WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama did not attend a White House meeting Thursday with members of his own debt commission, irking some of the Democrats on the panel who were expecting a high-level push from the commander-in-chief to show that its comprehensive deficit reduction plan is being taken seriously by the White House.
"He should have at least dropped by," one Democratic member of the debt commission told CNN, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he wanted to speak more freely about the panel's private meeting.
A second senior Democratic aide close to the panel added that commission members were miffed and privately believe the President did not attend because it would have been awkward "given the fact that he has just endorsed $900 billion in deficit spending" with the tax cut deal.
At his daily briefing, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs was asked about the President's absence from the commission meeting and said Obama may have missed the commission meeting because he was attending a separate meeting with his Export Council around the same time.
Gibbs noted that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and White House Budget Director Jack Lew did attend the meeting with co-chairs Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson and the other members of the 18-person debt commission.
In the administration's defense, Gibbs noted that it was after Congress failed to agree on a debt commission that the President stepped up and created his own panel by executive order, and he said the White House is committed to taking steps to reduce the crushing debt. He noted there are a "number of decisions that are going to have to be made in order to get our fiscal house in order."
Gibbs said that the price tag of the tax deal as currently constructed is "somewhere in the range of" $700 billion to $800 billion, while budget experts have estimated it could run as high as $900 billion to $1 trillion.
The press secretary sidestepped questions about whether the White House will follow through on either the commission's call for a formal budget summit with all parties or whether the administration will put together a comprehensive plan to solve the debt crisis along the lines of the commission's blueprint, which called for increases in the gas tax and Social Security tax as well as deep cuts to agriculture subsidies and other popular federal programs.
"I don't want to get ahead of where they are in terms of budgetary decisions," Gibbs said of the administration's budget team.
After the White House meeting, Bowles and Simpson put out a joint statement urging the President to start negotiations with leaders in Congress early in January and put together a "comprehensive plan to restrain spending across the federal budget, enact broad-based tax reform that lowers rates and reduces the deficit, take steps to bring down health care costs, and make Social Security solvent for the next 75 years and beyond."
Bowles and Simpson said the plan should be unveiled during the President's State of the Union address, which is expected to happen in late January, and then both parties should cut a deal on deficit reduction before approving another increase in the federal debt limit.
"While no Commissioner supports every element of the Commission plan, the nation desperately needs a broad, bipartisan agreement on a plan that would get our debt under control and safeguard our economic future," said the co-chairs. "Our businesses will not be able to grow and create jobs and our workers will not be able to compete without a strategy to get this crushing debt burden off our backs. If we fail to act today, we will be forcing far more difficult choices on the next generation. Neither party can fix this problem on its own, and both parties have a responsibility to do their part. Americans are counting on us to put politics aside, pull together not pull apart, and agree on a plan to live within our means and make America strong for the long haul."
Obama is having one rough year. After ramming his Obamacare down our throats, he has now lost everything in sight: Dream, tax hikes, tax cuts, DADT, Gitmo, WikiLeaks, Oil Spill debacle, World Cup, Cap'nTax, busted lip...
But he does get to take a lot of ungodly expensive vacations...
Obama spent 26 days on vacation during his first year as president. George W. Bush spent 69 days on vacation. In case you're really bad at math, that's almost three times the amount of vacation days that Obama spent.
@no – What does that have to do with anything?!
@Objectionist – Your reply doesn't make sense. What American president has attended ALL meetings during their term? But overall Obama has been much more engaged than many other presidents, especially Bush – who was either on vacation most of the time or acting as a puppet for Dick Cheney.
MOST people spend 14 days a year on vacation. They also do it when business is slow. If I spend 1/12th of my first year on vacation, I would have been fired.
@matthew. yea but your no President either or a head of state. your job cannot be compared to Obama's job. don't even try. Its unreasonable. he definitely needs more vacation downtime then your job. Unreasonable and illogical.
Not surprising that Obama missed the debt reduction meeting after negotiating a compromise with the GOP to give Billions in tax cuts to the wealthy and corporations which only adds to the debt burden.
....or $billions away in pork spending projects, unemployment benefits, 139 NEW federal agencies, and SS tax cuts...
Someone please report the right numbers- everyone is thinking the tax cuts to the 'ultra rich' is $700B of the $900B. WRONG. The tax cuts in question are $700B IF LEFT PERMANENT FOR 10 YEARS. That means 2 years (adjusted for inflation) is about $120B. Of which those who get it will spend it (stimulating the economy) or save it (allowing more capital into the system for business to borrow- and stimulate the economy). No matter who gets it- a tax cut stimulates the economy.
"No matter who gets it- a tax cut stimulates the economy."
Really? Is that what has been going on the last 10 years, stimulus? If so, don't you think we've had enough? These tax cuts have created SOOOOOOOO many jobs in that time. Besides, the excuse presented by those who enacted these cuts (surplus, must return money to those who know best how to spend it) no longer exists. Next we'll be told that these tax cuts will cure cancer AND AIDS, and will pay for themselves and eliminate the debt.
@CD – Since you prefer to be taxed at such a high rate, why don't you donate some of that money come tax season. Just let the IRS keep it. Personally, I'm already taxed to the breaking point. I can't afford more.
They shouldn't have cut taxes 3% on income over 250K that has resulted in net job losses, deficits and bailouts compared to the 23million jobs, surpluses and good economy with well off rich people we had before the cuts. But there's no budge from the Reptiles.
I would like to see your proof on that....
The economic IMPLOSION is from real estate.....home and investment home ownership ENCOURAGED by FannieMae and FreddieMac at the behest of COngress. They did their job exactly as Congress told them and we all suffered for it- and still will as they ask for anouther $50-60 billion EVERY QUARTER!
It may have been a tad awkward since he just set up a deal with the "fiscally responsible" republiKKKans to add 900 billion to the the national debt over the next 2 years.
Roles are reversed and now the Dems are actually trying to keep the national debt from reaching 15 trillion.
And just why are the tea baggers not in the streets cheering this act of fiscal responsibility by the Dems, aren't they all about small government and debt reduction?
More proof the tea baggers were racists and the "movement" has NOTHING to do with the national debt.
Again, when does the RVing start for all the folks on SS to celebrate the death of "socialism" since the Reds voted down the $250 checks the Dems submitted in place of a COLA.
I expect to hear all the old timers singing carols on the Mall in celebration, after all this is what they voted for, since that 250 dollar check would have been "redistribution of wealth"..
Sorry, if your eating cat food on Christmas Day but we must all do our part to stop the creeping "socialism".
If the Dems were serious, as you claim, they wouldn't have required all the additional spend/cuts that pushed this from about $400B this year alone to $900B (the $700B everyone likes to speak of for the 'rich' tax cuts is over 10 years- the bill only does it for 2- (TOO MUCH of a compromise in my opinion, should have been 3 or 5 so this pres or the incoming congress won't touch it).
Don't lump all of us seniors into one group. I voted Democrat in the last election. Dang GOP are a bunch of fascist terrorists.
What are you a black panther. WOWWEE I'm scared.
What's WRONG with you? The Untied States is a Constitutional Republic, and in the written Constitution all states are required to have a Constitutional Republican government. The founding fathers were terrified of democracy and knew it to be a destructive and horrific form of government that never, not once, worked. But YOU, you support it and oppose the constitution? Does that not make you a traitor?
Look nic-kin-poot do you know what the debt was when the Democrats got control 6 years ago. I'll answer it for you with your brain you'll never find out. And To think I was a Democrat for 50 years. The debt was one trillion four hundred million dollars. You know what it is now. 11.4 trillion dollars. So don't be trying to blame the Republicans. Obama spent more in one year than all the Presidents from Washington to Reagan. If you don't believe it look it up and quit running your mouth about thing you know absolutely nothing about. Go join the baboons who spout off about PALIN.. THIS GROUP IS INSURING HER AS PRESIDENT IN 2012. and thank you dear lord, finally a patriot in the oval office.
Let's work on some FACTS shall we...
Democrats did not take "control" six years ago, if you recall, our illustrious president GW Bush was RE-ELECTED six years ago, and the Republicans held the majority in both houses at that time.
Next, the debt at that time was, according to the fiscal year 2010 budget tables, $7.35 trillion, so, about $6 trillion off of your cited figure (hey, but what's a 500% error when your name is TOTAL FACT). By the way, the total debt as of November this year was 13.7 trillion dollars, so you're only $2 trillion off this time.
While we are attributing debt to certain parties, for some perspective and additional FACTS, why don't we take a look back to Saint Ronnies time, shall we. In 1980 the debt was $0.9 trillion, by 1990 it was $3.2 trillion (so much for fiscal conservatism. In 2000 the debt was $5.6 trillion, 2005 (4 years into the Bush presidency, with both houses of congress under Republican control) the debt ran up to $7.9 T, this is the period during which two unpaid for wars were started, a Republican controlled congress rammed through an unfunded $400 billion medicare prescription drug benefit, and these ridiculous tax cuts for the super-rich were passed by ONE VOTE in the Senate. In 2007, when Democrats actually took control of the House (only mind you, with a lame duck Republican president and Republican-controlled Senate) the debt was $8.95 T (in two short years, depending upon your perspective) the Republicans ran up the debt more than $1 Trillion all by themselves. In the 10 years since the enactment of these tax cuts for the super-rich the national debt has gone up a whopping $8 trillion. Maybe getting rid of these tax breaks might actually be a fiscally conservative policy to advance? Hey, but according to Lord Vader, er, Darth Cheney "Deficits don't matter!"
Maybe a handle change to TOTALLY FACTUALLY CHALLENGED would be appropriate.
Will the last ADULT inside the beltway turn out the lights on the way out ?!?!
With the eventual passage of the unpaid for $900 billion tax cut bill, is there really anything this commission can do? They are probably throwing their hands up in the air and saying they give up and Obama knows it too.
that's because the deficit commission report doesn't reduce the deficit, and it doesn't reflect promises Obama made to the left to convince them he wasn't a republican. Obama has already ticked off the left enough by cowtowing to the republicans, and doesn't want to hang this fiasco of a report around his neck too.
STILL looking for that glass to get close to half full, are we Ed? Good ole Ed, we can count on you for the extreme right take every single time. Hasn't failed us yet.
Republicans don't care about the deficit, they want to give millionaires a $700 billion tax cut!
They only care when they are cutting benefits to non-millionaires!
The crushing debt? Just who is being crushed by the debt? Can we have facts, please, and not ridiculous commentary?
Obama is turning out to be exactly what his critics have been claiming. He'd better start listening to his public about his direction cuz he's sinking fast even with his supporters. Me.
i want to let you know what you sound like sure obama might be wrong on this issue but brother who died and made you this man`s judge it is easy to be a film critic like ebert but when are you going to be a part of the solution and not the problem
I knew that the dems were going to try and put everything in before the new congress gets seated. I as a republican believe that Mr. Obama needs to stop spending tax payers money and start realizing that the American people are going to shout "i am mad as he'll and i'm not going to take this anymore. And for god sakes this tax cut is good for America. Mr. Obama if urn reading this, keep the tax cut permanent across the board. You will see its going to be ok.
He's like all his brothers. He skips out the back door every time the debt collectors come calling. I have never seen so many buffoon remarks made about a certain lady than about Sarah Palin. These brainless backers of Obama think he had foreign experience, economy, military, healthcare. OH LORD, he has shown his brain power in everything he has done which is NOTHING. BUT IT WILL GIVE HIM ONE THING HE CERTAINLY KNOWS ALONG WITH HIS WIFE. THEY KNOW HOW TO SPEND OTHER PEOPLE'S MONEY WITH NO KNOWLEDGE IN HOW TO PAY FOR IT. In the meantime you idiots keep rambling for your not accomplishing anything except uniting America for PALIN 2012.
I wonder, if she could only handle a 1/2 term as governor of a state with a population of a small U.S. city, and guaranteed budget surpluses generated from oil extraction, how long do you figure she'll be able to handle a job with the problems the next president will undoubtedly face? Do you take the over or under on half a month. Seriously, rhetoric will only get you so far (as we are seeing with Obama now), and she's really not all that good at it. She won't be able to hide behind the Fox News skirt as president.
With the tax increase for families earning less than $40k, and individuals earning less than $20k, that will result from this tax deal Obama has made with the Republicans, I am left with this question:
What would the community organizer Obama have thought of this deal? Perhaps he would have commented that the government seeks to give wealthiest 3 million Americans a tax break on the back of America's poor.
The Green Party must love Obama now! I know that with all the capitulations that he has made over the last two years, along with the ineffectual Democrat leadership in congress (massive majorities in both houses and this is what we get from it????), I'll be voting Green or something other than democrat for now on. I consider my votes in 2008 a complete waste, so might as vote my conscience, I'll get about as much in return as I'm getting now.
I guess NOBAMA didn't think a meeting to lower our deficit was important...........HE IS SOOOOOOO OUT OF TOUCH!!!!!!!!!!!. The only good thing that might come out of it is the American people will now realize that they were LIED TOO !!!!!!!!!! NOBAMA has to go period
Note for your copy editors:
It is incorrect to refer to the last draft of the Simpson/Bowles proposal as the commission's "comprehensive deficit reduction plan" because it does not actually meet the requirements of the EO that created the commission, it was not voted upon before the deadline in the EO, it failed to get the 14 of 18 supermajority required in the EO for it to be issued as the final report even if the vote had been taken before the deadline, and it is not technically adequate to be sent to Congress as planned even if all of the other failures had not existed. It could be accurately described as the "incomplete final draft of a deficit reduction plan that made the deficit worse than existing law and was not formally issued by the commission." That is a lot more words but at least it isn't false.
On the substance (such as it is) of the report: of course the President isn't taking the plan seriously or paying attention to the commission. They wasted 10 months failing to do the job they were asked to do. I guess we should all be grateful that Pete Peterson paid for most of the staff for this fiasco.
It is unfortunate that CNN has been hoodwinked by the failed commission into reporting a non-story about hurt feelings without identifying who exactly is feeding you that spin. A more interesting and illuminating story would be an explanation of what these Very Serious People are doing holding meetings in the White House a week after missing the deadline for their only deliverable and waving an unfinished draft around as if it has significance.
U want to talk about obama but from the beginning this country has been built off committing crimes look at history look at the only presidents we have had crooked money hungry white man what do u know about struggling u have always stole and killed for what u have u cant mess up a country thats been messed up since a white man has been running it who is the real screw upon
The American people were hoodwinked by NOBAMA who pulled to wool over all his supporters eyes ! Again another broken promise the has broke more then he has kept. NOBAMA MUST GO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hey Total Fact, why not get your facts at least correct, sounds like your watching to much Faux news and listening to Glen Beck. As for Palin being a Patriot, if Patriots had shot like her back in the 1700's we would be under British control today.
Do you even know what you are talking about? I think Palin is a waste of life to put it nicely but what the heck are you babbling on about. That makes no sense. The whole problem with politics is that people like you and "total fact" get to vote so our political discourse is so watered down its meaningless.
Imagine that! He bailed on the unemployment issue last week also. Gotta love all of the Obama spooge licking liberals cuming to his defence. Lap it up Lap it up you brain washed fools!
I think we should tax the rich and reduce the debt but i dont have a PHD in econ. If you have a PHD in economics than you are allowed to discuss this issue. If you are like everyone in this comment thread and dont know what a tax cut will do to the economy or the debt in the long term we should shut up. This isnt a Democrat or a Republican issue its an economic one. Granted each side has its way of doing this but its just stupid to spout what one said said will happen. Why has everything evolved into a dem or rep issue and not an american one.
"@CD – Since you prefer to be taxed at such a high rate, why don't you donate some of that money come tax season. Just let the IRS keep it. Personally, I'm already taxed to the breaking point. I can't afford more."
Maybe next time you can actually read my comment in the context in which it was made. I objected to the line that "no matter who gets a tax cut it is stimulative", as I think that the evidence of the last few years is contrary to that statement, if these tax cuts were so stimulative, where are the jobs? Where is the booming economy? If anything the economy and job growth have been, at best, stagnant, especially for those of us in the non-super-rich income brackets.
Finally, the reasoning used to enact the tax cuts, a federal surplus, no longer exists, so those in power come up have come up with another sham reason to give Paris Hilton an additional $130K tax break next year. How much will you or I get? No where near that (unless you fall into the super-rich category, then I have little sympathy for you.
By skipping that meeting it goes to show you how out of touch NOBAMA really is , And he can't find enough ways to waste tax payers money he flies that plane like I drive my car in case no one realizes it ..............................it cost $375,000 every time he gets in that plane .When Americans are trying to figure out where our next meal is coming from he can cut some of the I guess 5 vacations he has been on. Lets get real everyone is cutting back on everything if we have to do it why can't he ..............it just doesn't look good to Americans who are struggling to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads.
@Amber, AMEN!! YOU GO GIRL!!
@Bob S Philadelphia, PA; You're a jealous, evil, hateful man, if you really mean what you're saying about the LONG STANDING presidential 'perk' of ALL US PRESIDENTS having the accessibilty to AIR FORCE ONE! Who paid for it when the others were flying around in it? People have been catching hell trying to eat, and keep roofs over their heads for years! The pinch became very obvious when BUSH 'took over'! AIRFORCE ONE was on whose TAB then? IT WAS ON US; US TAXPAYERS! Did YA'LL scream about it then? HELL NO!
@Bob S Philadelphia, Pa; seems you're the exact type of person that I call out on the blogs all of the time! Oh, some try to get back at me because hit dogs do holler, but I don't care! I'll continue to point out double-standardness and racism! I KNOW DAMN WELL, IF PRESIDENT OBAMA WAS A WHITE MAN OF WHICHEVER PARTY, THIS WOULDN'T EVEN BE AN ISSUE TO YOU FOLK!! You just can't stand seeing a BLACK MAN and his beautiful black family being flown in it!! You don't fool me with that fake 'how much money' excuse!!
My problem with NOBAMA is he has spent more money in 2 years then bush in his eight years they any other president to ever sit in the white house. I'ts a palease watching him self destruct and crash and burn. They he gets a great idea lets cut slending my not giving fixed in folks a cost of living increase then the house votes and approves their own pay I dot see the senate or congress giving back their raire to help out the country thry want us the american people to flip the bill
@Bob S Philadelphia, Pa; you haters would be thrilled, ecstatic to see this PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES of AMERICA have to take a MULE & WAGON, his CAR, catch AMTRACK or ride GREYHOUND to his events, meetings, or vacations! GREAT BRITTAIN is also in a financial crunch, but do you see their HEADS of STATE being attacked for flying in their PLANES? The QUEEN being ousted from her AIRPLANE and HORSE DRIVEN CARRIAGES? NO WAY! They wouldn't even HEAR of it! THEY KEEP THEIR POMP & CIRCUMSTANCE UP! JUST RACISM!
@Bob S Philadelphia, Pa; stop lying on 'ALL' AMERICANS; making a cross-the-board, general statement that 'it doesn't look good to AMERICANS....'! All of us don't feel that way! Some of us do recognize his position as president, and we expect him to take many 'mini-vacations', as well as 'work vacations'! The way you all have beaten and bashed this man, I'm shocked he hadn't taken more time off, just to collect his bearings! OBAMA! not NOBAMA! 'NO' is reserved for REPUBLICANS! 'HELL NO'They're REPUBLICAN'TS!
I'm enjoying sitting in my chair watching this clown crash and burn it's very enjoyable ,But the American people are stupid they will put him in again
@Bob S Philadelphia, Pa; I KNEW THAT WAS WHO YOU WERE! One of the ones who's just sittin' back hoping that OBAMA fails! You, BECK, HANNITY, and LIMBAUGH are members of 'LET'S PRAY OBAMA FAILS CLUB'! You're a sad, PATHETIC who could care les if the country BURNED DOWN like 'THE GREAT BABYLONIAN EMPIRE' and 'THE ROMAN EMPIRE', as long as this president and his democratic administration fails! YOU PEOPLE ARE THE 'REAL' STUPID AMERICANS! If OBAMA decides to go back, 'INTELLIGENT' AMERICANS WILL PUT HIM BACK IN!
@Bob, Philadelphia, Pa; You folk are JUST like old 'GOMER PYLE of USMC'; in a BASIC TRAINING DRILL! SARGEANT CARTER TELLS HIM TO CATCH UP AND GET IN STEP, BUT GOMER thinks the whole platoon is marching out of step, except him! LOL!! MY GOODNESS!!
that's funny using INTELLIGENT and NOBAMA in the same post only STUPID Americans would put this clown back in office I will keep sitting here and watch NOBAMA fall flat on his face and I will enjoy every minute of it !!!!!!!!!!!
You go LIZ ! President Obama has passed more in two years then George Bush has passed in eight. You are right intelligent people will vote him in again. Bob will be sitting there for a LONG, LONG, LONG time.
NOBAMA has spent more in 2 years then any other president in history he will go down and I will get to tell you I told you so.It will be a pleasure watching him fail and fall flat on his face. It will be a pleasure to watch him go down
You are an evil, hateful AMERICAN! I guess you are an AMERICAN, but you certainly aren't a PATRIOTIC ONE! YOU WILL BE HAPPY AND JUST CAN'T WAIT TO SEE PRESIDENT OBAMA FAIL! PEOPLE LIKE YOU AND RUSH LIMBAUGH ARE HOMEGROWN TERRORISTS! AMERICA WILL FALL IF HE FALLS; SO JUST KEEP THAT IN MIND, Bob S, Philadelphia, Pa, you are a SICK MAN! You really need to check yourself, because you do need help!
LIZ just because I don't kiss NOBAMA'S ass I'm a TERRORIST I think not it's people like you that refuse to hold him accountable for his failures that are the TERRORIST !!
re: "Robert Gibbs was asked about the President's absence from the commission meeting and said Obama may have missed the commission meeting because he was attending a separate meeting with his Export Council around the same time."
LIE again. President Obama is in Fairless Hills telling person who complained about gas prices – "maybe you should consider trading in your car for an electric car"...... THIS IS HIS ANSWER?
AND NOW he is in NY [while budget talks continue] so he can talk with some "Rev" something there for VOTES.
Why the h*** is he NOT at every Budget Meeting....... can't use his teleprompter???
Obama really doesn't know how to argue these BUDGET PROBLEMS and has never negotiated such things.
Obama does not know about ECONOMY PROCEDURES – that's why. it will prove his stupidity to his fellow Dems.
AND AS FOR THE GAS PROBLEM [in WH budget it raises taxes on gas] – there is a car sold in Europe UK Mexico and now CHINA called SEAT Ibiza Diesel engine [lowest emissions car] 5 passenger Low price 80 mpg YES 80 MILES PER GALLON ...[Not electric or Hybrid] .. BUT OBAMA WON'T ALLOW IT TO BE SOLD IN USA.
Mexico sells them since 2001 and now builds them [and our GM & Ford taking our American jobs]. BUT NOT USA.
UK England sells them [GREAT REVIEWS] and now builds them. BUT NOT USA.
China sells them and now will start manufacturing them also. BUT NOT USA.
NOTE: HYBRID CARS; Good mileage in city BAD ON HIGHWAYS.
New battery in Hybrids = $3K to $7K [car thieves will love them] AND DEALERSHIPS won't tell you.
Electric costs will sky-rocket [even Obama said that in his pres campaign.]
What our government doesn't allow and won't tell you is CRIMINAL.
DO THE RESEARCH ON SEAT CARS – headquarters in spain.
what is this moderation stuff? "Your comment is awaiting moderation."
do all comments get this?
no 4 letter words.
TRANSPARENCY? you call "your comment is awaiting moderation" Transparency???