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. Beverly in NC

    Thune is a typical hypocritical Republican. Whose spending rampage with no thought to how it would be paid for got us into this economic mess? George Bush and his do-anything-I want Repubicans.

    Moron Bush walked into office with a budget surplus and left us on the brink of total economic collapse when he was booted out last November.

    Americans are not stupid and our memories are not that bad – we know it was the Republican war mongers and their catering to their rich buddies that got us into this huge economic disaster. What money has been spent under President Obama has been to save our country and our people from going bankrupt, losing their homes, and having our banks fail.

    If I were a Republican I'd be keeping my mouth shut about spending. They showed no "fiscal responsibility" of any kind under their watch! Now they are doing everything possible to make sure our nation does not recover for some sick political game-playing. One twisted Party!

    December 13, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  2. Bert

    I guess the censor didn't like my last response, so, here's a question instead, how does Thune propose to reduce government spending?
    Further, with all the spending programs in place, where, if anywhere, will anyone cut anything? It's not gonna happen, right, so...

    December 13, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  3. Lori, Houston Texas

    Considering how the Republican party got us in this mess by putting a war of choice on a credit card, I say they have zero credibility in all things financial.

    Anyone running a basic household can tell you that you have to pay your bills or lose your house, right?

    December 13, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  4. ThinkAgain

    Republicans don't know diddly-squat about economics and financial policy.

    If they did, Reagan and Bush, with their tinkle-down, voodoo economics, wouldn't have created the huge deficits we had under those two.

    The proof is in the pudding: Tax cuts for the wealthy and caring more about Wall Street than Main Street = economic hardship for the majority of Americans.

    December 13, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  5. Scott

    Think Again:show me one 'poor' person who ever created/gave another a job. Do you honestly think when you give someone who is 'wealthy' (i.e a business owner) a tax break (i.e. let them keep their own money), that they just hold on to that money? No, they reinvest that money in their business, creating more jobs. If you tax businesses (the 'wealthy') to death, what is their incentive to grow.

    December 13, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  6. Lynda/Minnesota

    LLL, fighting two wars without increasing revenue (taxes) to pay for said wars created the recession. Both wars drained what was a very good economy, leaving the federal budget in shambles, trickling down to State levels. Bush then gave the wealthiest a hefty tax break which futher lowered the budget coffers. Add Homeland Security and other defense agencies, all of which needed funding,and you see where this is going.

    This all occured during the republican's control of Congress.

    December 13, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  7. Leonard Hoffman

    With all due respect Screw Thune. Bush left us in the worst imaginable shape and the country needs some deficit spending to keep the wheels greased.
    Why doesn't he complain about Medicare not being able to negotiate drug prices.


    December 13, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  8. Chris

    Blah, blah, blah.... Bush... Republicans... war mongering. Oh, wait a minute... Obama's been president now for nearly a year, the Dems have had control of Congress since 2006 (which f.y.i. is when it has really started to suck) and we still have rampant spending, no checks and balances, and cry baby liberals. Why don't we just spend some more, hopefully China stops buying our debt, we freak out, collapse into civil war, and I'll just move to Europe.

    December 13, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  9. Reaganomics Leads To Feudalism

    Congress should have reigned in spending before giving costly tax cuts to multi-millionares and WASTING a TRILLION dollars invading and occupying a foreign country that had absolutely NOTHING to do with 9/11 and posed absolutely NO threat whatsover to the national security of the United States.

    December 13, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  10. Right wingnuts are as dumb as a woonsocket

    Most economists agreed that on the brink of a global depression, you do not conduct business as usual. This is one time that you had to 'prime the pump' to make sure the bleeding stopped and to get things moving in the right direction. Some quickly forget that Bush spent like a drunken sailor when there was not a crisis of this magnitude.

    December 13, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  11. Nate

    Ummmm....Hate to break it to all of you fiscal "experts" i.e. Democrats. This is Obama's economy now. You can't blame the QUADRUPLING of spending under Obama on Bush. You can't blame the 10.2% unemployment rate on Bush either.
    I agree that the last time republican's owned the house and senate that they spent too much, but it wasn't CONSERVATIVE Republicans who wanted to blow more of our Tax dollars on the next spending program or wasteful entitlement, it was LIBERAL republican's i.e. (more Democrat-like republicans) that encouraged the Debt.
    It's simple for all of you "experts"....the less you spend, and the more you save, the less debt you will have.

    December 13, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  12. Aaron-Chicago

    The 2012 Republican presidential nominee never answered how we reduce the deficit and if that will require raising taxes. Hope somebody taped this for the ads in the summer of 2012.

    December 13, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  13. lovable liberal

    Shorter Thune: "If the Dems will just cut to bone and forget stimulating the economy, we Repubs can blame them for the ensuing depression. Yahahaha!"

    December 13, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  14. normajean

    I'd say the Republicans share a lot more than some of the blame. The current administration came in to a financial fiasco and has been trying to dig us out of that mess and at the same time keep the country moving.This is not counting the Repubs throwing everything but the kitchen sink at The President and putting roadblocks in front of everything he tries to do. Do you Repubs think that after the way you have behaved for the last year that the people are really going to put you back in office. Why would they, just so you can sit on your hands and do nothing. Not likely

    December 13, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  15. CNN afraid of a liberal post

    He was in congress last year. And guess what I have googled, alta vista, dog patched and all the other search engines. I asked the question
    " how many times if any did Thune SD ask bush and his enablers to reign in spending?"

    Guess what, they didn't find any. So that means all the trillions that bush and company funneled to Halliburton and all its branches and to the banks, ( what we just found out about), was never ever questioned by any of the republicans in congress. Gee think about that....tsk tsk tsk.

    NOW INSTEAD OF TAKING THEIR BLUE PILLS TO GET A RISE, they are slamming the Democrats because they ( the sacred republicans) are fiscally responsible..SINCE WHEN...Oh yeah since the Obama Administration came into office.

    Moderate this CNN it asks the republicans a searching question. And that's not allowed.

    December 13, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  16. Right wingnuts are as dumb as a woonsocket

    Chris- now why would you move to a socialist country in Europe?

    December 13, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  17. Jeff

    here we go again. The Republican talking fiscal policy. Where was this discussion when they voted carte blanche to keep funding two wars? It only seems to arise when we discuss how to provide basic care for out citizens. They never seem to have a problem when we provide aide to other countries citizens. For a bunch of God fearing, bible toting christians, one wonders what bible they are reading? Last time I checked we were supposed to care for the poor and needy. Seems they only want to care for their rich buddies in the drug, medical and war industries.

    December 13, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  18. James

    I think the problem is that we are bleeding to death in this country. Yes, we need the healthcare bill, jobs, and some bailouts, however the long term remedy for fixing the economy is changing the way we do business with other countries. Ross Perot had it right about Nafta and we didn't listen. We now have 14 new trade agreements since Nafta. If we do not have the courage to use the word "tariff" then buy a whole lot more band aids. This country will never return to its former glory untill we reverse what the greedy politicians have done to us over the course of the last 15 years. Its time to start making things in America again, its the only way we can survive.

    December 13, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  19. tracy

    If the GOP wants to curb spending, then have them cancel their lifetime pensions that every Congressman gets after a single term.

    Let's face it folks, our entire government is a puppet of the moneyed interests that have everything to lose and simply want to keep their control by burdening the general population with expenses that will keep them enslaved their entire lives.

    Time for another revolution.

    December 13, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  20. neoMarxist

    As a recent convert, I would like to encourage the Democrats to spend more money and start doing it faster. I have come to realize that both Republicans and Democrats will do anything to get re-elected and hold nothing but contempt for the American people. Once accepting this and researching how a profit can be made on the destruction of the value of the US $ and our economic future I am all for Health Care Reform, Cap & Trade, Welfare, Nationalization of Banks, Insurance, Auto Industry, Farming, Pharma etc....

    December 13, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  21. Dylan from MN

    Republicans like to talk about small government but that's not what they do when they reach office. There's a reason that people who claim Republican are the least educated in the nation.

    December 13, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  22. Randy, San Francisco

    GOP fiscal conservatives finally wake up from 8 long years of slumber. Where were their voices when the Bush gave tax cuts to the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans at the cost of over 2 trillion dollars, more than the cost for health care reform? Where were their voices when Bush hid the true cost of two wars, one we need not have fought and the other one poorly managed? The echoes of their current cries of indignation are tainted with hypocrisy and lies.

    December 13, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  23. Steve in Kentucky

    Yup. After eight years of blank-check spending under Bush, the Rethuglicans are now worried about the deficit.

    December 13, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  24. Death Panel Sarah

    To Kate in SW Florida.....sorry. but the 'party of NO' would have the 'negative attitude' no matter what the Democrats of President Obama would have done(or will ever do).

    That is their ONLY solution to getting back in power(and there are many weak-thinking individuals that will help them), which is the ONLY thing they want!
    They do NOT care about the American people(except the wealthy) or America. I do not believe many are as religious as they would have you believe, or they would not oppose healthcare for the millions dying right now!

    All they want is POWER!!(and money)

    December 13, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  25. buckwheat

    Borrowing and spending is one thing and what built this country.Stealing the wealth and giving to people who have not worked in 50 years is called redistribution of wealth.Thank Lyndon Johnson for that.

    December 13, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
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