We have reminded folks about Barack Obama comments on the debt limit, from March 2006, where he said, and I quote: (From ABC News)
“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. … 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 and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit.”
Obama voted against raising the limit after he made that statement, as did Democratic Senators Harry Reid, Richard Durbin, Charles Schumer, and Patty Murray. (Source- Washington Examiner)
On March 16, 2006, the Senate held a vote on a measure to raise the debt ceiling by $781 billion — the fourth such vote of George W. Bush’s presidency. Republicans controlled the Senate, and Democrats spent much of the debate railing against Bush’s spending. “When it comes to deficits, this president owns all the records,” said Reid. “The three largest deficits in our nation’s history have all occurred under this administration’s watch.”
Declaring themselves outraged by such spending, Reid, Durbin, Schumer, and Murray all voted against raising the debt limit. So did every other Democrat — including Sen. Barack Obama. But on Friday, the four lawmakers urged now-President Obama not only to raise the ceiling but to do it in a constitutionally risky fashion by going over the head of Congress.
Jump to today, we see all four of those Democratic party leaders, signed on to a letter to Barack Obama encouraging him to raise the debt limit, even without Congressional approval.
Republicans argue that to agree to give Obama the debt limit increase he is asking for that an equal amount of spending cuts, dollar for dollar, be included in any deal. This would be a small step towards showing that Washington is prepared to start addressing the out-of-control spending that forces the US to continuously need to raise the limit of the amount we are allowed to borrow to pay our bills.