Obama to Congress: Seize the moment
July 15th, 2011
12:38 PM ET

Obama to Congress: Seize the moment

President Obama took questions from reporters  Thursday as negotiations between the White House and congressional leaders to raise the nation's borrowing limit remain on hold.  The president said he is still pushing for what he calls "a big deal."  (read more here)

soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Dahly

    As someone who actually pays Federal income taxes, after filing, I resent being asked to cough up more to fund the vast litany of BS Federal programs and projects that clog the system and push our expenses so very, very high. Clean up your act DC, and show the American TAXPAYER you can be fiscally responsible, before you demand more money.

    July 15, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • jean2009

      "If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn't help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we've got to acknowledge that He commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition and then admit that we just don't want to do it."- Stephen Colbert

      Isn't it the right-wing teanuts, who are the one's always preaching about what the bible says...and they don't listen to anything, other than when they can write a law to shove some archaic religious point down other people's throats.
      Hypocrisy in action.

      July 16, 2011 at 7:33 pm |
      • kefa34

        american have learned not to give up when a door closes in american life
        because american know that G-d is opening a window to newopportunities
        so if american come to what seems like the end of a relationship or way of life american
        trust G-D and let all anxiety about such a change ,
        then Iet go G-d open the way to the new blessings that are for the american familes
        who are now suffering ,,,as the american familes let go of all fear anxiety about such a change
        then the american people let G-d open the way to the newblessing that are instore for them;
        As the american people let go G-d shows them the way G-d gives the american strengthand courage
        to take the first step in a new direction or to go back one step if that is necssary,
        as american people let go and let G-d ,the american people release and concerns about the future .
        G-d is in charge and the american people that G-d is guiding them .
        to a place where american will fine the greatest peace and fulillment.

        July 17, 2011 at 11:38 am |
  2. kefa34

    surely oppression maketh a wise man mad and a gift destoryeth the heart
    you have a job G-d bless you
    most of american have been layoff I would say count your blessing.
    I applied mine heart to know and to search and to seek out wisdom and
    to know the wickedness of folly even of foolishness and madness .

    July 15, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
  3. Phil

    I find our government in a ridiculous state! They are involed in wars they cannot pay for, they give tax breaks to wealthy companies, like oil, who make ridiculous profits and others of the wealthy class;. But, who in the end do they come to pay? It seems to me like it's social security, medicare and other benefits of the retiree's who worked hard for these benifits as well as the average joe working today. As usual the average person pays for these blunders!!!!!!!!

    July 15, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
    • jean2009

      Right and Thanks!

      "Food subsidies will cost taxpayers $79 billion in fiscal 2009 and account for about two-thirds of USDA’s budget. The largest food subsidy programs are food stamps; the school breakfast and lunch programs; and the women, infants, and children (WIC) program. The federal government as a whole has about 26 food and nutrition programs operated by six different agencies."

      "If House Republicans get their way in the federal budget for fiscal year 2012 beginning in October, nearly 500,000 women, infants, and children could be deprived of basic nutritional assistance. Though Republican leaders justify this decision on the grounds that budget deficits require "shared sacrifice," the tax cuts they recently fought to extend will give away more money to America’s 300,000 millionaires this week than it will cost to adequately fund nutrition programs for all of next year.

      "That’s the story and the math behind the Republican-led House Appropriations Committee decision to slash the budget for the Special Supplemental Nutritional Program for Women, Infants and Children, or WIC, by $833 million in FY 2012. WIC provides nutritious foods to low-income pregnant women, new moms, babies, and children under 5 who have been identified as nutritionally at risk. The program has done this successfully for nearly 40 years at a relatively modest cost to the federal government, which is why the program has traditionally enjoyed strong bipartisan support.

      Here’s the math: The deal struck last December to extend the tax cuts enacted under President George W. Bush gave the average millionaire a tax break of $139,199 for 2011, according to the Tax Policy Center, or nearly $2,700 per week. Given that about 321,000 households reported incomes of more than $1 million in the most recent year for which there are data from the Internal Revenue Service, that means the Bush tax cuts provide millionaires with about $860 million in tax breaks every week—more than enough to stave off the $833 million in proposed cuts to WIC."

      In other words, if millions would chip in just one week's tax break they could stave off the proposed cuts to programs like WIC....SO MUCH FOR THEIR SHARED SACRIFICE!

      July 15, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • kefa34

      In our so called democracy we are accustomed to give the minority
      what they want rather then educate them so they can decide what is best for them.

      July 16, 2011 at 8:56 pm |
  4. Tom S

    It's just simply a myth that DC (read liberals) could solve this if they just agreed to cut the "wasteful" spending. Take a look at the budget and the non-mandatory spending here: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/02/01/us/budget.html

    The big ticket discretionary spending items are: Here are the big ticket items:

    1- Defense: $738 billion
    2- VA hospital operation: $45 bil
    3- NIH: $32 bil

    The rest are sub $30 billion.

    You aren't going to get to $1.x trillion in cuts a year on discretionary spending on things like welfare or foreign aid that people erroneously think is causing all the spending. You'd have to really slash defense, Social Security, Medicare and so on to get to a balanced budget on cuts alone.

    Meanwhile taxes are relatively low and tax cuts guaranteeing jobs is also a myth. Bush 2 job performance was far below the last 12 presidents despite the tax cuts for the wealthy. http://www.perrspectives.com/blog/archives/002193.htm

    We need a balanced big deal approach that cuts spending - including entitlements - raises revenues through elimination of loopholes/deductions and/or restoring the Clinton tax brackets in a couple years when the recession lessens. That would be a solution backed by history/facts as opposed to a all the non-solutions based on myths.

    July 15, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
  5. Jay in NC

    National debt to the penny from http://www.treasurydirect.gov/NP/BPDLogin?application=np

    Jan 19, 2001 5,727,776,738,304.64
    Jan 20, 2009 10,626,877,048,913.08
    Jan 20, 2011 14,056,313,474,932.58

    Congressman Paul is recommending that the United States dismiss the $1.6 trillion payment owed by the Treasury to the Federal Reserve. http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/politics/8216-ron-paul-cancel-16-trillion-fake-qdebtq-owed-to-federal-reserve-

    July 16, 2011 at 10:51 am |
    • jean2009


      n case you missed this astonishingly good article from the Washington Post‘s Lori Montgomery on Sunday, let me hit you with a few of the highlights (underlining occasionally added for emphasis).

      The nation’s unnerving descent into debt began a decade ago with a choice, not a crisis.

      Wait…just a decade ago? I thought it was LBJ’s Great Society programs! I thought it was Massive Federal Spending on the social safety net! Who was president a decade ago—anyone remember?

      In January 2001, with the budget balanced and clear sailing ahead, the Congressional Budget Office forecast ever-larger annual surpluses indefinitely. The outlook was so rosy, the CBO said, that Washington would have enough money by the end of the decade to pay off everything it owed.

      Well, in January 2001, Bill Clinton was president. When not explaining his sex life to special investigators, he spent most of his two terms winning budget fights. Turns out he left us in pretty good shape! Whose steady hand was at the tiller after Clinton took a seat?

      Now, instead of tending a nest egg of more than $2 trillion, the federal government expects to owe more than $10 trillion to outside investors by the end of this year. The national debt is larger, as a percentage of the economy, than at any time in U.S. history except for the period shortly after World War II.

      Polls show that a large majority of Americans blame wasteful or unnecessary federal programs for the nation’s budget problems. But routine increases in defense and domestic spending account for only about 15 percent of the financial deterioration, according to a new analysis of CBO data.

      The biggest culprit, by far, has been an erosion of tax revenue triggered largely by two recessions and multiple rounds of tax cuts. Together, the economy and the tax bills enacted under former president George W. Bush, and to a lesser extent by President Obama, wiped out $6.3 trillion in anticipated revenue. That’s nearly half of the $12.7 trillion swing from projected surpluses to real debt. Federal tax collections now stand at their lowest level as a percentage of the economy in 60 years.

      Ah. There’s the rub. Those Bush tax cuts and the recessions that came with two terms of Bush’s economic/fiscal “policy” cost us pretty dearly, especially given…

      Big-ticket spending initiated by the Bush administration accounts for 12 percent of the shift. The Iraq and Afghanistan wars have added $1.3 trillion in new borrowing. A new prescription drug benefit for Medicare recipients contributed another $272 billion. The Troubled Assets Relief Program bank bailout, which infuriated voters and led to the defeat of several legislators in 2010, added just $16 billion — and TARP may eventually cost nothing as financial institutions repay the Treasury.

      Wars aren’t cheap. Especially when you pay for them on credit. “Yo, China, gimme a few more billion so that I can bomb Baghdad. You know I’m good for it!”

      Obama’s 2009 economic stimulus, a favorite target of Republicans who blame Democrats for the mounting debt, has added $719 billion — 6 percent of the total shift, according to the new analysis of CBO data by the nonprofit Pew Fiscal Analysis Initiative. All told, Obama-era choices account for about $1.7 trillion in new debt, according to a separate Washington Post analysis of CBO data over the past decade. Bush-era policies, meanwhile, account for more than $7 trillion and are a major contributor to the trillion-dollar annual budget deficits that are dominating the political debate.

      Ok, so let’s review. Bush tax cuts (plus slight addition from Obama’s tax deal w/GOP last December) cost approximately $6.3 trillion in revenue. Bush’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan cost another $1.3 trillion in deficit spending, and the Bush prescription drug benefit cost $272 billion. That’s $7.8 trillion of our current national debt. That’s over half of our national debt. That’s silly money.

      Can you count? Do you understand that $7.8 trillion is a MUCH larger number than $735 billion? Well, then you understand that our debt crisis is largely a post-Clinton, pre-Obama problem. It’s largely a GOP-caused problem.

      In his writeup on Montgomery’s article, Ezra Klein concluded:

      the current deficit is primarily, though not exclusively, the result of policy decisions made during the Bush years. Insofar as Obama deserves blame for current deficits, it’s mainly because he hasn’t shut down Bush-era policies like the tax cuts. All the stimulus spending combined accounts for a relatively small portion of the deficit.

      So, the next time you find yourself arguing with a conservative decrying liberals for not getting tough on the debt, run these numbers their way. Pass it on (the information, not the debt).

      Just the annual interest on the Bush debt is significant.

      July 16, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
      • Jay in NC

        I think Barry was the one saying "“Yo, China, gimme a few more billion so that I can bomb Baghdad, Afghanistan, Libya, Egypt and Syria."

        In February 2001, according to historical data reported by the Treasury, the mainland Chinese owned only $63.7 billion in U.S. debt. In the ensuing decade, the Chinese massively increased their holdings of U.S. Treasury securities, and especially in the past five years. In September 2008, the Chinese owned $618.2 billion in U.S. government debt .

        September 2010, China increased its U.S. government debt holdings by $533.7 billion—from $618.2 billion to 1.1519 trillion. By the end of October 2010, China’s holdings of U.S. government debt had increased to their peak of 1.1753 trillion.

        The bottom line, Barry has borrowed, in only two years, more money from China than President Bush did in all of his eight years.

        Source: http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/us-treasury-china-has-decreased-its-hold

        July 16, 2011 at 9:49 pm |
      • jean2009

        Nice how you only want to talk about the Chinese debt for 2001 when Bush had just taken office, and then you want to skip to 2010 .

        How about the below article in the Atlantic for January 14, 2008?

        "The $1.53 Trillion Question
        By James Fallows

        Jan 14 2008, 11:10 AM ET
        The perils of even a modest lead-time: when my article in the latest Atlantic about China's holdings of foreign assets went to press, the best and safest estimate we could find of the size of these holdings was $1.4 trillion. Thus the title: "The $1.4 Trillion Question."

        This weekend the People's Bank of China, China's equivalent of the Federal Reserve, announced that the holdings had now reached $1.53 trillion. They went up by more than $460 billion in 2007, and they're still rising by more than $1 billion per day.

        In any case, the forces explained in that article still apply - and maybe we'll have to update the title for the web version of the piece (which is free, outside the normal firewall), to reflect the mounting total month by month. By the end of the year: "The Almost-$2 Trillion Question"? Which would mean that, on average, each American would not have borrowed about $4,000 from China; the figure would be closing in on $6,000."

        Passage from the original, days-of-innocence article:

        This is the real meaning of the vast trade surplus-$1.4 trillion and counting, going up by about $1 billion per day-that the Chinese government has mostly parked in U.S. Treasury notes. In effect, every person in the (rich) United States has over the past 10 years or so borrowed about $4,000 from someone in the (poor) People’s Republic of China."

        July 17, 2011 at 10:00 pm |
      • Jay in NC

        Jean, you need to stop and read. I said "In September 2008, the Chinese owned $618.2 billion in U.S. government debt."

        July 17, 2011 at 10:59 pm |
  6. jean2009

    Americans Support Higher Taxes: by Bruce Bartlett @ capital gains and games

    Contrary to Republican dogma, polls show that the American people strongly support higher taxes to reduce the deficit and improve income inequality. Following are 19 different polls since the first of the year that say so.

    A June 9 Washington Post/ABC News poll found that 61 percent of people believe higher taxes will be necessary to reduce the deficit.

    A June 7 Pew poll found strong support for tax increases to reduce the deficit; 67 percent of people favor raising the wage cap for Social Security taxes, 66 percent raising income tax rates on those making more than $250,000, and 62 percent favor limiting tax deductions for large corporations. A plurality of people would also limit the mortgage interest deduction.

    A May 26 Lake Research poll of Colorado voters found that they support higher taxes on the rich to shore-up Social Security’s finances by a 44 percent to 25 percent marginA May 13 Bloomberg poll found that only one third of people believe it is possible to substantially reduce the budget deficit without higher taxes; two thirds do not.

    A May 12 Ipsos/Reuters poll found that three-fifths of people would support higher taxes to reduce the deficit.

    A May 4 Quinnipiac poll found that people favor raising taxes on those making more than $250,000 to reduce the deficit by a 69 percent to 28 percent margin.

    An April 29 Gallup poll found that only 20 percent of people believe the budget deficit should be reduced only by cutting spending; 76 percent say that higher taxes must play a role.

    An April 25 USC/Los Angeles Times poll of Californians found that by about a 2-to-1 margin voters favor raising taxes to deal with the state’s budget problems over cutting spending alone.

    An April 22 New York Times/CBS News poll found that 72 percent of people favor raising taxes on the rich to reduce the deficit. It also found that 66 percent of people believe tax increases will be necessary to reduce the deficit versus 19 percent who believe spending cuts alone are sufficient.

    An April 20 Washington Post/ABC News poll found that by a 2-to-1 margin people favor a combination of higher taxes and spending cuts over spending cuts alone to reduce the deficit. It also found that 72 percent of people favor raising taxes on the rich to reduce the deficit and it is far and away the most popular deficit reduction measure.

    An April 20 Public Religion Research Institute poll found that by a 2-to-1 margin, people believe that the wealthy should pay more taxes than the poor or middle class. Also, 62 percent of people believe that growing inequality of wealth is a serious problem.

    An April 18 McClatchy-Marist poll found that voters support higher taxes on the rich to reduce the deficit by a 2-to-1 margin, including 45 percent of self-identified Tea Party members.

    An April 18 Gallup poll found that 67 percent of people do not believe that corporations pay their fair share of taxes, and 59 percent believe that the rich do not pay their fair share.

    On April 1, Tulchin Research released a poll showing that voters in California overwhelmingly support higher taxes on the rich to deal with the state’s budgetary problems.

    A March 15 ABC News/Washington Post poll found that only 31 percent of voters support the Republican policy of only cutting spending to reduce the deficit; 64 percent believe higher taxes will also be necessary.A March 2 NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that 81 percent of people would support a surtax on millionaires to help reduce the budget deficit, and 68 percent would support eliminating the Bush tax cuts for those earning more than $250,000.

    A February 15 CBS News poll found that only 49 percent of people believe that reducing the deficit will require cuts in programs that benefit them; 41 percent do not. Also, only 37 percent of people believe that reducing the deficit will require higher taxes on them; 59 percent do not.

    A January 20 CBS News/New York Times poll found that close to two-thirds of people would rather raise taxes than cut benefits for Social Security or Medicare in order to stabilize their finances. The poll also found that if taxes must be raised, 33 percent would favor a national sales tax, 32 percent would support restricting the mortgage interest deduction, 12 percent would raise the gasoline taxes, and 10 percent would tax health care benefits.

    On January 3, a 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair poll found that 61 percent of people would rather raise taxes on the rich to balance the budget than cut defense, Social Security or Medicare.

    July 16, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
    • maikl

      Rich people not going to help if Obama going to spend money like drank sailor. You give him more he spend more. You stupid think more money less problem? Wrong.

      July 16, 2011 at 10:22 pm |
      • kefa34

        intense feeling too often
        obscures the truth.

        July 17, 2011 at 11:38 pm |

    President Obama is right...no more procrastenating...get the job done

    July 16, 2011 at 6:00 pm |


      July 16, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
  8. Ray E. Georgia

    Ha, Ha,
    If you want something done try to do it yourself before you ask me to do it! Now, you would think, after 75 years of Social Engineering the problems would be fixed, wouldn't you? So after all of the Dumbocrat programs why are we in a worse mess that the 1930's? Why is unemployment an Offical 9.2 percent? Why are 40 percent of the people on Food Stamps? Want more of the same? Re-elect Dumbo. When the whole system collapses, blame Republicians, of course.

    July 17, 2011 at 10:34 am |
  9. jean2009

    @Jay, maiki, Ray:

    The Republicans must assume we are all stupid.

    In 2001, Bush takes office, inheriting the budget surplus left by Clinton.
    Bush pushed through tax cuts in 2001 and 2003 without corresponding spending cuts.
    He conducted a war in Afghanistan without paying for it.
    He conducted a war in Iraq without paying for it.
    He signed a large prescription drug program without paying for it.
    No child left behind has proved, on every level. to have been a failure.
    Health care costs skyrocketed, but no government program was allowed to negotiate with vendors for a better drug or medical equipment price.
    Rip-offs of the American taxpayer for War Profiteers like: Halliburton, Blackwater, CACI, Titan...not to mention Enron.
    He oversaw a miserable job growth era...leaving office with a financial crisis banks going belly up, and jobs disintegrating at the rate of 2.6 million in 2008 alone.
    He left the country with the worst recession in history and huge deficits.
    All of this for unnecessary tax cuts for the wealthiest earners and corporations?

    Eight years of Bush set our country back 25 years????

    The Bush presidency was a joke, and like any good joke this one will still be funny 50 years from now. It took a good 16 years to recover from Reagan.

    In his eight years of George Bush's presidency, social programs were hammered, the middle class almost eliminated. Even more damaging was his lack of ability to get other world leaders to support us. Most generally, it seemed, literally, like it was the US against the world...anyone want to say Kyoto? . I don't think there is one program or undertaking that was a success.....WORST PRESIDENT EVER..

    Below are quotes from from DC2ZIowa for Sept.6, 2008

    "Yes, I know, there's been some inflation over the past few years; $100 billion isn't what it used to be. Still it's something of a shocker to realize that the mere interest on the national debt was $430 billion in 2007 - over four times the entire federal budget when I was in government.

    Budget. President Bush this year (2008) presented Congress with a budget of $3.2 trillion (over 30 times what it was in my day).

    Budget deficit. Whoever occupies the White House next year will inherit from President Bush a $482 billion budget deficit.

    Unfunded obligations - hold onto your hat - are now about $53 trillion.

    And for those of you who have forgotten Glenn Beck once worked for CNN.

    CNN's Glenn Beck refers to our nation's unfunded future obligations as a $53 trillion asteroid hurtling toward Earth, the first impact from which is scarcely 10 years away. Glenn Beck, "The $53 Trillion Asteroid," CNN, March 14, 2008."

    Gee....again WHO was President in 2007 and 2008? It was George W. Bush

    Then we have morons like you that want to pretend all these things began 2 years ago...which is pure fabrication...so as I have stated before....HISTORY DOESN'T HAPPEN IN A VACUUM.

    July 17, 2011 at 9:08 pm |
    • jean2009

      BTW Jay,maiki, Ray

      I was just on another site which is a poll about whether GW Bush was (or was not) a good president, and the vote is about 75 to 22 percentage that he was a horrible president...worst in 50 years.

      Funny point is one of the person's comments under the (yes) he was a good president, actually should have been in the NO column. They started their comment with: No he was a bad president....LOL!

      July 17, 2011 at 9:48 pm |
      • Jay in NC

        Sounds like a good website for you and Liz. You will be happy there with other like minded.

        July 17, 2011 at 11:01 pm |