The President keeps saying that he will not negotiate on the debt limit. He also leaves the false impression that there have never been negotiations with Congress over the debt limit on “issues that have nothing to do with the budget and nothing to do with the debt.” The Washington Post fact-checker gave the President four Pinocchios on that claim.
Negotiations have actually occurred many times on the debt limit. From 1978 to 2013, the debt limit has been raised 53 times. Of those votes, the debt ceiling increase was linked to something else 27 times. So 51 percent of debt limit increase votes since 1978 carried other provisions and were not “clean” increases.
This has been a bipartisan exercise. A recent Wall Street Journal op-ed noted that “congressional Democrats have been responsible for 60% of the ‘dirty’ increases when the debt limit was raised alongside other legislative items. Republicans were responsible for 15%. The remaining 25% occurred during divided Congresses.”
In fact, many of Senator Obama’s statements would indict the record of President Obama.
Obama’s Hypocrisy on the Debt Limit
“[T]o take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt … [is] irresponsible. It’s unpatriotic.”
– Senator Barack Obama, July 3, 2008
When he was running for President in 2008, then-Senator Obama criticized the $4 trillion increase in the national debt during the Bush Administration. But only a year into his second term, President Obama has already increased the national debt by a record $6.1 trillion. That does not even count the hundreds of billions of dollars in “extraordinary actions” that have been used to keep the national debt at $16.7 trillion since May. Now he’s calling on Congress to increase the debt limit for the sixth time in five years.