“George Washington grappled with the problem” of taxes, Obama said. “He (George Washington) said, 'Towards the payment of debts, there must be revenue, and to have revenue, there must be taxes. And no taxes can be devised which are not more or less inconvenient and unpleasant.'
“But he understood that dealing with the debt is -- his choice of words -- 'always a choice of difficulties.' He also knew that public servants weren't elected to do what is easy; they weren't elected to do what was politically advantageous. It's our responsibility to put country before party. It's our responsibility to do what's right for the future. And that's what this debate is about."