While President Obama’s economic advisor Austin Goolsbee argued Sunday that a refusal by the Senate to increase the government’s debt ceiling (currently $14.3 trillion) would be “catastrophic” and a sign of “insanity,” that’s not the position the president has held in the past.
Here are Obama’s thoughts on the debt limit in 2006, when he voted against increasing the ceiling:
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.
In 2007 and in 2008, when the Senate voted to increase the limit by $850 billion and $800 billion respectively, Obama did not bother to vote. (He did vote for TARP, which increased the debt limit by $700 billion.)
Sen. Jim DeMint (R., S.C.) told Human Events in an interview released today that the decision about the debt ceiling “needs to be a big showdown” in the Senate.
“We are going to cut [spending] necessary to stay within the current levels, which is over $14 trillion,” said DeMint.