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BLITZER’S BLOG: Debt talks: A high-stakes game of chicken
July 11th, 2011
04:17 PM ET

BLITZER’S BLOG: Debt talks: A high-stakes game of chicken

(CNN) - There’s a very high-stakes game of chicken under way in Washington right now. The two sides have no choice but to reach an agreement in the coming days. Let’s see which side blinks.

President Obama says he fully expects a deal by August 2 raising the nation’s debt ceiling. But he also says he won’t accept any short-term, stop-gap deal – whether for 30, 60, 90 or even 180 days. Any agreement, he says, must go beyond the November 2012 elections.

He also says it must be “fair and balanced” (his words) – meaning there must be both major spending cuts as well as increases in tax revenue. The elimination of various tax loopholes and deductions wouldn’t kick in until 2013, the president says. He says he’s ready to put Social Security and Medicare on the table, a move that has deeply irritated many in his Democratic Party base.

House Speaker John Boehner says he, too, wants a deal and favors a balanced approach. But his definition of balance means something else. He says the spending cuts will be balanced by raising the debt ceiling. There is no room, he adds, for any tax increases.

The two very different positions are pretty clearly spelled out. The question now is can the president and the speaker finesse some sort of compromise that allows the debt ceiling to be raised.

I suspect if it were simply up to Obama and Boehner, they would reach some sort of compromise. But it’s certainly not so simple. Boehner needs to bring along his Republican Party base, including the tea party activists. Many of them insist they won’t vote for a debt ceiling increase under any circumstances – even if there are no tax increases in the deal.

RELATED: Obama rejects short-term debt deal, urges compromise

Post by:
Filed under: Debt • Deficit • Politics • President Obama • Washington • Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (98 Responses)
  1. Jim Wagner

    If these idiots cannot come to an agreement they should be the first ones to have their paychecks held until an agreement can be made.

    July 27, 2011 at 1:30 am |
  2. Jim Wagner

    If these idiots cannot come to an agreement these should be the first to go without a paycheck.

    July 27, 2011 at 1:28 am |
  3. Marilyn

    April, you most definitely need to educate yourself! Once we default, within a couple of years (or less!) this country is going to look like Egypt, Afghanistan, & sooo many others. Not only will we have Civil Wars within our boarders, we will also have Religious Extremists (from both Muslim & Christians) towards Innocent Civillians. Also, you think we've seen a bad year with floods, tornadoes, & fires across our once great nation...lol, sadly, we have seen NOTHING where Acts of God are concerned. Most every GOP has signed a pact with the devil & if the steer clear of what they erroneously signed, he uses his billions to discredit them in future elections as they'd vowed no tax increases. May God (or our SEALS) take this person out of this world & ALL GOP's break their vow with that devil. lol, "no new shoes til utilities are paid." Woman, you're totally out of touch with Reality & the Times of this world! (Just as the GreedyOldPigs are who & what they are! They're TRYING to have a "cleansing" of America in their owm convulated way. "Elderly, disabled, jobless, & those which don't make $250k/yr, have multiple homes, etc." Ohhh, I cant wait to see the day of the name "GOP" erased from history! What a blinded, selish & arrogant party they are!! God Bless America & the world, saving us all from Ameroca's GOP! Our deficit is what it is, in large part, due to wars which Bush started & that darned 'pledge' that STUPID republican leaders signed & are afraid to break.

    July 18, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
    • kim Wilson

      The American people want to go to the poles with 4 choices to solve the debt ceiling issue as they are suposable arguing over what we want. For the first time, figure out what the American people really want with transparency and change politics in Washington over night.
      1. Rebublican plan 2. Democratic Plan 3. Raise taxes to old levels / close loop holes 4. none of the above. When are we going to go back to what the people want. Our founding fathers would be a appalled.

      July 24, 2011 at 9:30 am |
  4. Beth

    It's past time that both parties acting like adults. The American people are tired of their rhetoric. Pass the debt sealing increase, then go back to the table and cut spending and increase taxes that benefit the Whole America. Quit playing politics.!! If they do not pass the increase there is going to be a depression world wide.

    If they don't do the right thing the American people should insist that they pass a term limit bill for the Senate and Congress. Maybe this would get honest and purposeful politicians . We need a Mr and Mrs Smiths to represent us. Quit playing politics!!!!!!

    July 17, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
  5. Donna

    Growing up we were poor, i do not think we knew it for a long time, ten children, five to a bed in one room, we never lived where there was a furnace and had to use a kerosene stove that never reached the bedroom, we never knew if there was going to be much for dinner but mom would some how work her magic, papa would be laid off every November and the winters would be very sad. My dreams in life was to be able to stay in one place long enough to finish a year at school, to have enough food in the pantry, to be able to wash clothes with out hanging them in the cold air in November, to feel heat other then the four small bodies next to mine. As an adult those dreams stayed with me plus my parents would suffer no longer as i wanted to make sure that they had all they needed, I did make my dreams come true with the help of a wonderful man we stayed in the same town so the children were in the same school system, have enough food in the pantry, had enough heat, could use a dryer in November to dry clothes, helped my parent buy a cheap house, papa got sick and went on s.s. then he died what little my parent lived on was so little i could not believe it,my mom had less then that after papa's death, so we bought the house and my mom is 91 years of age and is still with
    me, We have raised five children Two my own three we took in and have loved the same. We have since in the last two years taken in an ex police woman who had no job no where to go, and a family of three with a new born who had no place to go and no jobs, plus we have our 15 year old, and my mom is still going. We have been truly blessed with the fact that the police woman has taken a job as a clerk at a small store, the money might not be the same but she can support herself and the the family of three had found a good job and are saving for an apartment, so to be told that you can not raise taxes because the Corporations will not bring jobs back is a lie they most likely wont anyway, all most of them care about is getting richer and richer, we have done more as one family on $39,000 a year and with out help from any state or government then the republicans have or will do.

    July 12, 2011 at 8:53 pm |
  6. barryt

    CNN might be able to help solve the problem. In a CNN poll, ask about public preferences between either giving their representatives a one-time pass on some kinds of tax increases, increasing unemployment, or going into a government default?

    July 12, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
  7. Joe Mills

    I am tired of the political brinkmanship in Washington over the impending financial collapse of my country. I propose that a voter compact be created that declares to Congress and the administration that unless they agree with a minimum congressional plurality of 75% on a measure to freeze the debt ceiling and enact measures that reduce the debt and the cost of the federal government by a minimum of 3% a year, EVERY incumbent, regardless of party affiliation will be defeated in the next election. They will not work together until they have something in common, the threat of losing their lofty positions. I think there are enought disallusioned patriot Americans on all sides of the political spectrum that will sign on and be prepared to carry our the threat. Our leaders simply must do what is right. Period!

    July 12, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
  8. john dahodi

    In my opinion, the deficit can be further cut by at least 2 trillion dollar just by strictly auditing all the public works contracts and budgets. Most of the fund is being misused or mishandled by the interested groups contractors and their associates. The large pay scales in almost all cities, counties, hospitals, police and fire departments, universities, schools, water districts and several other public works districts and their life long pension benefits is the major burden on our economy. Cutting loop holes and undue tax cuts of Bush era along with public employees pay scales, pension benefits, change in social security age to 67 years and raising contribution for medicare benefits by 5%; America can easily cut their income tax rate in half and also deficit in half too. Only we need our elected members should be fair, honest, visionary with national spirit. The cowards, who are fighting for the last few months for the millionaires and billionaires need to be weeded out.

    July 12, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
    • barryt

      Good points. One problem though, some of the problems, such s teacher's pay, is County or State budget issues, not the federal budget. On the other hand, if public employee union are hard for local government to deal with, the federal can step in if the unions are operating across state lines.

      July 12, 2011 at 7:07 pm |
  9. MOSES-1

    People are living on a shoe string and some of us are living off the eye holes where the strings used to be.

    The boys in congress made enough money to sustain them over a dry spell!

    Attach or freeze the congressmen/representatives personal savings accounts until they approve something.

    LET THEM EAT CAKE

    July 12, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
  10. ROY EDWARD MULLINS

    I have workedin underground coal mines for over 41 years , paid TAXIES for over 47 years and I willnot SUPPORT OR VOTE for anyone thatsupports the REPUBLICANS PLAN to let the RICH GET RICHER AND THE POORER GET POORER.The REPUBLICANS ARE NOT FOR THE LOW OR MIDDLE CLASS PEOPLE . THEY VOTE THEIR OWN RAISES make over 250,000'00 a year have thebest INS that can be had and could care less about the little GUY. Its about time we got back to what this COUNTRY WAS FOUNDED ON GOD WE TRUST that made this COUNTRY SO GREAT If the REPUBLICANS don't belive that the AMERICANS want to raise TAXIES on the RICH THE BIG OIL COMPANTYS ANDANYONE MAKING MORE THAN 250,000.00 a yerr let tem do a poll of the AMERICAN VOTERS and see what the out come is Ill bet they will see a different story. Do not let these rEpublicans do this to us. Thanks and GOD BLESS

    July 11, 2011 at 10:03 pm |
  11. Steve Thompson

    As shown in this article, the United States has added nearly $1 trillion or 7 percent to its debt in the last 9 months lone as shown here:

    http://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2011/07/washingtons-books-for-june-2011-heading.html

    This simply cannot continue without the looming threat of default. Let's hope Washington cuts the political posturing and solves the problem that they've created for all of us.

    July 11, 2011 at 9:16 pm |
  12. Cashual

    We don't wont debt ceiling raised or entitlement programs touched. We do want the people with money to pay their share in our country or get out of our country! Down with the greedy and God bless the needy, because of the theft and extorsion from the rich who think they have power. God has all power in His hands and the rich have a false since of strength from the god of the illuminati.....called satan, lucifer, the great deciever, and the ANTI CHRIST.

    July 11, 2011 at 8:44 pm |
  13. Bill Osler

    I fear that we're headed for a catastrophe.

    The GOP deregulation and failure to enforce anti-trust laws destroyed the economy, and the Bush II trillion dollar gift to Wall Street barely prevented a Depression. Wall Street has paid back the U.S. taxpayer by refusing to lend money to U.S. companies, while encouraging others to move to more lucrative offshore facilities.

    Now, the GOP is threatening to allow the country to default on it's debts. That would mean the immediate end of foreign investment in the U.S., and a depression much bigger than 1929. To even threaten such a thing is just unthinkable.

    July 11, 2011 at 8:05 pm |
  14. New Hampshire dem

    First, Michigan_Joe, much as I wish Obama would, he WILL NOT use the 14th Amendment, because he isn't like Bill Clinton. Instead of job creation, he gave us Obamacare as if we could feed our families and pay the rent with it. That is called Liberal Arrogance. We all know about the GOP and their arrogance that has been going on the last 31 years. If Obama wants a second term, hands off entitlements and use the 14th Amendment. However he'll do like Carter and go down with the ship. That is why I voted for Hillary in the 2008 primaries!!

    July 11, 2011 at 7:56 pm |
  15. earl fey

    New M
    Wow Amen? Retrurn to the 19 century, or do you want to back further

    July 11, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
  16. April Garlow

    Maybe the real chicken reference should be–The sky is falling–the sky is falling-!!! SO WHAT IF WE DEFAULT–we would just be forced to quit borrowing and to restructure our debt–once we reduced our debt we get a good credit rating again-no more new shoes until you pay the electric bill–

    July 11, 2011 at 7:51 pm |
    • Beth

      April, A default on the our obligations would bring down the world economy a long with ours. If this happens I hope you have moved all of your stocks into the gold market. I feel for all of the people that live from pay check to pay check.

      July 17, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
  17. Marilyn

    How many of you are aware of Boehner suing Pres Clinton, admin, & others due to his not getting COLA when he came into office? How many aware that Gabby, just days before shot, recommended Decrease in Congressional pay? Others, both Repugs & Dems have suggested/supported decrease to help economy. Naturally, its being dismissed by the GreedyOldParty. As far as the horrendous spelling in earlier post, thank the GreedyOldParty for America's lack of education. I believe We, The American People, should Demand Congress join THE PEOPLE in SS, MediCare, etc., & Not receive all these Special, Life Long benefits. THE PEOPLE certainly didn't vote for them! Thank you, Obama, for momentarily freezing Congressional COLA's. SS recipients havent seen one since '08. It's a shame America's fallen as World Leader. I hate seeing so many thousands of our brave soldiers being laid off while We, the taxpayers, GIVE MILLIONS & BILLIONS to other nations to help their military & build their infrastructures. What about US & OURS? All predicted this would happen, thanks to Arrogance & forgetting God! lol, and All these Repugs call themselves 'Christians'. What a Disgrace! Folks, we've seen Nothing yet as far as our demise from what a Great Country we've been. Guess what? No nation is going to rescue us, nor are the repug leaders. Take, take, take. I can't believe NOONE has reported on Boehner's past suit. Heaven forbid something happen to Obama or Biden as that devil is next in line for the Presidency! Thank you, also, Perry, for breaking International Law with that execution & putting untold Americans at risk. Go ahead & succeed from the USA! I, An American, don't want you & your kind here!

    July 11, 2011 at 7:49 pm |
  18. Jean Korkis

    Maybe the whole world is in for an economic shock therapy
    Much needed.
    Default may be necessary to achieve such a therapy.
    So we shall suffer for a while.

    July 11, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
  19. gtbdave

    Everything the republicans do they keep promising jobs, and a huge economic recovery, but they never deliver, or none of that comes to past. We get fewer jobs, more debt, and more recession, with republican's stuff. Seems like people would catch on to that after a while. Maybe the propaganda is too powerful, even overrides the actuality, the facts, data, statistic, the real stuff out there.

    July 11, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
  20. craig

    What a lot of people forget is that the deficit started rising under Bush, and his starting of the Iraq war under false pretense. We had a budget surplus after Clinton, thanks to the web based commerce, and if we had maintained the Estate Tax, we would have had more than enough money to cover our future obligations. I was not for wealth transfer as many Republicans tried to say Obama wanted, but this mentality that I've got mine, I'm keeping mine, and i won't let you have any the Republicans are pushing is dangerous...their line of thinking will doom this country.....Remember Tea Party the consitution says We the people, not We the Rich.........

    July 11, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
  21. Alex

    THIS is what my parents emmigrated from eastern europe for? THIS is what I get as a result of my hard work, vote and taxes paid? This government STINKS. I am thankful, and a little sad, that I may have to use my dual-citzenship and leave behind the American dream and go back to where my parents came, because life is "better" there. I'm glad my parents are no longer alive to see what has happened to this country. When are the american people going to stand up for themselves and say enough is enough?!?

    July 11, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
  22. 2tired2care

    The GOP doesn't want a give and take only give us what we want. Sorry it doesn't work that way. I say let the whole thing implode in the GOP's face.

    July 11, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
  23. Ummmmmm

    3 Trillion in spending cuts refused by fiscal conservatives? Obama seems like a better Republican than the Republicans do.

    July 11, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
  24. Bemis30

    test

    July 11, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
  25. len

    I bet you all are very happy you voted in the Tea party folks.....you get what you voted for..

    July 11, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
  26. marc

    So can someone tell me why do the less fortunate vote every few years against the Democrats because they aren't perfect... don't they realize the Republicans do not have their best interests at heart? In 2010 the Republicans won the House promising jobs. They have not introduced one bill for jobs, have killed everything the Demomcrats have tried to pass, and are busy instead across the country restricting abortion, busting unions, crafing hateful laws, appointing pro-business anti-consumer judges, etc. etc. And on the debt ceiling matter, they hold a gun to our head and repeat that their ONLY answer is the rich must get richer! There is no evidence that making a person who earns $1 milllion per year pay an extra 1-2% marginal tax rate will kill any jobs! Please everyone who is not rich ... you have the power to keep the Repuiblicans out of office– it is called your vote... use it! Yes the Democrats and Obama are not perfect, but that is a stupid reason to periodically give the other team any power. You have only yourselves to blame ...

    July 11, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
  27. john dahodi

    Boehner is not fit for the leadership position when he can cry like a baby for nothing and get cold fitted when time comes to take decision. If some calamity occurs and both President and Vice President disappear, what will happen to the Nation? Poor Boehner will not stop from his crying and the Presidency will be a laughing stoke. Not only Boehner but all other current Republican leaders are gutless, vision less and power less. They only know how to shout and misguide their illiterate and racial flocks. Lately, even majority of Tea-Party goons are also shocked to see the end game of their deficit reduction plans. Obama wants to go as far as he can more than 4 trillion dollars but Boehner and his goons have no clue what to do but playing dirty politics at the cost of the USA AND HER ECONOMICAL POWER, only to save their masters and sponsors.

    July 11, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
  28. Alex

    iIt is not about raising taxes its closing loopholes. If you have a guy mow your lawn for 100.00 and instead of paying him the 100.00 you pay 65.00 because you found a loophole in the contract then what should the guy do? He's loosing money and getting screwed. so NATURALLY he fixes the loophole so he can get the entire 100.00. That is an increase in TAX revenue but not an increase in the actual tax. There is no sense in letting the corporations constantly keep screwing the US government if when in time of need their the first ones to say no to fixing the tax loophole and then they still ship jobs overseas. That is what they mean by fair share. There are no loopholes for me or for anyone else in my tax bracket unless I plan on having another kid and getting 1000.00 more dollars, the cost whoa fully out weight the benefits. If this is what the hang up is then you can hang the next ten years of hardship on the party of No COMMON SENSE!!

    July 11, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
  29. WiserThanEwe

    Republicans run up the credit card bill and then want the elderly and poor to pay the bill. Before Reagan, the total national debt was under a trillion. He added $1T, Bush I added $3T more. President Clinton was able to balance the budget and had us on track to be completely out of debt by 2010. Then Bush II went on a spending spree that made Ronnie and Daddy look like pikers. The republican idea of governing for decades has been to spend like drunken sailors, raid the treasury to give massive tax breaks to the wealthy, trash the economy and then scream bloody murder about the debt whenever a democratic president gets in office. What extraordinary hypocrites!

    July 11, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
  30. Sam C

    I wonder how many times Cantor and Boehner had no problems raising the debt ceiling when Bush was president? Hypocrites !!

    July 11, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
  31. Kenn Amdahl

    The GOP language is now "no tax hikes on JOB CREATORS." So, let the Bush tax cuts expire for the wealthiest, eliminate subsidies for big companies that aren't paying any taxes anyway, but let the GOP save face by sweetening the pot with big tax credits for companies and individuals that actually create jobs. Maybe a credit of 125% of the cost of each new employee for the first year, 50% the second year. Companies would be crazy not to spend a bunch of their trillion dollar reserves hiring people. No new government program, free enterprise at work, and no tax hikes "on job creators."

    July 11, 2011 at 7:04 pm |
  32. Too Much Thought

    It seems the bottom line is all Corporations worry about. They have managed to take over the Gov't through lobbying which should be outlawed. If the republicans will not except any revenue increases unless they are off set by a tax break some where, why don't the Dem's say they will raise taxes on Corporations and the Rich and offset the taxes for the middle class? That is doing what they want and would allow the Dem's to do what they should want to do any way. We are in a time that Corporations and CEO's are making nearly 250 times what they did in the 70's while the rest of us are making the exact same, accounting for inflation, as we did in the 70's. Also, am I crazy or were the "Bush Tax Cuts" not tax cuts but written in stone. They were sold to the public as tax cuts but now they will not except it. I am not a politician but at this point I believe any one that can observe a conversation can do the job. I am starting to doubt whether or not politics is all just show because it sure seems to ridiculous to be real.

    July 11, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
    • Liza

      I've been following this whole debt ceiling stuff for weeks. And the jury is out. It appears that the vast amount of commentators all across the board, from practically every news source, are in favor of raising taxes on the richest Americans and getting rid of corporate tax loop holes. Mr. President and "Cry Baby" Boehner, the Americans have spoken and now must be heard.

      July 11, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
    • gyrogearloose

      'Raise taxes on the rich' you say. Just how much do you think you can gain by doing this? It has the appeal of Robin Hood, but I doubt that it will do much except maybe make the lefties feel good. Our problem is too big to be fixable by taxing just one group, and the so called 'rich' are the most likely to have ways to avoid increased taxes due to our ridiculously complex tax code.

      July 11, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
    • Brian Smith

      So the 'perfect deal' is to reduce taxes to 10% of what they are now, increase the debt ceiling by 10% of what it is now, and actually fix the problem after 2012?

      July 11, 2011 at 7:58 pm |
  33. Aerin

    All cuts will hurt GDP will hurt stocks will hurt GOP.

    July 11, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
  34. jessanders

    "It has to start somewhere, it has to start sometime. What better place than here, what better time than now?"
    – RATM

    Our system of gov't has failed. Not just Republicans, not just Democrats, the ENTIRE SYSTEM OF GOV'T has failed. Across the board, the judicial system let us execute a man even though it clearly violated INTERNATIONAL LAW. Congress has proven time and time again to be unable to balance our budget, and even misplaces BILLIONS OF TAX DOLLARS a year. If you misplaced $1,000 running a business, the IRS would be all over you. The Executive Branh has long outlived it's use. Do we need a "commander in chief"? Yes. But the role of the President, as it stands, gives both too much power and not enough power. Libya, Iraq, Vietnam. As of now, our country is heading for disaster. It has been for a long time (longer than I've been alive), but we've now proven that our elected officials are nothing more than squabling children, argueing over which game to play, whose rules to play by, and who gets the last piece of the chocolate cake.

    I've got a news flash for you, no matter who wins, we all lose.

    July 11, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
    • kissinger

      Thank you for your cynicism. I hope you are not in charge of anything.

      July 11, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
  35. Pay up Rich people

    Does Joe-public even realize that the 4,2% payment to social security is only paid up to 106,000? Do all of the poor republicans really agree with not raising taxes on the wealthy, or do the rich republicans speak for them? Who in this country have issues with closing loop-holes in tax rules (on the rich)....except those that benifit these cheating ways? Sure the rich create jobs – jobs for the poor slobs working to put more money in their pockets – wake up rich people, pay your share, stop your greed.

    July 11, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
    • Dianne

      Your right Mr. Rich, out of your paycheck you pay 7.65% and your employer pays 7.65% Social Security taxes for your wages. This is paid out on everyone's pay check that earn up to $106,000, after that no more is paid on the wages. In other words someone earning $1 billion dollars income per year pays Social Security only on the first $106,00 they earn. Gee you think that could be raised on the rich dollar for dollar on their total paycheck like it is for the ones making under $106,000. Another break for the rich thieves.

      July 11, 2011 at 8:57 pm |
  36. a disgrace

    its ridiculous to have anyone who has been as big of a failure as obama to have any say in america's finances.let Biden take over until obama can be replaced!

    July 11, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
    • obandon

      its ridiculous to have anyone who has been as big of a failure as the Republicans to create jobs or help in any way to solve the problems facing us today to have any say in america's finances.

      July 11, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
    • Patricia

      What article are you reading?

      July 11, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
    • kissinger

      Is is ridiculous to have the duly elected president perform his job? Do you live in some magical kingdom where the VP can take over if you do not like the prez?

      July 11, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
  37. Beck Amatov

    I believe that even if they negotiate on spending cuts of maximum $4 trillion, and raising the debt ceiling, it still will not solve the problem of American economy. The problem is that budget will not be balanced in next 8-10 years and up to that time, the United States will be raising the debt ceiling, and the debt will be mostly monetized by the Federal Reserve, simply printing money and increasing inflation in long run. The situation will be worse when the majority baby boomers will retire and this working generation will have to pay more in taxes unless the government will restructure entitlement system. The bottom line is that Social Security system, Medicaid and Medicare have to be restructured. I don't believe that America will vastly decrease spending on defense at this point.

    July 11, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  38. Don

    We have become more interested in appearances than results in this country. We worry about the color of a politician's skin when we should be concerned with the content of his character. And, we miss the obvious. This nation is ran almost entirely by Lawyers. They are what is wrong with health care and our system of government. We need more common people in Washington. Construction workers, craftsmen, teachers even the unemployed ( a better representation of our citizenry. We can't continue to let one occupation Rule. Get rid of the Lawyers That's a change we can use.

    July 11, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  39. JAS

    Whenever I hear a politician begin a sentence with the phrase, "The American People want . . ." (or do not want, etc.), I cringe. It is almost always followed by a statement with which I most emphatically do not agree. The implication is that if I do not agree with whatever the statement is, I must not be a part of "The American People." Well, I am American, and deeply proud of it. But I resent my citizenship being thrown around in all the foolish rhetoric going on these days.

    The truth is that "The American People" have been divided just about 50-50 for a while, at least since the election of 2000. It is time for politicians from both parties to realize that, if their side wins in one election, it does not mean they have a "mandate." They have a temporary swing of the pendulum. The more intransigent they become, the more likely that the pendulum will swing the other way the next time.

    All this is to say, please, please act like grown-ups and DO something rather than posturing!

    July 11, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  40. George Bright

    Rep. Boehner says, very plainly, "As we all know, tax hikes destroy jobs" – but let's look at the facts: During 8 years of the Bush administration, taxes were repeatedly cut and yet over a million jobs were destroyed. During the previous 8 years of the Clinton administration taxes were raised and yet eight million jobs were created. So what data does Representative Boehner rely on when he says "Tax hikes destroy jobs"?

    July 11, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
    • Mike

      You are absolutely right. Why do Americans who were voting adults through both presidencies so easily forget these simple historical facts? I was GLAD to pay taxes under Clinton. My job was secure, my colleagues and I got annual pay raises, we had excellent health insurance at no cost to us, and our pension fund was solid. Now that I am old and sick, I have to worry about Social Security cuts, after paying SS taxes for 45 years.

      July 11, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
      • Debbie

        Not only that, but they also raised the debt ceiling 9 times. Where was all the outrage then??? After 3 or 4 times of raising it, they should've started crying foul then, WHY NOW??? The republicans are nothing but hypocrites. ALSO, where are the jobs they ran on last year? That's why they won, because they promised jobs, WHERE ARE THEY??? But it sure is easy to blame Obama isn't it? There is nobody who can get this country out of this mess. It's literally going to take at least 10 years before we start seeing job growth, but after 2 years in office, you repubs blame Obama, yet you can't produce any jobs either, can you???

        July 11, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
    • jason

      I totally agree. I remember a much more prosperous time during the Clinton years followed by a train wreck in the Bush years. Bush lowered taxes and gave deals to the already wealthy yet it did not lead to the creation of many jobs. I really, really want the members of Congress to have their salaries held from payment if we reach the default point. I work in the healthcare field and would LOVE to see Congress pay for their healthcare! What a joke! How many 50 dollar copays would they pay before they changed their tunes??

      July 11, 2011 at 7:06 pm |
    • craig

      George: I've been saying the same thing in my circle. the Republicans have had tax cuts for years and no jobs have been produced, they lkeep calling these people "job creators'.......I call them "wealth horders".....This is a dangerous precident they are setting, and they will pay for it at the Polls !

      July 11, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
  41. Michigan_Joe

    Obama should use he 14th amendment position, let the Republicans take it to court, watch the angry masses take it on the Republicans, and let the National CORPORATE Republican Party self implode. It is just a matter of time before there isn't a Republican Party anymore. You can't go to Washington,. steal from the average American working voter (Those that still have jobs)give tax breaks to the wealthy, protect the interests of Wall Street and the banking industry, freeze funding for over sight agencies, and continue to declare the rich and CORPORATE America can't be touched. It is so insidious and devious that it is almost comical to think they can stoop so low and still not crack a smile. Across the nation, state by state, those that voted Republican in the last election are now saying they made the biggest mistake of their lives. In 17 states there are active recall petition sites that are outright busy getting a record number of signatures to recall Republicans. The business of recall is real,. and the number if people signing these petitions is very surprising. It is a sad day when one political party views the middle class American as insignificant. Not only is outright shameful, but labels itself as "too important" to negotiate. We should all start sending Republican legislators sympathy cards and a nail to put into that coffin of bad ideas.

    July 11, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  42. NewMalthus

    Welcome to Stagflation. Gee, it really is Jimmy Carters second term. First high unemployment, the Real Unemployment Rate: 17.7 %, and now inflation. Inflation, using the reporting methodologies in place before 1980, hit an annual rate of 9.6 percent in February.

    Meanwhile, IRS data shows that in 2008, the top 5 percent of earners - households earning more than $160,000 - accounted for about 59 percent of all federal income tax paid.

    The next 45 percent - solidly middle-class taxpayers earning between $33,000 and $160,000 - account for about 39 percent of all personal income tax paid. So thats 98% paid by the top 50% of earners, with almost 60% being paid by the mere top 5% of earners. That's fair???

    Look, you cannot tax or cut your way out of the deficit. You must grow the economy.

    How to grow jobs, energy, the economy, remain competitive, and eliminate the deficit:

    1. Legislatively remove the anti-trust exemption for insurance, The McCarran-Ferguson Act. Then Repeal Obamacare as unnecessary.
    2.. Legislatively restrict the wetlands definition of "navigable waters of the United States" in the Clean Water Act.
    3. Fund and begin construction of power generation and water supply projects necessary to meet future population and industrial demands.
    4. Remove all geographic restrictions on oil and natural gas drilling, and use the power of federal money transfers to the States to prevent States and local governments from interfering with drilling.
    5.. Remove environmental restrictions and environmental and social impact requirements for all infrastructure and utility construction for the next 10 years.
    6.Cut Federal budget by 10% excluding defense, starting with those duplicative items identified in the 3/1/11 GAO report and Presidents Debt Commission, however, maintain current spending for infrastructure construction, repair and upgrade for the next 5 years. Repeal the Davis-Bacon Act.
    7. Reduce corporate tax rates by 50%. Reduce Corporate tax rates by 70% on private utilities and transport companies.
    8. Reinstitute significant tax and assistance payments for residential and commercial alternative energy instillations, particularly focusing on residential solar. Use Commerce Clause to force all electrical utilities to be reverse metering.
    9. Subsidies the further development of electric and hybrid electric cars. Provide significant tax breaks and incentives for the purchase of same, particularly when combined with the purchase of a residential solar instillation within two years of one another. This is no longer a simple market issue, but one of national security as the time to substitution is longer than the economy can withstand when confronted with a supply side shock
    10. Eliminate the Ethanol subsidy for any and all processes using foodstuffs. Redirect monies to nuclear and coal. Streamline regulation of new construction of nuclear power plants and provide incentives for same. Open Yucca Mountain as originally agreed.
    11. Eliminate any power of the EPA to regulate Carbon.
    12. Use the power of the Federal purse to eviscerate Kelo v. City of New London, 545 U.S. 469 (2005) and Tahoe-Sierra Preservation Council, Inc. v. Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, 535 U.S. 302 (2002),
    13. Repeal the Community Reinvestment Act.
    14. Hold congressional investigations into the roll of the Community Reinvestment Act, Freddie and Fannie in inflating demand and thus prices resulting in the collapse of the real estate market.
    15. Build a wall embedded with sensors and toped with razor wire along both our borders, beginning with the southern one. In the name of national security remove all environmental restrictions and environmental and social impact requirements for the construction of same.
    16 Pass legislation that all jurisdictions receiving federal monies of any sort are required to enforce all of the laws of the land, including enforcement of federal immigration laws.
    17. Restrict the collective bargaining power of State civil service unions in line with the 1978 Federal Civil Service Reform Act
    18. Scrap the tax code and adopt a flat-tax that will build the size of the pie (and thus tax revenues) for everyone instead of the Obama class warfare of trying to redistribute a shrinking one.
    19. Revisit New York Times v. Sullivan and remove the "actual malice" requirement to improve the quality, objectivity and accuracy of media reporting,

    July 11, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
    • FEDUP

      AMEN!

      July 11, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
    • adam

      REDUCE CORPORATE TAXES BY 50-70%???? WHAT ARE YOU THINKING??? If the corporations paid a FRACTION of the taxes that the small businesses already suffer, there would be MUCH more revenue. They have had NOTHING BUT TAX CUTS– Obama gave in on this STUPIDLY in December. Where are the jobs??? Corporations take the tax breaks, say "thank you very much" and move business overseas. If corporations did their fair share, we'd be better off.

      Oil and drilling here? Isn't going to do anything for 10 years or more in terms of reducing fuel costs and then it will be a temporary stop gap measure.

      You want to cut the spending by 10%– but you don't want to cut military. Where are these cuts coming from? Social programs only? THINK. Or are you one of the lucky few who makes 100's of thousands a year and likes to break the rest of our backs? I want to launch into a bunch of insults, but I'm going to try to keep on the message and not sink to mudslinging the two parties do.

      July 11, 2011 at 7:04 pm |
    • 2tired2care

      You must have a lot of time in your mom's basement to write so many thoughts down.

      July 11, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
    • Mike, Cleveland OH

      Yeah .. all those pesky requirements like clean drinking water always getting in the way of progress.

      July 11, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
  43. Dianne

    Obama needs to stand tough and not let the republicans bully him again. I have stode by him but if caves in and gives the GOP all their cuts which will hurt the real American people (I don't consider the rich thieves real American's) and they take away our SS, Medicare, and help for the poor, continue tax breaks for the rich and big corp. I'm done with him, he misewell pack his bags and pull a Sarah Palin and go home, he'll be done and he will prove the Republicans right he'll be a one termer.

    July 11, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
    • Des

      I agree with you up to a point; but you sure confused me with your spelling. Why put an apostrophe in Americans ( a plural not a possessive ); what is misewell ? could that be might as well?

      July 11, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
  44. open400

    All of our jobs have been exported to Mexico, India and China; banks deregulated to provided the public with unstable investment instruments and absurd mortgages; absurd tax breaks for the wealthy and large corporations; illegal immigrants are permitted to flood into America to take our jobs. This is called free enterprise. Free for whom and to do what? Free to exploit the American worker and enrich the American plutocracy.

    July 11, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
    • Too Much Thought

      Yes it seems the bottom line is all Corporations worry about. They have managed to take over the Gov't through lobbying which should be outlawed. If the republicans will not except any revenue increases unless they are off set by a tax break some where, why don't the Dem's say they will raise taxes on Corporations and the Rich and offset the taxes for the middle class? That is doing what they want and would allow the Dem's to do what they should want to do any way. We are in a time that Corporations and CEO's are making nearly 250 times what they did in the 70's while the rest of us are making the exact same, accounting for inflation, as we did in the 70's. Also, am I crazy or were the "Bush Tax Cuts" not tax cuts but written in stone. They were sold to the public as tax cuts but now they will not except it. I am not a politician but at this point I believe any one that can observe a conversation can do the job. I am starting to doubt whether or not politics is all just show because it sure seems to ridiculous to be real.

      July 11, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
  45. Brian

    Republicans are the least fiscally conservative party on earth. They start two wars, they destroy the economy so we are shedding jobs, and then refuse to raise taxes to pay for their screw ups. Truly, a party of intellectually and morally bankrupt people.

    July 11, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
    • Tim

      Dems had control of both houses for 2 years and were negligent in their duties by not passing a budget. They were afraid of making the hard and unpopular choices. Raising taxes does not work, simply look at Europe/Greece with a 40% Income Tax PLUS 23% VAT TAX and they are still broke. Stop spending like a drunken sailor.

      July 11, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
      • Dianne

        That's right Tim, what do you want to give up that would personally affect you? Please share with us!

        July 11, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
      • AZSenior

        The scandinavian countries have high taxes, great Benefits for the people and are some of the happiest and well adjusted populations on earth.

        July 11, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
      • T

        1) raising taxes does work...just ask the reagan and clinton administrations.

        2) the problem with greece is that greeks don't pay taxes but expect high levels of gov't service.

        3) currently spending is 60% of GDP. After WWII it was 120% and we had the greatest expansion of american wealth and the middle class in history.

        4) it would be nice if you got some facts with your rant.

        July 11, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
    • Dianne

      You are right Brian, do you no how to tell if a republican is lying???? His/her lips are moving!!!!!! They are experts at that, they say something one day and deny saying it the next. Why is it they never talk about cutting spending to foreign countries, give money to them so they can buy weapons and then start wars with them because they worry about what kind of weapons they have. They don't want to raise taxes on the wealthy cause they would be raising taxes on themselves, and their contribute'rs, they don't care about this country only the wealth in it.

      July 11, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
    • bannister

      Brian, you need to understand the difference between the Neocons (fake conservatives) like George Bush and the Paleocons and Libertarians (real conservatives) like Ron Paul and many (but not all) of the new Tea Party folks.

      Speaking on behalf of the real conservatives – YES, WE AGREE WIT YOU. The Republican Party of the last 8 years severely damaged our country. However, the solution is not the bigger, more expensive government that is being pushed by Obama. The solution is a return to REAL conservatism that caps the debt ceiling and reduces expenses.

      A nation is just like a household: You cannot spend more than you take in – or you will lose the house!

      July 11, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
      • adam

        Correct but what would you cut? And we need to take in more!! Tax cuts have gotten us into this mess. They need to go back up on the wealthy and corporations. The middle and lower classes can't pay for everything alone

        July 11, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
    • Aerin

      Amen.

      July 11, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
  46. open400

    If the GOP are supposed to be the party that is pro-business, the GOP is not showing it right now. There is a serious debt problem in Europe with Portugal,Italy,Ireland, Greece and Spain. If the American government defaults, we could have a worse problem than we did in 2008. The bond market will fall through the floor and interest rates will soar. GOP: The tax rates as a percentage of GDP are the lowest in 50 years! Repeal the insane Bush tax cuts – even Alan Greenspan and Warrent feel you should repeal the Bush tax cuts!!!

    July 11, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
    • Tim

      If raising taxes is the answer how do explain Greece with a 40% Income Tax PLUS a 23% VAT Tax and they are still broke. Government has a spending problem. GE paid no Federal Income Tax, McDonalds receives a waiver for Obamacare.

      July 11, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
      • Ummmmmm

        GE paid no tax and so closing tax loopholes is a bad thing?

        July 11, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
      • T

        You really need to get your facts straight. The greek gov't collects nowhere near 40% in taxes from individual citizens.

        July 11, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
      • Hein

        But Tim, there you have it exactly. The problem in Greece was not the high tax rates, very simply because almost nobody PAID their taxes. Doctors, lawyers, engineers, with houses on the beach and several mercedes, claimed on their tax returns they earned less than $26.000 a year. And the Greek state failed to force them to pay what they really did owe. Kinda similar to where the republicans want to go by gutting the IRS, don't you think ...?

        July 11, 2011 at 8:09 pm |
  47. David P Vernon

    Constitutionally, it is Speaker Boehner who has thus far failed. It is his job as Speaker to get a borrowing bill through this Congress, such that the United States shall continue to operate. The routine bill for the routine increase in Treasury bond sales authority has already been rejected on a straight up and down party line House vote. What we have now is the rest of government trying to bribe the House into passing this mandatory bit of law by adding sweeteners to the legislation.

    Mr. Boehner needs to write a bill that gets 218 votes in his chamber. If he fails to do so, the full faith and credit of the United States becomes an empty promise this August, when borrowing stops and appropriated expenditures exceed revenue. It is too late to do anything about those appropriated expenditures and those statutory taxes. One must either borrow or renege.

    Those who speak of "cutting up the credit card" have no idea what they are talking about. It does not matter what they think if they are outvoted. Mr Boehner needs to get the votes, not merely Republican votes, not merely Democratic votes, just 218 Representatives to say Aye.

    This is not the President's job. This is Mr Boehner's job. If he cannot produce a bill, and the dollar falls, it will be he who has failed.

    July 11, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
    • Tim

      You seem to forget that the DEMS had full control of both houses for 2 years and never passsed a budget. We would never be in this mess.They were negligent in their duties because tough choices need to be made. In the real world if you do not do your job you are fired.

      July 11, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  48. Larry L

    Obama is working for what's best for America. The Republicans are working for what's best for the rich. The Congress isn't working – but they still get paid. The Tea Party controls the Republicans and they actually want America to fail. Isn't this a pretty picture?

    July 11, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
    • Tim

      Spending trillons of dollars to keep unemployment under 8% is best for America? Great Leaders unite and motivate a country towards a common goal, this guy is the Great Divider.

      July 11, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  49. gearloose

    It's time for a paradigm shift in Washington. No more posturing for the camera. I want to see a compromise that starts to get us out of the mess we are in, and I don't mind if it both cuts entitlements and raises taxes.

    July 11, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
  50. Jay

    My eyes are bleeding from reading the first two comments, do all Americans these days write English as horrible as that????

    July 11, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
    • Bill

      *horribly

      July 11, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
      • Jason

        "horrible" works if it refers to "English"

        July 11, 2011 at 7:05 pm |
  51. Michael

    When "Mr Smith Went To Washington", there was only one bad apple elected. Today there are a few more – more interested in the power than doing what is best for the American people. Do you understand why I think there should be term limits for ALL elected positions?

    July 11, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  52. Rich

    The debt ceiling will be raised and the can will be kicked down the road another 6 months. We can not even pay the interest on the loans we made much less any of the principal back. When a person can no longer pay their bills then their credit is cut off. The same thing needs to happen to America. Our congress has always spent more then we have taken in from taxes since 1969. Our congress has always been a very poor steward of our assets. They are politicians not investment bankers. Perhaps investment bankers is what we need to elect next time around.

    July 11, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
    • Scott

      Wrong on a couple things there..... First, we do have enough money to pay the interest on the debt, which is less that 300 billion each year. Revenues exceed that by a mile. Also, we had the surpluses during the Clinton years.

      July 11, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
  53. ron

    iF COMMENTS HAVE BEEN MADE TO cnn AND YOU SAY IT HAS BEEN SAID ABOUT sOCIAL sECURITY, wHY DO YOU NOT answer the questions put to you? You are getting to be just like FOX News, avoid the truth and say only what you want us to hear, truth or lies, what ever suits you. I suppose this hAS BEEN SAID TOO AND YOU HIDE IT.

    July 11, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  54. ron

    How can CNN have the Gall to let Jack Cafferty and others say rthat Social Security is funded by the government? That fund has been funded totally by the American people who have paid all the money into it by payroll deduction. If the government[ congress and the senATE] HAD NOT PILFERED, RAPED AND PLUNDERED IT, THE ss FUND WOULD BE FINE. wHY HAS THWE GOVERNMENT NEVER EVEN MADE AN ATTEMPT TO PAY BACK THE 3 AND ONE HALF TRILLION THAT IT OWES US? wHY IS THAT TOPIC NEVER DISCUSSED AND THE aMERICAN PEOPLE WHO DRAW ss NOT TOLD THE TRUTH? cnn AND ITS REPORTES DO NOT TELL THE TRUTH ABOUT THIS AND FEAR TO EVEN MENTION IT. why?????

    July 11, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  55. Helen K. Norris

    You know all these people sitting there discussing the debt loose nothing. We the american people will be the loosers well almost all the rich and the big companys wont take the brunt of this witch we didn't create. they the congress the senite aqnd wall street did this to the people when is it going to be there turn to share some of the hardships we do they get the best insurence the top wages all paid for by us. they don't have to take half there meds or even go without.
    I don't feel they are qullified to make these disisions for the people. Our house speaker is the biggest idiot of all if he thinks he is doing things to save jobs bussnis keeps their tax breaks they wont hire its near time for more layoffs it always happens in the late summer to fall around holiday time why not our kids don't deserve a holiday meal or christmas presents . think about it they wont suffer one little bit who cares if we do. not one of the partys trully care for the people all they want is political gain meaning MONEY IN THERE POCKETS at our expence. not one cares .think about it they would feed us to the dogs if they could gain for them selves. thank you for reading this

    July 11, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • SERMURP

      Helen, you are right on the money!!! the "Big Guys" could care less about us little guys.
      they have their pensions, they have their Big Wigs putting money in their pockets.
      It is all coming down to the Rich trying to destroy the middle class!!!
      I love my country, and I hope someone out there can help us!!!!

      July 11, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
      • Ron

        Right on the money. Lets all vote to lower Congress's salery to $25,000.00 per year and they pay 100% of their insurance. See if that changes their voting habits

        July 11, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
      • Wastrel

        I can help. Just send me $100 and I'll help.

        Oops, that sounds like a Political Action Committee!

        What our politicians have created, with the help of the Supreme Court, is a self-perpetuating corrupt government. The government permits the aforesaid political action committees, which are essentially conduits for graft, and allows other ways for the rich and the corporations to get more than their share of government, and less than their share of responsibility. The Supreme Court, by deciding that all commerce is 'interstate' commerce and giving corporations the same rights as people, has gutted the republican system that we are supposed to have. Our government does not work properly any more; it is not run by "We the People" but by the privileged few and entities that are not people at all - and in addition, "We the People" has been expanded to include foreigners and illegal aliens, neither of which should have any constitutional rights. It is time to alter or abolish our government, as our Declaration of Independence tells us.

        July 11, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
  56. MsGoldBond

    I believe as WallSt begins to wobble, REpub/CorpAmerica will be forced to deal. I believe PresObama will NOT wobble.I believe Obama holds all the gems to why REpubs argument willNot work

    July 11, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • Scott

      US Chamber of Commerce might have a talk with a few members of congress as August 2nd gets closer....

      July 11, 2011 at 7:30 pm |

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