Hello. I'm Barack Obama. And Here's My Solution to the Debt Ceiling Crisis
Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.
Well, no one can say I didn't try. No one can blame the Democrats in the House and Senate for not being willing to go more than half-way, more than three-quarters of the way, to meet the Republican House's demands for draconian spending cuts before they will even consider a hike in the debt ceiling. I threw spending cut after spending cut at their feet. Like a coy little debutante, they shook their frilly little heads and spurned common sense. I angered my own base, maybe beyond the point of political repair. They didn't budge one single inch. In fact, a lot of Republican lawmakers are AGAINST raising the debt ceiling at ALL! They say we won't default if the ceiling isn't raised. They say I'm resorting to scare tactics. They say the horrible things that WILL happen, not only to us, but to the world economy, if we default are all figments of the imagination.
They are DARING us to default. These are the same people who believe God created the world in 7 days 6,000 years ago because some guy writing a book 4,000 years ago SAID so.
My fellow Democrats and I, along with countless responsible economists all over the world, have been crystal clear about what happens if America defaults on its obligations. As president, I swore to defend this nation against all enemies, foreign and domestic. As president, I am going to keep my oath sacred.
Therefore, I invoke the 14th Amendment which clearly states:
The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law ... shall not be questioned.
We are going to meet our obligations. We will pay our debts. We will keep our compact with the citizens who paid into Social Security and Medicare. We will pay our loyal and hard-working public servants. We will meet each and every obligation we have as a debtor and we will not default on a single dollar of debt.
Not one single dollar.
Am I saying there's no room for cuts in vital programs we all depend on? Of course not. A thorough study of all government programs will identify areas of savings. But I am not going to gut government programs to the point where harm comes to our citizens — not while there are millionaires and billionaires who are paying the lowest tax rates in decades. I just will not do it.Continued on the next page