House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer conceded the United States has a spending problem Tuesday, despite the protestations of Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi that there is no spending problem:
MICHELLE CARUSO-CABRERA: Does the country have a spending problem, sir? Sir, does the country have a spending problem?
HOYER: Does the country have a spending problem? The country has a paying-for problem. We haven’t paid for what we bought, we haven’t paid for our tax cuts, we haven’t paid for the war.
CARUSO-CABRERA: Are we promising too much?
CARUSO CABRERA: okay.
HOYER: If we don’t pay we shouldn’t buy.
CARUSO CABRERA: So how is that different than a spending problem?
HOYER: Well, we spent a lot of money when George Bush was president of the United States in the House and Senate —
CARUSO CABRERA: Okay, so that’s eight years and now another eight years with a lot of spending. Now we’re going on 16 years of a lot of spending now.
HOYER: We need to stop it. We did stop it, by the way, in 1993 and we had a pay-as-you-go, which was a bipartisan–George Bush the first, Newt Gingrich and Bill Clinton adopted, and then it was dropped, as you know, in 2001. And we didn’t he a pay as you go policy, and what happened? We blew a hole in the deficit, added $5 trillion to the deficit. And we took a surplus into deep debt. We’ve got to stop that, you’re absolutely right.
CARUSO CABRERA: And we’re doubling down.
President Obama is expected to say in his State of the Union address Tuesday that the effort to reduce the national debt is nearly done.