Saturday, April 02, 2011
The Debt Ceiling and the Hypocrisy Ceiling
Republicans have gone from almost unanimous support for raising the debt ceiling when they controlled the presidency and the Congress to generally opposing raising the debt ceiling when a Republican was president and the Democrats controlled Congress to almost unanimously opposing raising the debt ceiling when Democrats controlled the presidency and the Congress to unanimously opposing the Democrats the last two times they raised the debt ceiling. It should also be pointed out that when Republicans had a majority in the House and Senate under President Clinton, they voted twice to raise the debt limit (in 1996 & 1997).
As a U.S. senator, Barack Obama had four opportunities to vote on expanding the debt ceiling when George W. Bush was the president. He didn't vote on two occasions (in 2007 & 2008), but when the Republicans controlled the Congress and supported raising the debt limit in 2006, he voted against doing so (H.J.Res.47) and when the Democrats controlled the Congress and supported raising the debt limit in 2008, he voted in favor of doing so (H.R.1424). And although most congressional Democrats currently favor an increase in the debt limit, they fought against such an increase the four times the debt ceiling was raised when Bush was in office.
Rejecting an increase in the debt limit is the first step toward restoring fiscal sanity in Washington. It would force Congress to cut spending, and cut it drastically. The wars must be ended. The entitlements must be cut. Rolling back government spending to "pre-stimulus, pre-bailout levels," as the House Republicans proposed in their "Pledge to America," will not cut it.
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