Letter: Sen. Barack Obama spoke against raising debt limit

Farm Forum

The editorial board’s Oct. 20 commentary about Congresswoman Kristi Noem’s vote could be considered hyperbolic. I personally preferred Sen. John Thune’s vote to end the shutdown, but at the heart of the issue, there is incredible merit in the statement of Congresswoman Noem’s vote to oppose raising the debt ceiling for nearly the 100th time since 1944.

Prior to voting against the debt ceiling increase in 2006, then-Sen. Obama was channeling a similar voice when he said:

“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 . . . Over the past give years, our federal debt has increased by $3.5 trillion to $8.6 trillion. That is a ‘trillion’ with a ‘T’ . . . And over the next five years, between now and 2011, the president’s budget will increase the debt by almost another $3.5 trillion.”

Much like Congresswoman Noem, the soon-to-be president was sounding the alarm. Wake up! Our spending is out of control. Those politicians have lost their way. He was right.

But, Obama continued, “the federal government will spend $220 billion on interest. That is more money to pay interest on our national debt than we’ll spend on Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. That is more money to pay interest on our debt this year than we will spend on education, homeland security, transportation and veterans benefits combined.”

If we had “leadership failure” at $8.6 trillion what do you call it at $17 trillion with a “T”? The fact that the debt issue continues to recur under both parties tells me the American News took a very narrow and short-sighted view of a complex issue, and they should have showed greater intellectual honesty in their critique of Congresswoman Noem.

Jason Williams