Obama on the Debt Ceiling in 2006 vs 2013

CNS News reported an excerpt from President Obama’s speech given on September 18 at the Business Roundtable in D.C. Obama claimed that,

“Now, this debt ceiling — I just want to remind people in case you haven’t been keeping up — raising the debt ceiling, which has been done over a hundred times, does not increase our debt; it does not somehow promote profligacy. All it does is it says you got to pay the bills that you’ve already racked up, Congress. It’s a basic function of making sure that the full faith and credit of the United States is preserved.”

—However, in 2006, Obama actually laments that that Federal spending has not been reduced, which he in turn blames for an increase in deficits, resulting in more money borrowing and a need to raise the debt ceiling.

“Tax breaks have not been paid for by reductions in Federal spending, and thus the only way to pay for them has been to increase our deficit to historically high levels and borrow more and more money. Now we have to pay for those tax breaks plus the cost of borrowing for them”

—-Likewise in 2006, Obama described Bush’s increase of federal debt by $ 3.5 trillion over 5 years to be “reckless fiscal policies”, and a sign of “leadership failure”.

“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. Over the past 5 years, our federal debt has increased by $3.5 trillion to $8.6 trillion. That is ‘‘trillion’’ with a ‘‘T.’’ That is money that we have borrowed from the Social Security trust fund, borrowed from China and Japan, borrowed from American taxpayers. And over the next 5 years, between now and 2011, the President’s budget will increase the debt by almost another $3.5 trillion”

—Yet in merely three years of Obama’s Administration, from 09/30/09 – 09/30/12 (the last year for which figures were available), the debt increased $ $4.1 Trillion, from $1,909,829,003,511.75 to $16,066,241,407,385.89. These numbers were taken from Treasurydirect.gov.

–In 2013, Obama discusses the need to raise the debt ceiling in order to preserve the full faith and credit of the United States for the future:

“And I have responsibilities at this point not just to the current generation but to future generations, and we’re not ‘going to set up a situation where the full faith and credit of the United States is put on the table every year or every year and a half, and we go through some sort of terrifying financial brinksmanship because of some ideological arguments that people are having about some particular issue of the day. We’re not going to do that”

—And what was that part about responsibilities to current and future generations and the full faith and credit of the United StateS? Back in 2006, Obama used that same argument against raising the debt ceiling

“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. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit.”

The full text of obama’s speech to the Roundtable is here, taken from whitehouse.gov

The full text of Obama’s 2006 speech is here.

An interesting thing to note about Obama’s 2006 speech against the debt ceiling. The original text of the speech should be in the Senate archives online, but it was removed months ago after an NRO article drew attention to it in January 2013. Shortly after that article ran, the link to the speech came back as an “error”.

Unsurprisingly, the link has yet to be fixed as of this morning. Shortly thereafter, the Heritage Foundation was able to get a copy of the text from the Government Printing Office (gpo.gov). They dug it up there because the online Senate file was scrubbed. After the NRO article ran, I reproduced it here in its entirety. It almost sounds…..conservative.

What Obama said and thought as a Senator during the Bush administration in 2006 versus what Obama says and thinks as the President in 2013 regarding the very same topic — the debt ceiling — yields two very different sets of conclusions.

Crossposted at alanjoelny.com