Cheney now vs. Cheney then

The former vice president has apparently revised his views about the importance of the federal deficit.

Published April 22, 2009 3:25PM (EDT)

Former Vice President Dick Cheney, talking with Fox News' Sean Hannity in a portion of their interview broadcast Tuesday night:

HANNITY: The debt is going to be tripled in 10 years. We're going to be paying $806 billion a year to service that debt, interest on the debt. $4 trillion is the Obama budget. We have omnibus, we have had TARP I, TARP II stimulus. What do you think, your overall analysis, of where they're taking the country economically from where we are and where we're going?

CHENEY: Well, I'm very concerned about it... I worry very much that we're in a situation now where there doesn't appear to be any limitation whatsoever in terms of the spending commitments that this administration wants to make. Vast expansion in terms of the deficit, but it also says a lot about what they intend for the role of government in this society...

Now when we get into talking about bailing out individual companies and so forth, you know, or big expansion of governmental programs without addressing the huge expansions that are already built in -- I mean, before we had any of this we've got problems down the road with Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid. And now we're dumping, if all of this comes to pass, a huge additional burden on future generations. I think it's very dangerous.

HANNITY: Unsustainable?

CHENEY: I think so. I think over the long term, economically, it's devastating for our society.

Then-Vice President Dick Cheney in the fall of 2002, according to former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill:

Reagan proved deficits don't matter.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

MORE FROM Alex Koppelman

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Dick Cheney War Room