Debt ceiling talks turn to revenues
July 14th, 2011
02:27 PM ET
3 years ago

Debt ceiling talks turn to revenues

Washington (CNN) – As increasingly tense debt limit talks continue Thursday afternoon, "revenue neutral items" are expected to be the focus, according to a senior administration official.

This is the moment, according to the source, when the administration hopes the GOP will deliver specifics on what, if any, revenue raisers Republicans would be willing to accept in exchange for tax cuts.

For instance, the official questioned whether the GOP might be willing to change the depreciation formula for oil and gas companies in order to get an extension of the payroll tax cuts.

"We could come in today to discover that (Majority Leader Eric) Cantor, (House Speaker) Boehner and (Senate Minority Whip Jon) Kyl say no to everything," the source said. "We want them to tell us what special things they will consider to get their tax cuts."

Obama gave a Friday deadline for an assessment of the talks.

Discussions have been tense at times, and some of the key players appeared to not be participating beyond attendance.

The official said Cantor "is the only one who talks" in the sessions.

"I think (Senate Minority Leader Mitch) McConnell has said 'hello' and 'goodbye,'" the source added. "(Speaker) Boehner says nothing."

As the brinksmanship continues, the administration source noted the president did walk out of the talks Wednesday, but made it clear he did not walk out in the middle of a discussion about potential solutions.

"It's not like he walked out in the middle of the discussion. People had made their final points," he said.

From the administration's point of view, it's the Republicans who are having a tough time getting their act together–particularly at the leadership levels. The Democratic official said the GOP is fracturing as Cantor "sees an opportunity on Boehner and he's going to drive a truck through it."

Politically, the source added, "the tail is wagging the dog" in the GOP. "This is what happens when you are sitting on top of a tidal wave (of House freshmen) you didn't create."


Filed under: Congress • Debt • Deficit • GOP
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. WiredwierdinSF

    This is where the democrats really shine, there are a whole lot of corrupt union bosses that they need to pay off for the 2012 elections and a whole lot of people that can't get jobs and pay taxes because they can't pass drug tests and/or products of the NEA dominated education system in this country. Crooks, druggies and irresponsible, uneducated people are the liberal democrat constiutency and if they lose any of them, people will get smart and vote them out of office. This scares the liberal democrats to death.

    July 14, 2011 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  2. John

    Well the Republican better do something because the American People are getting feed up with them doing nothing. They need to get In there and get a deal done now. We don't have much time left.

    July 14, 2011 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  3. ConservaFASCISTS/Domestic Terrorists/Taliban/Al Queda/TRAITORS

    Let's see if the fascists republicans budge an inch. I doubt it, but I'm hopeful. I share the Vice President's sentiments when he said a couple of years ago that "it's patriotic to pay taxes." I couldn't agree with him more. Especially when the wealthiest Americans have been getting away with murder for the past decade.

    July 14, 2011 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  4. lifeplay

    NO NO NO NO NO dont TAX the rich. poor fellows!

    July 14, 2011 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  5. ms

    And by what magic are revenue-neutral items going to decrease the deficit?

    July 14, 2011 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  6. Joan

    The ball is in the Republican's court now. Everyone's watching to see if they play fair. That is an odd observation that Cantor is doing all of the talking for the Republicans. Aren't Boehner and McConnell the leaders? Cantor is a very divisive and stubborn guy and doesn't seem to be doing the Republicans any favours during this process.

    July 14, 2011 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  7. jamison

    Boehner and McConnel want to save us from all this debt. HA. Where were they when the GOP Congress approved TWO wars without any funding? Then they didn’t raise any taxes, but instead brought in tax CUTS for the rich. They put through a Medicare drug plan, but blocked any bargaining with the drug companies for cheaper drugs. They have cost us MORE over the last several years than anything the Dems have done. It’s time to get RID of these pocket lining idiots and vote in the party which has always been FOR the PEOPLE and not just for the wealthy.

    July 14, 2011 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  8. A Kickin' Donkey

    Time to go nuclear on them, Sir.

    Layout the story to the public Mr. President. Go on TV and do a quick "whistle-stop" tour around the country. Don't undercommunicate like you did on healthcare insurance reform. Then pull the trigger on the Constitutional option that you have.

    Cut discretionary spending. Start with the $94M of salaries for Congress. I'm not kidding. Yes, it will largely be symbolic but they have brought it on themselves. Cut your own salary too. Cut payments to oil companies and suspend subsidies to all businesses. Do this by Executive Order. Pay "Seniors [i.e. SS] & Soldiers". The public will back these moves.

    Then raise the debt ceiling by EO - the Constitution says to keep the debt "VALID" and YOU took an OATH to preserve, protect & defend the constitutuion. Given this, squeal as they might, the GOP can't win the legal arguement. The Supreme Court couldn't find fault with your approach.

    Moreover, since the Republican Party has no basis to bring a case [only Congress could -- that means an aligned position between the Republican House & Democratic SENATE] no case could ever even come before the court.

    The GOP's only relief would come from presenting an acceptable deal to you for the debt ceiling.

    - + $2.7 Trillion
    - Closure of tax loopholes; expiration of Bush tax cuts for the wealthy
    - Tough Spending cuts that gives the GOP some of what they'd want

    You'll enrage the Tea Party with this but they have been plotting your demise since January 21, 2009. The rest of the country will have your back. Make the case. Use your bully pulpit and oratory skills. You will write history.

    July 14, 2011 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  9. The Greedy Old Pigs have declared class war on US!

    Summary: The GOBPbaggers are tongue-tied when it comes to asking the wealthy to make the same sacrifices the rest of us are asked to make. Therefore, Cantor, who has already played the stock market with a bet on a US default, is the designated spokesman for their cult of corrupt corporatism and favors for the filthy rich.

    July 14, 2011 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  10. ALindor

    Think of this as high-stakes-poker

    President Obama is holding a full house of Kings (KK + AAA)
    K = His re-election
    K = The american public
    A = The country's credit score
    A = Support for his proposal
    A = Walstreet

    Cantor should fold, because if he raises the stakes, he will lose everything including the house of representatives.

    July 14, 2011 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  11. Joe

    Who votes for these Republicans politicians any way? They could care less if nobody is getting paid including the serving men and women. Pathetic!

    July 14, 2011 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  12. Republican Robber Baron

    No excuse to not end the ridiculous waste and corruption in our tax code...that lets the Big $ Robber Barons get away with not paying their fair share or in some cases, zero-out and not pay ANY tax. Even many if not the majority of Republicans agree with ending ALL tax subsidies for special interests. Stop giving away Corporate Welfare or special deductions for the Rich and Powerful at the expense of the Middle Class. We can barely afford a place to live yet alone depend on our Entitlements.

    July 14, 2011 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  13. zhawk88

    ..... *sigh* .... is this crap over with yet?

    July 14, 2011 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  14. Maria

    The missing piece to all of this is a discussion about term limits for Congressional leaders. It is time to change Washington. The only way that will happen if there are term limits for every elected official, inclduing Congress (3 terms should be enough for anyone). They are all corrupt and their interests are self-serving. I vote for term limits. But for now, the folks that we elected to represent us should listen to us and do what is best for the country not their political party.

    July 14, 2011 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    the repugs would like to tell the people that our capitalistic system is based upon supply side and taxes, if thats the case why are they not creating jobs, when the tax rates are the lowest since world war II. when i went to school someone lied to me and told me that our capitalistic system was based upon supply and demand, not the supply and tax system the repugs are trying to get the most gullible american to beleive. if you take 3 trillion dollars from the people the repugs said that would be a good thing because they world dont need supply money anymore, and it doesnt matter if 75% of our economy is consumer spending. lesson folks dont be wood winkled, because any where there is demand people will do any thing to get that money. and it doesnt have to be those big corporations who are using their repugs stooges to convince the american people that without them america is doom. guest what there are thousand of up and coming businesses that are just waiting to get your monopoly out of the way so they can strive, and i guarantee you this! they will do way better than what big corporations are doing to the american people. obama bailed you guys out of the worst economic disaster weve ever seen and set you guys up for success in beleif that you would have shown your gratitude and help the american people out. buy you guys are now making more money than any other time in history, yet you guys refuse to help the american people out, and the way you guys are using the repugs to guard you from being criticise and shamed into doing the right thing is appauling.

    July 14, 2011 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  16. Same ol' Song

    Dunno if the tail is wagging the dog, but the butt is definitely leading the brain.

    July 14, 2011 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  17. vic , nashville ,tn

    Many cities across nation raising property tax because there is nothing more to cut

    congress and some states hesitate to increase tax why

    July 14, 2011 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  18. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I wonder if there is any reasoning behind what Cantor is saying... If there is, then let us hear it because it doesn't sound like there is any currently other than "don't let the president get a win." If he represents his district, it would be interesting to hear what they say.

    July 14, 2011 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  19. Sunny side of NA

    Some one has to spend to bring the ekonomi out of recession. With cutting down on spending the ekonomi will be going still deeper into the hole made by the idiot Bush. Now if the private sector super rich are not spending / investing in NA and creating jobs then the govt. has to tax these "SUPER RICH" and spend in the ekonomi to crete jobs. Brainless people do not get brainwash by the republican hogwash of higher taxes. It does not affect you but will affect all the super rich making more than 250K$ per year who got all the tax money from Bush. They will have to pay back and all the fat Wallstreet cats should be taxed especially their bonuses should be 100% taxed. On one has the Repuclicans say they are more patriotic than Democrtas on the second hand they will not pay a dime to bring the country out of recission. World biggest hypocrats and liaers with no brains – vote Republican out.

    July 14, 2011 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  20. TomInRochNY

    How about we cut all corporate welfare and leave it at that. Subsidizing companies? Since when is it the responsibility of the tax payer to pay business expenses?

    July 14, 2011 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  21. sonny chapman

    Repubs. always complain that Govt. should be run like a business. Is this any way to run a multi-trillion dollar business ?

    July 14, 2011 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  22. Steve, New York City

    Warren Buffett said that his secretary pays a higher proportion of her income as taxes than he does.

    The media's stupid focus on 250K is ridiculous – just a distraction to side-track the dim-witted!

    Why do the super-rich (people who make over $5 million/year) get to pay super-low tax rates?

    July 14, 2011 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  23. a6102658

    Cantor "sees an opportunity on Boehner and he's going to drive a truck through it."
    Cantor is going after Boehner's job

    July 14, 2011 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  24. logic in LA

    Put the tax levels back where they work for the country. Had Republicans not dropped them in 2001, we would not be in the position.

    July 14, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  25. BeverlyNC

    Republicans need to face reality and the tenets of sound economic policy. You can cut spending but the government has to have revenue to run efficiently. Do they expect their buddy corporations to run without revenue? Of course not. President Obama offered Republicans everything they wanted – 85% cuts and 15% revenue – and Republicans walked away. Now President Obama is saying NO MORE GAMES – there WILL be revenue and it WILL come from ending corporate tax loopholes, ending absurd subsidies for oil companies, horse owners in Kentucky, and credits for corporate jet owners. Ths is easy and makes common sense. Republicans would rather destroy our economy, have our debt increased due to defaulting, interest rates increased due to our defaulting, the stock market crashing due to our defaulting and on and on.

    President Obama is LEADING and Republicans are OBSTRUCTING for nothing other than to play political games. They care NOTHING about the American People, NOTHING about jobs, NOTHING about the economy, and are lying about what the debt ceiling is to confuse the ignorant. This is not to increase future spending, This is about MAKING PAYMENTS ON OUR CURRENT DEBT AND MONEY BUSH ALREADY SPENT ON 2 FRAUDULENT WARS AND TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH WHO NOW PAY TAX RATES SO LOW THEY ARE THE SAME AS IN THE 1950s!!!

    It's time for Republicans to be gone. They have played games and done NOTHING for the past 3 years but Obama bash and not pass a single piece of legislation. Their only accomplish is to have a record number of filibusters in Senate history. They have betrayed the PEOPLE and betrayed their oath to serve US. They only serve corporatios who have bought Republican loyalty.

    Let's get Republican gone on both the local and national levels so we can get Democrats in office and get real leaders in office who know how to govern, how to work hard on real solutions, and will be able to pass positive legislation to restore America without constant Republican obstruction and game playing. NO MORE REPUBLICANS IN 2012.

    July 14, 2011 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
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