House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said that the United States government doesn’t have “a spending problem,” a position President Obama has reportedly taken in private but avoided saying in public.
“We have to make a judgment about what — how do we get growth with jobs?” Pelosi said on Fox News Sunday. “That’s where the revenue comes from . . . So, it isn’t as much a spending problem as it is a priorities [problem], and that is what the budget is, setting priorities.”
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal that President Obama told him “We don’t have a spending problem” during one of their fiscal cliff negotiations.
Obama’s spokesman impugned the integrity of reporters who put much stock in Boehner’s anecdote. “I’m not sure what rhetorical game you’re trying to engage in,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney replied to a reporter who asked if Obama made that comment. “I mean, what is true is that we have a health care spending problem. That’s why the President addressed it in the Affordable Care Act. That’s why he’s addressed it in the proposals he’s put forward, and he has addressed it in discretionary spending cuts and he has put forward more spending cuts. There are spending cuts in his proposal before the Speaker of the House.”
Carney concluded that answer by saying, “you can take that and make it mean something else but that would not be honest.”
Pelosi truly believes that rumors of a “spending problem” are exaggerated. “It is almost a false wrong to say we have a spending problem,” she reiterated to Fox News’ Chris Wallace. “We have a deficit problem that we have to address. Right now, we have low interest on the national debt and it’s a good time for us to act to lower the deficit.”
She said that the budget needs to raise taxes and increase government spending. “We are here to have a budget that has revenue coming in, that has investments made, into the future,” Pelosi explained. “We also want to make decisions in those two areas where growth with jobs are created, because more jobs, more revenue coming in. Nothing brings more money to the Treasury of the United States, than investment in education of the American people.”