Green Room

Flashback: Sen. Obama ‘assaults constitutional structure’ with 2006 debt ceiling vote

posted at 11:15 am on September 16, 2013 by

President Obama is adamant:

On the eve of another fiscal showdown with congressional Republicans, President Obama is outright refusing to negotiate over an increase to the nation’s debt limit, saying doing so would alter “the constitutional structure of this government entirely.” “What I haven’t been willing to negotiate, and I will not negotiate, is on the debt ceiling,” Obama told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos in an exclusive interview on This Week. “If we continue to set a precedent in which a president … is in a situation in which each time the United States is called upon to pay its bills, the other party can simply sit there and say, ‘Well, we’re not going to put — pay the bills unless you give us … what we want,’ that changes the constitutional structure of this government entirely,” Obama said…Obama says he is drawing a line in the sand.

Meh.  Blowing through Obama ‘red lines’ isn’t typically that big of a deal if you’re a foreign butcher.  This president usually gets more animated about defeating his domestic political adversaries, so don’t worry too much about the Hitler comparisons, Bashar; the administration has likened Republicans to terrorists and segregationists, so you only rank slightly above Mitch McConnell on the rhetorical hierarchy of evil.  In any case, Obama’s definition of preserving the “constitutional structure” tends to vary, and by pure coincidence, his conclusions often align with his immediate political interests.  (See, for example, his actions on healthcare, welfare, immigration, and Libya).  Here’s how Senator Obama justified his righteous opposition to raising the debt ceiling when President Bush was in office:

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 was $8 trillion ago.  Obama’s decision wasn’t just throw-away symbolism, either.  Democrats fell just three votes shy of defeating a debt ceiling increase to “make a point” about Bush’s (comparatively modest) spending and borrowing.  Now, 2006 Barack Obama’s actions are being lambasted by 2013 Barack Obama as reckless threats to the republic.  Other Democrats voting “no” back then: Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Harry Reid, Dick Durbin, and Chuck Schumer.  But that was different, you see, because Bush.

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A point well made.

FOWG1 on September 16, 2013 at 11:49 AM

The Demcrat Party law:

If it helps Democrat Party power, do it.

GardenGnome on September 16, 2013 at 11:51 AM

The last budget passed by a Republican House, Republican Senate, and Republican President was passed in 2006 for FY 2007 and resulted in a deficit of less than $161 Billion.

Democrats made deficit spending and the national debt a campaign issue in 2006 and won both houses of Congress with promises of fiscal discipline and “no more deficit spending”.

When Democrats took majority control on January 3, 2007, did they keep those promises?

No, they did the exact opposite… they roughly tripled the deficit in their first fiscal year budget (FY 2008), roughly tripled the deficit AGAIN in their second fiscal year budget (FY 2009), and haven’t passed a real budget since 2009. The Democrat majorities, who promised “no more deficit spending”, have been running deficits over $1 Trillion (over $1,000 Billion) for the last six fiscal years (FY 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and now into 2014).

Let’s take a look one more time at the promises and statements made by Democrats in 2006 – 2008:

2006:

Over the past decade, the Republican controlled Congress took our nation in the wrong direction. Too many Americans are paying a heavy price for those wrong choices: record costs for energy, health care and education; jobs shipped overseas; and budgets that heap record debt on our children. For millions, the middle-class dream has been replaced by a middle-class squeeze…

Democrats are proposing a New Direction for America…

With integrity, civility and fiscal discipline, our New Direction for America will use commonsense principles to address the aspirations and fulfill the hopes and dreams of all Americans. That is our promise to the American people….

Our federal budget should be a statement of our national values. One of those values is responsibility. Democrats are committed to ending years of irresponsible budget policies that have produced historic deficits. Instead of piling trillions of dollars of debt onto our children and grandchildren, we will restore “Pay As You Go” budget discipline.

Budget discipline has been abandoned by the Bush Administration and its Republican congressional majorities. Congress under Republican control has turned a projected $5.6 trillion 10-year surplus at the end of the Clinton years into a nearly $3 trillion deficit– including the four worst deficits in the history of America. The nation’s debt ceiling has been raised four times in just five years to more than $8.9 trillion. Nearly half of our nation’s record debt is owned by foreign countries including China and Japan. Without a return to fiscal discipline, the foreign countries that make our computers, our clothing and our toys will soon be making our foreign policy. Deficit spending is not just a fiscal problem – it’s a national security issue as well.

Our New Direction is committed to “Pay As You Go” budgeting – no more deficit spending.

2007:

After years of historic deficits, this 110th Congress will commit itself to a higher standard: pay-as-you-go, no new deficit spending. Our new America will provide unlimited opportunity for future generations, not burden them with mountains of debt.

- New Speaker Nancy Pelosi, 01/04/2007

2008:

“The problem is, is that the way Bush has done it over the last eight years is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt from $5 trillion for the first 42 presidents – #43 added $4 trillion by his lonesome, so that we now have over $9 trillion of debt that we are going to have to pay back — $30,000 for every man, woman and child. That’s irresponsible. It’s unpatriotic.

- Barack Obama July 3, 2008

Republican majorities added $4 Trillion to the total national debt over the course of 12 Fiscal Years (FY 1996-2007)

Democrat majorities have added over $8 Trillion to the total national debt over the course of 12 Fiscal Years (FY 2008-2013).

Democrats, after promising fiscal discipline and no more deficit spending, have done the EXACT OPPOSITE, and have been deficit spending at OVER FOUR TIMES THE RATE of their Republican predecessors.

ITguy on September 16, 2013 at 12:02 PM

Democrat majorities have added over $8 Trillion to the total national debt over the course of 12 SIX Fiscal Years (FY 2008-2013).

Fixed it.

ITguy on September 16, 2013 at 12:31 PM

Really let this sink in:

=============================================
Republican majorities (FY 1996-2007):
$4 Trillion new debt added in 12 Fiscal Years
=============================================
Democrat majorities (FY 2008-2013):
over $8 Trillion new debt added in just 6 Fiscal Years!
=============================================

ITguy on September 16, 2013 at 12:36 PM

It should have – and would have – been so easy for the GOP to defeat 0bama and his minions in 2012, if only they had pulled their heads out of their a$$es, stopped the navel-gazing, and used this kind of stuff to attack President Rodeo Clown.

SMH in pity.

UltimateBob on September 16, 2013 at 1:51 PM

Really let this sink in:

=============================================
Republican majorities (FY 1996-2007):
$4 Trillion new debt added in 12 Fiscal Years
=============================================
Democrat majorities (FY 2008-2013):
over $8 Trillion new debt added in just 6 Fiscal Years!
=============================================

ITguy on September 16, 2013 at 12:36 PM

Great point. To be fair though, from 2010 ro 2013 the Dems did not have the House, and only a small majority in the Senate.

Nonetheless, how long has it been since the Democratically controlled Senate did their job and passed a budget?

UltimateBob on September 16, 2013 at 1:54 PM

To be fair though, from 2010 ro 2013 the Dems did not have the House, and only a small majority in the Senate.

I think it is fair to give credit/blame to the party which controlled a majority (2+ out of 3) of the House, Senate, and Presidency.

From January 3, 1995 to January 2, 2007, Republicans held majority control and were majority responsible for the FY 1996-2007 budgets and spending.

From January 3, 2007 to present, Democrats have held majority control and are majority responsible for the FY 2008-present budgets (or lack thereof) and spending.

The Dems love to pretend that Obama “inherited” the FY 2009 budget, but the truth is that the FY 2009 budget was passed by:

1) The Nancy Pelosi House of Representatives,
2) The Harry Reid Senate, and
3) Barack Obama (NOT George Bush) on March 11, 2009.

(Dems had held it back until Obama replaced Bush, and used continuing resolutions in the interim).

So the Dems try to blame Bush for deficit spending passed by Pelosi, Reid, and Obama.

And sure, Republicans have held majority control of the House since January 3, 2011, and they have passed a budget out of the House, but that doesn’t go anywhere without cooperation from Reid and Obama. Instead, Continuing Resolutions and debt ceiling raises have become the norm. That has to stop.

ITguy on September 16, 2013 at 2:07 PM

“What I haven’t been willing to negotiate, and I will not negotiate, is on the debt ceiling,” Obama told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos in an exclusive interview on This Week. “If we continue to set a precedent in which a president … is in a situation in which each time the United States is called upon to pay its bills, the other party can simply sit there and say, ‘Well, we’re not going to put — pay the bills unless you give us … what we want’

Awesome. Obama defines “paying our bills” as raising the Federal debt ceiling to borrow more money from China.

Fascinating.

Jaibones on September 16, 2013 at 5:33 PM

Gotta love the long memory of the Internet, even with as little time it has been around.

ProfShadow on September 17, 2013 at 7:24 AM