Obama: Debt ceiling fight could threaten timely payment of Social Security, veterans benefits

  • Article by: JIM KUHNHENN and ANDREW TAYLOR , Associated Press
  • Updated: January 14, 2013 - 4:52 PM
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bubla1Jan. 14, 1310:17 PM

"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. Over the past 5 years, our federal debt has increased by $3.5 trillion to $8.6 trillion.That is “trillion” with a “T.” That is money that we have borrowed from the Social Security trust fund, borrowed from China and Japan, borrowed from American taxpayers. And over the next 5 years, between now and 2011, the President’s budget will increase the debt by almost another $3.5 trillion. Numbers that large are sometimes hard to understand. Some people may wonder why they matter. Here is why: This year, the Federal Government will spend $220 billion on interest. That is more money to pay interest on our national debt than we’ll spend on Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. That is more money to pay interest on our debt this year than we will spend on education, homeland security, transportation, and veterans benefits combined. It is more money in one year than we are likely to spend to rebuild the devastated gulf coast in a way that honors the best of America. And the cost of our debt is one of the fastest growing expenses in the Federal budget. This rising debt is a hidden domestic enemy, robbing our cities and States of critical investments in infrastructure like bridges, ports, and levees; robbing our families and our children of critical investments in education and health care reform; robbing our seniors of the retirement and health security they have counted on. Every dollar we pay in interest is a dollar that is not going to investment in America’s priorities." Senator Barack Obama Senate Floor Speech on Public Debt March 16, 2006

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comment229Jan. 15, 13 4:56 AM

I would like to see some disclosure from both sides. Put Boeher and Biden in a room, by themselves, with TV cameras and two great big white boards, and have them both list out the budget cuts they would make from top to bottom, and let the American public be informed. Right now their is not a soul in the USA that does not think we need to reduce spending. THAT is not the issue. The issue is where to make those cuts. It's time for both sides to own up and inform us. If not, I have no idea why the media is even bothering to report the same thing, day in and day out.

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comment229Jan. 15, 13 4:58 AM

Further, I would do the budget cuts in about one hour. It would require a phone call to the MOST non-partisan guy at the CBO and ask him what percent of the entire budget we would have to have to break even. If he says 10% then do an across the board cut to 11%..... remember, breaking even is no good. Then let EVERYBODY feel the pain.

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comment229Jan. 15, 13 5:01 AM

Finally, across the board tax cuts are the least painful and politically correct solution to this, but I will be the first to admit that our military spending and propensity to enter wars and conflicts around this world are a major cause of our problems as well. When I hear Boehner bemoan the fact that "we are broke" the first thing that comes to mind is the chicken hawks that advocate we be the policeman of the world. At one time, we could probably afford that; but you can't have it both ways.

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drfranktJan. 15, 13 5:43 AM

The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. … Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that “the buck stops here.” Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better."........ Barrack H Obama March 2006

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drfranktJan. 15, 13 5:46 AM

The only way it will threaten SS and Veteran's Benefits will be if this empty suit, arrogant, king wanna-be decides that he does not have to cut any entitlement spending because he is the "almighty" and knows what's best for everyone!

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firefight41Jan. 15, 13 7:07 AM

Obama is using the Elderly and Vets for the fear factor to get the public behind him. Either that or he really does not care about the Elderly and Vets. Either way, he is a hypocrite.

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elmore1Jan. 15, 13 7:11 AM

Barry has been in office for 4 years. The leadership failure is clearly his. Good leaders compromise and cut deals. He hasn't done that and now the middle class is getting hit big time.

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natrefJan. 15, 13 7:42 AM

Obama's inability to understand basic economics is just more proof that he will be one of the worst presidents we have ever had. He's never had a job in the private sector nor has over 90% of the people he has appointed. This threat is just more of the same bully pulpit politics that has been ruined. Joe Wilson had him pegged long ago because everything Obama has said has been a complete lie. And our country is suffering and will suffer even more from it.

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fwallenJan. 15, 13 7:47 AM

The president fails to realize that there is a majority of people in the USA that can still think for themselves. No amount of demonizing will fool them. If he actually stops checks they will call his bluff. The arrogance and misjudgment are stunning.

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