Obama Regrets Debt-Ceiling Vote

Oops! President Obama said Monday that he regrets his 2006 Senate vote against raising the country's legal debt limit. Every Senate Democrat voted against raising the debt ceiling that year in protest of the budget deficits racked up by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the Bush administration's tax cuts for the wealthy. "The president... regrets that vote and thinks it was a mistake," spokesman Jay Carney said at a press conference Monday. The admission of guilt is especially timely now that Obama is facing a series of battles with Republicans over the federal budget, and the GOP has threatened to block an increase of the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling if Democrats don't agree to deeper budget cuts and a more austere social policy. A failure to raise the debt ceiling would result in the U.S. defaulting on debt payments to foreign governments. "We cannot play chicken with the economy in this way," Carney said, adding that Obama now realizes "raising the debt ceiling is so important to the health of this economy and the global economy that it is not a vote that, even when you are protesting an administration's policies, you can play around with."