NFL owner to Washington: Are you taking notes?
July 25th, 2011
07:20 PM ET
3 years ago

NFL owner to Washington: Are you taking notes?

Washington (CNN) – Congressional leaders could learn a thing or two from the National Football League. At least, according to New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft.

"I hope we gave a little lesson to the people in Washington because the debt ceiling is a lot easier to fix than this was," he said Monday at a presser announcing an end to the months-long stalemate between owners and players.

A committee of league players met in Washington to finalize a new collective bargaining agreement following a weekend of communication between representatives for owners and players. It was ratified Monday. And though President Obama also met with congressional leaders Saturday, no deal was reached to raise the amount of money the nation can borrow.

The president will address the nation on the debt ceiling late Monday following the introduction of two competing plans by House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.


Filed under: Debt • Deficit • President Obama
soundoff (104 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    It should be easy if we had decent leadership at the top. Instead we got another campaign speech and more blathering about taxes and horrible corporations that employ us all. The funny part is there is not tax hikes in either bill as Reid evidently does not want to endanger the current Democratic Senate seats in 2012.
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    Sen. Reid's offer is a sucker punch aimed at the motives of the Republican Party. As you observe, Reid's bill has no new revenues, but it also does not touch entitlements. This bill separates taxes from entitlements.

    Republicans are using this manufactured distraction over the debt ceiling to dismantle entitlements. Republicans will oppose Reid's plan because it does not touch entitlements, despite not increasing revenues. Reid has taken both taxes and entitlements off the table. It is pure cuts, which is exactly what Republicans have demanded.

    July 26, 2011 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  2. Jeff

    Despite most of the comments on this board, what Mr.Kraft said is factual. Raising the debt limit should be a no brainer, one day at the most. Many times a two line bill has passed with little or no fanfare at all. All that is happening this time is the Republicans that are left don't have enough strength to squash the tea party in their ranks, they sold their sole to the devil in the last election and are now going to pay the price. John Boehner is holding on by a thread, with Cannor biting at his heals for his job. If the weeper of the house folds he is done and he knows it. Their inability to work this out, shows that they will do anything to stay in power, even if it destroys the American economy. The American people should be very concern, when politicans hold the American economy hostage for pure political gain. If no deal is reached, the blame will fall squarely on the heads of the tea party, and they will become parriah in the next election, not heroes as they now think they are, I do agree with most posters that the owners and players are both way over paid, tickets prices are way out of reach for most working people. Where are the jobs, Mr. Beohner? Not one jobs bill has been passed by this house, not one! Talk about do nothing congrees. Maybe they just say NO to JOBS!

    July 26, 2011 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  3. Used to be in the Middle

    Seems to be the Democrats are not having trouble compromising, but the GOP seems not to understand what the word even means (hint: compromise does NOT mean the other side has to do everything you want or else). President Obama has put forth cuts that have not made his base happy. He is willing to compromise with the GOP on deficit reduction. The GOP, on the other hand, just wants things their way or no way (with HUGE cuts that would damage our country, result in many lost jobs, hurt people on social security and medicare, etc.). The GOP will not even consider any type of balanced approach - they are way too far over on the extreme right. I will not be voting for ANY Republicans in 2012. They need to learn the meaning of balance and compromise before I will even consider them again.

    July 26, 2011 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  4. Ohio man

    @ Matrix
    ... Wow...You really are caught up in the Matrix if you believe your thoughts.. so sad .. but tell yourself what you need to hear buddy.. Good luck

    July 26, 2011 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  5. Reggie from LA

    Won't work. Need some negotiations. Yeah, union represenation. The GOP would quickly resort to Union Busting (Hey Scott Walker you...) in order to shut down any reasonable discussion. Sorry. GOP, where's them there jobs you promised. Great time to change the subject isn't it. Interesting all of a sudden. This does distract from that unemployment thing doesn't it?Except for the part where you call everybody lazy who's collecting benefits because businesses have learned to skinflint.

    July 26, 2011 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  6. Martoon

    Dividing up the profits is a much easier discussion than dividing up and paying for our tremendous debts. Leave it to the millionaire jocks to over simplify things. And how will they ever scratch by on just a $120 million dollar salary cap?

    July 26, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  7. Democrats for a Socialist USA Utopia Unite

    We need to TAKE all the rich peoples money so we don't have football anymore. People like Kraft should not be able to buy teams that generate tens of thousands of jobs and billions in taxes while paying otherwise worthless atheletes, millions and millions of dollars. We must stop this craziness. We should all be able to live quite happily on $12,000 a year. Anything more than that is pure greed. I'm sure Comrade Obama would agree.

    July 26, 2011 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  8. ryan

    i see many people in here griping about the players being overpaid or whatever. easy fix. stop watching..but these men are putting their health on the line every week during the season to bring enjoyment to those that watch. obviously they are worth it because the owners are willing to pay them, and the public is willing to buy the tickets. so i would say those posting negatives are in the minority

    July 26, 2011 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  9. Bob

    Beware Republicans: No middle class means ONLY the rich can support the country (yea sure) and then the poor (which would be 9/10 of America would not be happy, all have guns and oh yea would revolt and take from the rich. Look what is happening in those countries right now and they don't all have weapons.

    July 26, 2011 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  10. Bassmaster

    HA! This from an industry that blows millions of dollars on people who run and down a strip of grass with a leather object. Lots not get ahead of ourselves regarding the sophistication of this industry. I don't think sports team owners are relevant in everyday life, nor should we be subjected to their opinions. Go back to worrying about the quality of your stadium hot dogs and let the grown ups worry about the country.

    July 26, 2011 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  11. allitrop

    when do we get to watch this bozo put his foot in his mouth????

    July 26, 2011 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  12. Leasa

    Oh it's that easy huh? So fixing a problem that essentially affects everyone in the US as well as countries /companies that do business with us is easier then the greedy players and owners coming to an arrangement? Here's a fix, tell the players and owners to give up half of thier money to social security so our parents can continue to get what they worked for.

    July 26, 2011 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  13. Pats Fan

    Mr. Kraft is an icon, and deservedly so, but he's wrong about one thing. It was *easier* to fix the NFL issue, and the reason for it was that EVERYONE at the table wanted to see the NFL succeed more than they wanted anything else. In the case of our government, we are currently held hostage by a small core of politicians who actually want their opponents to fail, more than they want anything else. Astoundingly, they are blatantly more interested in seeing their opponents fail than they are in seeing America succeed. I have an opinion about which party is more to blame. I think it's 80% on one and 20% on the other. But I won't even say which way I see it because I am betting that 90% of readers will read this and agree with me in general (from one partisan perspective or another). And that in itself is COMPLETELY screwed up. I really wish I were all wrong about this, but I don't think I am!

    July 26, 2011 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  14. Big George in Big D

    Good lord, you'd think the world came to an end when Wisconsin did away with collective bargaining! You idiots – Wisconsin was tanking fast! Now, maybe, they have a chance of survival. It never ceases to amaze me how you people think the government owes you a living. Get off your lazy saaea and quit looking for the easy way out!

    July 26, 2011 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  15. Trent

    The NFL does know a thing or two about paying people bloated salaries for contributing nothing to society. Sounds like Washington and the NFL have a lot in common actually.

    July 26, 2011 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  16. Get Real

    The only lesson to be learned from the NFL is GREED!! and if you have enough money you can screw everyone to get what you want.

    July 26, 2011 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  17. Mr. MN

    This is a lesson to all to work hard and become rich. Then you can have and do whatever you want and don't need to come on here and complain...

    July 26, 2011 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  18. JACKSON

    Only three things can and will alleviate the mess we're in and keep it from happening again: (1) Term Limits, no more than two per congressman/senator, (2) a flat tax rate for ALL Americans, no deductions, no loopholes, and (3) a balanced budget ammendment. It's not rocket science, just fundamental common sense, which is in such short supply in Washington DC. it's almost a fantasy. No party is totally blame for the current mess, but both suffer from total lack of common sense and purpose.

    July 26, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  19. strangely indifferent

    T-Rex's comment sorta broke it down into simpler terms and comparisons. My only addition would be that since neither the NFL owners or the player accept donations (bribes) from special interests they did not have 42 different "masters" to please when they went to the table to settle their differences and come to a compromise. As voters we need to make our eleted officials understand that campaign finance has become too big of a part of their decision making. Lobbyists and politicall contributers do not have the interest of thewhole nation at heart and their excessive control needs to end NOW>

    July 26, 2011 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  20. "He's Dead Jim."

    Kraft – Good of you to say that. Maybe for an encore you could state that a separation of leadership and politics will put this nation back on track.

    July 26, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  21. LOL

    Kraft should get cut some slack for the loss of his wife. Then he should find whomever hit him upside the head with a stupid stick. Maybe use some of Belichik's spy cameras to see who did it.

    July 26, 2011 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  22. GMay

    If only all these lemmings who seem to think The President and the Democrats have offered "everything but the kitchen sink" in the so-called 'negotiations could name some. Hint: they can't, because it hasn't happened. The only thing Obama has offered was a budget proposal that was voted down 97-0 in the Democrat-controlled senate. The Republicans have offered 5 different proposals since April and Obama has PROMISED to veto anything they put forward, but the media and a select dense few on this board would have you believe the Republicans are the ones saying "no". This is called cognitive dissonance and it's how the progressice left keeps all their little sheep in line.

    Just look at the comments about Wisconsin by those who clearly have no interest in the facts that eliminating the collective bargaining so-called "rights" actually saved teachers' jobs and helped balance school district budgets.

    July 26, 2011 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  23. Steve

    Except the NFL had one big item it didn't have to worry about. You never once heard from the millions of people that didnt have the talent, skill, drive, or determination asking for the league to spread some of the wealth to them. Hey Mr. Kraft, I wasnt able to get a job on the field because I sat at home eating cheetos instead of practicing and working out, but since you make so much could you pay for my house?
    Unfortunately, the federal govt has to listen to that same logic – hey i didnt go to college, have 4 kids but could you give me some of the money that the Harvard lawyer is earning this year? Thanks!!!

    July 26, 2011 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  24. Just Thinking

    I do not know that these guys have any great reputation for vision and foresight..... I can't wait to see how the deal with lower attendance due to absurd ticket prices. Ole Danny Boy is simply taking down seats for now, but I suspect that when the revenue pinch starts to set in these guys will behave dumber than dumb....

    July 26, 2011 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  25. DumbasRocks [R]s

    Every American who voted for a [R] congressman in the last election should: (i) hand in their voter registration card; (ii) check themselves into a clinic to get their mental malady properly diagnosed.

    July 26, 2011 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
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