December 16th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Special commission the answer to finally addressing the deficit?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The national debt - now topping $12 trillion - has more than doubled in just the last eight years...
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/12/16/art.debt.clock.jpg caption="The National Debt Clock in midtown Manhattan in July 2009. Those numbers currently top $12 trillion."]
And experts say that if the government doesn't come up with a plan soon to get the debt under control - we could risk panic in the financial markets. They say the government shouldn't raise taxes or cut spending immediately so as not to hurt the economic recovery. But the changes will have to happen by 2012 or else. Don't hold your breath...

One option on the table is a bipartisan commission to look into sweeping tax increases and spending cuts. CNN is reporting that President Obama is seriously considering an executive order to set up such a panel. Excuse me, but isn't that what the government is supposed to do... manage taxes and spending?

This latest brainstorm would have a bipartisan group taking months to study the problem and then decide AFTER the 2010 midterm elections what to do. Wouldn't want to raise taxes or cut spending before they're up for re-election, right?

Meanwhile - instead of the proposed $2 trillion increase in the debt ceiling - fiscal hawks In Congress want to increase it by only a "couple hundred billion dollars" at a time.

I guess the idea is that way nobody will notice how far in the toilet we are. If the U.S. doesn't raise the debt ceiling by the end of this year - we will default on our debt. This is scary stuff and requires a backbone to make some tough calls. So let's get someone else to do it.

Here’s my question to you: Is a special commission the answer to finally addressing the deficit?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 4pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

Filed under: Deficit
soundoff (182 Responses)
  1. Jack CArlson

    These idiots in Washington from the Whitehouse to Congress should be remove – the majority of them indeed !
    Jack C

    December 16, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  2. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    And yet another special commission. Is that like taking it under advisement?

    What it will take is a substantial increase in the health care bill so we can provide our legislators the mountain of Ritalin they obviously need.

    And how is your fluency in the Beijing dialect Jack?

    December 16, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  3. Mark

    Jack, get a clue....nobody, especially our so-called "leaders" gives a damn about our deficit or insurmountable national debt that will NEVER in a thousand life times be paid off. So, do like everybody else, just sip on that hot chocolate, write out your Christmas cards and throw your worries to the wind.


    December 16, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  4. Jim


    I have to go along with you on this one. Our financial situation must be addressed, now and with courage. The debt ceiling must be raised by the proposed 2 trillion, responsible spending cuts must be identified and implemented, and responsible tax increases, minimizing the effects on those already struggling, must be enacted. Obama has shown a willingness to make the tough calls and absorb the heat. It's time for Congressional Democrats to follow his lead and give him the support he needs. Republicans will just continue to be the party of No, but that shouldn't stop Democrats from uniting and getting the job done.

    Reno, Nevada

    December 16, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  5. Ken in NC

    NO Default on the debt. Let the Chinese take over. You know they hang crooked politicians in China. Maybe our politicians would get themselves straight under the threat of a Chinese hanging. I am fed up with crooked politicians and bought and paid for politicians and most of all the Senator from the state of Atena.

    December 16, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  6. Jane Johnson

    Indeed, another game by those who for the most part have spent their life living off the taxpayers dime.
    Jane J

    December 16, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  7. MNResident

    Our government has become infected with spendaholics with charge cards that they feel have an unlimited credit limit. These addicts feel the only way to ensure they can stay where they are at (in office) is to spend, spend, spend. The only way a "special commission" will work on this problem is if they have the power to conduct an "intervention" and send these spendaholics to an intense rehab program for 6-12 months (with the addicts themselves paying for it) in a facility similar to the Betty Ford Center for problem drinkers.

    December 16, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  8. Karen, Idaho Falls

    Any "special commission" appointed will be made up of the same old boys who have been on every other "special commission" and see how far that has gotten us in the hole. The ideal commission would be ordinary citizens who know how to pay bills on time, how to balance a checkbook, and who have not be "bought" by special interest groups.

    December 16, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  9. Coby Sedgwick

    There is no such thing as bipartisan. If the group is not outside of DC completely there is going to be nothing learned. Maybe look into Universities and have students working on there degrees incorporate this into a disertation.

    December 16, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  10. Paulette, Dallas,PA

    It will depend on who would sit on the panel. More political "yes men" need not apply. We are in serious difficulty and should be using any available funds to pay down the debt before the collectors start knocking on our door.

    December 16, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  11. Denny from Tacoma, WA

    Getting rid of the congresspersons who continually rip off their country would be a much better solution.

    December 16, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  12. John from Alabama

    Jack: Commissions do not have the weight of law. Pay as you go legislation does have the weight of law. We use to have paygo until 2003, but the Republicans did away with it. We use to have a $700 billion dollar surplus until George W. Bush came to office. In 2000, we had a surplus and pay go legislation and a $5 trillion dollar deficit, but now we have a $11 trillion dollar deficit under George W. Bush. Get the picture, Jack or do have to spell it out for you.

    December 16, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  13. Dennis North Carolina

    jf they would have some type of power to back them up. the most important need in this area is a law that says the voters must approve any debt.

    December 16, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  14. Alex in Seattle

    Blue ribbon commissions are never the answer, Jack! They study a problem and produce a report but nothing ever gets done. It just delays any solution until 2011 since it will be politics as usual until after the mid-term elections.

    December 16, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  15. Carl Cauch

    A special comission to adress the deficit is a joke. The people of this country know what the problem is and the only solution is a recall election for all federal government officials. We need to tear it all down and fix it right. What will a commission tell us. We have over spent. We need to know how to fix it. The start of the fix is remover the people who let it get started in the first place. No more politics and no more lies.

    December 16, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  16. Kevin Lunenburg MA.

    A commission is absolutely the right answer to the deficit problem. While I'd like to think that our "leaders" can act like responsible adults, it's pretty clear from the school yard antics that we see so much of, that it is not going to happen. Being in Congress isn't public service any longer, it's now a career choice. The pols may be spineless and deceitful, but they are not stupid. They know that the 'folks back home' are not willing to accept the medicine that we all know is long overdue. With an up or down vote, they can always point to the commission and say 'they made me do it' (sort of right up there with the dog ate my homework), I just hope that the commission members remember that it wasn't us working stiffs that got us here and that they treat us fairly in this debacle.

    December 16, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  17. Jack Martin


    A special commission would be better than to allow congress to debate a solution to the deficit since they are the culprits who created it in the first place. Amazing isn't it.? We now have fiscal hawks in the congress? Where were they when they approved the invasions of two countries while creating tax cuts for the rich? Where were they when they approved a drug benefit for seniors that was actually a profit center for big pharma and the insurance companies.?Truly, the chickens are coming home to roost. Why are we so stupid as to elect these empty suits?

    Boynton Beach Florida

    December 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  18. Jeff in E. Lyme, CT

    Whatever happened to the "Balanced Budget Amendment"? Hey, here's new a thought:
    Let's tax everyone at the same rate based on GROSS income. ALL income including capital gains, dividends & inheritance over $5 million (unless it's a family business). The ONLY exemptions should be for dependents, child care, medical expenses & education. No deductions for political or charitible donations. With a fair system, we won't need so many charities. Plus, having 1% of the population earning 90% of the income and paying 10% of taxes collected is not only insane, it's just plain wrong. I find nothing wrong with demanding that those who benefit the most from America pay the most. We need to end 2 wars, pay off China, fix our bridges etc., make America healthy & keep it that way. The plain fact is that all costs money. Gee, sounds so simple, practical and fair that I'm surprised nobody's ever thought of it before now.

    December 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  19. T. Thomas in Abilene Tx.

    Sure. It will get about as much respect as the 9/11 Commission,too. No wonder our gutless-kick- the- can- down- the- road- Congress is held in such high esteem.

    December 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  20. Melissa

    Better to go into debt helping the country, than go into debt funding an illegal foreign religious war. The debt needs to be dealt with eventually. NOW isn't the time that can happen. Not until the market stabilizes. THEN is the time to address the debt.

    December 16, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  21. Angie

    Well at least we have an administration that acutually admitts that we have a deficit.

    The Republican good old boys never admitted to having a deficit during their 8 years. I guess it's because they were so busy creating the deficit and building the recession.

    Are we, as a country, better off today then were were this time last year?
    I would give it a big yes.

    Do we need the commission to adress the deficit?

    Maybe what we need is an overseeing commission to make sure that the Republican friends on wall street, in the Banks and financial corporations don't destroy our economy again.

    but didn't we have that before in our laws? Yes.
    Then what happened?
    A lot of Republican DEREGULATIONS and Loosening of laws is during the Bush administration is what happened. Remember?

    December 16, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  22. Jennifer - Winnipeg

    No ... because the commission will then set up a committee, who will set up a think tank, etc., etc. and when all is said and done, the deficit will still be there and will probably have grown even larger. And you think these groups could be bipartisan? ... yeah when pigs fly.

    December 16, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  23. Ed from California

    There is twenty million (20Mil) people out of work, that is being reported. The real number is probably closer to thirty-five million. Once you fall off the unemployment number, you're not counted.

    That's twenty million people NOT PAYING TAXES!!! Hello, their jobs are overseas!! Is this "commission" who's members each receive a paycheck and bennies. Going to come to the realization that these people who don't work is because their JOBS ARE GONE!!! And we need to get them employed and fast, so they can start paying taxes!!!

    If our elected officials can't figue this out. Then, they ALL need to be replaced, now! How's that de-regulation working for you?

    December 16, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  24. K

    typical politics–pass the buck! the only time the deficit becomes important is at election time. just because government wants does NOT mean it needs! Fiscal responsiblity is a must not an option. government should run its business just like you and me–within a budget. This does not need another high priced goverment employee.

    December 16, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  25. Cheryl, Cocoa, Fl

    jack, it would take them 6 months just to decide where and when to meet. Here's a thought: end both wars and bring the troops home, close at least half of the 130 bases operating around the world, and absolutely no more pork-barrel projects allowed. If we ran our homes like these people run our government, the whole system would have collapsed a long time ago.

    December 16, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  26. Jason, Koloa Kauai

    I'm not a radical Jack, but this idea may seem radical to some who are not capable or willing to accept that a paradigm shift is coming whether they like it or not.

    The monetary system is not fixable and we need to change the way we interact as humans. I was watching protestors outside a bankers meeting in Chicago and it was obvious that protesting, voting in elections and writing letters to our government is not going to change anything. The mega-wealthy are not going to change and our government reps at every level are simply puppets of the rich. They are not going to make the right decisions and the way I see it we have two options. We can cut every rich person's head off like the French Revolution or we can create our own micro-economies at the community level based on local currencies or barter and trade. The current system is too corrupt to be fixed.

    December 16, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  27. Rus in St. Paul, MN

    No, because we not going get a real answer. If Obama was serious about the deficit he would veto the omnibus bill that increases federal spending over 8% from last year and has 5,200 earmarks in it. If our president was serious about this issue, he would take a bold action like that and send it back to Congress. If politicians in Washington can't see the problem, they simply need to look in a mirror.

    December 16, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  28. Lil Me

    If they're going to take months to "study" the problem, obviously, it isn't a very pressing concern to the Obama administration. By the way, it's not news to Obama that there is a deficit. He knew of the deficit when he decided to run for president. Why didn't he convene his special commission to study the problem then, so that he could begin addressing the problem with a solution as soon as he took office?

    December 16, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  29. Esther Massillon Ohio

    It's a Wonderful life we have I say we grab a laundry basket and pretend the government is George Baily

    December 16, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  30. Brian Smith PhD

    First things first Jack. First we need a another special commission to decide the budget for the special commission. Then we need four other special commissions, two for the House and two for the Senate, to pick the members. Then we need a special commission to decide what advisers would be suitable. Then we need a super secret special commission to be the watch dog over the all other the special commissions. Then that super secret special commission would need to select the commissioners for the final report. I figure just staffing all the special commissions will cost us 2 trillion anyway.

    December 16, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  31. Tom Mytoocents Fort Lauderdale, Florida


    The deficit is the product of imaginary securties sold with imaginary currency by folks with imaginary jobs to produce nothing but imaginary profits. These guys create debts and equity from thin air.(getting thinner all the time too) Don't worry about the deficit because it's imaginary also.
    They do all this smoke and mirrors to create the false image they really are smater than we. Thus we did'nt make the illusion or understand the illusion. Therfore you and I are told to produce more by working harder to fool more people to join the circle of real production. (after all some of us have to work or the system shuts and down goes haywire) When the circle breaks down and the corporations foolishly waste the wealth then they go to Congress where new rules are drafted to create even more phony currency to infuse into the circle. This is known as perpetuating the wealth to only a few or Oligarchy If we are good workers they reward us by loaning us imaginary currency to give back to the bankers and healthcare insurance. Completing the imaginary circle called economics.
    In short the deficit is imaginary. A great big enormous Bubble Ponzi Scheme gone terribly wrong. Full of hot air by the nimrods who live from the sweat of others hard work........

    December 16, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  32. Allen L Wenger

    Unfortunately, it is the only way anything will get done. The Republicans cannot vote for anything put forward by the Democrats or the President, they have put politics ahead of the people they represent. The Democrats cannot accept Republican ideas, because it makes them look weak if they cave to the minority. President Obama will be vilified for using a special commission, but he will be villitied no matter what he does. The President is showing leadership and that is what he was elected to do.

    Mountain Home ID

    December 16, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  33. Tom - Wisconsin

    Jack, what could that possibly accomplish? They would probably only put people on the committee that have no real understanding of a positive economy anyway. Just like those they are already listening to.

    How about recognizing how similar our economy is to the economic model that brought down the USSR.

    How about recognizing how similar our economic business plan is to the one that Enron was following.

    How about recognizing that government workers do not really pay taxes, they only return some of the tax money that they receive as their pay.

    Because of the previous reality, how about recognizing that government jobs are an expense to the economy.

    How about recognizing that government does not generate the economy.

    How about recognizing that only private business really provides jobs.

    How about recognizing that only private businesses that export goods and services add to the national wealth and economy.

    How about recognizing the fact that our government, in reality, actually hinders the very businesses that are our only hope of saving this nation.

    How about having the courage to actually read this on the air.

    December 16, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  34. JENNA

    Is a special commission the answer to finally addressing the deficit?

    The special commission will create more jobs to just research the issue.

    Yes, this is necessary.

    Roseville CA

    December 16, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  35. J W

    A special commission to do what? Tell us we're in debt? Tell us our Federal Representatives are fools? Tell us we spend too much? Tell us what we already know? We've known for years, decades, that we have a growing fiscal problem. Knowing about it isn't the issue. Doing something about it IS the issue. There are only two ways to address the problem, and you don't need a "commission to know what those two ways are.

    December 16, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  36. Mr. D

    Forming a commission is just a stalling tactic. Why study the obvious? A bi-partisan approach to solving the financial mess should be mandatory. The public should absolutely demand it.

    December 16, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  37. Bill from South Jersey

    The answer to finally addressing the deficit is for Congress to raise taxes and cut spending. They have done this only briefly during my lifetime, and they always return to more spending and lower taxes.

    Why do they do this? They think they won't be re-elected if they raise taxes and cut spending.

    Why do they think that? Because those who have voted for increased taxes and spending cuts have been defeated in our elections.

    So maybe the answer to finally addressing the deficit is for us to vote as though we really wanted it to be addressed.

    December 16, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  38. karla

    Jack, you got it exactly right ! They lack the guts and are ready and willing to pass the ball, only nobody wants to play. This way their just following recommendations. This is just 'Old School' buck passing.

    December 16, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  39. Greg - Minneapolis, MN

    Jack, we don't need a "bipartisan" group delaying any action on reducing the deficit until after the 2010 elections in order to save their chances of being re-elected. What we need is to CUT SPENDING NOW!! Every family has to make the hard choices when their income doesn't match their desired spending. No reason for the government to be any different. Cutting spending is the only thing that will reduce the problem, tax increases historically have shown to result in tax revenues dropping. Time to bite the bullet and cut spending where it counts, starting with Congress, their perks, and their "Cadillac" pension & health benefits!

    December 16, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  40. Darren

    How can we seriously address the growing deficit while we're off nation-building in Afghanistan and Iraq. burning borrowed money faster than the Chinese can lend it to us?

    December 16, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  41. James

    Jack, only if they have the authority to abolish deficit spending! Period!
    Other wise it's a waste, we know deficits exist!

    December 16, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  42. Bud Rupert, Reston, VA

    READ ME: I don't hink it means much Jack. It's not that we are deficit spending that's most important. It's energizing the nations economy that counts. The term "deficit" is a political tool used by both sides when it's to their advantage to do so. Right now, it's the GOP's turn.
    Quite frankly though, and at the risk of sounding like a "naddering nabob of negativism" I'm not convinced we can pull oursleves out of this mess. Not this time. The middle to lower middle class is screwed and no where to go. Manufacturing and other blue collar jobs are going, going, GONE. That's the real problem, not the deficit.

    HERE'S MY SOLUTION: The feds should hire the unemployed and put them to work rebuilding the U.S infrastructure. They would get a pay check, pay taxes and start spending again. AND, considering that the average federal worker makes twice as much as the private sector conterpart, it's a win, win.

    December 16, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  43. Layne Alleman

    Jack, I agree with you that this is pretty much a no-brainer as to being their responsibility from the get-go. You're also right in saying that by forming another "panel of study", they're just "dithering" until we all loose interest and go back to watching American Idol. Layne A. Antioch, Il.

    December 16, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  44. Simonsays/Orlando

    I can't imagine why anyone under 40 would would not want to know how much the deficit will take out of their pockets in taxes in the next 20 years. Whatever debt the government has will need to be paid back. The more debt, the more everybody will owe in taxes. There is no such thing as a free government program. Like a credit card, the bill will be coming at some point and everybody in the country will be writing a check.

    December 16, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  45. Thom Richer

    Nope. It will be just another scapegoat for Congress and the White House. Not to mention another burden on the taxpayers and wasteful spending on non-productive studies, etc. that our government is so good at. It is like all the rest of the programs that are dreamed up each year that produce no results and just fade away without any impact or responsibility assigned. A good example would be all the so called "new" education programs that flood the school districts across America each and every year without ever being fully implemented or funded to fruition with any significant success. Stop the madness and pretense. The only answer to our deficit problem is career and living wage employment. Anything less is just good ole Washington and Corporate propaganda.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    December 16, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  46. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    Hell no, what needs to be done is scrap all the pork spending, cut everything that is not absolutely necessary, do this for about three years and get our finances in order.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  47. Casey | Ruth, CA.

    Isn't it amazing though to watch someone like the Senator from Oklahoma (among others) give their "more responsible than thou" speech about reining in the deficit NOW... after their 8 years of irresponsible spending on at least one unnecessary, immoral and stupid war?

    When Dems were saying to hold off on spending on war... it was just downright unpatriotic - the only thing besides war that GW Bush could advise us to do was to go out and SPEND more money!

    Hypocrites, all. Sure, we should be responsible, but at least this spending would result in something other than bombs and bailouts!

    December 16, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  48. Michael H. of Albuquerque, NM

    It didn't take a special commission in the past to deal with a deficit. If anybody would care to look through the fiscal policies of administrations that balanced the budget in the twentieth century you would find one vital thing in common. The administations that balanced the budget were run by Democrats. Why? Because Democrats invested in the infrustructure, with the farmers, with small business and raised the pay of the working poor. This kept money in America, created jobs, and in the end gave more revenue. The only republican to achieve this was Eisnehower. He had a 90% tax rate, cut back on military spending, built the interstate highways, the suburbs and schools. THAT IS HOW IT IS DONE!!!
    ....why the republicans of today claim that they have economically sound policy when all history prooves that they leave nothing but debt and hardship is beyond belief...really really unbelievable. Maybe we should "finally" have a commission just to show republicans their own failings.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  49. Annie, Atlanta

    How much will THIS cost? Here's some free advice. I'd start with cutting out earmarks, waste, and implement green energy to avoid costly invasions of sovereign nations for their oil. Then I'd move on to paying Congress based on production, and remove all their perks related to travel and health care. They're worthless.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  50. Louis/atlanta, ga

    i feel all this bickering between all the rich fat cats in washington, the speculators and the rip off artist who run wall street and the banks in america, are killing the working class people of the nation. i would rather have a web site set up, so everyone can log on and express them selves as to what we would like to have for a change, instead of leting a bunch of old rich white men, who are being bought off by speacial interest groups.
    at least this way if anything goes wrong we have only ourselves to blame.
    your truley, can it get any worse?

    December 16, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  51. Brian Delray Beach, FL

    Another commission is not the answer. One answer might be to elect people who are qualified to operate a very large business and not make our decisions based upon whose image has been scrubbed and massaged the best. A publically financed campaign limited to 90 days and perhaps three televised debates with questions asked by citizens who are not news celebrities might produce some dedicated leaders. And, of course, a two term limit in the Senate and maybe three terms in the House. As it is we have a Congress filled with out of touch lobbyists like Senator Aetna Lieberman and those flat earth yokels whose understanding of science stopped at high school. Our Congress stopped representing the people long ago. They could care less who much this country is in debt as long as their nests are feathered.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  52. Mark, Bradenton,FL

    A commission Jack??? Which one? One that will be bribed or becomes corrupt telling us everything is fine? That crook Obama said he would tackle the deficit but all he does is adding. No Jack we will be bankrupt soon and in ten years we will be just like Mexico-CHAOS.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  53. Anthony.....Swedesboro, NJ

    George Bush took a multimillion dollar surplus and left us with trillions of dollars in deficit. If we hadn't incurred the expense of the folly in Iraq, the problem would be minimal. We need a special commission to investigate the lies of the previous administration and send Cheney and Bush to the hoosegow!

    December 16, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  54. Maria

    When we are in trouble or don't have the answers we call for a special commission. The answer to the deficit is too much international spending by greedy Wall Street and not enough spending and saving by the 99% of us who can't really afford to live in this country.

    A comission just adds more to the deficit and will give us no answers we already knew. It's time for Obama's Dept. picks to step forward and say what happened and how they're going to prevent a repeat.



    December 16, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  55. mario ca

    Ask Bush how he did that, and reverse it, simple

    December 16, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  56. Abdul

    Jack, if the two wars are stopped today, the deficit will start to reduce. No special commission is needed. Afghanistan and Iraq can then worry about their own deficits.

    Abdul, Newark

    December 16, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  57. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    I think they need to do something before its election time because Lou Dobb's is a probable runner up.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  58. Maurice J

    Great idea...a commission to manage the deficit...and then maybe another commission to oversee that commission...a definite way to people back to work. WHat a great way to reduce unemployment. Oh boy !!!

    December 16, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  59. joyce larusso

    We need another commission like we need another Iran in the world. If we need to raise taxes, so be it as long as it's proportional. If we need to cut spending, that's the easy part.....get rid of Congress. They make too much money anyway.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  60. Jacob M

    It's amazing how we only think of appointing committees to cut social safety nets. Why do not we not appoint a committee to find out how we can cut 33% of the Department of Defense? That is a financial beast in our budget so rife with waste that it makes every other department look positively restrained. But no- instead of telling our military commanders they have to tighten their belts, stop free spending on the latest toys (which are generations ahead of everyone else's machines of warfare) we decide that we're going to starve old people to death and tell sick kids they're on their owns. If we're going to cut our spending, we need to cut our spending across the board. Take it away from the military and the defense contractor barnacles that are sucking this country dry.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  61. Jim Schroeder

    Of course it is, hasn't that worked in the past?lol

    December 16, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  62. Dan in Chicago

    A special commission is antithetical to its stated mission. Let's shrink government by growing government? Get real. This is just more of the typical Washington dog and pony show. Hopefully someone in charge will grow a spine before we go off the cliff.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  63. Dione Smith

    No, but I don't know what is. Everyone has his own spin on any of this so it is very hard to know how to handle it.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  64. John, Fort Collins, CO

    Why waste the money to form a special commission to study the deficit, when all President Obama has to do is be honest and say "I am ignoring the national debt and deficit spending until after I am out of office. Just like every administration before me".

    December 16, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  65. Kristin, Danville, CA


    Your whining is really wearing on me. I'd like to have a job where all I have to do is complain and not offer up any solutions.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  66. Dave Collins

    This "special commission" is just another title for the fat cats in Washington. CUT SPENDING!! CUT SPENDING!! CUT SPENDING!!

    December 16, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  67. Gregory D from LA

    Special commission or not, sound like we're in real trouble here. Could it be possible that our country is ALREADY bankrupt? And if so, who's going to tell us? If this is the case, I suppose the President would need to once again gather a commission to find out whether we're on the verge of bankruptcy.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  68. Bill in Penna


    Anything, that will help Americans understand a dollar borrowed is two dollars owed for only a dollar's worth of goods, is needed.

    We have become a nation of robbers and thieves. With our national debt we have robbed from ourselves, our children and those troops and their families we claim to value so greatly. Our corporate CEOs and bankers too have robbed us blind. Still, we refuse to prosecute.

    Any patriotic American knows taxes must go up, a lot. It is time we put our real money where our mouth has been for nine years. Either put on the Uniform or pay your fair share. It is just that simple. But greed and sloth are very tempting so we may go on killing innocents at home and abroad and stealing to pay the bill.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  69. Alan Thornton - Leesburg, GA

    Let's appoint a commission to determine if it's a good idea to appoint a commission to address solutions to the national debt.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  70. Martin Sola

    Well, we have all the corrupt politicians, thiefs from Wall Street, and YOU, the media to thank for the mess we're in. But don't mind us, we're just too busy to care about government and its pesky needs for more of everything...

    Martin in Chicago.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  71. Gail B

    The only commission that will do anything to decrease the irresponsible spending of Congress would be one that would look into the practices of Congress, including every special interest that has bought the votes of the members of that institution. And that's as likely to happen as my pig learning to fly.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  72. Debbie

    Jack, a special commission is absolutely necessary simply because Congress has become dysfunctional. You are incorrect that it would take a commission months to study the problem. The studies have already been done. We should call it the "Hammer Commission." Raising the hammer indicates tax increases; pounding the hammer indicates spending cuts.

    You're right though, that this is the President's and Congress' job. We thought we finally had adults in charge. Not.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  73. mark reinhart

    Sure it is Jack then they just blame them not "the" administration (it's not our fault).
    A diversion is always the best approach must like the limited spending so "we" don't see it.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  74. Michael J

    We would have better luck if we followed the yellow brick road.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  75. Joseph Harden

    President Obama should pick 3 Republican Senators and 3 Democratic Senators, put them in a room and tell them to solve the problem and then lock the door. Better yet, put all 100 in that locked room and throw away the key!

    December 16, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  76. Salvador in San Antonio, Texas

    This government will continue to compartmentalize itself until we the people stand up and say enough is enough. It has never worked for us or governments in the past when they create "little" governments within the government. This idea of creating a group to help solve the financial crisis proves that we are still in bad shape and maybe even worse than the media likes to make it seem. I am deeply concerned as a college student what the future holds for me in the US, if it holds anything at all...

    December 16, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  77. T.J. Tampa

    Jack were do you get theses loaded questions. But, Ill answer anyway. NO. All this is is playing a childhood game for us old folks. It's called KICK THE CAN.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  78. John


    I'm afraid that we're going to have to convene a panel to study if a special commission will be effective.

    Boulder, CO

    December 16, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  79. wolfgangpitbullingtonIII!

    Jack, Obama is nuts! He will appoint a Special Commission who will procrastinate, then tell us nothing can be done about the problem. Obama, and the whole Democratic Party Kit and cabootle must be "booted out" of office in 2012. Anybody but Obama. Obama is going to get us all "INCINERATED"! wolfgangpitbullingtonIII!

    December 16, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  80. Matthew

    Jack, this is just what we need. More money tossed into the gutter to figure out why we're throwing money in the toilet. Irony is an understatement. Big Government doesn't have the stones to cut their bank bailouts or raise the interest on loans that go straight to Corporate bonuses. This is madness.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  81. david

    Welcome to a representative democracy with frequent elections and a two party system. A bipartisan effort has to be taken to raise taxes or cut spending or the party that isnt in power will have a field day. A special commission to analyze and provide expertise sounds a lot like our committee system within Congress. At least the administration and congress are trying to do something about the debt, indirectly or not. Obama isnt going to sacrifice his political career, and neither are most democrats

    December 16, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  82. Geoffrey Zamboni

    With regard to hiring a commission to address the deficit...that is like hiring a consultant you can fire or blame. My professional experience over many years is seeing corporations hire consultants and blaming the principals of that consulting firm after the programs which were rolled out with great fanfare, flopped.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  83. J.L from NJ


    As a progressive democrat, I feel "sold down the river" by candidate Obama who talked as though he had plans for all this stuff. Commission is just another word for delay. And, I guess we are going to have to pay these commissioners , to travel and eat etc.
    I guess my Republican friends had a point when they said that we should not put a man with little to no experience in office. Maybe he'll grow a backbone on his Hawaiian Xmas vacation.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  84. Joe, Las Vegas

    The report will come out and, if it's got any real teeth at all, will only be used as fodder for both sides to point fingers and say "See, the other guys did that and won't fix it".
    Nothing will be addressed until we start electing leaders who care more about the country and their sacred honor than getting re-elected.
    Yeah, good luck with that. I'll see you in Beijing.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  85. Mike Slur

    If this commission had some real authority to propose a package of cuts, something like the base closing commissions, then it might be worthwhile. Otherwise its just another boondoggle to keep a few has-been politicians off the welfare rolls.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  86. Michael n Seattle

    the answer is no to any special comission just take the reighns and raise taxes on everyone making over 97,000 a year to a 92% for their federal income tax then set a no cap on the social security tax

    December 16, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  87. Abdul Muhd

    We trust the president. He is smart and intelligent. We trust his decisions to be right. That is why we elected him. Presidency is not like reading emails, it is making tough decisions.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  88. Sarah Barlow

    We don't need a commission, we need to cut all foreign aid, cut the pentigon budget and the military budget. Close all the foreign bases and take care of our people here. We could really educate our people and have health care if we'd just stop trying to govern the World.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  89. Bill

    I think a special commission is just what we need.
    Instead of being appointed though, why don't we let the people appoint them, with an election, then send the commission to do what our congress can or will not.
    Wait a minute, we already do that, and pay them big bucks to not do their jobs!! – It doesn't work!! they too will probably get greedy.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  90. Jim McDade Birmingham, AL

    Obama also pointed a special commission to study NASA programs and that body produced a useless final report that offered nothing original, new, or particularly useful. Their report was nothing more than a list of the same pet ideas that the panel member brought to the table with them at the start of their investigation. It was a waste of time and money. Obama should act like a leader and work with Congress on solving the deficit challenge.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  91. Mark Martelli

    Jack you are absolutely right, this would be another unecessary panel that would slow down the decision making process rather than expediting it. Our government is one big Rube Goldberg device; a needlessly complicated machine intende3d to do starightforward work, and it keeps getting more complex and less efficient.

    But as far as raising taxes, if such a thing is done it should be a tax increase on the welathiest 1% of American and/or a corporate tax. Probably not a poplular poitn of view, but middle America can not continue to shoulder the financial burden so Wall Street and Corporate America can continue to make poor choices in the name of short-term gain. Individual Americans pay a disproportionately large chunk of the taxes in this country and it needs to stop. One of the consequences of benefitting from the capitalist system, in my opinion, is that you should pay back into that system that aloowed you to succeed and proper in the first place.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  92. steve in virginia

    We the people already know and have been telling the Democrat trifecta what the problem is. For FY 2010, they've already spent more on welfare programs than Bush and the irresponsible Repubs spent on the Iraq war the entire time Bush was in office. Overall, they have already outspent Bush and the Republicans 3 to 1. Obama decired Bush's spending. Pelosi and Reid called it dangerous and unpatriotic. They and we already know what the problem is. If the solution isn't obvious, we need articles of impeachments instead of a commission.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  93. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Yes and no!

    Yes, this way we will not have to see and hear how there is no end in sight from all the complaints in Washington!

    No! The President can show that back bone still exist in Washington!

    But the yes and no means...
    Why not Get a neutral Commission done than implement the results using Presidential back bone to get the deficit under control!

    December 16, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  94. Brandan - Ontario

    The debt has been going up under both republican and democratic leaders. At least this way both sides will have someone tell them how wrong they have both been for not working together.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  95. Louis B. Shalako

    Dear Jack;

    I've been on disability for 13 years. I don't feel sorry for the middle class at all. You made your beds. Now lie on them.


    December 16, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  96. Lee Rogelstad

    No that is simply a delay tactic, waiting until after next years election to do anything. This is a great time for aspiring congressmen to step forward to stop this nonsense and propose meaningful tax/ spending statagy to cut the deficet. Greenbrier, Arkansas

    December 16, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  97. Stewart J, Lustgarten


    Seems today the rule is liar's figure but figure's don't lie! In 1950 post WW II/Korean War our Debt to GDP percentage was about 94.6%. Do you recall any commissios or you parents worrying how you were going to be left with so much debt? Today we're just about at 90% but which includes about $2.5 Trillion in National debt such as the Social Security Trust fund which will never be re-paid. What me or some commission now worry about my kids and grandkids? Who worried about us?

    December 16, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  98. john, saskatchewan

    Before Obama was elected the total public and private economic liabilities was more than $56 Trillion – when you add it all up. You don't need a special commission, Jack. You need the Second Coming of Christ!

    December 16, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  99. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio


    No we do not need a special commission. We all know by now that there is nothing special about them. A special commission means there will be ample time for the crooks, deviats, scumbags, and other financial species to buy an island, a jet, and blackwater types to cover their escape. This would be the case when it is realilzed that "trillions" are not manageable, hell billions weren't !

    December 16, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  100. Murray Edelman

    No, what is needed is a revenue-neutral gas tax. Since oil prices have skyrocketed since the beginning of the Iraq war, a small price increase per barrel of oil would go almost unnoticed by the average consumer. This tax would raise substantial amounts of money and its implementation is so simple. We need to stop cutting taxes, because in reality we are just stealing from our children. Instead, we need to impose a small fee per barrel of oil that can allow us to decrease the national debt and invest in a secure future.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  101. Doug S

    right on! This is absurd. This is like saying: Let's set up a committee to study crime when someone is robbing your house.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  102. Keith

    President Obama is asking the same people who appropriate and spend money for their own special interests to run a commission on how to cut spending? This is on the same level as asking wall street to form a special commission to make laws to reform the financial system reform!

    December 16, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  103. John Hovland, MN

    NO NO NO. Look were the health care debate has gone – straight down to the bottom. Fix the deficit? Move Congress to Gitmo for 5 year all expense paid vacation!!! Maybe just maybe we can have OUR government back. How is that for change we can believe in!!!

    December 16, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  104. Par

    When I have a deficit, I don't hire a commission to help me fix it, I simply cut back on expenses. Of course we cannot ask these politicians in Washington to do this, they cannot even agree on health care, spending, and a long lists of other things.
    What we need is to get them out of office.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  105. brauliog

    Hire who ever needs to be hired to fix the problem then fire the people that should have been doing it. There are to many people in our government collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars adding to the debt without performing their duties.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  106. David of Alexandria

    Someone has to decide something. The advantage to using a "bi-partisan" commission is that the ugly options will not soil the hands of the administration or Congress. They can simply say "the commission made me do it." And then, give the commissioners 30 pieces of silver and Obama will ceremonially wash his hands from the portico of the White House.

    God forbid that in this economic debt abyss any of the politicians should lose their jobs over it.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  107. Louis/atlanta, ga

    the speacial commissions are the reason we are were we are now. why dont they let the people who voted these clowns into office decide for a change. i dont think we would have given all the failing banks any tarp money knowing they would slap us in the face w/a shoe if we had any say so! but we dont, so were do we go from here?

    December 16, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  108. Kevin

    Bipartisan commission? Democrats and Republicans have been the problem for years. The U.S. will never get out of debt with these fools in office.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  109. Dan Myers

    Absolutely. Create not only one Special Commission for the deficit but one for Iran at the same time. Every time Iran launches a missle congress can increase debt another coupe of hundred billion so we won't notice Seigh ...

    December 16, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  110. Jerry Ricardez

    ABSOLUTELY NOT! I believe we need to decrease Government bureaucracy not increase it. More government more problems, less government less problems. I agree with Cafferty. Why do we need to set up a panel to tell us stop spending money? Why can't our government use common sense and use basic simple practical methods to solve our financial crisis'?

    December 16, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  111. Larry

    The commission would be ineffective because it is made up of the same congress members that are beholden to the lobbyists which have taken control of our government. Term limits are probably our best chance at change.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  112. John

    Jack – do you think that the idiots in DC will let this commission be formed by normal people in the US with an income less than 50K?
    I can dream can't I.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  113. Annie, Atlanta

    Hey Jack, I remember a lot of things Obama campaigned on that apparently were not corporate friendly now that he actually has the job.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  114. Losing My Mind Daily

    Jack, these people in Washington don't care about this country or the people. They are going to ruin this fine land and it makes me mad. They are doing whatever they want knowing that without strong opposition, "We The People" are not going to get in their way. I say it is time to get "In Their Way"... But we rely on the media to tell us everything that is happening, and you know as well as I, that has been lacking lately...You (the media), are our front line in this, where have you been lately?

    December 16, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  115. Dianne of Paducah

    No, I voted for Obama but I do have doubts concerning some of his dicision making, putting it mildly. Wagging his finger and expressing how dissapointed he is with the bankers just seems lame to me, again putting it mildly. seems to me that Dr. Howard Dean is the only one showiing " true Grit"!

    December 16, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  116. Richard, Kankakee, IL.

    The Congress is lazy, all they want to do is spend more money just to keep them in office, we do not need a special commission to anything, but stop wasting our time. The Special Commission for 9/11 did not but provide a cover-up for Bush not doing his job!

    December 16, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  117. Alan

    We're obviously between a rock and a hard place. What do we do? You are right...why should Pres. Obama create such a panel to get this situation resolved when it should be a regular duty of our lawmaking bodies? Oh, I know why, because Congress can't get anything done in Washington! Pres. Obama signing an executive order will at least bring some urgency to the issue, but, unfortunately, very little he brings attention to these days actually results in anything but bickering and stagnation. Let's each spend all the cash we have in our respective bank accounts and max out our credit cards before we blink and eye and lose it all...

    Alan–Houston, TX

    December 16, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  118. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    Theres white house talk about running out of money they can start by changing there ways . we need home grown industries and jobs lets start paying attention to the way Japan thinks like with there car rebate .

    December 16, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  119. George

    Take heart. This deficit spending and debt will get all 300,000,000 of us in the US. And ti will hit hard and fast. So we live better in the short term which is now measured in months. Around the corner awaits the 3rd World.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  120. Gary H. Boyd

    Jack, do you know how many zeros there are in 12 trillion dollars? There's 12 zeros preceeded by the number 12. When our debt got to trillions we were well beyond the point anyone, let alone an outside commission, can fix the problem. We're essentially screwed Jack so I suggest 2010 be the biggest political housecleaning in our history. Dump every single donkey running for reelection period. After all, they got us into this disaster.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    December 16, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  121. Bill in Arizona

    Hello Mr. Cafferty. No, I don't believe a special commission to address the debt will do anything at all except pay the commission for doing nothing. Why doesn't the government get smart and limit their spending. The American people can't take more taxes. Do they want another revolt in this country?

    December 16, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  122. Mike Kapushinski

    If you lie on a job application, you will be fired.
    Well Obamas speeches was his. Fire him.
    They would you.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  123. ken, DE

    We don't need a commission for debt reduction we need a president with guts. Obama needs to declare a financial state of emergency and deal with the banks, wall street, and federal reserve who are destroying america. The too big to fail policy needs to go along with Bernancke who watched over this mess. Obama needs to abolish the federal reserve and implement a 90% personal income tax rate for incomes over 1 million. No more excuses and whining about the poor rich people. Wake up america before it is too late. Congress is owned by lobbyists and are incapable of dealing with the national debt.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  124. Ray from Las Vegas

    Well as I would say, holy cow, golly gee. More talk. Deeds not words the time for Action has arrived. This is like a bad disease. The longer you wait to take treatment, the worse the treatment gets. Unfortunately this disease has progressed to take over our brain (Congress and the President). Every smart person knows, it is now just a matter of time. Unless we act now. But we will debate, discuss, and delay. In the end there can be only one result of this inaction, and that is not going to be good.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:22 pm |

    Well Jack when you have people like Leiberman in congress, I not sure that there is another way to do it. He is damned if he do and damned if he don't. If this is the only thing he can do to find common ground, then I say go for it.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  126. Bill

    Holey Crap! It only took 8 years to get us into this situation. We may not be able to get out of it in 80. Our elected officials do not seem to care about the American People. How do we expect them to ever get us out of this mess when it seems that their egos and their campaing fundraising is all that matters to them. Our system was designed to argue ideas and solutions and to be able to develop a stronger nation, But is seemes to have turned into a divided party and personal hate fest which is moving to destroy the greatest country on the plantet.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  127. Steve in Antioch, IL

    I find it Ironic that a "Commission" on the deficit is the answer. What would that commission be? 1%, 10%?

    The most absurd proposal yet and of course this bipartisan stuff works so well; like for healthcare reform.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  128. Laura

    I think a massive increase in unemployment would help address the deficit, that way there are more taxes to bring in. It's all about striking a balance. I'm still thrown by where the hell all the stimulus package money went. If it were a well-designed stimulus package, the spending money that went out into the economy would more than renew itself by what goes back to the government coffers. If this commission delves into the issue of inefficiently spent money, then yes, it is the answer.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  129. Laura

    I meant decrease in unemployment.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  130. gbelt

    While I started out the New Year wanting my President to succeed I believe he is, in fact, failing. He has not been transparent nor governed from the center as he campaigned. The forming of another Commission to "discuss" the deficet is just another indicator the Prez has a hard time making a decision. It appears he wants a buffer between him and any decision he must make! Just like taking 3 months to come to a conclusion to back the man who he put on the ground when he requested 40K more troops, he can't or won't make a decision in a reasonable amount of time! 3 months is not a reasonable amount of time!

    December 16, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  131. RickfromDetroit

    Yes we need to appointment a special commission to address the deficit problem. Once appointed, it will be business as usual, ask the Wall Street Bankers what to do.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  132. Tom from Vermilion, Ohio

    Its time to start over. Free trade is what got us here, fair trade might help to get us out of this situation. We have given other countries an increditable amount of help ever since WWI and now its time to rebuild our country from within. Bankrupcy protection might be the best option.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  133. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    It's getting more scary by the day I could have sworn they said we hit bottom so are we digging holes now.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  134. matt sharon

    I thought the us economy is about 14 trilion.It looks like politics as usual. The president has done just like they all due promise everything and do none of it. The congress is clueless, and the rules on earmarks need to change They know they are taken care of so they do not worry about passing it on to the people. The government needs to run on a budget just like everyone else does, why can't they get this.Instead everyone is trying to get all they can while there is still something left.Pretty sad, but true.Something must change... but not the change Obama wants....

    December 16, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  135. David in San Diego

    Ever since the 100 day honeymoon ended, President Obama has repeatedly shown the lack of testosterone it takes to be a US President.
    This proposed new panel is just another example of how Obama is delegating his responsibilities so that he'll have plausible denibility when the @#x% hits the fan.
    I'll remain a Democrat but, I will not help to re-elect this paper doll.
    Keep the pressure on Washington. Thanks.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  136. Matt Houston, TX

    Commission? Are you serious? How much longer do we need to talk about the issue before doing something? We all know the financial back of America is broken, so how long will the Congress take before just shutting up and fixing it. Oh wait, they can't fix the broken back because our healthcare system is still being talked about too. I would say it's time to get off the shrink's couch...stop talking about the problems and just get something done. Am I the only one sick of hearing and seeing all these reps and senators pretending as if they are more important than the rest of the country? We should just look to Lieberman and tell him since he wants to whine about every little item, that we as a nation want him to solve ALL of the problems...no help from anyone else...I want to know what he's going to do about EVERYTHING. Hope a "commission" is not lead by him or we'll still be talking about financial problem after the Chinese have already decided to collect on our debt!

    December 16, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  137. James from Tennessee

    Are you kidding me? George W. Bush, the GOP, and the tax cuts made to the wealthiest Americans during the previous administration make up the bulk of this deficit, and sadly, our current president and the Democrats have their hands tied behind their backs in trimming a $12 trillion deficit that seems to be becoming more and more impossible to reduce by the day.

    Even with a special commission, if we keep this up, we may have to sell the entire country to China (government and all). If you don't like communism now, prepare to be future shocked by our soon-to-be-new owners whom we have become indebted to, and both Bush and Obama will be forever blamed for it IF that happens .

    December 16, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  138. mark in tacoma

    The United States is broke, both in monetary terms and how the government operates. It just may come to declaring an emergency and setting up some commission because the Congress can't get anything done. I say get rid of 90% of the lobbyists, slash military spending in half, raise gas taxes and put tolls on the interstates and fix the IRS to the point where rich, fat cats won't even think about shielding themselves behind a bevy of lawyers. And while we're at it sell off some assets like Camp Pendleton, probably the choicest piece of real estate in the country.

    It's no wonder that I'm filing for bankruptcy and will lose my home. My 70 year old father just lost his home as well thanks to some ponzi scheme he got snookered for. At $111,000 in debt per person in this country there's no way we can keep above water.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  139. Trenton Lee


    I think that if a special commission is to be formed, it should be for the explicit purposes of firing the very people that got us into this situation. The one thing we don't see in government anymore is accountability for actions. It would be nice, if for once, we found our representatives actually representing our best interests rather than those of "special interest groups".

    It's what we get though for not keeping them focused on the issues that are important to us!

    December 16, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  140. Liz, Los Angeles, CA

    Who's going to be the "Commish" of this Commission anyway? That itself could take a couple of years to decide. Doesn't "common sense" apply in Washington anymore, as if it ever did ....?!

    December 16, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  141. matt sharon at lake tahoe..

    The commission is more government waste, the things they all do well....no more government!!!!!!!!!!11111

    December 16, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  142. Thomas

    Were getting in more Debt, how are we going to following the money to pay off this Deficit.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  143. Drew Pittsburgh


    Our government over the last 10 years has been about spend, spend, spend. Our debt topping $12 trillion is just the beginning... A deficit ceiling? What the hell does that mean? So after we spend $2 trillion more dollars, we cut all spending and raise taxes to pay off the debt and the interest. And a special commission? Don't we pay members of the CBO, Appropriations committees, Finance committees, and all other government officials to do that already? We're spiralling out of control...

    December 16, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  144. Denis Duffy

    Isn't that like asking the fox to guard the henhouse?

    Denis Duffy
    Upper Saint Clair, Pa.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  145. Roy W

    We don't need a commission. America is already bankrupt. 12 trillion in debt and trillions more in unfunded liabilities. Americans are ready to support higher taxes and cuts in spending. Congress is not ready to do this because they are only concerned about getting re-elected. We must act now!

    December 16, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  146. Greg Turman

    The deficit & the future direction of this country:

    The freedom of information act, commonly known as "transparency", has all the answers to all of your questions.

    Simply find out what stocks president Obama has invested into his private retirement account. This information will tell you everything you need to know about our president and the future direction of this country.

    Perception is politics, the money trail is reality.


    December 16, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  147. Wilson Napoleon

    Jack it sounds like the President already gave up on bipartisan. Some senators just get to busy preventing important bills such as health care from being passed then actually honor their sit. This deficit is just another hot potato in the hands of the President administration.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  148. Kris in Ohio

    At this point I'd trust anyone other than Obama, Pelosi, & Reid. But to those in Congress who think this will save their jobs in the midterms I would pose the following question: How exactly does admitting you can't do your job save your job? I hope the media remembers this next year...

    December 16, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  149. steve in virginia

    We already have a commission that is already studying the problem- eligible voters. We will announce and implement our findings next November.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  150. Don Desaulniers

    A special commission won't do the job. The USA needs a dictator for a month or so who can quickly slash spending, government wages, drug costs, stop the useless wars, and then turn the government back to the congress. I suggest Tiger Woods as this dictator. He is out of a job right now.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  151. Richard Green

    Are you joking?! Bipartisanship has darn near ruined Obama's first year and there's a good chance it's sunk his presidency. The Democratic majority needs to ignore the party of "No" and start doing what they were elected to do.... ending the wars, re-regulating and taxing Wall Street, regulate health insurance, create some darn jobs, cut the defense budget, rescind the Bush tax giveaway to the rich, etc. Do half of that and the deficit will start going away!

    Richard Darn Green
    San Clemente, Cal.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  152. Chris Adams Greenville, MS

    Jack, what's a nation to do? We want to chip at the deficit but no one wishes to pay higher taxes, we want more jobs so that more people can contribute to bringing in more revenue but our politicians bicker over how to do that. Eventually, we will make it through this situation by having more people to do their part. Call it socialism, call it whatever you want but government & Americans are going to have to stop fussing and put their nose to the grindstone.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  153. Luci - Pekin, IL.

    If Bush hadn't started the unnessary war in Iraq, we wouldn't be billions of dollars in debt.
    It is hard to say what we should do except take care of our own Country first.
    Whoever thought He could have got us in that much deep do do when he was in for 8 years?
    Obama is damed if he does and damed if he doesn't, with all the Media backing the Republicans and stirring stink.
    Obama is at least educated, unlike Bush, give him 8 years and he will get it straightened out. Shut up and let him handle it.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  154. Glenn

    Bipartisan means that the WhiteHouse and the Dems can be held harmless and blame the "no solution" on the other party.
    The President and the Congress should do there jobs and fix the damm problem!

    December 16, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  155. Ed in Ohio

    Here's the answer: Form the commission, Cut ALL programs an equal percentage, raise ALL taxes an equal percentage then both parties can say they were correct and pat each other on the backs.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  156. Michael

    It does not matter whether we start one or not, we are probably too late already to save the credit channels and the dollar confidence. Economists have been warning about the effects of an increasing national debt since the 1930’s and we been ignoring it ever since. The solution is not to raise the debt ceiling or create an “expert” panel, is just simply cut spending, increase taxes and invests in future industries. Otherwise we should start putting Sold signs in front of the White House.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  157. George Sloan


    With all the powerful threats (nuclear, biological, conventional weapons etc.) the US faces, this quote seems particularly prescient.

    The most powerful force in the universe is compound interest”

    Albert Einstein

    December 16, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  158. Don Desaulniers

    A special commission would be useless. The USA needs a dictator for a month or so who can quickly slash spending, government wages, drug costs, stop the useless wars, and then turn the government back to the congress. I suggest Tiger Woods to be the dictator. He is out of a job right now.

    Don from Belleville, Canada

    December 16, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  159. Lee in NC

    Maybe if we got out of the business of policing the world through proxies or in the case of Iraq and Afghanistan, US treasure and bodies, we could afford health care, a public works program a la the depression, and STILL balance our budget. By way, let's send Joe Lieberman to Israel for good.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  160. Thomas Denver, Co

    Jack, Were getting in more dept, when are we going to start following the money to pay off this Deficit.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  161. brett mullins Phoenix,Az

    The Replican dont have the answer either they had Reagan who tripled the debt . Bush 41 added a few trillion and Bush 43 added 5 trillion. The Replican party cant fix it either. The debt is talked about never fixed.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  162. Michael


    It does not matter whether we start one or not, we are probably too late already to save the credit channels and the dollar confidence. Economists have been warning about the effects of an increasing national debt since the 1930’s and we been ignoring it ever since. The solution is not to raise the debt ceiling or create an “expert” panel, is just simply cut spending, increase taxes and invests in future industries. Otherwise we should start putting Sold signs in front of the White House.


    December 16, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  163. mitch salzman

    If these so called "representatives of the people" truly had our interests at heart, they would not confuse us, creating a need for absurd polls. They know what is right. There is not enough money voting what is right. They are all TRAITORS, except for Bernie Sanders. What are we waiting for? Let's take a real POLL with the question being, Should we replace these "clever senators" with people who will just do what is right for the masses?
    Culver City

    December 16, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  164. Charlie

    Jack I am appalled that we as Americans have allowed the number of nimwits to be elected to congress and senate!! They have the gall to put pork projects in a health reform bill let alone any bill at a time when the economy is in the tank. As Roland Martin stated, shake your finger at me and I will continue what I'm doing, get out the belt to whip my behind and then I will pay attention. Seems we as Americans along with President Obama need to get the belt out!! Americans, wake up and vote these greedy, self centered silver spoon fed jerks out of office before we have a revolt in this country.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:39 pm |

    We did what was needed to address the defecit. We elected a Democrat to the presidency. Republicans are the ones who run up emense debt with no intent to ever pay for anything. Look at Reagan: the debt was one trillion before he started, and three Trillion after two terms. After George H. W. our debt was four Trillion. After Clinton it was five Trillion with surplus in his last two years. Then Bush pushed it to ELEVEN TRILLION after his eight "don't pay the bills years". Obama will take care of it and get us on an even keel again.
    Terry DeLoughary
    Bark River, Michigan

    December 16, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  166. Pappy G

    Jack C. Are you crazy? In 1983 president Reagan signed social security reform legislation into law, following the recommendations of a special bipartisan social security commission to save social security from bankruptcy. As a result maximum social security taxes went up over 300% in one ten year period (some tax cutter eh?), and millions of average working Americans began overpaying their social security taxes by billions of dollars annually. Over payments that were to be saved and invested for the now retiring 78 million baby boomers have been spent by greedy politicians of all stripes, leaving behind 2.5 trillion dollars of new social security IOU debt that will have to be paid again plus interest. My government has used this old grandpa to financially water board his own children and grandchildren; Yea, uh huh, another special commission, you got to be kidding

    December 16, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  167. fred davis

    jack,why is the obscene military budget never mentioned as the primary cotributor to any of our deficits since 1950. economists other than the usual mass media contributors need to be given some air time to give much more informed and detailed explanations of the current situation. according to the" center for economic and policy research", the deficit should be explained in terms of our entire economy. this view has been echoed by others that try to give a complete picture and not exercise limited crises reporting that does nothing but create fear to intensify lack of understanding.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  168. Ron from Oklahoma

    SOMEBODY has to take action here – and obviously it won't be Congress. The real question is: How much are we willing to give up in the future in order to HAVE a future. Increasing taxes means that we will have to live on less income. Cutting spending means that we will have to live with fewer benefits. If ALL pork was cut, it would only trim taxes and/or spending very slightly. The 1,000,000,000 pound gorillas in room are defense, social security and medicare. We have a choice here – cut out wars and reduce defense spendin drastically OR throw our seniors out onto the street and (maybe) onto poor farms. Which scenario would be the most popular? We can't afford both – who do YOU trust to make that decision?


    December 16, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  169. Jasmine in Germany

    Yes, an independent bipartisan commission made up of highly skilled people is a good idea. If Obama is considering it, it's probably a great idea.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  170. Ray from Las Vegas

    It's really funny, the President and his progressive followers are doing exactly what they promised in a speech before he was elected. "Fundamentally change the Country." So don't complain, that is what you elected him for, and he is delivering. Shortly (within a couple years) it will obvious even to the blind among us. The 12 Trillion debt is just the tip of the iceberg. Add in unfunded liabilities for Social Security and Medicare. Oh ya, most don't even know what that means. No wonder we are in trouble.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  171. Stan Leacock

    I have and still do give my full support to Presient Obama and I do remember during is candidancy and presidency he has said he would make mistakes. He's made three biggies:
    1. Sending more troops to the middle-east to fight wars that we will never succeed in accomplishing our current goals.
    2. Getting himself directly involved in the beginning with a much needed health care reform. reid and Pelosi have been less than competent here.
    3. Deligating things to panels that he and the congress, bi-partisan or not, should be doing.

    Now, is the time for less visability and transparancy and more kick butt and getting things done

    December 16, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  172. Chad from Los Angeles

    The best thing to do is return income tax rates to the pre-Reagan times. History has shown, tax breaks for the rich only weakens the country!

    December 16, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  173. lynne from north carolina

    Another commission? For what? They never listen to them anyway. Then we're left to do whatever we should have done in the first place.

    No one wants to admit that there are more people now which means more services. Cutting the social programs over and over again isn't going to get it. It is time to cut across the board starting with the salaries and benefits of our lawmakers. Maybe when they get that check and see $587 for two weeks work, they'd get the picture about where the rest of us are at.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  174. Brandon

    They have the right idea. Just dont appoint all government employees to that commission. Let's actually just have every government employee write a 5 page essay on why they deserve to keep their job. Grade the papers at a 10th grade level, and fire the ones who get lower than a C. Oh, and the ones who can't come up with a good reason lose their jobs too.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  175. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    I am sure a commission of spending crazed, tax-happy folks, who are part of the problem in the first place are the solution to the problem. The Federal Government, needs to do what every other responsible state govt, business, or household in America does, balance their budget. Responsible borrowing is ok, but we are to the point where the national debt is eclipsing the combined profits of all the fortune 500 companies. They are reckless. We know what happens to people who max out all their cards and businesses who borrow money they can't repay. Most State Governments make it illegal to run budget deficits. We need term limits and a balanced budget amendment to the consituttion that allows only a small percentage of GDP to be borrowed. Then if all the congress people think they need all the pork projects they will have to raise taxes on everyone and we'll see how long people stand for that.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  176. William E. Wilson

    Ah, yes, just what we need. Another committee. What is that old defintion of a camel? A horse put together by a committee, right? While we're at it, let's have this committee study the proposed health care bill also. Maybe by 2012 this committee might come up with some answers if we don't go broke first. DUHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

    December 16, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  177. Jeff Crocket in New Britain, CT

    Cleaning house is Congress is the answer!!! All of them out!

    December 16, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  178. randy seattle

    A special commision? Sounds like more stimulus for the government. It seems our government is for the government by the government. Sure , why not? More red tape and more opinions to search through for the truth. The governments best minds want to pass the buck. You cannot blame them if they don't make the recomendations.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  179. Michael Roepke - Dallas, TX

    How about a special commission to study the benefits of special commissions.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  180. Thomas Rooney

    We must as a nation pay our debt while we still can before its to late and we leave our country in ruin for future generations to somehow find their own way out of the mess we have created, However painful it is now to do this will not come close to the damage our country will suffer later if not paid!

    December 16, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  181. Charles in Alberta, Canada

    Why not a special commission Jack? I don't think anything can be accomplished with the present senate and congress. I feel sorry for Americans. Its business as usual in the USA.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  182. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Politicians aren't mathematicians and I'm afraid if a special commission is not appointed to address the deficit they'll continue to fight among themselves about what's wrong with the deficit because that's all they are qualified to do.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:53 pm |