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Debt ceiling skyrockets, Obama no longer calls Bush 'unpatriotic' for increases

Monday, January 30, 2012

As President Obama prepares to raise the debt ceiling -- after the Senate waived its opposition last week -- $5 trillion hikes evidently are no longer "unpatriotic" as Obama said they were in 2008 while describing former President George W. Bush's $4 trillion increase over eight years.

The White House requested authority earlier this month to raise the debt ceiling to $16.4 trillion, up $1.2 trillion from last summer and more than $5 trillion from the statutory limit of $11.3 trillion set in October 2008 before Obama took office. The debt at the time Obama entered the White House was $10.6 trillion. The ceiling was raised to $12.1 trillion within a month of his inauguration.

Such increases used to be anathema to Obama, who voted in March 2006 along with all his Senate Democratic colleagues against Bush's hike of the debt ceiling to $8.9 trillion.

At the time, Obama called raising the debt limit "a sign of leadership failure." Out on the campaign trail in July 2008, he suggested the move was downright un-American.