Big Deal Leadership
It is the correct thing for the President, America, and Congress to do, pass a comprehensive debt reduction plan that will stabilize the nation and economy for a reasonable period. Short-term increments just drag out the inevitable. Republicans need to come on board for the nation’s sake and then produce their own winning plans and solutions so we can evaluate them in the election cycle.
“Obama still pushing for ‘big deal’ on debt
President Obama said Friday he is still pushing for “a big deal” on deficit reduction, but he warned that time is running out for even a less ambitious option of simply raising the federal debt ceiling, and he called on Republicans and Democrats to “set politics aside” and reach a compromise.
In a White House news conference, Obama also effectively ruled out a House Republican plan to make $2.4 trillion in cuts and pass a balanced-budget amendment. He said he expects the House to vote on measures “just to make political statements” but that he has not seen “a credible plan” that would reduce the deficit by $2.4 trillion without “really hurting ordinary folks,” because it does not raise revenue.
Obama rejected the idea of amending the Constitution to require a balanced budget. “We don’t need a constitutional amendment to do that,” he said. “What we need is to do our jobs.”
He argued that the majority of Republican voters support “a balanced approach that includes some revenue” in addressing the nation’s deficit problem, and he urged GOP lawmakers to “start listening to the people who put them in office.”
Obama described Republicans blocking a deal as “ideologically rigid” and warned that they could suffer in the next election.
“We have enough time to do a big deal” that would address the nation’s debt and deficit problems for 10 to 20 years, he said. “But in order to do that, we’ve got to get started now.”
“We are obviously running out of time,” Obama said. He said if congressional leaders show him “a serious plan” to reduce debt and the deficit, “I’m ready to move.”
Obama held his latest news conference on the issue a day after bringing bipartisan White House talks over the debt to a close and giving Republicans until early Saturday to tell him whether any of three options for trimming the federal budget would win GOP support.
“It’s decision time,” Obama told congressional negotiators Thursday after meeting at the White House for a fifth straight day. As the talks ground to a halt, Senate leaders worked across party lines to craft an alternative strategy to raise the nation’s $14.3 trillion debt limit and avert a government default.
Before ending the White House talks, Obama gave Republicans three options: A far-reaching $4 trillion deficit-reduction deal that includes taxes and cuts to entitlement programs; a $2 trillion package that would require each side to give only a little; and a much smaller package that would raise the federal debt ceiling but would include no tax increases and no cuts to entitlement programs — and would do much less to solve the nation’s financial problems.
A stalemate in the White House talks, however, left the Senate framework as the chief option for raising the debt limit before Aug. 2, when the Treasury will be unable to pay its bills without additional borrowing authority.
“I am still pushing for us to achieve a big deal,” Obama told reporters Friday. But if that proves impossible, “then let’s still be ambitious, let’s still try to at least get a down payment on deficit reduction,” he said. He described the third option as a “fallback position” and “the least attractive” of the three, because the problems of debt and deficits would “continue to plague us for months and years to come.””