Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

Politics

January 14, 2013

President Obama's end-of-term press conference

(Continued)

Washington, D.C. —

 
 
 
     Q    No plan B?  You're not searching for any other --
 
 
 
     THE PRESIDENT:  Chuck, what I’m saying to you is that there is no simpler solution, no ready, credible solution, other than Congress either give me the authority to raise the debt ceiling, or exercise the responsibility that they have kept for themselves and raise the debt ceiling.  Because this is about paying your bills.
 
 
 
     Everybody here understands this.  I mean, this is not a complicated concept.  You don’t go out to dinner and then eat all you want, and then leave without paying the check.  And if you do, you’re breaking the law.  And Congress should think about it the same way that the American people do.  You don’t -- now, if Congress wants to have a debate about maybe we shouldn’t go out to dinner next time, maybe we should go to a more modest restaurant, that’s fine.  That’s a debate that we should have.  But you don’t say, in order for me to control my appetites, I’m going to not pay the people who already provided me services, people who already lent me the money.  That’s not showing any discipline.  All that’s doing is not meeting your obligations.  You can’t do that.
 
 
 
     And that’s not a credible way to run this government.  We’ve got to stop lurching from crisis to crisis to crisis, when there’s this clear path ahead of us that simply requires some discipline, some responsibility and some compromise.  That’s where we need to go.  That’s how this needs to work.
 
 
 
     Major Garrett.
 
 
 
     Q    Thank you, Mr. President.  As you well know, sir, finding votes for the debt ceiling can sometimes be complicated.
 
You, yourself, as a member of the Senate, voted against a debt ceiling increase.  And in previous aspects of American history -- President Reagan in 1985, President George Herbert Walker Bush in 1990, President Clinton in 1997 -- all signed deficit reduction deals that were contingent upon or in the context of raising the debt ceiling.  You, yourself, four times have done that.  Three times, those were related to deficit reduction or budget maneuvers. 

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