July 3rd, 2010
10:40 AM ET
4 years ago

GOP's Chambliss eyes the national debt

Washington (CNN) - Sen. Saxby Chambliss says the U.S. debt is "one of the most dangerous threats confronting America."

The Georgia Republican made his comment in this week's Republican address, and come on the same day that, in the presidential radio and internet address, President Obama criticized Senate Republicans for their attempts to delay the extension of unemployment benefits and tax credits to people and small businesses hurt by the recession.

Republican leaders objected to the measure because it would have added to the national debt. They offered alternative bills that would have paid for unemployment benefits with unused stimulus funds.

While never referring explicitly to the legislative battle over unemployment benefits, Chambliss hammers home the GOP perspective.

"[O]ne of the most dangerous threats confronting America today doesn't come from without, but from within. And I'm talking about our national debt," Chambliss says.

"At a time when many Americans are clipping coupons and pinching pennies, President Obama and the Democrats in Congress continue to spend money that they – we – do not have."

Chambliss also links the growing debt with national security, noting that China holds a substantial amount of U.S. debt.

"Just as with our energy and food supplies, America is vulnerable when we disproportionately rely on other nations. It is a matter of great concern that we are in deep debt to countries that often don't share our values or positions," Chambliss says.

soundoff (74 Responses)
  1. Mesa Mick

    So, the National Debt is to big for ya...

    Then raise taxes on anyone making over $500K a year, put a 0.5% excise tax on stock trades over $250K, end the SocSec threshold limit for paying FICA, bring US troops home from non-combat areas and put tax any company that sends jobs overseas.

    OH, But I forgot – You're a rethuglicant and all you and your other village idiot party members want to do is govern on the cheap and tax the working class....

    July 3, 2010 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  2. JFK

    These hypocrites need to stop making fools of themselves. They spent for years without a care in the world while Bush ran up the deficit. They ignored concerns then when the spending wasnt even necessary. And now we finally spent some money on America for a change and the whining starts.

    Its obvious you cant grow the economy forever with a deficit but Bush tried to with his tax cuts for the wealthy and two wars. That utter fiscal irresponsibility and the Bush math never made sense. They helped create a bubble and it popped. Now we are stuck with a mess and just averted a depression hopefully. We all know we have to get our fiscal house in order. That time is coming but most experts have agreed the stimulus helped soften the blow of Great Recession from turning into another Great Depression. If it didnt work, then at least Obama tried and didnt sit around doing nothing.

    July 3, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  3. chris

    I swear, when ever I hear the Right Wingers talk these day, I feel like I've passed through the looking glass. They've constructed an alternate fantasy world for themselves that is completely divorced from reality. In their world, the GOP that spent like drunken sailors is the party of fiscal responsibitly; the Afghanistan war is of Obama's choosing; Obama is a Communist Nazi out to destroy America; Fox News is "fair and balanced" while the "lamestream media" is nothing more than a propraganda tool for the liberal agenda; the Republicans are the party of family values and would never get involved with mistresses or lesbian bondage clubs; the economy was just fine until Obama took over; and Palin possesses the leadership of Lincon, the integrity of Washington, the wisdom of Einstein, and the heart of Mother Theresa. Black is white, up is down.

    July 3, 2010 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  4. Sascha

    Saxby Chambliss is an embarrassment to the government but especially to the GOP. Here's a man who won an election by painting his Dem opponent as a sympathizer of Osama bin Laden's-only problem with that is his opponent was Max Cleland, who left three limbs in Vietnam while serving his country. Chambliss, needless to say, did not-a student deferment will do that for you.

    Chambliss is a disgusting, disgusting human being. Even by the standards of the average politician. That the GOP uses him as a spokesman tells you a little something about the Party of No Future.

    July 3, 2010 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  5. Lou Workman

    The enormous national debt was instigated by Ronald Reagan, corrected by Bill Clinton, (balanced budget and decreased debt) and erased by George W. Bush who inherited a $280 Billion surplus which he promptly spent. Reagan gave tax cuts out the front door while using a credit card out the back door. Bush gave tax cuts out of both doors and spent the USA into oblivion on unnecessary wars.

    Obama inherited the worst possible situation from Bush and had to save our economy from Wall St. buddies of Bush. Can we imagine where we would be without the bailout? This entire economic mess is the fault of Bush and his Republican buddies.
    It may take decades and huge amounts of money to get the USA back to where it needs to be.

    July 3, 2010 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  6. JFK

    Hugo, please get help help for your paranoia. This element of country is sad and pathetic. Stop working against your country and realize that any President has to make a lot of tough decisions especially now. Its ashame you have a limited view of many topics. Otherwise you might see that he is working to save our nation. But instead you and your band of fools keep spewing the same tired rhetoric of "socialism" this and that. I am embarrassed for the birthers and the tea baggers, they a national embarassment of uneducated whiners. God help our nation if hand it over to this lot to run it.

    July 3, 2010 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  7. Steven in Charleston

    This is nothing new. The GOP has been running the same plays for decades - reduce taxes while spending like drunken sailors when in power, then proclaim the need for "Fiscal Discipline" when out of power. 2/3 of our Debt was accrued under GOP control, and the only time we ran a budget surplus in my lifetime was during a Democratic Presidency.

    It's time that we as Americans let the GOP know that we are on to their games. Do I agree that we need to balance our budget and reduce our debt? Absolutely. But the best way to make that happen is to apply fiscal constraint across-the-board during prosperous times, not cut spending (thereby prolonging the pain) during bad times.

    July 3, 2010 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  8. Rick in AZ

    We can add 1.5 trillion to the Treasury by eliminating the Bush Tax Cuts. How's that Saxby? If you're truly concerned about the deficit, why don't you consider this option???

    July 3, 2010 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  9. Slim Sam

    Unless Saxby is an economist, he needs to shut his southern pie hole. These elementary school solutions to big people problems are yet another example of the dumbing down of America, led by conservative talk radio. Chambliss does not appear or sound smart enough to have come up with these ideas himself. Hey Glenn and Rush, how 'bout kicking in and reducing the debt? you've made hundreds of millions on the backs of your moron subjects, preaching the same nonsense as your lackey, Mr. chambliss...wait for it. wait for it. did'nt think so.

    July 3, 2010 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  10. Fed Up

    Kind of late, don't you think? Where was the Republicans when Bush was yelling for more free trade and globalization, which was what took jobs away from this country and put 16 million Americans out of work? Why was there so much money for the banks and Wall Street, yet no money for all the unemployed? What a pack of low life hypocrites! Throw every Republican out of office!

    July 3, 2010 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  11. ThinkAgain

    Didn't seem to bother Chambliss (and Hugo and every other GOP lackey who posts here) when GW Bush took the Clinton surplus and turned it into a multi-trillion dollar deficit through two wars and irresponsible tax cuts for the wealthy.

    Republicans want to spend money on war and giving tax cuts to the wealthy so they can invest it overseas.

    They can't stand investing in the American people, in creating jobs and new industries here.

    July 3, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  12. ThinkAgain

    Only a fool blinded by fear and hatred would ever listen to a Republican when it comes to fiscal matters.

    How soon we forget that Cheney said, "Deficits don't matter," when he and Georgie irresponsibly cut taxes during wartime and were helping their cronies make a bundle on two wars.

    July 3, 2010 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  13. malabar

    Funny how the left thnks its fine to judge some1 based on their name eh 'sensible cape coral'? does that prejudice represent ur byrd-like tolerance? haha, democrats are hilarious with their do as i say not as i do philosophy. btw, i for 1 am glad Obama got elected. without him we cud not make the hard right turn we are approaching. i will vote straight republican till Obama is out of office. thanks dems for showing us what can b accomplished by opposing and ridiculing a President 24/7. it's still funny right? btw, gay latino here. and i'm not the only 1. there are MILLIONS of minorities that still believe in America. we are unique. we are the best. and the days of being spoon fed lies frm abc, nbc, and cbs nightly news are gone. truth has a chance. the left overplayd their hand and blew it. surprise.

    July 3, 2010 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  14. Republicans is smart in the head area

    Zzzzzz. Republicans said "deficits don't matter" during GWB and started two wars while lowering taxes for the richest Americans. Suddenly, the debt is "one of the most dangerous threats confronting America." Only complete idiots like Hugo buy that line of garbage.

    July 3, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  15. Ken, AZ

    Mr. Hugo throws around the terms "Welfare System and Socialism" as if they don't apply to conservatives. After all, they setup and continue to support a Welfare System for corporations and the wealthy by giving hughe subsidies and tax breaks that average working Americans, if they're lucky to still have a job, must pay for. Both ACORN and the Democrats are for the average working class American, while the GOP is for the elite few.

    July 3, 2010 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  16. Rosslaw

    To the unemployed of Georgia who voted for this piece of work-tough luck and just deserts. Did his stomach-churning attack on the patriotism of Max Cleland for some reason resonate with you? Then I hope to see you on the side of the highway with a card board sign. Sorry if that sounds cold but the voters of Georgia put this rattle snake in a position of power and you should not be the least bit surprised when he bites you . After all, Chambliss did not turn on the working people of Georgia and this country-he was never with them to begin with.

    July 3, 2010 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  17. Dan, TX

    So, you didn't realize that when you authorized two wars with no attempt to pay for them? You didn't realize this when you massively cut taxes while authorizing these wars? You didn't think about that when you supported the prescription benefit bill without paying for it?

    You sir, are a member of a party of hypocrites. Work with President Obama – compromise – to reduce spending (raise SS retirement age and Medicare qualifying age, bring our troops home, reduce SS pay rates 0.5% each year until a 10% decrease in payouts is achieved) and when the economy recovers, use the increase in tax revenues (no need to raise taxes, just allow the Bush tax cuts to expire).

    It is time to tighten our belts. The older generation spent the money of their children long ago, they should not get so much benefits in retirement. Let their children help them – but it should be their children's choice.

    July 3, 2010 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  18. WAW

    This man (correct that) person is a pile of dung! He is draft dodger who called an American Hero unAmerican. His one goal as a member of Congress is to play every golf course in the world for free. His Georgia Republicans took every penny of stimulus money they could get and still had to layoff teachers because they gave Georgia Power and Atlanta Gas a free ride. Yet they wrap themselves in the flag, wave their Bibles and tell their Tea Party folks anything they want to hear. But when it comes to money, it is give me, give me, give me! If Saxby is speaking for the Republican Party then the Republican Party is a fart blowing in the wind (some of you folks above can't help but sniff it).

    July 3, 2010 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  19. Nate

    How people can call pointing out the spending problem is "republican propaganda" is beyond me. Bush controbuted to the debt and Obama has taken it to an even higher level. Did any of you see how at the G20 conference the other industrialized nations were talking about the need to bring down government spending. There is no point in being partisan on this issue any politician republican or democrat that doesnt want to acknowledge this problem i dont trust or support.

    July 3, 2010 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  20. harold

    Enough is enough?.. For you or just evertybody else in the USA?..What about spending in Iraq?..Want to cut all that out?..How about farm price support checks to your farmer friends ..getting 29K or more in payments from the USA ..?..See google.com... your farmer friends..name whatever..

    July 3, 2010 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  21. Alan

    Give Mitch McConnell and tax cut for the rich that adds to the deficit, and he'll support it. But give the unemployed help? No way.

    I really hate the lawmakers in Washington.

    July 3, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  22. Dan, TX

    We need a second amendment solution to the republican party.

    July 3, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  23. Hendrik

    Are we really going to bring back the GOP into power. I am reminded of the British I below who in 2004 asked how 50 million people could be so stupid as to vote for Bush. Their question proved right.

    Are we going to fall for this GOP nonsense again? If we do we will continue to pay the price.

    July 3, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  24. Henry Miller, Libertarian, Cary, NC

    Senator Chambliss is, of course, correct. And, to the extent the Obama Administration is actively promoting policies the effect of which is to greatly increase the national debt, thereby exacerbating the danger, the administration is essentially committing treason.

    July 3, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  25. StrategicBob

    The bigggest threat to the United States is the potential that the Republicans will return to power still in the grips of an intellectually and morally dead philosophy of governance – the same philosophy of governenace that turned surplus into deficit under Bush, that handcuffed the financial regulators and let the market innovators free to create undocumented subprime mortgages, Credit Default Swaps and the other financial instruments that brought the markets to the brink of collapse, that created the corrupt and incompetent Minerals Management Service that allowed billions of $ in royalty payments owed to the government to go uncollected and that allowed the industry to oversee itself in offshore drilling. If you want more of that, vote REpublican. If you don't, hold your nose and vote Democratic. Until we get a viable third party, and I don't mean the lunatics of the so-called Tea Party Movement, we are stuck with the lesser of two evils (the Dems) and the greater of the two evils (by far, the Repubs).

    July 3, 2010 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
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