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.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The GOP can be experts on that. They failed to control spending when they were in charge of the House, Senate and White House. These Republicans could have done so much to cut the spending, but they failed to do so when they were in charge. Why should we believe the they will do that ever?

    December 13, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  2. djb

    There is a difference between spending money on wars and tax cuts...that money is NEVER coming back. It went to the elite rich and Haliburton. The Obama administration is investing in our future, the future of our country. Wise investments can and usually do pay off.

    December 13, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  3. nadine

    This is America and the people that dwell therein, stop the division and work for the good of the people. These republicans never, ever open their mouth when Bush/Cheney spent, spent, and dug America in the deepest hole. All of the sudden, it's our children future. You didn't give a rats behind sending our young men and women to a unjust war (Iraq) with no plan nor strategy. Where were you loud mouth t-baggers then.

    December 13, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  4. danel

    unfunded wars, unfunded medicare/medicaid and prescription drugs not to mention tax cuts for the rich are the reasons why the economy is tanking. This GOP senator is easy to blame the DEMS. No credibility! Makes you wonder what is his agenda?

    December 13, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  5. Brian

    If there is needless spending in the bill, sure, let's weed it out, but I'm willing to bet there isn't much that's not necessary.

    So, while we're on the topic of reducing spending, why don't we start with the military? I don't mean let's end the wars in Iraq in Afghanistan, I mean how about we start reducing the size of our foreign military and cutting needless weapons research? We have tens of thousands of troops in Germany that aren't necessary, as well as other places around Europe. How about some of the bases in Japan? We already have bases in S. Korea so we have a check on N. Korea, and since we're hearing instances of rape by U.S. soliders in Japan so often, why not remove them, save money, and remove a source of tarnish for our military's reputation? What about not going ahead with building a bunch of bases in Columbia, or reducing our presence in the Middle East (outside the war-zones, like in Saudi Arabia). Our interferance over there is a great recruitment tool for terrorists anyway.

    Also, how about not spending billions and billions on new weapons research. For Pete's sake we have fully automatic shotguns, the best fighter jets and bombers in the world by a very large margin, and the best tank. Our (early) Cold War era jet bombers are retrofitted and capable of inflicting massive damage against most enemies even today. We're ahead of every other country militarily by 20 years at least. Let's take a break and help ourselves get out of our own messes for once.

    Let Europe start spending a significant military budget. The EU economy is bigger than ours, can't they take a larger role in defense in the West?

    December 13, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  6. Jamey

    Really, lets blame Bush more... and why were at it.. lets let Obama do what Bush did and praise him. Obama is Bush/Carter 2.0.

    December 13, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  7. Robrob

    "Obama's been president now for nearly a year"

    Ten months actually (Republican math), whatever... Took eight years for the previous administration to destroy the economy. So it might just take more than ten months to fix it.

    "the Dems have had control of Congress since 2006"

    And the Repubs had control of it for what, four times as many years before that? And who was in charge when the banks were deregulated, etc... ? You were proud of their actions then, why aren't you proud of their results now?

    December 13, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  8. ran

    No the GOP are the ones who had their foot on the pedal, Now the Democrats and president Obama has to get us out of all the messes with the GOP saying no/using fear/or out and out obstructionism.

    We can not reward the GOP, so lets make sure we vote for true Democrats or Independents in 2010/2012 and not a single Republican or "blue dog".

    December 13, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  9. haren

    Okay we agree to cut spending.
    let us start with DEFENCE.
    We have more than enough weaponry to blow this world 300 times.
    If we cut few cookies from defense we will have free health care for every one, free education and other essential services.
    It is time for rich friends of republican to share some of the pain.
    If they pay little bit for the war which they want this country to fight every where, than let us raised income tax bracket back to Clinton years, If they were living comfortably before 80's with 70% bracket than I am sure it will not affect them with 39%.

    December 13, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  10. Deej

    At this point and time I don't see how arguing about who did what when is going to help now. What is the point? Whats done is done. Its like closing the barn door after the horse gets out. We need to start living in the here and now. We need to get back to basics. Start all over from scratch. But with everyone oweing $70.000 it's hard to imagine how. I'm open for suggestions though.

    December 13, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  11. C Spurgeon

    Thune us one of many that needs to be voted out, The bums are on both sides and he is a major one.

    December 13, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  12. Thelma & Louise strategy

    Recently Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner defended the Obama administration by saying that it was handed an economy headed toward the edge of a cliff.

    Not sure how flooring the accelerator helps...

    December 13, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  13. Fed Up

    No, they don't need to reign in spending. This was what the Americans voted in. The Democratic party has always been the tax and spend party. Let "em go...until next year.

    December 13, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  14. Mark Bittner

    Shame on all of you. You sound like a bunch of brainless sheeple being led by the party that best suits your needs and personal interests. No solutions, just a bunch of finger pointing. Why? Because you are so incredibly uninformed about any issue. The Glenn Becks and the 'New Savior' Obama define the extremes of the political continuum and you defend their words as gospel to the death. But can you explain WHY we're in the financial messes we are? Why healthcare is so hard for some people to get? Why jobs and taxes and deficity spending are all related? My guess is no, at least I'm not hearing or seeing any of that above. You deserve to have your right to vote and the bulk of your individual freedoms stripped because they're as useful to you as a third nipple. If you don't begin using your brain to understand issues and your voice to regain control of the government that is quickly being taken from you, you WILL soon be living in a country that our founding fathers never envisioned.

    December 13, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  15. haren

    let us wait for few month before we get another shocking news of this republicans.
    Sarah Pailin, Sanford, now Huckabee, and I am counting on Pawlenty and this guy.

    December 13, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  16. alex badme

    The only ones who will come out well the RICH "Democrats nd Republicans" that an extra 10,000 a year for the rich is like me and you throwing a dime out the window. We will all (except the elite) feel the pain as China has our lunch and we are the ones working in the sweat shops to send them the goods. Our elite will still be well off as are the Chinese elite so they don't care. Wake up America

    December 13, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  17. Gerry NH

    The democrats have been in charge of congress ever since January of 2006. Over the past 3 years the democrats have done nothing to help fix anything. They don't need republican votes to pass laws but they can't work togeather to fix this country. All incumbents need to be voted out of office no matter what party they are from.

    December 13, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  18. Go Figure

    Now that the 8 year spending spree of the Bush Administration has come due, and President Obama has no recourse but to up the ante to compensate for the IOUs Bush freely gave out, the GOPers have decided to ignore past indiscretions and instead declare bankruptcy in hopes of starting over.

    If the GOP policies are so wonderful, I wonder why then this country in such a financial mess?

    Not to mention that one of the biggest issues has been the TARP bailout, much of which is being paid back ... without tax increases from anyone. So much for the tea baggers.

    December 13, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  19. Jerry

    Hey bloggers idiots, this is not a Republican administration any longer. Are you so stupid you can not understand that? It's about time you stopped defending President NObama's idioticand moronic policies. Or are you too much of a "dunce" to understand that.

    Our country, in case you are too stupid to comprehend, is being ruined by the policies of this administration.

    Yes, in case you "dunces" are wondering, I am a life-long Democrat.

    December 13, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  20. HarryB

    Nice try, John. Your statement, "Both parties are to blame" is true, but it's also self-serving, and few economists will agree with you that cutting back spending is the answer to getting out of a near Depression. Let's remember that Mr. Bush overspent on a unilateral, unnecessary war beacause of a perceived slight committed by Saddam against his Father, while Obama is at least pursuing a noble goal. Also, let's remember that Bush inherited a budget surplus, while Obama inherited a massive deficit that Bush created. Maybe if Bush didn't start an unnecessary war, we could pay for healthcare and infrastructure repair, two areas that the GOP has ignored in their ardor to make the rich richer.

    December 13, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  21. Steve

    I find it very funny when people said "Bush" spent this that and the other. 1st off the spending now is 1000 times higher and it WILL have to be repaid...who is going to want to have 50% of their income taxed? Not me. Another thing about blaming Bush...who had control of the house/senate...oh thats right DEMOCRATS – THEY held the purse strings not the president. Bush was a idiot dont get me wrong...but the people going ape spending OUR MONEY is the same people who were doing it under the Bush administration.

    December 13, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  22. Dan

    Scott wake up....Not every bussiness will invest in there bussines.Trust me just look at the companys like Beth steel that didnt want to invest in the plant.20000 worked there at one time.0 today.Keep believing what your told by others.Some of us has proof they dont invest.

    December 13, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  23. Sen. John Thune, given your party put us here

    Sen. John Thune, it is a little deeper than share

    how about responsible

    your party put us where we are, and we are slowly, very slowly trying to dig back out of the hellish mess YOUR party put us in

    where was your call to reign in spending the last 8 years

    shut up

    December 13, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  24. not alone

    So it was OK for the repulicans to go on an 8 year spending spree?give me a break! And you all sit back and call your selfs conseritives.....Time for a new party please.

    December 13, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  25. marty

    It behooves me to think that anyone in their right mind would give any kind of authority or power to any Republican again unless they pretend that the previous administration did not exist...or that Ronald Reagan did not sign the biggest tax increase in history.... or that Richard Nixon wasn't aware of Watergate, etc, etc. Sorry, too many warts in the party's pattern of what should have been leadership. Mr. Thune's qualified acknowledgement of 'sharing some of the blame' is too little, too late. Instead, if Mr. Thune is the good guy image he's trying to portray, he could begin a procedure whereby Congress demonstrates patriotism by passing legislatation cutting their wages and dramatically reducing health and pension benefits just as other Americans have been forced to do. The operative word is share, Mr. Thune.

    December 13, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
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