Sen. Reid: Public Debt ‘The Greatest of the Dangers to be Feared’

May 6, 2011 - 3:08 PM

(CNSNews.com) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) quoted Thomas Jefferson saying, “I place economy among the first and most important government virtues and public debt as the greatest of the dangers to be feared,” when voting against raising the debt ceiling in 2006.

On March 16th of 2006, Reid took the Senate floor and delivered a speech on how raising the debt ceiling was part of an “unprecedented and dangerous borrowing spree.”

“The three largest deficits in our nation’s history have all occurred under this administration’s watch,” Reid said. “The deterioration of the federal government’s finances is the direct result of the misguided priorities of this administration and this rubber stamping Republican Congress. These deficits have resulted in an unprecedented and dangerous borrowing spree. Total debt during this spree has grown by trillions of dollars.”

Reid quoted President Thomas Jefferson saying, “I place economy among the first and most important government virtues and public debt as the greatest of the dangers to be feared.”

In the same speech Reid later quoted President Lincoln, “President Abraham Lincoln said ‘as an individual who undertakes to live by borrowing soon finds his original means devoured by interest and next no one left to borrow from, so must it be with government’. Oh, if the Republican president and Republican dominated Congress had followed the advice of Abraham Lincoln.”

Harry Reid

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (AP Photo/Cathleen Allison)

The budget deficit in 2006 was $248 billion. Lawmakers did vote to raise the debt ceiling to $9 trillion.

 

Currently, the three largest U.S. budget deficits in history belong to the last three years of the Obama administration with the highest being $1.42 trillion in 2009.

Reid is now urging lawmakers to vote in favor of raising the debt ceiling from its current $14.3 trillion dollar cap. He’s says he’s “embarrassed” by his vote against raising the debt ceiling in 2006.