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Once Again Media Give Obama a Pass: this time on Debt Ceiling Hypocrisy

President Obama has taken an admirable stand for fiscal austerity, and blasted attempts to yet again raise the debt ceiling, which currently stands at $14.3 trillion (with a T) - or roughly the GDP of the United States. Said the president:

The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our government’s reckless fiscal policies. … Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that “the buck stops here.” Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.

Just kidding. That was Senator Obama in 2006, when debt was apparently a far larger problem - even though the ceiling was only(!) $9 trillion at the time.

After an attempt at ObamaCare repeal, the first major legislative battle of the 112th Congress, sworn in Wednesday, will likely take place over the debt ceiling, which was last raised in February 2010. The Treasury Department expects the national debt to meet its current limit some time in the first half of 2011.

Asked about the massive disconnect between Obama's passionate 2006 statement and his impending support for raising the debt limit this year, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters Wednesday that Obama only voted against the measure in 2006 because he knew his vote wouldn't count (the final tally was 52-48 for the measure).

MSNBC talking heads have been parroting that line as well. Subbing for Rachel Maddow on Monday, Nation editor Chris Hayes told David Frum, who brought up Obama's 2006 position, that Obama's vote "was essentially…meaningless," according to a Nexis transcript.

In the very next segment, another MSNBC host, Lawrence O'Donnell, repeated the canard: "Obama cast one of those convenient votes against it in the Senate because he knew it was going to pass," O'Donnell told Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Tex., when he brought up the president's 2006 position.

But remember, MSNBC is not a mouthpiece for this administration.

While MSNBC defended Obama's about-face on the issue, the networks avoided it completely. The only time Obama's 2006 vote came up in the past week, according to a Nexis search, was on ABC, when Sen.-elect Rand Paul mentioned it.

Neither did the networks mention Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid's 2006 statement that legislators "should explain why they think more debt is good for the economy." With a Republican in the White House, here's what Reid had to say:

How can the Republican majority in this Congress explain to their constituents that trillions of dollars in new debt is good for our economy? How can they explain that they think it’s fair to force our children, our grandchildren, our great grandchildren to finance this debt through higher taxes. That’s what it will have to be. Why is it right to increase our nation’s dependence on foreign creditors?

They should explain this. Maybe they can convince the public they’re right. I doubt it. Because most Americans know that increasing debt is the last thing we should be doing. After all, I repeat, the Baby Boomers are about to retire. Under the circumstances, any credible economist would tell you we should be reducing debt, not increasing it.Democrats won’t be making argument to supper this legalization, which will weaken our country. Weaken our county.

Sadly, we've come to expect hypocrisy from our politicians. With the party in the White Hosue switched, expect roles in Congress to be completely reversed. Indeed, in 2006, no Senate Democrats voted to raise the debt limit, and only two sitting Republicans voted against it.

But shouldn't the media at least be discussing the massive double standard at work here? And when Senate Republicans start invoking the "symbolic vote" line, will the media treat it with the same kid gloves (where it's addressed at all) that they're giving Obama's about-face? I'm not holding my breath.

*****UPDATE: Here's then-Senator Joe Biden speaking on the issue in 2006 (h/t Erick Erickson):

But as the rest of the world copes with the waves of U.S. debt, we are now all in the same leaky boat. There is just so much of our debt other nations want to hold. The more of it they accumulate, the closer we are to the day when they will not want any more. When that happens, slowly or rapidly, our interest rates will go up, the value of their U.S. bonds will drop, and we will all have big problems. We need both more awareness, and more understanding, of this fundamental threat to our economic well being and the global economy. … The President’s budget plans will bring that number to $11.8 trillion at the end of the next 5 years. This is a record of utter disregard for our Nation’s financial future. It is a record of indifference to the price our children and grandchildren will pay to redeem our debt when it comes due. History will not judge this record kindly. My vote against the debt limit increase cannot change the fact that we have incurred this debt already, and will no doubt incur more. It is a statement that I refuse to be associated with the policies that brought us to this point.

- Lachlan Markay

Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/lachlan-markay/2011/01/06/media-give-obama-pass-debt-ceiling-hypocrisy#ixzz1AHkjLEF6


Click to view image: '6419ee8149b6-unclesamdebt.jpg'

Added: Jan-6-2011 
By: boomersooner
In:
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Tags: Obama, Hypocricy, Ignored, Media, Scumbuggary
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  • If the GOP refuses to raise the debt ceiling, they'll be painted as stone-hearted rich men who want to shut down the government and starve poor people. This was done before in the 1990s and alot of people bought it. Hopefully, folks wwill see the choices more clearly this time.

    Posted Jan-6-2011 By 

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  • The media has been giving this loser of a president a pass since before he was elected. there is going to be some REAL spending cuts now and the dumb-o-crats better get used to them.

    Posted Jan-6-2011 By 

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    • ah...well..i wouldn't hold your breath. i've come to expect that one party will vote against and bitch about the other, then turn around and do the same damn thing when they're in control. the only way we will get this in control is when we elect a true fiscal conservative like ron paul as president. but sadly, the MSM will stifle and make that person look like a kook, and the sheeple who care more about muff cabbage on jersey shore will gobble it all up.

      Posted Jan-6-2011 By 

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  • The BS meme of liberal media is a tired one Boomer, anyone who looks at it knows, it's corporate media furthering the plutocracy we live under.

    It is merely a coincidence that the GOP has the lions share of plutocrats in it, that said, if anyone were to be misinformed enough to label our media right or left it would be much more logical to label them right leaning. That said, the GOP has zero to do with real conservatvism they are just corporate shills through and through so it isn't really ri More..

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  • Comment of user 'mendelbot' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • " That was Senator Obama in 2006, when debt was apparently a far larger problem - even though the ceiling was only(!) $9 trillion at the time."

    Yeah before we found out that the Bush admin was asleep at the switch, and let the unregulated banks hose the economy.

    Someone had to try and fix the mess.

    Of course a trillion of our current debt is Bush's bailout of banker CEO bonueses. A trillion of Obama's was to bail out the rest of us.

    Ooooooooo that villan Obama!

    Posted Jan-6-2011 By 

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    • lol...you have no idea what your talking about. Just wait till Ron Paul does an audit of the Federal Reserve's actions UNDER Bush and Obama. You think it was only Booooosh that caters to big bankers/lobbyist and wall street? You seriously think that Obama's "stimulus" was nothing more then a pay out to the labor unions, Goldman Sachs etc...? Obama is just continuing the Bush era Bullsheite.

      Take your blinders off Drenigma...

      Posted Jan-7-2011 By 

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