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. Pete

    Ryan,get it in your head without collective revenues it'll continue to climb,it won't stop and you nitwits want more tax reductions,isn't that assenine or what.You're a deficet hawk,yah right a sheep in wolfs clothing,a mire shadow of a working man,working people do know better..So get your snake oil kit and try selling square blocks for round holes,it'll go over better if they're insane,but we'll never tell!!

    September 4, 2012 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  2. Facts don't LIE

    The Romney campaign slogan should be......"Don't deny if they continue to buy the lie" because so far the fact checkers are working overtime on the whoopers these guys have told. Too bad the Obama campaign can't follow them around with a tape of Joe Wilson yelling "YOU LIE" every time he and Mitt tell one!

    September 4, 2012 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  3. Tab Cocovillea

    Pete, without drastically cutting spending we are on the fast track to third world status. China owns the US right now thanks to our outrageous debt and that is a danger to national security.

    September 4, 2012 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  4. Anthony in California

    First... Ryan is a habitual liar.
    That said, he fails to mention his party's role in the debt.
    More specifically, BUSH's role in setting this train on the coarse Obama inherited.
    Thirdly.. YES we are better off then we were 4 years ago.
    Think otherwise is to be living in complete denial of reality.
    Or are brainwashed by Rush, Levin, Hannity and all the rest of the psychotic talking clown shows.

    All we ever hear from them and the anti-Obama posters on these boards are
    "Obama blah blah blah.. fail... blah blah.. worst... blah blah... spend... his fault"

    add a few "socialist", "carter" ,"solyndra" and "welfare" and we have the exact same posts from the same posters over and over agin.

    Rinse repeat.

    September 4, 2012 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  5. Tubby the Tuba Texas

    Don't forget, Bill Clinton had our debt paid off, when he handed over the reins to the Republicans! Then George W. started two very large scale wars costing more money than we as a nation could afford to pay, and killing the sons, daughters, moms, dads, uncles, cousins and on and on! These wars caused our nation a ton of money. Yet the Repuglicans think we should only pay for what we can afford! Too bad that they did not listen. Had they taken the approach that President Obama used on Egypt, by waiting for the U.N. to go into Egypt and take out the harm being done to the citizens.

    September 4, 2012 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  6. HL Jones

    Most people know most the debt accumlated under Obama was from this administration accutually put the cost of the wars, the prescription drug benefits and the Bush tax cuts on the books. Bush never did. Anyone with a tap of sense knows this. M

    September 4, 2012 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  7. fryuujin

    debit – thank you GOP for all of it. Clinton left W with SURPLUS. Then the puppet president blew it all on wars and less tax revenue so the rich could get richer. Then they gave us banking disasters and the biggest recession in 70 years. Along comes Obama, but the party of doesn't care about ANYONE but the rich does better by saying NO & Filibuster to anything that would help. But they keep their eye on the mission keeping the rich safe.

    Now we get non-stop LIES and No plan to help anyone but the rich as usual.

    September 4, 2012 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  8. Anthony in California

    "Tab Cocovillea
    Pete, without drastically cutting spending we are on the fast track to third world status. China owns the US right now thanks to our outrageous debt and that is a danger to national security."

    This year, instead of "Fear of Terrorists" and "Mooslims" its fear of "Big Government" or "Third World Status"

    Cutting spending is pointless if we turn around and give what we cut to the rich in the form of tax breaks.
    We STILL need revenue. We still need to raise taxes. Why is this so hard to understand. What happened to paying taxes being patriotic? I guess its more patriotic to shelter that money in offshore accounts. Bush gave all his "job creator" buddies the lowest tax rate ever, and as a result, we have high unemployment and went from a surplus to a debt. (also from 2 wars). Makes sense? I didn't think so.

    The reason Ryan ran his marathon in under 3 hours was because his pants were on fire. (thanks Rudy NY)

    September 4, 2012 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  9. the situation

    Ryan, you're a pathetic troll. Let's see for 6 years you were apart of a majority Congress, your party was the majority in the Senate and you had a Republican running the WH and you guys took apart Clinto Surplus and ran up a 10 trillion dollar deficit. But know you guys learn the error of your ways, however up to yet the Repubs won't take any responsible for their actions.


    September 4, 2012 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  10. lnd72

    I'm not a fan of Mitt Romney, but I like the fact that Paul Ryan is not afraid to suggest unpopular ideas if they are what is needed to reduce spending. It seems that President Obama would rather pander to some voters for a short term election win even if it puts us in further debt.

    I do wish Republicans would propose additional cuts to military spending. I think our military needs to be forced to operate more efficiently. If we continue to provide them with unlimited funding, that will not happen.

    September 4, 2012 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  11. Larry L

    Republican wars, cut & spend economy, and poor oversight of the financial district led to our recession. President Bush issued the first bailout package. Over 8.5 million jobs were lost before President Obama too0k office. Republican obstructionism prevented a faster recovery. They caused the bulk of the deficit and that is a hard fact – something you never hear from Mitt Romney.

    September 4, 2012 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  12. AK_steve

    The clock that Ryan is referring to is the clock that was actually taken down during the Clinton years and turned back on when Bush took over.

    September 4, 2012 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  13. Jerubbaal

    Ryan has no credibility when it comes to the debt debate. His voting record clearly implicates him in the cause of the debt. He has voted for the unfunded Bush tax cuts 3 times, 2 unfunded wars, TARP, an auto bail out and the unfunded medicare prescription drug plan all under W's term. Just more of his lies.

    September 4, 2012 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  14. john

    Independent here. Does Ryan's plan reduce the deficit? By when?

    September 4, 2012 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  15. Did He Mention Grover Norquist?

    I hope Lyin' Ryan told the crowd about the Republicans and their pledge to Grover Norquist. Romney signed it. Ryan signed it. DId he let the crowd in on the fact that the majority of Republicans in Congress are owned by Grover Norquist? Yes, Republicans really talk a good game about leading on the debt issue, but they rubber stamp all of the debt and refuse to raise taxes on anyone to take steps to do anything about it. Can you really take someone seriously about paying down the debt that is not willing to raise taxes to do it? These guys can't possibly take the lead on the debt issue when they are busy following the wishes of their master Grover Norquist. That is why they now want you to sacrifice for the money they've already spent under George W. Bush which ballooned the deficit in the first place. They refuse to raise taxes, and you're going to get to pay for the privilege of cutting the debt because they can't go against the master's wishes. To make matters worse, they want to lower revenues again in order to have an additional tax cut, at the expense of your Medicare and Social Security, of course. And they will be wanting to grow the size of government through the military industrial complex. Military is government, after all, and you know they can't raise taxes for that, so you will have the honor of losing your Medicare and Social Security so that they can grow government even further. Now, they also say they are going to repeal and replace Obamacare. They don't say how they are going to pay for it, but something tells me that this too will be coming out of your Medicare and Social Security.

    You might wonder how they are going to lower the debt they are so worried about with tax cuts and growing the military and replacing health care with something they won't say what it is. Just know that they won't be raising taxes in order to spend all this money they are talking about, so you will somehow get the pleasure of funding it.

    September 4, 2012 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  16. once upon a horse

    Deficits don't matter........hmmm I wonder who said that???

    September 4, 2012 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  17. Asturiano

    A debt caused by a decade of Republican tax cut, borrow and spend trickle down economics that trashed the economy!

    September 4, 2012 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  18. R Warder

    GOP want tax cuts despite us currently having the lowest rates in 30 years and the largest deficit! Unbelievable.

    At some point the government (all parties) will wake up to the reality that just like at home, you have money in and money out. As Bush discovered, lowering tax rates just reduces the money in. We need to remove these tax breaks and start paying down our debt.

    September 4, 2012 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  19. FCI

    When it seems like you smile is genuine Paul Ryan, your smile is as false as the lies that sprout out of your mouth. You, too, are responsible for the debt problem....You are just as guilty for everything you accuse Obama for. You are a hypocrite.

    September 4, 2012 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  20. Keep us all on our heels...

    As the debt board kept approaching 16 trillion, the republicans stood in front of it and announced proudly that Obama was only responsible for 5.5 trillion of the debt. Hmmmm... You think they need a math lesson? We already know that Ryan needs a lesson on telling the truth.. we know that he wasn't able to turn around and look at the board and figure out that it has been the congress he has been in that caused the other 11.5 trillion along with Bush.

    September 4, 2012 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  21. Gail

    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, where is President Obama's solution? Where is Presiden't Obama's budget? As President Obama DOES NOT HAVE ANY SOLUTION, I say it is time for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan to take a turn. How can you even think of re-electing someone who has had four years as President and our country still as 23 MILLION Americans out of work? How can you think of re-electing someone who has run up the deficit – in the LAST FOUR YEARS – more than President Bush did in EIGHT YEARS? I don't care what President Obama SAYS that he has done, he has NOT DONE ENOUGH HIMSELF TO HELP AMERICANS GET BACK TO WORK – AND HE CANNOT HELP THEM BY HAVING FOUR MORE YEARS – BECAUSE HE WILL ONLY WANT "TO SPEND MORE MONEY" – So it's time to elect someone else. MITT ROMNEY AND PAUL RYAN 2012.

    September 4, 2012 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  22. seo

    Paul Ryan voted for all the GWB tax cuts, wars, TARP, and the auto bailout ( which he now hates) to name a few. He voted for stuff that added 5 Trillion Dollars to the deficit as none of it was paid for with other cuts.

    Ryan is a big spending Republican who helped create the very deficit he is now complaining about.

    September 4, 2012 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  23. FCI

    Paul Ryan is guilty of being a vital player in the debt issue he so profoundly speaks of as being an Obama problem. He is a MAJOR player on center stage to continue to lie and each lie represents his CHARACTER, INTEGRITY, HONESTY, AND DECENCY! No shame comes your way when you will say anything whether it's true. Your attempt to be an obstacle has already failed.

    September 4, 2012 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  24. America1st

    He ought to know. He was there for 18 – EIGHTEEN – tax cuts for the wealthy with NO, NONE, NADA to offset the cost of a single tax cut. HE IS DEBT IN AMERICA.

    September 4, 2012 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  25. America1st

    How many years was Ryan in Congress – now do the math, when diod the deficits start soaring? Never met a corporate social welfare handout he didn't like, never met a tax cut for the wealthiest Americans he didn't like. He IS THE REASON THERE ARE MASSIVE DEFICITS IN THIS COUNTRY – RYAN EQUALS DEFICITS.

    September 4, 2012 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
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