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November 20th, 2009
06:10 PM ET

Faith in govt. to do something about soaring debt?

How much faith do you have the government will do anything meaningful about the soaring national debt?

How much faith do you have the government will do anything meaningful about the soaring national debt?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty

The national debt has hit a record high of $12 trillion - which translates to about $40,000 for every person in this country.

And what's particularly troubling is the rate at which it continues to grow... increasing by almost 5 trillion dollars during the 8 years of Pres. Bush... followed by another $1.6 trillion increase so far under President Obama.

It's no surprise when you consider all the spending - wars, bailouts, stimulus package, etc. - under the current administration. Also - the recession and record unemployment mean there are fewer tax dollars coming in to offset spending.

But the debt is also costing us big bucks to maintain: the interest alone on the u-s debt in the next decade is expected to be near $5 trillion. And if interest rates go up, and they will at some point, the price will be even higher.

In 2015, the estimated interest due will be equal to one-third of all federal incomes taxes expected to be paid that year.

Pres. Obama has pledged to take "serious steps" to reduce America's debt. Really? When? Maybe after we spend close to another trillion dollars we don't have for health care reform.

And - with a mid-term election coming up next year, good luck getting the politicians to make tough decisions on tax hikes or spending cuts. The only thing they're willing to cut is the taxpayer's throat.

Here's my question to you: How much faith do you have the government will do anything meaningful about the soaring national debt?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Greg in Minneapolis
The only way to deal with this problem is to cut spending, which to Congress is like garlic to a vampire. Congress needs spending to survive re-election; and since it is not their money, they go merrily along their drunk-with-power way.


Frank in St. Petersburg, Florida

Outrage over the increase in the debt may make a good topic for a cable show, but it's bad economics. We need to stimulate our economy with more spending to get us out of the worst recession since the Great Depression. Let's learn from history by not yielding to the deficit hawks as FDR did in 1938, which caused a backslide to economic recovery. Only after the economy is fully back and growing can we cut the deficit and reduce the debt, but not a moment before.

Mario in Florida
I have a great idea. Return all our troops we have in 82 countries around the world and we will not only lower the debt, but will show a huge balance. I doubt if you will show this email, Jack.

Mary in Texas
Why doesn't someone stand up and tell us why all the problems exist? Joblessness, huge deficits, etc. The corporations sent our jobs out of the country and got big tax breaks to boot. They moved their headquarters offshore and saved more on taxes. Why do I never hear this fact on the media?

Rich

No faith at all. They will hide it, bury it, ignore it, legislate it and pass it on to the next politician who gets elected to the office. In the meantime they are feathering their own nests and, in one case, stocking their freezer.


Filed under: National debt
soundoff (159 Responses)
  1. Paul, Austin, Texas

    No faith at all. The only thing you can count on the government doing about debt no matter who is in charge is that they will continue to get large loans from China. With that thought China will never have to attack us because they have already bought us.

    November 20, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  2. Jayne

    We can't address the debt until we get the economy humming again. Questions about debt should have been asked when Bush was giving tax cuts to the wealthy and engaging in wars of choice. And, of course, there was also the Medicare Part D, big pharma giveaway the Republicans rubber stamped.

    November 20, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  3. Hugo Kijne

    No faith, in twenty years we'll all be eating Chinese.

    November 20, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  4. Sandra in Temecula, CA

    No – Considering the spending isn't even slowing to a trickle yet. There aren't enough rich people left in America to cover the interest on the debt to China.

    November 20, 2009 at 2:17 pm |
  5. Don (Ottawa)

    Not much Jack. As long as the administration avoids biting the bullet the debt will remain as is. People want their cake and eat it too. The debt belongs to all of us and unless people are willing to increase taxes, reducing the national debt will remain a far off dream.

    November 20, 2009 at 2:18 pm |
  6. bob frompa

    if they don't how many years do we have before we don't have a country

    November 20, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  7. Dave in Cincinnati

    Zero, zip, none, not a chance, are you kidding?

    November 20, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  8. Scott

    Now that's a funny question. Since the Governments actions have been nothing other than spending us into oblivion in the middle of a recession and they are still out there spending, printing and borrowing more money. NO, there is nothing that would lead me to believe they are even concerned with the mounting debt they are creating.

    November 20, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
  9. Kim Smith, Dodge City, Kansas

    Not much faith at all, because it doesn't affect their salaries.

    November 20, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  10. Tony from Southport

    The government will do something about the national debt....they will assist in the soaring of the debt. Spend spend spend. Tax tax tax. Spend spend spend. Tax tax tax. Spend spend spend. Tax tax tax. Spend spend spend. Tax tax tax. Spend spend spend. Tax tax tax. Spend spend spend. Tax tax tax. Spend spend spend. Tax tax tax. Spend spend spend. Tax tax tax...... until 2010.

    November 20, 2009 at 2:31 pm |
  11. southerncousin

    As long as we have the Democrats in charge of the economy, nothing will get fixed. How much did tax money did we spend on the "Great Society" programs and what were the results? Liberals do not operate in the real world and no nothing about the economy, and this is the worst bunch we have ever had in charge of it.

    November 20, 2009 at 2:45 pm |
  12. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Who else can do it? Not banks, private sector or lobbyists! Democrats has done it before and can do it again except this time around with better economic relationship with China being the major banker looking at its own investments; we should have high expectations from both partners to improve each other's wealth because afterall we depend on each other!

    November 20, 2009 at 2:46 pm |
  13. Terry from North Carolina

    Jack
    Not much faith in government to accomplish much of anything anymore. This nation is in a survival mode, and just hanging on till someone comes along with the knowledge and power to straighten it out. President Obama and his majority in Congress aint getting it done.

    November 20, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  14. Jackie in Dallas

    Did you just use the words "faith" in the same sentence with "government?"

    November 20, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  15. John from Alabama

    Jack: Faith and government in the same sentence is a hard concept to understand, but here I go. The government needs to make banks lower the Average Percentage Rate (APR) to zero for 12 months for all credit card accounts since we the taxpayers bailed them out. Its John Doe's turn to get a break and only the government can do it. How about it. Don't hold your breath, Jack its not going to happen.

    November 20, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  16. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    The current administration is acting like a shopaholic with 10 shiny new gold cards. They are going to spend us into dire straights. They actually claim that a way to rescue the country from out of control borrowing and spending was for the government to borrow and spend for them. Now that the stimulus has fallen flat and created nothing meaningful, rather than saying maybe we should step back and evaluate different alternatives, they are already setting us up for another stimulus. They are absolutely out of control. Without a significant policy shift, which the Democrats are incapable of, we are going to end up eing owned by China. What happens when they stop buying our debt?

    November 20, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  17. Rob of Brooklyn

    first of all we need to get out of those two very expensive wars, enough of wasting our money.Enough with bad plans like NAFTA. we need to bring jobs back to the U.S. When we give contractors work–its a set price that's it-if there are overruns and problems. well that's the contractors issue. Projects that go way over budget need to be stooped
    We really need senators & congressman that aren't on the take and are willing to work for the people . not their own greed.
    And maybe we need to be spending money in the U.S. for a change. enough with sending money to countries that hate us. Its our money and it should be up to the taxpayers-and not the President if we want our money going out of the country.

    November 20, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  18. Nancy, Grand Ledge,MI

    With so many unemployed, the tax base is reduced at the same time that demand for services is going up! Here on mainstreet, we knew years ago that the steady loss of manufacturing jobs was a big problem. Everything from textiles in the south, autos in the midwest, toys, electronics, etc. etc., has been shipped overseas. We don't make anything here anymore. The debt will only increase until the powers that be realize that we can't survive without a manufacturing base!! So far, the powers that be are only worried about Wall Street and getting re-elected!! I don't have much faith in them!

    November 20, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  19. Jimmy

    There;s an old saying here in the mountains–if a man shows up saying I'm from the government and I'm here to help you–RUN THE OTHER WAY. about as much chance as snow here in August.

    November 20, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  20. Cindy (from PA)

    Hahaha Jack, you are funny! Has the government ever done anything useful and helpful unless it benefits them?

    November 20, 2009 at 2:59 pm |
  21. Charles, Lansing, MI

    Nothing will be done until our creditors start calling in loans.

    November 20, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
  22. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    This administration is a perfect storm of fiscal responsibility. We would all be better off if Bernie Madoff was managing our money. Anyone with "Faith in the Government" at this point either lacks any common sense, has never taken Economics, or is a lemming blindly following their savior over the edge of the cliff. We drowning in debt and what is the government doing? They are trying to pass a huge helathcare bill filled with job stifling taxes and penalties, pass a cap and trade bill to squash what's left of an economic base, paying companies who manage their business poorly, and spending stimulus money on projects that add little long-term benefit. Kicking the can, Jack

    November 20, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
  23. Joanne B

    Not much confidence, however Congress and ADM is going to be forced to stop spending at some point in time here, and not yrs down the road. What is sad is that they will be forced at a time there will be almost a meltdown of America. The Americans know this, but the idiots in Washington do not.
    I am praying someone comes along that has some common sense.
    Pushing a healthcare bill that they claim is 848 Billion Dollars, when in fact this bill collects money for five years before the 10 yr estimate goes int effect. This is criminal and much like Bernie Madoff scheme.
    Joanne B
    MN

    November 20, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  24. Ed from California

    I have more "faith" in the world ending in 2012, than anyone in government do anything meaningful. Meaningful meaning for the masses.

    November 20, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  25. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    Once Obama extricates us from Bush's wars and ends the insurance and drug company extortion, we'll be away laughing. A trillion here, a trillion there, pretty soon you're talking about real money, to paraphrase Senator Dirksen. America's best days are ahead of us, so believe and your faith will save you.

    November 20, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  26. Moe Thompson Texas

    I have as much faith as all talk show hosts earning over 3 million a year to give 20% of their income to the national debt..

    November 20, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  27. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    I have very little faith. Obama’s answer to everything is to make a speech and print money to save the rear ends of dishonest, unethical, and morally incompetent financial executives, as if there were no consequences to that reckless solution. He has done little or nothing to solve the real problem which would be to get the middle class up off the ground so they can start to drive the economy again. He fails to understand that trickle down did not work for Reagan, will not work for him and will never work in the future. You’d think he just got here yesterday by spaceship.

    If you give a billionaire a million dollars you’ll never see it again. If you give that same million to a few hundred people in the lower and middle classes, it will get into the economy by Friday – even if today is Friday! That’s the difference between trickle up and trickle down.

    November 20, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  28. Richard Fairview, Texas

    Jack I have absolutely no faith in our government to do anything but raise taxes. On that front they have exceeded everyone's wild expectations. You know Jack when the European settlers first came to America they would never have survived had the Indians, (you know the first Americans) not intervened and fed them and taught them to grow crops in America that could sustain them. In return the Europeans brought every kind of disease and almost killed all the Indians off. Then the new government was created and they declared war on the Indian. From that point on it has been a grave yard spiral down hill for America. There was no income tax until 1862 which was created to fund the Civil War. It was eliminated in 1872 and revived again in 1894 and then found unconstitutional in 1895. In 1913 Federal income tax became a permanent fixture in our lives. We are now at the mercy of the Federal Government to decide everything in our lives for us. Their track record isn't pretty Jack. They decide when we go to war and who we fight, Health care, Flu Shots, tax rates just to name a few. The list goes on and on and that is a very scary thing. Our Government has way to much power over our every day lives.

    November 20, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  29. TD SoCal

    In the gerrymandered world of politics, extreme views overrule considered moderate thought. Hence, protected lawmakers can be extremists, not pragmatists. Therefore both sides play to their extreme base–liberal or conservative–and we keep cruising along with escalating debt, a declining dollar, and no room at the Inn for anyone willing to be a voice for reform and a centrist perspective–the only way we will ever resolve this problem. Not much faith on this end.

    November 20, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  30. Doug - Dallas, TX

    The answer to your question is two-fold Jack. First, Congress has to admit they have a problem spending more than they make even without the extraordinary circumstances we find ourselves in. Second, they have to be willing to make the tough choices required to truly lower the debt. When you look at their record over the years, the final answer is no. They are not willing to make the necessary sacrifices. Sure wish I could run my checkbook like that!

    November 20, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  31. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Jack, faith is obtained by looking backwards at things done in the past and based on the most recent history of "our leaders", I have no faith in them doing anything to address this situation. We are losing good paying jobs to China, India and Mexico at an alarming rate and these are the jobs that used to bring in tax dollars. I really feel sorry for the kids that are young in this country because they're not ready for the lifestyle they will have to live.

    November 20, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  32. William

    ZERO, which should be their nicknames.

    November 20, 2009 at 3:35 pm |
  33. Ron Temecula

    Jack:

    Historically our politicians were like mindless droans following the sent of money. With the exception of President Clinton who by the way did a bang up job with the US economy. Every single American president caused hardship in some way to the poor and middle class. That being said, far too many of our elected officials are being influenced by corporate America. We need to push for campaign finance reform, and we need to do it soon. There are a glut of US Senators and Congressional representatives that are playing the system. Giving the appearance they are doing something. Not making unpopular moves the big banks would not like. They make up new regulations for bank credit cards. Then they put those new rules into effect six months to a year from now. Giving the banks free reign to do what ever it is they want to take advantage of the consumer. This not only will cause more hardship on those that could least afford it. But the higher credit card interest rates will force many more young families into bankruptcy. It isn't right. Those elected officials were given an oath to protect the people of the United States of America. They are not doing that!!!

    Ron Temecula Ca

    November 20, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  34. Al Bledsoe in Dallas

    Are we talking about the US Govt.? If so, no. This is a national security issue. Can a bankrupt govt. wage and win a war? I have faith other govt. entities may do something about the soaring US Govt. debt. Draw the US into another 5-10 Iraq or Afghanistan type wars. Then a govt. could march a one-million man army across Siberia and into Alaska and further south. It's a game called Risk with real money and men. It has been played for six millenniums. Psalm 146:3,4

    November 20, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  35. Joe CE

    The key to the debt is the trade seficit and the cost of the mini-wars. I don't see any corrective action on trade, the wars are up in the air at this time.

    November 20, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  36. Larry, Ohio

    Jack,I absolutely have faith in our goverment to do something about the growing national debt.With these clowns that are in congress the something they will do is, make it even bigger.The battle cry is charge!!!

    November 20, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  37. Independent Joe

    Jack,

    I have faith they will continue to expand our national debt.

    Joe (Brainerd, Mn)

    November 20, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  38. Mary Texas

    Why in God's name doesn't someone stand up and tell us why all the problems exist?Joblessnes, huge deficet and etc. The corporations sent our jobs out od the country and got big tax breaks toboot.
    They movedtheir headquarters offshore and saved more on taxes. What do you expect this administration to solve this problem in less than a year .Why do I never hear this fact on the media especially if all the people listen to Fixed news.I feel that a section of the population is not being heard.

    November 20, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  39. Melissa

    I'm not worried about the national debt. I'm more worried about the unemployment, the ballooning insurance costs, and the insane promotion of greed in this country. Let the government do whatever it needs to do to fix the other problems, even if it means increasing the national debt.

    November 20, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  40. DT from Fort Walton Beach, FL

    About as much faith as I have for the sky to turn yellow...basically not much...it's just going to get worse...

    November 20, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  41. nelson, MS

    How much faith do you have the government will do anything meaningful about the soaring national debt?

    Jack if we don't trust our gonernment to fix it. Who ELSE are we suppose to trust to fix it????

    Mississippian For Truth

    November 20, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  42. ken

    Absolutely none! I don't think anything meaningful can be done, and our gov't knows it. It's basically, doing all things, just to prolong our economy before it will inevitability collapse. They are already planning, a plan, to put in place when this happens, or when they want it to. They are preparing us for it now, know it or not!

    November 20, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  43. Paul

    Vote out of the office who ever voted for Irak war.

    Chantilly, VA

    November 20, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  44. john ....... marlton, nj

    The government now run by flaming liberals will do nothing about debt ... After Clinton co-mingled income and social security taxes to make budgets look as though they were balanced, the dems have no shells to play in their budget shell game..

    The only answer is SLASH spending, be it discretionary, military and entitlement.. reduce federal payroll and pension payouts by 25% immediately... do it for our country

    November 20, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  45. Peg from NY

    I have great faith that NO ONE will do anything meaningful regarding the soaring national debt except complain and blame.

    November 20, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  46. Al, Lawrence KS

    Creating jobs cures the debt. Right now with 10% unemployment, income tax revenue is down. Right now people are not spending, so sales tax revenue is down. Right now homes are sitting vacant, so property tax revenue is down. The secret to ending the deficit is a robust economy...nothing more....nothing less. Whatever the government needs to spend to stimulate the economy, is money well spent.

    November 20, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  47. Ryan, Galesburg, IL

    Capping this debt would mean taxing the wealthiest individuals and corporations in the country, the way we used to take care of it. Because Congress has no backbone, this will not happen. This country will see worse and worse economic circumstances until the trickle-down, reward the rich policies of the last 30 years are reversed.

    November 20, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  48. Winkum

    None!

    November 20, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  49. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    The only thing I have faith in with respect to this Administration and Congress is that they will put us deeper in debt over the next 4 years than all previous Presidents put together.

    November 20, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  50. Terry in Hanover

    I have faith that our government will do everything in its power to escalate the national debt into the stratosphere in our lifetime. Until our elected representatives figure out that taxpayer money is not Monopoly money nothing will change.

    November 20, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  51. JENNA

    How much faith do you have the government will do anything meaningful about the soaring national debt?

    Well let's see, George HW Bush left our nation is a huge debt and Bill Clinton reduced the debt and GW Bush left our nation in a huge debt and Barack Obama will reduce the debt..

    Does anyone see a pattern here?

    The GOP calls itself the party of fiscal responsibility and yet they spend our hard earned tax dollars like druken sailors and it is the Democrats that actually ARE fiscally responsible!

    So yes, I have faith that Obama will clean up the mess left by GW Bush!

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    November 20, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  52. RichP

    No faith at all, they will hide it, bury it, ignore it, legislate it and pass it on to the next politician who gets elected to the office. In the mean time they are feathering their own nests and in one case stocking their freezer.

    November 20, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  53. Ed

    You must remember at the time of the 2001 tax cuts, the national debt was $5.7 trillion. Then came 9/11, two wars, and an unfunded prescription drug bill. The debt grew to $11 trillion. Then we teetered on the brink of the Great Depression II, which required the government to spend even more money. Eventually, taxes will have to be raised, but that will take courage and there aren't many politicans around with any of that.

    Ed
    Texas

    November 20, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  54. Lucy

    I don't have much faith in the government to do anything at all, much less anything meaningful, and I'm not even limiting this response to just national debt. That being said, it is really obvious why we have increasing debt: we're engaged in a war. This happens with all wars, they cost money, lower morale among citizens (especially if it's not being decisively won), which would tend to depress people, which would depress spending, and then there goes the economy. So, what the government needs to do is MAKE A FREAKIN' DECISION in terms of whether to send in more troops, to end the war once and for all, or pull out, and end it that way. Geeeeez.
    Lucy
    SF, CA

    November 20, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  55. Mr. D

    I don't think much will happen without enormous pressure from the people of this country. We are going through many fundamental changes in how things should and must work in this new century – now is the time to get our house in order.

    November 20, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  56. Eric - Houston

    None whatsoever. I had decided that the Republicans had become the deficit party, to finance the Iraq war and tax cuts, but now the Democrats have proven that they truly want and deserve the title. Though the difference between extravagant and profligrate is a matter of degree. The fact is neither appears to really care about the deficit and the national debt, that comes tomorrow, but elections come next year. Great example of leadership!

    November 20, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  57. Loren, Chicago

    None. How does President Obama reconcile a pledge to reduce government debt with his bailout of financial institutions, the auto industry and his health care plan? He can't, but he will say he can, and that's why no sane person can have any faith in government's ability to do a thing about it. Instead of trying to solve all the world's problems at once, it would be nice if we had a President who recogized that he's got four years and the first thing that ought to be done is to make the government that we have do what it's supposed to do. Make it work and everything else becomes less of a problem. Add to its obligations and add to its problems.

    November 20, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  58. hank, montreal

    The U.S. Gov't will keep on spending like drunken sailors for as long as they possibly can because their 'end game' intention is to DEFAULT on the debt! So, why should they care; they sure don't intend to stick around to see how the final chapter plays itself out. They probably expect to retire under the protection of their lobbyist/bankster. For the time being, they're just happy to put on a sideshow of faked accountability for the taxpayer.

    November 20, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  59. Mark

    Jack, Do you really think that every man, woman and child can ever kick in $40K to pay off this debt? That would be like me having a $1 million dollar debt and trying to pay it off working for minimum wage.....it ain't gonna happen.

    Mark
    OKC

    November 20, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  60. Ken M, Millington MI.

    Hello Jack. Not much at all. Why do you think that the President is bowing to everyone abroad. Because sadly we need the Chinese and other Nations to keep buying our debt . We do not make things in America anymore. What will be the next big jobs market?not housing we already have to many houses Americans can't afford now. If we don't keep borrowing the economy / unemployment will become worse then it is now. But i do think its time to get rid of Geitner

    November 20, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  61. John

    Not much faith regarding the national debt. The government is a business and intends to make money of our taxes and spend it any way they want.
    John
    Pampa, TX

    November 20, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  62. Ray in Nashville

    Jack, it took massive spending by the government to get us out of the depression and again to get us out of the recession of 1981. The problem with spending to get out of this recession is that Dubya increased our debt tremendously, as you have pointed out. The sad fact is that almost 30 years of Republican economic policies have left us in a very sad state.

    November 20, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  63. steve in virginia

    About as much faith as I have in a child abuser to take proper care of children. No matter which party is in power. We need true independents in control who put the interests of the US and US citizens above all else if we're ever to solve our debt and other problems.

    November 20, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  64. Victor in Saanich, B.C. Canada

    None Jack !! Your president speaks of halving the deficit in 8 years !! The deficit !! The British PM talks of halving it in 4 years – once again the deficit !!! Not to worry Jack, because up here in socialist {???] Canada our Conservative leadership at all levels can't even get their mental 'vacuums' around the concept and our DEBT spirals upward !!
    Our national 'restaurants' will soon be 'Out Of Business' because the customers continue to refuse to pay their 'bills' !!!!

    November 20, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  65. Rick

    America past the point of no return in our national debt about five years ago. For almost three decades we've elected officials promising tax cuts who grew government at the same time. Additionally we baby-boomers have ignored the load our social security and medicare benefits are putting on the system.

    November 20, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  66. Dan Louisville, Ky

    I have ZERO faith in Washington to do anything significant at all about the deficit or the total national debt. Obama (who I voted for) has "vowed" to cut the deficit in half by the end of his term, but his first year saw a tripling of the recent average deficit, so cutting that in half is no big deal in the long run.

    The public is going to have to force this on Washington to not only balance the budget, but build in a $100 Billion surplus (indexed to inflation) for a 50-year period. Even that won't elliminate the Debt.

    I keep hearing that "we" the taxpayers bailed out Wall Street, but in reality, we haven't bailed anybody out; we simply decided to borrow from our grandchildren and great grandchildren to bail out Wall Street.

    A Constituional Amendment to balance the budget is needed NOW!

    November 20, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  67. Rus in St. Paul, MN

    I lost my faith when I heard the quote from Vice President Biden "We have to go spend money to keep from going bankrupt". What world does he live on, and does it make sense there? If this is mainstream thought in Washington, is it any wonder we're in this mess?

    November 20, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  68. GWTripp, Mch'sburg, PA

    I think that the U.S. should threaten to renege on its debt to China unless they support our efforts in Iran and North Korea. They have far more to lose than we do and we'd be out from under a huge portion of our national debt.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  69. Lance, Ridgecrest, Ca

    Jack, absolutely, they are going to do something about the national debt. They are going to keep on spending, redistributing the country's wealth until they reach the point where everyone is equal, whether they work or not. We'll all have health care, food stamps, new cars, 2 chickens in every pot, and nobody will have to work. The rich will be finally be "paying their FAIR share" and all will be milk and honey. OH–wait, there won't be any "rich" because noone will be working, and the government will take care of all of us, huh?

    November 20, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  70. Nestor, Austin, TX

    Jack,

    I have faith that the government will do something meaningful about the national debt...they'll increase it exponentially.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  71. Jim

    Jack,

    Quite a lot, actually. The president understands the negatives, both practical and political, of operating with a huge debt. But he also understands that he took control of a nation that was being buried under an avalanche of horrid economic news. His choice was to spend trillions saving the economy or stand by and watch the nation sink into another Great Depression. He made his choice, a choice that is no surprise to those who were paying attention during the election, and I support his courage. There will come a time, maybe a year or two from now, when the economy will have improved to the point where the President will have the privilege of focusing on meaningful spending cuts. Until then, other priorities take precedence.

    Jim
    Reno, Nevada

    November 20, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  72. Paulette from Dallas,PA

    I have no faith what so ever. All of the thoughts on attempts to accomplish this feat are just actions grasping at straws.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  73. Richard Green

    Jack,

    Yes. They can do it. There is a bill just introduced in the House by Rep. De Fazio of Oregon that proposes a 1/4 of 1% tax on the value of all stock and derivative transactions. That one proposal could raise literally hundreds of billions per year by imposing a negligible tax on financial products traded by the big banks who took all the bailout money. In California we pay 8.75% tax on every product we buy. Why shouldn't those who buy risky financial products pay an incredibly small tax that could bring huge, huge benefits to our economy?

    Rich Green
    San Clemente, Cal.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  74. Hubert Bertrand Oberlin La.

    Jack; We have a run-a way train. Spoiled politicians,and Ceo's and the people like you and I can't do a damn thing. They do as they wish,The more money they make the more they want. Of-course that have alway been the case.Politicians are not affraid of losing their jobs. They have it make and know it.You and I will just sit and watch it happen and can't do a thing If I say anything, they just laugh and say it will be ok.Don't worry DON'T WORRY????????

    November 20, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  75. Bizz, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    I do not have faith in our gov't reducing the national debt. The fat cats on Wall Street came close to destroying us and we did nothing about it accept bailing them out. I do not blame it all on president Obama I think his hands are tied by a Congress that only plays politics and does nothing productive to reduce the debt. It is a simple manner of math. You cannot bring in less money than you pay out. Everyone needs to realize taxes have to be raised and bills have to be passed to prevent the fat cats on Wall Street from destroying us. Money needs to be spent more wisely that is impossible for our gov't to even amid yet alone be able to do it. You cannot have companies that are so big that not if but when they get in trouble they have the power to destroy our economy. If we do not realize this soon we will be made to and then it might be too late.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  76. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    Jack that is like asking members of congress to do something good for the voters of the United States. Not going to happen, just glad that I'm in the last stages of my life, I do however wish my children, grandchildren and two little great granddaughters had a better view of their lives ahead of them.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  77. Denis Duffy

    Congress and the President don't get it, do they? Why not tie their salaries to the amount of debt we have? The more in debt the country is, the less they get paid. Just think, we could reach a point where they would have to pay to serve. Could we indict congress under the RICO act? Some day, a monopoly dollar could be worth more than the US dollar. When you spend other peoples money, you just don't care. Crook, congress, corrupt!

    Denis
    Upper Saint Clair, Pa.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  78. Ron from SF

    I'm more concerned about the Federal Government having the ability to roll back the jobs mess. Let's tackle one Bush mess, at a time.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  79. The Broker.

    I wont say "I told you.". USA is up for sale!

    November 20, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  80. reptilian

    Jack we are in the tank for don't know how long ? War is still going on and billions of tax dollars are being spend on it. Jack i clearly remember before wall street crashed to last day of the week they were saying everything is okey and then suddenly crash. Now they are claiming everything is okey economy is getting better and employment getting better. If war was over i would say some chances of turn around but how can you recover when billions of tax dollars are going to war. Will we learn anything from Russian economy i mean longer the war will go on more and more people in this country have to suffer and feel the crunch. Esp this kind of never ending war, fighting a ghost , fighting an idea. This will not make us any safer in the future. Since the world know and we admited Iraq war was total missunderstatnding, millions of Irqai civilians are dead. We have millions of pi$t off Iraqi family member looking to even out score. I feel safe already. Will we ever look outside the box and maybe try to solve problems in a better manner. "Pitch and fork lets go on a witch hunt".

    November 20, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  81. Jim in Alabama

    I have more faith in the democrats than I did the republicans! They nearly borrowed and spent us into the poorhouse under Bush and Cheney and did very little for the american people!

    November 20, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  82. Sandy

    Not much! We could save a lot of money and lives if we bring our troops out of the mid-east and spend the money to make our nation much more inpregnable and safer. I am just sick to death of war and I am sick to death of watching and listening to some of these politicians whine on TV. It's almost like watching Sesame street, only the Sesame Street dummies are smarter than the Washington dummies.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  83. frankie

    We have a President who understands that the only way to actually fix the debt is to fix the economy from the ground up, but then he gets accused of wanting "big government" whatever that means. When credit companies and health insurance companies can do whatever they want and CEOs make hundreds of times as much money as their employees, and the government's eyes were closed while corporations lured illegal immigrants to work for them for really low wages and shipped jobs overseas so their profits could be even higher and no one cared that our production base was eroding, well, we are living in the land of "big wealth" and we could use a little more government. Do you think there is an easy fix for our national debt? Just saying.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  84. Sue in LA

    None – We the people were scolded by politicians for living beyond our means and now they are spending money faster than they can print it without a care in the world, claiming we need this healthcare bill to SAVE money............ we needed the stimulus to SAVE jobs. How about politicians take a few business courses to understand you don't SPEND money to SAVE money.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  85. David M. Jackson

    I have lost all faith that anyone in our government will do anything beyond serving their own selfish needs and the rotten corporations that they put above their constituents. How can anyone hold out hope that any meaningful reform can come from people who spend the bulk of their time running for re-election and the remainder entertaining lobbyists lined up outside ther offices to offer them money?

    Our political system is morally bankrupt. It's fitting that our national debt finally looks exactly like what our government has worked so hard to create.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  86. adem

    I have high hope, instead!

    November 20, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  87. Brian

    Jack,

    I'm more concerned with the tanking economy than the soaring debt. When Reagan and Bush I spent their way into an abyss to fund wars and economic projects, Republicans loved them. But now that Obama is doing the same as a matter of global necessity, everyone is crying about it.

    I say get mad at the problem, which was caused by Republican irresponsibility for roughly eight years. Don't get mad at the solution.

    Brian
    Boise, ID

    November 20, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  88. Scott in San Diego, CA

    No and if I did you should take away my right to vote for these idiots. This is what the TEA parties are about, the out of control tax and spend and wasting of OUR hard earned dollars. We worked for it and they keep on spending and taking it away in higher and now new taxes.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  89. Carl D.

    Jack,
    The faith I have in our government is as follows, i'am sure they will always do what's best for them, and to hell with what the people want and need, they are simply worthless in my opinion.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  90. Antonio from Washington D.C.

    Faith without works is dead, we must put some work in!

    November 20, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  91. Carl D.

    Jack, Even if the American people got lucky and got a good, honest person in some form of government, the rest of the corrupt Rats would over ride anything good that is trying to be done.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  92. forest rogers

    why is everyone blaming all these problems on president these have been going on for a long time its all of our faults every americans want more an more they are not satifed with what theyhave thats true about also the rich people

    November 20, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  93. Linda in Arizona

    Is this a trick question? Let's see... about as much faith as I have in little men from Mars coming to Earth to save us all from our profligacy. Translation: NONE.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  94. john j. grimes Watertown, Ma.

    I am not aware of too many people today who have faith in our elected officials on any level. I have seen where some of the stimulas money has been allocated and am astounded at more wasteful spending. Here in Massachusetts, our leaders have decided to give 9 million dollars to build a bridge to a football stadium to make it easier & safer for the fans to cross the road.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  95. Allan Hanson Placerville,Ca

    I wonder why we cannot blame the Bush Administration?
    His ego inspiresd wars, and tax cuts are responsible for the hole we are in. There is no light at the end of the tunnel. Even if we got out of both wars tomorrow, The "Military Industrial Complex " is assured at least 20 years replacing the equiptment we are losing in this war. Half of the money being spent is unaccounted for, total waste.
    Lets put the blame were it belongs.
    Explain to me why we are at war.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  96. James Conn

    Jack, How many people have they cut or laid-off on their staff due to the economy? Do you really think that they'r concern about finding another job if they lost the one they got? Do you really think the economy has effected their life style? To them it's a game of idealogy in which their political ego's are more important then the sovereignty of our nation. Money has replaced faith and for that reason no I have no confidence or faith in our Representatives, they have been spoiled. My father made tough decisions that I disliked when I was young but now I know they were right. Jim , Logansport

    November 20, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  97. Jerry W. in Encino, Ca

    Jack:
    There is no political will to fix the deficit problem because all the sensible cures are perceived to be threatening in various ways to the careers of the very politicians who have to vote on them. We could, for
    instance, cut the defense budget to the bone say,every third year, and quickly make progress. Would the military-industrial-intelligence complex support this? I doubt it. Would doing so mean we would get weak enough to encourage a perceived enemy to attack us. I doubt it.
    I would not be against personally paying a few more tax dollars if I could be sure that the money would be channeled to deficit reduction and not some senators pet vote getting project.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  98. brenda

    I believe the President has put people in place laying the foundation that will resolve the difficult problems in our country, to include, the world's perception of us. It's ridiculous and unfair to think the President is not committed to resolve the debt. It did not take President Clinton a year to heal daddy Bush's leadership and it's NOT going to take President Obama 10 months to heal the leadership of daddy Bush's son.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  99. Maria

    I have little faith the government can or will do anything about anything until China comes knocking and takes back their loans by taking over land, corporations and our government. Maybe we'll wake up then...far too late.

    I thin we have some well-intentioned people in power in this country, but not enough and not w/ strong ideas and ideals to put us back on track. So good luck with that one!

    Maria

    Brunswick,MD

    November 20, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  100. MNResident

    I have 100% in govrnment's ability to increase the national debt, and they are doing everything they can to prove me right.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:55 pm |
  101. Eric, Atlanta GA

    Reagan and both Bushes didn't seem to care about running up the debt and we got nothing for their trillion dollar dine and dashes, but economic disaster. Obama wants to invest to save money in the future. Will he pay for all of it before he leaves office? Probably not, but at least WE the People get something this time and not just the rich. Bush's tax cuts could have paid for health care reform twice. Where's my trickle down?

    November 20, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  102. Steve

    I have a lot of faith in Obama. He'll take care of things. His persvasive powers will do magic. Give him a chance until 2012.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  103. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    Imagine having a family of 4 and having to work for a living at a salary of maybe $75,000. Now imagine that you have to pay off someone else’s $120,000 debt. You can’t do it today. Then consider that a lot of that debt went straight into the pockets of rich SOB’s who nearly trashed this country with their obscene greed. Unless those who benefited from the forced benevolence of the middle class begin to share the burden, instead of always taking ever last nickel, we will never get back to real prosperity. Now what do you think the chances of that happening are? That’s my answer.

    November 20, 2009 at 6:01 pm |
  104. Eva, Texas

    I don't have faith in the Congress, but I do believe this administration will do what's necessary to bring down the debt. We lost half our savings under Bush. In the first nine months of the Obama Administration, we've gained over 60% of that amount back. If the President can do that for our household, he can do that for the nation.

    November 20, 2009 at 6:08 pm |
  105. Ralph Spyer chicago Il

    We look like the last days of the Roman empire , we have soldiers all over the world, some of our past leaders look nuts, we have a hard time keeping the people happy they want more, the politicians will stab you in the back.HELP

    November 20, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  106. JR

    We all know that anything out of the Government ismet with skepticism. I think they should pay for everything including the national debt as outlined below:
    I recently sent this email to the Vice President for incorporation into the legislation on Health Care.

    In all honesty, paying the Health Care reform legislation presently in Congress, "We the People of the United States of America" recommend the following actions to pay for these programs and to repay the national debt:

    1. All elected officials of the Federal, State, and Local Governments making more than minimum wage (as many of the US citizens are forced to survive on) should relinquish their pay to the same amount as the poverty striken they so choose to take more money from in fines and more insurance.

    2. Restrict all foreign travel for all Senators, Congressmen, and Cabinet members with the exception of the Secretary of State (but limit her's) until such time deemed necessary by the majority of the citizens in a referendum as stated in the Constitution.

    3. Restrict all Congressional members including cabinet members to utilizing commercial air flights and paid for out of their own pockets not the tax payers. This includes Federal Reserve and Treasury Department employees.

    4. Ensure that all elected officials are held to a 40 hour a week work schedule as all Federal and Private sector employees are. No more Monday and Friday travel days. I have never heard of getting almost 200,000 a year for a 3 day work week. Travel should not be compensated for work hours.

    This will start paying the debt they made not the citizens of this great nation.

    November 20, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  107. David, Tampa, Fl

    It is much as I feared, Jack. We kicked the Republicans out because their moronic economic policies turned a robust economy into a trash heap. But this train has been heading down that track since the 1940's. Uncontrolled spending by government matched by equally absurd corporate behavior could do nothing else. Not to fear young man, the government can print all the money we need to keep up the insanity of driving us into something worse. Democrat or Republican, both are intent on turning us into the next fifth rate third world country but as long as they are getting their's they don't care. Happy Thanksgiving to All, even our political and economic folks driving us on this train wreck.

    November 20, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  108. sue garavalia

    dear jack,

    love your part of the show and look forward to it daily. i have wanted to e mail you almost daily about this government of ours. actually, our congress in reality is killing this country with all their crap (llack of a different word.) all the things they are asking or should i say demanding from us (the people who voted their asses in) are absolutely disgusting. too bad we can't vote to just vote them all out ....period. and not replace them with any particular party other than whoever can and will do the american people some justice.
    i have no faith in our covernment at all. i feel sorry for obama, who is just a figure head in our crooked country. sue

    November 20, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  109. Ken in NC

    I will keep this short and sweet.......NONE.

    November 20, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  110. June

    Is this a serious question? Faith in the government that has done nothing but run up the debt to reduce it? That is akin to expecting the fox to stay out of the hen house or the drug dealer to stop pushing drugs.

    November 20, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  111. Greg - Minneapolis

    Pigs will fly before the government does what it needs to do about the national debt. The only way to deal with this problem is to cut spending, which to Congress is like garlic to a vampire. Congress needs spending to survive reelection, and since it is not their money they go merrily along their drunk with power way. Most people realize that they must live within their means, and spend accordingly. But then, Congress is not like most people, they actually think the people serve them rather than they serve the people.

    November 20, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  112. Katja, Bradenton, Florida

    Hi Jack, I'm sad to say that I havce no faith in the government, zip, nada, none. The House and Senate have proven time and again and again that they do not have the people's best interests at heart and will continue to, not only keep us in debt, but continue to increase the debt of our children who are just starting out. And they have already have the as yet unborn generation $11,000+ in the hole. The morons continue to give themselves raises and benefits while the bankrupt the rest of us. Term limits, Jack, it is all about term limits.

    November 20, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  113. Meg from Troy

    Jack–
    I have no confidence in the government in financial or economic issues. Both parties need to take responsibility for the National Debt. George Bush and his Congresses spent money like water. And so far, Obama is following those spending habits as well. It's time to tighten the belt, end the wars overseas, bring our troops home and then see where we are without the Iraq and Afghanistan war expenses.

    November 20, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  114. Jun Ho, Washington

    I have faith that the government will continue to increase the debt as long as our elected officials are more concerened about being able to pay the advertizing costs of their next reelection bid than they are about fixing the problem.

    November 20, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  115. Brett from Oriskany,VA

    Hmm Isn't this the historical way empires die?

    November 20, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  116. Al from SoCal

    I have absolute faith in the current government in power to do something about the soaring debt. Just let tthose liberal democrats keep spending and spending and spending and eventually they drive the country bankrupt and everybody owed will realize that they will never get their money. And for those Americans who survive the chaos, well they will be able to re-start America with a clean slate.

    November 20, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  117. Bruce - Delaware

    The destruction of the economy is deliberately being orchestrated by the reptilian masters of the illuminate; There is nothing at all that the 'government' can do about it.

    November 20, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  118. gale godfrey

    the money is getting repaid for .quite of the banks and gm just announced they are starting repay theirs. so most of the bailout money will be back in the coffers! what america needs now is getting these selfish greedy corporations to start hiring insead of thinking of ways to make a bigger profit with alot less employees on the payroll. this thinking will backfire on them very quickly. for for everyperson that is not working, that is one less person not buying!

    November 20, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  119. J.R. Meyers

    Considering the national debt was doubled in 8 years of mismanagement and neglect. And then the stimulus was passed out to avoid a total collapse and pass the buck. Taking aim at health care has got to be the best choice for decreasing the national debt. No thanks to the republicans and any other politician against single payer.

    November 20, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  120. steve - Iowa

    I voted for Ronald Reagan when he said he would balance the budget, he doubled the debt. I watched Bush and the Republican controled congress blow away a budget surplus and double the national debt. I'll wait and see what Obama can do, I know the Republicans don't have a clue.

    November 20, 2009 at 6:36 pm |
  121. Roy - Chicago

    Jack, it is hard to have faith, when 50% of our budget goes for defense, yet the GOP wants more troops in Afganistan, the GOP cries foul when Obama canceled missle projects in Poland, and the GOP is trying to sabre rattle with Iran. Remember it takes two (parties) to end a war or stop spending. This is not Dick Cheney's White House.

    Thanks you for at least mentioning that the debt first piled up under Pres. Bush. If we could have a year or two without a war to fight, think of how much money we could save! What would Haliburton do?

    November 20, 2009 at 6:37 pm |
  122. Mike

    Our country immerged from the last depression by increasing the size of government to fight a war on two fronts, build a strong infrastructure and initiate programs to ease the burdens of the less fortunate. I wonder if that wouldn’t work now.

    November 20, 2009 at 6:37 pm |
  123. Rick Medina,OH

    Jack,

    I have absolute faith the government will find a way to increase the national debt each year ... as far as the eye can see.

    Rick, Medina, OH

    November 20, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  124. davidc

    If they were going to do anything about the debt...
    They would have considered it during all the bailout plans.
    They had every plan to send the money out, but nothing concrete about getting it back.

    November 20, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  125. Gigi Oregon

    Well we might tax the rich which led us into this mess, do to tax cuts for the wealthy. Their good friends "the republicans" gave them lower taxes, let them send jobs over seas, go to war with the wrong country, , change regulations in banking, just for a start. Care to add a few more Jack. Let's have a flat tax rate period. We could do our taxes on a postcard.
    Faith, our government are the rich... Would you trust the fox to watch the hen house. Only in America.

    November 20, 2009 at 6:48 pm |
  126. Eric in CO

    I think the politicians would do alot more about controlling the debt if we eliminated their ability to get money from Pacs and lobbyist and set up our politicians like they do in the EU ("European Union" – for Sarah Palin).

    November 20, 2009 at 6:51 pm |
  127. Kris in Ohio

    I have absolutely no faith that the federal government will reduce deficits, forget the debt. They seem to believe that the rest of the world should subsidize our standard of living forever and to forget that some day this will crash down on a future generation if not sooner. Until taxpayers realize what is happening and start feeling guilt whenever Washington gives them yet another handout and votes accordingly our debt will continue to grow. I wish I could pay off my family's portion and protect them from the coming disaster but unfortunately we will all have to suffer for the reelection of the idiots in DC.

    November 20, 2009 at 6:56 pm |
  128. Ben

    None. It's not conducive to re-election. At least not yet.

    November 20, 2009 at 6:57 pm |
  129. Thom Richer

    The hole that has been dug is too deep to climb out of. The spending had to have been stopped in January of 2009. It wasn't and isn't and this Congress and administration have no immediate intent to do so. Because of the Bush years it was necessary to enact promised "change" immediately and well before wasting billions repaying lobbyists and crooked corporations for favors rendered. Which I belive the "Stimulous Package" to be. Rewarding business for exporting jobs off shore with tax credits, continuation of funding of illegal and immoral wars with billions each week with tax payers dollars, attempting to solve economic problems with more taxes and ignoring the needs of working Americans with no change, as promised, and when needed, has exhausted our chances to climb out of the hole we are in.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    November 20, 2009 at 6:58 pm |
  130. Darren

    Until we quit nation building in the Middle East we, in all seriousness, won't be able to tackle that daunting issue.

    November 20, 2009 at 6:58 pm |
  131. Kim in Dodge City, KS

    There isn't a single person in Washington that is seriously interested in getting rid of the national debt, because then they wouldn't have a political football to kick around for distraction. Politicians have no concept of money, unless it's theirs, and they are afraid to do the right things that would lower our debt. My faith in them is non-existent.

    November 20, 2009 at 6:59 pm |
  132. chaney, La.

    Our government should be doing something about our national debt, and not only when the otherside is in power......I have had it with Dems, Repubs and the fence straddler.. Lieberman.

    November 20, 2009 at 7:00 pm |
  133. Rich, Kankakee, IL.

    Sure if we end these fruitless wars, and never again give tax breaks to the rich. Why in the world do the rich pay pay less then us, we are the ones who do not have any money. In the past they use to pay 90% on thier income taxes because they are rich we need to go back to those times! They have not paid thier fair share over the last 50 years!

    November 20, 2009 at 7:03 pm |
  134. David Jones

    Jack,

    We gave former President Bush 8 years to get us to this ridiculous state and its going to take more than 11 months to fix. Give the new guy a break. He’s got his fingers and toes in as many holes in the dam that is humanly possible.

    David, N.Y.

    November 20, 2009 at 7:08 pm |
  135. Jasmine, New York City

    Jack, you seem to know all the answers. I'd like you to tell us exactly how much the Bush Administration spent every month for eight years and for what. And then tell me that you still love me.

    November 20, 2009 at 7:14 pm |
  136. Joshua

    I have a hard time having any type of faith in our government. I definitely don't think they will do anything unless it personally benefits them. I think they quit working for "the people" a long time ago.

    November 20, 2009 at 7:16 pm |
  137. Joshua Suter

    The issue here is not our debt, which is still less than our country's GDP in just one year. We are far too concerned with a number most people cannot fathom, and it is utilized in order to create fear and distrust against America's most importan legislation in decades. The healthcare reform bill will help a United States that is falling far behind in overall health and life expectancy compared to other industrialized nations. Don't let a monumental piece of legislation which costs less than 10% of our GDP fall through the cracks because large numbers are frightening uninformed people.

    November 20, 2009 at 7:17 pm |
  138. e orthun

    All I hear you commentators do is criticize and lament how bad the debt is. That's playing "aint it awful." Let's hear some real, constructive comments on exactly WHAT you would have us give up.

    November 20, 2009 at 7:21 pm |
  139. David

    As long as Congress has the power to spend in deficit, they will do so. A balanced budget would require drastic tax increases, drastic spending cuts, or a combination of both. The political consequences of either action are less than the consequences of voting for deficit spending. Thus, we have a deficit, year after year after year. The only way to bring spending under control is for Congress to approve a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Then they would be forced to make the hard decisions on taxing and spending that they have ignored for so long.

    November 20, 2009 at 7:24 pm |
  140. Si Matthies

    No faith in the current players in Congress – either party !!!!

    November 20, 2009 at 7:27 pm |
  141. Sarah in Texas

    Jack, you are soooo off base on this. You don't focus on the deficit when you're in a recession. The last thing that you want to do is take the money that's now in the country & ship it out of the country. The best way to deal with the debt is to grow the economy first and THEN pay down the debt. As far as health care reform is concerned - do you think that doubling health care premiums in the next ten years, which will happen without reform, is going to do us any good? Oh yeah, your an old guy & probably get medicare - that government run system. You don't need health care reform. Guess what, the rest of us do.

    November 20, 2009 at 7:32 pm |
  142. Jon M

    I have lost all faith in the electorate to do anything but what is in their own best interests. Congressional liberals won't be happy until they have all of our money, and it seems that the conservative resolve to keep Congress out of the pocket of the American taxpayer is losing steam.

    It should not be a forgone conclusion that there will be drastic healthcare reform. The tab is just too high.

    November 20, 2009 at 7:34 pm |
  143. John, Fort Collins, CO

    None. National debt has the unfortunate advantage of having the ability to be swept under the carpet. It is so easy to pass it along to the next generation, while screwing seniors on a fixed income courtesy of inflation.

    November 20, 2009 at 7:35 pm |
  144. fred michigan

    The deficit is the second problem....remember it is caused by not having a balanced budget. Until they stop spending more than they take in the deficit will grow!!

    November 20, 2009 at 7:36 pm |
  145. Tony Sucheston

    Yes I do have faith the government will take care of the debt. Before Bush was President there was a surplus and after healthcare is passed, families will not go bankrupt over medical bills. This will enable them to make more money and pay more taxes. Healthcare will reduce the debt by bringing in more tax dollars and if we get out of Afghanistan and Iraq we will will go a long way towards paying off our debt

    November 20, 2009 at 7:36 pm |
  146. Charles -NJ

    Very little. Cutting spending or raising taxes are two things that are unpopular and therefore wont happen.

    November 20, 2009 at 7:36 pm |
  147. Annie, Atlanta

    The government has done nothing about soaring debt for years. Maybe if they turned back the tax cuts for the rich, tax cuts for businesses that shipped jobs overseas, collect on offshore accounts, and turn back the tax breaks we got just this year, we could start paying off the debt on the 2 Bush wars and have single payer for all.

    November 20, 2009 at 7:36 pm |
  148. Dave Osterberg

    No I don't think the government will solve this or any other problems as long as their primary job is to get re-elected and not serving the best interest of the American people.

    Dave, San Diego County, California

    November 20, 2009 at 7:38 pm |
  149. steve in virginia

    Not until we get a President and Congress that understands that the only way to get out of our mess is to fix the underlying problems instead of blaming everything on Bush and throwing money at the symptoms. Replace free trade policies with fair trade, get rid of illegal aliens, revoke exemptions to antitrust, stop allowing companies to get "too big to fail" then let the free market work, repeal Clinton's modifications to mortgage lending regulations, minimal but effective regulation of the financial industry, competent regulatory oversight, rebuild our manufacturing base, stop rewarding outsourcing of jobs, stop importing cheap foriegn labor, etc., etc., etc. Not enough common sense in Washington to expect this any time soon.

    November 20, 2009 at 7:38 pm |
  150. Eric Bracke

    I have no faith in the government to do anything well. Fiscal responsibility has been on leave in Washington for a lot of years. It's our own fault actually, we keep sending these idiots back to Washington to spend more money than they take in, throw money at problems with no solutions, at the same time asking the same idiots to fix the problems they themselves have caused.

    November 20, 2009 at 7:39 pm |
  151. Dan

    Cost for federal programs seems to be passed down to the states and the state in turn pass the cost to the local governments Local goverenments can not afford this. The state wants local governments to hold property taxes at 0%(AIM) how can it be done with these cost's being past down.

    November 20, 2009 at 7:40 pm |
  152. Peter Maier

    Government is so bogged down by getting money for re-election that nothing will change. Taking the tax-free status away from organizations that trying to influence government, may be a good first step in the right direction for a more democratic government.

    November 20, 2009 at 7:42 pm |
  153. Steven Keith

    Concerning the National Debt:

    President Obama will meaningfully state:
    "George made me do it!"

    November 20, 2009 at 7:42 pm |
  154. John J Procita

    Dear Jack: Both the Congress and the President have lost all credibility with the American people. They might just as well clean out their desks, pack their bags and leave the capital.

    November 20, 2009 at 7:43 pm |
  155. Ray Snell

    Lets tax the churches.Seporate church and state for health care reform

    November 20, 2009 at 7:48 pm |
  156. pat

    Faith in our government; you've got to be kidding..I've been a realist most of my life and have found that believing in god is the only thing that I have faith in and it seems that god has completley forgotton about those people in washington.

    November 20, 2009 at 7:52 pm |
  157. Charles

    Jack,

    Lets not forget that when President Carter turned over the keyes to the White House to President Reagan, the national debt was a manageable 980 billions dollars.

    The presidents we have to blame for putting us where we are today are Reagan, Bush Sr. + Bush Jr. 20 years of GOP out of 28 years. It is that simple. Let's not forget that President Clinton was paying down the debt and President Obama will do the same, just give him the time.

    Americans have to stop to expect instant gratificationsand to be patient. I too went through many layfoffs in my working life and patiently waited for the economy to get back on track. They too will have to wait a bit longer just like I did.
    Charles

    November 20, 2009 at 7:54 pm |
  158. Jeff

    The Republican's must to take responsibility for the current crisis. This recession was caused by the Republican's policies and changes over the last 40 years from Nixon to Bush Jr.. From Republican's policy of tax cuts and spend our children's future, Reagan's policy change to allow companies too large to fail, to lack of regulation of the financial markets have caused a crises of depression proportion. The Republican talking heads are convincing the American's that the democrats are responsible and that President Obama is not making change quickly enough. Republicans are the reason for the change not happening quickly enough. Therefore, the Republicans need to work with the Democrats to get this recession under control but the Republicans have spent America’s wealth (gave it away to America’s rich) that we could have used to fight a this recession.

    November 20, 2009 at 7:57 pm |
  159. waqar

    look jack it takes lot longer to build any thing than to destroy it.right! it too bush completely 8 years to destroy american economy,how can any body expect president obama to fix it in one year?

    November 20, 2009 at 8:00 pm |