07/22/2011 09:44 am ET | Updated Sep 21, 2011

Obama Op-ed On Debt Ceiling: 'Do Something Big And Meaningful'

Amid contentious negotiations taking place in the nation's capital to raise the debt ceiling, President Barack Obama is taking his case on the significance of tackling the fiscal issue to the American people.

In a USA Today op-ed published online on Thursday, the president insists talks to raise the deficit limit give him and Congress "the opportunity to do something big and meaningful" to reduce the government's long-term deficits.

Obama says he is willing to cut "historic amounts of spending" and says that should be coupled with more revenue from "fundamental tax reform.

The AP reported last weekend:

In his weekly radio and Internet address, Obama said the wealthiest must "pay their fair share." He invoked budget deals negotiated by GOP President Ronald Reagan and Democratic House Speaker Tip O'Neill – which included a payroll tax increase – and Democratic President Bill Clinton and Republican Speaker Newt Gingrich.

"You sent us to Washington to do the tough things, the right things," he said. "Not just for some of us, but for all of us."

The president communicates a similar message in his op-ed.

"This debate offers the chance to put our economy on stronger footing, restore a sense of fairness in our country, and secure a better future for our children," he says. "I want to seize that opportunity, and ask Americans of both parties and no party to join me in that effort."

According to the Treasury Department, the United States is set to begin the process of defaulting on its debts on August 2.

Click here for the latest developments to unfold in the debt ceiling debate.

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