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Debt Limit Talks Fail, Boehner Calls White House Bowl of Jell-O

On Friday, July 22 House Speaker John Boehner,  R-Ohio, broke off talks with President Barack Obama concerning concessions surrounding raising the debt ceiling. Rep. Boehner stopped returning the White House’s calls on Thursday and informed the president Friday that he would not be returning to the negotiation table. In response, the president held a press conference and demanded that Congressional leaders come to the White House on Saturday morning. Visibly angry, the president stated,” I want them here at 11 a.m. tomorrow,” he said. “They are going to have to explain to me how it is that we are going to avoid default.”

President Obama said Rep. Boehner failed to gain the support from his colleagues for the concessions that were bargained on in good faith. Both sides have sought a deficit-reduction agreement as part of the essential vote to raise the government’s $14.3 trillion debt limit, which will be reached Aug. 2. The tea party faction of the Republican Party have held steadfast to the position that there should be no new taxes on the wealthy to raise revenue, entitlement programs should make steep cuts, and that the debt ceiling should not be raised.

On Friday night, Rep. Boehner sent a letter to his Republican colleagues that stated, “A deal was never reached, and was never really close.” He added: “In the end, we couldn’t connect. Not because of different personalities, but because of different visions for our country.”

The speaker said President Obama wanted to raise taxes too high and would not make “fundamental changes” to entitlement benefit programs like Medicare. He also said that dealing with the White House was “like dealing with a bowl of Jell-O.”

But according to the New York Times, a White House official confirmed that the president had agreed over the coming decade to cut $250 billion from Medicare spending and $310 billion from other domestic entitlement programs, like farm subsidies and education programs. He was also willing to change the formula for Social Security cost-of-living adjustments, which many economists say would more accurately reflect inflation, for savings of about $125 billion more. These concessions were contingent on Boehner and his colleagues agreeing to higher taxes for wealthy Americans and corporations.

The breakdown in negotiations between President Obama and Rep. Boehner was the second time this month that Boehner had walked away from the table with the president after word of their private talks was leaked to the news media, provoking protests from Republican lawmakers and antitax conservative groups.

“I’ve been left at the altar now a couple of times,” President Obama said. “And I think that one of the questions that the Republican Party is going to have to ask itself, [is] can they say yes to anything?”


  1. rawdawgbuffalo on July 23, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    This is just a restatement of what is in the news and barely that. It should provide some analysis as what does it mean with respect to black folk.

    As I listen to the inside the beltway bickering of sound bites from “taxes on private jets” to “cut, cap and balance,” I cannot grasp that no one has simplified this discussion regarding debt and deficits. The way it is presented, many act as if debt and deficit are the same things when they are not, while just forgetting to explain that the real issue is our sovereign debt crisis as a nation and not liquidity. This means that the US economic woes are a function of structural problems we have while operating in a global economy.For example, around the globe, the real problem is not the governments (albeit they play a major role) but rather the banks and the possibility they may run out of money. In Ireland for example, it is more likely that banks will run out of loot before the government. Here at home, Bank of America recently made a bond issuance of $2.5 billion in new bonds. Why, because they are short on loot, running out of money and because the bank’s stock just fell to fresh multi-year lows.
    Both banks and governments are responding to the global debt crisis by adding more debt on top of debt. Adding debt to more debt is a pyramid scheme, a Ponzi scheme for to keep the pyramid intact, more loot is needed to keep those on top and under them making money. All kidding aside, looking a Greece for example, the fact is that Greece will never be able to pay back the debt it owes bond holders and the global markets.
    It is not hard to see, but when you have a basically dumb-downed and ignorant electorate, the obvious gets lost in this age where talk and opinion takes the place of news and information. Or else it would be front and center that in the last year, the US dollar has fallen 12% in value which has led to making China the top seller of US treasury bonds worldwide. This means that the US government is an insolvent nation financially. We have accumulated a trillion dollar deficit three years in a row and a double dip in the housing market. Add to this the rising cost of oil and gas due to manipulation by speculators, mainly by the Goldman Sachs Commodity Index, and then it is easy to see what the outcome will be – a global economy run by a single corporate institution in the form of one world bank.
    Ireland, which total debt is 100 percent of GDP, is insolvent. Greece, Italy, Spain, France and the US are all approaching the same boat. Why because the IMF, World Bank, Federal Reserve, Bank for International Settlements in Basle, Switzerland (a private bank owned and controlled by the worlds’ central banks which were themselves private corporations) and similar agencies only work to see banks get paid, not that governments or democracy survive and prosper. If the US is to survive, it must function on a national credit system, which would lead to a sovereign nation state based on a system of our currency – the dollar. This would result in a non-inflationary credit system run by the state. But banks don’t want that, as Andrew Jackson and Lincoln found out centuries earlier.
    If this does not occur, then we will continue, as a nation to involve ourselves in wars, for that will be the only way to make money. We will be in Pakistan, which will put us in conflict with China (which may involve India and Russia) and even in our own hemisphere in South America.What is saddening is that most Americans do not have a clue, especiallyAfrican Americans who often cannot see the trees for the forest through our own doing. History shows us that when the US economy goes awry, we feel it first and hardest. For we have limited if any knowledge of the collateralized debt obligations, complex financial papers/instruments, or the sophisticated computerized risk models that got us as a nation in this predicament. But we can spend, and buy and not save although property depreciations due to the foreclosure crisis will wipe out a significant amount of our wealth as a community and may cost us alone upwards of $190 billion dollars. After all everybody know we are the most vulnerable, especially loan companies, except for us.

    • Annsonita Robinson on July 23, 2011 at 7:17 pm

      Rawdawgbuffalo, thanks for the through analysis. Although much of what you said is historically true, you are correct, most African Americans do not have a clue as to how complex the situation or how simple the solution is. I don’t agree that Washington is dumbed down as late. All signs point to how knowledgeable those cats are. A growing number of state and national leaders form both parties have investments that include parking money in place like Africa and the Caribbean. They know exactly what they are doing, how to plan for the culmination of their efforts, and how to keep the masses distracted using partisan politics and political theater. Serfs and waifs: the new American class system.

      Thank you for your readership. We sincerely appreciate it. ar