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. Kevin

    Wow, some of the people on this board need to actually read more articles and educate themselves before responding.
    First, let me state that I am a republican. The only reason I claim that is because I share more of the beliefs of the Republicans then I do the Democrats. Just barely.
    When Obama first took office, I thought he was an idiot. I listened to his speeches, and I swear he never actually said anything worthwhile. He’s a great speaker, absolutely captivating, but very little actual meat to what he said.
    Now that I've had some time to see him in office, I only have one real issue with him. He is a great Politician but a horrible Leader.
    He uses the words like bipartisan and compromise only when it suits him. There was very little compromise in the Health Care Bill. He did take a few of the republican ideas and put them in there, but over-all, that bill was essentially forced through congress along party lines.
    Now that he is backed into a corner over the debt ceiling, he is crying foul that the big bad republicans won't compromise. President Obama had the ability to avoid all of this back when the budget was set. They could’ve have tied in the debt ceiling raise at the same time the created the budget. That would’ve been the smart thing to do instead of putting it off until the last minute.
    Now that I’ve gotten my President bashing out of the way, it’s on to the Tea-Baggers. Everyone will agree that the government spends too much money. There is not a debate on that at all. The big debate here is how quickly we can reverse the flow of outgoing money, stop the debt from getting too far out of control, and start paying it off. Tea Party people would basically have you flip the switch overnight, economy be damned.
    Anyone that truly thinks we can simply cut cut cut spending to completely balance the ship is not being realistic. I agree that there is A LOT of cutting that can be done. But to say that the entire thing can be offset simply by spending cuts is irresponsible.
    How about we look into Tax Breaks for Big Oil. BP just posted a HUGE profit for their most recent fiscal quarter. Yet they not only received large tax breaks to make that profit this quarter, they also received a HUGE tax break the previous year in being able to write off all that loss. How about we treat corporate Tax breaks as a temporary loan. If you are making money and you got a Tax Break to do it, give the Government back that tax break. If you claimed losses from previous years and received a Tax Break for it, force the company to pay back that tax break once they regain profitability.
    Restructure the Tax breaks so that the companies that actually need them, get them, and those that are simply using the tax break as a huge profit center don’t.
    But along the lines of Tax Breaks, leave the Jet Tax alone. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for taxing the wealthy, BUT I truly believe that eliminating that Tax Break will cost more then the break itself. For example, if half the people who would buy a Jet suddenly don’t simply because they can no longer depreciate it, how many people will lose their jobs because of that? How much less Jet fuel will be purchased because there are fewer planes in the sky? There is a lot more to the Tax Break then meets the eye and there are a lot of unknowns. So while the “Get Rid Of The Jet Tax Break” sounds great, it really may not be as good as it sounds.

    Bottom line is this: The majority of people in this country don’t lean completely to the Right or Left. Most of the people in the country are to some degree in the middle. The problem we’ve got is that the people elected into office ARE with the extremes. They are trying to lead our country based on extreme ideals. They got elected NOT because they were the best choice, but rather because the people felt they were better then the alternative…

    July 26, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jay Mahoney

      Well said my friend.

      July 26, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      One more indication that people continue to believe exactly what they choose to believe, and ignore what they don't want to hear.

      I keep hearing that the bottom EIGHTY PERCENT of the population hasn't had an increase in it's share of the total income of the U.S for the last THIRTY YEARS. The top of the pile, and especially the top 1%, have seen their share skyrocket, largely due to decreased taxes. We now have the lowest tax rate since the late 50s/early 60s. Were that not the case, we'd have no problem balancing the budget. That says about everything I need to hear. Raise taxes for those making over 250K. End of story.

      July 26, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • AmINuts

      I think your flawed in 1 thing. If you start raising taxes on Oil Companies and or every other top 500 country you are only taxing people in 2 ways. Those people who have invested in those companies will see smaller returns and those company will still want to make a profit which means they will pass on the cost to everyone. The bottom line is we need the government to stop holding everyone hand by giving them handouts. You are seeing this happen in a lot of countries in Europe that are just now realizing they can't keep being a Nanny State country and provide everything to everyone. Solidify Social Security and Veteran Medicare and then pull out the hatched and start weeding off all the dead beats. You raise taxes on companies or the wealthy and just be prepared to see even higher unemployment and inflation jump.

      July 26, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      Am,
      I'm not saying Tax those corporations. I'm simply saying that if they are making money above and beyond the Tax Break they were given, then remove the Tax Breaks. There is no need to give Tax Breaks to a company that posted 5.6 Billion in Profit. I understand that this would diminish the returns of the shareholders, but why should we be giving our Tax dollars to the shareholders of BP when they are making plenty of money on their own?

      July 26, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • AmINuts

      Well the tax break was 10 Billion so I guess that would mean BP lost nearly 4 billion. So now shareholders get no profit, company would raise the price of Gas and other items and BP since it lost money wouldn't pay any taxes at all. Sounds like a win/win situation.

      July 26, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      Am,
      I'm not saying that the entire tax break needs to be repaid and force the company into a loss situation. Simply saying that some portion of it should be repaid if the company is profitable.
      Treat the Tax Break like an investment and split the profit between the Gov't and the Shareholders up to max value of the tax break. That should go for all Companies that receive Tax Breaks. BP was just an easy example because they just announced their quarterly profits

      July 27, 2011 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
  2. JD

    Perhaps this little example of a Congressional Cluster @*!# will be enough to aid us in NOT having such short term memory when it comes time to vote again.

    The too big to fail philosophy hasn't worked and wont work for the US either. Add a little credit downgrade and perhaps a revaluation of the dollar and a pinch of establishing a new monetary standard and then we can all say 'We're number 2!'

    July 26, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Don in Vancouver

    Maybe it's time the President asked the Fortune 500 CEO's if they would be willing to forego their their temporary tax cuts for the good of the country. If they are not, then I would suggest that the middle and lower classes stop suporting those copmpanies. Boehner might just be surprised.

    July 26, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  4. katpup

    The GOP will own this debacle. And now we know who the true enemy of the USA is: The Tea Party. They want to take our government down and grab power. The biggest mistake the GOP ever made was to get into bed with these religious ignoramuses.

    July 26, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jay Mahoney

    Once again talks between the president and our congressional leaders has broken down. Once again, they come out swinging, pointing fingers, assigning blame and playing the "not me" game. And once again, the rest of America is held hostage by egotists and ideologues. The politicians have put in place laws to force corporate transparancy for the protection of shareholders. I think its about time the shareholders of America Inc. are afforded the same protections. I would bet if you took the negotiations out of the back rooms of DC and broadcast live on tv, radio and internet, a comprpmise would be reached because they couldn't hide any longer.

    July 26, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paul Marinelli

      While we are on the subject of transparency, does anyone else wonder what the total cost of pensions, health care and other benefits is on an annual basis for all the people still alive who have served in Congress? Why are the benefits for someone who serves as little as one term so rich?

      July 26, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Richard

    I'm ashamed of being labled a Republican; I voted for what I thought were individuals who ultimately would place the interest of the nation first; instead we now have ideologolical children taking positions to foster their re-elections. Greedy obstructionist people has become the new meaning of the GOP!; never thought I'd say it, but move over Democrates I need a new party.

    July 26, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sue

      Dammed if you Do...Dammed if you Dont. Im in the middle here! On one hand we have a Government who in the last two years has spent more than any other. On the other hand we have several politicians on the other side who want a balanced budget prior to raising the Debt Ceiling before the Collapse of America? BOTH Parties need to do some comprimising! Lets find out why we are where we are today. Im sortta leaning to finding what the problem is so that we can fix it. The Government answer is always More Government Programs, MORE BORROWING, Bigger and Better Government...Spend Spend Spend? Whether Republican or Democrat! We are now at a standstill and ALL GOVERNMENT POLITICIANS ARE TO BLAME! By raising the Debt Ceiling will only give us a Band-Aid. We must stop the Spending Spree that ALL POLITICIANS, Governments both PAST AND PRESENT have gotten us into!

      July 26, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jesse Barker

    The current performance by congress is unacceptable. The Republicans are especially bad this time around. I hope we as Americans have the good sense to fire all of them in the next election cycle. If not then we are the ones to blame.

    July 26, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  8. FED UP WITH DEMS AND OBAMA

    GET THE DEMS OUT OF POLITICS PERIOD – THEY ARE RUINING AMERICA. WORKING HARD IS THE AMERICAN WAY – OBAMA HAD 2 YEARS TO CREATE SOMETHING – THE REPUBLICANS HAD NO SAY – WHAT DID THEY CREATE IN THE WAY OF JOBS FOR AMERICANS??? NOTHING. NOW YOU BLAME THE REPS? THEY WEREN'T IN CONTROL OF ANYTHING. OBAMA, PELOSI AND REID HAD THE COMPLETE POWER TO DO EVERYTHING THEY WANTED BUT DID THEY CREATE A BALANCED BUDGET OR JOBS – HELL NO – THEY CREATED NEW PROGRAMS FOR ALL OF US TO PAY FOR – THIS IS RIDICULOUS.

    July 26, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • YOUR MOM

      SPEAKING OF HARD WORK – THIS IS THE LAST TIME I'M ASKING YOU TO TAKE THE GARBAGE OUT. NEXT IT WILL BE A CUT OUT OF YOUR ALLOWANCE, MISTER!

      July 26, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      If you are making less than $250k, then you have been bamboozled. You listen to too many right wing talk shows, telling you that we're giving all our money to illegal aliens, or paying for gay marriages. Too bad. The republicans have you right where they want you, largely because you started out with a bias, and have done everything you can to maintain it – and against your own best interest..

      If you are making more than 250K, then you're one of the people buying the government and it's laws for your own interests, and against the needs of the vast majority of Americans. You were glad the Supreme Court decided to let corporations spend unlimited money on election campaigns, because they'll buy you the government most devoted to your pocketbook.

      July 26, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe Smith

      I am a DEM and I have worked hard for every penny I ever made, maybe you should try it some time you hand-out accepting spoiled rich brat. Try earning your money instead of having it trust funded to you or inherited from mommy and daddy who are probably rolling in their graves with seeing how you treat your privileged life.

      July 26, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • AgainstAmnesia

      Republicans had 8 years, what they left us with was 1 unnecessay war, 1 war they took their eye off that has dragged on for 5 years longer than need be, 10 trillion in debt and the worst econmic collapse since the great depression–and you think a stinking mess that big can be cleaned up in just 2 years.

      July 26, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      AA,
      No one is asking Obama to completely fix it. All the majority of people want is Obama to stop making it worse and reverse the flow of paying for stuff on borrowed money...

      July 26, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Rob

    Hooray. The Repugnicans will be held responsible for single-handedly ruining our democracy so they can dictate to everyone else their archaic, absurd policies. Pay the rich and f*** everyone else. Nice going losers. We WILL remember during the next election cycle. Hopefully it won't be too late to save our country from these loser idiots.

    July 26, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Joyce

    The Republicans behavior is unspeakable. The consequences of their behavior are going to be calamitous for the country. Knock off the politicking and think of the country. I hope you are all voted out.

    July 26, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  11. bassmaster22

    It's not the people, it's the parties. Wake up, people, the two party system does not work, has not worked and will never work. A majority vote on a debt plan would have been over months ago. Now we've got the parents fighting again. It's time for the american people to emanicipate themselves from this partisan system.

    July 26, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  12. FED UP WITH DEMS AND OBAMA

    USED TO BE A DEMOCRAT, USED TO BE A REPUBLICAN – NOW I'M AN INDEPENDENT – TOTALLY ASHAMED OF THE DEMOCRATS WAY OF THINKING.

    July 26, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Thomas

    There is NO President that could have dealt with the fiscal disaster this Country was left in less than three years ago; Republican, Democrat, Tea Party, Libertarian, WHATEVER. And don't be concerned with the $250k group...you're next. Because when we're all too poor pay the bill, it will be taken from the next weakest class. If this world ever survives the environmental nightmare the wealthy are leaving in their wake, as well as the greed, hatred, power and ignorance that is infecting so many Politicians, it will amaze me. God bless us all.

    July 26, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  14. ak2k

    All right, lets get the ball rolling here. I live in the state of South Carolina, and I am absolutely fed up with the dead-lock from both sides. As my representatives – IF YOU ARE ON OF THE FIRST TO COMPROMISE YOUR IDEALS FOR REALISTIC SOLUTIONS.....YOU WILL GET MY VOTE COME RE-ELECTION TIME!! Did everybody get that?? Let's start something here! Voters will vote for action!!
    I'm not talking about being the last stragler to finally go along with it, I mean one of the first handful of Representatives/Senators it will take to start this. I am part of the Silent Majority and I want action!

    July 26, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Robert

    I think positions of political power need to return to what they used to be...a SERVICE position, not a great-paying job with fantastic benefits (these folks make about 150,000 dollars a year, give or take depending on experience and position). They should be paid minimum wage and have to work a part time job on the side so they can see what sacrifice really means.

    I currently blame both parties involved and feel that I would have a better chance at the presidency right now than either of the two main-party candidates thrown at us next year.

    July 26, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Government?

      sadly Robert they made 150k 10 years ago

      July 26, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
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