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January 27th, 2010
06:00 PM ET

U.S. may go bankrupt in the next decade. Why won't gov't do anything?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The United States could be bankrupt in 7 to 10 years, yet our government refuses to do anything about it.

The Senate voted yesterday against a bipartisan commission that would make recommendations on to how to reduce the nation's skyrocketing deficits... estimated to top $1.35 trillion this year.

Many Republicans were against the commission idea - because they don't want to support anything that could mean tax increases. Many Democrats were opposed, too - because they don't like the idea of big spending cuts in entitlement programs like Medicare and Medicaid.

But the truth is: There are only two options for reducing our more than $12 trillion national debt: Either raise taxes or cut spending - or both. Washington is choosing to do neither.

Republican Lindsey Graham, who voted in favor of the commission, tells Politico he's disgusted with the Senate's lack of progress on much of anything:

"I'm willing to try anything because I'm desperate. Immigration: Hard, tried, it went nowhere. Social Security: Hard, tried, it went nowhere. Health care: Hard, tried, went nowhere. We're running out of opportunities to try hard and go nowhere. Time is not on our side."

Meanwhile President Obama is expected to set up a similar deficit reduction commission by executive order in his State of the Union address tonight. Noble - but in reality, it's just another empty political gesture that means nothing.

Unlike the proposed commission killed by the Senate, the president's commission won't be able to force Congress to do anything. In other words - it won't have any teeth.

Here’s my question to you: The U.S. may go bankrupt in the next 7 to 10 years. Why won't our government do anything about it?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Kevin from Ohio writes:
How do you defeat the most powerful military in the world? How do you weaken the will of the people who live in land of the free and the home of the brave? Not with missiles and bombs or tanks and bullets. This financial collapse is more than it seems, it could possibly be the beginning of the end for the U.S. I'm not big on conspiracy theories, but the lack of competence in our government is getting ridiculous.

B. from Mississippi writes:
You are as wrong today as you were yesterday. There is another way to reduce the deficits - the best way to reduce deficits is to increase GDP. When GDP goes up, revenue goes up (without raising taxes) and that revenue can be used to pay down debt. The best way to have GDP go up is to invest money in the short term - in those things that will increase GDP in the long term. For instance, clean energy technology.

Ron (an American in Copenhagen) writes:
Not much new here, is there? Same as always: rich get richer, poor get poorer and the entire normal population of the U.S. just suffers… Again, and again, and again. No politician is willing to risk his or her privileged position for something so frivolous as saving the U.S. economy.

Jarrett from Minot, North Dakota writes:
People are so disgusted that even long-term politicians are retiring, among them my state's (North Dakota) Senator, Byron Dorgan. He voted *for* the bill as did our other, Senator Kent Conrad... Both Democrats. Fiscal responsibility is gone.

Darrick from Cincinnati writes:
It's too hard for them to understand the idea of the deficit. I think the best bet would be to tie politicians’ salaries to the budget deficit. The higher the surplus, the higher their salaries. Watch how fast they would fix the problem.


Filed under: Economy • Government • United States
soundoff (166 Responses)
  1. ihadenough

    jackcaffertyOMG go bankrupt?? wake up America we are to blame. We demand no accountability when it comes to the actions of Congress. What happen to creating a watch dog group, who would monitor the actions of each senator and representative when it came to creating & passing laws and why their hinnies aren't in their assigned seats during sessions of congress and posted on CSPAN. How about looking into the freebies they get(haircuts,shoeshines,meals, car service ) cut that out and start to see savings.Maybe if they use public transportation like everybody else service and conditions would get better.

    January 27, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  2. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    Because the govenrment is only concerned about the future, if it impacts their political future. If they have to make any difficult decisions it is much more politically savvy to kick the can down the road and give the illusion you are doing something, rather than fixing the problem. Case in point, to pay for Universal Healthcare, one of the suggestions to pay for it was borrow from Medicare. Medicare is 10 years from going on life-support but because it isn't there yet they want to drain it more.

    January 27, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  3. Rory Murray

    Jack,
    Because they are scared to death that by doing something for once, they might have to stop living like KINGS and QUEENS at the expense of the overburdened taxpayers! But be warned you pretenders to the throne, us PEASANTS may not wait until November to REVOLT!
    Rory Murray
    San Bernardino, CA
    (State of Bankruptcy)

    January 27, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  4. Joe in Kent Island, MD

    The government won't do anything until the American people send a strong enough message to congress that if they continue in-fighting and sitting on their hands, they will find themselves "on" Main street instead of Capital Hill.

    They need the incentive of either making progress, or making room for someone who will.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
  5. ken connecticut

    They won't do anything about it because they know we are already bankrupt! They are putting on a good show for us all. It's also a world economy. And it is not what it all seems. The rich are in the process of protecting their assests as well as the big corporations because they all know what is comming and they all have a great deal of insight as to what is going on. Our gov't basically is powerless to do anything about it. But they will show us all that they are trying. What a show!

    January 27, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
  6. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    They don't want to do anything because they are typical of the majority of Americans who want everything now, but want to pay for it in the future. Look at California, it's going broke because of wasteful unnecessary social programs, crushing union contracts and blind faith that miracle pennies will fall from heaven and fill the budget deficit. The federal govt isn't much different. They ignore the main problems and don't even discuss reforming Social Security or Medicare, but they want to add an entirely new entitlement program in the way of universal healthcare. it seems no one in this country knows how to live within their means

    January 27, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
  7. Ben from Boston

    Jack,

    We elect the Congress persons to make decisions on spending and taxation. If they can't do the job they should resign. For every percentage point the debt increases their salaries and perks should be reduced 1%. Pretty soon we'd see action. They shouldn't be allowed to pass the buck to some unelected commission. If they won't do the job, lets elect someone that will! For my money the only good rep from Mass is Steve Lynch and he is not my rep - so I plan to vote my guy out in November because he has allowed the country to be going bankrupt.

    Ben

    January 27, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
  8. Stefan M. Stanford

    Jack, we have failed to do the most important thing: End the Wars! As long as our government continues to have "killing people" as their favorite hobby, we'll continue to be attacked.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  9. Donald Ainsworth

    Jack I think it is because they are clueless, they, congress, created this big mess we are in, catering to banks & world businesses that have no allegiance to the United states. Letting millions of illegal immigrants enter the U.S., take care of there pregnant wives & give them free benefits. Let all our manufacturing base move to China then import the goods. Borrow from China to support the wars & our life style. Saddly, only when it all comes tumbling down & they no longer have a paycheck and Health Benefits far better than most Americans will they undestand it!!! Don from Wapakoneta, Ohio

    January 27, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  10. Randy T

    THE MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX controlled from israel. Look at the people pulling the strings and tell me i'm wrong.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  11. John Lansing, Mi.

    A lot of our "old men" leaders will be dead in 7 to 10 years. Our only hope is that they truly care about their grand kids and the rest of the U.S. population under 60. By the way, I am a retiree.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  12. Gail, Plano,Texas

    Because they are idiots, Jack! I thought we had established that fact long ago. The GOP is hell bent on not doing anything to help the President, and the Democrats are afraid of not being reelected to office. It's all about them, not the country. And most of them are old anyway, and have their financial futures secured and by the time we go belly up hopefully the old guys will be dead and gone.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  13. Lynn, Columbia, Mo.

    There's a third option, Jack. Jobs and healthcare will bring in more taxes. Jobs and healthcare are the answer.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  14. Greg, Ontario

    They won't do anything because they can't. Every administration makes promises to get elected. To live up to the promises they have to spend money, money you don't have. Then there are the people who paid money to get the administration elected and have demands to get thier moneys worth. Often that is in tens of millions in government grants and projects or even tax cuts. Anyway you look at it it means more tax payers money gets spent on people thinking about themselves rather than the good of the country.

    You like to think you are a free country Jack but your not. You are as free as the people holding the governmental purse strings say you are. At this very moment the Banks that you bailed out are telling President Obama (as they would anyone else) what he can and can't do about the economy. Why do you think they were bailed out in the first place?

    January 27, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  15. Andrew, Amherst NY

    Jack it's very simple. They care more about their jobs than the American people and the American way of life!

    January 27, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  16. M. Miller

    This question is a joke. What do you think the last three stimulus plans was created for. Duh... To stimulate to the economy and create jobs. First you complain about the govt bailing out all of the banks and big businesses and now this question. C'mon Jack.

    The past few days and I keep hearing the claim about the President not being able to create new jobs. Please allow me to introduce something into the argument. I feel that this is retaliation because the President/Government has spent the first year of his term trying to real in big business. As long as the President continues to regulate the wasteful spending habits of these corporations, they are going to continue to cut jobs and limit hiring. This will continue until a Republican gets in office and loosen/let go the (regulatory) reins and allow these companies to get their big tax breaks and get more than their fair share.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  17. Jim Retired teacher

    Did the conservatives planned to destroy the economy and government to prove their claims that government doesn't work. The Republicans created this mess and now block Obama's efforts to police wall street and the banks, jump start the economy and start to curb the growing debt. Politicians who pander to taxpayers saying we can have it all and we can also cut taxes are the definition of demagogues.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  18. Paulette in Dallas,PA

    They don't like change Jack. They themselves are all quite comfy,cozy with the status quo. The American people need to set up now and don't return any of them to DC.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  19. Gilles Cossette

    I beleive that the inability of US govrenment to implement any solution is caused by how your government decision making work.. Changes should be implemented using a single majority rule... that is 50 % of the votes plus one. This is the way it work in Canada, and the political agenda is not run like a Circus.

    To simplify the decision making process will facilitate implementing sound solutions without having to negociate to death and at high cost the vote of a few political opponents.

    Do you realy beleive you can still get 7 more years before being bankrupt ? You are realy optimistic on this. Without changes, US bankrupty can come as early as next year.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  20. Rob of Brooklyn

    They won't. We're going to take the whole World down with us.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  21. Benny Holdren

    Maybe the puppet masters want this country to go bankrupt
    so they can control the masses.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  22. Jim Retired teacher

    Did the conservatives plan to destroy the economy and government to prove their claims that government doesn't work. The Republicans created this mess and now block Obama's efforts to police wall street and the banks, jump start the economy and start to curb the growing debt. Politicians who pander to taxpayers saying we can have it all and we can also cut taxes are the definition of demagogues.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  23. Greg - Minneapolis, MN

    As Sherlock Holmes would put it, "Elementary, my dear Watson." The people who are in a position to do anything about the problem have one thing in common: the desire to be reelected. Not one of them has the fortitude to do what is necessary despite how unpopular that may appear at the time. Unfortunately, when the problem finally gets too big to ignore, we will see a mass exodus from Congress and even the White House, with the message "It's not my problem anymore!" But we can do something about this starting with the next election, if "we the people" have the fortitude to do so!

    January 27, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  24. Scott Stodden

    Because its about money in this country Jack! If you have money your good to go and if your poor or just barely making it to get by oh well hope you survive. That's how all the politicans think of the country and the people of this country they all have money so we'll just get out and put on a show for the American people, get elected into office and then not give a damn, its all about money in this world and I wish Jack that Washington and all the politcal croonies including President Obama would just leave cuz there driving us further into debt and nobody cares or wants to do anything about it. I vote for people who really want to change this world, get our country back on track and care about the American people, Hillary are you listening? We really need you right now as President before President Obama takes this whole country or what's left of it down the tubes. Jack tell Hillary just to get into office like she was supposed to be because the Clintons know how to balance budgets, create jobs and stimulate the econmy and President Obama doesn't have a clue about nothing he was only a Senator for 2-3 yrs (correct me if Im wrong) you need more experience to run a country!

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    January 27, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  25. Don in Grand Rapids , MI

    No it won't take that long the way Obama and the Dems are spending. However since they still haven't gotton the message , come November we'll begin the 2nd American Revolution and take our beloved country back!

    January 27, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  26. Butch Fleece

    Effective for the status quo. Like everything else that the ruling class (Executive, Legislative, Judicial and their beneficiaries) presents to the people, simple solutions are being made to appear complex. Just do it. What are we missing here? When did 59 to 41 lose majority status? It was when the “P.T. Barnum” club gained control of the capitalist system that is in control of the democratic system. The interest and benefit of the mass of the people get little or no consideration because they all are money and represent money. You know, with today’s technology , votes on some issues should come from the people. We all have voter registration numbers or social security numbers and common sense.

    Butch F.

    Richmond Va.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  27. Gary H. Boyd

    Jack, if the 7 year bankruptcy prediction for America were to come true, guess who'd be the President responsible? Wasn't he the one calling for CHANGE. Well, we would be getting exactly what the majority voted for - simple as that.

    Gary H. Boyd, Scottsdale, Arizona

    January 27, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  28. Mark....in Houston

    Jack.......

    I'm at the point of doubting that this country will last long enough to go bankrupt, be it 7 or 12 years

    And.....the reason "government " won't do anything about it is simple.
    Proposing strong tough changes in the way our government and large corporations operate requires courage and decision making outside of the long established mind set that has become common practice among elected officials. Acquisition of power, re election at any cost, party supremacy coupled with lies and blaming allow no time for doing the country's work. I don't think our government knows how to do anything else.

    Add to that the hate generated by opposing public interests and off the wall, crazy media commentary and you have the makings of a "perfect storm" that will destroy the country I have known for 64 years

    January 27, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  29. hank, montreal

    THEY PREFER TO DEFAULT......it's their only way out now.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:44 pm |
  30. Kyle, Irvine, CA

    Because taxes will have to be raised or we need to cut spending. Democrats and Republicans want neither. The mentality in Congress right now is "got to get re-elected" Personally I think we should throw out all members of Congress and elect new faces to carry us forward.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:47 pm |
  31. Karen (Virginia Beach, Virginia)

    Since when has the government done anything more than spend money they don't have and raise taxes? If they won't do the hard thing and reduce government spending the US is DOOMED!

    January 27, 2010 at 6:50 pm |
  32. Bruce - Delaware

    Not the next decade, but now; US treasury and the Feds funds have been locked down after the Fed's recent audit. There is a $47 trillion dollar lien against the US treasury that has been executed. The media? It sits on it...

    January 27, 2010 at 6:50 pm |
  33. Docb-Denver

    Jack,
    Because they are spending our money..Your example of Pelosi yesterday was a great one. The Congress has been spending our money for 11 years like drunken sailors never paying the real sailors! In fact, for decades. However, decades ago, most were really interested in the American people and were accountable to those that elected them, possessing standards and moral integrity.

    The amount of lies told with a strait face by our Congress is an indication of how little they respect the people. If they told the truth they might be held accountable to the constituents instaed of the corporations they serve!

    January 27, 2010 at 6:52 pm |
  34. Ron Spooner

    Obama wants to punish CEOs for making as much money as they can, called capitalism. Not one word from him about the obscene salaries that athletes and entertainers receive! A Yankee basball player makes 33 million dollars. For playing a ball game! That is just wrong even though it is still capitalism. The CEOs efforts actually helps the success for whomever they work for. If the athlete's team loses the money is still there.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:53 pm |
  35. Barb

    the money the Untied States is giving to help Haiti, do we thank China for the money ???

    January 27, 2010 at 6:58 pm |
  36. Gigi Oregon

    Because corporate American has the government by its tail
    If Presidents Bush/Obama had not bailed out the banking and mortgage companies as they did. If lending institutions had to rewrite mortgages with low interest and fair market value mortgages with only 2% or less for fee's. That, would have help the taxpayers and many would have saved their homes. Just one example
    It is the corporate greed that is bankrupting the country. And government is going crazy trying to find a way for the poor and middle class to pay for it. The only good thing I see coming out of it is, the rich will find it harder to adjust than I will. I'll no longer have to pay taxes, job gone money gone. Won't need health care, car or home insurance. No income. Doctors, Ha! if he/she is hungry maybe we can barter.
    Maybe we should set government up Gods way (Malachi 3:10).. Although it' sounds to Democrat.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:00 pm |
  37. Don from Belleville, Canada

    Because at this point in time the US population is totally polarized between the left who advocate more taxes and much more government social spending, versus the right who want less taxes and much less government spending and regulation.
    In Canada the voters usually are given the choice of one major party slightly to the left of center and the other a bit right of center.
    In the USA the two choices are completely at odds with each other.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:02 pm |
  38. dennis, penndel,pa

    the government won't cut spending because it cuts jobs. increase taxes they lose their jobs.that simple. they need to cut spending and increase taxes! as an american i would be willing to pay slightly{$1-$5 per week} more taxes to reduce the dept if and only if they stop spending and waisting my money. last time i checked i am still waiting for my bail out!

    January 27, 2010 at 7:04 pm |
  39. JIm/NC

    Congressmen are afraid of losing their jobs rather than make sound decisions.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:06 pm |
  40. Ralph Spyer chicago Il

    They have , we the American people want more. We all want something for nothing. If you buy clothes made in China , cars made in Japan, shoes made in Italy , wine made in France. Beer made in Germany. We are the old Roman empire on are last leg.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:09 pm |
  41. Kevin A

    Simple, Jack. The lunatics are running the asylum. It's going to take something as major as a bankrupt USA, for anything to get done. Only then, will we take our Country back.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:10 pm |
  42. Mike, Albuquerque, NM

    It is the nature of the beast to bleed you dry, if they can that is...
    Gross income of the government is now 1/3rd income tax and 2/3rds NON-TAX income derived from: return on INVESTMENTS and money generated from government Enterprise projects.

    Any company, or in fact any country can be made or broken through the use of those government investment funds. China and India in 2007 restricted new US Government investments, now several trillion dollars strong in China and India so that US Government investments would not further increase control (take-over) in their own markets. China and India learned by seeing what happened to Mexico then Russia when the US Government investment machine came rolling on in.

    If US Government cashed in just 20% of their International investments (held outside of the dollar), in conversion back to the dollar, the dollar would shoot through the roof.
    The #1 Profit makers for Government on their investments are: The War Industry; Oil Companies; Pharmaceuticals; Banking; and INTERNATIONAL investments – (400% to 600% profits)

    Personal individual income of the USA is listed as 5 trillion dollars. Corporate income of 15.5 trillion dollars after deductions left the largest corporations with only about a 1.5% tax bill. In contrast to personal income after deductions for the largest personal individual incomes a 27.04% tax bill.

    Nobody from the government, or any political party has openly made this information available to you out of self-interest or fear of reprisal DUE TO THE MONEY INVOLVED! Call that: "Moral Bankruptsie"

    January 27, 2010 at 7:10 pm |
  43. Kim in Dodge City, KS

    Why should they? Our elected officials, and also our appointed bureaucrats, have sold their souls and our nation to lobbyists and special interest groups just so they can have as much money as possible before our country collapses. Unless there is mass revolution in streets and Congress is physically dismantled, there will be no hope for us. The military can't stop a revolution, thery're too busy fighting a pointless war.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:10 pm |
  44. Michael from Ft. Hood, Texas

    I give us less than five years before our country experiences an economic collapse. Trillions in fraud and greed without any punishment to those responsible, the demands by certain citizens for an unrealistic utopia, and the failure of incompetent and deluded government leaders both at the state and federal level to control spending have doomed this country. The arrogance of Americans who think it can't happen to us need only read their history books and see the folly of nations who pursued the same course of stupidity that we practice daily, and see their end result.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:10 pm |
  45. Annie, Atlanta

    Personally, I’m baffled. We haven’t stopped Wall Street from huge gambles that allow them to keep their winnings while we cover their losses. We haven’t reversed tax breaks for the rich or those that inherit large sums. That alone is over $2T. We still give corporations who ship jobs overseas large tax breaks. Warren Buffet pays less in taxes than his receptionist. Something stinks. It’s the Gilded Age all over again, this time based on being an industrious thief.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:13 pm |
  46. steve- virginia beach

    They're not trying to actually fix our financial crisis, they're digging us deeper and deeper into our crisis to make as many of us as possible dependent on the Federal government, hence more likely to vote Democrat. The rest is lip service and fascades.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:14 pm |
  47. kay green

    the reason is because until they feel it( and usually feel it in the last hour) then they will act urgently to do something. the other is that we have become a nation that relies so heavily on borrowing that we believe we can borrow our way out of it... These people should go to jail for what they are doing to us!

    January 27, 2010 at 7:14 pm |
  48. Pete - Augusta Ga

    Jack –

    The federal government won't do anything about the rapidly approaching bankruptcy of our country because they don't really think they have to. They are dillusional about our debt, believing there must be a path to grow our way out of their wreckless spending habits. Besides, the spineless weasels are really only concerned about getting themselves reelected & they know they won't personally be bankrupt!!

    January 27, 2010 at 7:14 pm |
  49. michaeljwjr

    Because no Senator or Congressman wants to go back and explain why he raised taxes, or cut spending. With these short terms, it's too easy to put this issue on the back burner, and when the United States does finally go bankrupt both sides will find a scapegoat.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:15 pm |
  50. Dan from Conshohocken, PA

    Why won't our government do anything? Because they're hoping to pass this burden onto teenagers and young adults such as myself so that they save political face. It's disgusting that my generation will have to deal with a bankrupt government, on top of the costs of housing, food, and college that we already have to deal with.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:15 pm |
  51. John, Fort Collins, CO

    Our elected representitives are only concerned about getting re-elected - from their perspectives 7 to 10 years down the road is measured in geologic time. They will already be receiving full benefits in Palm Springs or Aspen, not even thinking of us taxpayers as they sip their martinis. Our retirements will be outsourced to senior communities in Juarez, staffed by illegal Americans.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:15 pm |
  52. CJ

    Bottom line – they simply care more about their own popularity and power than doing what it really takes to fix a problem.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:15 pm |
  53. james in Idaho

    The problem comes in with a misunderstanding of how to analyse the information they're given. They keep getting analogies to houses and other fixed big ticket items, but the economy is in motion, not affixed or stationary. If they can figure that out, they will at least know that the money they've been putting into the house really should have gone to the car, and make the appropriate adjustments.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:15 pm |
  54. Tonya

    Why won't the government consider the "fair tax"? Increase in taxes, yes but only on what we spend! Income tax obsolete so more money in our pockets in the long run. More money for the government! It seems like a win-win to me.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:16 pm |
  55. Joanie

    Because ..if you subscribe to the paranoia .. world ends in 2012..why worry about the debt if they won't be here to have to worry about it. lol. Maybe the stress of all that junk going on in Washington has finally gotten to the big wigs.. and maybe they really are hoarding the money away in their underground bunkers like Jessie Ventura says..lol Makes ya wonder.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:16 pm |
  56. ron - american living in Copenhagen

    not much new here, is there??? Same as always - rich get richer, poor get poorer and the entire normal population of U.S. just suffer - again, and again, and again - No politician is willing to risk his or her priveleged position for something so frivolous as saving the U.S. economy - what a bunch of hypocrits

    January 27, 2010 at 7:16 pm |
  57. Angelo TanCreti

    JIm,
    I feel that this countrys debt is as big of a deal as "health care reform"
    This is not something that can just be "shoved under the rug" like so many other things that need to be taken care of.
    Angelo
    Iowa teen.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:16 pm |
  58. Charlotte Allen

    I feel that many of the Republicans are against anything that would make the President be successful in office. Being against anything that is good for people and helps his image is heavily debated. I think that if people would stop trying to sabotage the President's term and just focus on what people really need we could accomplish a lot.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:16 pm |
  59. Lynne Rudstrom

    Government? What government? It is obvious that the government is non-functional. When is congress going to get the message that the electorate is fed up?

    January 27, 2010 at 7:16 pm |
  60. tlobe

    Jack you the answer as well as I. Congress is full of members whose primary interest is job security not problem solving. Petty partisan politics is the name of the game no matter how often the speak banalities of bipartisanship. Here's hoping the success of the Tea Party movement continues to manifest itself and we have 502/503 new members of Congress after the 2010 elections.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:16 pm |
  61. Claire

    The reason we will go bankrupt in 7 to 10 years is that nobody WANTS to do anything about it. Not the Congress and certainly not the people. If nobody addresses it, then it does not exist. Rather we go bankrupt and really suffer than try and do something now.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:17 pm |
  62. R. Bass

    Congress won't do anything about our deficits because there is no consensus or will among the constituents. They reflect the percieved views of their constituents and we are sending mixed signals. We want health care, but don't want to pay for it. We want government services (think parks, military, interstates, FAA, medicare, SS etc. ) but don't want to be taxed. We want cost cutting and reduced waste – unless its inconvenient for us. So until we decide what we want congress will continue to be stuck in neutral.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:17 pm |
  63. Casey

    The government is doing something.... it is preparing for its bankruptcy by hastening its arival through an acceleration of spending programs... that is something, isn't it?

    January 27, 2010 at 7:17 pm |
  64. Ed Fertik

    Because the leader of our government and many of his major enablers in the Senate and Congress are Socialists Jack. Socialsim can't work unless Capitalism is destroyed and people become dependent on government. You can't have both systems at the same time. The President is a very smart man and this is very intentional because he is a socialist...just like McCain and Palin said he was.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:17 pm |
  65. Kris

    First of all, you are wrong. History has proven time and again that if you reduce taxes, you generate more income to the government. Go back to the drawing board and rethink your question.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:17 pm |
  66. Bill

    Simple, because no one can make money doing it, all they can hope for is to keep their jobs, and they're doing a fine job at that anyway.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:17 pm |
  67. Birddog in Mississippi

    You are as wrong today as you were yesterday. There is another way to reduce the deficits - the best way to reduce deficits is to increase GDP. When GDP goes up - revenue goes up (without raising taxes) and that revenue can be used to pay down debt. The best way to have GDP go up is to invest money in the short term - in those things that will increase GDP in the long term. For instance, clean energy technology. Also, to grow GDP you need to increase the ratio of export vs. imports. That way you are bringing in money from outside the country. The other thing to do is to encourage spending rather than savings as savings is money that is not circulating through the economy.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:17 pm |
  68. Claire Melbourne FL

    Hello Jack,

    Republicans are arrogant hypocrits and Democrats are wimps. When we go over the edge – there will be no one with a backbone to save any of us...!!! Lets hope we have learned how to speak Chinese when this happens.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:17 pm |
  69. Mical

    Jack,

    MOST of our politicians are all about themselves. They don't care about us, our country or anything other than their egos & their wallets. They're so far withdrawn in their own egotistical worlds & lobbyists just inflate their egos & wallets... many think they're celebrities. I blame global warming on Washingtons' hot air.

    Mike
    Mpls, Mn.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:17 pm |
  70. chris c

    The problem is directly with the American people and resonates throughout government. People want everything for free. Police, education, health care, roads, etc. I want to see everything eliminated and return to very limited government.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
  71. Donna Bivins

    They gave themselves raises, and cut Medicare cost of living for two years. That doesn't Help????

    January 27, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
  72. Edgar Rodriguez

    The reasons are very simple special interest, corruption and greed. We the people is a nice phrase but the reality is we the fools.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
  73. Richard Fairview, Texas

    Jack you actually make it sound like politicians care about the country going broke in the next 7 to 10 years. They are the ones that have caused all this in the first place. You can not expect them to be able to fix in ten years what it has taken them the last 40 years to screw up.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
  74. guy

    Our government won't do anything because...Everything is fixed and our Senate and House are paid off .......It's the "same old Rock & Roll"

    January 27, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
  75. SUSAN

    If America collapses are the elected officials and appointed bureaucrats exempt? They act like they will be unharmed. They are all a bunch of idiots!

    January 27, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
  76. Carolyn Swanepoel

    The government - read that "the congress" - won't do anything about it because they fear if they make hard choices, they will lose votes. And getting re-elected is their main concern - not the best interests of this country!

    What they had better wake up to is if they DON'T make those hard choices, they will definitely not be re-elected in November!

    January 27, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
  77. Jack Ipsa

    Simple. The media only highlights the points of contention, because it gets ratings. The people respond by being extremist in their views. Spineless politicians react to their newly-extremist constituents. Over time, everyone is paralyzed (but those ratings keep climbing). Let's hope CNN's newfound focus on going straight up the middle (excepting Rick Sanchez of course) sticks. We need thoughtful discourse on the issues!

    January 27, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
  78. Darrick in Cincinnati

    It's too hard for them to understand the idea of the deficit. I think the best bet would be to tie politicians salaries to the budget deficit. The higher the surplus, the higher their salaries. Watch how fast they would fix the problem.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
  79. Jerry in Alaska

    Jack the plan for the "CHANGE YOU CAN BELIEVE IN" was to crash Americas economy along with others pushing everyone that believes in the NEW ONE WORLD ORDER foreward in THEIR DREAM. Remember those that proclaimed that Obama was the "CHOOSEN ONE" that would lead us into the NEW OWO like Henry Kissenger Louis Ferracon & others. Remember Gordon Browns visit to America pushing for this NEW OWO. ITS THE CHANGE WE VOTED FOR, SO WHATS THE BEEF??

    January 27, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
  80. Rob in Santa Rosa, California

    Self-interest, plain and simple.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:19 pm |
  81. David P Vernon

    Tucson, AZ – Deficit spending is in the short term political interest of every individual Congressperson and Senator. Giving out Federal program funds to your constituency in excess of the amount they pay in taxes is a sure way to get reelected. If every State and District achieves the same, a deficit is guaranteed, not even counting the overhead costs for collecting and distributing the money itself. To break even, and eventually lower the debt, every State and District, on the average, must pay more in taxes than the cost of administration plus the benefits they receive. Every democracy in history that collapsed did so because the people demanded more in payouts than they accepted in levies, until they went broke and their money became worthless. Simple math. Simple politics. Simply stupid.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:19 pm |
  82. Mark Norrell

    I am sick and tired of hearing congressmen use the word "bi-partisan". I want my congressman to be NON-partisan! Get some backbone and use your independent judgement about legislation. Also, why do congressmen refer to lobby groups as "powerful"? What power? Who are you working for, guys?

    January 27, 2010 at 7:19 pm |
  83. Joe Diehl

    Why would we be suprised? Most people go to work for government bureaucracies because they can't make it in the competitive business world. We've turned our futures and our pocketbooks to a bunch of dunces. So there is no surprise. The strength of America is in its people, not in its government. Government is the weak link.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:19 pm |
  84. Marilyn LaCourt

    There is an elephant in the room.
    We talk and talk and talk about the economy –
    We talk and talk and talk about health care –
    Can we afford this and can we afford that???
    Why are we not talking about the zillions of dollars spent on a war,
    or should I say wars that cannot possibly be won???
    How about this?
    The United States is the largest provider of weapons in the world.
    If we stop producing weapons, how will that negatively affect our economy?

    January 27, 2010 at 7:19 pm |
  85. Ben

    Their "job" as they see it is to get re-elected. To do the hard, unpopular things that would be required to pull our collective (please excuse the term) bacon out of the fire, would not be conducive to re-election. It's much more prudent from their position to push it off into the future for someone else to deal with.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:19 pm |
  86. Willie Gene Wynn

    Our government will not do anything until the electorate wake up, open it's eyes, fire the offenders and hold the rest feet to the fire. They will only do what we (the people) force them to do by first doing what we, the electorate, is constitutionally empowered to do.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:20 pm |
  87. Ken in NC

    Jack, it is a matter of unity and stupidity. Both Democrats and Republicans are united in their own agendas and re-election and that’s all that matters. Stupidity comes in play when they feel that by clogging the machinery and each party blaming the other will endear them to the people. They fail to realize the people are stocking up on tar and feathers and laying rails at night as they sleep. The train is coming down the tracks.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:20 pm |
  88. Monica

    Fear...Unadulterated FEAR.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:20 pm |
  89. David Blevins

    Why do we allow people who are paid what congress is paid to have travel expenses. I have to pay my own way to work and I don't make half that much! Congress gets too much given to them, Have they forgotten they are elected to serve the public?

    January 27, 2010 at 7:20 pm |
  90. Gary

    Jack, have a question. If the govt goes bankrupt wiil the banks and wall street fail too? Scary situation.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:20 pm |
  91. John Bosshardt

    All Senators who voted against the commission
    should be fired on the spot.
    Obvoisly they don't want to be held accountable
    and wish to carry on uninhibited!
    A list of their names should be posted so
    the people of this country can get rid of them!

    January 27, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
  92. Dawn in Michigan

    THEY ALL REPULSE ME. Vote them all out. I was a republican but they make me sick. Maybe instead of worrying if the president was an aien or hitler etc maybe the Rebublicans should have been getting something done. Far as I am concerned the only one who is trying to be bipartisan and working hard is the president.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
  93. Gretchen

    Jack,I know you are concerned so are we. Why was there No counting of money when Bush was spending like a drunken sailor on hooker row?Bush came into office under a surplus,Obama came into office after Bush sold us off to china,where was all this panic and concern then?It took us 8 years to get here,give this President at least 4 to change this.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
  94. Stan Cherim

    The best way to deal with the financial mess is way that, mysteriously, goes unmentioned and that is to get out of Iraq and Afghanistan and ignore Iran. How many billions are we willing to pay in order to ignore our own problems and be policemen to the world?

    January 27, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
  95. Jory Worthen

    Because the Government doesn't realize how much this Country is falling economically!I guarantee that the U.S. will go bankrupt by 2014. People wonder why we are in debt well its the governments fault, There are to many greedy people running this country, I just hope Obama can do something about it.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
  96. James Smith

    Hi Jack,
    Our government won't do anything about it because in seven to ten years many of the members in Congress will be living in Dubai partying with the Sheikh and donating to the "U.S. is Bankrupt Relief Fund." Simply, they don't give a hoot about the American people. They just want to cover their own rear'ends.

    James
    Charlotte, NC

    January 27, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
  97. Patrick

    Hi Jack!
    Obama got this one right. Our Senators and Representatives have only one goal – to get reelected. Everything else goes by the wayside. We really need a constitutional convention to address term limits and the latest Supreme court decision to rename the United States of America to the United Corporations of America.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
  98. Rossie

    Why is it politicians and commentators always equate Medicare and Medicaid as entitlements? As a tax paying citizen, paying into Social Security and Medicare, yes I do feel entitled to a return on my invested money. Should Medicaid be dropped, no, but refer to it as a charitable gift, not as an entitlement.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
  99. harry tuttle

    Our government has no interest with any budgetary problems, raiding our treasury, our savings, and whats left of our wealth is their primary objective.

    They need these funds to complete conquest of resource rich countries establishing a world corporate empire, the people of America are a speed bump in that plan. Both Republicans and Democrats answer to the Council on Foreign Relations, which is precisely why the policies in Washington do not change.

    It is also the reason the Constitution legally phased out.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
  100. Ben in Virginia

    I can sum it all up in two words: Abject Cowardice

    Why face something that won't happen for a few years to come?
    America has a very short collective attention span and Congress knows this. Unless it is a "crisis", most Americans won't pay any attention. We are a nation that won't respond until we have a 9/11 or a Pearl Harbor or some other catastrophe. It is a major national character flaw. Even when something is done, we have very poor follow through. Look at how Obama and the Pelosi/Reid Congress have done so far.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
  101. Stan Ward

    Dear Jack,
    I'm writing from Hungary. Even Hungary gets the solution. I see the results in our bebacle inb the falling dollar. I can see the demise of the U.S. clearly from here.

    Please keep the heat on these bozos on this important issue. It is central to the success of this country for our forebears. No initiatives can succeed if we are strangled by debt. Keep the pedal to the metal and keep up the good work. Cafferty for Congress!

    Stan

    January 27, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
  102. John from Fort Worth

    Another excellent example of why we need term limits on Representatives and Senators. They are so busy trying to get re-elected for the upteenth time that they fail to conduct the business of our nation.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
  103. Ethel, Key Largo

    Mr. Cafferty Sir,

    We will NEVER get rid of Hunger, injustice, inadequate healthcare, poverty, hate, racism, evil, mistrust and mistreatment of fellow Americans, our wretched history, until we get rid of the source of it all:

    MONEY.

    (Just throw it all in the sea and drown it, Jack).

    January 27, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
  104. AJ

    Let's face it, Congress has it's eyes focused on one goal: being re-elected. In order to control the deficit, both parties have to concede some of their platform ideals. To do so would risk appearing weak and ultimately losing an election. All are terrified of uttering the phrase, "In order to do what is best for the country, we may have to make Sacrifices."
    We need Congressional term limits. Both the Elephant and the Donkey remain tragically inept, inevitably killing the Eagle.

    AJ
    Los Angeles

    January 27, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
  105. Will

    The government is filled with a lot of people in or aaproaching retirement age. They don't have anything to worry about if the economy goes under as they are loaded financially anyway. Has anyone ever heard of a poor retired politician? What we need are younger politicians in office who's future is in jeopardy like ours with this economy. That's One if the many reasons why I support Obama, he's a politician that will still have a steak in this economy even when his presidency is done.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
  106. Antonio Ferguson

    The government (Senate/Congress) is in a posturing mode for elections. With the defeat of the Democratic seat in Mass. the Republicans now feel that if they *stall* out they can gain more seats and make their own movement. Democrats have become lame duck and the spending is incredible. Bush had the same problem when he was in office. President Obama is experiencing the same setbacks. Unfortunately the things done get done unless Congress and the Senate make them happen, therefore I do not fault President Bush or President Obama for the current state. Congress and Senate is totally responsible for the current state of affairs.

    The economic collapse is deeper than anyone could have imagined. If only both sides would just say "time-out" from their bi-partisan wars & political agendas and look at suffering American people and say, "Hey, we need to help the American people despite our differences" then only will they be able to get things done. Not only have we faced an economic collapse but we now have political gridlock and unless someone (Dems/Repubs) takes the high road the American people will continue to suffer economically.

    We are at the tipping point of total political chaos and mass confusion. The American people are tired and fed up from the actions of the Congress and Senate.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:24 pm |
  107. Daniel

    Congress won't do anything because the members are elected and the electorate doesn't have the stomach for the sacrifices needed. Everyone wants something done, but not at their expense. The nature of the government structure prevents radical action – a Margaret Thatcher government is needed; deal with it and to hell with opinion polls.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:24 pm |
  108. Guillermo Caiat

    Jack, all your great country needs to do to correct the fiscal disaster that will affect us all is to stop waging wars. Just start dealing with world problems in a more civilized manner and your books will turn black pretty soon.

    Guillermo Caiat
    Dominican Republic

    January 27, 2010 at 7:24 pm |
  109. Jerry

    Jack, Are you kidding me ! Our Politicians and Government Officials are smart enough not to let that happen,The United States and its Government will be sold to a Foreign Country, And they will be living on a Private Secluded Island. Jerry/Iowa

    January 27, 2010 at 7:24 pm |
  110. Eric

    Churchill once said, "In a Democracy, ultimately the people always get the government they deserve".

    America would be better off if all the stauch supporters of the Democratic party abandoned it, and all the stauch supporters of the Republicn party did likewise. As it stands now, a Democratic politician knows that he doesn't have to do anything to "earn" the vote of a staunch Democrat, and a Republican politician knows the same is true about the die hard Repuvblican supporters – they already have those votes, and so they take them for granted. These politicians also know that people from the opposite party will not vote for them, no matter what they do, so it is pointless for them to even try to be accountaqble to those people. As a result, politicians just talk the party line, because that is what people want to hear and respond to.

    The supporters of each party fight one another under the illusion that their fellow citizens are the enemy, when in fact, it is the politicians of their own party who are the enemy. I listen to my fellow South Carolinians complaining about Californians who elect Nancy Pelosi, but nothing is ever worng with the Senators that we actually can vote for. I feel certain that Californians are complaining about the people we elect in South Carolina also.

    We are our own worse enemies. We have allowed our politicians to operate in a manner that is not accountable to their constituents,and we blame the citiizens of the other party, rather than blaming the politician that we elected.

    We are truly getting exactly what we deserve!

    January 27, 2010 at 7:24 pm |
  111. William O'Neill IV

    Hi
    I don't think we can blame President Obama for the lack of progress with any proposed solutions to healthcare, social security or any of the current issues. It is not his failure, it is the failure of congress, the house of representative who have created a virrtual and constant stale-mate.
    These people are not willing to do what is necessary to govern our economy in a manner which serves the long run interests of the people in our country. Corporate interests are over-represented, and the citesens is under-represented.
    If the American people want to hold Mr. Obama responsible then give him the authority to sort through the proposals from congress and the houses and allow him to fine tune them with his cabinet and then pass it. Our system needs to be overhauled, the status quo solution is certain failure. The President deserves real authority, and I believe Mr. Obama has the tools and character to make objective decisions. Sincerely Bil O'Neill

    January 27, 2010 at 7:24 pm |
  112. George Fulmore

    It's the wars and the military, Jack. Our federal government continues to spend and spend in these areas, like there is no tomorrow. The wars and a military buildup are politcally popular right now, so the spicket runs full in that direction.
    The Congress does not have the collective guts to stop that flow. And, until we have the courage to tame the military-industrial complex, our federal deficit will continue to grow. Social Security has absoluted NOTHING to do with the current national debt. It's the wars and the military, Jack.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:24 pm |
  113. Paul form Pa.

    NOTHING will be done about the debt for the same reason that NOTHING gets done about anything else in the public's iinterest, and that is because the Congress is nothing but a bunch of "Two-faced, lying, theiving, bought-and-paid-for TRAITORS to the American people and the country."

    January 27, 2010 at 7:24 pm |
  114. Mike Callaghan

    Jack,
    As an independent I'm disgusted with the current Congress. It is no surprise that the Senate voted against economic reform, their only concerned about re-election. Just listen to the news, after the election in MA the only thing anyone was concerned about was the upcoming election. They cannot make the hard decisions and they sure don't want anyone telling them their pork barrel project just got cut for the good of the country.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:24 pm |
  115. Joanne Boston

    President Obama has great ideas, but he has Congress working against him and serving only private interests. It is both Democrats and Republicans who are not putting the welfare of citizens of this country first. Pres. Obama's mistake has been trying to appease everyone. He had the support of the American people and I believe the middle class still views him as our only hope!

    January 27, 2010 at 7:25 pm |
  116. D Brown

    I think america has to stop being selfish. The world is coming through this crisis and we are doing far better than most. I am a professional. I have many friends and family who are. We didnt sit around complaining about what the govt is doing. Only so many people can work at McDonald's, retail. If you don't have a viable skill, stop blaming it in others. I read a lot of people on here talk about My, money, My taxes,etc..Do they not drive on my road...use my police dept, my fire dept.etc...I think we are breeding a new generation of incompetence.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:25 pm |
  117. nick

    If California legalizes marijuana we'll see a mad dash of other states
    funding needed services the same way. Money will be saved in law enforcement, the judicial system, and the penil system. All that savings is added to the expected revenue windfall.
    love
    Nick

    January 27, 2010 at 7:25 pm |
  118. klidl

    Corporations own the congress and after all is said and done Corporations can buy a new home and HQ anywhere. They don't need the US or its people focused tax burden.

    Wealthy people run the US and when all is said and done wealthy people can move to a higher hill or a bluer lake. They don't need the US or its wealth detracting tax burden.

    In Katrina, we began to show our Haiti self. A few more years of this we'll have the whole personae down. Cheney-Bush had it right. We the people only need to be viable enough to pay for the security burden of these others.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:25 pm |
  119. Charles -NJ

    Because both options are unpopular. But both have to happen. Even more taxes. And guess what, not just more taxes on the rich, but everybody.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:25 pm |
  120. Karl from SF, CA

    Enter the Supreme Court, stage right. Thanks to them, in seven to ten years the corporations will own the entire US government and you know they won’t let it go bankrupt, or at least not until the have raped every last dime they can out of it. The bulk of we Americans will be in third world status, but the corporations will live on.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:25 pm |
  121. Bill Wilkins

    Correction: First sentence have said< "Why don't...not, " Why do..."

    January 27, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
  122. Joe in Lawrenceville, GA

    Cracks me up when people start talking party affiliations since when do we ask a thief what party he's stealing for...Maybe we can place that in Miranda to see who has ripped us off the most since I'm just guessing I'll say the Republicans since they have been in power longer the last 50 years.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
  123. dean pettis

    The senate is "much ado about nothing".

    They all need to take a hike and lose all their benefits.

    We need practical, working people that actually care about getting something done for the working class.

    They act like a bunch of spoiled aristocrats out of King Louis's court back in the bad old days.

    Best of everything Jack,

    another fed up, unemployed worker

    January 27, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
  124. Richard

    So you say some senators are disgusted they can't cut the budget. Well the rest of the planet is disgusted at the U.S. war-making budget. Cut the Pentagon's budget by 50% and the deficit is history!.....and its budget is still 3 times more than any other country's military!

    January 27, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
  125. Mike Heymann

    Jack – The Democrats & Republicans don't do a thing, because they care more about their jobs than the country. It is very much like our Auto industry execs and WallStreet execs. As long as they can get away with the status quo they will do it. It took Toyota execs several months, but they proved yesterday that they were willing to lose millions by stopping production on 8 cars until they fix the problem; Detroit would have just fought the results in court – Michael

    January 27, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
  126. Bill Carman

    In the last ten years the economy grew only because of second mortgages and sleazy investments on Wall and Main Street. The truth is that, taxes will have to increase by as much as 10-15% to cover future deficits and no politician seems to have the courage to say so.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
  127. Joe

    We don't know how successful McCain would have been in getting congress to work if he were president, but at least his political and world experience would have commanded more repect from congress and from other world leaders. I hope this generation of Americans will have learned a lesson from the last election.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
  128. R. Hall

    In order for the elite to succeed in their quest for a global government, they have to allow the economy to fail. Then ofcourse they'll claim to have the " solution" to all that ails us in the form of. A ' North American Union'.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
  129. harry tuttle

    lets see,

    The U.S. Post Service was established in 1775. You have had 234 years to get it right and it is broke.

    •Social Security was established in 1935. You have had 74 years to get it right and it is broke.

    •Fannie Mae was established in 1938. You have had 71 years to get it right and it is broke.

    •War on Poverty started in 1964. You have had 45 years to get it right; $1 trillion of our money is confiscated each year and transferred to "the poor" and they only want more.

    •Medicare and Medicaid were established in 1965. You have had 44 years to get it right and they are broke.

    •Freddie Mac was established in 1970. You have had 39 years to get it right and it is broke.

    •The Department of Energy was created in 1977 to lessen our dependence on foreign oil. It has ballooned to 16,000 employees with a budget of $24 billion a year and we import more oil than ever before. You had 32 years to get it right and it is an abysmal failure.

    and your wondering why this country is going broke, in a word INCOMPETENCE!

    January 27, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  130. Michael Bullis

    Part of the problem is that we've been told for fifty years now that the government will go bankrupt and it never happens. The public is conditioned not to believe it. Even your assertion isn't backed up by anything Jack. I'm not picking on you but, in a sense you're contributing to the conditioning by not explaining just how we're going bankrupt and where your facts come from. I'm as frustrated as the next person about politicians who don't pay for what they promise to spend but as a percentage of gdp our debt isn't as high as it was in WW II. The problem is that we're a nation with an aging population and looming ahead of us is a real chrisis. How we get out of it I don't know.
    Mike from Baltimore

    January 27, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  131. Tom from Vermilion, Ohio

    Bankruptcy means financially starting over. With all these 7 and 8 figure unjustified salaries rampant in our country along with our ineffective government, declaring bankruptcy could be the best thing to happen. With a fresh start, we could get back on our feet much more quickly having had the chance to restructure the government to a more efficient form.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
  132. Mitch Dworkin - Dallas, Texas

    Our government will not do anything about it because the Republicans are not serious about working with Obama and they try to filibuster anything that the Democrats want to do. This is the main reason why nothing is getting done.

    The bottom line and the root of the problem is that most Republicans in Congress fear Rush Limbaugh and his tea party activist base because they all know that Limbaugh can tell his followers to primary them if they do or say anything to upset Rush and it will happen.

    Arlen Specter got primaried for his economic stimulus vote and Charlie Crist is getting primaried because he stood up on stage with Obama to accept economic stimulus money, and this is going on all over the country (even with John McCain in Arizona).

    Every Republican in the House and Senate knows that they will get just what Arlen Specter got and what Charlie Crist is getting right now if they do anything that will offend Rush Limbaugh who is rooting for Obama to fail. You know that this is true when the aides to Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell literally call Limbaugh and explain to him what McConnell is doing to obstruct Obama's agenda. Until Obama and Democrats deal with this problem, they will see very few if any Republican votes on ANY of their major agenda!

    January 27, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
  133. Zack Plymouth Mi

    What do you mean by the government wont do anything? Its the people who wont do anything, We're the ones who elected these people promising not to raise taxes, or cut services, but at the same time we complain about the Deficit, why don't we suck it up? why don't we make it so the next generation, (my generation) has all the same chances that yours, my parents, my grandparents, and my young adult cousins had? By sucking it, cutting the military deficit, and raising taxes on highly consumed unhealthy and unnecessary goods such as candy, pop, Alcohol etc, for nothing and nothing else more then the for the purpose of the deficit? Maybe Big biz has to much of a say here. I'm not sure you tell me.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
  134. Jim

    We're stuck in an old way of doing business. There is a disconnect between the accountability of Congress to local constituencies on the one hand, and the decision-making in Washington steered by political parties on the other hand. The problem isn't with the good people from both parties who serve in Congress, but rather in the system. The budget needs national accountability, but Congress is locally – not nationally – accountable. We won't solve the problem without systemic changes. Unfortunately, the system is not healthy enough to change from within unless there is a major stimulus to force the issue. Perhaps giving greater power to the President in the area of budgetary responsibility would give us a better result.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
  135. Ron Larson

    They are having trouble agreeing to act is because the goverment is insolvent. To admit that would seriously impact the power of the government. It would have to admit that we have lost control of the economy's ability to support budget and Federal Reserve demands on the American People. Admission would jeapordize the Federal model and force delegation of some Entitlement programs to the state level to better manage costs, lawsuits and Fraud. They would also have to scale back the American world footprint to what we can actually afford..bad news for corporations whose assets we protect and who evade the most taxes.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
  136. Jacqueline White

    I have never sent you a comment before. But this is the most important question you've ever asked.

    I have known for some time that our country will go bankrupt, but I was hoping it would not happen in my lifetime. It looks like I will live to see it happen.

    Our forefathers set up an excellent government but never foresaw how our greedy lifetime politicians would corrupt the system. I can only hope the economic collapse does come dangerously close, the American people are smart enough to throw out all the members of congress, and that we start over with rules enforcing personal responsibily and limits on fiscal debt.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:30 pm |
  137. tommy barnhill

    Jack,7 republiicans sponsored the legislation on cutting the deficit and all 7 voted against it.It failed by 7 votes.Do your homework!

    January 27, 2010 at 7:30 pm |
  138. steve- virginia beach

    We know how to get from depression to prosperity. We wrote the book on that. Refusal to do so seems to point to intentionality. The Bush/Clinton/Obama dynasty's quest for a New World Order is on track. And so is our ride toward Marxist socialism. Too bad noone made him tell us exactly what change he wanted us to believe in before we elected him and his "progressive" cronies.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:31 pm |
  139. Betty from South Carolina

    I saw our President offering to work with the Republican Party for help down through August,2009. This party has just decided not to work with this Administration. That statement my Senator DeMint made about refusing to work with this President on Healthcare will break him, is the strategy,and it has been used down through the years on any Afro-American who has ideas and willing to put them in action. The Government will not do anything because of who this President is. After this four years, the Government will bail this country out all the debt.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:31 pm |
  140. Theresa

    Who in their right mind would want to be President?

    January 27, 2010 at 7:32 pm |
  141. Stephanie

    I think the sense of urgency is not there because washington has money individually. Everyone working for the government is fine and will continue to be fine, i have a strong feeling that they were smart with their money just not ours. when we do go broke and countries all over the world want their money back then we will see problem with occupational forces and enemies that are ready to exterminate us, problem is we the people will be poor and will suffer and the rich that make all the decision will take off first class seat right out of here to go into luxury hiding and enjoy the rest of their days with little thoughts about us. Money truly is the most evil thing, i take that back, worst part is other countries see us as shallow, wealthy, nose in the air, care about me culture, so many we be happy to see us hurting, begging. time to move out!!! nothing left here, took me 24 years to realize, not much pride and honor left in the USA and definetly not a place for the people, by the people anymore. fate will come, i just hope it takes them first.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:32 pm |
  142. Brent

    Jack, the question is not why Congress fails to act; rather, why do we continue to reelect representatives who clearly succeed at nothing other than ineptitude?

    January 27, 2010 at 7:32 pm |
  143. Ken

    Jack, I think the US will have to get a VAT tax like so many other counries. It needs to reduce spending, but it also needs a major new source of revenue. Also why has it not occured to anyone to stop blaming manufacturers from leaving the 2nd highest corporate tax jurisdiction in the world? Wouldn't it be better to reduce those taxes and get the manufacturers back. You would not need to raise taxes on anybody to pay for this. It would be done by all the new employment.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:32 pm |
  144. Kathy

    The day that any politician has to pay their own way will be the day they worry about the rest of us or our bulging deficit. If they suddenly had to start coughing up some of their salary to pay for their own health and auto insurance, maybe they'd feel the pinch too. As long as the upper echelon in Washington is allowed to keep all of their paycheck while we pay all their bills, they have no deficits to worry about. I believe they should no longer be allowed to make decisions for We The People that have absolutely no impact on them personally, like the cost of health and auto insurance, since we pay both of those incidentals for them. If they want to talk about the deficit, maybe they should start pulling their own weight and paying their own way for a change.

    Indiana

    January 27, 2010 at 7:32 pm |
  145. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    One reason why the government fails to act on this and on most anything of importance, all of Congress is to busy spewing contempt and outdated ideology.

    Which was evident with the interview tonight with Eric Cantor, already against everything Obama may propose, yet by his admission hasn't been told anything. He is not alone, and it isn't isolated to Republican or Democrat who the greatest knuckleheads are.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:33 pm |
  146. George

    Jack,
    I am 60 African-American, unemployed since Sept 09. While I am a Democrat who greatly admires President, I am furious with my party. It is absolutely their fault that the states of Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts has gone Republican. More losses are coming. Simply, neither party seems willing to put their arrogance aside and the country first. Enough of this damned posturing! I have never voted for a Republican, but both parties better wake up. It's long past time for our so-called leaders to begin leading. If they don't want to do their jobs, quit.There are ample unemployed willing to take their place.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:33 pm |
  147. Pat from San Andreas, CA

    Because there has been a quiet hostile take over of the assets of the American people and our countrie's assets by large corporations. They wrote off the American people a long time ago when the jobs got outsourced. Manufacturing jobs are not comming back. In 7 years the corporations and wealthy individuals will have everything and leave a shell of a country. The government will not do anything about it because most elected officials have been bought and sold by corporations. It will take a combination of tax increases and spending cuts to achieve fiscal solvency. Neither will happen because both are unpopular with most citizens and it will take a proactive government to accomplish it. Our representatives are working for corporations not people. What will happen is that all domestic programs will eventually be scrapped and assets transfered to the wealthy.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:34 pm |
  148. Andy

    Jack i think the way they could fix the economy is throw all of the crooked bankers in jail . Start making examples out of these people. I also think the senate & congress that is in there pockets should go to . When did these people become above are laws. I think the money these banks took we should take back. They wrote off everything and the people lost everything and the banks still own everything. After they took everyones money and houses they write it down as a lost.Then turn around sell it for more money they are making out like bandits. Oh yea they are bandits.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:34 pm |
  149. Mike

    The problem comes back to the voters and those who choose not to vote. It's pretty clear that politicians understand that they will not be held accountable for their actions or words. Their main purpose is to get re-elected and that means pandering to the highest bidder. Neither party stands for anything. Each party's carefully crafted message has the primary objective of misleading and distracting the people they represent. Actions are diametrically opposed to their words and there's no consequence. Lie to get in office and then get about the business of exploiting your position to enrich yourself and raise funds for your re-election. The recent Supreme Court ruling was the final nail in the coffin on democracy. Campaigns will be awash in money and politicians will not be able to afford to address the most pressing issues confronting this country. But what's the end game? Is there still something worth fighting for?

    January 27, 2010 at 7:34 pm |
  150. Don from Belleville, Canada

    Because the only two parties at this moment in time are the ultra left which wants heavy taxes and social program spending, versus the extreme right which advocates less taxes and much less government spending and interference.
    In theory either approach could work, but choosing one side over the other seems like deciding which child to toss overboard on the Titanic.
    No politician is willing to sacrifice either child, or compromise and toss half of each child overboard, so the country is gridlocked and both kids will drown.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:35 pm |
  151. David Bakody Nova Scotia

    Next trick .... Pres. Obama's State of Union, will he or won't he start a War on National Debt.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:36 pm |
  152. Marcus Mosby

    Because the government is too busy stealing & misusing taxpayers dollars. I think that our government should be brought up on charges like stealing & misuse of taxpayers dollars. Its no secret that the government has been abusing its citizens for to long.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:37 pm |
  153. R. Hall fro Memphis t

    Three words......NEW WORLD ORDER!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 27, 2010 at 7:39 pm |
  154. Jocelyn in Idaho

    Why won't the govt do anything about it? That's simple- its too overwhelming and these people don't feel the pinch. Not the best folks to represent us.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:39 pm |
  155. Eric

    It is an easy answer, but hard to hear. Its because of us, the American people. We only elect politicians who promise us more while assuring us they will take less. We need to grow up, I'd happily pay a little more in taxes if it meant my neighbors have enough food, shelter, and healthcare. Where is the incentive to change? When is the last time we elected anyone who dared to mention higher taxes? As Americans, we enjoy a very high standard of living (some of us still need more), but we balk at the idea that we should pay for it.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:39 pm |
  156. Pat, Laredo Texas

    It is "We, the people" don't want spending cuts or tax increases as we are the government. Until a majority of voters come to that conclusion, there is little impetus to cure this budget and spending mess.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:41 pm |
  157. James from the Netherlands

    Why will they? They are blind to see the coffin of bankrupcy ready to be buried in the tomb by the senate door. They have forgoting themselves and the american people. It is a shame. I hope they should ask people like us to help prevent it and restore the american pride. After all, it is very easy thing to do: Reverse the economy ; create two million jobs every year for the next 3 years and finally, reduce the public debt by 60% in three years. and Jeff will do what he always do:
    Keeping the good work.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:46 pm |
  158. James

    Because we have presidents that keep us in a war that is not winnable and in wars that we should have not fought in the first place is why we are going broke. Plus Bush gave tax cuts to the rich with the help of the republicans in a time of war which didn't help either so that's why we going broke no money to pay for things for this country if we keep on allowing politicians to keep spending our tax dollars on frivolous things we will be debt forever.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:46 pm |
  159. tommy barnhill

    Jack, 7 Republicans sponsored the deficit reduction bill.Then 7 voted NO. The President should lock horns with any Republican,or Democrat,AND CALL THEM OUT by name!

    January 27, 2010 at 7:48 pm |
  160. Frank

    In a nutshell: the members of the House and Senate are rich. Therefore they believe the country going bankrupt:
    1 – Could never really happen (just like terrorist flying planes into buildings).
    2 – And if it does they have the cash to LEAVE.

    Frank
    Charlotte, NC

    January 27, 2010 at 7:48 pm |
  161. Stan Ward

    Situation Room Report

    Stimulus Program,

    Saliva.

    $220,000

    3 potential Jobs

    'Nuff said

    Stan in Budapest

    January 27, 2010 at 7:49 pm |
  162. Bobby

    I am simply outraged yet not surprised that our do-nothing congress refuses to do anything about our national debt. I for one am sick and tired of both parties and their performance on the national level. This gross and obscene disregard for the well-being and the concerns of the average American is the primary reason why I became an independent. What this country needs is not a "really good five cent cigar" but a viable third party that is a heck of a lot more atuned and responsive to the needs of the average American than the stubborn donkey and the slow-moving elephant. The mindless spending and waste of our government departments need to stop. Higher taxes may help the problem as well, but given the state of our economy, only the richest could afford it. What we need is a committee akin to the Truman Committee but on a grander scale, covering ALL departments. There's no telling how much money we can save by simply eliminating ill-conceived, idiotic, and irresponsible pork barrel projects. All of the aforementioned I's add up to another I, IRATE, which the average voter would be if our leaders don't clean up their act. Jack Cafferty for President!!!

    January 27, 2010 at 7:51 pm |
  163. Carmen

    That.s their plan Jack to bankrupt U.S. through global warming projects. The conspiracy thories show with jesse Ventura, on TRUtv did investigation on global warming that with drive this country to a New World order when our dollar will have no value. His speech tonite will be about energy/global watch because that the new world leaders goal. I hear that Obama, hillary, Tim Giethner attend to secret meetings once a year with the rich leaders like Bilderberger and others. Bush just started the out control spending and bailout to put our country on the bankruptcy path to get the New World order intack which means no free speech. Federal reserve banks are in control. so the rich leaders like bilderbegers will have the power to control the world and by killing people thru food and vaccines etc.. Obama have no choice to break every promise to Americans because such bills like health care with public option and jobs will slow the deficit down which has have to advoid. Americans there will be no jobs.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:51 pm |
  164. Tracey

    They won't do anything because Washington is too busy bickering like children about what to do. I didn't vote for Obama because I felt he did not have enough experience and it is showing. Seven to twelve years left is a pipe dream. I am not Harvard educated but even I know that time is not on our side. Washington needs to quit looking at each other in terms of Democrat and Republican, sit down together and figure this out. We are one country and one people and Washington will also pay a dear price too.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:53 pm |
  165. John

    No one ever holds power long raising taxes or cutting spending. Dems know it, and Repubs exploit it because they could never get elected if they truly were for low taxes and low spending.

    Republicans exploit their "Two Santa Theory" which holds that they can maintain power as long as they increase spending while lowering taxes. Repubs know that when they are out of power, they can gripe about the huge deficits and blame the Dems until they are returned to office, and as long as no one wants to take away Santa, we are going to be in this mess.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:53 pm |
  166. Gary

    I say we give the Congressmen and the Senators a temporary lay off for six or eight months. No pay or health insurance, just unemployment. Can you imagine how much we will save and to top that off they won`t be able talk to lobbyists who steal us blind.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:54 pm |