Obama Urges Compromise in Debt Talks

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

President Obama stood before the nation and pleaded with Congress to come to an agreement as soon as possible, in a prime-time speech to the American public last night. "We can't allow the American people to become collateral damage to Washington's political warfare," he said. House Speaker John Boehner immediately followed Obama's speech with his response, agreeing that the debate needs to be resolved, but urging Obama to sign on to the Republican proposal to raise the debt limit.

Kathleen Hall Jamieson, professor of communications and director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania, and Todd Zwillich, The Takeaway's Washington correspondent, have the latest details and analysis of where both Democrats and Republicans stand on the issue.


Kathleen Hall Jamieson and Todd Zwillich

Produced by:

David J Fazekas

Comments [10]


Here is the sort of thing that public radio almost never airs. Arthur Brooks, President of the American Enterprise Institue, on American debt and the federal government. Writing yesterday, in the Wall Street Journal:

"The Bureau of Economic Analysis tells us that total government spending at all levels has risen to 37% of gross domestic product today from 27% in 1960—and is set to reach 50% by 2038. The Tax Foundation reports that between 1986 and 2008, the share of federal income taxes paid by the top 5% of earners has risen to 59% from 43%. Between 1986 and 2009, the percentage of Americans who pay zero or negative federal income taxes has increased to 51% from 18.5%. And all this is accompanied by an increase in our national debt to 100% of GDP today from 42% in 1980."

Jul. 26 2011 02:18 PM
nancy from Mount Kisco, NY

“'I have little question that as long as this president is in the Oval Office a real solution is probably unattainable,' McConnell said in a hard-hitting speech on the Senate floor."
Does this sound like the Republicans are bargaining in good faith?
I don't understand why they are so reluctant to increase taxes. Since the Bush administration, we have had the lowest tax rates since the 1950's - according to Republican theory, our economy should be flourishing rather than floundering. If balancing the budget is truly important - raise taxes!

Jul. 26 2011 12:39 PM

My comment is not about the issue (which won't be resolved by radio listeners posting to Comments threads), nor about the competing speeches of Obama and Boehner.

Rather, what interests me is this Comments thread itself. On The Takeaway website, as with most other public radio websites, the comments run massively in favor of insulting Republicans and demonizing the "Tea Party."

Naturallly, I can't do anything about it, other than to just observe. It is one of the few times that we get an unfiltered look at the politics of public radio listeners.

It seems pretty clear to me, that American public radio skews hard to the left. And in so doing, it self-selects this kind of audience. Which, naturally, supplies these sorts of Comments. Producers of The Takeaway take note of the audience, and continue to supply that audience with 'more of the same.'

Jul. 26 2011 11:10 AM
A. Washington

Republicans are not interested in any sort of compromise. They only want to upstage the president while keeping all advantages with their own ilk. I hope that Pres Obama does not let them bully him (as they have been doing) into any sort of plan that does not benefit all the American people...rich or middle class and poor.

Jul. 26 2011 10:14 AM
Sanford Cook

It is amazing to me to see Americans being persuaded that the debt crisis is both parties fault. The Republicans have tried to stop Obama in every way they can. It is so easy to see the blatant plan to freeze government at every level including the FAA as an example of making the public exposure to safety issues as well as appointments and of course the financial crisis that they are determine to provoke. The Tea Party was an anomoly resulting from the public trying to send Obama a message and I hope they see how well that turned out in Wisconsin, and in many other states as well as the whole country.
The Republican leadership seems helpless to stop the anti American house of representative majority, non military putsch, only to protect their politcal futures. I guess it's the hell with Americans as long as they can say in 2012, "are you better off now" to a suffering country just for them to gain power over this nation.
I hope President Obama has the courage to invoke the the Constitutional provision that will by pass the dysfunction provoked by the Rebublicans.

Jul. 26 2011 10:00 AM
Andrew from Fort Lee, NJ

It is a disgrace. We have 9% uneployment! Hellllooo! It is NOT a time to cut spending and undermind job growth. It is not a time for retoric and demagogy. I am very upset with Republicans and Tea party congressmen. I am also not a big fan of the president due to bad and untimly healthcare bill. They all have to tay focused on JOBS, JOBS, JOBS and HOUSING. Where can I find the list of these DEMAGOGS who are out of touch with those who oppose to raise the debt ceiling?

Jul. 26 2011 09:37 AM
Theo from Detroit

It's all posturing. What to they care? They'll continue to get a paycheck, and the won't hurt. Heavens forbid that we ask the Rich to finally kick in and take some weight off the regular folks....oh, I forgot...that would take money out of their Gold, Jet, Yacht, budgets......

Jul. 26 2011 08:17 AM

Republicans have three goals: dismantle the New Deal, give the wealthiest more tax breaks and defeat pres. Obama. What about jobs Mr. Boehner? What did you do to create jobs since you became the speaker of the House?

Jul. 26 2011 08:17 AM
deb from michigan

I agree with what President Obama said last night in his speech about raising the debt ceiling. I feel he was speaking for me as well as most Americans who are disgusted with millionaire legislators who are ruining this country.

Jul. 26 2011 08:13 AM
Wayne Erfling from Southeast Florida

There's no requirement in our laws or constitution that require the debt ceiling vote to be combined with other legislation.

Both the president and speaker Boehner should back off from "government by extortion" and pass much smaller bills.

Jul. 26 2011 06:11 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.