Franken: Deadlock On Debt Holding Back The Economy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The inability of the U.S. House and Senate to reach agreement on the debt ceiling debate is creating an uncertainty which is holding back economic recovery according to Minnesota Senator Al Franken.

“This is a really critical moment in our nation’s history,” said Franken.

Democrats and Republicans remain deadlocked with a Tuesday deadline quickly approaching.

“We can’t allow our credit rating to be downgraded,” said Democrat Franken.

He said everyone would be affected if the federal government defaults on debts.

“That means interest rates go up on everything,” Franken said.

President Obama, in his Saturday address, called for an end to political gamesmanship and for lawmakers to find a compromise.

Arizona Senator Jon Kyl delivered the Republican response and said Democrats need to work more closely with Republicans.

NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Bruce Hagevik Reports

  • Ken

    On March 20, 2006 the National Debt stood at $8.3 TRILLION BUCKS.


    “The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies…

    Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. 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.”

    – Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL), March 20, 2006

    Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) and ALL Democrats voted AGAINST increasing the National Debt.

    • Mad MN Liberal

      Nice quote. During Obama’s reign he has raised the national debt $6,000 Billion? Wow! Move over Greece!

      I may be a Liberal but I sure wish we were solvent to pay for our projects.

  • Rico Suave

    Yeah, sure Al, the Obama economy was really booming before this. I actually want the U.S. to default, then get downgraded. Yes it will cause chaos in the markets and hurt people. But until someone finally says no to these clowns who are addicted to spending, they’ll never get the message. Raising the debt limit would be like raising someones credit limit who’s trying to charge their way out of financial trouble. Bankruptcy is inevitable if they don’t quit spending which is worse than the creditors saying no to more credit.
    Don’t forget, people fix their own credit all the time. And they don’t do it by up-ing their limit, then charging more on the card. We can survive the hit and regain our good standing later. Our creditors will even be more encouraged by our resolve to be responsible for a change.
    It will hurt for a while, but at least it will save us from utter financial ruin and collapse later.
    The problem isn’t that we can’t borrow enough, it’s that we’ve been spending too much.

    • jan

      II hope you’re first in line when you mention people getting hurt

      • Citizen

        @Rico. You really need to read a good book on economics because your ignorance is really pathetic. The debt ceiling is probably unconstitutional, as well.

  • Cindy

    Big Al the tax evader telling us what is hurting the ecomony. Obamas economy was spiraling out of control for a long time before this came along. The dems are already trying out excuses as the Bush argument isn’t working anymore.

  • Dean

    Where in the HE== were you January , 2009 when you took office? Why didn’t you do something then?

  • Dean

    Oh, by rhe way. You are a socialist A==!1

    • Tom Dearing

      @ Dean

      We are all socialist!

  • Jake

    Wow, really insightful thoughts there, AL. Do you have any doable, realistic solutions? NOPE. Same goes for Amy. Like we really needed you to tell US what is wrong and what is needed. I really hope that people remember moments
    like this come election time.

  • Advocate_Mom

    It has always really bothered me that the rhetoric is reduced to finger-pointing and political opponent bashing. The Bush years incurred some costs that were unprecedented in scope. The destruction of the World Trade Centers on 9/11…estimated to have cost the US economy close to $2 Trillion dollars. Hurricane Katrina and it’s devastation, including the cost to rebuild the nearly destroyed Keesler Air Force Base at Biloxi, MS (which for obvious reasons was not discussed on the nightly news). Two wars? Agree with them or not, Congress approved them then and continues to fund them now, and they still aren’t holding Obama’s feet to the fire over Libya. President Obama’s administration has had an insatiable appetite for growth of government and entitlement spending. Extend unemployment to 99 weeks, lets have another stimulous, bail out everybody with money we don’t have. Oh, and let’s have Universal Health Care for everybody! You have to pay the piper sooner or later. And we’re only paying the interest on the debt! Isn’t it ironic that the government has ordered the banks to reveal to credit card holders how long it will take to pay off the current balance if you only make minimum payments. Someone ought to do the same to our President and Congress! I will never understand how any representative of the people can vote to raise the debt ceiling without insisting that a greater amount of spending be immediately slashed, not just over 10 years. How about starting with the defunding of the 111 new agencies created under Barack Obama? President Obama said that only the “Professional Politicians” understand the debt crisis. Excuse me? What a bunch of malarky! To put it simply….If you owe $300 per month, but only have $180 a month to spend, so you borrow another $120 every month to make that $300 payment… you are borrowing from Peter to pay Paul EVERY MONTH! Now add 9 0’s to each of those numbers, (the $300 is now $300 Billion, $180 = $180 Billion and $120 = $120 Billion) and you basically are looking at the United States bill/payment structure. When the government has to borrow 1/3 of its monthly budget every month to pay the bills…we are broke! Paul Ryan’s budget; Cut, Cap & Balance, John Boehner Redux…..whatever! We need to stop this insanity now!!!!! Saying you’ll veto a bill before receiving it, tabling a bill without discussion…who’s impeding the process? President Obama and Harry Reid should both be impeached.

    • Mark from Minnesota Tax Waste

      @Advocate Mom
      Please take your meds, you have no clue as to what you are talking about

    • Mother knows best

      Advocate Mom, don’t forget Obamas failed “Help for Homeowners” programs and cash for clunkers.

    • Citizen

      @Advocate_Mom. I will say the same to you as I said to Rico. Read a book on economics and then reread your post. You will realize how ignorant and uninformed you really are. I have said this before, and I will say it again, you CANNOT compare the way the federal government’s finances work to personal or business finances–not the same at all.

      • Jake

        Oh YES YOU CAN. Income and EXPENSES, it’s as simple as THAT. If expenses exceed income, then gov’t programs get CUT or taxes get raised. The problem is that gov’t keeps trying to make things ‘fair’ for the stupid, the dopers, teen moms with no husband, and all of the refugees that we have in this country.

        • O-done-a

          The manifesto up top is proof positive you, and others like Jake, have no clue. Let me put this in very simple terms. You can’t just cut spending. You seem to subscribe to the “starve the beast” mentality—this will tank the economy. You also don’t seem to understand the articles of impeachment, so don’t write about it. You seem to think that things unforseen, such as 9/11 and Katrina, posture Bush, in some sense, of reprieve from the problems he caused. You also don’t seem to understand that the debt ceiling needs to be raised for past expenses—already incurred—not new spending. You just don’t understand.

          • Jake

            Yes, you CAN “just cut spending”. No, it won’t tank the economy, it will help save it by paying down our national debt, lower interest payments to debt holders, and eventually free up more dollars for your precious programs. It won’t be painless, but the alternative will be far more painful. I said nothing about impeachment.

            • O-done-a

              Budget cuts would make the very weak recovery stall. What the government spends becomes someone’s income, which they in turn can spend. Cutting government spending means cutting disposable incomes, and that means cutting economic growth. Once growth is stronger, the government can reduce spending. We are a consumer economy—or are you gonna fight that fact also? I’m done with ya Jake.

              • Reasonable

                Cutting taxes at almost all levels is great in theory but terrible in practice. Increasing taxes is terribly in theory but works just fine in practice. It’s odd yes, but look at history to see how it works.

                Also, for all these debt and defecit hawks, where were you when the reconfiguring of the tax brackets happened 8 years ago? Where was the outcry to use the surplus to pay off debt? Instead we went ahead with the tax reconfiguring (that was set to expire, not become permanent mind you) and it’s been a great success!

                And please, before one more person goes on about “Obamacare” please realize that the Affordable Health Care Act actually reduces costs in the long run. This is obfuscated by the “PROFIT NOW” crowd that don’t understand how investing now reduces costs in the future and pays itself back.

  • Tom

    @ Advocate Mom

    If you are saying that Obama and Reid should be impeached for this debt thing then should have Bush been impeached for lieing to us for going into Iraq? For outing a CIA agent? Conservatives seem to want to impeach the Dems for smallest things. The last time it over Clinton lieing about Monica and most of America really didn’t care about that. The only ones who had a bee in their bonnet were the conservatives. Then by your own standards Bush should have been impeached for what he did to economy.

    And by the GOP raised the debt ceiling about 7 times under Bush and about 17 times under Reagan!

    • Apples to Oranges


      Was the Debt to GDP ratio even close to 90% under Bush or Reagan?

      • Citizen

        The ratio was 120% under Eisenhower. Would you like to impeach him?

        • Jake

          It’s a little LATE for that, doncha think?

          • Citizen

            @Jake. You could volunteer to be a symbolic stand-in, demonstrating your loyalty to your warped values.

    • Geithner Sucks

      Perjury is not “the smallest of things”!!! This IS ALL Obama’s economy and he will NOT see a second term!!

  • Ted

    if you think of it… some in the House threatened not to raise the debt ceiling until their demands were met since January. Since January the economy has been stalled. The past few weeks things look down. It is a good guess that unemployment will rise significantly for July. It could do that for August as a result of what is going on today despite what happens Tuesday. I really beileve that this fight on this issue is hurting jobs and out economy and I would be very disapointed to have yet another six or so months keeping this going. The President is right, raise the limit for more than six months. I don’t feel he is saying that to get it past him getting elected because others who know such things are saying the same thing. I beleive Franken is right.

  • Lyle

    My hope is when you come up for reelection you will get beat out and we get someone not an actor but maybe someone with some brains. You as far as I am cernerned are not worthy of being Senator.

    • Geithner Sucks

      He was only a second rate comedien, not an actor. He’s basically done nothing but cost us money and show the world how stupid some Minnesotans can be?

  • Tom

    @ Lyle

    If you want someone with brains then why does Bachmann keep getting elected?

    • Jake

      Bachmann makes a helluva lot more sense to me than Frankenstein.

      • O-done-a

        “If we took away the minimum wage — if conceivably it was gone — we could potentially virtually wipe out unemployment completely because we would be able to offer jobs at whatever level.” Michele Bachmann

        Please tell me how she can possibly make any sense to you or anyone else for that matter. I have more….lots more.

        • Jake

          It’s called SUPPLY and DEMAND. Take an Econ 101 course for a change, and pay attention during class. Artificial ‘supports’, don’t solve the problem, they promote the problem, by ignoring economic realities. If you want wages to go up, then you need to promote and support healthy, TWO PARENT families, discourage drug and alcohol abuse, and let companies and people go to work, instead of passing ignorant legislation that allows our infrastructure to crumble,
          valuable resources to be allowed to be UNTAPPED, and allowing tons of tax dollars to be doled out to unproductive people who waste it on a daily basis. Please tell me, are you more likely to be more careful with the dollars that you receive that you didn’t EARN, or less?

          • Citizen

            @Jake. I will just address the minimum wage part of your delusional comment. So, if wages hit $1 an hour (pretty comparable to the wages where our corporations have sent the work U.S. workers used to do–see Saipan), would you find that acceptable? Would you believe that will benefit the U.S. economy and the security of our nation? Please try to keep your answer short and to the point.

            • Jake

              People wouldn’t be working for $1 an hour if school standards hadn’t dropped to the lowest common denominator, and many, if not most of today’s high school grads had a real education. Instead, today’s grads need a 4-year ‘degree’ just to become as smart has high school grads were 30 or 40 years ago.

          • O-done-a

            I’m getting a slight morning kick out of your outrageous comments, Jake. Let me throw another firecracker in your shorts. Our country does not currently have a budget and hasn’t had a budget for over 2 years. This is the truth. Obama is operating with no asset and debit columns (elementary proof that I need not revisit ECON 101, as you suggested) and our Congress hasn’t submitted a plan. 2 years of spending with no budget. How do you “feel” about that?

            • Jake

              Who was in charge of Congress and the White House up until last fall’s elections?
              DemocRATS. That’s WHO you point the finger at. They own it, and we all know it. Yes, go back and take ECON 101, and pay attention. Learn how high taxes and high oil prices harm an economy like ours.

              • O-done-a

                Ahhh. I love it. High taxes? LOL. Do you even know how oil prices are set? Can I suck some of your hot air, cuz man, I want to be you for just a moment in time–it would be an all out meth lab in my head. Must feel good.

              • Citizen

                @Jake. And who signed every bill that Democratic Congress sent to him? Bush II. Ignoramus that he was.

                • Citizen

                  Because, Jake, if you actually read my posts with an “open” mind, you would know that I am no fan of Obama or the Democrats, per se. I just thoroughly hate the Rethuglicans–thoroughly and completely.

                • Jake

                  Then why do you hate him so much, if he signed every bill that a Democratic Congress sent him? It would seem to me that he should be your hero, not your enemy. Your illogic is astounding.

  • Mad MN Liberal

    Other than being a tax evader like Geitner, what notable thing has this Joker done for this country?

    Show some leadership and balance our budget!

  • Malthus

    The thing holding the economy back is that the federal government is sucking all the money out of the system.

    And when ObamaCare kicks it, it will get worse.

    • Ted

      Well, it is not ObamaCare. Projections from established economist and goverment folks who look at the numbers say otherwise Malthus. I wonder how many people say it is a tax burden because they heard it is rather than look for themselves to see it is not… and accept those who say it is not. Bachmann says it is a tax burden despite what the numbers say. She also says against the grain against the majority of those who should know and know that it will not hurt us. I just wonder why we need to ignore those who shoudl know these things.

      • O-done-a

        It’s a big ol’ duh Ted! You seem to be missing all the points on what Obamacare represents, what it will cost, who pays for it, how it all works. Keep drinkin’ the kool-aid.

  • Famous Last Words

    “America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.”
    – Sen. Barack Obama
    America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.”
    – Sen. Barack Obama
    America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.”
    – Sen. Barack Obama
    America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.”
    – Sen. Barack Obama

    • Ted

      What he did not do was hold the country hostage so that he would get his way to fix that problem his way or else like we have going on today.

  • kr

    Standard & Poors came right out and said we’d be downgraded regardless unless some significant spending reductions were made.

    Simply raising the debt ceiling is not going to help.

    • Jake

      And neither is raising taxes ONLY on the rich. Entitlement programs need to be cut, at least 20-30%, useless gov’t departments that most of us will NEVER use need to be cut at least 30-40%, and overlapping gov’t depts. need to be abolished. Go into a large casino, and just take a look around at what most people in their look like. You don’t see a lot of millionaires in there — maybe their KIDS, but not them. You will also see a lot of people there who have NO business in there. People on welfare or some other gov’t assistance, I guarantee you. A lot of people on Social Security who will cry BLOODY MURDER if there monthly check gets cut, yet they are as fat and unhealthy as anybody you would see on the street, except those at old country buffet.

      • Citizen

        @Jake. Your kind of thinking will take the United States right back to the 19th century. Go get some Prozac and go back to listening to Faux News.

        • Mother knows best

          Here comes Citizen with the same old lines. Prozac,Faux News, Rush, Beck, Koch Bros, Grover Norquist. You forgot to add “come out of your mothers basement” Oh and I forgot Repubs, Bush, Tea Party.

          • Citizen

            And here comes Southern MN Mom in a new disguise trying to fool the posters who can’t stand her/him/it.

            • Mother knows best

              No, not me. Your big ego must have a better come back.

              • O-done-a

                oh boy, am I gonna have to start a tally on wasted space again MN Momma?

        • Jake

          Ah, NO it won’t. 1960’s or 70’s, but not the 1800s. It means that some people will have to relearn how to take care of themselves, instead of big government. It’s called freedom, instead of being shackled by our government’s gargantuan debt load.

          • Citizen

            @Jake. Not so very gargantuan, not at all when you consider the asset versus debt ratio. America is still the richest nation in the world in terms of land, infrastructure, educated population, minerals, and our GDP. The GDP of California alone is worth more than most European countries. No, America is rich, and the debt is being played on for political manipulation–a trap you have fallen handily into. I repeat, in Eisenhower’s administration after WWII, the ratio was 120% of debt to GDP. We aren’t close right now. But, Eisenhower raised taxes to 94% on the wealthy and over 35% on corporations to pay WWII’s debt–something our weak-willed, bought-and-paid-for politicians can’t seem to do. We now have to pay for TWO WARS that have gone on twice as long as WWII.

  • Citizen

    From the Dismal Political Economist’s Sunday blog:

    “The combined growth for the first six months of the year was the weakest since the recession ended two years ago. The government revised the January-March figures to show just 0.4% growth — down sharply from its previous estimate of 1.9%.

    The weakness in the economy is broadly based. Consumer spending is weak, investment spending is weak, government spending is weak and personal income is not rising….

    The government also revised data going back to 2003. The data show the recession was even worse than previously thought. The economy shrank 5.1% during the recession, which lasted from December 2007 through June 2009, compared to the earlier estimate of 4.1%. Both figures represent the worst downturn since World War II.”

    Remember, GOP & tea party, this started under Bush II.

    • Mother knows best

      Another lefty blog post from citizen.

      • O-done-a

        Please tell us what facts in that post you actually wish to disprove. Please leave a post that contradicts it with other facts, that you have found and not just dreamed up by your permanent residence in lalaland. Please respond with substance and not just attacks on the poster! See, I just made a point/request. So, it’s not a waste of space.

  • StraycatStrut

    If Franken takes his normal “nap” in the afternoon during session….. the debt debate will get passed and accepted.

  • Citizen

    This post is just for “Mom.”
    Letter to the Peasants of America from the Top 2%,

    You asked, Where did all the money and jobs go?

    We took the money. We can never have enough. We shipped the jobs overseas. We started international corporations where we seek out the cheapest labor and the least stringent regulations. We invested in scams which produced nothing but debt for you.

    We crashed the economy. Now Americans are just as desperate to have a low paying job as anywhere else in the world. We arranged the largest theft in history and stuck you with the bill.

    We set up offshore businesses and accounts. We deposited our money in Swiss and Cayman Island banks. We bought enough politicians and judges to write the laws. We implemented free trade, free markets, low taxes for us, and no taxes for our corporations.

    We used the military (you pay for) to take over any competition that can’t be stolen or bought. We will destroy anyone in our way.

    We bought TV networks, radio stations, newspapers, and Internet providers. We propagandized our point of view to convince enough of you to vote against your own interest.

    We will go after civil rights, education, environmental laws, unions, Healthcare, Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare …any group or law that stands in the way of us controlling the economy and government. This allows us to profit as much as possible. That’s our goal. That is all that matters.

    Forever looking down on you,
    The Top 2%

    • Mother knows best

      Drama Queen.

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