Tuesday, January 15, 2013


'Mr. President, I rise

today to talk about America's debt


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…

That is money that we have borrowed

from the Social Security trust

fund, borrowed from China and Japan,

borrowed from American taxpayers…


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


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….

Now, there is nothing wrong with borrowing

from foreign countries. But we must

remember that the more we depend on

foreign nations to lend us money, the

more our economic security is tied to

the whims of foreign leaders whose interests

might not be aligned with ours.

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.

I therefore intend to oppose the effort

to increase America's debt limit'


President Obama

March 16, 2006




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