Obama:  It is hard to do a big package.  Republicans have said it is hard to increase revenues, but poll after poll shows that both Democrats and Republicans say that any package should include revenues.  Catfood commission has also said that it should include revenues.  We should not be asking the most vulnerable in our society to make sacrifices if we’re not willing to make those who are well-off make sacrifices.

Obama says the worst possible option is to increase the debt ceiling without cuts (as McConnell has offered).  Doesn’t want a temporary deal because he thinks we need address it all at once.

Jake Tapper, ABC:  Would you be willing to raise the retirement age or means test Social Security?

Obama:  We’ve said we are willing to consider everything.  We’ve said we should make sure current beneficiaries are not impacted (not true, according to reports that the White House has included chained CPI COLA  in their plans.) Making modest modifications in Social Security and Medicare can save trillions and trillions of dollars, including on the provider side.  Says there is more work to be done with drug companies, who are doing “very well.”  Turning 50 next week, when he will get his AARP card (nice plug for AARP). Refuses to get into specifics when pressed by Tapper.

Q: The GOP say that they will be voting on a $2.4 trillion cut package.

Obama:  They’ll be voting on a lot of things for political purposes.  Uses family budget analogy again.

Supports much of Bowles-Simpson, but says that he differs with that plan because as Commander and Chief, he can’t support the savings they got from cutting defense spending.

Does not want a fix that takes two years to play out a la McConnell, wants to do everything now.

Obama:  I think people will remember in 2012 who took rigid opinions, and who was flexible and tried to compromise.  Anyone who wants to keep working in this town should think about that.

Q: Do you think the Republicans are more aligned with the will of the American people at the end of the week than they were on Monday?

Obama:  You should probably ask them.  Boehner had some problems with his caucus.  But we’re running out of time.

More debt ceiling tick-tock:

9:55 am Calculated Risk – Consumer sentiment drops sharply in July, despite low gas prices.  Many on the Hill were worried that telling senior citizens they might not get their Social Security checks was not the best idea in this environment for fear of making things worse.

10:18 am Bloomberg – U.S. stocks erased gains after a measure of consumer confidence was below economist forecasts and House Speaker John Boehner said Republicans won’t accept tax increases in a deficit-reduction deal.

10:31 am Time – The US is not drowning in debt. What neither side seems to recognize  is that what matters about the debt isn’t the dollar amount per se, but how much it costs us to service it. And by that measure, the debt isn’t nearly as big a problem as it’s being made out to be.

10:44 am WSJ – The Bond Rating Vigilantes are trying to jawbone politicians into striking a deal to raise the Federal debt-ceiling limit before Aug. 2, the date the U.S. could default without a deal. Thus far, however, they’re not having much luck.

10:45 The Hill – Club for Growth says no to McConnell deal


Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
Subscribe in a reader