Republicans over the past few days have slammed Obama’s blueprint, finding creative ways to express how devastating they say the proposal will be to the nation’s financial standing.
“They are taking the United States down the road of destruction with the debt and the interest on the debt that our children and our grandchildren are going to have to pay,” Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., said Tuesday.
After Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., called the budget akin to “banana republic” fiscal policy on Monday, Republicans argued Tuesday that it would run up deficits so high that the United States would not even qualify for membership in the European Union.
“This creates for us a higher deficit than Cuba’s,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said. “This is not the kind of position we want to put the United States in.”
Gregg railed on the spending plan over the Congressional Budget Office estimate that the deficits will end up doubling the country’s public debt to 82 percent of its gross domestic product by 2019.
“To try to put it in a different context, if you take all the presidents since George Washington through George Bush and add up all the debt that they’ve put on the books for the American people, President Obama’s proposal actually equals and exceeds that amount of debt in his first term,” Gregg said Monday. “Staggering numbers when you think about it, just plain staggering numbers.”
If the borrowing continues as projected, U.S. interest payments will climb rapidly — eventually reaching annual levels comparable to the whopping stimulus package passed last month.
After three years of deficit spending at projected levels, the interest payments would hit $367 billion in 2013. They would hit more than $500 billion in 2015, soar to $734 billion in 2018, and be more than $800 billion in 2019.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., noted that the interest costs would total more than what Obama plans to spend on defense.
Another concern is that China and other nations have been loaning the United States much of the money it needs — and the Chinese recently questioned their investments in U.S. treasury bonds out of concern the U.S. is getting over-extended.
Senate Democrats are making key changes to Obama’s budget, trimming spending and dropping some parts entirely, to keep it alive on the Hill.