Kevin Price
Nancy Pelosi explodes spending record as Speaker
By Kevin Price
February 26, 2011

With a new House of Representatives, it makes sense to assess the legacy of the last Speaker. It is hard to tell these days, but there are three branches of government. It seems the White House is on autopilot as it snubs its nose at courts that tell it "no" and send bills to Congress that are read after they are passed. When you look at the US Constitution, spending and taxation starts in the Congress. The US House of Representatives under Nancy Pelosi has pushed more spending than any other Speaker of the House in history. In fact, she has overseen more spending than all the Speakers of the House combined. So much for the promise of "no new deficit spending" that the American people have clearly grown tired of. Under Pelosi's leadership, the United States has added nearly $5 trillion to the national debt in only her first two terms. When you think that it took almost 200 years to get a debt of $1 trillion, these most recent numbers are all the more shocking.

When California Democrat Nancy Pelosi assumed the position as the first female Speaker of the US House of Representatives, she indicated that the American people could expect a new era in the way the nation would be governed. Many in the media made cute references about the need to have a "lady of the house" in charge of things. We all know about a "woman's ability" to do so much more with less. These types of remarks largely came from women, because if men said such they would be dismissed or attacked as condescending. Regardless of how you characterize them, they have proven to be wrong...very wrong. It is business as usual, at a pace we have never seen in history.

Pelosi promised that she would "provide unlimited opportunity for future generations, not burden them with mountains of debt. Congress will commit itself to a higher standard: pay-as-you-go, no new deficit spending." This is similar language to Barack Obama, who promised to be the most transparent president in US history while using his first Executive Order to hide the documents about his academic and personal life from public scrutiny. Pelosi has been blatantly dishonest about her frugality and has hit the accelerator to move us to complete debtor nation status.

In less than four years as the Speaker of the House, the total national deficit has exploded to approximately $5 trillion. This has translated to a record $13.67 trillion in national IOUs and the rest of the world expressing anxiety at the prospect of buying more of our debt. Pelosi and her President in the White House, Barack Obama, must be two of the loneliest people in America as we enter the midterm elections. The most conservative (in terms of their estimates, not ideology) pundits predict that the GOP will pick up 55 seats in the US House and 8 in the Senate, with the former putting this Speaker in minority status and back on the bench. Some Democrats running for reelection are actually running ads opposing Pelosi and Obama. What should not be a surprise is that members of the GOP are also responding with very sharp criticism of their own. Congressman Kevin Brady, the leading House Republican on the Joint Economic Committee, is quoted as stating "Congratulations, Madame Speaker, on saddling more debt on the backs of our children and grandchildren than any other speaker in America's history... And there's more for the record books. The last two years have seen the largest deficits in America's history. The question is — when will it stop?"

That is the question the American people are asking and will be asking the new Congress that began in January 2011. Furthermore, they expect the new GOP run House to be a very different Congress than the one we see today in Washington, DC. The GOP is talking a very big talk these days, but it is on probation, at best, with the voters. Many Republicans in the House, including Brady, are guilty of voting for President Bush's TARP, which has been as criticized by conservatives as any of Obama's spending. That type of spending will not be tolerated in the future.

The state of affairs before Obama and Pelosi were, after all, bad enough. For example, in 2007 the federal government was running an annual deficit of $160.8 billion. But in fiscal year 2009 alone, the federal deficit exploded to an incredible $1.29 trillion. Republicans have our attention and they will likely be well rewarded due to the punishment the Democrats are poised to receive. But the GOP better make sure it does the right thing or its celebration will be short lived, indeed.

© Kevin Price


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Kevin Price

Kevin Price is Publisher and Editor in Chief of

His background is eclectic and includes years of experience in both business and public policy, as well as two decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He was an aide to U.S. Senator Gordon Humphrey (R-NH) and later went on to work in policy areas with some of the nation's leading think tanks including the National Center for Public Policy Research and was part of the Heritage Foundation's Annual Guide to Public Policy Experts... (more)


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