Candidates' positions are categorized as Pro (Yes), Con (No), Not Clearly Pro or Con, or None Found. Candidates who have changed their positions are listed as Now their most recent position. Candidates are listed by party and in alphabetical order by last name. Black & white photos indicate candidates who have withdrawn or who no longer meet our criteria for inclusion.
Should Congress have increased the debt limit on Aug. 2, 2011 to prevent default?
Gary Johnson, former Governor of New Mexico, stated the following in the Aug. 1, 2011 article "Gary Johnson: 'Debt Kicking the Can Down the Road,'" available at www.garyjohnson2012.com:
"The sound America is hearing today is the sound of the can being kicked down the road — again. The result of this agreement is that the debt ceiling will be $900 billion higher tomorrow than it is today, and the nation's actual debt higher at the end of the year than it is now. Only in Washington is such a deal something to be celebrated as an accomplishment.
Nowhere to be found in this deal are the entitlement reforms, structural changes in government, or the immediate and real spending cuts that must be made to actually put our financial house in order. I doubt the markets will be impressed, and I know the American people won't be impressed." Aug. 1, 2011 Gary Johnson
Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States, stated the following in the July 25, 2011 "Address by the President to the Nation," available on the White House website:
"Understand - raising the debt ceiling does not allow Congress to spend more money. It simply gives our country the ability to pay the bills that Congress has already racked up. In the past, raising the debt ceiling was routine. Since the 1950s, Congress has always passed it, and every President has signed it. President Reagan did it 18 times. George W. Bush did it 7 times. And we have to do it by next Tuesday, August 2nd, or else we won't be able to pay all of our bills...
For the first time in history, our country's Triple A credit rating would be downgraded, leaving investors around the world to wonder whether the United States is still a good bet. Interest rates would skyrocket on credit cards, mortgages, and car loans, which amounts to a huge tax hike on the American people. We would risk sparking a deep economic crisis - one caused almost entirely by Washington.
Defaulting on our obligations is a reckless and irresponsible outcome to this debate." July 25, 2011 Barack Obama
Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts, stated the following in Katrina Trinko's Aug. 1, 2011 article "Romney Comes Out in Opposition to Debt-Ceiling-Hike Deal," available at www.nationalreview.com:
"As president, my plan would have produced a budget that was cut, capped and balanced – not one that opens the door to higher taxes and puts defense cuts on the table. President Obama's leadership failure has pushed the economy to the brink at the eleventh hour and 59th minute. While I appreciate the extraordinarily difficult situation President Obama's lack of leadership has placed Republican Members of Congress in, I personally cannot support this deal.” Aug. 1, 2011 Mitt Romney
Michele Bachmann, US Representative (R-MN), stated the following in an Aug. 1, 2011 interview on the Fox News program Hannity:
"We're continuing to spend money that we don’t have by an order of magnitude that we’ve never seen before. In all of my travels over South Carolina, New Hampshire, and Iowa it’s been fairly unanimous, Sean. People across the country and have said: 'Please stop the out of control spending and whatever you do, don’t increase the debt ceiling.' Because people see that under almost every scenario, President Obama gets this $2.1 trillion to spend and we’re giving $21 billion in cuts. And people are saying that's just not good enough and they want us to really change the ways of Washington and they're not seeing they're being listened to." Aug. 1, 2011 Michele Bachmann
[Editor’s Note: On Aug. 1, 2011, Bachmann voted no on S. 365(222 KB), which raised the national debt limit.]
Herman Cain, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and Chairman of Godfather's Pizza, stated the following during the Fox News/Washington Examiner Republican presidential debate held at Iowa State University in Ames, IA on Aug. 11, 2011:
"I did not agree with raising the debt ceiling, because the solution that they came up with does not solve the problem, as Representative Bachmann talks about.
The way to deal with it is pay those things that need to be paid and then make the tough choices of cutting the other things, agency by agency, program by program, based upon performance metrics. We didn‘t need to raise the debt ceiling, but there was an easy way out, and the problem still has not been solved." Aug. 11, 2011 Herman Cain
Jon Huntsman, former Governor of Utah, stated the following during a Sep. 4, 2011 interview on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight:
"I was the only candidate who stood up on the debt ceiling debate and said this country shouldn't default. We should cut a deal that allows us not to default. We're 25 percent of the world's GDP.” Sep. 4, 2011 Jon Huntsman
Ron Paul, US Representative (R-TX), stated the following in his Aug. 1, 2011 article, "Ron Paul Issues Statement on Debt Ceiling Deal," available at www.businesswire.com:
"While it is good to see serious debate about our debt crisis, I cannot support the reported deal on raising the nation's debt ceiling. I have never voted to raise the debt ceiling, and I never will.
This deal will reportedly cut spending by only slightly over $900 billion over 10 years. But we will have a $1.6 trillion deficit after this year alone, meaning those meager cuts will do nothing to solve our unsustainable spending problem. In fact, this bill will never balance the budget. Instead, it will add untold trillions of dollars to our deficit…
I believe in the great American traditions of free markets, sound money, and personal Liberty. But we are moving far away from what made us the greatest nation in human history. We must cut spending and balance our budget now, before it is too late.
[I]f we continue to print money and pyramid debt, we will destroy ourselves and lose the promise of America forever...
These difficult times require a President willing to stand against runaway spending. If elected, I will veto any spending bill that contributes to an unbalanced budget, and I will balance the budget in the first year of my term. I will not allow the Federal Reserve to destroy the value of our money by shoveling dollars into the pockets of its banker friends." Aug. 1, 2011 Ron Paul
Rick Perry, Governor of Texas, stated the following in Todd J. Gillman's Aug. 15, 2011 article "Perry Says 'Spend-It-All, Spend-It-Now' Obama Not to Be Trusted with Federal Budget," published in the Dallas Morning News:
"If I'd been in Congress I wouldn't have voted for [the Aug. 2, 2011 Budget Control Act of 2011]. Cut cap and balance was the approach to take, and it was a bunch of political theater from my perspective. We got downgraded anyway, so why give a spend-it-all, spend-it-now president $2.4 trillion he can fritter away? I don't get it." Aug. 15, 2011 Rick Perry
Buddy Roemer, former Governor of Louisiana, stated the following during a July 20, 2011 interview, "Campaign Q&A: Buddy Roemer," available at www.salem-nh.patch.com:
"The whole system needs to be overhauled. We've raised the debt ceiling 109 times this last century. So it's going to happen again. But what you want out of it is a reduction in spending.
I would concentrate on the small picture. I would make my $140 billion offer, cutting one percent (of the national debt), for the energy business subsidies. That's what I would make. It doesn't hurt seniors, it doesn't hurt Democrats, or poor people. You could make a case that if you have to start cutting spending somewhere, that could be the right place.
I would help the president engineer a small increase in the national debt ceiling in return for $140 billion of cuts right now. That's $1.4 trillion over ten years. He could have a debt ceiling that took part of that. I'd have no problem with that. Look, we're not going to be able to keep the debt at $14.3 trillion. But we won't give up the ceiling without spending reduction." July 20, 2011 Buddy Roemer
Rick Santorum, former US Senator (R-PA), stated the following during the Fox News/Washington Examiner Republican presidential debate held at Iowa State University in Ames, IA on Aug. 11, 2011:
"We should have balanced the budget. The balanced budget amendment should have been the focus from the beginning. To suggest that we never need to raise the debt ceiling, that — that is, again, showmanship, not leadership. Of course we have to raise the debt ceiling at some point. We have — we have — we're borrowing 42 cents of every dollar, 42 cents of every dollar. You‘re going to cut 42 cents of every dollar? Just to remind you, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, defense, and interest on the debt is 60 percent. That means cut everything else and something of those. That's showmanship, not leadership." Aug. 11, 2011 Rick Santorum