Americans Finally Realize GOP Handling Debt Debate Poorly

A new CBS poll shows 71 percent of Americans don't like GOP's handling of the debt crisis.

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And the loser is... the GOP!

Or so says the latest CBS poll showing 71 percent of Americans don't like the GOP's handling of the debt crisis. And why would they? Americans have shown in polls, time and time again, that they want both sides, Democrat and Republican, to work together to get business done in Washington. To get the business of raising the debt ceiling done, that takes compromise; a word I fear Republicans don't like or perhaps aren't that familiar with. A great man once told me the best negotiations are when both parties leave the room winning and losing. The president has shown his ability to compromise; he put cuts to Medicare and Social Security on the table. Heck, he's even willing to talk about cuts rather than just raising the debt ceiling on his own!

[See political cartoons on the budget and deficit.]

To read the polls is not only confusing, but it shows how confused we the people are. Some polls show Americans want to cut spending, but they don't want to raise taxes. Other polls show a majority of Americans want the Bush tax credits to end for the wealthy. And after Rep. Paul Ryan put forth his machete to Medicare, he was booed at town hall meetings, and a Democrat won a congressional seat in a district which had been a Republican stronghold for decades.

This current proposal by Republicans is not a GOP plan, it's a Tea Party debt plan, appealing to the overwhelming minority of their base, obviously pandering to the "Teapublicans" for their cash for the upcoming election. [Check out political cartoons on the Tea Party.]

It sickens me when I hear the GOP talk about leaving something for our children and future generations when their proposals cut more education and Medicare and Social Security, making those programs a memory for our children. And without them, our children will be financially strapped, taking care of sick and elderly parents and grandparents.

These poll numbers show the GOP cannot even convince their own party of what they're doing, which is obviously playing politics and puffing their chests out like chicken hawks, trying desperately not to blink first in this game. And for all their talk about the Democrats' scare tactics, the poll shows the majority feel the president raises valid concerns if the debt ceiling is not lifted. [See a slide show of 6 consequences if the debt ceiling isn't raised.]

My favorite president, and a man who I think is the most intelligent of all of them (maybe not in choices he made in his personal life), is Bill Clinton. President Clinton says he would raise the debt ceiling using powers granted under the 14th Amendment—“validity of the public debt shall not be questioned...”

Maybe it's time President Obama took a page from the Clinton handbook and took his advice. After all, he was a constitutional lawyer. If President Obama stops the economy from going into a double dip recession by raising the debt ceiling, he'll not only be re-elected, he'll show America that the GOP are the losers, and prevent the American people from being so—which is what would happen if he signed that GOP plan into law.

  • See political cartoons on the budget and deficit.
  • Vote now: Will there be a debt ceiling deal?
  • Slide Show: 6 Ways to Raise the Debt Ceiling