Overheard on CNN.com: Congress: We’re not impressed
Debt ceiling legislation to prevent the U.S. from having to default came down to the wire on August 2, 2011.
August 2nd, 2011
05:03 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Congress: We’re not impressed

Comment of the day:

“What a bunch of crooks and cowards.” –agt1419cxtEN

No love for the debt deal

With only hours left of what was deemed a critical August 2 deadline, the U.S. Congress passed a compromise bill to raise the U.S. debt ceiling. The bill calls for up to $2.4 trillion in savings over the next decade while raising the nation’s $14.3 trillion debt ceiling. The last-minute compromise allowed the U.S. to narrowly avert default which may have had serious economic consequences.

But it was the lengthy back-and-forth process – with few signs of genuine compromise - leading up to the legislation that left CNN.com readers feeling less than enthused:

DonkeyHoatie said, “Bring back Bill Clinton. We had a huge surplus when he was president.”

vj900 said, “Why now? Why did it take to the very last day before the two parties got some sense and found a way to work together after months of fighting, walking out of meetings, etc? This is why the American people don’t trust the Congress.”

CrunkSwaggaG said, “Nice to know that the burdens of this debt deal will fall solely on the middle class. God forbid we ask millionaires and billionaires to make a shared sacrifice. Thanks Republicans. I'll remember this next election.”

JDriver777 responded, “Who do you think supplied many of these reps and senators with campaign funds? ‘Millionaires and billionaires.’ there's your answer.”

BinaryTruth said, “Republicans should worry about people like my Christian-conservative aunt who is no longer voting Republican for the first time in her life because of this.”

oddjob3422 said, “Nothing was even suggested that really would hit ‘millionaires and billionaires,’ by anyone. It's a good political buzz phrase; one that the President just loves, but why not actually attempt to tax those people?”

dub1045 said, “If there was any indication that increasing taxes on corporations would affect their profitability, the first thing they would do is to shed employees. Instead, with the profits the oil companies are enjoying, they are spending billions to ensure the continuation of profits and supply. That is great news. There should be no effort made to tax the wealth of people in this country.”

cnwilli said, “And God forbid we stop creating a larger burden by overspending...”

FauxNewz said, “Duh, 46 percent of Congress are millionaires, what did you expect?”

Kim125 said, “How can any thinking human being who is not a billionaire, and a greedy uncaring one at that, be a Republican after viewing this incident? The Tea Party is dead, or it should be. I've never seen such stubborn idiocy, even for a bribe, which is obviously why they did it.”

But CorruptUS said, “Even though I think this is a lose, lose situation for everyone....now can we get back to job creation and the economy? ending 2 10 year+ wars plus all the other myriad of things we NEED to fix?!"

And fleetingfree said, “The good thing is that now this is done and the GOP can’t stop the Bush tax cuts from expiring.”

Bag the Tea Party?

In his CNN.com column this week, LZ Granderson (also a columnist for ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com) says GOP members are not doing themselves any favors by pandering to the tea partiers. He writes that Boehner should work to censure them and deny them GOP resources. And because the country needs a third party, he says tea partiers could split off and create their own.

What did readers think of his column? Commenters mainly think the GOP should cut the tea party loose, while others said that would be a mistake.

truerunner said, “A good piece of advice for the GOP to remember, ‘never hitch your wagon to a falling star.’ It is becoming more evident daily that people in this country are losing their patience with those who'd put their temper tantrums ahead of the nation. GOP has played with fire. These last weeks they did a poor job of hiding their burns.

But brain419 responded, “Losing patience? Are you kidding me? It's the Tea Party that’s lost patience with incompetent politicians who have no idea of what fiscal responsibility is. Deal with it and stop killing the future with debt!”

giggie said, “Well said.....exactly my sentiments. Unfortunately, the polls still show that some people are still dazzled by the baggers. I just can't figure it out. What are these people voting for....a Christian country that rewards and worships Jesus and corporate America? The only poor people they want to protect is the unborn fetus. Once you’re born forget about their protections.”

HJCihak said, “Unfortunately, LZ, you've missed the point. The Republicans are kowtowing to the Tea Baggers because, without them, they won't be a majority party, and being the majority party is more important than anything else.”

leadbelly66 said, “Cut the Tea Party loose after the service they've done for the country? Are you kidding me? I applaud them for forcing an issue that both traditional parties would rather ignore.” RKen responded, “The Tea Party is the only one ignoring issues here. Did you notice the June job report was one of the lowest of the year? Did you read the article as to why? It was because government hiring was near-non-existent, and this will only get worse now that we’re cutting spending further.”

JenniferUCD said, “Hello Teabaggers. Your time is limited. Scream and kick all you want, but even your Republican cousins want you out. You've proved nothing with your arrogant and ignorant temper tantrums except that you are a bad for this country. Sure you've changed the discussion in politics, but you have ultimately shown that the Tea Party mantra of ‘I've got mine and I don't give a crap about you’ is an all out disaster when it comes to running a country of 300 million people.”

JustTruth1 said, “I don't agree with John McCain very often, but he hit the nail on the head referring to the actions of the Tea Party representatives as 'Bizarro.' ANYBODY who would hold our economy hostage for an amendment to the Constitution that the American people have not given FULL consideration to is more than just Bizarro. It's a traitorous act.” Guest responded, “It would have been even more awesome if, after saying that, McCain hadn't promptly gone on Hannity and claimed to like and respect the Tea Party. Remember, this is the guy who gave us Sarah Palin. I'd love to think his ‘bizarro’ comment was sincere, but I just can't be sure.”

JOSEMORALESS said, “What a hack. If the Tea Party wasn't around both parties would keep spending, spending, spending … The last time we got a balanced budget was when a Republican congress reigned in spending and grew the economy so without the TEA PARTY we wouldn't be talking about fiscal responsibility.”

freedom522 said, “Time to investigate the funding for the Tea Party; extremism destroys the country. We should know that by now.”

avon13 said, “Just hearing the name "Michele Bachmann" makes me cringe. Tea party supporters baffle me. notation responded, “They baffle me, too. But my reaction to those in power who use them to further an agenda is one of horror.”

Happy birthday, iReport

On a much different note, there was cause for celebration at CNN.com; iReport, CNN’s citizen journalism initiative, turned 5 years old today. The team has come a long way - their first report was about a hot squirrel in Indiana and now they have thousands of iReporters around the world capturing major news and events, becoming an integral part of most major news stories in the past 5 years.

CNN.com readers and iReporters posted their congratulations:

apandrew said, “Happy Birthday team iReport!! Congrats on 5 amazing years! Here's to many more!”

RomaniaScene said, “La multi ani, iReport! CNN has made the Romania Peace Corps' third goal reach around the world!”

Sunsetlady said, “Congratulations to a great team whom we, iReporters, share common interests, values and passion.”

ander said, “Greetings from Iceland and Happy 5th birthday, CNN iReport.”

Sunethra said, “Happy Birthday from Sri Lanka. Love that photo of the team jumping down the steps; wish I had copy of it.”

Bellydancer said, “Happy Birthday! What a great forum! I can't believe I am still keeping up w/ it, but it has become part of my daily routine to read and comment on posts. Thanks CNN!”

seeitnow said, “Millions of iReporters on the ground and on the scene have contributed greatly to our world of eyewitness reporting. Perhaps the most inspiring aspect of iReports for me is the steadily increasing quality of the iReports. I am finding an ever increasing number of people that look to iReporters for their news. Congratulations Lila and your team and thank you so much for taking a chance on this/us! Much Metta. Percy"

queersmurf said, “I registered on iReport just after the 2008 election, not because of the election, but because the day after the election Prop. 8 passed in California. I happened to be on iReport that day reading through some of, what I've now come to know are the very typical and common anti-gay sound bytes and talking points, and was so moved by the sheer amount of hate and ignorance being tossed around on the topic that I decided to register so that I might at least do what I could to counter some of the more vile and completely unfounded opinions being offered up.

In the end, the significance of what iReport offers people who otherwise would feel that they have no voice at all, is at the very least a place that they can be creative, vent their frustrations, or simply post a report for no other reason than to start a conversation about a topic that they feel needs to be talked about more.”

ChrisMorrow said, “I think one of the coolest iReports I was a part of was giving 5th graders the opportunity to ask a question to astronauts in space. A truly out of this world experience. :)”

Punal said, “Congratulations! This is a window to the world. We look for it."

Do you feel your views align with these commenters' thoughts? Post a comment below or sound off on video

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

soundoff (88 Responses)
  1. Tom Steele

    I am a Brit. We do not consider you to be nincompoops. Sometimes we are puzzled but admire much about you.
    The whole planet is in fiscal meltdown but the sky is not falling. Like our government your politicians are playing a game
    hoping things will sort themselves out by natural process. Fasten your seatbelts my friends, it's going to be a bumpy ride.
    We are all in this together. See you at the soup kitchen.

    August 4, 2011 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • RodBinNC

      Come on, you don't have to nice. The Congress, especially the GOP, do not care about the bulk of the electorate–middle class and poor). The GOP would like to see them die and would probably find a way to market their dead flesh to fee the rich. One day the people will rise up and kill the supposed "job creators" , with the streets running red with blood. The rich have had their way, but soon the bill will come due. And the Tea Baggers will be the first to go.

      August 7, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Brian Carson

    Why is this so complicated for people to comprehend?
    The rich are in charge of writing the tax loophole laws.
    Partisanship is a myth from the smoke & mirror coalition. Look at the person, not the party when you vote.
    Until the current Police Action, the USA has never gone to war without raising taxes to pay for it.
    Big one here -> When you raise taxes, companies reinvest money to get out of paying taxes.
    The Finale -> Want to cut the deficit even more? Cut out subsidies to turning a profit over the past 5 years.

    August 5, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  3. emilio

    this country is no longer for the people and by the people the government only does what its best for them (the senators and both parties) and when we are in the middle of the economic crisis we are overseas wasting millions of dollars on military intervention we want to help other countries when we cant even help fix ours I say that for just a while we forget about the problems of other countries and concentrate in our own domestic problems our countries need to go back to the system of for the people and by the people and stop protecting the rich people since this country should worry about the middle class because its the backbone of the economy that my opinion

    August 6, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  4. F. G. Kostrub

    I would like to see a comparison of today with the Clinton era, when we had budget surpluses:
    – How do revenues compare? Where from? What is down?
    – How do expenses compare? What has gone up?
    Perhaps by looking at what has changed, we can see what to fix.

    August 6, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • audrey

      President Clinton did a good job with the economics of the country, however, he also rode high during the explosion of the Silicon Valley greatness era. Times were different, times are tough all over the world now. Just dig in, and work together and stop demo/republicaning it against each other. Ignore teabaggers, and work together.

      August 7, 2011 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
  5. H983

    Totally agree with giggie

    August 6, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  6. SwissAlps

    It's finally time for the Americans to wake up to what the Tea Party is doing to their country!! It is horrifying for the rest of the world to look upon all the destructive haggling they've done to destroy one of the biggest nations and the world economy. If they point their fingers as the Democrats, then they should shake their little brains to remember who brought all this debt to their country – the former Republican party who entered two desastrous wars that cost billions of tax payers money and casued misery to their nation......do you want to vote for such people? What will they do next....?

    August 7, 2011 at 4:09 am | Report abuse |
  7. wonderingwhy

    Tea Partiers – How would a smaller government be better? Halliburton, KBR, Lockheed, Boeing, and all the other BIG GOVERNMENT contractors would not get their $$ which they love. It's disengenous to say that the government of the US doesn't provide jobs – look at the 70,000 contractors out of work when the FAA couldn't get funded because the twits in Congress forgot to do their job, again. I would like too see a well thought out approach to deficit reduction which includes tax reform and I think most Americans would go along with this as long as ALL Americans (and corporations) are included

    August 7, 2011 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  8. Pwilliams

    If the members of Congress were serious about cutting programs and raising revenue in order to pay the national debt and thereby finally passing a fair and equitable balanced budget, they should start by cutting the programs that funnel money to other nations that want to see our ruin. Instead of making the middle class go away, they should bring home our soldiers and leave these two so called War's to the rest of the population on Earth to fight while we heal our nation. We are in a world full of people who wants to see the fall of The United States of America, and I believe that many of them are in Congress and the White House. Others outside the USA as we all know...Take Billionaire George Soros, the man who funded a great bit of Obama's campaign for President. This man has made it well known throughout the world that he wants to see our middle class destroyed and the wealth re-distributed to third world countries. He is a very big player in this Satanic new world order and one world government. He has the money to make things happen. So if you think that this "financial crises" the world seems to be in is real, I got news, this is a manufactured crises in order to bring in a new world currency and if you don't believe that, just read what China has to say about the situation in this country. By the way, something is really wrong when a country such as China scolds the greatest nation on Earth, The USA. People, Jesus is coming back soon, no not Allah or some rock idol, but Jesus Christ, the true Messiah and this is part of a larger plan that started with the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. People better wake up in this country!

    August 7, 2011 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Adam

    It is really had to discern why we should give congress access to more money when they have already blown out their credit line. Do you give a crackhead more crack, more smack to the smack addict, more alcohol to the alcoholic? Of course not yet you beg to give more money to politicians to waste. It is senseless. They need to go to a half-way house for financial abusers not given more money. For get paying the tab, that is impossible even if the tax rate is 100% for everybody. We will default, there is no question that we will default by inflation. And BTW you can thank the big spenders from both parties both of which are repugnant along with their followers.

    August 7, 2011 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Fred

    Even with the present difficulties, I still believe in the resilience of the American People! Best wishes.

    August 8, 2011 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
  11. Eileen Curras

    It is too late for making claims.It is time to roll the sleves and work.

    August 8, 2011 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
  12. Gimble

    The sad part of all this is to witness the blindness of the American people. Do you really think the country can survive on increasing the debt? In the end, all our income will go to servicing the debt. Paying interest to those countries who loaned us the money. Wake up, do you want all our future generations working for China and other countries who took advantage of our stupidity.
    Stop your childish bickering about the GOP and spending Demo's. The GOP was correct in attempting to get us onto the recovery road. But nobody seems to have the ability to understand why we must stop the money overload.
    Every single person in the USA is now in debt, and you want to borrow more. Where is our intelligence? We have over 40% of the population who dont pay tax. And they are screaming to take money from the rich. Sure lets bankrupt them as well so no one is left to create employment opportunities. The madness has to stop. The insanity and lack of common sense will make us the morons of the world.
    Put thinking people in Congress, not lawyers, not money grabbers, not ego maniacs. People who truly think about America. And let the people stand behind them. It will take years to solve this enormous problem but we cannot keep putting it off. I pray that we can overcome our stupidity and together move this country forward.

    August 8, 2011 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
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