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May 17th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

Washington's response to exploding federal deficits?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The scariest part about the financial crisis plaguing Greece and other parts of Europe... is whether the United States is next.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner

Much like Greece, we're drowning in exploding deficits: the Treasury Department says that the U.S. has now posted budget deficits for 19 months in a row.

Even more ominous is the fact that in April alone - the U.S. deficit was nearly $83 billion... almost four times as much the deficit for April 2009. Since April is the tax filing deadline... the month historically shows a surplus, not a deficit.

Overall - the deficit for this year is expected to be $1.5 trillion; and the national debt stands at more than $12 trillion.

So it's not surprising people are starting to draw a line between what's happening in Greece - and our own future.

The head of the Bank of England warns the U.S. faces the same problems as Greece. With our "very large fiscal deficit," he says it's important for governments to have a clear plan on how to reduce these deficits.

And of course, that's the crux of the problem. None of our leaders wants to make the tough decisions to either raise taxes or cut spending. They're afraid it will cost them votes.

The White House's top budget official says although the U.S. isn't in "imminent danger" of a crisis like Greece, U.S. lawmakers need to act quickly.

But we have an election in November. So our answer is to sit around waiting for that toothless bipartisan debt commission to come forward with its proposals - that Congress doesn't need to act on - by December. Just one of many reasons to throw the incumbents out - all of them.

Here’s my question to you: What is Washington doing about our exploding federal deficits?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Al in Delaware writes:
How come the deficit didn't matter back when they spent the surplus, started two wars, cut taxes, and passed Medicare Part D – all unfunded? When asked, then-Vice President Cheney said deficits don't matter… I'm not going to hold my breath until some politicians have the guts to simultaneously raise taxes and make the draconian budget cuts that will decrease and finally balance the budget again.

Tom writes:
Congress will do what they have been doing for a long time, blame the lack of progress on the "other side." We the people, need to take back America from the career politicians. To do this, we must send a strong bipartisan message. The message this year is: Just Say NO! Say no to any incumbent, regardless of their party. Vote for anyone but the incumbent!

Dave writes:
Since a huge part of the federal budget goes to defense, the answer is obvious. Bringing our troops home would save about $120 billion per year.

Fran in New Mexico writes:
Nothing. Unless you know something I don't know. The government appears to be ignoring the deficits. We're not headed for another depression - excuse me, the official description was and still is 'recession' - we're headed for economic disaster we won't be able to pull out of.

Dominic writes:
The federal government will do what they always have, put small bandages on cuts that require stitches. Sooner or later America will bleed out.

Kenn writes:
They're doing what Washington always does: looking out for number one, not us, but themselves. Bite the PAC that feeds you? Not in this lifetime. Party labels don't matter either, it's self preservation, brother. Tea anyone?


Filed under: Washington
soundoff (188 Responses)
  1. Plain truth

    Borrowing more money and addding more entitlements that are geared at increasing profits for big insurance, Can you say health care reform. Almost everything our government does, from war to prescription drugs is aimed at redistributing the wealth from the middle class and handing it over to the rich.

    May 17, 2010 at 1:13 pm |
  2. Joe R - Houston

    What is Washington doing about our exploding federal deficits?

    Why Jack... Aren't you satisfied that our economy is improving because newly printed money is being used to buy the debt? Are you saying that you don't believe the government Keynesians? Haven't they been right at every turn? Didn't they predict the looming crisis 10 years ago? Every night we hear on CNN's nightly news that we're in recovery already, haven't you heard? You need to watch your own news reporting from DC. The crisis has been averted. Hasn't it? Why Jack, if it weren't true, they'd be lying, wouldn't they? And we know the government never lies to us. Just have faith, Jack. That's all they ask. What could be easier?

    May 17, 2010 at 1:18 pm |
  3. Fran, Albuquerque, NM

    Nothing. Unless you know something I don't know. The government appears to be ignoring the deficits. We're not headed for another depression - excuse me, the official description was and still is 'recession' - we're headed for economic disaster we won't be able to pull out of.

    May 17, 2010 at 1:19 pm |
  4. Jayne

    Politics prevents anything from being done about the deficit. The problem was caused by tax cuts for the wealthy, wars of choice and a Medicare drug benefit written to the benefit of big pharma. No politician will vote to raise taxes, no politician will vote to end either war and no politician will mess with anything remotely connected to Medicare. I recently heard a tea party person say they wanted to reduce the deficit, reduce taxes, but keep Social Security and Medicare intact. Apparently we are going to start holding bake sales and car washes to reduce the deficit (not unlike people trying to pay for medical care).

    May 17, 2010 at 1:20 pm |
  5. pat in michigan

    In the words of my wife "we can't be out of money I still have checks in the checkbook" and washington still has the presses running 24/7

    May 17, 2010 at 1:20 pm |
  6. Russ in PA

    Washington continues to spend like it's their money, falling back on intellectually-bankrupt Keynesian economic theory that Government is the spender of last resort. Until people catch on that Ron Paul has been correct all these many years, and demand the end to the wars, bail outs and other spending nonsense, we will be driven into bankruptcy. Of course, you could just believe that all the news that the economy is "mending", but, really now, can you trust such nonsense?

    May 17, 2010 at 1:22 pm |
  7. Barbara Leavitt

    Cutting government spending would be a HUGE HELP. There's so much waste it's shameful. All of which has been going on for decades and has helped get us to where we are today.
    Henderson, NV

    May 17, 2010 at 1:22 pm |
  8. Dave Reynolds

    Since two thirds of the federal budget goes to defenses, the answer is obvious. Bringing our troops home would save about 120 billion per year.

    May 17, 2010 at 1:26 pm |
  9. Herman Portland, OR

    This is another unpopular political subject that the administration or congress won't deal in a responsible manner. They can add yet more bodies, commissions to study , review and advise, but to acutally cut government spending – It more than likely won't happen. If the American people were more educated on the costs that the tax payer is billed when congress pases a bill, they probably would not support it. It is Washington's responability to address how they can be more efficient & responsible with the tax payers money. Not wastful as they are so good at.

    May 17, 2010 at 1:32 pm |
  10. Tom Mytoocents Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    Jack
    Some Congressmen are looking for matches
    Some are looking for dynamite.
    Most are just looking.

    May 17, 2010 at 1:33 pm |
  11. Jerry

    Their answer is to throw more explosives into the blast.
    Utah

    May 17, 2010 at 1:35 pm |
  12. Al, Lawrence KS

    If they are smart, they will do everything they can to create jobs, even if it means spending more in the short run. This isn't rocket science. More people working equals more tax revenue. More people out of work equals more spending on unemployment, medicaid, food stamps. Putting people to work is the surest path toward solving the deficit.

    May 17, 2010 at 1:39 pm |
  13. MNResident

    What is Washington doing about our exploding federal deficits?Simple answer Janck-They are expanding it......

    May 17, 2010 at 1:42 pm |
  14. Kevin of CA

    Their having a free for all on spending to promote the welfare state and far right, and far left agendas! Hell with making individuals responsible for their own lives anymore! The goal is to reward the criminals (those who get and take things and give back nothing in return); and tax those of us who take real responsibility for our lives until our private property, and privacy no longer exists!

    May 17, 2010 at 1:44 pm |
  15. southerncousin

    Using Obama economics and adding to it. They have lied about the cost of all of their programs, including a whopper on alleged Health Care Reform (see last week CBO revised estimate). They think they have a mandate from the people and they don't listen to anyone who tells them different. Extremely arrogant administration.

    May 17, 2010 at 1:44 pm |
  16. Rick McDaniel

    Absolutely nothing. Obama announces more frivolous spending, almost daily.

    A good example was last week's proposal to give Israel billions for "missile defense", when in fact, Israel should be perfectly capable of buying their own missile defense system, without having it be a US "gift".

    May 17, 2010 at 1:49 pm |
  17. John from Alabama

    Jack: They are doing nothing about the deficit. They need to institute pay-go in Congress. The Bush Administration did away with pay-go. They need to do away with taxcuts for the highest 5% of wage earners, so there will be more money to pay on the deficit. They need to find out how in 2000 the deficit was only $4 trillion, but in December of 2008 the deficit was near $12 trillion dollars. What happened? and Why?

    May 17, 2010 at 1:49 pm |
  18. Kevin

    Unfortunately, they are currently adding to it – of necessity. The question is, in the future will they decrease spending and increase taxes?

    May 17, 2010 at 1:54 pm |
  19. Kevin in Dallas

    All we've seen Washington do about our exploding federal deficits is try to build a bigger bomb.

    May 17, 2010 at 1:55 pm |
  20. Jerry Driskell

    Planning another celebration ?

    Jerry in Blairsville, GA

    May 17, 2010 at 2:01 pm |
  21. Michele Braun

    Pushing it off on the working poor.
    They all need to lose their jobs.
    I have a question for you. Why when there are so many lay-offs are we still employing JR Senators ? Hell the SR ones aren't even doing there job. We need to start cutting jobs in washington not our schools.
    Michele Shawnee

    May 17, 2010 at 2:05 pm |
  22. Wisconsin Don

    Obama's response appears to be to try and smother the flames with gas.

    Wisconsin Don
    Racine Wisconsin

    May 17, 2010 at 2:06 pm |
  23. barbara in NC

    Jack – can you do math?

    How much is $10 Billion (plus) a month times 12 months, and all that times 9 years?

    I come up with $1 trillion and 80 billion dollars (plus interest plus the blood of our young folks – more than 4000 and counting). Wonder if those two wars Cheney/Rummy, W chose are really worth it?

    May 17, 2010 at 2:08 pm |
  24. Tom in Abilene,TX.

    Well, Washington is NOT closing most overseas military bases or stopping most foreign aid (aka bribery to make nations like us) or bringing our troops home from ill-advised wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.I can't think of one thing being done to seriously address the deficits other than blaming that famous scapegoat- Entitlements.

    May 17, 2010 at 2:10 pm |
  25. Tony from Southport

    Washington is oblivious. They are spending like socialists.... They spend like it's not their money..... oh wait..... it's not their money, it's our money. And what are they buying?? Hopefully tickets home in November.

    May 17, 2010 at 2:11 pm |
  26. Gregory Tripp, Mechanicsburg, PA

    The only way to control these deficits is to increase taxes and cut spending. Neither of these options should be used until the economy has turned around. The best way to control this in the future is to make wise investments today. The best investment by far is quality education. This requires an investment in the family so parents have time and energy to invest in their kids. This requires a decent economy. And there you have it. We are doomed.

    May 17, 2010 at 2:15 pm |
  27. John Rakestraw

    What we need is more tax payers, control spending and get us jobs!
    Jobs will help most with the deficits issues. We don't need new taxes. Get the banks to start lending to small businesses, which in turn will get them to start hiring again out there. Living wages for all will fill our government coffers and make us all feel proud to be Americans again!

    May 17, 2010 at 2:16 pm |
  28. Ed from Texas

    Jack, didn't you get the memo? Vice President Dick Cheney said "President Reagan proved deficits don't matter."

    May 17, 2010 at 2:19 pm |
  29. Eugene from Myers Flat, California

    Not a damn thing Jack. Obamao's welfare state mentality will continue to ignore fiscal realities and print money, until every vote is bought and payed for, with freshly printed greenbacks. My great- great-great grandchildren will never be able to repay this crushing debt, even if we have a country left to pay back. We already call California Mexifornia.

    May 17, 2010 at 2:26 pm |
  30. Ray, Dallas

    Seems to me that raising the taxes levied on our most productive citizens is this administraton's idea of addressing the rapidly growing deficit problem. After all, its key to one of Barry's campaign promises – redistribution of wealth. No mystery, here.

    May 17, 2010 at 2:27 pm |
  31. keith

    They just keep spending more of what we don't have. Washington, is doing nothing but wasting money. That's what Washington and the White House, are doing.

    Keith
    Pennaylvania

    May 17, 2010 at 2:29 pm |
  32. Loren, Chicago

    Washington is doing the same with exploding deficits that it is doing with securing our nation's borders: nothing. What may be important to the majority of Americans is decidedly not important to Washington. Whether they remain in Washington willbe decided in November. My response is: VOTE THEM ALL OUT.

    May 17, 2010 at 2:38 pm |
  33. B.J., Quincy, Il

    Nothing! And since when has the American people been so woried about the deficit being passed on to our kids. We have always had a deficit hanging over our heads and nobody was worried about that Until now . Why is that?
    How do we have the money to bail out these large companies and countries in need of help , yet our disabled and social security doesn't get the raise it's suppose to.

    May 17, 2010 at 2:40 pm |
  34. Ken in NC

    They are doing something?

    May 17, 2010 at 2:41 pm |
  35. Alma Scales

    Do you really expect Congress to do anything about our "exploding federal deficts"? This is an election year, and there are people in Washington who would rather see the country sink than for the president to succeed. Why didn't you ask this question when Bush involved the country in TWO WARS, GAVE TAX BREAKS TO THE RICH, AND TOOK AWAY ALL REGULATIONS ON BIG BUSINESSES AND DIDN'T PAY FOR ANY OF THESE? We have always been a country with an out of bounds defict. Something needs to done and it will, but not now because no one has the guts to do it. There is a group of people out there called THE TEA BAGGERS and they have the Republicans by a sensitive part of their anatomy and the Democrats are afraid too. You need to get real. Noone will do what needs to be done. They all just want to point fingers.

    Alma Scales Nashville Tennessee

    May 17, 2010 at 2:43 pm |
  36. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    This is like a thorn in your foot, it hurts and may get infected unless it is removed. They are ignoring the thorn and it may very well kill our entire future unless we bite the bullit and raise taxes today and cut spending yesterday. By the way Jack, I don't believe the WH's top budget official, nor to I trust any of them.

    May 17, 2010 at 2:48 pm |
  37. Jerry Johns Creek, GA

    Washington is totally engaged in this budgetary crisis. They are all participating as effectively as possible in the new government program of protecting the pork. All have worked hard at getting their own portion of pork on the table. Now they have to make certain that when the inevitable cuts do come that these programs that mean so much to them as they face re-election are adequately protected from the cutbacks.

    May 17, 2010 at 2:49 pm |
  38. Don (Ottawa)

    I think they are just going to wait it out and hand the deficit over to the guys that started it in the first place, the Republicans – who will enact a general sales tax saying it's the only fair thing to do.

    May 17, 2010 at 2:52 pm |
  39. Jill

    Acting like an ostrich and sticking their head in the sand.

    May 17, 2010 at 2:52 pm |
  40. Wilhelm von Nord Bach

    you answered your own question, Jack.

    "None of our (political) leaders wants to make the tough decisions to either RAISE TAXES or CUT SPENDING. They're afraid it will COST them VOTES."

    CAN'T raise taxes, even to where they were before Bush, or the "something for nothing" Club for Growth and Tea Party will scream BUT that same Tea Party crowd will scream even louder IF someone had the guts to cut senior entitlements.

    it's a NO WIN situation for EITHER political party when they are in power.

    May 17, 2010 at 2:53 pm |
  41. Kirk Neuman (Apple Valley, MN

    Simple solution. Increase taxes FOR EVERYONE and cut spending EVERYWHERE. Make George W. Bush and his gang of nitwits pay back all the money we've wasted in Iraq (and now Afghanistan because of their idiocy). Bush started TWO WARS and CUT TAXES, the dumbest thing anyone, even for the brain dead Bush, could do.

    May 17, 2010 at 2:53 pm |
  42. Meg from Troy

    Jack–
    I think that you've answered your own question. Because it is an election year, our Congress and President will do nothing but give the deficit lip service. For me, it's just another reason to get as many incumbents as possible out of the way, and get some fresh focused Congress members on board in November.

    May 17, 2010 at 2:53 pm |
  43. Jim

    Jack,

    Washington isn't doing much about the deficits for the very reason you cited, the upcoming election. Do you really think that throwing incumbents out and starting with fresh faces will actually change anything? Are you that dumb? The same political forces that twist the current leaders into knots will still be there. As long as politicians fear, and rightly so, losing their jobs if they even whisper tax increase or spending cut, the problem will linger. There are answers, of course. The American voting public could wise up and start rewarding courageous leadership (not likely) or we could term limit our Congresspersons (less likely). Or, we can all keep our eyes closed and just try to muddle our way out of this mess.

    Jim
    Reno, Nevada

    May 17, 2010 at 2:56 pm |
  44. Bob from Bradenton, Fl

    Democrat or Republican or is it Republican or Democrat Who to Vote for???

    God or Satin, Satin or God??? That about sums up our Government with the two party's. One is going to try and undermined the other by false promises to the flock and grab all the power and bend them to their will. If its right or wrong morally they do not care as both Democrats and Republicans pray to the same GOD...

    And that God has several names, one is Greed, another is Power, then we have Absolute Control, and World Domination, Big Oil, Wall Street,ect. Those are just a few names their God goes by and they pray to on Capital Hill...

    They do have a Bible that they are suppose to follow to keep them on the right path. Its called the US Constitution. It was written by group of wise men who denounced the rule of a Government who prayed to the same God our leaders now pray to.
    Now we face the same injustice rulings our founding fathers fought and died for all over again, and the Bible they wrote, well that ended up being flushed down the sewer, just like our hopes and dreams of living a life our Constitution was suppose to protect....

    When are our so called leaders going to stop fleecing the people who voted for them and paying tribute to their God ???? (the lobbyist who own their souls and paid to get them elected)...

    All that oil and money will make for a very hot fire for them in the after life!!! At least they will have their God to comfort them, and assure them they made the right choices in office...

    May 17, 2010 at 2:57 pm |
  45. Lori - PA

    Jack,

    Even though the top budget official says that lawmakers need to act quickly to avoid what happened in Greece, they, the lawmakers, will continue to ignore the situation. Apparently they don't get that the American people are fed up with lawmakers turning a blind eye to the problems the United States are facing.

    May 17, 2010 at 3:00 pm |
  46. Larry,Springfield,Ohio

    Jack,elections have consequences",what is Washington doing about our exploding federal deficits?"Making it worse of course!

    May 17, 2010 at 3:01 pm |
  47. Steve,NY

    What is Washington doing about the deficit?? Nothing.
    You think it's bad now, wait until 2014 when the Health Bill kicks in.
    This country is going to the dogs. The politicians are sleeping and heading out free money when they're awake. .

    May 17, 2010 at 3:01 pm |
  48. David Alexandria VA

    At the moment, Jack, they seem to be doing the same thing they have been doing for the past four adminstrations - nothing but wringing their hands, adding more bureaucracy, expanding entitlement programs we can't affford now, and (of course) running for re-election). There is an unpopular answer here: we spent money we didn't have and have now pretty much soaked up our rainy day fund for the next 30 years. This is going to have cost everyone (and I mean everyone) something to solve– we've all benefitted from our own largesse

    And if Congress can't find the intestinal fortitude or moral integrity to level with the American people, they're not going to have to worry about being re-elected.

    May 17, 2010 at 3:02 pm |
  49. Pete from Georgia

    Washington is doing what it's been doing for years..................turning to so called "experts" for answers and fiscal policy. The only problem is that these "experts" are about as qualified to find real answers as a homeless panhandler....................maybe less so.

    May 17, 2010 at 3:02 pm |
  50. Tina Tx

    Never a good response from Washington but the voters vote out the incumbents thinking that this will solve the problem and it does for a short period and then the lobbyists crawl into the pockets of the newbies and your process starts all over. Keep voting out the oldies and set term limits and it will help.

    May 17, 2010 at 3:03 pm |
  51. Jim Mazenis

    The pols in DC are still under the assumption that the future generations will bask in greater economic activity then this generation's. The pols believe that they will pay for all this nonsense. This is the pols First Commandment, even though most economists say otherwise.

    May 17, 2010 at 3:04 pm |
  52. Tina Tx

    The color of money. Money is the root of all evils. We have become so stinking spoiled and therefore are loosing any good sense. This big recession has slowed some of it down for a period but we are going to loose this war.

    May 17, 2010 at 3:04 pm |
  53. Richard Texas

    Jack that is quite simple. They are making the debt bigger. It takes courage to cut spending. It takes a spine to hold firm and be fiscally responsible. It takes nothing more then common sense to say "No" to raising the national debt. Unfortunately our politicians in Washington are lacking in all three of these areas. Courage, Backbone and Common sense.
    I have a solution to this lack of courage and responsibility and that is to limit terms for all members of congress to only 2 terms, period. We also take away their pay and healthcare for life. It should be an honor to serve your country in congress and that should be payment enough. Carrier politicians are what got us to where we are which is deep in debt. It is time for them to go away.

    May 17, 2010 at 3:04 pm |
  54. Pete from Georgia

    The basic problem is that every politician in Washington has their own agenda, not a genuine interest in America as a whole.
    Until something miraculous happens to change that, it's business as usual.

    May 17, 2010 at 3:07 pm |
  55. Bizz Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    Jack, if anyone running for office would stand up and tell the American people what needs to be done to reduce the deficit they would not get elected or reelected. Everyone knows what needs to be done but no one wants to bite the bullet. Common sense tells us that we cannot keep pouring money into of Afghanistan and Iraq. We need to raise taxes and we need to cut benefits In different programs. And everyone including the rich and big business needs to pay their fair share in order for us to get out of this mess. Try putting that into a campaign speech. The odds of you getting elected to office would be around a 100 to 1.

    May 17, 2010 at 3:07 pm |
  56. Ryan in Galesburg, IL

    Jack, Greece and the United States are not the same. They are similar, in that the working class of each country are getting socked for the dalliances of politicians and bankers. However, the U.S. has the ability to dig itself out, and the economy to warrant the spending we need to repair the economy.

    May 17, 2010 at 3:11 pm |
  57. Ray in Nashville

    Jack, Obama's stimulus package worked to keep us out of a depression. I get that. But the truth is, all of the members of Congress are practicing NIMBY economics. They're all for making cuts as long as it doesn't affect their state or district. History tells us, though, that the people elected to clean up the capitol will fall under the same spell of lobbyist money that have taken hold of the ones up there now. Face it, we're screwed.

    May 17, 2010 at 3:13 pm |
  58. Kathie

    Our "nonrepresentatives" in Washington have no concept of responsible fiscal policy. They are blind to the struggles our couontry is in. All they can do is spend and give money away. Why do we need a new embassy in the UK? Why give Israel millions for a defense system? Why continue to fund 2 wars? Why enforce federal laws re: immigration even though illegal aliens are raping our health/education system and taking jobs? Why regulate Wall street since they would lose money going into their election funds? And the list goes on and on and on. They are so worried about losing a vote they will do or say anything to get reelected despite the cost to our country. Put term limits in place for all 3 branches of government. Through the irresponsible bums out!

    May 17, 2010 at 3:13 pm |
  59. Rick Medina,OH

    Jack,

    It seems so long ago, but it was only 10 years ago that the U. S. federal budget appeared to be somewhat in control. We had run two years of surpluses, and the business press was loaded with articles and fancy graphs predicting the year we'd be virtually debt free. Mr. Bush didn't even get his seat warm in the Oval Office before he changed all that. The problem, Jack, is there is no real stress on the politicians to act ... and without a 'Greece-like' crisis, it is unlikely they will. I'm with you ... let's get a new team ... 535 strong. We can't do worse.

    Rick,
    Medina,OH

    May 17, 2010 at 3:14 pm |
  60. Erin

    throw them out and replace them with who? Tea-partiers?

    The debt commission might be missing some teeth but I'll take a slow-to- act, slightly gummy ensemble of well-meaning lawmakers over the rabid, teeth-bearing tea party any day.

    Taxes need to go up not down, spending needs to have a reliable fiscal return (unlike the hemorrhaging war spending)

    But
    What this coury doesn't need is more Michelle Bachmanns.

    May 17, 2010 at 3:15 pm |
  61. Mark, Oklahoma City

    What else? Borrowing more money to pay off the deficit...DUH!

    May 17, 2010 at 3:24 pm |
  62. Greg in PA

    What is Washington doing? What kind of question is that? Washington is a state, they have nothing to do with federal deficits.

    May 17, 2010 at 3:24 pm |
  63. Joanne B

    Absolute nothing ! They passed PAYGO (Dems promised they'd pay as they passed money to to be spent Laws in Feb) and have had several waivers and spent some 250 Billion Dollars since that time....exactly what this ADM wants ! Amazing a good percentage of people still does not get it ! Reported yesterday they want to spend another 200 Billion by the end of the month...for teachers, etc.
    When do we reach 100% debt to GDP...won't be long.....hello Greece at that time....just what this ADM wants.
    I no longer feel sorrry for people who voted for Obama. We prepared and don't have the empathy anympre.
    Joanne
    Mn

    May 17, 2010 at 3:26 pm |
  64. kent,nj

    Washington is doing absolutely nothing about the national debt. The numbers you hear are misleading because the true debt counting the medicare and social security iou's is 65 trillion dollars, or over 400% of the GDP. The democratic congress and obama continue to waste taxpayer money on wars, military weapons, bailouts, corporate welfare, and useless programs designed to get votes. K street, defense contractors, large banks and wall street own obama and congress. The federal reserve continues to print money 24/7 and give it away to the banks at 0% interest. The voters must remove all incumbents, because they are the problem not the solution.

    May 17, 2010 at 3:26 pm |
  65. james wardlaw

    First everybody,including the media, should learn the difference between debt and deficit. Obama inherited a ten trillion dollar debt from the last three republican Presidents. Where were the Tea Parties then? The current " explosion is due to previous deregulation and tax cuts. Where were the Tea Parties then? Current deficit is due to new programs. all meant to cure the problem, and that will require tax increases. Somebody should wake up the idiots with the truth for once. The Republicans created this mess with trickle down, tax cuts for the wealthy,and deregulation. Republicans controlled Congress ten years. Where was the Tea Party then?

    May 17, 2010 at 3:27 pm |
  66. David from Herndon, VA

    I hear you, Jack, but I'm wondering "and replace them with what?" Americans are so overworked, under-informed and in some cases flat out stupid that we're easy prey for those the powerful to take advantage of.

    If we throw out all the incumbents, then we're going to replace them with a bunch of republicans since they're the party out of power. Then in another few years, we'll throw out those bums and replace them with a bunch of democrats.

    There just aren't enough credible third party candidates running for office, and many of the ones who do are freak shows.

    I have to be honest with you - I think the country is a sinking ship. The average voter doesn't have the opportunity to inform himself between the demands of one or more jobs (if he's lucky), a working spouse, kids, and the easy distractions of hi def tv, internet, etc.

    The "haves" in this country are aware of that fact, and take advantage of it fully. They've robbed the country blind thusfar and we're approaching a breaking point, at which point they'll jump ship to some other place and we'll be left cleaning up the devalued and overtaxed mess.

    May 17, 2010 at 3:30 pm |
  67. Jack, Niceville

    Washington reminds me of the story of the Roman Emperor Nero, fiddling while Rome burned!

    May 17, 2010 at 3:31 pm |
  68. bill

    What is Washington doing about the deficit? They bitch about it, then they spend some more. Members of congress try to pretend that somehow they have nothing to do with the ever increasing spending as if some mystical entity is sucking money out of the treasury and Congress is powerless to stop it. We The People are not stupid! We know that we have to reduce spending and increase taxes. Yes, we have to increase taxes. I'm so tired of listening to the morons who pay little or no taxes screaming about having to pay taxes. Taxes are necessary for We the People to pay our collective obligations. Taxes also redistribute wealth. Yes, redistribute wealth. Without this redistribution capitalism would ultimately polarize all the wealth in this country and then collapse. We The People live in the real world. It's about time Congress did!

    May 17, 2010 at 3:32 pm |
  69. Denise from Phoenixville, PA

    OMG knock it off already! I'm so sick of people whining about the federal deficit on the one hand, while griping about joblessness and other problems on the other. Don't you guys realize that everything, not just some things, but everything the government does to help the people costs money! How is the government to function if it can't spend money? I challenge anyone to explain to me how President Obama can exact change without spending a dime. You complain about the deficit, but then you complain that the government is not doing enough...can't have it both ways, guys.

    May 17, 2010 at 3:34 pm |
  70. Minesh - Troy, MI

    Jack,
    The ony pragmatic solution is dramatic decrease in Government spending and cutting taxes simultaneously to stimulate the economy.

    Democrats love spending AND raising taxes. So expect in January for the Deficit reduction commission to recommend 10% VAT (Value Added Tax). Then the Democrats in Washington will spend even more money so VAT will go up to 17-25% in the next few years.

    Minesh Baxi, Troy MI

    May 17, 2010 at 3:38 pm |
  71. Greg H - Minneapolis

    Jack, Washington's response is whatever they think will get them the most votes. Unlike most families today, they do not understand that when less money comes in, less should go out. Raising taxes on the wealthy makes a great soundbite, but Congress and the President forget one key thing. They are WEALTHY themselves!!

    May 17, 2010 at 3:41 pm |
  72. Gail, Plano TX

    Absolutely, nothing. Here's one way to save money, Jack. Cut Congress' salary in half. That's a good start. Ditto for all the news reporters on TV and radio. Finish up with the athletes, and we would have a pot money!

    May 17, 2010 at 3:42 pm |
  73. Mark, Berwyn PA

    They appear to be adding gunpowder to the explosion.

    May 17, 2010 at 3:44 pm |
  74. Connie

    There isn't a politician around that will do what is necessary: cut Medicare, cut Medicaid, cut social security and cut the defense budget.

    May 17, 2010 at 3:44 pm |
  75. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    Jack, you are tarring everyone with the same brush. How will we ever get a more moral politician in office, if we beat up the good with the bad? Speaking of beatings, when Bush created this record deficit with no bid Halliburton contracts and half billion dollar grants to Big Oil, Senator Olympia Snowe publicly refused to go along with the crazy spending and she was the victim of Republican thug ad campaigns. When we get a profiles in courage moment like that, we need to act like we appreciate it. Now that the Bush/Cheney hole is already dug, we get hysterical. Poor timing.

    May 17, 2010 at 3:45 pm |
  76. bob z fr ,pa.

    how long before we don't have a country. ihope after the election we can get somebody that cares for the usa

    May 17, 2010 at 3:50 pm |
  77. Mark from Voorhees, NJ

    The House and Senate are doing what they have done for the past ten years: Shoveling borrowed money into no-bid contracts to the likes of Halliburton and the Xe Corporation (nee Blackwater) and others designated by lobbyists for their two fruitlessly tragic wars,making the American public hugely overpay and padding the profits of "health insurance industry", the only industry that makes nothing. In short, they are doing what they have always done...stealing with both hands. What are they doing about defecits? Making sure they get theirs before we do wind up like Greece.

    May 17, 2010 at 3:52 pm |
  78. Bertina

    America didn't seem to mind when Reagan and the two Bushes ran deficits. Why all of the sudden is it's Obama who has to be the one to figure out the problem?

    May 17, 2010 at 3:54 pm |
  79. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    WWII – 2008 Democratic presidents increased the national debt by an average of 3.7% a year, while Republican presidents increased the debt by an average of 10.1%

    May 17, 2010 at 3:56 pm |
  80. Joe CE

    WE need a balanced budget law (at least within 5%). Since the defuicit is so high we probly nee to cut at least 109% until balanced. WE could get a start by eliminating the cap on Social Security.

    May 17, 2010 at 3:58 pm |
  81. Jester Jersey from Davis, CA

    Absolutely nothing! This has been going on for years, and now politicians are worrying about losing a few votes? Voters have elected these incompetent incumbents to do their jobs, which they aren't doing. We're spending ourselves into oblivion without regard, and the people are angry. Voters did not elect politicians to worry about their jobs. Voters elect politicians to take care of our problems, not the other way around. Perhaps if politicians understood this, they wouldn't be so worried about their jobs in the first place. They need to remember that they are there because of the voters: that means they can be just as easily removed.

    Jester Jersey
    Davis, California

    May 17, 2010 at 4:01 pm |
  82. Paulette in Dallas,PA

    They are in deniel right now but they need to do both – raise taxes and cut spending.

    May 17, 2010 at 4:03 pm |
  83. David Bebeau,Springfield Missouri

    Jack
    I do mean to be polite but as I have said many times on this fine blog
    "they don't care" its re-election,money and power.The country and the people do NOT figure into their selfish selves.
    Washington is SO corrupt and so broken only the people can fix it and they will fix it with their vote,they must.
    David

    May 17, 2010 at 4:03 pm |
  84. Dennis north Carolina

    The debt will not be handled until the voters realize that until you put one party in complete control you can not hold any one party responsible be cause they will throw the blame back and forth and nothing will get done. the career office holders have learnt to play the game. if you put one party in complete control then the blame will fall on the guilty parties. we can then vote a new round of leaders into office. this can be done every four years until we get the right leaders. we need to get rid of the words career office holder which stands for my self and my welfare.

    May 17, 2010 at 4:04 pm |
  85. Simon/Orlando

    Absolutely nothing. That's why there is going to be a big change in November. We need to elect people who care more about their country than their careers.

    May 17, 2010 at 4:05 pm |
  86. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    I think the jerks in Washington are going to see just how damn high they can get it. It is funny just how stupid members of congress act when they are spending someone else's money, they are worse than some drunk at a strip club.

    May 17, 2010 at 4:07 pm |
  87. Joe in VA

    Washington is incapable of dealing with this issue until it blows up in our face, which will be any time now. Even then, the solution will be too little, too late and will be driven more by politics than practicality. A true solution calls for pain – something our congress doe not have the nerve to inflict. It means tax increases and entitlement cuts. Neither will garner bipartisan support. I can hear the demagogues now. I despair.

    Chatham, VA

    May 17, 2010 at 4:08 pm |
  88. Ray E. (Georgia)

    It appears Washington is doing the same thing it always does. Pass the Buck. Past Politicians put programs in place, All Democrats as I recall and then left us holding the bag.

    We can't dig up Franklin D. Roosevelt or Lyndon Johnson and hang them So far I don't see anything keeping us from going ito another Depression..

    I joined the Social Revolution when I cast my first vote in 1960. So far I have been losing and (I), we have at least a 12 trillion dollar debt to prove it. BUT, PEOPLE VOTED FOR IT all these years so they can now live with the consequenses.

    I hope they saved for their retirement.

    May 17, 2010 at 4:08 pm |
  89. Richard Green

    Jack,

    We know that the GOP response to the deficits is to ask us not to look at how they grew so big (tax cuts, wars, borrowing, and more tax cuts) . Their solutions are tax cuts, keep borrowing for wars, tax cuts, and cut Medicare. The Dems, to their credit, may soon allow the Bush tax cuts to expire. This will add hundreds of billions to the Treasury. The Dems, to their credit, are trying to spend money to get Americans back to work. Now is the time to engage in proper deficit spending to stimulate the economy.....not to starve the economy by reducing spending.

    Rich Green
    San Clemente, Ca.

    May 17, 2010 at 4:11 pm |
  90. Cy Gardner

    What are YOU doing to explain how the deficits got so big? The Republicans pushed us into two wars, gave out no-bid contracts like Halloween candy, rammed through the Prescription Drug Co. Welfare Act and cut 1.8 TRILLION dollars worth of tax collections AND they put it all on their Chinese credit card. . But THEY want to take over and fix the mess they created. The corporate owned media parrots all the right wing propaganda as if it is a valid argument and ignores all the right wing responsiblity. Do YOUR job, Jack. cy from arlington,va

    May 17, 2010 at 4:11 pm |
  91. Cy Gardner

    The Republicans are doing what they always do: screaming and pointing fingers and refusing to behave like adults. The Democrats are trying to delay acting responsibly for another election cycle. And the corporate owned news media is doing what they like to do: treating every issue like a prize fight won by the fighter with the best bumper sticker. Right now we are paying less taxes than we have since the 50s!!! Dozens of countries tax their citizens more. And, maybe someday, rich people and corporations in America will have to start paying taxes again. We need government to do stuff and WE need to pay for it. cy from arlington, va

    May 17, 2010 at 4:16 pm |
  92. Don (Belleville, Ontario)

    Washington is simply assuming that a robust economy will solve the deficit problem and eventually the accumulated debt will be paid off.
    British Petroleum is simply assuming that the oil will dissolve and no ecological problem will occur.
    American politicians are simply assuming that doing nothing about everything will get them re-elected.
    I am simply assuming that several American States will eventually be sold to Canada, China and Japan at fire sale prices. Then Canada can rename Montana to "Moosetana". China can rename Alaska to
    "New Shanghai", and Japan can rename Hawaii to "East Tokyo".

    May 17, 2010 at 4:19 pm |
  93. Leslie

    In a word nothing. With our politicians lust for war and greed for the world corporate economy its not likely anything will change. Our politicians have sold this country to the big corporations and they are not ashamed of if. It makes no sense that this government has taken the country from a economical prowess just ten years ago to economical failure. This is not the failure of the Obama administration because he inherited this mess. It is the failure of a C- president and even greedier congressional leaders ability to do the job they were sent to Washington to do. Which is to protect the citizens of the country and its borders. They have been fighting the wrong war and now its too late.

    May 17, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
  94. Bob from Bradenton, Fl

    Why the US is going broke, its because our legal system is broke.

    I guess amnesty will be next for the rest of the illegal people here... And the people from Kenya are buying up plane tickets to the US in record numbers, they are already calling up the welfare system and filing for benefits even before they arrive as President Barack Obama's Aunt received amnesty and allowed to stay in her section 8 housing development...

    May 17, 2010 at 4:25 pm |
  95. Ed from California

    Nothing but adding to it. With deregulation and the outsourcing of our jobs, and with no answer for same. Washington is trying to keep the lid on the upcoming catastrophe were heading in to. D.C is spending money on social programs. Sadly, I have friends who have worked all their lives have begun to ask for help.

    Business's are closing, their building are sitting empty, People are still losing their homes. You can't find meaningful employment. Gas prices still high. American workforce, pays taxes. Those taxes run our govt. A unemployed America pays no taxes. That concept alone escapes some of our elected help. Those that don't get that need to move on to other endeavors.

    With all that mess, government has a duty to help all legal Americans weather the storm. So, DC is going to spend on social program's to help folks out. You could be next.

    May 17, 2010 at 4:26 pm |
  96. Will from San Jose, CA

    The only thing Washington is doing is making the deficits bigger. These are the people who dug us into this hole to begin with, why should we believe they have what it takes to get us out?

    May 17, 2010 at 4:29 pm |
  97. Chandler

    What do you want them to do, Jack? Cut the Social Security check you are so close to collecting, or raise taxes on your inflated celebrity salary? You know Washington can’t do either one. The only way out is to raise the revenue base by putting everybody back to work. The only thing that matters is good, high paying American jobs, but Washington politicians in both parties have gleefully allowed the destruction of all classes of American jobs except one – their own. Throw them all out? Nonsense. The most secure job on the planet is that of an American congressman!

    May 17, 2010 at 4:30 pm |
  98. Gary H. Boyd

    Nothing Jack, absolutely nothing. That's why we citizens must act by throwing the bums out in November and I mean EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM. A tiny few may not be responsible for the current mess but knowing who they are is impossible so I say we throw the baby out with the bath water. Incumbents BE GONE.

    Gary in Arizona

    May 17, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
  99. al in Delaware

    How come the Deficit didn't matter back when they spent the surplus, started two wars, cut taxes, and passed Medicare Pt. D. all unfunded. When asked, then Vice President Cheney said deficits don't matter. Americans are paying the lowest taxes in 60 years and they are still bitching. I'm not going to hold my breath untill some politicians have the guts to simutaneously raise taxes and make the draconian budget cuts that will decrease and finally balance the budget again.

    May 17, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
  100. Jurgen R. Brul

    Hello Jack Cafferty and CNN friends,

    Time will tell if the Obama administration is the right choice for fixing our exploding federal deficits, because past good results of the Obama administration is not a guarantee for future good results!

    Greetings,
    Jurgen R. Brul

    May 17, 2010 at 4:36 pm |
  101. EE Wiese

    The government has a program for dealing with the deficits in every issue or challenge we face. The first thing we should do is stop the Bush tax cuts.Next get the troops out of Iraq and Afghanstan.Then cut the military budget by 10%. Raise the retirement age to 70.Then,collect all the back taxes that have not been paid to the IRS.Stop all subsidies to companies who out source manufacturing jobs that can be done in the USA. If we do all the things mentioned above,we could reduce the deficits and balance the budgets of all the states. Gene

    May 17, 2010 at 4:36 pm |
  102. keith in ky.

    Well now they are adding to it as fast as they can, adding more unfunded programs and job killing bills such as health care and cap and tax, what are these morons thinking are they so far out of touch with reality that they think we'll just belive any of these LIES they spew out their pie hole!!! So now the president says he wants to freeze spending, well moran you should have cut spending first, not increase it to unsustainable levels and then say lets freeze it here, stupid stupid stupid. I guess when you've never held a real job where you have to produce you can't be expected to have a clue. I think their new slogan should be- We don't care, cause we don't have to, we're the federal goverment so shut up and sit down, to which I say kiss my – – -, the people put you there and we will VOTE YOU OUT!!

    May 17, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
  103. Susan Frost

    They're not doing a damn thing and they won't because that would entail raising taxes and telling lobbyists to take a hike, which would require that they collectively grow a pair and that will happen when pigs fly.

    Susan
    Tuscaloosa AL

    May 17, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
  104. Jack

    not a thing and that's the problem. In fact this administration has
    done nothing but incease the deficit with handout program after handout program. Just like the home spending must stop, just like
    the mortgage crisis, We won't be able to handle our payment or in this
    case just the intrest on our payment> The federal government job is not to micro manage.

    May 17, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
  105. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: What are they doing about our exploding deficits?------lending more money to those who got us in the situation that we are in now. Nobody has a clue on how to resolve the federal deficit.....not a clue.

    May 17, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
  106. Jane (Minnesota)

    Let's see, Washington basically has been looking the other way when:

    Companies moved large numbers of US jobs overseas – job loss contributes directly into revenue loss.

    Companies have merged and merged (another source of job loss)and there is no inclination to see if the monopoly laws need to be enforced

    Companies prefer to have low cost labor so they pressure Washington not to crack down on illegal immigration

    You had the previous administration that never counted the cost of the 2 wars they put us into in the deficit calculation when they were in office

    At the same time tax cuts for the very wealthy were implemented. – Less revenue

    Now it's an election year (election season doesn't ever seem to end these days) and you can bet they won't enact anything that will be good for America if they think they will lose firstly campaign contributions and secondly votes. What a country we have evolved into. it's sad and scary.

    May 17, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
  107. Michael, Alexandria, VA

    Repealing the upper income portion of the Bush tax cuts, which is about all it should be doing for now – besides studying a VAT (which would be ideal for paying for eventual single-payer health care and the unfunded Republican Medicare Prescription Drug benefit).

    May 17, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
  108. Ron, Surprise, AZ

    Washington is doing nothing about the deficit, to misquote Ross Perot, "There is a giant sucking sound coming out of China" that needs to be plugged up, manufactory jobs lost to China, as far as a industrial and economical disaster it is much worse than the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico...

    May 17, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
  109. EE Wiese

    The lack of religious training at an early age. Immaturity because of a lack of education,can result in obsessive compulsions.Family structure results in failure if not controlled with love and understandng.If all else fails take two and hit to right because that's the way it is. Gene

    May 17, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
  110. DON IN WESTPORT, MASS.

    Nothing.
    They are doing what they do best. Our country's leaders let the next generation worry about it while they skate through thier political careers. Why should they care? When they are dead, they don't have to worry anymore. They made thier millions.
    As far as feeling guilty about thier legacy and what they leave behind as leaders of the people, is not really that important to them as it used to be generations ago.
    After all isn't it better to have been elected President and not accomplish anything than to not be elected at all and lose all that prestige.

    May 17, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
  111. JF

    Why don't the RICH people fix it. They broke it. If a person make
    50,000,000 a years, and he taxes is 20,000,000 or so. Is 30,000,000
    to little of an income to pay more taxes. Once again until the people
    with much do much, things will never change. Every program the
    government comes up with to fix the deficit, will not work because they
    all intel saving people money who already have to much money.
    Anyone that knows a little about business, knows, in order to stop
    needing loans. You will need to start making money. And you can not
    get money from people who do not have any money. So put your so called college learning to work and start looking were the money is
    for the money. " WHAT KIND OF GAME ARE YOU PLAYING "

    May 17, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
  112. Ben from Boston

    Jack,

    Congress does not even have a budget for the nation and refuses to produce one - because it will show how much they are planning for us to go into debt. They hope they can whistle past the graveyard where their constituent's hopes and dreams are being buried under their reckless behavior. I can't wait to throw the bums out !

    May 17, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  113. Jay

    They continue to make the same mistakes every year and expect a different outcome.... much like a drug addict. All they need is their fix of votes. The rest of the year is look good for the camera.

    May 17, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  114. KDS Irvine, CA

    NOTHING!! Jack,
    Don't you know its an election year in Congress. They're all back in their districts trying to get re-elected. Let us Americans make our voice heard and throw em all out in November.

    May 17, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  115. John from San Antonio

    Washington is not doing anything about the exploding deficits. Our government is in the control of the large corporations and the transfer of wealth is going according to plan. Most people say they are against it but fail to recognize it is not taking place as advertised. the transfer is from the middle class to the wealthy. the professional parasites in government are mere lackeys.

    May 17, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  116. Jim Brennan ,Township of Washington, NJ

    NOTHING. And. like the incumbents ... we're ALL going to pay.

    May 17, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  117. Jeff in Minnesota

    The same thing it has always done, provide a band-aid to get us by and then pass the problem along to the next Congress.

    President Bush's Comptroller-General, David Walker, produced a presentation and a documentary, IOUSA, that describes the problem and what needs to be done. He travelled the country trying to get people to understand just how dire the straits were and that we need to act soon before it is too late. Did anyone listen, apparently only a few people.

    The bottom line is that we are spending ourselves into a hole even deeper than Greece and the EU. If we don't do something and soon, the rest of the world will stop funding our deficits and then we'll be in real trouble.

    At some point, we have to own up to the fact that we cannot spend more than we have. Until then, we will sit on the brink of financial collapse.

    May 17, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  118. katiec Pekin, IL

    The only incumbents that should be thrown out are the ones who continue to surpport big business, Wall St over the welfare of the American people. They, and no government regulations or oversight are what almost destrroyed our country.
    Since you or I are not economists, Jack, perhaps we should give our goverment a chance to get our country back on it's feet., resolve all the criseses that were created. We most certainly cannot expect what took eight long years to materialize be resolved overnight, can we??

    May 17, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  119. Mike Great Falls, VA

    Jack, Washington isn't doing anything. Why? Simple, there is absolutely no reason politically for any politician to anything if they want to stay in office. To get ourselves out of this fiscal mess, we have to cut spending and raise taxes – it's very simple math. But neither one of those ideas is ever popular with the voters. We citizens are as much to blame as the spend-thrift politicians as we keep electing people who don't balance the books. My fear is that we'll have to get into crisis mode before we, as a country, respond to this mess. America respond better than just about any nation ever has to a crisis, but damn if we aren't terrible at preventing one.

    May 17, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  120. Josh Hiken

    Obviously, they are going to continue to print fake money further debasing our currency. It is politically more viable to kick the can down the road by propping up Wall St. and avoiding the hard medicine of spending cuts and higher interest rates. We are facing either a brutal depression or what's worse hyperinflation if the Federal Reserve is allowed continue the global trend of money printing and corruption.

    May 17, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  121. OBDAG from Appleton, WI

    What washington is doing concerning the federal defecit is simply nothing of any value in terms of correcting the problem. Clearly the best way to solve this problem is to have the ones that created the defecit (i.e., the Republican Party and its leaders (like former president Bush) be the ones to develop the detailed plan for correcting the defecit problem. The old cliche that it's the Democrats are the tax and spent party is not true. Would is true is that the problem is created by the "don't tax, but still spend, spend, spend Republican Party. Personally. I am prepared to accept tax increases as long as I can see value for the additional money that I would have to pay. For example, I do not mind paying more taxes to having a strong Defense or to pay for more border guards. It's time to do what we need to do even if difficult to swallow for a while. I just don't want to hear that the increased taxes get funneled into the pockets of politicians from Texas to have extravegant parties in a year or two down the line.

    May 17, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  122. Scott Stodden

    Can't you see Jack what the United States is doing about our federal deficits? Nothing except spend, spend, spend and that is outrageous! The way to balance our budget is to raise taxes and cut spending immediatly, we have to get strict about our spending habits and raise taxes otherwise in the future we're going to end up like Greece!

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    May 17, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  123. Michael in Phoenix

    I do not believe the government is doing anything about it. In reality we need to do something about it. The first step is to remove all of the people that are currently doing nothing.

    May 17, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  124. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Dear Jack,

    in fact the answer to your question goes in line with your second question-answer of the day ...if we want to face our fiscal deficit we will have to face our own respective and collective human deficit!

    May 17, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  125. H from abroad

    Jack,

    Will YOU vote against your incumbent congressperson and senators in the next election?

    Just curious

    May 17, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  126. Larry

    I'm on the same page as your jack. Throw them all out ...!Just as long as there are at least as many far right waco's as there are democrats ...you got my vote Jack.

    May 17, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  127. Gigi Oregon

    Many would like us to go out with a bang. They do nothing but criticize and blame the other guy. The problem began , I believe with the tax cuts to the rich, letting the rich ship their jobs over seas to make larger profits which they bank in China and other countries, Sell their crap back to us at inflated prices. Which many at home continue to buy. Give bailouts to the banks/lending institutions with their hidden fees, keeping the poor and middle class in debt to them. Pay themselves large wages and high bonuses, The government is going to let our grandchildren pay back the bailouts monies, with high taxes, the rich will get richer and the poor poorer.

    Washington for a mouth full. Washington will do,business as usual. Because the American people don't know how to fight corporate America.

    Washington needs to clean house the wages are not earned, the expense accounts are inflated, they need to buy their own benefits and be limited two two terms. And that is just a start. We need a fair flat tax. No matter who you are. Legal or not. Rich or poor. And no lobbyist. They are a big part of the corruption in Washington.

    May 17, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  128. Michael

    Jack, try offering some complex solutions to our complex problems instead of just criticizing others for them. And by the way, not every single beaurocrat in Washington is bad.

    May 17, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  129. Annie, Atlanta

    As Paul Krugman says, we're not Greece. Once we get out of this great recession, I have to hope our politicians start addressing the deficit. That's a lot of hope.

    May 17, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  130. brandon

    We might have the same problem as Greece's but we can alway print more money. Greece can't.

    May 17, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  131. Steve in Las Vegas,NV

    Just warm up the money printing machines and print more! And just wait until Obummercare kicks in!

    The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples money!" M. Thatcher

    May 17, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  132. Dan W. Grand Rapids, Mi.

    Duh! They're increasing it, Jack.

    May 17, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  133. Clayton from Maine

    Not enough. People are always wondering how our deficit could be so large. Well, there are three reasons that should be painfully obvious at this point: Iraq, Afghanistan, China. We've outsourced the production of a large chunk of our goods to China, putting Americans out of work, we're spending over $10 billion a month in Iraq, and about the same in Afghanistan. First thing we could do to decrease our deficit, get our guys out of Iraq A.S.A.P. That'll save us a ton of money, which is right now being thrown into a giant bonfire of incompetence as far as I'm concerned. As soon as that's done, we'll have a lot of work to do before we can have(dare I say)a budget surplus.

    May 17, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  134. Kenn

    They're doing what Washington always does: looking out for number one, not us, but themselves. Bite the pac that feeds you? Not in this lifetime.Party labels don't matter either, it's self preservation, brother. Tea anyone?

    May 17, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  135. Tom Frank

    Congress will do what they have been doing for a long time - blame the lack of progress on the "other side".

    We the people, need to take back America from the career politicians. To do this, we must send a strong bipartisan message.

    The message this year is; Just Say NO! Say no to any incumbent, regardless of their party. Vote for anyone but the incumbent!

    Just Say No!

    Tired of partisanship bickering and finger-pointing,

    Tom

    May 17, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  136. Steven Franco

    Dear Mr. Cafferty,

    In your recent comments on CNN asking that all incumbents be thrown out of office, you have failed to recognize that this knee jerk reaction can further jeopardize our country and its economy. I do not dispute that some in congress are completely inept at running the business of our country but I do dispute your wisdom in asking for all incumbents to be voted out. I know that you are fully aware that many of the incumbents in congress are great legislators and their knowledge of our government is indisputable. Nevertheless, I believe that the message you ought to be giving is in the form of a civil lesson as to how our government functions.
    Yes, incumbents are often voted out and with good reason but a blanket statement to that effect only demonstrates anger rather than wisdom.

    Just my opinion

    Steven

    May 17, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  137. Harold

    Jack
    If we declared victory in Iraq and Afghanistan and pulled out of that region-cut some of the fat out of the Navy's floating fotila-we could balance some of this budget deficit. In the same vein, strengthen our borders, profile at the ports of entry. Get tough with illegal alliens.
    We are war,but we can't fight it everywhere. Let's make that defense of our homeland first priortity.

    May 17, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  138. Ralph Spyer

    Washington has sold us down the river , Wall street banks control the federal reserve they control how money is printed, making the dollars the American have worth less.

    May 17, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  139. leta mitchell

    N o washinton isn't going to do anything that makes sense. All you can expect from themis more hot air and ho9w they need more money.

    May 17, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  140. marko76

    Its simple and washington doesn't understand. Do your job, or your fired. I myself, will mot be voting for incumbants this year.

    May 17, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  141. Travis in Tokyo

    What are they doing? Spending money fighting with each other, electing people with less than an 80 IQ because their "just like them", and then complaining that the government can't run anything properly. Personally they need to pull out most of their troops from around the world, end the empire, cut our military budget in half and remove our troops from Japan. We could end the war on drugs and focus on treatment, education and prevention to help deal with it. it would also increase tax revenue as it would bring in tax on transactions that already take place. and lower the gun return to Mexico.

    May 17, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  142. Dominic

    The federal government will do what they always have, put small bandages on cuts that require stitches. Sooner or later America will bleed out.

    May 17, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  143. Sonia T

    They are not doing too much. It is a liitle difficult to not have a deficit or to be balanced during a war. The US is in a very expensive war. War is an expensive undertaking.

    May 17, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  144. Chaney, La.

    When anyone mentions cuts, there is a partisan outcry, oh No you cant cut this/that/or the other,when you mention raise taxes it the same outcry.. so we as citizens are to blame for the mess we are in. We may all have to fall off the cliff before we get real.

    May 17, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  145. Andrew K. (from San Diego)

    Collectively running for re-election so they can continue with the same policy of...nothing.

    May 17, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  146. prasanna, new york

    I think we need to increase taxe on people who make more than $250.00. In order to live today, you don't need $250.00. The republicans idea that if you cut income tax on the rich, they will stop hiring is crazy and stupid. Cutting corporate tax create jobs not cutting income taxes. Forexample, Tiger Wood makes over 100 million dollars a year, and according to republicans, if you cut tiger's income tax, he will hire more people. Is this true in real life? The answer is no. Hiring of people does not depend on income taxes.

    May 17, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  147. Caroline from Tampa Bay, FL.

    Hello Jack, No we will not be able to balance the budget until we withdraw troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. No one seems to mention how much we are spending on WAR everyday! No wonder we're going bankrupt. Can you imagine how much we spend in GAS alone to support this WAR? Raising taxes? Are you kidding, no one has $ to pay for higher taxes except the rich and they are the ones who need to carry the weight if you are talking about raising taxes. For the Rich only. Those earning $200,000. and above and the Corporations who get huge tax breaks while the working classes pay the price for the WAR and the CORPORATIONS who run America.
    What is the answer? I just told you, Get out of the WARS now. We can't afford it. Caroline from Tampa Bay, Florida

    May 17, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  148. southerncousin

    Defense spending is not 2/3rds of the federal budget like one of your responders said, Entitlement programs are, like the education effort that funds the NEA, that should have taught him how to read, but didn't.

    May 17, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  149. Patrick

    The US government is doing nothing, absolutely nothing, to reign in the country's debt. I do believe the people in Congress view their role as an entiltlemnt role that's preserved by issuing.... more entitlements.... to the corporations that can help keep them in office with campaign cash.

    The US spends more than the rest of the world COMBINED on defense and five times more than our global peers Russia and China.

    The only cure for the American people is to get rid of every single incumbant in office. You cannot expect things to change if you keep doing the same thing over and over.

    The fix: 1) Public financing of Presidential, Senate and House races, 2) Term limits, and 3) constitutianalize miltitary spending as resonable percentage of GDP (less military spending).

    May 17, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  150. laura

    Stop your fear mongering. The president is not taking the country over the cliff. The country is on a steady course of recovery.

    You seems to join Rush in wanting the president to fail.
    I can tell you are a republican.

    May 17, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  151. Frank Slone

    You are absolutely correct. Get rid of everyone in Congress and start over again with the understanding that if you are an elected or appointed official, you MUST listen to the public and not ignore them.
    This country is absolutely going in the wrong direction and there is no indication anywhere that things will change. Our kids and grandkids will have a mojor problem if, the US is still the US that we know today

    May 17, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  152. Sick of the nonsense!

    Jack...... For the last 8 years you had a White House who told the American public that "Deficits don't matter" and the borrowing continued. We are bankrupting our nation by ensuring Democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan by bankroling these debacles without any of our allies taking any financial responsibility. This is why our nation is broke! Damn Bush!

    May 17, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  153. Rhea

    Actually, let's have a NATIONAL vote. I am sure reducing the deficit would win. This way, what needs to be done CAN get done, without the politicians worry about heir jobs, which we all know is why most issues never get resolved in Washing anymore!

    May 17, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  154. Howard, Novato, CA

    Jack, Nada is not an appropriate description of what they are doing. They are making matter much worse.

    May 17, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  155. Jonathan Maurice

    Washington (the White House) is providing billions in tax incentives and rebates to the individual taxpayer and to businesses so we can purchase more cars, more appliances, and more industrial supplies. Now is not the time for this excesive spending.
    In the same breath the President talks of how great these programs are, but then asks how we can curtail the ballooning deficit. You answered your own question, Mr. President.

    May 17, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  156. Nancy M., Tennessee

    Congress is busy trying to find out who is to blame for spilling all that oil. You know they can't walk and chew bubble gum at the same time. Besides who is watching what they are doing now anyway – they can take a little break. America's eyes are on the upcoming finale of American Idol.

    May 17, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  157. John Berg

    lancaster, cal. all I see is more spending. more welfair, and more people on social securty that never paid A penny into it

    May 17, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  158. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Washington is and will reduce our federal deficit as soon as they find a new word for taxes without it being a tax.

    May 17, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  159. Charles

    Jack,with our Deficit exploding,tell me why is Congress considering giving isreal 208 million dollers for a missle defence system do they just want to add to the deficit.

    Charles,Jacksonville Florida

    May 17, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  160. JOHN DOE

    You call it "EXPLODING", IMPLODING is more like it!!! USA is the way!!!

    May 17, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  161. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio

    Jack:

    The government will do to the economy what MBA's have done to corporations no longer here, they will go to the peak of highest return (profit) by whatever means, claim success and give themselves raises even if the government or Corporation ultimately fails. If they kill the goose that laid the golden egg, they have their golden parachutes !
    I heard Nancy Pelosi is setting expense standards for Congressional travel expenses limits....she ought to know !

    May 17, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  162. Tom

    I'm not an authority on it, but I think the following ideas would more than balance the federal budget: ratchet up the age for social security and medicare, eliminate the income cap on paying into social security, back out of Iraq and Afghanistan, reduce the military worldwide, don't get trapped into a war with Iran or North Korea, add another step higher in the graduated income tax schedule, prohibit earmarks in all bills, reverse health reform bill earmarks, close the Mexico border, deport illegals or collect taxes from them, stop foreign aid to nations that resent us, reduce deduction for dependents on federal income tax, eliminate social engineering gadgets in IRS, and reduce perquisites and retirement benefits for congress. (Don't impose VAT because it would interfere with each state's ability to fund infrastructure, education, medicaid, etc.) Surely, our statesmen can think of many better ideas.

    May 17, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  163. Ailene

    many people just want to cmplain and will use any issue as an excuse...but when face with actually having to deal with issues *make the hard choices), there's avoidance and you guess it ...more complaining.

    many people are fickle when it comes to what they expect from washington d.c.
    changing leaders through hyper emotional fervor will not be productive. it's time for we, the people to grow up amd take responsibility for not being informed, expecting charisma over character, and celebrities over leaders.

    May 17, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  164. Bruce

    They are pocketing as much of it as possible. Some of the funds they steal go to the huge underground bases or to the Space Command for Mars projects or the Space Fleet.

    May 17, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  165. Jim Blevins

    You need to put this in context - the people who caused the problem have mostly been removed form office. The current congress is fixing the problem quite nicely. The Bush administration put this country into an economic nosedive that takes more than a year and a half to fully correct. This hit the deficit from both sides - it reduced taxes and it cost a phenomenal amount of money to correct. Stocks have gone way up and employment change has gone from minus 700K to plus 300K. It takes time for the investment in the economy to be returned, but it is definitely doing so. Take the blinders off and look at the total picture, We are on the right track to get back to the deficit surpluses that we had before Bush.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    May 17, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  166. Daniel from Little Rock, AR

    Not a thing. Most of the politicians and others aren't, anyway. We can't cut spending and raise taxes at the same time. People have it too hard for taxes to be raised anyway. Taxes should not be raised in any case. Spending and taxes both have to be cut. We cannot spend a lot either domestically or abroad and be hypocritical about the other. Spending must be cut in both areas. One thing we can do, amongst many other things, is to bring ALL of our forces home from all over the world (military, private contractors, etc...).

    May 17, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  167. Cy Gardner

    I assume, that like the banking, insurance and oil company executives, they are filling their secret bank accounts and fortifying each of their gated retirement homes. They will have food, water and ammunition while 99% of America is combing through landfills and eating anyone who can't outrun us. Hear that obese children? cy from arlington, va

    May 17, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  168. David Ost

    If the head of the Bank of England thinks that the US is in the same boat as Greece, then he's a blithering idiot. Greece is tied to the euro, over which it has not control; we control our own currency. The last time we obsessed over the "intractable debt" was round 1990–remember? And by 2000 we were running the surplus that Bush squandered, and St. Alan Greenspan feared so much. Now we've got Peterson and Simpson running a commission–both are lifelong foes of Social Security–designed to show (gasp) that we need to reign in entitlements...when we have a tax structure USA Today just described as being as low as it was in 1950. Please stop fearmongering, in the middle of a recession, and recognize that we need to spend money to get out of the hole we're in–THAT'S why the deficit is so high. The much-reviled "bailout" worked; the economy is growing again; job-creation is a lagging indicator. Let's not do something stupid–like cutting spending drastically–before the recovery has taken robust hold.

    May 17, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  169. Helen Canada

    You cannot compare Greece deficits with the USA.
    Mrs. Merkel said: There is a syndrom in Greece which is called strikes. Also is an other word greeks use "FAKELAKIA" =Envelopes. If you know a politician and need a job you just give him a Fakelaki and you have the job.
    They all cheat right in the open,from Doctors,Real Estate,and so on.
    When you buy or sell a house the price they declare is half of what you pay or sell. I know Greeks I go to Greece every 2 years,but not any more.Feel sorry for some but most of them cheat.
    This thursday again they are having a general strike.
    American are looking for jobs,not cheating on their taxes.

    May 17, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  170. barbara in NC

    Jack

    Maybe this country is further right than anyone knows. After all, wasn't it Chaney that said "deficits don't matter"?

    May 17, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  171. Kent Stratton

    Our government is living satire, who or what could be more out of touch with reality. Fixing the debt is impossible, there is no one in our congress who has a clue on what to do, it will take a benevelent dictator to fix this mess, lets hope it is not Marxist.

    May 17, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  172. sharon

    They are doing as Politicans do NOTHING,that is why we need to replace them all,every one of the incumbants need to go everyone of them.Then again in 2012 and again in 2014,we need a fresh start.

    May 17, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  173. Sean, St. Louis

    They are attempting to fix George Bush's mess.

    May 17, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  174. Sally

    Excuse Me! Have you forgotten that Obama ran on the promise and will deliver, when he rolls back the tax break Bush gave the riches Americans. He will restore their tax level to what it was under Reagan by 2011 as he said he would. This will save us billions of dollars in revenue, something we lost under Bush when he cut taxes for the rich and then started a totally unnecessary war in Irag. This is what caused the deficit!!! Obama gave the middle class a tax break -it was 1/3 of the stimulus–to boost the economy and he got no credit. So I doubt if he'll get any recognition for this effort.

    May 17, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  175. Gary H. Boyd

    Jack, by years' end this nation will be in debt 12 trillion dollars. If there are 300 million men, women and children in America, which there are, that's $40,000. for each and every one of us. What is the government doing about it? Nothing because we're broke but just won't admit it. Just imagine - We as a nation owe $40,000 for every single member of our society. How utterly stupid.

    Gary in Arizona

    May 17, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  176. Kevin in CA

    Ending two wars in the next 30 days?

    May 17, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  177. Conor in Chicago

    Nothing is being done because nothing needs to be done. The US military scares the hell out of the whole world and that is its primary function. People won't let us go bankrupt because then the world comes apart and we are the strongest. Everybody needs to calm down a little...

    May 17, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  178. Tim Archer

    Dear Jack,Where were the deficits Hawks when G.W. Bush turned a $500 billion surplus into a trillion dollar deficit?Since the economy was driven into a ditch how do you propose to stimulate an economy in recession?More tax cuts?It has been a long standing economic fact that when demand has dried up in the private sector the Gov't should step in to stimulate demand by spending more.If you want to prolong the recession and even worsen it into a depressioin stop spending and then unemployment can reach 15-20%.Is that what you want?When the Gov't takes in more money because of increased economic activity and putting people back to work the deficit will go down.It's called Keysian economics -look it up.Until then decreasing Gov't spending is more likely to cause a double dip recession just when the economy is showing some life.Try not drinking the kool-aid from the people that caused this economic crisis in the first palce so easily.

    May 17, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  179. Kevin in CA

    Outsourcing government fiscal policy planing to India?

    May 17, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  180. Herb, Tampa

    Keep the GOP out of office!
    In 1981 when Reagan submitted his first budget the National Debt was $1 Trillion, for the first 205 years of our country's existence, which included such disruptions as the Civil War, World War I, the Great Depression, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. During his 8 years the Debt was quadrupled to $4 Trillion. The next four years of Bush, Sr. added another $1 Trillion for a total of $5 Trillion. During his first term Clinton's administration passed a new economic plan without one GOP vote. Sound familiar? By his 5th year in office we had surpluses "as far as the eye can see," and the surpluses created during his eight years had started to reduce our Debt. The eight years of Bush, Jr. overturned Clinton's plan and produced annual deficits that more than doubled our Debt to over $11.5 Trillion and produced the worst recession and unemployment since the great Depression, and Reagan's term. The facts are that not one GOP administration since 1981 has produced a budget with a deficit under $100 Billion, much less a surplus. Anyone that believes the GOP is better at dealing with our economy is just blowing smoke where the sun don't shine. It took us 20 GOP years of "trickle down – spend and borrow – economics" to dig the financial crisis we’re in and it will take several years to claw our way out, again.

    The GOP can love and praise the Reagan and Bush administrations, but whatever they did manage to accomplish was done with borrowed money that has created the current debt for future generations to pay.

    May 17, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  181. Steve in Las Vegas,NV

    One way to increase the tax base is to deport all the illegals and give those desparate unemployed Legal and American workers those jobs.

    End welfare to illegals at the federal and state levels. That would help.

    Even if taxes were raised, they would find yet another way to spend it on more usless giveaway programs instead of cutting usless programs and lowering the deficit!

    May 17, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  182. Phil, georgia

    How can you in good Conscious kick them all out,, when the Democrats have been making alot of the tough choices. Plus they just saved us from one of the biggest depressions of our lifetime. Democrats need to be getting standing ovations, thanks and any other thing, because we are sitting here not talking about the biggest depression of our time and banks closing, wall street crumbling, NO our Economy is stable and stabilizing!!

    May 17, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  183. John from Lubbock, Tx

    Congress is doing just what we would expect them to do. Focus on their reelections, focus on having more hearings about issues to 'deflect' attention away from the economy and doing their darndest to point fingers at each other instead of actually FIXING IT!.

    The masses must rise up or all will fail.

    May 17, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  184. steve- virginia beach

    Pelosi gave us insight to the answer speaking about Obamacare at the Capitol last Wednesday when she said “We see it as an entrepreneurial bill, a bill that says to someone, if you want to be creative and be a musician or whatever, you can leave your work, focus on your talent, your skill, your passion, your aspirations because you will have health care.” We are officially a welfare state anfd right behinf Greece unless we boot the socialists out of office.

    May 17, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  185. Brian (From Chicago)

    I blame us Jack. The tax payers. Washington is broken. We all know that. But at the same time the public continues to believe a broken Washington should somehow still get things done. The answer is not just throwing out incumbents. We should elect people in office that demonstrate they have the capacity to work together like grown ups. Putting all these Tea Partiers in office is not going to make our deficit go away. It will just be a bunch of freshman politicians proving to their constituants that they can vote "NO" more times than the next guy. Get ready Jack, if the incumbants all get thrown out, nothing else will be done about the deficit, immigration, finance reform, or the enviornment for years. We will be a country in gridlock.

    May 17, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  186. Bill the conservative

    Standing in front of "mission accomplished" banners, Jack.

    May 17, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  187. Chris

    The issue is not politicians, as much fun as it is for the people at large to blame the other guy. No, the issue is the American people themselves. Time after time, the American people want some combination of the following (list not inclusive): Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, swift government involvement in disasters, clean water, clean air, safe children's toys, a protected environment, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, ect. But do they want higher taxes to pay for these things or stricter budget controls, especially if the latter affects them directly? Generally, the answer is no. The government we have in Washington is a direct consequence of the kind of electorate we are: we want something but don't necessarily want to pay for it. If the American people really wanted to control the deficit and bring down the debt, they all need to display moral courage and be willing to do two things: give up some form of government benefits and pay higher taxes until we are fiscally sound again. Unless a clear majority of the American people are willing to do those two things and work to elect politicians who will work towards those two ends, the complaints about the deficit and debt will continue to ring of hypocrisy and hollowness.

    May 17, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  188. from broke michigan

    What about more jobs?

    Of course we are out of money, keep spending and getting nothing back!!

    May 17, 2010 at 5:58 pm |