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. nickfr21

    Let's raise taxes and cut the bloated SS system and medicare. I want to have some of the SS money left when I retire and it looks like there won't be anything left by the time I get there. Its simple. Cut back, save more, reduce the debt. Why would I want anything else. Boehner may not want to raise taxes, but Pelosi won't let anyone touch their sacred cows. Two sides of the same coin. NO ONE has truly comprimised.

    July 26, 2011 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • oldlady

      Without those SACRED COWS, millions will die without health care and/or end up living in the streets. !!!!!!!!!!

      July 27, 2011 at 12:12 am | Report abuse |
  2. DKDJuniata

    Let's see – raise my taxes a bit to help pay off our deficit, or let us go into default and have interest rates rise so that the financial sector can make more money and pay even larger bonuses – weren't those the folks that got a huge bailout of federal money to begin with? The older I get the more disgusted I get with the Republicans.

    July 26, 2011 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill in STL

      With the loss of pretax money avaialable for OTC counter purchases, the increase in the cost of goods and services (due to taxes) and the increase in your tax rates ... its not just a little bit... It is called indirect taxation... margaret thatcher used it in great britian during her terms ... personal income tax went from 85% to 35%,,, the cost of goods and services went through the roof!

      July 27, 2011 at 12:41 am | Report abuse |
  3. tlsmith1963

    The Tea Party makes me sick. This fringe, minority group has a lot more influence than they should have. I think they should be brought down just for having no compassion. It's time for a real backlash against the Tea Party. I'm tired of these bullies who are holding my economic future hostage. How dare they!

    July 26, 2011 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill W

      How dare you insist on the government taking other people's money and giving it to you? Look in the mirror. There is the problem.

      July 26, 2011 at 11:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kiki

      BillW needs a reading comprehension course.

      July 26, 2011 at 11:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill W

      See my above comments, Kiki.

      July 26, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • sam

      Bill missed a lot of words in the post.

      July 26, 2011 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kiki


      July 26, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Bill W: How is it that you dare to believe that, and behave as if, you have no obligation to the community in which you live-even though you enjoy the benefits of being a member of that community? What you regard as unacceptable is necessary to maintain some semblance of equality of opportunity in a country that prides itself in same-or did before we became dominated by the delusion that we owe nothing to others-to our community.

      July 26, 2011 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill W

      Bob, last year I paid more in federal income taxes than I did for my family of 4 for food, shelter, and clothing combined. I have paid quite significant amounts of money for the benefit of our society. I haven't argued that I should pay nothing. Your setting up strawmen is not being honest with me, others, or yourself. I dare because I pay money and tlsmith receives it. Tlsmith dares because he or she is scared that I don't have the money to pay her even more or to pay for the promises that audacious politicians have made. Reality is coming whether tlsmith like it or not.

      July 26, 2011 at 11:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • LadyAnon

      BillW: If your state is hit by a natural disaster and the governor requests Federal Aid, where do you think that comes from??
      You have real roads to drive on, right? They DO need maintenance.
      Are there public schools and colleges in your area?
      Do you somehow not believe that we should help our veterans and be there for them after what they do and go through for our country?
      Would you rather have Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security reduced to almost nothing and not protected by our law makers? It would hurt if all that money you're putting in now just suddenly wasn't there when you needed it, now wouldn't it?
      Those are just a few examples of our tax dollars. Sorry you don't like those things.

      July 26, 2011 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill W

      Kiki, have some honesty and make an argument. Self-congratulatory insults are not worth anyone's time.

      July 26, 2011 at 11:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill in STL

      Okay, listen to yourselves

      The Tea Party Makes Me Sick

      Wealth re-distribution

      We must be equal in the community in which we live..

      You are all as bad as the political parties you hate.

      You blame without taking any for yourselves.
      You follow blindly, with out questioning why.

      No system is perfect and the one advantage we had as a country was the ability to look at both sides and find a way forward with the good of the people in this country in mind. Now all you hear are liberals saying we must all be equal, if that means taking what a person has earned and giving it to a person that does not care to work for it, then so be it. Conservatives onthe other hand have gone completely to the other side. No charity on the part of the government ...

      Personally the overwhelming greed of the American People resonates well with the overwelming greed of the political parties in this country.

      What happened to charity at the community level... You know the kind that does not take a wasteful politcal machine like the government to run. What happened to the people in this country that looked at their community and found a need that they could address and then did so.....

      The American people have become so self centered that they can't see beyondtheir political views... they have become so overwhelmed with the complexityof this government that they look for some one to tell them what to think,

      Even our own President had something to say about a local police department, adding to the belief that law enforcement is no good.

      Liberals wamt the government to control all aspects of your life and conservatives want no controls....

      Where is the center ... Moderates don't even believe that there is a center anymore ... Get in line with one side or the other.

      The greatest franchise you have is the power of the VOTE, andyou abuse it each time you fall for the party line! Don't look to Washington to solve this problem ... look to yourselves. Our president wuld have you believe that he is the victim in all of this, when in fact the only reason for his stubborness is so that he can have money to borrow past the 2012 elections..... That puts off the debt problem until after his re-election. Boehner simply wants to use this as a lever against the president.

      My take.... No long term debt limit raise ... then hold their feet to the fire and make them fix it... If they don't then use your VOTE to fire them all.

      July 26, 2011 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill W

      Lady, see my response to Bob right above your post, particularly re strawmen. I never argued that. Be honest enough to have a debate without suggesting my position is something I never advocated.

      July 26, 2011 at 11:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill in STL

      And there is another one ... the what if game.... This is so very sad!

      July 26, 2011 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • LadyAnon

      BillW: Honestly, my household sounds like a similar situation. What's paid out by my husband in taxes each year could literally amount to someone's gross annual income and keep them above the poverty level.

      Does much of the over-spending in Washington bother me? It depends on what one considers overspending and that seems to be very much up to debate lately. This spending started MANY, MANY years ago though...it's not some 'new' thing.

      I don't believe the correct approach to our current crisis is a bunch of freshmen tea party representatives and those in the senate trying to do what looks like some crazy rendition of Texas Chainsaw Masacre with our budget. They've honestly been wasting very precious time trying to put their Cut Cap Balance act together, knowing full well it wouldn't pass the senate floor. It's like 'game-playing' to them and this isn't a game. No, I don't like the Tea Party and hope to see them voted out in 2012.

      As for the taxes my husband and I pay each year: We really don't complain. It is what it is. I don't mind that our tax dollars go to help others in need, pay for our parks, roads and schools. It doesn't bother me in the least that our tax money goes to medical research or into research and development of alternative fuels and cleaner energy.

      July 27, 2011 at 12:20 am | Report abuse |
    • ruby

      Stop the bush tax loopholes, Discontinue the tax breaks given to those who make more than $250k per year! The majority of small buisnesses do not net $250,000 per year. If your W-2 is $250K per year and you've been paying your fair share of taxes then you have been an idiot, because with the current loopholes, a good accountant could had made your adjusted gross income look as though you qualified for earned income credit without cheating. Leaving these people paying taxes on under $30 per year. That is the tax loopholes that I'm talking about. In reality the majority of us Americans pay percentage wise more taxes than the people grossing $250k per year. Apparently, you have been out of the loop. Do you not understand that someone drawing social security (after paying in SS the whole time they have worked) will gross a good $21k a year at best. Yeh, its a good idea take from them. You should be ashamed.

      July 27, 2011 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  4. Julie L

    Our credit rating has already been downgraded. The Tea Party, which is a minority, is in control of the Republican Party and this needs to stop. The world is not black or white. If family values matter so much to the Republican Party, where did "as you do unto the least of me, so do you unto me" go? To Bachmann, my family was one of the "Founding Father's", my father's family came here in 1650 and my mother's family was here to meet them. Not once in the 360+ years since would we have put our country in this position. A true patriot would fall on his sword, if needed, and compromised.

    July 26, 2011 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill in STL

      The credit rating has not been down graded .... Yet ....but don't worry the Congress is planning to take the execs of those companies to task for it... that is known as bullying!

      July 27, 2011 at 12:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill in STL

      One thing I have to ask about your biblical reference

      Lets just say that gas hits $5.00 per gallon. Those who can afford it will be driving more fuel effecient cars, they are fairly expensive after all.... What happens to those old gas guzzlers? Ever Wonder??? They become very cheap to purchase....lower income people usually purchase them /for the sake of affordability.... But then comes the gas bill.... AND lets just say that the reason for the high price of gasoline is the attempt to make people be more conservative with its use because it is for the sake of the environment, so it is taxed at a higher rate.... Now who pays more in taxes on gasoline??? The wealth or the poor? Don'tyou remem ber the proposals about taxing gas at a higher rate to discourage its use....

      We tried this once with Yachts .... what happened??? People stopped buying them ... an industry in this country almost died out.... an un-intended consequence????

      No one thinks anything thfouth anymore.... not to itslogical conclusion...

      July 27, 2011 at 12:27 am | Report abuse |
    • LadyAnon

      Bill in STL – you realize that gas prices started going up when Ghadhafi started bombing his own cities and killing his own people in Libya, right? That actually was what set it all off and that was WAY before NATO was ever asked for assistance by the civilians there.

      Why do people always want to blame presidents when gas prices go up? I remember back in the 70's when it was somehow Carter's fault and there was even a 'shortage' to boot. wow people.

      July 27, 2011 at 12:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill in STL

      the gas prices went up under President Bush as well... futures speculators pushed that one as I recall at least the helped fuel it!

      Lady Anon .... I laid out a scenario, and you precieve that I am blaming the President ... read my other posts ... you will see that I think people like you are as much to blame as both political parties..... You zero in and never see the whole picture. So Sad

      July 27, 2011 at 12:44 am | Report abuse |
  5. John in Boston

    Unlike most of the media I do not find this process frustrating, I find it fascinating. We have a real negotiation going on. Both sides make valid points. The Republicans are doing a better job of staying disciplined and sticking to their principles. The Democrats are doing a better job of portraying the other side as heartless. It's important to dig below the rhetoric the media always concentrates on. Some of the cuts being discussed aren't real (savings from ending the war five years from now) or are so small their inconsequential (tax deductions for private planes < $3 B per year). And some of the claims being made (Social security receiptients won't receive their checks) are inaccurate or meant to create fear.

    I think it's also important to know history. The federal government is the only organization I know that does not reduce spending in a downturn (it just slows its growth). Few attempts, if any, have succeeded in shrinking the scale of the federal government over the past 100 years. If we can't as a country scale back our wants in times like this, we probably never will.

    July 26, 2011 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      Really good points. Both sides have good points and both side's plans will raise the debt limit. If someone likes one plan over the other – it's just opinions and politics. Both democrat and republican plans raise the debt limit (which is the main goal – to prevent default). Both sides wants to win – they think their plan will help them politically or the other plan will hurt them politically – but both plans prevent default.

      July 26, 2011 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse |
  6. John T

    The Bush era tax cuts have contributed more to the imbalance of the annual budget than the total cost of both of the Bush Wars added together. And now the hypocritical Republicans want to extend those tax cuts for the ultra-rich while demanding a balanced budget amendment!! They have gone insane!

    July 26, 2011 at 11:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • LadyAnon

      Could be because that's where they get their biggest campaign donations? Just a w.a.g.

      July 27, 2011 at 12:26 am | Report abuse |
  7. Tickleberry

    Who needs the FDIC or full faith and credit backing of our savings? I trust the big banks on August 2nd. Get the government out of my savings account!

    July 26, 2011 at 11:04 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Cassie Ferguson

    The Republicans are holding our country hostage. I am furious and ashamed of the view the world must have of us now. I view I seem to have absolutely no control over.

    July 26, 2011 at 11:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill W

      You have the ability to stop voting for politicians who please you by promising to spend money that is not theirs.

      July 27, 2011 at 12:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill in STL

      Lets see... conservatives are holding the USA hostage... they are engaging in politics that they know will never pass.... Why won't they pass???? think about it ... the reason they won't pass is because the liberals control the senate and the oval office and have said ... we will not let that pass....

      The liberals are no better.

      Do you realize that the only difference between the liberal and conservatibe plan is the length of the debt limit increase ... liberals want enough to get past 2012 and conservatives don;t want that .... That is a pretty petty point for both sides to be making.... don't you think?

      July 27, 2011 at 12:33 am | Report abuse |
  9. Goodgaawwdd

    Keep talking, Libtards. You've spent this country into the ground. You get called on it, and all you can whine about is Boehner.

    July 26, 2011 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Hey stupid, do some reading. You may discover that in fact it was the Rethugs that are responsible for most of the federal debt>

      July 26, 2011 at 11:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • sam

      So you're proud of Boehner, then?

      July 26, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill in STL

      Wrong Dave ......

      No not proid of Boehner ... or Obama

      July 27, 2011 at 12:02 am | Report abuse |
  10. Dave

    The Dems are right on this one. Republicans are inviting default for personal gain.These congress people are making big money with huge benefits, where's their shared sacrifice? We need a law where anybody can be bought out of Social Security and medicare, sign a release, then NEVER collect a dime in benefits.

    July 26, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill W

      The Dems are ignoring reality. There simply isn't enough money to pay for the promises Washington has made. Choose to cut programs now or the choices will be made for all of us later. The music is running out. If anything, Republicans are only slightly less to blame as all of the debt reduction options being discussed are vastly too small to solve the real problem. Change is coming, whether any of us like it or not.

      July 26, 2011 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
  11. crazymama

    We had eight years of Bushism and where did it get us? He turned a surplus into a deficit and blamed it on a wars he created; we are still trying to win hearts and minds and fine weapons of mass destruction. So what do the American people do; elect more Republicans to make things as political as possible. Obama has been working to get this country on track since he started; no other president has walked into such an economic disaster.

    It's very simple, no longer can the middle class pay for Washington's mistakes; the rich have it so they will not miss it;
    they must pay more taxes...... As fo Boehner he has got to go; clearly he doesn't understand what is happening with
    Americans .... Time to retire ...

    July 26, 2011 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Tiffy14

    I keep hearing the refrain "you get the government you deserve"... did we earn this with a failure to understand the issues at stake in the last election? Did we listen to sound bites rather than to study the issues ourselves? Did we forget to get off the couch in order to vote? Lots of folks said it was an important election, but did we really understand? Bet we understand better now. The problem is, how long are our memories? The damage caused by this minority group of extremists is going to be long lasting in a variety of ways. The only thing we can do now is vote smarter in the future. Also, never forget as I explained to my daughter, being a Democrat means we will help you get yours, being a Republican means I have mine and you are on your own.

    July 26, 2011 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
  13. babetoo

    i really wish they would get this done. if i don't get my social security (that i payed for ) i will simply starve to death. my cats will as well. the repubs don't give a fig. the tea party is a serious threat to our way of life. i hope all the nuts are happy.

    July 26, 2011 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
  14. We are screwed

    One of the best lessons I learned in college economics is, that left unchecked or uncorrected, the division of wealth in an economy will grow wider and wider simply because the wealthy have more discretionary money to invest and loan. The wealthy earn income from work and from their wealth. The middle class (if there is such a thing any more) has less and less discretionary income left to invest due to low wage growth (bust unions) and due to inflation, and they move closer and closer to poverty. It is a mathematical certainty. A redistribution of weath through an scaled tax code is a mathematically necessity. Tax cuts for the rich doesn't work. It happened in the middle ages and is happening again. Once the wealthy have corrupted the rulemakers, it's a fast downhill slide until the poor simply won't take the repression any longer. Time for a revolution. This form of bought government is no longer working. Where the hell is Robin Hood. If you make less than $250K a year (which is 98% of you) it is time to take your country back, by force if necessary.

    July 26, 2011 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • ruby

      Good, Good explanation.

      July 27, 2011 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  15. Durundal

    I am sick and tired of the non-stop campaign of misinformation bordering on flat out ignorance which is pushed by the conservative element. The methods of fiscal and monetary policy in use are the same that both republican and democrat have been using to treat the symptoms of depressions throughout history. Deficit spending in the form of bailouts and make work programs have been used as a way of re-instilling confidence and investing in the necessary infrastructure to bring things back online and ready to grow – something which has been halted by all the fear mongering originating from the party of no. To artificially instill paranoia and drama on a non-issue like that is a cheap scare tactic which will only work on the type of people who think the world works the same way as their piggy bank does. So here is a little truism for you buffoons: Refusing to raise the debt ceiling is like refusing to pay your loan shark for the money you borrowed so that you could pay for the car you used, the food you ate, and the services you consumed. Expand that past your own narrow concept of the world, into more of a macrocosm with multiple agents that have offered to lend (and still would willingly by the way...until we lose our rating as a safe investment) suddenly dropping by to collect interest or a kneecap (guess what happens if they demand more interest because you played games, or pull out all together). You know what, nothing would please me more than to watch them come and break collective kneecaps of all the glib 'starve the beast' morons who think that nothing bad will come of it – only thing, is by some unfortunate twist of fate (or morbid irony), I am tied to those whitless people, as are my investments and the fruit of my labor.

    My god, most of the people who are ranting down with government can't even do so in a coherent and literate manner – and those who rail against businesses, multinational corporations aren't much better. I would like to think it is because English is not a native language for them, or else I may have located the problem. Seriously, if you were a struggling business would you want to reinvest your money in a country which is completely committed to financially jumping off a cliff, and whose people treat education, civic duty, and matters of governance as seriously as a reality tv show?

    July 26, 2011 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • hey now

      You're...making sense and being reasonable. This is apparantly no place for that! Marry me.

      July 26, 2011 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill in STL

      How convient ... you left out the fear mongering of the President.... But then threatening the seniors with no SS is not a threat in your book....

      July 27, 2011 at 12:37 am | Report abuse |
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