What do you think of the deal to raise the debt ceiling?

Congressional leaders and the president have reached a deal that, if passed, will raise the debt limit and cut trillions of dollars in spending over the next decade. Today’s Question: What do you think of the deal to raise the debt ceiling?

  • It’s a terrible deal

    It is no compromise at all.. A slice of the conservative right basically got most of what they wanted, and their counterparts on the side of the political spectrum received nothing.

    If two people negotiating over a pot of $100, and instead of splitting it 50/50, one person gets $90 and the other gets nothing, that is NOT a compromise.

  • Hiram

    It’s that rare deal in which all sides lose. When the trade is for cuts in services in exchange for a worsened economy, I really have to ask, what’s in it for me?

  • Barb

    If I was allowed to run my checkbook like that, I would never run out of money. I’d just keep extending my credit.

    The problem is: eventually you have to pay the money back. I’m tired of state and federal budgets running in the red because people can’t seem to tighten their own belts.

    I think it’s high time our representatives and legislators took a pay cut like the rest of us. It might actually bring our budget under control. It would be interesting to see them survive on $600-$1200.00 a month without the perks that people in government get.

  • Kay

    Didn’t we just see this same movie in Minnesota’s budget negotiations?

  • Zeke

    It is, of course, a political catastrophe for Democrats, who just a few weeks ago seemed to have Republicans on the run over their plan to dismantle Medicare; now Mr. Obama has thrown all that away.

    And the damage isn’t over: there will be more choke points where Republicans can threaten to create a crisis unless the president surrenders, and they can now act with the confident expectation that he will.

  • Rich

    I think most Americans (and most politicians) do not understand the U.S. budget. This reminds me of the housing bubble – it seemed obvious to many of us, but most Americans (and most politicians) missed it completely. As an example, the “Balanced Budget Amendment” is obviously bad policy, yet politicians aren’t ridiculed for supporting it. Immediate cuts with a 9.2% unemployment rate are bad policy, but that appears to be what is going to happen.

    I get really frustrated with politicians comparing the Federal budget to a family budget. The government does not have a capital budget, so if they spend money on R&D or roads, that is just included in the budget.

    If a family buys a car with 5 year financing, they usually just budget the monthly payments. If they budgeted like the government, they’d have to include the entire purchase of the car the year it was bought (same with a house – they’d have to enough to pay cash to buy the house).

    Some people compare to the states too. Hey the states are supposed to have balanced budgets. But states have separate capital and operating budgets. I think people just don’t understand.

    A politician can say “We should have a balanced budget”. It sounds good, but why aren’t they challenged about operating vs. capital budgets? And about business cycle spending (obviously revenue falls during a recession – and spending increases)?

    What they really want is a balanced operating budget over the business cycle. You can’t put that in the Constitution. It requires effective government and constant vigilance.

    Of course in 2001, when the politicians were concerned about paying off the debt too soon, that nonsense went mostly unchallenged too. Very frustrating.

    “Balanced budget” sounds so good, and is so wrong.

  • Jason

    The base will vote for Obama. But will the base campaign for him? And can he win without that support?

    I know that even suggesting that concept hurts his campaign.

  • george

    Obviously the best we can hope for isn’t very good.

  • Karin Noren

    Rich has it right – comparing federal budgeting or even state budgeting to personal budgeting – of which everyone does theirs differently anyway, is like comparing apples to bitters. A whole different thing.

    What disturbs me most is those newly elected that want to cut everything… and not raise income. As our population grows, our government budget has to grow along with it. Individual family incomes do not grow much, but the number of families in our state has been increasing which we want.

    About the best way I can think of this early in the morning to describe the difference.

  • J Dre

    Amazing that the tea partiers are not crowing: is their strategy really deeper than we thought, or is it simply more childish?

    This was a non-issue. It would renew my faith in Obama’s shrewdness if he uses the 14th Amendment to say Congress can’t block funding they already approved. All will cry foul, especially the Repubs and tea partiers who exposed their deepest rifts and true colors; this faux crisis will be averted and Obama will have the respect (support?) of Wall St., and with such an assertion of power the US bond rating will not be lowered; and the central relevance of government in managing the economy will be re-asserted. This would also push the Dems into center stage as competent politicians.

  • GaryF

    They really aren’t cutting that much. It’s a real drop in the bucket.

    We are borrowing 40cents for every dollar spent. No amount of new taxes will make up this huge gap.

    If we are unable to cut social programs, then we have to cut stupid stuff like sending money to St Paul so they can research street cars!

    Hey people, this attitude that government is the answer to everything and that’s it’s this huge free pot of money has got to end.

    EVERYTHING MUST BE CUT.

    I’m 46 and don’t plan on getting a cent of social security. If I do, it will be so devalued it won’t really count for much or it will be a little gravy.

  • GaryF
  • John O.

    Had then-President Clinton not gone along with signing into law a partial repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 in 1999, we might not be having this discussion at all today. In short, the partial repeal allowed (among other things) the creation of mortgage-backed securities and collateralized debt obligations. Somewhere in Texas, Phil Gramm is smiling broadly.

    Perhaps the most important repeal was removal of the firewall that had existed since the 1930’s between investment banks and commercial banks.

    Any way one looks at this current “deal,” it is not pretty. The unanswered question is would the alternative have been worse? Depending on circumstances, we may yet still find out.

  • Rich in Duluth

    $900-billion in cuts over a decade to “hundreds of federal programs”, $1.5-trillion in cuts to Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid…where’s the compromise? Where are, at least some tax increases? Where are cuts to our obscene military budget that takes 27% (nationalpriorities.org) of our entire federal budget?

    This is not a compromise.

  • Mary

    This deal is a travesty. The party of “NO” has struck again, preferring to have a loss for Obama than a “win” for the country, The GOP policies brought us this huge deficit and a global financial crisis and now they want more of the same. A million words were spent on this “debate” – lots of sound and almost no light. The only debate in the media was what to cut and by how much. Words like “uncertainty’ were bandied about yet corporations are not hiring because there is no demand, not because they are broke or uncertain. Meanwhile public workers are denounced and jobs are cut constantly in both public and private sectors. The wealth gap grows. Not a win for the average American.

    Why did anyone vote this crowd of plutocrats supporters back into office? I’m astounded.

  • Josh

    The GOP got nearly everything they wanted in this deal. Now, will they take any responsibility when the economy contracts over the next year because government funding and investment disappears.

    Also, I find it amusing that the answer to government growth and spending from small government conservatives is to form another government commission.

  • Zeke

    @GaryF

    Sure, America needs to tackle its burgeoning entitlement programs. But not now, when cutting spending will make an insipid recovery worse, and more especially not like this, hijacking a routine procedure and using it to bring the country to the edge of downgrading or default. At least the Republicans have done something? Gimme a break.

  • Tom

    The agreement is smoke and mirrors. This is but a skirmish as compared to the problems that lie ahead when the underfunding of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid rears their ugly head. But, why should Obama’s ‘base’ care, most are in the approximately 50% of the population with no federal tax liability…

  • J

    Much like the MN State Shutdown budget compromise, a small but very loud minority stalled and stalled until they got most of what they wanted because they alone were willing to sacrifice the greater good (possible default) for their government hating ideology.

  • GaryF

    Ah, Zeke,

    The Dems had a slam dunk majority last fall.

    They could have set a new debt limit and budget then.

    But they wanted to to see if they could make political hay out of it.

  • Jake

    It should never have gotten to this point. Our leaders should be responsible enough (they are all adults, right?) to handle all of this quietly and professionally in a manner that does not spark panic. Instead, the current and previous governments kicked the proverbial can down the road until it became a big enough problem to draw the ire of a political bloc that is not willing to consider that anyone else is right and has no tolerance for compromise of any kind.

    I am bitterly disappointed that the deal does not include any new revenue. Anyone should recognize that, without revenue increases, any cuts must be deeper and more painful. At the very least, closing tax loopholes and increasing taxes on top earners (lets face it: they benefit a whole lot more from our system, and it has nothing to do with hours worked) and corporations should have been ON THE TABLE.

    It would be nice to think that the “bipartisan commission” will come up with some useful ways to address the debt, but we already had one of those, and no one was interested in what it had to say because its report called for making tough choices.

    Business as usual… What’s saddest is that when the election rolls around next year the electorate will have forgotten about most of this.

  • uptownZombie

    But they wanted to to see if they could make political hay out of it.

    What?

    The Dems made this into a big thing? You must be confusing this reality with a dream you had.

    This is a terrible deal. One group of people brings us to the brink of catastrophe to protect their “morals”, and they’re more than willing to throw millions of people across this country under the bus to do just that. Congratulations.

    can we start the recall elections yet?

  • John

    It means nothing.

    They will continue the wars, serve the banksters, aid to Israel, and more wars for Israel, the upcoming war with Iran. Its all criminal.

    This is our only freedom but it will go away fast.

  • Larry M.

    It’s an ugly deal and the republicans wouldn’t have accepted unless it did as much damage to the federal government as possible. It’s funny the republicans don’t want a republic they want a confederacy and if you know early American history you know that the confederacy idea failed. Right wingers would bring back the confederacy idea in an attempt to save slavery, that failed too.

  • GaryF
  • Steve the Cynic

    Q: What’s the difference between a Tea Party zealot and hostage-taking terrorist?

    A: You can negotiate with a hostage-taking terrorist.

  • Jamie

    I think it’s awful, and will hurt our economy even more, as all the smartest economists are saying. This happened in 1937, too. The depression was extended by a turn to fiscal “austerity.” We’re going to lose a lot more jobs because of this short-sighted millionaire-protecting deal.

  • Diana

    Pres. Obama has been delt 2 bad hands:

    1. inherited GW Bush’s $7 trillion debt

    2. was delivered a bunch of extremist fundamentalists at midterm elections

    How different would things be now if the Democrats had delivered a rational supporting cast in Congress? Instead they allowed these tea party fanatics to take over. The liberals can’t keep blaming the President for this catastrophe.

    As the progressive party we need look ahead and help our President finally move this country forward.

  • James

    The clowns that where elected to look out for the long term health of this country have once again caved. They are more interested in re-election than the people / country they serve (both sides).

    China is laughing at our “Live for today” mentality and will gladly loan us more money.

    When they start asking for their money back… then what?

    This feeble “deal” on the table is just another kick the can down the path solution.

    The USA needs to stop playing the global cop and stop giving food to people that don’t like us anyway.

    We need to stop illegal immigration and start killing drug traffickers.

    The US government needs a new Manhattan style project to develop viable alternative energy.

    We are smart strong people,,, we can do this as long as the government fosters progress rather than rewards welfare.

    DTOM

  • Lucy

    The answer my friend is Canada.

  • Carrie

    Not a great deal but at least it averts default and we don’t have to deal with that hanging over our heads again for awhile. Our only hope is that people vote out those unreasonable, ridiculous tea party reps. in the House.

  • Mick J

    James, that all sounds great, but who funded the Manhattan project again? Oh yeah, the government. And I’d say a lot of Obama’s initiatives like clean energy, high speed internet and high speed rail fit right into that category. The Tea Party wants to squash these things because they’re government spending and government spending is always bad. This “welfare” state conservatives are talking about sure doesn’t seem to exist when you look into it.

  • I like the deal because no one is happy. I like the deal because fiscal restraint has come out on top. I like the deal because it presents an opportunity for the American people to understand the real factors driving America’s national debt (hint: it’s not defense spending). I like the deal because there is a chance for meaningful tax reform. I like the deal because more than increasing taxes, we need to reform the tax code and the faulty means by which we calculate inflation. I like the deal because it will further the national discussion on America’s fiscal house, and I think that’s a positive thing in the long run – even if it’s a pain in the short term.

  • President Obama had a chance to sell his deficit commission’s plan in January. The co-chairs asked him to start negotiations in January and he didn’t. He didn’t champion their plan until it was too late to convince both sides it was a good compromise. He completely ignored their findings, he skipped their meetings. And NOW Democrats want to be upset that a plan that calls for both tax increases and spending cuts isn’t the final deal? Look no further than Obama for the reasons the Democrats failed.

  • GaryF

    Lucy,

    Maybe you and Alec Baldwin can car pool.

  • Anon

    Everything’s provisional.

  • Mike Lilja

    Just as with the state budget problems, the extremists on the right appear to win again. I don’t see why revenue increases can’t be a part of the overall solution, which is what the majority of us want. The whole country is being held hostage by a small minority of votes in the house. Cuts are necessary as is tax reform. Tax reform is what can be used to raise revenue in a way that removes the inequities in the tax code that allows companies such as G.E. to pay no federal income tax and layoff 18,000 people as well. So much for reduced taxes leading to job creation and so much for shared sacrifice.

  • @ Mike Lilja – the reason tax increases are not a part of this deal is, I believe, because even Democrats in DC know that raising taxes with 1.3% economic growth will kill the “recovery.” Tax reform is a better vehicle for dealing with increasing revenue where I think both Republicans and Democrats could find some common ground. Let us hope they do.

  • Dorothy

    The first things to be cut should be Congressional pay, Congressional health care and Congressional pensions. Those may not be huge, but they are very symbolic.

  • Joe Schaedler

    It needs more tax hikes on top earners.

  • Maureen

    I think it is a terrible deal. This has been like teenagers playing “chicken” on a country road with hot rods. Once again, those with less will pay the most in personal loss. The lack of foresight and compassion is appalling. There is nothing equitable in the give and take of this plan. What is the saying about “walk a mile in another man’s shoes….?” This will just pass the buck – or lack of it – down the road to states, counties, cities, and ultimately the less fortunate while those who are flush will notice little. I am very disheartened by it.

  • James

    MickJ, No … really… the US government built the first working nuclear weapon?

    Clean energy ,,, what is that? Tax credits for some wind mill manufacture / Solar panel company that contributed to his campaign?

    High Speed Rail,,, insignificant at best.

    I’m talking about a technology leap,,, cold fusion, teleportation, ,,, the sky is the limit.

    We (the US / world) cannot keep going at this pace. We are 99% reliant on fossil fuels. Guess what… we are out of cheap oil (my company is going gang-buster trying to keep up with oil exploration). What is left is more expensive, this leads to decline in everything we do.

    DTOM

  • Francis

    I think it is time for politicians to realize that we have no other option but to raise taxes. Their continual refusal to raise taxes has led us where we are right now. When the economy was doing good, politicians refused to raise taxes to encourage spending and hiring. When the economy was bad, politicians again refused to raise taxes to encourage spending and hiring. At what point do we realize that we can’t cut any more, and that the government needs more income? At what point do we realize that our current taxes rates are extremely low, especially for capital gains. Whatever happened to voting and doing the best for the public?

  • Greg from Roseville

    This will damage the economy. Government spending represents a fair amount of money in the economy. I understand that is the perceived problem that TeaParty logic wants to change. Cutting government spending will reduce overall tax revenue. As businesses that formerly had government service contracts – shrink – so will their payroll and tax payments. With no adjustment in tax rates, no-revision in the tax-code to eliminate pork-holes and to address internet sales, national and states tax revenues will fall. In essence – we’ve created a downward debt target that we still can’t service. As the debt decreases – a larger portion of the incoming tax revenue will be required to pay off the service on the debt. Leaving even less money for federal programs. While this is win-win for the T.party – it will wreak havoc on the US economy. I believe that TParty will have some hard questions coming in January.

  • Mick J

    @James – We agree. I would love to see more money poured into that kind of next generation technology, starting with more funding to NASA, and moving on to making Universities more of a priority, and even more ambitiously, dedicated think-tanks and research labs to advance science and energy production. The private sector cannot fund these things, and even if they could they wouldn’t. So it falls to the government, and given that progressives such as myself are facing an all out assault on the basic human necessities the government provides, think how hard it would be to convince Tea Partiers of the value of longer term, more ambitious government spending? If you believe in those kinds of advances in science and technology, you believe in higher taxes and bigger government, which can be a good thing.

  • I agree with Dorothy. Congressional pay & benefits should be cut, even if it is symbolic.

    I, for one, would like to see even just one of these people step forward and refuse their Congressional pay as a gesture of unity with the American people who are unemployed or barely scraping by – share the sacrifice… Sadly, I won’t be holding my breath for any of them, left or right, to work pro bono.

  • Greg or Roseville

    fuels in the ground are NEVER going to get cheaper. China and India industrial growth is booming – they will not relent. South America will begin consuming its own reserves and shipping almost none outside of its region. Africa is initiating a modern growth curve and external development there will only create greater demand for the fuels to foster industrial development. We can either continue to compete against the masses of 4 other continents OR we can compete in developing more efficiency and decreasing the per-person load on our own fuels system and maximize the effective input from non-standard sources. The first path leads on decades of economic performance further hampered by fuels issues. The latter leads to relative buffering and independence from fuels markets. Just cause we have loads of GAS and COAL – doesn’t mean we can keep doing business as usual. Those nations that do no modernize – will fail.

  • CF

    Sounds to me like rearranging the

    deck chairs on the Titanic

  • Farmer Bob

    I want to know how the the roof is doing…

    and when are they going to give the “OK” to grow Hemp in this nation??? Those ignorant greedy egos in Washington (and elsewhere) can’t seem to see beyond their own brief existence.

    Debt is unnecessary and is a result of dim vision and narrow thinking brought on by the fearful and irresolute notions held by unforgiving minds.

    There is absolutely no reasonable argument to keep the world’s most useful and versatile plant out of the hands and lives of the people. America is a sham if it doesn’t rectify that heinous and insidious mistake made about Hemp/Cannabis and the slanderous term “Marijuana”, the plant that’s been our companion for as long as human culture came into being.

  • Jamie

    // “raising taxes with 1.3% economic growth will kill the ‘recovery.'”//

    I don’t think raising taxes on millionaires and billionaires would kill the recovery. They can more than afford it. And cutting spending drastically WILL slow or kill the recovery, according to Nobel-Prize-winning economists and our own history.

  • Søren

    Get on with it … this or something better. Ultimately we won’t need money, lies, delay or hatred. Just recognize and live the Love that is our essence.

    Why not now? Can’t we all just get a bong?

  • Lee

    Its a VERY SAD reflection on all of our elected officials. This is merely a short circuit approach to dealing with the phantom budget they never had the backbone to put in place when they were supposed to. One of our patsy news sources should mention every night how many days our government has been operating without adopting a budget.

  • GaryF

    Do yo u mean THIS Nobel Prize winning economist?

    http://www.shotinthedark.info/wp/?p=21523

  • Dimitri Drekonja

    Terrible deal, but with the Tea Party viewing default as a bargaining tool, and their leadership not calling them on it, it was the best that could be achieved.

    Voters need to vote these people out, and from now on actually vote for a candidate with real ideas, not just a general feeling of being angry.

  • Mick J

    GaryF, that link makes no sense. He makes the argument that America did well between 1950 and 1980 because we had no competition, then disproves his own point by showing how Germany’s production leveled off in the 90s because of competition – the same decade growth took off here after a tax increase.

    I don’t think Krugman ever argued that taxes are the only, or even a major cause of prosperity. You’d have to be an idiot to think that tax rates are anything but a tiny factor on the overall economy – yet that is what you’re doing right now when arguing against tax increases of any kind.

    Meanwhile, the income gap grows while big business sit on their cash and don’t hire.

  • lucy

    @11:25 GaryF:

    actually I think that there are far more people interested in escaping the collapsing economy. I envision a convoy of buses heading north way beyond the border. : )

  • suzie

    Same old – same old. Most of the members of congress couldn’t wait to get out of a meeting and get in front of a camera – free pre-election publicity. If Ms. Bachmann and the rest of her tea party want to lead the pack – they should get together and pass bills that would transfer all of their pension funds (for past, current and future members) to social security and set term limits and make themself subject to all the laws (no more exempt status). Return the money they robbed from social security and return social security to what it was ment to be. The take all those other programs out of social security and put them in the general fund.

    Present and past congress and the presidents are to blame for getting us into this mess, but now the people of this country have to suffer for congressional and presidental greed and stupidity. Power corrupts and absolute power …. makes you think you are the pigs in Animal Farm.

    I just hope everyone remember this mess, come the next election.

  • FH

    Stop the madness. You can not continually spend more than you take in. Govt jobs do not create value that other people in the world are willing to pay for – no real products or services are produced. In a business, this is called overhead. When overhead gets too large, a company ceases to exist, as the positions that do create products and services that the customer wants can not cover the huge cost of the overhead.

    This is a spending issue, plain and simple. As Greece, Spain and Portugal struggle to stay solvent, we have people who want to continue on the path that led them to their current crisis. FDR’s New Deal and Obama’s Rescue plan have not worked – look at the numbers: 17% unemployment in 1939, 9%+ in 2011. You need to create real jobs with real value to recover. Let’s get rid of all the stifling work rules, simplify the tax code and stop making business the villain, and we have a chance. Countries like China and Singapore have figured out that supporting business helps with employment. It’s not too late for the US.

  • Steve

    The Republican party has pushed this so close to the deadline…that we REAL American’s and we Real Americans are Called “THE PEOPLE”… NOT THE WACKO.. TEA PARTY! or ..Republicans… as If they have ever really been republicans!!!!

    There is now NO way WHAT IS IN THE BILL can be known!!!!!!!!!!! …. THEY PUSHED THIS FOR THEIR POLITICAL BENEFITS…. .. We the people….can not know for sure what it means…. as we have not hand time to see it.

    I do not have an issue with our President! Just as I don’t blame GW for the Attack of 9/11…and I do not Blame this issue on a President…as he Can’t produce a bill…..only sign them with passed…. ….and nothing has been passed!!! This budget problem was not done by the current PRESIDENT!

    THIS BUDGET ISSUE IS THE TOTAL FAULT OF THE REPUBLICAN/TEA PARTY.!! LOOK AT THE PAST 20 YEARS OF BILLS AND VOTES!!!!!!!!!!

    God and the Democrats can only save us!…. the current Majority party is killings us…. and giving money to the Rich….

    NO REPUBLICAN OR TEA PARTY MEMBER HAS BEEN ABLE TO GIVE ME ONE NAME OF ANY ONE THAT AS BEEN HIRED BY A TAX CUT!!!!! NOW IF YOU SAY TAX INCENTIVE….. YOU WILL FIND THAT HELPS…

    God help us all… but currently it seems that the inmates are running the country…

    Oh so sad….

    Steve

  • Steve the Cynic

    On a side note, the idea of cutting the salaries of our senators and representatives is dumber than a box of rocks. If anything, they should be raised, so they know who they’re supposed to be working for. Under-paying our elected leaders makes them more bribable. We also need to stop criticizing them for meaningless things. As it is, we’re not attracting the best and brightest to that work, but only narcisists who believe they’re awesome and are therefore impervious to being discouraged by all the dirt that will be dug up on them.