Analysis: In spending wars, Obama strikes at Republican leverage

Comments (57)
jvonrock wrote:

Republicans want deep cuts to the Medicare and Medicaid health care programs and savings from the Social Security retirement program. Democrats are resisting these, and will likely only offer modest savings by adjusting inflation assumptions. ” Did he tell you this too ?

We’ll just keep raising the limit ‘ bring on the Pelosi platinum spare change !

Jan 15, 2013 1:38am EST  --  Report as abuse
antoon wrote:

I think the first thing to shut down should be Cogress until they start doing something…ANYTHING constructive and meaningful for the American people instead of bowing down on their knees and swear allegiance before the high-priests of their political religions.
Who knows we may not even miss them

Jan 15, 2013 1:42am EST  --  Report as abuse
Joninsd wrote:

Obama is insisting that it is impossible to run the Federal Government without ongoing massive new borrowing every month. That is truly a provocative and distressing state of affairs.

Jan 15, 2013 1:46am EST  --  Report as abuse

Proof that the biggest entitlements are indeed unfunded. The thought that people actually think there is some big bag of money at the treasury to cover this shows how little people know. It’s also offensive that POTUS threatens/scares these same people into thinking that he has no say in who wins and loses on spending cuts.. Ironic isn’t it?

Jan 15, 2013 1:54am EST  --  Report as abuse
JimONeill wrote:

President Obama cannot even pay the light bill for the White House without Congressional appropriation. Presidents cannot increase spending by one cent. Only Congress can approve federal spending. Those are facts.

The debt ceiling issue is a Red Herring. What the Republicans are saying is this: We have passed legislation and ordered the president as our Chief Executive to implement our programs but now we have decided not to provide him the money to do the job we have ordered him to complete. This whole issue revolves around funding what Congress has authorized.

As for the national debt, two unfunded wars, the Bush era tax cuts and the Great Recession have more to do with the tremendous increase in our national debt than Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid. Remember, before the Bush era tax cuts, our federal government had a surplus and had begun to pay down the National Debt.

There are solutions to our fiscal problems without gutting social programs; the country has done it before. The Republicans are wrong about this. I wish President Obama a lot of luck on this issue, the country depends upon it.

Jan 15, 2013 2:06am EST  --  Report as abuse
Friederang wrote:

This country should not buy what it doesn’t have money to buy. Bernanke wants to borrow money? Let him borrow it. We shouldn’t. If we want more money we should produce products and charge for service. That’s called good business and great economics. It’s also a great way for me to raise my children — to point to the example of my government and say — “that’s how you do it son!” This should be a bi-partisan commitment. No more “credit”; much more progress in regaining our status in making products and providing services people in this and other countries want to pay for. You really aren’t paying bills when you borrow money — you’re just getting MORE bills. Stop. Today. If you can’t afford bombs, bring our men and women home. If you can’t afford to pay Congressmen, ask them to work for free. If they won’t, replace them. I’ll go represent my neighbors for free. I have some other smart educated friends around the country who will too. With the trillions you take from us, build roads and provide for the common “defense”. Stop spending trillions on campaigns and perks for oil and insurance companies and banks who don’t need or deserve it. You have enough money and you have enough debt. Stop. Spend only what you have. Don’t lend what isn’t yours. It really is THAT simple.

Jan 15, 2013 2:08am EST  --  Report as abuse
J.L. wrote:

@Joninsd yay someone, hopefully from the Republican side, that makes sense!

I’m a moderate leaning democrat but I have to agree. We need cuts to our government spending and no I don’t think we should cut Medicare and Medicaid. I think we should cut that bloated defense budget. $400+ billion. Too much is too much. We spend more than the next five countries combine.

Jan 15, 2013 2:09am EST  --  Report as abuse
sae-sho wrote:

i am a reasonable man. some years ago congress increased the withholding for ss by 50% to pay for MY retirement. i have never missed a payment. actually, i can’t , it comes out of my paycheck regardless. it was supposed to increase the solvency of ss , well for a very long time, but there is free money there, just sitting there in piles. no one will notice if i borrow some of it, or most of it, or all of it. don’t hand me this nonsense about stealing from future generations, you stole from me. 2.5% of every dollar i earned for 30 years, pissed down a toilet

Jan 15, 2013 2:16am EST  --  Report as abuse
morbas wrote:

A method of fair taxation induces the least pain, a simple mathematical soultion exists that immediately balances the budget.
Rates $0-20K 0%, money above $20K 35%; couples freely share; all income bundled and taxed together, no exemptions. The effective taxation is less for the under $250K income. To provide business relief with no business taxation: provide a means for the ‘partnership and disregarded’ businesses to transfer funds into personal accounts as taxable income.
Specialization breeds biases that ultimately aggregate as ideological discords. If you seek a solution to the present ideological conflicts we must reduce the issues to constituent entities. Democracy demands a generalized synergism to be greater than the summation of generalization(s). Society expects all earnestly responsible communication to be crispy brief, there-in lies the rub of the ideological phraseology inbreeding biased ideological discord. The medicine is in comprehensive understanding wherein transparency is found.
Congressional House is at 11% approval rating. The people have lost representation, and need to reclaim the House. Since we cannot support perpetual re-election 2 year posts, we should term limit the House to non-consecutive two year posts. When filibuster or deadlocks occur the people should vote on all pending resolutions put before the House. End House districts (and the electoral college system) by popular vote, allowing candidates to combine votes to achieve selection between those on the ballot. These rules would invite third parties. Let the people be represented over the parties.
The sixth largest economy in the world resolved it’s indebtiness though a ballot initiative to increase the taxation on the top quintile atleast enough to paydown indebtiness (California). Honorable POTUS Obama intiative was geared as a partial solution, perhaps in his view to have a certain probability of passage. Half measures only extend the issue Honorable President, that the aformentioned national tax would resolve.

Jan 15, 2013 2:27am EST  --  Report as abuse

Republicans are having a hissy fit because every time they try to screw the middle class, Obama blocks the way. Then they try another way and he blocks that too. Republicans hate government because it’s government by the consent of the governed, and they want it to be by divine right of the ruling class, meaning Republicans and their filthy rich donors.

Jan 15, 2013 2:56am EST  --  Report as abuse
GRRR wrote:

The media should be talking about the parallels to the GOP desire to get the Balanced Budget Amendment passed, and their threats to keep the debt ceiling in place. Instead, the media has erroneously focused on this theory of “compromise”.

There is no compromise; this is a fight of dogma, and Republicans have nothing to give, because in truth, they WANT the debt ceiling to stay in place.

So to push this to the forefront, Democrats in Congress should put a weekly vote on a clean bill to raise the debt ceiling. We’ll see exactly where Republicans stand on their own dogma.

Jan 15, 2013 3:13am EST  --  Report as abuse
sandman839 wrote:

Friederang wrote:

This country should not buy what it doesn’t have money to buy. Bernanke wants to borrow money? Let him borrow it. We shouldn’t. If we want more money we should produce products and charge for service. That’s called good business and great economics. It’s also a great way for me to raise my children — to point to the example of my government and say — “that’s how you do it son!” This should be a bi-partisan commitment. No more “credit”; much more progress in regaining our status in making products and providing services people in this and other countries want to pay for. You really aren’t paying bills when you borrow money — you’re just getting MORE bills. Stop. Today. If you can’t afford bombs, bring our men and women home. If you can’t afford to pay Congressmen, ask them to work for free. If they won’t, replace them. I’ll go represent my neighbors for free. I have some other smart educated friends around the country who will too. With the trillions you take from us, build roads and provide for the common “defense”. Stop spending trillions on campaigns and perks for oil and insurance companies and banks who don’t need or deserve it. You have enough money and you have enough debt. Stop. Spend only what you have. Don’t lend what isn’t yours. It really is THAT simple.

First the U.S. goverment is not a for profit company. Second they run like 98% of the house holds in this country, they borrow money.

Jan 15, 2013 3:15am EST  --  Report as abuse
Chazz wrote:

“Mr. President, I rise today to talk about America’s debt problem. The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies….

Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘‘the buck stops here.’’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit. ”

Barack Obama –

Jan 15, 2013 3:25am EST  --  Report as abuse
Saywhaaaaa wrote:

Let’s take that in context of the times. That was about the same time Cheney came out and said Reagan proved “deficits don’t matter” and was applauded by his party. That was a time Boehner, McConnell and Ryan VOTED FOR without hesitation or discussion for rising deficits and raising the debt while at the same time they voted for tax cuts during a time of war. First time in history the US fought an unfinanced war and you wonder why we are running deficits. There is a difference between a reckless fiscal policy of drastically cutting taxes and greatly increasing spending in particular foreign spending which is what trillion dollar wars are. There is a difference between a declining deficit which we have now and the nonchalant attitude of rising deficits of Bush Jr. and his Republican yes men to all things under a Republican administration. The trillion dollar deficits are a result of the fiscal recklessness of the Republican Bush years and the Tea Party Republicans have fought any economic stimulus or balanced approach to resolving the issue with their pledges to Norquist and their absence of any ideas besides cutting taxes and not cutting subsidies to their benefactors. Republican Presidents haven’t once decreased the deficit while in office and have always contributed more to the deficit than their Democratic counter parts.Who knew the Republicans would fight even Reagan actions of increasing taxes to increase government revenue or badly needed infrastructure programs Reagan financed with 125% increase in the federal gasoline tax. The main hypocrites here would be Tea Party Republicans such as McConnell, Boehner and Ryan.

Jan 15, 2013 3:42am EST  --  Report as abuse
Saywhaaaaa wrote:

Let’s take that in context of the times. That was about the same time Cheney came out and said Reagan proved “deficits don’t matter” and was applauded by his party. That was a time Boehner, McConnell and Ryan VOTED FOR without hesitation or discussion for rising deficits and raising the debt while at the same time they voted for tax cuts during a time of war. First time in history the US fought an unfinanced war and you wonder why we are running deficits. There is a difference between a reckless fiscal policy of drastically cutting taxes and greatly increasing spending in particular foreign spending which is what trillion dollar wars are. There is a difference between a declining deficit which we have now and the nonchalant attitude of rising deficits of Bush Jr. and his Republican yes men to all things under a Republican administration. The trillion dollar deficits are a result of the fiscal recklessness of the Republican Bush years and the Tea Party Republicans have fought any economic stimulus or balanced approach to resolving the issue with their pledges to Norquist and their absence of any ideas besides cutting taxes and not cutting subsidies to their benefactors. Republican Presidents haven’t once decreased the deficit while in office and have always contributed more to the deficit than their Democratic counter parts.Who knew the Republicans would fight even Reagan actions of increasing taxes to increase government revenue or badly needed infrastructure programs Reagan financed with 125% increase in the federal gasoline tax. The main hypocrites here would be Tea Party Republicans such as McConnell, Boehner and Ryan.

Jan 15, 2013 3:42am EST  --  Report as abuse
m1234567890 wrote:

So can we all now at least all agree that the President was absolutely, truly, positively lying his butt off when he said “give me my tax cuts and let me punish the people that I hate today and I will happily talk about reducing spending tomorrow”?

The fact that Bush spend more than he had does not justify Obama doubling down on Bush’ levels of expenditure. I initially said budget but, of course, the President has not had one for three years.

Its long past time for the President to actually do what he promised and ‘responsibly reduce spending’.

Thus far his actions, by his very own statements, have been “irresponsible” and “unpatriotic”.

For all you class warriors out there, the socialists have been “protecting” the middle class and lower class in Greece for years. Do you really want to end up in their shoes? Like it or not, history has emphatically proved that Obama’s path leads to that end.

Jan 15, 2013 3:48am EST  --  Report as abuse
OneOfTheSheep wrote:

So now Obama tries the same kind of blackmail school districts have used with such success against parents. The first thing cut from school budgets when higher taxes or school bonds don’t pass with voters is school bus service.

Why? Because that’s a lot harder on working parents than cutting unnecessary services and staff. It brings them to their knees immediately. “We, the people” should not put up with such juvenile behavior by people that, at least on paper, serve US!

This “all or nothing” mind set is beyond stupid. Until the debt limit is not raised, make the money go as far as possible for the most essential things. Can’t agree? Well, politicians, “we, the people” will MAKE you do it sooner or later because you have failed to do your job. We have no choice.

Identify those services of government agencies America can’t do without on a day-to-day basis. Those are needs. The rest are “wants” to be resolved later. Shut down non-essential expenditures by government agencies. Stop ALL federal hiring. Stop all non-essential procurement INCLUDING that of the military.

Let each party compose a priority list of “needs” versus “wants”, and prioritize for the “needs” understanding when the money’s gone, no more checks until the next week or month. Make up a list of payment authorizations taking, alternately, a “need” from each list. Each party will be “judged” by it’s constituants on the wisdom of their choices and who feels the pain of the cuts in spending. Choose wisely!

Let there be no obfuscation here. If either party refuses to cooperate in coming up with a list of eventually sustainable expenditures, “we, the people” will know they will not or cannot do the job, either now OR inn the future. At that point the only appropriate question is how fast can we replace each with someone who can and will.

If Obama REALLY wants seniors “first off” this payment list, let his party stand in the political winds that blow with that choice. This purported “inability” to get by on available revenue is nothing but a smoke screen for those that refuse to try or seriously consider such a course in the long run. OUT WITH THEM!

Jan 15, 2013 3:53am EST  --  Report as abuse
OneOfTheSheep wrote:

So now Obama tries the same kind of blackmail school districts have used with such success against parents. The first thing cut from school budgets when higher taxes or school bonds don’t pass with voters is school bus service.

Why? Because that’s a lot harder on working parents than cutting unnecessary services and staff. It brings them to their knees immediately. “We, the people” should not put up with such juvenile behavior by people that, at least on paper, serve US!

This “all or nothing” mind set is beyond stupid. Until the debt limit is not raised, make the money go as far as possible for the most essential things. Can’t agree? Well, politicians, “we, the people” will MAKE you do it sooner or later because you have failed to do your job. We have no choice.

Identify those services of government agencies America can’t do without on a day-to-day basis. Those are needs. The rest are “wants” to be resolved later. Shut down non-essential expenditures by government agencies. Stop ALL federal hiring. Stop all non-essential procurement INCLUDING that of the military.

Let each party compose a priority list of “needs” versus “wants”, and prioritize for the “needs” understanding when the money’s gone, no more checks until the next week or month. Make up a list of payment authorizations taking, alternately, a “need” from each list. Each party will be “judged” by it’s constituants on the wisdom of their choices and who feels the pain of the cuts in spending. Choose wisely!

Let there be no obfuscation here. If either party refuses to cooperate in coming up with a list of eventually sustainable expenditures, “we, the people” will know they will not or cannot do the job, either now OR inn the future. At that point the only appropriate question is how fast can we replace each with someone who can and will.

If Obama REALLY wants seniors “first off” this payment list, let his party stand in the political winds that blow with that choice. This purported “inability” to get by on available revenue is nothing but a smoke screen for those that refuse to try or seriously consider such a course in the long run. OUT WITH THEM!

Jan 15, 2013 3:53am EST  --  Report as abuse
sylvan wrote:

It is truly hard to fathom how pundits at a business paper can actually support shutting down our government, repeating GOP talking points as if they were sensible and sane. Reuters political punditry disguised as reporting is damaging and demeans their investigative heritage. It is very disappointing that their political opinions mar all of their political articles, especially in light of their excellent international conflict investigations. Could you try every once in awhile to write political coverage without massive punditry imbedded? Or maybe like British banks, British papers just want to do everything in their power to bring the US down to the level of their small island, which is riven with Murdoch delivered division.

Jan 15, 2013 4:13am EST  --  Report as abuse
javaguy141 wrote:

So marxist/fascists on this board. It is true Bush added 8 Trillion dollars in debt at the end of 8 year in office. But the marxist/fascist in charge added another 7.5 trillion in 4 years. But the divider in charge did it for “good” reasons—right leaches?

Jan 15, 2013 5:55am EST  --  Report as abuse
mikefromaz wrote:

Remember folks, from day one of the Obama administration, the Republicans proclaimed loudly and often to the media that their main objective was to make President Obama fail. The parallel one can draw from this is not unlike clashing mideval armies, where once the king was slain, the battle was won. The Republicans don’t care who they take hostage, whether it’s the next door neighbors Socialy Security food money, or the economic recovery of this country itself. They are beyond greedy, they are out of control, period. They are not “job creators”, they are predictors and if possible the causitive factor in in economic stagnation. Fear is stifling. They know it and saw the success the GW Bush administration had in control of the populace by successfully spending a trillion dollars on a war of choice in Iraq, with the ever present “bogey man” at the ready when it came time for another unfunded 80 billion or so from Congress. They are out of gas, and sll they have left is intimidation like thugs in some grade B Hollywood gangster movie.

Jan 15, 2013 6:04am EST  --  Report as abuse
tbro wrote:

I have not voted Republican for 13 years, but I do have to side with them on this one. Obama needs to lead, not arrogantly bully and lecture as he is so good for, and demonstrate how to stop spending more than he got to work with. That would also be called living up to your promises.

Jan 15, 2013 6:16am EST  --  Report as abuse
Adam_Smith wrote:

I am glad the president compared default to leaving the resturant “without paying the check”. It is a very fair analogy. The real problem is the debt limit law. For an excellent example of an illegitimate law one need look no farther. This law is nothing but an authorization to renege on paying the government’s bills. It has nothing to do with spending, only with (not) paying. It is disgraceful that such a law exists and it only exists because Congress uses it to obscure its fiscal irresponsibility. It is counting on a confused public to mistake the debt limit law as an effort to control spending although it is actually no such thing.

Jan 15, 2013 6:23am EST  --  Report as abuse
mikefromaz wrote:

tbro…. The transfer of wealth, back and forth is the lubricant of a productive society. Take a look at what happened when the bank bailout funds which were intended to help homeowners remained out of reach, remaining in the banks themselves. Millions of people lost their homes. Trade, commerce, maufacturing and consumption have been the “four pillars of trade since the first caravan or ship set sail. This “new” Republican party is so short sighted they refuse to let the country do what we all want, to prosper. Their leadership in front of and behind closed doors are driven by hatred (yes hatred) of President Obama. I’m sorry, but in this case “arrogantly bully” as you put it, rings too close to “uppity” in my ears. Never before in my 50 years of voting have I seen such open disrespect for ANY man or woman in office as Obama has endured. That aside, until the Republicans realize they too will lose their precious money if they bankrupt America by stonewalling progress, for the sake of greed for the cream of society, and the “good ol’ boy” syndrome we are all in serious trouble. You want a worthy task for Republicans? Convince them to end outsourcing, excessive war profiteering, and most of all, convince them to read the newspaper or watch TV once in while to find out what the people of this country really want.

Jan 15, 2013 6:37am EST  --  Report as abuse
lensmanb wrote:

Eventually the SH_T is going to hit the fan. March, next December, two years from now? Lets let it hit it in March so we can get on the road to reducing the size of the Federal government.

Jan 15, 2013 7:49am EST  --  Report as abuse
pbgd wrote:

The American voters will blame only the Republicans. They can thank the Tea Party for that who made cutting off funds into a Republican tool.

Jan 15, 2013 7:53am EST  --  Report as abuse
johnwayland wrote:

I wish Obama would spend 10% as much time on solving the problems with our economy as he does trying to destroy the Republican Party.

Jan 15, 2013 8:16am EST  --  Report as abuse
Chazz wrote:

“Mr. President, I rise today to talk about America’s debt problem. The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies….

Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘‘the buck stops here.’’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit. ”

Barack Obama –

Jan 15, 2013 9:19am EST  --  Report as abuse
Bobo_9 wrote:

Obama has no interest in solving any problems, he wanst to make as many Americans dependent on governemnt as he can. That’s the liberal way.
If we do default then for sure the Republicans get blamed, but to be honest the Repubs has made themselves irrelevant recently as they focus on abortion, guns, & not allowing taxes to go up on multi-millionaire earners.
BTW, it was Obama with this latest tax bill who wanted the SS taxes to go back up by the 2%, thus giving all of us a 2% pay cut for 2013. Also Obama is the one who proposed the new method of calcualting SS annual increases to be tied to a new “pretend” way of calculating inflation so that SS recipients will be ensured of getting smaller increases.
He’s NOT looking out for the “little people”, he only wants us under hus thumb being dependent on government for all our needs, thus developing his dream of a worthless, lazy society, so as to brign down the U.S. to the standard of living we see in Europe.
China must love Obama, as they’re the ones poised to take over world leadership.

Jan 15, 2013 9:30am EST  --  Report as abuse
Whipsplash wrote:

News Flash (for the clueless);
Republicans WILL take the hit politically for not raising the debt ceiling. So keep up your tuff talk, Obama bashing, and whining while showing your ignorance on how and why the government functions as it does. Please continue down the same pathetic road you’ve chosen over the last four years for the next four because it will guarantee you lose control of the House in two years and have NO chance of winning the White House in four.

Jan 15, 2013 9:36am EST  --  Report as abuse
jaham wrote:

The fact the we continue to run up against our debt ceiling is a sign that the spending we’ve already appropriated is unsustainable and represents inept leadership. Why doesn’t Obama just agree to cut spending in return for raising the debt ceiling a she promised?

Senator Obama himself said as much when he voted against raising the debt ceiling in March 2006:

“The fact that we’re here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. Leadership means ‘The buck stops here.’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit.”

Jan 15, 2013 9:47am EST  --  Report as abuse
Stickystones wrote:

The President’s comments about shutting down all essential services because he can’t borrow more money is truly a sign of desperation. He is betting the majority of citizens are too stupid to understand and he’s probably right there. He is attempting to create a crisis that he can use to further his power and stature. When people look back at American history in 20 years they will wonder what happened in America from 2008-2016. 1776-2016 RIP America

Jan 15, 2013 10:27am EST  --  Report as abuse
Whittier5 wrote:

Funny that the GNOP now wants a “do over” on the drunken sailor Spending THEY ran up under Bush43. And, that this comes at a time when Obama has already Saved over $6.6T in various areas of the Federal books.

Buyer’s Remorse?? You can’t return stuff you’ve already used.

Social Security & MediCare are not “gobermint” Spending, but pre-paid Annuities. WCare (MediCare Part D) is the only “entitlement”.

We don’t have a Spending Problem now that the Repubs are out of power. We have the JOBS Problem their irresponsibility created!

Jan 15, 2013 10:35am EST  --  Report as abuse
Timbuk3 wrote:

@ Chazz @ Jaham
you are partially correct, although mindlessly repeating the same point over and over is not really insightful.

As a freshman senator, Obama did vote against one debt limit increase, but did not prevent passage. It was a vote that he said was a mistake and that he regrets.

(AP) WASHINGTON — The White House said Monday that President Barack Obama regrets his vote as a senator in 2006 against raising the debt limit – a vote he’s now pressuring Congress to take.

Obama “thinks it was a mistake,” presidential spokesman Jay Carney told reporters. “He realizes now that raising the debt ceiling is so important to the health of this economy and the global economy that it is not a vote that, even when you are protesting an administration’s policies, you can play around with.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/11/obama-debt-ceiling-vote_n_847627.html

What is Boehner’s rationale? He is hardly a freshman congressman, he’s the majority leader of the house. He voted 19 times to increase the limit for Bush. Is he claiming that he voted incorrectly 19 times and now he sees the error of his incorrect voting record?

http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2011/04/14/158424/republican-leaders-debt-limit-hypocrisy/?mobile=nc

@ Bobo9: you can’t have it both ways, claiming the president isn’t serious about debt reduction, then criticizing him for suggesting modest and tolerable spending cuts or reductions in increases in spending. You are making the case for his pragmatic approach where we all share some of the burden and cuts. The difference is, he is asking everyone to share the burden, not JUST the “little people”.

I am quite willing to have the SSI payroll deduction return to the previous levels, that was a temporary measure to offset the GOP/Bush great depression.

Jan 15, 2013 10:59am EST  --  Report as abuse
Speaker2 wrote:

@johnwayland wrote:
I wish Obama would spend 10% as much time on solving the problems with our economy as he does trying to destroy the Republican Party.

Actually that would be good for our economy. We are dealing with two issues here. The debt ceiling has nothing to do with new spending. It Raising the limit covers spending already approved by congress. The president cannot spend a single dime, without congress first authorizing the spending.

Jan 15, 2013 11:04am EST  --  Report as abuse
jaham wrote:

timbuk3…yes, I am aware Obama has reneged on his statement and tried to explain that he was only being “political” as a Senator (as if that’s okay…).

I use this not just to highlight Obama’s hypocrisy, but also to show that he does, in fact, understand that we have serious fiscal problems, that we’re are burdening future generations, etc……yet he still refuses to cut spending as he promised via his “balanced approach”, as his own deficit commission recommended to him and as the arithmetic Clinton lauds dictates is a necessity.

I know you refuse to hold Obama accountable for his many false promises and failures. I also recognize you’ll tell me Obama has cut spending when in fact we’ve only slightly cut the rate of INCREASE in spending. And you’ll also probably deflect to “Congress appropriates expenditures, not the POTUS” argument and ignore the fact that the House has passed a balanced budget every year Obama has been in office while the Senate Democrats have yet to pass one.

My use of that quote is meant to enlighten and display the hypocrisy of Obama’s inept leadership; if you choose to ignore it, make excuses, and deflect to obscure issues rather than glean any insight from it, that is certainly your prerogative.

Jan 15, 2013 11:59am EST  --  Report as abuse
jaham wrote:

@timbuk3…BTW, I see Boehner’s rationale as: Obama complained of the reckless spending under GWB’s administration and the fiscal problems it was creating.

Yet, after perpetuating and exacerbating GWB’s fiscally imprudent policies for four years, Obama seems hellbent on doing the same for another 4, instead of making good on his notion that “Leadership means ‘The buck stops here’”.

Why not use the debt ceiling as perhaps the ONLY leverage that could possible force Obama and the Dems to cut spending?

Jan 15, 2013 12:02pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Grant_X wrote:

antoon wrote:
I think the first thing to shut down should be Cogress until they start doing something…ANYTHING constructive and meaningful for the American people instead of bowing down on their knees and swear allegiance before the high-priests of their political religions.
Who knows we may not even miss them
___
How quickly you forget…Congress is YOU. Without Congress, who represents you?

Remember, don’t elect these crazies to office in the first place. Actively campaign for people that will not bow to their party’s masters. Pick wisely.

And avoid the Tea Party at all costs.

Jan 15, 2013 12:10pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Timbuk3 wrote:

Ironically, Boehner voted for Bush’s debt limit increase the same day he voted to increase the deficit by $350B in tax breaks, mostly to the very wealthy.

I guess changing your mind, and admitting a mistake, is only hypocracy for the president, not for the GOP leadership.

Jan 15, 2013 12:51pm EST  --  Report as abuse
JL4 wrote:

@jaham, you wrote:

“the House has passed a balanced budget every year Obama has been in office while the Senate Democrats have yet to pass one.”

The House may be offering “balanced budgets” every year, but I think the question is, what’s been cut? A simple example:

I can submit a household budget that eliminates 1/2 of food purchases, 1/2 of medical care and 1/2 of clothing expenses while keeping my weapon, jewelry and entertainment allowances intact, but is that what is best for my family?

That’s the issue here.

Jan 15, 2013 1:26pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Fairfielder wrote:

Raising the debt ceiling is not about enabling the President to spend more money or giving him the power to increase the country’s indebtedness. It is about enabling the country to continue to pay the bills that are coming due as a result of spending already previously approved by Congress (Republicans and Democrats). Blocking the debt ceiling increase accomplishes only one thing…it undermines the creditworthiness of the United States. Do we really need to go through this again? I thought we learned our lesson in Aug 2011 when this type of action by Republicans in Congress resulted in a lowering of the credit rating (credit worthiness)of our country. Per the Constitution, only Congress can authorize the spending of our country’s money. Hence, they are the ones who need to reduce spending through future legislation.

Jan 15, 2013 1:34pm EST  --  Report as abuse
ccharles wrote:

There needs to be some serious cuts made, not talked about … made. To not do the Budget Control Act of 2012, they broke a law. This is making us go over our limit. Without doing those cut that are braodly line out in the law, how can you give them more money? Bad Business.

That our taxes wouldnt rise, well they did. There 30 dollars more a week being taken out. I noticed it and asked about it and was told it was a payroll tax.

They have destroyed both Medi-care and aid, and SS. When they tally it up, which as some point they will have too. The only thing you will be left with is Obamacare. Broken down VA hospitol… what a joke. So long america. that was with a little a purposely.

Jan 15, 2013 2:12pm EST  --  Report as abuse
jaham wrote:

@JL4…you may not agree with the budget proposed by the House, but your party (Obama and the Dems) has presented no alternative….

It’s pretty easy to vilify the plan of the opposition and skirt criticism yourself when you don’t pass a budget at all….thus you have demonstrated the exact mindset Obama appears to have: Say NO to what you don’t like, but offer and pursue no feasible alternative….

Jan 15, 2013 2:20pm EST  --  Report as abuse
GA_Chris wrote:

@ JL4…. great example

Jan 15, 2013 2:21pm EST  --  Report as abuse
jaham wrote:

@timbuk3 said: “Ironically, Boehner voted for Bush’s debt limit increase the same day he voted to increase the deficit by $350B in tax breaks, mostly to the very wealthy.

I guess changing your mind, and admitting a mistake, is only hypocracy for the president, not for the GOP leadership.”

I honestly have no interest in playing the “who’s more of a hypocrite” game….my concern is that we have a POTUS who refuses to cut spending as he promised via a “balanced approach”, as his own deficit commission recommended to him, and as the arithmetic Clinton lauds dictates is a necessity.

Jan 15, 2013 2:22pm EST  --  Report as abuse
moonhill wrote:

So much for the “balanced” approach. Everyone knew that was a crock when it came out of his mouth.

Jan 15, 2013 2:35pm EST  --  Report as abuse
JL4 wrote:

@jaham, it is not the President’s job to pass or propose a budget. That job, according to the Constitution belongs to Congress – always has been.

Obama has the ability to veto a bill. If he does, or states that he will, it’s then incumbent upon Congress to go back to the drawing board, come up with another budget and submit again.

Jan 15, 2013 3:05pm EST  --  Report as abuse
dmanning wrote:

Where is the Republican plan to cut entitlements? It is the most important issue they say, and they talk about it alot, but where is the plan? Where is the bill? Where is the proposal?

Ryan’s budget? That’s collecting dust in Congressional Records somewhere, almost three years old at this point. Americans roundly rejected turning Medicare into a voucher program.

I’m just saying, if Republicans believe entitlements are bankrupting us, shouldn’t they introduce legislation to deal with this massive threat to our fiscal future? So, where is it?

Jan 15, 2013 3:38pm EST  --  Report as abuse
jaham wrote:

@JL4 said: “it is not the President’s job to pass or propose a budget.”

False; the budget process actually begins with the President submitting a budget proposal to Congress each and every year (See: The Budget Control and Impoundment Act of 1974).

The only problem? The Senate hasn’t passed a budget since April 29th, 2009. Obama’s budget’s have been so atrocious that Harry Reid wouldn’t even bring them to the floor for a vote.

However, Obama’s most recent 2012 proposal was voted down in the DEMOCRAT CONTROLLED SENATE by a vote of 99-0…..that’s how atrocious it was…

In the meantime, House Republicans have passed a balanced budget AND a balanced budget amendment EVERY YEAR Obama has been in office.

…chew on that for awhile.

Jan 15, 2013 3:46pm EST  --  Report as abuse
corynoone wrote:

I think the president needs to be more realistic about his expectations. We already saw a tax hike. It was present in my last paycheck. Where are the cuts? So far I haven’t seen any of those.

Honestly, this whole ‘debt ceiling’ business is bull crap. It doesn’t seem to discourage more spending or encourage responsible budgeting in Congress and only serves to create unpleasantness and tension every time it pops up. It’s a line in the sand Congress draws and then continuously steps over. They either need to quit pretending it actually means something, or quit raising it and deal with the consequences. This business of going along every few months/years and then starting a big partisan fight over it is ridiculous and counter productive.

Jan 15, 2013 3:53pm EST  --  Report as abuse
BOOWAH wrote:

Republicans in Congress are only interested in one thing, and it is not the welfare of the American public. It is widening the wealth gap! There! Now you know the truth! They took a hit when taxes were raised on those making over 400,000, and now they plan on getting it back at the expense of seniors and the poor! If they were serious about reducing the national debt, why didn’t they crusade for allowing sequestration to continue, thereby raising taxes on everyone? As unpopular as they are now, what would they have had to lose? When the first seniors fail to get their Social Security checks in March, you’ll see how far they fall in popularity then. After all, their primary voting bloc has been Seniors!They fed them a line of bull about never touching the benefits of those over 55! See how they lie?

Jan 15, 2013 4:05pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Saywhaaaaa wrote:

Regarding Obama’s earlier opposition to the debt limit hike, to repeat as others have:
Let’s take that in context of the times. That was about the same time Cheney came out and said Reagan proved “deficits don’t matter” and was applauded by his party. That was a time Boehner, McConnell and Ryan VOTED FOR without hesitation or discussion for rising deficits and raising the debt while at the same time they voted for tax cuts during a time of war. First time in history the US fought an unfinanced war and you wonder why we are running deficits. There is a difference between a reckless fiscal policy of drastically cutting taxes and greatly increasing spending in particular foreign spending which is what trillion dollar wars are. There is a difference between a declining deficit which we have now and the nonchalant attitude of rising deficits of Bush Jr. and his Republican yes men to all things under a Republican administration. The trillion dollar deficits are a result of the fiscal recklessness of the Republican Bush years and the Tea Party Republicans have fought any economic stimulus or balanced approach to resolving the issue with their pledges to Norquist and their absence of any ideas besides cutting taxes and not cutting subsidies to their benefactors. Republican Presidents haven’t once decreased the deficit while in office and have always contributed more to the deficit than their Democratic counter parts.Who knew the Republicans would fight even Reagan actions of increasing taxes to increase government revenue or badly needed infrastructure programs Reagan financed with 125% increase in the federal gasoline tax. The main hypocrites here would be Tea Party Republicans such as McConnell, Boehner and Ryan.

Jan 15, 2013 4:11pm EST  --  Report as abuse
joe10082 wrote:

If its logical for the average American family to live within its means shouldn’t the same logic apply to the federal government? The answer may lie in the fact that most politicians know they will not be held accountable for spending the money of the American taxpayers! When the “heat” finally arrives over the issue of ever increasing height of the national debt, the originators of it,one example being as George W. Bush, are no longer in office, and have no accountability as private citizens who helped create it. Under the Bush administration the nation debt increased from 3 trillion dollars to 6 trillion dollars.And this has occurred time and again over the course of the last two decades. Since Obama took office the national debt has increased from 6 trillion dollars to 16.4 trillion dollars. The man who now wants no limits on the national debt has dramatically increased the national debt far more than his predecessors. Can he be trusted to allow it to increase again without some constraints given his past track record? The facts speak for themselves. Absolutely not.

Jan 15, 2013 6:20pm EST  --  Report as abuse
joe10082 wrote:

Under the Obama administration the national debt increased from 6 trillion dollars to its current level of 16.4 trillion dollars. Do the American people want to allow such a man( the big spender) to have the increase in the national debt hw desires without some congressional strings attached to limit the damage we already have owing to his past disastrous spending habits?

Jan 15, 2013 6:34pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Pilgrim1620 wrote:

Obama is counting on the fact that most Americans have no concept of the debt ceiling nor what the deficit means. Well, we currently throw about $240 BILLION in taxpayer money away in interest this year. It’s like paying your credit card debt with another credit card. Social Security and Medicare must be restructured and soon because Congress spent the so-called trust fund AND WE HAVE TO BORROW TO PAY RECIPIENTS. This is not a Democrat or Republican problem, its an American way of life problem. Without reform, Greece will welcome us into their club.

Jan 15, 2013 6:50pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Decatur wrote:

Howdy Pilgrim

The debt ceiling doesn’t authorize a cent of new spending.

Playing with the debt ceiling lowered USA credit rating and cost us $1 Billion (per Reuters own reporting) in 2011. That $1 Billion did not do a lick of good, just money thrown away. Further credit damage is threatened if we fool around more with debt ceiling in 2013. How much do you want to gamble for the sake of sound bites and drama? Further harm to credit rating only increases our cost of borrowing – adding to the interest costs that you complain about – without buying any new services or paying down any debt.

All the talk of sepnding cuts ignores historically low tax rates after almost 60 years of tax cuts since the Korean War. In the last 12 years our spending included two unfunded wars, not paid for with added taxes and bonds like in the past. It added Medicare D, a gift to ‘big pharma’ and the ‘medical-insurance complex’ that keep driving our health care costs up. At the same time we’ve under-funded research, education and infrastructure, hurting our global competitiveness.

Not all excess government spending is ‘entitlements’. The spending pie we need to trim is more complex than that, and some pieces are already too thin to serve and need more filling. Part of the problem is a cultural shift over the last 30 years placing greed or materialism above the pragmatic, even patriotic concept that tax revenues are a necessary part of the equation to keep a balanced budget.

Since the founders, at least all the Federalists including Washington, were keenly aware of the need for the USA to have good credit standing, the fight against raising the debt ceiling (which is only for existing spending already approved by Congress – paying our bills) does not hark back at all to 3-cornered hats and minutemen.

We need to deal with the ceiling without drama, then get to work on spending and revenue plans that don’t just trigger a new recession.

Jan 15, 2013 7:41pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Saywhaaaaa wrote:

A little wonky there with the numbers aren’t we. The national debt of Obama’s first fiscal year was over 10 trillion. The deficit was about 1.413 trillion in 2009. 1.293 trillion in 2010, 1.3 trillion in 2011 and 1.089 trillion in 2012 so by all accounts the deficit is going down as opposed to the continuous rising deficit and debt during the Bush years. Name a year it went down. So you can maybe logically say during Obama’s time in office about 4 trillion was added to the debt through Obama’s deficit years. The Iraq war alone is costing about 4 trillion and counting. Historically the Republicans have always ran bigger deficits than Democrats and Bush Jr was by no means any exception but you can’t cut taxes and greatly increase spending without consequences. The BIGGEST SPENDERS who are now refusing to pay their bills are those Republicans that so dutifully voted for Bush Jr. policies. The largest increase in Medicare since it’s inception was Medicare Part D which was voted in by a Republican Congress, Republican Senate and a Republican President. And it wasn’t financed one bit. Even Reagan had no opposition to raising taxes as he did over 11 times while he was in office and Reagan era tax rates were higher than the rates we have today in particular the capital gains tax rate which in Reagan’s last year was on par with the earned income tax rate. Reagan even raised the federal gasoline tax over 125% to pay for infrastructure programs while in office. Over a decade of blind fidelity to the Norquist pledge and the absence of any sort of conservative (in the true sense of the word) fiscal responsibility has landed us where we are today. One of the biggest issues with the debt and the deficit is simply that that is not the issue the country needs to be focused on. It is jobs which will increase tax revenue and drive down the deficit and the debt. Yet this Congress has passed fewer bills than any Congress in history and this Senate has filibustered more times than all the filibusters in US history.

Jan 15, 2013 8:00pm EST  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.