Obama pushes GOP on taxes in debt ceiling talks
June 29th, 2011
03:07 PM ET

Obama pushes GOP on taxes in debt ceiling talks

By Tom Cohen and Alan Silverleib

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama called on lawmakers Wednesday to overcome the "selfish" norms of politics and "do their job" to strike a deal on raising the federal government's current $14.3 trillion debt ceiling by the start of August.

People shouldn't get "spooked," but "the yellow light (is) flashing," he warned. "This is urgent."

Top economic analysts have warned of potentially catastrophic repercussions if the ceiling is not raised by August 2, including skyrocketing interest rates and a plummeting U.S. dollar.

The president blasted congressional Republicans for refusing to consider raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans as part of any deal. Congress needs to be willing to "take on their sacred cows and do tough things" while moving away from "maximalist positions," he said.


soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. Ray E. Georgia

    Rome is burning to the ground and Obama (Nero) wants to throw another party. It is that kind of thinking that got us into this problem in the first place. Sorry the bill, (By the Liberals) is over due. It is time to pay the Piper, and the people are going to pay, one way or the other. The Republicians are Responsible, it is time the Democrats were responsible as well. Reduce spending !

    June 29, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
    • Kevin

      You're kidding right? To blame this all on the President and the Democrats is laughable. This just shows how much you're drinking from the GOP cool-aide. Where was all this debt talk during the bush years? It was the former sitting VP dick chaney who said "deficits don't matter". Now the GOP is trying to sell they are fiscally responsible what a joke. They never wanted to work with the President, remember when they won some seats in the senate in 2010, minority leader MCconnell said they're single most important goal is to make Barack Obama a one term president. He didn't say anything about the American people, all the GOP care about is power. You don't have to take my word for it either, just look what they've done in the federal government and the state house. How many jobs bill has come from this congress? and in state houses all they've done is attack a woman's right to choose, planned parenthood, NPR and the unions. In the state houses they are trying to pass this garbage that unions are at fault for the states financial woes, what a lie. I guess they are counting on people like you Ray, to believe a lie being told over and over again. Also the bush tax cuts, how many jobs did they create in America?

      June 29, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
    • jean2009

      Rome is burning....it was the Repugs that set the fire. I sure wouldn't label anything they have done as Responsible...surely you are joking. It is time for the Bush era unnecessary tax breaks for the rich to expire.

      Increase taxes! Pay the Piper....we have a revenue problem.

      Obama – Biden 2012

      June 29, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
      • Jay in NC

        Yet Barry continues the President Bush tax cuts. Today he said that he would extend the cuts, for the wealthy, for at least another year.

        June 29, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
      • Davis

        jay, he said for the middle class

        June 30, 2011 at 12:36 am |
      • overtaxedpayer

        The Bush tax cuts resulted in the largest single year tax revenue for the federal government. 768 million more dollars than any other year. That was because lower tax rates means business can hire more people. More people means more of us are paying taxes. Obama is going to kill the golden goose and then who will support all the people who don't pay taxes but live off of the govnerment?

        June 30, 2011 at 10:49 am |
      • jean2009

        It is time for the Bush tax rates to end they were never meant to be permanent. President Obama knows that, but John Boehner and Mitch McConnell don't want to accept the fact that they must end.

        June 30, 2011 at 11:06 am |
      • Howard

        President Truman
        established one day a year as a
        "National Day of Prayer."

        President Reagan
        designated the
        First Thursday in May of each year as
        the National Day of Prayer.

        In June
        Candidate Barack Obama
        declared that the USA
        "Was no longer a
        Christian nation."
        This year
        President Obama
        canceled the
        21st annual National Day
        of Prayer ceremony
        at the White
        House under the ruse
        Of "not wanting to offend anyone"


        BUT... on September 25, 2009
        from 4 AM until 7 PM,
        a National Day of Prayer
        was Held on Capitol Hill,
        Beside the White House.
        There were over 50,000 Muslims
        in D.C. that day.


        I guess it Doesn't matter
        if "Christians"
        Are offended by this event –
        We obviously
        Don't count as
        "anyone" Anymore.

        The direction this country is headed
        should strike fear in the heart of every Christian,
        especially knowing that the
        Muslim religion believes that if Christians cannot be
        converted, they should be annihilated.

        June 30, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
      • jean2009

        @HOWARD -Tell another lie real quick....since this one is definitely a doozy, and lying seems to be your specialty. This is not the first time I've found you talking trash. You wouldn't know truth if it bit you on the backside.

        Printed online for April 20, 2011 on The Presbyterian Outlook St Augustine Florida....website...for all to check your lie.

        On Tuesday, April 19, 2011 (PNS) Presbyterian Church (USA) General Assembly Stated Clerk Gradye Parsons joined a group of religious leaders for the second Holy Week Prayer Breakfast at the White House hosted by President Barack Obama.

        Obama is the first president to host a prayer breakfast in the White House marking Easter and the Holy Week.

        The article by Jerry L. Van Marter is titled: "Parsons Joins Obama for Prayer Breakfast".

        Listed are the people representing many churches including the director of the Tekakwitha National Catholic Church Council, and the Rev. T.D. Jakes, pastor of The Potter's House, a non-denominational 30,000 member church from Dallas.

        And on the Los Angeles Times website for: February 3, 2011 in an article by Michael A. Mimoli
        Obama Provides Insight into his faith at National Prayer Breakfast....this one was for lawmakers and religious leaders.

        On February 4, 2010 President Obama spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast at the Washington Hilton. You can watch the video of his speech online.

        On April 6, 2010 President Obama spoke at the National Easter Prayer Breakfast, in the East Room of the White House.
        The website is christianpost com. "Obama Hosts Easter Prayer Breakfast by Michelle A. Vu – Christian Post Reporter.

        On June 16, 2009 he addressed the National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast ...you can find this a reuters for June 16, 2009.

        President Clinton hosted no Prayer Breakfasts during his 8 years.
        President Reagan hosted one during his 8 year presidency. Which was a Rose Garden event in 1982.
        President George H. W. Bush hosted one during his presidency....which was in 1989 in the State Dining Room.

        On April 15, 2010 a federal judge ruled that the National Day of Prayer was unconstitutional. The Obama Administration was actually the defendant in that suit, arguing in favor of retaining the National Day of Prayer.

        And if you will check your lie out at Snopes it will tell you that President Obama did not cancel the National Day of Prayer. He only changed the date for the White House Prayer Breakfast service to the week of Easter.

        And there is no national Islamic Day of Prayer.

        June 30, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
      • jean2009

        Dear overtaxedpayer...if the Bush taxes did all you claim, we would currently have no deficit, we would have so many unfilled jobs we would be begging illegals to come work them for free rent and health care.

        Get a clue!

        What have you been huffing glue?

        July 2, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  2. Liz Carter in Georgia

    McCONNELL stood up in the house today and tried to blame OBAMA and the democratic policies that have been put forth for the last 2 and a half years for the trouble we are in today. He stood up there and acted like he had forgotten about any of the previous 8! They are nothing but bought out crooks, who don't care one bit about the layman, HARDWORKING American taxpayer. It's all about the rich and the wealthy! 'Let them alone so we can keep 'getting our palms greased'! That's your GRAND OLD PARTY!

    June 29, 2011 at 8:18 pm |
    • Steve1959

      You mean just like the democrats forgot that Bush inherited a recession from Clinton? If Obama had come in and did like Bush did at the beginning of his presidency, this recession would have been well behind us by now. The simpe fact is that recessions come and go, but this one has dragged on so long because of the rediculous policies of this administration.

      June 29, 2011 at 10:02 pm |
      • jean2009

        I lived it, the so-called Clinton recession was a mythical farce put forward by GW Bush so he could lay the groundwork for his tax cuts for the wealthiest 1%.

        I would suggest typing:"Inventing the Clinton Recession" into your search engine, or "there was no Clinton recession"

        Or try: "Backdating the Recession: A Report by Media Matters; Release Date : May 3, 2004

        You will get over 17,000,000 hits for the last one.

        July 2, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
      • jean2009

        I lived it, the so-called Clinton recession was a mythical farce put forward by GW Bush so he could lay the groundwork for his tax cuts for the wealthy.

        July 2, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • John

      If the dems put forth a budget when they were supposed to this all would have been avoided. Say what you want, but it is that simple.

      June 30, 2011 at 6:27 am |
      • jean2009

        Republicans failed to pass budgets in 1998, 2004 and 2006....which is the real reason for the current mess....where were you then?

        You may want to read - Media Matters- Politico attributed 2006 earmark drop to GOP Congress ,ignored its failure to pass spending bills last year....dated Nov. 14, 2007.

        Regardless of what you may wish, there is no beginning and end dates for history. History doesn't happen in a vacuum. It may seem very convenient for you to forget the Bush administration....I for one, wish history could have skipped it, but here we are stuck with the results.

        June 30, 2011 at 11:23 am |
    • Kyle

      The even more sad part of what McConnell....my stupid state's rep; I'm truly sorry for that...said was that it shows just how very little they do care about the blue-collar person in our country. But, that thing that makes me sick is, those blue-collar people will vote for that idiot next term.

      June 30, 2011 at 9:18 am |
      • jean2009

        Oh Kyle...don't feel bad we've all got them...Ohio got stuck with Boehner, Kasich and Tiberi...I'm sorry and I didn't vote for a one of them.

        July 2, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  3. LoyalRepub

    I am so tired of Special Interest Protection by both parties and the middle class taking the hit in the pocket everytime. I'm done. I resisted the Tea Party from the beginning, but the need to purge ourselves is evident. Business, the rich and the poor all need to sacrifice. If Warren Buffet can agree that he needs to pay more in taxes, the only way out of this hole is for everyone to take a bit out of the crap pie the middle class has been eating for years. I'm tired of supporting the crackhead on SSI and paying more in taxes than my million dollar neighbors and my million dollar company because I can't afford an accountant. Take your slice of the pie, it ain't so bad.

    June 29, 2011 at 8:59 pm |
  4. Jim

    The republicans with their I'm taking my ball and going home attitude are far from responsible. If they have any responsibility its not too hardworking middle class Americans. Republicans where are all the jobs you were going to create once in office. Instead you create more unemployment.

    June 29, 2011 at 10:06 pm |
  5. Jim

    It is irresponsible to label the republicans responsible. They are constantly grandstanding and using the American middle class as a bargaining chip. There is an attitude with this new group of Republicans that if you don't give me my way Im taking my ball and going home. I thought this were the guys that were going to create new jobs. Instead they are creating unemployment and division, what a bunch of home wreckers.

    June 29, 2011 at 10:22 pm |
  6. Greg Kells

    This goes back way further than Bush. Roosevelt holds more blame than either Bush or Obama in this. Saying it's not a spending problem, it's a revenue problem, is just ridiculous. The average tax payer already gives around 40% of their income to the government in income, property, sales, and miscellaneous taxes. That is the revenue they have to work with. If they need more, they need to look somewhere else for it. It's not our job to raise their revenue to match their spending. It's their job to adjust their spending to match their revenue.

    June 30, 2011 at 3:08 am |
    • jean2009

      Actually, according to two recent articles (April, 2011) which can be read online. Taxes for the super rich and the middle class because there are deductions for paying other taxes...such as property, sales and state taxes...this on top of other deductions such as being married, having children, paying mortgage interest. The average tax rate is 17% down from 26% in 1992. So, unless you are one of the super-wealthy who considers yourself average....I don't know where you are coming up with a 40% figure. Maybe you need a better tax preparer.

      Read Yahoo news April 17, 2011: "Super Rich See Tax Rates Fall Dramatically."

      It is time for the tax rates to be adjusted up, we have a revenue problem. The citizens of this country through representation have made a contract with its citizens to meet certain obligations, we need to be responsible and pay our bills. It is again necessary to raise taxes to meet those obligations. The Bush era tax cuts were to have an end date, they were never intended to be permanent or forever...the date for them to end has come and past...now it is time to raise them back to the Clinton era rates....which were low compared to historical tax rates.

      I suggest also reading the article about what the constitution really says in this week Time Magazine. This week the article has got a lot of buzz about the health care bill, but the appeals court just upheld the insurance mandate...I happen to think the article was right.

      It is a revenue problem. Quit trying to spin it any other way.

      Obama – Biden 2012

      June 30, 2011 at 10:57 am |
      • John

        You forgot to mention where we can read the article, please let us know. I assume you are either making it up or reading something into it you do not understand. Time Magazine is as left as it gets. They haven't told the truth in an article since 1960. "We need to be responsible and pay our bills"? I assume you are one of the bottom 50% earners who pay no taxes – if that is the case I agree with you. What "contract" are you talking about?

        June 30, 2011 at 11:20 am |
      • jean2009

        Actually, Time Magazine is considered very right-wing.Republican...it was founded by Henry Luce in 1923.

        Read....Henry Luce's Empire of Fascism ...dated June 25, 2004...Executive Intelligence Review article.

        So much for it being a leftist view.....LOL!

        I think you have conveniently missed where I said you could read both articles mentioned...#1 is online at Yahoo news...you do know how to use a Google search don't you? #2 the last article mentioned is in this week issue of Time Magazine.

        June 30, 2011 at 11:34 am |
      • jean2009

        If you type ...Super Rich See Federal Taxes Drop Dramatically for either April 17,or 18, 2011 in your search engine you should have many links to articles which total roughly 1,420,000 hits and include everyone from CBS News to wink news com and many others.

        June 30, 2011 at 11:47 am |
      • John

        Are you seriously touting a guy from 1923 to explain why Time is right wing? This is the magazine who just came out with an article asking if the "Constitution Still Matters"? No wonder your views are so skewed.
        Really – so I type in Jeans recently mentioned article into Google and I will see it?? Itis amazing how dems think they are smarter than everyone and talk down to people (and think it is ok).
        Go read Joe Klein, Time Magazine. It is amazing to me when people are sooo left they think the a middle of the road article/magizine is far right.

        June 30, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
      • jean2009

        Yes, John I am saying Henry Luce the founder of Time Magazine still holds a lot of sway in their current views...and as for their article about the constitution....good reporting...however, your current views show just how much to the radical right and over the edge of reason the current people who call themselves Republicans have gone.

        June 30, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
  7. Marvin

    Ahh....Yes, the perpetuated myth about taxes being too high! I am a middle class american holding two degrees. I consider myself a reasonably intelligent person. However, I laugh when people perpetuate the myth that taxes are too high. Listen, and I'll tell you a story. 25 years ago I graduated from High School and took my first job. I worked at a factory and saved money to pay my college tuition. At that time my NET salary bi-weekly was about 700 dollars. Keep in mind this is twenty five years ago. The government took social security, and medicare taxes out of my paycheck at about 12 to 15 percent. Currently, I am taxed at the same rate. The differnce is that every thing else has gone up except my paycheck. Eduation, health care and housing is much more expensive. When I say everything else has gone up...I mean when compared to my current bring home pay. Salaries in this country have flat-lined and if salaries were keeping up with the rate of inflation then that bi-weekly salary of 700 dollars would be doubled today. Hell, I know people who bring home 700 every two weeks now. There is a fundamental problem in this country. Taxes rates have not changed that much for the middle class. However, for the rich and well-to-do, their tax rates have gone down. Numbers don't lie. The Income disparity is alarming. Any reasonable person can see this. There is a war going on and it is on the middle class.

    June 30, 2011 at 4:53 am |
    • jean2009

      I know Marvin.
      I can remember when our current monthly utility bill would have paid the utility bill for a full year.
      I can remember when our monthly mortgage payment was less than the current monthly property tax bill on our condo, and our monthly mortgage was also $3 less than our current monthly condo maintenance fee.
      I can remember when buying a pair of trifocals did not cost $300-$500...those are not covered by Medicare or secondary insurance.
      I can remember when a new vehicle did not cost more than our first new home ....which not a dump ... it was a newly built 3 bedroom, 1 1/2 bath, brick house with hardwood floors, full basement, patio, 2 car garage, two fireplaces, custom kitchen, Anderson windows, and plaster walls, on a 1/2 acre lot.
      And no the working class, union workers, middle-class, and minimum wage earners have not seen wage increases...but they are the ones the Republicans want to take the hit.

      July 2, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  8. jean2009

    I also think you should read the Heritage Foundation article for January 29, 2009 by Stuart Butler, PHD...titled: Mutual Obligations and the American Social Contract...at Heritage org.

    June 30, 2011 at 11:58 am |
    • John

      Funny you should mention that – I am somewhat familiar with it. I am very surprised a person with the views you seem to have think this lecture was in line with today's society (even though it is somewhat socialistic).
      Many people in this country feel no obligation or responsibility to the entitlements they collect. Many do not strive for independence – they want big brother to take care of them. That is a big problem in our society today. The EU model of socialism is totally unsound – that is not the model our country is based on. The debt limit crisis that is happening is a good example. The dems want to raise it to insure more financial irresponsibility going forward instead of really looking at what is going on and making necessary cuts. It is the only way we can insure we have the finances for tomorrow. Also, creating bigger government that will create more inefficiencies, like we are now doing with healthcare, is not the way to save money. Big governmnet programs have never saved money. It has created more costly services and stopped the competitive advantage.

      June 30, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
      • jean2009

        Get over your Fox sound bites and the BS that goes with them.

        This country was founded on socialist values....that is the true model of this country. The founding fathers of this country were not ...and I repeat NOT conservatives...they were as liberal as any men could be...If you want to know who the conservatives were they were the Loyalist.

        For your enjoyment type into your Google search any of the following subjects...you will find over 2,000,000 hits on the topic of John Adams and health care.

        Mandating People to Buy Health Care Insurance-John Adams in 1798
        Thomas Jefferson Supported Government Run Health Care.
        The President Adams Payroll Tax: Nothing Like an Individual Mandate.
        Health Care Passed and not Repealed by the Framers.
        Was John Adams Health Care Mandate Unconstitutional?
        Save the Social Safety Net From Elimination Under the Guise of Deficit Reduction

        You must remember many countries of the now European Unit followed our lead after the Revolution winning their own freedom with us as a model, and then after WWII the Marshall Plan.

        At 76, I have dealt with many insurance companies over the years...and frankly Medicare with a secondary for what Medicare doesn't pay....is the most efficient.

        We are big brother....don't you understand over the years people paid for that Medicare with payroll deductions?
        Each month Social Security withholds the cost for the Drug Benefit. The retired still carry a secondary insurance with a premium to pick up what Medicare doesn't cover.

        The debt limit crisis is due to borrowing for unfunded wars...plan and simple. This country has been over-extended before...after the Revolutionary War the country was so broke it couldn't pay soldiers who had served...so they gave them land in the Ohio Territory.

        After WWII the national debt was 122% of GDP..
        Yes we have debt....but whining isn't going to solve the problem...Not paying the debt is going to make the problem worse. If you have debt you do not punish people who didn't cause the debt or profit from what caused the debt.

        The entities that profited should be expected to pitch in and pay down the debt. Big corporations and military arms suppliers certainly profited big time. It is only fair their tax rates and dodges in write-off should disappear and go back up to the Clinton era rates. After all the Bush Tax Cuts made the debt crisis worse...and that is a fact you can take to the bank.

        I may be 76, but I haven't lived in a vacuum.

        Your whole premise doesn't fly.

        June 30, 2011 at 9:26 pm |
  9. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Beautiful! Thanks Jean. Keep batting a 1000. You are one Dem who doesn't have to 'think they know more than everybody else', nor do you have to 'talk down to people and think it's OK',! When some people get caught wrong and are 'straigntened', they fall into that whinny mode instead of just saying...'Oh yes..I think you're right. You may be right...Oh yes.. I forgot', or SOMETHING! But Nooo! Arrogance and pride takes over! Hey! You know you're smarter than the 'average bear' on this blog! I for one am glad!

    July 1, 2011 at 2:45 am |
  10. dinak

    With all of the over-funded, bloated, duplicate and unnecessary programs that no one is working to get rid of or streamline, there is no way they can justify taking more money from people. The U.S. Federal gov't could live on 1/16th of what it takes in without all of the waste and union nonsense. The feds should take care of the military and leave the rest to the states.

    July 8, 2011 at 10:31 pm |