In March 2006, then-Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., found the notion of raising the debt ceiling quite distasteful. â€œThe fact that we are here today to debate raising Americaâ€™s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure,â€ he said. â€œIt is a sign that the U.S. Government canâ€™t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Governmentâ€™s reckless fiscal policies. â€¦ Leadership means that â€˜the buck stops here.â€™ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase Americaâ€™s debt limit.â€ He did. It passed narrowly â€“ by a vote of 52-48. hmmm, he said leadership failure. that's odd, who knew obama was a seer.