Under President Obama’s watch our national debt has increased nearly $6 trillion for a grand total of $16.4 trillion. That is more than any other of the forty-two Presidents before him. In his press conference on Monday, President Obama declared that it was not his fault that the debt went up but put the blame squarely on Congress. The fact is that both are to blame but President Obama has set a course where he could conceivably double the national debt by 2016. America cannot sustain that amount of spending.
In the first two years of Obama’s presidency the Democrat Congress was a rubber stamp for his Big Government policies. A bulk of our staggering debt acquired under President Obama can be traced to those two years where the liberals in control of Washington spent taxpayers’ money like a bunch of drunken sailors. However, since the 2010 elections, the Republican majority in the House of Representatives has tried to help tame the open faucet of government spending.
It is imperative that Speaker of the House John Boehner holds the line on even more government spending in the coming months. It is why the debt ceiling debate is so important. The purpose of the debt ceiling is to act as a backstop to keep the Treasury Department in check. But Congress has raised the debt ceiling 94 times since 1940, rendering the idea of such a limit utterly meaningless. The debt ceiling has turned into a complete farce under both Republican and Democrat administrations.
With the debt limit about to be breached for the seventh time under Obama’s presidency, Speaker Boehner and Republicans in Congress need to use President Obama’s own words against him. In 2006, then-Senator Barack Obama railed against President Bush for raising the debt ceiling by saying:
“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. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit.”
President Obama needs to heed his own words from 2006 and recognize that raising the debt ceiling for the seventh time during his tenure in office is a leadership failure. Unfortunately, Obama used scare tactics in his press conference on Monday by saying Republicans would be blamed for economic Armageddon if they did not pass a debt ceiling increase. He also used the old liberal playbook by scaring seniors on Social Security and saying the members of the military and veterans would not be paid if Congress failed to increase the debt ceiling.
Republicans in the House of Representatives should right now pass legislation that would protect seniors and those in the military and veterans from the affects of defaulting on our debt. Republicans need to be on offense, and by passing this commonsense piece of legislation seniors and our military would not be used as pawns by President Obama and Democrats in Congress. The American people are tired of being held hostage by an administration that does not want to solve the issue of our national debt and entitlement reform.
Then-Senator Obama was right in 2006 when he said that future generations are suffering from the “bad choices” we are making today. The national debt stood at $8.2 trillion when Obama uttered those words on the Senate floor. We are nearly at $16.5 trillion now and could get over $20 trillion by 2016. What has changed Mr. President?