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BLITZER’S BLOG: Too late to resurrect the deal?
July 25th, 2011
01:34 PM ET

BLITZER’S BLOG: Too late to resurrect the deal?

(CNN) - We did learn some intriguing details about the debt ceiling negotiations in recent days. Both President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner were ready to anger their respective bases in order to work out a deal.

To the dismay of many Democrats, President Obama was ready to support cuts in entitlement spending for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. He was ready to support what’s called “means testing” – meaning that richer people would have to shell out more for health benefits under Medicare than poorer people. The president is also apparently ready to adopt a new cost-of-living increase formula that effectively would result in reduced Social Security and Medicare benefits. When I interviewed Independent Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont the other day, he made it clear he hated those proposals.

To the dismay of many Republicans, especially Tea Party activists, Speaker Boehner made it clear he was ready to accept $800 billion in increased tax revenue as part of a deal with the president. Boehner called it “tax reform” – suggesting that some loopholes, exemptions and subsidies would be reduced or eliminated. But hard-core anti-tax purists insist those changes would amount to a net tax increase – something they would oppose.

Boehner said his last proposal to Obama, which included the $800 billion in tax increases, was still available for consideration. He ended the negotiations with the president on Friday when Obama insisted that another $400 billion in tax increases be added to the package.

Here’s my question: Is the deal really going to collapse over $400 billion over ten years – or $40 billion a year? That’s a lot of money but in the scheme of things – we’re talking trillions not billions –it’s relatively modest.

Is it too late to resurrect the deal? “It may be pretty hard to put Humpty Dumpty back together again,” Boehner said.

Given the disaster that could unfold from a federal default, maybe not.

RELATED: Boehner, Reid to unveil new debt plans as deadline nears

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Filed under: Debt • President Obama • Speaker John Boehner • Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (262 Responses)
  1. Big Balls

    Blitzer in Obama's bag. Wolf, call it like it is. You have a President that hasn't stopped campaigning since before elected Senator. You have a president that is as devisive as any leader in history. You have a president whose business sense is clouded by his intense need for election. Call it like it is Wolf, instead of the glowing reviews which are false.

    October 8, 2011 at 7:16 am |
  2. C Singh

    Why would the White chronies in Congress or the Senate, want to see a successful black president. Let's call it as it is. I would suggest that the President say to heck with the Bi-partisan approach and show decisive leadership and implement sound decisive policies that will situmulate growth in the economy. Does he not have to power to implement tax hikes if it means ruffling some feathers? With all the fiasco that went on over the last few months, it clearly appears that the President of the United States of America has no power to do anything. The Republicans have gambled their country away and in the process have devastated the financial markets as a whole. Non of them deserve to be there. As a Canadian, I cringe when I hear some of the responses coming from so-called intelligent members of your congress. May God help us all..

    August 7, 2011 at 2:03 am |
    • C Singh

      How long does it take to moderate the truth Wolf

      August 7, 2011 at 8:44 pm |
    • Gev JO

      Ten Obama's along with ten Ronald Regan's cannot put this Humpty Dumpty created by Clinton & Bush together again.The worlds best economist all put together do not have any solution to this economic problem. If the congress & the senate has some love for the country and the people they represent, then they should amend some parts the constitution in a bi partisan way to help them create sensible legislation, which in turn will help us to get out of this economic situation. Regulate,banks , wall street, industries in a manner that serves the common people and just not the 2% of the population. Let the common citizen lobby instead of 2% of the population. The world will change & prosperity will be back.

      August 19, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
  3. Shawn

    This whole crisis is a joke perpetrated by the people whom, "We The People Elect". Wasted bills introduced knowing full well that they will fail because of politics. What my perspective is people that sit around and accomplish "Nothing", and play the school yard games that the House, Senate, and Presidential cabinet like to play. Who's to blame? ALL OF THEM.. This topic has been going on since after passing the previous years budget at "The Last Minute". Just as raising the debt ceiling. This isn't what are founding fathers had in mind. Really have almost come to the contention that the appearance of getting something done gives the illusion that things are getting done, but in reality nothing gets done. People disagree sometimes for the sake of disagreeing therefore nothing gets accomplished. All parties should be fired and new people in offices who actually want to get something done. Both Democrat, and Republicans, Independents.

    Just because you can Talk the Talk, does not mean you walk the walk...

    July 28, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  4. Donna Warren

    Wolf, what was that about last night, replaying boozy Boehner's background story, portraying him as a sympathetic character from a family of 12 who worked in his family's bar yada yada yada...crying, no less, as he made a speech about how he can relate to the business owners in this country??? Firstly, don't you recognize an alcohol induced crying jag when you see one? Secondly, the businesses he is determined to "protect" are drowning in profits, hugely under-taxed, which they are using to expand overseas...leaving us more joblessness here at home!...not to mention, God forbid, that banks and wall street should be overseen, even after what their unabashed Greed has wrought for the average citizen of this country. Portraying him as anything other than the politician, in the worst sense of the word, that he has become does a disservice to your viewing main street audience. Many of us have come to expect more of you than that, Wolf. Sorry, but I'm angry and it's time the Truth is laid out for the American people who, anymore,recognize it when they hear well as its opposite!

    July 28, 2011 at 10:26 am |
  5. John


    July 27, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
  6. Grandpa Vernon

    I just heard a perfect solution to our debt crisis...Thank you Bill Maher... a one line Bill in both houses that just raises the debt ceiling high enough to get us till Jan 1 2013..they have used that approach many many times before I mean everybody says "we need to raise the debt ceiling"..RAISE THE DEBT CEILNG

    July 26, 2011 at 9:41 pm |
  7. Robby Keen

    To Wolf Blitzer: HOW TO PASS THE DEBT CEILING PLAN - There is a way to pass a Debt Ceiling Plan, that both houses of Congress will accept. I need your help in presenting these suggestions to Obama, Boehner, and Reid. I am asking for your help, as I know you are a professional, that understands only diplomacy and involving all congressional parties to share in the shaping of this plan, will result in a plan that can pass before it is too late.

    We need a Obama, Boehner, Reid Plan. Here is why this will work.

    America and Congress wants Obama to work with Boehner and Reid to develop a plan that works for Democrats, Republicans, and the Tea Party Activists to help our nation. The Tea Party must be recognized, as they do have the influence to shape the outcome of the final plan.

    Everyone must feel that they are included in shaping this plan. This does not mean that everyone gets everything they want, but they all must feel that their views are important, and they all must be given a share of their most important goals to make our nation better.

    Here are the key elements that will create the new Obama, Boehner, Reid Plan, that should pass both the Senate and the House.

    1. The plan must present cuts that are acceptable to all parties. This may sound over simplified, but it is critical, and this will shape a winning plan for everyone.

    2. The plan must not raise taxes, but should project some revenues from reworking the tax code, that all parties can accept.

    3. The plan must not change Social Security or Medicare for current seniors, but all parties need to agree on establishing a bi-partisan committee, to work on future reforms and savings.

    4. The plan must concede, that a balanced budget is the goal of all parties. The balanced budget does not have to be immediate, but a bi-partisan committee will be appointed later in the year, as a part of this plan, to work to develop this balanced budget in great detail, and present this detailed plan to both houses of Congress for a vote after a 3 month study to structure a sound, well thought out balanced budget plan. This plan could also require, that each year both houses of congress must adjust the balanced budget, and vote to confirm the yearly adjustments. While this is not a amendment to the Constitution, it is a step in the right direction, that may lead to an amendment at some future date, after Congress has had time to learn the pros and cons of how to structure a balanced budget.

    So Wolf, I need your help to get this Dept Ceiling Plan information to President Obama, Boehner, and Reid. I know this will be the roadmap to a plan that all parties can agree upon, and feel, that they all have had a part in shaping the future of America in a bi-partisan way, that makes our nation a better America for all Americans.

    Thank you for your help. I have been in sales management for 40 years, and I know that our Congress will work together to develop a Debt Ceiling Plan, that works for every American, as long as everyone in Congress knows, that they had a part in shaping this plan

    Robby Keen

    July 26, 2011 at 9:39 pm |
  8. Philip Einhorn

    Why is it so hard for the Democrats to understand that the President is spending us into insolvency. Half of the people in our country do not pay any income taxes but continue to draw from those that do. We do not have a tax problem we have a spending problem. Obama must be held accountable for his failure to manage our nations finances. We can not; allow the debt ceiling to rise without adequate spending cuts. The Republican Congress is the only hope we have to avoid financial disaster. Ask your Democratic representatives to insist on cost controls.

    July 26, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  9. Patrick Gifford

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

    July 26, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  10. Philip Einhorn

    Wolfe I am surprised that you do not know that there will be no default because there is enough income for the Government to pay the debts, the soc;ial security, and the the armed forces and STILL HAVE ENOUGH LEFT FOR THE PRESIDENT TO PLAY WITH. Stop trying to scare our seniors when you know that they will get their SS checks. I am surprised that you have become a shill for the President. The least you could do is to be honest with the American people.

    July 26, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
  11. Marie Ewan

    Amen, it is also, time that we the people, put limits on just how long these groups of men are allowed to rule. No more, should a memeber of the House or the Senate be allowed to serve till they well move on. It is time to not just vote them out, but set limits on how many terms they may serve. See how far that goes, it won't.

    July 26, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
  12. Colin Buckingham

    It is outrageous that the deficit has been loaded with the Bush tax cuts and the two (unnecessary) wars and yet the GOP now are cornering the President by saying it is his problem. They are probably creating this problem so that the economy goes into another tailspin so they can use this against the President during the elections next year. I just hope if there is a default that the first wages that are frozen are those of our politicians. Maybe they are willing to chip in with contributions and cuts to solve the problem.

    July 26, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
    • Ron, Prescott AZ

      Yatzie!! We sure seem to forget who served the last two terms of the presidency. It amazes me how all of a sudden the GOP has this concern of spending and such a short memory of where most of our debt orginated from. Simple math shows what our debt was at the beginning of the Bush era, and what it was when he left. Obamas original proposals would of paid off all debt he caused us, which included bailing out the banks. Shouldnt that be the goal for every president? Oh ya, I'm not supposed to remember how we got into this from the beginning.

      July 26, 2011 at 11:57 pm |
  13. Stephen Love

    I hope that the President, Vice President, and all members of Congress abort any and all plans to use Air Force One or other government means of travel, if the government has to curtail payments to the Armed Forces, Verterans, or Senior Citizens of this Country, in the form of retirements and medical coverage. I do not understand why the Congress and President can not work things out before it becomes a crisis. All I can say is I hope all are voted out of their offices in November 2012. We The People Will Speak and Speak Our Minds!!! The good ole days are over!!!!

    July 26, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
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