Jobs Report Reinforces Parties in Deficit Talks

President Obama appeared largely alone in seeing the bad employment news as a call to boldness.

Comments: 125

  1. Shouldn't he be called Counter-President Boehner?

  2. Boehner openly admits that he can't do his job! Time to dump him.

  3. The GOP has truly become a cult beholden to Grover Norquist.

    They want nothing less than an end to all social programs- from Social Security on down, and end to the income tax, an end to all government regulation of business, the environment, and banking. That is not a political party. It is insanity.

    How does one negotiate with a cult?

    The answer, you don't.

  4. I have a solution. Let's increase taxes on the poor, decrease taxes on the rich, and dissolve Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Surely we can get Boehner and Obama to agree to that.

  5. What can we expect, given that most Republicans are beholden to the Grover Norquist no-tax pledge (not to mention campaign contributions from wealthy individuals and, thanks to the Citizens United decision, from corporations)? When will voters wake up and realize that Republican candidates do *not* serve the interests of ordinary citizens?

  6. I am holding Boehner and the Republicans responsible for not raising the debt ceiling because the Democrats have already agreed to spending cuts. How can one leave out raising revenue? The Republicans pushed for continuing the Bush tax cuts, which just made the deficit worse.

  7. The only obstacle is in Boehner's head. It's downright nasty, childish, mean, scary and unecessary, what Boehner and the House Republican leadership are doing. I wonder how many rank and file Republican house members are privately thinking this is nuts. I am outraged.

  8. Speaker Boehner really should be holding one of those greek tragic masks in front of his face when he speaks to the public. To blame the president for unemployment when the republicans have blocked every effort to do anything that would make the president successful is the height of Hypocrisy. Boehner, MCConnell and Cantor really need to check which constitution they swore to defend. Their collective mean spirited and deceitful actions and refusal to do anything but make ultimatums approaches should be grounds for impeachment.

  9. Of course, all of this begs the question: Why now, Republicans, when in the past you have repeatedly voted to increase the debt ceiling?


    What is so crucial about NOW? Why didn't deficits matter when YOU were responsible for them?


    And what about corporate welfare, which corporations have used to keep their profits and CEO bonuses afloat, rather than hire and unfreeze credit lines, which is what you told us it would be used for? Why do you NEVER, but EVER, complain about that - but the poor laid-off schlub who has to decide between making the mortgage or paying for cancer treatments? He's lazy! He justs wants a handout!


    SO tired of watching you make your millions off the backs of the rest of us and then howling that we have no right to any of it, and that we must sacrifice even more on your behalf.


    You couldn't be any more anti-American if you wanted to be.

  10. The Republicans love to tell us how Obama's economic policies have failed, yet no one seems to notice that they're failing because Obama has embraced the trickle-down myth spouted by the right since the days of Reagan.

    With that said, it's pretty evident that Obama's further to the right of center than most Blue Dogs - Boehner didn't put Social Security and Medicare cuts on the table - Obama did.

    Obama is either taking narcissism to new heights or he's simply tired of the whole being president thing.

    Whether they realize it or not, Americans are being sold out by a Democratic president and congressional Republicans. So, the question becomes - what are voters going to do about it?

  11. The Republicans are going to give Mr. Obama a lesson in the power of just doing nothing that will put him down with Herbert Hoover in the annals of presidential failure.

    Mr. Obama will be forced to systematically gut the federal budget to meet debt servicing obligations by the Republicans simply doing nothing.

  12. Well, well, well.... the "Grim Weeper" has spent his political life mastering the art of make believe. His goal is to manipulate stuff like 2 + 2 = (who know what?). He says foolish things like we are NOT going to raise taxes on the American people. Nobody is asking HIM to.. just raise taxes on millionaires and billionaires. If the weeping Speaker thinks that's raising taxes on the AMERICAN PEOPLE I can see why he can't master what's 2 + 2 .

  13. The One gets bullied by The Orange One. What a joke this country is.

  14. These three previous comments all point to the real problem. Obama and the rest of the damocrats won't stop spending. Until that happens nothing will work.

  15. "The GOP has truly become a cult beholden to Grover Norquist.

    They want nothing less than an end to all social programs- from Social Security on down, and end to the income tax, an end to all government regulation of business, the environment, and banking. That is not a political party. It is insanity.

    How does one negotiate with a cult?

    The answer, you don't."

    True, Oxfdblue #3. Unless you're Obama, in which case you give them what they want, and pretend you negotiated.

  16. Both parties are ignoring the elephant in the room: the needless wars, and the bloated "defense" budget. The USA keeps spending on war as if the Soviets are still around, or as if the tribal fighters in Afghanistan - people with no air force, no navy, and a laughable army - were some kind of threat. Insanity!

  17. "The Speaker of the House said that there were still significant obstacles in the way of an agreement."

    Yes, the Republicans.

  18. Best quote of the day:

    "I could end the deficit in five minutes. You just pass a law that says that any time there's a deficit of more than three percent of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election. Yeah, yeah, now you've got the incentives in the right place, right?" --Warren Buffett

    I think James Altucher's article on ending Congress altogether is the best idea I've read.

    http://www.jamesaltucher.com/2011/07/july-4th-is-a-scam/#disqus_thread

  19. No need to negotiate anything with these guys.

    Obama/democrats should simply say it's a clean debt-limit extension bill, or nothing. Nothing else to talk about.

    Does anyone seriously think the republican party's financiers will allow the US to default?

    Seriously, the fact that the republicans are being engaged in "negotiations" regarding this at all is a symptom of how fatally ill Obama and the democrats are. Completely obeisant to the republicans' bullying. Shame on obama and the democrats for being spineless fools.

    www.stayhomein2012.com

  20. Never forget this fact: the reason the President must negotiate with these sociopathic Republicans in July 2011, is that in December 2010, when the President was negotiating an extension of the Bush tax cuts and an estate tax reduction, it was the President's professional judgment that his Republican adversaries would never refused to raise the debt ceiling. The President said so publicly at that time. I was shocked back in December 2010 at how naive the President was to hold that belief. The breathtaking ruthlessness of this new Republican party has been quite clear to me for years now. Yet President Obama did not see it. Given what was at stake in December 2010 when President Obama decided not to insist on a debt ceiling increase -- possible huge cuts to fundamental safety net programs -- I would characterize the President's lack of foresight as grossly negligent at minimum. If President Obama was a doctor or a lawyer, he'd be getting sued right now. I hold out some hope that this will turn out okay, but if President Obama is forced to make major cuts to Medicare or Social Security to get this debt ceiling raised, to me he will have demonstrated such a dangerous lack of judgment and/or naivete that he, like President Johnson in 1968, should not seek a second term.

  21. Obama should let it go--no more compromise. Boehner can answer to his Wall Street "masters of the universe" and, of course Master Grover (not the good one from Sesame Street).

  22. It really doesn't matter what the Grand Compromise or whatever they want to call it is: neither party is capable of addressing the nation's real problems, first and foremost of which is that the entire political system has been corrupted and serves solely the interests of large corporate interests, which are the military-industrial complex. In the foreseeable future the US will diminish economically for 95% of the population, while 5% will profit immensely from the process; the military will end up being used to run a domestic police state. Neither Republican nor Democrat dares to tell you this.

    www.jonjost.wordpress.com

    www.cinemaelectronica.wordpress.com

  23. The Republicans have been seeking to destroy the New Deal (and the Democrats) since FDR. It appears they are close to success. Too bad they will take the country down with them.

  24. And you know how cultists get when they're cornered. The Norquist crowd is no saner than David Koresh.

  25. "But Mr. Obama said that the mail he reads from the public suggests that leaders in both parties need to share responsibility for the high unemployment rate, now at 9.2 percent."

    I guess that's another way for Obama to exempt himself and blame others. Other than platitudes of hope and change, there still isn't any leadership coming from this administration as he continues to point fingers at congressional "leaders" who also seem not to exist.

  26. Only by standing firm can some lawmakers make some headway against the ingrained debt-spending-ways of the United States.

  27. Republicans remind me of the comic scene in the old "Honeymooners" TV show. Norton reminds his old friend Ralph, 'Don't forget who visited you when you were in the hospital.' Ralph counters (something to the effect): 'Yeh, but let's not forget who PUT me in the hospital in the first place!'
    So too with the GOP: Whatever Obama's faults, he was handed an economy and polity in SHAMBLES. Moreover, he and we were told from the first day of his presidency that the GOP wanted him to fail. Mind you, not for our country to prosper. Whatever its claims to the contrary, the GOP has only one goal, as intuited by Paul Krugman years ago: to dismantle our 'welfare' state. Republicans claim to worry about the deficit, but it was their tax breaks, their wars, and their utter unwillingness to consider the regulation of big business that has placed us where we are. They claim to care about Medicare - after all, they were the ones who were up in arms over supposed death panels - but they have shown their true colors with their plans for its eventual elimination.
    It is time for the American public to wake up and smell the coffee. Its aroma has become much too sobering.

  28. Mr. Boehner's comment is revealing, the GOP should rebrand itself and change it's name to ''Significant Obstacles.''

  29. Watching the behavior of the GOP has gone from scary to simply sublime. They are quite clear in their indications that they are going to bring the situation to a shutdown and a full-scale political confrontation. With President Obama laying out our two most successful programs on the table, it is very unlikely the Democratic will get behind any budget that has cuts in these programs (rightfully so, they contributed nothing to the deficit and therefore should not be raided to pay it down.)

    I have a feeling that this is going to go from bad to ugly really quickly. The moment a Democratic President starts presenting drastic cuts to either Social Security and Medicare without anything on the table from Republicans, our Democratic president will be just as out of touch with his base as the Republicans have become and it is at that exact moment that we will become a lost nation.

  30. All we gotta do is eliminate that there foreign aid stuff. And then we have a balanced budget. And that waste, fraud and abuse. Who put that stuff into the dudget anyway? Had to be those liberals.

  31. Why are we even wasting time with this nonsense , they will raise the debt limit last minute and slap each other on their backs.
    The truth is US Govt. will never default as we collect taxes enough to pay interest on all Bonds.
    By not raising the debt limit we force the Govt. to finally stop the maddness , cut spending and slowly
    start paying down the national debt.

    Never will happen we are sinking ship but sadly the world is on board w us.

  32. These politicians should be sued for gross incompetence and negligence.

  33. The Republicans brought us this economic blight after the lucrative democrat nineties. Now the Republicans are further decimating our economy, and blaming it on the democrats who have only tried to bail us out. For shame, for shame!

  34. "The Speaker of the House said that there were still significant obstacles in the way of an agreement."

    ...the obstacles' names were Boehner, Cantor, and McConnell.

  35. Our current political situation is pathetic. No other word can describe the polarization and lack of true leadership that we are dealing with.

  36. Where is the money coming from to run the country? According to Zerohedge, the treasury is raiding government pension funds.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/retirement-fund-plunder-update-206-bill...

    'As of today, since the debt ceiling breach on May 16, the Treasury has plundered about $206 billion from the two primary retirement accounts: the G-Fund and the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund, according to calculations performed by Stone McCarthy. The full breakdown for sticklers is provided below, however what is more important is that with just 4 weeks left until the D-Day, there is about $62 billion in available debt ceiling stretching options. In other words, Tim Geithner has burned through 75% of his dry powder just 50 days into the debt ceiling breach.'

    What the GOP is doing to Americans is criminal. It truly is time for US citizens to take to the streets to get their country back.

  37. Those tax breaks for corprate jets must really be s stickler with the Republicans.

    The Republicans are making a sham out the budget processes and their myopic defense of the wealthy class is insulting.

    Americans should not be fooled by these unenligtened individuals.

    Ron

  38. Republicans are merely accomplishing their goal and that is to make certain President Obama fails. They will do what ever is necessary and they are not concerned with the citizens of this country. The Democrats cannot, or will not, stand up to them. Plain and simple.

  39. Boehner is talking nonsense and he can't do arithmetic.

    18,000 net jobs added in June. 57,000 private sector jobs added minus 39,000 government (all levels) jobs lost. 57,000-39,000 = +18,000

    How hard is that arithmetic?

    Data from the NY Times, "Job Growth Falters Badly, Clouding Hope for Recovery"
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/09/business/economy/job-growth-falters-ba...

    And yet that genius Rep. Boehner says that " the weak monthly report on job creation showed that the president’s economic policies were failing."

    The president's???

    It always helps to start with the basic facts. I know the Republicans don't much like "facts" and much prefer bluster and nonsense and hope that no one will notice the difference, but out beyond the Beltway over 50% of surveyed Americans say they're worried about jobs, compared to less than 10% who cite the deficit as our most serious current economic problem. (And I'd venture a guess that those few worried about the deficit are all employed.)

    Folks, call your congressional representative and tell her or him what you think.

  40. Obama and the democratic leadership have shown over the past 2.5 years that they can be pushed around. As a result, if they stood their ground now, the republicans would be totally shocked, and because they have left themselves no room for negotiation and such a large share of republicans don't understand why the debt ceiling has to increase, we would go into default. What I see happening is a continuation of democrats folding to raise the debt ceiling, the folding leading to worsening of the economy, and the republicans successfully blaming it on the democrats for the next 4 years as Reagan did on Carter, contrary to the facts (check statistics for gdp, inflation, unemployment from 1970 to 1985 at bls and bea websites; Volcker's Fed policies addressed the stagflation by throwing the nation into a recession in the early 1980s; Reagan was clueless).

  41. I purpose what seems a simple minded approach.
    Pass the debt ceiling, pay current obligations.

    Then don't spend any money on things the Republicans want without tax increases to pay for them.

    Go ahead tax the little guy we'll man up and pay.

  42. I would be very interested in seeing exactly what Boehner is proposing be cut rather than raise taxes on millionaires. In the same way that grand plan to gut--sorry, "overhaul"--Medicare met with such popularity among all constituents, I would like to see how all us little inconsequential voters react to the alternatives.

  43. In case that seems like the balanced budget amendment that is not what I mean. I mean we can keep muddling through the way we do. Democracy is miraculous not clean. The poor Republicans still get to vote and block everything they can. But anything they propose has to be paid for with revenue increases.

  44. It's getting harder to believe that Obama expects to be re-elected, or even wants to be. He is looking toward an especially long post-presidency, and seems to be adjusting national policy to accommodate his own needs as a wealthy ex-president.

  45. Let's not forget that we desperately need to eliminate foreign aid. The countries that receive it do not reciprocate when our citizens need help and in many ways these countries work against us. Free trade agreements need to be axed as well.

  46. Kodos to Patriots that want to restore Anerica to an economic powerhouse by reducing wasteful spending. obama and his socialist are destroying the American Dream. Waiting two years for change and have recieved nothing!

  47. I wish we didn't have a two-party system. Now everyone is always deciding which of two so-called "choices" to select, or wish of two "leaders" to blame for everything! If we can't have this either/or obsession I suppose there's nobody left to blame but the voters.

  48. Everyone who votes against raising the debt ceiling has the duty to propose a balanced budget for the rest of FY2011 and FY2012. If they aren't making that proposal, they aren't understanding what they are voting for.

  49. There needs to be a straight up or down vote on raising the debt ceiling. Separate from the rest of the budget. By tying their vote to outrageous conditions, the Republicans are ready to put our country in default. This isn't governance, it's terrorism.

  50. Until the working middle income population realizes their best interests are not being served by Republican proposals, there will be very little leverage for the democrats. Take a look at the last election. And with the spin from the anonymous special interest groups representing the rich and corporate America, don't expect the realization to hit the working class until it's too late. Their SS and Mdicare will be gutted by a Republican President and Congress, and corporate America will be free from regulation and taxes.

  51. Why don't we ask the collective leaders of Wall Street for the money. By all accounts they are sitting on a record $1.9 trillion in profits. But they continue to cry and weep that Obama is anti-business. I prefer to think of them as anti-middle class.

  52. Obama has only one option. Do nothing. Let the debt ceiling remain as it is. He must call the Republican's bluff. The country will be in no worse shape than it would be if Obama caved.

    I am deeply disappointed in our President. He has no spine.

  53. I understand the politics; left v right; social programs v free enterprise. Surely compromises can be made there if only the Republicans would abandon their childish snit that Obama took the Presidency away from them.

    I just don't understand the numbers. The deficit (or debt) used to be in the billions. Now it's trillions. I can't grasp the significance of these impossibly large figures or where a limit can be. What's next? 25 trillion, 50 trillion, 100 trillion? How can the electorate judge this? We need an explanation.

  54. Simple, and though it sounds like a stuck recored, go back to Bill Clinton's tax rates. Cut spending to be sure, but revenue has to go up as well. Close loopholes and tax breaks for things such as corporate aircraft. The whole thing could be solved in a day if, and only if, the GOP gets its collective head out of the sand and stops playing to the "Tea Party" and other right wingers and starts acting like a rational national party again!

  55. Of course he doesn't, he and cantor can't offer any proposals that would appease the tea party members of the house, or be accepted by the house democrats in a vote. It's a no win situation for them so they may as well bluster until the end.

  56. Boehner has an interest in saying talks are going poorly as he speaks to the party of no compromise, and Obama an interest in saying they are going well as he needs to be a successful mediator. Between the spins I see some progress. I have a feeling (hope) that Boehner is not such a hardliner as he'd like the Tea Party to believe.

  57. Obama should demand a clean deficit ceiling increase bill and blame the GOP for the resulting catastrophe. Perhaps we would finally be done with the cult that calls itself a political party.

  58. Oh, for God's sake. How can Obama believe the right-wing canard that business certainty is the issue here? Businesses are actually quite certain of the one thing that matters: demand for their products is low. They aren't going to invest if they can't sell what they make. And they can't sell what they make if the unemployed can't afford to buy it. Hence the need for deficit spending on the part of the federal government. Anyone can see that.

    I'm beginning to think that pulling the lever for Obama was the worst political mistake I've ever made.

  59. The government has more than enough monthly income to fund our obligations, with tax receipts easily covering any debt payments so default is not necessary. Unfortunately, Obama and Geithner have not come up with a 'plan B' and have no idea what to do if the debt ceiling is not raised.

    Who could, in their own home, borrow more when half your current income is already going to service current debt? Obama could cut back on the massive expansion of government agencies, reduce the massive White House payroll and get a pencil and calculator out to figure how to make the current income last longer.

    Pelosi and Obama want to borrow more and squander the proceeds on killing Libyans and expanding bureaucracy. This money will never help a taxpayer and won't create a single job. Boehner is acting in the interest of every taxpayer when he objects to more debt our children have to pay back.

  60. The current crisis, created brilliantly by Republican strategy wonks takes a never before contested exercise and turns it into an end of your life gamble that could thrust a game changer on voters for decades or explode in the parties face, rendering them useless or out of business for good.

    Taxes, debt, etc., all part of the current life in the USA evolve over decades and have served many purposes, many of them together. Interest payments on the debt, currently in the $380 billion range act as another wealth re-distribution scheme, supporting millions with cash for little risk. Taxes fund everything “government”.

    Deficit spending, borrowing hundreds of billions to fund pet projects, from doubling up on defense during the 1980’s to the current wars and Homeland security schemes keep politicians in office, party faithful happy and do not make a huge difference in the economy one way or another. The government must keep going, no matter what.

    Now, the climate is the current government is “bad” because we are not in total control, something must be done. Hence the current situation. Wild cries about the deficit, complaining about big government, starve the beast, cut taxes, cut more taxes, forget about those poor who we have thrown under the bus, etc. etc.

    Today, the House voted to pass a new Defense bill, that actually rises defense spending by $17 billion, imagine that.

    None of the current rhetoric means anything, its all background noise for a sick attempt to take over the government, cut everything down to a level no one will recognize and take advantage of everything along the way, or at least it appears that is what is happening.

    Is there any hope?

    I do not think so. Can I expect a check for my SS contributions in the mail over the next few days, since they are going to cut benefits to keep the game going, no way, Will actually spending drop anytime soon? Only if you’re poor and depend upon the government, besides interest payments of course.

    Good luck to us all

  61. Boehner does not want a deficit deal. He wants the country to fail so Obama will get credit for failure and will not be reelected in 2012. Remember Mitch McConnell's statement that the MAIN purpose of the Republicans is to make Obama a one term president?

    The Republicans are sacrificing the good of the United States of America for the good of the Republican party.

  62. Under GW Bush the debt ceiling was raised six times and not one word from the republicans about cutting the deficit! So now it's suddenly important? The hypocracy is beyond the pale! Hope Obama does not cave in again!

  63. Actually, we are beyond the point where any complex legislation can be generated. I suggest a simple, up-or-down vote on a clear, simple question: "Shall the debt limit of the United States be increased?"

    If the Republicans are crazy enough to use their majority in the House to defeat this, the president should invoke the Constitution and take his sworn obligation to defend it against ALL enemies, foreign and domestic. Based on the Constitution, Congress has no authority to put the United States into default on debts.

  64. maybe biden should handle the deficit talks until obama's replacement can be found..

  65. One scenario:

    As the deadline gets closer and there is no compromise, the markets will crash. That will send a clear signal for a stop-gap measure. The House Republican leadership will have to get support from the Democrats to pass, as the Tea Party fanatics will refuse to vote for it.

    As the economy goes through a small recession the blame will be placed more on the Republicans than on the Democrats. The details of the Republican proposals in Ryan's plans to radically change Medicare will motivate seniors to vote against the Republicans. Many of the recently elected Republicans elected to the House will be defeated either in Republican primaries or by Democrats in the general election. Obama will be re-elected.

    Hopefully there might even be bipartisan leadership and pragmatic problem-solving.

  66. Absurd! The debt ceiling was raised SEVEN TIMES under George W. Bush... Ask yourself what the Republican Party is up to? Americans: Do not forget! Come election day all these traitors, toddlers and jokers need to be turned out of Congress. And let's be straight on this: The Republicans are not patriots. They are the worst kind of traitors and should all be handed exit visas. The first that need to go are the ones in Congress led by Mr. Boehner.

  67. The Washington elite is so out of touch with reality that I wonder why we, the taxpayers, are still paying their salaries. What have they done for us lately?? They should stand in the unemployment line for at least a week and be rejected over and over again. And let's take away their savings for their children education. Do they know what it is to be educated and live on a minimum wage??? Shame on them all!

  68. Did he by any chance read the unemployment headlines? We are already reaping the rewards of the Republican's vanity.

  69. It's time for the President to simply dismiss Congress (send them home) and invoke the 14th Amendment. In law school, we learned in Con. Law about how Congress, over time, has given up huge amounts of power and that this power now resides with the President. What happenned to the "Imperial Presidency"? Time to change those textbooks.

  70. I have voted for Republicans in the past but never again.

  71. If you truly think that the republicans want a deal and not topple the economy, you're not paying attention.

  72. If obama attacks Social Security and Medicare, he's finished, period.

  73. Only in America could an ex-barkeeper rise above his station to destroy a country.

  74. Who elected Grover Norquist? I didn't.

  75. If Obama agrees to cuts in Social Security or Medicare, I will stay home in November and refuse to vote for him again. I am a progressive Democrat. I did not work to elect Barack Obama to act like a Republican or cave in to the Republicans. President Obama, if you agree to any cuts in Social Security or Medicare, you will lose the 2012 election, because Democrats will oppose you. We may even nominate a true Democrat to replace you. Just say no to the Republicans. You have caved in before. No more, no way, or you will be unemployed in 2013.

  76. Any time Boehner is feeling/sounding pessimistic, I take that as a good thing. It means Obama has not caved in yet.

  77. Give me 61 Bernie Sanderses in the Senate, 288 Bernies in the house, and one Bernie in the big house and -- 100% guaranteed -- you'll have a health care system you would sue to keep, a balanced budget each year, a reasonable tax rate, and clean air and water to boot.

  78. ENOUGH ALREADY. Both Parties need to stop the nonsense. Republicans are pretty much DONE in terms of credibility; and the democrats are not far behind. While the games are being played AMERICA is being destroyed from within. And for those who want to offer the "democracy ain't free, it takes hard work" jargon. Get over it, the only ones drinking the kool-aid are the Fat Cats and those that think they are.

    This is ridiculuous, and the President better bring some order to this "locker room" real quick. Real people are tired of suffering....

  79. Higher taxes on the wealthy, government involvement/ ownership in healthcare, transportation, crucial resource companies,etc,..., are really not nearly as evil as many Americans, mostly Republican, believe it to be.
    More individual wealth does not create a better society. Safer streets, minimal fraud and corruption, social harmony, and infrastructure security are all part of measuring your environment and are byproducts of the distribution of wealth. America really has to figure this out soon or it will only get worse. The dollar has plummeted, unemployment is rising, costs are going up, and baby boomers and the generations before who lived so well are going to suck pensions dry as the taxable workforce contracts. And you think it's bad now? Time to start working as a country and rethink your priorities moving forward in a changing world. America is a great country with a lot to offer, but it is a long way from the country it was in the not so far past. Not agreeing on this budget and defaulting on US government financial obligations could be a milestone in world history. TIme to look around and figure it out.

  80. The Republican Party is today's greatest threat to the national security of the US. John Boehner and McConnell are nothing more than Bin Ladens, holding the US hostage unless their demands are met. Shame on them and shame on Barack Obama if he doesn’t refuse to deal with these political terrorists.

  81. Every day I wake up to stress and frustration, watching our government in continual fight, after fight after fight! And what is this madness and hate all for, I think about our children growing up and watching all this. Who will their role models be! Why can't we talk the truth about all of this? and move forward into a future as a country trying to do the right things for all of us and not just the few....If there is a God, and I want to believe there is, I'm sure he is as frustrated and sad as I am.. We have BIG BIG problems, and we need to come together and figure them out, and stop all this gaming with our futures!!

  82. Mr. Hulse,

    You quote the president:

    "But Mr. Obama said that the mail he reads from the public suggests that leaders in both parties need to share responsibility for the high unemployment rate, now at 9.2 percent."

    Please reveal who selects the mail so as to give POTUS the idea that, with your help, he can shift the blame to others for his disastrous economic policies. Otherwise this kind of observation tends to be deceptive.

  83. Here we are with employment in the dumper and the Republicans continue to hold the country hostage. We need job training and public work programs to pull us out of the economic abyss created through Wall Street greed and deceit.

    I'm old enough to have witnessed widespread rioting in the late 60's. Yes, folks, this _can_ happen in our country. Do we need total economic collapse and riots to finally deal with unemployment like sensible citizens?

  84. Would the good Speaker of the House and distinguished Minority Leader of the Senate please enumerate and illustrate what jobs have the tax breaks for the very wealthy and corporations created in the current fiscal year?

  85. Historically the US strategy has been NEVER negotiate with terrorists.

    Mr. Obama has clearly crossed that threshold and is now more than willing to concede to the Republican leadership's extortion.

    A cut that should absolutely be on the table are the salaries and benefits (including pensions) of Congress since they are not working for the American people, creating new jobs or effectively dealing with the major issues facing the country. It is much better and more lucrative to represent the K-Street lobbyists in preparation for their next election or job.

    Time to bring back the NYTimes calculator that was on the front page following the Simpson-Bowles report to see how grown-ups might actually address the current impasse rationally.

  86. Can congressmen be impeached? Really! I'm not kidding. I just can't believe the Hutzpah of these guys.
    It's a goverment "Of The Government People", not "Of The People".

  87. If the Democrats in Congress could just muster 10% of the discipline of their Republican counterparts to resolve issues such as Unemployment, the Foreclosure Crisis, the Outsourcing of American Jobs, and the Environment this Nation would be so much better off!!!

    Yet my advice to Democratic Congress is that Mr. Obama is not your friend... He has continually and perplexingly argued that he is no Democrat after all, but some sort of third party candidate... A person that involves himself in secret conversation with the opposition without informing the leaders of his own caucus... and who surprises them by nullifying their best card at electoral victory: defending Social Security and Medicare.

    Hence, Mrs. Pelosi and Mr. Reid should look for their own interests, which actually align with the interests of the Common Man and Common Woman: to defend Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid. To oppose the President, and his minions at Treasury --or his frenemies (yes these are the Republicans-- by making clear that only a clean bill to extend the debt limmit, with no strings attached, can pass their chambers or even be brought to the floor.

    Mr. Reid should especially be insistent, as he is the gatekeeper of the Senate's agenda. He should simply indicate to Mr. Obama and his Republican gang that debt limit extending bills including Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security will not be brought to the Senate floor.

    Time for some spine and courage Mr. Reid and Mrs. Pelosi!!!

  88. boehner's in a corner. he can't agree to any increase in tax revenue or it violates his (inexplicable) commitment to grover norquist. he can't support an increase in the debt ceiling or the tea party flays him. and if he lets the country go into default, and the economy crashes, he'll have the whole country mad at him. he has no escape.

    people who believe we can get through this simply by paying interest on the debt, as if it were a credit card, should go read up on bonds, and their terms, and how they come due. these bonds have enormous face value. to pay them as they come due, we will need to roll in new debt. if we've defaulted, the interest will be 5-6 times higher than if we stay honest. it's crazy not to borrow money now, with interest rates so low. but don't bother the republicans with facts, their minds are made up.

  89. Why would any business/company hire with the possibility that the government could default on its debt and thus send our economy and the world economy into turmoil? The very Republicans who are holding the debt ceiling hostage, raised it numerous times under Bush.

  90. It's interesting to note that we can afford to continue sending hundreds of billions annually in aid to Pakistan, India, China and various African nations but to do so we must give our seniors citizens the "kiss of death" by cutting their meager Social Security Insurance benefits. By the way, Social Security has always been insurance NOT an entitlement. Keep in mind that the recipients paid premiums from every pay check. SS is not an entitlement!

  91. For every dollar in cuts, there should be a dollar in new revenue (how they get there is their call). Start the cuts with the bloat in defense... then corporate welfare (as in supporting family farms with subsidies, not agribusiness). Just about everything else has long since been whittled to the bone. As to the revenue, start there with social programs, infrastructure and R&D support. Let the government handle research and license the results to private industry. That will help get the economy modernized and provide long term benefits to all, as well as creating well paying jobs. People can't support families and home son minimal wages.

  92. What Obama wouldn't have given to have inherited the economy and budget that Clinton left to Bush instead of the shambles that Bush left to him.

  93. The level of self- centered irresponsibility and lack of moral courage in that Congress is unbelievable. Is there a patriot left in that place to stand up for the country and do the right thing i.e., work towards living within our means, take care of our poor and military and pay our bills on time? What a sad commentary on the type of country that is being left to our children and grandchildren. So far, this process is a pathetic abrogation of stewardship of what has been fought, died and worked for over the last two centuries in this country. There is not a current tax or entitlement benefit or political philosophy worth that sacrifice. It is time to do your job (which is not getting elected next time) and get it worked out!

  94. According to Mr. Boehner,the rising unemployment figure proves that the President's policies don't work. Maybe he should consider some of his own party's policies as well. Like weakening the Unions, slashing state budgets, laying off public workers, including teachers and police. Do you think perhaps some of those policies helped raise the unemployment numbers? And what about your grandstanding on the debt ceiling, with your crazy insistence on no new taxes (actually no new revenues)? Haven't you heard that some businesses are not hiring because of the uncertainty you and your right wing buddies are injecting into the market? Hey, hey, maybe you want it that way? So you can blame rising unemployment on the President? Whom you and Mr. McConnell claim you must get rid of? Didn't you guys say preventing an Obama second term was the most important thing you could do for your country? Traitors!

  95. GOP would rather this country go down in flames than do anything that will enable President Obama's reelection. Their battle cry since his election has been "I hope he fails." I think the Russian who forecasted end of USA within three years was right on the mark. The media and pundits seem to forget cataclysmic changes can happen to a Nation, as to humans, within an instant...in this case "we the people" have had plenty of warning. And so we beat on..

  96. Good thing Senator Obama voted AGAINST raising the debt ceiling in 2006, when he said the need to raise the debt ceiling reflected a failure of leadership. All John Boehner is doing now is agreeing with Senator Obama. And President Obama is proving that Senator Obama was right, at least as to the failure of leadership part. Hopefully, John Boehner will conclude that Senator Obama's vote against raising the debt ceiling was wrong and harmful to the American people, and Boehner will prove that he is the bigger man by voting to raise the debt ceiling now.

  97. Long-term planning in a crisis atmosphere doesn't bode well for a good outcome. The Republicans are playing childish games as usual instead of governing. Raise the debt ceiling and get to work on long term solutions based on more than untested ideologies. Solutions should be consistent with the values of this country, which means not on the backs of the poor, the middle class and the elderly.

  98. Looks as if the tail is wagging the dog again on both sides of the aisle, did we not elect these so called representatives in order that they solve America's problems? They are now creating more problems than their respective terms will allow them to do something that will benefit the electorate.

    During the next election cycle they all need replacement from the top down, along with term limits and age limits to prevent the current policy of Politics as a life time occupation, just look what that has delivered.

    How sad that a complete lack of respect, creativity, good will, coordination,and leadership is very evident in Washington today. Lyndon Johnson and Ronald Reagan would not believe the fairy tale world of American Politics displayed on a daily basis.

    Reagrdless if you are an R or a D, please do what you are being paid for.....solving America's Problems, period.

  99. From an editorial in today's paper: But as much as he may not want to recognize it, Mr. Obama lives in a hyperpartisan time, in which his political opponents have long made it clear that they intend to give him no ground. Unless he can find a way to use the agreement to boost employment — a far more pressing problem than the short-term deficit — his arbitration is unlikely to do him much good at the polls.

    I think that the Republicans and the Tea Party subdivision should start to take a hard look at the services they need and that they use. It's not only Democrats or liberals who use government services; the entire population of this country uses government services. Who picks up the garbage in most cities and towns? Who polices the streets and puts out fires and does safety inspections and directs the traffic: government employees. Who processes our passport applications and delivers our regular mail: government employees. In case anyone has forgotten, we are the government, we are the country, us, we the people. We make or break this country. We can back Obama's efforts or we can, by electing officials who are against any sort of movement other than no new taxes, stay in this bad economic space. It's our decision too.

  100. The Democrats were in power for two years. At the end of two years the people spoke and the House went Republican in a landslide. There was a messages sent, but the president does not seem to get it. All he and his followers can suggest is tax the rich. Well, the rich are scared, saving their money, buying gold, and they are getting ready for the next depression. The country and half of it's citizens are in debt; the end seems near. That is what the majority believe. Obama if he wants to be elected needs to bend to the new majority in the House or there will be another landslide next election. It's as simple as that.

  101. I would be happy if all elected Republicans would resign and take most of the Democrats with them.

  102. Look, none of this is going to change until the president takes the threat of the debt ceiling club out of thier hands. I think most Americans would support the president if he were to go on television and say the following: "The Democratic leadership of the house and senate and myself have attempted to negotiate in good faith with the republicans and thier tea party allies. We have sought to achieve a balanced approach to deficit reduction and have been rebuffed at every turn. We can therefore draw no other conclusion than that the GOP majority of the house intends to kill the recovery and destroy the economy for short term political gains. I there fore have instructed the secretary of the treasury to continue the issuance of bonds to maintain the full faith and credit of the United States. It is clear that the fate of the country will need to be determined by the voters during the next round of congressional elections.

    I'll bet there would be a deal on the table within two weeks.

  103. I remember the Republicans operate just like the F.B.I., scamming people with invented crimes. So, maybe it's time we scammed the Republicans! I wish someone wealthy would buy a Darth Vader costume and run for President as a Republican. The Debates would be a riot!

  104. What about government waste. Under 5 USC 2301 (b) (5), federal employees are to be used efficiently and effectively. However, in the National Passport Center in Portsmouth, NH there are nine directors! Each make about $120K and receive life insurance, retirement, and healthcare courtesy of the tax payers. If they show up for work, they spend much of the day surfing the web and reading emails.

  105. Can republicans be prosecuted for acting in such a way as to put this country into financial ruin? Isn't that akin to treason?

  106. Nero fiddles as Rome burns.
    Were's the jobs Mr Boehner?

  107. Don't worry. there is always time for President Obama to offer more cuts to Medicare and Social Security. Then maybe the GOP will promise to like him.

  108. what is going on in Washington is pathetic on so many levels but at the heart of the current dispute is a simple reality: the modern day Republican Party is committed not to any degree of responsible governance but is using the nation's economic crisis to play a game of zero sum politics.

    OK both parties play politics with issues to gain favor and power; but the Republicans have chosen a path of continuing to weaken our nation's economic viability (how else to describe playing a giant game of chicken with the nation's credit worthiness and standing in world financial markets) in order to weaken the President (and his party); worse, this tactic is working with many voters who will, for many of the wrong reasons, attribute our nation's economic woes 100% to Obama and his party when the truth about our economic malaise is due as much to what occured on the watch of his predecessor and his party when it ruled Washington with an iron fist. A Republican controlled Congress raised the national debt ceiling under George Bush seven times. I assume they did so in the national interest. What has changed? Nothng but the party affiliation of the man in the Oval Office.

    I am a lifelong REpublican; come next November I will not vote for one single Republcan for a simple reason: I can no longer trust my party to do what is right for the nation and its future. The games being played in DC right now may give those on the far right a lot of satisfaction but they will rue the day when moderates and independents hold them and their party accountable for their malfeasance. We can only hope that the entire nation has not, by then, imploded.

  109. Corporate jets? Why is this even a budget issue? Why on earth would luxury aircraft be deductible in the first place?

    Of course the corporate jet industry has dutifully rejected the idea by telling us that not allowing private corporate jets to be depreciate the same way that commercial aircraft is will hurt their industry.

    Poppycock!! In the US the users of most private jet aircraft are egomaniac CEO’s. The use of private jets was sold to the IRS and shareholders as required for ‘security reason’, like corporate CEO’s are frequent targets of assassination. When was the last time someone was shot or killed sitting in a First Class seat on a commercial flight? How many of us would even recognize the CEO of a fortune 100 company if he was seated next to you?

    Remember when the CEO’s of the big three auto companies flew to DC on private jets? Did the fact that their companies were bankrupt and needed bailing out stop them? So why would the elimination of a tax break curtail the use?

    The fact is this should never have been an issue - their never should have been a deduction anyway.

  110. Boehner sees little chance of a quick deficit deal? Boehner doesn't see much. Period. He doesn't see the suffering of millions of unemployed; doesn't see how the wealthy he is so intent on protecting have engineered that unemployment (though he would be the first to cry "Class Warfare!" should anyone point it out to him); doesn't see how George W. Bush's policies and wars have brought about our economic devastation and how the debt we're trying to repay was incurred through policies endorsed by Republicans like him; doesn't see that in times like this, when so many people are suffering, that government is probably the only entity that has the means to help those suffering millions and that depriving the government of funds is contrary to our national interest... What he does see is that we have president who has capitulated to their demands on major issues over the last few years and who, like an ornery child with his parents, knows that if he just remains obstinate, or has an occasional tantrum, will get whatever he wants; he sees that Obama, contrary to his campaign rhetoric of being a force for change, is really an appeaser who will ultimately do whatever is demanded of him by Republicans.

  111. Howard Dean for President!

  112. I think there will be plenty of "blowback" when Americans realize that the debt ceiling was raised 7 times during the Bush Adminstration. Boehner can start looking for a new job.

  113. Republican strategy is to block the governmental services that most Americans want and hope that they'll blame Obama. Pathetic.....!

  114. This whole bloody mess is nothing more than the same partisan bickering that seems to be the way our government has run for the past several years. These people continue to forget there are Americans suffering both in idiotic wars and at home. But they're so determined to have their own way. Neither party nor their leaders are worth a dime. They have all abandoned America and its people for the 3 Ps: Power, Prestige and Perks. Is there any way we can rid ourselves of ALL of them? Joe the Plumber would be a better choice...at least he knows what it's like to work for a living.

    Cutting the billions in foreign aid to places like Afghanistan and Pakistan to name two of the worst so-called "allies" would be a great start. Follow this with subsidies to everything from ethanol to current political candidates who receive farm $ubsidie$ and some of the other wasteful spending and you begin to talk serious money.

    Most of the current crop of worthless career politicians have never worked in a real job and know what it's like to pay bills. They've been on the public (taxpayer) dole for so long they've been out of touch with real people.

    America's days are rapidly fading thanks to arrogant, selfish, stupid politicians. Thanks a lot.

  115. Come what may. No more compromises with the Republicans. If Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid gets cut then I would be thoroughly dispointed with the President.

  116. "He(Boehner) said that the weak monthly report on job creation showed that the president’s economic policies were failing." Well the economic policies of this nation have long been held hostage by the Republican party--and the numerous wars and tax breaks of the last decade have been mostly the Republicans' doing. While I blame the GOP for plotting to shrink the Federal government from lion to mouse, I fear Krugman's description of Obama's lunge to the Right is Right On. Read Obama's statements in this article: they are pure Hoover economics. So I guess we need another Great Depression and World War so we can face reality--if there's any of that left.

  117. The Republican party has been out to destroy Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid since these policies were created. They see this as their opportunity. They will not budge until they have inflicted severe damage to these programs and the vulnerable people they serve. Despicable.

  118. It is cynical, to say the least, that the good Republicans are so worried about the debt right now, when the next presidential elections are coming.

    Obama's administration had to increase the public spending, to avert even deeper recession, which was created by the Republicans in the first place. And in return, they are SO worried about the debt, by they would not in any way sacrifice the spending in their favored friendly industries, such as defense and the likes...

    They don't care about the country, all they care about is politicking. Pathetic!

  119. How unfortunate the last election resulted in a majority of pig headed people in the Congress and Senate. Maybe the voters will reconsider in 2012 and return the people that really care about the country and its people, Democrats.

  120. Join me in taking the pledge. I will vote for no candidate for any office who supports cutting, by any formula, Social Security or Medicare benefits to current recipients.

    How dare they make seniors and the middle class subsidize tax cuts for the wealthiest.

  121. The simple truth is that Republicans spent ALL the money when their President was in office and now THEY don't want to pay it back. They want to live beyond their own means (see Gingrich $250,00 bill at Tiffany's for reminder), but insist that everyone else live within theirs. Especially the very poorest among us who need government help. Oh, and don't forget, the Republicans claim THEY are the Christians among us.

  122. I think extending the Bush tax cuts last year is why we are in this mess.

  123. If there was an agreement and the debt limit ceiling is raised what would that do for us? Would it really create jobs and improve the economy, keep us from getting into more wars, create advances in medicine and science that keep us healthier, stop the destruction of the environment, decrease crime, improve the quality of life of all Americans just a little bit? I doubt whether the president or the speaker could answer a definitive "yes" to any of these--at least in a way that the average American like myself could understand or repeat to someone else.

  124. If the GOP really believed debt reduction and reducing the size of government would actually help the economy why would they propose that now during Obama's presidency? Why would they want to help him be a success?
    The GOP leadship understands that how best to win the 2012 elections and that is to do as much damage to the economy as they possibly can.
    The President does not seem to understand this.

  125. Translation: The Republicans are getting cold feet.