Though often at odds with the President on matters of spending and the budget, Congressman Jack Kingston (R-GA) today urged his colleagues to heed the wisdom he expressed during the debt limit debate in 2006.
In circulating the statement, Kingston concurred with then-Senator Obama's belief that the debate over raising the debt limit is a, "sign of leadership failure," and that the key to reducing our national debt is a return to, "responsible fiscal policies." Although his spokesman described the consequences of a failure to raise the debt limit as, "Armageddon-like," the President voted against such a proposal as member of the Senate.
"The President and his advisors seem to have forgotten where he stood in 2006," said Kingston. "Over and over again they claim that the threat to our economic future is not raising the debt ceiling. The real threat is in raising it without fundamental reforms that change the trajectory of spending and, as the President said, return to "responsible fiscal policies.
"What's changed since the President gave this speech? The problem has gotten worse and spending is in overdrive."
In his remarks, then-Senator Obama decried a $3.5 trillion increase in the debt over the previous five years and rebuked the President's budget for adding another $3.5 trillion over the following five years. To provide context, Kingston reminded his colleagues that the President had added $3.7 trillion to the debt in just over three years and that hid budget would add an additional $9.1 trillion.
"We can't afford to continue piling mountains of debt on our children and grandchildren," Kingston said. "We must use this opportunity to provide them with a more stable and secure future by getting spending under control. The President had it right in 2006. We need him to get it right today."
Last week, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner sent a letter to Congress informing them that, although he estimated the debt limit would be reached by May 16, the Treasury had in its power measures to extend the deadline to increase the limit until about August 2.