Liveblog: Obama addresses the nation on debt
July 25th, 2011
08:54 PM ET
3 years ago

Liveblog: Obama addresses the nation on debt

Washington (CNN)President Barack Obama addressed the nation on the debt ceiling seven days before the nation is forecast to reach the debt limit of $14.29 trillion dollars. Lawmakers must reach an agreement before August 2 to increase the amount of money the nation can borrow and avoid the possibility of default. Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner delivered a response to the address following the president's remarks.

11:18 p.m. ET
  @EWErickson Boehner's plan is best called "Punt, Kick, & Pass." Punts to another commission, kicks the can & passes more debt onto future generations.

11:00 p.m. ET
@ChuckSchumer Time for @SpeakerBoehner to lead his caucus; right now, extreme bloc in House is leading him instead

10:13 p.m. ET @PressSec Jay Carney (EOP) As #POTUS said, Americans are "fed up with a town where compromise has become a dirty word." Rs & Ds need to come together, and act.

10:00 p.m. ET @KyungLahCNN What do you think? #Japan's yen now below 78, big concerns in Tokyo of impact to Japan from lack of #debt ceiling deal. Who do you blame?

9:53 p.m. ET
@CoryBooker Obama agrees with Reagan (and every other president over the past 30 yrs). it is outrageous not to raise debt limit and pay our obligations.

9:46 p.m. ET @JeffFlake President wants a balanced approach? How 'bout agreeing to sign cut, cap & balance.

9:45 p.m. ET
@DanaPerino I think potus could help himself if next appearance included Bo the dog – dogs can help sell anything!

Read the full liveblog after the jump.


9:35 p.m. ET @JonHuntsman @BarackObama's call for tax increases and his own politically convenient timetable are misguided and reckless

9:35 p.m. ET @LisaDCNN OBAMA v BOEHNER political bottom line: Tonight was time travel from #debt debate to opening shots in 2012 election cycle.

9:32 p.m. ET @rolandsmartin It's time for YOU to ride Congress to get a deal. In the morning, CALL 202-225-3121 & BLOW UP the lines of ALL members of Congress! RT!

9:29 p.m. ET @LarrySabato Dems think Obama did well. Rs think Boehner did well. And in a nutshell there's the problem.

9:28 p.m. ET @PJCrowley The world is indeed watching. We must live within our means, but #America also has national and global interests that default would harm.

9:26 p.m. ET
@EWErickson Boehner's speech was right on. The problem is Boehner's plan doesn't cut enough to avoid a credit downgrade.

9:23 p.m. ET @LisaDCNN Boehner yet to answer president's charge that his bill would just "kick the can" to next year and rattle the markets.

9:22 p.m. ET Speaker Boehner: This debate isn't about President Obama and House Republicans … it isn't about Congress and the White House … it's about what’s standing between the American people and the future we seek for ourselves and our families.

You know, I’ve always believed, the bigger government, the smaller the people. And right now, we have a government so big and so expensive it’s sapping the drive of our people and keeping our economy from running at full capacity.

The solution to this crisis is not complicated: if you’re spending more money than you’re taking in, you need to spend less of it,

There is no symptom of big government more menacing than our debt. Break its grip, and we begin to liberate our economy and our future.

We are up to the task, and I hope President Obama will join us in this work.

God bless you and your families, and God bless America.

9:21 p.m. ET Speaker Boehner: You see, there is no stalemate in Congress. The House has passed a bill to raise the debt limit with bipartisan support. And this week, while the Senate is struggling to pass a bill filled with phony accounting and Washington gimmicks, we will pass another bill – one that was developed with the support of the bipartisan leadership of the U.S. Senate.

Obviously, I expect that bill can and will pass the Senate, and be sent to the President for his signature. If the President signs it, the ‘crisis’ atmosphere he has created will simply disappear. The debt limit will be raised. Spending will be cut by more than one trillion dollars, and a serious, bipartisan committee of the Congress will begin the hard but necessary work of dealing with the tough challenges our nation faces.

The individuals doing this work will not be outsiders, but elected representatives of the people, doing the job they were elected to do as outlined in the Constitution. Those decisions should be made based on how they will affect people who are struggling to get a job, not how they affect some politician’s chances of getting reelected.

9:19 p.m. ET @LisaDCNN BOEHNER: President Obama wants business as usual, a routine increase in the debt. GOP will say "not so fast".

9:18 p.m. ET
@LisaDCNN BOEHNER: Introduces himself. He is the speaker of the "whole house".

9:17 p.m. ET House Speaker John Boehner response
: Good evening. I’m John Boehner. I serve as Speaker of the whole House - of the members of both parties that you elect. These are difficult times in the life of our nation. Millions are looking for work, have been for some time, and the spending binge going on in Washington is a big part of the reason why.

Before I served in Congress, I ran a small business in Ohio. I was amazed at how different Washington DC operated than every business in America. Where most American business make the hard choices to pay their bills and live within their means, in Washington more spending and more debt is business as usual.

I’ve got news for Washington – those days are over.

President Obama came to Congress in January and requested business as usual - yet another routine increase in the national debt limit - we in the House said 'not so fast.’ Here was the president, asking for the largest debt increase in American history, on the heels of the largest spending binge in American history.

Here's what we got for that spending binge: a massive health care bill that most Americans never asked for. A 'stimulus' bill that was more effective in producing material for late-night comedians than it was in producing jobs. And a national debt that has gotten so out of hand it has sparked a crisis without precedent in my lifetime or yours.

The United States cannot default on its debt obligations. The jobs and savings of too many Americans are at stake.

What we told the president in January was this: the American people will not accept an increase in the debt limit without significant spending cuts and reforms.

And over the last six months, we’ve done our best to convince the president to partner with us to do something dramatic to change the fiscal trajectory of our country. . .something that will boost confidence in our economy, renew a measure of faith in our government, and help small businesses get back on track.

Last week, the House passed such a plan, and with bipartisan support. It’s called the ‘Cut, Cap, and Balance’ Act. It CUTS and CAPS government spending and paves the way for a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution, which we believe is the best way to stop Washington from spending money it doesn’t have. Before we even passed the bill in the House, the President said he would veto it.

I want you to know I made a sincere effort to work with the president to identify a path forward that would implement the principles of Cut, Cap, & Balance in a manner that could secure bipartisan support and be signed into law. I gave it my all.

Unfortunately, the president would not take yes for an answer. Even when we thought we might be close on an agreement, the president’s demands changed.

The president has often said we need a 'balanced' approach - which in Washington means: we spend more. . .you pay more. Having run a small business, I know those tax increases will destroy jobs.

The president is adamant that we cannot make fundamental changes to our entitlement programs. As the father of two daughters, I know these programs won’t be there for them and their kids unless significant action is taken now.

The sad truth is that the president wanted a blank check six months ago, and he wants a blank check today. That is just not going to happen.

9:15 p.m. ET
President Obama: History is scattered with the stories of those who held fast to rigid ideologies and refused to listen to those who disagreed. But those are not the Americans we remember. We remember the Americans who put country above self, and set personal grievances aside for the greater good. We remember the Americans who held this country together during its most difficult hours; who put aside pride and party to form a more perfect union.

That’s who we remember. That’s who we need to be right now. The entire world is watching. So let’s seize this moment to show why the United States of America is still the greatest nation on Earth – not just because we can still keep our word and meet our obligations, but because we can still come together as one nation. Thank you, God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America.

9:13 p.m. ET
President Obama: Congress now has one week left to act, and there are still paths forward. The Senate has introduced a plan to avoid default, which makes a down payment on deficit reduction and ensures that we don’t have to go through this again in six months.

I think that’s a much better path, although serious deficit reduction would still require us to tackle the tough challenges of entitlement and tax reform. Either way, I have told leaders of both parties that they must come up with a fair compromise in the next few days that can pass both houses of Congress – a compromise I can sign. And I am confident we can reach this compromise. Despite our disagreements, Republican leaders and I have found common ground before. And I believe that enough members of both parties will ultimately put politics aside and help us make progress.

I realize that a lot of the new members of Congress and I don’t see eye-to-eye on many issues. But we were each elected by some of the same Americans for some of the same reasons. Yes, many want government to start living within its means. And many are fed up with a system in which the deck seems stacked against middle-class Americans in favor of the wealthiest few. But do you know what people are fed up with most of all?

They’re fed up with a town where compromise has become a dirty word. They work all day long, many of them scraping by, just to put food on the table. And when these Americans come home at night, bone-tired, and turn on the news, all they see is the same partisan three-ring circus here in Washington. They see leaders who can’t seem to come together and do what it takes to make life just a little bit better for ordinary Americans. They are offended by that. And they should be.

The American people may have voted for divided government, but they didn’t vote for a dysfunctional government. So I’m asking you all to make your voice heard. If you want a balanced approach to reducing the deficit, let your Member of Congress know. If you believe we can solve this problem through compromise, send that message.

America, after all, has always been a grand experiment in compromise. As a democracy made up of every race and religion, where every belief and point of view is welcomed, we have put to the test time and again the proposition at the heart of our founding: that out of many, we are one. We have engaged in fierce and passionate debates about the issues of the day, but from slavery to war, from civil liberties to questions of economic justice, we have tried to live by the words that Jefferson once wrote: “Every man cannot have his way in all things…Without this mutual disposition, we are disjointed individuals, but not a society.”

9:10 p.m. ET
@AriFleischer I guess O forgot he voted against raising the debt limit when he was a senator. Not so routine then I guess...

9:10 p.m. ET
President Obama: And Republican leaders say that they agree we must avoid default. But the new approach that Speaker Boehner unveiled today, which would temporarily extend the debt ceiling in exchange for spending cuts, would force us to once again face the threat of default just six months from now. In other words, it doesn’t solve the problem.

First of all, a six-month extension of the debt ceiling might not be enough to avoid a credit downgrade and the higher interest rates that all Americans would have to pay as a result. We know what we have to do to reduce our deficits; there’s no point in putting the economy at risk by kicking the can further down the road.

But there’s an even greater danger to this approach. Based on what we’ve seen these past few weeks, we know what to expect six months from now. The House will once again refuse to prevent default unless the rest of us accept their cuts-only approach. Again, they will refuse to ask the wealthiest Americans to give up their tax cuts or deductions. Again, they will demand harsh cuts to programs like Medicare. And once again, the economy will be held captive unless they get their way.

That is no way to run the greatest country on Earth. It is a dangerous game we’ve never played before, and we can’t afford to play it now. Not when the jobs and livelihoods of so many families are at stake. We can’t allow the American people to become collateral damage to Washington’s political warfare.

9:08 p.m. ET
@LisaDCNN Getting lots of tweets from you guys that this sounds like a campaign speech.

9:08 p.m. ET President Obama: Now, what makes today’s stalemate so dangerous is that it has been tied to something known as the debt ceiling – a term that most people outside of Washington have probably never heard of before.

Understand – raising the debt ceiling does not allow Congress to spend more money. It simply gives our country the ability to pay the bills that Congress has already racked up. In the past, raising the debt ceiling was routine. Since the 1950s, Congress has always passed it, and every President has signed it. President Reagan did it 18 times. George W. Bush did it 7 times. And we have to do it by next Tuesday, August 2nd, or else we won’t be able to pay all of our bills.

Unfortunately, for the past several weeks, Republican House members have essentially said that the only way they’ll vote to prevent America’s first-ever default is if the rest of us agree to their deep, spending cuts-only approach.

If that happens, and we default, we would not have enough money to pay all of our bills – bills that include monthly Social Security checks, veterans’ benefits, and the government contracts we’ve signed with thousands of businesses.

For the first time in history, our country’s Triple A credit rating would be downgraded, leaving investors around the world to wonder whether the United States is still a good bet. Interest rates would skyrocket on credit cards, mortgages, and car loans, which amounts to a huge tax hike on the American people. We would risk sparking a deep economic crisis – one caused almost entirely by Washington.

Defaulting on our obligations is a reckless and irresponsible outcome to this debate.

9:07 p.m. ET @cnnbrk #Obama on what default could mean: "Interest rates could climb for everyone who borrows money" #debt http://t.co/3ilpiFX

9:06 p.m. ET President Obama: Because neither party is blameless for the decisions that led to this problem, both parties have a responsibility to solve it. And over the last several months, that’s what we’ve been trying to do. I won’t bore you with the details of every plan or proposal, but basically, the debate has centered around two different approaches.

The first approach says, let’s live within our means by making serious, historic cuts in government spending. Let’s cut domestic spending to the lowest level it’s been since Dwight Eisenhower was President. Let’s cut defense spending at the Pentagon by hundreds of billions of dollars. Let’s cut out the waste and fraud in health care programs like Medicare – and at the same time, let’s make modest adjustments so that Medicare is still there for future generations. Finally, let’s ask the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations to give up some of their tax breaks and special deductions.

This balanced approach asks everyone to give a little without requiring anyone to sacrifice too much. It would reduce the deficit by around $4 trillion and put us on a path to pay down our debt. And the cuts wouldn’t happen so abruptly that they’d be a drag on our economy, or prevent us from helping small business and middle-class families get back on their feet right now.

This approach is also bipartisan. While many in my own party aren’t happy with the painful cuts it makes, enough will be willing to accept them if the burden is fairly shared. While Republicans might like to see deeper cuts and no revenue at all, there are many in the Senate who have said “Yes, I’m willing to put politics aside and consider this approach because I care about solving the problem.” And to his credit, this is the kind of approach the Republican Speaker of the House, John Boehner, was working on with me over the last several weeks.

The only reason this balanced approach isn’t on its way to becoming law right now is because a significant number of Republicans in Congress are insisting on a cuts-only approach – an approach that doesn’t ask the wealthiest Americans or biggest corporations to contribute anything at all. And because nothing is asked of those at the top of the income scales, such an approach would close the deficit only with more severe cuts to programs we all care about – cuts that place a greater burden on working families.

So the debate right now isn’t about whether we need to make tough choices. Democrats and Republicans agree on the amount of deficit reduction we need. The debate is about how it should be done. Most Americans, regardless of political party, don’t understand how we can ask a senior citizen to pay more for her Medicare before we ask corporate jet owners and oil companies to give up tax breaks that other companies don’t get. How can we ask a student to pay more for college before we ask hedge fund managers to stop paying taxes at a lower rate than their secretaries? How can we slash funding for education and clean energy before we ask people like me to give up tax breaks we don’t need and didn’t ask for?
That’s not right. It’s not fair. We all want a government that lives within its means, but there are still things we need to pay for as a country – things like new roads and bridges; weather satellites and food inspection; services to veterans and medical research.

Keep in mind that under a balanced approach, the 98% of Americans who make under $250,000 would see no tax increases at all. None. In fact, I want to extend the payroll tax cut for working families. What we’re talking about under a balanced approach is asking Americans whose incomes have gone up the most over the last decade – millionaires and billionaires – to share in the sacrifice everyone else has to make. And I think these patriotic Americans are willing to pitch in. In fact, over the last few decades, they’ve pitched in every time we passed a bipartisan deal to reduce the deficit. The first time a deal passed, a predecessor of mine made the case for a balanced approach by saying this:

“Would you rather reduce deficits and interest rates by raising revenue from those who are not now paying their fair share, or would you rather accept larger budget deficits, higher interest rates, and higher unemployment? And I think I know your answer.”

Those words were spoken by Ronald Reagan. But today, many Republicans in the House refuse to consider this kind of balanced approach – an approach that was pursued not only by President Reagan, but by the first President Bush, President Clinton, myself, and many Democrats and Republicans in the United States Senate. So we are left with a stalemate.

As a result, the deficit was on track to top $1 trillion the year I took office.

9:05 p.m. ET @AriFleischer As a senator, O supported an even more expensive, bigger Medicare drug program, which wasn't paid for.

9:03 p.m. ET @LisaDCNN OBAMA: so far, saying I inherited the deficit and then the economy tanked.

9:02 p.m. ET @EWErickson The President starts out blaming the GOP. Hey GOP, guess what he'll do if Boehner's plan passes and we lose our credit rating?

9:02 p.m. ET
President Obama: To make matters worse, the recession meant that there was less money coming in, and it required us to spend even more – on tax cuts for middle-class families; on unemployment insurance; on aid to states so we could prevent more teachers and firefighters and police officers from being laid off. These emergency steps also added to the deficit. Now, every family knows that a little credit card debt is manageable. But if we stay on the current path, our growing debt could cost us jobs and do serious damage to the economy. More of our tax dollars will go toward paying off the interest on our loans. Businesses will be less likely to open up shop and hire workers in a country that can’t balance its books. Interest rates could climb for everyone who borrows money – the homeowner with a mortgage, the student with a college loan, the corner store that wants to expand. And we won’t have enough money to make job-creating investments in things like education and infrastructure, or pay for vital programs like Medicare and Medicaid.
9:01 p.m. ET Note: Standing off to stage right in the East Room: Chief of Staff Daley, fellow Chicagoan Valerie Jarrett, Press Secretary Jay Carney.

9:01 p.m. ET President Obama
Good evening. Tonight, I want to talk about the debate we’ve been having in Washington over the national debt – a debate that directly affects the lives of all Americans.
For the last decade, we have spent more money than we take in. In the year 2000, the government had a budget surplus. But instead of using it to pay off our debt, the money was spent on trillions of dollars in new tax cuts, while two wars and an expensive prescription drug program were simply added to our nation’s credit card.

8:41 p.m. ET
@David_Gergen In past, Presidents usually give emergency speeches about someone outside hurting USA. This is a self-inflicted wound!

8:36 p.m. ET @ErinBurnettCNN Source who met w/S&P says SIZE of Boehner plan is the problem.MIGHT not be enough to avert downgrade,needs to be closer to $3TR all at once.

8:35 p.m. ET
@David_Gergen On CNN, will be watching #Obama, #Boehner to see if they can get past posturing, lead us to safety.

8:22 p.m. ET Robert Reich during interview on CNN
Social Security "is not the problem." Says social security is actually in surplus right now, and is making the deficit actually look smaller than it is.

8:18 p.m. ET Sen. Jeff Sessions during interview on CNN "The problem we've got is not the debt ceiling. The problem we have is the surging deficit."

6:52 p.m. ET @AWMooneycnn More on Obama's speech: He will outline no new plan


Filed under: Congress • Debt • Deficit • President Obama
soundoff (306 Responses)
  1. Crazy Cunuck

    The 'Debt Ceiling'- as in 'oh my God, 300 million people are about to knock themselves unconscious on some absolute ceiling' – is just a sound bite and no other civilized developed democracy has one. American spends more money than it takes in period. And all this has been democratically arrived at by present and past elected governments. It's time to pay up folks, so stop wining and raise taxes rather than dwell in voodoo arithmetic. Wiser people than me have calculated that a Federal sales tax of 6% would probably wipe out the deficit. Every other developed country has a sales tax, so get real. Who do you think pays for a single-pay universal health plan in Canada? The tooth fairy? Ditto for Social Security. And, only in banana republics run by and for the rich are these things called 'entitlements'. Most other countries call them human rights. Dig deep kids, and don't expect the rest of the world to pay for America's excesses. You already did that with the last, self-inflicted recession. Don't cause another one.

    July 25, 2011 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  2. jack

    What a sad story, doesn't any one realize the solution is not more debt? Spending 40% more than you make can not go on forever. Time to get realistic and move out of fantacy land. There are not enough "rich people' to bail the Washington big spenders out. Time to cut up the credit cards and consult a financial manager.

    July 25, 2011 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  3. Isaac

    IF you have a car and you got a loan.and you were broke.Would you pay every month or wouldn't you wait till the tow truck came and got it?

    July 25, 2011 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  4. Elizabeth McClain

    President Obama "CARES"
    Congress makes laws.
    The people spoke at polls, the Tea Party is not the People.
    I am American!!! Time for Republicans to stop toying with color.

    July 25, 2011 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  5. Evan

    what Boehner is not telling you is that he's willing to throw the country over the cliff to keep huge special tax deductions for oil companies and 15% tax rates for billionaire hedge fund managers. don't believe his wanting a better country for his daughters. he wants to get rich when he leaves Congress and land a lucrative job and then leave millions to his daughters while others live in poverty. he doesn't give one damn about the country; the only thing he cares about are the rich....oops sorry, i meant "job creators"

    July 25, 2011 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  6. Patrick E Connors

    This is the biggest piece of flimflam the stole my SS monies for 50 years "for the greatest generation" and now they steal my retirement. Someone needs to explain to me how this is the greatest country?

    July 25, 2011 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  7. Kathy

    Boehner doesn't know how to work with others. Even his server doesn't work. Can't email him to tell him what I really think of him. Send the bum home!

    July 25, 2011 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  8. Gayle Weaver

    President Obama read a very good speech that epitomizes business as usual in DC. I know, my husband and I served this country as civil servants working in DC. Obviously our President would rather pay his loyal bureaucrats than our veterans and retired parents and grandparents.

    We must have a committment to a balance budget amendment before we can consider a debt ceiling increase. At this point with our fragile economy and unpredictable business enviroment, we cannot be talking about tax code changes. Cut, cut, cut. We need tax breaks for our small businesses, say below 2 million net income. This President does not understand that small business fuels our economy. He does not even know what small business is.

    If we have any increased taxes, it should be the increased taxes that will come from full employment! We want our jobs back. Good jobs. Jobs that are leaving the US for safer business climates.

    I have a pet name for our President: Barack O'Babel. He does not understand us. He does not speak our language!

    July 25, 2011 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  9. Danger

    It is stupid to come to a budget negotiation without revenue. There are a lot of people around the world who want us to balance our budget. How many of them care if we include taxes (especially on the wealthy) in our solution? None of them, except the bonehead Tea Party members.

    July 25, 2011 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  10. asaecker

    I can't reach my representatives to tell them to "Compromise"!! Their websites are down! Unbelievable.

    July 25, 2011 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  11. Wags

    Say goodbye to the middle class, America!!! The GOP's inside job continues...

    July 25, 2011 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  12. scott from KC

    Lets see in a 1 trillion dollar health care scam more do not want than want, a 1 Trillion dollard stimulus package that has produced not much, a 1 Trillion dollar bailout of the financial big shots and lets not forget the bailout of the auto industry. The only way we will ever get our gov. under control in this country is to take away the checkbook. Make them exist within their means whatever the outcome whatever the consequences let it burn. Do not raise the debt cealing.

    July 25, 2011 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  13. Judith harris

    Not surprisingly, the server to email your representative is too busy for me to get through. This is truly disgusting. Pay what Congress has already spent, get more revenue and get on with it! Do the math, we need more revenue, even with drastic cuts. Stop the posturing or the next election will be for the head of a nation in the midst of a global recession, caused in large part by American politicians, or as a member of the British Parliment called, a congress of wingnut

    July 25, 2011 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  14. Steven DeCoteau

    I think it's time for all the politicians in Washington to pull their collective heads out of each other ass's and do something for the country for a change, instead of themselves..

    a concerned American

    July 25, 2011 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  15. Enrique Zahn

    Dear sirs/maddam :I am Hispanic and since I came 35 years ago I worked legaly in this country.I paid taxes like everybody else.The problem the we have now in washington is a lost of memory.they forgot what they did during last Bush administraition .they created panic and give us a daily color but also they attached a tax loop hole or credit to the 2 % of the rich and famous..They also forgot we trusted them with owr civil libertys gave them special powers to kill are son and daughters on fantasy wars,paid with ours taxes and savings not generated by them.Now is time to cut the B..S.. and finish what they were elected to do and allow us to work .People like me create jobs and are not afraid to pick the showel I have 60 years of age and everyday my wife and I keep working on my restaurant to be. We are a hand full of residents in Daytona Beach who believe in this country, We are the ones who dont make billions on day trading,scamming morgages deals or taken federal contracts to supply sevices to ours troops and give then contaminated water not to mention , "PAID WITH OUR TAX MONEY".Please dont insult our inteligence, everybody had a great ride during Bush's in office. it is time to grab the Showel and start working... Some how we going to come out, Raise the ceiling and turn the page and do something positive for the American people !! We keep pushing and dont even have your health insurance or second house.SHAME ON YOU :)

    July 25, 2011 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  16. Gene from California

    I am furious that the republicans choose to change the rules (in tying the debt ceiling to the national debt) and then hold the credit rating of this country hostage for political reasons. For 30 years, republicans have lied their way into office then supported the wealthy (only) and thrown bread crumbs to the rest of us. Reagan and Bush disempowered then destroyed the middle class of this great nation. Explain how Hedge fund managers (notice how Boehner deliberately left out discussion involving the wealthy)are "job creators and innovators". The Tea Party was elected under the lie of being a grass-roots movement, when they are actually uninformed rigid puppets of wealthy right. American people should be insulted at being treated like idiots by the Republicans

    July 25, 2011 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  17. Theresa landreneau

    I believe that both parties should put aside their differences and their agendas and do what is best for the country. Everyone needs to make sacrifices and that includes the wealthy and large corporations, not just the poor and middle class. As President John F. Kennedy said "Ask not what your country can do for you, but rather what you can do for your country. Maybe we should have a flat tax, such as 10% and everyone, rich, large corporations, middle class, and the poor all pay. Afterall, our Creator, the Lord God was the first to introduce a flat tax by requiring all to pay a 10% tithe.

    July 25, 2011 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  18. terrance

    Clearly the whole tea party and the republican movement is motivated by racism. This is the presidency of the first African American president and he is clearly receiving opposition not because he is a democrat bt because he is an African American. If caucasian people in America can't confess that there is still a great number of racist caucasian people in the republican party and in America then we as African Americans can not trust that they have the best interest and well being of all Americans including African American. This is clearly an issue of racism in politics at the high level, clearly the republicans are trying govern this country around an African American president. If the president is able to balance the budget and solve some real problems in this country it would mean that black people are capable of great political achievement and the image of African Americans in this country and in the world will start to change. That is really what the push back against the president is really all about it is a shame people can't tell the truth.

    July 25, 2011 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  19. Gene from California

    I left out main point:
    Get the Republicans to agree to a plan that requires one vote. There is no reason to drag out economic uncertainty plus this may prompt the rating agencies to downgrade us.

    July 25, 2011 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  20. Karen

    I, like so many Americans, am so tired of the constant bickering between parties and wish the kids would get out of the sandbox! It's time for the team to stand behind our president and accept compromise. I have almost entirely lost faith in our government to make any decisions. I believe it has become a challenge for the republicans to try to stop our president from making any progress whatsoever, and this is a terrible travesty at a time when we can't afford to lose any time. Instead we sit stagnant at a time when we need action, support and cooperation from everyone. I am sorry to say that I am embarrassed for my own government and have never felt so angry about politics before. I want to feel proud again and its up to you and your colleagues to step up to the plate! Who are the mother's of these naughty children??? By the way, are we so blind that we no longer see the obvious ... if our president fails, WE ALL FAIL!

    July 25, 2011 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    GOP fiduciary responsibility is a laugh. Where were they during the 8 years of Bush? I guess no competition bids in Iraq, the pork funding attempt for the bridge to no where in Alaska were all peanut projects. The CFIUS approved selling of Doncaster Grp limited (precision part mfg for US military equipment) to Dubai was an "Investment in our future".

    July 25, 2011 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  22. steve

    I expect a negotiated settlement last week. I'm surprised we haven't gotten an agreement yet. Hope we aren't going to be punished by the markets by our hesitation.

    July 25, 2011 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  23. Lucie

    Of the two, Obama looks to me to be more connected to the problem. This whole mess is just political posturing for the Republicans, but real crisis for the rest of us. The House conservatives need to get over themselves. WE want a deal so it's their job to deliver one.

    July 25, 2011 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  24. Ryan

    The President just may be the last decent man in Washington and all people can do is attempt to assassinate his character. The Republican majority in the House is the biggest obstacle to any resolution of this crisis and the president has bent over backwards in an attempt to achieve a true compromise. While the Reid plan is not ideal in any form (I believe the gang of six plan was the last truly viable option) it is unfortunately now the only plan on the table worth considering. Contact your Representative and force action!

    July 25, 2011 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  25. Wally Workman

    How many $ will the extremely wealthy 2%, whose Bush tax cuts that Boehner and the Tea Party have vowed to protect, lose if no compromise is found and we default on our debts?

    July 25, 2011 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
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