President Obama to GOP: 'Don't call my bluff'


His message was directed at Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor who called for a short-term extension of the debt ceiling.

The president has vowed to veto anything less than a long-term solution to the debt crisis.

Obama said he's willing to compromise on spending cuts, but negotiations have bogged down over his call for tax increases that Republican lawmakers say they won't accept.

"If these debt negotiations have convinced us of anything, it's that we can't leave it to politicians in Washington to make the difficult decisions they need to get our fiscal house in order," said Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

With the threat of default looming, Moody's credit rating service on Wednesday warned that if the government fails to make substantial progress on raising the nation's credit limit, it will put America's top-notch credit rating on review for possible downgrade.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said failing to raise the ceiling before the government runs out of money on Aug. 2 would be "a huge financial calamity which in turn would affect everybody."

Financial advisors are warning Americans to protect their investments. Sixty million Americans have a 401k type plan worth 4.7 trillion dollars.

"Not a better time than now to make sure that you're not overexposed to any one particular area that might get hit," said Liz Ann Sonders, chief financial analyst at Charles Schwab.

Experts say not to make any sudden changes. But for those who feel compelled to take action, they are advised to move away from stocks and towards cash funds.

Analysts are keeping an eye on the 10-year treasury yield, which is the price of government debt.

"If that starts edging up and going sharply higher in the next couple weeks, that's signal that perhaps the confidence that this budget crisis can be averted isn't really that strong, and then you have to worry," said Jeff Kosnet, a senior editor at Kiplingers.

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