President Obama, February 2009
"We can not and will not sustain deficits like these without end. Contrary to the prevailing wisdom in Washington these past few years, we can not simply spend as we please and defer the consequences to the next budget, the next administration or the next generation. We are paying the price for these deficits right now. In 2008 alone we paid $250 billion in interest on our debt, that is more than three times what we spent on education that year, more than seven times what we spent on VA healthcare. So if we confront this crisis without also confronting the deficits that helped cause it, we risk sinking into another crisis down the road as our interest payments rise, our obligations come due, confidence in our economy erodes and our children and grandchildren are unable to pursue their dreams because they are saddled with our debts. That's why today I am pledging to cut the deficit we inherited by half by the end of my first term in office. This will not be easy - it will require us to make difficult decisions and face challenges we have long neglected but i refuse to leave our children with a debt they can not repay. And that means taking responsibility right now in this administration, for getting our spending under control."
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