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. TMcT

    I might have all that if it had a name other than iReporters. Can we please stop with the lower case I in front of everything? On top of it making things look like no one should take them seriously its just plain fu cking ret arded looking. If everyone stopped catering to everyone elses go dd amn st upidity maybe there would be a little less st upid in the world.

    July 30, 2011 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
  2. TMcT

    Oops. That was supposed to be, I might have read all of that.

    July 30, 2011 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
  3. jj

    oh please people. give it a rest. all the military, disabled, and people on gov't handouts will still get your check if they cant figure out what to do by the 2nd. there will be money there. thats just liberals tryin to scare ya as usual.

    July 30, 2011 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
  4. jj

    do you really think that the richest country in the world is going to deny the military their paychecks? come on people THINK!!!

    July 30, 2011 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini

      That, the useless politicians on Capitol Hill will never do in a million years, jj! Our military is already far bigger than this country needs, but the people in the right-wing news media never mentions this juicy little tidbit!!!

      July 30, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ray Kinserlow

      If were a Congressman and a four star general came up and whispered in my ear, I would have to change my underwear.

      July 30, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    What we need to do here is to get out of all these expensive, useless and unnecessary wars overseas and reduce the military spending from the current $783B to just over $300B in two years, but this the right-wing news media never talks about. They, like these worthless politicians on Capitol Hill work for the MIC(military-industrial-complex)!!!

    July 30, 2011 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Ray Kinserlow

    Read my comments on the progress of the debt crisis on Facebook on my profile.

    July 30, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Cesar

    It has been decades of tax money give away at home and especially abroad. The free ride is over. Thank our past and present politicians for this.

    July 30, 2011 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Cesar

    @JJ: Who's your daddy? Who loves you?

    July 30, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
  9. WAYNE

    ALL THE TALK I HEAR FROM THE OLDER FOLKS IS GOOD BY DEMOCRATS!!!! I WILL VOTE REP. FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE AND I'AM 70 YEARS OLD!

    July 30, 2011 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cesar

      Wrong, Wayne. The problem here is that we two political parties, both of them being right-wing. We we need is a new political party composed of moderates and liberals who are willing to stand up to the MIC(military-industrial-complex) and just say no!!!!

      July 31, 2011 at 4:10 am | Report abuse |
  10. Cesar

    Hey Wayne, who's your daddy?

    July 30, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
  11. pmk1953

    That's right, Wayne. Let altzheimer's do your thinking. Go ahead and vote for the repubs. The home will throw you out as soon as the teapubs eliminate social security and medicare. That will be about 2 weeks after they take control. Don't you realize they want to eliminate old people, the disabled, the middle class and some of the poor. They'll keep a few able-bodied poor to do their physical labor.

    July 30, 2011 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Robbin

    Who in the world is this Wayne guy, get a life buddy unless your living in a house worth over three hundred thousand, driving a BMW ,Lexus etc, hauling down a six figure salary a year. Well vote republican, are better still if that's not the case try and get a loan as we speak. I bet your tea party folks can't and won't help u either.

    July 30, 2011 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Madame Royale

    This happened this year once before, jj-remember?
    The paychecks in the military were late because if this...
    At this point, it not a liberal or a conservative thing...it's a Congressional thing...and they need to get their sh!t together.

    July 30, 2011 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
  14. joey puerto rico

    GOP is holding middle class hostage while trying to sabotage obama's administration. Before W. came into power we were in great shape then the "elephant" stampede came thru stripped the land bare with exorbitant military spending with nothing to substatially create jobs. Well, the top 1% backed by the GOP will just sit back in their mansions, travelling in their private jets or sailing on their luxurious yachts watching the hard working middle class american scramble around like a chicken with it's head cutoff trying to keep this country afloat. It's time for the top 1% to help the country that funds their lavish lifeStyles. Maybe that $20 million mansion on the coast of spain can wait or that $50 million lear jet. I know that sounds harsh (sarcasm) but some of us are trying to keep are lights on, food on the table and fuel in the gas tank. I know that sounds frivolous (again sarcasm) but we need to come to a compromise to stop the bleeding b/c how will wall st. react if america defaults? How will we create jobs after that? GOP is a bunch of economic terrorists and obama is a hostage negotiater and the hostages are the American people. Let's see how this turns out.

    July 30, 2011 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Madame Royale

    Wayne is obviously a person who has no grasp of a capslock key,

    July 30, 2011 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
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