Friday, July 15, 2011

President Obama News Conference - Debt Ceiling

President Obama made an appearance in the White House Briefing Room this morning, to give the nation an update on the ongoing debt ceiling debate. As we're all very aware, the debt ceiling must be raised before August 2nd to ensure that the US doesn't default on its financial obligations. The President spoke in clear terms and gave us a better understanding of the issue at hand. In an attempt to give you an overview of the three plans on the table, I attempted to contact US Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and US House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, unfortunately their lines were busy. I was forced to contact my New York Senator Chuck Shumer's office, where I was given a clear explanation of the three plans. Here are the options before the US Congress and President:

Plan A - This plan was put forth by the President and would call for $4Tr in savings over 10 years. Included are revenue increases by reforming the tax code, raising the tax rate on the top 2%, a reduction in domestic spending to the lowest level since President Eisenhower and cuts to the big three - Medicare, Social Security & Defense.

Plan B - The GOP Plan calls for all spending cuts across the board amounting between $1.2 and $2Tr, over ten-years. Of course not a single tax increase or closure of tax loopholes are included in this plan.

Plan C - The McConnell plan would give the President the authority to raise the debt ceiling through January 2013, with 3 separate votes. The debt ceiling would be raised $2.4Tr, but must be matched with cuts matching the $2.4Tr or exceeding. This plan would include no tax increases whatsoever or closing of the tax loopholes and promises to take Medicare off the table. This plan would essentially allow for the clean bill to raise the debt ceiling followed by a separate bill to address the budgetary items.

In this mornings Press Conference, President Obama essentially rejected Plan C and called on the members of both sides to come forth with a serious plan. We are 17 days away from the August 2nd deadline. Looking at the three plans above, I immediately see the game of politics at work and would like to see a better plan and soon.

Are we really watching an honest debate about the debt ceiling or is this the game of politics giving us a show?
If Republicans really wants cuts, why haven't they embraced the President's plan?
Who should we blame for the current debt of $14.5Tr?
Of the three plans which plan looks to be the most effective to you?
Let's take an interesting twist, create your own Plan D.
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