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May 9th, 2011
05:00 PM ET

Should raising taxes be more of a priority than cutting spending?

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(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Americans are paying the smallest share of their income in taxes since 1958 - about 23.6% - according to new analysis from USA Today.

During the 70's, 80's and 90's, Americans spent about 27% of their income on taxes. If we were paying that rate now, $500 billion in additional taxes would be collected each year. Yes, $500 billion. That's about one-third of this year's federal deficit.

Now, conservative groups are quick to point out that this fall in tax revenue is due to a weak economy and not just lower tax rates or tax breaks. Deficit reduction advocates disagree. Either way, you gotta wonder what this country could do with an extra $500 billion dollars right about now.

This report comes as President Obama plans to meet with Democrats and Republicans separately over the next few weeks to talk about reducing the deficit. Senate Democrats will go to the White House on Wednesday, followed by Senate Republicans Thursday. House Democrats and Republicans will come in the "next few weeks."

Back in December, a deficit reduction committee created by the president recommended cutting spending and eliminating tax breaks to trim nearly $4 trillion from the deficit over the next decade. So far those recommendations have been largely ignored. President Obama came out with his own plan last month that calls for $2 in spending cuts for every $1 in tax increases.

Republican Congressman Paul Ryan has his own 10-year, $4.4 trillion plan that calls for spending cuts and the overhaul of Medicare but doesn't mention raising taxes. We're still waiting for a third deficit reduction plan from the so-called Gang of Six a bi-partisan group of six senators - we're still not sure what that will look like.

Here’s my question to you: Should raising taxes be more of a priority than cutting spending?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Bob in Melbourne, Florida:
No, Jack! That’s a moronic question. We spend too damn much money that we don't have. We didn't get into this mess by cutting taxes too much. We got here by spending more than we brought in. Raising taxes would only enable the Left to spend more creating more and more government dependence.

Karl in Flint, Michigan:
We need to go back to the Clinton tax rates when everyone paid a fair share of their income and we had a surplus. Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthy pushed the burden on the middle and lower class incomes and flushed those surpluses down the drain. We also need to raise Social Security and Medicare contributions.

Marvin in Polo, Missouri:
Jack, raising taxes on Big Oil, the filthy rich, big business and Donald Trump would offer an immediate effect on the deficit and would not hurt the middle class and the poor.

Bill in Portales, New Mexico:
Major tax increases as well as budget cuts are required. Unfortunately, this action will stop any chance of recovery. We need a president and Congress to do what must be done and forget about the next election. More importantly, we need a president and Congress that will motivate us and unite us in making the sacrifices that are required to save our country.

M.C.:
Raising taxes will only lead to more spending, not deficit reduction. If Congress cannot prove they can control their spending, there is no reason the people should give them more money to waste.

Alex in Washington:
The fiscal hole we have dug for ourselves is too deep to be solved by spending cuts alone. A balanced approach should be considered, say 50/50 spending cuts and tax increases. The American people are now aware of the problem and many will accept the pain to solve it as long as the pain is shared by all.

Bruce:
Cut spending, Washington will spend any money you give them as they have proven for decades. Cut, Cut, Cut. Please, do it for our grandchildren.


Filed under: Congress • President Barack Obama • Spending • Taxes
soundoff (199 Responses)
  1. Ed Reed

    A combination. Remember President Bush's 2000 campaign statement, "...my plan returns about one of every four dollars of the surplus to the American taxpayers..." I think we can all agree that the surplus is gone. It's time to cut spending and raise taxes. On everybody.

    Ed
    Sanityville, TX

    May 9, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
  2. Greg in Arkansas

    Both....Congress should be capable of multi-tasking and the Govt. needs to get efficient with its spending AND look at raising tax revenue.
    We already know that extending the GOP tax cuts for the wealthy didn't work....but...if we were to take that GOP logic to the next level where tax cuts for the rich did CREATE jobs......then, how about we make ALL income over $250K TAX FREE....and.... make the wealthy TAX EXEPMT.....that should create enough jobs to put everyone back to work by Thursday.
    .......right?????....

    May 9, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
  3. barbara in nc

    Reform the tax codes – get rid of ALL loop-holes for everyone and then put in a flat tax.

    May 9, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
  4. Ed in Harrisburg

    President Obama and Congress must concentrate on acheiving the very delicate balance of BOTH CUTTING SPENDING AND RAISING TAXES.

    In addition they should start a campaign for prosperity that tells the truth about wealth gain...Live below your means, save what you can and stop borrowing beyond your means. This way the phonie baloney gang in the finance business will stop playing funny money games and people will concentrate on the goods and services they really need and not the chatkes they think they need which can be produced here in America. Prices will come down, manufacturing and employment will go up for basic goods and services and we can get back on track with the values that made this country strong and led to real wealth.

    May 9, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
  5. Terrence Cain

    Both Jack! Bin Laden's dead. Bring them all home now. You can leave the special ops guys over there to keep fighting the terrorists, but bring the rest of our troops home. Stop all these tax loop holes for the big business, and reform the entire tax system with a simple consumption tax. I will guarantee you that once those things are all done the economy will improve greatly.

    Terrence Cain
    Big Spring, TX.

    May 9, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
  6. Jane (Minnesota)

    I'd rather they be focusing on getting the unemployed back to work - aka job growth in the US instead of outsourcing.

    Based on the job growth that occurred after Bill Clinton raised taxes, I hope it doesn't take the economic geniuses we have elected to Congress too long to realize that spending cuts alone aren't going to solve the deficit – neither are further tax cuts.

    May 9, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
  7. Peg in NY

    President Obama and Congress have no choice but to focu on cutting spending. Raising taxes will break the backs of the vanishing Middle Class. No Tax Increases! Period!

    May 9, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
  8. Jayne

    Taxes are at the lowest level they've been in decades and the reason we're in a giant black hole is 2 wars and a Medicare drug program that were not paid for. Our last president seemed to think taxes could be cut while trillion dollar wars were waged. Apparently he expected the money fairy to come out of the sky on a flaming pie. Taxes should be what they were during the fiscally responsible Clinton years and loopholes for big corporations should be closed. I should not be paying more taxes than ExxonMobil.

    May 9, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
  9. Herman Portland OR

    Jack, Its the economy and jobs. How about less regulation and more free market policies.

    May 9, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
  10. Conor in Chicago

    The current tax structure put in place by the Bush Administration is designed to empower the wealthy, starve the government of needed revenue, and as a result, make forcing the privatization of everything easier to argue to a completely misinformed American public, most of which is actively disinformed by the empowered wealthy who will become more empowered and more wealthy with the privatization of everything under the sun.

    The Republicans are trying to turn back time and make America what it was in the 1880’s and the Bush tax structure reflects that intent. There are many things that need to happen in order to return the US to prosperity. Making the wealthy pay their share of taxes is the first step.

    May 9, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
  11. Brad Henning, Portland, OR

    They need to cut spending AND raise taxes. Anyone who tells you we can solve the budget problem by only doing one or the other is lying to you.

    We need to start by rolling back the Bush tax cuts for everyone, both the wealthy and regular people. And we need to eliminate the cap on the payroll tax for Social Security. Then we need to eliminate ALL tax deductions, both business and personal. No carrying over business losses from year to year or playing games with offshore tax havens so that corporations with billions of dollars of profit pay no federal income tax.

    The average monthly Social Security benefit is only $1,100, so you can't cut it any further for average folks; it's already way below the poverty line. But you can means test both Social Security and Medicare so wealthy people who don't need them won't drain the system.

    The biggest drain on the budget, after Defense, is Medicare and Medicaid. And the reason they're so costly is the same reason that health insurance is so expensive: runaway medical costs. If we get medical costs under control, this will automatically fix a lot of our budget and deficit problems.

    And the way the rest of the world gets better medical outcomes than we do at a fraction of the cost is single payer.

    Republicans who seriously want to solve the budget deficit problem need to get behind single payer, because that's the only way they'll succeed.

    May 9, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
  12. David of Alexandria VA

    Jack, before the government says anything about raising my taxes, they need to make sure that they are spending all the dough I give them now on true, absolutely essential needs (not wants), that the huge losses due to fraud waste and abuse are plugged, and that the 50% of the citizens who don't pay any income taxes are truly paying their fair share . Only if the government shows that it is a responsible steward should they get one red cent more of my money. (My money - not theirs). And we're a long way from stewardship, in my book.

    May 9, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
  13. Kirk (Apple Valley, MN)

    Gee, here's a thought! How about a little of both? Cutting spending without raising revenue will never, ever get us out of the financial hole that the right wing put us in during the 8 nightmare years of GWB. In fact cutting spending without raising revenue will only make matters worse, no matter how much the GOP/Tea Party want to believe that.

    May 9, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
  14. pad

    Congress,Obama should spend more to keep the tax payers happy and cut taxes to keep tax payers happy.
    Paul
    Ames Ia

    May 9, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
  15. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, VA

    If they focus on raising taxes, there will be no compromise, so taxes will go up automatically as the old law goes back into force on January 1, 2013. If the GOP wants to save their base voters, they will compromise. If they want to focus on their contributors, then taxes will go up for everyone.

    May 9, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
  16. Rhommy

    Both

    May 9, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
  17. jimmy in greenville nc

    Their focus? I believe it is too close to election time for them to take their focus away from anything other than getting reelected.

    May 9, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
  18. Loren, Chicago

    Cutting spending and fixing the tax system. The budget shouldn't be the testing ground for every Congressman's pet project, our government should be focused on what works and ditch the rest.

    More importantly, the tax code needs some serious editing to get rid of the loopholes that GE and thousands of ocmpanies and individuals use to avoid paying taxes. As I learned in tax law, avoidance isn't a crime. My view is that it shouldn't be a sport either. Clean up the code.

    May 9, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
  19. Meg from Troy, Ohio

    Both. Doing one without the other won't get the job done.

    May 9, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  20. Scott in Bellingham

    President Obama and Congress should immediately curtail all spending when tax revenue is used up. It is their job to list all payments owed each year, make the payments, then only make new purchases with what is left over. No more credit.

    If President Obama and Congress have the balls to raise supplemental revenue by increasing taxes, fine. But get the money first, then spend it. No balls, no extra funds, no extra spending. That's the way it is.

    May 9, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  21. Raj, Toronto

    Jack,
    Cutting spending will only reduce demand and will lead to more jobs lost something that the US economy cannot afford at this time. The best way to reduce the deficit is to increase taxes on the rich. The rich anyway invest most of their tax cuts in India and China and those economies are growing at more than 10% annually. The most prosperous nations in this world have the highest tax rates. Look at Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Australia, Canada. The notion that reducing taxes for the rich will lead to investment and therefore economic prosperity is a myth and doesn't work.

    May 9, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  22. Al from Orlando

    No hope. they seem to be focused on the next election

    May 9, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
  23. Woody

    Hard for me to see how they can make really good, long term fiscal progress unless both are addressed. Like it or not, "entitlement" is here ...we can't just eliminate it ...need to responsibly manage it. And I don't mean entitling only the poor ...we also entitle the higher income folks 'cause they (me, included!) find easy ways to creep through the tax loopholes.

    May 9, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  24. John Moore - New Britain, PA

    Jack, surely we have to do both, government needs to stop spending money that it doesn't have on issues that we don't absolutely need. Looking at the 11% increase for the average CEO in 2010 it also appears that higher taxes are justified on the top end to discourage the growth of greed. More of those company profits should be showing up in salaries and wages of the average employees. The way it used to be a couple of decades ago.

    May 9, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
  25. lou

    They already have their talking points. The dems say the rich aren't paying enough in taxes. The Republicans say they won't raise taxes but want to cut everything that isn't nailed down. Meanwhile, the american people realize they have to do both. It's no wonder we can't get anything done in Washington.

    May 9, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
  26. Lori - PA

    Jack,

    President Obama and Congress should work together to cut spending. The U.S. should not be spending money it does not have. In regards to taxes, I have two words – create jobs. You create jobs, people make money that can be taxed; among other things. I just hope the President and Congress start to do more than just talk about a solution.

    May 9, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
  27. Gary H. Boyd

    Your question's a lot like which came first, the chicken or the egg?
    We've spent ourselves into an enormous financial hole and we can't afford to go any deeper so I'm for curtailing spending Jack. Simple as that. The problem is Washington's a spend thrift.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    May 9, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
  28. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    They need to focus on raising taxes and spending, if they are serious about cutting the deficit. The wealthiest Americans and corporations like GE have been getting a free ride and it is now time for them to start paying their fair share.

    May 9, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
  29. Bruce

    Cut spending, Washington will spend any money you give them as they have proven for decades. Cut, Cut, Cut. Please, do it for our grandchildren.

    May 9, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
  30. John from Alabama

    Jack: Cutting taxes will not reduce the deficit. Cutting taxes will reduce needed services which educate, house, and feed people in this nation. We should move back to Clinton Era taxes, or do away with all taxcuts since 2000. Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, and other mega rich people believe the only way out of the $14.4 trillion deficit is to do away with all the Bush Era and Obama Era taxcuts. It would take 4 to 5 years to reduce the deficit.

    May 9, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
  31. Brian Book

    The only credible model provided by recent history, is the Clinton administration record. Raise taxes to Clinton rates. But since we are engaged in 3 wars (Clinton could cut defense spending), add a 10% surtax on all taxable income (in excess of 1000 x minimum wage, annualized). This way, the rich & powerful will be given incentive toward peace.

    May 9, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
  32. Bud Rupert

    From what I gather it can't be one or the other but a combination of both. I listen to what Erskin Bowles and Al Simpson have to say on the subject and my sense is that they are probably on the right track.

    May 9, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
  33. Lene', IL

    Our government officials are Spendaholics and need intervention. Raising taxes will only give them more ideas of how to spend it.

    May 9, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
  34. Paul, New Port Richey, Fl.

    Neither one. The Democrats want to increase taxes as per usual. The Republicans want to cut spending as was expected. Nothing will happen because the other guy won't play. It's now ime to start all over with a top to bottom change of government.

    May 9, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
  35. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Hi Jack, my 4 year old grandson knows more than these so called leaders when it comes to financial things. We need to do both and especially raise taxes on the very wealthy for a period of time. We also need to cut spending on defense by 50% which can be done by bringing all of our military home but they won't do that because our economy is based on war.

    May 9, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
  36. Bud

    "Should raising taxes be more of a priority than cutting spending?"

    No. BOTH should be done. We have a national debt to pay.

    May 9, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
  37. Paul From Austin, texas

    Yes because they will need the money to make the cuts. Sounds odd but true. I costs you or someone else when a cut is mad in government spending.

    May 9, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
  38. tom Doyle, Texas

    What's left to tax, other than the ultra rich and they don't pay any taxes anyway. If congress decides to end tax cuts for the rich they (congress) will just add more loopholes to let them get around the taxes.

    May 9, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
  39. mcoville

    Raising taxes will only lead to more spending, not deficit reduction. If congress can not prove they can control their spending there is no reason the people should give them more money to waste.

    May 9, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
  40. Cheryl

    Yes, money has to be generated from somewhere to take care of the poor, newly poor, borderline poor due to no trickle down!

    May 9, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
  41. Donald

    It always is! We need to cut spending beginning with such things as congressional expense accounts, foreign aid, and CIA funding. We also need a completely revamped tax program: a 2% federal sales tax on all products and services without exception or exemption, inconjuction with a personal income tax with no joint return filings, no deductions, and $0 owed by anyone earning less than $50,000. Think about it. Wealthy people buy more expensive items than poorer people, they would pay more sales tax. A $50,000 starting point for income tax would give poorer people more money to spend even with a 2% sales tax. If the majority of tax revenues came from the wealthy, government spending would be cut drastically.

    May 9, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
  42. Ed from California

    Yes,raise taxes,or get about forty thousand factories back up and running, tonight, We need to return all all the American factories that were sent to communist China. We need to get Americans working again and start paying payroll taxes...i.e. Social Security, Medicare, State and Federal taxes. What a concept, get a Americans back to work and have them pay into the system.......just like the good old days! If we cut spending... the middle class will be cutting their on throats.

    May 9, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
  43. Cheryl in Bluffton, SC

    Wake up, America: We want government (Social Security, Medicare, a strong military) and we are going to have to pay for it. Spending must be cut AND revenue must be raised. (GE should pay more in taxes than the average dog walker, for example.) Let's all come to the table like grownups and work this out.

    May 9, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
  44. MYSTERIOUS

    Both, without forgetting that people's lives are affected. Like the poor, working poor, middle class, seniors and sick children, just to name a few groups.

    May 9, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
  45. Russ in PA

    No. No. A thousand times no. Americans need to demand the end to taxes, and the end to spending. More taxes only results in more spending by politicians and bureaucrats. End the wars, end the entitlements, and let the free markets reign. Keynesian economics has proven once again that it is a bust.

    Ron Paul in 2012...

    May 9, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
  46. Thomas Roberts

    Yes, we keep lowering taxes to the point that we're broke and still whine for them to go lower. It's time to put our big boy pants on and take responsibility for paying for the infrastructure and this lifestyle we seem to think we're all born deserving.

    May 9, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
  47. Bill in Portales, NM

    Major tax increases as well as budget cuts are required.

    Unfortunately, this action will stop any chance of recovery.

    We must have compassion and empathy.

    We need a President and Congress to do what must be done–and forget about the next election. More importantly, we need a President and Congress that will motivate us and unite us in making the sacrifices that are required to save our Country.

    May 9, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
  48. Jim S

    Yes, Jack. With ten years of Bush tax cuts and massive spending and borrowing, (deferred debt) we need revenue AND spending cuts together. Our corporate tax should be lowered for those who locate outside the U.S. and raised for those who continue to take jobs to other countries and invest there. This outsourcing has to stop if we are ever going to regain our position of leadership in the modern world. One mindset of cutting taxes alone will not help the country and that should have been proven over the last 10 years. Corporate profits are at an all time high while unemployment is near a record high here.

    May 9, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
  49. HJ - Saint Paul, MN

    Of course. We don't need or want to cut spending. Maybe the wrongly placed obsession is finally over. The top 400 households paid 16% taxes last year. We need to stop whining about high taxes and admit what they really are. 0% for the poor and 16% for the rich. Yea, look back in history and find a time when they were at this rate. If you stop looking at the base rates and look at the actual tax expense of individuals and corporations, you'd laugh. Then imagine lowering them some more. Honest people making a decent wage and unable to outsource their expenses are the only ones in this country paying the correct amount. You're welcome Mr. Ford.

    May 9, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
  50. riley oday

    Yes raise taxes. All the money spent by the Feds now promotes employment down the line. We still need to promote job growth at this time. People are without work.

    May 9, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
  51. Dennis north carolina

    They should be on the step of the ladder. We need to cut our spending but we also need to pay the debt off faster so we need to raise taxes on all.

    May 9, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  52. Nick Mirto

    We should raise taxes! And cut subsidies to big oil. We should also reform govt, and do some economic forensics on our spending.. Eliminating waste. But first raise taxes. Think of it like home utilities.. If you find out you have an inefficiency in your utilities, you don't turn them off first, then fix them perfectly. You pay your bills, each month, investigating the problem, then having it fixed, so that eventually you are spending efficiently. Cutting necessary programs first is sheer lunacy.

    May 9, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  53. Sylvia from San Diego

    No.... Cutting spending should be the priority. Otherwise, what incentive will Washington have to get the deficit under control? When will they stop squeezing blood out of the 46% of the population who pay all the taxes... I would suggest that we switch to a graduated, flat tax rate system where everybody (yes everybody) puts some skin in the game....

    May 9, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
  54. Jane in CA

    Probably. Taxes are close to the lowest they have been in my lifetime. And the best economic growth in my lifetime was in a period of higher taxes than now. Numbers don't lie. The more we lower taxes, the lower our growth rate and job creation numbers go. Lowering taxes may not cause job loss, but they seem to be correlated. Why not try raising taxes and get back some of the money? It isn't going to the working people in this country, that's for sure.

    May 9, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
  55. Alex in Bremerton, WA

    The fiscal hole we have dug for ourselves is too deep to be solved by spending cuts alone. A balanced approach should be considered, say 50/50 spending cuts and tax increases. The American people are now aware of the problem and many will accept the pain to solve it as long as the pain is shared by all.

    May 9, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  56. Rich McKinney, Texas

    One is no good without the other Jack. They go hand in hand. If all we do is tax people more money and continue to spend foolishly then we will be no better off. Our politicians need to learn to live within our means. They all have a perpetual yearning for more of what we do not have to begin with. Just say NO!!.

    May 9, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  57. Steve, Clifton, VA

    The economic reality of our country's deficit and budget woes dictates that it is imperative that raising taxes and cutting spending receive and share the exact same priority and that they both be executed simultaneously. It is blatantly clear, as it was to President Reagan, that additional revenue is needed to help the U. S economy to shed this recession albatross from it's neck. However, additional revenue alone will not cure our ills and subsequently significant spending cuts must accompany and compliment the additional revenue.

    May 9, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  58. Stella-Northern New York

    The President and Congress wil do very little to help our economy with cuts or higher taxes. STOP GLOBALIZATION,STOP FREE TRADE until everyone is playing by the same RULES. STOP using tax payor money to finance corporations to ship our jobs overseas. Bring those jobs home. How about massive marches on Washington for the next 6 months until they get it through their heads the medicine needed to fix this Country is JOBS (not McDonalds jobs). NOW THINK ABOUT THIS . The billions we send to Pakistan should be looked at very very hard. I believe most of that money was being filtered by Pakistan and going directly to Bin Ladin and his followers. We are probably funding the terrorists to kill us and funding wars to kill the terrrorists. This Country has trillions of taxpayor money invested in " The Business of War". It does not exist to protect America. It exists because it is a gigantic MONEY MACHINE for the super rich and that is its sole purpose today.

    May 9, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  59. John, Lake Charles, LA

    Half the people in this country don't pay any federal tax and many of the rich people don't pay federal taxes either. Cutting spending has to be the bigger priority but raising taxes is also necessary if we are ever going to get back to a balanced budget situation.

    May 9, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  60. cal

    Hell no All a tax raise will due is cause more spending. cut out all pork . Give congress a set amount to spend and no more. watch whick way it will be spend there way is me frist then dribble some down to take care of the goverment.

    May 9, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
  61. MNResident

    Let me rephrase the question: Should getting a drug addict more dope for their use be a higher priority than stopping the addiction? I think by my rephrase that you know my answer to the original question.....

    May 9, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
  62. Paul, Parry Sound, Ontario

    The U. S. is in a corner and it has got to do both.

    May 9, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  63. randy

    You have got to be kidding, Jack, Here in Illinois our Governor and General Assembly have raised every tax possible with very little cuts.In four years, Illinois will not only lose thousands more jobs to other states but no new job will be relocating to Illinois because of their new corporate tax, We Illinoisans will be losing everything before this is all over, All We need now is the Federal Government to raise our taxes to add to the already bankrupted economy. There are trillions of dollars to be cut in the Government and we could start by cutting their wages. All elected officials need to cut their wages, pensions and all their other perks that they get in office, Let see if they can live on 10.00 an hour , they want people to work longer for alot less money, while they line their pockets with special interest money, Every politician need to have an open book with how they vote in every bill. It's time the people start running this country, vote these clowns out of office,

    May 9, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  64. perry jones

    I think we should tax the people that benefit our military sacrifices the most since the beginning of our nations birth. We all used to have the freedom of speech but our freedom to say how we fell has been taken away for years by the politically correct left and the lawyers. The left wing has had a partner in this the church. To get to my point t think we should place a tax fee what ever you want to call it on the groups that want to protest rally for there cause, when held on public government owned land. To that I feel that the statement freedom of religion means the right to choose the church of your choice and the state can not hold preference there for all churches should pay a fee or tax to operate

    Perry Jones
    Council Bluffs ia

    May 9, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  65. Dave, Orlando, FL

    We are so deeply in debt that we need to do both – 5 years ago. But it has to be done the right way. The middle class has been hauling the freight for the poor and the very wealthy, and they can not stand any more taxes. The wealthy have been getting tax breaks for decades and can afford to pay not only their share, but pay back some of what they took. Businesses need to pay taxes. They do not need billions in welfare. Close the loopholes on them.

    Yes, most wealthy people have worked hard and earned it, but they were also very lucky too. I know a lot of moneyed people and all of them needed a lot of luck to augment their smarts.

    May 9, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
  66. Rick McDaniel

    What good is that going to do.......when you have a spendthrift in the WH?

    May 9, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
  67. Kim Smith

    Both. Raise taxes on the rich and cut spending, especially on places like Pakistan and other so-called allies that aren't really allies.

    May 9, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
  68. Joe CE

    Removing the Bush tax cuts for the rich should be a very high priority. This is not really raising taxes but restoring some equity. Cutting spending is not a positve achievement but a balanced budget should als be a high priority. A hugh step toward a balanced budget would be to stabilize Social Security & medicate without additional government funding. Easily done for Social Security by eliminating the Cap but keeping maimum befits at the present level but adjusted upward for the cust of living. There is no real justification for eliminaying the Social Security tax for income above 106K. For medicare, apply the tax to all types of income – everyone benefits from adequate medical care and all should support this safety net,. With these items out of the way, ending the wars would put us back in the position to balance the budget.

    May 9, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
  69. DON IN WESTPORT, MASS.

    No new taxes.
    Lets start by cutting back on foriegn aid to Pakistan, and getting out of Afghanistan and Iraq.

    May 9, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
  70. Pete from Georgia

    Taxes are POISON to the free enterprise system, pure and simple.
    The liberals will chant "Tax the Rich" until the last of the last jobs are moved offshore, not having a clue what caused it all.
    If by some hypothetical miracle all corporate taxes were slashed by 70% tomorrow PERMANENTLY, America would be re-born again with industry and services and unemployment would be history.

    But, sadly, many would rather be "right" than employed or have a nation of prosperity.

    May 9, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  71. Terry in Virginia

    Unfortunately, the more taxpayer money our Government gets, the more it treats it like Monopoly money for pet projects and their rich friends. While I think we need to restore the Clinton-era tax rates, the first spending cuts I'd like to see are cuts to the benefits of every member of the House because they do not care about anyone except their rich benefactors. Maybe if they had to do more with less and live on Social Security, Medicare, and no pensions because their rich friends stole that money, they'd understand how the rest of us have to live.

    May 9, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
  72. Donald in New Mexico

    How about cutting tax breaks for the filthy rich and the greedy corporations. Taxes not collected are causing cuts in programs that unfairly impact the poor and the nearly poor / middle class. If taxes were simple and fair, with no loop holes, we would need to cut only waste and fraud. Corporations are sitting on piles of cash and not hiring. If they won't help our economy maybe there should be a windfall profits tax with the funds going to job creation. Why aren't the jerks in Washington putting a jobs program together? It's the economy stupid. Spend some money from taxes on creating jobs. JOBS-JOBS-JOBS

    May 9, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
  73. Paul P.

    No, I still believe neither is the answer by itself. Hopefully since the Dems and GOP each have different preferences they can leverage each other into a well-balanced compromise. That would mean they each have to bend a bit and in this polarizing climate that won't be easy, considering each side is often too busy pounding their ideological chests. One can only hope they all see the big picture and realize taking a few steps in the right direction is preferable to polarizing gridlock.

    May 9, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
  74. Richard from Utah

    No. I think they need to both cut spending and take away those tax breaks for the rich. Which should be the priority is easy for us to say. Of course if we had the right to vote on our own pay increases, well you know what they will do.

    May 9, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  75. Bonnie from NJ

    It is a moot point, our illustrious representatives will never raise the taxes for their jillionaire buddies and the companies they own.

    May 9, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  76. JENNA ROSEVILLE CA

    Should raising taxes be more of a priority than cutting spending?

    Jack we can't CUT our way out of the mess that the GOP left our nation in. It is not possible. So YES we MUST raise taxes, especially on the wealthy.

    We must also define what wealthy IS. Those who make 1M or greater would be wealthy in my book – those with small businesses nationwide or those that live in high salary areas such as New York or LA or San Francisco where cost of living is astronomical then those making less than 1M doesn't go very far. So they are NOT wealthy.

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    May 9, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  77. Ed'sKate

    Of course. We need to raise taxes, otherwise we will not have the revenue to offset the cuts that are needed. It is high time that corporations and the wealthy started to pay their fair share of taxes and stop being so greedy. Any and all loopholes in the tax code should be abolished once and for all. My heart aches for the unemployed, they are the ones taking the hardest hit because of the greed of so many unscrupulous business owners. Not everyone remains on the top of the ladder forever and maybe one day some of these corporations/wealthy individuals will find themselves on the bottom of a ladder. Who knows? None of us knows what the future holds for us.

    May 9, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  78. Bob in Kansas City

    No, the main priority should be cutting spending, there's too much redundancy in Washington just to feed the beast with tax increases...although for what its worth I will say the budget won't come close to being balanced without some tax increases–on everyone, we all benefit from living here so its time for everyone to pull out the wallet in some form or another.

    May 9, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  79. Marvin in Polo Mo

    Jack, raising taxes on Big Oil, the filthy rich, big business and and Donald Trump, would offer an immediate effect on the deficit and would not hurt the middle class and the poor.

    May 9, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  80. Marilyn Bassano

    Raising taxes would be a good idea because money is static and needs to be moved. Cutting spending takes jobs away and we need job creation, which begats taxes. it keeps the cycle of money moving.

    May 9, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  81. Cy Gardner

    Absolutelyl!!! The GOP likes the analogy of a family spending more than it has coming in. In situations like that you make choices. I choose raising taxes, cutting corporate welfare and defense and ending our military adventures in the desert lands. The GOP wants to ignore MY choice and choose to turn our elderly over to the tender mercies of the health insurance companies, lay off public service employees and wipe out all laws that protect workers or consumers. Where in the Constitution does it say that the richest one percent have ALL the rights and get to keep ALL the money. Please don't quote from Scalia's copy of the Constituion, I think he wrote that one himself. cy from Arlington, VA

    May 9, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  82. Bill in PA

    Jack,

    Raise taxes? Absolutely, Y E S !

    Those individuals with great wealth own 96% of everything. They pay only 64% of the taxes.

    Most corporations pay NOTHING in taxes and some even get billions in corporate welfare in cash from the IRS while cutting jobs in the U. S.

    Cutting the excess from the military too is necessary.

    Our lack of common sense is our biggest problem.When the Dollar is not the world's reserve currency and the increased climate energy super storms have ruined the U. S. it will be a bit late. Nature does not do re-takes.

    May 9, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  83. Jim Peters

    Of course the answer is to cut spending. Nobody as known likes more tax increase. Really think Obama and congress should consider increasing taxes of the very rich. They are the ones that can afford it!!

    May 9, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  84. Sean in Michigan

    I think a little of both makes the most sense, but I don't think you would get much support for raising taxes without lowering spending. It only allows the ability to spend more and nothing changes except you have less in your pocket. In short, the problem in Washington isn't just a revenue problem but a spending problem as well, and both need to be fixed.

    May 9, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  85. Sean in Michigan

    Simplifying the tax code and ending loopholes would result in a significant revenue increase, so why not do that instead of raising the taxes? It's like asking those who pay to pay more and those who don't to carry on as normal. Everyone should share the burden in equal proportion.

    May 9, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  86. David Scott Doherty

    I think a little of both is needed. Did I say a little, I mean't a lot. We need too get rid of all the tax loop holes that all these mega rich company's exploit, and we need to make more of an incentive for company's to stay in the US. We can do this with raising the tax to bring things back in the country, hell if their not going to make it here why shouldn't they pay a higher price to sell it here. As far as spending is concerned, why don't we start closing some of the 140 plus military bases around the world, how many other countries have bases in other lands, here's a hint, NONE
    Dave from peterborough, NH.

    May 9, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  87. Cy Gardner

    The selfish idealogues in the GOP have been executing a strategy called "starving the beast". They deliberately blew up deficits so that as soon as they lost their grip on power they could rail about any money spent on the few remaining taxpayers in this country. They want a government that works for the corporations and the rich and has no responsiblity to the bulk of citizens who pay the taxes and fight the wars. They want to break the unions and ruin the economy so that they can be absolute monarchs of the wreckage. cy from Arlington, VA

    May 9, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  88. Anthony J. Frascino from Swedesboro, NJ

    Simplify the tax code by eliminating loopholes for the rich and Big Business, lower tax breaks for dependents, raise taxes for the wealthy and set the ceiling for not filing at 30,000 dollars income. Coupled with cutting waste by too many government bureaus and the military complex, this will bring our system more into reality and smash the deficit without ending the social programs which give this country it's heart and soul. It's a combination of both, no two ways about it.

    May 9, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  89. Tony

    I'm all for raising taxes for everyone, a value added tax would be the best way to go, including tax reform, wall street and banking regulation's, and raising taxes on big oil! We should look at the Progressive's budget proposal, it seems more realistic to me in addresiing are looming debt!

    Tony
    Tacoma, WA

    May 9, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  90. David in Tampa

    No Jack, they are equally important. For far too many decades the government hasn't taken in enough money to cover costs while both parties have been guilty of spending way too much. Tax policy should provide enough revenue to cover cost and help reduce the debt. An integral and necessary part of this covering costs is to reduce spending. You need both not one or the other.

    May 9, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  91. Karl in Flint

    We need to go back to the Clinton tax rates when everyone paid a fair share of their income and we had a surplus. Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthy pushed the burden on the middle and lower class incomes and flushed those surpluses down the drain. My taxes on the same salary went up $700.00.

    We also need to raise Social Security and Medicare contributions. Contrary to the lying politicians babble, they’re both trust funds we all have paid into and are not part of the federal income tax system. What we retirees get, we have paid for over the years. It is not an entitlement, it’s an insurance policy. They are both running short due to Congress not seeing the obvious and having the guts to fix it years ago.

    May 9, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  92. Randy

    Yes. For the last 3 decades the rich have bombarded us with propaganda saying that the "next" tax break was going to rescue the country. Thirty years later we have falling infrastructure, failing schools, rampant joblessness, broken social programs, etc.. And the only thing that's changed is millionaires became billionaires.

    May 9, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  93. Bobby E. Lahmon Jackson MS

    Raise taxes only on the rich the republican's trickled down economic policies have been bankrupting the middle class for the past 30 years enough is enough make them pay their fair share

    May 9, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  94. Remo, from beautiful downtown Pflugerville Texas

    Jack, really raise taxes! Let's control our spending first then see if we need to raise taxes. Why add more fuel to the spending fire, we need to take the fuel away and see what is really needed. After all those of us who have, limited or no income, have been getting by with the basics since Mr. Obama started his stimulas package 18 months ago. Ask me if I'm stimulated! Yes I am, enough to vote him out. I believed his little speal and voted him in, I'm not making that mistake again.

    May 9, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  95. Independent Joe

    Jack,

    Raise taxes, cut spending, reduce foriegn aide, and after congress passes these measures lay them all off.
    Welcome to the real world!

    Joe M (Mn)

    May 9, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  96. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    Both are necessary. The mistake of spending cuts is that it is often at the expense of personal care, education, health and well being matters, infastructure while military continues to be fed like a cancer. Have other countries put defense of their national budgets, we should not be the defensive big brother for everyone.

    May 9, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  97. Steve

    Why does it have to be one or the other...Its a ridiculous premise which whether anyone will admit it or not, is a lot more punitive to the lower income people..If they had enough money now THEY would hire lobbyists and we wouldn't even be having this debate..As it is now, the only thing they have is a vote, and its so very sad

    May 9, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  98. Cee, La

    I dont know which came first the chicken or the egg........spending cuts along with tax increases are a must to get our fiscal house in order....the problem is getting these politicians in DC, to quit trying to out "not do" each other......and do their job........

    May 9, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  99. Barbara

    we have got to do both, tax & budget, and lets bring our people home enought is enought

    Bel
    Skowhegan,Me

    May 9, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  100. Andrew

    Andrew from Brooklyn, NY

    I think the politians on both sides of the aisle need to recognize that they're working for the 'American People' and not their millionaire and billionaire friends to whom they give huge tax breaks to and not big business, like 'Big Oil' who they give even bigger subsidies to. They should not balance the budget by trying to cut aid to the common people who need medicare, medicaid & other gov't programs.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  101. David

    When it comes to taxes, governments usually collect a piece each time money changes hands. So, the secret seems to be to focus on speed of circulation rather than percentage take to increase government revenue.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  102. Bob Broome

    They need to cut spending but not SS and Medicare and they need to get rid of the Bush Tax Cuts because that is what got us in the mess that we are in today.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  103. Renee Peoria,Ill

    Would someone please enlighten me – why can't we do both?

    May 9, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  104. Ray in Knoxville

    Absolutely, Jack. Deficit reduction must start with a tax increase.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  105. ken, atlantic city, nj

    Cutting should be more of a priority because if you tax more and continue to spend more you will never balance the budget. First you need an honest president and honest media to tell the people that medicare and medicaid are 35 trillion dollars unfunded and every year another 10 trillion is being added to the liaibility. Medicare and medicaid are beyond broke. The annual budget is 40% interest on the debt, and another third is spent on defense and homeland security. Within 8 years we will have no money left in the budget for anything else other than assassinating people in other countries. China is buying up america and will own just about everything worth owning. No matter what obamas job approval rating he is part of the problem not the solution. A non corporotist president would implement a 1% tax on the 700 trillion dollar derivatives market, and cut the defense budget 25%. More free trade agreements, more wars, more corporate welfare, and more 0% loans to banks are not the answer to our demise as a nation.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  106. Sam, Palm Valley, FL

    Sure, let's raise taxes so we can send that money to Pakistan and the other terrorist countries!

    May 9, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  107. Gigi Oregon

    When America was at it's best we the the people, including the rich paid higher taxes. Since corporate America bought off congress our country has fallen apart. The American dream is all but dead. Corporate has sent jobs over seas for the all mighty foreign dollar and keeping the profit in the foreign countries of their choice. Until we get rid of lobbyist in Washington , require taxes from the rich and build a new flat tax for all to pay and begin taking good care of our own, with better schools, medical services etc., the United States will continue to decline.

    We do need to change spending habits but more importantly we need the rich to pay their fair share of honest taxes. We could pay our debt down, rebuild The United States dream, get rid of the lobyist and clean up government all at the same time.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  108. Carlos (Oklahoma City)

    Jack,

    The answer is yes. It's all about Revenue stupid! sound familiar?

    May 9, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  109. Michael Roepke

    Jack, my first job was in 1958, a summer factory job as I saved for college. I lived well through that period and the US economy seemed to grow and grow. Today college is many times as expensive, real income is lower, taxes are lower, CEO’s are earning multiples more than the average wage and the economy is in the ditch and the National debt is obscene. And yet Republicans still want to lower taxes.

    In the words of an old saw: Insanity is repeating the same actions expecting different results.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  110. Wayne Hauck

    YES!

    May 9, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  111. Bald

    No!! We do not need more government. We not have 48% paying no taxes and getting gov't benefits. It is time to stop this. Get the gov't out of our lives.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  112. rwardjr

    I think both might be necessary but add; like being healthy, you shouldn't workout just so you can eat more. Both need managed. That being said I'd way rather have spending managed and taxes left alone.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  113. April, Iowa

    I think both are equally important. As much as I hate to say it it is imperative that we raise taxes in order to get our defict under control. It is also important to cut spending. I have yet to see a plan I can really get behind and am puzzled as to why President Obama didn't take the advice of his committe. I suppose we shall see how it plays out in 2012.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  114. Mary

    Yes.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  115. james

    raising taxes! Have you seen your gas bill lately?

    May 9, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  116. Tom

    Jack,
    I would be happy with 50-50. It seems unlikely we will see anything close to that with this congress. It is utterly ridiculous to think that we can solve the debt, or even the deficit problem with spending cuts alone.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  117. Bonnie Ausfeld

    No, Jack.

    Just imagine if our budget were that $500 Billion collected in taxes, we would have a balanced budget. What a concept that would be.
    Bonnie

    May 9, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  118. Anthony

    Spending cuts will only stem the tide so much, and without an increased government revenue, any new programs or plans put forth by either party would put us right back where we started.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  119. Steve Mills

    Yes increase taxes. We cannot reduce the deficit without increasing revenue.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  120. Daniel

    I believe raising the taxes on the rich would be an excellent start upon taking on the national debt. After all, when we middle class and poor cannot pay for them anymore, the rich will have to pay for them instead of us "normal" income earners.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  121. David A Whitaker

    Jack taxes need to be raise for those in the top 10%, but also there will have to be a some tax increase across the board. Reality say everyone has to put up or shut up, we're in trouble.

    David
    Martinsburg,WV

    May 9, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  122. Deborah Seibert,. Co

    No. Our government does not respect the money we give them. They treat it like so much monopoly money. The more we give them, the more they will spend. Cut spending first, then see if a SMALL tax increase will be necessary.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  123. Erik. F.

    YES!!! The simple fact that corporate tax breaks is the main reason our country has been steadily loosing money any time we have to spend more than our income. American Mega-Corporations are making billions off the American people, and giving little to nothing in return, especially since the work has been outsourced that makes these mega-corps profitable.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  124. Tim Richie

    The focus should be on whatever it takes to improve the economy even if it is more tax cuts!

    With a bigger economy, tax revenues increase and government expenditures decrease. It improves both sides of the equation. Ronald Reagan proved that.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  125. Damian

    Ending the Federal Reserve and returning to the gold standard should be the first step we should look at. 40% of our debt is to the Federal Reserve!
    It's all a scam!! AIR THAT Cafferty

    May 9, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  126. Pat Ritchie

    As usual Washington thinks we voters are stupid. The rich have no cash or income, but they have a lot of capital gains as we've seen on wall street. Income tax on the rich why?
    Pat Ritchie

    May 9, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  127. noreen salter

    If they had of agreed to Obama about making the rich pay their share of taxes ,maybe you wouldn't be asking this question but they would rather put the poor back to no health care.
    noreen
    canada

    May 9, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  128. Mr. D

    It takes two to tango. Spending cuts and some measure of tax increases.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  129. David Nova Scotia

    Hello America .... the so called Enemy have no Armed Forces of any nature and the USA spends more money on defense than the rest of the world combined .... Cut defense spending and look after America first.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  130. Helen

    Absolutely. Eliminating the Bush tax cut for the top 2% (and that's me, Jack) is fair and necessary.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  131. Mike in St. Paul

    It seems to me the focus needs to be on jobs, jobs, jobs, just like the republicans preached before the elections – and the last time they have mentioned it. If unemployment gets back to normal, the tax base will get back to normal.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  132. Shaquille

    Taxes, most definitely. We just need to make sure the wealthy pay their fair share like they've done so well a job in the past 10 years. We won't have a clue as to how to negate some of this dept until we learn to tax those most deserving of taxing.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  133. James Farr

    A raise in Taxex shold be our first priority. When I need more income I raise thr price of my product.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  134. John Cavataio

    raise taxes on the people making mor than $350000. and keep the spending on medicare and spending on programs that will build the economy. cut taxes on the D.O.D.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  135. Sal

    Yes, taxes should be raised for all. The repugs just want to keep cutting taxes, corporate taxes, etc, but where is the money going to come from to pay the bills? Everything goes up including the bill to run the federal government but the repugs in congress don't seem to understand that! 

    May 9, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  136. Susan from Idaho

    Jack it couldn't be any simpler. Impose a flat tax and delete the IRS. Taxes raised deficit cut.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  137. Michael DiMeglio

    Cutting expenses should be the top priority of our government.. It is unrealistic to raise the debt ceiling as our politicians keep spending time and again without much restrictions.. It all falls onto the taxpayers to bail them out time and again.. Clearly this trend should stop.. even at the expense of shutting down our government temporarily..Raising taxes should NOT be an option as the taxpayers are allready overburdened not only with federal taxes but with State Tax, Real estate tax, local tax etc..

    May 9, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  138. a.g.

    Yes Jack! its time to get money from those who've got their tax breaks!
    They had long enough to create jobs, big business hasnt created any jobs? i say NO MORE TAX BREAKS!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 9, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  139. Eric

    The question is based on the false assumption that a $500 billion tax increase would result in $500 billion in tax reciepts. Nothing could be further from the truth. Tax increases generally result in less tax revenue due to the drag on the economy , and the smart people finding ways of protecting their income from the government. Besides, is anyone stupid enough to think that kind of money would be used by politicians to reduce the defictt?

    May 9, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  140. John Livesay

    Both should have the same priority! Anyone who can two and two and get four knows it will take both to start paying down the debt. Balancing the budget does nothing about the debt. There must be a budget surplus and it must be larger than the accrual of interest on the debt before any reduction can be made.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  141. freddie gavin

    Jack does it really matter. Americans, including myself are not that smart when it come to taxes. I look at the taxes I pay on my pay check and I have no idea where the money is going. So raise taxes, Americans want no if the governmnet is taking it anyway.

    Freddie from Augusta Georgia

    May 9, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  142. Don sokolnicki

    spending cuts should be the priority . In my opinion there is no easy way out. No pain no gain!! Let's quit kidding ourselves and start cutting, entailments , and military. Unfortunately many will feel pain ....let's get on with it!!! If we put serious spending off....we will place ourselves in a much more serious place down the road.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  143. Anthony Ravenell

    Both have to be done! I say start with cutting all congressional salaries by 25% and let them feel some of what the taxpayer is feeling! Fair to me!

    May 9, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  144. Linda in Arizona

    Absolutely. How can the government function without revenue? You don't even need to raise taxes substantially for most people. Just end the bush tax cuts for the obscenely rich. Think they'll do it? Never in your wildest dreams. The rich run the country, and they run it on the backs of the poor and middle class. Let's "reform" Medicare and privatize Social Security instead- anything to help the rich avoid their obvious responsibility.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  145. Ken in NC

    Republicans say we need to cut taxes. That will reduce incoming revenue to the government. Democrats say increase taxes to increase revenue. Increasing your tax rate fron 16% to 28% of nothing does not increase revenue to the government. I say replace our legislators with some that can use common old horse sense. Previous applicants need not apply.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  146. jim hansen

    the primary focus of your story was the reduction of actual tax that most people are paying at this time. i heard nothing regarding the increases in sales tax and taxes on fuel. are you taking into account the rise in utility bill which are directly related to tax increases. how about property taxes? care to look at my water bill?i thought i was ready to retire...instead, i'm ready to learn to eat dogfood! the middle class is as dead as our faith in this country.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  147. Eric

    We need to do both to be honest. Besides the fact id rather be living in china right about now because of our incompetent politicial system. The president (current or future) needs to explain to the american people we need to "take one for the team"...all of us, rich or poor.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  148. Allan from Lincoln, NE

    Jack,

    As a baby-boomer myself, I am shocked to see my generation's ability to whine about high taxes–but then they seem prepared to whine about everything (tho that is another subject...). Of course we must eliminate the so-called Bush tax cuts (and his wars)–our economy was doing great until W. began to dismantle it. Otherwise, will have to cut Social Security and Medicare for everyone–with the baby-boomers giving up their own fair share.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  149. Marian

    It depends on whose taxes are being raised. If those making more than $250K a year have to pay more taxes, I'm all for it. There are many government spending cuts that could be made without hurting anyone. For example: why do we spend $15,000,000 every year for the International Fund for Ireland (IFI)? Projects funded by IFI in the past have included building a replica of the Jeanie Johnson (a Canadian ship that once ferried famine victims [presumably both nationalist and unionist] across the Atlantic), and Ben and Jerry’s ice cream stores. Exactly what good did this do anyone? A less expensive and more effective measure would be one million green “Can’t We All Just Get Along?” t-shirts to be worn every St. Patrick’s Day. Anyone not wearing said t-shirt will be required to buy a member of the opposing faction a double-scoop cone at the nearest Ben and Jerry’s. I personally think we should cut off all foreign aid, especially military aid, until no American citizens are homeless, jobless, or unable to afford basic necessities.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  150. Steven Sisler

    Cutting spending is essential not optional. But it will be impossible because it's too easy to spend money not your own. Not a single congressman would run their own home like they run the country. Any wrong doing allowed by the congress is the people's fault period. They only do what we allow them to do so shut up and vote like a person with a mind.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  151. Rich Switzer

    Paul Ryan says we should all sacrifice. First he destroys Medicare, but then proposes a 10% tax cut for the rich. Tax rates are too low. We must cut waste and increase income for the govt. Raising Taxes is faster and fairer. The rich should pay 6.2% Social Security tax on all their full w-2 Income just like the rest of us. The military should leave Germany and Japan and maybe Korea to save money.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  152. Tim in Texas

    Yes, deficit reduction should absolutely begin with raising taxes. Start by creating new tax brackets for the uber-wealthy. Then get rid of all the deductions, set capital gains at two percent lower than income tax, and figure it out so that 20% of GDP is being collected in taxes. After that, and only after that, begin cutting. Cut 2% in spending per year until revenues are 20% and expenditures are 18%.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  153. Steve

    Jack,
    We should cut spending, governmental waste, Pork, Congressional priorties & perks, payments to Unions and Corporations to ZERO and see where we stand in 6 months and then look at what tax increases are necessary to balance the budget and start paying down on our National Debt with a goal of having a National Debt of "0" in twenty years. This crap of trying to get there doesn't work. It a foreclosure on the American Government by the US Taxpayers. Uncle Sam says the "BUCK STOPS HERE".
    Steve

    May 9, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  154. Marie

    Dear Jack, I was forced to "retire" 2.5 years ago by the recession and have been unable to find another job. My gas bill has risen to $4.15 per gallon, the grocery bills has risen even faster, and the value of my house has sunk almost $100,000. Yes I always make sure to pay my taxes. And yet, millionaires and billionaies, individuals and corporations, pay little or no taxes. Big Oil is one of the worst! They have record earnings each quarter, pay no taxes, and they get a subsidy! How is this fair? I would really like to see the playing field levelled – i.e. everyone should pay their fair share of taxes, NO EXCEPTIONS. And then lets talk about spending cuts - Oil and Gas subsidies first.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  155. Seth

    Raising taxes will mean a slower economy. not sure we really need that in an economy that for all intensive purposes is already failing. but cutting spending also means job loss. no matter how you look at it jack were in a pretty bad pickle and both parties are responsible for this. Maybe if they stop whining about who's to blame and sit down and talk about how to fix the problem, maybe something will get done. But i wouldn't count on it..

    May 9, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  156. James in Columbus

    Jack - No, there is just no way for that. This nation continues to see obscene levels of waste in Washington, so how can we stomach seeing any more of our own money go there. It is too hard now making ends meet for many Americans. Here in Ohio, sadly, school tax levies are failing left and right because the citizens just feel government has taken advantage of them for too long. Cut spending, and then, cut it some more.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  157. AB

    Jack, the priority should be making wealthy citizens and corporations pay their fair share of taxes than spending. There are fixed as well as variable costs of running essential government services and these should not be adversely fiddled with. The main contributing cause of our budget deficit has been the fact the government has taken in less tax revenue to fund essential services as a result of reckless tax cuts to the rich and corporations given by previous Republican administrations and an reckless increase in public spending on things such as a purposless and avoidable war in Iraq and a stupid star wars program and wasting public money on weapon systems and things the Pentagon did not need nor asked for.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  158. Brahm bhardwaj

    We need to raise taxes than cut spending. There are a lot of loopholes in the Medicare program, that can be plugged. We have to make sacrifices to take care of the deficit. It is very IMPORTANT.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  159. Ed

    simple answer Jack. No. it shouldn't be a priority but is part of the solution to fixing our debt and deficit. good luck however getting the republicans to raise taxes much if at all. seriously what else do they have to offer their base except tax cuts. the debt/ deficit chatter sure does take light off the fact Republicans really have no solution to increase jobs anymore than Obama does.which is the main reason they were elected last November.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  160. Valerie

    You're asking the wrong question. It should be: Should we close corporate tax loopholes?

    What an embarrassment that this country doesn't collect any taxes on many of "top corporations". And when we do that we should include giving tax breaks to small businesses.

    And while we're at it, oil companies should be footing the bill to bail out car manufacturers, cleaning up the Gulf of Mexico, and give the taxpayers a rebate with their quarterly billions in profits.

    In conjunction with this, we should raise taxes on families making in excess of $1 million annually.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  161. Patti Briones

    Raising taxes should definitely be a higher priority than it is because, as you say, we are paying a smaller % of our income in taxes then we have for a long time. The top tax on the very wealthy used to be 91% and is now what? 25%? Who is hurt more, a multimillionaire whose taxes are raised or a middle class or low income person whose job is cut because of spending cuts in education, health care etc. Or, even worse, a person dependent on Social Security and Medicare whose SS and Medicare benefits are cut?

    May 9, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  162. Frank Venezia

    Yes! Yes! Yes!!! The GOP's mantra of "We don't have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem" is nothing more than a clever right-wing PR campaign designed to keep their wealthy constituency from paying their 'patriotic' fair share. Taxes on capital gains – the majority of the earnings the rich pay taxes on – have never been lower. WE DO HAVE A REVENUE PROBLEM and it's high time we hold the corporations' and wealthy individuals' collective feet to the fire!

    May 9, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  163. Phyllis

    Yes, we should be concentrating on everyone (the wealthy, big companies, big corporations, etc.) all paying their fair share of taxes. We should also be cutting some spending, but if everyone paid their fair share, we wouldn't have to cut so much & it wouldn't be so painful to the middle class & the less advantaged.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  164. kris

    Jack, i believe that taxes should be held at a higher priority than cutting spending, or at least a combination of both. The problem with the tax rate today is all due to politics itself. The problem is that every time a tax cut is proposed every politician will vote for it so that they will, in turn, be re-elected by their constituents. However when tax cuts are proposed, these politicians do not adjust government spending in order to adapt to the cuts because they will cost these politicians in valuable votes. And as a youth in today's country, it actually sickens me that these politicians would allow these things to happen just for a quick vote. If we really want to fix our financial situation, we would have to raise taxes, cut unnecessary spending, invest our tax revenues wisely, and work our way back to a trade surplus. And above it all we need to change the mindset of politicians from "career politicians" to "workers for the people".

    May 9, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  165. Joseph Rodrigues

    We must cut spending and also increase revenues by simplifying the tax code and eliminating tax loopholes and deductions. I take my hat off to our President for the raid that took out Bin Laden. He would turn me into a believer if he also ordered a frontal and daring assault on runaway spending.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  166. Ed

    simple answer Jack. No. it shouldn't be a priority but is part of the solution to fixing our debt and deficit along with spending cuts. good luck however getting the republicans to raise taxes much if at all. seriously what else do they have to offer their base except tax cuts. the debt/ deficit chatter sure does take light off the fact Republicans really have no solution to increase jobs anymore than Obama does.which is the main reason they were elected last November.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  167. Brian

    How can we wage two+ wars around the world, add environmental regulations (which impact the cost of infrastructure projects), and deal with a slumping dollar?
    Managing spending would be the first step however increasing taxes for citizens and business is needed to address the increased costs of maintaining, upgrading, and expanding infrastructure, giving our children a quality education and paying for military action.
    We, as a nation, need to pay for the wars we enter. Maybe we should have a war tax that would pay for the wars in real time?

    May 9, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  168. Vicki in FL

    Jack, like me, you are old enough to remember the Fabulous Fifties – the Baby Boom was on a roll, people had jobs and housing developments in the suburbs were spreading like crazy. We had all these new interstate highways and new technology was being manufactured all over the US. We also had many more tax brackets and much higher tax rates within those brackets, and yet there was a real middle class. Of course we need to raise taxes! We owe ourselves and the Chinese too much money not to!

    May 9, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  169. Marsh McClean

    Our Congress only has one goal and that is to get reelected. Most of these people have been in Congress so long that they are coming upon the can they kicked down the road years ago and they still keep spending. When Americans go to the polls, they only have two choices – one a bad Democrat and second a bad Republican on the ballot so there is really no good choice.

    There is more money wasted in Washington than you can shake a stick. We must cut spending as this is the only option to save counrty we love. Spending more only kicks the can further down the road.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  170. Paul in Delaware

    Definitely yes....and let's raise the taxes on the 45% of all households that pay ZERO federal income tax. No wonder it's so difficult to get the Democrats out of office!

    Paul in Delaware

    May 9, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  171. Chris in South Carolina

    Absolutely. From 1951 to 1963, the top tax bracket was 91%. During that time, the government collected more revenue, unemployment was lower, and job growth was greater than the years that we've given tax cuts to millionaires. It's time for Republicans to admit that the trickle down theory doesn't work and accept that the rich should pay more taxes, preferably around 45%-50%. At the same time, they should cut spending on defense and end the War on Drugs.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  172. Dave

    The average American only pays around 12% in federal income taxes, according to the IRS. The 23.6% figure obviously includes other taxes, such as property taxes, sales taxes, and state income taxes. It is unclear if it includes FICA, which isn't really a tax., since we get it back when we retire.
    Increasing income taxes has to be part of the deficit reduction plan. The wealthy constantly manipulate facts to avoid paying more in taxes, but the facts remain, that the wealthy have the ability to pay more, and should pay more. The budget was balanced before George W. Bush made his tax cuts. Balance is what we need. The wealthy need to pay more. They would not have what they have if they weren't living in this country. They need to step up.
    Dave
    Seattle

    May 9, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  173. Birddog in Mississippi

    Paul Ryan's plan does touch taxes. It lowers them on the very wealthy – by about 70 billion per year. Then it privatizes Medicare – making it more expensive. Medicare has less than two percent overhead while private health insurance has about 7% overhead. It would be difficult to design a worse plan than the Ryan budget.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  174. Manish

    I am a small business owner and when economy started heading south, my first reaction was to cut spending but I quickly realized that only cutting spending is not going to get the results I need. I have to figure out ways to increase revenue and cut spending at the same time. Another step I took was to prioritize my expenses, cut expenses that could wait and increase spending in efforts that will generate more revenue. That in my opinion is exactly what the government needs to do, increase taxes, cut spending, and prioritize and spend wisely.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  175. Ralph Nelson

    Yes, absolutely. The economy is driven by middle class spending, the purchasing patterns of the rich do not provide enough stimulus to the economy when they spend. That is, 100 middle class people spending $50 each to buy shoes is more stimulus than 1 rich guy buying a pair of $1,000 shoes. This is why you saw the worst economic performance since Herbert Hoover under the George W. Bush administration when the top incomes got 80% of the tax cuts. Remember, FDR raised taxes on the rich and used it to recover from the Great Depression. Investment is driven by consumer demand for goods and services resulting in higher employment, not rich people investing in businesses lacking middle class consumers with money to buy their goods. We have been practicing backwards economics since Reagon. Supply-side economics is a crock and the Republicans always practice it to reward the rich (even Hoover did). Remember, 50% of the delegates to the last Republican National Convention had incomes over $500,000 when they chose John McCain and Sarah.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  176. nick sokoloff

    Raising taxes should not be more of a priority than cutting spending but should be more of a priority than currently on the agenda of either party. Simpson Bowles has it about right with a 3 to 1 ratio of spending cuts to tax increases.

    Simpson Bowles also has it about right with their simplification of the tax code and its resulting increase in revenue. Failing implimentation of that, just let the Bush tax cuts expire for everyone.

    As a nation, we are insane to spend as much as we do on defense given our debt. We are in the process of defending ourselves into bankruptcy. The Republican's refusal to raise taxes under any circustances is terribly misguided and terribly exacerbating the problem.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  177. Dave Rizzo

    Of course we have to raise taxes. with all the tragic events lately. Look at Texas, Alabama, and all the tornado states, they want smaller govt. they want lower taxes, but who do they call for help ! And we should help them .....but it costs money. We can't keep it all, people

    May 9, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  178. chris

    no no and no did you hear me i said no cutting spendign is more of a priority than raising taxes cut all the fat, waste and over spending by our wasteful govt we have

    May 9, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  179. E in southern california

    Raising taxes seems to be an easy quick fix to add cash right to the bottom line. The only problem is that with the current tax code we see major companies (i.e. disney, ge) that dont spend 1 dollar in federal taxes. Cutting parts of medicare that fund viagra to the elderly are absolutly part of the problem. So the honest answer is to revert the bush tax cut, have everyone pay the taxes they should be paying and reorganize current programs that waste money.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  180. Tom Benjamin

    Yes, taxes should be restored to at least the level before the Bush tax cut. It was a silly thing to lower taxes during a war and national emergency. In addition, there needs to be a lot of removal of deductions that have been added. Many economists consider deductions and credits to be the same as spending. I make a little more than area median income and don't want to lower my disposable income aany more than anyone else. But we must invest in our country's future and that means more for education, more for infrastructure, and reduction of the deficit. Increased taxes abd lower deductions are the only real source.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  181. Jack in Kansas City, Mo

    Increasing taxes would just give politicians more to spend. Ask anyone who's run a household or a business if you want to make a profit you find ways to do business cheaper or more efficently and reduce spending. You can't raise rates on your customers then force them to pay it like the government. Why can't politicians grasp this simple concept? Because it's not their money. If the taxpayer could refuse to pay if their money was spent foolishly our leaders would have to be more focused on where our money is going.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  182. lynne in north carolina

    A comibination of the two.

    Put it this way, if you want the bridges fixed, the potholes in your roads covered, better roadways, as well as more revenue to pay down the debt all around, you have to raise taxes. There is no way around it.

    Add cutting spending on Defense and other stupid things we don't need like that extra engine for that airplaine.

    While at it, cut the salaries and benefits of Congress to 'regular' people level, $15k to $20k with no benefits. They need to feel REAL pain like the rest of us.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  183. Richard Omaha, NE

    Jack, Are you kidding? It's a spending problem. No, cutting spending should be the priority. The government can always spend and tax more when our debt is under control.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  184. John Reilly

    Budget cuts ought to be enacted first, but we definitely need an overhaul of the tax system. It must be made so simple that NO ONE needs to use tax preparer assistance nor an accountant to complete their return. Simplify and use tax rates that are the same despite the source of the income; be rid of deductions related to taxpayer expenditures. And we must reorganize the corporate income tax so that corporations stop hiding income overseas and moving jobs out of the US.
    Kyle, Texas

    May 9, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  185. Kathleen Calistri

    this is a first for me, I've never commented before. However this is such a no brainer I can't believe we are talking about cutting critical programs (i.e. medicare and social security, insurance programs NOT entitlement programs) when all we need to do is let the Bush tax cuts expire (didn't add any new jobs in the 10 years it's been in effect, in fact LOST jobs). In addition we should raise taxes........come on let's not be stupid. AND all those proposed cuts will put some folks out of a job, what's wrong with everybody????

    May 9, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  186. Robert P. Klein

    ABSOLUTLY NOT!!
    Until we stop this arterial hemorrhaging in our government spending habits we will never stand a chance of taxing this country out of financial ruin!
    Only when we alter our representatives thinking relative to permissive spending, will we stand a chance of remaining the leader of the free world.
    We're running out of time and blood very rapidly.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  187. Dennis

    Everyone with a brain knows that to successfully lower the deficit, and continue to lower it over tome, you need to BOTH: raise taxes AND also cut, and control spending.
    Cutting spending alone will NOT work . Plus it is important that the American people realize that if they want a pension program, and medical program for seniors who can no longer work, and if they also want to live in a country that helps it poor, so that we do not have millions of children living on the street , thenAmericans have to be willing to pitch in to help pay for this – with taxes. Plus, if Americans also think that it is important to educate our children, so that they can contribute to keeping America prosperous, and strong, and if Americans also want a military that is alway ready to defend the country against foreign forces, and if they want Homeland security, that is always ready to defend the homeland – than Americans have to be willing to pitch in financially to help pay for these things too – with taxes. Nothing is free, and if Americans want ANY of these things they need to realize that they have to help pay for it – with taxes.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  188. Sal

    Come on all you advocates of just cutting spending and not raising taxes!
    For an example General Electric didn't pay a penny in taxes for 2010 after making a profit of 5 billion dollars, yes that's profit. And there are many more big companies and corporations that are getting away with murder. 

    May 9, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  189. Anna in Itasca, Ill

    We should send the bill to George Bush for the deficit. He is the one that spend the surplus when he took over and we have nothing to show for it now. Cutting tax to create jbs did not work for the last 10 years and it will not work now.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  190. Richard from Utah

    I think we have to think about doing both. We need to make an equal tax system for evryone to follow and that would add an large amount. Of course cutting what we spend needs to be adjusted, but what. We have soldiers fighting and being hurt or dying for this country and we have to keep a strong military. Another thing, we everyone should be allowed to raise their own pay and be able to retire with full pay just like congress.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
  191. Dennis Bacon

    Jack Sure Raise Taxes. I'm a 64 year old baby boomer, I haven" had a cost of living raise in 3 years. Baby boomers paid for the folks that never paid in to social security. Baby boomers fought the war in vietnam for the filthy rich, where were they when there country needed them? The country needs them now, but all you will hear is crying ooooplease not me. As much as The Boomers have had it stuck to them, we should all be pregnant, wonder how medicare going to take care of that one? Dennis, Newalla Oklahoma

    May 9, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  192. Karla

    If we just continue cutting spending wouldn't that shrink the economy? please raise my taxes, I can live without an extra handbag or extra pair of shoe each month. However, I am not sure if some poor family in a third worl country that depends on aid from the US can survive without it, or the single mom that needs food stamps or health care can.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  193. James in Texas

    The question you asked reminds me of small children in a candy store.
    They always want something but never have their own money to pay
    for it. Eventually they figure it out, if you want something, you have
    to pay for it. Don't expect Social Security, Medicare or any other goodies if you don't want to pay your part to participate in the rewards.
    Even the politicians will figure this one out. I suspect the politicians already know the easy answer to this one, but then its not about truth anymore, it about getting re-elected.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  194. Valerie Rankin

    We are way overdue for a tax hike. We can afford higher taxes if we have better social services, e.g. health insurance, day care etc. Let's hope Washington finally sees the light and raises taxes.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  195. Mick

    I can't afford more taxes. Congress needs to stop SPENDING now.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  196. Jesusdude from D.C.

    Let the wealthy pay up because................. I dont know....IT'S FAIR!!!!!

    Cut spending will reduce the crying rate (If you don't know, you better ask somebody!!!!!!!)

    May 9, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  197. Doris W.

    Jack,

    Yes, taxes should be increased–on the very wealthy. The definition of wealthy should be upgraded to $500,000 because a family paying its own way at $250,000 is still not rolling in dough, but we have to be careful about generically saying taxes should be increased. If that commission has its way, and the mortgage interest deduction is eliminated, taxes will be raised thousands of dollars for most middle class families–because that it our primary deduction. Ronald Reagan eliminated a lot of deductions for the middle class, thereby increasing our tax payments by leaps and bounds, while reducing the tax rates, thereby screwing the middle class and benefitting the wealthy who did not have to use the deductions the middle class need.

    Those Wall Street millionaires and billionaires who are sucking money from the economy, and other very wealthy people, should pay more, and their tax shelters need to be eliminated. The companies who have moved out of the country to avoid taxes but are reaping great wealth from the U.S. (e.g. pharmacy companies) ought to be forced to pay more taxes to rip off the rest of us like they are doing. I am old enough to remember wealthy presidential candidate Nelson Rockefeller saying that he did not have to pay any taxes, but he donated an untold amount to the U.S. treasury ($100?). Nough said.

    Doris W.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  198. alix

    Yes, we can definitely raise taxes. I'm upper-middle income and got a huge tax refund, and really, I'd rather have more money spent on education, health, and law enforcement.

    We all want more money for ourselves, but we're a nation, and we need to pay for the benefits we receive from being American.

    May 9, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  199. Helen

    No way should taxes be increased to off set deficit. Less spending for sure. first time to respond but felt compeled.
    thanbk you

    Helen Albuquerque, NM

    May 9, 2011 at 5:59 pm |