Archive for Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Back-to-back speeches show little indication of debt compromise

July 26, 2011


— In unprecedented back-to-back appearances on nationwide television, President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner clashed Monday night over the cause and cure for the nation’s debt crisis. The two men spoke as Congress remained gridlocked on legislation to avert a threatened default after Aug. 2.

Decrying a “partisan three-ring circus” in the nation’s capital, Obama assailed a newly minted Republican plan to raise the nation’s debt limit as an invitation to another crisis in six months’ time. He said congressional leaders must produce a compromise that can reach his desk before the deadline.

“The American people may have voted for divided government, but they didn’t vote for a dysfunctional government,” the president said in a hastily arranged prime-time speech. He appealed to the public to contact lawmakers and demand “a balanced approach” to reducing federal deficits — including tax increases for the wealthy as well as spending cuts.

Responding moments later from a room near the House chamber, Boehner said the “‘crisis atmosphere” was of the president’s making.

“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,” the speaker said. “The president has often said we need a ‘balanced’ approach, which in Washington means we spend more, you pay more.”

Obama stepped to the microphones in the East Room of the White House a few hours after Republican lawmakers, then his own Democrats, drafted rival emergency legislation to head off a potentially devastating default.

The back-to-back speeches did little to suggest that a compromise was in the offing, and the next steps appeared to be votes in the House and Senate on the rival plans by mid-week.

Despite warnings to the contrary, U.S. financial markets have appeared to take the political maneuvering in stride — so far. Wall Street posted losses Monday but with no indication of panic among investors.

Without signed legislation by day’s end on Aug. 2, the Treasury will be unable to pay all its bills, possibly triggering an unprecedented default that officials warn could badly harm a national economy still struggling to recover from the worst recession in decades.

Obama wants legislation that will raise the nation’s debt limit by at least $2.4 trillion in one vote, enough to avoid a recurrence of the acrimonious current struggle until after the 2012 elections.

Republicans want a two-step process that would require a second vote in the midst of the 2012 campaign with control of the White House and both houses of Congress at stake.

Monday night’s speeches were a remarkable turn in a six-month-old era of divided government as first the president, then his principal Republican opponents appealed to the nation in a politically defining struggle.


Richard Heckler 6 years, 9 months ago

Obama was right when he called for closing the loophole in Medicare Part D to allow the government to use its bulk-purchasing power to negotiate lower drug prices YES !!!

Or all medicare prescriptions could be run the VA system = bargain of the century.

Hands Off Medicare AND Social Security

Hands Off Medicare! Healthcare-NOW! is fighting back! The deficit commission is meeting behind closed doors regularly to balance the nation's budget on the backs of working people looking to the programs that keep us from financial devastation – social security and Medicare.

We say cuts to these important programs are "OFF THE TABLE."

Richard Heckler 6 years, 9 months ago

The fact is government cannot be run or managed like a personal business or your personal bank account.

Sorry folks that simply cannot be. No way jose'!

There are so so many more variables that our personal business or personal bank accounts could never deal with. How can government be run like a business when the government decides against USA citizens to engage in 2-3 expensive wars? As of now we are at war against Iraq,Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Republicans are lying again = not one repub admin in history has been managed like our own personal bank accounts.

One perfect example: Fully 81% of the national debt was created by Republican Presidents Reagan,Bush and Bush. Repubs never bring this up for discussion.

One republican president flat out lied to americans about Social Security:

This lying revealed just how little politicians know about Wall Street.

Chris Golledge 6 years, 8 months ago

Wow, let's see. Looks like cutting taxes and waging war increases the debt. Go figure.

Seriously, it's maddening to see the Tea Baggers holding the country hostage for their political gain.

Chris Golledge 6 years, 8 months ago

When has it not been the job of congress to hammer out a budget?

It is nothing but a political power play to tie budget negotiations to America's ability to meet the obligations congress has already agreed to.

Chris Golledge 6 years, 8 months ago

“The president has often said we need a ‘balanced’ approach, which in Washington means we spend more, you pay more.”

This statement is intended to mislead.
"we spend more" - No, everyone agrees that serious cuts are required and those are in the Democrat's plan.

"you pay more" - Who is "you"? He must be only talking to those making more than $200,000 per year who have enjoyed reduced rates over the last decade, because those are the only ones who would be paying more. I guess he doesn't care to talk to the rest of us.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 6 years, 8 months ago

Are you proud of the tea baggers? What do you think that these snake-oil salesmen now? The Palinist/Facists that so many deluded voters jumped to vote for to get the black dude smushed and out of the White House have now revealed their true intentions, to destroy the government and economy of the United States of America. And yet, the dumb-as-a-box-of-dirt-and-rocks right wingnut voters fell for it. Now you see the real picture, the revealing of the true intentions of the Republican Terrorist Party.

It is highly unlikely that the true villians of this debacle will reveal their mcreance, most stupid and bigoted people don't. But the peril to the country is real and the voters have turned it over to these congressmen on the extreme right and the vision of the damage they can continue to do to the Republic is horrifying. Check out Germany in the 1930's Don't ignore this, this has happened before. Unless you just happen to be one of these billy-bob supporters of the facist extreme right.

Carol Bowen 6 years, 8 months ago

And this article was on page 6A? The problem would get more attention if it were March Madness.

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