Overheard on CNN.com: Beyond frustrated with debt stalemate
July 26th, 2011
11:51 AM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Beyond frustrated with debt stalemate

As debt ceiling talks continue, last night both sides presented reasons for a stalled solution. President Barack Obama called the political showdown "no way to run the greatest country on Earth" while House Speaker John Boehner insisted that excessive government spending is the root cause of America's financial problems and that expenditure cuts are the only solution.

Based on their comments, CNN.com readers are frustrated by the deadlock and many blame Republicans and House Speaker Boehner for not being willing to compromise.

Comment of the morning:

“It's looking to me kinda like grandma won't get her SS check because we invaded Iraq needlessly. That's pretty hard to swallow.” - ArooMadazda

Where’s the compromise?

Here's what else our readers had to say on the issue:

MasterJ51503 said, “Other than surrendering himself for impeachment, President Obama has given the Republican party EVERYTHING they desire. This is about as much compromise from Democratic leadership I have seen in decades, and the Republicans un-willingness to strike a deal on such circumstances that favor them tremendously only shows their true agenda: they want to paint Obama as a "failure.”

aahawks said, “No matter which side you are on, the President said one important word: "Compromise." From what I see, Obama is willing to make cuts and meet in the middle. The Republicans are not willing to meet in the middle. It’s their way or no way. Compromise is how we get things done.”

TorukMakto said, “Can we get the approval ratings for Boehner? I thought Bush was bad, but I have never seen a politician so openly threaten to let the U.S. economy get destroyed as long as the wealthy and corporations continue to enjoy the Bush TAX CUT.”

adamThegr8 said, “Obama speaks to you. Bohner speaks at you.”

Samuel27 said, “Boehner's speech boiled down to ‘Do what I say, and no one gets hurt!’”

TryLogic said, “Hey, Boehner: It's not a blank check. It's a debt ceiling increase, which has happened 74 times since 1962. And it's for exactly $2.4 trillion. Stop holding our nation hostage with politics.”

TheRealist20 said, “Boehner chooses to make extra cuts to Medicare and Social Security so he can preserve tax CUTS that were supposed to expire anyway, for the wealthiest 2 percent of the population. What a total slime ball.

Switters02 said, “Boehner cannot get his 'plan' passed by the House – 39 Republican Representatives have SIGNED A PLEDGE not to vote for it. Priceless.......”

anonyname said, “Remember, Speaker Boehner, if you break, it you own it. While you try to blackmail the President to keep millionaires and billionaires from paying more taxes, you are in GRAVE danger of being the guy who places the last straw that craters our economy. Do you want to be remembered forever as the guy who did that?”

Guest responded, “It's the President who doesn't UNDERSTAND the economy. He has NO background to be in the position as the President. It's showing BIG time here.

zzbbe said, “For some strange reason Boehner is determined to reelect Obama. His performance last night must have been worth many million votes for the Democrats.”

ihantotta said, “Poor Boehner. He looked so pathetic. He had to get up in front of the whole country and tell us that his party won't lift a finger for the common man.”

Truthwins101 responded, “Any sane person listening to Boehner last night would never be able to vote for Obama again in a million years. If you pull the lever for Obama in 2012 it speaks VOLUMES about your lack of mental capacity.”

brianguy123 said, “Obama's speech rambles about the year 2000, teachers, firefighters and corporate jets, none of which have anything to do with the issues at hand. The guy is from Pluto. He is not living in the real world.”

CorruptUS said, “If I had to choose right now between the plans presented last night. Hands down would I choose the one Obama was pushing.”

apaige said, “President Obama explained the debt ceiling crisis in everyday language to many Americans who didn't understand how serious this situation has become. He asked for balance and compromise while Boehner spent his time attacking the President. More importantly, the President told the country how a small cult of extremists have taken over the government and produced this very dangerous and unnecessary stalemate.”

ChefCHEESE said, “I watched President on TV last night and I think his plan makes 100% sense. The Republicans are an arrogant bunch of people who act as if they are still in power. I hope the voters will realize that and given them a real beating in election in 2012.”

gman90210 said, “Obama is openly lying to you. 'Tax the millionaires and billionaires'. Then in the same speech the plan is to tax 250k+, which is closer to zero than a million. Democrats can't understand simple math, blindly following a clueless leader who only cares to kick the can down the street to get past the next election instead of solving real problems.”

BobnLA said, “What is sad is that the President has to ask people to get involved in their own future. Getting a phone number or email address for any politician is simple- Google them. The real problem? Most Americans don't know who their representatives are!”

fiskenmann said, “Contact your lawmakers? Sorry, Mr. President, our lawmakers in South Dakota do not respond to voters unless you give them a check!!!”

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 (2,307 Responses)
  1. michlor

    In my world, anyone making over $250K a year might as well be a millionaire. What is really sad is that I pay more taxes on $55K a year than those making $250K. I would like to see all the members of congress live on $50K a year for at least two years, while paying for all their own bills, including health care insurance, deductibles, and co-pays before they can take the office, then maybe they would understand what the 'common' man is going through.

    July 26, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Emily

      You do not pay more taxes than people making over $250,000. Do you know what the Alternative Minimum Tax is? I would be willing to wager that you pay social security tax, and little to nothing more.

      July 26, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • CJ


      July 26, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chop

      Well, you didn't pay more taxes than this person who made over $250K. I m,ade just over $260K and paid over $60K in taxes. I'm not complaining, I'm just saying those that follows the rules already pay a large % of their income in taxes.

      July 26, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marisa

      We talk about this but I wonder how we can make actual changes in that direction, why are we paying for them to lease a brand new Lexus every yr while I drive an old honda?

      July 26, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan, TX

      Clearly taxes are too high. We are making progress, ~50% of people have no federal income tax liability and soon we will get to 75%. If we keep voting republican, I am sure we can get to 100%.

      July 26, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  2. YouKnow Who

    Anyone who donates to this group (Association to Reduce the National Debt, Inc.) have got to be nuts. How much is the overhead? Are you saying this organization receives the money then sends a check to the IRS? Why not just send the IRS your personnel check for reducing the debt? Something is fishy here, because I smell either a rat or a liberal backed group!

    July 26, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • NoI Don't

      It's funny how most of the conservative supporters that post here can't spell correctly.

      I wonder if its an education problem? That would make sense...

      July 26, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  3. boatvolt

    Being in a position of power and exploiting it to your own ends at the expense of the nation used to be called "treason"...

    July 26, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Emily

      Sorry, I know treason is the liberal buzz word of the moment, but it means "the offense of acting to overthrow one's government or to harm or kill its sovereign," not the offense of disagreeing with another political party.

      July 26, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • boatvolt

      Emily: If the often stated purpose of the GOP is to effectively cause the Obama presidency to fail, at the expense of the nation, then your argument is just semantics....

      July 26, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Ron Swonger

    Speaker Boehner,
    As a small business executive who has been a Republican all of my life , I cannot understand how you and your "no new taxes" colleagues can claim with a straight face that increasing taxes on Bill Gates and Warren Buffet and Exxon and BP, etc. would cost even 1 job. Even Gates and Buffett say so. What will cost jobs is increasing interest rates due to U.S. default. What will cost jobs is the resulting inability of small businesses to borrow money. What will cost jobs is the uncertainty of having to go through this cycle of Washington dysfunction and politicking over and over again.

    For the sake of this country, the average American, and the world and the global economy get your tea party colleagues to do their job and set aside their ideological unrealistic "no new taxes" posturing. The richest corporations and people can afford to carry their share of the load to start digging us out of the hole that Washington politicians have created.

    July 26, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Emily

      You are not a small business owner. There is not a small business owner is America who wants more taxes. We are burdened beyond belief with the 2nd highest corporate tax rate in the world and health care premiums that continue to skyrocket.

      July 26, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • mountain made

      You said it brother!

      July 26, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave Allison


      July 26, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michelle in Michigan

      Dear Mr. Swonger,
      I applaud your polite argument. There are so few who know the value of debating an issue, using facts, logic, and reasonable language. I am an independent, leaning toward democratic, with some very definite liberal values. Even so, I think you and I would get along fabulously! A discussion with someone who listens and consider my point of view (whether or not I persuade them of the wisdom of my point of view – or vice versa!) is one of the real treasures in my life. I would be glad to hear more about your point of view. Perhaps we could come up with a compromise and present it to Congress and the President for their approval!!

      July 26, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      This isn't your father's Republican party. It's bneen hijacked by anarchists and fascists.

      July 26, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thorne

      Oh Emily... I realize you feel the need to beat the Teabagger drum... but a little precision would be nice. Yes. The US has the second or third highest corporate tax of the "Top 50" world nations, depending on whom you ask. However.... It is the 48th or 47th on that same list after corporate tax loopholes. Thanks for playing. Try a crazy little thing called Google. You can actual check your facts BEFORE you spew and spin. Isn't the internet AMAZING?!
      I'm a small business owner too. Are you going to call me a liar? The fact that other people don't agree with your small world ideology must really drive you nuts.

      July 26, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • NoI Don't

      I love this thread!

      This is why generalizing "Republicans" is wrong. I would be willing to be that a lot of "Republicans," like Mr. Swonger here, share the same viewpoint. Unfortunately, those in power happen to be right wing extremeist who are not only serving to effectively ruin their party's name, but to ruin the name of Americans that fight for deomcracy and compromise.

      Compromise...seems simple, doesn't it? Even the NFL owners and players can compromise. It takes bending from both sides. The current GOP viewpoints will drive the country, and thusly the world, into an economic meltdown.

      July 26, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Just Me


      Nice!! If Repubs can't agree with the facts, then hit them with logic. That always confuses them.

      July 26, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  5. elobogrande

    Perhaps Boehner should use Becks "end of the world" blackboard to make his point

    July 26, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Sharon

    If this country does not realize by now that a small group of people having no real experience in running our government and worse still are politically extreme are trying to force the ideas of a few into the minds of many, they are just looking the other way. This is the most irresponsible group I have ever witnessed elected to public office. So now those of you who voted these novice extremists into office see what wonderful decisions your actions have accomplished!

    July 26, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • mountain made

      I'm in total agreement with you. They are behaving like spoiled children, stomping their feet and screaming NO! when told to do their chores. Like spoiled children they refuse to see any other veiw then their own, refuse to listen to rationality. Unlike spoiled children you can't send them to their rooms without supper or t.v. VOTE THEM OUT! My way or the highway doesn't cut it in this republic.

      July 26, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Elaine Neu of Chicago

    can not deal with republican leader. it seems to be his way or no way.

    July 26, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  8. KennyG

    James, you said Republican bullies, when I am sure that you meant Democrats plus president bullies. I don't see the Democrats bending over backwards to compromise. So far, it appears that Obama is not willing to give any. Clearly, he's the bully!

    July 26, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan, TX

      You are joking, right? Or have you not getting any news reports where you live?

      July 26, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Tom

    There will be a big election in 2012. Boehner and Cantor will discover just how much of a "mandate" they have.

    July 26, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • boatvolt

      Agree, but to paraphrase P.T. Barnum [I think] "Nobody ever went broke underestimating the attention span of the American public". The GOP has done a masterful job wooing the very people they are screwing, so don't understimate their spin over the next year and a half....

      July 26, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  10. patrick long

    Boehner and his party say the Bush tax cuts must stay in place to support more new jobs. These cuts are in placeL right now and have been for a long time, but where are the jobs? Nowhere. Where is the money given due to tax cuts?
    Look in their bank accounts.....greed, greed, greed....

    July 26, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • boatvolt

      Well said.

      July 26, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Furious

    I suppose we're the naive ones, thinking our politicians are in Washington to represent us. I agree with the person that said we need to send a lobbyist for our voices to be heard. Apparently lobbyists are the only contingent our politicians listen to. We need a balanced approach to get our deficit under control. It disgusts me that there are politicians that think the deficit should be paid down on the backs of the low and middle income and the rich and big corporations should bear none of the burden.

    July 26, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  12. BonRon

    I'm all for cutting spending until you start cutting my social security and medicare that I've paid into for 41 years!

    July 26, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  13. BrokenInSpirit

    Once upon a time my family was just getting by, by working hard and Trying to save for our future. Once upon a time, before the Republicans were in control, Bush, etc. Now, I am alone and sick with diseases of which there are no cures. I worked so hard that my body couldn't fight back any longer. I lost my business, my self worth and my health, trying to get a piece of the "American Dream." Now my only income, my disability income is threatened to stop. This will leave me homeless and on the streets. All because the "Rich get Richer and the Poor get Poorer" which is exactly what the Republicans want. They are truly showing their Real agenda and do not care about the middle income becoming poor and the poor becoming homeless. I am going to die and have no way to pay for my burial, where will I end up??? This is what most Americans are feeling. There's no "American Dream" only the "American Nightmare."

    July 26, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marisa

      I am a laid off teacher in Calif, old enough to take early reitrement for the 10 yrs I taught ($515 a month) Because I am collecting this pension, the gov is keeping a lot of my SS.. they call it windfall legislation. If I got all my SS, I would have a total each month of $1600.. that is what our gov calls a windfall for the middle class?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Instead I get $1300. Wow, just think what I would have done with ALL that extra money!

      July 26, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  14. SomeoneOutThere

    Right Tom. It shouldn't be dem or rep. Who is doing whats morally and ethically right for the citizens. Don't vote any othe them in office. see what they do when they are there.

    July 26, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  15. SickNTyred

    The current stalemate in Washington surrounding the debt ceiling is further evidence that the United States’ two party political system is no longer functional. Our democratic processes underpinned by assumptions of open fact-based civil debate and compromise have been high jacked by absolutist idealogs.

    This political theater is played out daily on TV in sound bites and outright lies spoken by politicos strictly adhering to the days’ party approved message. It is political theater and political slight of hand. It is largely misdirection using double-speak and emotionally charged imagery – shades of Orwell’s 1984.

    Pull back the weeds and what you see is class warfare masquerading as political process. Given the facts the American people would see that the US economy has been run into a ditch largely because of 30 years of economic and tax policies that overwhelmingly favor the wealthy and large corporate interests. Beginning with the free trade and trickle down economic policies of Reagan in the 80’s the United States has lost nearly 40% of its manufacturing jobs to over-seas moves. Tax policies that throw bones to the middle and lower socioeconomic classes have hugely benefited the top 5 % of Americans. Billions of tax dollars are spent every year giving tax breaks to and incentivizing industries that do not need it while more and more Americans fall into poverty. The costs of the Bush tax cuts and the Bush wars remain totally unfunded and have added trillions to the national debt while enriching those that are invested in the national war machine industries. All of this damage and the largest and deepest economic decline since the great depression were handed to President Obama by the last Bush administration.

    And now these same interests bolstered by Tea Party zealots appear prepared to run us off another economic cliff rather that accept a balanced and rational approach to resolving the national debt crisis. The Republican Party has been radicalized by a one dimensional Tea Party that would rather see this country go down the tube that accept the truth that the unbalanced control of economic, financial regulatory and tax policies of the last three decades has put our economy where it is today.

    President Obama needs to shed more light on these facts. The facts are on his side and so are the vast majority of Americans. Give the American people the facts and public opinion will shift the debate in the President’s favor.

    July 26, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
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