Archive for Thursday, July 14, 2011

President Obama to GOP on debt talks: ‘Don’t call my bluff’

July 14, 2011


— President Barack Obama bluntly told Republican congressional leaders Wednesday they must compromise quickly if the government is to avoid an unprecedented default, adding, “Don’t call my bluff” by passing a short-term debt limit increase he has threatened to veto.

The presidential warning, directed at House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., marked an acrimonious end to a two-hour negotiating session at the White House that produced no evident progress toward a compromise.

Another round of talks is set for today.

With a threatened default less than three weeks away, Moody’s Investors Service announced it was reviewing the U.S. bond rating for a possible downgrade, and the Treasury said the annual deficit was on a pace to exceed $1 trillion for the third year in a row.

With the negotiations at a seeming standstill, Republicans drew a warning of a different sort, from an unlikely source — the party’s Senate leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

In an interview with radio talk-show host Laura Ingraham, McConnell warned fellow conservatives that failure to raise the debt limit would probably ensure Obama’s re-election in 2012.

Republicans, many of them elected with the support of tea party activists in 2010, are demanding deep spending cuts as the price for allowing a debt limit increase to pass. But negotiations have bogged down over Obama’s demand for tax increases that GOP lawmakers say they won’t accept.

McConnell predicted that if Congress fails to act, Obama will argue “that Republicans are making the economy worse and try to convince the public, maybe with some merit, if people start not getting their Social Security checks and military families start getting letters saying their service people overseas don’t get paid.”

“You know, it’s an argument he has a good chance of winning, and all of a sudden we (Republicans) have co-ownership of a bad economy,” McConnell said. “That is a very bad positioning going into an election.”

McConnell said his first choice was to reach a good compromise with Obama.

Short of that, “my second obligation is to my party ... to prevent them from being sucked into a horrible position politically that would allow the president probably to get re-elected because we didn’t handle this difficult situation correctly.”

With bipartisan talks scheduled to resume today, two Democratic officials quoted Obama as telling Republicans, “Enough is enough. We have to be willing to compromise. It shouldn’t be about positioning and politics, and I’ll see you all tomorrow.”

Talking with reporters at the Capitol after he left the White House, Cantor said the president had backed away from spending cuts agreed to earlier because of pressure from Democrats in Congress.


SilverShadow 5 years ago

McConnell's idea of compromise is my way or the highway. After all, he has stated many times his whole job is to make sure Obama is not re-elected, country be damned.

ksrush 5 years ago

Hey now they have something in common, that's Barneys idea of compromise. And good luck to McConnell in his job.

jafs 5 years ago

I agree - I'd hate to have a funny purple dinosaur for president.

Katara 5 years ago

Huh. I was thinking Barney Miller. How cool would it be to have Fish for VP?

Aiko 5 years ago

Or is it Obama saying my way or the highway? What a mess!

Maddy Griffin 5 years ago

I hope he brings a switch with him today. Boehner and Cantor are long overdue for a thrashing.

think_about_it 5 years ago

...or just beat his chest and stomp his foot as he's walking out the door in a tantrum. What a leader.

Scott Drummond 5 years ago

“You know, it’s an argument he has a good chance of winning, and all of a sudden we (Republicans) have co-ownership of a bad economy,” McConnell said. “That is a very bad positioning going into an election.”

george w. bush!!

You're already there, Yertle, no matter how often you try to lie and obfuscate to the contrary.

Scott Drummond 5 years ago

"McConnell said his first choice was to reach a good compromise with Obama.

Short of that, “my second obligation is to my party ... to prevent them from being sucked into a horrible position politically that would allow the president probably to get re-elected because we didn’t handle this difficult situation correctly.”

I wonder where jobs and the American people fit in to his list of priorities.

Mixolydian 5 years ago

Don't call my bluff because I will starve granny.

Please America, 2012, lets finanlly get grown ups in leadership in Congress and the White House.

Crazy_Larry 5 years ago

Which of the current crop of yahoos running for office do you consider as 'grow up?' Please enlighten us all. FYI: I'm sick of choosing from two bad options. Why won't We the People abandon the two party system? Both Democan's and Republicrats have put us in this mess! The 2012 elections need to see us throw off the two party system... Could it be any worse? I've voted for Ross Perot.

Liberty275 5 years ago

All 300 million justices.

Bush beat gore, it's been recounted a thousand times. Take your broken dreams of a algore the liar president into the corner and sob quietly to yourself. We are sick of hearing it. Better yet, blame the voters for being too dumb to vote for your guy.

Democracy is stupid if it doesn't advance your agenda, isn't it?

notanota 5 years ago

He should never have put SS and Medicare on the table. Good for the dems for standing up to him. Meanwhile, the repubs really don't have a lot of bargaining power here. They should just take the McConnell deal and be done with it. That's the best they can do and save any sort of face.

For those who haven't been paying attention, his deal would basically just raise the debt ceiling by default unless two thirds of a majority objected to it. That means all the repubs could vote no symbolically, just as Obama did in 2006, and it would mean nothing.

The stupid partisan bickering and refusal to do anything for the good of the American people if it might possibly get the other guy some credit has been going on for far too long.

Scott Drummond 5 years ago

This is what the Tea Party sent republicons to Congress to accomplish - automatic debt limit increases by default!!

What a massive, massive fail!

bevy 5 years ago

Time for this insane game of chicken to stop!

Crazy_Larry 5 years ago

Agreed. This is all just media fodder for the masses. A weapon of mass distraction, if you will. Bread and circuses. Some might even call it, low grade psychopathological terrorism.

yourworstnightmare 5 years ago

Good point, Libertyone. We need to reduce spending and raise taxes on the wealthy, exactly the opposite of what Bush did.

gudpoynt 5 years ago

Obviously total spending is not an accurate reflection of tax revenues. Obviously we are able to spend much, much more than we take in through taxes.

Bush didn't raise the toll the state took. Hence the deficits.

Raising spending is not the same thing as raising taxes. I see your attempted logic, but you forget one thing. A glut of the spending was for two wars. I fail to see how so much spending on two wars took money away from the private sector. It's not like the gov't swooped in and started wars that private industry ready, willing, and waiting to wage.

In fact, I think we both know that certain parts of the private sector have made out pretty handsomely as a result of all that gov't spending on war.

gudpoynt 5 years ago

Ok fine. The wars were waged on borrowed funds, for which taxes would later be used to pay back.

Ergo, increased spending of borrowed money to wage war is the exact same thing as raising taxes.


notanota 5 years ago

I remember quite a bit of something said about it, especially since the spending was for a needless war and tax cuts for the rich. Quite consistently, most liberals are still saying we need to end the war and the tax cuts for the rich. You might want to see someone about that memory problem.

notanota 5 years ago

You said, "When the republicans raised the debt ceiling over and over under Bush, you liberals said nothing."

If what you intended was a sarcastic way to say that liberals objected to deficit spending then but not now, you should have been more clear about it. It's really hard to tell which ridiculous ideas you take seriously.

gudpoynt 5 years ago

No, we don't think it's great.

We realize it's necessary.

You, obviously, do not.

in 1979, the US defaulted on $120M out of an $800B debt. The resulting rise in interest rates saddled us with $4.8B more in debt.

Do you have any idea how much more money we will owe if Moody's downgrades our bond status? Lots, lots, lots more money owed.

There are smart ways to try to reduce your debt. You look at your options, and work it down in a way that avoids catastrophe.

There are foolish ways to try to reduce your debt. Refusing to pay for what you've already bought is one of those foolish ways. This is what refusing to raise the debt limit amounts to. Refusing to pay for what you've already bought.

gudpoynt 5 years ago

Here's the thing your missing -- I don't care what you ever wanted. You find yourself in a situation, you deal with it. Pulling a Dante from Clerks and whining that "I wasn't even supposed to be here today" won't appease your creditors one iota.

"It'll force the government to balance the budget or go belly up. That's what I want."

Belly up? Really? Most would prefer to avoid that possibility. That's why people call you radical sometimes.

The US has operated under a balanced budget before without playing around with such risky alternatives. Why on Earth have the Teapublicans resorted to dumming the rhetoric down to only these two possibilities?

"The most foolish way of all is to keep ringing up more debt."

Not true. The most foolish would be to default. It's the equivalent of taking your car that's about to be repo'd and going on the run. Stupid.

We're in the situation right now where we have to borrow. Nobody likes it, but that's the deal.

The problem isn't ringing up more debt. The problem is ringing up more and more debt without having any sort of feasible plan to pay it off. A lot of this type of foolishness has been going on for a long time. The wars are prime examples. So is the irresponsible elimination of taxes that were intended to fund social programs.

Liberty275 5 years ago

"The US has operated under a balanced budget before without playing around with such risky alternatives. Why on Earth have the Teapublicans resorted to dumming the rhetoric down to only these two possibilities?"

That's how chicken is played. Whoever blinks loses.

However, if neither side blinks, both sides lose and it hurts the people; the people get angry and finally do something about the liars and thieves in the executive and legislative branches. A full-on constitutional crisis of shutting the whole thing down is the only thing that will force the drastic change in leadership this country needs.

In computer terms, ctrl-alt-delete.

gudpoynt 5 years ago

Remind me to never hire you. Not only do you do not solve problems, you are not at all interested in solving problems. This attitude has the consequence (possibly unintended) of actually exacerbating the problem for everybody else.

You keep missing the point. You are a part of this mess, whether you like it or not. It's a child's job to whine about it. It's an adults job to do something about it.

"Let it fall apart for all I care."

Complain to me again about being mislabeled an anarchist.

Sigh ;-)

jafs 5 years ago

"Screw the creditors"

There's a beautifully moral statement.

beatrice 5 years ago

That simply isn't true. There were many people saying that using debt to pay for the unneccessary war in Iraq was a major problem. You just weren't paying attention because liberals were saying it.

Centerville 5 years ago

Watching Zippy pout is almost worth watching the dinosaurs today.

somedude20 5 years ago

Maybe they could use a fair and balanced person like Samuel Dale Brownback to swoop in and offer some across the board bipartisan help with a little dash of jessus thrown in for good measure! Like what Yakov Smirnoff says, "what a country."

yourworstnightmare 5 years ago

Interesting split in the GOP.

The "hell no" caucus, as described on NPR, consisting of many teapublican house members including Bachmann, actually want to default on our debt.

The Boehner/McConnell axis have stated that it would be a bad thing and a mistake.

What unites them is that neither care about their constituents, about jobs, or bout helping the economy.

The teapublicans are anarchists who just want to screw things up, and the Boehner/McConnell axis cares only about the political ramifications. They want a bad economy so that Obama is hurt, but don't want blame for it.

What a nice bunch of folks the GOP are.

notanota 5 years ago

Actually something could be done to change the economy, but not while the tea party of no controls the purse strings.

gudpoynt 5 years ago

amen! But you don't do it by refusing to pay your bond holders. It'll only make things worse.

jafs 5 years ago

That's pretty immoral, in my view.

You buy something, you pay for it.

Not doing that is stealing, isn't it?

gudpoynt 5 years ago

"Liquidation of debt is the fastest way to recovery."

And what would we liquidate? Social security checks I presume? Medicare payments? Military spending?

Fast does not equal safe. In fact, usually the opposite.

gudpoynt 5 years ago

I didn't create it anymore than you did buddy.

Difference between you and me is that I accept the situation that WE are in, while you refuse to do so.

What a child you are.

Liberty275 5 years ago

"The teapublicans are anarchists who just want to screw things up"

All the spendocrats have to do is give in and they cease being the exact same sort of anarchists the teapublican are (according to you). Will you be calling your Spendocrat representative an anarchist? Will you wonder what a nice folk he is?

Will you be contacting him and encouraging him to give in?

If you give in you don't care enough about your position. If you don't give in like the other guys won't, YOU take the country down. Have the guts to take it down. Do it.

yourworstnightmare 5 years ago

I read your post twice and still could not tell what you are trying to say. Please write with more clarity and have the guts to plainly state your position

Liberty275 5 years ago

The right will not give in. The left will not give in. The government shuts down. Both are responsible for the resulting anarchy. The people retaliate at the polls.

Do you realize the left is as responsible as the right? Is it OK for the left to be anarchists? Will it make them a nice bunch of folk?

Will you call and ask your left wing leaders to agree to the republican's terms and avert a shutdown? Do you care about medicare, or are you unwilling to see the government shut down over it? I think you should defend medicare to the end. Shut down the government. Do it. "Out of chaos comes order." - Howard Johnson

Caveman now understand, grunt grunt?

shadowlady 5 years ago

As I've said before, stop the foreign aid, that would be a big amount of money, that could be for our own country. To me this is blackmail with the money that we Americans have put in and paid for all of lives. This is not right, no matter how you play it.

Kirk Larson 5 years ago

You know, of course, that foreign aid constitutes about one tenth of one percent of our budget.

Crazy_Larry 5 years ago

Every penny counts. We'll no longer be financing our opponents, and one tenth of one percent closer to a balanced budget.

Carol Bowen 5 years ago

“You know, it’s an argument he has a good chance of winning, and all of a sudden we (Republicans) have co-ownership of a bad economy,” McConnell said. “That is a very bad positioning going into an election.”

McConnell probably will not get more votes in the next election with comments like this.

Richard Heckler 5 years ago

Anyone who cannot afford to lose on Wall Street should get out until this is settled.

Medicare and Social Security are being paid for by the users. Nothing free about either. These should not be on the list! The media needs to do some homework!!!

The president understands that Social Security hasn't contributed a dime to the deficit. It has a $2.6 trillion surplus. It can pay every benefit owed to every eligible American for the next 25 years.

Social Security adds to the deficit ? Reality: It's not just wrong—it's impossible! By law, Social Security's funds are separate from the budget, and it must pay its own way. That means that Social Security can't add one penny to the deficit.

Hey the debt limit must be increased. There is no reason not to raise the debt limit. It repubs were in the white house it would be done in a flash.

IF the debt limit IS NOT increased there WILL BE a lot of very smart and very rich people plus many countries which have invested in the USA that WILL BE quite angry..... simple as that.

Not only that many many other important financial aspects would feel the impact in a huge way such as:

  • Wall Street investments up in smoke
  • Wall Street Banks gone
  • retirement plans gone
  • millions upon millions upon millions of jobs lost
  • medical insurance up in smoke
  • homes by the millions would be lost
  • soldiers could not be paid
  • military industrial complex down the tubes
  • millions of financial institutions up in smoke
  • what's left of USA industry gone
  • elected officials would not get paid
  • in essence the USA economy is history

Who in the hell would loan the USA money for recovery?

China and Japan would own the USA pure and simple.

Tell repubs to get on with it and cut the absolute nonsense aka screwing with our jobs,our homes, our medical insurance, OUR SOCIAL SECURITY,OUR MEDICARE AND OUR ECONOMY! Stop being stupid!

Flap Doodle 5 years ago

Another question for merrill, the first 50 or 100 times you've posted this text have accomplished nothing, what do you think is going to happen this time?

Crazy_Larry 5 years ago

Actually, that's the first time I've read merrill's post, and I spy valid points within. What's up with you? Do you have some kind of high school grudge against the guy/gal? No offense, but you come off as a high school bully every time you harp on these posts. I'll hazard a guess...hypocritical, maniacal dislike for truth, endless bigotry, sycophantic that you Sam Brownback? Have a nice day, guvna.

Maddy Griffin 5 years ago

Personally, I like Warren Buffet's idea. Any time the deficit is more than 3%, NOBODY in Congress is eligible for re-election.

bevy 5 years ago

I'm with you, grammaddy. I was thinking on the way into work - if the US Government was a corporation and its board of directors got them in this mess, they would all be fired. Then I realized - no they wouldn't, they would pay themselves bonuses and get someone to bail them out.

tbaker 5 years ago

How childish the president has become. He needs to wise up. By now most Americans have become convinced his economic polices have failed. Using basless scare tactics over the social security checks? Come on. What a classless move. Politicians like him make privatizing social security an even more attractive idea. Having tantrums with republicans in congress? Leveling threats about calling his bluff? What a clown. Does he think this kind of stuff is going to change peoples minds and bring them back to his camp? He needs to think again.

Crazy_Larry 5 years ago

Don't sweat it. This is all just a show for the masses. You seem to have taken the bait; hook, line and sinker.

Mike Ford 5 years ago

I will be removing my 401k from the stock market on the 26th of July thanks to these supposedly responsible tealicans and dumblicans. It's always been about commiting sabotage at the expense of the Democrats more than being economically responsible. And I'd love to thank the reality disconnected churchlicans, ruralicans, and gunlicans who vote for these clowns. I listened to 98.1 KMBZ today and these clowns want separate currencies for each state. Anyone heard of the Articles of Confederation? that was in 1781 and that's what these state's rights clowns are holding the country hostage over. You've been figured out, you better start running from your political platform. After all Michelle Bachmann is a political genuis, right???

tbaker 5 years ago

Let us know how that works out for ya.

notaubermime 5 years ago

Unnamed, theoretical Republican candidates do much better in the polls than the ones who are actually running. Sometimes reality falls short of one's expectations.

notaubermime 5 years ago

Polls I've seen were done as head-to-head.

Carol Bowen 5 years ago

The sample size was 897 registered voters. The data was collected by phone. I have to wonder how they selected a representative sample, although, Gallup does have a track record.

Flap Doodle 5 years ago

Up next, the Mope in Chief reads a "your momma" joke about Congress from his teleprompter.

Mike Ford 5 years ago

notleft notright I'm Choctaw and Biloxi Indian and I think I know something about the rantings of immigrants on tribal lands thank you.

Mike Ford 5 years ago

Obama has outraised all of his weak gop opponents with $85 million this quarter. The gop is sooo weak they have to run fake candidates in Wisconsin to delay the obvious a$$ kicking they're going to get on recall. Of course the dumblicans have the Koch manipulators and the Theocratic fab four of Scalia, Thomas, Roberts and Rehnquist to game the system and fool the dumb minions as they're being fooled right now. Keep drinking the kool aid baa, the FBI is investigating Herr Murdoch as we speak to see if the crooked stuff that occurred in Great Britain also happened here. The man will come from behind the curtain to fix your thought process in a minute baa.

Flap Doodle 5 years ago

Not so much. But thanks for playing.

oldbaldguy 5 years ago

This is what happens when politicians make statements in public that they cannot backup without consequences. Pledges of no new taxes and no cuts on (insert your sacred cow) tie your hands when reality smacks you in the face. All I know is if the pols in Washington screw this up, there has to be consequences to either party.

lunacydetector 5 years ago

republicans need to call obama's bluff. as dr. krauthammer suggests, raise the debt ceiling $500 billion as a short term solution and see if obama proposes anything meaningful in the next 5 months. he hasn't been able to in the past.

Richard Heckler 5 years ago

Debt Political Theater Diverts Attention While Americans' Wealth Is Stolen by Dennis Kucinich

The rancorous debate over the debt belies a fundamental truth of our economy -- that it is run for the few at the expense of the many, that our entire government has been turned into a machine which takes the wealth of a mass of Americans and accelerates it into the hands of the few. Let me give you some examples.

Take war. War takes the money from the American people and puts it into the hands of arms manufacturers, war profiteers, and private armies. The war in Iraq, based on lies: $3 trillion will be the cost of that war. The war in Afghanistan; based on a misreading of history; half a trillion dollars in expenses already. The war against Libya will be $1 billion by September.

Fifty percent of our discretionary spending goes for the Pentagon. A massive transfer of wealth into the hands of a few while the American people lack sufficient jobs, health care, housing, retirement security.

Our energy policies take the wealth from the American people and put it into the hands of the oil companies. We could be looking at $150 a barrel for oil in the near future.

Our environmental policy takes the wealth of the people -- clean air, clean water -- and puts it in the hands of the polluters. It's a transfer of wealth, not only from the present but from future generations as our environment is ruined.

Insurance companies, what do they do? They take the wealth from the American people in terms of what they charge people for health insurance and they put it into the hands of the few.

We have to realize what this country's economy has become. Our monetary policy, through the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, privatized the money supply, gathers the wealth, puts it in the hands of the few while the Federal Reserve can create money out of nothing, give it to banks to park at the Fed while our small businesses are starving for capital.

Mark my words -- Wall Street cashes in whether we have a default or not. And the same type of thinking that created billions in bailouts for Wall Street and more than $1 trillion in giveaways by the Federal Reserve today leaves 26 million Americans either underemployed or unemployed. And nine out of ten Americans over the age of 65 are facing cuts in their Social Security in order to pay for a debt which grew from tax cuts for the rich and for endless wars.

There is a massive transfer of wealth from the American people to the hands of a few and it's going on right now as America's eyes are misdirected to the political theater of these histrionic debt negotiations, threats to shut down the government, and willingness to make the most Americans pay dearly for debts they did not create.

These are symptoms of a government which has lost its way, and they are a challenge to the legitimacy of the two-party system.

Richard Heckler 5 years ago

What's missing from this national deficit debate? JOBS JOBS JOBS AND MORE JOBS

What else? Removing the large tax dollar subsidies to very wealthy USA corporations across the board aka corporate welfare. Then apply these tax dollars to a NEW TYPE of medical insurance for all which brings a strong economic driver across the board to the table.

This is a thrilling conversion.

If all city and state governments plus the federal government would cut corporate welfare and invest this money in IMPROVED Medicare Single Payer Insurance for ALL :

  1. many of us would be saving thousands of dollars annually

  2. big business and small business could operate for less

  3. all governments and school districts could cut operating expenses substantially

  4. employed blue and white collar workers would be healthier thus more productive

  5. all humans would have necessary healthcare 24/7

  6. in general OUR cost of living would decrease across the board

  7. New industry,small business and jobs would develop

Now a new type of medical insurance for all becomes a strong economic driver across the Board !!!

Thus our tax dollars would be invested in our local communities providing a jump start to NEW economic growth that has been squandered as one result of corp welfare.

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