 trillion of debt, do 
you understand how much of--the left wants to spend money on these 
things. The right, we want to defend the military. There is no money.
  And you saw the first board that basically said the massive, massive 
shortfall in Medicare. Remember, Medicare is mostly a general fund 
expenditure. It is like only 20 percent of it really is a part A trust 
fund, and that is gone in 5 years. And it has begun. It has begun.
  And the other thing, it is more than what we borrow today. It is the 
amount of U.S. sovereign debt. And I didn't bring that board, and I 
probably should have, that has to be refinanced every month. So you may 
borrow $1 trillion this year, but you had to refinance 5 or 6 or $7 
trillion, and every dime of that now is reset at the new interest 
  And the higher interest costs--and I am going to do a couple of 
variations of this. But this is functionally, 9 budget years from now. 
If it is going where we think it is going, publicly held debt--you are 
now in the 126 percent of GDP. And most of this movement here, when you 
start to see this movement, it is the financing costs. It is the 
financing costs of this government. Because the real explosion of our 
demographic spending, you know, the fact that in 7 years, 22 percent of 
our country is 65 and older, that explosion of the baby boomers costs--
it really starts--it has already begun, but it really, that curve 
really starts to take off at the end of the decade; at the very time we 
are already pushing 126 percent of debt to GDP.

                              {time}  2150

  Does anyone understand the level of fragility? It is this 
inflationary cycle. Democrats did something horrible March last year. 
They didn't listen to their own economists because they were so busy 
living in this fantasy world of free money. Give it away. People will 
love us. Don't require them to participate in the economy. Now we are 
paying the price.
  If you are trying to save for retirement; if you are a young couple 
trying to get ready to buy your first house, there is a technical form 
for it in economics. You are screwed. Because every single day that 
savings you have is worth less.
  If you are a saver, your savings today is functionally about 7 
percent less valuable than it was a year ago.
  I mean, those of you who intend to retire one day, have you actually 
started to think about that the value of the savings you had, if you 
put it in safe things like bonds or savings accounts, is substantially 
less valuable today. Its purchasing power is less today than it was a 
year ago.
  If this continues for a couple years, do you understand how many more 
years you really need to work? Do you understand how much more savings 
you have to have? Do you have an understanding of how much you are 
going to have to help your kids buy that first house? This is not a 

[[Page H5874]]

  Two weeks ago, I came here, and we tried to do some of the math on 
the board of how many seniors. If the current inflation cycle lasts for 
about 24 months, we basically were trying to do the math of, okay, here 
is what happens to seniors' savings. It falls, the value of it. It is 
functionally transferred to government.
  What happens to the COLA? Well, the COLA and Social Security never 
gets close to keeping up to the actual inflation rate because of the 
lag problem.
  That 20 percent copay you have on your healthcare, and if healthcare 
inflation is almost double the CPI rate, and you've got to pay that 20 
percent, we were looking at math that said you could potentially double 
the number of seniors in poverty in a decade.
  Has anyone here actually wanted to dig into that math and start to 
understand? This is not a game.
  I know there is a desperate attempt by the administration and my 
Democrat colleagues, oh, this is inflation because of a war in Ukraine. 
This is greedy oil companies.
  No, it is not. You believed in modern monetary policy, and it blew 
  Remember, much of this inflation was structurally built in before the 
war in Ukraine. You see it in these sorts of numbers.
  By the end of 2021--and remember, that is before Russia's invasion, 
right?--credit card debt climbed to $856 billion. It is a 28 percent 
annualized increase in the fourth quarter of last year.
  It had already begun. People were already borrowing on their credit 
cards because prices were going up so fast. So the way they were 
supplementing their consumption is they were building up debt.
  I have showed you the board before. Savings rates have collapsed. We 
are now seeing credit card debt explode. When those hit up the wall--
you see what happened 3 weeks ago--consumer sentiment collapsed.
  It is because all of a sudden I can't keep financing my lifestyle by 
using up my savings and chewing up credit card debt.
  This is going on right now. Where is the concern? Does anyone here 
care about people and what is going on to them economically out there, 
outside the walls of this building?
  The U.S. economy is heading for a hard landing, and this is just 
functionally that same thing, once again, by other sources talking 
about the growth of credit card debt--or, excuse me, the collapse of 
savings rates.
  Credit card balances, once again, really, really--from other sources, 
saying the growth. This is a real problem.
  If we were in a time of prosperity--a couple minutes ago, I was in 
the back room. I saw the spokesperson for the White House. These are 
fine economic times. Have they lost their minds? Do they own, like, a 
subscription to any economic journal?
  To say things are fine at the same time you can see the aggregated 
data of savings collapsing, credit card debt exploding, interest rates 
going up, interest rates and sovereign debt, and now start to 
understand what that is going to mean in the financing of this 
  Now you have got to deal with the Democrats' policy set. The fact of 
the matter is, thank God, the Senate has a couple Democrats that 
actually may have saved the country--it is hard to say that--by 
stopping the Build Back Better and the just stunning amount of debt the 
left wanted to build on.
  When you start seeing numbers saying that if the Democrats' package 
had passed, we functionally would have gone from about $17 trillion of 
publicly-held borrowing before the pandemic to $44 trillion by the end 
of the decade. This is if the Democrats' spending plans and borrowing 
plans had passed.
  An absolute, absolute lie, and we have shown it over and over, oh, it 
is all paid for; except it wasn't. It wasn't even close.
  I think in the Build Back Better, the best estimate we were able to 
come--and we used their math--was they were covering about 30 percent 
of the expenditures, and they were covering it in a way where they were 
going to raise certain taxes that would have actually slowed down the 
economic growth that we are desperate for.
  Now you start to see my fear for the country. When we start to model 
what happens to the projected Federal debt under various interest rate 
scenarios--and I know I am sounding like a highly caffeinated 
accountant on steroids, but this is the stuff we are paid to read and 
  We are not paid to stand behind these microphones and virtue signal. 
But, God, that seems to be what we do here. We do policy by virtue 
  Let's come here for just one moment. Here is functionally where we 
are at. If you start to say, okay, the mean of U.S. sovereign debt, the 
30 years, the 10 years, the 20s, you know, up and down, CBO's baseline 
basically says we are at 202 percent of debt to GDP.

  With a small increase going back to almost normality, with the 
historic average over the last 30 years, we are starting to hit numbers 
close to 300.
  If we actually were slightly above historic normal, you are at 357 
percent of debt to GDP. Does anyone believe this economy doesn't 
collapse long before that?
  People run from the U.S. dollar. They dispose of U.S. debt. Can you 
imagine what the chaos, what the misery, what the dystopian nature of 
economics would be in this country if you start to run up these levels 
of debt.
  You already saw in a previous chart we are heading toward 126 percent 
of debt functionally at the end of the decade. Debt to GDP. That is 
publicly held borrowed money.
  At the same time, you are going to be up against the Social Security 
trust fund running out of money. Social Security recipients are heading 
toward a 25 to 27 percent cut. The Medicare trust fund will have 
already been gone for 5 years, so we still haven't figured out what is 
going to happen to the payments to doctors and hospitals within that.
  This is not a game, and it is in front of us. If we get here a couple 
years from now, and all this is blowing up on us, and this place 
pretends they didn't know, maybe I could sit them in front of the hours 
I have spent behind this microphone going over the math. The math is in 
those binders that are sent to us two times a year.
  Here is one of the things that truly terrifies me, as you start to 
get into the new interest rate scenarios. This isn't long term. This is 
basically, yeah, we start to think of what mean rates mean, and you 
start to add in just a 2 percent change.
  That 2 percent--and this is within the current 10-year window--you 
start to basically add $13.4 trillion additional--well, debt, and this 
marginal here is just the marginal increase because you start to chase 
your tail.
  I have a chart, and I need to actually have it graphically made so it 
is easier to see. We will be financing the debt that we are financing. 
We will be chasing our tail, and that is where we are heading.
  Now the cruelty.
  Mr. Speaker pro tem, may I ask, because I am looking at the clock 
above. Can you tell me how many minutes I have?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. About a minute and a half.
  Mr. SCHWEIKERT. I promise you, I am going to use all 5 minutes.
  This is the cruelty now to poor people, to the working poor, to that 
hardworking middle class, to those retirees. When you come to them and 
say, all right, let's take a look here.
  Forgive the colors, but the green would have been if we had hit the 2 
percent sort of Federal Reserve benchmark inflation goal. This here is 
where we seem to be annualizing right now, and this is some of the 
newest projection for the next couple years. It is about 7.4.
  But when you see this bar come down, it basically means the $100 you 
had in 2022, if you get to 2032, so a decade, that $100 you have, if we 
stay at this sort of inflation rate, functionally, you have lost half 
of its purchasing value.
  So you have saved and saved and saved and saved and saved, and if you 
start running--if the current interest or current inflation environment 
were to hang around for a decade, at the end of that decade, half the 
value is gone. You have lost half of your savings.
  This is what is going on. What if it is just for 2 years? You start 
just doing it for 2 years, and you start to realize you have lost 
almost a quarter. Then you compound that out to you want to retire one 
day. You want to finance your kids' school. You want to do these 

[[Page H5875]]

  Do you understand how the difference of your earning power has to 
change just to make up for the loss of the value? I represent a 
community that is going through 11 percent inflation rates.
  Then the last one in the last how many seconds I have. Please. 
Please. Someone hire an economist to talk to the White House. A gas tax 
holiday? I mean, you can hear the economists rolling on their backs 
laughing right now.
  Mr. Speaker pro tem, thank you for your tolerance tonight. I yield 
back the balance of my time.