- The Washington Times - Friday, January 14, 2011

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

What a difference five years and a presidential perspective make. In 2006, then-Sen. Barack Obama voted against an increase in the federal debt limit to $9 trillion, stating, “The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure,” and added that Washington was “shifting the burden of the bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren.” No doubt these remarks from a Democratic senator against the administration of a Republican president went over well with Mr. Obama’s followers.

Mr. Obama’s 2006 remarks should come back to haunt him today. If raising the debt ceiling to $9 trillion was a “leadership failure” reflective of “bad choices” in 2006, how should the current decision to raise it beyond $14.3 trillion be characterized? Something tells me Mr. Obama will not characterize the need to increase the debt limit as “leadership failure” when the leader is himself.

The time for the pageantry, pomp and circumstance that we witnessed as members of the 112th Congress were sworn in is over. Now, difficult budgetary decisions that will anger some Americans must be made. Even if the budget could be balanced today and for all eternity, the nation still would be crippled by more than $14 trillion in debt and the interest that will be paid on it for generations. The least Americans can expect is that our government set the proper example by balancing its budget, just as most American households do.

OREN M. SPIEGLER

Upper Saint Clair, Pa.

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