Obama: Skepticism of government ‘healthy’

Vince Coglianese Contributor
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Democratic leaders have repeatedly tried to cast “tea party” candidates as extremists, but President Obama on Monday said the movement exhibits some of the “healthy skepticism about government” that led to the American Revolution and that is now part of “our DNA.”

“I think there’s also a noble tradition in the Republican and Democratic parties of saying that government should – should pay its way; that it shouldn’t get so big that we’re leaving debt to the next generation,” Mr. Obama told a crowd gathered at the Newseum in Washington for a televised “Investing In America” town-hall meeting. “All those things, I think, are healthy.”

But Mr. Obama qualified his remarks by saying that some conservative activists are “misidentifying … the culprits” who are responsible for the economic crises, high unemployment woes and increasing national debt. He said they should look at the tax cuts passed under President George W. Bush and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that “weren’t paid for,” and he noted that “we’re all demanding services, but our taxes have actually substantially gone down.”

“The challenge, I think, for the tea party movement is to identify specifically, what would you do?” he said. “It’s not enough just to say, ‘Get control of spending,’ ” Mr. Obama said. “I think it’s important for you to say, you know, ‘I’m willing to cut veterans’ benefits,’ or, ‘I’m willing to cut Medicare or Social Security benefits,’ or, ‘I’m willing to see these taxes go up.’ ”

Full Story: Obama: Skepticism of government ‘healthy’ – Washington Times