President Obama, GOP address battle of the debt
July 2nd, 2011
11:20 AM ET
12 years ago

President Obama, GOP address battle of the debt

(CNN)-President Barack Obama advocated for his plan to ensure the federal government starts "living within its means," Saturday during the weekly address.

He made the case for a plan to battle the federal budget deficit that includes spending cuts and "examining every program and tax break in the budget."

"Government has to start living within its means, just like families do," Obama said. "We have to cut the spending we can't afford so we can put the economy on sounder footing and give our businesses the confidence they need to grow and create jobs."

If there's one thing Democrats and Republicans can agree on, it's "the need to solve the problem," according to the president. Though progress has been made and both parties identified more than $1 trillion in spending cuts together, he said,"We've got to find more savings to get out of the red."

But the parties disagree on where savings can be found.

The president argued that "we can't afford" every tax break and cautioned, "If we choose to keep those tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires…we'll have to make even deeper cuts somewhere else."

"We've got to cut the deficit, but we can do that while making investments in education, research, and technology that actually create jobs," he said.

"We can live within our means while still investing in our future."

Looking ahead to Independence Day, President Obama said the country's motivation for independence was based on the revolutionary idea "that people ought to determine their own destiny."

"Time and again we've proven that we could come together to solve problems…we share a love for this country and a faith in its future," the president said.

"That's the spirit we need to harness now."

Indiana Sen. Dan Coats echoed the need to balance the federal budget, but presented a different plan to tackle the deficit in the GOP weekly address.

Observing that "the eyes of the world are fixed on the U.S. to see if we have the political courage and moral sense to solve our debt crisis," Coats criticized President Obama and congressional Democrats, and charged them to "recognize that their game plan is not working."

"It's time to acknowledge that more government and higher taxes is not the answer to our problem," he said.

Instead, Coats, who was re-elected in 2010 after serving for ten years and retiring from the Senate in 1999, said it's time for "bold action" and a "new plan" to address the debt. Specifically, he said, the president and Democrats in Congress should look to Indiana because,"The Hoosier way is quite simple-we work hard and we live within our means."

The senator described Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels' action to balance the state's budget as a model for success.

"The spend less, borrow less and tax less model in Indiana has resulted in balanced budgets, job creation, and a triple-A credit rating," he said.

Coats compared that plan to the president's. "The spend more, borrow more and tax more approach of the president has resulted in fewer jobs, higher debt and a threatened downgrade from credit agencies," he continued.

Declaring the "Hoosier model" as a "necessary first step to repairing our country's finances," Coats resolved that the nation's debt is not an "insurmountable" problem.

"It's time to cast aside the false safety of political denial and reelection hopes and put the future of our country above all else," he said.

Coats recalled Independence Day as a time when the country's founding fathers "put their honor and lives on the line to break from oppression" and likened it to the government's deficit battle.

"It is not only our duty, but our moral obligation to break from the oppression of debt," he said. To accomplish that, Coats stated, "We must rise above the political considerations and do what is right for the future of our nation."

Filed under: Dan Coats • Debt • Deficit • GOP weekly address • President Obama
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. Hammerer

    Where is Obama today?
    Playing basketball?

    July 2, 2011 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  2. jim Doyle

    I wonder what the defense budget is for Indiana?

    July 2, 2011 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  3. Laura

    So Obama wants more of my money. Great, and what does he want to do with it. Give it to all the illegals for college in his dream act. Dream for illegals, nightmare for hard working Americans who are trying to get ahead. People who make $200K are not millionairs or billionairs. This man can not open his mouth without lying!!!

    July 2, 2011 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  4. Liberal elite=anyone with an education

    So, the President's plan is to cut spending, AND increase revenue? Oh, my yes, Republicans, that IS crazy...doesn't pander to your rich corporate masters near as well, and is too complicated for your base who can't understand any concept that doesn't fit on a bumper sticker...

    July 2, 2011 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  5. Marie MD

    What is unfortunate is that a lot of Americans (republicans mostly) are not going to make sure their politicians pay the price of wanting to increase or disband everything (Medicare, social security, medicaid, taxes for the middle class among so many other things).
    The republikan congress is acting like the school bully. The Democrats have more than plenty on them, including mcconnell's wanting the President to fail. That is what it's all about. They could care less about anyone but the rich and themselves. They figure if they can get rid of Obama then they can try to fix the mess they themsleves created. It will be too little too late because they are going to bankrupt the country.

    July 2, 2011 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  6. maikl

    obama made 33 trip for fund making campaign and 17 time golf play. He don't have time for America problem. He is like 10 old kid play, play and kva-kva-kva.

    July 2, 2011 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  7. Homie Hogleg

    I used to believe in the "Trickle Down Economic Policy." But no longer. I used to think that tax breaks for corporations, and millionaires, but no longer. Because of free trade agreements tax breaks for the wealthy, and corporations do not create American jobs anymore. They do create jobs, but not here.
    I do think our tax laws need to be changed, and here is what I think. My idea is simple. If a corporation manufactures 50%, or more, of their products in the US, then drop their corporate tax rate to zero. If less than 50% of the manufacturing is done inside the US, than their corporate tax rate stays where it is. If they manufacture less than 30% of their products inside the US, their corporate tax rate will jump to 50%.

    Also there should be changes in the capital gains rate. Money made on stock sales concerning a company who manufactures 50% or more of their products inside the US, the capital gains rate will be zero. Money made on stock trades on corporations who manufacture less than 50%, of their products inside the US, will stay at the current capital gains tax level. Money made on stock sales of companies who do less than 30% of their manufacturing inside the US will be taxed at 50% capital gains rate.

    This will give US based companies, and investors in those companies, incentive to do what is right for our country, instead of being un-american and outsourcing jobs

    July 2, 2011 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  8. Tsutton

    Fire all of the and have them arrested for loitering

    July 2, 2011 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  9. Debra From Georgia

    Keep trying President Obama. There is no way in Hell you are going to get a Republican to there job for our country. You got my vote in 2012

    July 2, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  10. Heather

    The democrat model is to give as much money as possible to the goverment, then the goverment decides who gets what.

    Odd how who gets always seems to be whose votes the democrats want in the next election! I think this is why they are freaking out! If the debt limit is not raised, how can they make expensive promises to their voter base?

    They need to raise the debt limit, they have votes to buy!

    July 2, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  11. rob

    KatR, in the Ryan plan the repubs propose eliminating loopholes and certain breaks for corps however they do that while lowering the overal tax rate to allow more investment here in America. Your example of a family getting part time jobs to help pay bills is a bad one. The part time jobs they take are there own additional investment of time and effort for their own well being that also increases tax revenue to the govt. When the govt icreases taxes it takes directly from those who are investing in the economy through their time and effort ie, small businesses and large corporations who employ millions of people and pay taxes. The idea is to lower tax rates while closing the loopholes to spur economic growth which in turn generates more govt revenue. We don't need new govt programs or targeted govt tax breaks or govt partnerships with the private sector. We need a smaller more effecient govt that provides what the constitution sets out for it while providing the essential safety net for those who trully need help.

    July 2, 2011 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  12. pmk1953

    When the republicans sign these pledges, they are violating their oath to the US government. Therefore, they are committing treason. Arrest them, convict them, execute them.

    July 2, 2011 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  13. justamused

    I realize the President is trying to be a reasonable man. I am afraid that you can not be reasonable with this batch of obstinate republican cowboys. We pledge allegiance to the flag, the country, and the constitution. Why do republicans pledge allegiance to Grover Norquist ?

    July 2, 2011 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  14. Joe Moore

    How about taking away the tax exempt status the left wing groups such as ACORN, Media Matters, ACLU, and others. And put them in a high tax bracket.

    July 2, 2011 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
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