March 1st, 2009
11:34 AM ET
13 years ago

'Era of big government' back, Republican says

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" Reps. Price and DeFazio sparred over the president's budget Sunday."]

(CNN) - Republican Rep. Tom Price slammed President Barack Obama's budget proposal Sunday, saying it carries too much debt and vastly increases the size of government.

"The era of big government is clearly back," said Price, a Republican from Georgia. "I believe deficits are not acceptable in the level to which this president has put them on the table."

Earlier this week the president unveiled a $3 trillion-plus budget that he says will halve the federal deficit by the end of his first term. Congress received a 140-page summary of the budget for fiscal year 2010 Thursday morning. The full details are expected in April.

Earlier: Obama unveils budget blueprint

But Price, the chair of the Republican Study Committee, a group that looks to advance the conservative agenda for a limited government, said the new budget carries too much debt.

"The budget that he put out there is going to have the largest debt in the history of the nation over the ten-year period of time," Price said. "More debt in this budget than there has been in this nation from 1889 until today. That's not the kind of change that the American people are interested in."

Based on the proposed budget, the administration projects the deficit for fiscal year 2009 will reach $1.75 trillion, or 12.3 percent of U.S. gross domestic product. That's a record in dollar terms and is the highest as a share of GDP since World War II.

But Democratic Rep. Peter DeFazio, also appearing on State of The Union with John King, said the new budget puts the country on the road to fiscal responsibility after excess spending from the Bush Administration.

"President Obama is putting us on a path to restore fiscal responsibility, but he is starting in a big hole," DeFazio said. "So I'm going to work with the president to tighten this budget wherever we can."

Filed under: State of the Union
soundoff (310 Responses)
  1. sherry

    Big government or a bullish government......I would choose the first......I want a government that represents the people....Not the agenda of thw few.

    March 1, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  2. Some common sense

    What is more evil big government or big business? We need big government to regulate and control big business because lately big business has proven to be very corrupt.

    March 1, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  3. Karin

    Government has to spend because of the economy. People aren't spending and business are falling behind so the government has to put in $$ to stimulate the economy. This is survival 101 for our country and the world. Other countries have to do likewise. The party of NO better wake up and think all of this over with common sense and not worry about 2012.

    March 1, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  4. Hope

    What did they do with 5 Trillion, the GOP is on self destruction mode, we will sit and watch it unfold, GOP Chronysim capitalisim is not what we want, the greed has brought to light people like Madoff(where the heck can 50 billion dissappear, what did George Bush do with 5 Trillion, we must change. If the GOP had their way the would privatise police so that they could work for only guys who paid, if they had their way, the road outside your house would belong to your neighbor and you would have to pay your neighbor everyday for its use, yes we need smart government, we want universal healthcare, Im willing to pay same premium I pay to Blue Cross to the government for healthcare. We are fed up of these neocons.

    March 1, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  5. Marty, Grand Rapids

    Look. I'm all for a balanced budget. But people who don't like the budget the president submitted should attack the specific details of the plan they don't like and just drop sound bytes like "Big Government" or "Socialism". That doesn't help anyone. The reality is we as a country have a lot we need to pay for in the short term and we either need to raise taxes or take on debt.

    March 1, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  6. Gordon

    All I hear from the Republican Party is too much debt, over and over.
    Where is the Republican solution, I haven't heard any type of solution from them.

    March 1, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  7. Phil Newton in Murphy, Oregon


    The era of government - not slavery to corporate lobbyists - has begun.

    It follows eight years of the Bush era of destruction.

    Hopefully, in time to save our collective rear-ends.

    March 1, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  8. cnnnewser

    BIG GOVERNMENT – the republican party has run our country into the ground the past 8 years and now they're worried about big government. Makes me want to LOL!
    The republicans are pathethic in every sense of the word.

    March 1, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  9. disgusted

    It got bigger under Bush. I don't want to hear it.

    March 1, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  10. Edward

    "Era of big government is clearly back"? It never left. Bush, A Republican, grew the size of government by 40% during his time in office.

    March 1, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  11. The Lady

    I wish the GOP would spend more time trying to fix the economy than they spend nic pickin the President, if they would spend all their negative energy on repairing the economy we would be out of this recession by now.

    March 1, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  12. jan

    Um, wasn't it Bush who got us into this whole "biggest national debt ever" situation in the first place?

    March 1, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  13. Darryl Schmitz

    The era of big government never left. Maybe he should have called it "the era of even bigger government".

    March 1, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  14. LMC in Seattle

    As if Bush didn't lead us into big government? This is the new ploy, try to blame President Obama for the failings of the last 8 years. He is trying his best to pull us out of this while the only solution the Republicans and other naysayers have is "tax cuts." With less taxes going to the government, that raises our debt as well. Without regulation, the financial businesses, government, and just about everyone has become frivolous over time. There are things that can be cut without cutting services and jobs.

    March 1, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  15. Linda, NY

    Just once I would like these republicans to be honest about their true beliefs. They don't mean "small" government they mean "non-working" government. In their world "big" government may be back but for millions of us that really means government "doing their jobs".

    Also, somebody needs to inform them that the millions of Americans who need help are "workers" who through no fault of their own lost their work. They would love to be able to pull themselves up by their own "bootstraps"–problem is that the "trickle down" folks have kept all of the bootstratps. These guys are a bad combination: greedy and clueless.

    March 1, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  16. Hannah Stevens

    But government grew more than 12% under bush/cheney and what did we get for it. No health, education in the dumps, no alt fuels, every agency gutted, FDA, FEMA SEC and not working like they should. What we got was wars while our infrastructure was falling apart and they starved the beast and funneled the money in their buddies pockets.

    March 1, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  17. Karen

    Probably a big part of any increased government is created by the oversight necessitated by the past eight years of the GOP leadership's corruption and self-serving style of government. Thank, God, this country has a chance for a better day.

    March 1, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  18. Joe the Troll

    How many times have the Republicans raised the debt ceiling rather than curb their own spending? Spare me the phony concern.

    March 1, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |

    where were all these guys when bush took a huge surplus and turned it into the biggest debit ever? they never said a word, just gave bush every thing he wanted. now that Obama has added the hidden cost of war. ( which bush never did) they are squealing bloody murder . hypocrits. i hope in 2010 that all republicans are voted out of office where we can help america rise from her knees where bush and co. put her.

    March 1, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  20. america first

    the( gop) WAS HAPPY to give ALL our money to wars that were based on LIES, big banks that gave their selves BIG bonouses, and NOTHING for the working American.

    March 1, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  21. Farrell, Houston, Tx


    March 1, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  22. The Center Square

    What does Rep Price mean, the era of big government is clearly "back"? Such hypocrisy to imply that Republicans have ever meant anything other than big government themselves. No Republican President, no Republican Congressional leadership has ever proposed a budget that reduced the size of government. Federal spending historically has increased faster under Republican presidents than under Democratic ones; spending growth is not correlated to which party controls Congress. Even under the hallowed Ronald Reagan, federal non-defense spending increased by 7.1% per year.

    Gimme a break.

    March 1, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  23. DEB

    The Republican Party demonstrate that they have no shame or intellectual honesty left when a lying and hypocritical windbag like Limbaugh dictates party policy. As a former Republican, I can only hope that the party leadership eventually wakes up and demonstrates a will to do things that are right for the country, and not for party "leaders" like Limbaugh. Shame on them for not denouncing this charlatan who would rather see this country go down in misery than have Pres. Obama succeed.

    March 1, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  24. Jeff Brown

    Just an old fool baying at the moon!!!!!

    March 1, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  25. RSaundersPA

    If the Repubs want to see the modern definition of big government that is out of control, all they have to do is look at the Bush II years.

    March 1, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
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