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Obama: A Profile In Debt Ceiling Hypocrisy

By David King Published: October 11, 2013

All you need to know about Barack Obama, and politics more generally, is contained in Obama's polar opposite positions on the debt ceiling. He had one position in 2006 when the President's name was Bush, and the exact opposite position now that the President's name is Obama.

First, I'll provide some debt ceiling excerpts from Obama's press conference last tuesday:

"...negotiations shouldn't require hanging the threats of a government shutdown or economic chaos over the heads of the American people.

Think about it this way, the American people do not get to demand a ransom for doing their jobs. You don't get a chance to call your bank and say I'm not going to pay my mortgage this month unless you throw in a new car and an Xbox. If you're in negotiations around buying somebody's house, you don't get to say, well, let's talk about the price I'm going to pay, and if you don't give the price then I'm going to burn down your house. That's not how negotiations work. That's not how it happens in business. That's not how it happens in private life.

In the same way, members of Congress, and the House Republicans in particular, don't get to demand ransom in exchange for doing their jobs. And two of their very basic jobs are passing a budget and making sure that America's paying its bills. They don't also get to say, you know, unless you give me what the voters rejected in the last election, I'm going to cause a recession."

However, back in 2006, when the President was a Republican named Bush, Senator Barack Obama had the following to say when he voted AGAINST raising the debt 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. 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.

Numbers that large are sometimes hard to understand. Some people may wonder why they matter. Here is why: This year, the Federal Government will spend $220 billion on interest. That is more money to pay interest on our national debt than we’ll spend on Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. That is more money to pay interest on our debt this year than we will spend on education, homeland security, transportation, and veterans benefits combined. It is more money in one year than we are likely to spend to rebuild the devastated gulf coast in a way that honors the best of America.

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.

...That is why I will once again cosponsor the Pay-go amendment and continue to hope that my colleagues will return to a smart rule that has worked in the past and can work again...I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit”

So, what accounts for the 180 degree turnabout in Obama's rhetoric ? Did he go from being a Tea Partier in 2006 to being a fiscally irresponsible drunken sailor in 2013 ? Of course he didn't. What changed Obama's rhetoric was the political party occupying the presidency, nothing more. When Obama voted against raising the debt ceiling in 2006, he voted FOR all the things he claims to be AGAINST now. He's simply a hypocrite, a political chameleon.

I agree with what Obama said in 2006, and I have always agreed with it. The sentiment he expressed is one of the major reasons why I write this blog. This country will soon drown itself in debt and unsustainable entitlements if we don't reverse course, and President Obama has made the situation dramatically worse. It's why I call him the worst President in history. That $8 billion debt from 2006 is $17 trillion in 2013, and the lion's share of the increase has come on Obama's watch. None of our unsustainable entitlements have been funded, and the foolish Obama even created the largest new entitlement since Medicare itself to add to our unsustainability problem. It's like he's trying to crash the economy and the future of this country on purpose...and his braindead, lemming-like minions keep whining about the Tea Party, who is of the few factions trying to prevent America's economic Titanic from crashing into the iceberg. The Obamanation has to see the iceberg looming on the horizon (don't they ?), but for some bizarre reason, they keep screaming "full speed ahead" (though they use words like "don't negotiate"). 

It's hard for me to fathom how partisanship trumps national economic suicide.

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