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. Tucson Dean

    Republicans become fiscal conservatives when money is spent on Democratic programs.

    December 13, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  2. Nathan from Atlanta

    I consider my self a hard-core democrat especially after what Bush did to this country and the rise of the Teabaggers. However, I have to admit the spending seems like its way out of control. I mean, regardless of party, us regular people start looking at each other thinking "what the heck is our government doing?!". Obama is really intelligent and articulate but I feel he owes us an explanation for the spending and show us the plan to pay this money back to China. Even though I will NEVER consider myself a republican, I might vote for them in 2010 to just restore some balance in Congress.

    December 13, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  3. SG Baker

    The Left Wing LOONS love spending the taxpayers (yours and mine)monies for their PORK items. Like the new "Jobs Bill" that will be used to buy more votes and fund ACORN and SEIU into the next millenium, using TARP monies repaid by the big bad financial institutions. You can tell when the country is being run by the Chicago Mobsters, one IL House Members Husband defrauded the banking system of more than 2.5Million dollars and served less than 2 years in prison for that. Meanwhile, Mr. Mark Ingram Senior is set to serve 7+ years for doing less damage to the banking system. Oh yeah, Mr. Ingram Senior is Black so he should serve more time, right? Wrong. The Felon that is now married to the IL congresswoman wrote a manifesto while in prison that the Obama administration are hailing as the blueprint for the future of the Democratic party. I was once a Democrat but that party disappeared in 1964 when LBJ took over and began the modern era of Socialism in government.

    December 13, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  4. Steve

    My god people research before you speak really you sound ignorant.

    Cost of BOTh Iraq/Afganistan wars since 2001 – 940 Billion.
    Cost of Obama/Democratic Bailouts – 3.27 TRILLION.

    I am pretty sure you welfare/liberal folks know that a Trillion is LARGER then a Billion. Thus do not blame "Bush's War" for the deficit. For the amount of money Obama and you democrats have SPENT we could have fought SIX WARS OVER TEN YEARS!!! Go buy John Mertha another airport idiots.

    December 13, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  5. jay in denver

    That's right. Republicans don't tax and spend. They dine and dash, leaving the check for someone else. (See: Reagan, Bush I, Bush II.)

    December 13, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  6. Michael

    I just love how the so called"conservatives" are screaming about spending. Oh they holler about Democrats having control of congress for so long and that is the "real Issue". BUT! and this is a big BUT. They were in charge , they had the White House. They had the ideas for spending. They got us into an unnecessary war and tried to spend their way out of it. They embarrassed this nation and it's history and heritage by opening a prison in Guantanamo, They violated international law with torturing the prisoners. They let this nations economy go into the gutter. They encouraged business to "SHIP OUT" to other countries for a better profit. They spied on the citizens of this nation illegally. They "outed" a CIA operative. They gutted the environmental laws. Am I a crying Liberal? No! However I am one very pissed off American who spent 40 years in the military. I am proud of this country and it's history. I am ashamed and disgusted with self centered, egotistical, lying conservatives who disregard this great nation problems for their own gain. The nation first then politics. That is something I don't think any conservative including Thune will ever understand or follow.

    December 13, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  7. manhandler

    Still blaming Bush and the Republicans, huh? Duh....Of course the Dems weren't in charge of Congress the last few years and, of course , they didn't tell Bush 'Full Speed Ahead' with his two insane wars and keep funding them and funding them, now did they? Now BOTH these idiotic parties have wrecked the economy and drained our resources while stealing taxpayers dollars and giving it to rich corporations. Now THIS goofball is escalating this Insane war in Afghanistan, which will further drain resources that we don't have. Hey, I've got a great idea....let's borrow from the Chinese so that we can kill more people in Afghanistan! ALL these people have to go. ALL OF THEM!

    December 13, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  8. Bob

    There is no justification for the current spending spree, which if unchecked will ultimately destroy our currency. Those of you posting with "but the republicans..." are pathetic. The republicans are currently the party of "no" because there is nothing about this spending or the proposed taxation by the democrats that can be justified. All of you Bush haters out there who are trying to defend the democrats either don't have children or just don't care about their future. From an economic standpoint, Obama is a complete idiot. All he knows is Keynes and government spending. If this continues for any significant length of time (like more than a year or two) the results will be catastrophic. If Obama and his party really "care" about the country as they say, then fiscal discipline must be restored immediately.

    December 13, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  9. jay in denver

    And for those who keep saying, "Stop blaming Bush, Obama's had the job almost a year." Guys, it's going to take GENERATIONS to clean up the mess Dubya made of this country and the world. Why on earth should we stop blaming him just because he is no longer has the power to destroy things? The mess is still his fault, not the fault of the clean-up crew.

    December 13, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  10. Centrist

    Both parties indulge in massive borrowing and spending. Because of ideology, Republicans would borrow in order to spend, because raising taxes is a no-no. Republicans would also cut taxes in the midst of huge spending, in order to satisfy ideology. The result is out of control debt and deficits. Democrats don't mind raising your taxes in order to pay for massive spending, like the current healthcare bill. I guess at least they're not going to borrow to pay for it. Pick your poison. We need an alternative to Democrats and Republicans.

    December 13, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  11. Al in Chesapeake

    It is amazing. Now that Obama has been president for a year, the far left liberal organization still continues to blame Bush. He might have had his faults, but Obama and his administration sure have had theirs in the past year by raising the debt that the US has. Why can all Liberals and Republicans get to gether and say enough of this wild spending to include the BIG PORK spending has to cease and lets
    balance the budget..

    December 13, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  12. holding up the mirror

    The Repubs are hypocrites end of story. They were in charge of Congress from 2000 until 2006 with a Repub in the white house. The deficit doubled from 5 to 10 trillion. That is all that has to be said. They cannot run from it. The Dems were stuck in the unenviable position of trying to get an economy going again without any help whatsoever from big business and big banks. Repub answer was to let them fail. That would have ensured that the wealth gap between the rich and poor would double, which is exactly what they want. Wake up and smell what they are shoveling. They don't want capitalism, they want corporate communism.

    December 13, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  13. Sean

    Deficit spending is the solution to help a country recover from a recession. This is already an old theme, that many Republicans and Conservatives had been saying since 1800s, but it never works. The 1930s depression was worsened by lack of public spending, and thus the Republicans lost their President and WH, and income a Democratic President who injected insufficient money to grease the system to make it work back itself again. But WWII really helped push the government spending to a new level that really reverse the economy. Like it or not, fiscal conservativsm cannot work during recession as it'll make the whole economy worst, and could possibly bankrupt a country. If the Republicans want to clear out all the junks during the recession, that's a good idea too, but the rate of unemployment will be over 20% or worst. If Americans have deep pockets and great savings, that'll be good. And also when all Americans put their money under the pillows... we don't need banks. Why do we ever want to save the banks? Do we have a choice? Why are we putting so much money into the big corporations? When one fails, the government needs a lot of money to bail them out so that less Americans will lose their jobs. It's time to rethink what system really causes this economic problems... in short... people who don't understand how the economy works should not rule this country.,

    December 13, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  14. Ivan

    Rein in spending, just as you Republicans did when Republicans controlled the Presidency, the Senate, and the House.
    We need this spending to get out of the financial abyss you Republican caused.

    December 13, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  15. SG Baker

    Yes, the Obamanation is in full charge now. How many jobs have we lost during his reign? How many jobs have been created or saved over his term? Want a real answer? You will not get it on CNN, MSNBC, NBC, ABC, CBS, or C-Span. Only one news channel offers fair and balanced news. They leave it up to you to make your own decision on the truth or fallacies of the news items that none of the other networks can post. If they post the truth, then they will be treated like the other network that was declared by the WH as being "Not a news channel"! Why, cause they were not given preferential treatment by FOX news.

    December 13, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  16. Peter E

    And yet another republican who said absolutely nothing for the previous eight years, suddenly realising that mounting deficits are bad.

    December 13, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  17. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    That says what we knew all along, Republicans want the Bush policies back which they backed 100% for 8 failed years.

    December 13, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  18. Scott Stinziano

    He is right. We need to stop spending, and stop spending right now. Dems have been in control of spending since 2006. Do people out there really think things have gotten better? Are people really happy with the direction in which this country is going? The Dems keep on blaming the Bush Addministration for all our problems. It is partly the last Addministrations problem, but the Dems just keep on adding to the problem. This is why you do not elect anybody with little to no expereance to be our President. The only good thing to come out of this mess is that there will be a HOUSE CLEANING come the next election. It isn't going to happen soon enough!

    December 13, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  19. paul

    Why do you continue to feel obligated to give these Republican Cretins a format to spew their ignorance and venom. "We share some of the responsibility" – YOU DON'T SHARE ANYTHING – YOU ARE TOTALLY AND 100% RESPONSIBLE for the worst economy, environment, health care, etc., etc., etc. You have broken all of your toys, and all the toys you could steal from the American Middle Class, and now you want to continue lecturing us about how Obama should be fixing your historical disaster(s). Name a single thing that you haven't destroyed. I hope CNN will eventually give Al Qaeda equal time to the Republicans – they actually have done less to destroy America and the World.

    December 13, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  20. Jim Piani

    Repubicans never cease to amaze me!!! They nearly destroy our economic/financial system and then complain about the spending to save it. Where were the imbeciles when Bushie Boy and his thugs were spending us to oblivion?

    December 13, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  21. Dee

    And is there record that the Senator declared his statement under President Bush?

    December 13, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  22. Hugo

    Anyone that follows this party rhetoric on either side is as dumb as a box of rocks. BOTH parties have failed us miserably, that is the reason in 2010 and in 2012 all incumbents should be voted out of office. The Republicans failed in their fiscal responsibilities under Bush and the Democrats have spent us into oblivion with no sight of end on the conceivable horizon. DC is parallel to Hollywood, they believe only in their own magnificence and we as their fans will just continue to go to their movie because we are dumb and bored.


    December 13, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  23. Independent in New York

    I feel as if I am watching to fellow kids (Republicans and Democrats) fight on the playground. This fight I am siding with the Democrats.

    The main reason why it seems this Democratic administration is spending more is because they are actually being transparent with their spending.

    Why does it seem that Republicans have higher expectations for the Democratic party than their own?

    December 13, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  24. Linda

    We live in a country in which almost 50% of the working population does not make enough money to even pay federal taxes. We live in a country in which our educational and health standards are falling further and further behind the rest of the industrial world. We live in a country in which the biggest expenditure has been "welfare" for rich corporations and an expensive "imperialistic" war. How can we even climb out of this mess without a massive investment in our country? If one wants to begin the solve government debt we have to upgrade the average American worker to the point where he can afford taxes. In order to do that we have to stop think of working at Walmart as a 'career' choice. If we do not make an investment now in America things will be much worse later on down the road. Sorry, repugs – we gave your 'big business will take care of the economy' approach a chance and all they did was rob our country. Get out of the way and let intelligent people try to fix the mess.

    December 13, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  25. Dave

    Okay now that all the Dems have given there partly line let's look at the facts. Clinton inherited a recovering economy from the first President Bush. Before the Dems could totally screw the economy they were voted out of both houses of Congress which the Republicans controlled for the remainder of Clinton's time in office which gave us the record surpluses. For those of you who were too stoned in high school here is one of the things you missed, Congress sets spending by setting the budget, all the president can do is sign it or veto it and if congress wants they can overturn the veto. So all Clinton did was rubber stamp the spending the Republicans set. Since that is the case, the relevence of the Dems controlling both houses of Congress becomes evident Bush could have vetoed the spending the Democrates keep sending him for 2007 and 2008, but he didn't which I agree was wrong, he should have vetoed 50% of the crap the Dems with Republican help sent him. So now let's look at the pass year. Unemployment has increased by over 25% since we began wasting $750 billion dollars. The money being repaid and not spent on TARP the dumbs, I mean Dems now want to spend on jobs creation, which is what the stimulus waste was supposed to do. Facts are facts the DEMS are killing the economy spending us into bankrupcy, sending the value of the dollar into the tank and setting us up for the worst inflation since the last worst Presidnet we had, Jimmy Carter.

    December 13, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
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