Yesterday, the President of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama, held a press conference on the state of the Debt Ceiling/Battle of the Budget meetings currently taking place between him and Congressional Leaders, which are presently making all the progress of a rock.
To say that the president is a master of prevarication is like saying that Albert Pujols is a fairly good baseball player.
Here is a partial transcript of the press conference, with the, err, exaggerations, highlighted:
All the congressional leaders have reiterated the desire to make sure that the United States does not default on our obligations, and that the full faith and credit of the United States is preserved. That is a good thing. I think we should not even be this close to a deadline on this issue; this should have been taken care of earlier.
After all, he’s taking August off for Ramadan.
…These are obligations that the United States has taken on in the past. (Boooosh!) Congress has run up the credit card, and we now have an obligation to pay our bills. If we do not, it could have a whole set of adverse consequences. We could end up with a situation, for example, where interest rates rise for everybody all throughout the country, effectively a tax increase on everybody, because suddenly whether you’re using your credit or you’re trying to get a loan for a car or a student loan, businesses that are trying to make payroll, all of them could end up being impacted as a consequence of a default.
Now, what is important is that even as we raise the debt ceiling, we also solve the problem of underlying debt and deficits. I’m glad that congressional leaders don’t want to default, but I think the American people expect more than that. They expect that we actually try to solve this problem, we get our fiscal house in order.
Heck…we expected you to do that 2 and 1/2 years ago…and we got a tanking economy and Obamacare, instead.
And so during the course of these discussions with congressional leaders, what I’ve tried to emphasize is we have a unique opportunity to do something big. We have a chance to stabilize America’s finances for a decade, for 15 years, or 20 years, if we’re wiling to seize the moment.
Our great-grandchildren are already going to be paying for your brilliant economic strategy, Scooter. Why don’t you quit while you’re ahead?
…It also requires cuts in defense spending, and I’ve said that in addition to the $400 billion that we’ve already cut from defense spending, we’re willing to look for hundreds of billions more.
But, how will you pay for all of the “How to Accept Homosexuals in the Military” Training?
It would require us taking on health care spending. And that includes looking at Medicare and finding ways that we can stabilize the system so that it is available not just for this generation but for future generations.
I have a better idea. Repeal Obamacare.
And it would require revenues. It would require, even as we’re asking the person who needs a student loan or the senior citizen or people — veterans who are trying to get by on a disability check — even as we’re trying to make sure that all those programs are affordable, we’re also saying to folks like myself that can afford it that we are able and willing to do a little bit more; that millionaires and billionaires can afford to do a little bit more; that we can close corporate loopholes so that oil companies aren’t getting unnecessary tax breaks or that corporate jet owners aren’t getting unnecessary tax breaks.
Again with the corporate jets. Were you frightened as a baby by a jet flying too close over your head?
If we take that approach, then I am confident that we can not only impress the financial markets, but more importantly, we can actually impress the American people that this town can actually get something done once in a while.
Not a chance in you-know-where.
Now, let me acknowledge what everybody understands: It is hard to do a big package. My Republican friends have said that they’re not willing to do revenues and they have repeated that on several occasions.
My hope, though, is that they’re listening not just to lobbyists or special interests here in Washington, but they’re also listening to the American people. Because it turns out poll after poll, many done by your organizations, show that it’s not just Democrats who think we need to take a balanced approach; it’s Republicans as well.
If they are not, just like you, they’re going to be out on their keisters, come January of 2013.
The clear majority of Republican voters think that any deficit reduction package should have a balanced approach and should include some revenues. That’s not just Democrats; that’s the majority of Republicans. You’ve got a whole slew of Republican officials from previous administrations. You’ve got a bipartisan commission that has said that we need revenues.
So this is not just a Democratic understanding; (you hope) this is an understanding that I think the American people hold that we should not be asking sacrifices from middle-class folks who are working hard every day, from the most vulnerable in our society — we should not be asking them to make sacrifices if we’re not asking the most fortunate in our society to make some sacrifices as well.
…The fallback position, the third option and I think the least attractive option, is one in which we raise the debt ceiling but we don’t make any progress on deficit and debt. Because if we take that approach, this issue is going to continue to plague us for months and years to come. And I think it’s important for the American people that everybody in this town set politics aside, that everybody in this town set our individual interests aside, and we try to do some tough stuff. And I’ve already taken some heat from my party for being willing to compromise. My expectation and hope is, is that everybody, in the coming days, is going to be willing to compromise.
…The bottom line is that this is not an issue of salesmanship to the American people; the American people are sold. The American people are sold. I just want to repeat this. The whole –
Chuck Todd, NBC News – You don’t think the whole debate would have been different? You had Republican support on it.
Obama: Chuck –
Chuck Todd: Tom Coburn, the Republican senator, signed onto it.
Obama: Chuck, you have 80 percent of the American people who support a balanced approach. Eighty percent of the American people support an approach that includes revenues and includes cuts. So the notion that somehow the American people aren’t sold is not the problem. The problem is members of Congress are dug in ideologically into various positions because they boxed themselves in with previous statements.
To quote Rep. Tom Wilson, YOU LIE!
Just 34% think a tax hike should be included in any legislation to raise the debt ceiling. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 55% disagree and say it should not.
…Fifty-eight percent (58%) of Democrats want a tax hike in the deal while 82% of Republicans do not. Among those not affiliated with either major political party, 35% favor a tax hike and 51% are opposed.
Americans who earn more than $75,000 a year are evenly divided as to whether a tax hike should be included in the debt ceiling deal. Those who earn less are opposed to including tax hikes.
Voters remain very concerned about the debt ceiling issue. Sixty-nine percent (69%) believe that it would be bad for the economy if a failure to raise the debt ceiling led to government defaults. Only 6% believe it would be good for theeconomy. Fourteen percent (14%) believe it would have no impact and 11% are notsure. These figures are little changed from a few weeks ago.
This is not Russia. You are not Lenin. We are not your Proletariat.
We are Americans!