Barack Obama and Republican lawmakers remain at deadlocked over how to
increase the nation's debt ceiling to avoid a possible default on its
In dueling weekly radio addresses President Obama and Republicans staked
out their positions on how to increase the nation's $14.3 trillion debt
limit. Obama says reducing the nation's debt requires cuts in government
programs and tax increases on wealthy Americans.
"After a decade in which Washington ran up the countryís credit card,
weíve got to find more savings to get out of the red" he said. "That
means looking at every program and tax break in the budget - every
single one - to find places to cut waste and save money."
Obama says increasing government revenue through tax hikes would prevent
the need to cut what he called vital programs such as student loans,
medical research and government healthcare for elderly Americans.
In the weekly Republican Party address Indiana Senator Dan Coats
criticized President Obama's proposals and accused Democrats of
increasing the nation's debt by 35 percent over the last two years.
"The president and Democrats in Congress must recognize that their game
plan is not working," he said. "Itís time to acknowledge that more
government and higher taxes is not the answer to our problem. Itís time
for bold action and a new plan to address our current crisis."
Coats says Republicans are pushing for a vote on a balanced budget
amendment this month. In the meantime he and other Republicans are
calling on Obama to drastically reduce government spending and create a
package of tax cuts to help solve the debt crisis and improve the
As the debate heats and as the United States prepares to celebrate its
July 4 independence day Obama urged both political parties to draw on
the spirit the country to meet the current economic challenges.
"Democracy isnít always pretty," said the president. "We have arguments.
We disagree. But time and again weíve proven that we could come together
to solve problems. We remember that while we may not see eye-to-eye on
everything, we share a love for this country and a faith in its future.
Thatís the spirit we need to harness now."
President Obama says he hopes Democrat and Republican lawmakers can
reach a deal soon. The U.S. Treasury Department has said that unless the
debt ceiling is raised before August 2 the government would be unable to
pay its obligations, risking a default on its loans and causing serious
damage the the nation's fragile economy.