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. Winnie The Pooh Hates Black People

    Oh bother.. This is all theater, smoke and mirrors politics as usual. Both parties will come down to an agreement. Don't worry old people the robots aren't coming for your medicine.

    July 30, 2011 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
  2. gerc

    People, stop blaming one or the other party. Both parties are responsible for the astronomical national debt. One party keeps spending money we don't have, and the other keeps cutting taxes we can't afford. And then we have the stupid electorates who keep sending morons to Washington who then are bought out by special interest groups.

    July 30, 2011 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
  3. jj


    July 30, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jazzzzzzzz

      Don't happy...don't happy !

      July 30, 2011 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
  4. 3rd Party Primary Unity08 Ticket

    July 30, 2011 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • LisaLoo22

      Awesome didn't hear about it in 2008 but I heard it now. I joined, I am so sick of Republicans, democrats, and oh the tea baggers.

      July 31, 2011 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
  5. jj

    no i dont remember that one but as u said they did get their checks. stop wasteful spending, pull outta the wars, and for cryin out loud get the lazy people of this country off the many many forms of assistance. pretty simple and we dont have to raise anyones taxes. and being jealous of the successful is not very becoming folks. this is america and anyone can do the same

    July 30, 2011 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Ira

    Tell you what, next election I am voting every one of them out of the office...Democrats or Republicans.

    July 30, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • PaulC

      You did that in 2010 and this is the mess you got. Elect a bunch of morons just for the sake of change and they get confused on what they are supposed to do.

      July 30, 2011 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Dasthi

    @jj: I'm not saying you should worry, but it's looking like it might be a safe thing to be cautious.. As far as the debt "crisis".. No. 🙂

    July 30, 2011 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
  8. What's an ireporter? What are their qualifications?

    July 30, 2011 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Madame Royale


    Love that word.
    Haven't seen it in a while.
    Thanks, jj.

    July 30, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Curious

    Yawn..,, think I'll have some Doritos.

    July 30, 2011 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Nathan B

    I'd like to see a do over on the last elections. Remove every last one of them and see if they win again. These sure aren't the politicians that were presented to us in the ads they all ran on TV. Now we can see what they are really all about, and I'd like my vote back.

    July 30, 2011 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Adam

    @Nate B: I'd like to punch the conman I met in my past life that led me into this wretched universe.. Good luck getting your vote back.

    July 30, 2011 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Alicia

    One cannot always tell by reading names alone, but it seems that nearly all of the persons quoted in this story were men (save the last individual...).

    It is an unusual reporting strategy, as the country's debt affects everyone.

    July 30, 2011 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Alex

    The Tea Party, or the "American Taliban", I should say, are beyond compromise due to their totalitarian religiosity. There is no reason to avoid offending them. Insomuch as they continually use the 'ad nauseam' rhectorical device to reinforce their false agenda and misrepresentations, we should do the same to reinforce the truth! Everytime we have occasion to say "Tea Party" we should say, 'Tea Party, the American Taliban', etc.". These people are stupid, dangerous and being led by insidious politicians with their own agenda. They must be stopped!!

    July 30, 2011 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |

      Quite right, Alex. These ignorant, right-wing, foul speaking Tea Partiers do need to be stopped. You may or may not have noticed their foul, meaningless comments here on prevous posts with their foul language. That's what I call the Tea Party lingo. Besides, the Tea Partiers are just as far to the right as the Taliban themselves!

      July 31, 2011 at 4:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      Before you go on about fallacies, don't commit one yourself: ad hominem. Don't call the the Tea Party the 'American Taliban'. They might be extreme and very ignorant but there are not the Taliban.

      July 31, 2011 at 7:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Shawn

      American Taliban might be a bit extreme, but they do seem to share some traits with them. Some of those would be a lack of compassion for their fellow man, an ability to ignore the facts when they don't support their position and what appears to be a desire to destroy their country.

      July 31, 2011 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  15. The Zog

    Who is John Galt?

    July 30, 2011 at 11:39 pm | Report abuse |
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