Obama makes debt limit case at La Raza speech
July 25th, 2011
02:13 PM ET

Obama makes debt limit case at La Raza speech

President Obama took the opportunity at his speech before the National Council of La Raza Monday to take aim at the GOP over the breakdown in debt talks last week:

Not only is it not fair if all of this is done on the backs of middle-class families and poor families, it doesn’t make sense. It may sound good to save a lot of money over the next five years, but not if we sacrifice our future for the next 50.

The president also said Monday he is willing to cut spending "by historic amounts" to reach a deal raising the federal debt ceiling.

Full remarks on the debt issue:

Now, obviously, the other debate in Washington that we’re having is one that’s going to have a direct impact on every American. Every day, NCLR and your affiliates hear from families figuring out how to stretch every dollar a little bit further, what sacrifices they’ve got to make, how they're going to budget only what’s truly important. So they should expect the same thing from Washington. Neither party is blameless for the decisions that led to our debt, but both parties have a responsibility to come together and solve the problem and make sure that the American people aren’t hurt on this issue. (Applause.)

I just want to talk about this for a second, because it has a potential impact on everybody here and all the communities you serve. If we don’t address the debt that’s already on our national credit card, it will leave us unable to invest in things like education, to protect vital programs.

So I’ve already said I’m willing to cut spending that we don't need by historic amounts to reduce our long-term deficit and make sure that we can invest in our children’s future. I’m willing to take on the rising costs of health care programs like Medicare and Medicaid to make sure they’re strong and secure for future generations.

But we can’t just close our deficits by cutting spending. That’s the truth, and Americans understand that. Because if all we all do is cut, then seniors will have to pay a lot more for their health care, and students will have to pay a lot more for college, and workers who get laid off might not have any temporary assistance or job training to get them back on their feet. And with gas prices this high, we’d have to stop much of the clean energy research that will help us free ourselves from dependence on foreign oil.

Not only is it not fair if all of this is done on the backs of middle-class families and poor families, it doesn’t make sense. It may sound good to save a lot of money over the next five years, but not if we sacrifice our future for the next 50.

And that’s why people from both parties have said that the best way to take on our deficit is with a balanced approach –- one where the wealthiest Americans and big corporations pay their fair share, too. (Applause.) Before we stop funding energy research, we should ask oil companies and corporate jet owners to give up special tax breaks that other folks don’t get. (Applause.) Before we ask college students to pay more to go to college, we should ask hedge fund managers to stop paying taxes that are lower in terms of rates than their secretaries. Before we ask seniors to pay more for Medicare - (applause) - before we ask seniors to pay more for Medicare, we should ask people like me to give up tax breaks that we don’t need and weren’t even asking for. (Applause.)

So, NCLR, that’s at the heart of this debate. Are we a nation that asks only the middle class and the poor to bear the burden? After they’ve seen their jobs disappear and their incomes decline over a decade? Are we a people who break the promises we’ve made to seniors, or the disabled, and leave them to fend for themselves?

That's not who we are. We are better than that. We’re a people who look out for one another. We’re a people who believe in shared sacrifice, because we know that we rise or fall as one nation. We’re a people who will do whatever it takes to make sure our children have the same chances and the same opportunities that our parents gave us - not just the same chances, better chances, than our parents gave us. That's the American way.

Topics: President Obama • The News

soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. John

    I've heard the Skinhead Group are changing their name to "The Race".

    July 25, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
  2. California Conservative

    Obama making a case at a racist organizations meeting.

    This is proof how off his rocker Obama really is.

    July 25, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
    • Howard

      Continually spending more than you have is simply bad judgment.
      Since Obama took office, only 2 1/2 years ago, our National debt. has risen
      from 9 trillion to 14 trillion. This unprecedented enormous debt. is due to
      irresponsible, out of control spending. Efforts to cut spending, and refuse
      an increase on the debt ceiling, is reasonable, and necessary to reverse
      our economic catastrophe. Obama has spent more money in the past 2 1/2
      years, than all of the presidents who came before him, combined.

      July 26, 2011 at 2:12 am |
      • jean2009

        Yes, and a good 1/2 of that is due to the policies of George W. Bush...and you like maiki do not seem to understand that the deficit is money which has already been spend. And again your figures are off.

        "On the day President Bush took office, the national debt stood at $5.727 trillion. The latest number from the Treasury Department shows the national debt now stands at more than $9.849 trillion. That's a 71.9 percent increase on Mr. Bush's watch.

        The bailout plan now pending in Congress could add hundreds of billions of dollars to the national debt – though President Bush said this morning he expects that over time, "much if not all" of the bailout money "will be paid back."

        But the government is taking no chances. Buried deep in the hundred pages of bailout legislation is a provision that would raise the statutory ceiling on the national debt to $11.315 trillion. It'll be the 7th time the debt limit has been raised during this administration. In fact it was just two months ago, on July 30, that President Bush signed the Housing and Economic Recovery Act, which contained a provision raising the debt ceiling to $10.615 trillion."

        Bush knew he was handing forward a mountainous Tsunami of debt to the next administration. He was told his tax cuts were unsustainable and that they would wreck the economy...by Paul O'Neil but he didn't want to listen he just fired O'Neil and selected someone who would do what he wanted. G.W. Bush worst president ever.

        July 26, 2011 at 11:42 am |
  3. maikl

    The man need reelection , so he going to promise ,promise and promise. He think Mexican is stupid. He fool them one time, so not try second time.

    July 25, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  4. jean2009

    I see the peanut gallery of racist got here first.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
    • maikl

      You something else. If not for Obama it means racist. You don't have any good achievement by this the worse president ever,so you call racist. BY the way,I'm black man,stupid.

      July 25, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
      • jean2009

        Well maiki if you are; you sure are running with the wrong crowd... that will bring you no relief for your situation. It is not this president's fault you don't have a job, don't have an education, and don't have any support mechanism...it is sadly obvious you are not a millionaire..

        July 26, 2011 at 11:30 am |
  5. d.r1947

    What will it take for Obama and his cronies to wake up...YOU are the problem...NOT REPUBS...and America is seeing this..Don't bother to go on TV...When you were elected, it was because of the smooth voice and I imagine your tallness and age...Americans like that..Slick Willies....QUIT lying to Americans and quit taking this country down a path so our children can never retire...or maybe we'll be like the Egyptians and send your sad selves OUT ASAP.

    July 25, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
  6. LmaoBeaner

    Maikl, Please do us all a favor and never post on CNN again. You may be attempting to prove a point, but you sound like an illiterate person. Get a basic understanding of the English language and come back in a couple of years.

    July 26, 2011 at 12:55 am |
    • Jay in NC

      I thought that Liberals were tolerant. I guess that was just another lie they have been telling us.

      July 26, 2011 at 8:56 am |
  7. RickeyV

    It would do well for NCLR to publicly denounce Illegal immigration. It would do the President well to denounce the failed ideals of the socialist, and the inability of the elitist to accomplish the needs of this country. Life itself always says, "Do it right, or pay the price!"

    July 26, 2011 at 4:48 am |