Following are links to two speeches given tonight on the debt ceiling crisis. The first was given by President Obama. It was followed by a response from Speaker Boehner. The third link is to a Politico story on both speeches. It links to the text of both speeches (the one’s I’ve linked to) and it has video of both speeches embedded.
The speeches could not have painted a greater contrast between these two men. Obama took the time to lay out the reasons we have a deficit, admitted to both parties sharing responsibility for the decisions that have led us here, set out the bipartisan precedents for both his balanced approach for debt reduction and the history of raising the debt limit to pay the bills already authorized by Congress. He called us to unity and he expressed hope for a long term solution in the coming days.
Boehner sounded angry (not that Obama’s speech was free from an undercurrent of anger). He placed all the blame on Obama, tried to pass off as fact the notion that there was no demand for healthcare reform and the idea that the stimulus (the largest segment of which was made up of various tax cuts) did not work. He spoke in the past tense and touted as a done deal House passage of the Cut, Cap and Balance Plan that Obama finds unacceptable. He claims that it is Obama who has created the crisis even though it is Republicans who have insisted, for the first time ever, on linking the debt ceiling increase to deficit reduction.
The fact is that one of the men is lying. Is it the one who is speaking of shared responsibility and infuriating his own political base by his efforts at compromise? Or is it the one who is casting all the blame at Obama, ignoring the causative roll of the Bush tax cuts, the unbudgeted wars and the prescription drug giveaway, not to mention George W. Bush’s parting shot at the American economy, TARP.
There’s one more thing I would like you to consider. Obama called on us to call our representatives and voice our views. Boehner said no such thing. Obama wants our voices heard. Boehner does not. Boehner believes that the results of the November election should be our last word on the direction of the country until the time comes to vote again. He doesn’t want Americans engaged in the process. He doesn’t want you to contact your representatives because he knows what he will hear.
Oh, and be patient. For some strange reason, they’ve been having internet issues on Capitol Hill tonight.