Bring back the 2006 version of Barack Obama!
On 16 March, 2006 on the floor of the U.S. Senate, Obama made the following solid speech — a speech he would ridicule today:
Mr. [U.S. Senate] President, I rise today to talk about America’s debt problem.
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…
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.
Perhaps the difference is that in 2006 it was George Bush who was pushing for raising the debt ceiling, so some Democrats opposed it. Now it’s different, of course.
Sadly, too many of the 2006 Republicans probably did not stand tall and join Obama in opposing the raising of the debt ceiling. But back then there was no Tea Party to give them some backbone.