Congressman Joe Barton was the featured speaker at Tuesday Lions Club meeting. Barton talked to Lions about the present situation in Washington regarding the budget and spending.

ďOn the budget situation it should not be a surprise that we are spending more money then we have. We are going to spend your tax dollars somewhere close to $3.5 trillion and $4 trillion in this budget year,Ē Barton said.

ďA trillion is 1,000 billion. We canít comprehend what a trillion dollars is. But to put in perspective the first year that I was elected to Congress our total budget was less than a trillion dollars. The national debt is now around $13 trillion. We didnít hit a trillion dollars in debt until the late 1970s.Ē

Barton said the economic problems the country is facing could be solved right now if people started working on the problem. The problem is not unsolvable and basic programs could be protected such as Social Security and Medicare. Programs would not be eliminated but cuts to their budgets would have to be made until the country is back on its feet, he said.†

†ďAt some point in time, and I think that point in time is sooner rather later, people like me need to be honest with you in making our decisions and say we just donít have the money,Ē Barton said.

ďWe have had a lot of votes this year on various budget issues and almost every time I have voted to spend less money. While I am in congress I do know that we canít just kick the can down the road, it canít be done. Letís start balancing the budget sooner rather then later.Ē

Barton also discussed the ongoing controversy in Washington concerning the Solyndra Corporation. Solyndra was a California-based company that manufactured solar cells. The company was awarded a loan from the United States Department of Energy in the amount of $535 million in 2009. The company then filed for bankruptcy in August of this year and has laid off 1,100 employees. Barton said the FBI is now investigating the company.

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