In 2006, Senator Obama argued and voted against raising the debt ceiling. In 2007 and 2008, he didn't bother to vote. In 2006:
- "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 US Government can not 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."
Senator Barack Obama, March 2006
Obama later joined all Dems in voting en bloc against raising the debt increase.
Behind closed doors and with no cameras present, President Obama signed into law Friday afternoon the bill raising the public debt limit from $12.394 trillion to $14.294 trillion.
The current national debt is $12.3 trillion. Check out the National Debt Clock, which tells you your share of that -- roughly $40,000 per citizen, $113,000 per taxpayer.
The bill also establishes a statutory Pay-As-You-Go procedure requiring that new non-emergency legislation affecting tax revenue or mandatory spending not increase the Federal deficit – in other words, that any new spending or tax cuts be paid for with new taxes or spending cuts.
WASHINGTON – The White House said Monday that President Barack Obama regrets his vote as a senator in 2006 against raising the debt limit — the same kind of increase he's now pressuring Congress to approve.
Obama "thinks it was a mistake," presidential spokesman Jay Carney told reporters. "He realizes now that raising the debt ceiling is so important to the health of this economy and the global economy that it is not a vote that, even when you are protesting an administration's policies, you can play around with."
The country will reach its debt limit of $14.3 trillion by May 16. If Congress doesn't raise it by then or shortly thereafter, the government would not be able to make debt payments, leading to an unprecedented default of the national debt and driving up borrowing costs for the government, U.S. companies and consumers, the Treasury Department warns.