February 6th, 2010
10:16 AM ET
8 years ago

GOP takes aim at Obama's budget

(CNN) - In the weekly Republican radio and Web address, Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas takes President Obama to task over the size of his new budget proposal.

“The numbers in his budget are simply breathtaking: a record $3.8 trillion in spending, more than $2 trillion in new job crushing taxes, not to mention a tripling of the national debt – on top of the largest deficit in our nation’s history. Interest payments alone on this debt will set us back roughly $6 trillion over the next decade – that’s about $50,000 per household," Hensarling says in the address.

Full transcript after the jump

“Hi, I’m Congressman Jeb Hensarling of Texas; I serve as the number two Republican on the House Budget Committee. Some of you may have seen me on television last week when I had the opportunity to ask the President if his new budget would once again triple the national debt and dramatically increase the cost of government to 25% of the economy – up from its traditional 20%.

“You may recall that the President declined to answer the question last week. But he has certainly answered it this week by submitting a new budget that does just what I feared.

“The numbers in his budget are simply breathtaking: a record $3.8 trillion in spending, more than $2 trillion in new job crushing taxes, not to mention a tripling of the national debt – on top of the largest deficit in our nation’s history. Interest payments alone on this debt will set us back roughly $6 trillion over the next decade – that’s about $50,000 per household.

“Now, you’re probably like me and believe, in America, you ought to work hard today, so your children can have a better, more prosperous tomorrow. But with this budget, it is like Washington has said, ‘let’s let government live easier today, so our children have to work harder tomorrow.’

“You know, it was about this time last year, President Obama and Democrats in Congress promised that if we passed their trillion-dollar ‘stimulus’ bill – and grew big government even more – that jobs would be created ‘immediately.’ [and] they said unemployment would remain below eight percent.

“Well, Republicans stood on principle and offered a better alternative that, according to an analysis developed by the President’s own economic advisors, would have created twice the jobs at half the cost. But, Democrats chose to go it alone and jam through their ‘stimulus.’ What did the American people get? A bill for $1.2 trillion and 3 million more jobs lost.

“Americans are still asking, ‘where are the jobs? Where ARE the jobs?’ But all they are getting from Washington is more spending, more taxes, more debt and more bailouts.

“Now, when it comes to budget matters, I usually find myself agreeing with about 80% of what the President says, but I DISAGREE with 80% of what he does.

“While the President’s budget rhetoric gives a nod to reducing the deficit, he punts the problem to a ‘commission’ that does not yet exist, and whose recommendations may never see the light of day. We have to do better.

“Additionally, President Obama’s proposed spending freeze unfortunately is not really a freeze at all. It exempts 86% of the federal budget from the freezer, does not turn on the freezer until next year and then turns it off shortly thereafter. In fact, when you run the numbers, the President’s idea of fiscal responsibility unfortunately amounts to choosing to grow government by 49.01 percent over 10 years instead of 49.27 percent. We have got to do better.

“Serious fiscal responsibility requires more than just tinkering around the margins. Republicans have proposed adopting strict budget caps that limit federal spending on an annual basis and are enforceable by the President. These caps were a critical plank in the fiscally-responsible budget alternative Republicans proposed last year and yet they are notably absent from the President’s budget.

“The federal budget must never be allowed to grow faster than the family’s budget ability to pay for it. You can learn more about our better Republican budget solutions on the web at solutions.gop.gov.

“So, you pile up all this Democratic spending, all their borrowing and all their debt, you add it to their government takeover of health care, their ‘cap-and-trade’ national energy tax and their continued bailouts – is it little wonder that job growth is lagging in our economy? Small business owners and investors tell me every week, We’re not taking the risk to start or expand our business in this climate.

“We cannot continue on this reckless path, and the American people know it. But now it’s up to Democrats in Washington to listen and change course. We’re willing to work with them, but we will continue to stand on principle, we will oppose more reckless Washington spending, and we will fight for better solutions that make government live within its means. Our budget plan will help create jobs, prevent a fiscal calamity and give our children a brighter economic future.

“Thank you for listening.”

Filed under: GOP • President Obama
soundoff (129 Responses)
  1. Ken, Arizona

    I am confused. Republicans and Teapartiers want government out of their lives (no regulations, no taxes, no government, etc.) but THEY (repubs & Teapartiers) want President Obama (the government) to erase the budget deficit, that they created with their tax-cut and spend policies over eight years, and create jobs, that they ran offshore with their trade policies during the same period. And don't forget, the republicans controlled the house and the senate from 1994 to 2006, so why didn't they do those things that they want this administration to do? Those policies didn't work for Reagan, they didn't work for Bush 41 or Bush 42. So, what makes them think their "fiscal conservative policies" will work this time? President Clinton, a DEMOCRAT, balanced the budget inspite of republican opposition. So republicans, please take one giant step back and let President Obama and the Democrats get us out of the mess you made.

    February 6, 2010 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  2. valwayne

    More corrupt spending and debt than in the history of the world! What can you say. Obama and the Democrats are taking us into the ditch at 100 miles per our. We are all going to pay and pay and pay and pay for generations!!!!

    February 6, 2010 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  3. ThinkAgain

    Given the Republicans' track record, I'm sure Rep. Hensarling's comments are filled with distortions and outright lies.

    I would also like to remind him and everyone else that GW Bush took the Clinton surplus and turned it into a huge deficit.

    8 years of Bush/Cheney policies – including irresponsible tax cuts for the wealthy during wartime – resulted in:

    – a global economic meltdown
    – two arrogantly and naively waged wars that are huge recruiting tools for the enemies of the United States
    – a world community largely unwilling to help us because of the Bush arrogance and use of such abhorrent tactics as torture
    – a polarized American populace

    In a word, Hensarling and the Republicans don't know diddly squat about anything except saying "NO".

    The GOP should keep its pie hole SHUT!

    February 6, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  4. Silas Scarborough

    After you clear away GOP hysteria, we find the only countries with lower tax rates than the U.S. are Finland and Iceland. I was going to move to Finland for the lower tax rate but the only health care there is for reindeer.

    February 6, 2010 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  5. kk

    What don't the Republicans take aim at when it comes to President Obama. Same old, same old NO from the Republicans.

    February 6, 2010 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  6. Steve in Denver

    "Our budget plan will help create jobs, prevent a fiscal calamity and give our children a brighter economic future."

    Is this the same kind of budget you had last year? Glossy cover, lots of press coverage, but no actual numbers (you know, like a plan for the dollars you plan to collect and spend, kind of the definition of a "budget")?

    What is your plan? More supply side economics? that worked so well in the 80's and 2000's, right?

    Does it ever, ever sink in to you all to look at history. Actual history, not what you want it to be. The 80's, Reagan cut taxes his first year in office (and raised them every year thereafter). If you will remember, in 1984, unemployment was more than 10%, interest rates were 16%? What was, at best, a meager expansion brought then unheard of debt to our children.

    In the 2000's, W cut taxes, ran up astronomical debt, and drove us full speed to September, 2008, when every credible economist said we were on the brink of collapse. We are now in the worst recession since the great depression. It started in March, 2007, almost two years before Obama took office (yes, I know, it is his fault. Don't blame bush!)

    In the 1990's, when the 1992 democratic congress and Clinton balanced the budget, it led to unprecedented economic expansion and our budget running the first surplus since 1969.

    Can we connect the dots? Fiscal responsibility = paying our bills, and if we want smaller government, actually cutting the government. Republican tax cutting and increased spending is a train wreck, as Reagan and Bush proved. Fiscal responsibility, under Clinton and the Democrats, leads to growth.

    It is actual history. Right there in the books for anyone who cares to read it. Oh, right. Neocons despise educatin', readin', any actual knowledge.

    February 6, 2010 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  7. JonDie

    George W. Bush created over one trillion dollars of deficits to fight the unnecessary war in Iraq (all the money appropriated for Iraq is NOT counted in the budget), most of which was channeled to large private corporations...and NOT ONE REPUBLICAN SAID ANYTHING.

    February 6, 2010 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  8. Kate

    Jeb.....Support the President. Things are getting better and you republicans know it!

    February 6, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  9. Dale

    GOP has zero credibility on fiscal discipline. They spend just as foolishly as the Democrats do. They just spend on different things.

    February 6, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  10. Jacq

    Because the budget includes two wars,which the rescrubs hadn't included in theirs 8 years ago

    February 6, 2010 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  11. BeverlyinNC

    I am so sick of hypocritical Republicans whining about the budget, the deficit, and government spending.

    Under Bush they wasted trilliions of dollars on 2 fraudulent wars, tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, and perks for corporations.

    Not one cent was spent for the benefit of the American People, unless of course you were rich, white, and part of their elitist club.

    President Obama is not only cleaning up the disaster messes left by Republicans but doing everything he can to get money, funding, and programs in place to help Americans in desperate need of jobs, saving their homes, and giving them the right to healthcare.

    All Republicans know how to do is criticize and obstruct. They have done NOTHING for the American People so when they start whining about President Obama – I just tune out the liars. They care nothing about anyone but themselves and are incapable of delivering a single new solution or idea to restore this nation. They were never shut out, they just didn't show up.

    Whatever a Republican says is either nothing but a lie or unwarranted criticism. They are stuck on constant negativity and no work and it's gotten reallly old and they are totally useless to the future of our country.

    February 6, 2010 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  12. Greg

    My party the GOP just doent get it. Went to the site solutions.gop.gov and their so called solutions are recycled failed policies that along with the Federal Reserve caused this whole mess.

    The jobs section is nothing but blaming Obama and no real solutution even mentioned.

    The energy policy hinges on breaking into ANWR, and other policies to keep us on an oil based economy.

    These bums need to be sent home and some real patriots sent to DC, patriots that will fight for the populus not banks, corporations and the oil industry.

    Take action Now, become a delegate and give the people a real choice to vote for in November.

    February 6, 2010 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  13. Joe, Georgia

    If only Jeb Hensarling could tell the truth. The budget presented by the President represents the result of years of fiscal irresponsibility by Republican Presidents and the Congress. President Obama is stuck with a structural deficit largely comprised of spending from the past eight years on two wars, a medicare drug program and huge tax cuts that were all unfunded. George Bush took a budget surplus and turned it into the largest deficits in history. If anyone is interested in the truth, look at the recently published budget and deficit analysis from the Congressional Budget Office and the OMB. It's easy to see how irresponsible 30 years of administrations, other than Bill Clinton, have been and why we are in the deep budget mess. The mess started under Ronald Reagan, was under control for a few years under Clinton and went completely off the deep end under George W. Bush. The budget crisis in now Obama's to fix, but he didn't create it in 12 months. It's been 30 years in the making, mostly at the hand of Republican Administrations and Congressional Leadership.

    February 6, 2010 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  14. Conservative Voice

    Obama's budget is the biggest oxymoron of all times...he and this coungress do not know the meaning of the word....we are in debt up to our ears to China....we need to quit spending $$$$ and quit printing it. We need for the federal government to reign in costs not exerbate them.
    1. No one working for the federal goverment gets a raise.
    2. The have to pay for their own health care.
    3. Go thru and find all the fraud in medicare, medicaid and social security.
    4.quit borrowing $$$$$$.

    February 6, 2010 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  15. Emma

    The "Federal government" is a misnomer. We have not seen much effective governing for decades. Although Obama has made good moves, the people who make our laws are bickerers, power mongers,
    sometimes law-breakers. GOP is no more loved than the Democratic party. Why should we trust these ineffective people with our lives?

    February 6, 2010 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  16. Death Panel Sarah

    -“Now, you’re probably like me and believe, in America, you ought to work hard today, so your children can have a better, more prosperous tomorrow. But with this budget, it is like Washington has said, ‘let’s let government live easier today, so our children have to work harder tomorrow.’

    First- this man probably NEVER worked hard in his life....as a reptili'con', he probably had the 'silver spoon' at birth!

    Second- He should remember(but he purposly omits) that this budget is the remedy for the 'Bush recession'. Nobody WANTS to spend like this, but ECONOMISTS say it is necessary. We must defer to their 'expertise'!!

    Third- Isn't he 'part' of government??? Doesn't he want his children to have healthcare(not the 'socialistic' healthcare he has as a member of congress)??? What is his solution??? Just keep the status quo and let the country fail???

    Fourth- You cannot spend to avoid a recession and not raise taxes.....most intelligent Americans understand this!!!!

    February 6, 2010 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  17. Mike in MN

    There is no defense or justification for Obama's 3.8 trillion dollar budget. Spending should be CUT NOW. Obama's plan to freeze a small portion of the budget a year from now as a deficit reduction measure is a joke. It is an insulting attempt to fool independents that he is serious about controling spending and deficit reduction.

    February 6, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  18. Diane Portland Oregon

    This commission!! that you are now against was started by republicans. You only turned against it when Obama decided to support it. The jokes on you because Democrats didn't want this commission to begin with. We all know that when you talk about republicans wanting to cut spending, what you really mean is cutting Social Security and Medicare. You have never cared about deficits until now, in fact the republican response until we got a Democratic Administration was deficits don't matter. We know republicans care about their!! children, just not the average middle class children.

    February 6, 2010 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  19. BJ in NC

    The party with no ideas of their own, is only waiting for the Democrats to say something so that they will have a chance to get some talking points with the public. Their mentality is to resist the ideas that President Obama has because they are resisting rallying around the President because their mentality is that they "tell" him what to do. Talk about transparent...

    February 6, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  20. Greg in Cabot, AR

    Thank you for reminding us about our current economic situation.

    You forgot to mention (as usual) how the republicans plan to FIX this mess.....opposition to everything is about as helpful as a ship's navigator continuing to shout that the ship is going the wrong way.


    Cutting taxes and government spending sounds great, show us some numbers of WHAT you want to cut......unless....you don't have a clue.

    I know, you want to wait until AFTER the fall elections and you have two more years to drag your feet adn hope everything will fix itself.

    February 6, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  21. John in WV

    I get tired of listening to republicans use the term "American people". I am an American person that worked all my life in public service and now that I am disabled, I can't afford health care. I don't ask where are the jobs but rather where did the jobs go? As for my children's future, I ask why did my son have to quit college during the previous administration because he could no longer get necessary funding despite the fact he is handicapped? As for being fiscally responsible, I ask why a record surplus turned to record debt? As for a family budget, I ask why workers went 9 years without a minimum wage increase when corporate execs were reporting record salaries? As for taxes, I never got a tax break during the previous administration but 2 months into Obama's term I got a break that now pays my home and auto insurance.

    February 6, 2010 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  22. Jesse

    Of course, the Republicans voted AGAINST a "pay-as-you-go" bill that would've forced a balanced budget. Hmm, hypocrisy?

    February 6, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  23. Independent

    The same Hensarling lied about budgets during President Obama's meeting with House Republicans (see fact checking). Credibility please.

    Rep. Hensarling also wants to put our seniors at risk with his disastrous proposal of privatizing Social Security.

    February 6, 2010 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  24. jules hartford ct

    Guess who gave us a deficit first .....the repub.....as the bible says "Take the beam out your eyes first so you can see clearly to pick the plank out of your eyes...remember bill clinton left a record surplus in the kitty....but you all went in and have a field day...but you all have amenisa...when it comes to that part...stop playing politics and get to work...vote them all out in 2010...every last one of them....and maybe they will take heed...that we tax payers are serious

    February 6, 2010 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  25. Stacie

    Look, the Republicans are complaining again...Blah, Blah, Blah...

    There was no real Republican plan. Remember the Republican budget that had pretty pictures and NO numbers! More politics from the party of NO. So sad!

    February 6, 2010 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
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