He started out today’s press conference by turning up the lies.
As I said on the campaign, one component to growing our economy and broadening opportunity for the middle class is shrinking our deficits in a balanced and responsible way. And for nearly two years now, I’ve been fighting for such a plan, one that would reduce our deficits by $4 trillion over the next decade, which would stabilize our debt and our deficit in a sustainable way for the next decade.
Not true…the only people that have created plans to cut the budget has been the House Republicans. The Senate has refused to even consider the house budget cut bills. It’s also worth noting that
Obama’s Democratic allies in the Senate haven’t passed a budget in three
years, including one year when both the House and the Senate were in
Democratic hands. Unless it was left out of the transcript I read…the president didn’t call on anyone in his
party today to pass a budget.
That would be enough not only to stop the growth of our debt relative to the size of our economy, but it would make it manageable so it doesn’t crowd out the investments we need to make in people and education and job training and scientist and medical research, all the things that help us grow.
Now, step by step, we’ve made progress towards that goal. Over the past two years, I’ve signed into law about $1.4 trillion in spending cuts. Two weeks ago, I signed into law more than $600 billion in new revenue, by making sure the wealthiest Americans begin to pay their fair share.
We all know about the “paying their fair share” lie. But the President goes on to call stopping spending that was never placed into the budget–a budget cut.
When you add the money that we’ll save in interest payments on the debt,
altogether that adds up to a total of about $2.5 trillion in deficit
reduction over the past two years, not counting the $400 billion already
saved from winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
According to the CBO the deal passed right after New Year’s Eve did not reduce the debt but increased the federal debt by $4 trillion.
Then the president threw down the gauntlet at the foot of the GOP:
Now, the other congressionally imposed deadline coming up is
the so-called debt ceiling, something most Americans hadn’t even heard
of before two years ago. So I want to be clear about this: The debt
ceiling is not a question of authorizing more spending. Raising the debt
ceiling does not authorize more spending. It simply allows the country
to pay for spending that Congress has already committed to.
These are bills that have already been racked up, and we need to pay
them. So, while I’m willing to compromise and find common ground over
how to reduce our deficits, America cannot afford another debate with
this Congress about whether or not they should pay the bills they’ve
already racked up. If congressional Republicans refuse to pay America’s
bills on time, Social Security checks, and veterans benefits will be
We might not be able to pay our troops, or honor our
contracts with small business owners. Food inspectors, air traffic
controllers, specialist who track down loose nuclear materials wouldn’t
get their paychecks. Investors around the world will ask if the United
States of America is in fact a safe bet. Markets could go haywire,
interest rates would spike for anybody who borrows money. Every
homeowner with a mortgage, every student with a college loan, every
small business owner who wants to grow and hire.
It would be a
self-inflicted wound on the economy. It would slow down our growth,
might tip us into recession. And ironically it would probably increase
our deficit. So to even entertain the idea of this happening, of the
United States of America not paying its bills, is irresponsible. It’s
absurd. As the speaker said two years ago, it would be, and I’m quoting
Speaker Boehner now, “a financial disaster, not only for us, but for the
So we’ve got to pay our bills. And
Republicans in Congress have two choices here. They can act responsibly,
and pay America’s bills, or they can act irresponsibly and put America
through another economic crisis. But they will not collect a ransom in
exchange for not crashing the American economy. The financial wellbeing
of the American people is not leverage to be used. The full faith and
credit of the United States of America is not a bargaining chip. And
they better choose quickly, because time is running short.
To put the president’s words into English, “I will not let Congress stop my march toward a government takeover of almost everything. I will not allow them to cut spending, even though the national debt has grown more during my first four years than any other President in history has in eight years.”
Of course the GOP has to hold the debt ceiling hostage to budget cuts it is the only way they can force the president into allowing the cuts necessary to get the country out of our debt crisis. True if a new debt ceiling is not passed in time it might hurt the economy, but nowhere near as much as not cutting our spending.
Lets not forget what a rookie Senator said in 2006 when he voted against the raising of the debt ceiling:
SEN. BARACK OBAMA: “Mr. President, I rise today to talk about America’s debt problem. 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.” (Sen. Barack Obama, Congressional Record, 3/16/06, p. S2237)