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May 16th, 2011
04:27 PM ET

Should Congress vote to raise the debt ceiling?

ALT TEXT

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner speaks during a press conference. Geithner announced that the Social Security Board of Trustees estimates that the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance Trust funds will be exhausted by 2036. (PHOTO CREDIT: SAUL LOEB/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The U.S. government officially hit its $14.3 trillion debt ceiling today, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told Congress. It comes as no surprise of course. Geithner pointed to this date months ago. But here we are, and lawmakers don't appear to be any closer to any sort of agreement on raising the limit the U.S. government can borrow.

The U.S. spends on average $118 billion more each month than it takes in. Geithner says he can keep things going until early August. After that, all bets are off. If Congress doesn't agree to raise the debt ceiling by then, the United States could default on its debt obligations. That could have devastating effects on our still-shaky economy and markets worldwide.

Many Republicans and some Democrats are refusing to vote in favor of such a move without a promise to make meaningful spending cuts. And while critics have warned against tying the two issues together, lawmakers are more concerned about how all this talk of debt ceilings and deficit reduction will play out with voters. Some Republicans believe if they vote for raising the debt ceiling, voters - particularly those in the highly vocal, newly powerful and very conservative Tea Party - will see it as a fiscally irresponsible.

A new Gallup poll shows 47% of Americans oppose raising the debt ceiling. Only 19% are in favor of it. But more than one-third say they don't know enough about the topic to say one way or the other. And that's a big part of the problem.

Here’s my question to you: Should Congress vote to raise the debt ceiling?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Kevin in Annapolis, Maryland:
Of course. To do otherwise would be to tell our creditors that the U.S. will not honor its debts. The whole kabuki theater that is currently going on in Congress is ridiculous. The Democrats have said they'll raise it, because they know we have to. Heck the Republicans have admitted that they recognize that we have to and will. In the meantime, Congress acts in a manner that's not at all reassuring to the markets, and in fact threatens to destabilize them.

Charlie in Ocean Springs, Mississippi:
No! Welfare-warfare state needs are infinite; alas, revenues are not.

Lori in Pennsylvania:
I have a huge problem with Congress voting to raise the debt ceiling when they can't get government spending under control. If the debt ceiling is raised, government will take it as license to keep spending in a reckless manner. It has to stop, and that's what they should be voting on.

Liza:
I honestly don't know the answer to this. We're damned if we do and we're damned if we don't. Set that aside, it's time for big oil and corporations to start paying some taxes. We cannot continue the same pattern in printing money and sticking it to the middle class.

Mark in Oklahoma City:
No. Bring our troops home and stop wasting trillions of dollars trying to run other countries. That's what we should do.

Christian:
Jack, Congress should definitely raise the debt ceiling. If they fail to do so, the U.S. will sink deeper into our current recession. I know spending is high, and I am a democrat, but we really don't need to default. It's ignorant!

Ron:
In the short term, it seems obvious that they have to. However, I would like to see it tied to legislation that makes real, absolute, and positive steps towards cutting spending. Both things MUST happen, so why not do them all in one.

Ed in Maryland:
If I could loan myself money indefinitely by raising my imaginary ceiling, I would do it.


Filed under: Congress • National debt
soundoff (317 Responses)
  1. Steve Newman

    Of course they should. It is in the best interests of the U.S. to pay its debts. If the GOP wants to play chicken, they will find that as the date of default approaches, the markets will tumble creating immense pressure on them to extend it. We cannot fix the debt problem overnight. It took us years to get here. Years in which we followed Republican economic policies (Reagan, Bush I & II) and accumulated debt. The only time we had a surplus was when we had Clinton's tax rates. Maybe we should just go back to what worked in the past? Let the Bush Tax Cuts expire.

    May 16, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
  2. John from Alabama

    Jack: Yes the debt ceiling should be raised to meet this nation's bills. We can not afford this nation to default on its debts. The deficit reduction that most people want would only come from serious tax reform, or do away with all taxcuts now enjoyed by all Americans. To default on ones debts is very bad, and for America it would be terrible.

    May 16, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
  3. Thomas Archibald

    No! Definitely NO! Forget Geitner's talk of the end of the world. He is 'in the tank' for Wall Street.

    May 16, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
  4. Jim

    Jack,

    Of course they should. Not raising it would be unprecedented and would cause undue hardship to lots of innocent people. Besides, everybody's on board with cutting at least some spending, so maybe the next debt ceiling will actually be permanent for a change.

    Jim
    Reno, Nevada

    May 16, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
  5. Kevin - Annapolis

    Of course, to do otherwise would be to tell our creditors that the US will not honor it's debts.

    The whole kabuki theater that currently going on in congress is ridiculous... the Democrats have said they'll raise it, because they know we have to. Heck the Republicans have admitted that they recognize that we have to and will...

    So the fake pearl clutching and kvetching is pure theater at a time when Congress needs to be doing actual work. In the meantime, they act in a manner that's not at all reassuring to the markets, and in fact threatens to destabilize them.

    May 16, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
  6. Peg in NY

    No way! They should be voting on a pay decrease for all of them, for starters.

    May 16, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
  7. Jayne

    Of course. People wiser than our members of Congress have said a failure to do so will have enormous consequences on the financial stability of the country and the entire world. They need to stop playing political games and get on with it.

    May 16, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
  8. Tony Hunter

    NO! They should LOWER their fiscally carnivorous appetites!😡

    May 16, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
  9. MNResident

    Should drug addicts get a say on if they get more cocaine, heroin, PCP, and LSD? It's the same question in my mind.......

    May 16, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
  10. Government Corruption

    Raise the debt limit and TAX the Wealthy & Big Corporations that have FAILED to create those American jobs the GOP so proudly claim that they do. Then remove the GOP Reagan & KY-Senator Mitch McConnell's pathetic tax code of 1986 and remove those subsidies to outsourcing corporations that call themselves-American. After all, GOP say that "Deficits" don't matter! Besides, Where are the JOBS?

    May 16, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
  11. Conor in Chicago

    No. Instead lets default on our debt, create a financial panic the likes of which this world has never known, and then start World War 3 and everything comes crumbling down. Sound like a good idea? Then vote Republican.

    May 16, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
  12. Dennis in Florida

    NO ! ! !

    At some point in time Congress must limit the debt ceiling. Otherwise, inflation will kick into high gear and the interest rates will soar to incredible levels.

    Remember the 18% CD’s in the early 80’s following the Carter years? That will seem like a low interest rate if Congress stays on the present course.

    *******************************************

    May 16, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
  13. allen

    We have no coice at this juncture but once we do congress needs to come up with a plan that reigns in spending, gets rid of the tax loopholes for their buddies and doesn't accomplish it on the backs of the middle class!

    May 16, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
  14. Jane (Minnesota)

    Yes and they should vote on it without amendments – Congress needs to be more concerned and focused on the high unemployment and how they are goingt o olve it rather than the debt level. Congress didn't seem to worry much about it when there was a Republican President – Why is it now such a big deal with a democrat in the White House? Get peole back to work first and THEN focus on reeling in the debt!

    May 16, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
  15. Loren, Chicago

    Not much choice for Congress than to raise the debt ceiling, but that doesn't mean I have to like it. Both Congress and the President are shirking their duty by not addressing the out of control Federal spending and this goes back to President Reagan's terms in office. The Republicans overspend on defense and the Democrats on social programs and neither is willing to address the fundamental reality that we have limited resources. A pox on both parties.

    May 16, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
  16. Cliff Glass - Rego Park, New York

    Jack,

    Couple raising the debt ceiling with Congressional austerity. End the 75% taxpayer subsidy for member's health plans, cut by one-half the up to two million dollars a year each member gets for office expenses, ban all junkets until the unemployment rate is under 6 percent, close the House dining room and build a McDonalds closeby. If the dollar menu is good enough for us, it's good enough for them

    May 16, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
  17. virginia - Atlanta, GA

    I would like to say no, but we must get out of this mess and risking increased interest payments to our creditors is foolish. More importantly is the fact that many Americans could literally starve and more could be homeless if we stop "entitlements". It isn't entitlements the got us here, it was an unpaid for war. Let's not let people forget that we would have been out of debt and having a surplus if Pres. Bush had budgeted his wars better. (How about huge no bid contracts to Halliburton for jobs other American companies were already performing in Iraq etc.)

    May 16, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
  18. Greg in Arkansas

    Refusing to raise the debt ceiling (for whatever reason) is like refusing to pay your heating bill during a blizzard because you spent too much money on air-conditioning last summer...threatening to destroy your home to make a point is childish and has no place in Congress....

    Raise the debt limit....and...
    FIX the spending problem while FIXING the "lack of TAX revenue" problem....

    That means cutting programs AND raising tax dollars.....do it across the board so that everyone participates in the recession....close tax loop-holes, eliminate wasteful govt. spending and....NO exemptions for the previous "sacred" programs like DOD, Social Security, Medicare.......and......no more free rides like tax cuts for the rich or Tax subsidies for the Oil Companies, because, if they HAD worked, we wouldn't be in this mess now.

    May 16, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
  19. Dennis north carolina

    They need to vote on the debt limit and stop playing games before we are in default which will throw the world crisis.

    May 16, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
  20. Ed Hoffman

    Cedar City UTAH
    They need to raise it now. But should put spending cuts in place to reduce debt so we do not need to do this again.

    May 16, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
  21. Ed Reed

    Congress extended the Bush tax cuts last December, after being told by the Congressional Budget Office that it would necessitate $3.7 trillion over the next decade. Anyone who voted for those tax cuts and now votes against raising the debt ceiling is either a hypocrite or suffers from bi-polar disorder.

    Ed
    Texas

    May 16, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
  22. Russ in PA

    Of course not. No more games: cut spending, starting with the military and pay/benefits to politicians and public workers. Then return our health care to the free market system, and start cutting all the entitlements. The death of the dollar will force such cuts on us at some point.

    Ron Paul in 2012...

    May 16, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
  23. JIM IN COLORADO

    No!!!! If the debt limit is raised, they will just spend more and make the debt even higher.

    May 16, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
  24. Charles, Lansing, Michigan

    Of course they should vote to raise thedebt limit. The money has already been allocated and most of it spent. It has no effect on the budget. If government is serious about balancing the budget it must reduce spending, increase taxes and quit making war around the world.

    May 16, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
  25. pad

    yes so we can barrow more money to give away to buy friends
    paul
    ames ia

    May 16, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
  26. Brad, Portland, OR

    They don't have a choice, unless they're prepared to destroy the US and world economies.

    The scary thing is, there are a lot of Tea Partiers who wouldn't mind holding the world hostage, and bringing on a financial Apocalypse if their demands aren't met. Their mind set has a lot in common with the terrorists.

    May 16, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
  27. David of Alexandria VA

    Yes - but only after they have shown their resolute commitment to eventually eliminating the debt. "Eventually" needs to start now with spending discipline. Once they show they can spend money responsibly (that is, like its ours, not theirs) then and only then can they consider revenue changes.

    May 16, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
  28. William, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    Anyone with 1/2 of a brain knows full well that the debt ceiling has to be raised. What we don't know and don't understand is why the republicans have to play politics over it? Believe me when I say playing politics and drawling it out will only hurt them in the upcoming election. If they are serious about reducing the deficit, then they must realize raising taxes on the rich is necessary along with spending cuts.

    May 16, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
  29. Judith Linn

    Yes or it will cause a world wide catastrophe and most people do not understand this or the fact that the Republicans are blackmailing Obama with; tax cuts for rich and less money for teachers,police and firefighters etc.

    May 16, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
  30. Kevin San Diego Ca

    Should Congress vote to raise the debt ceiling?

    How many times does this question need to be asked and answered, NO? Cut all government pensions and positions which have been connected this problem! Quit rewarding failure! The market should have been left to correct itself!

    None you understand English?

    May 16, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
  31. CRAIG R. MCNEES

    tampa, fl the only thing our congress has proven is that if you give them $1 they will spend $2, so it doesn't matter how much they raise the limit, the bill will still come due, and we already can't repay what they have borrowed and misspent. look for our government to hold a "garage sale" soon. hey, want to buy a grand canyon or a state? they will go cheap, so put your bid in now. guaranteed last chance to get your piece of America at these prices.

    May 16, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
  32. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    What other option is there Jack? Democrats will vote to raise the ceiling in hopes of internal betterment, Republicans will vote for it cause it could bring more military spending. I'll check mark internal betterment

    May 16, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
  33. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    If Congress did't their job we wouldn't need to have them vote to increase the debt limit. But since the Lobbyists and Wall Street run them, then yes they need to vote on this issue and the sooner the better. I really feel sorry for my grandkids and will try to prepare them for the future, bleek as it may be.

    May 16, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
  34. Annie, Atlanta

    Sure, unless they want to throw the world economy into a depression, or as Ezra Klein stated last week, make this last recession look like child's play. Anyone else out there sick of Congress' temper tantrums at our expense?

    May 16, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
  35. bryan, Colorado

    Yes, This will at least keep us from defaulting. We as taxpayers are on to the rightwing nut jobs in Washington. Their solution is to hand over the whole country to private enterprise with no regulations or laws. It was private enterprise (Bush/Wallstreet) that got us into this mess in the first place.

    May 16, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
  36. lou

    No one knows if they should raise it or not. Politicians from both sides try to scare us just to get votes. The bigger threat here is that most americans find their government officials so uncredible that they can't form an opinion on a topic that may have terrible ramifications for our country....or not.

    May 16, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
  37. Christian M. Jones

    Jack, Congress should definitely raise the debt ceiling. If they fail to do so, the U.S. will sink deeper into our current recession. I know spending is high, and I am a democrat, but we really don't need to default. It's ignorant! If we do default, Speaker Boehner won't be speaker for long. Hello Speaker Pelosi?!!!

    May 16, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
  38. Ms. Lou Mullin

    i wish someone would explain why we don't pay it down and why we don't have someone who could explain why we have to increase it every time instead of decreasing it so we don't have to raise it? At my house, we pay down on the principal and don't buy a new car and keep up with the Joneses. Someone somewhere needs to take time on TV and explain to us JUST WHAT IS HAPPENING.

    May 16, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
  39. JENNA ROSEVILLE CA

    Should Congress vote to raise the debt ceiling?

    Of course they should. They raised it under every president before Obama and the GOP blanket refusal smacks of RACISM.

    If it is NOT a racial thing then they can cut ALL OF THEIR PROGRAMS 1ST. They can start with removing the tax breaks to BIG OIL and the WEALTHY, plus drastically cut Defense spending and kickbacks for BIG INSURANCE/BIG PHARMA!

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    May 16, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
  40. Ed from MD

    If I could loan myself money indefinitely by raising my imaginary ceiling I would do it.

    May 16, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
  41. Sylvia from San Diego

    Only if they reduce spending by the same amount!!

    May 16, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
  42. Andrew

    Yes. That this is even a question is a sign of how far the intellectual level of political discourse has fallen in this country.

    May 16, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
  43. John ......... Marlton, NJ

    NO ... Its time the free loaders had a wake up call ...

    May 16, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
  44. Wilhelm von Nord Bach

    YES, Jack. already all this political yapping about NOT raising the debt ceiling has world markets nervous.

    can you imagine what would happen IF the US Govenment defauted on bond payments? the resulting world financial PANIC would make 1929 or the more recent 2008 market wrecks look like minor events.

    these "we won't vote to raise the debt ceiling" politicains are standing in gasoline and playing with matches.

    May 16, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
  45. David in Tampa

    Damned if we do, damned if we don't, damn the politicians and business morons that got us into this mess.

    May 16, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
  46. Weldon from Newmarket ON Canada

    Can the mints keep up production enough to satisfy an increase in the debt level??

    May 16, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
  47. Ted from Hershey, PA

    No way – do not kick can down road!! We must stop spending more than we make each year (Deficit)(now $1.6 T), which only increases our Debt (%14.6 T/ or $61.0 T?), resolve Soc. Sec., modify Medicare and MediCaid, reduce Congress and WH by 10% now, – and do you want more examples of where to cut?? Use President's own Fiscal/Debt Commission recommendations (Simpson/Boyles)! The President must start telling us and himself the TRUTH!

    May 16, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
  48. Dan

    Yes, we really don't have a choice. Not to do so would be even more disastrous on our economy.

    May 16, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
  49. Steve, Clifton, VA

    Congress should and will vote to extend the debt ceiling. The real question is when will they do it; what strings will be attached; and where will the compromises be made in the competing positions between the Republicans and Dems.?

    May 16, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
  50. Pete from Georgia

    Debt ceiling ?? Really.
    Is there such a thing ??
    If so, does it have any real, legitimate meaning ??

    Please.

    May 16, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  51. BILL, WI

    Mybe they should vote on getting the debt under control without adding more debt.

    May 16, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
  52. riley oday

    Yes. Not raising it has too much bad news for the economy.

    However, I dont think they will. I think they will let it default and fight from there.

    May 16, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
  53. Lori - PA

    Jack,

    I have a huge problem with Congress voting to raise the debt ceiling when they can't get government spending under control. If the debt ceiling is raised, government will take it as license to keep spending in a reckless manor. It has to stop, and that's what they should be voting on.

    May 16, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  54. Zack

    Congress should raise the debt ceiling, then take care of the spending. Now's not the time to mess with a fragile economy. If you want to make cuts, fine – but tell us WHAT you want to cut and WHY you want to cut it and WHO it will affect, instead of using just catch phrases. Middletown, CT

    May 16, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  55. Norman Walters

    Jack. Should we raise the debt ceiling should not be the question. The question should be can we afford not to do so. If we as a country cannot pay our bills, interest rates will go up along with the price of everything you buy. So, my answer is, absolutely, the debt ceiling must be raised so the US can honor it's commitments.

    May 16, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  56. Jim gregory

    Why are we playing games with this? The Republicans keep saying they want to cut spending..However, They dont want to touch defense spending and want to continue billion dollar subsidies to the oil companies. Obama should just call them on this and say, "OK, you want reductions?" I'm asking you to cut trillions from our overbloated defense industry and to stop these insane subsidies to the oil companies..Your move! Let them wallow in the ignorance of their own ridiculous arguments.

    May 16, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  57. Gene Sabolcik - Grand Haven, MI

    Jack, it's time for our government to realize that it cannot engineer a sustainable economy by printing money. Raising the debt ceiling only kicks the can farther down the road, it doesn't solve anything. Time to treat the cause (cut government spending), instead of treating the symptom (raising the debt ceiling).

    May 16, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  58. John Grace

    The question is actually whether the government should default on its obligations. To do that would be fiscally irresponsible and result in serious damage to this country.

    John Grace, Palmyra, PA

    May 16, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  59. david from herndon, va

    yes. failure to do so would cause a depression. imagine what happens if the govt defaults on t-bills. bye bye retirement.

    May 16, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  60. Steve Grosvald (Tulsa, OK)

    Hi Jack,

    Yes, Congress should raise the debt ceiling! Let's make sure we pay our bills to those in the US and around the world who consider us a first rate credit risk.

    We're in this mess not becuase of any "tax and spend" Democratic administration, but rather because of a "run two wars and don't tax those who should be paying" Bush Administration.

    And don't forget they inherited a surplus from the Clinton Administration.

    Also keep in mind two other items: 1) The Iraq War was a war of choice by the Bush / Cheney gang that was supposed to pay for itself with Iraqi oil, and....

    2) As I recall, the Bush administration didn't even show the expenses of those wars in the formal budget but rather in some side nook.

    All of that and no tax increase – or even repeal the temporary tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans?!! Who's kidding who?

    So they got us into this mess and now the current Administration has to deal with it.

    So yes, raise the debt ceiling, but keep on working to reduce the deficit – but not soley on the backs of the middle class and poor – which is what the GOP leadership is demanding.

    May 16, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  61. Matt

    The debt ceiling MUST be raised. Congress has already chosen to spend more than it takes in, which means we accumulate debt. If they don't want to raise the debt ceiling, they have to balance the budget. Because they have ALREADY refused to do so, their hands are tied. Defaulting on our debt obligations we ruin our perfect debt rating TO WHICH ALL OTHER INTEREST RATES ARE TIED. This is not a political issue, it is an economic issue.

    May 16, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  62. Andy M.

    Should Congress vote to raise the debt ceiling?...sad commentary on the state of our political landscape that this is a serious question. Congress has absolutely no choice but to raise the debt ceiling. It can happen now, it can happen later either before or after we've suffered an additional cost in the global financial community, but it will happen. I think the media is doing a disservice to the country because this is a question and actually, most Americans are against raising it. That's the same as saying "I'm against the sun coming up tomorrow" let's have congress vote for that not to happen.

    At issue is what spending/tax trajectory we want to take in the future and this manufactured crisis will add to that discussion, but should they vote to raise the debt ceiling...hmm, let me think..."yes! because they have no choice"

    May 16, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  63. Kathleen, Helena MT

    Yes. The risk to not doing it is unacceptable. The Republicans really should worry less about Tea Party. The Tea Party has put it to the pooch too many times and won't be nearly the factor in 2012 that they were in 2010.

    May 16, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  64. Marcus

    No! Let's play Leyman brother with the US economy. Wasn't that a nice wild ride. Time to take another..

    May 16, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  65. Onegood1

    I have an idea: just get rid of the debt ceiling altogether. We could borrow like there's no tomorrow. Not the sky, but the infinite universe, is the limit. I want my social security; I want my medicare; I want my MTV! And YOU are going to pay for it.

    Now where do I sign up?

    May 16, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  66. Steve G

    Congress should figure out how much they will need to meet their legal obligations on the Budget they have already passed to get them through Sept 31, obligations that both parties have already agreed to meet. From there, by all means tie the debt ceiling into your budget for 2012 and call for your deep cuts and gutting of Medicare/Medicaid/Social Security. But to hold the nation hostage and risk catastrophic economic collapse this year would be the greater irresponsibility. I think we can all agree that cuts need to be made somewhere and yes, those cuts will hurt and probably cause people in the short term to lose jobs, especially federal jobs, but if the dollar collapses and the stock market crashes, we'll see even more loss in jobs in the short and long term.

    May 16, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  67. Cliff

    We must rise up if this Congress continues to destroy our future and our once proud country. NO MORE DEBT INCREASES!

    May 16, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  68. Robert Parish

    They better not raise Ceiling!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 16, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  69. Big Al

    No. Let us default and go into a depression. Then we can declare bankruptcy and stop payments to Medicare, Social Security, HUD, Pensions, Foreign Aid (except to Israel).

    May 16, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  70. Miguel

    Of course! Only our politicians would turn the question of weather to crater the economy (again) into a political football to score voter points. Wall Street is already jittery at the prospect, and every economist out there is telling them to do it. Do we need to cut spending? YES (duh), but unless they are going to cut 3.9 Billion a DAY, we have no choice but to raise the debt ceiling. Get on with it!

    May 16, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  71. Doris Tonseth

    Absolutely, unless we want to bring down the whole world.

    May 16, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  72. Don Desaulniers (Belleville, Canada)

    I find the issues too complex to understand.
    You would think that Congress and the White House would have already attempted to reduce spending enough to avoid the debt ceiling problem. That would have made sense to a simpleton like myself.
    But they didn't. They must know something the rest of us can't see.
    Either that, or perhaps they are the simpletons.

    May 16, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  73. Harry Wortz

    Do we really have a choice?

    If the meetings last week with the oil executives were a dog and pony show as was reflected in Senator Hatch's poster then this political buffoonery needs a real dog and pony show picture because if congress wants to play Russian roulette in its divide and conquer for profit scheme then most of us are about to get screwed.

    If Geithner guts the pensions to keep us afloat and Congress still causes us to default with its political gain games are the pensions just gone?

    May 16, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  74. Jay Jablonski

    No way, when you don't have it you don't spend it. It's not rocket science !!!

    May 16, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  75. Mark Baker

    You say, "...voters – particularly those in the highly vocal, newly powerful and very conservative Tea Party – will see [voting for raising the debt ceiling] as fiscally irresponsible." Well, NOT voting to do so will REALLY be the irresponsible action, as it would cause immediate and prolonged recession, stock market crashes, and continued and deepening unemployment. Those Tea Party people came into power on the promise of creating jobs, but all they have done to date is attack women's health issues, stand up for millionaires and big oil, and present a budget that will lead to the largest transfer of wealth from the poor and working middle class to the corporate elites. They don't want to create jobs as President Obama would be credited with it. Not raising the debt ceiling will be the number one job killer this Congress could ever do.

    May 16, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  76. EricD

    Yes they should vote to raise the debt ceiling, a clean vote no extra baggage. Some politicians are intent on playing political games with the mellenials financial future. What they don't realize is that they are playing with a double edged sword with no handle so no matter how they play with it we are going to get cut. Why however is everyone ignoring the fact that if you total the tax breaks for businesses, corporate welfare, tax cuts for the rich and the yearly costs of Iraq and Afganistan they add up to more then our yearly deficit... Anyone... Anyone?

    May 16, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  77. Tom Ray

    President Reagan raised the debt ceiling 17 times. It is irresponsible to be playing politics with the deficit. The Democrats spend more than they are willing to tax. The Republicans tax less than they are willing to spend. Vice President Cheney said that "deficits don't matter" and not a single Republican disagreed as long as we were giving tax cuts to the wealthy and wasting money on defense spending. The whole Tea Party complaint about deficits is a ruse to destroy the safety net for the poor and disadvantaged who tend to vote Democratic.

    May 16, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  78. BlackDynamite

    The US has raised the ceiling 10 times over the last 11 years, so I'm glad it has helped so much recently......

    This is ALL caused by The Federal Reserve! As long as they run our money supply, our debt-based fiat currency will be worthless, and the government won't have to take responsibility for running this country's ledger, which they won't balance in my lifetime.

    "The Fed" is directly responsible for any and all debts and currency imbalances.
    BD

    May 16, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  79. Kate in San Jose

    Jack, I'd like to raise my personal "debt ceiling" too, but that tends to cause more grief later on. Either I find more revenue (income) or I stop spending. Why should the government be any different?

    May 16, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  80. Jon

    All right, everyone. Let's get one thing straight – if we don't raise the debt ceiling, we're screwed. And that's going to affect *everyone* and *everything* – from employment to Medicare to the military. Take your pick, it's gonna suck.

    May 16, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  81. J.

    Jack,

    Of course they should. But... they also need to look at some spending cuts, getting the military out of places that it does not need to be in, and more importantly we need revenue increases. How you ask? JOBS! This part one. More jobs means more revenue. Second, tax reform. What does that mean, well for one, EVERYBOY pays! Maybe not a lot, even as low as $1.00. But everybody then has a stake in the country. Two, when I say everybody I mean EVERYBODY! No more weird deductions or rebates so that those at the upper income levels pay nothing. EVERYBODY PAYS!

    May 16, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  82. Charlie Mackey Clark

    No! welfare-warfare state needs are infinite; alas, revenues are not.

    May 16, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  83. Ron Lambert

    Jack,
    If washington fails to raise the limit then the republicans win. the poor and middle class will feel the worst of it. Those that are well off and have diversified portfolios might actually make money off the U.S currency crashing. I dont blame republicans, I blame the uneducated hyper religous hyper partisan right that elected a tsunami of republicans into congress. (what were they thinking? THEY were not!)

    as such, we americans are about to reap what we sow. we elected the callous and heartless defenders of big business into office, prepare for government cutbacks and fantastic vouchers for healthcare services that will rival any third world country; unless that is of course, you are sitting on a nice hedge fund.

    regards
    Ron,
    Miami FL.

    May 16, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  84. Bob Carr

    I dont want it fixed till both parties get humbled on the World stage and then we will see real reform (and hopefully the downfall of the 2 party power grab).

    May 16, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  85. Paul Groulx

    The debt celing has to be raised to prevent financial disaster and to use these eight weeks as an opportunity to advance one's political agenda and slash and burn is self-serving and irresponsible – all of the U.S.A. has created this mess and it will take a bipartisan long term constructive financial plan to fix the future and remodel the U.S. government

    Paul Groulx
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada

    May 16, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  86. Joe CE

    There is no real alternative. It would ease the way if a balanced budget act was adopted to require a balance within 12 years.

    May 16, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  87. Bruce Marshall

    No they should cut spending to ballance the budget. The dollar is going to be worth nothing and it is almost there now.

    May 16, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  88. Jason

    No, the debt limit should NOT be raised. The federal government needs to live within its means. If that means programs and various "services" get cut, so be it. It's time that social welfare, medicare/medicaid and Social Security get revamped for todays reality. Defense is no longer the leading outlay for government spending. That belongs to Social Security and Medicare. For SS to be solvent the program should be taken back to its roots and make appropriate outlays. We can no longer afford pay people life long "benefits" when they take out more than what they've put in. Also do away with the EITC. Its stupid to pay people who took it upon themselves to have kids while not having an appropriate income.

    May 16, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  89. Evan Forrest

    Should you give more heroin to an obvious junkie? The answer to both is a resounding NO!

    Evan, Miami.

    May 16, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  90. Paul Simmons

    The debt ceiling should definitely be raised.

    Not doing so would be terribly irresponsible and would liken to buying a house, moving in, and they waiting to see if your loan came through.

    The money is all ready spent, and we need to make up for it by raising the ceiling and allowing the government to borrow the money it needs.

    It's sad that some people can't see past their partisan beliefs to just understand sometimes action must be taken, whether we agree with it or not.

    Save the arguments for cutting spending, or raising revenues until after we can borrow to afford what we've all ready bought!

    -Lexington, KY

    May 16, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  91. Paul P

    It seems to me if politicians start pandering to voters who admittedly don't know the difference between deficits and debts, then there we no hope left. There are times when there are bigger priorities than polls. Politicians need to put votes aside and raise the debt ceiling, so the work on reforming entitlement programs and deficit reduction can continue. There is no need to simply let an economic catastrophe happen.

    May 16, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  92. Ed

    After the Democrats and Republicans agree on massive spending cuts that include entitlement reform – then and only then should the debt ceiling be raised. The massive defecit spending has to stop and has to stop now – they have been puting it off for 30 years and won't do it "latter". Before they bankrupt this nation and destroy the value of the dollar which will destroy all our savings and assets – they need to implement massive spending cuts now. Time the American people demand it and settle for nothing less.

    May 16, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  93. Cliff

    Fellow contrymen. We MUST rise up against both political parties if they continue to raise the debt of this proud country. NO MORE DEBT! No more Republican and Democrat lies, laziness, and incompetence. Let's work together instead of voting for both parties who no longer care about their constituents but only about themselves.

    May 16, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  94. Ted from Florida

    Yes they should raise it if the GOP is not willing to cut out the big tax breaks for the rich and big oil then we have no choice. Sooner or later just like under the clinton administration we must increase our revenue somewhere . You can't get blood out of a turnipe.

    May 16, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  95. Wade

    In my opinion the partisans in the GOP camp and the strictly partisan tea party are simply politicizing what should be a straight forward matter: we decided in every budget cycle that we would continue to rush headlong into the debt limit, now it's time to ratify the decision that was made over and over again in the past: I think we should reign in spending, overhaul the tax system, eliminate corporate income tax, make capital gains and dividend payments regular income subject to the marginal tax rate. We should raise the Medicare payroll tax to fully fund Medicare and then balance the budget. Starve the beast has only served to create a $200 Billion a year unfunded burden, it clearly doesn't work. Cut defense, cut defense and cut defense.

    May 16, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  96. Dave

    The question is, how many of those 47% opposed to raising the debt ceiling know enough about it to make that determination. Every treasury secretary past and present, says it would be disasterous not to raise the ceiling. I think they are right. The fact that we let there be speculation that it wont be raised creates doubt in the eyes of the rest of the world, which only damages our reputation further. People in Congress need to do the right thing, regardless of what voters think.
    Dave
    Seattle

    May 16, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  97. Liza

    I honestly don't know the answer to this. We're damned if we do and we're damned if we don't. Set that aside, it's time for big oil and corporations to start paying some taxes. We cannot continue the same pattern in printing money and sticking it to the middle class tax payers.

    May 16, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  98. Jack Strohm

    Jack,
    The debt ceiling should be lowered not raised. Who are we kidding?
    The politicians have been paid and will be reelected. Wall street is the only winner. Look at all the decisions made concerning fiscal responsibility, they come from wall street and the big corporations and they are the only ones who make out. Hope you all like Greek food.
    Jack Strohm
    Ft. myers Florida

    May 16, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  99. Lori in Columbus, Ohio

    The debt ceiling is an artificial construct - Congress originally enacted it to prevent President Wilson from taking the country to war. As should be obvious by now, it has never prevented any President from doing whatever he wanted militarily.

    What does it prevent the U.S. Government from doing? It prevents the Treasury from selling bonds. That's it.

    Instead of voting to raise the "debt ceiling," I'd rather see Congress abolish it. No other government has this idiocy - it's just another way for the minority party to hold the citizens hostage.

    May 16, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  100. Charlie Mackey Clark

    No! Welfare-warfare state needs are infinite; alas, revenues are not. Ocean Springs, Mississippi

    May 16, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  101. Len in Washington State

    I don't know if we should raise it or not, Jack but I do know that we have to slam the brakes on a lot of the senseless spending. Why on Earth does our Government subsidize ANY business in this country? Oil, farms, wind, railroads etc, etc. Nobody subsidizes my business or my neighbors business. If I don't get the price I want for my paintings should Congress give me money to make up the difference? Hell no it shouldn't so why are they doing it for so many? Makes no sense. Just makes us all more broke,.

    May 16, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  102. Bob in Silver Spring

    Yes. And then vote to remove the ceiling itself. It was a political stunt in WWI that has lasted to this day. If Congress can't keep themselves from spending, the artificial ceiling, with its catastrophic penalty - default on the country's debts - simply gives people the bait they need to hold us all hostage. Since that's the raison d'arte of the Republicans anyway, why have it? Make Congress-critters bargain in good faith (or as close to that as they can get - I don't hope for miracles) without the undue leverage the ceiling provides.

    Raise it and remove it. Bring back honesty to the process.

    Bob

    May 16, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  103. Karen

    Republicans are holding us hostage so they can pass their agenda that attacks the middle and lower classes. I don't want to live in a third world country with two classes, the rich and the very poor. I don't want to live in a third world country where only some families can afford to send their children to school or to a doctor. If we want to stay the greatest country that has ever been, we need a social contract to our people, not the regressive policies of third world countries that reward only the rich. I suggest Tea Party advocates travel to third world countries and see what countries that don't spend money on their people look like, because that's where we're headed. Increase the debt limit, and then learn to work together for the country as a whole. Where is Paul Wellstone when we need him most?

    May 16, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  104. David in Alabackwards

    Of course it should be raised. But not at the expense of Social Security, Medicare and Medicade. Why would you say we can afford the bloated DOD budget, and 3 wars but can't afford to take care of our poor or retired?

    May 16, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  105. BJ Blinston

    do you continue to give an addict his/her fix without forcing them to make changes? If not, then you can't raise the debt ceiling. If you do, then you reap the consequences of your actions.

    May 16, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  106. Mike Balfe

    Of course they should raise the debt ceiling. The need to raise it is the product of past (over)spending and is essentially unrelated to future budgets.. Although the result of failing to raise the ceiling in a timely manner is uncertain, it will be harmful to the country.

    May 16, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  107. Gina Lee

    The economy is slowly coming back and we need to raise this debt ceiling to keep functioning. But the GOP are terrified that it will be good for the economy and will vote to "control spending". We are simply not going to balance the budget immediately...that is a fact of life.

    May 16, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  108. Shane in FL

    No. Vote instead to expire the Bush tax cuts for billionaires and corporations. Then vote to stop wasteful spending on wars. If you look at the Clinton administration, taxes were higher, wars were far fewer, and anybody who wanted a job could get one. Problem solved.

    May 16, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  109. Peter Boldt

    Raising the debt ceiling may not be popular of even desirable at this time, but it is better than the alternative. Defaulting on our debt payments would make things worse for everyone.

    May 16, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  110. Remo, from beautiful downtown Pflugerville Texas

    Let me say this as clearly as possible: THEY SHOULD NOT! Instead they should start doing what they promised and slash spending. Cut the Defense budget, cut the earmarks, cut the keep the folks at home happy projects, revamp Social Security, Medicare, and the tax structure. FIND THE MONEY! I can't raise the debt ceiling in my finanaces, why should the government!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 16, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  111. Dave

    No, when will it stop, as Ron Paul mentioned many times int he first GOP debate, the US has defaulted many times before, were still here, still kicking.

    May 16, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  112. Gary H. Boyd

    Absolutely Jack and my recommendation is to $20 trillion. That way they won't have to do it again for at least six months. It's like my wife - she asks me for $10 - I give her $100 and she won't want more until tomorrow.

    Gary H. Boyd in Scottsdale, Arizona

    May 16, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  113. Matt

    Its time to yank the bandaid off. No more debt limit increases.

    CUT SPENDING OR RAISE TAXES. (And I cant afford any more taxes)

    May 16, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  114. Mike Ladouceur

    Back in 2002, after losing my jobs, I could not afford to pay my bills.. I had to find ways to cut and slash my bills.. I stopped paying my credit cards and car payment to maintain my mortgage. In the end, after losing my car and my self-esteem, I still had to file for chapter 13.. I don’t recall any of my creditors raising my debt limit. I say Hell no, congress should not raise the debt limit!

    May 16, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  115. Adam Green

    No. It is called a ceiling for a reason. If you raise it then what is the ponit of having a ceiling? We the people don't have a choice of when we can pay our taxes instead of getting something we wanted on April 15th, so why should our representatives get to keep stalling while our debt reaches insurmountable proportions through special programs they wanted? This should force politicians to sit down and make some very tough but neccessary decisions to balance the budget NOW!

    Adam Green
    Louisville, KY

    May 16, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  116. John Broad

    If we don't raise the debt ceiling their will be riots in the streets. If we raise the debt ceiling there will be riots in the streets in two years. Pick your poison.

    May 16, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  117. Bill from Clinton, Maryland

    It's a credit line gone bunkers. There are businesses out there that can help lower the debt since they pocket billions upon billions of dollars in profits. I guess the trickle down theory doesn't apply. It's all about Republicans running Obama out in 2012.

    May 16, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  118. Greg

    Adults will realize that it is necessary, whether they like or don´t like the reasons it is necessary does not change the reality.

    Any politician using this issue to advance their own agenda should be sent home to play in the sandbox, hopefully after a group of alleycats have deposited their business in that box.

    May 16, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
  119. Merv

    Jack, in a word NO! It's hard to fathom how anyone thinks the way to get out of debt is to borrow more money. It appears that many individuals max out one credit card, get another one and start borrowing on it to pay off the first one. I have never known this scenario to end well on an individual level and I fail to see how it ends well on a federal government level.

    May 16, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  120. Gus

    It's too late not to raise the ceiling. We are so much in debt, we won't be able to pay the bills we owe. Cut government wasteful spending in chunks so we don't have to pay those hefty bills we owe.

    Miramar, FL

    May 16, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  121. Joe

    Jack,
    Unless we have trillions to pay off our current indebtedness we need to raise the debt ceiling and stop this political posturing by those catering to the tea party. Ali Velshi cited what is necessary with spending and revenue the other day. Why is it that the wealthy are paying the lowest amount of income taxes in many years, and are still trying to have Congress cater to their selfish interests. The top 1 percent of the wealthy own at least 40 percent of the nation. Who do we think is fooling whom?

    Joe ,Binghamton,NY

    May 16, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  122. Sue R.

    Yes! Congress should raise the debt ceiling, and do it now rather than later.

    May 16, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  123. Tom

    The proper question is not whether we want to "raise the debt ceiling" but rather, more properly phrased, whether we want to tell our creditors that "we are going to refuse to pay what we owe".

    May 16, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  124. Terry- Greensburg, IN "Hoosier Hillbilly"

    Should Congress vote to raise the debt ceiling?
    NO!
    It makes the walls taller, the windows longer, and all the heat goes above the heads of the people that need it!
    * Jack, 'U' figure it out! *

    May 16, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  125. ivan

    No! It’s as simple as that. My Dad clipped my wings when I was young and that's what we need to do to Congress. If we default then we default and our creditors will deal with it however they chose to. It’s time for our 200+ year old country to grow up and behave.

    May 16, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
  126. Morteza Dastjerdi

    No, the congress should lower spending instead.

    May 16, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
  127. Charles

    NO! Stop spending, close tax loop holes on BIG BUSINESS such as GE and BIG oil and leave us little people alone. Im broke!

    May 16, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  128. Gary

    Nope don't raise it.

    May 16, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  129. David Shelly

    Yes thjey should raise the debt loimit and stopp playing politics with the good credit standing of the United States.

    May 16, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  130. MB2010a

    The hit the stock market took today is just a hint of what is going to happen if they don't raise the debt ceiling. All you people who are opposed to the raise must realize you are going to lose a great deal of your 401k value if they don't. See the handwriting on the wall (street, that is). You have been warned this would happen...

    May 16, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  131. Michael sweeney hinsdale il

    Absolutely,

    If we default on our loans theres not a professional out there that could tell you what would happen to the world economy exactly. What they do say is it will be generally bad, very bad. Look what happened when Greece defaulted and they only owed 338 billion. WE OWE OVER 14 TRILLION! I do see a day, someday soon. where there will be retirees going "over the hill" to protest for their social security. That hill is called capitol!

    May 16, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  132. Raja

    Yes, but the government has to show that it is capable of paying some significant amount of money off of the national debt. The obama constituents don't even know that they are paying for the national debt with rising inflation. It sure doesn't look like a tax, but it is to average americans. Plus, the Obama government had a lot of time to do something significant to show the people that they take this issue seriously. One speech doesn't cut it.

    May 16, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  133. AZLib

    Of course... This is silly not to consider such. If you want to make a political statement then vote... but forcing your representative not to raise this means pushing America back into a recession and most likely cause a dumping of our money, raising of interest rates and a whole list of other terrible things. Time to get rid of manned space flights, two wars that have done very little for us, closing bases around the world, reducing the spending on our military by a very substancial amount and canceling the Bush tax cuts for those who make over $250K is a good start. Stay out of entitlements or you will have a massive revolution on your hands! The next congressman/woman to talk about cutting social security or medicare better first talk about getting rid of congressional retirement until the age of 70.. Right now folks your people in washington get a retirement check after 2 terms in office FOR LIFE including medical... so cutting mine better come long after theirs.

    May 16, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  134. bobby

    congress should vote to raise the debt ceiling. it is a no brainer but republicans have no brains.

    May 16, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  135. R Hofmann

    Do not raise the debt ceiling until there are specific concrete trackable agreements on spending cuts now, and spending restrictions in the future. Like a heroin user until you shut down the ability to buy new stuff, the Congress will continue to sniff and spend until we are broke.

    May 16, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  136. Judy

    Like with all issues, people should not be either for, or against, until they study the topic, and have a full understanding of what is in it, and how it will affect a certain outcome.
    We absolutely, must raise the debt ceiling. We absolutely, must not connect that to spending cuts. The two are not as connected as most might believe. If you simply go against an issue, to make a negative statement, this is not the issue to play that game with now.

    May 16, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  137. Daniel

    No the debt ceiling should not be raised again. We can pay the interest on our debt without defaulting. Drastic cuts would have to be made in spending. If I max out all of my credit cards and then ask the bank to increase my limits over and over again for years without paying down my balance what do you think the answer would be? NO. Do not increase the debt ceiling.

    May 16, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  138. Anthony J. Frascino from Swedesboro, NJ

    Look at the debt ceiling as delaying the the loss of American prestige as the the most powerful economic machine driving all markets in the world. Without raising the ceiling, we will hand over our heads to the communist Chinese. They hijacked our capitalism and retained communism. Why didn't Karl Marx think about this?

    May 16, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  139. kevin W. in Seattle

    Jack – Anyone who understands what is at stake if they do not raise the limit knows it must be done or risk more economic turmoil. The politicians know there is no choice but to increase it, so all the threats to not do so is nothing but more political grandstanding. It is irresponsible to even suggest to the public that the debt ceiling and the budget battle have anything to do with one another. In the end it will be raised because we have no choice but to protect our credit rating or risk watching our economy go down the toilet again.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  140. Lorraine

    Yes they should... after all I do not remember the GOP saying anything about the debt ceiling when George Bush spent money like a crazy man... During the 8 years he was in the debt raised more then in all the years up to his presidency ... But that was OK... BRING THE TROOPS HOME .... TAX THE RICH... STOP GIVING MONEY TO OIL COMPANIES... and then tell me that we should not raise the ceiling... Until then we are still paying for what idiot Bush did... and let us not forget it... Bush got us into this mess....

    May 16, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  141. Malik

    I don't think we should Jack. If not raising the ceiling is going to cause severe trauma in our markets and day to day lives, yes raising it one more time won't hurt. But the problem we have is run away debt and the inability for our leaders to do something about it. Our politicians want to pile on more debt..the question is should we let them. I say "NO". Get our BILLS in order!

    Signed

    The American People

    May 16, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  142. Fred Mueller

    Of course they "should".

    But more to the point they will have to, there is just no reasonable remedy or path to zero debt spending "right now, right away" – the economy would simply tank by 10% – and that is just not acceptable. You can't just cut the "velocity" of money in one fiscal year and expect. We are going to have to climb back down over a period of time

    The solution (over time) is tax increases across the board, especially for the well off, but middle class as well, coupled with spending cuts, cost of living freezes in the big entitlements, and especially the military.

    Just do it.....

    Republicans are HORRIBLY irresponsible to play chicken with our current fragile economic state for political gain, a situation largely of their own making. They really have become the party of the clueless.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  143. Casey

    Seriously Jack, this is just an exercise in political maneuvering. The debts have been incurred already- they already voted on it by extending the tax cuts (Republicans) and more spending (Democrats). Why all the drama now???

    May 16, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  144. Buccakenji

    Absolutely NOT! Stop the spending. Whatever comes into must be used to pay debt. Stop all other spending. If that means entitlements, so be it.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  145. Greg Morgan

    Of course they should vote to raise the debt ceiling. It's an absolute no-brainer. Too bad there are so many members of Congress without brains.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  146. SRV

    Absolutely NOT. Raising the debt ceiling does not fix the problem. If you had a teenager that kept overspending and using up his credit cards each month would giving him a new Discover Card fix his problem?

    May 16, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  147. Buck Parker

    Absolutely NOT. At some point we have to cut off these spendthrifts. The more money you give them, the more they keep spending, like addicts. It has to stop, and now is the time the put a stop to this nonsense. I am tired of paying for government waste and out-of-control spending.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  148. Donaldo in ATL

    NOPE!! Time to put an end to this fiscal madness.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  149. the snake

    NO MORE MONEY! let the government default and tell the federal reserve bank to whom WE OWE MOST OF OUR DEBT to go screw themselves. if we had no federal reserve bank, we could print debt free money. most of you people are clueless so telling you these facts goes upon deaf ears.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  150. Evan Forrest

    Keep sweeping this issue (our debt and out of control spending) under the rug and all you will get is a filthy house. There will never be a "good" time to start getting serious about our economy and making the hard cuts that people don't want, so why postpone any longer? No time like the present. Many Americans learn to go without in times of hardship. Our government should be no exception. They don't know how to live within their means, and feeding their addiction isn't going to help anyone.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  151. Alex in Wisconsin

    If your goal is to collapse the economy under President Obama's watch, of course you will be against raising the debt ceiling. However, if you care more about this country as a whole than you do about partisan powerplays or tarnishing the Obama legacy, you will support raising the debt ceiling.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  152. Mike in GA

    Congress should raise the debt ceiling. Not doing so would be like an individual deciding not to pay the minimum payments on their credit cards – the consequences are bad. Congress has voted to spend every penny that has been spent and to cut every tax that has been cut. They are responsible for the situation that we're in and should vote to raise the debt ceiling. How many times did the Republican Congress raise the debt ceiling while Bush was president? – About 7 times, I think.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  153. Buck Parker

    Claiming that we would have been out of debt and having a surplus if Pres. Bush had budgeted his wars better is quite simplistic. We could save billions, RIGHT NOW, if we cut off all aid to Pakistan, all the Middle Eastern countries, and every other country that we are giving free handouts to.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  154. Gigi Oregon

    It must not be "No big deal" Bush did it four plus times and I didn't hear Bonhner threatening President Bush or Congress. So what's the big deal...Lets cut back on our spending, on all things but... those things like Social security which everyone pays into, you know like an insurance life policy for old age. Baby Boomers may have a thing or two to say to the Tea Party over that one. Like over my dead body are you going to cut social security. But I hear every day, lets cut congresses wages, have term limits, no raises and no retirements. It's a privilege and a serious responsibility to serve or should be. Stop lobbying in government it's taking up to much of congresses time, not to mention bribing should be illegal. Begin a flat tax on January 2012, 25% for under a million and 35% across every income level above. If everyone of these things took place it would not take long to clean up government and pay down the debt.

    If cuts like that can't be made...raise the debt ceiling.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  155. Mike Ladouceur, Tampabay

    The fact that we have to increase the debt limit shows a lack of leadership in the part of the administration-A very wise man said that-- not so long ago..

    May 16, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  156. BlackDynamite

    "The Fed" is the government's credit card

    It's all imaginary, fiat currency anyway! Do you think Congress really cares? They aren't directly responsible for this budget. We haven't had a balanced budget since Nixon!

    As long as you don't cut up the government's credit card (The Fed), they'll do something that won't solve anything! Just as long as they don't have to balance the books, they're good!
    BD

    May 16, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  157. Chris Jacksonville FL

    Jack,
    I have to live within my means. The government should have to live within its means. The responsible thing to do would be to raise the debt ceiling in order to buy some time AND cut spending AND raise taxes. There should be no free ride. If you want good schools, if you want good roads, if you want a strong defense and an endless war, you HAVE to pay for it. The Republican's clinging to the Bush tax cuts without responsible spending is going to kill the recovery.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  158. DLG

    The issue of debt ceiling needs to be addressed without it being attached to a political issue. The debt ceiling is not a political issue - it is a face of America issue - and if through the passage of time there is in effect an inability of this country, the greatest country in the world cannot pay it"s bills - the eyes of the world would look at America and think, "America cannot manage it's own affairs, why should I provide my money as an investment to the USofA"

    Actions or no action is a decision and has consequences.

    No action is a consequence that will not be pretty and would result in a stain upon America. Politicans will ultimately be held resposible for the consequence of political manuveringts -

    May 16, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  159. Eric

    Yes, and any job lost as a result of the impasse should be laid directly at the feet of the Republican Party at the next election cycle.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  160. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    Exactly!

    To often we make our judgements with very little knowledge. An uninformed opinion. And that is what is happening here.

    The debt ceiling has nothing to do with debt or budgets, but all to do with politics. Shame on our representatives, and shame on us.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  161. Derek

    The US should definitely raise the credit ceiling. Markets would take a nose dive if the United States starts defaulting on financial obligations! Lose the politics and let's work together to get this economy back on track. A poor credit rating for the US would have a disasterous trickle down affect on the rest of the world. Unfortunately, I see raising taxes as a means of getting control of our financial irresponsibility! Someone is going to have to bear the brunt of those miscues. Usually it's the American Tax payer!

    May 16, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  162. Mauro

    Not until all americans can raise their debt ceiling! Our country is a JOKE! Just a big paper tiger thats going to crumble very soon!

    May 16, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  163. IAN LEON

    No, Absolutely No! Withhold all Federal Employees pay checks except the Military. Withhold all Social Security checks for persons with $300,000.00 in annual income. Withhold all foreign Country payments including of course Pakistan. Bounce a couple of checks to China, and any other country holding our debt. In other words, live like us poor citizens have to. BALANCE THE CHECK BOOK MONTHLY! or suffer the consequences. I say pay the SS to the needy, after all they contributed to the fund and need it. Pay the Military, they earn it with their blood. All the rest can get in line!!

    May 16, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  164. maude

    We don't have to raise the debt ceiling.

    Bring the solders home. Never again meddle in other countries affairs. Quit giving money to Pakistan. Raise the cooperate tax.
    Charge $10,000 a head for every immigrant that wants to enter the US.
    People will gladly pay that amount to live and work in the USA.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  165. Manizalita

    I came from South America for a better future. I guess my father was right, humanity is the same here or China... Bunch of politicians ruining America. Just being selfish and see how much they can take to themselves.
    God help America.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  166. stephen

    of course, raise it. and lower the boom on congress to make reasonable fiscal decisions. i hate being a pawn in the congressional power games. pragmatism is essential here; not 2012 political hijinx

    May 16, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  167. outawork

    I vote we raise it just one penny.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  168. Sandstone.

    "Yes why not Jack? Raise it so high there won't be one, or at least you won't have look for it again. But what will you for repairs? Do you have a ladder that long? Do you have enough protection from the next sunami? What will you do when you find out Obama has been lying to you, and your so far in debt you have no credability left? You do know it's only a matter of time before he is indicted, everyone is searching for the proof; Obama still thinks is well hidden! What a jerk!"

    May 16, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  169. dennis in pa.

    no! time to stop spending. maybe by saying no! they can cancel sending money to other countries, stop wasting money on the military!{fighting wars that don't make the nation any safer}. then we will stop extending unemployment. time to say no! this nation can't and wont move forward until we get our house in order.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  170. Jim Facciolla

    Congress should vote to raise the debt ceiling only in conjuction with the drafting and approval of a "Balanced Budget Amendment" to the United States Constitution. The debt ceiling could be raised to a level to allow for an additional three months duration which would give the States enough time to decide on ratification of this new Amendment which would force our country to live within our means.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  171. Bruce Lyon

    NO – If we raise the debt limit they will just make promises that they won't keep. Best to vote NO. We still have 2.2 trillion in revenue to pay the interest with as for the rest of government force them to really tighten their belts as all of us real people have had to do.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  172. Warren White

    No they should not. It's time we require our Congressmen to spend our money like they would their own. If they spend their personal money this way, then they should not be representing us in the first place. We have to have a change in the way Washington operates. No company would operate with a debt load of this level, and an unsustainable one at that. So either way the world markets are going to be effected. The freight train in coming. Let's deal with it now!

    May 16, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  173. lynn

    Absolutely it should be raised. What I find so hypocritical with re: to the Republican leadership, is they voted to raise the debt ceiling 7 out of 8 years under the Bush administration. Are they deliberately trying to create anxiety in the market and the global economy as a way to undermine the president and his bid for 2012?

    Portland OR

    May 16, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  174. MIke

    NO, of course not. But then again I'm one that likes to watch things like tsunamis, earthquakes, floods, tornados, and other mass destruction calamities.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  175. John

    If congress and the President would actually do what they say I doubt many would have a problem with raising the debt ceiling yet again but the simple truth is they have not kept their word on cutting spending and we continue this horrific circle of raising the debt ceiling and making false promises on getting spending under control.

    The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure,” he said. “It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. … Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here.’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit.” – Senator Barrack Obama

    Enough is enough, make real cuts, if you plan on raising the debt ceiling
    .

    May 16, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  176. boomer775

    We should not be playing a political game of chicken on this one. We have already seen what happens when countries default on their debt obligations (Greece & Ireland). Imagine if the largest economy in the world defaulted. It would spark a global crisis. Countries would start divesting in the dollar, sending it's value lower as happened to the Euro when Greece and Ireland defaulted.

    Think gas prices are bad now? Since most of the world's oil is priced in USD, the more its valuation goes down, the higher the price.

    It took many years to get into this mess, and will most likely take many years to get out of it. Just like anyone who has had to pay down a lot of debt, there is no silver bullet or instant gratification – it is a process that takes time.

    Altough the debt ceiling and spending cuts are 2 separate issues, I don't think you can rational approach one without looking at the other, otherwise we'll be in the same boat in the near future. It's like debt consolidation – we'll give you the extra $$ (raise debt ceiling) if you promise to pay us back on time. In order to do that, we'll have to make cuts to non-discretionary spending (Defense, Medicare, Medicaid, etc...) and bring in more revenue, i.e. raise taxes across the board (individual and corporate). It's painful, but I don't think we can get out of the red without doing both. Spending cuts only get you so far...

    May 16, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  177. John from Denver

    No! it should not be raised without adequate counterbalances in place that force the government to cut its spending. This is the watershed moment in 'taming' bloated government borrowing and spending – if this opportunity is not seized – it is the taxpayers who are going to get stuck with the ballooning costs, and the government will keep borrowing at their expense.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  178. JP

    I'm amazed at how many people don't get it. All of this political posturing is a game of chicken to try to blame the other side for the country's problems. Try telling your creditors that you're sorry but you can't pay and see what happens.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  179. Greg M

    There have been many fiscally irresponsible things done by the government in the past 30 years, by Democrats and Republicans. But this arguement isn't about fiscal responibilty. Or it shouldn't be. By not raising the debt ceiling the House of Representatives and the Senate are in violation of the Constitution of the United States. Section 4 of the 14th ammendment: "the validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned."
    End of arguement. To uphold the Constitution, enshrined by so many, the debt ceiling must be raised.

    St. Louis, MO

    May 16, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  180. Sawyer

    Jack, Raising the Debt Ceiling avoids the inevitable.

    Tax the rich and Make them pay SOMETHING.

    This isn't about Liberal or Conservative. It's about common sense.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  181. Carolyn Barranca

    YES. Keep America in business.
    Carolyn
    Frederick, Md.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  182. Karl in Flint

    They have to. To not do so would cause a greater worldwide financial disaster then the crash of ’29 and the Reagan and both Bush administrations combined. They also have to simplify and equalize the tax code, raising revenue, and restructure Social Security and Medicare trust funds, as in raise contributions, so those working now will be secure in their retirements. Paul Ryan’s idiotic plan is not the answer. I’m beginning to wonder if there is anyone else out there with enough common sense to see what actually has to be done.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  183. sunsudo

    Don't raise it. Cut the 90+ weeks of unemployment, welfare and food stamps for illegals and druggies, and all foriegn aid. Charity should start at home. How long do the liberals think we can keep going into the red before we can't come back.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  184. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    This is what is maddening, the politicians kowtowing to people's ignorance for political gain, and they know it. When are we ever going to get people in office who care more about the people they represent than the parties they belong to?

    May 16, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  185. Chris Miller

    For Congress to pass laws authorizing spending and then not authorizing an increase in the debt ceiling to pay for that spending is like a person or company signing a contract to purchase a motor vehicle without money in the bank or a loan available to pay for it; i.e. STUPID! Maybe we should re-possess the House of Representatives, the home of this stupidity.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  186. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Congress needs to vote to raise the debt ceiling because if they don't there is no reason for them to continue taking up space for doing nothing while getting paid.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  187. Linda in CA

    Jack, Can I go ahead and print up some more money? I am broke due to car repair. There is no difference between my situation and that of the local, state and fed govts today. If you don't have the money, you do not make the purchase. Even a 6 year old understands that.
    1) get rid of all the financial advisors that Obama appointed. Most of them had a hand in the financial collaspe and have no business back in power.
    2) get rid of all line items dealing with political favors and ban lobbyists.
    3) cut all salaries at least in half. No one can drive more than one car at a time, or live in more than one house at a time.
    4) serving in any form of govt is a priviledge, not a right. It should be about volunteering, not appointment and money should not be a factor.
    5) get rid of all forms of credit extended to those who serve. Let them pay their own way for frills, receiving just enough of a stipend for life's basics.
    6) increase taxes on those who have more than enough to live on. If they can not share and help their fellow man, then they should not be in public office. And by share, I don't mean monitarily, but using their resources to help others learn to help themselves.
    7) take a hardline with constiuents. It is not up to the govt to support everyone. It is up to each one of us to do everything we can to support ourselves and help those in need around us. Occasional help is one thing; perpetual help is quite another.
    We need to cut all forms of greed out of the budget and get back to basics.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  188. John from Lafayette

    Yes Jack I think Congress should rise the dept ceiling. I all so think It should be All American People to help on the Budget cuts to get the deficit down. It shouldn't be just the Middle Class,the POOR ,the OLD and the Disable the only one to have to pay Into it. The Bush Tax cut been In Place now for six Years ,as you can see Jack they haven't brought In any Jobs and they never will. It just the Republican wanting to make the RICH even RICHER. I think Everyone should go back and pay the Taxes they was paying be for the BUSH TAX CUTS WERE put In. And that mean Everyone and that mean the Rich and Big Business too.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  189. Ghassan Karam

    Of course they should. The debt incurred is a result of legal past obligation that the House and the Senate have approved. If for any reason the current legislators want the government to decrease its expenditures then defaulting on previous obligations is irresponsible to say the least.

    G.Karam
    White Plains NY

    May 16, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  190. John

    Increase debt to pay higher bills; then pay higher bills because of increased debt. When will it all end? Oh that's right, increase taxes to pay higher bills because the debt is increased. Anyone who wants to increase the debt ceiling is a lunatic. Wait a minute, this must be Bush's fault.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  191. Rob from Virginia

    If it's decided to raise it; then lets all call our credit card companies and request to raise ours; after all if the government can do it; why not us?....
    Truly the american way as lead by our beloved government :o) I vote no, as borrowing will only get us in deeper water, unless we want to be renamed from "U.S." to "T.H.E.M."

    May 16, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  192. Ray

    Yep, but only after an equivalent decrease in spending!

    May 16, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  193. Tim

    Of course they should raise it. Both parties approved this spending many years ago. If they want to cut the deficit in the years ahead, pass new laws.

    For those saying they should oppose it (let's say Congress followed their advice), our stock market would crash back to 2009 levels, Treasury bonds would crash, our currency would sink, Federal pensions would immediately be cut, companies would stop hiring and start laying workers off, home prices would take another plunge as mortgage rates would skyrocket, we would have depression 2.5.

    The problem that people fail to realize is what Keynsian economics is and how politicians have distorted some of his theory. Most have no idea that their are other economic models, perhaps better than the one we have.

    Until we change our economic model, we will continue with this debt binge around the world, not just in the US. FYI, the IMF has stated recently that we need to double world debt by $250 trillion if we want to grow the world economy forward at an average rate in the next 10 years.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  194. Gerry in Montclair, NJ

    We absolutely MUST raise the debt ceiling. It's really a no-brainer, but the number one priority of our wonderful representatives in Congress is not the welfare of the country but rather getting re-elected. The problem is compounded by the fact that the vast majority of voters have no idea of the consequences of not raising the debt ceiling. I can just picture these people wondering what happened after we default on our obligations and we're back in a recession or worse. The real problem is voter ignorance and the politicians will exploit that, just as they've always done.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  195. Ron

    Doing away with the Bush tax cuts - even ALL of them, not just the tax cuts for those earning more than $250,000 a year as Obama wants - is not enough to solve the problem. The situation has become worse since the Clinton years. The chief difference is that much of federal spending goes towards Medicare and Social Security, and the boomers are beginning to retire. There are other problems beyond this. The government is involved in several expensive foreign wars, and during the Bush administration Congress passed prescription drug benefit that makes Medicare more costly than in the Clinton years. Finally, we now have almost $15 trillion in government debt on which to pay interest, whereas in the Clinton years it was closer to $5 trillion. The IMF has estimated that to maintain current government programs at projected levels would require DOUBLING all federal taxes. There are clearly going to have to be some serious expenditure reductions as well as some tax increases. Kicking this can down the road is just going to make matters worse.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  196. Sean in Santa Monica

    NO!!!

    The pols say we need to:

    A- raise the cap and continue deficit spending, or

    B- not raise the cap and default

    How about...

    C- not raise the cap and not default

    In other words, make good on the trillions we've borrowed, but STOP borrowing more! Probably too radical err logical, oh I give up...

    May 16, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  197. Dave

    Absolutely not! This suicidal direction cannot continue. This has nothing to do with the US being able to pay its debts, it is all about out of control spending and governmental waste. Overlapping departments, too many government employees, too many useless programs, outlived programs, etc, etc. Enough is enough. It is time to get our house in order, not to proliferate the spending.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  198. Rich McKinney, Texas

    Not if they want to get re=elected next time. What congress needs to do is learn to live within their means and to stop borrowing money we don't have for projects and items that we don't need.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  199. Zach S

    The entire point of the debt ceiling is for our government to pause and be reminded they are spending too much money. I think it is actually a good thing some members of Congress want to get some guarantees on spending cuts before they vote yes. With that said, the debt ceiling does need to get raised. The question is whether they can agree on any significant changes to our debt's current pattern, which is highly doubtful.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  200. tbrnotb

    Absolutely! These morons have no idea what this will do to our economy and the dollar. You may be angry about Wall St, but this is more akin to "cutting off your nose to spite your face."

    We had a surplus in 2000. Then we started 2 wars, gave big pharm a sweetheart deal and cut taxes. This was all created by the Republicans when they controlled the white house and congress.

    Please wake up, America. Had we not elected Bush, the deficit would almost have been paid for by now.

    PLEASE wake up!

    May 16, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  201. Pat

    Of course. It should not be coupled with a harebrained scheme by the GOP. If the government defaults, the rich will be fine and all of us who are not so rich will again suffer.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  202. mtrought

    Not raising the debt ceiling is like seeing the stop sign just turning red and driving thru all the same. Of course there are some ppl who will do that but sensible ppl dont. That is what the GOP and some Democrats are asking you to do from today start disobeying traffic signals and just drive.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  203. Jay

    Does it even matter at this point?

    Jay
    Pittsburgh, PA

    May 16, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  204. JohnS

    I'm with Senator Barack Obama on this one.

    The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. … Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that “the buck stops here.” Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  205. Canadian Guy

    Please don't, we want all of your foreign direct investment!!!

    May 16, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  206. chris

    Yes, the debt ceiling must be raised.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  207. zach sutton

    Hey Jack Of course they should. It is in the best interests of the U.S. to pay its debts. If the GOP wants to play chicken, they will find that as the date of default approaches, the markets will tumble creating immense pressure on them to extend it. We cannot fix the debt problem overnight. It took us years to get here. Years in which we followed Republican economic policies (Reagan, Bush I & II) and accumulated debt. The only time we had a surplus was when we had Clinton's tax rates. Maybe we should just go back to what worked in the past? Let the Bush Tax Cuts expire. Zach Nashville TN

    May 16, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  208. jean2009

    Of course we must. We are a reliable country and to not pay our debts would be devastating for our standing in the world. Honorable nations repay debts. What morons Republicans are to even think of playing this type of game. The only people they want to hurt are the people already hurting in this economy.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  209. Jean Desgagne

    Of course, they have to. Having said that, like a troubled borrower who asks his bank for more credit, congress needs to show it is serious about making positive financial changes. A troubled personal borrower would need to show practical changes to his budget – cut up some credit cards, stop spending on discretionary things, etc. Congress needs to do the same.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  210. Suzanne

    Increase the debt ceiling–(the US isn't a dead beat) But END THE WARS! The amount spent prosecuting these wars is the greatest part of this monthly deficit. Tax cuts and two wars; I didn't have that in my Econ class.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  211. Nancy, Tennessee

    Voters may think lawmakers' votes for raising the debt ceiling is fiscally irresponsible, but a NO vote on this one will be a fiscal catastrophe. Sometimes a good credit rating can pull you through the tough times, but a bad credit rating will drag you down a notch or two lower. We must raise the debt ceiling now in order to have a financial future worth trying to fix.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  212. Dillon

    Of course they should. Keep spending our money until it's value is so diminished that China owns our children. Ceilings are no fun!

    May 16, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  213. C. Paul Williams

    Absolutely!! The consequences of not doing so are poorly understood by most Americans. Additional turmoil in the financial markets are the last thing we need. This is not to say the deficit shouldn't be addressed effectively, but this is NOT the way to do it.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  214. Tom - Rhode Island

    The congress will have to raise the rate, however they should put in controls that will assure an effort to reduce the debt. One without the other is useless. I would just continue to be more of the same. All members of congress should be held accountable.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  215. motoricker

    Go ahead and raise it! I want more free Gubbermint stuff and Obamacare! I'll be dead before we have to start paying it all off!

    May 16, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  216. Ben

    They absolutely must raise the debt ceiling. There's no way to stop the expenditures that are on their way, congress is too deliberative a body, and that would probably require a bill.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  217. Jim

    Yes, only to maintain our credit standing. We already have the highest corporated taxes in the world....and taxing the rich isn't going to resolve the issue. Less spending, entitlement re-structuring and a more simplistic tax code. The Presidents own debt commission has indicated these are the proper steps, yet he ignores it.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  218. Gman

    I don't see that they have a choice. Unfortunatly there will be a lot of foolish political game playing before anything gets done. thus further angering the American public . These idiots we call our government really only have their self interests at heart. Everything else is lipservice...

    May 16, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  219. Kiki, Indiana

    NO,NO,NO. Its like me telling my credit card company that I want my credit limit raised so that I can keep on buying things I don't need. Sometimes we all have to go cold turkey, this is one of those times!

    May 16, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  220. Radda

    Its just as simple as yes, I have no clue Why year after year these clowns or voted into office and decides to play politics with every single issue!!

    May 16, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  221. Richard Bean

    NO This has all got to stop here and now.

    Richard Bean Salt Lake City Utah

    May 16, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  222. Mike in WI

    Quite simply no. Our lawmakers don't know how to manage the budget so why let them put the country in more debt. If congress can figure out how to pay back our debt then go ahead and raise it, until then, i think bankruptcy would be a good thing for this country in the long run because it would make our leaders spend our money in a responsible manner.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  223. Bonnie B in NY

    Why can't all the politicians and those who work for them all take a 20% pay cut. Including past and present presidents. The are all way over paid and do not earn it. They want us to focus on the little guy when in all actuality, a 20% pay cut would help dramatically! We could do with a few less on the payroll also.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  224. Carol

    Yes. If the economy craters, there will be even less in the way of tax revenues generated to help with the deficit.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  225. Danny Hearing

    Of course they should not raise the debt ceiling, while cutting off their noses to spite their faces, and throwing the baby out with the bath water. It never ceases to amaze me how often the American public will vote against their own economic interests.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  226. mona hundley

    No iI do not think they should raise the debt ceiling. Our goverenment simply needs to do as they preach and get responsible with the funding they have available already. If anything we should lower the ceiling eventually. Its kind of like the IMF guy, instead of asking who hes sleeping with, we should be asking why he is paying 3000 dollars a night for a motel. The elite need to start keeping it real.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  227. Matt from Munster, IN

    Congress should only raise the debt ceiling if there is a legitimate plan for deficit reduction to go along with it. Without cutting the deficit, the debt ceiling will become a debt suggestion, and future congresses will continue to pass off the issue of a looming debt crisis to future generations. I'm only 19 years old, and I am afraid to see what the debt will look like twenty or thirty years from now.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  228. Bob

    NO ! Our currency is worthless as it is. We are just digging a bigger hole for our children and grandchildren to deal with. Stop politicizing this issue. We need to get back on the Gold and Silver Standard. Our Congress has been spoiled for decades.....We can't buy our way out of this mess !!!!

    May 16, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  229. lynnej in nc

    This is so stupid. It has to be if we want to keep our credit standing.

    If it weren't for the unpaid for wars, the tax cuts for the rich and the Medicare drug plan that wasn't paid for, we wouldn't be in this mess. I'm not saying that it wouldn't be messy, but it would be as messy.

    This just shows that it would be better if those in charge to have a brain instead of being someone average that you wanted to have a beer with.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  230. John

    Yell No! Enough is enough. The US government needs to manage its budget like average American households do. It’s that simple, quit making so complicated.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  231. Raymond Brown

    No way, Jack.

    Anyone who has played SimCity knows that using debt is a sure way to grind your city (or country) into the ground. As in SimCity, you have to learn how to match taxes and spending so that there is a surplus if you're going to expand.

    But what do I know? I'm just a Gen-X gamer.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  232. Alex in Washington,DC

    Absolutely not. If the 2012 political race end up as it appears now, with President Obama winning the election for his second term, "significant" spending cuts will not happen to the degree that is necessary for our country to achieve financial stability. It is time for the personnel we elected to represent us in Congress to get their hands dirty and end this madness!

    May 16, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  233. Quinton

    While I am not sure that the two should be tied together I am also smart enough to know that if you vote on raising the limit without any agreements on budget cuts then the deep enough cuts will never happen.

    When a private business over spends it's funds they are usually out of business in a short period of time. Since when is the the federal government not like a business and why should they not be held accountable for not overspending.

    When are the elected officials ever going to get it?

    May 16, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  234. Barney

    By the way, Iran is winning. We are losing. If we continue down this path we will have no power whatsoever, and Iran will become the superpower of the middleeast and dominate the region. This is bad people. We have to change our thinking. We have to lay in our bed NOW, so we don't lay in our grave LATER. Everyone is saying this will hurt too many people. Yes, it will. But if we raise the ceiling and our economy continues to stay in the dumps, it will hurt 100x as many people in the future. We must take our bruises now. Get rid of tax breaks across the board, and force a move towards an alternative energy economy. No oil = No problems.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  235. Ron

    No. It is time to bite the bullet. We need to make substantial cuts in Federal Spending before we give Washington the authority to borrow more. Until we change the direction of this country from uncontrolled and wasteful spending we will hand to our children and grandchildren a terrible burden.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  236. John Olson

    Yes, they should without conditions. The budget questions should be
    dealt with separately, Cutting the military expense and reducing our
    overseas commitments is the main step that would help America.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  237. Duke

    No, absolutely not. Spending $100B+ more each month than the government takes in is absolutely insane. That is zero financial responsibility. It has to stop. Stop it and the debt ceiling won't have to be raised. The ceiling was temporarily raised 2 months ago. What did we get for it? The government spent us into debt by another $500B.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  238. Stephen Daugherty

    Spring, TX
    America has ALWAYS paid its debts, always paid those Congress said to pay their money. We've always been good for the money, whether we've raised it or borrowed it. To fail to do this would not end deficit spending so much as it would end America ability to finance much of anything for the next few generations. The Greatest Generation never failed to pay for all the debts it ran up to save this country. Why can't the Republicans do the same? (The Democrats are not the ones holding this country hostage)

    May 16, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  239. Gary

    It's a done deal.The Speaker has already stated that it must be raised. They had gotten all of the scare tactic mileage out of the debt ceiling that was possible. Now onto the next intimidation ploy.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  240. Barbara Haecker

    Jack, Of course, they should. The Republicans want to play chicken with our economy.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  241. Tom from Nebr.

    Jack Of course the debt ceiling needs to be raised just like it was 7 times during the Bush years. Playing around with our debt obligations is irresponsible and dangerous. Raise the ceiling and get on with debate on how to fix this problem. Even the flawed Ryan Plan will require the ceiling to be raised several times. Give at least some consideration to the Congressional Progressive Caucus plan. It is the only budget plan that seems serious in actually fixing our problem.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  242. Donald in New Mexico

    Would it affect their salaries and health care ?

    May 16, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  243. Fran Moon

    Playing chicken with the debt ceiling is the most irresponsible thing a politician can do. The fact that Republicans are trying to hold this essential legislation hostage is a testament to either their embarrassing ignorance or their shocking malevolence. Nuclear bombs can only dream of causing the same level of destruction that America defaulting would bring.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  244. JimGreenm Seguin, TX

    Jack, of course we should raise the debt ceiling—that is only saying we agree to pay our bills in America—how we got into this mess, however, is a whole different story—and how the Republicans suddenly got religion on the is laughable—when they tripled the debt between 1980 and 1990—and then hit a whole new gear with Bush—WHAT A BUNCH OF HYPOCRITES—complaining about debt THEY CAUSED!

    May 16, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  245. Craig Chilton

    It's been done dozens of times before, but at THIS high-profile juncture, it would prove to the world that our Congress is too irresponsible to make real cuts in spending instead, so as to neutralize the necessity of it. If Congress does raise the limit, i can't think of a better way for it to kick the can right into the Grand Canyon.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  246. leon zelby

    NO! Instead of raising the debt ceiling, the Congress should cut their wages and benefits; bring home most of the military from Japan and Europe; eliminate ALL the pork.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  247. Dave. M

    NO NO NO!!! Just stop spending to preserve the US Dollar as the world reserve currency. If the dollar tanks this country is in duck soup.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  248. Timothy Best

    Yes. And they should do it without reducing spending. Failure to raise the debt ceiling would mean the full faith and credit of the United States would be meaningless. The dangerous thing Republicans are doing is tying the debt ceiling to current spending levels (and in doing so, ignoring their spend-happy ways of tax cuts, wars, etc that got us to this point). Is our spending high? Yes! But it has to be to prevent the economy from stagnating. For good examples on what austere spending cuts do, see Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Greece, and England. All these economies are either mired in or teetering on the brink of economic failure. Once again, the Republicans want to discount this fact, choosing instead their blind belief that spending cuts result in economic prosperity.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  249. Nathan in Auburn, CA

    NO! We need to CUT spending (and then taxes). I cannot understand the mindset of people who say that we MUST borrow more money, so that we can pay our debts!

    People are saying we need to go into more debt, to pay our current debt! HELLO!

    You don't show that you are fiscally responsible by continually spending more than you make and opening up new lines of credit to make the minimum payments on your other credit cards.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  250. Frank Palecek

    Not without controlling government spending. I think all can agree that spending is the problem and we cannot continue to raise the debt ceiling every time the debt approaches this level. For the US to default on any of its deb t obligations may well be catastrophic, as Tim Geithner says but our politicians seem to have little problem defaulting on its obligations to all of us.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  251. Tim Fagan NYC

    They should stop worrying about their votes and their bulging greed addiction and do something solid and lasting to save our economy. Or, at the very least, tell us it's hopeless so we all have equal opportunity to get off this sinking ship.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  252. mona hundley

    I simply can't believe peoples mentality now days. Raising that debt level woud be no different than all of america raising thier personal debt levels to pay thier bills. That is what is wrong with america now.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  253. Emma in WI

    No, I don't think they should raise it. It is time that they stop kicking the can down the road and take serious and real steps to reducing the debt. If they raise the ceiling this time, when will it ever stop? This madness has to come to an end at some point, now is as good a time as any.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  254. Jeff Batchelor

    Skipping the increase forces the executive branch to prioritize spending. I'd say the GOP should push the burden on the executive branch. By letting negotiations continue, the executive branch can take short steps without cutting spending (e.g. borrowing from pension funds). Stop negotiating so the cuts must happen now.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  255. B.R.

    Yes they have to! We cannot default on our debts. Yes we need to reduce spending and and increase the income (sorry rich people- you need to pay more in taxes again, since you obviously are not creating jobs). If you think the answer is no, you need to take the time and do the research and see why. Altough this sucks, we just can't default.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  256. Concerned Guy

    I don't think the average citizen has any clue what the implications are if we do not increase the debt ceiling. However, we are taking note that our congress is letting us down by not acting on this, as usual.

    Can anyone spot a trend here?

    One thing is for sure, incumbents will take a beating in 2012.....again!!

    May 16, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  257. Jerry in PA

    No. We must control spending or there will be nothing left of any value.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  258. Tim in Henderson

    Let's see Jack, the debt sealing has been raised some sixty times or more over time by both Republicans and Democrats alike. Prior to each increase, the sitting President warns of some catastrophic failure if it is raised. My thought is go ahead, raise it some more but this little caveat, can we please stop the class war against the middle class? As I look around, I think most of are ready to throw in the towel and accept the terms on the French train car already!

    May 16, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  259. Patricia

    ABSOLUTELY NOT - unless coupled with a foolproof spending ceiling that the fools in Congress cannot wiggle around and about. I'm afraid that's too much to hope for.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  260. Gary from NY

    The speaker has already stated that it must be raised. Now onto the next issue that they can get scare tactic milage out of.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  261. Matthew from Illinois

    Hi Jack, I am returning to graduate school to pursue a master of accounting degree.
    My question is this, If the debt ceiling is not increased, or durastic spending cuts impleneted, what affect will it have on the issuance of new student loans?

    May 16, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  262. Ed from Colorado

    We MUST raise the debt ceiling-Period. So, how do we compromise?
    Raise the SSA deduction limit to those with $250,000 income. lower SSA recipient payments by 10% for those over $100,000 income–that includes me, since we all must share the load. We can also reduce defense department costs, per MR. Gates in his interview.
    It would be a big mistake not to eliminate the Bush tax cuts. I don't buy the Republican mantra that these are the folks who hire, and would be forced to pull back on expansion. If this were true, we would have gained jobs when they were enacted. It is my understanding that we lost over five million jobs since enactment. The job gains were overseas, but the exec bonuses were alive and thriving here.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  263. Annie, Atlanta

    Yes. And Republicans playing a game with this very serious situation, one of many since Obama became President, tells me without any doubt, that they will gamble away any chance of America's prosperity in order to win back complete control. Doesn't that just give y'all the warm fuzzies?

    May 16, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  264. John Olson

    And raising taxes is an essential requirement to get us back in balance like we were before the Bush tax cuts.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  265. Christopher Edward

    No, the debt ceiling should not be raised. Stop borrowing and start living within our means! And don't cut Social Security or Medicare benefits in the process...and don't cut defense spending. Oh, and definitely don't raise taxes on anyone!

    May 16, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  266. JMBarrett, North Providence RI

    This will never get on the air, but I want to put in my two cents. I live on a budget. Either I live within that budget or all hell breaks loose. No one raises my debt ceiling when I overspend. And how does refusing to raise the debt ceiling put us into default? Doesn't it show the rest of the world that the US is fiscally responsible if it holds all spending to current levels? Aren't I being responsible if I spend less – and certainly not more – than the amount I have coming in? So why doesn't it work that way for the government?

    Also, if you don't raise taxes on the rich, how can you possibly think about taking programs away from the poor or the elderly. What an imbalance THAT would be. Those that have can keep, and those who barely have must give up? Come on. How does that make sense? If giving tax breaks to the rich encourages job growth, why is job growth so slow? Where are the jobs they're supposed to be creating with all those billions of dollars in profit??? That's just a bunch of bull, and Congress knows it. Rhetoric. The United States is going to become, once again, a slave state: a small bunch of rich mostly white folks controlling the lives and health of a mixed bag of poor folks. Because the middle class is disappearing fast.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  267. Julie

    I think Congress should follow the advice of the overwhelming majority of economists and business executives and not listen to the Tea Party and raise the debt limit. Last I heard the tea baggers weren't big into economic credentials.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  268. lee mason

    Yes it should be raised! The game the republicans are playing are dangerous and irresponsible but they lose either way. If they refuse to raise it they lose if they vote to raise they lose!

    May 16, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  269. Jerry Spencer

    Jack,
    Most Americans don’t have enough information to give an intelligent answer to this question. The question to ask is “does Americans understand the consequences of NOT raising it”. Most Americans can be polled all day about this topic, and give you their answer based on limited or no understanding of national and internationals repercussions. You think the economy is bad now! The intelligent question is not “should we raise it”, but “when will it be raised”? Do we have a choice?

    Jerry

    May 16, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  270. Roger Josselyn

    Jack, having just reached 85 years, I'm rminded that I put my newspaper delivery earnings into a savings account. After following that principle for some years, I drew down my savings as I entered graduate school. So I once again began at zero savings, but I stuck to my guns and continued to save what I could. Today I'm a respectable citizen who pays his bills and pays his taxes. – Seems to me that we and our government need to follow the same principle.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  271. Brendan

    Should congress vote to raie the debt ceiling? Yes. What should they vote? NO. The article states something to the effect of, those that will be hurt the most are those who depend on the government programs the most. That is A'OK in my book. I understand that there are people, I.e.: Senior citizens, who planned on a governement furnished retirement based on previous plans that were put in place, but SSI disability, Medicaid, Food Stamps, WIC, and even Medicare as a result of a failure to plan on YOUR part does not constitute my needing to bail you out.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  272. Roni Antenucci

    Though I wish it were not necessary, Congress does need to raise the debt ceiling. They also need to get serious about decreasing the budget – not raping it. In addition, they Congress needs to go after the sacred cows – Military Spending, Social Security, Medicare. Even though I am a senior citizen, I do recognize that what worked in the past is not sustainable in the future. The "raiding" of these so called entitlements in the past, the juggling of questionable accounting practices and presidential and congressional unwillingness to face necessary change have been contributors to the situation we face today. Unfortunately, not raising the debt ceiling would lead to an immediate financial crisis. Do we really need another? Sarasota, FL

    May 16, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  273. david bidlack

    dave from michigan. congress should not raise the dept limit for reasons of how the republicans took a surplus from bill clinton and spent the goverment broke with their out of control spending habits! its time to just start over in this country with a new currency to replace the american dollar after the bond market fails from the default in american dept. the rich will have nothing more than buckets full of worthless paper money and everyone will have a chance to start over with everybody at the same level of wealth. the very rich , wall street and the conservitives in congress will get a big kick right in the teeth just like the rest of average americans have been putting up with for years.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  274. Tonie from OK

    Yes, we have to pay for all that spending we did in the last 10 years – those tax cuts are not free.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  275. Goya from Califonia

    Of course we should raise the debt ceiling. There is no other option, unless you want increased unemployment, increased homelessness and a potential for anarchy as in Greece. The economy, and environment is at a tipping point where continued withdrawal of money and services will send us into a worse speedy downward spiral.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  276. John

    Are people really serious? NO! The U.S. should NOT raise the debt ceiling... American voters are fed up with the uncontrollable spending spree of Washington and the resulting deficits that come along with it. Yes, in the past most were from Republican presidents, but the past two years have been a nightmare (Obama has spent more $$$ than any other president in their first two years in office).... The U.S. is losing (or has lost) its political and economic power in the world. Look at where we are with oil and gas... The main reason gas prices are soaring is due to the fact that the dollar keeps losing its value. We need to pay off our debt which will result in a stable dollar and keep interests rates in check which will ensure long term prosperity, both economically and politically for the United States. WE, THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES, DEMAND THAT THE DEBT BE PAID OFF ASAP!!!!!!!!

    May 16, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  277. Jeremy D from Michigan

    If they don't vote to raise the debt ceiling, there won't be a country here for them to exploit. The 47% of people apposed to raising the debt ceiling are most likely misinformed, or perhaps confused. Maybe they don't watch the Situation Room? Joking aside, this is a very serious issue and it outranks political chess games.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  278. Robert

    No we shouldn't raise the debt ceiling. At some point America needs to cut spending and not continue to increase the debt. No normal person would buy two houses when they can't even pay for one. This is common sense, but it seems Americans don't want to take cuts that are necessary for the economy to survive. We have lived beyond our means for too long, its time to face the music.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  279. Tom in Illinois

    When your credit card is maxed out your done buying. The United States is maxed out, and now its time to pay up.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  280. Diana Nied

    Unfortunately, raising the debt ceiling is imperative. Republicans AND Democrats need to think about what's best for the country, rather than getting re-elected. Spending cuts are also just as imperative.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  281. Mithilesh Kumar

    Not raising debt limit is not an option untill we have a plan to reduce debt. All the posturing by republicans are purely a political drama.
    Only reply to this posturing is to let Bush tax cuts expire.
    After giving all kinds of tax relief to rich indivisuals and profit making corporations, pressurizing the government to cut back the benefits for those who can not afford it is simply ridiculous.
    Mitt, Latham,New York

    May 16, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  282. Cee, La

    These people who are supposed to be doing the countries business, need to get the lead out and raise the debt limit pronto.....then we need to have a deficit reduction conversation........Maybe we need to have a panel of regular Americans.....those of us who balance our budgets everyday....and are ONLY interested in getting our country back on track......Not politicans .....wouldnt that be refreshing.....

    May 16, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  283. scott

    No they should not raise the debt ceiling. With 800 + bases in 138 countrys we can'nt afford the empire any more. England figured it out after WWII and it time we do to.
    40000 troups in Germany 25000 in Japan.
    The millitary spending is out of control.
    I would like our injured troups to recieve the best care we can provide.
    Bring them home and protect our boarders.;
    The question should be cut Medicare/ Social Security or bring all the troups home.
    A real no brainer there!

    May 16, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  284. FranK Remaro

    Most citizens do not understand what it means to raise the debt ceiling. Nor to they realize if not raised this recession will become a deep and long depression and unemployment will soar. Maybe the media should explain to the uniformed why the debt ceiling should be raised. In essence we need to raise the debit cieling is to pay for what we already have purchased . It's like getting the bill for your restaurant meal but not wanting to pay it. It is not a cut to the current budget but as the future budgets decrease we maybe able to eliminate borrowing to raise to the debit ceiling.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  285. Joan Hall

    Of course the debt ceiling should be raised. Of course spending should be cut. Of course, taxes should be raised on the wealthy and on oil firms. I think the average citizen could figure this out better than the current Congress. No wonder people don't vote. There seems to be a "stupid" virus that infects whoever is elected.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  286. Pat

    I'm not sure I understand what exactly would happen if the debt ceiling wasn't raised but from what I did hear it sounds pretty drastic. So I defiantly think it should be raised.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  287. David Nova Scotia

    Of course not, then there will be no need for anyone to pay taxes or pay their bills. And just think politicians will have to work for free because the USA will be broke. Hello? the interest on now $12.3 Trillion is almost a Trillion a year alone!

    May 16, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  288. mel

    I'm in favor of increasing the debt ceiling. This question is not like the saying,
    "If you don't understand the questioned statute, vote no."

    May 16, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  289. George

    Unfortunately it must be raised. However, both houses of congress and the presidency bear responsibility for the mess we are in. Since the end of WWII our elected representatives have been ringing up new debt on the national charge card. The bill is due! We must cut spending and raise taxes just to stay above water. We must be ruthless in spending cuts as well as tax increases if we ever hope to pay off this enormous debt. The great shame of it is that WE, THE PEOPLE have to foot the bill for our elected representatives 66 year spending spree!

    May 16, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  290. Mike Brannon

    No we should not raise the debt ceiling, raising the debt ceiling hasn't worked in the past and it wont work in the future. We need to reign in the government spending and bring back jobs to the U.S.A.. We have lost a lot of our corporations oversea's where they pay little or no tax's and charge nothing for them to bring the products back into our country. Another big problem I have seen is the amount of complacency people have in this country about what is happening around us. Wake up America we need to take part in the government policies, and educate ourselves so we can Govern our own Government. And that leads me to my final point, education is down, illiteracy is high. We need to invest in our own future of America and make sure over other countries interests that our children get an excellent education , and make college more affordable to everyone who desires to better them self's.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  291. Annie, Atlanta

    Jack, it would have been helpful to include some of the predictions on what would happen to the economy, here and around the world, if Congress doesn't do this. Heck, the fact that the ceiling may not be raised has Wall Street and the Chamber of Commerce freaked out. The media, in general, for some strange reason isn't sharing the information with the public. This is certainly news we could use.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  292. Jim Gomer

    The debt ceiling has to freeze, enough of this nonsense, shutdown all off shore military bases, get out of the war zones, lock down the borders, enforce existing immigration laws, remove special health plans for congress and the senate. I could go on for days. Stop acting like the charity, and revolution sponsor of the world.

    Start referendums on critical government policies!
    Jim

    May 16, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  293. gkcollier

    Jack,

    No, We just sent congress an election mandate: "lower the national debt".. Now I'm looking forward to voting the rest of the career politicians out of office. Maybe CNN and the career politicians will get the message that "non stop spending" and "lack of guts" to make good business decisions will no longer be tolerated. I believe a 100% turnover very four years would be acceptable.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  294. Ron Haddad

    No. How else are creditors going to get an honest evaluation of the government's ability to pay based on sound fiscal policies? How else are we going to save the future of our children? If we continue to fund the addict's credit card, he'll just go out and satisfy his addiction again and again and again.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  295. Jeff, NY

    Yes. There is no other answer. This has never been a partisan issue until now. The risks are too great to even question the alternative.

    But please stop polling the Internet on questions that 95% of the American public do not understand. It's irresponsible. And the response from "Bonnie B in NY" is a perfect example.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  296. Arby

    It must and it will. As for tit for tatting with spending cuts, where better to sharpen our erasers and get started than our "defense" budget, so named. Years from now, we'll wish we had

    May 16, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  297. Richard

    Yes. If they don't, the U.S. will be in more trouble than we already are. When we go default on things it will be hard for anyone to ever get any other money. It happens to individuals and it will hapen to this government. We have to both lower spending and raise taxes.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  298. Ron

    In the short term, it seems obvious that they have to. However, I would like to see it tied to legislation that makes real, absolute, and positive steps towards cutting spending. Both things MUST happen, so why not do them all in one.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  299. George Pinder

    America has found it's in a big hole and its time to stop digging into debt. The US Debt crisis has severe consequence on other economies of the world that are now recovering from the last financial crisis.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  300. Jacqueline Mongeot

    Borrowing more? my instinct says NO- but what do I know except attentively balancing my own check book? No deficit there because I live within my means. Our government has been beyond that since Clinton I suppose. If borrowing means preserving Social Security and Medicare, by all means YES.: return the money taken fron Soc.Sec. over the years to finance something else. Medicare would be fine if closely supervised: example: ONE insert shoe sole to fit the hole of 2 missing toes= $980.00. Yes Sir! and this only one example of abuse I reported to Medicare with no answer .
    We have to pay our debts; collecting funds due to our government because of fraud, unpaid taxes, evasion, loopholes, unjustified subsidies,etc. would help.
    Jacqueline, San Diego. CA

    May 16, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  301. Fred

    No, Jack. they'll just raise it again in 6 months or so. What they really need to do is raise enough revenue to pay the bills that must be paid, cinch the budget belt down to the next notch, demand more bang for the buck in MediCare and MediAid from doctors, hospitals and especially the drug companies that we're overpaying by billions and billions of dollars. Big the troops home from the "war on terrorism" ASAP. Insist that the mega-corps that got all the benefits from those tax breaks invest in America and actually create good paying American jobs from which revenues can be accrued.

    Why not get rid of the Bush era tax cuts that benefit only the upper 1 or 2 percent of Americans? Put us back on the balanced budget that was successful at the end of the turn of the last century.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  302. Judge John R. Stewart

    If the U.S. defaults on the National debt, could our creditors, i.e., Saudi Arabia and other debt holders cash in their bonds? If this was done, would not the U.S. be bankrupt? If we, the U.S. declares bankruptcy would not our courrency become worthless overnight? Would this not have a ripple affect on the world's enconomy? I am not for borrowing more money but it seems we are stuck between a roc k anbd a hard place. I believe Jack Cafferty or some one, tom Friedman should set forth a column on what would happen if we defaulted.

    Judge John R. Stewart

    May 16, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  303. Peter Maier

    When listening to all the experts, it is no surprise; many have no idea what this debt ceiling even means. I wish someone would explain this in simple terms, For example, in the same way the banks tell their costumers how much the can borrow to buy a home. Most banks would allow a debt about 3 to 4 times one’s annual income. So my suggestion is to ask your ‘experts’ to find out how much the federal government earns (collects) a years and then evaluate its debt based on this ‘income’. How much higher as 3 times is it?

    May 16, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  304. vicki countz

    I heard most Americans do not understand the debt enough to make an informed opinion. Everyone needs to get informed. It is our money (taxpayers) being squandered. 40% is discretionary which means not
    necessary. If we don't raise the debt ceiling we have to cut defense spending and government pensions for starters. I say go for it! No more borrowing. No more waste. No more backroom deals. No, no.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
  305. Cy Gardner

    The GOP WANT the economy to fail. The Koch brothers and all the other greedy idealogues who run the Republican party want 25% unemployment, fear, desperation and that ensues. They think the middle class are dirt under their feet and they can't wait to break us. Raise the debty ceiling and then make the rich and the corporations pay taxes or move to China. cy Arlington, VA

    May 16, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  306. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    Yes it should be raised without any strings attached. It's damn funny that the republicans didn't bother to stop spending when they were in control you would think that they were very frugel when they were in control. Nothing but a big joke. I've heard for fifty years that I've been v oting how giving the rich tax breaks will let them hire more workers, this has got to be the biggest ripoff of all time. All they do is stuff it in the bank and draw interest on it.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  307. Saur08

    What is new is increasing debt ceiling. Is there a plan to pay of debt. Irony is US economy is about 15 Trillion and guess what our Debt is 14.3 Trillion. As long as we keep geeting things from China we will be in Debt. This is a problem but our Congress need to take gutsy decision. Increase taxes and start living in your means. Tax import heavily so that you can start producing something here. I just ordered an iPad 2 paid Sales Taxes – thinking I am buying a US product. To my dismay it is being shipped from China. Ha Ha and we talk of Debt Ceiling. Wake up!

    May 16, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  308. Kevin K.

    No, not without a bi-partisan pledge to cut trillions from the budget. We need to eliminate waste, lessen the roll of the federal government, and cut billions in spending from the industrial military complex that doesn't help our national defense.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  309. Joe - Ohio

    Jack, What I find interesting here, is a poll stating 49% of americans are not in favor of raising the debt ceiling while about 80% of these comments are in some form or another in favor of because not doing so would cause great hard ship for all.

    Johnson paid for the Vietnam war by adding 10% to the tax rates which some believed lead to a balance budget. Why didn't Bush II do this since he was so dead set on waging a use less war.

    I never like Raganomics (even Bush I called it Voodoo economics) but I can not for the life of me understand how todays Republicans think. I am not in favor of higher taxes BUT I do not see how we can lower the debt with out an increase in revenue.

    Here is what i would do;
    Remove all subsidies from all industries (Oil, Farm etc) and specifiy those monies be funneled to paying down the debt.

    For now set the tax rates back to the Reagan era – accross the board.

    Close all tax loop holes regardlees

    Remove the cap on Social Security – meaning everyone pays the tax all year.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  310. Alex in Washington,DC

    So if I reach my credit card limit (don't budget appropriately/spend obnoxiously) can I just decide to raise it? No! Credit card companies don't allow it (obviously because that'd be a horrible business decision) and neither should We The People of the United States!

    May 16, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  311. Ryan Groff in Omaha, Ne

    Our government is being treated like a bank. A tree of capitalism. The party of "whats good for me" and "its ok, as long as I get mine first". In the age of bank bailouts, foreign oil wars, and corporate scandals. It has lost its identity as a REPBULIC. Just remember this. If the government ran out of money tomorrow. We would still be a REBPUBLIC.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  312. Dan in Seattle

    Unequivocally YES! If you disagree, I would argue you simply don't understand "what" the debt ceiling reflects.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  313. Lynn

    Of course. the U.S is not a foreclosure! While we're at it, cut fat and fraud from Medicare and HUD.Cut subsidies and , get rid of tax cuts. We can't have a Cadillac country if we don't change the oil , tune the engine aand pay for decent tires.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  314. NickB5 in Portland, OR

    Look we can all argue the finer political points while standing in the bread line. The chickens are finally coming home to roost. For to long we have lived well beyond our means , both as individuals and as a nation. There is no freedom in debt.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  315. Jim R. Gould

    We should not raise our debt ceiling. When we the people find ourselves over extended we have to either raise more money (get a second job) or cut back on our spending until our budget is in balance. The government needs to cut back on its spending. I'm not in favor of giving them more money (increase taxes) look how they mismanaged what we have already given them. They should be jailed for bankrupting the country.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  316. AJ

    Unfortunately yes. Although the personal income analogy is invalid, figure you use your Visa card to buy food. You've just hit your credit limit and it's 3 weeks to payday. Do you raise your credit limit, or just decide not to eat for the next 3 weeks? Raise the ceiling, and work to balance the books so the debt starts to drop. But eat first....

    May 16, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  317. Ken, Ex-Pat in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

    No! Get the money from the pension funds of the Bankers, and the retirement funds of the Congressmen and the Senators instead of going after the retirement funds of the government employees.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:46 pm |