Obama’s March 16, 2006 speech against raising debt ceiling

Obama’s March 16, 2006 speech against raising the debt ceiling is here:

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.

And the cost of our debt is one of the fastest growing expenses in the Federal budget. This rising debt is a hidden domestic enemy, robbing our cities and States of critical investments in infrastructure like bridges, ports, and levees; robbing our families and our children of critical investments in education and health care reform; robbing our seniors of the retirement and health security they have counted on.

Every dollar we pay in interest is a dollar that is not going to investment in America’s priorities. Instead, interest payments are a significant tax on all Americans–a debt tax that Washington doesn’t want to talk about. If Washington were serious about honest tax relief in this country, we would see an effort to reduce our national debt by returning to responsible 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.

Sen. Barack Hussein Obama, Jr., (Senate – March 16, 2006)

_______________

3 Reasons Why The Debt-Ceiling Debate is Full of Malarkey

Uploaded by on Jul 15, 2011

All anybody in Washington can talk about these days is the debt limit or debt ceiling — the total amount of money the federal government is authorized to borrow at any given time. After a decade in which spending increased by more than 60 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars and the debt limit was raised no fewer than 10 times, the government is about to max out its $14.3 trillion credit line, leading to fears that Washington is going to default on its bonds, stop cutting Social Security checks, and destroy the economy more than it already has.

But the current debate over the debt ceiling is full of malarkey for at least three reasons.

1. August 2 is a phony deadline. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has pushed back the drop-dead date when the U.S. finally reaches its limit a bunch of times already: March 31, April 15, May 31 were all cited as deadlines before August 2 was inked in as Armageddon. But this time, he means it, man, really.

2. Reaching the debt limit is not the same as defaulting on our debt — which would indeed be catastrophic.

Think about it: You can max out your credit cards but as long as you keep paying the minimum amount due each month, your creditors don’t go crazy. Interest on the debt is a small fraction of total outlays and the government has a series of tools — from using cash on hand to selling assets to scrimping on nonessential payments — to make sure interest payments are made and seniors aren’t put on an all cat-food diet.

3. Legislating-by-Panic is no way to run a country. The reason we’re in this mess is because government can’t stop spending. And the government can’t even pass a budget on a year’s notice. But we’re expecting them to come up with a good plan for the country’s borrowing in a couple of weeks? Trying to force through an expansion of the country’s credit line by promising cuts in spending down the road is exactly why we’re in this situation to begin with.

It makes far more sense to do something like sell some TARP assets — the government is sitting on $320 billion in outstanding direct loans and equities investments — to cover interest payments through the end of the fiscal year then force Congress and the president to come up with a budget that cuts spending — and borrowing — for real, next year, not is some distant future.

For more information, check out Nick Gillespie’s 5 Uncomfortable Facts About the Wonderful, Horrible Debt-Limit Debate: http://reason.com/archives/2011/07/08/five-uncomfortable-facts-about

And Mercatus Center’s Jason J. Fichtner & Veronique de Rugy’s The Debt Ceiling: What is at Stake: http://mercatus.org/sites/default/files/publication/Debt%20Ceilling.deRugy.Fi…

About 2.35 minutes.

Produced by Nick Gillespie and Meredith Bragg, edited by Joshua Swain.

Go to Reason.tv for downloadable versions, and subscribe to Reason.tv’s YouTube Channel to receive automatic notifications when new material goes live.

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Comments

  • Darren Hussey  On September 20, 2013 at 8:22 am

    They call it MODERN ECONOMICS when we do it but when EU did it it was UNSUSTAINABLE. So now we idolize EU and I think we should compete with them….and no more Mr. nice guy

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