President Obama had harsh words for congressional Republicans who have refused to raise the debt ceiling without dollar-for-dollar spending cuts.
“They [Republicans] will not collect a ransom in exchange for not crashing the economy. The full faith and credit of the United States of America is not a bargaining chip. And they better decide quickly because time is running short.”
But when he started chastising conservatives for placing the nation’s economy in danger in order to get spending under control, the President conveniently forgot that blocking a debt ceiling increase hasn’t been just a Republican stance.
For example, here’s a quote from a young senator from Illinois, speaking on the floor of the Senate in 2006:
“The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. … Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here. Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.”
That senator, as you may have guessed, is now our President. President Obama declared last summer that “playing politics” with the debt ceiling was reckless and irresponsible. But how did White House spokesman Robert Gibbs describe then-Senator Obama’s 2006 vote to oppose any debt ceiling increase?
“The President used it to make a point [about spending and debt being too high]”
“52-48… It was a close vote.”
“We’ve had closer.”
Nice argument, guys. The next time the President berates Republicans for “playing politics” with the debt ceiling, someone should remind him that voted the same way they did when he was in congress seven years ago.
Of course, seven years ago, our debt was $8.5 trillion and we had a Republican in the White House. Now it’s $16.1 trillion and we have a Democrat in the White House.
Looks like Obama’s 2006 vote is proving a different point than he the one he wanted…