Imagine a day President Obama enters Oprah Winfrey's public confessional:
Oprah: As you know Mr. President, I was one of your supporters. This is a difficult interview for me. Americans have many questions. Let's begin by going back to the start of your second term.
It was a time of partisan division--the fiscal cliff and the debt limit fights. The economic recovery was anemic at best. Your calls for unity in confronting those challenges were fervent. You talked about a "balanced" budgeting approach but, as we came to see, your "balanced" cuts weren't cuts at all. When the unfunded off-budget liabilities for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and federal pensions hit hard and inflation took our debt to unsustainable levels, the forced austerity crippled our economy. As you know, America has not yet even begun to recover.
At your first second-term press conference, you were confronted with what you said in March, 2006 as senator:
“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. … 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 and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit.”
When President Bush wanted to extend the debt ceiling, you and your fellow Democrats unanimously voted against the raise, demanding that Congress pay for what it spends. But when you were President you said that was "an example of a new senator making what is a political vote as opposed to doing what was important for the country."
In retrospect, we now know that reckless spending has had dire consequences for our country. What do you say now?
Obama: Clearly, history has proven me wrong. I would have been wise to heed my own reservations as a freshmen senator.
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