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. S Callahan ..make your life better read Psalm 51

    The whole country needs to be on a budget !

    December 13, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  2. Patsy, Texas

    Finally, a Republican admitting that when they were "in charge" for
    six years they did not control spending either. BUT, when Senator
    Thune added the caviate that they look like "cheapskates" now,
    dilutes his admission that Republicans started this mess, and did
    nothing to control it.

    December 13, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  3. Rob Stumpf

    Bush didn't face a crisis of this magnitude! Ever hear of 9/11, and the drop off in the economy that followed?

    When Bush spent money to lift us out of that, he was reckless and bad. When Barry Oh spends way more money to lift us out of the current crisis, he's don't a great thing!

    December 13, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  4. Carole

    Talking HEAD that represents the Republican Party.

    Republican Party is Thune = MALE, PALE and STALE.

    Where was he eight years ago when they had power? Out to lunch with a lobbyist?

    December 13, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  5. bigcat1967

    Yeah – your right, the GOP did a lousy job of spending. They hit around 200 billion in the red every year.

    But the dems and Obama really do have their foot on the gas. 1.4 TRILLION in the red for just this year alone.

    And now Obama is sending over 30,000 more troops??? and now some Dems are talking about a war tax? Come on.

    Cut the spending and bring ALL the troops home to save money and save lives!

    December 13, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  6. America Shrugged

    @LLL Dems took control of Congress on Jan 3, 2007 and a one vote majority in the Senate which equated to nothing. Bush finally figured out how to veto a bill and GOP used the filibuster fairly regularly and nothing got done. This is what happens when power becomes the objective and not doing what is best for the country and her people. So everyone here is crying about cutting spending, where you going to start? Unemployment? Food stamps? medicaid? Let's hear your ideas on where to cut rather than reading your drivel.

    December 13, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  7. Incredulous

    I noticed that the Republicans were no slouches with their special projects and earmarks, a fact that Senator Thune conveniently ignores.

    Perhaps he should get his own party's senators to cut back on their substantial fiscal excesses and pork before going after the Dems.

    But then, that's not the Republican way.

    December 13, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  8. Bob of Lompoc

    I see another member of The Cry Baby Loser Party, representing South Dakota, population 764,000, about 60% voted so that's 458,000, and about 60% of those voted for this guy, that's 275,000, or, in other words, less than 1% of the people of America. Further, I am willing to bring down Federal Spending, starting right there in South Dakota, with Farm Subsudies, those payments to farmers for NOT growing anything on their land, and leaving the fields unused. How about a 50% cut back in those subsudies? OK with you Senator Loser? Oh, I can hear him crying already!

    December 13, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  9. Will in Carson City

    This is insane. Each party blames the other. Here's a more correct though - BOTH parties are to blame! Both parties are trying to outspend each other. Until this country (and its voters) are willing to vote in people that are more interested in the people and not their own selfish self-interests, this country will continue to fall farther and farther off that cliff.

    December 13, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  10. Charlie

    Comments should be disabled for all of these political "ticker" stories. All it is, is a place for Democrats to blame and insult every Republican from every background, while putting labels on all of them. It's time to get over yourselves and stop blaming the Republicans for everything. Democrats have been in full control for almost a year now, and it's obvious things are going further downhill. It's no one party or individual's fault, it's something that's been building up long before President Bush was sworn into office.

    December 13, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  11. DetailsPlease

    I don't care what party you belong to. This kind of deficit spending is going to ruin our economy!!!

    Try this on your own finances and see how long you last.

    The house just approved a national debt of $14,000,000,000,000. That is up from $10t just one year ago. That is a 40% increase in just one year on the whole national debt.

    Come on folks, common sense must prevail at some point regardless of what party you belong to!!!!!!!

    December 13, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  12. terry horn

    Shades of the Carter Administration, Carter was a great person, with super idea's. He inherited, much debt. And a country reeling from our Vietnam experience. UnfortunatelyThose idea's turned out not to be so good when put into practice, taxation skyrocketed, O.P.E.C cut production , you couldnt by gas for youre car. And the deficit , exploded into a monster. America was the laughing stock of the world.
    A man fixed all of that , By using sound conservative principles, and we can do it again! His name was Ronald Wilson Reagan, aka. Dutch.

    December 13, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  13. Jimmy from Concord, NH

    Death Panel Sarah:

    That is a very good point. The luxury car is supposed to be an example of massive, unnecessary spending. There are plenty of small, nit-picky things that on their own would just be drops in an ocean. However, add them up, and you get a whole lot of spending.

    Also, re. healthcare, despite my politics, I think that a nation as wealthy as ours SHOULD provide healthcare to all its citizens. So many people have died because of circumstances surrounding profitable business, and I applaud Obama for bringing this to our attention.

    However, reading through the solutions the Democrats have proposed, and listening to the estimates the CBO manages to produce before these bills are rushed through Congress, I do not think a viable, cost-effective solution has been proposed.

    So yes, the goal of healthcare has more moral standing than a new car. However, the bills we have seen this year are garbage which will not drive cost down, and will drive quality down. Although most of us may be insured on paper with one of these bills, lower quality does not necessarily mean more lives saved.

    Thank you for pointing out the crudeness of my example.

    December 13, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  14. Right wingnuts are as dumb as a woonsocket

    Only a republican can make it sound like not helping Americans is a good idea.

    December 13, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  15. Pat

    I really do not have any problem with the Republican position on decreasing spending and eliminating the National debt (indeed I think everyone would agree that paying off the national debt is a good thing). The problem I have is that under the Republican controlled White House and Congress, Republicans doubled the national debt. DOUBLED. It is hypocritical now to take a firm position on reducing the debt and cutting spending when another party is in office and is trying to stabilize an economy in a depression, end two wars started by the previous administration, and provide heath care to the 50 million Americans who do not have it.

    Basically, at this point, the Republicans have lost any credibilty in this regard. If they want to save money, how about cutting the defense budget in half. Currently, the US spends 8 times what the next closes country (China) spends on its military. 8 TIMES! If we cit this in half we will still spend 4 times as much and have 500 billion dollars to put toward the national debt. Problem solved.

    December 13, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  16. Jim

    Sorry Republicans, you were the party that put the country into this mess. You had a lot of money in the bank when you took over and you blew it.

    No one with any common sense would ever vote for your party. You presently look so silly with you childish ploys and you entire party
    is not as smart as the ex-senator from Alaska. who has to quit before they put her out.

    Your party needs to grow up, attract some people that are intelligent,
    get into today's times and do away with non-intelligent people like
    the one described in this article.

    As a suggestion it would be far easier if your party just went away. The present party is not serving the people, you just act like spoiled children. You need to take a very long time out.

    December 13, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  17. right winger

    Now that stimulus I failed, Obama cranks up Stimulus II – and in the process, screws our future generations.

    Excessive spending, whether Republican or Democrat, has never been demonstarted to be a savior of the ecomomy and the so called multiplier effect is a joke.

    Two wrongs don't make a right, and high spending under Bush was wrong too. Other than this, your thread here is quite amusing. Vapid, yet amusing

    December 13, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  18. terry horn

    All those mean old millionaires ,Hire people, they create jobs, if we tax them into oblivion. They will just hide the money , stop investing. and layoff employees.Come on folks lets think things through before we go fly off the handle and make decisions that harm us.
    Did you ever see a poor man hire anyone?
    Also if you will get down and study it ,you will find that the rich already pay most of the taxes in this great country.

    December 13, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  19. FingerStraightUp

    The only difference between Republican's and Democrats and the steps they both continue to take to destroy America for the purposes of personal financial gain is the volume of the complaints and the direction of the finger pointing. Both party's elected representatives are completely out of touch with the people they are elected to serve. When it comes to serving the public and upholding the Constitution representatives of both party's tend to point their finger in only one direction. Straight up.

    December 13, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  20. German,Irish American

    All the ignorant liberals on this site either refuse to admit, or are to stupid to understand, that the Democrats have just as big, if not more, responsibility for the collapse of the economy. Remember Fannie and Freddie, the main cause of the collapse? These two GSE's were the main cause of the breakdown. And who championed these entities? The Democrats. It was Dodd, Franks and Obama who criticized Bush for discriminization and fearmongering when he called for a new SEC chairman and stricter government regulation of Fannie and Freddie. Also, unlike the Democrat majority today which can pass any bill they want with NO Republican vote, the Bush administration had to have Democrat votes for EVERY bill passed during their eight year administration. Also, remember it was the DEMOCRAT Congress that wrote the bills for the President to sign the last two years of the Bush administration. Ironicaly, the economy was still growing when the Democrats gained control of Congress, and then started its decline, then collapse under the Democrat Congressional watch, and then spiraled out of control under the wasteful spending of Obama and the Democrat controlled Congress. And then there are the liberal talking poinyts on here that still stupidly say Bush only gave tax cuts to the rich. It's hard to argue with anyone who is to dumb to realize that their paycheck was bigger because of the Bush tax cuts.

    December 13, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  21. MishaJohn

    More than 40 percent of the deficit cam from Bush-era budgets and policies, which Thune supported 100%. My Hypocrite-meter just went off the scale!

    December 13, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  22. Oh Please

    Typical republican talking point, after the fact. What did he propose that we cut?

    Perhaps we need to start by allowing the Bush tax cuts for Thune and his friends to expire. Scott, you've got to be kidding. When the rich got tax cuts, they didn't reinvest in the country. They bought bigger houses, cars and invested in themselves. Why do you think so many greedy people lost money in the Madoff scam?

    December 13, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  23. Steve

    The Dems know they've got about one year to get the $@%$ done, and this is it.

    December 13, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  24. Jasmine THurgood

    Where were you and the rest of your Repub buddies when Bush was spending inthe Iraq war? I guess it was allright then. One of your own was in. Maybe we should give Obama the Social Security to privitize it. That may help with the deficit. What a bunch of whiners.

    December 13, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  25. WeThePeopleofVirginia

    The reason politicians do not listen to their constituents or believe opinion polls is because there continues to be complacency with low voter turnout. Conservative and Moderates keep saying the US is a center-right Democracy, but fail to prove their resolve. Progressives and Special Interest Groups have continually been better organized in voter turnout.

    YOU have no one to blame but YOURSELF if you do not VOTE in the 2010 midterms.

    December 13, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
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