November 18th, 2008
02:30 PM ET

State Budget Crunch: cut services or raise taxes?

Would you rather your state cut services or raise taxes?

Would you rather your state cut services or raise taxes?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Americans are feeling pretty cash-strapped these days and as a result, state budgets are feeling squeezed too. Many states are watching tax revenues simply melt away from sales taxes to corporate and capital gains taxes. People aren't shopping like they used to, or traveling, and the stock market's killing everybody - all of which is hurting local governments. And those states with high foreclosure rates? They're getting hit hard too.

According to the liberal-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, at least 37 states have faced or are facing budget gaps in the 2009 fiscal year totaling $66 billion.

Take California for example. Two months ago, the state faced a $15 billion deficit. Suddenly that number has shot up to $26 billion, and California may not be able to pay its bills this spring.

New York state isn't much better. It faces a $12.5 billion deficit in 2009. Cuts here are expected to include health care and education.

The governors of both states have called special legislative sessions to deal with this financial crisis. As the economy continues to deteriorate, states are facing increasingly difficult choices.

Here’s my question to you: Would you rather your state cut services or raise taxes to cover its budget shortfall?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

J. writes:
Let's put it bluntly, you can only "cut services" by so much before you end up hurting a lot of people. The anti-taxers had their heyday; now they are going to have to bite the bullet. What you want from government, you have to expect to pay for it.

Josh from Minneapolis, Minnesota writes:
Cut services. I can’t afford to pay higher taxes. I make too much to qualify for any services but I make too little to pay my expenses. How is raising taxes going to help me? Simple, it won’t. Maybe I should not work at all so I can qualify for "services". I think the government has serviced us enough. Leave my money alone, please. I earned it.

Mithra writes:
Cut neither. Reduce waste. Reduce redundancy. Reduce favoritism. Reduce graft. Local and state governments are run like General Motors.

Lynne from Boise, Idaho writes:
I don't think most states need to go to either extreme. Having worked in both federal and state government, I can tell you with certainty that there is a lot of wasted money and time. I think state governments should employ common-sense cost-saving measures, cut unnecessary expenditures, and come up with out-of-the box ideas for improving efficiency. It would make much more sense than raising taxes.

Mike from New Orleans, Louisiana writes:
I would say that my state should cut services, but since Bobby Jindal became governor, we don't have any.

Joe from Tucson, Arizona writes:
Raise my taxes, please. Education in the country has suffered enough. We have to look to the future.

Dave from St. Louis, Missouri writes:
Now that we have elected Obama, it does not matter because in 2 months the light will shine down and America will be debt-free and the world will be at peace.

Filed under: Taxes • US Economy
soundoff (278 Responses)


    November 18, 2008 at 1:34 pm |
  2. Daniel Ambrose

    Neither. To do both would be wrong. The root of the problem is to eliminate useless job within the governament. Raising taxes is never good and to cut critical services is something that will eventually come back to hurt the people who need them. If a quick fix is needed, I recommend that each state stop wasteful spending and eliminate these "perks" and "bennies" that comes with such entity.

    Atlanta, GA

    November 18, 2008 at 1:39 pm |
  3. Mark

    Maintainging a high level of service is worth the price of the taxes paid. Notice that industry does not flock to Florida with its low taxes and poor schools and government services. They do flock to Oregon, California and Massachusetts. It is good for any economy to have somewhat higher taxes and excellent services in exchange.

    November 18, 2008 at 1:39 pm |
  4. Beth, Boston, MA

    The voters in Massachusetts just defeated a plan to eliminate the state income tax. If it had passed, it would have decimated aid to schools, police, fire, the library systems, and hospitals.

    Cutting taxes seems like a good idea until you see the consequences.

    November 18, 2008 at 1:40 pm |
  5. Jason, Koloa, HI

    The answer to that question is directly related to your tax bracket.

    November 18, 2008 at 1:43 pm |
  6. Mickie

    It's not a matter of choice. I think they are going to have to do both. We are not going to see a turn around in this economy for quite some time, and I'm sure by 2012 the Obama administration will be blamed for the mess, as the republicans are already trying to do while they slip out the back door with our money in hand.

    November 18, 2008 at 1:43 pm |
  7. meg ulmes

    That's a hard one. Neither option is a good one for the economy. My state, Ohio, is in money trouble in a couple of areas. I suspect that the state will cut services before it raises taxes. But it may end up having to do both. An ugly situation.

    Troy, Ohio

    November 18, 2008 at 1:44 pm |
  8. Joe in DE

    The states will have to cut services a little but can't possibly cut enough to cover most shortfalsl. Not a good time to raise taxes – god time to plug loopholes. A lot of states could go a long way toward solvency by stopping benefits to illegals. Most will simply run-up a defict if allowable.

    November 18, 2008 at 1:44 pm |
  9. Ann from S.C.

    South Carolina needs to raise the cigaret tax, which is the lowest in the country. If the money were used for nothing else except health services, it would benefit the state enormously.

    November 18, 2008 at 1:44 pm |
  10. Troy

    Oxford, MS

    I would prefer that they cut useless spending and unneeded services. In these economic times, I think that we need to try doing more things for ourselves.

    November 18, 2008 at 1:46 pm |
  11. Janis, Lafayette, IN

    I would like to see states trim their programs instead of doing away with them completely. Everyone needs to tighten their belts. The tax payers can't afford to pay higher taxes right now.

    November 18, 2008 at 1:48 pm |
  12. Barb New Port Richey Fl

    Why must it always be either or? A lot of wasted spending out there Jack!

    November 18, 2008 at 1:48 pm |
  13. Mike - Hot Springs, Arkansas

    I would rather the state raise taxes by taxing Church property. That would bring in sufficient funds and take care of some other problems. If the churchs have enough money to spend on political activities such as passing propositions, etc. they can contribute toward paying their way.

    November 18, 2008 at 1:48 pm |
  14. Mike Ca

    Just cut out the waste.

    November 18, 2008 at 1:49 pm |
  15. Esther M. Akron Ohio

    raise taxes is the american way

    November 18, 2008 at 1:49 pm |
  16. Jane (Minnesota)

    This state needs to cut services first starting with going to one legislative body instead of house & senate – can everyone spell gridlock????? Minnesota's income taxes are already high enough not to mention the sales tax & gas tax ..........My state's legislature needs to learn to live on a budget too – they haven't been able to do it much since Jesse Ventura left office.

    November 18, 2008 at 1:49 pm |
  17. Dean

    Raise taxes. It's like going to the dentist – painful – but the mature thing to do. Plus, I can't think of any services left to cut.


    November 18, 2008 at 1:50 pm |
  18. Brett in Oriskany,Va

    We are going to get both. There is only so much money and if keep bailing out the failing economy the money has to come from somewhere. Yes, we will see service cuts AND higher taxes, no matter what any candidate said, someone has to pay and that someone is us.Of course if we personally go belly up, no one is going to bail us out.

    November 18, 2008 at 1:50 pm |
  19. David

    I would prefer my state cut services, you ride by a lot of these state funded jobs most of the time and there are at least 4 to 12 people just standing around. At the very least, cut some of the non-working work force.

    November 18, 2008 at 1:50 pm |
  20. Caroline, Hamer SC

    Tax the rich they get richer and richer while we get poorer and poorer .The poor and middle class can’t handle any more of the burden that the Bush and friends have put on us.

    November 18, 2008 at 1:51 pm |
  21. David

    I would prefer my state cut services, you ride by a lot of these state funded jobs most of the time and there are at least 4 to 12 people just standing around. At the very least, cut some of the non-working work force. Georgia

    November 18, 2008 at 1:52 pm |
  22. vern-t anaheim,ca

    i believe they should cut all unnecessary programs but keep all the important ones,all of us need to cut back whenever possible

    November 18, 2008 at 1:53 pm |
  23. Conor in Chicago

    I'd rather they do whatever is necessary to keep them rich and fat. That's what they'll do anyways so I might as well accept it.

    November 18, 2008 at 1:53 pm |
  24. John, Long Beach CA

    Jack, I have no problem paying more taxes. Of course, having lost my $80,000 a year job three months ago and still being unemployed, it doesn't make much difference to me right now.

    November 18, 2008 at 1:54 pm |
  25. Cori from Colorado

    Aren't we already suffering enough? This would be a bad idea. We don't deserve to have taxes raised. To have services cut would make sense only if there is restructuring to make better use of spending.

    November 18, 2008 at 1:55 pm |
  26. devil dog palos park ill

    cut the top jobs wages and expence accounts, for a change see if they like it, same with the auto industry

    November 18, 2008 at 1:56 pm |
  27. F. Taylor

    If you leave this question up to the public in a few months from now they will likely vote to raise taxes since over half of them won't have any jobs or income so they aren't the ones who will have to pay.

    November 18, 2008 at 1:57 pm |
  28. Sharon, King George VA

    Raise taxes–my wasteful unnecessary program or job is someone else's critical and essential program or job.

    November 18, 2008 at 1:57 pm |
  29. lee in tn

    It might be ok to raise taxes,as long as the government does not tell you that they will raise taxes, because they can not see into future. They might not have to or they might not. Who in Washington,D.C. has the crystal ball?

    November 18, 2008 at 1:58 pm |
  30. Chad N., Fresno California

    The states need to cut the services and budgets, not raise taxes! Lets be realistic here, the states have already raised taxes repeatedly over the years and we still have budget shortfalls with regularity, even in the "good times". Rather than taxing us more the states need to streamline or reduce services to be the most financially prudent as they can be. I shouldnt be required to pay for the states lack of ability to control its spending or the in-efficiencies that have come along with that spending to date. It's not like I can go to my boss and say "I over spent this month/year so you will give me a raise to pay for my inability to properly budget or get the most out of my money." , so why should the state be able to essentially do that to its citizens? If I dont make enough money thru my employer I need to perform my job at a higher. more efficient level to warrant such a pay raise.....the state is no exception to this philosophy in my opinion.

    November 18, 2008 at 1:58 pm |
  31. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    It has already raised my taxes and cut my services – it has done so each year I’ve lived here! I’m not sure what’s left to cut or how much more I can pay. Jack, you work here. Don’t you remember the old slogan New York – Land of Taxes!

    November 18, 2008 at 1:59 pm |
  32. Rich Mckinney, Texas

    I would rather have neither occur. We do things differently in Texas. We have no state income tax. If we didn't have all the Federal Taxes we could all be much better off.
    The Federal Government will never do anything for you cheaper then you can do it for yourself. Ever!!

    November 18, 2008 at 1:59 pm |
  33. Allan Hanson Cameron Park Ca.

    When ever the subject comes up the items cut are the ones that hurt the people make us suffer.. They never cut the wastfull boards, and other agencies that have only to make our lives more difficult. They are mostly to employ polititions that have left their jobs, or pay back for services rendered. They serve no useful function.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:01 pm |

    tough question. considering my state recently raised our sales tax to 7% under the guise that it was lowering our property taxes, I would say cut services at this point. I can't afford to be taxed any more. I am already paying for myself and many other people to have health care, to stay in their homes, and now to help the wealthy avoid an increase in property taxes. I would like to put my kids through college at some point. incedentally my property taxes didn't go down.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:01 pm |
  35. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    I would rather my State start taking an in depth look at themselves, then we can look how we enter the equation.

    State governments are no more than corporations that have been fiscally and systemically dysfunctional for to many years. The measuring stick is, as long as there is such a high level of bureaucracy there is a high level of dysfunction.

    As citizens we must demand they fix themselves before we accept a loss of services or an increase in taxes.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:01 pm |
  36. Dave from Orlando

    How about lowering taxes on the people who have been sucked dry over the last 8 years and giving back some of the services that have already been cut. Tax the freeloading billionaires to get whatever money is needed.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:02 pm |
  37. Willow, Iowa

    I think they should do a line item veto of the entire budget. Get down to the bare bones of the budget. Then add back into the budget the things we need. If we need to raise taxes then, so be it. but we would know that all the gravy was off of the train. I have no problem with raising taxes if its for important things we need. In my town the county raised school taxes so that every child in the school system pays no fees for books, etc. That's the kind of tax raise I don't mind paying.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:02 pm |
  38. Ron K

    Hi Jack:

    Well CA is a mess as usual. I doubt cutting services would do it. We need to kick out most of the State Assembly and replace them. And start investigating them for abuse of public funds.

    Ron San Diego

    November 18, 2008 at 2:03 pm |
  39. devil dog palos park ill

    i do not mind paying taxes, the part i don't like is the way they spend the taxes,

    i payed 25% of my income to taxes all my life, when there was a tax cut i still payed 25% but when there was a tax hike i got that, and i did not make alot 30 to 50 k

    November 18, 2008 at 2:03 pm |
  40. Erik

    Jack, it shouldn't be a choice of cutting services or raising taxes. We should get rid of the idiots who put us in this situation in the first place.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:03 pm |
  41. Mike, Albuquerque, NM

    Change the manner in which taxes are collected. Cut loopholes for corporations. Make sure that those collecting dividends while sitting by the pool pay their share. I recommend something like a 1% tax on sales of stocks, commodities, dirivitives, money markets and other exchanges. A tariff on cars and appliances would help restore our manufacturing base. We should also halt the privitisation of the military and government services. Cutting the fat out of all agencies is, of course, a given.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  42. Susan, Sequim WA

    States should not cut services. They hae already cut too many due to the Federal Government cutting funds in all areas. If we have to raise taxes, it should be done on the upper income brackets.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  43. Sherrol in Canada

    Cut non essential services. Raising taxes will encourage folks to spend even less. Also the banks that were given bailout money should be held accountable as to how they are spending that money. How they could have been given this money without preconditions is beyond me! Congress had better not make the same mistake going forward.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  44. Erik

    Jack, we should not have to choose between cutting services or raising taxes. We should get rid of the idiots who put us in the situation in the first place.

    McDonough, GA

    November 18, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  45. Louise, Massachusetts

    Neither. States could go the distance simply by getting rid of staff and programs that do not provide services to taxpayers.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  46. Karl from SF, CA

    I say raise taxes and eliminate waste in government. If California cuts state services one more time, it amounts to eliminating them. Yes, get rid of wasteful spending, but quit nickel and diming the essential services like schools. Infrastructure and health care. Taxes are the dues we pay to belong to this wonderful country and its falling apart. Anyone that thinks it's too expensive to live here needs to live elsewhere.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:09 pm |
  47. Tom Ft Lauderdale

    Cut services,cut expenditures, cut wages and stop entitlements across the board.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:09 pm |
  48. Katiec Pekin, IL

    Our state of Illinois is in a mess financially and politically. We have a battle of the parties going on and nothing positive is being initiated or done for our state. We need to wipe the slate clean and get in
    a government that can work together and for the welfare of our
    state. Sound familiar?
    I do not see how they can help but cut services and raise taxes.
    Or, they could cut expenses??
    Dream on,

    November 18, 2008 at 2:09 pm |
  49. Tom in Eau Claire, WI

    The answer isn't black and white. There should be some services cut, but taxes should be raised some as well.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:09 pm |
  50. Mike S.,New Orleans

    I would say that my state should cut services, but since Bobby Jindal became governor, we don't have any.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:10 pm |
  51. Marie Canada

    Raise the taxes and increase the services. People who can afford to pay should be paying and increasing services will increase employment which in turn will increase spending.

    The fact is you can't save your way out of a recession. When people lose jobs and quit spending you got a real problem. Keep the money circulating and not just in the hands of a select few.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  52. Bob in Southfield, MI

    Both! Why deviate from the plan of the last 28 years.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:14 pm |
  53. Anj in CA

    The reality is that big broke California could cut out A LOT before it actually would have to reduce services. I'd like to see what the options are AFTER they get rid of the waste and incompetence.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  54. Roger from Espanola, New Mexico

    Some services can be reviewed but taxes will certainly need to be raised. To think anyone or any group is beyond some kind of sacrifice
    would be rather naive indeed. On the other hand, humanitarian needs and decency should not be sacrificed while corporate exucatives are getting millions of dollars in severance pay

    November 18, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  55. Matt from Albuquerque

    I think that states will have to do a little of both.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  56. Karen McCullough

    We have been an "I want it all but not pay for it" society for too long. Our country is a mess with outdated roads and bridges, an education system that doesn't teach our kids well, no middle income full time jobs, and no health coverage for millions of Americans including part time workers (because part time eliminates the requirement for benefits. If we are to get our country back, we must ALL pay for it–if that means higher taxes, then so be it.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  57. Terry from North Carolina

    This new crop of elected officials will be overwhelmed by the magnitude of this finanicial crisis we are in. They will cut services and raise taxes. I dont see them having any choice, we will have to tough it out. Cant have your cake and eat it Jack.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  58. Bill from MI

    I do not think we need to cut Services. Just cut the waste by streamlining the programs. We can cut billions out of the Medicare drug plan for seniors that the drug companies so nicely wrote for us.. These drugs can be bought and sold much cheaper just by changing the way they are bought and sold. People that are well off do not need Social Security Retirement checks. And since Iraq now has Billions of dollars in Government surplus, they can start paying their own tab. Now for a more radical idea; How about eliminating the middle man, known as Wall Street, and let us invest directly into companies without the manipulation. I would be more than happy to share these ideas with the next Administration. There has not been anyone home at the current one for eight years.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  59. Kevin, Chester Springs PA

    Slash budgets where they can. Raise sin taxes on cigarettes and liquor. And then get on the bread line that is the Treasury department these days and get a piece of all that bailout money being handed out for the remainder. If that doesn't work, give every elected official 3 months off without pay. That should do it!

    November 18, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  60. mac from traverse city Michigan

    I hope Michigan increases services to the homeless as most of us who live here will be needing them soon. Raising taxes would be futile here because people without jobs don't pay taxes.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:19 pm |

    Cut unnecessary services. There are people without jobs or that can never work, It would not be right to cut the services. that they receive. There is too much unnecessary help In government offices.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  62. Paulette,Dallas,PA

    I would prefer that they cut services. Many state jobs are unnecessary and handed out in return for political favors. Save the people some money and cut services instead of raising taxes.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  63. L.M.,Arizona

    I don't want to wait at the MVD for hours to register my car and there are hundreds of examples of services that are taking away because of tax cuts. California voted to cut taxes and now they are asking for bailout money of course those people who voted for the cuts moved to other states.I'll take services over tax cuts any day.Tax cuts started the our debt ridden society. Just say if you it want it pay for it.


    November 18, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  64. Jake, Oregon

    States don't have to cut services. All they need to do is have a 12/7 day work week. No change in the number of hours for people working, just stagger their days and time off so state services are available 7 days a week 12 hours a day. Just like broadcasters and millions of other workers have been doing their entire lives. This 9 to 5 stuff.for state workers is garbage. Aren't they supposed to be dedicated public service workers?

    November 18, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  65. Matt from Stafford, VA

    While I do not want to pay more money, I think we need to learn to accept higher state taxes. Where I live it's laughable. Roads, schools, and basic maintenance projects cannot be completed. It's getting ugly over here. The money has to come from somewhere, and right now taxes seem like the only way.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  66. Paul S. Columbia, SC

    How many billions of dollars could be saved if 20 million illegal aliens were deported? Enforcing the laws of the land would be where to start. Stop threatening to stop federal money to sanctuary cities. Do it.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  67. Paul

    Dear Jack

    I live in Florida, and they have done both.

    Actually we havesuch an exodus of people for these reasons that I have read that there are more than 30% less tourists today than last year.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  68. Terry, Chandler AZ

    This is simple Jack. The answer is neither. Taxes need not be increased nor services cut if the governor of each state would cut the number of nonessential employees and cut wages 10%.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  69. JIM

    They should cut services.. Once taxes are raised they never come down.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  70. Jerry from Monroe Co., WV

    Add Alternative Minimum Tax for corporations- talk about closing corporate loop holes, this would do it. If they move offshore, add a penalty or a duty to their products.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  71. Lynn, CA

    I would say raising taxes would be acceptable IF, all subsidies to business were canceled, corporate tax breaks were canceled, the payment to advertising for the Lotto was restricted to 10% of proceeds and the "Administrative heavy" was changed to a "Teacher heavy" educational system were tried first. Lynn, CA

    November 18, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  72. Sarah

    It has to be a combination of both. Barack should look at the entire budget, line by line as promised in his campaign, and cut everything that isn't worthwhile. This should be done straight away to help reduce the deficit. Raising taxes is more problematic with the economy as it is. I believe it's right to immediately realign back to rates paid during Clinton's administration but nothing more until we come out of this recession.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  73. Karen - Nashville

    Neither should be necessary, but I'd grit my teeth and pay more taxes. I think too much money is wasted. Graft. Frivolous lawsuits. "Roads to nowhere." The big problem is the promises politicians on every level have to make to get into office. We end up paying the price.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  74. Keith - Ohio

    I agree with Barb in Florida, Jack.. When it comes to government it should never be EITHER / OR. Cut the 'fat'... Cut the 'pork'. There is sooooo much waste, we must start there.

    A little common sense beats anything I've seen lately.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  75. Pat in Hampstead, Maryland

    Ha ha ha ha ha. Im from Maryland and you have to ask that question?
    Our State is already tax crazy and thats why baby boomers and major corporations are leaving it for Delaware and places South. Our State went from a billion dollar surplus to a billion dollar deficit under the Democrats in 4 years. E Raise Taxes? Its gonna happen no matter what.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  76. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: When choosing between two evils, I always like to try the one I've never tried before. Either way-we all get screwed.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  77. Howard M. Bolingbrook IL

    Raise taxes. How can we as a people want or think we should go forward, with the country being in the financial shape it is, without accepting the fact that we as citizens should expect to pay more in taxes.

    To think otherwise is unrealistic.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  78. Judy Waltemire

    Raise taxes or cut services? Are community has done both, but if they don't help the auto workers and retireree neither one will help in our area. They didn't mind sharing the wealth when things were good and spending the money we paid in taxes now when we need help, they want to run the other direction and turn their back on us. Do you think
    they ever consider if Americans loose every thing who will keep this country running and pay their over price wages.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  79. dan in Tucson

    Now we hit the real problem. What to cut. Can't cut everything or we will go back to septic tanks, candles, and dirt roads. Bottom line is, if wasteful spending was eliminated, we woulnd't need to raise taxes. My opinion is to only allow spending on services that affect the majority of its citizens during a major cutback.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  80. Brian Becker

    Neither. Instead they should invest money into building a time machine, go back in time, prevent George W. Bush from winning the presidency, and make sure those greedy wall street thugs play by the rules so they don't tear down the economy with their reckless investments! Oh if only it were that easy.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  81. Jasmine in Germany

    Both, but wisely, please.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  82. Richard Green

    I hope my state does a little of each. There are, no doubt, some programs that are not as effective as others and could be cut. There are unfunded liabilities that should be cut to the level of actual funds. I would agree to paying more taxes for a set period of time that cannot be extended.

    Rich Green
    San Clemente. Cal.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  83. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Hi Jack,

    like any family doing their own budget...you cut expenses that are not essentials to your survival!~

    A deficit can be seen as a bad thing if you spend on stupid things but investing in education and in the environment would be the smart thing to do now!

    November 18, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  84. arlene rannfeldt

    first of all services that don't work and fraud should be the first to go..you would not believe the people i have heard of that are defrauding state services and worst of all the state doesn't seem to care..i guess if that isn't enough then taxes will have to be raised..it's just too bad that the people who play by the rules are the ones who have to suffer the most.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  85. Annie, Atlanta

    Both – cut out non-essential services, and raise taxes. Spending more than we take in never works. Didn't anyone realize this? Why do we keep paying people who aren't doing their jobs, and if the trend continues, where can I sign up for one of those jobs?

    November 18, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  86. Joe in MO

    We all need to move to Alaska. They have oil. They pay their people rather than their people paying them.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  87. odessa

    personally, i don't care about cutting taxes or raising them because all of us are going have to pay regardless..

    November 18, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  88. Ann, Newton, New Jersey

    That is a catch 22. There are certain services that are sorely needed and the majority of people who will be stressed with higher taxes. You could flip a coin and hope for the best.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  89. JD, Greenville NC

    Cutting services is like skipping oil changes and tune-ups on a car. It saves money in the short-term, but the whole thing breaks down soon after that.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  90. Francheska , Georgia

    Raise taxes! I am tired of riding on roads with huge potholes in Georgia!! How do Americans expect that we pay our bills in this country, if we do not pay higher taxes...China is not going to continue to foot our bills for us, they have already footed our two wars.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  91. Terry in Hanover County

    I'd rather see taxes raised because my state has already cut services to the bone. Or better yet, how about some of that bail-out money going to the states for infrastructure and road projects to help boost the economy instead of funneling it into banks buying banks and Wall Street fat cats using the largesse for spa retreats.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  92. Tom - Las Vegas, Nevada

    In my state there is a desperate need to not just raise taxes, but to alter the tax base as well. We've been subjected to budget cuts which have begun to affect already underfunded public services.My state government has a tendency to not only put all it's eggs in one basket, it also lies to itself about how large the basket is.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  93. Janet F.

    Hey, where I live we get no services from the government ....no water, no sewer, no street lights, no trash pick-up (we pay for that),not even paint on the roads (but in Pennsylvania, it is hard to tell). Sad to say but the police protection is almost non-existent . So, go ahead Pennsylvania, cut more services for my tax dollar. We've got nothing to lose!

    November 18, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  94. Mark in OKC

    How about doing BOTH at the same time? We might actually break even some day doing that.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  95. Ginger H -- West Melbourne, FL

    I think we should have an option of paying higher taxes or contributing in some other way - productive community services, etc.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  96. Maggie Muggins From Selwyn

    There is nothing wrong with increasing taxes and increasing spending to get out of the current financial crisis. However, spending money trying to run other countries around the world should be terminated immediately.

    Tax the people in your country and spend the tax money in your country and you might just be surprised how well that will work out for your country.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  97. karen-phoenix

    In Arizona there are not to many of us left working. Raising taxes on us (the retired few on social security) would not get much income and services in Arizona are at rock bottom now. Your choice!!!

    November 18, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  98. Tammy Tawes

    They need to first cut their spending before they should be able to raise taxes. Isn't the deficit proof of this?

    November 18, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  99. Bruce St Paul MN

    Are those the only choices? In Minnesota, we have had a no- taxes Governor and a bridge that fell down. Now that it's been replaced, we can take comfort in the fact that we now have one safe bridge. But how about all the other bridges? Infrastructure does not stop crumbling during a recession.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  100. Stacy from Fairfax, VA

    The worse thing to do in a recession is to raise taxes (except on items such as cigarettes, liquor, luxury items, etc). The states are going have to trim down on services that won't adversely affect the economy or place further burdens on the poor. We are all in this together and tens of millions of Americans, rich, middle income and poor are going to suffer in the short and long term.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  101. Don

    Neither Jack.
    Let's face it. Sometimes it is necessary to wisely employ deficit spending. If our current situation does not apply, what does?
    Don, Dallas

    November 18, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  102. Michael in Western PA

    States should do what thet must to curb their budget, even for a short-term bases. Go line by line in the budget to see where money is being wasted to either raise taxes or cut uncutable services. Reevaluate as much as possible. I think the federal government should be spending some of the 700 billion to help states/major cities to at least band-aid the crisis until the new Obama administration kicks in. Main street needs the help, more so than the banks because credit is still has an icing over.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  103. Tammy Tawes

    Another point to make is that we as American citizens should be able start business' or provide services that would compensate for what they won't be providing. Someone needs to stop the stimulus payment that is a another problem we don't need.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  104. jeh15

    Let's put it bluntly, you can only "cut services" by so much before you end up hurting a lot of people. The anti-taxers had their heyday, now they are going to have to bite the bullet. What you want from government, you have to expect to pay for it.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  105. sheila Scott

    Jack, You could make the argument that you could do both. With the shpe this country is in there should be no question that both would be the answer. There a alot of government programs tthat are weighing heavy on the debt and these programs should be wiped cleaned off the debt. I think that Presiden t Elect Obama should go through the budget with a fine tooth comb and get rid of the programs that are not working and rive the ones that are by doing some restructing. I wish him all the luck in the world.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  106. Lynn, Boise ID

    I don't think most states need to go to either extreme. Having worked in both federal and state government, I can tell you with certainty that there is a lot of wasted money and time. I think state governments should employ common-sense cost-saving measures, cut unneccessary expenditures, and come up with out-of-the box ideas for improving efficiency. It would make much more sense than raising taxes on the last 3 people working or cutting off ambulance services.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  107. Jay-San Antonio

    Both, raise sales tax only and reduce spending. Also lower state income tax. People will have more money to spend. The fact that they maybe paying an additonal 1-2% in sales tax will seem less painful.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  108. John

    Jack: I hate to raise taxes, but with the unemployment rate going up essential services are needed. I favor raising taxes to help with these bad economic times. My wife who was a state employee for over 35 years knows what happens when there are no services for people. Children fall through the cracks, and their parents have already gone down for the count. State employment services, first time food stamps users, and assistance for heating homes in the winter are programs needed.


    November 18, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  109. Lesley, Lighthouse Point

    I live in Florida. This year we passed a property tax amendment that was designed to cut taxes related to homeownership. Everyone voted for it did not understanding what the impact would be on their local services included the schools. In my county alone, Broward County, we saw a 188 million cut to our school budget. Imagine the impact of that one! People are so focused on their tax bill that they forget the impact of cutting funding to very vital services. I don't know what the answer is, but we need to become a little more innovative in our strategies.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  110. Diane/Allentown, PA

    Neither, how about holding the state governments accountable. I worked at a state university, and let me tell you the waste I saw, from needless expenditures to dead wood employees.

    Instead of monitoring expenses, analyzing where expenses could be reduced, it was a race to spend every dime when you were under budget, whether you needed it or not. Their view is, if you don't spend it, your budget will be cut.

    Well, if you don't spend it, you don't need it and your budget should be cut. Let's have an across the board reduction on all government run services and programs, let's see if they can rise to the occasion.

    You have to see for yourself, you actually wouldn't believe what goes on in these places. Overwork? How about just work!

    November 18, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  111. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Cut taxes. At least 1/3rd of government spending at every level is waste. Hire an impartial consultant to identify what is waste, and cut the jobs and services.

    November 18, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  112. Mike in UT


    Critical thinking with respect to fiscal responsibility first to develop an detailed, long reaching spending plan with priorities must come first. Once that's done, cut where needed and reallocate where needed. Raise taxes as necessary after that.

    Everyone wants the local, state and federal government to do everything for them and to take care of them, but no one seems to want to pay for it.


    November 18, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  113. lynnej

    Is it just me or does anyone else notice that each time there is a state budget crisis those in office keep their salaries and benefits and the rest of us suffer through taxes and no state help?

    if you want to start in saving money start cutting the salaries of governors and legislatures. Most are rich anyway enabling them to be able to afford their own health insurance.

    Besides, I read that Sarah Palin's book deal is $7 million. If that is the case, she doesn't need that $125,000 a year the citizens of Alaska are giving her.

    November 18, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  114. Aaron B.; Champaign, IL

    What would I prefer? Does it matter? They've already closed a dozen state parks and historical sites in Illinois within the past four months. I've been trying to get a state fishing license for several months... but now, I guess that doesn't matter either...

    November 18, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  115. Kathy in Michigan - Birthplace of Auto Industry

    Jack, they should take some of the bail out money that belongs to the people in the states and fund the projects the states cannot afford and create some JOBS! The high cost of oil cut our road repairs, we have horrible roads due to the past four years of budget cuts.

    By the way, Jack if the GOP thinks they are in trouble now, let them fight the LOANS

    November 18, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  116. chris

    there's no cutting serivces just cut the govt waste in the local govt/s there ios no need to raise taxes cut spending and over paid govt officals

    November 18, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  117. Rose in Az

    I say raise taxes but not in selected areas. Every resident of the state should have an equal raise on taxes. Governors tend to raise taxes on their pet projects which is biased, all of the state residents should have to pay an equal increase. We do not need less services, too many services are very vital.

    November 18, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  118. John IL.

    Jack raiseing Taxes and continue services is the only thing you can do in todays economy. Saveing jobs and creating jobs maybe the only out of this mess. Cut the waste in useless goverment pork spending.
    Raise Taxes.

    November 18, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  119. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    Raise taxes on booze and beer by $5 per bottle or case like they did on tobacco products and all of the states will have a surplus. States can also build more casinos and change the odds on the lottery to bring in more revenue.

    November 18, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  120. Greg in Cabot AR

    I would prefer that they cut some state services rather than raise taxes. A good start would be to eliminate the numerous speed-traps I have to dodge on my way to work in the morning.

    November 18, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  121. Judy, Exeter, Calif,

    How about cutting wasteful programs first, secondly cut the pay of the state legislators. The taxpayers have far too much burden now as it is without a bunch of overpaid fat cats directing traffic.

    November 18, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  122. Sandra fromTexas

    I don't think we have any services to speak of in Texas anyway. I guess it doesn't matter. If I lived in another state I suppose I would rather have taxes raised to maintain services.

    November 18, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  123. Dan from Kitchener

    Unfortunately tax an spend has become a catch phrase for the Republican Party over the years even if they didn't adhere to the principles of smaller government and less spending they have the people believing in their slogan.

    The answer just might be tax appropriately and spend appropriately in America and not all around the world like is presently being done.

    Workers need to have work and spending on infrastructure in the U.S. will generate jobs which in turn will generate more taxes which in turn will generate more spending and so it goes.

    November 18, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  124. John in Arizona

    States are not like the Federal government – they can't print money. Americans deserve and will continue to demand a certain level of state services, and finding new revenue sources (i.e.taxes) will unfortunately be required in these difficult economic times.

    November 18, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  125. R. Harrison, Griffin GA

    Raise taxes. I am for services. People don't want to pay taxes, but they are the first to complain when services are not adequate. Call me a socialist, but this is my country and I don't mind spending a few buck to help the other fellow. Let's pay it forward and backward. It's a way of tithing.

    November 18, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  126. John, Fort Collins, CO

    During hard times, the states should follow the follow the example of thousands of small businesses by working harder, getting innovative, and tightening their belts without cutting services. Raising taxes isn't an option for business and it shouldn't be for the states either.

    November 18, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  127. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    A good way to eliminate a budget deficit is to eliminate the legislature.

    November 18, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  128. John in Rohnert Park

    Cut services? What services? Government stopped providing "services" to middle class people years ago. So I say cut the so-called services before you raise my taxes. I can tell ya where to start to . . . no more free medical or schooling for illegals for openers!

    November 18, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  129. Curt W

    Actually Jack what I would like is for them to manage their money, and not be in this position. I believe they will both raise taxes and cut services. It is like our education system, paid for in property taxes, sales taxes, the lottery, and yet they are always out of money. Why should I support giving either more money when they can't manage what they have?

    November 18, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  130. Deb in Lancaster, PA

    Raise taxes, but with the caveat that the taxes are rescinded when the crisis ends, which we hope is soon. They can't cut services much more.

    November 18, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  131. C in Belen, New Mexico

    Both... Cut wasteful spending AND raise taxes on those above $250K, per President elect Obama's stated plans....

    November 18, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  132. Dave in Saint Louis

    Now that we have elected Obama it does not matter because in 2 months the light will shine down and America will be debt free and the world will be at peace.

    November 18, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  133. Ralph Nelson

    Cut services. You have to protect the state's bond rating for future borrowing. States cannot borrow money or print it as can the federal government. We are going to need a massive one trillion dollar stimulus package at the federal level funnelled through state job projects to include a new power grid. Tax increases come after the economy has been restored and should be aimed at the wealthy (about 4 or 5 percent increase). Ralph, Yakima, Wa.

    November 18, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  134. Ray [Maryland]

    Jack why is it always cut service or raise taxes. Why not get rid of the glut of over staffed people sitting around doing nothing. Or in the case of the road dept. where repairs take weeks, and months With labors 3 and 4 just standing around around. How many time have you stoped in the morning an happen to see four or five street dept trucks at one quick market around 9 O'clock on our time.

    November 18, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  135. Nancy, Tennessee

    Our state has joined the band wagon and is crying the blues over the budget and lack of funds. Tennessee relies heavily on sales taxes to support the state. With the recession or economic down turn, whatever you want to call it, people are not spending as much and sales tax revenues are taking a hit. The state is looking at increasing the number of people in the unemployment line. That would be a cut in services. We don't enjoy high wages here and a raise in taxes is probably out of the question. Many people are barely keeping a roof over their heads, food on the table, and heat for the winter. The Tennesseans are a tough bunch–we will survive! And how about those TItans 10-0.

    November 18, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  136. Scott - Kansas

    Cut services. But it's a Democrat-led government now, so I'll be burying my money in the backyard to keep it out of their greedy hands.

    November 18, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  137. George

    What the states need to do is make sure that everyone pays their fair share instead of having so many tax shelters that in most cases benifit those with lots of money. The only ones that get hurt when you cut services are the middle class, and poor, everyone else has enough that they don't feel any pinch at all, but this is America, the ones with the money will always rule..

    November 18, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  138. Lucas in Pawling, NY

    The answer Jack is oversight. Travelling from Connecticut to New York the other day I noticed that the old "welcome to new york" sign had been replaced with an almost identical one.
    This type of spending has no place in today's economy. Current spending is probably right on the mark – it's just not being spent on the right stuff.

    November 18, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  139. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Whatever state one lives in, state government will do both sooner than later.

    November 18, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  140. Jay in Texas

    If the states eliminate all the cushy jobs in their governments and all the corruption that is part of every state government and they still are short on money, then they should raise the income taxes for all income over $200,000 a year until the deficit is made up. Don't cut services for those in need just to satisfy rich peoples' greed.
    Brownwood, Texas

    November 18, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  141. Liz

    Let be realistic, the only way we can move on is by raising taxes. Its going to happen sooner or later. We can't afford to cut services. Think about the burden it will be to have more unemployed people in this country.

    November 18, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  142. The Trippster of PA

    I'd like them to trim some positions at the top of their bureaucracies, cut out bonuses, stop all money earmarked for "conventions," and stop outsourcing projects to flim-flam consultants. Then with that done, as long as the Federal government is doling out loans, let states borrow from the feds and let them issue state savings bonds.

    November 18, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  143. Steve Peach - Indiana

    In Indiana, we don't have a budget shortfall, just a Governor who won't spend a dime of our surplus to help get our local county governments the money they need to keep our towns and cities going. Governor Daniels promised to give us a balanced budget in his first term, and he did. What he has failed at, however, is to realize that our tax dollars should go for SOMETHING other than building interest in the bank!!

    November 18, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  144. andrea from foxborough, MA

    unequivocally yes raise taxes on anyone making more than $250,000.00 in the great state of massachusetts !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 18, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  145. Jerry from Jacksonville

    Cut services and the pork that our elected officials have handed out to their rich supporters. State government is no different than national government, just on smaller scale in most cases. You still have the officials that use their office and power to become wealthy and take from the taxpayers that put them in office

    November 18, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  146. Kirven

    The correct answer is both. But I think it is about time that states install a saving program. If they just take 3% – 5% of their revenue during good times and put it in a secure holding (not stocks) it could then be used during tough times. If states take this approach then can withstand some hard time without having to cut programs or raise taxes.

    Rancho Cordova, CA

    November 18, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  147. Tony in Michigan

    Neither, they should take after the federal government and just run up as much debt as possible.

    November 18, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  148. Ed from Nebraska

    NEITHER! Ask for a "bailout" from the federal government. Isn't that what every other high profile entity in this country is doing? Why place all that burden on the states, is Gm slashing prices, cutting corners, offering incentives to buy their multibillion dollar cars? Nope! Bailout money, right? Why should one state bear so much burden, when we can be like Ford & GM and ask for some of that money too? After all isn't California doing trying to dip their hand into the till?

    November 18, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  149. Ron from SF

    Sure you can cut more, but don't call the fire or police, cause they'll be on the unemployment line. Isn't Republican Governance grand, all these folks in both the public and private sectors, who don't have to go to work anymore.

    November 18, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  150. Ray Kinserlow

    You forgot one option: Let Uncle Sam, the possessor of infinite credit, print some more money and help out the states.

    Ray Kinserlow
    Lubbock, Texas

    November 18, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  151. David

    Raise taxes, everything in this country has gone up except taxes so a moderate raise in taxes if it's for the good of the people i.e. street lights, police, and paramedics then I'm all for it.

    November 18, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  152. Andrea from Montana

    Increasing taxes is the only action that will maintain services as they are. Most states services are minimal at best. In addition, raising taxes might increase construction and improvement in our state's infrastructure, providing jobs adding more taxes to the state's income roll.

    November 18, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  153. Debbie in San Marcos, CA

    Neither, but if there is no choice, I'd rather they cut services. So many people are unemployed and having a hard time making ends meet, the last thing to do is raise taxes.

    November 18, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  154. Russell, Seattle, WA

    Neither of these options seems very desirable but most services are essential to the well being of citizens and can not be neglected. I'd be willing to pay a higher tax to be safe in my home.

    November 18, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  155. mitchell ,arkansaw

    raise taxes on the wealthiest.

    November 18, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  156. Demetrius

    make budget cuts until we realize we still have to raise taxes. Its the american way. We have gotten to a point in this country were "yes" or "no" is no longer a simple answer.

    November 18, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  157. just me

    what about competant fiscal management??? instead of spend spend spend. Just because a government wants something doesn't mean it needs it the same as the taxpayers! Cut the pork barrel projects and any nonessential spending.

    November 18, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  158. Alan, Buxton Maine

    I would rather cut needless spending and useless projects and use the money for necessary items. More money is wasted than is used for legitimate goals.

    November 18, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  159. Susan in Maine

    Raise taxes. People matter. What a concept. Why do people keep forgetting that?

    November 18, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  160. Ron

    State governments need to stop giving tax exemptions to big businesses for 35 years like they did in my state for an ethynol plant that only brought in 500 jobs. This plant's tax exemption included not paying its taxes for schools in the area. Its cutting tax deals like that that cause the funding short falls. I would favor a passage of higher taxes on luxury items, such as big screen TVs, and cars costing over $24,000.00, and making it illegal for state to offer such tax break deals as incentives to get businesses to locate in their state. Services woulded not have to be cut if big business would quit trying to dodge its tax obligations in the communities they chose to locate in.

    November 18, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  161. Ed Reed

    Could they ask for a bailout instead?

    Ed Reed
    Port Aransas, TX

    November 18, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  162. Micah Miller of Canton OH

    Raise taxes on the top 25% of wage earners. I'd rather pay more in taxes to make sure kids have good schools, we have good police, and (in turn) my house value goes up.

    November 18, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  163. Paula

    As much as I hate to say this... I'd rather see them raise taxes. I live in Indiana and there are so many people who need the help of social services. I'd rather pay a little more in taxes than to see more go without. Besides... Our governer likes to outsource things and lease public roads to foreign countries... He's more likely to cut services, Unless of course he finds more things to sell off...

    November 18, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  164. James in TN

    Create some jobs where I can make my own money and cut services, if I got a job I'm less likely to ask the government for help. I think Obama's plan is shot to hell all b/c the Bush failures and he's gonna get the raft of the American people for it.

    November 18, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  165. sam of IN

    what i would like is for government whether it be state, local, or federal, to do what we the people are expected to do. live within a budget. you know what the income is now deal with it. cut the big dollar beaurocrats, wasteful spending, pandering with cash and live within your means.

    November 18, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  166. Jeff from Minnesota

    I think it's going to be a balancing act of cutting some taxes, holding the line on some taxes, and, in some cases, raising some taxes. In the end, states are just going to have to make do like they always do in the "bad" times. If they are fortunate, they put some money away for this "bad" time. However, since most state legislators want to spend it all every year, I'm guessing most states have little savings, if they have any at all.

    November 18, 2008 at 4:39 pm |
  167. dee in dallas, tx


    I am a single person who is getting taxed hard...naturally I wouldn't want my taxes raised any higher...I am also a person that does not qualify for many services offered, but I know they are needed (in most cases)..I would go with cutting services though...there is plenty of wasteful spending that needs to be eliminated...

    November 18, 2008 at 4:42 pm |
  168. Lynn, Columbia, Mo..

    Who would they tax if everyone is laid off? Cutting services when more people need them is not a good idea either. Give us jobs and they won't need more taxes or services.

    November 18, 2008 at 4:45 pm |
  169. William Courtland

    raise revenue

    November 18, 2008 at 4:46 pm |
  170. Ty from MI

    Neither. Coming from a town with apx 20,000 people, we actually need to trim the fat off of our Govt jobs. Here's some examples, we have about 40 police and 99% of their time is spent on stolen bikes, stopping harmless teenagers in the park after dark and stopping the random drunk driver. If someone is stupid enough to try and rob the camera laden 7-11 once every year or so, they actually have something to do for a day or two – hard to get lost in a town where everyone knows you. There is a person at the fire dept who is paid $32,000 per year plus benefits whose only job is to take calls to reboot the main email server should it go down. Government has taken advantage of our tax $$ for too long! CUT THE FAT!

    November 18, 2008 at 4:49 pm |
  171. Betty in Texas

    Neither. Why not cut out some of the ‘pork’ and do away with the ‘perks’ enjoyed by the government. Representing the public should be an honor and that means looking out for the general public instead of No. 1 or any of the lobbyist’s whims. The American population can’t afford to pay more in taxes and they need all the help they can get right now just to keep the wolves at bay.

    November 18, 2008 at 4:50 pm |
  172. Linda in Bisbee, AZ

    Raise taxes. DUH.

    November 18, 2008 at 4:56 pm |
  173. fred N.C.

    I would rather they use the brains god gave them to use the money they already get! You know.... A BUDGET!!!

    November 18, 2008 at 4:56 pm |
  174. Ed'sKate

    RAISE TAXES. However, when and if any cuts have to be done in a business, etc, it should start at the TOP not the bottom. It is time the big wheel CEO's and Board Members stopped bleeding their companies and came back down to earth and live like normal human beings. They should remember it is their greed for money and power that have caused 99% of the economic problem in this country. The working class have suffered terribly already. Enough is not enough!

    November 18, 2008 at 5:00 pm |
  175. Neatha from Kansas City

    I think the would need to do a little of both. It is simple, as a family when our expenses go up we either need to have more income or cut spending or figure out a way to do a little of both. To say you are going to continue to cut taxes is just stupid. Our country runs on taxes, get over it already.

    November 18, 2008 at 5:00 pm |
  176. Debbie in Indiana

    There are ways to cut spending but cutting services is not usually a good one. Do you cut police services? Fire services? Mass transit? Health care? on and on – are any of those good? I suspect too many people will say you don't need them.

    November 18, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  177. Anthony

    Cutting programs will only result in more expenses to the taxpayer. History shows that critical social and education programs are among those that get cut, this will only result in more crime and poverty which equals more money spent on prisons and welfare and less money collected in taxes...more deficit. raise taxes!!!!

    November 18, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  178. Caroline Athens, GA

    YES, felons should be expelled. It should automatic, no vote, automatic.
    And, they should automatically lose their lucrative pensions and benefits. All that would surely deter criminal behavior. However, you can bet Congress would N-E-V-E-R vote any of this in. Too bad; it would be good to have virtue in our Congress, but not greed.

    November 18, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  179. Caroline Athens, GA

    Neither; I think any and all government agencies have waste. Rather than penalize citizens with additional financial burdens, I think each agency should cutting back & try streamlining their agencies. What infuriates me is the fact that most Americans run their finances like a business; but government agencies N-E-V-E-R do.

    November 18, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  180. Caroll

    Yes, absolutely! What are the people in Alaska thinking? We heard repeatedly during the campaign how Palin had an 80% approval rating. If almost 50% of the people voted for a convicted felon what does they say about the Alaskan peoples' judgement? What can we deduce from the 80% approval rating by the same people?

    November 18, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  181. rpb Viburnum Mo

    When Ron Reagan took office the tax rate on people making more than 3.5 million per year was 71%. Lets role back the Reagan tax cuts and the Fed can give the states more money. Does William McGuire really need 1.78 billion over the last 10 years as Head of United Health Care? Tax him at 71% instead of the 18% he actually paid. This would be a great start.

    November 18, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  182. Fred Thorne

    2 words,

    flat tax

    November 18, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  183. I. B., Rocky Mount, North Carolina

    I would rather my state cut spending and cut services but, "don't tax me, tax the man behind the tree."

    November 18, 2008 at 5:32 pm |
  184. T E - from OIK

    Our state is raising fees for utilities and we have bond issues to fix streets, etc. These utilities are now the price of a home.

    They have cut Medicare four or five years ago the cost of living for SS increases yearly has been very little in order to give the tax cut to the top 1% which was suppose to expire anyway in 2010.

    Start cutting the pay and bonuses for CEO's is more like it. That is some of what is wrong today. Plus stop sending jobs overseas.

    November 18, 2008 at 5:32 pm |
  185. tom in Iowa

    Local Governments should not have to raise taxes or cut services. I was at my local court house today and there were 5 or 6 people in EVERY OFFICE all doing NOTHING. Instead of cutting services, how about the local Governments get rid of some of the excess personnel they have working in the offices. We need our services (Police, Fire, Emergency, ETC.) but we do NOT need all the extra people just sitting around earning a pay check on the public's bill.

    November 18, 2008 at 5:33 pm |
  186. Dee in Florida

    Damned if you do, damned if you don't. That is the situation jurisdictions are in with regard to taxation and services.

    No matter what I have to say raise taxes. If my husband had a job that would be my choice, and we would be happy to pay our fair share. But since he is on unemployment and has not been able to find a job in six months, I guess I will still have to say raise taxes, because we are dependent on the 'services'.

    November 18, 2008 at 5:34 pm |
  187. Carl in Salt Lake City

    Recently here in Utah the state legislature cut a bunch of programs because of the budget crunch. Guess what they cut – They cut millions of dollars that had been set aside for education scholarship benefits for National Guard troops returning from Iraq!
    To me this is reprehensable and near-criminal. These soldiers faced death and served their state and nation with honor, and like petty thieves our state legislature stole their benefit money away after the fact. Three weeks later I see that this same group of fine lawmakers alloted 20 milion dollars for a study on a proposed highway route.

    Can you say assinine mismanagement?

    November 18, 2008 at 5:34 pm |
  188. C from Georgia

    First start reviewing where they can cut without pain – 10 hour days to make it a 4 day work week. Consider how much money would be saved if you weren't heating/cooling some of the state agency buildings. Second, invent a giant vacuum to catch all the hot air generated in the state capitol building while they fight about whose pork gets cut... use that to heat the homes of many of us who can't afford our heating bill this winter...

    November 18, 2008 at 5:34 pm |
  189. Missy M

    Pinch until it hurts. It's what we all do when times are tough. States need to do the same – curb unnecessary spending, cut non-essential services (and there are plenty) and make the tough decisions. Raising taxes isn't always the answer.

    Missy M. Phoenix, Arizona (where it's sunny and 82 degrees every day)

    November 18, 2008 at 5:36 pm |
  190. Jim


    Both are legitimate strategies as long as they are pursued with genuine compassion for those in need. Cutting needless services that have no potential to harm children, the elderly, the handicapped, etc. is fine. Raising taxes on those who can easily afford to pay a bit more without impact to their quality of life is also fine.

    Reno, Nevada

    November 18, 2008 at 5:37 pm |
  191. Alex

    Cuts should be made where necessary. Taxes should not be raised during an economic depression because that will only make matters worse.

    November 18, 2008 at 5:41 pm |
  192. Ralph Peoria, Il

    Cut all state salaries, starting at the top.

    November 18, 2008 at 5:44 pm |
  193. Richard Williams in Larchmont, NY

    Trim the fat at the top, get rid of the no-show jobs, get rid of county governments and raise the sales tax 1%. That my humble suggestion.

    November 18, 2008 at 5:46 pm |
  194. Jean-Louis, Thomas

    As stated by the elected President, those who make more than 250,000$ should be automatically get an increased. However, the President elected should never think of increasing taxes in people who make less than 250.000$. If he does that will be a violation of the campaign's words.

    November 18, 2008 at 5:50 pm |
  195. josh, minneapolis

    Cut services!!! I cant afford to pay higher taxes. I make to much to qualify for any services but i make to little to pay my expenses. how is raising taxes gonna help me? Simple, it wont . Maybe I should not work at all so I can qualify for "services". I think the government has serviced us enough . Leave my money alone please... I earned it.

    November 18, 2008 at 5:52 pm |
  196. Jan/AR

    We cannot afford for any state services to go to private companies. We all end up paying more in the long run. I say cut out the pork projects. States need firefighters, law enforcement, national guard units, etc. they work for the public in turn we should pay them. They provide a service.

    November 18, 2008 at 5:55 pm |
  197. Jim

    Eliminate at least half of all state and government jobs for at least 3 years. Everyone's salaries has to be no more than a fixed % of revenue. Revenue goes down, so does help.
    Businesses have to downsize, rightsize, simplify, so does Uncle Sam (Rule by the people, for the people)

    November 18, 2008 at 5:58 pm |
  198. Eric Bracke, Fort Collins, CO

    I would prefer that state and local governments trim their budgets of wasteful/useless spending like the rest of us have to do in our own budgets before going to the taxpayer.
    I can't go to my boss and ask for a raise to cover my costs of living. Why should the State?

    November 18, 2008 at 6:01 pm |
  199. Andrew Abramowitz

    raise baby raise !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 18, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  200. Carl In SC

    As far as I am concerned, they can cut services. Where I live we don't get any services anyway. Nothing will be missed.

    November 18, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  201. Edgar Diaz Huntington Park, Ca

    I say we do both. We should cut services and raise taxes,the faster we can get out of debt the better.

    November 18, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  202. Brian,PA

    Hmmm, Would i rather not have salt for my roads. Or would i rather have my taxes raised so i cant pay my bills. What a wonderful world President bush and the rest of the morons got us into.

    November 18, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  203. Lynda Swanson

    In the last 8 yrs California has created dozens of millionaires and billionaires. It's time they stepped up to the plate. DO not cut children's health & education, old age medical care, etc., in order to avoid tapping into these super-super-super rich folks' income. I am not in that group, but since I am in the 30%+ tax bracket, I, too, would be subject ot higher taxes and would pay them happily rather than cut essential services.

    November 18, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  204. John Z

    Cut programs. Do you have any idea how much in taxes Californians pay?

    November 18, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  205. Roger

    Jack, the good, the bad, the ugly, the ultimate answer is BOTH.

    November 18, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  206. Thomas

    Let's see how's about cut spending!!!!

    November 18, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  207. Kevin

    For goodness sake - raise my taxes! I'm poor and I'd still rather pay what probably wouldn't amount to more than a couple of dollars more per pay period than see essential services get cut. Jeez! - What are people thinking?

    November 18, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  208. L.A. Landers

    I would prefer to see the states make better use of the tax money they are now collecting, and stop the wasteful, and pork barrel, spending. Then they would not have to cut services, or increase taxes!

    November 18, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  209. Paul from Michigan

    Neither. Raising taxes is never the answer and cutting services would make things worse. I feel the government should cut wasteful spending and stop paying top officials so much money.

    November 18, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  210. Joe in Tucson

    Raise my taxes please. Education in the country has suffered enough.
    We have to look to the future.

    November 18, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  211. Mary Harrington

    Raise taxes: we need decent schools, emergency services, hospitals- and in turn we deserve state employees who are polite, helpful, competent or they should be relegated to the unemployment lines and replaced with people who want to work for their fellow citizens with integrity and energy. -Rev. Mary

    November 18, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  212. fonzi


    They should do neither but ask congress for BAILOUT!!!

    Richard Fonzi,

    November 18, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  213. Gerald

    raise taxesin AZ, I want to enjoy life

    November 18, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  214. Gordon

    Cut services....period!

    November 18, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  215. Tammie

    cut all of useless spending and dont be looking for raises for the state government. If we have to live on less so should they.

    November 18, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  216. Dmitriy

    Neither there has to be millions of smokers in new york state paying higher taxes, like 15 extra dollars a week since the increase in june 08 so where has that money gone?

    November 18, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  217. Calista and Dean Scott

    Do not cut services. Do raise taxes. Laconner, Washington

    November 18, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  218. John in Lexington SC

    Hi Jack, Cut services and raise taxes. I'm broke anyway so I don't give a damn.

    November 18, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  219. Bruce Tromp


    We should raise taxes. It's high time individuals in this country start making personal sacrifices for the greater good. The era of buying cheap goods made in China that we don't need is over. How about a little fiscal responsibility on the part of the American people? Times are tough but if we had been saving some money like our grandparents did we wouldn't be in this mess as deeply as we are.

    Bruce (Dayton Ohio)

    November 18, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  220. Al

    Jack, while I don't have a problem paying my fair share and even more in rough times, I trust my state as much as I trust the auto makers. Next year both will be back with hands extended because of foolish spending.

    November 18, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  221. John

    Neither !! I have a very hard time understanding when cuts need to be made, it's always the services directly for the people. Maybe some high salaried and useless political appointments should be cut to save money. If we cut enough of those, maybe we could have more services for less money!!

    November 18, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  222. Odile LaComb

    Govenor Patterson of New York has been trying without success to get unions and state agencies to take concessions but, of course, they each say No to their own interests. If we all gave a little perhaps our huge deficit could be resolved.
    Odile Lacomb
    Massena, New York

    November 18, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  223. Lonny/Las Vegas

    My State Nevada has a shortfall of over 300 million, I feel we should cut State Jobs and lower the compensation for other employees, for too long now they have wasted the tax payers hard earned money.

    November 18, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  224. Joe Morales

    Sure state govertments should raise taxes, but only after they have removed all the fat from their budgets, something they should have done years ago. Same goes for the federal government.

    November 18, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  225. Paul Clawson

    Jack, I am unemployed as of right now and I really dont see a job in my future. I can't afford higher taxes I am barely livng on unemployment benefits, however I think all states need to look into cutting lesser needed services and then only if needed raise some type of tax instead of raising all taxes.
    Paul C.
    Jonesville, VA

    November 18, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  226. Randolph Hurst, West Warwick, RI

    Time to have the wealthiest return to paying taxes again. Or should we just stop sending out Social Security benefit checks to the old people, stop responding to house fires, and let chaos rule the streets?

    November 18, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  227. Preston

    Raise taxes. We who are on permanent disability from Social Security only receive an average of $600 per month. That's only 3/4 of the poverty level! That's inhumane. We treat our pets better. We need Social Security disability rates raised, if that requires raising taxes that's a small price to pay.

    November 18, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  228. charley

    Jack No more taxes no more cuts. Let's start by charging lobbyists a fee for breathing and institue a liar fee for our dishonest politicians. We should have this paid off in about a week.

    November 18, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  229. William Harasym

    Although each states' needs and wants may differ, I think that they all need to look at a variety of issues, and solutions. Maybe a combination of both could solve some problems, and the steam lining of state government, eliminating redundancy, and spending wisely. Eliminate patronage and no-shows, and look at ways to increase productivity and efficiency. Their are many ways to look at this, as this is not a black and white issue or problem.

    Bill Harasym
    Sheridan, Wyoming

    November 18, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  230. Diane Cutsinger

    I want my state government to do what I have to do in tough times....cut out the extras and reduce spending. We have to live within our means, the government can do the same. I don't think services would have to be cut. I drive the 210 freeway everyday and they have spent millions landscaping this section of road in the past several years. Is that really necessary? I'm sure there are other areas that could be cut as well.
    I would love to go to my employer when I'm short of money and demand an increase in salary. Isn't that what these states are asking us to do?
    Diane Cutsinger
    Upland, CA

    November 18, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  231. larry wickersham

    Citizens have always had to live within their budgets. Now is the time for government to start living within its budget. The tax and spend time has come to an end.

    November 18, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  232. Thom O'Shaughnessy

    Jack, As a native Californian and a political activist I support our new Speaker of the State Assembly Karen Bass. She is looking into a major overhaul of the way our states raising funds through taxation. Nothing should be sacred. We should look to a unitary tax, VAT [Value Added Tax] as Tourism is a major activity. Your question – raise taxes in the short run not cut services. Workers on an 80% work week not layoffs.
    Clsoe facilities one day a week. Share the pain as we reform and keep up essential services. Thom from Burbank, CA

    November 18, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  233. G.P.

    They should trim state jobs that are not necessary. Stop giving money to those who don't deserve it. People can't afford higher taxes right now.

    Here in California, the indian tribes don't pay taxes, maybe its time they did. The state also gives them money each week, just because.

    November 18, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  234. mcpherson

    Jack, they are going to do what they want to do anyway. So raise the taxes, cause they are going to increase they budget along with it. They are not going to stop lying until the mortuary put the clue on their lips.

    November 18, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  235. Joan, Florida

    I'm willing to pay more taxes if EVERYBODY has to pay. Perhaps a VAT (value added tax) on goods and services. (I hear the screaming now)

    November 18, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  236. E. H. Canada

    I would rather they become efficient which would obviate the problem, however I don't plan to hold my breath until this occurs. Red, Texas

    November 18, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  237. Chris Reyna

    Cafferty, In Texas, we already have low serices & a regress state tax system. As a low-income college student in debt, I say raise taxes progressively. Let's all pull together & get the states & the federal government out of debt.

    Chris Reyna
    Spring, TX

    November 18, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  238. Gabi

    Come on people...pay your share!! We have to work together if we want our country to survive!!

    November 18, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  239. Judy Goebel Mesa AZ

    I think they should do both. Then they could promote volunteerism. Nobody will have any jobs anyway.The unemployed might as well do something.

    November 18, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  240. Larry Brewer

    Seems like a simple answer to me. If we can't afford a service then we don't get it. Passing the bill to our children just ensures that they won't be able to afford that service either.

    November 18, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  241. Daniel

    Raise Taxes slightly, reduce the least necessary programs. In other words, do a little of both. People can still reduce their personal spending in many ways, and temporarily be hindered by a small tax hike in order to secure a long solution to all the huge deficit.

    November 18, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  242. James Stouffer

    Short answer: Both. The crisis facing state and local governments is not siginificantly different than that facing the nation as a whole. Wishing for a single quick-fix solution is both unrealistic and unworkable. Taxes must increase to cover essential state and munincipal services such as fire, police, basic sanitation and health emergency, while at the same time, other less-essential services must be cut or off-loaded to the private sector, either fully or partially. To the American people: There is no easy answer; get over it and get down to doing your part of the belt-tightening that will get us all out of this and back to being the nation we want and deserve.

    November 18, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  243. Herman

    Cut services or raise taxes:

    Raise the state sales tax. California has resisted raising taxes for decades. The result has been lousy roads and infrastructure, and schools that are not producing good students. In addition to not having enough money to run the state, we have lousy leadership here in California.


    November 18, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  244. Alex

    Cut services. I am sick of taxes. Most my neighborhood burnt up in the fires 4 or 5 years ago. When my parents were robbed years back, the police never found the criminal. I don't know how these expensive services have helped me. Just this month, we had a ballot measure that was going to increase the money we spend on police to $950,000,000 How can we afford that when my state is strapped. I hear stories of firemen making 1/4 million a year. No, no, no. Don't raise our taxes. Cut these services.

    November 18, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  245. Kim

    We are going to need to do both if we are realistically going to make our state budgets work in this difficult economy. Which is great because it will bring both Democrats and Republicans together in their hatred of this solution.

    Framingham, MA

    November 18, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  246. Debbie

    I feel that we all need to buckle down and pay more taxes if that is what it takes to get us on the right track. No-one likes their taxes raised, but it may have to happen to get it together.

    I guess it depends on what services they are talking about cutting.If they are talking about schools, hospitals, mental health care, etc. then they have already been cut too much. If we cut services too much, we won't have them either...then where will we be?

    November 18, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  247. Nick in Washington State

    Either approach would be irresponsible.
    We the People are already taxed to death.Our rulers need to be held accountable for their irresponsible management of the billions that are currently being wasted which flows from our rapidly bottoming pockets.Cleaning up social entitlement fraud and strictly enforcing our existing immigration laws would rapidly balance the budgets of many states without raising taxes or cutting services.

    November 18, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  248. Mike in St. Pete Beach, Florida

    I would rather see my federal income tax cut to 5% and have the the state implement an income tax of 15%. We would all be getting a tax break and my Florida dollars will stay in Florida and not go to New York or Boston where they are not worth as much.

    November 18, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  249. lee beckner

    Hey Jack, love your comments. BUT don't put all the states in the same bag, check my state – West Virginia, we are doing OK.
    Lee, Chester, WV

    November 18, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  250. pete in ny

    Come on. This is a false choice. Do you really want us to believe that there is no fat in state budgets. Estimates in NY say that there are billions in Medicaid fraud. In addition look at NY where the assembly and senate have millions of dollars to throw around to buy votes.

    November 18, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  251. Mia Jones

    I don't understand why the people should have to pay for the states mismangement of tax dollars. They need to clean up there own mess without people having to pay extra or do without. Who are these people who run these states, no body bothered to really check there creditials. Its like kids with a cookie jar full of cash. It has to be frustrating for hard working americans.

    November 18, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  252. Harrison

    I'd rather states cut services because we all are feeling squeezed and state govt. raising taxes in a time like this would put even more pressure on residents.

    November 18, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  253. steven weckstein


    When I shop I make decisions between my favorite brand or other off brands based on sale prices and my budget. I've had many jobs refer to the expression "work smarter not harder". Why can't our government do the same? By cutting waste and making smarter decisions, we may not be able to do it all, but we could sure get a lot more done.

    November 18, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  254. Janet P

    Can you believe that here in Western PA, we have an ongoing teachers strike? They want a 15% raise and went on strike because their automatic 9% wasn't enough!

    Cut services – these selfish teachers benefits!

    November 18, 2008 at 6:22 pm |
  255. Michael Jones

    If the states cuts services, the poorest Americans will be the ones who feel it the most. there are many young children and elderly adults that depend on aid in order to survive. Paying higher taxes would be an inconvenience for most, while cutting services could mean the difference in survival for others. My disabled mother-in-law survives on $460.00 a month. How can you cut her benefits and feel good about doing so?

    November 18, 2008 at 6:23 pm |
  256. Jeff Crocket

    Government union benefits and bloating of the employees in government are the problem. Slash and burn useless employees and cut back the benes!!

    November 18, 2008 at 6:23 pm |
  257. Marty from Ocracoke Island, NC

    Federal and state services are essential for our everyday quality of living. If we cut taxes, we cut services, we cut ourselves short. It's that simple. We need to all tighten our belts alot more and just face the dread together. It won't last that long relative to the consequences of the services that would suffer if they were cut.

    November 18, 2008 at 6:24 pm |
  258. Cathy Williams - Virginia

    I would prefer states reduce services. If we tightened regulations on disability claims, enforced welfare rules, and cut back on undeserved entitlements, many states might find themselves with a surplus rather than a deficit. I know of so many cases where I believe the person should NOT be on disability for "nerves" or "back problems". Who among us hasn't had a stressful day or suffered a debilitating back ache? But responsible adults continue to work. We have turned into a nation on the take and the money has run out!

    November 18, 2008 at 6:24 pm |
  259. Ellie Taylor

    Jack: Let me get this straight – I have to either pay more taxes or get fewer low-quality service. Either way, I guess I will have to sacrifice. Fine with me. It's time Americans stop whining and do both - expect less and pay more. We've been living beyond our means, refusing to save our money, and buying on credit. Let's all sacrifice together so that others don't have to lose their jobs and live on the street. It's time to accept our responsibility is all of this, and stop paying the blame game.

    November 18, 2008 at 6:24 pm |
  260. Ray, Dover, Delaware

    Jack, I honestly think they need to do a little of both. One alone is not going to do it, but too much of either one is seriously going to affect the area. I don't mind paying a little more in taxes for the services I receive, but when things get better, instead of them just rolling in the dough and using the extra cash for unnecessary government, maybe they can turn around and cut the taxes so that we can continue planning for retirement.

    November 18, 2008 at 6:24 pm |
  261. Troy Murray

    I don't think they should raise taxes until they look at all expenses and see where they can cut.There is too much waste and corruption in the government.They could make it on a lot less, like the middle class is having too.

    November 18, 2008 at 6:25 pm |
  262. Ann

    Although I think we need to look at all services to see how we can do better, I am more in favor of higher taxes than cutting services. Think about it. Do you want people in your nursing home not being able to read when they distribute medications? Do you want someone hungry breaking into your home? Do you want more people and children living on the street or under bridges.

    November 18, 2008 at 6:25 pm |
  263. Elisa

    Raising the taxes of people who don't have enough money to meet their basic living expenses doesn't make very much sense to me--I believe that the state needs to tighten its belt, just like my family has had to do, by cutting programs. No one wants their program to be cut, but when there is no money, there is no money. It is wonderful when a state or government is able to offer a variety of programs to its citizens, but I think it's time we all get real about what we can afford.

    November 18, 2008 at 6:25 pm |
  264. Murph

    Jack: The states and local governments took advantage of the bloated realestate market. They were quick to raise realestate taxes, and spend that money as fast as they got it. Those politicians were just greedy as the wall streeters. They should be accountble for their mismanagement. Lets stop looking for a hand out from the taxpayers to solve our problems. They need to start doing the job we are paying them to do. No more bail outs!!!

    November 18, 2008 at 6:26 pm |
  265. John R from Oregon

    Tough question, Jack
    I believe most states can't spend into a deficit, unlike the feds. It will probably be a combination of both. The result should be the rich folks will have to pay more (they have more to give) and the poor will have to get by with less services and less money to spend when they get laid off. I really hope we can keep the education part stable...it is the best way out of a stagnant economy. Growth via new jobs.

    November 18, 2008 at 6:26 pm |
  266. Tim Kelley

    I would rather we use a mix of cutting services and raising taxes.We should reduce spending all departments from education to the department of social services. We should tackle excess spending and waste. In the past year the DSS of Maryland lost thousands of dollars in expired, stolen, or lost gift cards. We can do better at managing our resources.

    Next we need to out source services where possible and try to get the best bang for our buck. We should explore congestion and toll lanes to fund our highway needs. By retro-fitting schools and government buildings to be energy efficient we can reduce over head costs.

    There are a variety of options out there. The best option requires a combined effort.

    Baltimore, MD

    November 18, 2008 at 6:27 pm |
  267. Thomas AbileneTx

    Start taxing churches and other religious institutions when they push their brand of politics(right or left) on others-although they all profess that they do no such thing.

    November 18, 2008 at 6:28 pm |
  268. Yvonne White

    I feel that the State of California should do both. First we should cut out the governorship, especially while Arnie is in office. He promised to improve the state's financial problems and has only made matters worse. He flip flops often and can't make up his mind as to what should be done. Governor Davis was recalled because of the budget and was doing a great and better job than Arnie. Now this!

    Secondly, we should raise taxes on the rich. They can best afford to suffer a little, especially those who buy boats and planes outside of California. Give us middle class folks a break from tax increases, please!

    November 18, 2008 at 6:28 pm |
  269. Terrie

    How in heaven can taxes be raised when there are no jobs? And we are loosing our homes so there's no property tax to raise! Shall we raise the taxes on the Chineese & Mexican products we now buy which used to be manufactured here?
    Cut services? When the rug is being ripped out from under so many Americans, services are needed. .
    Do what it takes to bring JOBS back to the US & then maybe we won't loose our homes or NEED these services so many want to cut.
    We are in a mess & we trully are ALL in this together.

    November 18, 2008 at 6:28 pm |
  270. Kim

    Why cut services to citizens?

    Let's start with cutting services to illegals.
    These numbers and costs are increasing faster that we can count.

    November 18, 2008 at 6:28 pm |
  271. Gil from Edison

    I think the states that are in trouble should do both. This may be a socialist or marxist or communist view, but I think they should spread the pain of the burden – raise taxes and lower expenses by cutting and improving cost efficiency for necessary programs.

    November 18, 2008 at 6:28 pm |
  272. Kina, NYC

    Okay, let me see; here's a ROCK, and there's a VERY HARD PLACE; hmm..this is a tough one, Jack.


    November 18, 2008 at 6:28 pm |
  273. Andrew, Houston

    I think the state should cut spending on certain earmarks that are not deemed very necessary. This would diminish the quality of services that we recieve from our state, but that money can be used elsewhere. If the state raise taxes, it would hurt the middle class families. As the economy deteriorates, every individual and families as well need to ratain as much money as they can.

    November 18, 2008 at 6:29 pm |
  274. Rick Cox

    Raise taxes, Jack.

    November 18, 2008 at 6:29 pm |
  275. ernie zierle

    cut services for sure. let me burn my leaves. put the law enforcement to work with violent crime, not trafic violations, let the people vote on pay raises for our elected officals, quit busing children across town to school, start a fdr type wpa. go to it jack. i love your segment.

    November 18, 2008 at 6:31 pm |
  276. Todd from Canada

    We can't afford to raise taxes. Crimping consumer spending any further would be insane in this kind of economy.
    We can't afford to cut services. They've already been slashed to the bone and many will be needing them now more than ever.
    We can't afford not to choose. Failing to do so means pushing already high budget deficits into the stratosphere.

    Isn't this what happens in a recession? We're unable to afford anything?

    November 18, 2008 at 6:31 pm |
  277. Ray

    Raise Taxes!

    Just change all taxes back to where they were 8 years ago – times were really good way back then – you know, Before Bush.

    November 18, 2008 at 6:32 pm |
  278. Mandy Slupinski

    I don't think there's any programs/services left in my state to cut. So I guess I'll take the raising taxes choice. Thier probally going to do that anyway.

    November 18, 2008 at 6:33 pm |