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Mayor Bloomberg Among Those Frustrated By Debt Ceiling Stalemate

NEW YORK (WCBS 880 / AP) - The standoff on Capitol Hill over deficit reduction and raising the debt ceiling shows no signs of breaking.

Republicans and Democrats have advanced rival plans just one week away from a potentially devastating debt crisis.

President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner are pointing fingers at one another, and both made national addresses Monday night.

WCBS 880's Rich Lamb With Mayor Bloomberg


Mayor Michael Bloomberg says should Washington not raise the debt ceiling, the rest of the world would never again be as confident in America.

"Just the fact that we're talking about the possibility of default is putting doubts in the minds of people around the world that will stay there for a very long time," Bloomberg said Monday.

"Prolonged brinksmanship is already hurting the economy," said Bloomberg. "American employers are not creating new jobs because they lack confidence that both parties and both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue understand what needs to be done and are instead enthralled with pseudo economics and ideology."

Bloomberg also said that our national leaders need to stop staring down the other side waiting for them to blink.

"No rational analysis says that we can begin to reduce the size of the federal deficit without a combination of cutting spending and raising revenue," added Bloomberg.

WCBS 880's Steve Knight With The FAA's Randy Babbitt


Meanwhile, the debt ceiling dispute has mostly shut down the Federal Aviation Administration.

"It's quite a setback," says FAA administrator Randy Babbit. "We've had to furlough 4,000 employees, Millions and millions of dollars worth of construction projects have had stop work orders issued."

Fortunately, Congressional failure to agree on a bill keeping the FAA operating doesn't affect airline safety.

"Our air traffic control operations are 100 percent manned," said Babbitt.

But, in addition to shutting down construction projects at LaGuardia and airports in 34 other states, the dispute means that the FAA can't collect taxes from airlines.

Babbitt says that's about $30 million a day.

Babbitt can't even guess when Congress might resolve the dispute.

WCBS 880's John Metaxas In Riverdale


Meanwhile, seniors are especially exasperated with the debt impasse since their Social Security checks could be delayed.

"It is our money. Every paycheck, every paycheck that I ever got in my life, they took out for Social Security. Now, when I even get my Social Security check, they take out for Medicare. So, we're not getting anything for nothing. We pay for it. It's our money," said resident Faye Fine.

Fine says she's upset and afraid politicians are going to destroy America.

WCBS 880's Rich Lamb With The NYS Comptroller


New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli is very concerned about the Washington stalemate over the debt ceiling.

"The impact that it could have on the markets, what that could do to our pension funds, the impact it could have on the ratings for municipalities for the state. If U.S. obligations are downgraded, that's gonna have an impact. We don't know how bad it's going to be, but we know it's going be bad on states and on localities across this country," said DiNapoli.

DiNapoli says that at a time when our recovery is so tenuous, this would set us back.

He added that he can't imagine the logic of playing chicken on this one.

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