What the debt negotiations aren’t

The negotiations on spending cuts and deficit increases (somewhat of an oxymoron) are basically being conducted in secret.  This alone conjures up visions of Obamacare, which, now that we can see what’s in it, is becoming more and more unpopular.  But, even though the “negotiations” are being held behind closed doors, we have learned what the President will not talk about.

Mr. Obama refuses to discuss:

  • any cuts to Obamacare,
  • the $128 billion in unspent “stimulus” funds,
  • any cuts for the $53 billion high speed rail boondoggle,
  • any cuts for “green jobs”,
  • any cuts to education, and,
  • any cuts to student loans.

Depending upon what day it is, changes to Social Security, Medicare and the tax code are either on or off the table.  However, when Medicare is “on the table”, the only discussion permitted is further reducing payments to health care providers.

Other than defense spending, which both parties have agreed to reduce, what is left to negotiate?

The House should simply pass what is acceptable and dump it on Senator Harry Reid’s and President Obama’s desks, and be done with it. 

Right now, the Republicans are being asked to bid against themselves, with no plan from the President, except what he won’t do. 

Good faith negotiations?  You be the judge.

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The Sound Off Sister was an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and special trial attorney for the Department of Justice, Criminal Division; a partner in the Florida law firm of Shutts & Bowen, and an adjunct professor at the University of Miami, School of Law. The Sound Off Sister offers frequent commentary concerning legislation making its way through Congress, including the health reform legislation passed in early 2010.


  1. Dimsdale on July 14, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    Kind of like old Henry Ford’s proclamation that “you can have any color you want, so long as it’s black” for car colors…

  2. johnboy111 on July 14, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    cut anything you want..as long as it’s not pet project..

  3. Political Entropy on July 14, 2011 at 8:34 pm


  4. crystal4 on July 15, 2011 at 7:59 am

    Ugh is right. The budget should never have been a part of this…the vote was to raise the debt ceiling or not!!
    Repubs using this to hold a gun to the heads of Americans.

  5. phil on July 15, 2011 at 8:28 am

    Fun to watch the clowns tilting at windmills.? Next best thing to slapstick comedy.

  6. crystal4 on July 15, 2011 at 9:18 am

    Wall St would not let these clowns renege on raising the debt ceiling. It’s all Kabuki theater.

  7. IamTheMapGuy on July 15, 2011 at 10:31 am

    Crystal, What planet do you live on?? Do you think the Budget and the Debt ceiling are mutually exclusive?? If the Democratic controlled congress (2007 – 2010) and the current president had a budget in place over the last two year, this would not be such a “shock” to people like you.? What part of overspending do you not understand?? Cut all entitlements back to 1994 levels.? none of this nonsense about peeling things back a year or two to already massively bloated levels…

  8. crystal4 on July 15, 2011 at 10:44 am

    I live on the planet that saw the USA under the Bush Administration (ya know the prez from the? party of “fiscal responsibility”)? that turned a surplus into the $10 trillion of debt, that deregulated the economy into the worst financial crisis since 1929, and who now want to threaten to not pay the debts they’ve already incurred in order to cut taxes more…

    Where are you from?

    • SoundOffSister on July 15, 2011 at 12:15 pm

      crystal, you are confusing 2 concepts…deficit and debt.? We did have a budget surplus (i.e. no annual budget deficit) during some of the Clinton years, but still had trillions in outstanding national debt.? During the years of budget surplus, we paid down some of our debt, but never came even close to eliminating it.
      Bush did not give us $10 trillion in debt, but he, too, ran annual budget deficits, which added to our national debt.? As an example, Bush increased our national debt by approximately $220 b in all of 2007.? Obama increased our national debt by $223 b in the month of February, 2011 alone.

  9. PatRiot on July 15, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    Truely – the root of the problem is that Washington (Repub and Dem) overspends OUR tax dollars.
    Cutting spending will:
    ?1.? Free up dollars to help pay the debt.
    2.? Really tone down the?”tax cuts vs raising taxes” issue.
    Raising the debt ceiling does not address the problem – it enables it.

  10. sammy22 on July 15, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    Nice spin SOS. However, neither Bush nor Obama have raised the debt: the Congress authorized a higher debt limit. In any event, debts have to be paid no matter how they were incurred or there are consequences.

  11. Jeff S on July 15, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    Poor Barry, I guess he’s not going to be able to vote “Present” this time.?

  12. TomL on July 15, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    In his own words:
    Five years ago, then-Sen. Obama (D-Ill.) voted against raising the debt ceiling and even spoke about it on the Senate floor before the Republican-controlled Senate voted 52-48 to increase it.

    ?The fact that we are here today to debate raising America?s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure,? Obama said on March 16, 2006. ?Leadership means that ?the buck stops here.? Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America?s debt limit.? ~Senator Obama

  13. sammy22 on July 15, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    How things change when “you are in charge”. Naturally we will expect that with a next change things will, somehow, be different! Go for it Reps!

  14. Lynn on July 18, 2011 at 7:34 am

    Sammy, You are correct to point out the past policies of both Republicans and Democrats. Bring home the bacon. How disgusting, that was how Congressmen/women were elected. The system stinks, we spend millions to get our representatives elected and none of them represent US.? The rumbling and dissension you hear is the people fighting back. In every other state but CT, representatives were elected to represent OUR wants and needs. I am pleased that so many are doing their job.? That is the real HOPE and CHANGE.? Let the rumble begin….

  15. TomL on July 18, 2011 at 5:54 pm

  16. Lynn on July 18, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    That’s what I’m talking about. I know trite but true!

Obama diiner at white house

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