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July 25th, 2011
05:00 PM ET

Politically, who stands to win or lose most in debt ceiling Russian roulette?

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Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's signature, as seen on a new $20 bill. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

With all the ugliness surrounding the debt ceiling debate and no end to it in sight, it's hard to see how anyone can come out of this mess on top. But politics are politics. And while it's a high-stakes game, and no one knows the outcome, there will be a huge price to pay for someone.

President Obama's re-election hangs in the balance of course, and he's all too aware of it. He wants a deal desperately, but his plans have fallen flat and he's been unable to accomplish any great compromise between the two parties.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has blamed President Obama's fixation on the 2012 election for holding up a deal. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said in an interview yesterday that the president's objective was to take the threat of default off the table through the election. That's pretty telling.

But it's not just the president who is worried about his future. Incumbent seats in both houses of Congress are in jeopardy; and as a result, so are the Democratic control of Senate and the Republican control of the House. There's a lot at stake today; and a lot at stake down the road. And the average American citizen doesn't even have a seat at the table in this debate.

Washington Post columnist Ezra Klein says so far the Republicans are winning because the debt ceiling can't be raised without their support but, he points out, that according to polls, they don't have popular support behind their position. Members of the Tea Party aren't budging on their promises of deep spending cuts and no new taxes. And that's preventing Republican leaders from compromising on a deal.

Democrats in the meantime are playing defense, hoping to strike a deal that avoids an economic disaster and doesn't rock the political boat too much. But with the clock ticking and the world watching, that's not likely to happen.

Here’s my question to you: Politically, who stands to win or lose most in debt ceiling Russian roulette?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 5pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.


Filed under: Government • United States
July 25th, 2011
04:56 PM ET

Are America's best days behind it?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

While lawmakers continue to play games with the debt ceiling deadline, millions of people's lives are being affected. The clock is ticking …

Republican congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul thinks time may have already run out. On the floor of the House last week, Paul said, "When a country is indebted to the degree that we're indebted, the country always defaults. We will default because the debt is unsustainable."

Meanwhile, we’ve got no deal as our politicians continue to appear they have lost sight of what they were elected to do in the first place. They argue. They grandstand. They posture. All with an eye on whether they will be re-elected. But nothing is decided. What they're really good at is what matters to them.

On Sunday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi left the debt ceiling negotiations in Washington to attend a fundraiser in Connecticut for a friend and fellow congresswoman who is up for re-election next fall. When asked about her decision to choose a fundraiser over the debt ceiling, Pelosi said, "Sunday morning is sort of a time out."

Really?

There is a general sense of pessimism in this country right now, and it's not just our nation's debt. We are in deep trouble. The economy is gasping for air, millions are out of work and the future of a once proud and thriving middle class is sinking into quicksand. While Washington may be out of touch, we are well aware how bad things are.

According to a new CNN/ORC poll, 84% of Americans say the economy is in poor shape and 59% believe the economy will still be in poor shape one year from now. This is the 14th year CNN has asked this question; this is the first time a majority has been pessimistic about the country's economic future.

Here’s my question to you: Are America's best days behind it?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 6pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.


Filed under: United States