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Debt Wish: A Conversation Piece

Posted: February 3, 2013 at 9:20 am   /   by

Debt Wish: A Conversation Piece

Okay, campers, rise and shine, and don’t forget your booties ’cause it’s cooooold out there today!  It’s cold out there every day in Washington.  And every day it feels like we’re waking up with the same problems, hearing the same excuses and having the same conversations about entitlements we’ve been having for decades.  Whenever it’s time to take action, Washington gets scared of its shadow and Americans get three more months of spending.  Maybe this Groundhog Day will be different…

“It’s going to be cold.  It’s going to be gray.  And it’s going to last you the rest of your life.”



August 2012: Selection Of Paul Ryan As Romney’s Running Mate Will Lead To “Adult Conversation About Entitlement Spending.” “Mitt Romney’s selection of Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate creates an opportunity to hold what Ryan likes to call an adult conversation about entitlement spending.” (Geoff Nunberg, “With Ryan’s Ascent, A Few Thoughts On ‘Entitlement’,” National Public Radio, 8/14/12)

August 2011: “We Need To Have A Real, Honest Conversation About The Amount Of Spending And Explosion Of Debt That We’ll See In A Few Years.” (Rep. David Schweikert, Op-ed“ Compromise Isn’t Enough,” Scottsdale Republic, 8/5/11)

February 2011: Obama Ready For “Adult Conversation” About Entitlements. “[President Obama] wanted the message of the press conference to be that he’s ready for an adult conversation with Republicans about reducing the deficit and taking on entitlement programs. … He used the word conversation 11 times in today’s press conference.” (Jake Tapper, “Battle Lines; Grim Forecast,” ABC News, 2/15/11)

March 2008: Use The Budget “To Start The Conversation About Entitlement Reform…” “By using the Budget to start the conversation about entitlement reform, we can show that this country is looking to secure the future well-being of all its citizens. If we address these issues now, rather than pushing them down the road, we can help Americans see that there is a promise of bright future for future generations.” (Rep. Patrick J. Tiberi, Press Release, “Tiberi: Families Struggling To Pay Bills, Not Time For Democrats’ Tax Hike,” 3/4/08)

July 2006: Sen. Barack Obama Said, “We’re Going To Have To Talk About Entitlements …  Difficult To Have That Conversation…” Obama: “The — I think all of us are aware that at some point, in order to get our deficit under control, there are going to be revenue issues that we’ve got to bring up and there are going to be spending issues that we’re going to bring — and we’re going to have to talk about entitlements and we’re going to have to control costs and it is very difficult to have that conversation, particularly at a time when Americans are feeling squeezed and more vulnerable, if they think that the money is being wasted.” (Sen. Barack Obama, U.S. Senator Tom Coburn (R-Ok) Holds A Hearing On S. 2590, The Federal Funding Accountability And Transparency Act Of 2006, 7/19/06)

February 1998: Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott “Welcome[s] The Conversation” On Entitlements Calls For Action. “So by all means, let’s talk about reforming social security. I welcome the conversation. But Americans want more than just talk. When it comes to entitlement reform, the president must close an enormous credibility gap. Actions speak louder than words.” (Majority Leader Trent Lott, Op-ed, “A real plan for Social Security,” The Washington Times, 2/2/98)

February 1996: Conversations About “Attaching A Large Entitlements Package To The Debt Ceiling Bill.” “A source added that during a meeting yesterday, House Speaker Gingrich and Senate Majority Leader Dole ‘discussed the various ways to proceed in terms of what should be attached to the debt limit bill. … Most of the conversation revolved around the idea of attaching a large entitlements package to the debt ceiling bill.’” (“GOP Leadership Pushing To Put Entitlement Reform On Debt Limit Bill, Tax Cuts In ’97 Reconciliation Bill,” The White House Bulletin, 2/29/96)

December 1993: Conversations About Entitlements Took Place Almost 30 Years Ago. “Conventional wisdom says [former Rep. Marjorie] Margolies-Mezvinsky’s a goner in November. But she insists that ‘win or lose, I’ve won. My children will say she was only a blip on the radar screen, but she began a very important conversation.’ That conversation starts Monday and its focus is entitlements, the open-ended, ever-swelling federal programs for the poor, the elderly, the disabled, the unemployed, veterans, farmers, students, government pensioners – in short, the programs long viewed as the untouchable third rails of politics.” (Jill Lawrence, “Congresswoman Gets Her Payoff – A Day of Wonkery,” The Associated Press, 12/10/93) is an educational project of Public Notice, an independent, nonpartisan, non-profit, 501(c)(4) organization dedicated to providing facts and insight on the effects public policy has on Americans’ financial well-being.

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Debt Wish: A Conversation Piece