Debt Ceiling: Latest Presidential Hypocrisy
By Glenn Kessler @ Washington Post
“You have never seen in the history of the United States the debt ceiling or the threat of not raising the debt being used to extort a president or a governing party and trying to force issues that have nothing to do with the budget and nothing to do with the debt.” — President Obama, remarks to the Business Roundtable, Sept. 18, 2013
… Generally, raising the debt ceiling has been routine and not especially controversial. But, as we have noted before, starting in 1953 during the Dwight Eisenhower administration, fiscal conservatives in Congress at times have used the debt limit as a way to force concessions by the executive branch on spending. Eisenhower, a Republican, had particular trouble with a Democrat, Sen. Harry F. Byrd of Virginia, over the debt ceiling because Byrd was skeptical of Eisenhower’s plans to build the national highway system.
That dispute was about a budget issue, which the president seemed to exclude in his comment. But unfortunately for the president’s claim, there are other, compelling examples that contradict it.
In 1973, when Richard Nixon was president, Democrats in the Senate, including Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Sen. Walter Mondale (D-Minn.), sought to attach a campaign finance reform bill to the debt ceiling after the Watergate-era revelations about Nixon’s fundraising during the 1972 election. Their efforts were defeated by a filibuster, but it took days of debate and the lawmakers were criticized by commentators (and fellow lawmakers) for using “shotgun” tactics to try to hitch their pet cause to emergency must-pass legislation. President Obama said that GOP lawmakers now are trying to “extort” repeal of the health care law via the debt limit, but that’s also what Democrats wanted to do with President Nixon, who opposed the campaign-finance reforms.
It’s really gotten to the point where its hard to trust anything he says these days. Remember this is the same “honorable” President who could not put politics aside for a day to start his partisan bashing only hours after innocent Americans were murdered in the recent Navy Yard shootings and the nation was grieving…
“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.”
– Obama 2006 . link to full speech
Related Articles @
Annotating Obama’s 2006 speech against boosting the debt limit – Washington Post
Bachmann said Obama voted against the debt limit when he was a senator – Politifact
Obama: Not Always a Fan of Upping Debt Ceiling – National Review