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Leaders Spar As Monumental Debt Crisis Looms

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TWC News: Gridlock Keeps Hold On U.S. Debt Talks
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Mayor Michael Bloomberg criticized leaders in Washington Monday afternoon, anticipating President Barack Obama's evening speech on the debt crisis that met with an immediate response from House Speaker John Boehner. NY1’s Josh Robin filed the following report.

President Barack Obama made a pointed address to the nation Monday about the increasingly dire debt crisis.

"Do you know what people are fed up with most of all? They’re fed up with a town where ‘compromise’ has become a dirty word," said Obama.

It was to those people that the president aimed his address for nearly 15 minutes, warning that a confusing economic concept — the national debt — could wreak havoc on family checking accounts across the country.

"It is a dangerous game we’ve never played before, and we can’t afford to play it now,” he added. “Not when the jobs and livelihoods of so many families are at stake. We can’t allow the American people to become collateral damage to Washington’s political warfare.”

The president urged Americans to call their members of Congress.

There are two competing plans, and neither one follows Obama's hope for increased taxes.

The president backs fellow Democrats who will raise the ceiling by $2.4 trillion in exchange for $2.7 trillion in cuts.

Republicans want a two-step plan, one immediately, the other in 2012 — a presidential election year.

House Speaker John Boehner spoke for five minutes after the president, echoing Obama's calls for compromise, but not his vision of what the president called “shared sacrifice.”

"The president has often said we need a balanced approach, which in Washington means we spend more, and you pay more. Having run a small business, I know those tax increases will destroy jobs," said Boehner.

Still, the standoff shows no sign of ending. A global financial panic hangs in the balance.

Closer to home, Mayor Michael Bloomberg weighed in with disgust. He warned of potential economic consequences.

"While our budget deficit is bad enough, what's worse is Washington's leadership deficit that has put the nation on the brink of default," said Bloomberg earlier on Monday.

He had criticism for elements in both plans, but as to what specifically he would suggest the president do, the mayor wouldn't say. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP