December 13th, 2009
02:04 PM ET
8 years ago

Congress needs to rein in spending, Thune says

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. charlie in Maine

    Is there an editor for this page or are you trying to mislead? The headline reads "Senate blasts Dems" it should read "Senator blasts Dems" that is quite a difference. If I wrote it I would say "Cry baby loser party's senator blasts Dems" but thats just the mood you put me in.

    December 13, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  2. Larry Kraus

    A republican that is against borrowing and spending is a rare individual. that only difference between a republican and a democrat is that a democrat will tax and spend while a republican will borrow and spend. If you don't believe me look back at the history of our politics. it's refreshing to hear a republican say we need to tax and spend for a change. I for one have always thought we need to pay as we go and not run up a huge debt. God bless You Sen. John Thune R- of South Dakota.

    December 13, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  3. michael

    Where was Thune with all of the war spending? Did he complain with the tax cuts for the wealthy? Too little, too late. Republicans have no credibility on the issue of spending.

    December 13, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  4. JonDie

    From 2001 to 2009, the Bush administration ran up RECORD DEFICITS and NO ONE in the REPUBLICAN PARTY, including John Thune, said a word.

    In fact, more than one TRILLION dollars of deficit was created to fund the unnecessary war in Iraq, all so Bush and Cheney's corporate sponsors could profit.

    And John Thune rubberstamped EVERY Bush decision.

    December 13, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  5. John in Brooklyn

    Sadly, once again, the Republicans (in this case, Thune) express their hypocracy through righteous indignation.

    The current ballooning of the federal deficit are a result of a number of things: 1) failure of the Reublican Congress of the 00's to fund (yes, via taxes) the wars that they created, 2) the need to bail out the financial services industry – largely because of Republican neglect to adequately regulate Wall Street, and 3) the failure of Republicans to put their fiscal house in order – mostly through massive tax cuts for wealthy Americans over the past decade.

    The Republicans use the hackneyed phrase "tax and spend" to describe the Democrats. In fact, taxing proportionally to the degree of spend is actually responsible government. Its the Republican mantra of "don't tax (yet continue to spend)" is exactly what has driven up the federal deficit.

    Shame on Thune and his colleagues!

    December 13, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  6. Jimmy from Concord, NH

    This comment is for everyone who says: "The Republicans were spending like crazy, so who are they to tell the Democrats to curb it?"

    Some debt is not necessarily a bad thing! How many of us took out student loans? Sometimes, people want to go INTO debt with the hope of it paying off in the future. In fact, this was one of the main justifications of the stimulus! In fact, both parties have been enormously hypocritical with regards to spending.

    However, the Republicans come out on top because, as Sen. Thune is saying here, it is the degree of spending which worries people. Taking out a loan to pay for college makes sense. Buying a shiny new Porche while you're at college does not make sense. The Republicans are not only opposed to the nature of the spending (which is expected, since they're the opposing party), but the degree (which is justifiable).

    December 13, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  7. James Brooklyn N.Y.

    It only took eight years of reckless government for them to wake up? I don't think so. Once again it is the Republicans saying if we aren't running things it is wrong. It is still the same talking points. Complain about the problems but offer no solutions.

    December 13, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  8. Tom C in NY

    The Party of No no longer has any credibility on the issue of federal spending, not after so many years of their own failure on this issue.

    December 13, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  9. Bert

    Well, apparently we CAN spend like a drunken sailor, and get away with it, because the folks that buy our T-bills keep on buying em, and as long as they do that, Bernanke can leave the tape on that 'print' key, and all's well, and our Treasury can essentially continue to pull trillions out of thin air. It's the day that NOBODY will buy a treasury note, that's a day for concern.

    December 13, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  10. LLL

    Wow, does anyone here realize that the Democrats have controlled congress since 2006?! To blame only the Republicans for our problems is ridiculous. The only way to change what is going on in Washington is for Americans to realize the Democrats and Republicans are two sides of the same coin.

    December 13, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  11. stevetall

    Haven't we heard enough from the Republican cry-babyies? They got us into this mess, now they don't want to buck-up and pay for it.

    Things are coming around, but it won't be quick. It doesn't take Einstein to understand that you can't have some criminals making millions by manipulating the system to the disadvantage of the rest of us. Fer cryin' out loud! Isn't it obvious that the Republican strategy doesn't work in the modern world.

    December 13, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  12. Republicans are the American Taliban

    Getting out of Iraq and Afghanistan would reduce spending by quite a bit....huh Republicans?

    December 13, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  13. Saul - Virginia Independent

    Alan Greenspan has no credibility as far as i am concern. He contributed to the financial collapse and has acknowledge flaws in the economic model he prosecuted the last 8 years. Republicans can blame Obama all they want while they pretend that there hand are clean. But we will not forget that they reign over the last 8 years and left us the biggest mess of our time.
    Listening to Mitt Romney this morning on meet the press about growing government was also sickening since he grew the Massechussetts government and became the first governor to start Government run healthcare. I am sick of hearing the spin and BS!!

    December 13, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  14. Bob

    The Republicans share "some" of the blame! Come on fool look at the deceipt when Clinton left office and look at the debt when Bush left office. Starting a war against a country that did NOTHING to us cost a fortune. Look at the jobs lost under Bush, look at the trade deceipt with China under Bush, look at what BUSH did to the economy. Now it took Bush and the Republicans 8 years to screw things up and the Republicans all of a sudden are so smart about everything and expect Obama to fix things in 1 year. Give me a break, anyone who believes these lying fools are also the ones who believe tv commericals and will vote for a moose hunter with an IQ of 2.

    December 13, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  15. Karine

    Please use spell check...!!!

    December 13, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  16. Bob

    For those who aren't to into how the government works Yes Democrats controlled congress for Bush's last two years BUT Bush vetoed anything good and/or threatened too thus preventing them from passing much. Yea, still Republicans doing the same ole same ole.

    December 13, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  17. Adam from Ohio

    Dems "slammed" over spending.

    CNN, grown up and stop using headlines like "blasts" and "slams." This is political commentary, not pro wrestling.

    December 13, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  18. johnrj08

    Another political dope trying to score political points over an issue he should know better than to open his mouth about. Between 2000 and 2007, George W. Bush spent like a drunk rich kid with an unlimited trust fund, cutting taxes for the wealthy without providing any way to pay for those cuts. Then he had his +$20 billion/year, totally unjustified war, which was also unpaid for. The spending that the current administration has implemented have been primarily emergency room procedures for a crashing economy. This idiot may not like all the spending, but he has no helpful and realistic alternatives, either. He's just another Republican whining about the Obama administration, because that's his job. Makes me sick.

    December 13, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  19. Scott

    Get over it people...we know Bush ran up the deficit, but now that BHO is in the White House it is somehow alright for him to quadruple the deficit. I don't care who is doing the spending, I don't want my grand kids who aren't born yet saddled with this debt.

    December 13, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  20. Right wingnuts are as dumb as a woonsocket

    Republicans share some of the blame? You mean 90% of the blame. Now, it takes spending and programs to get us back from the edge of the republican depression.

    But of course, a republican would not be expected to know that.

    December 13, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  21. Blinker

    Um...Thune was elected in 2004, came into office in 2005.....and one year later, the Democrats took office in 2006. Just fyi for those of you who want to comment on Thune's spending approval record.

    December 13, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  22. Bob

    Ah the Republican switch and bait. Don't pay attention to the facts look at your spelling.

    December 13, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  23. ThinkAgain

    Republicans have shown the last 30 years, starting with Reagan, that their fiscal policies are naive and don't work. And yet they keep promoting them!

    All of their tax cuts for the wealthy have shipped factories and jobs overseas, further shrinking the Middle Class. Tinkle-down, voodoo economics never did and never will work!

    December 13, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  24. Lynda/Minnesota

    Wow. Such concern over the ballooning deficit coming from the right. Where were the tea baggers in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, & 2009?

    December 13, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  25. RAG

    Well, as Dick Cheney said to that big chronic spender Ronald Reagan, "Deficits don't matter anymore". They do actually, that is how economies in a depression end (or in our case avoid) a depression.

    If the Republicans have their way, America will turn into a place that will make "The Road" look like Disney Land!

    December 13, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
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