(PHOTO CREDIT: KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Ever since the proposals of the bipartisan deficit commission have started to emerge - critics from all over the political spectrum are trying to shout loudest about what they don't want to see cut.
And now, you can add Defense Secretary Robert Gates to that list.
Gates is blasting the proposed reductions in military spending, saying such cuts would be "catastrophic" to national security. He says he's trying to use a "scalpel instead of a meat axe" to make cuts to his department.
Gates adds that when it comes to the deficit, the Defense Department is not the problem.
But that is the problem here - no one wants to see the programs near and dear to them cut - yet, if we're going to get serious about reducing our $13 trillion-plus national debt, a lot of cutting is in order.
And the deficit commission seems to have put nearly everything on the table with its draft recommendations. The overall goal being to reduce the debt by $4 trillion by 2020.
In addition to defense cuts, the commission recommends cuts to: Social Security and Medicare, raising the retirement age, increasing taxes, cutting contractors for domestic government agencies, freezing the pay of federal workers, shrinking the size of the federal workforce, and eliminating all earmarks.
Congress is already hard at work on that last one - voting on a symbolic, non-binding resolution to ban all earmarks. A non-binding resolution is about as worthless as Congress.
Here’s my question to you: In light of the deficit commission's draft recommendations, where do you expect the federal government to make the deepest spending cuts?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
If they were really representing us, they would cease funding for the two endless wars started by Bush, close military bases around the world (no other country has a military base in ours), stop outsourcing our jobs, stop catering to illegal aliens and enforce immigration laws.
Since Republicans are taking charge in the House, I imagine the deepest spending cuts will be to programs that help the most vulnerable among us. Grandma better stock up on cat food.
Bud in Washington writes:
One thing is for sure: They won't go near Social Security or Medicare… My guess is they'll take a swipe at Defense and the so-called discretionary spending budgets. The federal government is like a bamboo tree; you cannot stop it from growing. You cut it back and it comes back and grows twice as fast and twice as much.
Joanne in Minnesota writes:
The most intelligent and prudent cuts would be "across the board" cuts of at least 10-15%. The departments that have shown zero or little accomplishments over the years should be shut down. Redundant programs should be terminated as well.
David in California writes:
I don't expect them to have the courage to make any significant cuts until China and Japan quit buying our debt. Even then, they may just start printing money instead of facing the fury of the voters.
Bonnie in New Jersey writes:
I expect it to be entitlement and public education programs; they only affect middle and low income people. Any Congress full of rich, white, old men is not going to touch defense – it's their Viagra. And they don't have to send their family members to war, to the unemployment line or to community college.
Paul in Florida writes:
Pencils and paper clips gotta go.
Hi Jack...This is easy. If we roll back the Reagan Tax Cuts of the 1980's then , schools and libraires would be funded, roads and infrastructure would be funded and the Federal Budget would be balanced...If not then simply return to Tax Rates under Clinton and cut DOD expenses this handles 80% of the problem.
Jack: They will cut benefits to veterans and VA hospitals. They will cut the cost of living allowance (COLA) for social security and military retirees. The federal government always cuts those who are close to checking out of this world. Congress is the gulty party along with both political paries in the cutting of benefits. Key words: Recall elections
In Congressional salaries, medical coverage, and pensions- HA HA
Just for our citizens. Soc security,medicare ,welfare ,food stamps ,unemployment. You know...the stuff we need to exist.The war machine will keep on burning.
When it comes down to it, most people don't care about senior citizens, especially the wealthy people in Congress.
Doing away with Congressional retirements and benefits would be a good start, Jack. Let them live like REAL people for a change.
No doubt it will be in social programs such as SS and MEDICARE. Along with education. Anything that will not affect the wealthy or corporate big wigs. Still haven't learned that money trickles UP...not down. We are now a warring country. One that engages in frequent and long engagement type conflicts, so cuts to the military will never happen. Hell, we don't even have enough sense or mercy to pull out of the Mid East conflicts that are known by all to be wrong from day one. Instead of cutting needed programs, Washington should be taxing those who are exempt or do not pay taxes. Tax the universities, the hospitals, churches and wealthy. Make all tax the same for everyone and every business. No one or organization should be free from taxation unless all are. Flat tax for all. Plug the holes.
I don't expect them to have the courage to make any significant cuts until China and Japan quit buying our debt. Even then they may just start printing money versus face the fury of the voters.
The military has gotten fat big time due to the phony war in Iraq at the expense of domestic issues including education. This will only get worse if republicans get what they want. America as a nation will benefit if that does not happen. Cutting the military budget by one-third will get rid of a lot a waste and redundancy. That would include a lot of people wearing stars, in other words, too many cooks.
Jack, Mitch McConnell is on the right track. Cut Earmarks and the result will even be fewer jobs. How about all the money for building military airplanes that sit out in the desert gathering dust? Cut that spending too. Even more jobs lost. Mitch is the Republican man in Washington. He knows how to cut spending and the resulting jobs too. Oh yes, tell Mitch to cut the Federal Lunch program. That should save farmers money on salaries if they don't need employees because of reductions in production. Funny, it seems that business profits might be down if there is no money to buy their products. Oh well, less taxes to pay. Go get em Mitch. Some people know what you are all about.
Pencils and paperclips gotta go.
I would hope they would end the tax breaks to our richest citizens. or maybe end the tax cuts to those American companies who have off-shored all their jobs to foreign lands. Or, end the Farm and Big Oil subsidies. No, I don't think so.
Perhaps are "leaders" in Washington will step up and take a pay cut along with a big cut in 'government-run" benefits. I must be crazy!
But they will end the extension of unemployment benefits to those Americans who are out of work. Or cut the School lunch programs. Cut benefit payments to Medicare, or any other social program. That we all pay for through our payroll deductions. That our federal government has mismanaged big-time.
Would it be sweet to have the 25 million Americans working again, (Here in America) and paying their federal taxes? Could you imagine 25 million people paying back into the system say at, six thousand dollars per year. That would be a great start in balancing our federal budget. I need to stop drinking so much!.
I expect congress to cut their salaries by 20% and to freeze any pay raises for the next 5 years ! Hey, if you're going to dream; dream BIG!
Jerry in GA
LOL – One thing for sure. They won't go near Social Security or Medicare....My guess is they'll take a swipe at Defense and the so called discretionary spending budgets.
The federal government is like a bamboo tree. You cannot stop it from growing. You cut it back and it comes back and grows twice as fast and twice as much.
From the usual victims: education, health care, disability and retirement pensions, public works, etc. If only the legislators looked in the mirror before they started to make their choices. Then maybe, we'll finally be able to move in the right direction.
Absolutely everything that is 'social' in nature. The Republicans are out to help the wealthy and screw the middle and lower class of Americans. They talk big–have to cut the deficit BUT will add to the deficit by continuing the tax cuts to the wealthy. Only a Republican can talk big and make the little guy think he has to help those poor, poor folk at the top keep more money. We are definitely lost in this country.
They'll cut anything that help the middle class and poor, Jack. That's where the cuts will come from.
America has gone from ‘1984’ to ‘Soylent Green’ with Seniors identified as expendable.
You can bet it damn sure won't help the poor working class Americans. The defense, oil, gas banking and large industrial orginizations will get the tax cuts and the poor and working middle class will get to make up for what has been cut with additional taxes.
Certainly not their salaries!
Easy, Jack...wherever it affects the most people. The middle class. These crooks have systematically dismantled the value of our employment, our savings accounts, our investment portfolios, our insurance, our homes and our currency while giving away what's left to the financial sector – who hoard it and toss it among each other. It's gonna take a lot more than a few new pigs with lipstick to fix this mess!
i don't. the federal government is too spinless and spend-happy that i doubt any of the recomendations would be taken seriously. sure they"ll make symbolic gestures, but in the end our elected officials will not dare touch any of their sacred cows. their idea of balancing the budget is more of their fuzzy math and creative accounting. here's my idea, it may only be a small savings, but let's start by cutting the benefits and salaries of all those in congress and the executive branch. people complain about the outrageous salaries and perks wall-st execs make, when the people whom we should be compalining about are those in washington.
3 entities own the United States: The Elite Global Wealthy, Corporations, and Israel. Everything that doesn't effect them will be cut. Congress will simply be prosecuting the will of their employers.
On the backs of average citizens's. Included in that "recommendation", of course are plenty of undiscussed tax cuts and goodies for all the folks that don't need them. Until we get serious about whether this is a country "of the people" and not "of the P&L" sheet, absolutely nothing will improve. I have no doubt these boneheads will bend this economy until it breaks. And Alan Simpson?
We couldn't come up with someone to head this fiasco that didn't look and act like Scrooge incarnate? Geez.........
Social security and medicare – they have been robbing these for years anyway. Besides it doesn't affect them because they are covered under the government program. Rob in NC
I expect the Feds to start to cut spending where ever it affects them (personally) the least. I have very little faith left in our legislator's fiscal apptitude. They have demonstrated time and time again, their bi-partisan inability to make sound financial decisions. I don't know how many ofthem can even manage their own checkbooks. I fully expect to see a few "token" cuts on "earmark" appropriations that ultimately will not amount to a hill of beans. The Feds. do not want to cut.... they want the taxpayers to clean up their mess as usual. You cannot legislate a country out of a recession and likewise, you cannot tax a country back into prosperity. If they want to get my attention, they can start by forfeiting their own congressional salaries. Most of them are already extremely wealthy anyway, and really don't need the money. We'll see, but I'm not very optimistic!!
Spending cuts which we need today will be kicked around like a political football. The buffoons in congress will keep their feet firmly stuck in concrete to score political gains rather then needed reform. The tax cuts should be allowed to expire for all citizens and government spending frozen. Strong regulations controlling Big Business must be enacted and social security and medicare left alone. Yea, hold your breath.
I agree with every recommendation that the commission made. I don't expect that anything meaningful will be done, however.
Hi Jack, this may seem strange but we really don't need to make any cuts since we will soon be bankrupt. So no worry, we'll just go back to the stone ages.
They won't cut anything that will affect their chances at re-election – that's the sad reality of it – so probably nothing.
I imagine most of the cutting will come from programs that help and support the middle and lower classes. We know that it won't affect the wealthy if the Tea Part congressmembers have anything to say about it. Republicans typically favor defense spending and programs, so I doubt if it will happen there. Yep, it's going to be the Americans who pay most of the taxes now that will take the biggest hosing to fix the deficit.
That's no brainer. The opposition party will immediately try and cut the programs that benefit the poor, elderly and middle class first. After all, they can't possibly do anything to hurt their rich buddies and contributors.
What they are forgetting is that "What goes around, comes around". Someday they may be in the cicumstances that the poor, elderly and middle class are now in. I hope not, but no one knows what the future holds for each of us. Let's hope the politicians learn to respect each other's point of view and work together to do what is the right thing to do for the citizens of this great country who are not in the "upper crust" category.
What? No pay cuts benefit cuts for Congress? C'mon, whats good for the goose is good for the gander.
Where will federal government make deepest spending cuts?
I would hope our leaders would take a hard look at cutting aid to foreign countries first. I always signle out Israel because they get approximately 3 billion each year, but seem to have a very strong economy. I'm sure there are other countries with functioning goverments that could and should take a cut. Being a retired Air Force Master Sergeant, I would bet that the all cost of living increases for retired military will be frozen for a number of years . Active duty personnel will probably see something similar. I really feel for the active duty members that are being hammered by repeated deployments. When the cuts are finished, then congress will give themselves a pat on the back and vote for their own cost of living increase.
After listening the the possible recommendations for spending cuts that the Deficit Reduction Commission came up with, it sounded as though they did not have any solutions so they made ridiculous proposals so they could hand the Congress and the President something other than a blank piece of paper.
Cutting spending won't solve the deficit problem anyway, it will make it worse. We need stimulus money at the lower income levels to put people to work.
The Deficit Reduction Commission should have "gone fishing" with Sarah Palin in Alaska. That would have at least saved us some money!
First, has Secretary Gates EVER looked at the pie chart showing the federal budget!!! Apparently he is totally in the dark about what defense costs us! If we just got out of the WARS, we could cut the deficit by a really good sum!
Anyway, to answer your question where do you think the government will cut the budget? In areas that hurt the most people. Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment benefits, ANY health care benefits, any aid of any kind for the poor, student financial aid, and of course in stuff like the aret and sciences (except for those sciences producing WEAPONS). In other words NOTHING that is really not necessary (like congressional salaries, or government waste, will be touched!
And no matter how much they yap about it right now, EARMARKS ARE HERE TO STAY!
Well, I know the perfect place to start. Our congressmans pay and benefits. They should receive Social Security and medicare just like the citizens of the United States. There will no longer be the "Fat Cat-Golden Fleece" they have made for themselves. They get what we get. If the senior citizens don't get a pay raise neither do they. These would be a great place to start and take the cap off of Social Security. I had to pay on ALL my income all the years I worked and so can the wealthy. Put the money in Social Security and leave it there.
Congress salery and perks san antonio tx
Jack, get real! The cuts will come where they always come, retirees, federal workers, Defense. They won't come where they need to come from, welfare, energy, HHS, Executive, and Congressional branches, and education. USPS, Amtrack, and a couple of dozen other useless programs will continue to receive subsidies when they should be unfunded and told to make themselves viable or close down. The only thing I can say is, at least they are now ready to cut spending and try to do somehting about the deficit. That is always good no matter how bad it hurts those who work and pay their taxes.
If cuts to the DOD are needed then they can do away with those expensive mercenaries that are euphemistically called "defense contractors". We'd probably save 50% of the current DOD budget by letting the "Blackwaters" of the world to go crawl back under their rocks and use some of the saved money to beef up our standing military forces and provide them with the tools they need to do their jobs.
I expect the Federal Govrnment to make the deepest spending cuts with the elimination of tax cuts (a budgetary expenditure) for the top 2% wage earners. In all fairness, it may not be every single individual in this category who is responsible for the destruction of our economy for 10 years. However, realistically speaking, the majority of individuals within this class are CEO's from the Coporate structure. And the Coporate structure is responsible for the overwhelming destruction of our economy. We can all see tax cuts for those individuals haven't benefited the economy like originally proposed because those cuts have been in place for 10 years with a terrible economy as proof.
In light of the deficit commission's draft recommendations, where do you expect the federal government to make the deepest spending cuts?
Since the Republicants are back in control in Congress (where the nation purse strings are) those cold hearted "people" will cut Social Services first, like Health Care Refrom, Medicare, SCHIP, Social Security, etc.
They prove time and time again that they care NOTHING about the people and only about the corporations.
If they were really representing us they would cease funding for the two endless wars started by Bush, close military bases around the world (no other country has a military base in ours), stop the outsourcing our jobs. stop catering to illegal aliens and enforce immigration laws. But, in reality, they will cut beneifts to the elderly/disabled, cut programs for education, cater to corporate America and forget they were elected to represent people.
You are addressing two separate topics, the national debt, which has been around since George Washington and the deficit, which has been around since George Bush. I think they should cut everything; military, social security, road maintainance and building, Medicare and all local government functions such as water, sewer, garbage and fire/emergency. Then people can see what it was they wanted so desperately in this past election. No one cared about the national debt when it was $12 trillion in 2008. Evidentally $13 trillion was the tipping point.
I we (middle class) have to bite the bullet and tighten our belts then the government (including Defense) has to do the same. Everyone needs to share in pain on this one. Otherwise it will change nothing. Of course that's what a lot of our elected officials do, nothing.
Jim in Denver, CO
What they should cut is defense spending. But I don't expect them to since so many of our politicians are puppets to the corporatocracy that we now live in. Too many politicians receive money from big business, so its hard to get any progress with the deficit, let alone the Citizen's United Supreme Court decision catastrophe, which we are suffering from already evidenced by these mid-term elections.
The places we will not see any cuts is where it will affect corporate profits, such as the military/industrial complex. Does anyone remember President Eisenhowers warning? Those affected will be the old and the middle class, you know the ones who pay the bills.
Congress will cut Defense spending. In fact Congress is going to have to cut everything in order to pay for this trillion dollar health care reform bill.
No not as long as Obama and Pelosi are still breathing.They just can't help themselves.Not in their nature to change and they plan on saving us from ourselves. So not on their watch.
Well Jack, one thing for certain, they will cut any and all funding for Dale Carnegie Leadership Training courses, if they ever did spend any money on that.
Where do I expect to see the cuts? Military.
Everything from R&D to keep our troops safe, to medical expenses for the wounded. New rifles, tanks, planes etc will go by the wayside.
Other areas will get trimmed a bit as well, but I promise you Military spending will see the heaviest cuts.
we need to pay the bills so do what you have too and cut what you have too. we also need a amendment for a balance budget at the federal level with only one exception which would be world war. just make sure that everyone and every business pays their fair share with no loop holes.
I expect Congress to make the deepest cuts in social security and medi-care. Old people are expendable. Don't really count, as the next vote is all Congress worries about. So they figure the old people might not be around for future elections.
Here's a suggestion, Jack. How about Congress taking a huge pay cut in their own enormous salaries? They do nothing, and are paid way too much!
Well, Jack, as human history has shown, when it comes to making sacrifices for the sake of a country, the "little people" get the biggest shaft with the deepest cuts, ie social programs. Now to be sure if there are bums that can work then by all means get them off the social programs designed to give people who truely need help. With that said, "Corporate Welfare" is every bit a boon doggle and problematic for a country deeply in debt.
Where should they start? Cutting the 2 billion dollars per year/per state costs of illegal immigrants by cutting funds to sanctuary citiies and heavy fines and mandatory jail time for their employers and anybody else harboring them!! The federal government's savings on top of that is astronomical as well as the revenue of cutting unemployment in half!
Taking candy from babies is not just an expression, cuts hit those least able to defend themselves politically.
I expect the cuts to be largest for those with no political clout – the average Joe and the poor.
Well let's start in the House and then the Senate. Let's get rid of all those perks that they approved that we tax payers never got a say on. Then let's move along to the defense budget and stop paying contractors for 1/2 the work they do for twice the price. Freeze all government salaries and holiday pay. I don't get the day off with pay why should someone who is on my taxpayer payroll. Cut use of military jets and let everyone fly coach, that way they can mingle and get felt up by the TSA like us common folk.
Then send every lawmaker to checkbook 101. If you don't have any money in your budget let, tough. No you cannot print more to spend more.
Simply put, the first place we should cut the budget is NASA. Why are we spending billions researching the stars when our people are starving on the streets? Second, welfare/food stamps reform is needed. Why are people who are barely at the line of poverty struggle while those underneath are treated to steak dinners at taxpayer expense? Finally, cut foreign aid. Why should American tax dollars go to build schools in Africa when American schools are suffering? America first, then, if we have a surplus, then we can help others.
1. No pay raises for anyone in congress for 5 years.
2. Freshmen in congress start out with half pay and work up to full.
3. No overpriced articals for military or anything else the tax payers pay for.
4. All in congress will travel on same old planes we have to.
5. EVERYONE pay taxes, with no special deductions.
6. Company's that outsource should get zero tax cuts, and if they don't like it then move out.
7. NO special treatment for wallstreet or big banks. If they can't make it, then let them fail.
Nowhere Jack, nowhere.
They will make no meaningfulcuts. The GOP will spend like drunk pigs like they did last time around and the country will continue its decline into third world status. Next question.
Well, Jack....one thing we know is there won't be any cutting back on helping the rich.
At the pace of Obama and Dems I'd say at 5 Guys Burgers place
I expect that the biggest winners will stillbe the rich.
The biggest cuts will be wherever it will be hurt the poor and middle class the most.
Defense will not be cut as it should. There are too many well connected interests involved to ever see that happen.
Where they need to cut? Defense.
Where they will cut? Education
You can bet your booties it won't be for the wealthy~~and also, it won't be a cut in their salaries (golden parachute)
Jean Strain Midland Tx
They will all lobby to make cuts on everyone else' projects but there own, and cut NOTHING. Brick wall dead ahead.
Republicans cut social programs
Dems cut military
How about cutting their pay to show they understand the under-employed and unemployed.
Jack, why don't we stop sending money to other countries and start taking care of our own.. We send billions to other countries.. why don't we hold it for a year or two.
As a life long Republican I feel the need to finally give the president line item veto powers has come to enable him to "Kill the Beast" (Congress) when pork is included in bills for his signature
Political pensions! After all, they are government workers! If they cut WG and GS they should cut themselves also!
Sir, You are absolutely correct when stating the defense budget should be considerbly reduced. Just confirm it first with China.
I wish they would cut from defense technology. I think we have enough weapons planes etc. To fight and win. Maybe instead of 100 million dollar fighter jets, we could build bridges schools or something better than instruments of death.
Jack, let's have Congress telecommute as Rep. Bachmann suggested that President Obama do foreign policy. That way, all the Washington staffers can be let go and the House and Senate Office Buildings sold.
Surfside Beach, SC
They will cut where it's easiest and wherever the people are least able to protest: the social safety net, the poor, the unemployed, the old, etc. The military is sacrosanct of course. Gates is already squealing. And don't think for a second that the filthy rich will pay for this, even though they are hugely responsible for the deficit. Life will go on in a reduced way. There are no surprises.
The poor, elderly, disabled, kids with special needs, our vets, our middle class, the unemployed; in other words the usual suspects who get kicked when down by our corporate owned politicians, duly elected by us.
I would love to see cuts in the retirement, health care benefits and perks the congressmen receive. Why should they have retirement after such a short time? and if there were term limits they would get no retirement at all. We need to work hard to get this. It would probably take care of it all by itself.
Seems to me that the largest drain on our economy has/is been the two wars. Let's get out and stop the floodgates of money going to the military, contractors, etc.
With the trust of the American People have in Congress we are probably looking to see how much higher the unemployment will go. With cut in debt spending it's sure to effect jobs.
That's easy. Social Security and Medicare, Plus any and all payments to the poor. These are the persons less likely to complain and vote. you can bet your bottom dollar that it will not be an increase in taxes to the rich.
The deepest spending cuts will be carved out of what's left of the middle class. Corporate America will get a near pass as will the top 2% of Americans. The Republicans have the ball, Jack. We're headed for disaster.
Military pay and entitlement will be cut first, of course. We are too busy fighting wars to be heard. While we are out fighting the wars (our politicians told us to go fight) those same politicians screwed up our economy and let spending get out of control. Thanks, and you're welcome.
I'm a Senior in my eighties and expect to live another decade or two. This is blasphemy but I'm willing to have any of my benefits cut if I can bear the burden in the near years rather than pile it onto my kids' and grandkids' future.
Any cut is better than none. I don't think it is that complicated, except for those who believe it will benefit them. Everyone needs to sacrifice at least one thing; that would be a good start.
Well, if the Government would stop waisting our hard earned money, there would be no need to raise taxes. Government do not care about it's people, they just love to spend their money. Most likely, the poor will suffer the most. And, this is very ungodly, ca boot.
The commission has not gone far enough in cutting the federal workforce. Typically, the only people that work for government are those that can't work for small business because small businesses expect results! Government employees produce no results and only demand lifetime wages and benefits.
Can we cut the federal workforce by 50%? I think we can.
National debt is now – $13.8 Trillon and counting at $3.25B/min so the spending cuts must come at the expense of the middle class .... it's just that simple. Think I am kidding? Did the Wolfman nott report last evening on the pay raises for CEO's .... light on yet Jack?
Wherever there is the smallest amount of opposition, of course. All those poor lobbyless undefended interests.
Basically Jack, I just want to see a stop to raises for all of the politicians. They keep on giving themselves raises, they should be caped at 100k a year at most. One one needs more then that to live comfortable.
The govt should do as any business does when economics dictate expense reductions, consolidate agencies for efficiency, reduce manpower, military, how many overseas bases do we need? Hundreds? The gov't is full of waste its time to get serious! The company I used to work for didn't waste anytime cutting my position, to save the expense! Maybe we need a smart CEO to run the Gov't!
I have the bad feeling that the cuts are going to be in programs that Congress doesn't feel the effect of. Why cut earmarks and other "Special Programs" when Congress can go after the one thing they never have to use: programs that help real people in real situations.
Jack, you're absolutely correct about Congress being nearly worthless. We cannot believe that a non-binding resolution is anything other than a stall tactic. Looks like status quo with our law-makers. After all, if 'progress' means to move forward, what is the definition of 'congress'?
The truth is that the best alternative is anathema to Republicans and they have scared the Democrats away from it – raise taxes and cut loopholes for the rich and corporatioms.
Look at the Laffer curve again and notice that the left half shows it is possible to undertax and economy. The Reagan recession, successfully blamed on Carter, actually came after the tax cuts and suggests that Reagan cut way too deeply.
As for the argument that taxing the wealthy inhibits investment, the sad fact is that most of the Reagan tax cuts went to investing in transferring American jobs to other countries.
When the Supreme Court decided that corporations could make unlimited anonymous political expenditures, the results were certain. Most cuts will be made to the weak and helpless - health care, food stamps and education. Since corporation make money from them, expenditure for war and weapons will increase - the deficit be damned.
Jim, Craig, CO
The GVT spends..duh..wastes billions on basic things like $129 for an ink cartridge that can be bought at K-Mart for $25..it's like the $8 wood screws and $400 hammers..and ashtrays in F-14s.
I'm stuck in a McCain State..no earmarks here..but we have to help pay for every ones earmarks now..thanks John
I was surprised (not) that there was not a single mention of instituting the much discussed financial transaction tax on the Wall Street banks, like every other developed country has. Gee, I wonder how that didn't make it to the table? Erskine Bowles should certainly understand how much revenue it would raise to offset the deficit. I mean after all he IS a $350,000 a year Director at Morgan Stanley .... I guess I answered my own question, Jack
The largest cuts need to be made in the Defense Department administration, bloated contracts for furture weapon systems and senior officers million dollar per year slush fund accounts. The DoD accounts for nearly 25% of our entire discretionary budget ! Ask yourself this question, in the post cold war era do we really need 11 Aircraft Carrier Battle Fleets ?? Which likely cost 10 to 20 billion dollars per year to support, operate and maintain. Let's cut the carrier fleet in half, or raise the taxes on those who want to support the bloated military budget !!!
welfare!.... all they have to do is start issuing "drunk in public " tickets and those recieving uncle sam money will not get anymore.. given the sales figures and the plight in the streeets of our derailed country we can start saving immediately..
Many of people employed in the private sector have taken pay cuts, how about starting with Congress and the Federal Employess. They can cut the number of Federal workers, there is so much waste, look with their own "home"...as many of us have had to do.
I don't think anyone is asking Secretary Gates to use a "meat axe," but if Secretary Gates thinks that he can skate by without any cuts or only a few, he better think again. And that goes for all parts of government and the citizens of the US. We are all going to have to take this bitter pill that we all helped to create. Some programs will be partially cut and some will be severely cut or even eliminated. And yes, it was all of us that created this mess. You can try and blame whomever you want, but in the end, we put the leaders; Democrats, Independents and Republicans alike, in charge over the years that failed to lead by making adjustments in our spending and promising us all sorts of benefits that we really could not afford. Now it's time to pay the piper and everyone is up in arms like this is the first time they have heard of the problems. These problems have been a topic of discussion for at least four decades, but everyone just passed the buck or gave them a quick fix so that they could get re-elected and left them for the next guy to fix.
they should start at the top on the deepest spending cuts.
after all, they are the one's who wrecked the economy in the first place
by not having adequate oversite and for not regulating wallstreet.
love your file jack
As an Army retiree & combat vet even I agree that ALL programs are subject to cuts – just cut carefully while Soldiers remain on the battlefield in harms way. There will be more room for cuts when our troops come home.
I expect Congress to start cutting the federal deficit by working for $1.00 per annum salary and rolling back the tax cut that President Bush implemented during his tenure. Thus far, the tax cut has not kept us from losing millions of jobs over the period the reduction in tax has been in effect, nor has it helped to create jobs.
The scare tactic of raising taxes by letting the Bush tax cuts expire is nothing more than a red herring.
Mr. Cafferty, I'm a disabled veteran of the first gulf war. I live solely on VA compensation and Social Security. I will more than likely see my income severely cut or stopped all together. Are those willing to stifle veterans and seniors income willing to take a cut themselves? You and I both know the answer to the question already.
My Dear Jack,
When former President Dwight David Eisenhower left office, he gave a speech and specifically mentioned that the American public should become aware of the dangers of the unbridled growth of the military-industrial complex. It has grown to leviathan proportions. It must be checked even if it means some congresspeople lose favor with those panderers of death. Realistically, who on this planet is willing or insane enough to risk facing the onslaught of America's existing dreadnaught armory? We need to get the DOD out of the taxpayers' pocket. Does our Congress have the testicular fortitude to do so? I seriously doubt it.
Richard Hammond Esq.
Columbia, South Carolina 29210
They are going to cut everything but the BS, Jack.
So what else is new?
I'm surprised anyone cares about the boring deficit when the really important question seems to be: "Will and Kate, what date?"
Since you ask, we can be confident in asserting that there will be absolutely no meaningful reduction in the military budget of the country that spends more on its armed forces than every other country combined. Too much is never enough for mankind's favorite passtime.
If we really want to reduce the deficit, Congress should do nothing...about extending the Bush tax cuts for ANYONE.
I Would Have To Say That The Most Spending Cuts Will Be In Social Security And Medicare And To Raise The Retirement Age! Its Sad But Its True!
Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)
That's easy Jack, the answer is "all of the above". That's usually the last choice on an exam (answer D). Isn't that the grade we should give the Federal Government?
Mike – Centerport, NY
All political retirement capped at $100,000 a year.Stopping all Travel expenses for Congress families. Airforce 1 should only be used for the country's business not to campaign for cronies that we the people don't want or know. Bring back the luxury tax. Tax the things we don't need.Liquor, jewlery, tobacco. All gov workers pay into SS, their own retirement, Their own health care ins.In other words stop gov spending on government.
The keyword here is "expect", Mr. Cafferty. I "expect" the feds to cut spending for education, Social Security, Medicare and anything else that'll actually help get us out of the anathematic abyss that is our United States National Debt, but I sure as all hell would love to see the military spending get the butcher knife. (and anything else that restricts govt. spending for that matter) I will admit, though, that Medicare and Social Security do need to be cut down... if only by a mere hedge trimming.
My household has cut back on out spending across the board. We weren't happy with some of the cuts and neither where my children, but they had to be done in order to keep our heads above water. I don't see why the government, and politicians, who are actually serious about cutting the deficit cannot make decisions to do the same.
We should be looking at any and everything that will help us get the deficit down. EVERYTHING should be on the table just as it was in my household. I'm tired of these hypocrites who say their number one priority is reducing the deficit, yet they fight tooth and nail for the tax extensions for the well off that will ADD $700B to the deficit.
Congress being Congress, I suspect they will make massive cuts to all the "Unfunded Mandates". such as the unfunded education program "No Child Left Behind". Just last week Rep. Michelle Bachumann was suggesting that funds be cut for that program.
Here is another thought on this here subject: Tell your bosses to not pay you so much money, taxes would be lower. You would be helping your boss and your company that you work for. You would only, perhaps, have to spend less money, wouldn't hurt any of us to do that, either.
They should do it with the Department Of Defense.....
The American govt spent billions to ballout the big companies which increased our national debt without creating jobs. The tax rate for the super rich should be increase to a fair rate. On the spending side they should be cuts accross the board in proportion to their contribution to our national deficit. Simple maths!
Of course the cut should be from the National Defense. Except for Social Security, the defense spending is higher than all the other government spendings combined. Plus, that will make us safe. The reason we have been the target of most terrorism activities is because we have been so offensive around the world. That will create enemies for sure. It is common sense. For decades, we have been behaving like a bully in the world stage by wasting taxpayers' money. Now it's time to stop. Otherwise, the economy will be dragged down by Defense spending like the former Soviet Union.
Civil Air Patrol... $50 million in tax dollars to fund this secretive organization, founded in the early 1940s to look for ships from Japan invading our shores.
As usual, they will cut the budget on the backs of those who are vulnerable and powerless–those who have no voice in Washington.
In light of the deficit commission's draft recommendations, where do you expect the federal government to make the deepest spending cuts?
To be a contrarian in answering, they WON'T be cutting any of the subsidies to PROFITABLE industries who have deep pockets and lobbyists in every hallway... You know, to the Military Industrial Complex, Big Oil, Big Agriculture, Big Pharmaceuticals and the like, where PROFITABLE companies don't NEED help from the government to prosper, let alone survive.
We are witnessing the fall of the American empire, Jack.
The old going out of business sale.
Everything must Go!
No cuts in social programs or education! Cut the department of defense, especially part of the Navy’s eleven carrier battle groups that we don’t need. Close the Naval Post Graduate School and the Naval Research Laboratory who’s products are substandard and a grand waste of money. Also raise the military retirement benefit to 30 years of service instead of just twenty years. Pull all troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq. We should also substantially raise taxes on the rich. Warren Buffet’s statement that he pays less tax than his secretary, because of deductions and loopholes, convinces me that raising taxes on the rich is the exact course to take.
Cut Defense Spending by 50%.
Cut all forgin aid by !00%.
Cut all Ear Marks 100%.
Get rid of all other Tax and Have a Flat Tax for everyone.
Place a highter tax on anyone entering the Country.
Free all jailed americans that is in jail for minor offenses and deport all others and close 50 of all jails in the US.
I think their terms of office should be non-binding resolutions unless they do what they say they are going to do.
Carol in MA
This is what I pray for, that there would be streamlining and moderate cuts in all programs, and moderate increases in everyone's taxes. I know that won't happen, but I am very grateful that we have an intelligent President who is doing his level best with this mess.
The short answer is that there won't be any. The special interests and political panderers will take care of that. Sure, Congress may trim around the edges here or there: there will be bits nicked from pet projects across the country but none of it will ultimately make any substantial difference to the debt.
Frankly, I think this whole talk about paying down are debt is untimely to say the least and would be best kicked down the road until the economy is doing a whole sight better. I could care less about how big the government is and how much money we owe to China and how long my children and grandchildren will be paying it off. After all, my grandchildren will have a national emergency of their own that my great-great grandchildren will have pay off.
If it helps get people back to work (or keep the jobs they've got) then I say keep that national credit card handy.
Shrinking the congress and their salaries to start off as well as make them shop for their own health care just like the rest of us.
Unless they experience what we are currently facing in the real world they might get the urgency to do anything meaningful.
I am contacting you from my home in Platte City, MO.
First I look forward each day to your presentations which I really
enjoy. You do good work!
Today, 11/16/10, your subject dealt with the deficit and what should,
or will be done. For some time I have wanted to voice an opinion on
a subject that no one seems to bring up. In solving the deficit lets first start with fraud and the super excessive overcharging that contractors, manufacturers, and so forth are responsible for. Maybe with some help from those in charge of managing various contracts.
Millions upon millions can be saved in this one area only!! I would like to write more but it would be too long.
$750 billion for TARP(yr 2008), $700 billion for the wars combined year 2008, $750 billion in stimulus year 2009. Defence budget present date 2010 $700 billion + (20% – 25%). Does anyone notice a trend here. Our economy has reached that breaking point. Anytime a part of government spending reaches this $700 billion thresh hold the economy begins to collapse into itself. Why do we think social entitlements are the root of our problems. Name another entitlement program that takes up 20% to 25% of our budget annually.
Where the government SHOULD cut? Everything! We should do everything the deficit commission co-chairs proposed – and then some.
Where the government WILL cut? Hardly anything. A few token gestures, perhaps, that will be utterly meaningless, laughably inadequate, and an insult to the intelligence of all of us.
My guess is that it will,of course,come out of the middle abd poverty classes hides. Cut medicare,medicaid,food stamps, social security, and other social services that help the lower class groups. Nancy will still be able to fly off on jaunts and so will Michelle. The homeless will have to do with less,while the elderly and children will suffer.
Cuts? Cuts? What cuts? Well, if they do cut, it will be food stamps, Chip, funding for physically and mentally disabled, prisons, education, federal parks, etc., etc, Anything that does not affecct them directly.
Spending cuts will mostly be made in education sectors while the military will have get enough money to be able to feed every disadvantaged family in the country. It seems as if the government knows its priorities and the people aren't included. There hasn't been a president or government in the past 20 years that has included the people as a priority.
If the Tea Party candidates have their way it will be anything that helps the needy. There is a report that one of the newly elected Republican Congressmen who ran on Healthcare Repeal wnats to know when his government Heathcare kicks in. When informed 4 weeks after he takes office he wanted to know why. The he asked if he could purchase coverage of Government Healthcare until he takes office because without it he will be uncovered..
When they start talking about cutting Social Security, which they surely will, WE need to cut THEIR salaries to $1200 a month, like I have to live on, and see how happy they are- especially after not receiving any cost of living raises for the second year in a row. I think that would make them leave Social Security alone.
We have enough military contracts to last us a lifetime for equipment that hasn't been used or hasn't been made and that should be the focus for the deepest cuts.
Government needs to gleans the league system by getting rid of probations like marijuana and or other not needed bans in cities, states or federal government that has cause prisons and jails to become over populated. Cities are now cutting there police Dept they can’t afford more police officers to protect the community from serious crimes because of there low city or county budget they have.
From the middle class of course, Jack. Deja Vu.
Cut the farm subsidies. Cut the oil subsidies. Cut the second source jet engines for the JSF aircraft – nobody needs it, nobody wants it.
Then, make an across the board 5% cut in what's left.
Defense. Get rid of the O&M contractors, make it either military or GS job. Cut the number of general officers. Go look up how many we have, I dare you. Dump the Osprey, its a turkey. Same with the F-22. Revamp the procurement arena. Tons of waste or just no rush, who cares about money attitudes there.
Go public option for medical care. Would save billions.
Public financing of elections, get rid of all the big money in the election cycle.
Raise the retirement age? Here's a newsflash for you – there aren't that many companies out there that hire older workers while others have mandatory retirement ages. Freeze Govt salaries? CNN reported that Govt workers make more than the private sector, they should CUT Govt salaries (including Congress). Eliminate earmarks? Absolutely. Some argue the these are only 1 percent of spending. I say what a dumb argument let's spend money because it's not that much.
This country can no longer afford to start a war like Vietnam or Iraq. It guns or butter now . Sit the two sides down in a card game.Obama has Health care,domestic programs,social security,medicare,income and employer taxes to lose. raise gas taxes,tax banks,Tax the churches The republicans have military to cut, reduce the navy,reduce nuclear arsenal, reduce active military personal,reduce noncombat personal,get out of Afganistan, get out of Iraq,lower capitalgains taxes ,Play all night
LOL...This question qualifies as one of those timeless philosophical questions..you know..the ones without a definitive answer
We spend more than half the federal "on record" budget funds on war and the military. We are not told of the off the books funding. We have almost 800 bases around the world in addition to two wars where we have no interest in, and no threat to us and NO chance of ever winning. Remember Viet Nam now a favored base for business and trade with the U.S. We could quash any alliance who would challenge us including all the rest of the countries in the world.
Why do we fund bankers' billions in salaries and bonuses? Why would we give huge tax cuts to billionaires?
But you can be assured the cuts will come from health, education, old age pension already paid for by us and all the programs that support human American Citizens.
But we will be vulnerable to the world economy. We may loose it all in this arena.
Everthing needs some type of an adjustment. Taxes will have to be interested. The voters spoke but yet they don't want things that affect them touched. You can't have your cake and eat it too. If you are so worried about the future of the county and your children, then sacrifices have to be made.
If they really want to cut the deficit, why don't they all take a pay cut!!!
How about if Congress had to buy all their own supplies... LIKE TEACHERS DO!
I hope they cut Everything, Jack.
That's what people get for voting Republican.
The deepest cuts will happen to sectors of the population that do not vote. Namely , Prisons , Mental Health, Kids Programs.
The outcome will be little or no cuts. How do you think politicians make a living?
Nothing will happen in the way of cutting federal outlays or increasing taxes and other revenue in the short run because we have not felt enough pain yet. Sadly, our natioanal government does not respond to national needs until they become national crises. The system is designed to function precisely that way. It is not, therefore, a question of where to cut–the list is long and well known– but rather at what point will we as a nation go into crises mode enabling us to come together and agree that, yes, it is now time make the hard choices.
Jim C – Fairfax, VA
Jack Cafferty sounds off hourly on the Situation Room on the stories crossing his radar. Now, you can check in with Jack online to see what he's thinking and weigh in with your own comments online and on TV.
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