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Street Smarts: Whose default is it? 

The debt-ceiling countdown to Aug. 2 looms closer and closer, yet much of Congress continues to sloganeer, whine and name-call. House Speaker John Boehner and President Obama have struggled even to sit in a room together. How low can we go?

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Karl Knapstein from Woodland Park is a lawn tech

Are Republicans or Democrats more to blame for the debt-ceiling impasse? Everybody's to blame. It's the Seven Deadly Sins: greed, gluttony, et cetera.

Has President Obama provided good leadership on this issue? Not at all. He's like the kind of kid that gets bullied, crammed into a locker on the first day of school.

If you could make a statement to Congress about how it's handling this issue, what would it be? Quit whining and do something other than deceiving and [using] scare tactics.

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Diane Ciccarelli from the west side is a retired teacher

Where does the blame most lie in the debt-ceiling debacle? Republicans won't compromise or work with Democrats. It's shameful how Boehner walked out on Obama. A couple Republican women I know are so irritated over how the Republicans are behaving that they're considering becoming Democrats.

What's the root cause of our debt crisis? It goes back to the extravagant amount of money we've spent on defense in the last nine years, and the bank bailouts.

How bad would it really be to default? It would reverberate throughout the world markets. My husband and I are seriously considering pulling all our money out of investments and putting them into money markets because we're afraid of what might happen. Europe is teetering, China owns [a quarter of] our debt, and Congress is playing games, like children.

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Joseph Brown from the old north end works for the Department of Veterans Affairs

What's the bottom-line reason for the debt-ceiling impasse? An attitude and manner of behaving that makes it impossible to work out a solution.

Which approach is better: adopting a hard line and refusing to budge, or forging a compromise no one's happy with? The workable-compromise approach has worked best in the past. The Republicans are playing don't-budge-an-inch hardball.

Has Obama provided good leadership in this crisis? He's been a good moderator, trying to forge a bridge the Republicans can cross, but now he needs to get tough and grow a spine.

What would you say to Congress if you could? The Tea Party assholes need to brush up on history and learn what compromise is.

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