President Barack Obama held the final press conference of his first term by demanding that House Republicans raise the $16.4 trillion debt ceiling. Republicans, alleged the president, were ‚??holding a gun at the head of the American people‚?Ě by demanding Democrats cut deficit spending.
Obama reminded everyone that “the American people” agree with his take on the debate. ¬†(To the surprise of many Americans who hold alternative opinions, no doubt.)
President Obama, who twice said that the United States is “not a deadbeat nation,” reiterated that raising the debt ceiling was about paying the bills that Congress has already amassed and not a debate about deficit spending. In one long, tortured analogy, the president maintained: “You don’t go out to dinner and eat all you want, then leave without paying the check. And if you do, you’re breaking the law.”
Then again, if your credit card has a trillion-dollar outstanding balance on it, you may have no choice.
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Obama has consistently claimed he will not negotiate the debt ceiling, claiming that House Republicans were ‚??absolutists.‚?Ě Yet, of course, he voted against raising the debt ceiling in 2006 as a senator. When challenged on his vote by Major Garrett of CBS News,¬†Obama claimed that historically speaking, the debt ceiling was not held up over negotiations over spending, despite the fact that that‚??s exactly¬†‚?? as the National Review‚??s Ramesh Ponnuru lays out — what happened in 1985, 1990, 1993, 1997, 2010 and 2011.
Video of press conference: