Republicans Leave Budget Talks, Blame Democrats

Republicans pulled out of debt-reduction talks led by Vice President Joe Biden with a flourish on Thursday, blaming Democrats for demanding tax increases as part of a deal rather than accepting more than $1 trillion in cuts to health care for the elderly and other government programs.

"Let me be clear: Tax hikes are off the table," said the Republican leader of the House, Speaker John Boehner.

Republicans long ago branded themselves as the party of lower taxes, while Democrats, looking to the 2012 elections, are already campaigning hard against a new Republican plan to turn government-paid health care for the elderly into a system of private insurance coverage.

Boehner spoke shortly after the House Republican second-in-command, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, announced he would not attend a planned negotiating session and said it is "time for President Obama to speak clearly and resolve the tax issue."

White House spokesman Jay Carney quickly obliged, while announcing that the talks were "in abeyance." He said Obama supports a "balanced approach" to debt reduction.

"I would point that the president supports a balanced approach," Carney said. "He does not support an approach that provides for a $200,000 tax cut for millionaires and billionaires paid for by a $6,000 a year hike in expenses and costs for seniors."

Numerous officials have said in recent days that Obama and Boehner would soon take a more public role in the negotiations, as time grows short for confronting politically vexing questions over taxes and benefit programs.

As a result, it appeared that the day's events marked an eruption of political maneuvering rather than a blow-up that would jeopardize the success of negotiations.

In general, the negotiations are aimed at producing legislation to cut future deficits while simultaneously lifting the $14.3 trillion limit on Treasury borrowing.

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner has said that without an increase in the debt limit by Aug. 2, the United States faces a first-ever default, with potentially catastrophic consequences for the economy.

Carney told reporters that Boehner had met unannounced with Obama at the White House Wednesday evening. It was the first known encounter between the two men since their widely publicized round of golf last weekend.

Nor was it likely Democrats were taken by surprise by the day's events, since Cantor informed Biden of his plans before making any public announcement.

Adding to the intrigue, one Republican leadership aide said Cantor did not inform Boehner of his plan to withdraw from the talks until shortly before he did so. Nor was Cantor aware of Boehner's trip to the White House the evening before, this aide said.

For his part, Cantor said the secretive Biden-led talks had "established a blueprint" for agreement on significant cuts in spending, but had reached an impasse because of the Democratic demand for taxes.

Sen. Jon Kyl, the other Republican participant, also said he would not attend the scheduled session, and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell spoke in unusually biting terms of Democratic demands for new government spending as part of a debt-reduction deal.

While accepting a need to raise the debt limit, Boehner has said that deficit cuts must exceed the size of any increase in borrowing authority — a position that neither Obama nor any other Democrat has challenged.

The Congressional Budget Office warned on Wednesday that unless steps are taken to rein in deficits, the country risks a "sudden fiscal crisis," with investors losing faith in the U.S. government's ability to manage its fiscal affairs.

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  • by Anonymous on Jun 28, 2011 at 01:32 PM
    “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. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America's debt limit. Who said that? That's right Obama said that on March 16, 2006.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jun 28, 2011 at 07:11 PM in reply to
      How many times the Debt Ceiling was raised during Bushs terms as President, Try 7 times, and the Republicans voted unanimously for it, even though Clinton left office with a surplus.
  • by Obama Snake Oil co Location: Washington on Jun 26, 2011 at 02:47 PM
    Yep, anyone but Obama is coming up now. I guess some actually want jobs, gas prices to fall along with food prices. That hope and change thing just isn't working for most of us. And to think, those children on the D side want to raise taxes during a major depression...who could of elected those idiots in the first place? I see clown car show posted...what an enlightning post....
    • reply
      by To OSOC on Jun 27, 2011 at 08:18 AM in reply to Obama Snake Oil co
      First, this is NOT a major depression. Second, these are not just tax raises-they are closing loop holes that have needed it! Third, what kind of idiot thinks only cuts can solve this, but we don't need added revenue?
      • reply
        by Obama Snake Oil Co on Jun 28, 2011 at 11:24 AM in reply to To OSOC
        What? Unemployment is around 10%, we owe a 14 trillion and growing debt due to overspending of our creditcards, gas is up 250%, food is up 20%...doesn't sound like happy days are here again. You cannot spend what we don't have. You do not raise taxes during a bad economy. You don't create new federal jobs either. It adds to the debt, get it?
        • reply
          by Anonymous on Jun 28, 2011 at 07:04 PM in reply to Obama Snake Oil Co
          What did Reaganomics do for us? How many new jobs the Bush Tax Cuts for the wealthy created? What did Trickle Down Economics do for us? Answer....all made the rich richer!!!
        • reply
          by FYI on Jun 28, 2011 at 07:14 PM in reply to Obama Snake Oil Co
          What, the economy was messed up long before Obama took office, or did you notice?
  • by Clown show continues on Jun 26, 2011 at 06:20 AM
    Walked out of the Budget talks? Now thats one of the most childish things I have ever heard of. Did they run home crying to their mommies also?
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jun 27, 2011 at 11:11 AM in reply to Clown show continues
      Yep, that is almost as bad as locking the doors on the Republicans and not allowing them to hear the discussion the Democrats were having on Obamacare.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Jun 28, 2011 at 06:59 PM in reply to
        The Republicans wrote some of the policy, and then said "no" to it. How did they include their amendments if it was done behind closed doors?? For once, use your own brain, not Fox news.
  • by To OSOC on Jun 25, 2011 at 12:13 PM
    And what do you know except what you hear ? are not even a joke! You evidently have a mainline to "somehwere"...get real..Now I have seen it all from you ..You are the only one that has knowledge of what's going on in DC. Well , I'll be ! Now we understand why you're so redicules
    • reply
      by Terry S. on Jun 25, 2011 at 04:01 PM in reply to To OSOC
      Its that Tinfoil hat,he can get here voices from Russia on a clear night.
  • by Since when Location: enc on Jun 24, 2011 at 10:27 PM
    Since when is taking away oil company "welfare" a raise in taxes? Since when is cutting "welfare" payments raising taxes? Since when is changing tax codes to lower deductions on home mortgages to $500,000 from 1 million the same as raising taxes? If you think these are raising taxes-then what do you think the teachers, nurses, and other state employees thought when their checks where "hit" with additional deductions for health benefits and retirement. Why is it all right for the working people to take home less money-but not for oil companies who are posting record breaking profits? I don't EVER want to hear the Republicans say "we have put everything on the table" again-they are liars! Anybody with any sense knows you can't just use cuts. When Clinton raised taxes in 1993-we had one of the biggest boons in our economy ever! I am NOT saying the increase in taxes caused the increase in our economy-BUT it certainly didn't stop it-that too, is a LIE!
    • reply
      by Since When on Jun 25, 2011 at 08:41 AM in reply to Since when
      Please correct second since when-I meant to say since when is cutting "welfare payments" to BIG FARMERS raising taxes.
  • by Bubba on Jun 24, 2011 at 09:50 AM
    I think we should let those against raising taxes on the rich be the first to volunteer to have their social security cu first... considering they don't feel like they need it.
  • by Anonymous on Jun 24, 2011 at 08:18 AM
    We wouldnt be dealing with this mess in the first pplace if Democrats werent worried about getting reelected during midterm elections and just passed the budget like they were supposed to in October.
  • by nightrain Location: greenville on Jun 24, 2011 at 06:39 AM
    First of all, I do not want any more taxes coming out of my paycheck. We are already taxed on everything we make and everything we buy. No one should pay higher taxes because they went to college, worked hard, and have achieved financial success. Democrats still want to reward failure. Drop out of school, have babies, and we'll have the college graduates pay your way. Rewarding laziness. Government does not need more taxes. It is not an income issue, it is a spending issue. How could anyone go along with the whole idea of maxing out our credit limit and vote to raise the limit. Only those not paying taxes (failures and dropouts) could agree to this plan. Republicans are simply looking out for the future success of America.
    • reply
      by Bubba on Jun 24, 2011 at 09:48 AM in reply to nightrain
      My comment was towards the top 1% earners. They earn their wealth not from working harder than everyone else, it is that they play by a different set of rules then everyone else. Tax codes designed to reward investment over labor, subsidies for large corporations and farmers who are so wealthy it is hard to legitimize it. All designed to keep the wealth that is generated by all workers into the hands of the few. I truely believe that 99% of Americans should not pay more taxes... The drop outs and baby makers are the least of the burdens on the general populos. Get rid of Bush tax cuts... they didnt do any good anyway did they?
      • reply
        by Since when on Jun 24, 2011 at 10:32 PM in reply to Bubba
        Ayn Rand-the new "heroine" of the Republican party-and outspoken atheist said that the poor were parasites. I submit, it is the wealthy who are "living off the labor of the poor" who are, in fact, the parasites in this country. And they will not stop until all minimum wage and unions are destroyed. Then they can truly reduce workers to little more than serfs. You call liberal "socialist"? Well, guess what the first move made in Germany by Hitler were? He eliminated collective bargaining and broke the backs of the workers! Nazi Germany was built on the uniting of corporations and government! Study that!
      • reply
        by Since when on Jun 25, 2011 at 09:39 AM in reply to Bubba
        Bubba, I was not disagreeing with you in my reply-I was just adding to your comment *S*.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jun 25, 2011 at 12:28 PM in reply to nightrain
      It's an income issue if you have gone to college and not acheived financial success. People and Companies should be taxed on the dollar unless they can contribute to the growth of the economy.Sucking the life out of certain sect of society will only cause poverty. If the wealth lies in a small percentage of citizens they should pay. You didn't get rich by actually making the money. It came from somewhere ! Do you understand that ?????
  • by Lavon Location: Goldsboro on Jun 24, 2011 at 06:35 AM
    This is why the Republicans can't win any elections. They are so far right and out of touch with America it's not even funny
    • reply
      by Obama Snake Oil co on Jun 24, 2011 at 09:21 AM in reply to Lavon
      Yeah, that is why they took the house by storm and better balanced the should us more than an etch0sketch for you have no idea what is going on in DC except what you "hear". Well, turn up your hearing aid, this ain't about the rich, its about everybodys taxes. Republicans wiped 2 trillion off the debt, dems want to go up on taxes in return. You really voted yourself a paycut...gas, you got it going on.
      • reply
        by Waldo on Jun 24, 2011 at 02:00 PM in reply to Obama Snake Oil co
        Is that why the Republicans are being Recalled at record numbers? FYI, It is about the rich, all their efforts have positive results for the wealthy and negative for the middle class. Just look at all the recalls of Republicans that have been going on since November.
        • reply
          by clint on Jun 24, 2011 at 02:48 PM in reply to Waldo
          Your mission is accomplished Waldo. Fine job! Beam him up Scotty... Engage.....................
        • reply
          by Anonymous on Jun 24, 2011 at 03:01 PM in reply to Waldo
          Which Republicans have been recalled?
        • reply
          by Anonymous on Jun 24, 2011 at 06:50 PM in reply to Waldo
          Total Recall...
      • reply
        by To OSOC on Jun 25, 2011 at 09:41 AM in reply to Obama Snake Oil co
        What taxes do the Dems. want to "go up on"? It IS about the rich-there has been NO proposals from the Dems about raising all taxes! It is about closing loop holes which are nothing but additional tax cuts to those who do NOT NEED IT!
      • reply
        by To OSOC on Jun 25, 2011 at 12:14 PM in reply to Obama Snake Oil co
        they have done nothing to create jobs...that why they got elected and why they are on thier way out !
        • reply
          by OSOC on Jun 26, 2011 at 02:43 PM in reply to To OSOC
          Yep, Obama has done nothing to create jobs, he just destroys them or creates new government jobs that cost more debt. Are those those tax cuts Jeffrey Imelt took with GE so they didn't pay taxes in America? The big supporter of Obama that took billions of contracts from the government? Yeah, I heard about those. Well, how else would Obama have been elected with 3 times more campaign money than McCain? Oh, koolaid was almost out at the pig...campaign coming up you know.
  • by Anonymous on Jun 24, 2011 at 03:16 AM
    Call it like it is, the Republicans DO NOT WANT TO INCREASE TAXES FOR THE RICH!! Rather throw the middle-class and elderly under the bus. Guarantee you if the proposal only stated to increase taxes for the middleclass, they would go along with it.
    • reply
      by Bubba on Jun 24, 2011 at 05:46 AM in reply to
      You got that right!... Good to see Republicans showing their true colors... It is only a matter of time before everyone of them is out of office if they keep on that mantra. The disparity of the income gap is truely appalling.
      • reply
        by clint on Jun 24, 2011 at 02:50 PM in reply to Bubba
        Is that you anonymous? Replying to yourself? If not pick a handle. It's not very hard.
        • reply
          by Jackie on Jun 25, 2011 at 03:56 PM in reply to clint
          Ha Ha OSOC is the one who reply to his own comments.

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