House Assistant Democratic Leader Jim Clyburn blamed President George W. Bush on Tuesday for the mountain of federal debt the S.C. lawmaker said accumulated through two unfunded wars and tax cuts for the wealthy.
Clyburn, of Columbia, and other members of the deficit-reduction “super committee” received a sobering assessment of the daunting task ahead as they seek to close the spending gap by $1.5 trillion by Thanksgiving.
“The nation cannot continue to sustain the spending programs and policies of the past with the tax revenues it has been accustomed to paying,” Douglas Elmendorf, head of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, told the panel.
“Citizens will either have to pay more for their government, accept less in government services and benefits, or both,” he said.
Clyburn began his questioning of Elmendorf with a pointed history lesson that started with President Clinton’s last year in office.