In 2006, then-Sen. Barack Obama had some stern words for his colleagues who were voting to increase America's debt ceiling. But just four years later, President Barack Obama is singing a very different tune.
Just four years ago, Obama decried politicians' lack of leadership and failure to rein in federal spending:
“The fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure,” he said on March 16, 2006. “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 problem and a failure of leadership . Americans deserve better. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America's debt limit.”
On Sunday, Obama's chief economic advisor, Council of Economic Advisers chair Austan Goolsbee, warned that members of Congress ought not to "play chicken" by voting against an increase of the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling, despite his boss doing just that during his own time in the Senate.
“I don't see why anybody's talking about playing chicken with the debt ceiling,” Goolsbee told ABC News. “If we get to the point where you've damaged the full faith and credit of the United States, that would be the first default in history caused purely by insanity.”
Not supporting a rise in the debt ceiling would cause a "worse financial economic crisis than anything we saw in 2008... This is not a game," he scolded. "The debt ceiling is not something to toy with."
When asked about the president's apparent double-standard Wednesday, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said that President Obama was against raising the debt ceiling before he was for it:
Gibbs suggested that President Obama used his vote "to make a point about needing to get serious about fiscal discipline. His vote was not necessarily needed on that," he said.
The final vote to raise the debt ceiling in 2006 was 52-48.