August 28th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Should government raise taxes to deal with deficit?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/04/10/art.getty.money.jpg caption=" Should the government raise taxes to deal with the deficit?"]FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

With a $9 trillion deficit facing this country over the next 10 years, it is almost inevitable that taxes will have to go up at some point. The questions are: When and by how much? The answers are probably soon and a lot.

As the government continues to spend more than it takes in, it keeps borrowing more – especially from overseas. These countries, like China and Japan, pretty much own us and can demand higher interest rates or decide to put their money somewhere else.

Experts say if that happened, taxes would shoot sky high in the U.S. and the government would only be able to provide the most basic public services while the social safety net would "evaporate."

The problem with raising taxes now is we're still fighting our way out of a recession, and most economists think that's the wrong time to make people shell out more.

For his part, President Obama is promising to keep taxes low for most people. The president's plan to raise taxes on only the wealthiest is estimated to raise about $600 billion over the next 10 years – but that's only a drop in the bucket when you consider a $9 trillion deficit during that same time.

Tax experts suggest Congress will eventually have to take pretty drastic measures, like making the entire tax system less complicated. Also, income tax revenue alone likely won't be enough to raise the money we'll need, which is why some suggest a value-added tax on all goods and services.

Here’s my question to you: Should the government raise taxes to deal with the deficit?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Paul from Canada writes:
In Canada, we had a similar debt problem back in the early 90's, our liberal government began increasing taxes and cutting back programs to specifically pay down our debt. It took over a decade to reap results, but now our economy is back on stable footing and we had some leeway to absorb the cost of our recent stimulus bill. It takes time, but the only course of action is to honor your debts and start paying them back or else you'll start running out of creditors. It’s called realism.

Ken writes:
Taxes need to be raised to the pre-Reagan era levels: 60% for incomes from 250k to 1 million and 75% for incomes above 1 million. In addition, we need to cut military spending 10%, eliminate farm aid, cancel all NASA space flights, remove the 100k cap on Social Security payroll taxes, and stop providing Medicaid for persons who own homes and have IRA accounts above $1,500. We are a sinking ship and we will go down unless politicians take immediate and drastic actions.

Denny writes:
Raise taxes? Absolutely not! Government should have to learn to manage with the tax revenue that they currently collect. There is too much mismanagement and waste going on already. Increasing taxes will only give government more money to mishandle. They need to make due with what they have.

Phil writes:
Yes, taxes should be raised and it should be a VAT tax or sales tax. This would catch the billions lost in the "underground" economy!

Charles writes:
Of course government should raise taxes. It should start by immediately repealing the tax reductions passed during the Bush years. If we want to fight foreign wars, finance farm welfare, help people buy Japanese cars, and attempt to give everyone health care, we have to pay for it. It is unbelievable that there are so many Americans that think this is all free.

Filed under: Deficit • Taxes
soundoff (302 Responses)
  1. The Village Idiot Crested Butte Colorado

    we should end the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan' we could save billions of dollars.... if they aren't another Vietnam beat me with an Idiot stick.
    This christain crusade to start armageddon to force the hand of god, to bring the second coming( so the faithful can be raptured up to the treasure land) is absurd and a total fairy tale, most con jobs are comforting to their victims,.... force feeding muslims christianity and democracy is idiotic and budget busting expensive.
    I demand the total separation between church and state do you think for a moment that if Barack Obama hadn't proclaimed his allegiance to jesus that he would have been elected president?

    August 28, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  2. Michael M Phoenix AZ

    There are two choices to get more money to pay for services: 1) raise taxes slightly or come up with a flat tax rate that's equitable; 2) and you don't want to do this-just print more money and create hyper-inflation similar to Germany of the 1920s. Remember California voted to lower property taxes in the early 70s in Prop 13 and it killed any state and local services for years.....how would you like to get a bill from the fire dept after they come to put out the fire threating your home?

    August 28, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  3. Mark... Voorhees, New Jersey

    Taxes should be raised on health insurance companies, to about 75%, because they produce nothing.. Halliburton, Blackwater or whatever they are calling themselves this week, and other war profiteers, should be taxed at 90% .Marijuana and other drugs should be legalized, and if the government is not in the business itself (because then they could thereby strategically control the economies of many countries). that could be taxed also.(There would then be money for drug rehabilitation and education, which are the only things that reduce demand.) Televangelists and churches, in general should be taxed, because they do not represent all of the people. And lobbyists and other influence peddlers, should be taxed out of existence, and K st. should be converted to VA facilities. I think that would cover the deficit. Anything else you want solved?

    August 28, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  4. Greg in Cabot Arkansas

    Come on Jack, most Americans think it is a necessity to raise taxes to deal with the deficit, and like Most Americans, I think it is a good idea too.....just as long as it's not MY taxes that get raised.

    August 28, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  5. Jayne

    The Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans should be repealed immediately. That particular giveaway cost more than the entire estimated cost of health care reform in this country. What's more important? Welfare for yacht owners or basic medical care for every American?

    August 28, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  6. Joyce F.

    NO; the government simply needs to cut every department and every employee by 10% - that will take care of the problem. Also, the Congress and Senate could begin omitting pork adds to the bills it passes.
    Taxes are not the answer, never were the answer and never will be the answer. If you aren't making it, you can't spend it - just like a household budget. Stop spending and take a cut, like the ordinary American citizen does.

    August 28, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  7. Jeff

    What DEFICIT, all we have to do is make more money, that is what our president thinks.

    August 28, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  8. Wilhelm von Nord Bock

    I know the conventional wisdom is that the government doesn't raise taxes in a recession BUT the Bush tax cuts, which should have be recended when we went to war with Iraq, went so far that massive deficites were inevitable. it's time for the wealthy in America to pay at least the same percentage as working people in taxes. when the second richest man in America, Warren Buffet, thinks it's crazy that he pays a lower percentage of his annual income in taxes than his secretary, people should pay attention.

    August 28, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  9. R Wendel

    Congress will have to raise taxes. The money to pay off the deficit has to come from somewhere. Why not take a lesson from the "ultimate" Republican President, Eisenhower: Bring back the 90% tax bracket on multi-millionaires! Ike and his Republican Congress knew they had to pay off WW2 and the on-going Korean War somehow, and they did. They also made our armed forces fight, cook, build, transport and support for themselves. Fire Halliburton and Blackwater, and half our deficit disappears right there!

    August 28, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  10. Carla Martin-Wood, Birmingham, AL

    Yes: On individuals earning $250,000 a year and up. Rich people pay less than poor people in this country - and they have the money to hire attorneys that make sure they do. Also, tax loopholes should be firmly closed on big corporations. Corporations that outsource from overseas should pay higher rates of taxes that would serve to deter outsourcing and keep Americans employed at home. And there should be a 90% income tax on these million dollar plus bonuses

    August 28, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  11. Charlie in Belen, New Mexico

    Taxes (as a percentage of income) are far less for those at the top than those in the "middle class". The wealthest have tax lawers etc to lower their tax bill while the rest of us carry the load and "they" acquire more and more wealth. There is no real reason that the few at the top income levels can not afford to contribute more to support the system that made them wealthy.

    August 28, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  12. Gail, Plano,Texas

    Yes Jack, the government should raise taxes to deal with the deficit. But the right wing crazies will come out of the woodwork, yelling and screaming NO! My God, what has happened to this country???

    August 28, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  13. Jack Kramer in California


    No, the government should reduce taxes and spending. It takes hard choices to accomplish this, but it should be done.

    August 28, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  14. Russ in PA

    No new taxes, none at all. Government needs to start shutting down all wars, and closing up all overseas military bases as a first step. Then all bail outs and cash for name-your-poison programs must end. Then each politician needs to cut his staff by 20%; let them feel the pain. Then end the Fed, the IRS, and Department of Education...

    Oh, wait, Ron Paul already suggested all that years ago. Smart man...

    August 28, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  15. Toye Smith, Bridgeport CT

    Government can raise tax all they want; as long as it's on the rich folks. I don't make anything close to $250,000; which is what we agreed on. So if I see a penny increase in my tax, well THAT WILL JUST PISS ME OFF!!!

    Toye Smith
    Bridgeport, CT

    August 28, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  16. Tina Tx

    No. We need to get out of the business of trying to police the world. We cannot change decades of tribal warfare. We are sinking here and all we have ever cared about is making the world Christian and that will never happen. Who cares if they don't believe like us? As long as you believe in a God it is their right not ours to change them to believe like us.

    August 28, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  17. Kelby in Houston

    yes, of course. How else do you handle deficits. Look at California. They are in a miserable state of affairs and that's after cutting alot of needed services. The best way of handling deficits is to increase your revenue. Raise taxes and eveything will be okay.

    August 28, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  18. Susan from Bham, Al.

    No they should not raise taxes. If they would quit spending money
    that would help, but with Democrats in power what do you expect?

    August 28, 2009 at 1:16 pm |
  19. Tom, Montana

    Yes. Please tax gas heavily. Nothing else will get us to change our wasteful ways and wean us off our oil dependency, which is the number one risk to our national security.

    August 28, 2009 at 1:16 pm |
  20. Chuck in warren, Ohio

    Jack: Jobs will bring down the deficit. The 8.5 trillion dollars lost in the economy would go a long way to pay down the deficit. All we have to do is go find it and put the thieves in jail. Jack that may sound a little sarcastic but I could care less about the petty B/S. Wall Street is still greedy, banks are still too big to fail, and not lending to get people back on their feet. I am not buying any products from anyone that advertise's on CNN, CNBC or FOX. I think my attitude is just about right.

    August 28, 2009 at 1:22 pm |
  21. Paul Austin, Texas

    The government should equalize taxes not raise them. Our tax system needs to be reformed so all above the poverty line pay their fair share of taxes. Stop the middle class footing the bill on everything and restructure the percent system to tax all at the same percent level regardless of your income. That in itself would greatly reduce the deficit.

    August 28, 2009 at 1:22 pm |
  22. Remo, Beautiful downtown Pflugerville Texas

    Jack, didn't someone in the White House pledge "NO TAXES"?
    Shouldn't the White House play back some old campaign tapes!
    Shouldn't we get back some of that bail-out money with interest?
    What does the saying ; You can't squeeze blood fron a turnip", tell you.
    Shouldn't that tell you that you can no longer trust Mr. Obama. Or did he just look at the bill that all this bail-out and program money is costing?

    August 28, 2009 at 1:26 pm |
  23. Jackie in Dallas

    Ah, you want to put President Obama in the hot seat, don't you?

    I don't think anyone doubts that we need to do something about the deficit, and that something is going to involve taxes. However, the real issue is going to be where those taxes come from. If the GOP has its way, it will be from the poor and the middle class, as usual, even though we already bear the brunt of the tax burden anyway. Where it SHOULD come from is extra taxes on every company that has off-shored white collar jobs to avoid paying their fair share of taxes here, and those CEOs and Wall Street types that played with our money, and lost through rotten decision making. Tax those golden parachutes, those "company training" outings to expensive resorts, and those big buck contributions to political campaigns at 80%! I'm tired of the middle class bearing the pain of "trickle-down"; it's about time the pain trickled UP!

    August 28, 2009 at 1:37 pm |
  24. Conor in Chicago

    Well Jack, it was the Bush spending spree coupled with the lowest tax revenue in American history that is largely responsible for the situation we find ourselves in. We can either borrow our future away or raise taxes to soften the blow and slowly get out of the red. Of course it will all be blamed on Obama-lord knows a Republican who's religious can't be held responsible for it all-that would be "Un-American".

    August 28, 2009 at 1:41 pm |
  25. Tony from Torrington

    Yes, then they can say "Let them eat cake,"

    August 28, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  26. Bizz, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    I think we have to be honest with ourselves and realize we need to raise taxes. I know that is a hard pill to swallow but I'm willing to accept it if it directly goes to bring down the deficit. I think President Obama was dealt a bad hand when he took office. He was handed a large deficit, two wars and a economy that was about to turn quickly into a depression if something wasn't done right away. I dread to think where we would be right now if George W was still president.

    August 28, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  27. Robert

    Yes, they should...its the only thing that they havent done that will work. However they should do it gradually so it wont have any adverse effect on our economy.

    August 28, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  28. Denny Belrose

    Raise taxes!?! Absolutely not! Government should have to learn to manage with the tax revenue that they currently collect. There is too much mismanagement and waste going on already. Increasing taxes will only give Government more money to mishandle. They need to make due with what they have.

    August 28, 2009 at 1:45 pm |
  29. Irv Lilley

    Jack, Even if the government raises taxes, the rich will find ways to avoid paying their fair share. Cutting out all unnecessary spending
    would be another way. Also put a freeze on hiring employees for the
    federal government. Make Representatives and Senators pay for part of their healthcare like the rest of us.

    August 28, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  30. Tom, Bradenton, FL

    Didn't the president promise us no tax increases? End the wars, stop outsourcing and have pay up the rich people and we will be fine.

    August 28, 2009 at 1:47 pm |

    i think so, everyone wants the thing the usa can give to them but no one wants to pay for them,
    we are never going to get out of this hole untill you get everyone back to work at good wages,
    the tax cuts did not do anything for the people, so lets try paying more taxes

    August 28, 2009 at 1:52 pm |
  32. Roy

    Without spending cuts, Pres. Bush should never have cut taxes in the first place. That policy increased our debt $5 trillion. Taxes will have to be raised, but not yet. We've just barely dodged the Great Depression II.


    August 28, 2009 at 1:52 pm |
  33. Bill D

    Yeah, the government should raise taxes on the banks and bums that received most of the TARP funds and bailouts. The government should also raise taxes on the companies that are laying off Americans and shipping their jobs overseas. The government should raise taxes on war profiteers like KBR and Haliburton and on mercenaries like Xe (Blackwater). The government should make churches and televangelists who get involved in politics pay taxes and back-taxes as long as they've been working both sides of the fence. The government should tax talk radio and cable "news" (infotainment and propaganda) for making us dumber. The government should raise taxes on insurance companies to pay for health insurance coverage for those they deny out of greed.

    There are a lot of people working against a better life for the rest of us. Unfortunately, it's the rest of us who are footing the bill.

    Bill D
    Champaign, IL

    August 28, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  34. george

    No , they should just collect the taxes that are owed plus let the tax break for the rich expire, and that would be a great deal. Raising taxes at this time would be political suicide, and would be very hard on a lot of people. Things are beginning to get better, and given a little more time they will get ever more better. It took us eight years, and a waste of a surplus to get in this mess, so don't get your jammers in an uproar if it takes a while longer to get us back to normal. Hopefully we never elect another polititian from the party who started all of this crap.. .

    August 28, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  35. Meg from Troy, Ohio

    The government–the President and Congress working together for a change–need to come up with a strategy for paying the deficit down. I'm not an expert enough at financial matter to know what exactly needs to be done, but obviously the government's income has to grow.

    August 28, 2009 at 1:56 pm |
  36. Bill R.

    Why not? The fat cats are getting richer, and the workers are taking a cut in pay. Hit those rich cats in the pocketbook!

    August 28, 2009 at 1:56 pm |
  37. David Clark Witkin Livermore, CA

    Jack: Of course the Government is going to have to raise taxes to deal with the Deficit. The only questions are: How quickly and how much? Have we forgotten all the lessons learned from John Maynard Keynes? Priming the pump with Deficit spending WORKS! It is the best short-term solution to economic crisis.

    The increase in taxes should wait for two years so we can begin to crawl out of the ditch Bush left us in. Of course, we can always repeal the top half of the Bush tax gifts to the Rich right now. As for how much more to raise taxes, let the improving economy itself provide us with up-to-date figures in one year's time, then we can fine-tune how much to raise taxes based on how much beneficial effect the stimulus and reform packages had overall.

    August 28, 2009 at 2:04 pm |
  38. Connie

    Not only will taxes have to be raised, but we're going to have to cut spending. I suggest we start with Medicare and Medicaid and do away with both of them as they are socialist programs.

    August 28, 2009 at 2:06 pm |
  39. Kay in WV

    Yes, because the longer they put off raising taxes, the more draconian those tax increases will have to be when enacted. This generational debt-shift is unconscionable and dangerous.

    August 28, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  40. Jeannette Toronto

    Why not raise taxes or lift the tax havens for those who take jobs off shore on those that Bush, Cheney and the Republican Party so politely pushed through for their own buddies?
    Any and all companies who cannot remain in the country and employ Americans, with equal salary, health care and benefits, (as they give themselves so generously, should be taxed to compensate those without employment and health benefits!
    Those on the other side talk about being American(GOP -NOT)!

    They are the Dictatorship as China IS!

    August 28, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  41. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    If Obama hopes for a second term he can't raise taxes. To gain a second term he could start "talking republican" and talk about growing the country out of debt. He could talk about cutting taxes, like Bush did in his 2nd term. Someone must pay for the countries purchases and I hope Obama does raise taxes, in his second term. The though of another republican term so soon makes me ill.

    August 28, 2009 at 2:09 pm |
  42. Joe in VA

    Jack, have you been asleep? The government already has raised taxes and is planning to do more of the same. Recall "cap and trade" ? It will not be free, and just look at all the goodies to help pay for the health care program. But the theory is good. Tax everybody but you and me, especially that dastardly 2% that are highly successful, and we can all live in mediocrity together. For a direct answer to your question – yes – there is no option but higher taxes and more economic stagnation as a result. A value added tax may be in option.

    Chatham, VA

    August 28, 2009 at 2:09 pm |
  43. Charles, Lansing, MI

    Of course government should raise taxes. It should start by immediately repealing the tax reductions passed during the Bush years. If we want to fight foreign wars, finance farm welfare, help people by Japanese cars, and attempt to give everyone health care, we have to pay for it. It is unbelievable that there are so many Americans that think this is all free.

    August 28, 2009 at 2:12 pm |
  44. David in San Diego

    Maybe, or maybe not. Not now, but perhaps soon. However, most of the added debt will be "repaid" from increased economic activity and profits (corporate and individual) that get taxed at current rates. So there is no need to raise taxes to cover the entirety of the added debt.

    August 28, 2009 at 2:13 pm |
  45. Al, Lawrence KS

    Only a robust economy, with high wages and full employment, will solve the deficit problem. Everything the government does should be aimed at this goal. It really doesn't make any sense raising taxes when people don't have jobs or are under-employed. An income tax on zero income still equals zero.

    August 28, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  46. Richard McKinney, Texas

    No. What the government should do is bring our troops home now. All troops stationed in the Iraq and Afghanistan need to be placed on our borders. the government needs to stop meddling in other countries affairs period. If another country needs saving let some other country do it. This sending money to feed other countries people when our own are starving is insane. The farm income for this year plummeted to 54 billion when it should have been 87.2 billion. Ethanol isn't getting it folks and farm exports are down to 96 billion when last year it was 117 billion. For those of you that don't know it, agriculture is Americas largest export so all this means the economy is going to be worse. Americans will not be able to afford a tax increase and tax increases on the wealthy will simply be passed down to the middle class and the poor. This illusion that taxes will not go up is only an illusion. The cost of everything is going up which means we all pay more in taxes when we buy things. The government has no money of it's own. Each and every penny they spend comes from tax payers or is borrowed from other countries at an alarming rate. We can no longer afford our congressional leaders extravagant spending period.
    ( Sorry Jack. There is no short answer. These are the facts and the longer our leaders ignore them the harder this is going to be on all of us.)

    August 28, 2009 at 2:15 pm |
  47. Mark in OKC

    Well now, itsn't that a nice little trick.....we are going to spend until the cows come home and by the way, since we are so reckless with the taxpayers money, we are going to have to INCREASE taxes on those taxpayers.....sounds like a vicious circle to me, Jack.

    August 28, 2009 at 2:18 pm |
  48. Jay

    How about instead of raising taxes, the government could try to stop spending all of our money?

    August 28, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  49. a.c. of La.

    Yes Jack, I do think taxes need to and must go up if we are to climb out of this hole we are in. As to how much, I don t know. I think a Fed. Sales tax on all goods and services is a good idea everyone who spends a dollar pays something. The Bush tax cuts will expire next year. Congress must limit earmarks. No unfunded programs. Ferret out all moneys owed the Government by individuals and Corp. here and abroad. We need to re-enact Glass-Stegell. regulating the financial institutions. We all know how we got to this place so lets lay the blame aside, do the truly patriotic thing and get our country out of this miserable debt.

    August 28, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  50. GWTripp

    I believe that the good people who are actually paying their taxes are already doing enough to shoulder the burden of our Nations Security and the Social Commitments to its own citizens and to the citizens of the world. What needs to be done is to require those who make a profit off the sweat of hard working Americans to pay their taxes. Multi-national organizations rape the world of its resources and and hide their assets so no nation can recieve its rightful share of tax payments. There walks amoung us those who by the power of their money have created a world seperate from our own. Do you not wonder at the grand estates that cover several acres of prime real estate and try to immagine who could afford such luxury? These elite own several such estates. Money means nothing to them because they have more of it than an average person could earn in a hundred lifetimes. It's time to tax the 1% of us who own 99% of everything.

    August 28, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  51. Barbara in Los Angeles

    They should get rid of income and property taxes, and just go to a VAT tax. We already have a system to collect sales taxes, and going to a VAT will mean that everyone will pay and there would be no way to dodge the tax. No need to report income, and no IRS needed.

    Even if you're a rich person or corporation with a staff of tax lawyers looking for loopholes, or an illegal alien working "off the books," you'll still have to pay when you spend money. Of course, you can't just tax purchases of tangible goods, like a house or a car. You'd also have to tax financial transactions, like buying or selling stocks, or a holding company funding a subsidiary, so rich people and corporations pay, too.

    And you'd have to tax any money transferred overseas, so people and companies don't earn money in the US but spend it (untaxed) overseas.

    I think if you did this, and didn't have any exceptions, you'd plug enough loopholes that you'd raise far more money than under the current system.

    August 28, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  52. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    No Jack, the government should do what every American family has to do to balance the checkbook, stop spending more than they take in. Giveaways account for the vast majority of our problem. Let's get back to that core American belief that you are entitled only to what you earn through your own hard work, not a whole market basket of government handouts.

    August 28, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  53. Michelle Johnson, Lomita, CA

    It is right for President Obama to raise taxes, and only on the wealthiest people, as they can afford it. This is the only way to acquire the money to create jobs, and the nation will prosper only if everyone who can work is employed, makes a good wage, and does a lot of spending. Economy flourishes, money circulates once more, and there will be no problem with paying the deficit.

    August 28, 2009 at 2:26 pm |
  54. Kyle Irvine, CA

    No Jack absolutely not!
    raising taxes will just put more money into a bucket with a hole at the bottom. The Federal government needs to cut drastic spending across the board. Once we have a good handle on what is coming in and what is going out, the government should cut taxes.

    August 28, 2009 at 2:26 pm |
  55. Jeff in E. Lyme, CT

    It's a no-brainer that we have to collect more tax money. The phrase "Raising Taxes" is, however inaccurate and usually reserved for the sole use by the GOP to scare people. What we need to do is eliminate loopholes created for and used by those who benefit the most from our economy, and there's a ton of them. Every line of our tax code needs to be scrutinized, analyzed & repaired. I don't know if they have fixed it yet, but 18 years ago a wealthy person who lived off dividends received a larger child day-care tax break than a blue collar worker. Do you know that any billionaire can make his family members stockholders, pay them a $10 million dollar salary in dividends only and they don't have to pay tax? Don't ever let anyone tell you the ultra-rich carry an unfair tax burden. It's a flat-out lie.

    August 28, 2009 at 2:26 pm |
  56. David Bebeau,Springfield Missouri

    Absolutely not,Our do nothing congress and fed gave ALL our money to the Wall Street Risk Takers then with the help of Chris Dodd made loopholes so the crooks could get bigger bonuses then bailed ou AIG
    who took the biggest risks.Now you want the very people who you took from to PAY MORE ????
    Why am I not surprised??? NO MORE TAXES !!!!!!!!!!

    August 28, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  57. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    First we need to end all wars that we are involved in and then we need to cut wasted spending. For example, the government wants people to do the upcoming census and to train them they are willing to pay people from central Texas to attend a weeks training in Dallas with pay and expenses paid by the tax payer instead of having trainers go to these locations and train the people. Of course this would make sense but have learned that the only problem with common sense is that it's not very common and especially with the government.

    August 28, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
  58. Heath Missoula Montana

    Yes. It is the only real way to get us out of the curent economic mess we are in. Rolling back the Bush tax cuts to the wealthiest 1-2% is essential; but, beyond that, I think those of us Americans who are above water economicaly should be as ready as we can be & WILLING to pay whatever extra we can to help those that can not. More importantly, we should all be making efforts to change our spending/saving??? habits so that we might be able to make significan long-term budget deficit reductions, so our children can have an America that is prosperous not bankrupt. I'm (lower) middle-class with two kids & I think I can give a little.

    August 28, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  59. Ryan - Galesburg, IL

    Lets get some of our money that George W. Bush handed over to Haliburton, Blackwater, Exxon, et c. Those who profitted from war and driving our economy into the ground should be our first resource in building it back up.

    August 28, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  60. Sandra in Arkansas

    Raising or revising the tax structure might help, but ultimately if we don't have working taxpayers what will it matter? A person making little or nothing has little or nothing to pay and the ultra rich always have more tax loopholes to use. Stop exporting jobs and tax revenues will increase without raising taxes. Plus the government has to tighten its belt like many Americans are having to do to just survive.

    August 28, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  61. Tom Mytoocents Fort Lauderdale Florida

    Politically incorrect to raise taxes or address criminal immigration until health care reform has become law. After health care reform the other shoes will drop and the American people will get the REAL Bill.
    All the money and bailouts squandered in 2008 will be justfied as an unavoidable unfortunate occurence. The bad people are gone and all is well in the land. Joe Shmuck and his Grand children will pay the bill with their blood, sweat and tears while the theives of New York and Washington DC plot their next unfortunate occurence. Everbody's watching this time......

    August 28, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  62. Kevin in California

    There is no question the government will have to increases taxes in the future. However, that alone will not suffice. Further cuts in the American standard of living will be necessary – be it raising the Social Security age, eliminating Medicare, not fixing infrastructure, converting to toll roads, etc.
    Oh, and maybe even eliminate a war or two.

    August 28, 2009 at 2:35 pm |
  63. lockeanddemosthenes

    Perhaps it is because the government itself is full of people who are wealthier that most Americans, but there should be a tax raise on the top 1 or 2 percent of wealthy citizens. They have the most to give and the least to lose. Unfortunately, America is so concentrated on not becoming a "socialist" society that everyone only seems to care about what is best for them, not what is best for the country.

    August 28, 2009 at 2:35 pm |
  64. Gigi

    Yes and drop the IRS and put a flat tax in place. Easy! but our capitalists friends would not like that. It means they would have to pay their fair share of the tax burden.

    It seams like the debt that has accumulated over the past years has benefited the rich rather than the poor. Lets bring down this debit by taxing those who have benefited from the government bailouts these past months. And not let them pass on to the consumer the burden. Such as, making fees for mortgage loan fees so high we can't afford to refinance. Just one example.


    August 28, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  65. Eleanora Feucht, Mt. Laurel, N.J.


    the taxpayers did not cause the deficit. Let those who created the deficit – pay for it.- like AIG, GM , and those in power who are spending the money so indiscriminatly.

    August 28, 2009 at 2:39 pm |
  66. Brittnay Palm Beach, Florida

    We got ourselves into this we should get ourselves out of it. Why are people under the assumption we never have to pay for our own mistakes. We over spent. We voted in the leaders that allowed this to happen yet we refuse to pay for it? Selfish nation.

    August 28, 2009 at 2:41 pm |
  67. Bob White, Kansas

    Raise progressive taxes eventually, yes, but not now during the recession. Two near-future progressive tax events are already being discussed. One is the allowance of the Bush tax cut for the wealthy that will soon expire. That is one tax increase which is progressive. The other possible progressive tax increase is suggested for the very wealthy individuals; those earning multi-millions and billions each year. This second tax could also apply progressively to corporations that make huge before-tax revenues much of which is sheltered from taxation. A progressive tax shelter should apply to the low-income wage earners who would not pay any income tax. Now, that is talking about fair and just taxation with which a diverse citizenship can live.

    August 28, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  68. Douglas White, Wheeling WV

    No, I don't think the goverment should go raising taxes,
    Its the goverment's own fault they are in this mess,
    Instead of giving the wealthy and the oil companies tax break's, they should just left well enough alone, The other mistake that this Admin made was they should of gone and tried to get people back to work before going and trying to spend money or reform,

    August 28, 2009 at 2:44 pm |
  69. Vivian Fauntleroy, Largo MD

    Jack, we need to get over our self-absorption and come to terms with the fact that if our country ever needed us to pay more taxes, it needs us to pay more taxes now. Should we, would we like it? No. But to paraphrase an old tune, “singing, hoping, and praying just won’t do.” Look at it this way: We can only ignore a little leak in our roof but so long before we will need a complete new roof. And if we don’t soon put a new roof on, the whole thing will cave in on us. It's our Country. It’s our choice. Paying higher taxes into our treasury now to help get us out of debt, or paying higher interest to our debt holders to keep us ever in their debt.

    August 28, 2009 at 2:45 pm |
  70. Tom from Philly

    The government should have never used the social security revenue from the working class to justifiy that artificail rate of 35% that the rich now think is their entitlement.....

    its the stupid election process these idiots want to return to washington over and over but dont want to do what is truly right

    August 28, 2009 at 2:45 pm |
  71. william fitzwater

    Yes they should. in fact I think the government should enact a VAT or national sales tax to bring the budget more in balance . however it would be extremely unpopular especially with big ticket or luxury goods items or services.

    August 28, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  72. Anna

    President Obama should remove the tax BREAK that was given to the top 3% of the country wealthy. It's immoral for people that make more money than they have sense to pay considerably less income tax and those in the middle class that keep this country running. They may be the visionaries, but we're the ones that build the ideas and keep them running. The biggies just reap the benefits.

    And if you REALLY want my opinion, I think there should be a FLAT tax. You make a lot, you pay a lot. You make very little, you pay very little. But everyone pays the same percentage. No loop holes. No deductions. Nothing.

    August 28, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  73. Terry from North Carolina

    How can you raise taxes ? We are still in a recovery mode as far as the economy goes. Lets just print some more money as we have done in the past, that seems to fix everything.

    August 28, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  74. Toye Smith, Bridgeport CT

    I find it interesting that these prophets of doom leave something out. They assume that the economy will continue on the path of free fall and all the liberal initiatives will inevitably fail. How original!
    Well I'm no expert, but I know that sitting on the side-lines, while China and Japan pull ahead; like we've done for the past eight years under Bush won't do the magic.

    August 28, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  75. David in Natchez

    Say a man already works three jobs and has trouble paying his bills should he get a fourth job or cut his expenses. All we need are basic needs. The welfare needs to stop, time for them to get out on their own. If you want healthcare work and live to be 65 years old. If you want social security again work and live to be 65 years old. Remember this word,"work".

    August 28, 2009 at 2:57 pm |
  76. Jane (Minnesota)

    They Can't just raise taxes – they have to take a long hard look at all the government spending and cut it. The government hould also use efficiency experts to review spending like struggling businsses do and actually take action on their recommendations.

    August 28, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
  77. Trueman - Toronto, Ontario

    What? Higher taxes in the good ol' U-S-of-A?
    That's communism! That's the tax'n'spend Democrats' work! That's terrorism! I shouldn't have to do my part and contribute my hard-earned money so Joe Sixpack can sit on his couch and do nothing, or so the troops can sit in Afghanistan, or so infrastructure can be built to just sit there, or so sick people can sit in hospitals! Lower taxes, smaller government, gun rights, FREEEEEEEEDOM!
    President Palin wouldn't raise my taxes, she'd say "No thanks to ya!" and let the banks, auto industry, and education system get what they deserve. Then my taxes wouldn't go up at all, right?
    Americans pay the lowest taxes anywhere, and you get what you pay for.

    August 28, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  78. Alex in Seattle

    America needs to do the responsible thing and stop borrowing from communist China. Everybody loved the money they got from the frat boy in charge the last eight years, but the party is over. Yes, the Democrats will be called "tax and spend" liberals but that is better than the "borrow and spend" conservatives.

    August 28, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  79. Kevin in Dallas, TX

    You know, if we didn't demand that the government be our rainy day fund, we probably wouldn't be in this mess. At some point, we're all going to have to relearn how to be responsible for ourselves. The sooner, the better.

    August 28, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  80. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    It has no choice but to raise taxes. The only choice it has is who gets taxed. To be fair, only those who have benefited over the last 8 years from over taxation of the middle class and those who got a free ride on the backs of the middle class should be taxed. As I see it, the middle class has already paid far more than their fair share. Now it’s time for the freeloaders to pick up their end of the burden and clean up their own mess. But guess who will get taxed and who will continue to get bailouts and free rides – right.

    August 28, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  81. Chris in Philadelphia

    I realize that all things government and money only go in one direction, up. But seriously the government needs to stop spending money. Don't raise taxes. Balance the budget and make sure any new spending is paid for. As a world superpower, we are disgraceful, we spend money like a teenager who just got a hold of Daddy's credit card. It needs to stop.

    August 28, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  82. honestjohn in Vermont

    No. Nien. Non. No Way. Lets give Congress and the Administration a pay and benefit cut to start with. And cut their healthcare. Then, on to the Pentagon.

    August 28, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  83. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Aa value-added tax on all goods and services is better than bankruptcy and being dependent of foreign aid!

    August 28, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  84. aaronkg1

    well yeah! Who else is going to pay for it.
    We all know its coming eventually. Can't deal with no more lies caff.

    August 28, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  85. CJ in Atlanta

    Unless my fellow Americans are willing to sacrifice infrastructure, military protection, Social Security, Medicare, VA benefits, and so much more – yes, our government should raise taxes. Our deficit is growing as a result of policies in place well before Obama's inauguration. We all enjoyed riding the wave, but now it's time to swim and pony up the cash to dig our way out of this problem.

    August 28, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  86. Tony from Torrington

    No, after all, Barack Hussein Obama said he wouldn't raise taxes on 95% of the American people. So why not let him pay for it.

    August 28, 2009 at 3:29 pm |
  87. Donald in CA

    Yes, why is raising taxes such a bad word. Taxes is what pays for the government functions. Everybody want to go to heaven, but nobodys wants to die to get there. Raise taxes or cut services. Thats how it works.

    August 28, 2009 at 3:29 pm |
  88. Jim, Spartanburg, SC

    Yes jack; We should have performed that act of courage in 2001 when we had the support of the American people during the run-up to the war, and we would not be in such a financial hole. What we did instead was borrow money from China to fight a war in the Middle East. That was almost a Trillion Dollars ago. Brilliant strategy if you have an IQ of 39 1/2.

    August 28, 2009 at 3:29 pm |
  89. ken

    Taxes need to be raised to the pre reagan era. 60% for incomes from 250k to 1 million and 75% for incomes above 1 million. In additon we need to cut military spending 10%, eliminate farm aid, cancel all nasa space flights, remove the 100k cap on social security payroll taxes, and stop providing medicaid for persons who own homes and have ira accounts above $1,500. We are a sinking sink and we will go down unless politicians take immediate and drastic actions.

    August 28, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  90. Randy from Salt Lake City

    Here's a better question, Jack. How can they raise taxes on income NOT being earned due to the lose of jobs?

    August 28, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  91. Allen

    Absolutely, starting with you. 95% of your salary should be taxed. The other 5% should go to a Gov designated charity. You won't mind will you? The change you voted for will take care of you. Remember you don't really know what's good or bad for you Jack. Give it up and be a good sport for change..

    August 28, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  92. Gretchen from Denver

    No need to raise taxes, just let the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy sunset next year. It would also be helpful if there was no cap on FICA payments. The wealthy should pay in the same proportions as the poor and middle class. From those who have been given much, much is required.

    August 28, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  93. Dominic Gardunio

    Jack, The only people who taxes should be raise is the BIG, LAZY RICH PEOPLE. They think because they are rich they can sit and cnjoy their life. While the working class of America has to work their butts off and use their MONEY for taxes. If we don't do something we can be in a revolt like the french did between the rich class and middle class.

    North East, PA

    August 28, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  94. Birddog in Mississippi

    Jack, every dime the government spends (other than on expenditures that go to other countries, or money spent on imports) ends up in our pockets. Say the government 'gives' it to Joe. Joe buys something from Sue. Sue uses it to buy something from Jeff , and so on. That is what the 'multiplier effect' is. It's money circulating. The effect doesn't work when people buy imports or save money (because the bank has to 'hold' a portion of it). What we really don't want to do right now is pay down the deficit, because we need that money circulating. We need to keep the debt about where it is - when jobs start to come back, the government will automatically collect more in taxes, and even with that we will still have raise taxes – unless we're really smart and figure out how to stop importing oil.

    August 28, 2009 at 3:35 pm |
  95. Dennis in Grand Rapids, MI

    How about cut the bloated defense budget? There's a lot there that can be cut that won't hurt the men and women in uniform.

    That and we should cut the salary of all of the Representatives and Senators... they already earn enough from lobbyists...

    August 28, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  96. Allen in Hartwell GA

    Jack, as I see it we either have to raise taxes, or raise poppy and hemp.
    Hartwell GA

    August 28, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  97. David Alexandria, VA

    We need a strategy to get out of this mess. Likely an increase in tacxes o . nce the economy is growing again (not before!) and a reduction of expenses. We need to invest in things which will make us more competative in the world and less dependent on foreign oil and debt. If we raise taxes, it needs to be on everyone– and I mean everyone. We're all in this together, all living beyond our means. I think the term "shared sacrifice" needs to not just apply to the 3% who are paying 47% of the income taxes.

    August 28, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  98. Quentin from New York City

    Of course, but NOT on working or middle-class families who need all the cash they can get. I've lived in New York city all my life, I've seen how the super wealthy live. Don't buy their "we earned it" sob story, most people who make 500 times more than a factory worker in Michigan do not work 500 times harder, they just want to keep their ten mansions and three yachts while they lay off employees and clog Congress with lobbying bucks.

    August 28, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  99. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: The answer is not whether or not the government should raise taxes to eliminate the deficit--–the answer is when will they and how much! It is something that is inevitable!!

    August 28, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  100. Greg, Ontario

    You guys keep reporting the deficit "over the next ten years". Why not start thinking in terms of the next year. Who knows maybe you guys wake up and get your troops home, close the unneeded military bases around the world, you stop playing the policeman for the free world and actually think about the American people instead of the corporate bottom line and VOILA...a balanced budget with no deficit spending. Who knows maybe you even have extra to pay down the debt and all without raising taxes.

    August 28, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  101. Dennis North Carolina

    we have to pay the bills or go out of business.

    August 28, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  102. Jim


    When this country is endangered by a foreign power, we line up to volunteer to fight back and put our lives on the line to save our country. We are now endangered by a financial crisis that was years in the making and is not the fault of any one person, certainly not President Obama. The president should address the nation and spell out the trouble we're in, and the financial steps that need to be taken to get us back on our feet. If those steps include raising certain taxes, including personal income taxes, so be it. Most of the burden should be borne, of course, by those who can most easily afford it. That will include me. Let's stop the whining and finger-pointing, roll up our sleeves, and get this thing done.

    Reno, Nevada

    August 28, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  103. Ray Lawson from Danville, VA

    For starters they could cut 2 thirds of the stimulus bill and no one would notice.

    August 28, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  104. S, Michigan

    Sure- a slight tax hike is ok- around a 1% hike or maybe we just stop spending money (trillions) and blood (precious lives) on 2 wars that seem to go on and on and on.

    August 28, 2009 at 3:47 pm |
  105. Ron from SF

    Yes, but at the same time we need to end idiotic wars that get us nothing but misery and deficit spending. Why are we still in Iraq? They want us gone and we want to be out. Why are we spending billions on new weapons systems, when the enemy is a gang of idiots that should be dealt with in a law enforcement manner? Why are we subsidizing oil companies to drill for oil? Aren't they reaming us enough at the pump?

    August 28, 2009 at 3:47 pm |
  106. bob z, from pa.

    how about jobs that would be better

    August 28, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  107. Kerry Diehl

    You mean we might have a choice???????? Dream on Jack!

    August 28, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  108. Mike in St. Paul

    No. It's time for America to rethink its mission statement and some of its wars. The war on drugs is profoundly expensive, racially unfair, ineffectual and responsible for creating a violent and dangerous black market. Legalize marijuana; it's the only product out there you can tax 100% and no one will complain, especially the people who make Cheetos.

    August 28, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  109. Katiec Pekin, IL

    If the multi-million tax cut given to the rich was implemented that would help. The problem is, in our state and am sure many others,
    taxes are increasing statewide and locally. Yet, do not see the cost
    cutting that needs to be implemented in all levels of government.
    Raising taxes always seems to be the solution to everything, but,
    at a time when so many are struggling, should be the very last

    August 28, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  110. Howard M.-Bolingbrook IL

    Yes, taxes should be raised on all of us. Sometimes I can't believe how many Americans thinks. We want and sometimes need the services the government supplies, (ie street care and maintenance etc.) but don't want/expect to pay it and more. We can't save our way out of this deficit situation. I agree with Bill Maher, Americans can be so stupid.

    August 28, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  111. Debra~Arizona

    Only on the top 2%.

    August 28, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  112. Jay

    Between federal. state, local, sales, fuel and property taxes and any other taxes that we have to pay on investments and whatnot, the average American pays 40% of their wages in taxes. Why the hell should we have to pay a single dime more?
    Jay in Colorado

    August 28, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  113. Steve Canada

    As times get better (and they will) employment and commerce will increase and revenues should climb. I believe the plan should be to suffer the deficits for another year or two, and as times get better, systematically begin to scale back spending to narrow the deficit gap. Right now is not the time to raise taxes for deficit cutting.

    August 28, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  114. mike george

    they probably should but you can't get blood from a stone–somewhere along the line, population has to be curbed–there are just too many people and not enough resources and we are only spreading ourselves thinner

    August 28, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  115. Darren

    Why not. I read a couple days ago that Presideent Obama is raising the copay on Medicare premiums for Social Security recipienrts and disabled person, ie effect taxing them.

    August 28, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  116. Jay in Texas

    Yes, the government should raise taxes on the rich, that is, anyone making a quarter of a million dollars or more a year. We should also close all the tax loopholes and stop bailouts to Giant Corporations. The right-wing Republicans keep hollering about the massive debt but they are not willing to tax their rich buddies who control these corporations in order to reduce that debt.
    Brownwood, Texas

    August 28, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  117. Duane in Lock Haven

    Yes get rid of the G.W,Bush tax cuts now. raise the gas tax a dollar to create jobs. Get out of Iraq and Afghanistan, thay want us out anyway. Move a hundred military bases from over seas back to america. This would create more jobs and be good for the economy in the area the new bases were opened. Stop the borrowing.

    August 28, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  118. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    Yes but only one the wealthy, those making over one million a year, after all they made their money off the sweat of the poor. I would like to see people like the Bushes, Chaney and a few others have to work for a living just once in their life.

    August 28, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  119. james in anaheim california

    There comes in a person's life where tough decisions have to be made, and it seems the only way to bring us out of this debt is to raise taxes,BUT NOT ON THE MIDDLE CLASS!!!!!!!. Just as every state in the nation has had to take drastic measures to curb the deficit, so should our government. The days of taxing and spending have come to an end and the democrats do not like it.

    August 28, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  120. southerncousin

    Only if we get rid of all unions representing government employees so we can stop paying the lazy, deadbeats that keep reelecting these out of touch liberals. That nice Mr. Hussein Obama lied so bad when he said he would not raise taxes on the middle class (S-Chip) and now the cap & trade and the health care insurance (or whatever they are calling it today) will be another massive tax increase on those of us who work and pay taxes (unfortunately, we are not the Obama constituency). He lied as much as Clinton did when he said he never had sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky. Liberals are liars.

    August 28, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  121. Eduardo from california

    yes even the biggest idiot will know that you cant cut the deficit and taxes at the same time conservatives need to realize that

    August 28, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  122. Mike Armstrong TX.

    No they need to borrow more from China and then file for bankruptsy.

    August 28, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  123. John from Alabama

    Jack: The first group that need to have their taxes increased are those who did not pay for the Iraq or Afghanistan Wars, or the restoration of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. They are those citizens who have had taxcuts since tax year 2004. They are those folks who have made over $250,000.00 a year. After their taxes are raised for over 7 years, then and only then, should we consider raising taxes on the middle class. It has nothing to do with what is fair, but more to do with what is just.

    August 28, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  124. JWC in Atlanta

    Federal gvernment will have no choice but to raise taxes rather severely if this monster Federal debt is to be dealt with....it will also have to reduce social spending, reduce military spending, reduce all spending (except of course for Congressional pay). The real problems may come when local governments are forced to respond to the howls of the entitled masses and raise taxes at the local levels as fiscal burdens shift. At that point the ones who pay will become angered at the visibly entitled.

    August 28, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  125. Barbara from FL

    Of course they have to raise taxes, and they need to stop spending this instant. They should stop all the wasteful stimulus money going out since it is clear it hasn't worked. They should just stop spending on anthing other than medicare, social security and military. Find all the fraud going on in those three areas and spend that on other things if they must.

    August 28, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  126. RanDe from SoCal

    Yes they should raise taxes on everyone in the United States, and while they are at it, start taxing everyone in other countries. Just send Hillary Clinton to one country at a time like they did with the Swiss and strong arm them to pay taxes to the United States.

    August 28, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  127. Ed from California

    No, what the government needs to do is come clean with us on why they allowed so many of our companies to ship our jobs overseas. Also, why is our government allowing U.S.companies to hire the H1-B VISA types, and work for cheap, take away our need jobs.
    The trade deficit with China is, what, $1.4 trillion dollars (isn't that per year?), wouldn't it be nice if we had just half of that work back.
    Doesn't congress know it"s the working class Americans paying their payroll taxes that feed the federal government machine. We wouldn't be talking health care,Medicare or Social Security or for that matter, deficits. If people were just plain working.Wouldn't it be nice if the collective body we have in Washington D.C., had even a little bit of common sense. It's time to get rid of the lot.
    Like I told you before, "Welcome to America, a Chinese owned country"

    August 28, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  128. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    Sure raise taxes, but raise income also.

    The downfall begin about 20 years ago when Corporations started the push to have everyone make $12 an hour. Labor Unions conceded to tiered contracts, non-union entities hired beginning at $10 an hour, and so on.

    But inflation kept pace, indirect taxes increased, energy costs increased, and the cost to live increased substantially but wages were less. What did we think would happen one day?

    Remember the days of one income families?
    Remember the days of two income families?

    Now it's two income families plus part time jobs. Yet Corporations are making record profits on the most part.

    I'll be happy to pay more taxes, put me in that above $250,000 range.

    August 28, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  129. Michael in Albuquerque, NM

    Deficits are managed through monetary policy, printing it. This will cause another form of tax, inflation.

    August 28, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  130. C.K. of Colorado

    The only way I'll pay higher taxes is if it is for universal health care. If not, then NO.

    August 28, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  131. Jackie in Dallas

    Ah, you want to put President Obama in the hot seat, don’t you?

    I don’t think anyone doubts that we need to do something about the deficit, and that something is going to involve taxes. However, the real issue is going to be where those taxes come from. If the GOP has its way, it will be from the poor and the middle class, as usual, even though we already bear the brunt of the tax burden anyway.

    Where it SHOULD come from is extra taxes on every company that has off-shored white collar jobs to avoid paying their fair share of taxes here and make them keep paying extra taxes until they bring those jobs BACK. And those CEOs and Wall Street types that played with our money, and lost through rotten decision making? For every million they made off the American public unethically, they should be taxed 95% of the gross!

    I’m tired of the middle class bearing the pain of “trickle-down”; it’s about time the pain trickled UP! Or even better, increase taxes on luxury goods such as cars above a certain amount, boats above a certain amount, real estate taxes on properties above a certain amount, various other stuff. Not on things that everyone has to buy to stay alive.

    August 28, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  132. Mari, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Yes, once the economy strong and we are all doing better, yes!

    I am amazed at how little of American history people know! FDR ran a huge deficit, in order to stimulate the depressed economy of the 30's! We were able to pay down the deficit once we became prosperous again.

    My husband and I are one of the folks, whom Bush gave a "nice tax cut to" ! We are willing to pay our fair share of taxes so that our grandchildren wont have a huge burden.

    Just do not get how people want stuff from government, good schools, good roads and bridges, extra lanes on the freeway, etc., etc. but are not willing to pay for it.

    PS. BTW folks, we are already paying for those without medical insurance in our country! We pay in higher premiums and higher state and local taxes!

    August 28, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  133. Paul

    Although the Kennedys are irreplaceable,John Kerry will do just fine as the senior senator for Mass.

    August 28, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  134. Joe CE

    Should get rid of Bush tax cuts for the rich and tax all income (wages, dividens/ intrest, capital gains, etc. at the same rate as wages – eliminate special catagories.

    August 28, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  135. Katiec Pekin, IL

    Raising federal taxes is probably unavoidable, but at the same time all the waste in government on all levels needs to be addressed and
    eliminated. So many government agencies feel, well, it"s only
    taxpayer money and will continue to fund us, so, why worry about
    expenses. All government needs to tighten their belts just as we
    have had to do.

    August 28, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  136. Paul

    In Canada, we had a similar debt problem back in the early 90's, our Liberal Government began increasing taxes and cutting back programs to specifically pay down our debt. It took over a decade to reap results, but now our economy is back on stable footing and we had some leeway to absorb the cost of our recent stimulus bill. It takes time, but the only course of action is to honor your debts and start paying them back or else you'll start running out of creditors. Its call realism.

    August 28, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  137. Art

    No, government should not increase taxes, instead it should lower its out of control spending. We've had enough of governments spending our money with any regard.

    New York City

    August 28, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  138. Dave

    I would be more than happy to pay a tax increase as soon as businesses begin paying a living wage. ALL businesses have been screwing employees by keeping wages flat for the last 30 years, so either they pay higher taxes or pay us a living wage and then all employees can contribute a little more.

    August 28, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  139. Ray in Nashville

    Taxes should be raised on the wealthiest segment of our population. Sure, they will cry and moan and make threats about closing shop and leaving, but where will they go? This is still the best country to live in and make your fortune in and, after all, the richest families have all enjoyed the perks of living in America and making their fortunes here. A lot of them have even made those fortunes by taking advantage of breaks given them by our government. In return, they do everything they can to keep from contributing to our country's well being. Their children do not go off to fight our wars. Many stash money in overseas accounts to avoid paying taxes. They buy foreign cars and use foreign labor to create their wealth. They think nothing of buying elected officials, bribing foreign officials to get favorable business deals and evading laws and taxes they don't agree with, yet they will be the first to denounce the so-called criminal element, especially those that are not of the same color as them. so, yes, raise their taxes to help build America back into a country we can be proud of.

    August 28, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  140. Kevin,Fl

    Heres a question Jack, If they want to raise taxes to pay for the Budget Crisis .......Don't you think they should first focus on finding Americans Jobs First? How else are we gonna pay the Tax if we all end up on Welfare?

    August 28, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  141. Allen, Cypress, Texas

    Americans are always crying about high taxes as if only the federal government income taxes are the our problem. Our biggest problem are the exhorbitant property taxes and all other little fines that state and local governments impose on citizens. No one is crying about that. Our health insurance premiums also keep going up faster than the rate of inflation.

    August 28, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  142. Richard J. Gottlieb - in Queretaro, Mexico

    In a democratic country where, supposedly, anyone can become president and capitalist country where, supposedly, anyone can become a Madoff, those who do "make it" should pay for their trip. We are, supposedly, the greatest country in the world, but our wealthy pay the least proportion in taxes. The wealthy should pay their fair share to continue keeping America the greatest country in the world in commerce, education, health-care and justice.

    August 28, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  143. Paul

    No, the government should not raise taxes.Don't you read Paul Krugman in the NYTs?

    August 28, 2009 at 4:28 pm |

    Nope! We should revolt against the goverment. Plain and simple.

    August 28, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  145. Jackie in Dallas

    HonestJohn in Vermont,

    Careful when you mention the Pentagon. I hope you mean the bloated budgets for new "toys" and no compete contracts, and not the actual people in the military. Our military is actually grossly underpaid in some areas, the enlisted in particular. A friend is an officer, with going on 20 years of service, and a lawyer. His yearly income (counting benefits) is less than some first-year law interns make. And right now, even including benefits, our lower ranks of enlisted barely make above minimum wage. This is how we treat those who we expect to put their lives on the line for this country! And our veterans get shafted even worse!

    August 28, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  146. geek

    The increase spending and decrease tax's clearly did not work.

    If you have debt you need to pay it off or go broke.

    No one has the guts to decrease spending which can only happen via cuts in defense, medicare and social security.

    I guess it is just easier to say let's lower tax's – eat, drink and be merry.

    August 28, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  147. Janice from Collingswood NJ

    If we want to stop the decline of the hard working middle class, we are going to have to raise taxes on the rich. Kids in our schools are being punished because local school districts had to cut extracurricular activities such as music and sports. This means the struggling parents have to find something for them to do after school or pay someone to watch them. Seniors are being punished by not getting their COLA increases. It's a rotten shame.

    August 28, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  148. ben stockton, calif

    im glad im a senior. if not i would have to endure a lifetime of taxes, taxes, taxes.but my 2 children and 3 grandchildren will have to put up with it.this is a classic example of the rise and fall of the roman empire. china and other countries will eventually be the next superpower..matbe not in a decade but eventually it will happen

    August 28, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  149. Stacy st. Augustine fl

    The answer is jobs,jobs,jobs. More jobs the more tax money.

    August 28, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  150. Tom, Brookings South Dakota

    No, Government should not raise taxes to get us out of the deficit. They should cut their spending and start living withing their means like the rest of us. Perhaps a 5% across the board flat tax for everyone including corporations and churches and all non-profits with absolutely no loopholes should be looked at and implemented. Here is the new tax code: How much did you make, deduct 5% and send it in.

    August 28, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  151. Pugas-AZ

    The federal government will not have much choice concerning raising taxes. It's time Obama's "wish list" gets pared down to something that will not hamstring the people of this country in the years to come. This is much bigger than jocking for neighborhood grants. Beware of the influence of Chicago politics on this administration.

    August 28, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  152. Kate in SW Fla

    The Bush tax cuts were ridiculous, strictly ideology, not warranted at all by financial concerns. Now look at the mess we are in. To cut taxes, while starting hugely expensive wars AND adding a very expensive Medicare RX benefit, irresponsible. Not only was the RX benenfit not paid for, they lied about the estimated costs to boot. People are blaming Obama for this, but the truth is he DID inherit this deficit. Where were all the Tea Parties morons back when this mess was being created? Hypocrits!

    August 28, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  153. Dave

    Jack, I must be nuts but yes. Everything goes up if we compare the price of oil in 1970 oil was 30+ cents a gallon now look how much it is now. Our government has to pay the same bills we do so yes.

    August 28, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  154. Karen in Newark NJ

    No.Pull our forces out of Iraq and Afghanistan( and put them on our northern and southern borders),close most bases worldwide,and stop pandering to other nations by giving them billions in foreign aid.That should more than pay for health care reform.

    August 28, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  155. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    If you think the people concerned about deficits are squealing now, just wait until you try to raise their taxes to deal with it. Watch how fast those deficits fall down the priority list.

    August 28, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  156. Lucy

    I'm still a fan of the junk-food-tax. That's the only tax I think should be raised. Besides that, I agree with the economists that this is the absolute wrong time to raise taxes. Politically, it would isolate voters. Financially, it would just depress the nation even more and prolong the recession.
    SF, CA

    August 28, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  157. Ed from Mililani, HI

    NO! First of all, if congress says we're going broke should take a good look at all the "freebees" they hand out to other countries. Get rid of the foreign aid to countries we do not have a military base for strategic purposes. There's a LOT of money there. Next, end both wars and don't rebuild the war damage to these countries. Let these oil rich countries do the rebuilding. Last, lets make all businesses that send jobs overseas pay a 50% tax rate for imported items and give them tax breaks for producing those items in the U.S. I bet we'll get out of the deficit and improve the job situation before too long.

    August 28, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  158. Laura, Boston

    If taxes are raised that would mean that one more promise the President made was broken. Can he afford to have one more broken promise? I don't think it wise.

    Also, why isn't it a good idea to have a flat tax and that way even those who don't belong here in the country would have to pay tax on the goods they purchase.

    August 28, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  159. Peter

    1) healthcare reform is paid by taxes, which means from tax paying citizens. We then get more healthcare competition with the public option, if passed, and extend it to people who cannot afford to get healthcare. So no matter what, we'll have to pay to make it work and by we means the entire Middle Class as well as the Upper Class through whatever economical PC labeling new taxes on Federal (such as sugar-coated VAT tax), State, and City levels (such as property taxes).

    2) The above leads to the second issue in which Obama had said no taxes for people below a certain income which is most people, but excluding many Middle Upper Classes too. Promises and reality cannot be satisified most of the time. Which one we choose will have its advantages and backlashes. Now we wait to see what the President will choose so we can see what his true priority is: His political career or the American People (maybe he can get both, but highly unlikely given current political atmosphere).

    One way for him to solve this is to borrow more money from the rest of the world to finance the healthcare reform needs and keep the campaign promise for the 2012 election first. Afterwards if President Obama wins, he then can raise taxes without worry about the political consequences and attempt to appear decoupled from the Democrats as to not affect the Democrat's chances at the 2016 election. The only problem here is TIME. If he can make up his mind and act faster, then he has about 2 years to show his healhcare reform do work and thus have his cake and eat it too. Otherwise, the longer he takes, the more painful his choices will become until finally he lost both his politlcal career and fail the American people which will reverberate years afterwards, not so unlike Bush's legacy.

    August 28, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  160. Jerry

    Yes, on all of our elected officials, and on the banks and investors that got away with billions of dollars and are still walking free. Our elected officials are all over paid for what they do. and probably half are crooks. Jerry/ Iowa

    August 28, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  161. obama victim

    absolutely...............every economist says that in a weak economy...where people do not have enough to spend to stimulate he economy...the government should take even more money from the people....................what do the Obozoites use for brains??

    August 28, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  162. Mike M

    When the Bush tax cuts expire, the top 3% will return to paying their fair share......end of story

    August 28, 2009 at 4:41 pm |

    Pam holt foley al. I clean for a living and will gladly pay more taxes for my brothers and sisters in this country, along with my self who need insurance . My message to the haves, we have nots are desperate for this one nessesity. With all the chemicals in the air we breathe and being put into our foods, etc. The government is obligated to provide this nessesity. Case closed......

    August 28, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  164. Robert in Fayetteville, Ar.

    First, we should sell Alaska back to the Russians. I would also suggest selling Texas to Mexico if we hadn't stolen it in the first place. That would save them both the expense of secession.
    I'm sure we could manage to reduce military spending , since we out spend everyone else by 9 or 10 to 1. If we only spent twice as much as anyone else, that by itself could make a huge difference over 10 or 15 years.
    Of course we would have to stop borrowing at some point and quit paying nearly 1/2 trillion a year in interest.
    Once the government learns to live on a real budget instead of the make believe one we've always had before, they could start to pay taxpayers back for bailing them out.
    If they did just one of those things, I'd be willing to pay more taxes.

    August 28, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  165. Chryssa

    The government needs to get rid of tax loopholes. The wealthiest pay the least in taxes, and some major organizations like the NBA and Hewlett-Packard avoid paying any tax for decades based on technicalities. If all big wigs paid their fair share, we'd be fine.

    Boise, ID

    August 28, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  166. Wisconsin Don Racine, Wi

    Raise taxes? Another Obama promise broken? Would be no surprise, just another example of Obama's ineptitude.

    August 28, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  167. Jim in Springfield

    There is no free lunch! Yes, we need to pay for what we have already spent by raising taxes.
    The GOP ran up the national debt with massive spending and a failure to responsibly raise taxes. Now the Republicans try to hide behind old slogans and tea parties. Ironically, the head of the national GOP said that he is opposed to cutting any benefits for the elderly (Social Security and Medicare I presume). That pretty much rules out an ability to cut our way out of the debt. The bill is coming due and we all will have to pay more in taxes.

    August 28, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  168. Terry, Chandler AZ

    Absolutely Jack!.Raise taxes on all people making more money than me!

    August 28, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  169. Susan

    No...why don't those morons in DC stop using our tax money for "pork?" I am sick of the incompetence and idiocy of those cretins. Bring our troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan and from military bases around the world. That should save a few dollars. We have to stop policing the world. We cannot even take care of our own citizens.

    August 28, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  170. MaryAnne, CA

    TAxes shold be raised on the wealthy who have prospered way above others and have also contributed the least.

    Obviously the Government can't collectect from the "have-nots",or middle class who are rapidly declining.

    August 28, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  171. A.M. Deist, Fort Walton Beach, FL

    There is no need to raise taxes. As a matter of fact, we should be cutting taxes. President Bush implement a new paradigm of decreasing taxes and spending more. President Obama has implemented a policy of printing more money and provide stimulus to increase public and private debt. Since economists believe this is correcting the economic problems, we should continue to cut taxes and spend more.

    August 28, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  172. Mike of Springfield VA

    It is absolutely essential that taxes be raised to pay for the exponentially rising deficits. We are burying our children and grandchildren in debt, and the responsible and patriotic solution is to bite the bullet and pony up more taxes. I tire of the knee-jerk reaction of opposing any kind of tax increase. We need only to look at California to witness the fruits of their ill-advised laws that curtailed government from increasing taxes. It is time for all of us to "Cowboy Up" on this and start writing bigger checks to Uncle Sam.

    August 28, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  173. Tim in Texas

    I'm a little sick of people saying the government 'spends' too much money. Where do you think the money goes you dodos? It goes back into our economy. It all ends up in the same place no matter who spends it - you, me, the government - it ends up in the hands of the wealthiest 1% of the population - those folks own literally 36% of everything in the US. The only difference is that if the govenment taxes these folks enough, and siphons some of that cash back down to the middle class, then the middle class will have a little bit more & eventually, they will have enough so that taxes can be made flatter. And stop yammering about the deficit Jack, it would be really stupid to pay it back now - that would take money out of our system and push us into a deeper recession. Again, Duh, it's econ 101.

    August 28, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  174. Kim - Blair, NE

    We just need to give this a little more time. The recession has ended. More jobs will be created & we will begin to climb out of the hole Bush dug us into. The stimulus package was created to move forward in phases. A very smart thing to do actually. Give each phase a shot & if necessary, change the next phase to adapt. Smart thinking on the part of our current administration.

    August 28, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  175. Jim from Chicago

    Absolutely, Jack. Start with the repeal of the Bush tax cuts. But the bigger issue is collecting the taxes already on the books. Corporations are hiding a lot of their profits in foreign accounts and phony foreign "headquarters" that are resulting in a severe under-collection of corporate income taxes.

    August 28, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  176. James In Idaho

    Jack, There's 2 ways of dealing with the deficit, rasing taxes and asking for donations, and collecting on some of the outstanding debts owed us from other countries.

    August 28, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  177. STAN - IL.

    Raise taxes on everyone that the GOP took care of the last eight years. Wealthy, farmers, any business's, they have all been receiving public aide. They frown on the needy getting public aide, what do they call what the get? This is not a free ride, someone is going to have to start paying, eight years is enough. They like to blame this on our President, but he didn't start this borrowing from China etc.

    August 28, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  178. eugene frm.cleveland

    certainly.can't remember if it was the sixties or seventies when there was a ten percent surcharge on taxes to help with the deficit,but i remember having to pay that surcharge for several years. it accomplished it's purpose and was repealed.it was painful then,but it was the only fair way to make all taxpayers do their part. it worked then,it'll work now.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  179. Bruce - Delaware

    No, they simply should not be allowed to spend one dime until they release all the free energy technologies that are being surpressed!

    August 28, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  180. Teri in Palm Coast FL

    How else will we pay for the $12 Billion a day in Iraq or the $1.7 TRillion in the hole that was left us by the past administration? But first we need to start by taking away the tax breaks the oil companies got under the Cheney Energy Policy in 2000. They made millions per minute in profits last year – and they were probably taxed less than most American citizens. What did they do with that money except for buying more lobbyists and votes? After that we should start with incremental tax increases on other "bad stuff" like we did with cigarettes and alcohol. Tax medical marijuana, tax cop-killer bullets, tax phosphates that are killing our rivers, tax bank & healthcare CEOs for their outrageous bonuses...you get the picture. Bottom line is this stuff we get from the government isn't "free" and I don't think China will accept us going bankrupt.

    Palm Coast, FL.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  181. j/NJ

    Should the government raise taxes to deal with the deficit?

    Actually a law should be passed prohibiting the imposition of any taxes state or federal, unless there is a reliable and efficient mechanism allowing the people to repeal when circumstances warrant...needless to say this would apply to all taxes past and present, however, no legislator or judge in America would agree to relinquish his/her authority as it is presently interpreted under representative government...on the other hand democracy is a separate issue which lawmakers often regard as moot, among other things, when carrying out their duties...

    August 28, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  182. Molita in Texas

    Absolutely not. This is one of the most corrupt govts in the world that has an agenda and it's not pretty. Let the rich pay for the deficit since they don't pay taxes & let Obama miss his $50K vacation and contribute that money to say – education?

    August 28, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  183. Betty, San Diego, Ca.

    During and economic depression or deep and severe recession, you do not raise taxes. That would stifle and prolong the economic recovery. If we still had the budget surplus created at the end of the Clinton administration, it would be great to have as a hedge against the recession. Instead the Bush administration wiped out the budget surplus and left the Obama administration with a $1.6 trillion deficit as well as the worst economic down-turn since the great depression. Federal, state and all local governments must cut services, expenditures, and taxes until after the economic recovery.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  184. Sam

    Yes, as soon as more Americans have a job.

    Tax cuts don't work because the government is impregnable to the idea of "starving the beast." When the government runs out of money, it just borrows and borrows some more because they just keep getting loans from the international community especially the Chinese. Raising taxes is economically sound. Its called being a realist. I doubt we would have this trillion dollar deficit if Bush found a better way to pay for his war.

    More importantly, bring every troop across the globe home. Stop spending ridiculous amounts of tax payer money on defense and reinvest in education and other domestic needs.

    Montclair, CA

    August 28, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  185. David in Natchez

    If you take 3 trillion dollars out of circulation to pay back China the economy would colapse anyway.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  186. Alan


    It was only 10 years ago that we had a balanced budget & a surplus, all under President Clinton's watch. He even started to pay down the deficit. Today we are seeing the effect of President Reagan's trickle-down economic policies, as accelerated by George Bush. The crap trickles down & the wealth rises up to the top. Stop spending. We didn't listen to President Eisenhower about the military, industrial & congressional complex either. We are heading for bankruptcy.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  187. Stephen Fox

    No. As an astrologer, and fully understanding the astrological aspects currently affecting the United States, if the government raises taxes this time, there will be a revolution; and it is likely that the government would not survive.

    Panama City, Florida

    August 28, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  188. Rev. Christine Hillman

    I think my government will have to raise taxes as it is still dealing with the reality of huge amounts of money spent on Homeland "Security" and two wars. This reality didn't just come into being Jan. 20; it was inherited from the previous (Republican) administration which chose to spend money on raising public fear and sending troops to fight terrorism in the wrong place. These are back taxes!

    August 28, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  189. Ruby

    I would gladly pay higher taxes if it would be used to reduce the deficit and to help the poorest amongst us. The people who fight against raising taxes are the one's who can most afford it and who don't want to lose any services. It drives me nuts!!!

    August 28, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  190. Christine

    I'd be glad to hear other reasons why we need to incrase taxes to cover the deficits other than because of Bushes. When was the President seated in WH? That was 6 monhts ago. Any other names to blame? Let's face it, the deficits had increase since Jan. 2009. I was glad Bush term was indeed with much hope of a "big change" that Obama will bring as he promised. Right now, economy, unemployment, politics and foreign wars are falling going down or had no significant/positive changes. And ots of unemployed people will run out of unemployment? As a nation, the presidency should focus on fixing the economy than blaming other people and promoting non-bipartisanship solutions. There is a point when we see, come on just move on stop looking backward. Focus on the challenge and don't blame people when you fail or can't climb higher than expected based on promises.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  191. Zachary

    Jack, the only way to decrease a government debt are raising taxes and cutting spending, which do you think Congress will choose?

    Greensboro, NC

    August 28, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  192. Annie, Atlanta

    The Bush tax cuts for the rich should have been rolled back as soon as President Obama was sworn in, so do it now. (Republicans love war, but hate to pay for it; cuts into their profiteering.) And since Wall Street, who brought us this recession, has benefited the most, their incomes and bonuses should be taxed at 50% minimum. It should not pay to bring the world economy to its knees.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  193. George Holman

    It's really simple. When faced with deficits there are two choices: raise revenue (i.e., taxes) or reduce expenses. There is not a politician alive that has been successful in the later, so we are going to have to raise revenue. That's it......who's kidding who!

    August 28, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  194. Allen Minnesota

    No they just need to learn like some of us have to not spend what they don't have. Maybe if they got health care reform passed I would have more left to give them for the pork projects.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  195. Matthew Schmitz Oxnard CA

    Yes, But only for a year until I'm out of High School and I start paying taxes, then lower them back down.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  196. Roger in Atlanta

    Wait a minute, Jack. We seniors who have paid income tax all of our lives and have saved money can't afford to have that income taxed again with a value-added tax. That kind of tax is most unfair to us. Just increase the income tax on the very wealthy. Bush gave them a big break for eight years, and look where it got us.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  197. Hamilton

    Consider this, Jack:

    “Taxes are never welcome to a community. They seldom fail to excite uneasy sensations more or less extensive. Hence a too strong propensity, in the Governments of Nations, to anticipate and mortgage the resources of posterity, rather than encounter the inconveniences of a present increase in taxes.

    But this policy, when not dictated by very peculiar circumstances, is of the worst kind. Its obvious tendency is, by enhancing the permanent burdens of the people, to produce lasting distress, and its natural issue is in National Bankruptcy.”

    Alexander Hamilton, Report to the Speaker of the House, March 16-17, 1792

    August 28, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  198. Gary Walborn


    YES! We should raise taxes. A 25% VAT (value added tax) would pay down the deficit, pay for health care, and ELIMINATE income taxes for anyone under $100K. This should be paired with a law that says that the federal government MUST balance the budget (if they spend more than they have it would be an automatic increase in the VAT). RIght now a large part of the budget goes to paying interest on the debt. Once that goes away, the VAT can be lowered slightly with NO reduction in services. Let's save America for our children and grandchildren, bite the bullet, and pay off the huge debt that Bush et. al. created!

    Gary W
    Youngstown, OH

    August 28, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  199. Aaron from Pennsylvania

    Im tired of the american tradition of despising the raising of taxes. People will never learn that taxes are a way of giving to society-and in this case-the AMERICAN SOCIETY. Taxes would be a great way to lower the deficit and I highly encourage the President to raise them, and Americans should learn to give to society and stop being so selfish.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  200. Nancy

    It's a no brainer. Of course we should raise taxes. It's the only way to make up for the deficit caused by 8 years of the Bush administration's "guns and butter" -lower taxes -for- the- wealthy nonsense. Let's not forget what started this mess. Everyone will blame the democrats, but the republicans got us here.
    Edmond, OK

    August 28, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  201. Anita


    Yes they need to raise taxes. If the Bush Administration would have raised taxes during his Presidency, it may have curbed the deficit. Don't blame Obama for trying. The blame should be shared between Republicans and Democrats.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  202. David

    There have been times when my taxes have actually exceeded my yearly income, but I think that we as a country have gone far far too long without being asked to make sacrifices. Frankly speaking, raising taxes in one way or another is the LEAST we could do.

    San Francisco, CA

    August 28, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  203. Michael

    If Reagan was for the idea of paying into social security being voluntary why not a similar idea for true patriots of any income who know health care (public option) is a must and want to help their country pay for the mistakes of the past regardless of partisanship. Then even those who back fraudulent wars as the role of government can choose to take reponsibility for thier politics it maybe niave but I would take part even struggling to bring 30,000 into the household.


    August 28, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  204. Bob in Meredith NH

    I often wonder how many billions if not trillions of dollars of tax revenues are circumvented legally by our "legal tax loophole" legislation. Why the heck don't we all pay a simple flat tax so everyone is impacted and more likely to react to legislative frivolity?

    August 28, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  205. Richard McKinney, Texas

    Jack when taxes become too high people will stop paying them. The government could imprison people that fail to pay taxes but then what? The prisons over fill people eat better and then the government can not afford to pay for the prisons. it will become a vicious cycle. You can not just tax people to death. they will fight back. if the choice is I feed my family or I pay the government for squandering tax dollars I will feed my family. Screw the wasteful government.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  206. Colleen Fraser

    Of course taxes need to be raised, if you want to spend more at home, don't you want a raise, cut spending elsewhere, or try to find a job that pays better? Taxes are this country's income and it needs to grow, just like the minimum wage needed to grow to allow individuals to survive. To me the question would be, how to raise the taxes and what are we going to do to budget the money better in the future?

    August 28, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  207. Ray Victory

    Vero Beach, FL
    Of course. In the developed world we have some of the lowest tax rates, and the richer one gets the lower the tax burden gets. The Neanderthals on the right will disagree, but they have disagreed on every progressive proposal since Social Security and Divil Rights so their disagreement should be of no account now. We need UNIVERSAL health care and we need to pay for it. And those who have benefited most need to pay their fair share.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  208. Jackie Lawrence

    No the government should not raise taxes. The government should stop pork barrel spending and stop the phony stimulis give aways. The government will spend 15 million dollars to service a obrder entrance in Montana that serves 3 persons daily. I wonder how many relatives of the Senators from Montana own land there? Obama has invited the most corruption of anybody and is not transparent. The Montana deal got put to the top of the list by Obama's take care of the good old boy chicago cronieism.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  209. Ken in NC

    As much as I hate the idea of tax increases, the thought of “creative methods” of making money is what got us into this mess. Consider Credit Default Swaps, Variable Interest Rates, Adjustable Rate Mortgages, Mortgage Back Securities and then the relaxing of regulations so as to allow these and many others to grow into the sore that weakened and collapsed our economy. Well now it is time to find savings in the Federal Budget and then apply them directly to the deficit. It is time to impose a tax where by the added tax would be applied directly to the debt. Can this be done? Yes. Will it be done? No because there will always be some in government that will decide they need to spend it in their districts. They are called POLITICIANS.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  210. Julio

    No. just end our trillion dollar wars, American empire, banker bailouts, and foreign aid. this will help the economy and end our deficits.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  211. Thomas B

    Yes Jack, Govt 'll have to increase taxes to deal with the deficit. If we're worried about the price tag in the future, then we should think about paying for it now....I hate to hear people complain but when it comes to paying for it they are running away from paying taxes..This is the only way we can take our country back from China, Japan and the likes

    August 28, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  212. Carol Wagner

    Increasing taxes to the wealthier populace is just common sense as a first step to address the deficit. I find it illogical to have tax reduction as a 'reward' for financial success. I am a Christian & even God still expects His 10%..no matter how rich or poor you are.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  213. Esther Webb

    Nobody wants to pay higher taxes, but I'M willing to pay a few more dollars a year to keep my country out of the clutches of foreign powers to whom we owe zillions of dollars. I agree with Obama that the wealthier among us can afford to pay a higher per cent of their income.

    After all, how many homes and yachts does it take to make the super wealthy happy? Give some of that money up in taxes.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  214. Wendy Campbell

    Yes, it seems obvious that taxes need to be raised: A LOT. I don't understand those who think we should do projects including waging two wars without paying for them through taxes. I don't like the wars, I am in fact against them, but if they're going to be waged, we have to pay for them. Where else is the money to come from? And with the health care crisis, it's obvious as well that we need to pay for a new program. We're the richest country in the world and we don't have the decency or the will to make sure everyone is covered. I feel as if we need Ted back giving one of those great speeches scolding us for our greed and blindness to the suffering of others.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  215. Joseph W. Szarmach Jr.


    You've hit on the story of the century that no one talks about or even understands. A currency devaluation could be just around the corner. On top of that, raising taxes on "the rich" (a.k.a. those who employ others) is exactly what this economy doesn't need. And all the Congress seems willing to talk about is new entitlement programs that will further strap this country and our children. We need frugal government right now. We will be lucky if the dollar is worth anything a few years from now.

    Joseph W. Szarmach Jr.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  216. David in Raleigh, NC

    Jack, instead why don't they reduce spending to reduce taxes and the deficit.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  217. Ken in Florida

    Absolutely. The conservatives idea that the government can operate without taxes is ludicrous, and the wealthy should pay a much larger share.
    It's our system that has allowed so many millionaires to accumulate their wealth, so why shouldn't they help pay for the system.
    I'm retired, on a fixed income, and my taxes are fairly low, so I would be happy to pay more as long as everyone else who can afford it is taxed accordingly.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  218. Richard, Kankakee, IL.

    It is sad how we Americans wait untill everything is about to fall apart, before we make the changes that needed to me made years ago, and when they cost the most.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  219. Tony

    Taxes will need to go up, but it's going to be essential to bring back some of those millions of jobs we shipped overseas so we can start making things again. More jobs and more manufacturing will broaden the tax base and increase income for the government. However, I really think a flat tax would be the most effective solution.....everyone pays a fixed percentage, regardless of income.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  220. Cliff Glass - East Rockaway, NY


    Since it is going to take 9 trillion drops in the bucket to resolve the deficit, why doesn't Congress start with their sacrifice ?

    How about staying in session all year except for 2 weeks vacation, dropping all international junkets, and cutting all their taxpayer-funded perks, such as their mailings, travel, and meals expenses ?

    Leadership requires more than merely pontificating

    August 28, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  221. Bob Peoria Heights il

    We have put off paying taxes for the past twenty years, the tax payer keeps wanting more and more without paying, and the gift of lower taxes to the wealthist in the nation has made our deficient soar. It's unamerican to want more and not want to pay for it and its unamerican to expect that all Americans are not liable for taxes to keep this democracy going. Higher taxes are the result of politicans pleasing their constituents.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  222. Stephen Charchuk

    I really have to laugh. Americans are one of the least taxed peoples in the Industrial West and you whine about them the most. It was the republicans who tax-cut you into the mess you are now. You want all of the benefits of living in a functioning society, but you don't want to pay for them. Its either have taxes and have a higher quality of life they pay for (I.e. proper health care and education, etc, etc..), or have little to no taxes and continue on with the mess you are in now.... I hope that you are not all that stupid to choose the old failure of a system....

    -Stephen In Canada

    August 28, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  223. Eric, Flemington, NJ

    Yes – it is time to institute a national sales tax on all goods and services. Simultaneously, we need to put into place a flat tax and eliminate most of the current deductions. The result will be a much more fair and equitable tax system. As for runaway spending, we need to run things the way successful businesses are run, and not cook the books. My hope is that the President, along with key legislators, will step up and push through much needed fiscal reform.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  224. Dan Leahy

    When Reagan came into office, the national debt was approximately 1 trillion dollars. When Bush the Elder began, it was 3 1/2. He left it at 4 1/2. Clinton left it at 5, but it was coming down. When Junior left, it was 11 trillion. Why aren't these facts at Wolf's fingertips?
    Anyway, the first thing to do is roll back the Reagan tax cuts on the highest marginal rates, which, along with the rest of Reaganomics, have brought us to the sorry mess we're in today. A VAT is regressive and will not help restore the middle class, which should be the main goal for any economic policy.
    Dan in Santa Barbara

    August 28, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  225. Adam from California

    Of course we should raise taxes. Obama is being put in a tight corner with all the expenses that government is trying impose. For some reason this administration has been rather conservative despite the fact that the House, Senate, and White House are controlled by Democrats. Take 40% of our earnings, but give us back the social services that we deserve.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  226. Donna Page

    Yes, let's raise taxes using the same trickle-down method that has worked so well to distribute wealth evenly. At that rate, the economically disadvantaged would never pay another dime in taxes, and those at the top would finally pay their fair share.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  227. Nick

    Jack....In the 1940's and 1950's, the people earning 400 thousand and even up to 1 million dollars a year , paid upwards of 80-90 % of earned income. Now I'm not necessarily in favor of that, but neither do I favor it lowered to $250,000 a year and at the current rate of 39%.
    So it would seem fair to me to raise it to 50% and an annual income of over $500,000

    August 28, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  228. Mary

    I'm concerned about the deficit and don't mind paying higher taxes for GOOD government, by which I mean effective government that deals with the important issues and offers a reasonable safety net for those who need it. However, rich people and corporations should also pay their fair share.

    From Mary in Ossining N Y

    August 28, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  229. Mickey Rabuka

    Since there were no measures taken by the Bush administration to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – Let's stop trying to save the world (who don't appear to want to be saved) and use that money for Americans. Mickey Rabuka, Calhoun, Georgia

    August 28, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  230. Don Cooper

    How about the government spending less Jack? No one even addresses that side of the equation. You say "...the social safety net would evaporate." Thank God. As an economist I can't think of anything more beneficial for our economy and our country than an end to our welfare state. What ever happened to America being the land of opportunity where hard work and tenacity made the man?

    August 28, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  231. Jan - Lancaster, PA

    Our American lifestyle & quality of life costs to maintain it. As a retiree on a modest & fixed income am not looking forward to a tax increase. But ... if Congress would pass a tax that did not allow for loopholes to impress their special interest groups & would require all to pay including so called non-profit entities, & to include aliens (legal & not), we could pay a fed sales tax of 5 cents on the dollar ... 2 cents to health care & 3 toward the national debt. All would pay, it would be by choice if purchasing something & even the criminals would be pitching in.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  232. John from Ohio

    Yes we need to raise taxes. Under Bush they told me I got a tax cut but I never saw it on my paycheck but a millionair got a $75,000 tax cut.. Under President Obama I ge at $15.84 per week. tax cut. Lets tax all the imported goods that we use to make. When it only cost $1.28 to make a baseball cap in China and ship it to the USA and they sell it at the ball park for $20.00, thats like 1700% profit.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  233. Janet M.

    NO–they should stop the free lunches they are giving out. I'mm 66 and have never gotten one dime in government money and get really ticked when I am paying for groceries with cash and the obese person in front of me has 2x the groceries I have and whips out a government credit card because we don't wnt to embarass thm either-heavenb forbid they should work for a living. Also just keep doling it out to the illegals. Then when the health bill is passed you can give them amnesty so they can collect also.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  234. Bert

    Absolutely. Only a fool would believe, as George Bush and his friends did, that you could give away prescription coverage to the elderly and fight two wars at the same time while actually cutting taxes dramatically

    Their goal was simple. "Deprive the government for decades to come of the resources needed to do anything other than the most limited form of government." That was their vision.

    Now we need to reverse that foolishness and get back to the sanity of being willing to pay for the government services we want. Grow up America !!. Nothing is free; we've all got to chip in.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  235. Florence

    jack, I think we as Americans should do what it takes to build up our country and we always say the government. We are all a part of the government and we should all take responsibility for our country.
    People don't like taxes but want goods and services.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  236. S.D, Plano, TX


    It's all relative.

    If one makes 100$ and pays 35% tax, he is left with $65.

    If one only makes 50$ and pays 20% tax, he is left with $40.

    Which one will you take?

    There is no simple answer to this question. If you can raise income, you can raise taxes too. People were making good money during President Clinton. If we can go back to that level of earning, we can also go back to those taxes.

    If they definitely have to raise taxes, they should start at the top bracket and slowly come down over a period of 4 years.

    Plano, TX

    August 28, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  237. Eric Keating Ontario

    Jack it is true that the numbers swirling around debt and deficits are dizzying. The way to redemption is not necessarily to raise taxes but to grow the economy. As the economy improves and eventually flourishes tax revenues will grow with our productivity without any changes in our tax burdens. Hope and hard work rather than fear and inactivity is the light at the end of the tunnel.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  238. jim Blevins

    Certainly taxes have to be increased. The VAT is the wrong way to do it. The sort of tax structure that was used to pay for WWII is what is needed. Much more progressive tax brackets, much higher inheritance tax, short and long term capital gains tax at a much higher rate. This will not only pay off the debt, it will correct the horrible wealth imbalance in the country.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    August 28, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  239. Mike, California

    Yes - progressively, on those making $250K on up to the millions. Also institute a Value Added Tax, like many countries have. Plus pull all the troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan - let them fight their own wars. Even the Soviet Union got beaten in Afghanistan, so what makes us think we can have any effect there? Finally, give the President a line item veto so he can, we hope, blue pencil out some of the ridiculous earmarks that are in the bills that come across his desk - like billions for aircraft the Pentagon neither needs nor wants.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  240. peter

    Hi Jack,

    Of course your government needs to raise taxes or....you know those sayings now,"40 is the new 30" or "60 is the new 50".....well if your ridiculously stupid, backward thinking, hate mongering, self righteous, moronic, extreme right wing wackos get their way AGAIN, the new saying will be...........
    " america is the new roman empire."

    have a nice evening jack,

    August 28, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  241. Doug

    The spending the Government is doing reminds me of a movie called "Deep Impact", when they were expecting the end of mankind from an asteriod. They spent more money then they could hide, but they knew they would never havce to pay it back.
    I am starting to wonder if there is any truth to the end of mankind in the year 2012, that they know of but are keeping from the american people.
    To go into all the details of what I have been studding for the last 18 years regarding 2012, would take too long, but there is something big coming our way.
    So to answer, they shouldn't raise taxes at all. When the movie comes out on November 13th, you'll see some panic start with people buying non-pershible foods and survival goods, but this is when the ecconomy will really fall apart, society will unravel and we will all be hoping the end is near.
    Print all the money they need, make the people happy and feel secure, safe and lets all just go along for the ride.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  242. Carol

    What could be better than the "Fair Tax"? This would apply the same amount of tax to all individuals no matter how expensive or inexpensive an item is. This is a book that everyone should read.
    We could eliminate the IRS (hopefully), and if the authors are on target, compaines would bring manufacturing back to the US. Let's talk about keeping our jobs and money home.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  243. Phil Conrad

    Yes taxes should be raised and it should be a VAT tax or sales tax this would catch the billions lost in the "underground" economy!!!

    August 28, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  244. John - Carlsbad, CA



    They need to cut spending first. We need accountability and measures of effectiveness for each spending program. Maybe we can speed up our withdrawal from Iraq, that should save money. Our burn rate for that war is no longer something that is covered but still has a huge impact on our deficit. Also we need to prioritize spending programs and do what everyone who is short money does, cut was is not critical and live within our means. The days of tax and spend democrats and borrow and spend republicans must stop. Once all this is done then we can start to talk taxes.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  245. Maryann/Michigan

    It is unfortunate that taxes need to be raised; however, the last administration left the economy in such bad shape that it has to be done. I still think that the wealthy should assume more of the burden. They have always had more options for credit deductions than the "middle class" and therefore they should anti-up more. The "middle class" is much smaller than in previous years and can no longer shoulder the tax burden.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  246. Flyingwolf, Manchester NH

    Jack, I don't know where they got those numbers. When I did the math from publicly available sources (i.e. the Internet), I found that the President could raise nearly 600 billion EVERY year by taxing the rich. Times that by 10 and you have 6 trillion. Also, Americans drink the equivalent of one to two 12 oz. cans of sugared soda every day for every adult and child. That's about 300 million people times 365 or 730. Put a penny tax on a 12 oz can of soda or a 5 cent tax on a 2 liter bottle and the rest of the deficit is paid for. There you go, a tax on the rich and a tax on the poor–to pay for their future treatment for diabetes and obesity–
    There! I solved the problem, but will anybody listen?

    August 28, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  247. Joseph W. Szarmach Jr.


    You’ve hit on the story of the century that no one talks about or even understands. A currency devaluation could be just around the corner. On top of that, raising taxes on “the rich” (a.k.a. those who employ others) is exactly what this economy doesn’t need. And all the Congress seems willing to talk about is new entitlement programs that will further strap this country and our children. We need frugal government right now. We will be lucky if the dollar is worth anything a few years from now.

    Joseph W. Szarmach Jr.
    Stratford, CT

    August 28, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  248. Rus in St. Paul, MN

    Instead of raising taxes, here is a radical idea. We pass a constitutional amendment, every year the federal budget is in deficit, no senator, congressman or president gets a federal paycheck. That's almost $100 million a year we can save and folks in charge will have a vested interest in managing our tax money better.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  249. AJ

    No I don't think taxes should be raised, we can get the monies needed by cancelling some of those trips to out of space which cost billions of dollars. We wasted money before with monies spend on sending men to the moon and we haven't benefited from that . We will never live on Mars or the Moon, stop wasting money on out of space things and spend it where it is necessary here on earth. People are starving now and have no health care, jobs or necessities.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  250. Graham

    Who pays for national expendatures? The last I heard is the people of the United States pays, and is the only way that I know of. So there's your answer, very simple, if you don't raise taxes you will never get to a surplus in order to pay off the deficit and the dept, period.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  251. James Milton

    Tax increases can be avoided by cutting spending on Defence. There is no need to be spending as much as the next seven countries in the world added together on the Defence Budget. If the US is ever to have a sound economy, low taxes and social services to match Europe, Presidents need to stop playing at being the world's policeman.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  252. Ron

    Of course, seven tril...tril....tril...(I can't even spell it) is a lot of money, but what I want to know is, what are they doing with the money when the banks and auto industry pay it back? Aren't they paying back China and Japan? I've e-mailed the Whitehouse four times about this, but haven't received an answer. So much for transparancy. They keep telling us that these corporate thieves are paying back the money early. To whom is the gov't paying it? It's scares me to death for Washington to have that much cash.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  253. Kirk Paulson

    Hi Jack,
    Social security retirement age should slowly be increased. Not because Social Security has a problem, but because we must pay down the huge deficit. People are living longer and retiring at 62 is no longer affordable, and is a huge part of what our taxes are used for. Regan's saving Social Security in 1983 was nothing more than a Federal tax increase. That is where the money was intended to go, where it went, and where it was spent. The Social security trust fund only received IOU's.
    Kirk in Park City, Utah

    August 28, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  254. Linda Baldwin

    No one wants to see taxes rise but there is no other reasonable way.
    Is there anyone in Washington who is sane anymore.....you can't spend money you don't have and we are crazy to be so indebted to foreign countries...To fix this mess, the American people are going to have to pay dearly. Maybe the pain in the wallet will force them to think more carefully at the Polls but I am becoming more and more convinced that it is impossible to find a decent candidate. By the time they are a candidate, they are corrupted and endeared to all of the special interest groups....

    August 28, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  255. Marion/Birmingham

    Let us stop the spending before we raise taxes. If we raise Taxes the Democrats will just find something else to spend them on,why do you think they are called the Tax and spend party?

    August 28, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  256. Janelle in Missouri

    Of course taxes are going to have to be raised. It doesn't take a PhD in economics to do simple math. And quite simply, the math doesn't add up. There are not enough "rich people" in this country to tax to get out of this mess. We are all going to have to pay for it. There's never a good time to raise taxes, but the longer we wait, the more we owe, and the more we'll have to pay eventually. And, we need to stop spending like there's no tomorrow until we get out of debt and have money to spend again.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  257. Dan Louisville, Ky

    Other than "declared" wars and serious recessions, the Federal budget should be balanced. It is a matter of national survival that we face up to this.

    I suggest that Congress is NOT capable of doing it themselves. They should request that the Concord Coalition (a bipartisan non-profit concerned with the debt) lead a special group including members of the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) and retired or retiring employees at IRS to develop a balanced budget, including a $100 Billion surplus to begin paying down the National Debt. This payment would be increased by 4% every year and would still take more than 50 years to pay off our existing National Debt.

    Income tax rates would be frozen at current levels, and the additional revenues needed to make up the shortfall would be from a national sales tax. Increases in fuel taxes might be needed to maintain roadways better, and other "user fees" might need increases such as for National Parks.

    But nothing, it seems anymore, ever gets done without a lawsuit, so I am expecting some smart legal eagle to go to court and file a class action suit against Congress on behalf of children and next generation taxpayers, that continuing our rising deficits without any will or plan to pay for them constitutes taxation (of future generations) without representation.

    Then the Courts can "ORDER" Congress to do its job.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  258. DeeDee

    I don't know if taxes are going up Jack and I don't care. For me it's always been a privilege to pay taxes to the greatest nation on earth. I see it as an investment in the wellbeing of my country. It's the ultimate form of patriotism.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  259. Chuck

    Taxes go up in 2010 back to pre-bush levels.
    Remember when we were running surpluses before his big cuts for
    millionaires took place? That was when we had those rates.
    Before John Kennedy came along, the top income tax brackets were
    above 90%. Had been since the days of WWII.
    Nationally we had our greatest period of mid class growth during that
    time. Remember seeing any millionaires in welfare lines?
    Yes, it's time to raise taxes, as well as end stupid wars we can't win
    – yes plural, and irresponsible spending like my neighbors get paid for not
    planting crops on land that can't grow much anyway.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  260. Gary In Lexington

    Taxes should be raised, but ONLY if legislation is passed that requires the budget to be balanced and devises, passes and implements a National Debt Reduction Act. Why does the media not beat on this point, until somebody listens? You are just as guilty as the politicians and the general public for not demanding this legislation be addressed, passed and implemented! The fiscal situation we find ourselves in, is just as deplorabe as Wall Street's greed, Corporate America's greed and far too many members of the general population piling up their debt. If, and only if the aforementioned occurs, then I am all for taxes being sufficiently increased to reduce the National Debt over a reasonable time frame, otherwise we are doomed to become a second rate Country.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  261. Theresa

    Jack, Taxes should be raised only on those who voted for George W. in 2000 and 2004. It was during these 8 years that this debacle began.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  262. Mike in Mississippi

    Hey Jack,, when you say "raise taxes", I assume you mean the Federal Income Tax, which might have to happen. But, before this I think other things should be done first. For example, put a tourniquet on the war and stop that bleeding today. We could've built a wall around the entire country for what the war has cost in dollars. And, I don't feel any safer because of it. Regarding taxes though, I have not heard anyone mention the possiblity of a 1% Federal Sales Tax. The average person wouldn't feel that; and, I think that and a federal tax on weed would whittle away at the deficit faster than a rocket propelled grenade.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  263. G DeWolf Shaw

    "Guns (Iraq)and Butter" (Medicare – Part D) policies are expensive and need to be funded. The answer is, as we learned here in a Canada, is consumption taxation – a VAT (national sales tax, ex food) and Canadian style sin taxes. A U. S. a 5% VAT would raise $750 billion per year. $12 smokes and $40 for a 26 oz of booze and $4.00 gasoline would raise another $400 billion. All are voluntary consumption taxes and cause changes in wasteful conspicuous consumption. Canada was nearly broke in 1993 and was then in exactly the same place where America is heading. . By 1996 we had balanced budgets with surplusws – 100% went to pay down our national debt, we did that for 12 consecutive years - with both a Liberal and Conservative governments. We paid off 25% , until you guys train wrecked your financial system and we had to go back into 2% of GDP in deficit this year.
    Americans have to stop being tax cry babies.

    G. DeWolf Shaw CFA

    August 28, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  264. Richard West Virginia

    It took President Bush 8 years to double the national debt. Ao 10 years is a big deal. Perhaps President Bush had a plan to address this. Let's ask him.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  265. jim, Lake In The Hills, Illinois

    Taxes should never have been cut. That tax cut has cost everyone more than a trillion dollars. We all, rich or poor own this thing. Add on to that the average personal debt and call it what it is, irresponsible. Now there is suddenly no money to do what we need to do, much less what we want and should do.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  266. Pat Vailliencourt

    When will Washington wake up and realize you can't keep supporting countries that take our jobs, continue spending uncontrolled and looking to Americans to get them out of trouble by raising taxes. Lots of countries protect their own workers by controlling imports. Brazil doesn' allow importing anything that is manufactured in their country. What if we put a huge VAT on imports? Yes, that would make imports more expensive which would allow US goods to be more competitive . Results would be us getting our jobs back by manufacturing goods in our own country. The VAT gets applied to the deficit, jobs are created in the US, more taxes are automatically paid because we are working, workers buy more American made products, more jobs are created. I guess this is too simple......not enough room for political favors to be granted...........so it would never happen!

    August 28, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  267. Bill

    No. The government should cut programs and re-prioritize where the tax dollars are spent. That is what I do when money gets tight. What ever happened to individual responsibility. Why is it the responsibility of the government, and by extension me, to carry the weight of those that don't produce. I watch your show, and Wolf, every afternoon as I drink my morning coffee getting ready for another 12 hour graveyard shift. It's what I need to do to get through this world and I'm not getting a dime from uncle sugar. Raise my taxes, after you allow me to refinance my mortgage, and get $4500 for a new car, oh wait I bought a house I could afford and car not an SUV. Sorry my bad.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  268. Chris in Germantown, Md

    No! Absolutely not! We we are in a recession and people are reluctant to spend as it is, but if Congress raises taxes or adds a Value Added Tax people will have no choice but to spend even less. As a result, American businesses will generate less revenue to pay employees which means layoffs and pay cuts, and therefore even less spending. This will be a non-stop cycle until there is virtually no commerce taking place in America and it wouldn't matter if taxes were 99.9% the deficit isn't coming close to being paid off.

    Germantown, Md

    August 28, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  269. Barbara in NC

    Yes – especially Bush and Cheney – they are the ones that spent all our money killing the man that "wants to kill my daddy".

    Seriously, I remember a luxury tax decades ago. It will hit the wealthy, but what the heck. They can always come up with loopholes and dedutions, and their republican friends will help them.

    The poor don't need more taxes on food and clothing.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  270. Pastor Donna Wright

    Of course! Our taxes should have been raised during the W. Bush administration, when he started piling up deficits, but he preferred to duck responsibility. (Not a surprise.) I would be willing to pay a little more. And what about taxes on luxury goods? People who can afford yachts and expensive jewelry can afford taxes better than poor people who can barely afford food.


    August 28, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  271. Roland-St.George,UT

    Sometimes, I think the politicians are just holding out for WWIII. In that case, all the debt clocks go back to zero. New alliances are formed and everything starts from scratch as rebuilding takes place. It's a horrible scenario, but it's viable.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  272. Florence Bliss

    Of course the government should raise taxes – to pay for the real cause of our deficit – the Bush and Cheney wars that they should never have started without the money to pay for them. Now is the time for all Americans to pay for these wars and lower the deficit caused by incredible fiscal irresponsibility. They had their wars and kept borrowing from every foreign power to pay for it, rather than tax the American people, who, they feared, would not re-elect them if they voted to raise taxes. They're not looking out for you and your pocketbook, just their jobs.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  273. chuck

    Hi Jack,

    We didn't spend the money. Bush did. Send him the bill!


    August 28, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  274. Billie Elliott

    Yes, we should raise taxes to help our country out with the deficit. I don't understand people like the Tea Party who think they can go through life for free. It also seems like the rich feel the same way. This country has always prospered off of the backs of the poor and it is time it stopped. Also, I believe that people who eat junk food should pay taxes on it, the people in our country are fat (just look in the mirror) and I pay for that. Most people need a lesson on where their insurance payments are divided and also where their tax dollars are spent. All people already pay for the uninsure on their private plans. Wake up old people if you receive Medicare or Medicaid those are socialist programs. What's the matter you think you will lose the freebees?

    August 28, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  275. Eddie Albrittton

    Yes, we should do what every is necessary to reduce the deficit including raising taxes. How about a special tax with a mandatory expiration date which would expire once an objective as been reached, too many people who live in this country want all the benefits of being an American but they don't want the burden of supporting the country in it's time of financial turmoil. THAT’S UNAMERICAN!

    August 28, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  276. Bertha in SC

    It wouldn't be so horrible to pay a little more taxes if congress would used common sense in spending it. But I don't want another dime to go to perks for anyone. We need a CONGRESS CZAR. No wait, I have a better idea. Let's elect new members of congress. Those in office now have inflated egos and feel they are totally entitled. Wouldn't it be nice if we could designate individually where we want our federal and state taxes to go. That would have interesting results!

    August 28, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  277. Rick McDaniel / Lewisville, TX

    Not a matter of "should", Jack, it is absolutely unavoidable.

    The bigger issue, is whether this country can afford any more social programs of any kind, until the deficit is brought under control. It is nice, as a very wealthy person, for someone like Ted Kennedy to push for social programs to help the poor, but the truth is, it costs the country a lot of money, and right now, it just isn't practical, at all.

    The government has to look at cutting spending, not increasing it. When you are in debt up to your ears, you don't go out and try to borrow even more money, to use as gifts to other people.

    It wouldn't take a whole lot, to see this country taken over by China, on debt default. In fact, there is a tremendous amount of foreign ownership of a lot of companies in this country now, and we just saw 2 banks turned over to a Spanish owned bank, this past week.

    It is entirely possible for the country to be taken over, financially, by a foreign power. That's how far we have really come, down the ladder.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  278. Jeff in Sims, NC

    All of you sound like true patriots! Sounds like a revolution taking foot.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  279. Tom

    The government should not raise taxes. They've gotten us into this mess, and everytime they raise taxes, they start another mess. How much more can the American people take? We don't have any money left!

    And, if taxes get raised on the middle class, it will be Obama's only term in office.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  280. Lenny, Mansfield, TX

    Jack, the Bush tax cuts gave 14.7% in tax cuts to those making $44,000 or less (the bottom 60%) and whopping 56.5% tax cut to those making $104,000 (the top 10%). Talk about a sweet deal! These tax cuts will expire on the 1st of January, 2011. The purpose was to give the economy a boost and create jobs. Yet we only got about 4 million jobs during Bush's 2 terms coompared to 22.5 million jobs during Clinton's tenure.

    This is the single most important reason we have a deep and crushing deficit. And as a economist, I don't see how we can overcome this problem in our life time because of compounding interest. So when the "tea-bag" party talks about government intrusion, you know they are either very ignorant about what they are saying, or are out just to be mischievious. Or both.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  281. Jeff, Durham NC

    No. The deficit is like a fat person who has eaten too much. The government needs to go on a diet.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  282. Mat

    NO, to eliminate wasteful spendings to start with Federal, state & city agencies & reduce the high level jobs, who doesn't deserve it. eg. US Post Office.

    Thank you


    August 28, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  283. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    I don't know if raising taxes would deal with the deficit but it could result in immigration reform.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  284. David Jones

    For every dollar that is generated by raising taxes, the litmus test ought to be one dollar is cut from government spending. There are billions and billions lost every year–wars overseas, paying companies to subsidize student loans, keep army bases open in foreign countries, paying for military hardware designed for the Cold War–over government stupidity and it does not matter if a Republican or Democrat is the President.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  285. William Guerra

    As a former public school teacher for 39 years the answer is simple. Teachers have TSA 403B plus from my first check to my last check I bought savings bonds.

    For investment and savings separation I taught my Economics students under $30k employees' should only SAVE and over $30K employees could invest in items like a 401K which, unlike savings bonds, can and do lose value.

    Savings bonds would work as a Cafeteria Plan for employees. The employees could choose MSB or regular savings bonds. An MSB is a medical savings bond and goes to financing the National Healthcare Plan.

    Employers also could participate by matching their employees bond purchase and get tax credit off their taxable gross profits.

    One of the positive features is the United States can end borrowing from slave waged worker nations like China and make our National Debt our own debt to Americans.

    By the way, all military personnel could participate making the Eisenhower idea of peace through strength back in vogue.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  286. jimbo

    I bet if I suggested just raise the taxes on Republicans, ya'll would go nuts

    August 28, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  287. Sandra Egger, Corralitos CA

    Boot the current tax system out the door. I vote for a flat tax, with no deductions or loopholes. But double the rate, for corporations who ship jobs abroad.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  288. AJ

    Also those in Congress should pay their taxes just like the public, where do they get off. The next person in Congress who doesn't pay their taxes on time give them jail time and let them see how the common person deals with the government, no body is above the law, but they seen to think that they are. Ther are two sets of rules one for the public and one for congress.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  289. inofritzn

    Reduce taxes to bring growth incentive and do the real impossible... cut spending

    August 28, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  290. Billie Elliott

    Why, may I ask are people forgetting that it was not Obama who got us into this mess? I hope and pray every day that he stop trusting the Congress, because they keep throughing him under the bus. The open disrespect I see is sad.
    Mr. President start standing up you have the last vote. Make Congress and the Senate understand your power!!! You need to understand your power. Clean up the Health Reform policy make it your own , get it passed!!!!

    August 28, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  291. LCK

    Defense, Medicare and Medicaid are 70% of the budget. Until someone says we need to cut defense spending - I won't believe they care about the deficit.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  292. Sharlot Riley

    I would think since our representitives in Washington thought it was the right thing to do when they bailed out the Banks and big corporate CEO's and limited or withheld wages and bonus"s for those in charge and lead these institutions into this mess that maybe the same thing should happen to those in Washington that lead our country down this path of economic devastation. Cut thier wages or suspend their pay until there is appropriate restitution for their failure to do a responsible job .We placed our lives and future in their hands and they totally ignored our well being and looked out for themselves. I truly believe Rep. and Senators should jave a limit of 2 terms in office to elminate this kind of good ole boy mess we are in now.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  293. Bingo Prattville, AL

    How about reduce spending to match the funds that are available? If my bills exceed my salary, I find a way to reduce my bills, I don't expect my boss to raise my salary. We the people are the boss and we pay the government's salary. I'm not interested in raising the government's salary, I want the government to cut its spending of my money.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  294. Sean

    You're not going to raise taxes if I can help it. We are already taxed to much. There's another option you left out: cut spending. George W. went on a spending binge, and that needs to be reversed.

    Less money, spent better.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  295. Aidan McKenzie

    Are you guys insane? I make 800k per year and pay 40%- I am not allowed to write off ANYTHING. Under the AMT I don't get to write off all of the normal things that everyone else does- not property taxes, state taxes, nothing. The very minimum for the AMT in my bracket is 28.5 and when added to my state tax that's 1/3- AFTER ALL DEDUCTIONS. What loopholes for the wealthy are you guys talking about? I have my taxes done professionally and always rechecked-are you sure the wealthy pay less taxes? I paid about third of a million in taxes last year between the feds any my state. I'm not complaining- it is a fair deal and I am blessed to have this lifestyle- but why should I pay even more? Most Americans are taxed at one rate but after all deductions end up WELL below 30%- go check your tax returns and see for yourself. Don't argue the tax rate, look at the actual amount you paid after all was said and done. I can't ever go below one third- this "rich don't pay taxes" thing is totally absurd. Wish that it were so!

    August 28, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  296. greg

    Raise the taxes. This is our country let's pay the money to fix it!

    August 28, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  297. Armand Haas

    Of course we should raise taxes. Those who can afford to pay without affecting their life styles (and I am one) should pay for the privileges we are fotrtunate enough to enjoy in this great country should willingly cooperate. Those with incomes not in such brackets should not have to pay more taxes.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  298. Jen

    Of course raise taxes! That's how you pay for things. Clean unpolluted water costs money. Roads cost money. Schools that train children who will one day be our future caretakers costs money. Libraries costs money. I can't stress how frustrated it makes me when I see that people resist paying for things we take for granted. Cutting spending alone doesn't help, especially when so many areas in government such as education has already seen many cuts- South Carolina, for example, is under staffed when it comes to both teachers and school nurses. Suck it up people!

    August 28, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  299. Joe Hofmann

    Yes, I do think we need to raise taxes but I would also suggest we have a national lottery that would raise a considerable amount a lot of money and it would be easy to implement because most states have lottery dispensing equipment already.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  300. Rosanne

    Yes. Raise taxes. Simplify the tax code so that my tax return is the size of a postcard.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  301. June

    Jack, it is so interesing that most of people that want tax increases are those that don't pay at all, in other words, people making below 40k.
    As long as others pay and they keep their entitlements like free food, free doctors and free housing, they are happy!!!

    August 28, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  302. swin5

    Better get as much of your savings into a Roth IRA as soon as you can and then hope that the government doesn't change its mind and tax your returns anyway, even though they've already been taxed.

    And as for your comment regarding the government being able to provide only the most basic of public services – isn't that what the government should have been 'ONLY' doing all along? This is all the government is constitutionally permitted to do and the fact that it has deviated from this philosophy is the reason why we are in this mess.

    August 28, 2009 at 5:49 pm |