July 3rd, 2010
10:40 AM ET
12 years ago

GOP's Chambliss eyes the national debt

Washington (CNN) – Sen. Saxby Chambliss says the U.S. debt is "one of the most dangerous threats confronting America."

The Georgia Republican made his comment in this week's Republican address, and come on the same day that, in the presidential radio and internet address, President Obama criticized Senate Republicans for their attempts to delay the extension of unemployment benefits and tax credits to people and small businesses hurt by the recession.

Republican leaders objected to the measure because it would have added to the national debt. They offered alternative bills that would have paid for unemployment benefits with unused stimulus funds.

While never referring explicitly to the legislative battle over unemployment benefits, Chambliss hammers home the GOP perspective.

"[O]ne of the most dangerous threats confronting America today doesn't come from without, but from within. And I'm talking about our national debt," Chambliss says.

"At a time when many Americans are clipping coupons and pinching pennies, President Obama and the Democrats in Congress continue to spend money that they – we – do not have."

Chambliss also links the growing debt with national security, noting that China holds a substantial amount of U.S. debt.

"Just as with our energy and food supplies, America is vulnerable when we disproportionately rely on other nations. It is a matter of great concern that we are in deep debt to countries that often don't share our values or positions," Chambliss says.

soundoff (74 Responses)
  1. Henry Miller, Libertarian, Cary, NC

    Pete in Guilford,

    The failure in your analogy is that it's not the government that's in debt, it's the American people. Government has no money of its own–the money they spend is your money. Similarly, government has no income of its own–the money they spend is from your income.

    All governments in the US are, theoretically, agents of the American people, agents empowered to control some of the resources that belong to the American people. In effect, you've given government essentially unlimited access to your bank account.

    The problem is that government, these days, is utterly irresponsible in the management of the assets of Amreican citizens.

    July 3, 2010 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  2. Sarah L., Fayetteville, AR

    I'm sorry, but where was he when Bush squandered the surplus and ran up the national debt. The Republicans only care now that the Democrats are in power. Very hypocritical.

    July 3, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  3. hobart

    The national debt was never an issue for Republicans during the Bush administration, when they turned a budget surplus into record deficits and economic collapse that caused many of us to lose our jobs, our life savings, our retirement plans, our homes, and our health insurance.

    And the Republican plan to solve these problems? Do nothing! And those of us who lost out are just collateral damage in their grand experiment. Every economist knows that fiscal austerity during a recession will extend that recession and make things worse. But Republicans don't care. They actually want the economy to fail as long as there is a Democrat in Whitehouse.

    Why do Republicans hate America?

    July 3, 2010 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  4. Sarah, the baby seal basher

    Stick to growing peaches moron.

    July 3, 2010 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  5. JonDie

    From 2003 to 2009, Bush and Chambliss ran up about 1 trillion dollars of debt in Iraq, all so that the U.S. Treasury could transfers hundreds of billions of dollars in profits to Bush- and Chambliss-friendly corporations like Blackwater and Halliburton. And now Chambliss is worried about the debt?

    July 3, 2010 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  6. Anne

    I can't believe that these Republicans thinking that giving people unemployment benefits and tax credits to the small businesses to help them hire people is SO wrong. They only care about the deficit but Obama didn't start this mess, the Bush administration did when they HAD to get involved in 2 wars look what we pay for that. LOTS of money each month and the loss of our children for what NOTHING in my book!!! They don't want to see Obama succeed but I am one who will vote for him again in 2 years!! It wasn't him who said "Drill baby Drill" for oil and now look at the mess we have on the Gulf and the people and there livlihoods. Does Obama and the Democrats care about us "YES" does the Republicans care about the little guy "NO"

    July 3, 2010 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  7. Bob of Lompoc

    And what did you have to say about it the eight years "W' Bush was in office? Not much, which is what you should say now. Go sit undere a shady tree, whittle on a stick and chew some tobacco with your pal Jake Nuts, I mean Knotts.

    July 3, 2010 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  8. The Truth, Please...I Just Want The Truth

    These Republicans are absolute HYPOCRITES!

    They have no problem at all with running up our national debt as long as the money is being spend on bombing, invading, and occupying other countries.

    The REAL problem is that the more money we spend on jobs and social programs here, the less money THEY will have to use to dominate and control other nations with our military.

    July 3, 2010 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  9. TonyInLargo

    Senator Chambliss, You've had an epiphany !!! You finally realized that the National Debt that you and your moron party created is too large. That is correct. Unfortunately, your GOP also created the economic chaos that has left millions of Americans unemployed, whom you now deny unemployment benefits. As an old saying goes, "you're preaching the gospel in your underwear".

    "I have an idea. Why don't we cut corporate taxes and wait for the Big Corporations to let the money trickle down? Then, we can deregulate how Wall Street Brokers and Banks do business when handling our money from Pension Funds and IRAs. Let's give them more freedom. We can trust them can't we? To make up for the Corporate Taxes, we should cut unemployment benefits. Lastly, we should outlaw "shake downs of corporations" like BP and pass a resolution to apologize to them for requesting money for the mess in the Gulf and the beaches of 5 states, none of which is their fault. If we have any time left over, we can go to war with any country over Weapons of Mass Destruction whether they really have them or not and then spend Hundreds of Billions (more like a couple of Trillion) on the war. But don't worry, we can hide those Billion$/Trillions from the deficit and Americans are too stupid to understand and too short of memory to remember at the voting booths. Then, remember, if any dedicated diplomatic corps employees blow the whistle, we'll just blow the cover on his/her spouse that they are CIA agents. That'll teach them, won't it?

    July 3, 2010 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  10. eolufemi

    Whether we reduce taxes or spend more the debt is going to increase.

    Unless republicans intend on cutting out entire departments of the government, calling for reduced spending is just noise for the peanut gallery.

    Unhand-cuff the federal government and hire folks directly. All this contracting to the private sector is inefficient and ripe for fraud.

    July 3, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  11. DENNA

    The GoBP don't care about the national debt. They all sat by like statues while George Bush ran two wars of the books and borrowed money from China like they were a rich uncle, and they said NOTHING! The don't care about the debt, they only care about poking President Obama. I have never seen such an unpatriotic bunch, lead by those Tea Party nut.

    If you can't offer some real help, real suggestion, why don't you get out of the way and let President Obama do his work.

    July 3, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  12. one voice

    It's very simple Senator, just don't let your party in power again and the Democrats will bail your sorry asses out once again.

    July 3, 2010 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  13. Dale

    The GOP has zero credibility on the topic of fiscal responsibility. They spend like drunken sailors, just like Dems. The difference is that Dems spend on social programs, not unneeded wars and excessive military spending, and corporate welfare.

    July 3, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  14. Zoe

    Where was this hypocritical clown when Bush was ballooning the debt?

    July 3, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  15. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    This is the lying piece of garbage who SWIFTBOATED war hero Max Cleland. There is nothing he can say that will interest me!

    July 3, 2010 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  16. DOBBS RETURN.......

    I don't think the GOP is responsible for our deficit. I blame all illegal aliens and minorities...........

    July 3, 2010 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  17. Annie, Atlanta

    This man is my Senator, and he along with my other Senator, Isakson, need to go. Johnny Isakson actually told me during the health care debate that he would not back any type of reform because he had to protect the profits of insurance companies. Chambliss has never even bothered to respond to my correspondence, ever. That's some representation. And the real kick in the teeth is I contribute to their salaries.

    July 3, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  18. phoenix86

    Dear Pragmatic,

    So your arguement is that since Republicans did it, the democrats can do it twice as fast and with even less consideration. Try nightschool.

    July 3, 2010 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  19. Kimbo

    If the GOP is that concerned about National Debt, why don't they find a way to fund the wars. When we borrow for these wars, we are also paying for 100% of health care costs for these countries. Why would they possibly back this when they don't want national health care for their own people.

    July 3, 2010 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  20. Annie, Atlanta

    Desperate – I live in GA too. In answer to your question about this man understanding, the answer is simply No. If you aren't a corporation or one of his rich buddies, he actually doesn't give a darn about you. He's made that clear by the way he votes time and again. Yet we voted him back in in 2008. I guess we get what we deserve. This time around Isakson is up. Let's work to get him voted out. These guys don't care if we live or die. They've got their's.

    July 3, 2010 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  21. mabel floyd

    this man turns my stomach!! even his name sounds like a fat pompous civil war rebel. the fact that the state voted out a TRUE patriot who lost both his legs and an arm in defending his country–only to be v oted out on the basis that he was not patriotic enough just shames him and his whole state. no respect is due for him or his vapid minded state. probably are t-baggers–ugh!!

    July 3, 2010 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  22. StormeeATL

    Saxby and company did not mind adding to the national debt when the Republicans were CREATING a debt out of a surplus during the Bush fiasco. Funny how they helped create this problem but want everyone to forget what they did and just blame it all on the Democrats so they can have a power grab. I mean does anyone really think that the current crop of Republicans is truly going to do anything real about the deficit? Not as long as they continue to line the pockets of more wealthy corporations with their corporate welfare spending which for some reason they think is justifiable spending. While the Democrats are no angels by any means, this batch of Republicans are some of the biggest frauds in the history of politics. Problem is so many of their supporters are slurping the kool-aid from their propaganda ministry of Goebbles proteges Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity, Drudge, etc.

    July 3, 2010 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  23. mabel floyd

    when you hear the crocodile tears from the repubs about the deficit just remember the repubs started FOUR wars. and counting. the dems created a surplus–the repubs spent both blood and treasure and now try to claim they are the ones who are trying to stem the flow of the repub irresponsibility.

    July 3, 2010 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  24. D. Bunker

    The GOBP has NO moral authority to discuss the deficit or government spending. Unlike tax cuts for the wealthy (which never result in enough new revenue to offset them, thus INCREASING the deficit), Keynesian economics (deficit spending during a recession or depression) is PROVEN to work. The GOBP nutbaggers are bunch of Friedman and Rand cultists who are dangerously divorced from reality. Vote them all out!

    July 3, 2010 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
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