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

'Era of big government' back, Republican says

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/03/01/art.pricedefazio.cnn.jpg 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. Arron

    "Big Government" is back because the GOP mismanaged the economy so badly, that the government now has no choice but to bail us all out.

    March 1, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  2. Ron Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

    Please lets face some hard facts here.The Republicans created this mess by taking Billions from us taxpayers to pay for a war nobody wanted.And not doing anything about the wallstreet rip offs and not doing a thing to protect jobs in America.And letting the American people suffer and sending or sons and daughters to war.And all we get out of all this mess is over 4000 Flag draped coffins in return?I think I said it all.Don't you?

    March 1, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  3. Dayahka

    So, where were you, my good man, when Bush expanded government, making it bigger than it had ever been before? You were sitting in the cheering section with your hands over your eyes and ears. And what did you propose as a solution to the problems we face? More Bush, more Bush, more Bush. And now that we have a proposed solution, what do you do? You repeat empty slogans and cliches, and distort. Right now, Obama has to protect the nation against a sudden descent into chaos and anarchy, which would have happened had the banking system failed a couple months ago–and it's still on the verge–and to protect the people against roving banks of heavily armed and angry citizens who'd be out for blood–the blood of the rich and powerful, if given a chance.

    March 1, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  4. American Joe

    The Republicans are sounding like a broken record. The same thing is playing over and over again. "Big government", "raise your taxes", etc.

    "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Didn't a Republican administration get the country into this mess? How much tax money is being spent in Iraq on a monthly basis?

    Americans had eight years of a Bush administration. What happened to the budget during these years? What can ALL Americans do to pull the ENTIRE nation out of this mess?

    The economic climate is changing worldwide. If people aren't working, taxes aren't being collected. If taxes aren't being collected, government services have to be curtailed. Do we cut the military? Maybe some of the Congressional perks (like their health insurance) can be cut. How about road projects? What would the GOP propose to pull the country out of the quagmire of problems we currently face?

    The GOP needs to "get off their high horse" and be prepared to come up with SOLUTIONS to the multitude of problems facing this country.

    March 1, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  5. Bridget

    Where has Tom Price been for the past 8 years of big government? LOL.

    March 1, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  6. Vic

    If the economy hadn't already tanked, and if the previous administration had been nearly as concerned as the Republicans are about spending and government involvement, there would be no need for all this righteous indignation they're putting out there. Even if they're right about too much government involvement, they continue to look ridiculous when they criticize President Obama's economic decisions.

    March 1, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  7. Misty

    "Era of Sanity"- Obama and Democrats.
    I am happy to have 25% of the population as Republicans for a very loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong time.

    The world is in a better place with the Limbaugh and Republicans ranting and whining as a minority and unable to do anything else.

    Amen! and Long live America and the Free World and Green Peace..

    March 1, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  8. vJ

    where you have been for the last 8 years.

    March 1, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  9. Peacegirl

    Like listening in on my phone calls and reading my emails, via the Bush admin isn't Big Government? Idiots.

    March 1, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  10. Kim

    It is the change people voted for. Obama won the election, and everything in his budget is exactly what he campaigned on.

    So maybe instead of hoping that he fails, people should start hoping that he succeeds, and get behind the President and starting working together toward common goals of making America stronger.

    I am so tired of the whining and the word 'socialisim' tossed around randomly when people have no clue what socialism really means. And here's a clue: THIS AIN'T IT.

    Yes we can, America. So lets get to it already.

    March 1, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  11. Obama 08

    Has Tom Price been in a coma over the last eight years?

    March 1, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  12. Ronald Reagan

    The error of big government is back.

    March 1, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  13. DEM in HI

    Obama is going against his word about reigning in pork barrel spending. The Stimulus Bill had over 1000 pork barrel bills attached that were hidden from the public until recently. Is this the kind of CHANGE his followers wanted? Semms like more of the same GOP/Bush antics. This is disgusting and Obama/Left wing Democrats are going to pay for these stupid funding bills by losing the public trust. Right now, I do not trust the left or the right. Where is a party for the moderates? Both parties are throwing money around like candy and it is NOT their money, it is ours!!!! The taxpayers are getting saddled with bills for the rich and greedy. Why hasn't there been ONE hearing about how we got to where we are and how to prevent it? How come Madoff is not in Jail for swindling BILLIONS from investors? Why didn't the SEC catch on to his scheme in 2002 when it was pointed out that Madoff did not have one documented transaction for his corporation? Why do I have to live within my means? But the banks, car makers, people in foreclosure, and now the airlines/restrauants/hotels are lining up for our money with no law changes to change their behavior? It is like giving a credit card to a teenager and watching them max it out, then giving them another with their promise not to abuse the second, while we pay off the first credit card balance.

    March 1, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  14. Joshua College Station Texas

    News brief: it never left! (thanks to the hypocritical Republicans, who enlarged the size of government tremendously over the last 8 years)

    March 1, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  15. Carlo

    It's nice to see Republicans getting all "small-government" again. You'd have thought they weren't around for the last 8 years.

    March 1, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  16. simmy

    I hope and pray that it remains "Big and Robust." I would trust President Obama before I'd trust any of them. They couldn't help their own man (Bush), and they don't have anything to offer now.

    They have become a noun, a verb, and "grinchish" sound bites.

    March 1, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  17. kingdomkd2

    You shall know the truth and the truth will make you free! Thank God for people like Rush who are not afraid to speak the truth to our nation. He stands up for our country and fights for us all. We should all take a second look at what is going on here and ask ourselves one thing…. Do we want Big Government controlling every move we make? This is what it’s coming down the pipe folks.Rush is just telling the TRUTH! This is what I want to hear don’t you? Who wants to hear lies? If I were a president and was heading toward a plan to cause hard times, would you want me to succeed in my PLANS and cause you to struggle all your life? Would you? What about this package we never knew was comming? They signed it into place without reading it first. WOW!What do you think will be next? Hello! Rush is right! President Obama could do so much good if he put forth the effort. Do you think we could get away with doing this in our lives? What if we signed every document put in front of our face and did not read it first? We deserve better than this, and that goes for all of us. If you run for defending the people and say continually how transperant you will be then do it. I have not seen it yet have you? Come on people, is all you see only one part or are you turning a deaf ear to what is going on? Are you willing to sign your life away today? Are you willing to give up your freedom? I’m not! May God help us all! And I did say ALL!

    March 1, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  18. Clark

    Interesting to do a bit of research on past US presidents who have expanded the federal government the most, and least. It is an interesting list.

    "Big" government Presidents who increased the size of the federal government include: Lincoln (R), Hayes (R), T. Roosevelt (R), Taft (R), Wilson (D), Hoover (R), FDR (D), Truman (D), Johnson (D), Nixon (R), Reagan (R), Bush I (R), Clinton (D), Bush II (R).

    "Smaller" governments presidents (it is a very small list) who reduced the size of the US government: Cleveland (D), Harding (R), Coolidge (R), Carter (D).

    The two largest expansions of the size of the federal government in the last 150 years occurred during the Reagan and Bush II administrations.

    Big government is not "back"...it has always been here.

    March 1, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  19. Lilly Rose

    The era of big government never went anywhere. Every last presidents, including the "Messiah" Ronald Reagan presided over some form of big government. Actually, the reduce the size of government, why don't you all quit. Fewer employees, small government. Seriously, try to be a bit more helpful and a bit less critical.

    March 1, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  20. SA in OO

    What conservatives like Tom Price probably don't realize or what to accept is that "big business" just failed. That is the reality that Obama, and the whole country for that matter, inherited from the last administration.

    At this point our differing philosophies about the kind of government we ultimately want are irrelevant. When a trauma patient arrives at the emergency room, you don't think about what kind of outpatient therapy would be fitting down the road. You just do everything you can to save the patient. And if we're lucky, and it's not clear we will be, in a few years, instead of a few decades, can have that grand debate about what kind of government "we the people" want for the future.

    We are in triage mode. Big Business failed, and there is no alternative right not to bigger governments investment to try and create a safety net for those who will feel this the affects the most.

    March 1, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  21. Eli

    So basically, they oppose deficit spending, unless it's on their priorities that work to make life squalid, nasty, brutish, and short.

    March 1, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  22. Together Each Accmplishes More

    Republicans – the party of "I don't recall" – didn't squeal when Bush, who didn't even have the backbone to put the cost of the wars or the cost of medicare in this budgets – kept raising the debt limit, and the deficit ... as of two months ago!

    No solutions, no apologies for the past 8 years, willing to rewrite history and replace the facts with name-calling, scary words and failed policies of their not too distant past.

    Shame, shame, shame! Hypocrisy, thick enough to choke an elephant! Stop lying to the country and stop pretending you care!

    March 1, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  23. Tim

    None of these people were screaming when the first nearly trillion dollar bailout was asked for last fall. Why the grandstanding now? They didn't care back then? Quit pretending.

    March 1, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  24. Danny in Chicago

    If the era of big government is 'back' (whatever that means) then the Republicans are responsiblie for it. When did this big spending begin? On the Iraq war – right? That was the first real big down payments our government starting dishing out, and then the financial crisis hit us – another big government down payment – on the Republicans watch.....right?

    Let's be clear, if you want to call this a big government, let's be honest about why and who is responsible. Sure, the democrats are continuing it, but atleast it's not for a war that we didn't have to wage. It's IN FACE for a country that desperately NEEDS IT!

    Repubs – you're ideas aren't ideas! Come on THINK!

    March 1, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  25. CM

    Era of big government came back with Bush!!!

    March 1, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
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