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BLITZER'S BLOG: Obama’s big political risk
August 9th, 2011
02:53 PM ET

BLITZER'S BLOG: Obama’s big political risk

By CNN's Wolf Blitzer

(CNN) – Medicare is an especially touchy subject for any politician, Democrat or Republican. America’s older Americans overwhelmingly love this public health care program. They have come to rely on it and, if you look at the polls, aren’t all that open to major changes.

That helps to explain why President Obama took a direct swipe at the Republicans’ proposals for Medicare changes when he spoke at two separate Democratic National Committee fundraising events in Washington last night.

He was clearly alluding to some of the proposed changes in House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s legislation which passed the House but not the Senate.

Speaking of Republicans, he said: “Their basic attitude is, you know what, Medicare, we can voucherize, even if it means $6,000 more in expenses for our seniors.”

At the other Washington event, the president said: “I think the American people are not persuaded that an agenda of simply slashing commitments to things like student loan programs or privatizing or voucherizing Medicare are somehow going to be the solutions - they are not buying that bill of goods.”

Those were two political events, and going after the Republicans on Medicare is obviously understandable. It is widely seen by Democrats as a winning political issue in the upcoming elections.

But earlier in the day, when the president spoke at the White House about the economic distress in the country, he had a very different line about Medicare.

“Last week,” he said, “we reached an agreement that will make historic cuts to defense and domestic spending. But there’s not much further we can cut in either of those categories. What we need to do now is combine those spending cuts with two additional steps: tax reform that will ask those who can afford it to pay their fair share and modest adjustments to health care programs like Medicare.”

There was no swipe at the Republicans for “voucherizing” or “privatizing” Medicare.

So what does the president mean by “modest adjustments” to Medicare? In recent weeks, he hasn’t gone into too much detail other than to suggest perhaps changing the annual cost of living index or some sort of “means testing” for seniors – the richer ones would pay more out-of-pocket health care costs.

I can tell you this: Even talking about these vague Medicare changes upsets many Democrats who fear that Mr. Obama is undermining a very significant political weapon they have in the upcoming elections.

Post by:
Filed under: Barack Obama • Medicare • Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (246 Responses)
  1. moxylady

    The answer if ya ask me is..... I say its like any successful divorce parent knows, you must love your child more then you hate your ex. You must put the countries interest, which means the interest of the majority above any selfish agenda's. The Tea party has really become some crasy, hysteria, and quite frankly laughable with little merit. I mean really, Rick Perry wants to deny climate change and the energy crisis knocking at our doors, if any of ya all believe that i have some nice land to sell ya. Wake up America, get clean energy or die as a nation.............

    August 21, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
  2. moxylady

    Some ancient philosophy states, "Those above can ensure their position only by giving generously to those below.", so simple so perfect this makes perfect sense to me. Else wise the whole thing becomes unstable and collapes. I also just want to point out that Texas is the BIGGEST polluter, so the biggest environmental footprint, and they also had the most new "illegal"?? immigrants.

    August 14, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
  3. Gary Harris

    Wolf,

    All we hear from the President is 'we need to create jobs, jobs, jobs!'.... It doesn't take a 'rocket scientist' to do this... what do they do in Washington to deserve the salaries, heathcare & lifestyle that we, the American middle class tax payers are burdened with? Last month, after waiting for a long, long time... (my wife forbids anything MADE IN CHINA to come into our home... we're American's... we actually fly a large illuminated at night, American Flag!). a local hardware store in Pasadena, California ran an add for a BBQ pit.... "Made In America".... they sold out, and I helped
    them by spending $600 (it was on sale!)..... So, in disbelief to my wife's comment about the CHINA PROBLEM... she
    took be on a tour of CVS ( a massive pharmacy chain with sales in the trillions).... we looked and looked for American
    made products... maybe 4 or 5%... then to Bed, Bath & Beyond (another trillion dollar sales corp of American origin)...
    Not much better, however, the store manager did indicate that they were changing their policy on what the origins are of their products (How many times have we here this?)... In conclusion, Donald Trump was right... put just a small import tax on MADE IN CHINA... and our national debt will go away in less than 2 years... Hooray for Donald! If Washington would 'open their eyes'... instead of going to their Washington cocktails parties to discuss what they have to do to get re-elected.... MAYBE THEY WOULD CONSIDER HOW MANY AMERICAN WORKERS WERE ON WELFARE BECAUSE OF THE JOBS THAT WERE LOST TO CHINESE IMPORTS! But then saying this is very similar to 'writing your congressman'... you only get a computer driven response! Just wait until election time comes... I think we'll call it 'a clean sweep'...and I'll furnish the broom!! Gary Harris in Pasadena, California

    August 11, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • itsonlyme

      Gary,
      Do you use the self-check counters that do not employ anyone to check you through and take your money? How about pumping your own gas? If you do not like the Government, then why hire them to represent you? There is always a job description for any job you apply for, so why not make one for any person who wants to be hired to represent you? What you have forgotten is that YOU ARE THE GOVERNMENT BECAUSE YOU HIRE THE FOLKS THAT WORK THERE!
      LAST QUESTION: WHAT IF EVERYONE PUT ALL OF THEIR HEALTH CARE PREMIUMS INTO ONE POT AND PURCHASED THEIR OWN HOSPITAL AND HIRED THE DOCTORS AND NURSES TO WORK THERE? THE PEOPLE (IN EACH STATE) WOULD PAY AN ANNUAL PREMIUM OF SAY $1,000.00 TO USE THE HOSPITAL AND ALL OF ITS FACILITIES. THE PEOPLE WOULD BE SHAREHOLDERS IN A "NON-PROFIT" FACILITY AND WOULD HAVE COMPLETE ACCESS TO IT AND NEVER BE TURNED AWAY. THIS HEALTH CARE PROGRAM WOULD BE AVAILABLE TO EVERYONE PERIOD. ALL OF THE MONEY WOULD BE AVAILABLE TO EVERYONE WHO USED THE FACILITY AND ITS BENEFITS. ANYONE WHO PAID AND DIDN'T USE THE FACILITIES WOULD SIMPLY BE PAYING FORWARD FOR WHEN THEY NEED IT.
      YOU GUYS NEED TO START TO TAKE CARE OF EACH OTHER BY BEING EACH OTHERS FRIEND AND COLLEAGUE. IT IS IMORAL TO MAKE A PROFIT FROM THE SICK, INJURED AND DYING.

      From the outside looking in.

      Brian

      August 25, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
  4. bellarose

    How many Senior Citizens can afford and/or "find" $6-8000 out of their annual social security payments for a healthcare voucher????? I would say maybe about 2-3% of the retired people on Medicare!! No matter whether it is a Republican or Democratic President, BOTH should know that changing Medicare that drastically will only lead to more Senior Citizens dying in this Country, simply because they cannot no longer afford Medicare!! What is wrong with politicians these days?? Do they have NO empathy for us??? Well, the answer is NO, most of them do not!! One thing is for certain, sooner or later each one of them will have to face the music and deal with being a Senior Citizen. Of course then the shoe will be on the other foot and ALL of them will promote Medicare benefits for themselves!!

    August 10, 2011 at 10:09 am |
    • MD in SC

      You're over-reacting.. The changes will NOT affect anybody over the age of 55! Simple as that. And...the voucher system will never become reality. Relax.

      August 17, 2011 at 12:16 am |
  5. AJVAN1

    Seniors are the number one most reliable voting block for Republicans. I pray that there are drastic cuts to Medicare and Social Security so that seniors are forced to pay the price of their stupid decisions. Let them suffer the typical party line "if they cant take care of themselves, tough!"

    August 10, 2011 at 9:39 am |
    • Dennis

      Obamacare already cut $500 billion from Medicare you partisan hack.

      August 10, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
      • Steve

        The $500 million cut is from savings and redundancies – services to seniors that will be covered by provisions in the ACA. So there is no net loss of medical service to seniors.

        August 4, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
      • Steve

        I meant $500 billion.

        August 4, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
  6. Thunderbolt

    I really don't understand some of these articles. First, when has Obama ever been specific on his plans? Second, Most people remember that Obama is the one who took 5oo billion from medicare to create a new entitlement. Then, the dems turn around and try to act like they are defending medicare. Here is my problem with the whole thing. On the current path none of our systems will be here. The path of their demise has been plotted and known for some time now. If we don't make changes, these systems will be gone for everybody. So the dems, refusal to talk about changes is stupid, to say the least. We have to do, whats unthinkable for the dems. We have to finally fix the systems, and stop the waste and abuse. I get sick and tired of these nuts ignoring the odvious, and saying there isn't enough savings to do so. If you stop the abuse in all programs, and then fix what else is wrong, across the board. We are talking billions of dollars saved. But for some reason, that doesn't mean anything to them. Clearly they are out of touch, or they just care about their political agenda. Whether you like the tea party's ideas or not, they have at least pushed the subject to the forefront of the conversations, leading into an election year. I have more respect for these few, than the rest alltogether.At least they are willing to tackle the problem.

    August 10, 2011 at 8:21 am |
    • Steve

      The $500 billion cut to Medicare is a half-truth spread around by Romney. The CMS and the Kaiser Foundation say there will be no benefit cuts to Medicare. You can find more on this in an ABC News story from June if you search with the words "$500 billion cut in Medicare"

      August 4, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
      • Gary Harris

        It is amazing that this country is so polarized. We have those with it and those without it.... 50/50... those that expect the government to take care of them via entitlements and those that know that they are the ones that must create their own entitlements. So isn't the direction becoming clear... we are expecting those that are flooding into this country, with very little 'native' ability... to produce taxable income... when they don't even take the time to learn our customs or our language!

        August 6, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
  7. edwin kihika

    Obama and the democrats don't stand a chance, especially in light of trending economic forecasts past next year's elections, unless they inject the entitlements, front, back and center of the campaign. Republicans are vulnerable here, because, it's become a main theme, in their assertion that major structural reforms ( read, marked reductions, across-board), are due. But these same people are stridently opposed to raising taxes, (even modestly), on those can afford it, or tax reform, that closes loopholes, eliminates deductions and compels multi-billion dollar corporations to pay their fair share. If they're hesitant in exploiting these issues relentlessly, it'll be sayonara.

    August 10, 2011 at 12:33 am |
  8. Aaron

    If Obama would make a decision on policy, then stand by it, he might get some respect and even have a chance at being re-elected. However, his lack of a backbone to stand up to the Repubs and teabaggers is making it hard even for his supporters to back him up with any conviction. You can't be a centrist when you're dealing with an opposition that is nasty, underhanded, deceitful, and right-wing as the Nazis were when they overthrew the Weimar Republic.

    August 10, 2011 at 12:29 am |
    • Evelyn Berryhill

      Aaron i would like to see you accomplish something in the middle of 80% of the congress and both side figthing you. You would not last and you will back down i promise you. If he had 80% of congress supporting him he can get something done.

      August 10, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
  9. J.V.Hodgson

    Other than either opposing or delaying any and all legislation saying No completely in many cases what have Republicans done to Help:-
    1) Jobs... on this nothing, they even had to oppose tax relief and loan plans for small business, initially at least.
    2) Economy, oh yes Ryans infamous budget bill, tea partiers, No debt celing increase at all both of which would have brought this economy to Its knees, when Texas Perry would still be praying instead of legislating solutions.
    S&P nevermind AA+ ; A- minus at best.
    Drastically cut or defund or ask for contributions to medicare other than on a means test basis and its trouble for the party supporting it voter wise.
    US (us) voters are going to have to face the political reality that most other industrialised nations have that Social security and medicare only kick in at a later retirement age than now, with transitional age based arrangements.
    Tax expenditures and rich income tax cuts have to Go now and for the foreseeable future; until a complete tax overhaul can be passed. That should have been the third element demanded of the commission a) taxes as noted are adjusted unless you agree to continue to reform the tax code, if tax code not reformed before end 2012 the current temporary taxcuts of Bush ALL expire end 2012.
    You want drama Wolf, add to that Out of Iraq by 2011 end and any remaining support is paid for in full by Iraq or no way. Same for Afghanistan, sorry out by 2012 not 2014 and for now spend the savings thru to 2015 atleast on economic infrastructure and stimulus not only in US but Eurpoean nations as well.
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    August 10, 2011 at 12:02 am |
  10. sonnie2

    I am retired about 70 years old. Do I care if the free for all medicare and medicaid get cut by say 25% or more if that will balance the budget. No I don't. It would show some leadership to do so. However if you get all the fraud and misuse out of the system we could see maybe a %5 reduction in benifets. Entitlement need to be on the chopping block and so far I ain't seen a liberal with the go nads to do so and present a plan to make it work.

    August 10, 2011 at 12:01 am |
    • Goldilocks1

      I agree! But they can start with illegals first, people who are defrauding disability, etc. etc.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
  11. Clarence hall

    We need a new way of selecting decision makers in this country. How about instead of electing members of congress we used a system like jury duty for the house of representatives. People would be required to serve two years then have to go home. There could be a three month training program prior to sitting in the congress. My guess is that we would get better ,more honest representation.

    August 9, 2011 at 11:56 pm |
    • Evelyn Berryhill

      my thought for sure

      August 10, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
  12. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Stop believing medicare is the problem, it's no more than a political ploy, our elected officials are the problem and are using anything and everything against us to hide their own personal greedy agenda.

    August 9, 2011 at 10:31 pm |
    • Evelyn Berryhill

      Amen i agee weath verse poor

      August 10, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
  13. IBAMALIAR

    Obamka just helped his buddy George Soros make 10 billion dollars on the downgrade of the U.S. debt rating. I wonder how much of that money Obama is going to get in AN OVERSEAS ACCOUNT. Wake up America your being taking down the drain. Obama is a crook and a traitor.

    August 9, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
  14. w l jones

    Our president father came from an area who gene go back over four million years which give some insight into his intelligent.Bless.

    August 9, 2011 at 9:01 pm |
  15. Thomas

    I love all the people here dishing Obama , you are the same people that supported GW Bush and two costly wars we couldn't afford !

    Anybody want to buy a used TEA BAG ?

    August 9, 2011 at 8:50 pm |
    • Evelyn Berryhill

      Thank you Thomas well said

      August 10, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
    • Indy

      I love all the people here praising Obama, you are the same kool-aid drinkers who thinks he can do know wrong and blame everything on Bush. And you partisan hacks offer no solutions and don't help fix any problems.

      August 11, 2011 at 7:55 am |
  16. askfmb

    I believe that when a specific political party, demonize and denigrate a sitting President in an effort to appease his ideology, rather than stand behind the man that the American people elected, the door of incivility is opened and the associating mal characteristics of a corner of it's citizens also take on the disposition of the mal civility.

    The Ones who would denigrate or belittle the head of a country, minimize the value of the position of Presidency to other countries. Disrespect displayed by our political leaders have not been addressed, allowing the continued incitement of malice in specific individuals who already are poised to behave badly or against the current president. Example: A congress woman was shot with others & a black man was killed by a group of young white people who intent was to kill a black person.

    Our leaders are not held accountable and the results is the mal behavior of the recent events with the budget. The Vote is the only way to hold mal behavior accountable.
    askfmb

    August 9, 2011 at 8:42 pm |
  17. Cee

    Bob – It is nice to see someone that gets it. As for the rest of the repliers, they are so wrapped up being Democrats they cannot see the forest for the trees. I am quite sure all you Dems will eventually see the light. It might take you a few years to figure out how much damage Obama has done but I am certain your hindsight will eventually kick in. BTW, I am not a Republican or Tea Partier.

    Do any of you shallow folks know how much money you will be able to raise by fleecing the so called rich? And when that is not enough, will you say the middle class needs to pay more next? Redistribuition of wealth (socialism) has never succeeded in the long term and it will not now either.

    Maybe you should go back and read the Constitution and Bill of Rights so you can understand the principles this country was founded on – THEN maybe you could share those principles with Obama. Next take a look at the European countries that are going broke over healthcare and entitlements and give some thought to the fact that Obama has put the US on the same trajectory.

    Obama has clearly signaled his priorities and he makes me sick. Why would a man who was elected to be a leader turn his back on a fragile economy to shove entitlements and more debt through first? Why would a man who says he is finally ready to focus on our fragile economy decide to delare his candidacy well before anyone else so he can focus on raising money and campaigning instead fully focusing on the economy. OBAMA NO LEADER!

    August 9, 2011 at 8:34 pm |
    • Evelyn Berryhill

      It doesn't take me long to see that white verse black will be a issue until Jesus come back and we all have to stand before him and all race will be judge for the deed done in this body. We will be reward for everything we have done.Wealth and nothing else will matter but heaven or hell thank you.

      August 10, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
  18. DSherwin

    Take a swipe at medicaid and welfare, they are the true entitlements being doled out by the government. Social security and medicare are paid by each and every wage earner in the US. These are not entitlements but programs financed by wage earning Americans. Another thing, it's time to start ratcheting down some of the overly generous medical and pension benefits that congress votes for itself. Time for elected officials to give up some "entitlements".

    August 9, 2011 at 8:32 pm |
    • Steve

      What would you do about the indigent who have no money to pay for Medicaid and welfare, Malthus?

      August 4, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
  19. Repub Liars

    Things republicans won't tell you about "entitlements"... which they are not... we all paid into these programs.

    1)Most people do not get back what they put into social security after contributing their whole life, not adjusting for inflation. The average person gets back only 1/2 of what they pay into social security. How is that an entitlement?
    2)Medicare is the problem not social security. The average senior gets back 3 times as much as they put in... most in the last year of life. It's because of the exponential growth in health care costs.
    3)Most of our debt is not owed to china... China has 2 trillion of our 14 trillion debt... most is borrowed from our social security stash.

    Social security is a 7% tax that's why it takes in so much and not a problem. Medicare tax is much less and does not bring in enough given the fast growth in the cost of health care. Either bring in more medicare tax or somehow decrease the cost of healthcare.

    August 9, 2011 at 8:30 pm |
  20. PatSJ

    Of the 46% who don't pay any federal income tax, most are retired and on SS. That's OK by me. But the 1,400 billionaires and millionaires who also don't pay any federal income tax – that is not OK with me.

    August 9, 2011 at 8:20 pm |
    • Evelyn Berryhill

      Amen, well said

      August 10, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
  21. I Can Read

    So......when does Obama get awarded the Nobel Prize in HYPOCRISY??

    August 9, 2011 at 8:13 pm |
    • Evelyn Berryhill

      He get rewarded when the whole world of people do because president after president were not real no complaint because they were white and he is black .

      August 10, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
  22. Mark

    Medicare is completely broke. The media really should share that information with America

    August 9, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
  23. Mj

    when it comes to Medicare, Obama needs Republicans and Republicans need Obama... Pure and simple, we are an aging country, we need to work on taking care of the over whelming number of older Americans in the coming years while making sure our economy runs and younger generations get decent affordable care... and lets not fool ourselves its a massive task, and requires things to change, everyones gotta give a little more and that includes corporations and rich people as well as people on these entitlements programs... If they work together in DC they can reach a compromise that might work, however this Left Vs. Right may make good tv but it doesn't solve a single thing.

    August 9, 2011 at 8:00 pm |
  24. david massey

    Our muslim raized apparrent alian president cant do anything right. Many offences he pulled off are impeachable. He wont have a second term because we wont have a country left by the time elections return.

    August 9, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
  25. snookisnucks

    Look at the moderates, fighting so hard for the nuts on each end of the political spectrum. Have some courage and compromise for the greater good. All you Jesus nuts who don't want to pay for medical programs...hey, what if the little white boy with no medical insurance who lives in the trailer next to your church breaks his arm...are you just going to let him bleed out and die? Who should pay for his arm to be fixed? Mamamia...grow up people.

    August 9, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
  26. John

    Obama = FAIL – that means no matter what color you are you cannot trust a politician.
    Try visiting CoolCent. c o m

    August 9, 2011 at 7:57 pm |
  27. snookisnucks

    PLEASE...cut the unnecessary civilian contractor jobs and stop the internal military waste! It is OUT of control! Good old boys hooking up contracts that we don't need. Yes, I'm in the military. We WASTE a lot because people at a high level don't have the courage to DO THE RIGHT THING. They don't want to offend their friends by cutting contracts. ooohhh, job cuts, so bad...Obama's fault. Wait, overspending...ooohhh, bad, Obama's fault. Hey, have some balls and stop the craziness!!!!!!!!!

    August 9, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
  28. works4me

    This all boils down to this: Far too many of our citizens are to lazy to actually research what they write or what they speak. Their sole source of information is from bar room politics... just repetitive BS they hear in a bar, in the lunchroom, on FOX, or hear from Limbaugh. The shear lack of intelligence, lack of intellectual curiosity, that has America turned upside down... We cannot blame this on President Obama.

    August 9, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
  29. MoMan

    Is this like PeeWee's big adventure????

    August 9, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
  30. JustaNormalPerson

    Our medical system is the least efficient in the world and the most expensive in the world. Access to medical care should be a right and a national single payer system is the more human and cost effective approach. To justify the existing system is morally corrupt and inhumane.

    August 9, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
  31. Marcelo - Los Angeles

    So the man brings up a very valid point about fixing medicare and no one is happy? Interesting...

    August 9, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
  32. UNCLE SAM

    OBAMA will get re-elected, regardless. AA+ is the reason republicans wont see the white house.

    August 9, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
  33. James Friel

    You want to cut spending? How about getting our troops out of the insane wars in Iraq and Afganistan. We cannot
    afford to play world policeman anymore. Cut Defense spending at least 25% No Republican or Teabagger has mentioned this very subject. I recently saw the Wars costs 10 billion dollars a month. Also Medicare and Social Security should not be traded for getting the Rich and corporations to pay their fair share of taxes. Never in my lifetime has this country fought two wars, tried to get thru a recession given people tax cuts. Also,
    you want jobs in this country look out on the road at the thousands of foreign cars–the govt. cannot wave a majic wand
    to make jobs come back–we must and should buy American made products, the jobs saved might be your children's.
    Go into any store and all you see is products made in China and most people in the country are buying them.
    Without jobs it is going to get ugly for everyone and guess what? We are doing this to ourselves.

    August 9, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
    • Evelyn Berryhill

      I agree with you 100% and they want people to believe that one group of people is the blame. We have to work together to change this thing. One person can not change the whole world it take team work. Wealthy verse poor people that what it is all about.

      August 10, 2011 at 11:43 am |
  34. bobcat2u

    Keep up the good work Mr. President. Hopefully, the vast majority of the people have already gotten the message of what the teapublicans are attempting to do. Keep pounding that message home so they don't forget before next November.

    August 9, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
    • Evelyn Berryhill

      amen so true

      August 10, 2011 at 11:45 am |
  35. Joe

    The big threat that Obama recognizes is that the world is holding 2/3 of our us dollar and has bought a lot of our debt in bonds and what not. That's outside of the Stock Markets. Now if you have watched what has happened the last few days you should UNDERSTAND as Obama does that what these politicians say and do in Washington affects investors confidence and that affects Markets. In this sense, I am conservative and I absolutely disagree with Obama over health care. The changes he wanted to make could have been done in a gradual manner not in an extreme all or nothing sort of deal. The problem I'm realizing we have had the last two presidencies are the extreme views of both Republicans and Democrats and how they are unwilling to work together. I am very tired of hearing people like nancy pelosi or a sarah palin run their mouth and paints their opposition as the most vile evil thing. This is rediculous we are Americans and we shouldn't behave like this. If I was from another country, I'd sell my American holdings too. Say what you want but what the rest of the world thinks matters and we are acting like children in Washington.

    August 9, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
    • Robert

      Actually that's not true. Take a look at this to start with http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2011/07/21/who-owns-america-hint-its-not-china/

      August 9, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
    • John

      Obama = FAIL <– that means no matter what color you are you cannot trust a politician.
      Try visiting CoolCent. co m

      August 9, 2011 at 7:56 pm |
    • PatSJ

      WE hold 2/3 of our debt, not "the world". China holds $1.4trillion, Japan holds $1trillion, and other foreign countries hold 2.4trillion. All the rest is held by the Fed, states, local government, and private investors in the US. STOP SPREADING LIES>

      August 9, 2011 at 8:15 pm |
    • Ruby

      Well said Joe, well said.

      August 9, 2011 at 8:18 pm |
    • Another Joe

      You sir are a voice of reason.

      August 9, 2011 at 8:36 pm |
    • Steve

      Joe, I really don't think anyone else on here could say it any better than you have in simple terms. You are cut and dry, and your basic point of childish bickering between parties is right on the money. Many here will try to argue for "their" side, but each and every person here knows, deep down, that it takes two to tango, and that our government spokespersons are so focused on each other and being right, that they have forgotten what it's like to be like the rest of us, the people that they are supposed to be watching out for even if ti means agreeing to disagree. It will get to the point where they will not be able to sleep, because their hindsight will tell them "We really should have tried to work together. Now It's too late". But they will never say that out loud in fear someone might hear them. I'm sure I'll get some flack for my reply, but I'm a realist, and many are not. Too many listen to their peers (and peer pressure), instead of really sitting down, clearing their heads and thinking for themselves. Pride is our worst enemy. And it thrives at all levels. I think we are doomed to live with leaders who have succumb to the modern pressures of vanity, materialism and selfishness. And until more honest, humble, men and women strive to be politicians (is that an oxymoron?) then it won't get any better. And why would they? It's too scary to get involved in that mess isn't it, to throw yourself into a pack of wolves? We can't win for losing. As much as I am an optimist for every other thing in life, with this I am not, unfortunately. I want to be. But they haven't given me any reason to be for a long time. And they are only getting worse.

      August 9, 2011 at 9:03 pm |
  36. Obama - THE GREAT DIVIDER

    Obama – The Great Divider

    August 9, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
    • UNCLE SAM

      Your an idoit, Republicans are the dividers. They cant even compromise. The rich are still rich and pay little to no taxes. You must be in the top 2 percent. If you arnt, i would shut up.

      August 9, 2011 at 7:06 pm |
      • Indy

        Hey uncle sam, YOU'RE an idiot. Before calling someone else out for being an idiot, you might want to make sure you know proper grammar, otherwise you just look dumb.

        August 10, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • Lionstyle

      You can't change the TRUTH.
      GOP/TEA BAGGERS are the REAL DIVIDERS, but the INDEPENDENTS will not let OBAMA fall to you dogs.

      August 9, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
    • Too much bad news

      Divider? Oh, is that why the public is running away from the Tea Party and their big F You to the financial markets? He's dividing their support base? I haven't seen their approval this low before, and I just thought it was all their fault. Now I see it's Obama's fault. Thanks for the info.

      August 9, 2011 at 8:17 pm |
    • Republican party = the true divider

      You have been brainwashed by the republican party. They are the true divider. They only support the rich, not the country. Republicans put up their own party's agenda and ideologies first before the country. Obama does not. He does everything to help USA become successful country. Republicans are doing everything to stop him at the expense of destroying the nation. Don't believe me? Google and look up S&P full report on USA downgrade and go to the bottom of 4th page. It says exactly this

      "We have changed our assumption on this because the majority
      of Republicans in Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise
      revenues, a position we believe Congress reinforced by passing the act."

      Republicans refused to budge to increase tax is what brought us into this mess. They went ahead and blamed Obama for the mess. YOU HAVE BEEN BRAINWASHED. Obama proposed a balanced plan which S&P said would have avoided the downgrade. Who's the great divider here? Republicans... by dividing us into the poor and rich category. The rich keeps getting richer and the poor... poorer.

      Please look up the facts before forming an opinion. It is a true essential to our country's survival.

      August 9, 2011 at 8:35 pm |
  37. Daniel

    Why is it when one group of people get free/reduced medical coverage (ex: medicare) people are okay with it, but if another group wants it, then it's socialism, laziness, etc? It seems morally right to help someone who is hurt, no matter what their age, gender, or social class.

    If the argument is that seniors have paid into it and deserve it, that's not always the case. Most of the time yes, but not always so. Similarly, for those who think that other social services are just paying money to lazy people and not people who deserve it, that's not the common case. There are always people trying to steal from the system, in every social class, in every country, but that doesn't mean it is wrong to have certain systems in place. It's like saying we shouldn't drive cars, because some people will speed and people will die.

    August 9, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
    • sonnie2

      entitlement by and large (very large) are not a good healty thing for America. Why should anybody be entitleed to anything that is funded by the tax payer? Other than wounded VETS that fight for our freedom and liberty, I don't believe that WE put out hard earned dollars to anybody. And that a Period!!! We don't owe any body anything. We
      can fend for ourselves. Its the leaches and blood sucker who get something for nothing that has driven out national debt to levels that can't be sustained. So let's correct it.

      August 10, 2011 at 12:07 am |
  38. luckjoe

    Obama stole $1 Trillion from medicare for Obamacare. He has his own agenda.

    August 9, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
    • Daniel

      The agenda of trying to help people.

      August 9, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
      • SeeNNislame

        @Daniel.... as Ronald Reagan.said..."the scariest thing I ever hear said was; I'mI with the government and I'm here to help".

        August 9, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
      • ED

        Daniel, you are so right. People here like to talk the talk but they dont know the details. It is a sad situation that some or better many americans are not understanding whats going on. Obama is fas away from beeing a socialist. He wanna make it more possible that everybody in this country gets healthcare not only 70%. If someone calls this socialism, so be it.

        August 9, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
      • Cee

        Actually, he has an agenda to redistribute the wealth in the U.S. without regard to how hard people have worked to gain their wealth.

        August 9, 2011 at 8:05 pm |
      • rs1201

        by stealing from others? what is he...robin hood? he has no right to touch Medicare money...especially for the purpose of giving it to a bunch of good for nothings who never worked a day in their lives. Get a job with benefits and stop mooching off of everyone else. I'm sick and tired of having to always pay for the lazy bums out there that Obama seems to think deserve other peoples' money.

        August 9, 2011 at 8:33 pm |
    • MD in SC

      Amen!! And OCare will cost a bunch more than had we left our HC (the best on the planet) alone. There is not a study out there that shows that having health insurance translates to good health. Not a one! Look at the developed western European countries–there HC stats are better than us, yet they have less access! The reason–they take better care of themselves. We don't have a health insurance problem, we have a health crisis. Americans do NOT take good care of themselves. Yet, to make a political statement (blunder, as it is) Obama has bought OCare and shoved it down our throats. Did you know that one provision of OCare is that, after 2012, you will pay a 3.6% sales tax on the sale of your house? Yep, read it and weep. OCare was the worst bill ever created in the hx of this great country !!

      August 9, 2011 at 7:39 pm |
    • Tugboat Annie

      That's a lie. The changes to Medicare in the new health insurance plan were reforms that had been talked about by both parties to save the system, including savings from increased efficiencies, volume discounts because of millions of new paid subscribers and savings from not having to treat uninsured patients.

      August 9, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
    • Nick San Diego

      And Bush caused this economic disaster with his Iraq fiasco

      August 9, 2011 at 7:54 pm |
    • Tbard

      Where did that statement come from? Pls elaborate.

      August 9, 2011 at 8:08 pm |
    • jason

      Huh? His health care plan did take some money from medicare but in an attempt to reduce cost. He didn't put the money in his pocket and go shopping with it. Plus the amount that was taken 500 billion is over 10 years and it comes from phasing out Medicare Advantage.

      August 10, 2011 at 11:18 am |
  39. Peter

    Some where in Kenya a village is missing it's IDIOT...
    Peter

    August 9, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
    • filthburger

      Sounds like somewhere in Texas, your village is missing you as well, Peter.

      August 9, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
      • Peter

        You sound like the right guy to defend the IDIOT "filthburger"..

        August 9, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
      • joe

        hahahaha... nice come back!

        August 9, 2011 at 8:16 pm |
    • bobcat2u

      Well then Peter, it sounds like you need to go back to Kenya.

      August 9, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
    • ED

      Peter i feel sorry for you, thats all what i have to say

      August 9, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
    • MD in SC

      Seriously, can ANYBODY defend ObamaCare? If so, let's hear it. I've yet to hear a credible argument for it.

      August 9, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
    • Jose Gonzalez

      VOTE FOR PETER!!!!! YOU CAN DO IT DUDE!!!! SAVE US FROM ECONOMIC DISASTER..... VOTE FOR PETER!!!!!!!!!!!

      August 9, 2011 at 8:23 pm |
    • Dan in Albuquerque

      If you can't do anything but regurgitate those old lies about the president that were all proven to be fictional long ago, maybe you should just not pretend to know anything about politics and butt out of intelligent debate. I respect the office of president no matter who holds the office. You apparently have no common decency toward fellow Americans.

      August 9, 2011 at 11:20 pm |
  40. Arran Webb

    But you're a Democrat right so you are willing to pay a little more. Or are you a Liberal in Denial – part of the problem not the solution.

    August 9, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  41. Arran Webb

    Given that the USA will not go to the left and become a welfare state like France, and that staying in the center has produced what we have now, like it or not it will be Republican policies that do the cutting to entitlements and create tax increases for the rich. So that if you have a stash of cash, and a public pension, and social security, and medicare – low and behold you might have to pay more. But you're a Democrat right so you are willing to pay a little more. Or are you a Liberal in Denial – part of the problem not the solution.

    August 9, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
    • john

      Like it or not, republicans want nothing to do with raising taxes to previous acceptable levels for those who can pay them.

      We need to really cut 4 trillion dollars...

      August 9, 2011 at 7:39 pm |
    • Another Joe

      France? They have a AAA rating. As does a lot of other "socialist" countries like Britain, Sweden, Norway....

      August 9, 2011 at 8:38 pm |
  42. dwranger1970

    Obama reminds me of Casey Anthony, he has single handedly killed this country while lying to the American public and telling us that things are and will be fine when obviously they are not! I'm not a Republican, Democrat or Teaparty. I am an independant that WILL never vote for Obama to be re-elected. (Heres an idea to get America back on the right track... Create an outsourcing tax that will penalize companies that send jobs overseas to India and Pakastan!)

    August 9, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
    • rastaman44

      Dude, that is such a moronic comment that all I need to do is point out its idiocy!!!

      Pawned!!!

      August 9, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
    • UNCLE SAM

      Great idea einstien, I think your the FIRST guy to ever come up with such an idea. idiot! only one problem, who do you think these companies are paying to keep that from happening? REPUBLICANS! indipendent, i highly doubt you are.

      August 9, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
    • PortlandJim

      Great idea! Too bad it wouldn't even make it to the floor of the House where it would be killed without debate by the Republicans who are committed to protecting the interests of the big companies and corporations that are the major shippers of jobs overseas. Who do you think profits from outsourcing American jobs to China, India, and Bangladesh? Personally, I think any company that puts its profits ahead of the interests of America and the American people is guilty of being unpatriotic, disloyal, and possibly even treasonous since it puts our national security at risk.

      August 9, 2011 at 7:49 pm |
    • Robert

      I'm sorry, but your post is simply not factual. Where were you from 2000 to 2008? Did you happen to notice that America was bleeding jobs, the financial markets were on the verge of collapse, and the housing market and the auto industry were in a shambles BEFORE President Obama took office? Did you happen to notice that George W. Bush more then doubled our national debt? Seriously, electoral politics is not a sport in which people can just root for one side or another like a football game! It requires responsible and critical thinking. Please do some research about the state of the economy prior to Obama taking office before regurgitating such false claims!!

      August 9, 2011 at 8:30 pm |
    • Jay

      That would be George W. that single handedly destroyed the country genius.....Im not saying Obama has done great job or anything but the fiscal situation he walked into was catastrophic.

      August 9, 2011 at 8:45 pm |
    • Dew5050

      Hey, I am an independent too. I have never voted before, but come 2012, I will vote for the first time. And guess what, I will be voting for Obama? He seems to be the only adult in the room.

      August 10, 2011 at 10:30 am |
  43. SLynn

    I PAID for my social security insurance! Our benefits aren't some kind of charity or handout! Congressional benefits- free health care, outrageous retirement pkgs, 67 paid holidays, three weeks paid vacation, unlimited sick days-now that's welfare. AND congress has the nerve to call my retirement an entitlement

    August 9, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
    • CA independent

      @SLynn, no one's denying that you paid, the problem is that you didnt pay enough and youre now demanding to get more out of it than you paid into it.
      Sure, they didnt tell you that you needed to pay more, but that doesnt necessarily mean that _I_ should now pay for all of it.

      August 9, 2011 at 8:04 pm |
  44. rdg18

    Bankrupter in chief is at it again. Everyone will out of work if the spending machine is not stopped soon.

    August 9, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
    • Daniel

      Source?

      August 9, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
    • filthburger

      spending is not just the problem. part of it. lets get out of two useless wars. we do need to raise taxes. people are out of work. those that are employed, need to help those that are unemployed until the job market turns around. the only way that will happen is if the big money people decide to ante up and cut their 400 million bonus for bankrupting a company.

      August 9, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
    • john

      The spending machine? Bush isn't in office any longer – only an idiot like Bush would initiate two wars AND lower taxes.

      Much of this financial nightmare is his doing.

      August 9, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
    • Too much bad news

      Obama offered up $4T in cuts and the GOP choked! Now we have a legacy of Tea Party obstructionism to judge them by and the polls show the public has really soured on the Tea! Shame they didn't live up to the promise.

      August 9, 2011 at 8:23 pm |
    • pork chop

      Who pays you to be so ignorant rdg19?

      August 9, 2011 at 8:28 pm |
  45. obama retoric

    I see the obama administration manipulated the market, what did you promise them, obama have you ever relized that the world would be better off without you and if you want a fight we will give it to you, bring your cronies we will send them back with their tales between their legs.

    August 9, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
    • filthburger

      I'm sure McCain/Palin would have done much better. with McCain, we'd be at war with Korea, Russia, Mexico, and probably Canada. (i would not blame him for Canada).

      August 9, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
    • craig

      Obama retoric;
      You got your "fight", it starts tonight in Wisconsin and will be on in 2012. The poeple will rise up against "wealth horders" like you and the Republican (tea) party......you have been in the way long enough, the people will not allow for only a greedy few to reap the beneiftis of this country....

      By the way my foe learn how to spell !!!!!...

      August 9, 2011 at 8:06 pm |
    • Joyce

      I doubt that

      August 9, 2011 at 8:08 pm |
    • Too much bad news

      We who??? The Tea Party and their 18% approval rating??? If that was Obama, you'd be donating luggage to him! Now you're gonna have to hope come election time, the public forgets who's a Tea Partier and who's just out for the top 2%.

      August 9, 2011 at 8:25 pm |
  46. Apartisan

    Wolf,

    The Republican Party has changed. Before Nixon, people of both parties were all on the same side after elections. Starting with GW Bush, the Republican Party has been waging war on Dems, the media, the Government and the American people that are not rich. Also, the GOP has lost all its honor - they depend on deceiving the people most hurt by their make the rich richer polices to get their votes, and they have Fox and other media outlets to get out their think tank talking points. GW Bush coopted thousands of churches across the country to be an arm of the Republican Party on two issues (abortion and gay agenda), and those people don't notice that Republican policies are making a few rich and everyone else poor. Now, Republicans in Congress put their party ahead of country when it suits them. They forgot the government's role in the Constitution is to "promote the general welfare".

    I'd like CNN to investigate who decides the Republican Party's policies now. The people need to be informed to vote wisely.

    August 9, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
    • Audrey

      Very well said.

      August 9, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
    • Truth Squad

      Total lie from a partisan left-wing hack.

      GW Bush was a uniter with a proven track record as such. One of the first things he did was find the most liberal Senator on the block and worked with him.

      He then got unanimous consent, or close to it, to into Afghanistan. In the meantime he had an 80% approval rating, and re-captured the house and Senate for 4 years.

      He still governed from the center, maybe center-right. But after the 2002 elections Terry Mcualiffe and Nancy Pelosi said, We will NOT cooperate with Republicans on ANYTHING"

      Quit dreaming and open your eyes. Bipartisan is only meaningful to a Democrat when it's Democrat ideas that are being agreed to by Republicans. Bush failed in part because he dind't realize that Democrats are NEVER happy no matter how much you give them.

      Sadly we have a media that feels the same way about Democrat Demands.

      August 9, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
    • Calvin H. Johnson

      Finally, someone is talking some sense. All those people who blame this mess solely on Obama do so, I think, because they really cannot stand the thought of a black man as president. Rather than admit that, they ignore all the sorry stuff that W did, as if Obama just conjured this stuff out of a perfect world. He was handed crap and is trying to make something worthwhile grow in the manure. Frankly, I am seriously glad he is president and not McCain/Palin.

      August 9, 2011 at 8:10 pm |
    • sonnie2

      The commie news network would be a poor choise for you program. To let them guard the chicken house would be akin to no more chickens. somebody should do it, But not cnn

      August 10, 2011 at 12:11 am |
    • Indy

      Rough translation: Wolf, I am a partisan hack who blames everything on the Repubs. When I say "promotes the general welfare" I mean take even more money from the rich who pay the most taxes and give more of it to those 40-50% who pay no taxes.

      Really i digress though. Do I think we should raise taxes? Yes, but on everyone (including those who pay nothing). Do I think we need to overhaul entitlements? Yes, to make them more affordable to our country, which is spending too much. But, you were speaking of blame on this issue. Blame both parties, the problems we are having are caused by both (and playing the blame game you extremists like to play only divides us more, it doesn't help).

      August 10, 2011 at 8:37 am |
  47. DJ in TX

    The GOP always talk about cuts and repealing the health care bill. However, I've yet to hear a single GOP congressman talk about medicare part D, that they passed the raised the budget 7 trillion over time. Why don't they start with their own legislation? Also, it's not really Medicare that's the problem, its the COST of Medicare. It costs a fortune these days to visit doctors or take medicine. Until something is done about the COST of healthcare, it doesn't matter how much you cut or tweak it.........oh right, then the "government" would be overstepping into "private business".....even though they are fleecing the hell out of us...............

    August 9, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
    • John in Coloraqdo

      DJ in Texas you are spot on. It is incredible what we spend in this country on health care and we don't have anywhere near the best health care in the world. Far from it. Since when does anything connected with the Medical profession become entitled to excess riches? What happened to the Hippocratic oath. Perhaps it has instead become the Hypocritic Oath. Doctors, Hospitals, Pharmaceuticals commit fraud against Medicare (read that the American Taxpayer) like there was no tomorrow. Since that industry cannot police itself and subverts the competitive forces of the free market, they should come under onerous and very strict price controls. Once we have them on their knees, we can let up a little; but just a little. We need to remind them, then the Banks and the Oil Companies, just who is boss in this country. We are !!! The people "is" Sovereign. (for the especially ignorant who may read this last sentence, the use of the word "is" as the verb to "be" is correct. It implies the people is singular.)

      August 9, 2011 at 9:08 pm |
    • sonnie2

      Your right on

      August 10, 2011 at 12:13 am |
  48. Republican for Obama

    Why isn't anyone talking about cutting Congressional salaries and benefits? Seems like entitlements to me. If they are incapable or unwilling to do their job, they deserve a demotion. Congress held us all by the jugular with their games. They are the ones who pass the bills that spend the money and they are now unhappy about the money (budgets) THEY approved. They have a failure to foresee the long term effects of their own spending habits. Pull their salaries, pull their benefits. Let them live like the American people are forced to live. Especially pull the salaries of the tea party reps. They would rather destroy our country than behave like responsible adults. Shame on them! Is there an attorney willing to take on Congress for their attempt to disrupt the government?

    August 9, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
    • CSnord

      Because congressional salaries and benefits are about 0.0004 percent of the problem.

      August 9, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
    • Truth Squad

      Uh, I think you missed the core principle of being a Republican.

      You sir are a phony, pretending to be a Republican and then trash Republicans who vote on prinicple.

      August 9, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
    • john

      While these idiots are at it, how about CUTTING FOREIGN AID?!?!?!?!

      Why send any $$$ overseas if we can't afford to pay our own bills.

      Note to Obama:

      1. Fix the tax code
      2. Cut Congressional salaries across the board – why should these clowns be rewarded for getting the US's credit rating lowered?
      3. Have Congressmen pay for their own healthcare.
      4. Congressional pensions should be based on the time a person has served in Congress.
      5. Wind down these wars we've yet to pay for.
      6. Limit overseas aid.

      After these common sense things are done, we will not need to cut defense spending, social security, or medicare.

      It would be nice if someone in congress could just do their job for a change.

      August 9, 2011 at 7:51 pm |
  49. Confused in AL

    I don't understand why the federal income tax is used to give people monies they did not pay in. And what equates to fair when some number, around 50%, of the people in the U.S. end up paying no income tax. Seems to me that the U.S. tax code is the first place where you really can get something for doing nothing. I do believe that a program where everybody paid something would be acceptable to the majority of the people. Another question that comes to mind is that if you marginalizing representatives that don’t agree with you are you “disenfranchising” the people the were elected to represent?

    August 9, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
    • Daniel

      If people got out what they put in, why put in at all? Why not just keep the money in the first place. The money paid to the government is what we all, as a society, decide to do for the benefit of the group. Not just pay you back your money.

      August 9, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
      • Brian

        Power in numbers. By 'putting in' you become part of the pool from which you can get a lower cost for goods & services. Think co-op. Put up or shut up essentially.

        August 9, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
      • Confused in AL

        Isn't Welfare, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and Aid to women and children to help those in need? When did Federal income tax become a method to give monies to people that they did not earn?

        August 9, 2011 at 11:25 pm |
      • Indy

        So to benefit the group, you mean take tax money to pay people to not work. Or better yet, why do those people who don't pay taxes get to use roads built for on my tax money? Why do they get protected by our military? I paid my dues to receive these benefits, why can't everyone pitch in?

        I understand there are cases with disabilities, etc where someone won't be able to pay or work, but nearly 50% of Americans? Give me a break. I'd like a say in where my tax money goes, and right now too much of it goes to entitlements.

        August 10, 2011 at 8:42 am |
  50. Dave

    I find it tragic that nothing (and I mean nothing) like the Tea Baggers and their steadfastness in standing up for their beliefs exists in Obama's administration.....he seems willing to abandon the senior citizens, the middle class, and the poor in the name of political expediency......we thought we elected a Lion to stand up to the Republicans and the Tea Baggers.......instead we have elected a mouse! Mr. “Yes We Can” is now Mr. “Well Maybe?” The Bush tax cuts would have expired in DECEMBER 2010, but Obama agreed to extend them in a deal cut with Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell during a lame-duck session of Congress!! In exchange, Obama won a payroll tax cut and an extension in jobless aid.
    Will I support Obama in 2012 …..NO! NO WAY!! Obama's appearance of a bland, ivory tower, “play it safe” political hack has cost him the vital support of the core Democrats for 2012.

    August 9, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
    • rastaman44

      Then the teabaggers await, and good luck with them!!! LOL

      August 9, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
  51. Dreamer96

    Why is no one talking about the Republicans calling up Grover Norquist and telling him "I'm no longer keeping my pledge for no new taxes", this is happening, and no one is talking about it.. These Republicans are getting beatup at home by seniors and business reps. that want taxes on the wealthy, closed tax loopholes that only benefit the rich, and are tired of talk about cuts in Medicare and Social Security and more tax cuts for the rich...

    August 9, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
    • john

      People keep talking as if Bush's tax cuts helped the economy and created jobs.

      Hint to the idiots in Congress – THESE CUTS DID NO SUCH THING!

      Special interests may not want fixes to the tax code, but POLITICIANS SHOULD BE LOOKING AT WHAT IS BETTER FOR THE COUNTRY.

      A AA credit rating and massive cuts is not the answer.

      August 9, 2011 at 7:54 pm |
  52. Thomas

    Have we thought about calling on Ex Senator Fred Thompson for a reverse mortgage on our country?

    We can all have huvaround mobility chairs , go on a sea cruz and leave nothing for future generations !

    Oh , he and GB did that when they were in office , I forgot !

    August 9, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  53. xjthorn

    So you are just now deciding Obama is trying to play both sides of the same coin? Protect medicare – adjust medicare? Trim spending – protect entitlements? Raise taxes – create jobs? Fight 1, 2 no 3 wars – cut defense?

    August 9, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  54. DrRich

    ONe way to curb Medicare costs is properly assessing end of life care. The HCRA attempted to allow end of life counseling and have the physician, patient and family meet to discuss what steps should be taken to extend life when death is inevitable. This meeting would have been reimbursed under Medicare or private insurance( if the patient was younger than 65) Sarah Palin denounced these appointments as death panels and the whole measure was dropped from the final HCRA. WE allowed a community college drop-out to dictate how end of life issues are handled in this country!!

    August 9, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
    • Edwin

      To be fair, it was not JUST Palin - a lot of other pundits and fame-seekers called them death panels, too. But lies, spoken often enough, become more believable than the truth.

      August 9, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
    • Lindsey

      Dr. Rich: Actually Sarah Palin has her B.S. in journalism from Idaho St. I believe. Where is your degree from Dr. Rich; the university of Mars? It is certainly not from a world and country that respects all human life equally no matter what!

      August 9, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
      • john

        A degree in journalism? LOL!!!!

        She can barely string a coherent sentence together. Still, even with her famed journalism degree, she is not qualified to discuss anything.

        August 9, 2011 at 7:56 pm |
    • mj

      Dr Death – How dare you support such an insane idea. Hope someone is near the switch when you have a problem. Took care of my Father for 7 years with Alzheimers. He lived to be 95. Enjoyed and relished the time we had together. No one has the right to decide who can live and who should die except God. Don't like Medicare for Seniors? Let's get rid of all the abuse in Medicaid, Food Stamps, Free Housing, Unemployment, and Un-Planned Parenthood!

      August 9, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
      • DrNo

        Dearest MJ – I regret to inform you that you have been duped by the right-wing "death=panel" blather. Fox News watcher, I'm guessing? The end-of-life counseling component of the proposed legislation had nothing to do with people deciding to "pull plugs" or flip switches on Grandma. It was COUNSELING, which is a badly-needed service for families facing the imminent death of a loved one. It had NOTHING to do with taking decisions away from patients or their families.
        It's one of the unfortunate pitfalls of our "democracy" that the votes of gullible, unquestioning lemmings like those who (still! really?!!!) subscribe to manipulative drivel like the "death panel" talking points which have been resoundingly discredited by cold, obvious FACTS carry the same weight as those of someone who actually thinks about and questions what they hear from politicians and "news" outlets like Fox.

        August 9, 2011 at 8:35 pm |
    • Arran Webb

      And how about apply market forces – this is a market economy but health care is a legislated entitlement paid for by someone other than the consumer of it. Classic situation for costs to increase. And as we now know as Medicare is law we have no tools to stop the increases in medicare or health insurance – and we must provide and we must pay. When this situation existed in car insurance the solution was the no-fault policy. Small claims went out the door as you must have a serious injury to file a claim for compensatory damages.

      August 9, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
    • Terry Tholen

      Democrats confuse a "right" with a "good". Rights, like free speech come from God or your higher power or from nature not man, and they have no cost associated with them. "Goods come from man and always have a cost associated with them, but Dems always completely underestimate cost or completely fail to fund these costs. The nonsense that we should force the "rich" to pay their "fair" share is idiotic !! The top 15% of all US income earners already pay 86% of all taxes paid and 51% of all eligible taxpayers pay zero taxes or get a refund(which is nothing more than welfare) Healthcare is NOT a RIGHT, it is a GOOD !! Obamacare is an Obamanation !!!

      August 9, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
      • levelheaded25

        Healthcare not a right? Funny that issue was settled by the UN human rights commission, oh about 50 years ago that actually declared healthcare a right you moron. The point is, EVERY other industrialized country has some form of universal coverage and guess what, they spend less on healthcare than Americans. 16% of GDP for US is healthcare, while countries like Japan, Germany and the UK (which actually has a 'socialized' system whereas Japan and Germany have mandates for insurance) pay half what the US pays. I think you are all just blinded to the fact, that nearly everyone is doing it better than us at a lower cost. Clearly they are doing something right. Oh and btw, the end-of life part was for terminally ill patients for end of life care (not pulling the plug idiots). Last time I checked from my medical school notes Alzheimer's is not considered a terminal illness, so we won't be killing Alzheimer's patients left right and center, for God's sake read a book once and a while. Honestly, with the economy the way it is, maybe you should lose your coverage and see what happens – you all complain about Obama in his ivory tower, yet you all live in one. "oh but 50% of Americans don't pay income tax." Well genius, a good portion of those are people already retired and over 65, 10% now are unemployed and the rest are under the federal poverty line.

        August 9, 2011 at 7:58 pm |
      • Calvin H. Johnson

        Okay, Terry. When or if you contract some disease like cancer or Alzheimer's, then come back here and tell us all how you paid for your treatment. Over 65? Well, chances are you are on Medicare or Medical, or whatever your state uses to help pay for care FOR THOSE WHO CAN'T AFFORD IT. You are right. Healthcare is now a GOOD, a commodity, priced by the market. Which means that if you can't afford it, you will die. Believe me, I had a friend who died of cancer because she could no longer afford the care: the medicine and treatments became too expensive.

        August 9, 2011 at 8:22 pm |
  55. D

    So wait...are people saying they should cut the "entitlement" programs that help the poor and the elderly...but KEEP the "entitlements" masked as tax gifts to the mega mega rich and other large corporations who are, in return, outsourcing the jobs that Americans clearly desperately need?

    How exactly does that make sense?

    August 9, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
    • Edwin

      It makes sense when you consider that a substantial portion of web posters are actually paid by companies to post. This is not new - it started when web boards were set up for consumer satisfaction. Companies discovered that bad reports hurt their business, so they started getting people to put up fake good reports. Nowadays, a substantial percentage of posters are, well, shills - they are typically paid not by the hour but by the post, so they are quite prolific.

      August 9, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
    • Daveil

      Maybe a liitle biased, don't you think. May you wrote the commercial showing "granny" being pushed off the cliff.

      August 9, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
    • Daniel

      Not saying I agree with the entitlements, but the idea is that the entitlements to the corps keep certain goods/commodity prices lower, which helps everyone. Though, I am not a believer in that "trickle down" theory.

      Similarly, I don't think that giving money to corps (Bush tax cuts) causes them to spend more on hiring. People actually buying products causes business to grow and expand. If people don't have money, they don't buy goods. If they don't buy goods business won't expand. Businesses merely being flush with money doesn't create jobs unless they see a need. It seems like a chicken and the egg concept, but I always lean toward helping real people directly, over a business.

      August 9, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
    • Calvin H. Johnson

      Entitlements my ass! I paid for Social Security insurance. Benefits aren't charity nor are they handouts. Congressional benefits, on the other hand - free health care, outrageous retirement packages, 67 paid holidays, 3 wks paid vacation, unlimited paid sick days – now THAT'S welfare. And Congress has the nerve to call my retirement an Entitlement?

      August 9, 2011 at 8:11 pm |
  56. rob

    The biggest risk he faces is doing nothing but posturing untill the election in the face of this economic turmoil. The American voters are watching and there are many polls that show we are looking for leadership in reducing spending and debt. The republicans should pass bill after bill in the house that address all these problems and force Harry Reid and Obama to oppose them again and again regardless of this so called "Super Committee".

    August 9, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
    • john

      Republicans should??

      They haven't done squat – let's see them be fiscally responsible for a change and cut 2 trillion from the deficit.

      Won't happen – they'll just complain about Obama.

      August 9, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
  57. BlackDynamite

    Get out much, Wolfie? Obama has stated this for weeks that entitlement programs need trimming. This is not exactly breaking news!
    BD

    August 9, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  58. Cee

    Obama is intent on destroying the American dream of working hard and succeeding. He wants to replace the dream with work hard and give to the fraudsters and lazy butts until you have no more than they do. He must think he is Robin Hood or something!

    August 9, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
    • Looking Glass

      Cee, You know better. It is clearly the republicans who are trying to destroy this country, just to get at Obama. Wake up!

      August 9, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
      • davey

        ISY iq-10???? oBAMA is trying to destroy this country that muslim socialist traitor who is in bed with the Unions corruption,

        August 9, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
    • Apartisan

      Cee, nothing you said is true. Did you have a bad dream or are you on drugs? If you get your info from Fox or the other Republican propaganda outlets, then you don't know the truth. They are talented at mixing truth with lies to decieve people, as the Bible says Satan does.

      August 9, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
    • HOWIE76

      The tea bags are out in numbers again. Must be nice to be paid to make false statements and have the reasoning skills of a first grader.

      August 9, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
    • Bob

      "...tax reform that will ask those who can afford it to pay their fair share..." – in other words, those who already pay the lion's share of taxes – and by far the majority of charitable contributions. Obama continues the sociallist mantra of demonizing the "evil rich" and fueling class warfare, Punish hard work – ridicule those who have worked their butts off to achieve some level of financial stability. Squash innovation...kill the spirit of entrepreneurialism. Anyone making over $250k / year, which includes small business owners who understand, unlike this "community organizer" with zero experience in the real world of business, that what they take home is nowhere near that number. Incentivize laziness and dependence on the government, just like the European countries that are now battling riots in their streets as people threaten to take down their governments for having the gall to raise the "retirement age" to 59!!! 2012 can't come fast enough...

      August 9, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
      • rob

        Good Post. There are actually people who seem sane on these pages once in a while.

        August 9, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
      • rastaman44

        Yeah, to usher you repukes out of office!!!

        August 9, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
      • Cee

        Well said Bob. Seems like most of the repliers here are limited to shallow name calling responses. I am not a Republican or Tea Partier. I am just saying that people who work hard, achieve success, manage their money wisely, etc. should not be reduced to the same level as someone who did not work hard, save, plan and counts on the government to deliver their wellbeing. EVERY adult citizen should have some skin in the game and be paying something – then you can talk about people paying fair share.

        The ever increasing number of people on the dole will bring this country to its knees if some corrective action is not taken. How about we start with revising the rules for disability and make everyone reapply? I am pretty sure that given the number of commercials I see for Disability Lawyers that the program has turned into a cash cow for those that would rather not work. Reminds me of when there were a ton of commercials for free scooters courtesy of the government. Take some time and look at the history of disability and see how exponential the growth has become. Disability will be the first program to run out of money!

        August 9, 2011 at 8:49 pm |
    • davey

      just impeach the sob...He is trying his best to be a socialist ...and wolf is inluv with obama...impeach the sob now..before he distroys America...and are so-call politicans need to be recalled...dEMS AND ROC..CORRUPT IDIOTS

      August 9, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
    • liz

      Frankly, it DOES bil down to racism. I care not what anyone else says. I'll call it like I see it.
      I am completely and overwhelmingly embarrassed for our country.
      I am ANGRY that I have paid into this system for the past 40 years and will likely have nothing to show for it.
      What a scam social security is.
      Allt hose guys in washington who have been sucking off the teat of the american taxpayer need to go.
      Michelle Bachman is a career teat sucker. So ti john McCain. any many more of them.
      They need to truly experience what we middle americans are feeling – squeezed out of the country – and have them try to live on what the 'average' american worker lives on.
      They could run crying to mommy pretty fast.
      It's disgusting, how these career politicians have come to rely on their government paychecks, but do very little for the people who pay their salaries and pay for their wonderful health benefits.
      But the republican agenda of thwarting Obama – is simply blatant racism.
      Not one of you can convince me otherwise.

      August 9, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
      • rastaman44

        Liz: Amen to that!!!

        August 9, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
      • John

        Here it comes again. Liberals love to pull the Race card whenever someone disagrees with their agenda. No one is listening, "liz" – get a life, or go back to Cuba where you'll be a lot happier.

        August 9, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
      • Joyce

        I am 72 years old and no other president in my time has been trearted like Obama.I too am ashamed of people who have no respect for the office no matter who is president.The fact that he is black is the rout of all our problems. They dexcided early on that they were going to take him down and God knows I hope they can't get the job done.

        August 9, 2011 at 8:17 pm |
  59. Jason, Chicago IL

    "I can tell you this: Even talking about these vague Medicare changes upsets many Democrats who fear that Mr. Obama is undermining a very significant political weapon they have in the upcoming elections."

    That's the problem in Washington. Politicians are worried about "political weapons" instead of worrying about sound policies.

    It doesn't matter if it's the Tea Party that cannot possibly concede to the idea of any additional taxes, or far left democrats who honestly think that entitlements should never be questioned, reformed, or trimmed in any way, these professional "getting elected" specialists don't have a realistic view of common sense and compromise that the average American expects.

    August 9, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
    • Backslash

      The only problem with that is that you need to consider what really qualifies as the "average" American. If the vast majority of this country wasn't so sucked in by hot button key words and emotionally-charge, yet rationally shallow rhetoric, we wouldn't have the type of officials that we do now. These types of politicians get elected because the rational ones are knocked out earlier on by these tactics. Get someone up there who talks about the absolute pressing need to reform entitlements, and they'll get destroyed because they are "stealing from the elderly" and "taking medicine away from those in need". Get a Republican who is in favor of Planned Parenthood/preventative contraception and they get knocked off for being "babykillers". Its easy to blame them for being "get elected" politicians, but its really the average American that needs to change.

      August 9, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  60. Looking Glass

    Obama is miles ahead of the curve . . . you Wolf Blitzer, are a in the box thinker, along with a lot of other prehistoric thinkers. Obama is of a totally different cloth. He is a leader for the future and that is why a lot of conventional thinkers like yourself, a few democrats and the whole republican party, fear him. His success means the republican party extinction. Soon they will cease to exist. A third party will be born from Obama's leadership. That party will have the best interest of the whole United States of America. It's coming and it is nothing the republican party or people like yourself can do to stop it. The only thing you can do is try and slow it down but you will only get run over. Look to the hills, God is on the horizon. If God is for Obama, who can stand against him?

    August 9, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
    • John

      hilarious.....I almost fell out of my chair laughing at your post....
      so priceless....

      August 9, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
      • rastaman44

        What is priceless is your teabagging idiocy and stupidity. Thanks for sharing...NOT

        LOL

        August 9, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
    • John

      LEADERSHIP??????????????????????????????????????? What planet have you been living on for the last 3+ years?

      August 9, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
      • rastaman44

        The planet that watched repukes like you and your congressional allies attempt to thwart every policy Obama presented and then after being successful at doing that, then complain that he is doing nothing to solve the country' s problems. And you know what, the stupid american electrate bought the snowjob in 2010. But not in 2012.

        The teaparty downgrade solved that problem amd woke up the American electorate to how dangerous you teabagging morons really are.

        August 9, 2011 at 7:05 pm |
      • WTFru4real

        um, retard, he has been in office since january 2009. where did u learn math, homeschooling in georgia?

        August 9, 2011 at 8:24 pm |
    • Tom

      ....or, everyone else could be right and Obama could be wrong and the rest of your speculation is bunk.

      August 9, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
    • Arran Webb

      I wish the curve would catch up a little. Obama just seems too way ahead of the curve.

      August 9, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
    • MD in SC

      People with minds/thought like yours are one of th emany reasons this coun try is in trouble. You're kidding, right? Please say so! And whatever you do, don't vote !!

      August 16, 2011 at 11:43 pm |
  61. Dan in Albuquerque

    You are right. Obama is taking heat, but that is the price for being practical and centrist as much as possible. I am on Social Security and Medicare, but I know we must take some pain to cut their burgeoning cost and we must stick to our guns that significant tax revenue is just as strong a need as tax cuts. There are ways to cut and save on them. That means "real" compromise. And, if this new committee leaves out revenue, then Obama needs to veto any bills that may come from it. Besides, the built-in cuts prescribed will devestate our jobs growth even more without income. He needs to take his stand even if it means tougher re-electon chances. However, Democrats will come around and Republicans and Tea Partiers will suffer in November 2012.

    August 9, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  62. Tiina

    I am not as smart as the editor of this article, but, one thing I understand this man has masks and his mind changes all the time. I still can't figure out what this man is standing for.

    August 9, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
    • Brian DC

      That is the characteristic of a swindler and a liar, both of which Obama is.

      August 9, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  63. Jim

    Medicare has to be subject to a mend it, don't end it review. There must be ways to modify the program so (a) those can afford to pay more do, (b) everyone is treated fairly and (c) those who can afford to work past 65 and continue to get health insurance benefits from their employers can do so.

    The age at which Medicare and social security benefits kick in has not been tied to life expectancy. When these programs were instituted, beneficiaries of these programs were only expected to live less than 10 more years, now that life expectancy is growing to 20 more years and longer.

    If we raise the "entry" age one year higher for every 10-15 years of the program we'll be in the right spot. I'm 50 now and in great health. I'd be very happy to wait until age 70-72 before benefits kick in. I also expect that I will be working until then anyway.

    August 9, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
    • Jason

      The true answer is to move to single payer government health care, and scrap medicare, medicaid, etc entirely.

      The real problem with medicine in this country is that medical treatment and care simply costs too much. The reason for that inflated cost is that the private market simply isn't functioning to keep prices low, because real competition isn't happening. Because of that market failure, private industry is operating with horrible inefficiency that makes "big government" look lean and mean by comparison.

      No one on earth has found a way to make medicine work in a way that people expect, while creating competition, so the only cost effective solution has been to centralize payment under the control of government, which has the power and authority to keep costs at a lower level.

      August 9, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
      • DC from NJ

        You're absolutely right Jason. I wish that our politicians had the guts to consistently point out that our current health care "system" is far behind most of the rest of the civilized world. Despite the lies that the Republicans and health company executives continually put out, the US is not ranked among the top 10 countries in the world on most health care outcome measures (despite spending relatively more money).

        August 9, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
      • Arran Webb

        Right. But the Liberal Democrats who say they do all this to help others – in truth do all this to help themselves and maintain the status quo. Forcing low income earnsers into health insurance is pure selfishness by the Democrats who know the system needs more payers to survive – so send in those with the least – that is why the Democrats are in denial – they are part of the problem.

        August 9, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
      • rob

        Thats great, all we need is for Govt to run 16% of the entire economy for 300+ MILLION PEOPLE. Just like europe huh??? Check out the pictures of those happy go lucky citizens marrching and burning things because the Govt can't afford to pay for all the goodies they promised them. Talk about out of touch.

        August 9, 2011 at 7:07 pm |
  64. joseelr

    Mr. Blitzer,
    PLEASE stop calling OBAMA the leader of the free world..... it sounds ridiculous.

    August 9, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • Brian DC

      I agree, he is no leader.

      August 9, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
    • xjthorn

      I like to call him my Nobel Peace Prize winning war president.

      August 9, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
    • davey

      wolfey luvs Osmama....wake up ...impeach this no good sob fraud

      August 9, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
  65. Bill in VA

    So he talks out of both sides of his mouth based on the audience. Isn't that the definition of a politician? The reality is, if he is to be a leader he must recognize that you cannot solve our problems with out substantive changes to Medicare and Medicaid. The status quo is not an option. The ultimate risk is not that he tackles it; it is that he doesn't.

    August 9, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  66. clarke

    We all ready have to purchase insurance to fill the gaps, plus pay the part B ded. Before go making more cuts please make sure yu take care of all the fraud and waste. Solve the problems of the program first.. Don't shoot first and ask questions later.

    August 9, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  67. Wayne

    Bottom line. Obama gets re-elected not because he has done a magnificent job. He saved the country from free fall but we are no where near where we would like to be. He gets re elected because Republicans are not a viable option. They viciously protect the rich (code word: Job Creators) while Obama is seen as the only person protected the middle class, the workers in this country from being evicserated by the GOP. Until the Republicans begin to care about the GOP they have no chance. Also, the pundits have got it wrong. John King said right or wrong the people will blame Obama. He is the president. This happend on his watch. Not true. A recent CNN poll shows Obama holding steady, Democrats up 2 points and the Republicans down 8 points since July. The people are holding the Teapublican party accountable!! They see through you CNN.

    August 9, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • Looking Glass

      And the truth shall set you free . . . Every time!

      August 9, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
    • Laura

      It will change soon enough when people start actually thinking. The Tea Party is a response to the reckless spending of our tax dollars, our children's tax dollar and now even our grandchild's tax dollars. There would be no Tea Party we weren't so deeply in debt and getting more so by the day. You people think you can just tax the rest of us out of these problems... but even the IRS says if you tax the richest Americans 100% you wouldn't touch the deficit spending for one year... not even close. So, while you may disagree with the Tea Party's tactics at least they are trying to do something. Besides the S&P said they were cutting our rating before this ceiling debates if we didn't cut spending enough... well the Democrats wouldn't cut spending... therefore we are were we are. Not sure how you can blame that on the Tea Party when they actually wanted more cuts.

      August 9, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
      • Backslash

        Not agreeing or disagreeing with you Laura, but the S&P report actually specifies both a lack of cuts and a lack of revenue increase as partial causes. Their "revised" assessment of the US included a shift to remove the possibility of the Bush tax cuts expiring. They did this because they believe the GOP has shown that they would never allow this to happen. S&P also highlighted the lack of significant cuts, as you said. My point is just that the S&P report says far more than you say it does. Revenue, cuts, and partisanship all played a role in the downgrade. Read through the actual report. It might give you a little more depth on what the US failed to do.

        August 9, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
    • Arran Webb

      The middle class have always lived parasitically off lower income earners. The ploy – middle class values – we can be part of the middle class. Even you earning $25,000 a year are one of us – sure. Middle class values are the most selfish.

      August 9, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
    • rastaman44

      So true!!!

      August 9, 2011 at 7:07 pm |
  68. Marty Weixel

    One of the biggest complainers of Medicare are the physicians who always cry that they don't get enough money. These are corporate physicians who, unlike the 'old' family physician, doesn't make house calls, isn't on call 24/7, and does have colleagues taking turns at being available, allowing for more free time. One compliment in particular is that Medicare is very efficient and pays its bills on time. In essence, the physician workload has lessened but money remains a problem. So the question is....how much money is enough?

    August 9, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  69. robert

    again, this president does not know what he is doing and often talks out of both ends of his mouth – thanks dems for electing an total idiot when it comes to running anythingI

    August 9, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
    • Looking Glass

      No Robert, you don't know what this president is doing. Get in the game, instead of sitting on the crouch.

      August 9, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
    • Brian DC

      I think Robert has it correct.

      August 9, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  70. w l jones

    Every job carries a risk even if one owner and president they call it democratic. Bless.

    August 9, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  71. BD70

    Tell you what...before they mess with Medicare how about we put their salary and benefits on the table first? Yup! That is right...lets adjust their salaries downward a bit and knock off paying benefits for them and their spouses. Also when they retire no more government funded elite healthcare. They get to go on medicare just like the rest of us. They are only lawmakers...not gods...and deserve no better than the people they work for.

    August 9, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  72. lgny

    OK. here are a few examples:

    I qualify for Social Security at 66 but for Medicare at 65. If the two are linked together it both simplifies the process and reduces costs.

    There are several modifications in ACA that are designed to reduce costs. Those will help as they take effect.

    The Bipartisan Policy Center has advocated paying for major conditions instead of for each individual procedure performed. That would reduce redundant testing, and other forms of bill padding that go on routinely.

    Yes, there are modest adjustments that can be done without radically changing the program.

    August 9, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • Laura

      How about if you are still working at 65 you can opt out of medicare until you are retired? My mom is livid that she will still be working and able to pay for insurance but will be forced to medicare. Why should the tax payers have to pay for my mom if she can pay for herself until she retires. That would save money as well. Or, how about if you didn't pay in... you don't get covered. That would save lots too.

      August 9, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
      • PatSJ

        You CAN opt out of medicare if you are still working. Just not out of part A (which is free). You and your Mom need to do more research and talk to the SS dept.

        August 9, 2011 at 8:18 pm |
  73. ThinkAgain

    Hey, folks, remember when the Republicans said that President Obama's health care reform proposal would "kill grandma"?

    Ever since November 2010, the Republicans have been trying to kill grandma, the US economy, the Middle Class, teachers ... you name it. If it ain't the Koch brothers, a multi-national corporation or a wealthy American, the Republicans want it DEAD.

    August 9, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
  74. IBAMALIAR

    No Obama does not have a big political risk. AMERICA HAS ONE MORE HUGE POLITICAL RISK THAT HE MAY BE REELECTED. PLESE DEAR LORD DON'T LET IT BE SO.

    August 9, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
  75. rob

    Even though everyone knows these programs are going broke and are the main reason our debt will skyrocket in just the next 10 years, the issue of reforming Medicare and Medicade is off the table for the dems because it ubdermines "a very significant political weapon they have in the upcoming elections."

    This is the modern Democrat Party. They need to be pressed over and over again to produce concreate plans with specifics on how they will stop the these programs from going broke to point out that they are interested in nothing more than power.

    August 9, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
    • Laura

      Exactly... they know they have to be reformed... but they are concerned more about getting elected than saving these programs for our kids... or saving America for our kids. How selfish! I miss the days when people did what was the greater good instead of looking out for number one. People like that were and are true leaders. Instead we have the blame game from the top all the way down.... We need term limits or we will never ever get these guys to reform anything.

      August 9, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
      • Realitycheck

        In the interest of "saving" everyone's kids, we need to end these "entitlement" programs.Individuals and families need to be accountable for providing for themselves and their own. Mandated charity is not the government's place. Socialism has failed in every country it has been tried, and you would think a nation that still has members whining about the ills of slavery would be a little more resistant to making slaves out of the workers to pay bills when others are irresponsible and/or unwilling to work.

        August 9, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  76. TEA Party Mike

    If Obama does not have the guts to modify Medicare and also Socail security, then there will be no solution to our nations very real and very serious debt problem as long as he is in office.
    Among the reasons S & P gave for the downgrade was that the deficit cutting in the debt ceiling bill not include the BIGGEST DRIVER of the deficits, entitement programs Medicare and Social Security.
    Democrats say these are not to be touched. Same stance as Republicans have taken on tax increases.
    It is one thing for Democrats to disagree with the Republican proposals to fix Medicare and Social Secutiy. It is another for them to mislead current seniors that the Republican proposals will effect them. Every Republican proposal exempts current and soon to be seniors from any changes. The impact is to those who will become seniors years out. No one wants to mess with the lives of current seniors.
    When the Democrats passed their last budget almost 3 years ago, Harry Reid said the reason for the huge projected deficits was because of the entitlement programs. But he still says they are not a problem becasue the US government will make good on paying Social Security checks and Medicare costs. They are backed by the US governemt. Yes, by US government borrowed money. And before the current decade is over if something is not done the US debt will grow so large that no one will borrow money to the government any more and the economy will collapse under a mountain of debt. Harry Reid is a fool and so is anyone else who has their head in the sand just like he does.

    August 9, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  77. JP

    Everyone knows entitlements will bankrupt our country so what does this loser president do he created a new one. 2012 can't get here soon enough.

    August 9, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
  78. logicinLA

    What would it take to fund parts B-C and D? Why not raise taxes to cover it ( they were voted in with no revenue to pay for them after the Bush/Republican tax cut) Why is it so wrong to help those that need it and cut other expenses? why is wrong to put our tax rate back at a functional rate instead of the "minimum wage level they have been set at by this last fiasco by Republicans?
    Democrats – it's time to start pointing out this stupidity and owning our debt and our under-privileged. no one complained when they bought a Big Mac that their server made minimum wage, but when that person needs help with healthcare- they scream. How about one less night at a pro basketball game and giving that money to someone that needs it? One night across the board that's 30 stadiums with an average of 17,000 seats at 50.00 per ticket = $51,000,000.00 not including concession for 2!- one night!

    August 9, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
  79. Malerie damman

    What is rich? some seniors who get more money than others already have to pay out of pocket even with medicare make doctors visits an medicines cheaper an quit paying congress everything this country makes an then see if we still need cuts. i invite congress to live for 6 months as a lower class person paycheck to paycheck with kids little to no food a crap job an having to rely on the bus. do that an then talk about "means" just because u wear a tie an ur finger nails are clean dont mean u deserve more go through what 80 percent of americans have to then revisit the issue. even if u did grow up that way this world has changed since then. knowledge is power so gain some first hand then the solution wld b worth hearing. leave the seniors on medicare alone if they didnt need it they wldnt get approved for it.

    August 9, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
    • Realitycheck

      In America you have had the opportunity to receive a free education-what you made of that or didn't is on you; just as it is on every other person who chose a career that could not support them and/or also had children they couldn't afford. Bottom line, no one owes anyone else a darn thing. You get what you have earned. If you didn't make good decisions, you live with the harsh reality of a grim future. No class has the right to enslave another to pay bills they are unwilling or unable to pay.

      August 9, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  80. Rex Banner

    "America’s older Americans..." That's some quality writing there, Wolf.

    August 9, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
  81. Gee

    He is such a two-faced liar, how can anybody believe a word he says.

    August 9, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
    • A W Messenger

      This is a stock photo of OB. He has more gray now.

      August 9, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
    • D

      Thats cute...you are saying that like ANY politician speaks the truth.

      August 9, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
    • Brian DC

      Agree Gee, it is like he's been lying his whole life. Oh wait, he has.

      August 9, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
    • Daniel

      Got a source?

      August 9, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
  82. maggie

    "Medicare is an especially touchy subject for any politician, Democrat or Republican. America's older Americans overwhelmingly love this public health care program. They have come to rely on it and, if you look at the polls, aren't all that open to major changes"

    Well, then all of those seniors and would be seniors better not vote for these Tea Party yahoos again or as far as I'm concerned, they deserve what they get. What were they thinking?

    August 9, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • Laura

      The ones who voted for the Tea Party candidates know that no one would cut the money current seniors are receiving.... only ones who haven't made the rolls yet and aren't due to for many years. Its the others that are falling for the scare tactics... no one who wants elected is going to touch a dime for our seniors.

      August 9, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
    • Realitycheck

      The Tea Party candidates insisted on steps being taken to control spending; that is just common sense; however, all the democrats want to do is spend, spend, spend so that money has to come from somewhere. If you want to keep benefits you have earned, you should be contacting your own politician to make cuts in other areas and cease spending.

      August 9, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  83. david bidlack

    here is a fact that news people don't know or don't want to report on. i am a baby boomer and can remember back in the late 70s social sucurity taxes started to go up to creat a suplus for us baby boomers when we retired. social sucurity has been in suplus for many years in fact congress and presidents have been borrowing all the supluses for years mostly republicans. they left IOUs in the account for what they borrowed and that amount is now $2.3 trillion owed. the only reason that republicans want to cut social sucurity is they don't want to explain or even for american people to find out about the IOUs and the real reason social sucurity is going to be a problem in the future. this baby boomer looks at it like the republicans gave away my retirement to the rich in tax cuts , how nice of us!

    August 9, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • Looking Glass

      I see what you see!

      August 9, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
    • Jason, Chicago IL

      Even with the IOUs, SS will supposedly need to be radically cut in 2037 or so, because that's when SS spending will finally outstrip the "surplus" that has been saved. The fact that the general budget may not even be able to repay those IOUs in a timely manner means cuts will probably happen before then.

      So which is more important, to preserve full benefits now and provide only 70% benefits later on, or to provide 90% benefits starting now and lasting for as long as we are able to budget? The answer probably depends a lot on whether or not you're actually drawing benefits now...

      August 9, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  84. mj

    Seniors have paid into the System and have earned the right to Medicare. Those millions on Medicaid have not. Start there!

    August 9, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
    • A W Messenger

      We need to establish a freeloader bill to release all the dead wood we are paying for. Although I think the new healthcare plan turns around and picks them back up if they were dropped by medicaid, right?

      August 9, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
    • Realitycheck

      Exactly! Those who have contributed should receive benefits equal to those contributions; however, no one who hasn't contributed should receive a dime.

      August 9, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  85. jerome

    " In recent weeks, he hasn’t gone into too much detail ..."

    Good one, Wolf, good one.

    August 9, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
  86. John James

    The President needs to call Congress back into sesson by the end of next week. This country needs leadership and if they do not come then at the next election we can make our voices heard. We have lost trillions of dollars in our 401 k accounts and others institutions have lost a lot of money and the TEA PARTY Republicans I feel are to blame for this problem. Why should't the rrichest people pay their fair share. The poor can not pay so guess what the middleclass and the semi better off people are stuck with this problem.

    August 9, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
    • Jason

      The Tea Party is responsible for the inflexibility when it comes to a balanced approach of revenue increases and spending cuts. The Tea Party is not responsible for 30 years of politicians making promises that they never intended to keep.

      August 9, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
    • Laura

      Why are they to blame? They didn't run up the debt. They didn't fail to pass a budget in years. They didn't fail to have or pass a plan to deal with these issues. All they did was insist that our government be fiscally responsible. And they were unsuccessful. It wasn't the Tea Party that caused our rating to go down... it was the Democrats that refused to cut spending. S&P has been saying for months that there must be significant cuts and a plan for future cuts or the rating was going to be lowered. The Democrats only wanted to tax the tax payers more instead of cutting their pet projects. It is the Democrats fault all the way around for this mess... the way you can tell is how loudly they are proclaiming it is someone else's fault.

      August 9, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
    • Realitycheck

      Check your facts. Currently, almost 80% of people who don't pay any taxes are elderly or living lives subsidized by our hard work. We all have a right to keep the money we have worked for. We need a flat tax to be fair to everyone, and social security needs to be phased out entirely (after paying back everything to those who have actually contributed to the system). One class should not be a slave to another's laziness or ineptitude.

      August 9, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  87. ConservaFASCISTS/TEAliban

    “I think the American people are not persuaded that an agenda of simply slashing commitments to things like student loan programs or privatizing or voucherizing Medicare are somehow going to be the solutions; they are not buying that bill of goods.”
    --------------------------------------
    As I stated in a previous post, unless you want whats going on in London to happen here, this cut, cut, cut agenda is not going to fly. Look at the political repercussions republicans are facing in Wisconsin. They'll face the same repercussions in 2012 for holding the economy hostage.

    August 9, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
    • Laura

      They aren't the ones that held the economy hostage. They passed very reasonable bills... but it was the Democratically held Senate lead by Harry Reid who wouldn't even review the bills let alone let someone vote on them. The cut, cap and balance bill would have salvaged our credit rating... but it was the Democrats who wouldn't even give the bill the time of day. Where was Obama's plan? Heard alot of blaming and calling Tea Party members names but no plan. So who really wrecked our economy?

      August 9, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
      • MD in SC

        Careful there, FACTS seem to confuse those Democrats !!

        August 16, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
  88. SMS USAF

    I do not trust Obama or his team!!!!

    August 9, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
    • Looking Glass

      You AMS USAF are a closet racist, you have witness first hand, the underhanded and wicket dealings of the republican party and you still would make a statement like "I do not trust Obama or his team" You are an idiot . . . Period.

      August 9, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
    • D

      You mean there is ANY politician that you actually trust? If so, you should have your head examined.

      August 9, 2011 at 5:37 pm |

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