The art of Kevin Blythe Sampson



On debt, President Obama cites Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan - MJ Lee -

On debt, President Obama cites Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan - MJ Lee -

On debt, President Obama cites Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan

President Barack Obama acknowledged Americans’ frustration with the ongoing debt stalemate Saturday and said that reaching a consensus on the deficit is both a responsibility and an opportunity for Democrats and Republicans.

“Let’s be honest — neither party in this town is blameless,” Obama said during his weekly address to the nation. “Both have talked this problem to death without doing enough about it. That’s what drives people nuts about Washington.”

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The president insisted that a deal will be struck only if all parties at the negotiations agree to take a balanced approach and make unpopular choices amid shared sacrifice.

Issues on the negotiating table include cutting domestic programs and defense spending, reforming Medicare and ending some tax breaks, he said.

“Now, some of these things don’t make folks in my party too happy. And I wouldn’t agree to some of these cuts if we were in a better fiscal situation. But we’re not. That’s why I’m willing to compromise.” Obama said.

The president also repeated his previous statements that the deficit problem can’t be tackled through spending cuts alone. He specifically pointed up tax breaks for oil companies and tax rates for the wealthy. “We are all part of the same country. We are all in this together,” he said.

Citing Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton as examples of former presidents who had worked with congressional opposition to achieve significant reforms, Obama said Americans today should expect similar cooperation.

“You work hard, you do what’s right, and you expect leaders who do the same,” he said. “You sent us to Washington to do the tough things — the right things. Not just for some of us, but for all of us. Not just what’s enough to get through the next election — but what’s right for the next generation.”