Archive for Monday, August 1, 2011

In general, Americans exasperated over news of debt-limit deal

August 1, 2011


From the right and center: mild disgust. From the left: outright anger.

Americans showed a range of emotions and responses to the debt-limit deal President Barack Obama and top leaders of Congress struck Sunday, but nearly none of them were positive. Except perhaps relief that the weeks of wrangling were finally over.

Phil Waters of Anchorage, Alaska, gave a variation of the most common response.

“It should have happened a real long time ago,” said Waters, a 60-year-old semiretired helicopter mechanic as he sat inside Darwin’s Theory, a downtown Anchorage bar. “It never should have gotten this far out of hand.”

Waters, who described himself as an “almost Libertarian conservative,” said he would have liked to see a lot more cuts than the spending reductions Obama and House Speaker John Boehner agreed to.

But Kiran Mahto of Portland, Ore., who volunteered for the Obama campaign in 2008, would have preferred no deal at all to the concessions the president made to congressional Republicans.

Mahto, a 35-year-old managing editor who works in health care information technology, said the agreement is the latest in a long string of times Obama has disappointed him and vowed it would be the last.

“I’m actively opposed to this president now. That also goes for his party since they’ve been silent through the whole ordeal,” said Mahto, who thinks the debt deal will lead to an Obama defeat in 2012. “Cutting the deficit will do nothing to get people jobs. Without jobs and without a liberal base, he will lose.”

The agreement would cut at least $2.4 trillion from federal spending over a decade, but allowed the country to avoid a first-ever debt default and extended the Treasury’s authority to borrow beyond the 2012 elections.

Even the outline of the agreement, much less the details, left those without strong feelings confused and frustrated.

Brett Piper, 34, and Matthew Crosby, 30, radiology residents visiting Silver Spring, Md., from Indianapolis for a conference felt that they have probably been paying more attention to the debate than most, but were still unsure how much they could really understand.

“It’s hard to know what to trust,” Piper said. “The issue is made so complicated that it’s tough for the average American to make sense of it.”

Crosby agreed.

“It just makes me mad,” he said. “I’m innately interested, but I just get frustrated.”

Piper said he is a Republican but doesn’t feel that he can trust the Republicans.

“It’s a political game,” Piper said. “And in this game, everyone looks bad.”

Many, including foreign nationals visiting the United States, were happy that worries about a debt default and international financial havoc could be put to rest.

Several British tourists discussed the developments in Times Square, not far from the National Debt Clock, a billboard-size digital display showing how much money the United States owes. They noted that Britain has had to cut costs over the last few years.

“For us in Europe it’s a good thing,” said one of the tourists, Andrew Harris, who works for an airline. “We were waiting for them to come to an agreement. It was really a scary thing to hear. What happens in the U.S. always has an impact in Europe.”


KS 6 years, 9 months ago

Everyone has their opinions, but I am upset that they are raising the debt limit. Just when are they going to stop this foolish spending? Studing things like how fast a shrimp can run on a treadmill and how large the privates are of gay men is just a waste. The message they are telling me is that if I want to get out of debt, I just need to go down to the bank and borrow more and spend it. I think that is part of the problem in this country. Too many folks owe too much money and don't have the means to pay it back. Then comes the foreclosures, repo's, etc. Dumb! I have never minded paying taxes (I believe I pay more than my fair share), because we need to pay for some public services; defense in one, but I dont want to pay taxes when the governments, at all levels, just waste it and spend it foolishly. I have to watch my budget, why not them?

beatrice 6 years, 9 months ago

Defense is a necessary expense, but do we really need to spend more than the next 19 nations combined, especially when those 19 are friendly(ish) nations? Defense is one of our biggest expenses and it doesn't need to be as large as it is. Not by a long shot.

dinoman 6 years, 9 months ago

hey just a note from the younger crowd.... we too are not at all happy about the debt deal.. there should be no deals.. this problem should be taken care of now... if the country is busy taking care of last years debt then they may be to busy to see next years or the next ten years debt so get real america start spending the right way and be responsible about our debts so that our grandchildren wont be shorted in the future

Fossick 6 years, 9 months ago

Republican? I wonder what party McCain, McConnell, and Boehner belong to then. None of the three have any intention of balancing the budget or doing anything real about runaway spending.

As Bea notes, they could save a whole lot by leaving the countries we have conquered since 1945, but you won't hear any Republicans admitting that it's not really 'defense' if you're playing offense all the time.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 9 months ago

This deal isn't intended to deal with the debt. This deal was done to satisfy the puppet masters on Wall Street.

So what will the result be? We'll continue to have increasing debt, but the cuts in spending pretty much ensures that the current recession is permanent. And that's OK with Wall Street, because they've figured out how to make record profits even in a recession.

But if you don't have a job right now, get used to it. And if you have one, be prepared for a wild ride on the race to the bottom, courtesy of the tea party.

Fossick 6 years, 9 months ago

"but the cuts in spending pretty much ensures that the current recession is permanent."

Except for the part where there are almost no actual cuts in spending, and those that do take place are two budget cycles away:

Free strudel to anyone who actually believes that the next Congress will feel bound to the budget promises of the present one. No one? Fine, then, I'll eat it myself.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 9 months ago

Krugman seems to think it's the end of the world as we know it.

Fossick 6 years, 9 months ago

Nancypants last week was "trying to save life on this planet as we know it today.” For a bunch of Progressives they sure are reactionary.

usnsnp 6 years, 9 months ago

We will see the same thing in November, a faction of the republican party will not be satified with what comes from the Confrence, they will hold their breaths and stamp their feet, until they turn purple. If there any increased revinues in the bill, look out the world will end. If these first term House of Representives dont watch out they will only be there for one term. Watch for cuts comming that will affect the folowoing groups, Social Security, Military retirement, Federal workers retirement, Vetrans benifits, Vetrans Medical Benifits. If I was one of these first term Representives I would check and see how many people in their districts that belong to one of these groups, because if you screw over them too much it will not make any difference if they are Republicans or Democrats they will not vote for you.

somedude20 6 years, 9 months ago

and you can count on them to cut Vet's bens but they will never cut their own. Congress has some of the best perks and benifits for life and costs the tax payers a poo poo ton of money.

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 9 months ago

Tea-baggers and democrats in the house should work together to block this bill.

The fact that tax increases are not part of this deal is ridiculous.

imastinker 6 years, 9 months ago

You don't really want tax increases, or not for you anyway. As long as taxes only affect others it's OK, right?

Sorry, these idiots are spending money like a drunken sailor in a strip club. The problem is that it's our money, money that we haven't even earned yet. It's got to stop. We've got to force them to cut up the credit cards.

I'm fine with raising taxes, but none of this "only for people over 250k/yr" stuff. Everyone needs skin in the game or this won't work. Raise everyone's taxes or don't. The bush tax cuts were across the board.

notanota 6 years, 9 months ago

The Bush tax cuts were rather lopsidedly not across the board, but I'd be fine ending both the middle and upper bracket portions of them. I

imastinker 6 years, 9 months ago

Not true.

The rate was cut about the same, making the percentage much higher for low income earners. Lots of high income earners began having trouble with the AMT, which can effectively raise their tax higher than their bracket if they have alot of exemptions.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 9 months ago

The largest obstacles are fear of losing special interest campaign money, guts to terminate Bush tax cuts and backbone to cut off pork barrel corporate subsidies. Bribery of elected officials is the most stinky of all bribery!

The remedy:

1.CUT OFF special interest financing of elections! YES even at the local level.

  1. Our government bodies are always claiming the USA is about democracy. In that case allow the citizens to practice democracy by allowing citizens to vote in these measures come 2012:

A. Let's demand a new system and vote in Fair Vote America : Demand a change on the next ballot.

B. Let's have public financing of campaigns. Citizens cannot afford special interest money campaigns for it is the citizens that get left out. Let citizens vote on this issue.

  1. The “Peoples Budget” does everything this country needs:

    • Creates good-paying jobs
    • Fully maintains our social safety net
    • Invests in education
    • Ends our costly wars
    • Closes the tax loopholes that have made offshoring jobs profitable
    • Ends oil and gas subsidies that pollute our country at taxpayer expense
    • Creates a national infrastructure investment bank to help us make intelligent investments for the future

The “People's Budget” represents not just common sense; it represents the will of the American people.

What the “Peoples Budget” does very specifically:,70

gl0ck0wn3r 6 years, 9 months ago

lol "the people's budget" is kommon sense komrade!

Flap Doodle 6 years, 9 months ago

Forget that dumb and irresponsible people's budget! Read thepeople'scube! It's waaaaay more reality-based.

beatrice 6 years, 9 months ago

rockchalk, Texas also has a deficit of $27 billion. This must mean you are in favor of supporting government spending and going into debt to create jobs at the tune of roughly $100,000 per job.

$27 billion sure would buy a lot of stuff to smoke in a pipe.

Oh, and their property taxes are far higher than other states, which means people who own homes are "paying" for those who just rent.

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