iReporters weigh in on debt crisis
iReporter Bill Dalton says he sides with the Republican plan that was pushed through the House and defeated in the Senate.
July 30th, 2011
06:43 PM ET

iReporters weigh in on debt crisis

The "debt ceiling" battle is being fought not just in Washington, but all around the United States as people debate on how best to resolve the issue and who is to blame for the crisis.

Many of these people have submitted their thoughts about the topic to CNN in recent days through iReport. Some - be they military personnel, small business owners fearful of tax increases, or people receiving entitlement benefits - called for action as they spoke of the personal impact of failing to reach a resolution.

Others echoed Democratic and Republican leaders' talking points. In the former case, that includes possible revenue hikes  and insisting that the debate shouldn't be renewed next year, and in the latter by insisting on no tax increase and movement on a balanced budget amendment that would mandate the nation balance its books.

Below is a sampling of recent iReporters' comments, as the U.S. government creeps closer to an August 2 deadline to raise the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling or default on its debt.

What's at stake?

If the nation defaults on its debt, Staff Sgt. Tomas Valent - a U.S. Army Ranger combat medic at Fort Benning, Georgia - said he is deeply worried about losing his pay and benefits. If that happens, he said, "I will be nothing short of disgusted that the country I fought so hard to defend is being governed by individuals who feel their political beliefs are more important than the welfare of the general population."

As a man with disabilities and reliant on social security benefits, Philip Alexander Swiderski said that the debate already has caused him "great stress." The 33-year-old Texas resident said that a default would put his "only source of income, health care and housing ... in jeopardy." He urged the players to treat the debate as if they were in a marriage: "with deep thought and consideration towards others."

Nicholas Pegues, a 25-year-old who works with the Shelby County, Tennessee, election commission, said it was imperative that political leaders "unite and find a solution ... to secure a future for my generation."

Still, the political bickering up until now has already inflicted damage, said Christian Hopkins of Hartford, Connecticut. He said his "biggest concern is that the United States' reputation is already damaged as a result of this action.... We're being seen as a welfare state that borrows beyond its means."

How did this happen?

Omar Medina, a 33-year-old aerospace engineer from Annapolis, Maryland, blames "a small group in the House (that) has taken the U.S. economy hostage to try to save the U.S. economy. It's as if, collectively, they decided to throw a poltical temper tantrum on our behalf." Medina gives them credit for getting his and others attention, but said that Congress should now act and raise the debt ceiling.

How should this crisis be resolved?

Bill Dalton, a 55-year-old owner of a small consulting firm from Miami, sides with the Republican plan that has been pushed through the House (only to be defeated in the Democratic-controlled Senate). "Compromise only to the extent real spending cuts occur, not war savings, taxes on those of us with small businesses are not raised, the debt is reduced, and a balanced budget amendment is voted on in Congress by the end of the year," said Walton.

Rob Diaz, though, presented an opposing view. He said Republicans should "stop trying to reduce programs that people need to live on monthly" and added that the "rich need to do their part and pay higher taxes." The Texas resident, 30, favors a tax reform scheme "where major corporations, not small businesses, would pay taxes up to 1990s levels."

Diaz advocates that President Barack Obama "use the bully pulpit" to effect change - a sentiment voiced by fellow iReporter Vera Richardson. The 57-year-old, who said that she is disabled and who receives Medicare and Social Security benefits, said Obama - whom she supports - should step up and "set the tone and content of the national political debate."

Terry L. Heaps, a sales clerk, said a resolution can only be reached if "our elected officials ... stop behaving as children and reach an amicable solution that is fair and just to the American people." Given his flagging trust in politician, the 54-year-old Columbus, Ohio, resident wants U.S. voters (and not Congress) to decide which is the best plan to address the debt issue.

Cynthia Epps, though, thinks that there will be heroes coming out of this crisis. Opining "we absolutely crave moderation and common sense, not political rhetoric," the 51-year-old from Bothell, Washington said, "I actually believe that those who do cross party lines to really work together ... will be rewarded by voters in the next election."

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Budget • Economy • Harry Reid • John Boehner • Politics • Taxes
soundoff (75 Responses)
  1. Jazzzzzzzz

    @ Elrod...Do you really think it matters who gets voted in? I myself believe they all need to be throne out with the "bath water". makes no difference who keester is in that seat, they all stink!

    July 31, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  2. derf yam

    If former president Bush had not tried to get revenge we would not be in the spot that we are in. I am a firm believer in charity begins at home. The wars we are involved in are the reason we have the problems we have. Where was President Bush 2 when our young men were being injured and killed in Vietnam? Hiding in the National Guard. Lets get out of the war in the middle East. Doing that would save the lives of the young people. Lets defend our country and let the rest of the world look out for them selfs.

    July 31, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jazzzzzzzz

    The only *charity* being handed out is to those in power for the *black-gold!

    July 31, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • canada

      america suck my dick, get me a beer and by my oil! canada! maybe your god in trust will help? nope! we will sell our oil for more than you can afford! hahahaha! you guys are old news... bye bye

      July 31, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |

      Well said, Jazzzzzzzz. Never mind the Tea Partier(canada) above spewing his nasty lingo. That's the way those Tea Partiers think!

      July 31, 2011 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |

    texas tea...

    July 31, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  5. henry

    Cut the senators pay by half with no benefits no retirement 80 percent tax on all extra earnings. The house cut their pay by 2/3 because there are more of them no benefits or retirement 80 percent tax on all extra earnings. This should save the tax payers money

    July 31, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Marc in Florida

    Debt Ceiling – The truth behind the lies

    The big lie is that tax cuts create jobs. The current political sleight of hand is to ignore unemployment and needed government work-project programs while focusing on the media-created influence of the Tea Party.

    America’s greatest period of job growth occurred after World War II when taxes were high and unions were strong. Crippling the tax base after the Clinton years along with two unpaid wars during the Bush years that now extend into the Obama presidency has helped trigger one financial meltdown in the banking, corporate, and government sectors and may well be a catalyst for another.

    Arguing continued tax breaks for our wealthiest Americans, just confirms the old adage that if you keep repeating something enough, no matter how ridiculous, people are going to believe it. There is no history at all that tax breaks ever created one job. What tax breaks do accomplish is compromising needed resources to Government resulting in the current environment that Americans are well aware of regardless of their political affiliations and ideologies. Inadequate resources for education, out-of-reach solutions to universal health care, crumbling community infrastructures, undermined human services, and government layoffs that place a huge burden on needed government programs and represent a large part of the unemployment picture. Issues of government waste are exaggerated and often created by the very politicians who raise that specter.

    Why Democrats have gone along with continued tax cuts and allowed the rhetoric to focus on debt not needed jobs is a very interesting question? One has to wonder whether the same influences galvanizing Republican support to protect the rich at any cost have found their way into Democratic coffers. What else could explain this very visible sleight-of-hand?

    If jobs are to be created, downsizing the government sector leading to belt tightening in the private sector is self-defeating. Job contraction must be turned around and the best way to do this historically is to create more government jobs not less. The partnership between private and government sector jobs has successfully created our consumer base for decades.

    The tax cuts must end, FICA wage limits must be raised or eliminated, imports must face tighter controls, and corporate tax loopholes must be scrutinized along with current government subsidies. Our wealthiest citizens must decide where their loyalties lay, this nation or enhancing their personal wealth.


    July 31, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Stephen

    I am baffled with the complacency of Democrats and President Obama have exhibited with regard to allowing the Tea Party and Right wing elements of the Republican Party to dictate the direction of crafting the budget deficit correction.

    Is there any reason that Democrats cannot insist that we will accept the massive spending cuts if the Tea Party and the Republicans agree that they will permit revenue increases, if only to fund the 2-wars and the Medicare prescription drug plan that the previous administration instigated without the funding necessary to cover their costs?

    Otherwise, I say, let the government default, period.

    July 31, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry L

      Letting the government is accepting 2nd world status and lifestyle forever. We no longer have the manufacturing capabilities to grow ourselves out of a depression nor do we have the readily available and cheap energy supply needed to fuel such a recovery. President Obama knew the tea party types were ready to destroy our economy as part of their desire to get "small government". This was like playing chicken with a terrorist strapped to a bomb. He didn't care if it went off! We need to be grateful our President remained the adult in the room.

      July 31, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Darcy

    Small government, right.
    But only is populated by Republicans, correct?
    That's what I though.

    July 31, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |

      Right on the money, Darcy. That's exactly what these right-wing fanatics want and unfortunately, things are moving that way!!!

      July 31, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Doesn't he know

    Give that imposter and vice-imposter in the white house and all members of congress rubber rifles, send them to Afghanistan and Iraq, maybe even Libya and let them fight it out there. Bring the troops (the true Americans) home now.

    July 31, 2011 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |

      Well put, Doesn't he know. You nailed it!

      July 31, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Doesn't he know

    Thanks Ruffnutt, glad to hear at least the leaders of both parties finally have agreed, now we'll see about the rest of the politician idiots

    July 31, 2011 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
  11. vanda

    Debt crisis: Apparently both parties have been deluded into thinking the U.S is-too big to fail!

    August 2, 2011 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |


    REAL SHOOTING IN UTOYA or NORWEGIAN "AFTERLIFE" $$ FLASH MOB !!? or REAL TEARS OR TEAR GAS AND PURE THEATER ON FACES OF MANIACS !!? OSLO POLICE or COMMUNIST/LIBERAL CRIMINALS WHO WERE PREPARING FOR ACT OF TERROR AGAINST NORWAY AND EUROPE ALMOST HALF DECADE(collecting proofs and photos) AHEAD !!? WILL THERE BE APOCALYPSE NOW(total obedience or trans in abomination) OR TOTAL RESISTANCE(civil war against multyculturalism) !!? No doubt about bombing in Oslo, but what about shooting in Utoya !!!?

    ARIZONA = UTOYA and STOLTENBERG = BREIVIK (90 minutes vs 30 and for government vehicles or police even 20 minutes the most) !!!

    August 6, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
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