.
March 24th, 2011
04:56 PM ET

Why won't Congress and Pres. get serious about debt crisis?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The federal government has been operating without a budget for six months, instead lurching from one stop-gap spending measure to the next. And the inability or unwillingness of the president and Congress to do the jobs they were elected to do is starting to have an impact.

A new report on CNN Money.com highlights some of the growing money woes:

The U.S. military has delayed a total of 75 projects. And the Army has deferred contracts for new equipment like Chinook helicopters and held off on refurbishment projects of war-torn Humvees.

No big deal. We're only fighting three wars.

There are hiring freezes at the Justice Department, Social Security Administration and Congressional Budget Office. And the Army and the Marine Corps have temporarily stopped hiring civilians.

Eight new Social Security offices will not open.

National Institutes of Health officials are underfunding some grants, due to uncertainty over the budget.

Almost one year ago, President Obama launched the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, a bipartisan deficit commission. The group released its final report in December, but the suggestions have been all but ignored.

This week, ten ex-chairs of the President's Council of Economic Advisers wrote an opinion piece on Politico.com urging Congress and the President to act quickly. They said, "The unsustainable long-run budget outlook is a growing threat to our well-being. Further stalemate and inaction would be irresponsible." Want to bet that's ignored too?

Here’s my question to you: Why won't Congress and the President get serious about America's debt crisis?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 6pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.


Filed under: Congress • Economy • Government • President Barack Obama
soundoff (99 Responses)
  1. Rick McDaniel

    If we had the answer to that, Jack, we would be known as seers.

    Nothing Washington has done, in the past 2 yrs. makes much sense, whatsoever.

    March 24, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
  2. Peg in NY

    Could it be,that if they told us the whole truth and nothing but, that we would have a national panic? Someone had best give all of the U.S. citizens the real truth about the debt crisis. This is nothing to shade, color or keep from us, give it to us straight and now.

    March 24, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
  3. Eric

    Because it is a lot more fun to say yes than it is to say no. And given that most politicians are more interested in getting re-elected than helping the country, they are more interested in posturing than actually doing anything. After all when was the last time that we the voters rewarded a politician for telling us we couldn't have something and punished another for giving us something the country couldn't afford.

    March 24, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
  4. B.J., Quincy, Il

    It's like everthing else. They don't want to practice what they preach.They want to sit on their high horses and tell everyone what to do, but they aren't willing to follow the same rules.

    March 24, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
  5. Barbara Leavitt

    Well Jack, maybe there really isn't one. Which I don't believe but it's a nice thought. I think they are too busy trying to blame each other for us being in this horrible situation. One upping each other so to speak. Several Republicans were voted in recently in HOPES THEY could figure out how to get jobs to the American people........and they've done nothing. More lies from the 'party of NO'. THEY too are going to waste a year on this health care reform. Something Obama should have put off until the economy was looking a whole lot better than it is now. They both are so very disappointing

    Henderson Nevada.

    March 24, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
  6. Rick - Oklahoma City

    Because what needs to be done will be wildly unpopular with voters, including Democrats, Republicans and Tea Party. Americans overall do not understand federal expenditures or revenue. Americans live in fiscal denial including those who scream the loudest.

    March 24, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
  7. Joe R - Houston, TX

    The federal government can't get serious about America's debt crisis because the congress, senate and president don't understand that math isn't based on a set of living rules subject to interpretive analysis and subjective definitions. Plus also – they are lying thieves.

    March 24, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
  8. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    I think it is because they owe too many favors to lobbyist and special interest groups for getting elected. That is why they will not take away the tax break for the highest 2% income. But are willing to take away from people who are suffering the most and don't contribute to campaign funds, and don't have lobbyists or special interest groups representing them.

    March 24, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
  9. Pete in Georgia

    Are you serious ???
    You expect them to get serious on a Disaster they created ??
    Federal gov't. officials are nothing but predators.......................and the average legal, working American citizens the Victims.
    The percentage of human parasites posing as Americans, who take full advantage of Gov't. handouts.................from cradle to grave..................has been growing exponentially for decades and now threatens to soon be the majority in America at which point the Gov't. will let out a gigantic sigh of relief : MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

    End of story.

    March 24, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
  10. David Rand

    Why? Everyone needs to run for re-election.

    Proposed Solution: Have a Nation wide referendum. Give the American Voters 2-3 choices. Each are acceptable to the parties. Let the people vote on a solution. This gets the nation to move ahead, and it gives political "Cover" to the polititicans.

    March 24, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
  11. John from Alabama

    Jack: The federal governemt is a bureaucracy which feeds on more funds. The more funds the better off the bureaucracy feels it is doing. The problems are the humans within the bureacracy, such as Congress, special interest groups, political parites, and common citizens trying to get something they need for thier life to be better. This means that no one is interested in reducing the deficit, because everyone wants something that cost money. A terrible circle of funds, needs, egos, and power plays.

    March 24, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
  12. Robby Bowling

    All they want to do is blame the other party and get re-elected. It is not about what is good for the country, it's about what's good for them. They have the credit card and we get the shaft. Maybe Obama will give us a high-minded rhetorical speech that will lift us into the heavens , the sea's will part & American's will be shown the way into the light. Or maybe the best way to deal with the debt is ignore it. How's that been working ? cynical in Dallas

    March 24, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
  13. Bryan, Colorado

    They are serious about the debt. Federal goverment thinks 3 wars, more wallstreet curruption and goverment employee unions are going to pay off the debt while the rest of us remain under paid and underemployed with no healthcare. Maybe another Obama jobs stimulus bill would help us. NOT !!!!!!!

    March 24, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
  14. David Gerstenfeld

    Truth be told Jack, they have absolutely no idea how to deal with the debt crisis. A think tank composed of the best financial minds should be the ones to recommend what to do, not the non-cooperative congress we elected to run our downward spiraling country.
    David, Las Vegas

    March 24, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
  15. s in pensacola

    Simple, Jack. The lobbyists won't let them. The congressional candy store is still wide open and those corporate kids just can't get enough.
    All the TeaGuvs are grabbing all they can while the gettin's good, but the writing's on the wall. Americans have a major, major case of buyer's remorse that all the Koch cash and Citizen's United tea in China won't be able to stop. Everyone is slowly realizing that Reagan's "shining city" only has room for about 2% of Americans. He never mentioned the moat and drawbridge, either.

    March 24, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
  16. Greg of Mechanicsburg PA

    It was Dick Cheney who said that deficits don't matter. I disagree with him, but the middle of a bad recession is not the time to start cutting federal and state jobs. Let's get serious about the entire economy, Jack. Eliminate tax breaks for everybody, especially the low rate for capital growth, which should be treated like any other income. Eliminate the cap for payroll taxes. Cut the cost of living adjustments to half the rate of inflation. Raise the age of retirement for social security and increase the number of years of service required for government retirement (including the military) and reduce the rate of pension by ten percent. Cut the wages for every federal employee by ten percent, including the President and Congress. Close all overseas military bases or charge the host nation for the service of protecting their citizens. Get out of Iraq and Afghanistan and Libya. Stop providing foreign aid to all nations and spend it here to rebuild our infrastructure, invest in education, and work harder at making ourselves energy independent.

    March 24, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
  17. Bradley, Portland OR

    Because everyone wants to cut programs that the other guy's special interests benefit from, but not those his own special interests benefit from.

    No one wants to do what's right for the country itself.

    March 24, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
  18. David of Alexandria VA

    The government has become far more adept at spending money and avoiding painful decisions than managing an economy. If it were not so, we would be energy-independent, solvent forever, positive balance of trade, lowest taxes on earth and best quality of life.

    But, for decades, we have let a handful of folks with a focus on their own biennial or quadrennial job security sell us down the river.

    March 24, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
  19. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Politics Jack, Politics. Richard Nixon tried to do something and they ran him off. William J. Leaderer wrote a book Entitled: A NATION OF SHEEP. Find a copy of it and read it. Self explanatory.

    March 24, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
  20. Janne from NC

    Because they are much more interested in playing gotcha politics than doing the people's business. Until the President actually decides to lead for a change nothing will get done.

    March 24, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
  21. Riley, Seattle

    Denial is a perfectly healthy and natural defense mechanism. Without it, we wouldn't be able to cope with and prioritize all that life throws at us. Now, while I'll grant you there's nothing healthy in avoiding a serious discussion of IMMINENT federal bankruptcy, you've got to admit it's perfectly natural if you're a congress person or a senator, or a president, hoping for re-election.

    March 24, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
  22. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Hi Jack. You're intro says, "Tell Jack how you really feel". It really comes down to jobs, not ours but theirs. They want to be Senators or Congress people forever and if they got real serious about the debt then they would lose their job and they know it. We have the cart before the horse. They have no courage to do the right things.

    March 24, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
  23. Conor in Chicago

    Because the problem is systemic. You either raise taxes on the rich, which means biting the hand that feeds you, or cutting services and benefits too far, which means civil unrest.

    So what will happen is this will continue to spiral out of control, the poor will revolt, the rich will total and full power, and the Corporatacracy will win, and we will all be slaves. Or we can physical fight them now. It's up to all of you out there.

    March 24, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
  24. J Farrow

    Congress has too many competing special interests to satisfy. Much of our debt problem is a revenue crisis aggravated by years of mostly Republican defecit spending and tax reductions. As Michael Moore so elegantly put it: America is not broke; it's just that the top 10% of Americans have all the money.

    March 24, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
  25. John Moore - New Britain, PA

    Jack, That is an easy question. Since our elected representatives are only concerned about the period leading to the next election how can we ever expect any attention to a longer term, difficult issue? Best solutions are term limits, campaign finance reform and a more involved electorate. I am not holding my breath waiting for these to happen.

    March 24, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  26. Steve, Clifton, VA

    Let's call a spade a spade Jack...The real question is why won't the politicians get serious about America's debt crisis? The folks that are charged with tackling that crisis is the Legislative Branch of the Federal Government. When we generalize and use terms like the Federal Government, it gives the branch of government responsible for the budget, the legislative branch, a cover to hide from their mishandling of their fiduciary duties. The debt crisis lays squarely at the feet of the politicians in the legislative branch of our wonderful government.

    March 24, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
  27. Annie, Atlanta

    Why is our debt only a crisis when a Democrat is in the White House, but never when a Republican occupies it and his party members are spending like there's a goose that lays golden eggs (plural) daily on the south lawn?

    March 24, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  28. ken, atlantic city, nj

    The president and congress won't get serious about the15 trillion dollar debt because they are all bought and paid for by special interests like the banks, wall street, international corporations, oil companies and the defense contractors. They are no different than addicts addicted to heroin. You can't change the system until you change the players and that is not going to happen. This country probably has about 5 years left before it goes under. Every penny the government now spends is borrowed. It is unsustaniable.

    March 24, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
  29. Mike McMahon

    Jack,
    The Republican Party is too busy trying to destroy the middle class, they don' t have time or intellect to address the problem. Besides, they wouldn't have the talking point to taut. Who elects these MORONS anyway?
    Respectfully,
    Mike

    March 24, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
  30. Jane (Minnesota)

    thequestion you should really ask, is why haven't they gotten serious about job creation – high unemployement is going to affect the deficit – the more working and paying taxes, more income is available for the spending/debt reduction.

    The other problem is the believe (myths) that tax cuts create jobs. All they seem to be doiing when they go the the top 15% is add to the deficit. We really have a bunch of economic geniuses we've sent to represent us.

    March 24, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
  31. Gail, Plano TX

    Why? Because GOP promises anything to get elected. Now are too busy with their abortion bills and searching for the President's birth certificate to tackle debt crisis.
    Since the President is powerless to do anything without their consent which they will not give, we remain in crisis. And will do so until the citizenry wises up, and gets rid of the bozos in Congress! Term limits, please!

    March 24, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
  32. John from Phoenix

    Because there so many hands in the cookie jar of free taxpayer money that every time there is an effort to take one out or reduce the number of cookies, without fail there is an unending wailing and massive mobilization of lobbyists, union membership, and special interests that takes place and scares off our elected officials. Everyone lines up for a share of the "Free" money, but the line to give something back for the good of our country and our grandchildren is non existent.

    March 24, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
  33. Ted from Hershey, PA

    The President is playing politics and it is not time to jump in yet! When he does, as usual he will describe the situation beautufully, and with empathy; but he will not factually propose anything that he can be held to or that involves any real debt reduction – let alone any budget deficit reduction which you have to have before you get any debt reduction. (Better than a balanced budget) Actually until you spend less than you take in you will have neither!!

    March 24, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  34. Loren, Chicago

    Because politics is more important than the American people. The President can't agree to Republican proposals because he would further alienate his core, and the Republicans don't want to help the President in his reelection campaign. The cuts are there and there are numerous ones that are easy (like defunding Health Care Reform, since the programs haven't really started), but common sense and good government don't seem to be important in Washington.

    March 24, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  35. CRAIG R. MCNEES

    Tampa, Fl Why should they, they are doing ok and it's not their money they are spending, and they will continue to do business as usual right up to the day China repos the United States. Think they might take Utah as a down payment?

    March 24, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  36. Ted from Hershey, PA

    The President is playing politics and it is not time to jump in yet! When he does, as usual he will describe the situation beautufully, and with empathy; but he will not factually propose anything that he can be held to or that involves any real debt reduction – let alone any budget deficit reduction which you have to have before you get any debt reduction. (Better than a balanced budget) Actually until you spend less than you take in you will have neither, only more deficits and debts!!
    Congress is just scared, but some are talking real change, but I wonder if the have any "guts"! I doubt it!

    March 24, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  37. Rich McKinney, Texas

    It is quite simple really. Only a hand full of politicians in Washington really care about our soaring debt. Congress can not even come up with a budget much less live within one. What America should have sent to Washington this last election cycle were accountants. You know people that know how to manage and handle money and not a bunch of tea baggers with nothing but good intentions. Our congress is full of ineptness and that compounds the problem of fiscal irresponsibility.

    March 24, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  38. David, from Plant City Florida

    The Democrats wont because they are afraid of touching entitlements, and the Republicans wont because they are in the back pocket of the Financial industry and wont Raise taxes on the people at the top who often use tax loopholes and deductions to pay almost nothing in taxes.

    They also wont regulate the Financial markets so in the next 5 years we are going to see another economic collapse that will be significantly worse than the last. It will be so bad there is a real chance it will kill America as we know it.

    March 24, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  39. riley oday

    They dont really care about the people. They really care about themselves and staying in the land of OZ. [ D.C.}

    March 24, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  40. Cheryl in Bluffton, SC

    President Obama knows the antics of the Tea Party are going to hand him a landslide victory next year. Once that's accomplished, and the economy has further strengthened, he can afford to make the common-sense reforms to taxes and entitlements that need to happen.

    March 24, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
  41. Dave, Huntington, NY

    They won’t get serious because it is a serious problem and it takes wise and courageous adults to handle serious problems. Congress is made up of foolish, selfish, immature fools who have no sense of duty. And I am no longer sure about the president either at this point.

    March 24, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
  42. Robin in Walcksville,PA.

    Jack,

    This is an easy one. It's not their money, and their not the ones responsible for paying it back. Kind of sounds like the typical American teenager and Congress aren't too far apart with respect to their view on life.

    March 24, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  43. rob Koons louisville ky

    Jack that is how our political system now works and it is what will destroy the greatest nation in the world. Politicians now represent the American Voters who do not want anything to be cut that would affect them but want things cut that will affect others lives. Politicians now are nothing but representatives of "Mob Rules" and not leaders as originaly designed. So we continue too see politicians voted in to office for the specific reason that they will do stuff for there constituants and if they do not they will be thrown out by this same mob and replaced by someone who will show loyalty to the "Majority Mob". This "Mob Rule" is not just in the Democratic Party it is alive and well in the Republican Party as well and because the 2 parties have a strangle hold and the capital to keep any real leadership out we are doomed!

    March 24, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  44. David in Tampa

    Jack, They can't. They owe too many favors to their large campaign contributers and the party bosses back home. I think it is called quid pro quo, or the you scratch my back, I'll scratch your's form of government. Talk about people being on the public doll, aka wealth-fare.

    March 24, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  45. andy

    because jack democratics cant solve anything without tring to fair to everyone and the repubublicans would have to admit everthing is their fault due to giving multi millionaries abd wall street tax breaks for 12 yrs.

    March 24, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
  46. Remo, from beautiful downtown Pflugerville Texas

    Because both are inept, and it will take citizens protesting across the country threatening revolt to wake their elected butts up. More or less.

    March 24, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  47. Gerry

    The Democratic goal is to enslave the citizenry with debt so their primary concern will be survival. By far we pay less taxes than our European counterparts. This administration would like to change that .

    Gerry
    Arizona

    March 24, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
  48. Pisher in Harrisburg

    Jack,

    On my Facebook page, I posited the question, "What sacrifice are you willing to make to help the federal government reduce the deficit" What I was asking is what sacrifice and individual would ask that a congressperson or senator make that effected their lives in some sort of way that would reduce government spending. Most people responded with political rhetoric about the other guy needs to give up and why they feel they should be exempted from any spending cuts that would affect them. Congress knows this and is kicking the can down the road as it always has. Our nation has forgotten how to say, " I'll give up something for the greater good" because that is seen as something "unAmerican." Sad, but true.

    March 24, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  49. Minesh - Troy, MI

    Jack, Tea Party Republicans want to cut the huge debt but Obama wants to blame them for hurting old people and children.

    March 24, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  50. Ray in Knoxville

    Sadly, Jack, this isn't really about the deficit. The far right needs an issue to hook independents because their social issues won't; the nations debt fits the bill. The president, meanwhile, is more worried about keeping our economy afloat.

    March 24, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  51. Thinkforyourself, OK

    When will you get it, Jack?? Progressives are trying their hardest to destroy our country. Bankruptcy and insolvency is the quickest way possible. Chaos is the goal.
    They will never be serious because it is all about POWER and MONEY.

    March 24, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  52. Jenna

    Why won't Congress and the President get serious about America's debt crisis?

    President Obama has been serious about our debt it is the GOP led Congress that isn't all that interested.

    The GOP is only interested in Union Busting and the FETUS.

    Even though the GOP ran on CREATING JOBS and tackling the deficit I haven't seen them send a SINGLE Jobs Creation bill to the floor and we all know what they are doing regarding the deficit. Tax Breaks to the Wealthy and BIG Corporations and cuts for everyone else.

    2012 Can't come fast ehough. We are going to give the Democrats a SUPER MAJORITY so the GOP can't obstruct everything and we can get the job done.

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    March 24, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  53. andyz Lynn, MA

    Oh my, this is much too easy a question. The simple reason is that neither party knows how to fix the debt problem without upsetting their political contributors. Government of the special interests, by the special interests, for the special interests. We have the best government that money can buy.

    March 24, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  54. Adnan

    The government isn't serious about our deficit because they think by controlling middle eastern oil, they will get out of debt . Another reason is their power to print money! America is the only country that has the power to print money! Even today I just figured out that we spend almost 700 billion dollars on our army!

    March 24, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  55. Cliff Glass - East Rockaway, NY

    Jack,

    Two words: money owed. Not by the United States to its creditors, but by lobbyists for its' bought and paid for members of Congress. Unless there in public financing of campaigns, Congress will vote only their self-interest and not those of the country.

    March 24, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  56. Frankie

    Because the Republicans would rather talk about public broadcasting and Muslin communities, and being in the majority in the House, they can force everyone else in the government to talk about such issues, take votes whether they should vote on them, etc. etc. etc.

    March 24, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  57. Mike in St. Paul

    Mark Twain once said something similar about the weather. He said (I'm paraphrasing) "People are always talking about the weather but no one ever does anything about it."

    March 24, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
  58. Steve

    They have to wait until after the next election...and then the next...and then the next...and...then it'll be safe because they won't be running.

    IL

    March 24, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  59. Minnesotan

    Because they'll lose their Corporate sponsors if they were to do what really needs to be done to fix the problem and that would mean they might not get re-elected!

    March 24, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  60. John D.

    There is no point. We will have to all sacrifice if we want to solve this problem and Americans are above sacrifice today. Catch phrases and sound bytes work much better.

    March 24, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  61. Steve Druger

    Because Republican propagandists have scared them into avoiding the one solution that makes any sense - to actually collect the tax money to pay for the programs we need. Instead of eliminating valuable government programs, eliminate fiscally irresponsible tax cuts and loopholes.

    March 24, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  62. Dave in Arizona

    Because all those rich corporation that control their puppet strings won't let them. They will never let the free money dry up for themselves and they certainly won't pay their fair share of taxes. Corporations control out country, not those fools who masquerade as leaders.

    March 24, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  63. Benn Raines

    Political leaders haven't been concerned with debt since the invention of the Central Bank and interest lending. Why would they start now? I think the only thing that will change our monetary system is when our dollar collapses, unfortunately.

    March 24, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  64. Ralph Nelson

    Because if you drastically cut government spending at this time you well cause a recession because you are at the bottom of a business cycle. All you will do is deflate the economy and have less revenue coming it. You'll make it worse! Get the economy going and going well and than you cut. Most importantly: Raise taxes on the rich! MBA

    March 24, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  65. Gary H. Boyd

    It's easier to kick the can down the road than to pick it up and put it in a trash Jack. America's can of debt is covered with grime and has a pretty foul odor so doing something about it would require courage and the guts to face reality. Neither of which is currently present in either the Congress or the White House.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    March 24, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  66. Frank, from Pennsylvania

    The gov. doesn't want to get serious because they really don't care. They get there pay check no matter what. It seems as if they do nothing but bicker about everything so it looks like they are doing there job.I guess the budget doesn't mean anything once they get into office.

    March 24, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  67. Kirk (Apple Valley, MN)

    Probably because no matter what Obama proposes, the GOP controlled House will shoot it down and the GOP controlled House doesn't have the cojones to come up with any meaningful solution.

    March 24, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  68. Alex Landi

    Jack-
    There may not be an immineant threat to the U.S., but there is an imminent opportunity to help yet another country free itself from opression and gain some form of democracy. America is the greatest champion of freedom and human rights the world has even known. How can we stand by and let people who are fighting and dying for freedom be crushed? There has to be a way this can be done.

    March 24, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  69. Bill in South TX

    Jack,
    Did we miss something. Are you suggesting that congress would represent the will and welfare of the human citizens? We did not buy them. The rich and corporations did. They are doing what they are paid to do; which is make the rich richer. The rich can live anywhere in the world. What do they care about the health and safety of the U. S. or our citizens? They all have multiple homes in multiple countries and the private jets to take them there. No TSA foolishness for them nor baggage limits. Nice!

    March 24, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  70. Rob in NC

    Honestly, I don't think they know what to do. They aren't really that smart. I will say that I am confused by "commissions". They are people paid to sit around and "think about something" and they get paid more to do it than 2/3 of the working Americans in this country. Rob in NC

    March 24, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  71. Ken

    The president is serious. How can you consider what people like the Tea Party people say as serious? Next time around, we may see the biggest buyer,s remorse ever.

    March 24, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  72. Rick in California

    Because they and everybody in Washington know that there is no way we can ever get out of debt now. We have gone beyond the ability to generate enough money to ever get out.

    March 24, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  73. Renee Peoria,Ill

    Because they have no answers that won't tick off either 1. the voters, or 2. those who fund their election campaigns. Can you say rock and a hard place?

    March 24, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  74. John ........... Marlton, NJ

    Why? Because they aren't properly motivated to address the debt crisis. Two solutions; First, risk of losing their governemt money or two, putting a no-fly zone over their neighborhood.

    March 24, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  75. Greg of Mechanicsburg PA

    Let's get serious about the entire economy, Jack. Eliminate tax breaks for everybody, especially the low rate for capital growth, which should be treated like any other income. Eliminate the cap for payroll taxes so those at the top end of the bracket pay the same total percentage as the rest of us. Cut the cost of living adjustments to half the rate of inflation and raise the age of retirement for Social Security and increase the number of years of service required for government retirement (including the military) and reduce the rate of pension by ten percent. Cut the wages for every federal employee by ten percent, including the President and Congress. Close all overseas military bases or charge the host nation for the service of protecting their citizens. Get out of Iraq and Afghanistan and Libya. Stop providing foreign aid to all nations and spend it here to rebuild our infrastructure, invest in education, and work harder at making ourselves energy independent.

    March 24, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  76. Charlie

    Well Jack, they have got serious about the debt, seriously irresponsible. They can't do anything about it, as they won't stop spending. It will take the act of our entire nation to assemble and meet in the capital like an angry mob just to get them to talk seriously about getting serious. It seems it is a lost cause. They will raise the debt ceiling and continue to grow the perfect storm. Like splitting an atom, it will blow up in our faces soon enough.

    March 24, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  77. AB

    The President and members of Congress are playing political games for political advantage in 2012. However, this could backfire and put everyone in the political arena at a disadvantage in 2012. President Obama and the Congress need to forget about politics and deliver a 2011 federal fiscal budget. The country is suffering and for every month that we do not have a budget, chaos and economic dislocation ensues, thus forstalling any possible economic recovery.

    March 24, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  78. Gigi Oregon

    When we have had enough of an incompetent government and take to the streets we may get their attention. But as long as the people allow for the government to give tax breaks to the rich and the burden to the labourers and their grandchildren, it will be Corporate America and government walking hand in hand leading us to destruction. I guess we are all to lazy and would rather whine than do any thing about it.
    The best way to get out of debt is raise taxes and tighten the budget that's what responsible people do. Get it over with.

    Every day I read your blog and get more depressed but it's cheaper than going to the doctor to get on drugs for relief. Misery loves company I guess.

    March 24, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  79. Ralph Spyer

    Were is the money for the congress men,or senators if they cut back ? There money to be made in a war,that why we have so many of them.

    March 24, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  80. Dee in New Paris Ohio

    In short, they are TOO STUBBORN! And not at all interested in doing anything good for the country, regardless of their rhetoric.

    What I'd like to know about the budget crisis is, how come we hear such discussion on both sides about cutting spending and the cuts are miniscule compared to what we are spending each and every month on the WARS. In fact, why is CNN not reporting every day on how much the wars are costing us?

    If Congress and the President want to collaborate on cost-cutting and try to balance the budget, they must start with cuts to the military piece of the pie.

    But neither the President nor the Congress have said a word about such cuts. No, they would rather 'balance' the budget by cutting the Social Security benefits of a bunch of old people, cut the puittance spent each year on PUBLIC RADIO, cut funding to SCHOOLS and to infrastructure spending and cut Medicare so that our citizens have no health care support!

    I would LOVE to be able to learn how much money those in Congress get from the corporations who make wars possible! But I am sure those amounts are carefully hidden from public view.

    March 24, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  81. david bidlack

    the president doesn't have to do any thing about the dept but sign the bill or veto the bill. its the republicans that made all the promises to get thing done ! so far that almost a big zero! what part of this goverment don't they get they made these big promises knowing that they would have a democrat in the white house. its their job to write bills that they want and think that the president will sign. if they flat know the president will veto the bill than they are doing nothing more than wasting time like health care repeel! it been 3 mounths now were is the JOBS? you can't just talk your ideology and think you will get past the next election WE THE PEOPLE HAVE JUST ABOUT HAD IT WITH WASHINGTON JUST LIKE THE PEOPLE IN EYGPT HAD THEIR FILL! its already started just look at michigan, wisconsin, ill, ohio, alaska. guess which party these states are run by!

    March 24, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  82. jim in Alabama

    Jack, politics has gotten to be big business and profitable. As such, our politicians are more concerned with re-election than the welfare of the country....Hard to believe, but true! They sell their votes to the highest bidder and ignore those who elected them .They're also cowards in things like spending because they know cuts will be painful to their constituents and they won't be re-elected. It's gonna destroy this country before terrorism does I fear.

    March 24, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
  83. honest John in Vermont

    If you cut spending you make it worse. If you keep spending you make it worse. The only question is just WHO do we make it worse for and the lobbyists will tell the politicans who to squeeze.

    March 24, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  84. Paul Giovannetti

    Jack, I say we should get the national finger off the trigger, get those in uniform back home, let the rebels and the tyrants battle it out and take care of our own home. When the dust settles in North Africa and the Arabian peninsula, it will be a different day with the same smell. We will still be dealing with people who can't stand the idea of live and let live in peace.

    March 24, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
  85. Duop in Colorado

    Good question Jack! But the reason is that they probably have skill to talk about it but have no concrete meant fix to our debts.

    March 24, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
  86. Roger

    It's quite simple. If the Congress and the President got serious about addressing the debt crisis, they'd actually have to make cuts and actually have to ensure ALL Americans pay taxes. Making cuts puts their jobs in jeopardy because Americans want cuts but NOT from a program that they have an interest in or receive support from. Until ALL Americans make it abundantly clear that politicians jobs depend on them making cuts from EVERY corner of the budget and reforming the tax code such that EVERY AMERICAN pays a share of the tax burden, we will never climb out of this mess.

    March 24, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
  87. Birddog in Mississippi

    Whether we put measures in place to deal with long term debt this year or next year makes no difference. It's long term debt, the measures are simply a long term plan. What we should NOT be doing right now is cutting spending. That hurts both jobs and economic growth. The sky is not falling Jack.

    March 24, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
  88. Karl in Mich

    Because no one has the guts to quit cutting essential services and start making those individuals and corporations that have made fortunes off this country through outrageous tax loopholes to start paying their far share. In other words, face reality. Then there would be no deficit or national debt. Of course this would require public financing of elections and throw in term limits so no one gets too cozy with any form of financial benefactor.

    March 24, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
  89. Deborah Seibert,. Co

    Obama is NOT serious about the budget. He only wants to SPEND, he has NO concept of budget. Just raise taxes and continue to spend is his motto. The congress is not acting because a reduced budget will NEVER get passed into law. Thank the democrats and the President. The only people who are for reducing spending are the tea party people and they are in the minority. Meanwhile, the country is going down the drain. Maybe that was Obama's plan to start with.

    March 24, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  90. Rex Savage in Portland, Oregon

    Congress will not get serious about anything except derailing Obama and any program he espouses for fear of his re-election. Obama's team cannot do anything without congress. The political aims of the GOP far outweigh the needs of America, always have, always will. Face it and announce it, Jack.

    Meanwhile we all sit and weep.

    March 24, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  91. Maggieb

    Because Harry Reid is stopping lots of bills that cut the budget from coming to the Senate floor. Like the bill to stop Epa, He refused it on the floor because he was afriad it would fail.

    March 24, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  92. Ralph Sato

    Because this has been all about politics. Like the jobs, jobs, jobs accusations against President Obama before the 2010 midterm elections, the Republicans have largely lost interest in the still high unemployment figures that still plague the economy. They are focusing on attacking "entitlements" like social security which did not contribute to the 2008 financial meltdown that was the cause of the current recession. Social security has been in surplus for the past 25 years but is being blamed for the deficits that Republicans criticize about the Obama budget.

    March 24, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  93. Pete, MN

    They were serious. That is until the Republicans were voted back in,Jack.
    Voters were so gung-ho to jump on the Republican bandwagon after drinking propaganda filled tea in November, you know,
    "we don't want no stinking Obama socialism". That is, until they found out that cuts in their middle class valued benefits, is what the republicans were really referring to. Too late now, isn't it Jack? Americans are too fickle and mired in their own ignorance to vote their own interests. Fool me once, . . . twice . . .hundreds of times, shame on me.

    March 24, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  94. lynnej in north carolina

    The real reason being is political survival and our selfishness towards our fellow man. Some of us that are totally selfish and don't want to help those whom are on hard times would whine to high heaven if so and so were cut. I mean look at that second jet engine that the Pentagon doesn't need. Each time it comes up to be cut, Boehner whines.

    When politicians decide to grow up and explain the budget to those whom don't see the get it, we can finally fix this thing.

    March 24, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  95. Annie, Atlanta

    Loren in Chicago – I don't want to see what little health care reform we got defunded. It will cost us trillions more in the long run. Who do you think pays when an uninsured American goes to the emergency room? What about pre-existing conditions like acne when you were in your teens? What about all these kids fresh out of college unable to find work and now able to stay on their parents' health care plans?

    March 24, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
  96. H @ Idaho

    Because talking about the debt crisis it will get them votes. Doing something about the debt crisis will cost them votes.

    The bottom line is that every decision by a politician is about getting them elected or re-elected and on this issue, the math just does not add up for doing something about the deficit.

    March 24, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
  97. Rich

    It's not in the best interest of Congress to agree with the President. Congress always has to fight with the executive branch to foster their own agenda. Politicians are nothing but liars, every time they open their mouths they are lying. Let’s look at in a practical matter. Congress has yet to pass a balanced budget. They give themselves raises hold up the budget process and threaten to shut down the government. This then forces millions of government workers out of work and on unemployment adding more to the unemployment numbers that the congress can point the finger at the executive branch. We elected these idiots and we can do better.

    March 24, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
  98. Ken in NC

    They can’t get serious for two reasons. Live broadcast by (1) CNN and (2) C-Span of Congress when it is in session would preclude Members of Congress from discussing the debt on public TV because Americans would learn they have been “BAD BOYS & GIRLS“ with our money.

    March 24, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
  99. Bill North

    I'm really sick of hearing we cut 2million, we cut 8 million, when we are still borrowing over 50 Billion with a B only to give it away as foreign aid. Haven't we given enough with our jobs?

    March 24, 2011 at 6:59 pm |