As US debt hits $16 trillion, Ryan hammers his message home
September 4th, 2012
08:22 PM ET
10 years ago

As US debt hits $16 trillion, Ryan hammers his message home

Cedar Rapids, Iowa (CNN) - As the nation's debt eclipsed $16 trillion on Tuesday, Republican running mate Rep. Paul Ryan accused President Barack Obama of more broken promises and lacking leadership on the issue.

"I don't see the debt clock at the convention this week," said Paul after he reminded his audience that Republicans had a debt clock at their convention last week in Tampa. "The problem is, the president keeps kicking the can down the road. No leadership on this issue."

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Democrats were convening for their three-day convention in Charlotte as Ryan campaigned in Eastern Iowa, his second campaign stop of the day.

"This is a serious threat to our economy. Of all the broken promises from President Obama, this is probably the worst one because this debt is threatening jobs today, it is threatening prosperity today and it is guaranteeing that our children and grandchildren get a diminished future," he said.

The House Budget Committee chairman played a prominent role in drafting the Republican Party's 2012 budget proposal that became known as the Ryan budget plan. It passed in the House of Representatives but failed in the Senate, which Ryan often points out has not passed a budget in three years.

House Republican Policy Committee Chairman Tom Price said in a press release Tuesday that members "have drafted, debated, and passed a budget that includes responsible reforms that would eliminate our federal budget deficits and pay down our national debt, all while growing our economy and spurring job creation. We call on President Obama and the Democrat-led U.S. Senate to join us in earnest, meaningful efforts to limit government spending, promote economic growth through free enterprise and entrepreneurship, and get America out of this crippling debt. Our economy, our national security and our future prosperity depend on it."

Obama's reelection team, meanwhile, released a statement saying Ryan is the "last person to lecture on the debt."

"[Ryan] was a rubber stamp in Congress for the policies that turned surpluses into deficits, putting two wars on the credit card, voting for a prescription drug benefit without paying for it, and fighting for tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans when they weren't asking for them," Obama campaign spokesman Danny Kanner said.

Iowa Republican Gov. Terry Branstad who appeared with Ryan at Kirkwood Community College, weighed in.

"Thanks to President Obama's fiscal irresponsible policies we have seen our national debt rise by over $5 trillion dollars just as he took office. We've suffered through four straight trillion-dollar deficits and an unprecedented downgrading of our credit rating," Branstad said. "Forty percent of the federal budget is borrowed money. This is a far cry from what candidate Obama promised in 2008."

Filed under: 2012 • Budget • Paul Ryan
soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. dap123

    If they are so concerned about the deficit, why aren't the republicans doing anything to help? I thought the US was supposed to be in crisis mode. All the republicans have done is drag their feet, point fingers, try to repel health care reform and block almost every proposed bill offered by the democrats. They have wasted more time trying to keep Obama to one term than trying to help America.

    September 5, 2012 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  2. America1st

    Ryan should know – he made it happen for 16 years in Congress. And yes, he voted for every tax cut for corporations, and voted AGAINST General Motors and the American middle class EVERY SINGLE TIME.

    September 5, 2012 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  3. Thomas

    I am a Democrat but this year my vote will go to Romney/Ryan. I look back on what Obama promised going into the 2008 elections; taking into account the words he used, and not those we hear in all the ads against him this election cycle, he and he alone misled the people of this country. Transparency – what happened there? Cutting the deficit in half – sounded good at the time. We are not blue states and red states, we are the United States – then why use words like 'enemy' when describing those that disagree with your policies? Job creation – millions of new jobs created but word comes out now that approximately 58% of those new jobs are low paying jobs. Not exactly what our economy needs when we now have more and more people on food stamps and one out of every 6 citizens in poverty. 8.3 percent unemployment but the actual numbers are much higher if only all the factors were taken into consideration. I could go on and on but the fact is that the hope and change slogans were just empty words; now replaced with a slogan of forward that will, in time, prove to be another hollow promise. The fact is that people are hurting in this country and around the world; and, instead of working together to find solutions time is wasted on getting an upper hand on the others. We need someone with leadership skills, not someone that seems likeable and will share a beer with the buds.

    So your going to vote for guy who's party from day one made it a point to get Obama out of office ?
    A guy who's five sons avoided voluntary military service ?
    A guy who's running mate was part of the congress that helped make the mess during the GW Bush years ?
    A guy who's claim to fame is cannibalize companies and banking offshore ?

    We look at likable in different ways , whats wrong with having a beer with friends after a little game of sport ?

    September 5, 2012 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  4. An objective observer

    Americans need quick fixes... think how long it took you to get in to this mess... Did you really expect a recovery within 4 years when you have an opposition whose only agenda is to get the "black" guy out of the WH! Vote for Romney/Ryan and you are doomed. Romney will only be a "puppet" President. He will have to many lobbyists to satisfy + the Boehner/McConnell/Cantor who will be directing traffic in the WH. Pathetic!

    September 5, 2012 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  5. Kenny K


    I am a Democrat but this year my vote will go to Romney/Ryan......
    Good luck with that. What promise do you get from Romney/Ryan? You remember what you get for 8 year under Bush.

    September 5, 2012 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  6. Kenny K

    For those who worry about Obama's promise from 2008, I hope you worry about Ryan's action over the years since Bush's terms as well as Romney's record as governor?

    September 5, 2012 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  7. Kenny K


    The past is the PAST. As we do not get the chance to go back and redo it, we need to forget about it and starting fixing what we can NOW. That being said....
    If you do not pay attention to your past, how can you avoid prior mistakes? Do you remember unfunded wars and tax cuts? How do you think those outstanding debts should be paid when Republicans refused to raise tax to pay them off? They borrowed to pay for it initially, and the debt need to be paid back.

    September 5, 2012 01:36 am at 1:36 am |
  8. Leroy

    As usual, Mr. Lyin' Ryan points out an issue and offers no solutions of his own...not one stinkin' idea!

    September 5, 2012 02:32 am at 2:32 am |
  9. Ericaul

    Dan B

    Even if you are a liberal you can't dispute the facts, Obama debt in 4 years is greater than Bush's debt in 8 years, no matter what way Democrats try to spin it. Obama's job creation can't even keep up with population growth. Why would we expect anything different a second time around?
    Thanx to the NO Party great contribution to that.

    September 5, 2012 06:49 am at 6:49 am |
  10. 1st Gen Immigrant

    I have voted Demo only 2 times; Ross Perot once; and Libertarian 1 time. Fed up with both Dems & GOP although I generally vote conservative. Did not approve of Bush Jr; voted against him 2nd time. We need leadership which means doing what is right for the country - not special interests. Voted for Obama last time hoping for real change - disappointed big time. All Obama had to do was agree to the Bowles-Simpson recommendations. It was a Bi-partisan panel and as a accountant, the plan was fair and a compromise. A compromise and a step forward. Our leadership in White House and Congress failed us. But sorry, accountability goes to the sitting President. Obama failed and must go.

    September 5, 2012 07:14 am at 7:14 am |
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