Carney: "Of Course, The President Believes We Have A Spending Problem"


QUESTION: Jay, a question about House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on one of the Sunday broadcasts speaking specifically about the risk of cuts, referring to the sequester on the future of the United States -- she was talking about education and scientific research. She said, “It is almost a false wrong to say we have a spending problem.” Does the President think we have a spending problem?

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I feel like this is a little bit of déjà vu here. Of course, the President believes that we have a spending problem that is specifically driven by -- and I think every economist worth this -- whose insights into this area are worth the paper on which his or her Ph.D. is printed, would tell you that the principal driver when it comes to spending of our deficits and debt is health care spending. And that's just a fact. What is also a fact is that we have reduced nondefense discretionary spending to its lowest level as a percentage of our economy since Dwight Eisenhower was President. And I think only some of you here were covering Eisenhower. So that is a long time.

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