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Obama: seniors could be hurt without debt deal--SSI and VETS could be affected

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Obama: seniors could be hurt without debt deal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama raised the stakes in the third straight day of budget talks on Tuesday by warning that senior citizens and veterans may suffer first if the debt ceiling is not raised by August 2.

The comments came as top Republicans toughened their stance in the deficit reduction talks. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said a "real solution" to the U.S. debt problem was unlikely while Obama was in office.

U.S. business leaders pressed Obama and congressional leaders to act swiftly to raise the $14.3 trillion U.S. debt ceiling -- which caps how much the United States can borrow -- or risk derailing a sputtering economic recovery and endangering the global financial system.

Obama and top lawmakers from both parties were due to meet at the White House at 3:45 p.m. ET.

The president said in an interview with U.S. television network CBS that checks to recipients of the Social Security retirement program may not go out in early August if he and congressional leaders do not agree on a debt deal.

"I cannot guarantee that those checks go out on August 3rd if we haven't resolved this issue," Obama said, according to excerpts of the interview released in advance of its broadcast.

"Because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it," Obama said. He said veterans checks and disability benefits could also be affected without a deal.

After months of talks, Republican and Democratic leaders are still at an impasse over a deficit reduction deal that would clear the way for Congress to raise the debt ceiling.

While they agree on the need to raise the debt limit before the United States defaults on August 2, both sides have engaged in a furious blame game over the failure to advance the deficit reduction package.

Republicans on Tuesday ratcheted up pressure on Obama and his fellow Democrats, who have accused Republicans of refusing to compromise.

"I have little question that as long as this president is in the Oval Office a real solution is probably unattainable," McConnell said.

But he said Republicans will "do the responsible thing" and make sure the government does not default on its obligations on August 2, when the Treasury Department has warned it will run out of money to pay the country's bills.

White House spokesman Jay Carney called McConnell's comments "unfortunate."


Failure to seal a deal by August 2 could spook investors, causing U.S. interest rates to surge and stock prices to plummet, and could put the United States at risk of another recession, Treasury officials and private economists have warned.

Republicans have balked at raising the debt limit without steep spending cuts, while Democrats also want to increase revenue by eliminating tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations in some sectors such as the oil and gas industry.

Republicans oppose any tax increases, which they argue would hurt the anemic economic recovery.

After briefing Republican members of the House of Representatives on the debt talks, House Speaker John Boehner said he was optimistic a deal could be reached. But he called the debt limit increase Obama's problem, a statement that drew immediate criticism from Democrats.

Despite the heated rhetoric, investors assume that Washington will ultimately avert a crisis. Yields fell to seven-month lows on the benchmark 10 year Treasury bond on Tuesday morning, fueled by debt worries in Europe.

But the impasse has investors' attention, and as the clock ticks toward August 2 with no deal in sight, it is contributing to a broadly negative sentiment on Wall Street.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who has warned of catastrophic consequences if Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling, held firm on Tuesday to vows that the United States would not default. "Failure is not an option," he said.

Business leaders showed their growing concern by sending Obama and congressional leaders a letter on Tuesday that warned of the consequences if lawmakers did not reach a deal.

(Additional reporting by Andy Sullivan, Thomas Ferraro, Donna Smith, David Morgan, David Lawder, Laura MacInnis and Matt Spetalnick; Writing by Deborah Charles; Editing by Ross Colvin and Vicki Allen)


Odd thing is...no-one brings up the trillions spent on bailing out international banks or how much money is given to foreign governments, why is it the American taxpayer paying for this?....
People need to stop looking at this as a Democrat/Republican thing and look at it from a progressive/conservative staand point......do you want more government or not?


My question also. Billions of dollars are going overseas to other countries but lets not do anything with that money, no, lets stop the social security checks to our elderly, of which I am one.


I agree..we are the first to be taxed and or sacrifice for these other countries that openly hate us, and suck us dry at the same time...if a candidate ran on a motto of keeping our $$$ here at home, they'd probably win by a landslide...


whatta ya expect outta a puppet?




Panhead wrote:Odd thing is...no-one brings up the trillions spent on bailing out international banks or how much money is given to foreign governments, why is it the American taxpayer paying for this?....
People need to stop looking at this as a Democrat/Republican thing and look at it from a progressive/conservative staand point......do you want more government or not?
i vote no! for more government! better yet i vote for an ole'Egyptian tradition that occured every 40years---a Jubilee...at that time debts were forgiven,slaves freed,and the economic system recalibrated,which is why civilization survived for thousand of years.


depending on what debt clock you use, the usa debt topped out in mid-may but everybody got paid for june & july. It is the best of western media/government to scare everybody to call their congressman/women to vote for the increase. The usa has not paid one dime on it debt in 51 years!!!!!!!!

Remember back to September 2008, they were talking a 750 billion bailout. People called their congress members and said vote no! Nobody wanted them to do it, so what government did next was hit everybody's 401K plans. 401Ks went to tanking, those same people called their congress member back and screamed to vote yes before they lost all their 401k!!!!!!!!!!! It got passed with approval from the american people.

Question: Will government pull the same trick? or will the government cause a false flag terrorist attack?


I dont doubt what they will do next, but all I can say is "as it is writen, so shall it be". Question is can you see the writing on the wall


I can see me going off the grid as much as possible when this transpires....becoming as self sufficient as possible for me and mine.


I'm lookin at Central America or a tax free Caribbean Island...especially if Obummer wins again...


if it comes in like some guru's are reporting....I'll buy a freaking island.....LMAO....12 bucks.....too funny!


I wonder if the gurus' day jobs are as meth dealers, sampling too much of their own product....


doubt these guys could make a living selling grass....much less meth....meth heads would hurt these guys

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