President Obama Not Giving Up On Big Debt Reduction Deal

President Barack Obama hasn't given up on getting congressional leaders to accept a $4 trillion debt reduction deal that Republicans have rejected for its tax increases and Democrats dislike for its cuts to programs for seniors and the poor, administration officials said hours before talks resumed Sunday.

"He's not someone to walk away from a tough fight," presidential chief of staff William Daley said. "Everyone agrees that a number around $4 trillion is the number that will ... make a serious dent in our deficit."

But House and Senate Republican leaders now say the largest of three proposals under consideration would not pass the GOP-led House because of its tax increases, an abrupt shift in negotiation over the terms of raising the nation's debt ceiling before an Aug. 2 deadline.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, announced late Saturday that he was rejecting that proposal. Heading into the talks at 6 p.m. EDT, the top Senate Republican, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, suggested the deal was dead.

"I think it is," McConnell said. Raising taxes amid 9.2 percent unemployment, he added, "is a terrible idea. It's a job killer."

The back-and-forth on the Sunday morning talk shows came hours before Obama and eight lawmakers of both parties were to convene at the White House over a plan to raise the nation's borrowing capacity from $14.3 trillion before next month's deadline, when administration officials say the nation would default on its debts.

Republicans have demanded that any plan to raise the borrowing limit be coupled with massive spending cuts to lighten the burden of government on the struggling economy. Higher taxes, Republicans have said from the start, are deal-killers if not offset elsewhere.

But Obama has a long way to go to satisfy lawmakers in his own party, too. Many Democrats are unnerved by the president's $4 trillion proposal because of its changes to Medicare and Medicaid.

Political pain is part of the deal, too, and should be worth bearing, Daley said, adding that Obama was calling on lawmakers to "step up and be leaders."

He cast Obama as uninterested, for now, in two more modest proposals to raise the debt limit for a shorter time, in exchange for smaller spending cuts. But Daley and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner used rhetoric that appeared to acknowledge the prospects for the $4 trillion deal could be in doubt.

"We're going to try to get the biggest deal possible," Geithner said.

He cautioned that a package about half the size of the one Obama prefers would be equally tough to negotiate because it, too, could require hundreds of billions in new tax revenue.

Expectations for Sunday's meeting took an abrupt turn after Boehner informed Obama that a package of about $2 trillion identified but not agreed to by bipartisan negotiators was more realistic.

In a statement, Boehner said: "Despite good-faith efforts to find common ground, the White House will not pursue a bigger debt reduction agreement without tax hikes."

A bipartisan group of lawmakers led by Vice President Joe Biden had already identified, but not signed off on, about $2 trillion in deficit reductions, most accomplished through spending cuts.

"I believe the best approach may be to focus on producing a smaller measure, based on the cuts identified in the Biden-led negotiations, that still meets our call for spending reforms and cuts greater than the amount of any debt limit increase," Boehner said.

After holding a secret meeting with Boehner last weekend, Obama and aides said they believed an even bigger figure was attainable if both parties made politically painful, but potentially historic, choices.

A Republican official familiar with the discussions said taxes and the major health and retirement entitlement programs continued to be sticking points.

Obama wanted Republicans to accept closing some corporate tax loopholes and subsidies to corporations, ending a tax friendly inventory accounting system for businesses, as well as reducing the value of tax deductions for wealthy taxpayers.

A senior administration official said the discussion on taxes broke down over the administration's desire to have the wealthy pick up a bigger share of the tax revenue load than Republicans were willing to accept.

The official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the negotiations, said the $2 trillion to $2.4 trillion in deficit reduction identified by the Biden-led negotiations remains under negotiation and will also require some new tax revenue of up to $400 billion.

Daley was on ABC's "This Week," McConnell appeared on "Fox News Sunday" and Geithner was interviewed on NBC's "Meet the Press" and CBS' "Face the Nation."

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  • by Raymond Location: NC on Jul 16, 2011 at 09:07 PM
    Newt Gingrich balanced budget. Then Slick Willie took credit for on TV. Goggle the simple facts , thats if you want the truth?
    • reply
      by Obama Snake Oil Co on Jul 18, 2011 at 03:56 PM in reply to Raymond
      They don't want the truth when they can go to the liberal web sites for their daily koolaid and then repeat it here. Like tax the rich...its their fault the government is spending so much money so they should just steal it from the rich...they can afford it. Well, not exactly. If you took all their money, we couldn't pay the debt off. So guess what? That means the middle class will be coughing it up instead in the way of indirect taxes. Gas, food....stuff that we have to have is now a luxuray. Cap and Trade is dead right? Wrong, the EPA is using their power to levy new laws to enforce that green agenda...yep, like global warming. Well, not to worry, it just drives companies to China so we don't have the jobs anymore once they are gone. In the meantime you will read these posts here and wonder, are people that stupid...easy....yes they are, they believe it and post it too.
  • by 48 Year Republican Location: 6 Year Independant on Jul 15, 2011 at 10:42 PM
    THIS is why I'm an Independant now. Eleven years ago we had a balanced budget. After 8 years of Bush and 3 years of Obama, we're 13 TRILLION dollars in debt and counting. So, OF COURSE we need to raise taxes on the rich as well as making major budget cuts. We need more money and we need to spend less. That part is NOT complicated. But, when Obama suggests it, the Repubs go crazy about the tax increases and the Dems go crazy about the budget cuts. How can you people POSSIBLY support either side in this debate? They're clearly BOTH wrong. And yet, at least among Republicans, Obama is the anti-Christ. Well, he's the ONLY one making any sense at this point and he's being undercut from all sides. No wonder he's frustrated. I find it frustrating to read that so many people who put the blame on HIM. Sure, he spearheaded the stimulus package that added more trillions to the debt. But, that was an emergency situation that kept us out of an economic collapse and the next Great Depression. Now, he's trying to make concessions and get things turned around and he gets no cooperation from these crybaby Congressman and Senators on BOTH sides. As for the general population, I guess the Obama haters are either Fox News fans (brainwashed) or just good old fashioned racists. Well, wake up. The biggest problem in Washington is the two party system and those who are using it to reach a stalemate on almost every imoportant issue. I don't know what the answer is, I just know for sure that the jokers in Washington now are NOT IT. In the mean time, TAX THE BILLIONAIRES AND TRIM TRILLIONS FROM THE TEN YEAR BUDGET!!!
    • reply
      by AMD on Jul 16, 2011 at 03:48 AM in reply to 48 Year Republican
      I agree, especially with the BILLIONAIRES part, not the $250,00 small businesses. Tax the professional athletes, the Hollywood movie stars and the politicians who have published books and own multi-million dollar houses in Chicago. You never hear anyone complain about them, only the businesses and corporations that create jobs.
    • reply
      by Joyce on Jul 16, 2011 at 05:40 AM in reply to 48 Year Republican
      What happened is Obama lost his Dem Lib Congress on Nov. 12, 2010. The people voted Republican. To stop Obama's spending and planned tax increases to destroy this nation. Talk about brainwashed CNN and all the Dem Lib Obama loving media could make you into a Obama Zombie. Thats why Fox News is the number one news TV station in America for years. Most American do not want to be CNN stupid! Forbes says their are only 412 Billionaires in America today. How much can you tax them? It would not put a dent in Obama's Trillions of spending.
      • reply
        by uh on Jul 16, 2011 at 03:27 PM in reply to Joyce
        Look, if you think Obama is trying to "destroy this nation", I don't think it's CNN that's doing the brainwashing. This is the essential problem with a lot of the loudest critics on the right: they literally declare that Obama is out to destroy the nation. That's delusional.
        • reply
          by Puh-Leez on Jul 16, 2011 at 06:51 PM in reply to uh
          Top down, bottom up, inside out....Look it up.
      • reply
        by 48 Year Rep on Jul 16, 2011 at 04:50 PM in reply to Joyce
        Joyce, Obama has put close to 4 trillion dollars in cuts on the table. That's called a compromise from a big spending Democrat. And what have the Republicans offered? NOTHING, that's what. The two party system will NEVER work without compromise. And guess what, Joyce? This country is nearly evenly divided as far as people's political views. The far-right wingers that are destroying the Republican party live in their delusional little world where only THEIR opinions matter. One of my biggest gripes when listening to figures in national politics is when they say "The American people want......" Again, guess what? The American people want a lot of different things. We are an extremely diverse country. Hopefully, we can be a diverse country that learns to work together and compromise. I've lost any faith that the Republicans now in Washington are capable of that. And it's people like you that feed their egos. Still, I pray that I'm wrong. But, they haven't given me much to believe that my prayers will be answered.
        • reply
          by uh on Jul 16, 2011 at 11:07 PM in reply to 48 Year Rep
          4 trillion would be the highest cut in spending ever in history. The republicans are making this into a drama and needlessly risking our credit for the tea party movement.
        • reply
          by Anonymous on Jul 18, 2011 at 08:10 AM in reply to 48 Year Rep
          Thats 4 trillion over the next 10 years.
        • reply
          by Anonymous on Jul 22, 2011 at 08:20 AM in reply to 48 Year Rep
          It may be over the next 10 years but it's still 400 billion dollars in spending cuts annually. Yet the Republicans still don't want to play ball. After this I really don't see how anybody can honestly and in good faith accuse Obama of being the problem. The Republicans have exposed themselves as the party of no.
  • by Wolfgang Location: Chocowinity,NC on Jul 15, 2011 at 06:25 PM
    Here are the indisputable facts: 1. The federal government will receive $2.2 trillion in revenue this year. This comes from personal and business taxes, fees, and assorted whatnot that the federal government has built in to keep dollars flowing into their coffers. 2. The interest due on our national debt this year is $300 billion. 3. The only way America will default on our debt is if the Secretary of the Treasury “Turbo-Tax” Tim Geithner and Hussein Hope N Change decide not to pay the debt with the $2.2 trillion in revenue! This is the information the Dims want to keep from you. Why? They want an additional $2 trillion to spend away for nothimg! The debt ceiling limit has been increased 10 times in the past 11 years! One wonders why we have a debt ceiling limit at all! It’s time this madness comes to an end! Obama and his corrupt henchmen are now threatening to not issue Social Security checks to America’s elderly if the debt ceiling level is not increased. They have also threatened to not pay the military. These are nothing more than scare tactics that protect the Dims from doing their jobs! And these tactics are as despicable as those using them
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jul 15, 2011 at 08:11 PM in reply to Wolfgang
      But yet you will hear the Dems, Obama included saying that it is the Republicans who do not want to pay SS and military personel. Didnt they pull the same thing the last time they dealt with budget talks? How about they ensure that SS and the military are paid but give up their paychecks? They wouldnt possibly do that, them and their families depend on that money.
  • by Reality on Jul 15, 2011 at 03:01 AM
    Ronald Reagan agreed to a tax increase IF Tip O'Neal (Speaker of the House) and the D'Crats would agree to budget cuts (Tip agreed). Ronald Reagan did his promise; Tip and the D'Crats did NOT saying they changed their mind. George Bush (Daddy) agreed to a tax increase IF D'Crats would cut the budget. Bush agreed and did his part. D'Crats reneged. If Obama was 1/2 a man (He isn't) he would say," I'll cut the budget first to these set goals; then (THIS TIME) we will trust YOU (Republicans) to raise taxes. D'Crats CANNOT be trusted to do their part! Republicans have proven they will do theirs on this issue!
    • reply
      by but on Jul 15, 2011 at 09:25 AM in reply to Reality
      The problem with these deals were the budget gaps were actually filled with t-bills filling up the social security coffers. 1982 and on.
  • by Anonymous on Jul 14, 2011 at 07:58 PM
    IRS stats...Top 25% of wage earners in the US pay 86% of the income tax revenue. The bottom 40% pay none. That leaves the final 14% of IRS $ coming from the 35 % of us in the middle. So tired of hearing folks say "Rich need to pay their fair share". They pay more than that. Plus, more $ you make, more $ you spend, more sales tax $ you "donate" to the govt. Everyone likes to bash the "rich folks" but everybody wants to be one!
    • reply
      by ? on Jul 15, 2011 at 04:46 AM in reply to
      That's the thing, the math is simple but no one wants to admit that the rich pay more then every other "class" combined. The only people making this a "class war" are people like Obama who are attacking things like SS and Medicare when he should be going after all the excess spending that both parties are doing, this includes all, notice the word all people, the free money that the Government gives out on a daily bases. Doing the math for all that free money is a lot more then the 1% of the budget that some of the people on here like to throw around, it's more like 51% of the budget but that including a lot of things that I believe are a waste of money.
    • reply
      by Ashley on Jul 15, 2011 at 10:35 AM in reply to
  • by Anonymous on Jul 14, 2011 at 04:49 PM
    Here is a little reading for you liberals that believe that it is all the about the evil rich people who dont pay their fair share of taxes, the real problem is over spending but most of all UNIONS, who the Democrats will do anything for to keep them on their side.
  • by To Clint Location: enc on Jul 13, 2011 at 04:30 PM
    This comment has been deleted.
    • reply
      by clint on Jul 13, 2011 at 07:14 PM in reply to To Clint
      What the.... This post that was deleted was not against the policy at all. I made a reply earlier that was not against policy either. What's up moderator? I know this isn't a court of law or anything but come on now. Nothing ugly was said unless it was something I missed after rebutting this Anonymous "It" poster earlier. What gives?
      • reply
        by uh on Jul 15, 2011 at 09:26 AM in reply to clint
        If your post included a personal insult toward anyone, like usual, someone might have reported it.
        • reply
          by clint on Jul 15, 2011 at 11:12 AM in reply to uh
          You must be thinking of someone else. I don't do personal insults unless you count "liberal" or "Obama voter" or something like that. You commented on the thread I and this "To Clint" character were having below. I replied and didn't insult you and I didn't insult him/her/it either. Unless of course you take effective and true rebuttal as an insult. As he/she/it has no handle I don't know what to call him/her/it. At least you have a monniker. "To Clint" Said nothing wrong by WITNs policy and neither did I but I did Zing "it" pretty good with my reply. I think "it" was actually the moderator and that's why this particular post got deleted. Of course I could be wrong on that but the bottom line is "Its" post and mine were pretty tame. Who knows. But as always Obama "One and Done" Count on it!!!
  • by Remember This? Location: Enough Said on Jul 13, 2011 at 01:02 PM
    The national debt is a ticking time bomb. We can either start defusing it now, or keep borrowing and spending until it goes off in our faces. "After all the talk about debt and deficits, it is long past time for America’s leaders to put up or shut up. The era of debt denial is over, and there can be no turning back." -President Obama's Debt Commission
    • reply
      by uh on Jul 15, 2011 at 09:28 AM in reply to Remember This?
      "Deficits don't matter" - VP Dick Cheney. Remember THAT? The administration that started with a surplus and ended with the largest deficit, largest debt, and smallest rate of job creation since the great depression. 4 million jobs in 8 years is less than 23 million jobs in 3 years.
      • reply
        by dave on Jul 16, 2011 at 06:20 AM in reply to uh
        republicans try to forget little annoying facts like this i guess thats why cheney and bush spent money like a drunk sailor
  • by ? on Jul 13, 2011 at 09:56 AM
    I feel as though I should post Obama's Tax Rates for the next 12 years: to start if you make under 20,000 a year, over the next 12 years your taxes will go up by 14%, if you make more then 20,000, your taxes go up 3%, if you make more than a million, 1% increase. Now before you bash me, I did my research, this isn't from any news channel, or any other media organization, this is from multiple Government websites, most of them anyone can access, but a few are restricted to military servicemen only; so to recap, Obama wants to raise taxes astronomically for the poor and slightly burden the rich along with cutting Social Security and Medicare, these are facts. Sounds like that "Hope & Change" is more of the same dribble that we're all use to.
    • reply
      by To ? on Jul 13, 2011 at 04:26 PM in reply to ?
      That is bunk!
    • reply
      by clint on Jul 13, 2011 at 07:19 PM in reply to ?
      Hey, I'm on your side but these numbers are more than a little suspicious. How about some links or something? If these are straight up lies you're just damaging your argument so back it up. Best of my knowledge if you make less than 20K you will probably pay little or nothing after deductions.
      • reply
        by ? on Jul 14, 2011 at 05:50 AM in reply to clint
        Please disregard my original comment, the bill is being rewritten, those figures are no longer valid. But just to be clear I received that information on Friday of last week, that bill was written by Obama himself, and all of my sources, who wish to remain anonymous, and I will not violated that, confirm it.
  • by granny Location: greenville on Jul 13, 2011 at 08:57 AM
    Mr Obama does not really care one way or the other. I think even he is smart enough to know he is finished in the White House. He will still have millions when he leaves just as he did when he entered the White House, his main interest now is gettig this budget thing done so he can schedule his next vacation!

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