December 13th, 2009
02:04 PM ET
7 months ago

Congress needs to rein in spending, Thune says

Sen. Thune criticized the White House and congressional Democrats for their spending and also acknowledged that Republicans share some of the blame for excessive spending and borrowing in the past.
Sen. Thune criticized the White House and congressional Democrats for their spending and also acknowledged that Republicans share some of the blame for excessive spending and borrowing in the past.

Washington (CNN) – On the same day that the Senate is expected to vote on a massive spending bill, a Republican senator says the best approach to getting the federal government’s finances in order is to begin reducing spending.

“You’ve got to start there,” Sen. John Thune, R-South Dakota, said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union.

“Republicans share some of the blame,” Thune told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King. “When we were in charge [of Congress and the White House] we didn’t control spending well enough either.”

But Thune added that Republicans in the last eight years looked like cheapskates compared to the spending going on under Democrats now.

Democrats “have their foot on the pedal,” Thune said Sunday. “I mean this thing is – they’re driving this thing over a cliff and somebody’s got to put the brakes on.”

“We can’t continue to borrow and spend at this rate,” added Thune.


Filed under: Congress • John Thune • Popular Posts • State of the Union
soundoff (204 Responses)
  1. Ryan

    When does Obama start taking responsibility for anything and stop blaming Bush?

    Obviously he is waiting for his irresponsible and misguided policies to produce something good. Until then he and his mindless followers will keep passing the buck to the previous administration.

    Three years from now when Obama is leaving office and our economy is bankrupt, you bleeding-heart democrats will be saying "He did his best but, Bush just dug the hole too deep".

    This out of control spending is totally on the head of the democrats.

    You know, President Bush was enough of a leader to take responsibility for his actions. When will Obama do the same?

    December 13, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  2. Willie

    The Democrats make my business life easier. This year I had to lay off 8 people due to the economy. I thought it was going to be a very difficult decision as most of our employees have been with us for many years. But, one day as I was walking around the parking lot, the decision became very clear as to what to do. I just laid off everyone with an Obama bumper sticker on their car. Problem solved and I did not feel bad at all!

    December 13, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  3. Ben

    Dick Cheney is the one who said, "Ronald Reagen taught us that deficits don't matter."

    I don't really agree with that statement, but it tells me what voting for a Republican would get me...and it's not fiscal responsibility.

    December 13, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  4. B

    Didn’t see this clowns face during the last eight years talking about the obscene spending by Bush..
    Now these Republicans come out of the woodwork and have the gaul to chid people about spending !

    Unbelievable!

    December 13, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  5. steve AK

    I glad to hear Thune take some blame too. Yes the republicans spent ALOT of money, but he doesn't mention that they cut ALOT of taxes.

    That's what got us in ALOT of this mess. Spending a bunch of money and cutting you source or revenue was idiotic. Thanks GOP pit you dug for us.

    Of course the dems are spending ALOT. They have to fix the mess you left and start taking care of mainstreet.

    December 13, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  6. Jimmy Sanborn

    Who Cares what he says. Who is he again???

    December 13, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  7. NotFooledTX

    Wow!! Nice call Einstein!

    Where were you and your complaints – and your party – between 2000 – 2008 when a large surplus was turned into an enormous deficit?

    December 13, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  8. Doc in Virginia

    Again, like all GOP members of congress under Bush....where were you when all those bloated budgets were passed? Where were you when we committed generational theft in having, of all countries, CHINA, underwriting our wars and not doing it in the budget?
    Where were you Thune? Where was your fiscal conservatism then?
    HYPOCRITE.

    December 13, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  9. ron

    A lot of people seem to be against reduced spending, if only because the Republicans suggest it. Many are even saying that since Bush did it Bush did it Bush did it, that quadrupling it is fine. Revenge politics will doom our country. Should the next Republican congress quadruple It again? Say Obama did it?

    December 13, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  10. KO

    Where was Thune and the rest of the Republicans when they (along with George W Bush) helped get us into this mess with their irresponsible budgeting between 2001 and 2006? The Republicans have no claims at fiscal responsibility.

    December 13, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  11. normajean

    I think that it has been underestimated by people in general that the cost of the war in Iraq not to mention the billions of dollars cash that were sent into that country,specially packed in a cargo plane and then disappeared are a large part of this countrys financial problems..Not only that, but a huge tax cut for the top 2% by Bush on his way out,wasn't much help either.

    December 13, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  12. Al, CA

    GOP must have a few decades to recover. And, by the way, Bush and Cheney are not in prison yet.

    December 13, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  13. Mack

    Should have spoken up before we went into Iraq. No problem with opening up the purse strings for Haliburton and Blackwater.

    December 13, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  14. Tristan

    Sell the Pentagon! It's a black hole for money.

    December 13, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  15. Vivian Losser

    Why are these elected officials spending our way to destruction?

    December 13, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  16. valwayne

    The massive corrupt spending spree goes on and on and on. More debt and printed money than in the history of the world. Who will pay for it? Who can pay for it? Obama and the Democrats have us on the road to economic hell at breakneck speed!

    December 13, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  17. Peter s

    When we the Democrates get it ?? Republicans and the so called conservatism has opposed rational thought for years. The term conservatism today basically means a public relation campaign aimed at persuading people to lay down their capacity for rational thought! it is clear that republicans frequently attempts to destroy rational thought, for instance! "Democrates likes spending and big Government"! then they invoke the czars!. People don't have to check that, Bush had more Czars than President Obama. The Republicans main idea of public relations is the distinction between "messages" and "facts". Messages are things you want people to believe "We can’t continue to borrow and spend at this rate,” The statement is vague enough that it is difficult to refute by rational means!. In 2010, if the democrates want to send the Republicans where they belong! start countering them with facts and figures! thats one language they don't like. I had one of their pundits saying we can't keep on looking at the past we should be looking at the future of which its a stupid thing to say because the past, and the present shapes the future!!

    December 13, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  18. American Citizen

    Actually who is bleeding america dry are unions. I had a nice discussion over a beer with a buddy of mine couple of months ago. Mechanic, he is proud member of union. After couple of beers, he told me, I never went to college but I make more money than my buddies who went to college. Watch this, he makes over 100K with paid vacations, benefits all this with 6 months training as mechanic. His buddies who took loans to get college education, "wasted" all that time in books making in between 40-60K per year if they found a job.

    Do not worry about "wealthy" americans whatever that means these days, unions will take care of those companies.

    Couple of days ago black caucus congressmen were complaining about lack of economic growth in black neighborhoods, I see their point. Some were suggesting for residents of black neighborhoods to go to school.
    Actually I have a better solution – join the unions, they will make sure that every company sooner or latter will be bled to death.

    December 13, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  19. "Right wingnut" has a "Screw loose"

    Passing the buck off on Bush by ignorant left wingers works no more. You morans need to find another excuse. Obama just plainly has no clue what he is doing. He is all over the board without a true plan that will work and it has become quite transparent.

    The dems spending is out of control. No matter how much money is spent there will be no positive change due to that. The more that is spent the more time and resources it will take to get out of debt.

    December 13, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  20. weequahic68

    I can't stand all the blasting of the dems for spending when the repubs spent tons for the war without even accounting for it plus all their other spending. Seems if they actually accounted for the war spending, we might have taken a different look at the war.

    December 13, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  21. NVa Native

    True hypocrisy in action. Republicans spend us and war us into financial oblivion (recession) and then cry and whine about Democratic efforts?
    Amazing incompetence and dysfunction at work for eight years of what was Bush/Cheney with control of all the braches of government; Executive (cruel joke), Legislative (speeding un-checked), and Judicial (gave Dubya 2000 election) and here we are.

    December 13, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  22. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Senator Thune, where were you for the last 8 years when your party gave unfettered access to the coffers to the "friends of Bush & Cheney" without any accountability?!

    Are you kidding me, sir? The Democrats need to reign it in?! Please, shut up!

    December 13, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  23. Steve

    Thune is right on here, Driving us into bankruptcy is not what officials were elected to do and in my opinion they are guilty of gross negligence bordering on treason. Remember when we used to tar and feather politicians for things like this? Maybe we should bring that idea back. We may have got change with Obama, but it is certainly not change for the better. Never thought I would miss Bush, but Obama.

    Obama seems like a nice guy but as intelligent as he is, he seems to have zero common sense. At a very minimum, Pelosi and Reid must go, but Obama is looking like a one term president with each passing day.

    December 13, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  24. Tony in Maine

    I wonder how Thune voted on Bush's tax cut (spending) for the ultra wealthy in a time of war.

    Betting he voted for it because that's the Republican way.

    December 13, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  25. Barbara

    Of course he'd say what he is saying. What ever Democrats do or say or propose the GOP cries foul and proposes just the opposite. Have faith in our smart, well-educated, well-respected, insightive President. He told us as far back as the campaign trial that recovery from a near 2nd Great Depression would not be over night. We have to stay with President Obama. Programs and incentives he has initiated are slowly bringing us back around and he's working on it every day. We didn't get in the big deep hole of recession overnight and it will take more than eleven months to climb back out.

    December 13, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
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