President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner on Monday night offered competing views on the state of debt talks and proposals. While neither touched heavily on overhauling entitlement spending, especially Medicare, the president mentioned it several times. Medicare has been one of the most contentious roadblocks to striking a deal to raise the debt ceiling while also making spending cuts.
Here are a pair of word clouds that show what each man said and how often. The bigger the word, the more often it was said. Obama’s speech is in blue, Boehner’s is in red. We also have excerpts for when each mentioned Medicare or health care.
Obama on Medicare:
“ Interest rates could climb for everyone who borrows money [if the debt ceiling is not raised] – the homeowner with a mortgage, the student with a college loan, the corner store that wants to expand. And we won’t have enough money to make job-creating investments in things like education and infrastructure, or pay for vital programs like Medicare and Medicaid.
“ The first [Democrats’] approach says, let’s live within our means by making serious, historic cuts in government spending. Let’s cut domestic spending to the lowest level it’s been since Dwight Eisenhower was President. Let’s cut defense spending at the Pentagon by hundreds of billions of dollars. Let’s cut out waste and fraud in health care programs like Medicare – and at the same time, let’s make modest adjustments so that Medicare is still there for future generations.
“ Democrats and Republicans agree on the amount of deficit reduction we need. The debate is about how it should be done. Most Americans, regardless of political party, don’t understand how we can ask a senior citizen to pay more for her Medicare before we ask a corporate jet owner or the oil companies to give up tax breaks that other companies don’t get.
“ The House of Representatives will once again refuse to prevent default unless the rest of us accept their cuts-only approach. Again, they will refuse to ask the wealthiest Americans to give up their tax cuts or deductions. Again, they will demand harsh cuts to programs like Medicare. ”
Boehner on health care:
“President Obama came to Congress in January and requested business as usual – yet another routine increase in the national debt limit – we in the House said ‘not so fast.’ Here was the president, asking for the largest debt increase in American history, on the heels of the largest spending binge in American history.
“Here’s what we got for that spending binge: a massive health care bill that most Americans never asked for.”