Hensarling questions Obama at House GOP conference
After addressing the GOP House Issues Conference in Baltimore on Friday, President Obama took a series of questions from the lawmakers. Here is a transcript of one of the questions posed to the president:
REP. JEB HENSARLING (R-TEX.): I'm doing well.
Mr. President, a year ago I had an opportunity to speak to you about the national debt. And something that you and I have in common is we both have small children. And I left that conversation really feeling you're sincere commitment to ensuring that our children, our nation's children do not inherit an unconscionable debt.
We know that under current law that government -- the cost of government is due to grow from 20 percent of our economy to 40 percent of our economy right about the time our children are leaving college and getting that first job.
Mr. President, shortly after that conversation a year ago, the Republicans proposed a budget that ensured that government did not grow beyond the historical standard of 20 percent of GDP. It was a budget that actually froze immediately non-defense discretionary spending. It spent $5 trillion less than ultimately what was enacted into law.
And unfortunately, I believe that budget was ignored.
And since that budget was ignored, what were the old annual deficits under Republicans have now become the monthly deficits under Democrats. The national debt has increased 30 percent.
Now, Mr. President, I know you believe -- and I understand the argument; I respect the view -- that the spending is necessary due to the recession. Many of us believe, frankly, it's part of the problem, not part of the solution, but I understand and I respect your view.
But this is what I don't understand, Mr. President. After that discussion, your administration proposed a budget that would triple the national debt over the next 10 years. Surely you don't believe 10 years from now we will still be mired in this recession. It proposed new entitlement spending and moved the -- the cost of government to almost 24.5 percent of the economy.
Now, very soon, Mr. President, you're due to submit a new budget and my question . . .
OBAMA: Jim (sic), I know there's a question in there somewhere, because you're making a whole bunch of assertions, half of which I disagree with.