.
Should Congress undo the super committee's automatic spending cuts?
February 1st, 2012
03:00 PM ET

Should Congress undo the super committee's automatic spending cuts?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The U.S. is on a collision course with financial disaster.

The Congressional budget office is out with a grim report suggesting the deficit for 2012 will top $1 trillion for the fourth year in a row.

The CBO also gives a worst-case scenario in which Congress extends all the current Bush-era tax cuts and undoes the super committee's automatic spending cuts. More on that in a minute.

If those two things happen - which is entirely possible in an election year - the U.S. could add another $4.7 trillion to the national debt over the next five years.

Keep in mind we're already $15 trillion in debt. That means we could be looking at a $20 trillion national debt by 2017, and some think even this is a rosy scenario.

Back to the not-so-super committee - remember when the 12 members couldn't come to an agreement on deficit spending cuts? Well that set into motion an automatic $1.2 trillion dollars in cuts.

Not so fast. Congress is busy trying to find a way to undo those spending cuts.

Politico reports that Republicans and a handful of Democrats have vowed to unravel these cuts - which would hit defense and domestic programs equally next January.

There are currently several measures floating around Capitol Hill aimed at doing just that.

President Obama has said he will veto any measure to override the automatic spending cuts unless Congress can give him a "balanced" plan to cut the deficit.

It's really quite sad. Our children's future is being thrown in the garbage so the Washington politicians can continue to steal the public's money. And no one seems too interested in stopping the madness - at least not during an election year. Re-election always Trumps the general welfare these days.

Here’s my question to you: Should Congress undo the super committee's automatic spending cuts?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Mark in New Jersey:
Yes, Jack. They should continue to strive to complete their perfect record of accomplishing absolutely nothing. Seriously, if the military budget is cut as a result of the super committee, we might damage our position of having a larger military budget than all of the countries in the rest of the world combined, along with probably the one with the most fraud and abuse, cost overruns and waste as well.

Russ:
Does it really matter? The only thing government pretends to cut are projections not actual spending.

Jenny in Nanuet, New York:
No. The automatic spending cuts were put in place to try to force Congress to pass legislation and they failed to do so. They can't just undo those cuts. They knew the circumstances.

Rick in Overland Park, Kansas:
No! And when you say, "No one is willing to talk about it"… have you heard Ron Paul or Mitch Daniels? The only people not talking about it are Obama and his administration! Where's Harry Reid? Where's Nancy Pelosi? Where was the president on this subject during the State of the Union?

Pete in Florida:
Of course not, but they will - while each party points its fingers at the other for their incredible dishonesty, incompetence and lack of character. What a charade! Meanwhile, come November the typically ignorant and gullible voters will denounce Congress while voting their own incumbents back into office.

Posted by
Filed under: Congress • Congressional Spending
soundoff (118 Responses)
  1. Karl in Silverton ID

    In a word...Yes

    February 1, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
  2. JD in NH

    Yes. We do not go to the polls and vote for a handful of representatives to decide our fate. Every Senator and Congressperson needs to be able to weigh in on every issue.

    February 1, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
  3. David in Mississippi

    Spending cuts, increases in taxes, what does it really matter. In all honesty nothing is going to balance the books. In the future all debt will have to be forgiven and from that will come a new economic system where the world provides necessities to the people in order for the human race to survive. The earth is getting tired of us and the challenge will be to hang on long enough to adapt to future conditions.

    February 1, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
  4. Russ in PA

    Congress should stand behind Ron Paul as President so that we can get an adult to set the spending and foreign affairs priorities in Washington. Congress should also pass Ron Paul's bill to allow competing currencies and to allow the use of gold/silver coins without taxation, so that we can put an end to the Federal Reserver and the immoral fiat money system that is currently enriching those at the top at the expense of all the rest of us.

    Ron Paul in 2012...

    February 1, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
  5. Jk from Minnesota

    The only way they should is if they reach a bipartisan solution on spending cuts AND Revenue increases for those making more than $1 million (at a minimum – increase that ridiculously low tax rate the hedge funds and the Bain Capital types are paying) that will pass both houses and be signed into law by the President. It's high time Congress actually work for the voters that elect them rather than their lobbyists who fund there campaigns. Time to act like responsible adult representives, Congress!

    February 1, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  6. Doug Ericson

    Congress should keep the automatic spending cuts and cut an additional 20 % from the budget evenly across the board. Congress should continue cut 20% of the budget every following year, untill the National debt is paid off. Doug, Pepperell, MA.

    February 1, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
  7. Mack from Michigan

    Absolutely not! The super committee and the automatic spending cuts were the can they kicked down the road to avoid doing their dang job last budget bill! They should be forced to "explain the pain" of these spending cuts and why they still cant conduct America"s business in a bi-partisian way to do what's right for the people and the country!

    February 1, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
  8. Ken from Pinon Hills, California

    Spending cuts means jobs, and less jobs means less consuming,and that means less income for big and small businesses. That should fire up the business lobby on K St. and put a flame under the seats of our Congressional representatives, and have them do some undoing. Isn't that the way it works lately?

    February 1, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
  9. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    What Congress should do is their job. They should stop playing politics sit down and work together, compromise and get us out of this mess. The only reason we have a Super Committee is because a lot of these idiots made a pledge to one man not to raise taxes. Instead they should have made a pledge to the American people that they will work together come up with a solution that everyone can live with.

    February 1, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  10. Kevin SD CA

    WHAT?

    The whole government budget should be cut!

    What I want to know is when the IRS is going to collect the Billion Dollars that Government Employees, and Officials owe us!

    February 1, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
  11. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, VA

    The Supercommittee did not impose the automatic spending cuts. These were part of the deal to get the Super Committee to act – however the Norquist pledge to not raise taxes proved stronger than sequestration. The impact of spending cuts in any one year is not enough to hurt the economy and frankly the defense cuts are modest considering our lack of competition on the world stage. Eventually, the pressure to compromise on a tax deal will be stronger than the pledge not to raise taxes, provided Obama signals a willingness to let all the tax cuts expire. Sequestration is simply not enough of an incentive to get the Democrats to let taxes on the rich stay at their current low levels.

    February 1, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
  12. Pete from Florida

    Of course not.....but they will, while each party points their fingers at the other for their incredible dishonesty, incompetence and lack of character. What a charade! Meanwhile, come November the typically ignorant and gullible voters will denounce Congress while voting their own uncumbents back into office.

    February 1, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
  13. Gary H. Boyd

    What cuts Jack? I thought they went out of business without making any.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    February 1, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
  14. Kim , Dodge City, Ks

    Ya know, that's what's handy about being able to make up the rules as you go. Was anybody out there in America really naive enough to think that these guys weren't lying through their teeth the whole time? Whether the "triggered" cuts are good or not, it's time Congress took their medicine.

    February 1, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
  15. CRAIG R. MCNEES

    tampa, fl what we voters should by now understand is the plain fact that everyone in Congress has to be removed and replaced with people that actually have a clue. taking out the ones that have caused the problem will lead to the solution.

    February 1, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  16. Bill of New Mexico

    No! Congress should not undo the super committee's automatic spending cuts.

    Congress should double the amount of the cuts.

    The debt is a target on America's back waiting for a problem to take aim.

    This time of vunerability must be kept at a minimum.

    February 1, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
  17. Andre R. Newcomb

    Seems as though an automatic (that Congress will 'only' 'advice & consent'). Congress is Congress. It all seems so academic. When need arises - The Congress IS authority. You just can't wait for the next fiscal installment. It's kind of a distinguishing quality that seperates "law" from law-abiding peoples. We know that the numbers just don't add up . . . but hurricanes, earthquakes, civil unrest, foreign intrigue, greedy predators, etc. just don't wait for calendars before they do their deeds. Formulas AND domestic tranquility & common defense just don't operate on the same wave-lengths.

    February 1, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
  18. Loren

    Should or will? Remember this is Congress you're talking about, and when it comes to spending money without control, nobody does it like Congress.

    February 1, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
  19. Mark from New Jersey

    Yes, Jack. They should continue to strive to complete their perfect record of accomplishing absolutely nothing, except for the varied and ingenious ways they have taken away rights and freedoms from women. Seriously, if the military budget is cut as a result of the Super Committee, we might damage our position of having a larger military budget than all of the countries in the rest of the world combined, along with probably th one with the most fraud and abuse, cost overruns and waste as well. Wouldn't want to disturb those job creators, though.

    February 1, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
  20. Richard Oak Harbor, Wa

    Romney has said that as President he would use the money from super committee cuts to upgrade the military.

    Growing tensions with Iran may make that a necessity regardless of who's in the White House.

    Across the board budget cuts would affect military readiness.

    Congress might rethink military budget cuts.

    February 1, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  21. Brad, Portland, OR

    No. They should only undo those cuts if they can come up with an equal or better mix of revenue increases and cuts that a majority of the House and two thirds of the Senate (the new definition of "majority"🙂 approve of.

    Undoing those cuts without a replacement just means that nothing will be done about the deficit.

    February 1, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  22. mike halter

    No Jack" They made their bed and now it's time to lie in it.

    Mike Largo Florida

    February 1, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
  23. David in Tampa

    Not on your life Jack. If these clowns need motivation this should be part of the package. Part 2 of motivation should come on the first Tuesday in November when , hopefully, most should be replaced and all of them thrown in prison starting with the leadership of both parties. I don't care if you are a conservative or liberal you are not there to be a good party boy or girl. You are there to make GOOD LAWS to govern, not rule, this nation.

    February 1, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
  24. David R Bebeau,Springfield Missouri

    Jack,I knew this question was coming soon.I am so frustrated with these bafoons who can not manage money ""the
    people's money"" NO AND NO AND NO They should sit in the mess they made.It seems like every mess they make all the lies they tell.................there is always an easy way out of their responsibility.And the fact that they are spending someone eleses money who cares.....................belly up to the bar boys its all on the American people.
    How truly shallow,Jack
    David

    February 1, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
  25. Pete in Georgia

    This whole thing about a "Super Committee" is asinine beyond words and is so typical of this "Big Government Solves All" administration mentality.
    You have to laugh to keep from crying.
    Really.

    February 1, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
  26. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    No. The automatic spending cuts were put in place to try to force Congress to pass legislation and they failed to do so. They can't just undo those cuts. They knew the circumstances. They can't "undo" them.

    February 1, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
  27. Dan in Albuquerque

    No, they shouldn't. The Republicans caused this problem by backing out on the 4-billion dollar agreement between Obama and Boehner. Let them clean it up by reestoring the taxes Bush cut and taxing rich people and big corporations as they deserve.plus cut loopholes. Only revenue can pay off debt, because tax cuts didn't create jobs.
    Tell Norquist an the Tea Party to take a flying leap.

    February 1, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
  28. Steve, Clifton, Virginia

    The Super Committee's automatic spending cuts should be undone only if Congress crafts and passes legislation which cannot be reversed that ensures that the temporary Bush tax cuts are in fact temporary and allowed to expire as currently scheduled and the current tax code be revamped and modified to reflect the economic reality of the country today. If Congress can't agree on and enact these two "No Brain-er" legislative solutions, then the Super Committee's cuts should be allowed to take effect as prescribed.

    February 1, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
  29. Mitoosense Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    The 112th Congress doesn't know what to do. They also don't what not to do. They don't know....thats why the do nothing..

    February 1, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
  30. Jim

    Jack,

    "Our children's future is being thrown in the garbage so the Washington politicians can continue to steal the public's money." Jeez, guy, you're sounding more and more like Newt.

    As to your question, no, Congress should NOT undo the automatic spending cuts. Serious spending cuts are going to hurt no matter which direction they come from. Congress SHOULD, however, be forced to explain why this path to spending cuts is the only one they are capable of traveling.

    Jim
    Reno, Nevada

    February 1, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
  31. tom bulger, Canandaigua, NY

    No. You say, "... no one seems too interested in stopping the madness." I have it from a very credible news source that, "President Obama has said he will veto any measure to override the automatic spending cuts unless Congress can give him a "balanced" plan to cut the deficit." (Should Congress Undo The Super Committee's Spending Cuts, Jack Cafferty, 2/1/2012, The Situation Room, CNN) The president has been a grown up from the start.

    February 1, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
  32. Don in Saint Louis

    My answer is no. My realization is that my answer doesn't matter.

    February 1, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
  33. Pete from Florida

    Here's the REALLY sad part of all this – the voters have the absolute ability every two years to end this madness once and for all.....but they never do. The politicians turn on their charm and their spin machines, spout nonsense, and fool the average voter into returning to office the very people that have helped create and perpetuate our problems. The politicians will NEVER address and fix these problems – only the voters can, and they're too gullible, ignorant and partisan to do the one thing that would help – vote out ALL incumbents.

    February 1, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
  34. bonnie from NJ

    I am confused as to how Congress can understand the word "undo", because they obviously have no understanding of the word "do." And although I do not want my ss and medicare messed with (I am 11 years away), no I don't think they should undo it. If these automatic cuts go through I believe it will anger all of us out here enough that we will finally vote to throw out all the incumbents regardless of party.

    February 1, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
  35. Peter

    Congress is already on paper thin ice. IF the congress undoes the cuts then the citizens must do one of two things
    Do not re-elect any member of Congress
    Riot so hard it would make "occupy wall street" look like a picnic.

    February 1, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
  36. Randy

    Yes, we can't cut the military budget at the same time Israel wants us to carry out another war on their behalf. But I guarantee they'll find a way to keep the cuts for social security and Medicare/aid.

    February 1, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
  37. Mr D

    Ah, election year. What a fun time, especially when the country is going deeper in the hole. Isn't it a cardinal rule, however, that "thou shall not tax the masses during an election year?"

    February 1, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
  38. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio

    Yes spending should be drastically cut and congress undone.

    February 1, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
  39. Ed from California

    With close to twenty million Americans out-of-work and more and more being added to the unemployment figures everyday. Do you really think it matters. With Willard thinking working at Best Buy is a good middle-class job. With no help at all coming from the White House. Going into debt is going to be a given with no income coming in to the treasury from the poor......the middle-class.

    February 1, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
  40. Ken - Kingsport, TN

    No, Jack they should absolutely not undo the automatic spending cuts. These PLUTOCRATIC crooks have just about destroyed this country and they need to all be fired. They spend what little bit of time working at undercutting the other party. Most of the time, they are in re-election mode and just walk in the bills that their pay-masters from K-Street give to them. Term limits isn't good enough for this crowd, they all need to be strung up on the Mall and left there to rot as a warning for future wannabe crooks....er, excuse me, political representatives.

    February 1, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  41. Bob in Kansas City

    Yes, undo the super committee cuts then implement Simpson Bowles, cut every single cent in their recommendation.

    February 1, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
  42. andy Lynn, MA

    When a person is elected to either the House or the Senate it is a ticket to perpetual employment and riches. Members of both parties in both houses stop relating to reality, their constituents and work entirely to enrich themselves. Our congress will sell their vote to the biggest contributor. Once again Jack, what is the argument against term limits?

    February 1, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  43. Jenna Roseville CA

    Should Congress undo the super committee's automatic spending cuts?

    Did we all forget how we got there.. The GOP has ruined our economy since Reagan, GW gave tax breaks to the wealthy 1% who didn't need them, GW didn't add the unfunded tax breaks to the wealthy or the unfunded Medicare Part D, or the unfunded wars in Afghanstan and unfunded war in Iraq on the books and shazam we now have 15 TRILLION in debt. The GOP refused to work with the Democrats on a balanced budget heck they refused to work with the Democrat on anything. The most fillabusters in American history all brought to us by the GOP.

    Only now you are belly aching that our children's future is being thrown in the garbage so the Washington politicians can continue to steal the public's money. Where were you when GW and the GOP was spending us into oblivion?? Where were you when we lost MILLIONS of jobs under GW??

    Seems to me that the GOP better wake up and fast before they further bankrupt our nation.

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    February 1, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  44. Rick McDaniel

    Yes. The President rigged that deal, up front, to begin with. The Congress should acknowledge the rigged deal, and set it aside.

    The outrageous spending has to be reined in, and the SOTU speech was all about major new spending initiatives, which will simply bankrupt us.

    February 1, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  45. Russ in LA

    Does it really matter? The only thing government PRETENDS to cut are projections not actual spending.

    February 1, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  46. Paulette from Dallas,PA

    I think this Super Committee was a poor decision on the President's part in the first place. But, I say let the automatic cuts take effect. Congress had enough time to come up with solutions and were only dilly dallying around. The cuts are not to be used as a ploitical football. Let the cuts take place and maybe Congress will realize it's time to get serious and get down to business. Hopefully the electorate will vote out some of this free loading dead weight and elect some new blood who are willing to do the job they were sent to Washington to do.

    February 1, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  47. Michael, from Smiths, Alabama

    The President needs to take matters into his own hands. The super-committee proved that it wasn't 'up to the task' of getting the job done, and hence it lost its 'super' label. The president should meet with the finance secretaries, look at every program, office, and service that has been getting money from the Fed and not done anything productive with it, and 86 them. Republicans claim that Democrats do alot of 'pork spending' yet they've been more responsible for the excess 'pork'. It's time that pork got cooked.

    February 1, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  48. Joyce Grissom, Marshall, TX

    No. The cuts should go forward. It's time something is dome that addresses how our tax dollars are enriching the military industrial complex. It's time the do nothing Congress got a back bone. Th GOP wants to continue corporate and 1% welfare while disproportionately taking away from the average working man and woman. Let the cuts fall, cut oil subsidies, stop building and buying military equipment we don't need. Get out of the war mongering. Invest in the US instead of special interest and the rich. CUT CUT CUT

    February 1, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  49. Nurse Lisa in Shelton CT

    No it would be detriMENTAL politics as usual – make it look like Obama failed because the deficit rises when it is simply because the rich don’t want to pay their fare share of taxes because it helps the poor. Trickle down failed – the money has been squirreled offshore to protect it; corporate greed and the wealth gap were allowed to grow unfettered.

    February 1, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  50. Cliff Glass - Rego Park, New York

    Jack,

    The super committee is a weak compromise , but it's the only fiscal discipline available. What we really need is Congressional pay for performance where members receive diminished benefits and pay – think einsurance.com for health coverage and a red state average minimum wage, until targets for employment and budget reduction are met. It's time to make accountability in our nation's capital more than just a dream.

    February 1, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  51. Chris from Mississippi

    The House of Representatives should be renamed the House of Procrastinators.

    February 1, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  52. Dan from Stewartstown PA

    No way. It's about time Congress is hoist on their own conundrum. Do they piss of the lobbiests, "consultants" and "job creators" who contribute to their super PACs by cutting fat, or do they piss off their voting constituents by cutting benefits and productive jobs, then face the prospect of not being reelected? If any of my Senators or Congressmen vote to undo the cuts, I know for whom I'll not vote.

    February 1, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  53. Chris from Mississippi

    Automatic cuts was just a way to give themselves more time to work around the gridlock in Washington. Neither party is going to be ready to make a move until the election season is over. Since they have until January of next year, a plan will likely be put in place in December, which will avoid the automatic cuts.

    February 1, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  54. RickFromDetroit

    Congress should address the real problems with the economy and this is the 49 million at poverty and the 97 million low income individuals in this country. Massive tax cuts to address these two groups were initiated, but these are no longer working since 47% of the country is not paying any income tax. This means that the tax cuts are benefiting the parts of the economy that does not need the tax cuts. [I.E. the millionaires & billionaires send the tax cuts to wall street when we need the money circulating through the economy]

    These low income areas which account for 45% of the consumers are the reason that consumer spending is anemic and this is dragging the economy down. If you think that these people should pay their "fair share" of taxes, you are dead wrong. Increasing taxes for the poverty & low income individuals will further reduce consumer spending. Tax cuts for these individuals were intended to do the opposite, that is to "increase consumer spending."

    The more Congress cuts from the economy, the more job losses we will see and this will result in less tax revenues collected and less consumer spending to stimulate the sluggish economy. The current Bush Tax Cuts are only benefiting people who don't need them and we would be better of if we let all of the Bush Tax Cuts expire and use the surplus tax revenues generated to issue monthly stimulus checks to the 47% of the individuals who are not paying any income taxes. This would increase "consumer spending" which accounts for 70% of the U.S. economy!

    One of the most effective parts of the ARRA Stimulus package was the $500 dollar rebate check that many Americans received in 2009. This gave consumers money to spend and slowed the economic collapse, but the stimulus was short lived and Congress "botched" it up by giving individuals earning $175,000 a year the full $500 while they gave the anemic Social Security Recipients $250.

    It seems that the government is consistent at getting everything backwards, or as they say, we need to give tax cuts to the "job creators" but the "job creators" need some "consumers" with some money to purchase their products.

    February 1, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  55. Jane in CA

    First off, taxation to support our government and its policies is not theft. It is the cost of living in civilization, as opposed to anarchy or living as a hermit in the middle of nowhere. If you don't like the policies of your government, elect representatives to change them. If the majority of people agree with you, you will effect a change. If not, either accept it, keep trying to persuade others to your way of thinking, or find someplace that is more in keeping with your ideas.

    Second, of course they should undo all the cuts I oppose and keep in place the ones I approve of. Again, making certain that your representative knows how you feel may help. It may not.

    Third, debt is money that has already been spent. Only the taxes to pay for it have been deferred. If the programs to be cut are actually needed, pay for them already. If not, eliminating them permanently is a good thing.

    Fourth, if you think that #3 will happen anytime this century – think again

    February 1, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  56. Sandstone.

    "Congress I believe is controled by more GOP than the Obama regime?? Why would anyone put so much as a dime in Obama's Piggy-Bank?? "

    February 1, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  57. Pete/Ark

    Sure Jack, and then they can take the Presidents challenge and openly vote each budget item up or down with no riders or amendments. Sure, if they've got the guts. Oops...I forgot who I was talking about...sorry.

    February 1, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  58. John Lake Charles, LA

    Let the cuts stand. It's ridiculous for Congress to agree on something they new was going to happen and then decide they don't want it to happen (which they have been saying all along). This soap opera in Washington has got to stop.

    February 1, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  59. rex in portland, oregon

    Of course congrefs should undo the so-called "super"committee's idiocy. It will not, however, Jack, because most of this congrefs are the same assholes that got us into this financial mess. If you can find, isolate, and execute those who profit from the current state of affairs the remaining one or two congrefsmen/women might be able to start legislation which will begin chipping away at the debt. Use your pulpit and your influence to ensure that the people that got us into this debt are NOT the ones elected to get us out.

    Absolutely nothing will be done until the next congrefs is seated, and unless there is a massive awakening of the common folks who have been lulled to sleep by the constant praises of unfettered capitalism the next congrefs will ALSO promulgate getting the rich richer – at the expense of the nation if necessary.

    February 1, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  60. Richard Texas

    Jack the super duper committee is a joke. If the government wants money they will take it form somewhere. They always do. It does not mater how many promises the government makes because they can not be trusted to follow through with those promises. Keep in mind that these people in congress are why we are broke today. Trusting these people to fix what they themselves caused is a fools errand. That is like standing in a bucket and trying to lift yourself up by the handle. A futile effort at best.

    February 1, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  61. Ed in California

    I think that from the start the bi-partisan commitment was just a smoke screen. The real plan was to get right up to the brink of drastic cuts which hurt many people so the we will be so scared that the debt limit gets increased with NO spending reform. That plan then was the same as the plan is now...it's called FEAR!

    February 1, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  62. Jeff In Minnesota

    How about we implement Simpson-Bowles and forget about the so-called "Super Committee" auto-cuts. Those cuts were bogus to begin with as was the committee. There was nothing "Super" about either.

    February 1, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  63. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Hitting bottom is a terrible experience but until we get to the point that we are unwilling to lose any more then we'll be doing what Einstein said, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results". We either start cutting spending and eliminate the Bush tax cuts for all or we'll hit a real bottom of biblical proportions and it will not be pretty.

    February 1, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  64. curtis in philadelphia

    Not this congress, they've proven to be a bunch of certifiable morons.

    February 1, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  65. Nancy, Cunningham, TN

    The automatic spending cuts were a bad idea to being with. If they couldn't agree on these cuts in the House or Senate, they shouldn't be just rammed through because a Super Committee was a disaster. Both houses need to go back to the table and decide how much and what should be cut and vote on it.

    February 1, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  66. ken, atlantic city, nj

    No, they should make more cuts. 16 trillion in debt and climbing everyday demands it. End the bush tax cuts for everyone, stop extending unemployment benefits, eliminate tax breaks for all businesses that outsource jobs, and add an import tax for products not made in the u.s.

    February 1, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  67. Charles - San Antonio

    Absolutely no! Congress should do there job. We should lock them in a room and not let them out until the budget is balanced. This problem can still be fixed, but it requires that terrible word – COMPROMISE. Everybody needs to give a little and solve this problem.

    February 1, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
  68. Conor in Chicago

    The $800 pound gorilla in the room that no one, especially Republicans, want to come to terms with, is that fact that what the US was about for the last 200 years is over, and it is time to deal with this and move forward. In the past there was never a need for "Central Planning" common in almost every other nation on Earth. Whether it be the Soviet Union, France, Canada, whatever, governments in most other countries have some sort of power to direct the course of business and taxation to benefit the nation. The US traditionally has not required this because there has always been a new market, a territory, and new resource, to make up for this lack of planning. In a way that was always the true "trickle-down" economics. All of that is gone now. All of it. There is no new land to explore. There is no new resource to exploit. We now live in a time that demands maintenance of our standard of living and keeping what we have. You can not do that when you have a private sector that finds it advantageous and profitable to work AGAINST the long term stability of its host nation. Budget cuts don't mean anything when Apple employs Chinese slave labors instead of a union in Washington state. Raising taxes doesn't mean anything if lobbyists purchase politicians to allow offshoring to continue. ETc.

    February 1, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  69. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    I'm not so sure I understand what the word "cut" spending means to Washington, it's sounds more like a sound bite being used by both political parties as a scoring board. I think the word "abolish" spending would force Washington to react differently.

    February 1, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
  70. Paul - North Carolina

    Absolutely. But then they should replace them with a rational, well thought out package of cuts which kick in only when GDP growth reaches specified levels. In other words, never cut federal spending in a recession. As for the Bush tax cuts, extending them is fiscal suicide. If the tea-for-brains right wing radicals can't understand that reducing the deficit requires both spending cuts and tax increases then they should be removed from office en masse. These same morons believe we need a balanced budget amendment. What we really need is an amendment requiring that members of Congress have passed high school economics.

    February 1, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
  71. Larry in Pasadena, Ca.

    Hell no, Jack! Are you kidding? They should be increased, especially where Republican pork barrel spending is concerned! The GOP is suffering from a level of narcissism the likes of which the American people have never witnessed in history. The inability of the Republicans to acknowledge that the Bush administration had anything to do with our deficit situation is at a near-psychotic level. They are so focused on getting Obama out of office that they will blame him for anything, no matter how much evidence points at past Republican policies. They still have so many hands in the budgetary cookie jar that they now seem to be trapped like rats, and will say and do anything to place the blame on Obama. If the Republicans want to do something about the deficit, they need to take a shovel to their own policies. A big one!

    February 1, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
  72. Gigi Oregon

    What would are debt have been if the tax cuts for the wealthy had never been given. It blows my mind that Pres. Bush went to war with no money up front and gave the wealthy a break with lower taxes. How do they expect to win an election with this record of how unfair the Republican regime works. It would be great if Congress could undo all the financial mistakes the Bush years made. I'm in no mood to trust anything the Republicans do. Especially since they have sat on their hands for the past three years to make President Obama a one term President. The best thing that could be done is to sell pay off "Bush debt bonds" and see if any Republican wants to invest...Maybe Gingrich and Romney would want to invest their millions to prove their faith in the Party.

    February 1, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
  73. Jerry in Alaska

    The way i see it Jack is no matter which way we go the OBAMANATION OF DESOLATION will complete his FUNDAMENTAL HOPE & CHANGE TO BELIEVE IN, which is all ment to DESTROY AMERICA.
    But its all Bush's fault that his cousin Barack has spent almost $5 Trillion in just THREE YEARS when it took Bush 8 years to spend that much.

    Personally i don't think America can take much more of this GR8 Hope & Change to Beleive in thingy, and survive the Chosen Ones Dream Act for a One World Order.

    February 1, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
  74. Gigi Oregon

    P.S. By the way whats Congress's approval rating today. LOL

    February 1, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
  75. Janis Keefe

    No, no,no, no, no no

    February 1, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
  76. vicky

    Cut the wars.

    February 1, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
  77. Karl in Flint

    Congress was unable to agree on a plan so they agreed to let a select group do their job. That group was another total failure and waste of time. As for your question: Congress, do your job, repeal the cuts for now and TRY to get an agreement going or hopefully after November, the GOP won't be in control of anything and we as a nation can move on.

    February 1, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
  78. Gail, Plano TX.

    Solution: Cut all federal employees salaries in half, including the President. Now that's a good idea, Jack. Let's see how long they stay in their cushy jobs before bailing!
    Let the Bush tax cuts expire.

    U may say it's a drop
    in the bucket. However, Rome wasn't built in a day! U have to start somewhere!

    February 1, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  79. Nathan L

    Why is Obama blamed for all the increased spending when he is actually holding the Senators to these cuts and beyond that sees the Wisdom in removing the bolus that is the Bush-era Tax Cuts. That sounds very conservative in practice and also financially sensible. I hope he backs his word and veto's any of these attempts to circumvent the cuts.

    February 1, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  80. Ed in Los Angeles

    Absolutely NOT! The entire point of the automatic cuts is that there is a "sting" attached to the failure of leadership and bipartisan cooperation in Congress. If they weasel their way out of this, it only further demonstrates everything the American people hate about this Congress right now: the inability to work together and/OR get anything done.

    February 1, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  81. Bill, MA

    congress shall pass bills to become law. this deal was signed into law by the president and should NOT be broken. unless they wish to be thrown in jail? a budget is a bill and once voted to pass and signed by the president is a law. congress cant seem to do its job. they therefore should be fired!!

    February 1, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  82. Joe in Massachusetts

    Jack, Absolutely NOT... they had their chance. They made their bed, let them sleep in it !!

    February 1, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  83. Paul in Toronto

    Might as well Jack. America is in over its head, and all the promises of budget balance by hopeful presidential candidates are nonsense. There is no way you can repay your debt and Al Qaeda has won the wars you spent all that money on. Your empire is in decline. You have George W. Bush to thank.

    February 1, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  84. Jim, Denver CO

    Jack,
    Sure they can undo the cuts. As soon as they all disavow that stupid pledge and throw Grover Norquist in jail. Of course I'm just day dreaming.

    February 1, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  85. Jerry

    That should not even be your question. Your question should be is this, Why won't the extreme radical left from Obama on down stop spending, Are they seriously trying to bankrupt America on purpose? Jerry Iowa

    February 1, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  86. Lee

    They should double the automatic cuts in place by taking another trillion out of the Congressional salaries and other legislative benefits and perks. Let Congress feel real pain.

    February 1, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  87. Brad in Brooklyn

    They shouldn't touch the cuts at all, Jack, but they will. I guess they're trying to show that, while they can't get anything done, they can at least get something undone. Twisted logic at best.

    February 1, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  88. Rick Overland Park

    No! And when you say, "No one is willing to talk about it, have you HEARD Ron Paul or Mitch Daniels???" The only people not talking about it are Obama and his administration!!! Where's Harry Reid? Where's Nancy Pelosi??? Where was the President during the State of the Union! Think Eric Cantor hasn't had anything to say about the deficit? Come on, Jack!

    February 1, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  89. candace

    It doesn't matter, Jack. An economic "missile" has been launched and there's no dodging it or stopping it. You said in 4 years our debt will have grown another 4+ trillion. That's actually a modest estimate. I believe the U.S. will default on their debt in 4+ years. The clock is ticking. And I bet this won't be read out loud on CNN...it's too sobering and too real. Prove me wrong, please.

    February 1, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  90. Chuck South Carolina

    No, the people should undo Congress and demand term limits. It is long overdue. Until we term limit Congress and enact real campaign finance reform we will talking about solving the same problems every election cycle. Wake up America!

    February 1, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  91. Vince Hugh in Atlanta

    Jack, Republicans have been trying to make huge major spending cuts and the Democrats have blocked it. You've seen the talk of closing down the govt to get the cuts....always the Republicans get the blame when in fact they are the ones trying to get our budget in order. If the media would give both sides of the story then Democrats would be forced to agree to the Republican spending cut proposals.

    February 1, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  92. DocNY

    Jack,

    Why not mention that Ron Paul is the only one that is trying to actually talk about the debt the overriding problem that is facing this country. He's often misstated being as being an isolationist when in fact hes non-interventionist. Hes got military endorsements of this and support for his ideas which is not ever talked about. Closing even half of our 900 bases overseas would save our nation billions. We need drastic solutions to solve these drastic problems

    February 1, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  93. Sir Jack

    No. That mechanical tax cutting device was put together to give the politicians cover for making cuts
    that, although nessisary are also ones the people dont like when they realize it effects them personally.

    To get rid of the ultimatum means, that it was all just a waste of time, and the politicians, all of them are too afraid to face the challenges of what must be done.

    February 1, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  94. Dan Bednarik

    Congress should not be allowed to override anything until they can demonstrate competence themselves.

    Dan in Highland, Maryland

    February 1, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  95. Dave from Altoona, PA

    I wonder how much we would save if we cut ALL Federal spending in those districts and states that elected Tea PArty candidates. No roads, no schools, no TSA, no FBI, no air traffic controllers, no military bases..the list is endless. They elected those idiots; let's see what happens when they get what they asked for.

    February 1, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  96. Yuri from florida

    So let me get this right Jack: First they go on a financial spending spree and give us a 15 trillion dollar headache. At some point someone slaps them on the nose and tells them to figure out how to bring our debt down while increasing spending limit. In the end supercommittee fails and congres that got us into this mess in the first place is now figuring out how to weazel out of any accountability. But come to think of it... millions, billions, trillions, gazillions... does congress have any idea how to quantify large sums of money anymore?

    February 1, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  97. Chery, West Palm Beach Fl

    Jack, I do not think that it matters, why don't you ask a question that really matters? You're talking about a do-nothing congress, Jack, people who screw around all day and still collect a pay check. They do not care about our nation debt anymore than you care about me writing this comment. C'mon Jack, get real, please talk about everything but congress!

    February 1, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  98. Doug in Oregon

    Why is the republican controlled house trying to undo the cuts? Aren't they all about cutting government spending? This should thrill them. Perhaps it is the fact that the cuts are not focused on the programs that conservatives want to cut. To say on one hand that we desperately need to cut the deficit on one hand and then try to undo the automatic cuts that are scheduled is hypocrisy at it's finest.
    One more example of a GOP controlled house that can't get it's house in order.

    February 1, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  99. jules pardo from Oceanside NY

    Absolutely not! For three reasons , first, let the Tea Party'ers in the house think twice before they take the country to the brink again and second, deficit reduction is painful but a necessity and both sides give in here and third, as ugly as it is, unfortunately its the only way its going to get done.
    Let is happen as a lesson to both sides.
    Jules
    Oceanside , NY

    February 1, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  100. Dennis Frederick MD

    No, absolutely not!!

    February 1, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  101. Chris

    I think we could have known that the cuts would be undermined, the country is ending as we know it, and that they were nothing more that sound bites for the networks. Congress is a complete failure, without pricipal or focus on Americanism, and we have only one course available as voters: we must vote-out every incumbant as we are able and start fresh with people who are pledged to help the country vice help themselves. Lets start with Reed and Pelosi and Boehner and Cantor.

    February 1, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  102. David -Sandwich, MA

    These idiots got our country into this mess, and they talk about cuts to the budget, but not their special projects and areas. They only care about staying in office and making money for their "special friends" – they're all crooks. They don't see that if they don't fix it our money will be worth less and there will be no country to govern – can you say 3rd world country. Let the cuts go through.

    February 1, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  103. marcy from margate, florida

    Honestly Jack, I am sick of all this deficit. It seems at least once a month there is a debt crisis.
    I would like to see the American Government go BANKRUPT and start anew..
    Had America not spent trillions of dollars on WARS for 10 years, doing nation building in the
    Middle East instead of worrying about the problems in America, we would have beeb better
    off. America did not win any hearts and minds in the Middle East, what we did was turn
    those people against us. We give tax cuts to the rich, better known as the job creators,
    yet I see no jobs. We need to tax the rich, tax religious organizations, get rid of the debt
    and stop all this garbage.

    February 1, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  104. Seth M

    Jack It's just another smoke screen for the voters. What is really happening behind the curtain?.....Nothing, just another bad magic trick never once did my fingers leave my hand. Do nothing and blame it on the President. Do nothing and blame it on a do nothing congress. I have an idea do something that would be a new concept. Will America ever see representation that cares more about their constiuants than their reelection. huh don't be naive.

    February 1, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  105. Robert, NC

    Instead of getting rid of them, how about modifying them to satisfy the needs of America as a whole...nothing is ever so simple or perfect but it will waste more time trying to get rid of it or replacing it.

    February 1, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  106. Jack Rowland

    I think we ought to hire The Dog(bounty hunter) and anyone in congress who recommends anyway of increasing spending....sick the DOG on them for a good butt whipping!!!!!!!!

    February 1, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  107. jim

    Sedona,AZ
    They shouldn't undo the automatic cuts.........but they will. Republicans cutting the Military/Industrial complex? No way!!

    February 1, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  108. Jeff in NC

    Sound like we need to play a Mexican game of putt putt...just one more revolution.

    February 1, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  109. Annie, Atlanta

    No. They should have taken it a step further and cut their salaries in half, all of congress that is, at least, and taken away their benefits. They're worthless. I've never seen such a bunch of useless overpaid people, complaining about welfare queens and the unemployed, when they do nothing NOTHING but name federal buildings and throw temper tantrums in front of whatever camera they can find, while we pay them almost $200,000 a year plus perks.

    February 1, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
  110. Mike Wiggins

    Absolutely not! What kind of message are we sending to the world and to our own citizens if we try to break any piece of legislation that Congress doesn't like? All it does is show that we truly aren't serious about lowering our deficit. And now there are some who think we should invade Iran???? The cost of that will put the US into a financial position lower than Greece! While there are those who think otherwise, we HAVE TO, HAVE TO pay our debts down or we might as well put up a "FOR SALE" sign on the Capitol steps.

    February 1, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
  111. George

    Sure they should be able to undo the spere committee and we should be able to undo the votes we sent them to Congress with.

    February 1, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
  112. pad

    Jack congress should look at what the Fed. is doing with near zero percent interest rates that you and I are paying for. The stock market is near record high and the banks are making billions. So why would you cut anything? Just keep barrowing money.

    February 1, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
  113. Dustin Hughes Oxford, Ms.

    The 12 member super committee couldn't come to an agreement on a budget cut. The consequences of not coming to an agreement is to have automatic cuts. If they want to change the cuts, the cuts better be more than $1.2 trillion. If they want to develop a budget cut for more than $1.2 trillion, they should do it on their own time since they wasted their employers' (the tax payers') time and money. Until then, the auto cuts should be enforced.

    February 1, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
  114. David P Vernon

    Tucson, AZ – The current situation is Public Law. It will take an Act of Congress (218 Representatives and 60 Senators) just to give the President something to veto, so it is unlikely to be "repealed." Anyway, this is what the Congress must do if it is to put the fiscal affairs of the nation in order:

    1. Make income tax rates more progressive, increase the top marginal rate to 49%, and eliminate loopholes usable only by those with wealth in the top one percentile. This is much more drastic than simply repealing the Bush Tax Cuts, it is rescinding the Reagan Tax Cuts too.

    2. Raise the income cap on SSI taxes by 40% or more, to cover wage value inflation over the last two decades. This will make SSI solvent on its own account. Congress will, of course, have to keep making good on the special SSI bonds for the current account to balance too.

    3. Eliminate all Defense programs that a lack a mission. This will save at least $220B in current spending that is clearly just wasted.

    4. Apply means tests for all entitlement programs, not just SSI and Medicare, but farm price supports, resource depletion allowances, etc. No rich people should be getting any unearned government cash handouts under any circumstances.

    Some of the increased cost in government programs is demographic and should have been expected. Failure to finance the demographic changes is a reason to raise taxes on the rich, not to cut benefits for the poor. Much of the shortfall we face is due to tax decreases not accompanied by spending decreases. The ballooning of health care costs is due primarily to over-treatment of the terminally ill, which Obamacare has already fixed, at least for Federally provided and supported insurance. One third of the current account deficit is due to the poor status of the economy as a whole, and resumption of normal economic growth will fix that anyway. Normal growth would pick up faster if Congress followed Keynes instead of Reagan as an economic model, but capital cannot stay un-invested forever, so a future boom is guaranteed – the only question is when! If you do not understand the problem, you will not understand the solution.

    February 1, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  115. ed hutchins

    STOP IT! I have a heart condition and any suggestion that this Congress can even tie their shoes upsets me.

    February 1, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
  116. BOB ALTMAYER

    I'm naive enough to hope that President Obama keeps his word about vetoing any attempts to reduce those cuts...and by the way, that trillion is barely a DOWNPAYMENT on what must be addressed. The great majority of Americans need to pay more in taxes, another inconvenient truth. I get the feeling we're in Rome several thousand years ago.
    Bob Alty in St. Germain, WI

    February 1, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
  117. marybeth, massachusetts

    Jack,

    No, I don't think Congress should undo the automatic cuts set to take effect. Why should the mega billionaires, big corporations, and the military be spared when every other program that affects people's lives will be cut? The military has been protected from cuts of any kind for a long time....they have the budget and resources of all of the other industrialized countries COMBINED. If it is okay to eliminate Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, to gut all gov't agencies that inspect our food, patrol our borders, make sure things everyone uses continue to run, then there shouldn't be any sacred cows.

    But I don't think that is what will happen. Congress, having been bought by corporate America and the wealthy, will never ever allow taxes for the wealthy to increase. That is unthinkable. They will find a way to shovel more welfare to those folks. And they'll continue to feed the military-industrial complex. Grandma is on her own. So is anyone who worked hard his whole life and now finds that he has no SS, no medicare, nothing. Never fear....the lobbyists and corporate American will make sure they get theirs and anyone who works for a living is ground further into the dirt.

    Romney's plan is to cut taxes for the wealthy (like him) by a minimum of 50% (so he would pay less than 7%) and vowed to reduce the corporate tax too.

    Keep cutting taxes and giving everything to the greedy, who never have enough. I think the GOP goal, with help from some Democrats, is to make the US a third-world country, ruled by a few wealthy men like Romney, and they will be thrilled if everyone else is in poverty. And Obama is no better because he caves to everything the GOP wants. I'll never understand why the right-wing nuts call him a Socialist. A true Socialist would not have extended the Bush tax cuts. A true Socialist would not have put Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid on the chopping block. He's no Socialist, but a closet Republican.

    This is a crazy world, and I'm sad and scared for the country.

    February 1, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
  118. Larry in Houston

    Should Congress undo the super committee's automatic spending cuts?

    Answer : "Collision Course" ? it's like we have already met our fate . The Titanic has already crashed into the Iceberg – and we're sinking – they just don't know it yet – it will take about 4 to 6 years to figure it out, that we're SUNK.
    20 Trillion by 2016 – by then, They'll have it figured it out by then, that we're Sunk.

    Larry in Houston

    February 1, 2012 at 5:48 pm |