FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Without question, it's the most serious problem facing this country. And if it isn't addressed in a meaningful way and soon, we're not going to have a country.
We're talking about the national debt at $14.3 trillion. Annual deficits of $1.5 trillion. And the inability of our federal government to even go near addressing this stuff in a meaningful way.
It took the threat of government shutdown to get them to free a paltry $38.5 billion dollars in cuts for this year's budget. That's chump change.
Critics say that President Obama has failed to lead on this issue. Perhaps until now. He's scheduled to give what is billed as a major speech tomorrow on our budget crisis. This is the same President Obama who appointed a deficit reduction commission almost a year ago and then has ignored their recommendations which were given to him last December, conveniently after the midterm elections. Tomorrow however, he is expected to release his plan to reduce the deficit which will build on those recommendations. It's about time.
Like them or not, if it wasn't for the pressure being brought to bear on this subject by the Tea Party, my guess is Washington would just continue to kick the can down the road. Tomorrow's speech could be a defining moment for the president. If Americans are not convinced that he and the Congress take our economic crisis as seriously as the rest of us do, they may all be looking for a job in 18 months. And maybe that wouldn't be such a bad thing either.
Here's my question to you: What should the president say in his budget speech tomorrow?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Rich in Texas:
I would like the president to explain to the American people just exactly why they elected him in the first place. When Obama took office gasoline was at $1.85 per gallon and now it is over $3.78 per gallon. When the president took charge of this country there was a national debt of $10.6 trillion. Two years after Obama it stands at $14.3 trillion. Please Mr. President explain to me how when you and the Democrats controlled both houses for two years you could not balance a budget and reduce the federal deficit and this last week the Republicans had to do your job.
Sherrie in Camarillo, California:
He should explain that we do not have a deficit crisis. We have a failure-to-levy-taxes-against-those-who-can-afford-it crisis.
Troy in Fleetwood, Pennsylvania:
He has ultimately lost his credibility. He needs to tell us exactly where the cuts are going to be made, and he needs to propose a solution to keep this from happening again the next time we "run out of money." You can't campaign on transparency, do everything secretly, and then expect us to listen to false promises.
Mark in Brooklyn, New York:
Withdraw from three wars and cut D.O.D. Come home from Europe, Japan and Korea and cut DOD. Then cut DOD, again. End subsidies to the most profitable corporations in history: Oil. Tell U.S. corporations to repatriate the trillions of dollars they've held overseas or face a new tax duty, anyway. End mortgage rate deductions on vacation homes but continue on the primary residences, the Plutocrats will just have to pay for those McMansions in Vail/Aspen/Palm Springs/ Santa Barbara themselves. Once we fix the "revenue deficit," we can spread that pain just a bit to the working and middle classes.
Jon in Lima, Ohio:
It doesn't matter to me what he says. His actions have already spoken for him. He's the biggest spender of all the big spenders who've occupied the White House. If he offers a budget that has a more aggressive deficit reduction plan than Paul Ryan's, then he'll have my attention. If he pushes for a balanced budget amendment and proposes elimination of the IRS in favor of a "Fair" Tax, I may believe he's been born again.