July 1st, 2010
06:00 PM ET

What's the answer to America's financial crisis?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The United States' national debt level is the highest it's been since World War II. The Congressional Budget Office is warning President Obama's deficit commission that something must be done - and quickly.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/17/art.debt.clock.jpg caption="FILE PHOTO: A shot of the National Debt Clock on July 13, 2009"]
By the end of this year, it will represent 62 percent of the nation's economy and will rise to 80 percent in 2035. That means that simply paying the interest on the national debt will consume one-third of all federal revenue. And that's the CBO's most optimistic scenario.

Their worst case scenario has the debt hitting 185 percent of GDP by 2035 and interest payments consuming nine percent of GDP, or more than two-thirds of all federal revenue.

And getting to that point is not at all improbable. The CBO says it has just extend the tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 for most people, permanently protecting the middle class from the Alternative Minimum Tax, and permanently increasing Medicare payments to doctors, and Presto! We're there.

The president's bipartisan deficit commission has until December to come up with some ideas on how to bring down debt and stabilize the deficit. But none of their recommendations will be binding on anyone. And it's no accident their report isn't even due until after the midterm elections. In the meantime, we have a ticking financial time bomb on our hands and our government is sitting on theirs.

Here’s my question to you: What's the answer to America's deepening financial crisis?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 6pm 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: Economy • National debt • United States
soundoff (170 Responses)
  1. Kenneth in the High Desert town of Pinon Hills, California

    Like always, Government money.

    July 1, 2010 at 4:05 pm |
  2. Gary H. Boyd

    Declare bankruptcy and start over.

    Gary in Arizona

    July 1, 2010 at 4:18 pm |
  3. David Gerstenfeld

    Jack, I'm afraid the answer to your question has been outsourced.
    David, Las Vegas

    July 1, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
  4. riley oday

    Stop the wars, but spend that amount of money here on infastructure.

    July 1, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
  5. Johnny C (Los Angeles)

    Hi Jack –

    If the concern is due to the lack of spending in the private sector to drive our free enterprise economy then the answer is obvious, we need to spend more.

    Ahhh ... there is the rub!

    However, if the government does decide to have a second stimulus effort, instead of spending the money on government oversight jobs and bailing out bad companies, I suggest they give every person in America $3000. This would cost less than a trillion dollars and most assuredly would have a better impact than the last go around.

    After all, if the government still believes that it can print as much money as needed, why not give it to the American people to spend. Additionally, I do not think that an individual would use it to buy up other banks to improve their bottom line or give Board members huge bonuses for their brilliance, rather, they would spend it on items that they want. This would create the need to hire Americans to support the demand, not to continue to lay people off like the first stimulus' apparent effect.

    July 1, 2010 at 4:32 pm |
  6. Kevin in CA

    Protectionism. We've allowed 20 years of Globalized free marketization to eviscerate our wealth and security. It's time to put a stop to the hemorrhaging and protect what we have left.

    July 1, 2010 at 4:33 pm |
  7. Jim S

    Jack, the answer is to regulate the corruption in the markets while at the same time, require banks who received stimulus money to begin to make some loans for small businesses and industry. History has proven that an unregulated anything leads to corruption and graft and this time was no different. This country has to begin making things again and creating jobs for a global market to survive. Right now, this country has become a country of paper shufflers, investment bankers and lawyers. Human nature is not such that people with large amounts of money can be trusted. THis is a lesson that should have been learned long ago.

    July 1, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
  8. Deborah Friend

    Lower taxes to encourage businesses and business owners to expand. Give the American people some confidence that success business won't be Obamas targets. We need to know what our tax rates are going to be to give use some confidence in the future so we can return to our lives.

    July 1, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
  9. Jim S

    Jack, the answer is to regulate the corruption in the markets while at the same time, require banks who received stimulus money to begin to make some loans for small businesses and industry. History has proven that people with access to large amounts of money cannot be trusted without some oversight. it's human nature. Unless we can begin to retool american industry to produce goods for a global economy and improve our educational system to produce graduates with the skills necessary to compete in the international market, we are dead ducks. Unfortunately, our elected officials are only interested in lining their own pockets and not interested in anything else. I fear for our country's future.

    July 1, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
  10. Mattison Brooks

    Pay off the gargantuan national debt, drastically cut government spending for a time and stop handing out taxpayer dollars to companies whose bad business practices have destroyed their own equity. Why should the American people be left holding the bag because our government and many of this nations large companies are too inept to handle money effectively?

    July 1, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
  11. Kyle- DuPont, WA

    I remember a scene in one of the old movie versions of the "A Christmas Carol" where Scrooge is watching as a man rips up a ledger book. The man is rejoicing in the fact that "now that the old man is dead there's no need to pay him back!" Who is our Scrooge and when does he die?

    July 1, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
  12. Carol Florida

    Jack, The answer is very simple. You tell big business the jobs are to be brought back home or we the government are going to tax your products coming back into the US so it will be cheaper to make it here. You would be putting OUR PEOPLE to work who in turn would be paying taxes to pay down the deficits. I retired from the auto industry and I can tell you first hand a Surburban made in Mexico is the same price as one made in Arlington, Texas or Janesville, Wisconsin. The consumer hasn't gotten a price break on the cheap labor. They cost the same whether we made them here or imported them back in. The same can be said about the textile, steel, electronics industries and the list just goes on. At least when the products were made here we didn't have to worry about poison in our childrens toys or in our food products. We all need to say enough is enough and if you are going to sell it here, you are going to make it here. It is time to BE AMERICAN!!! BUY AMERICAN!!!

    July 1, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
  13. Thom Richer

    Completely close the boarders to immigration for the next 5 to 10 years. Stop import of goods from American offshore companies and bring the jobs home. Pull the troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan immediately and unconditionally. Put the space program on hold for at least the next 10 to 20 years. Cut the military budget in half. Close overseas bases. Close tax free loopholes for churches, hospitals and universities and put their properties on the tax roll. Institute a flat tax and equalize taxes for everyone and every business or corporation. Just for a start.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    July 1, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
  14. Kenneth Jehling, Frisco, Texas

    Lower taxes, pay down the deficit, and shrink the size of government; then clear up the issues around the financial impacts of Healthcare and Cap and Trade. Once the private sector has an idea of what is going on and how it will affect them they might be willing to invest, expand, and create jobs. Until this happens there is no incentive for businesses to invest. Without these measures we will become more like France everyday-that isn't the plan is it?

    July 1, 2010 at 4:45 pm |
  15. Jason

    It's simple Jack, either the government gets serious about spending and starts marking some deep cuts to some of the programs it already has or they will have to pass along their mismanagement to the American people. Most likely it will be the second one.

    July 1, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
  16. Lynn

    I am not a stupid person,I do understand that our country is broke..BIG TIME,but to tell millions of American Citizens that they will not be helped is NOT the right way!!! What about cutting out the paid vacations for the elected officials,lets get the hell out of the wars,a big ticket item we can ill afford.Stop giving big corps a break and give it to the workers who make this country what it was.

    July 1, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
  17. David Scott Doherty

    Jack the US is facing the largest deficit ever, with no way out insight, and yet we are spending millions on companies like black water to do what our armed forces can do, for not pennies on the dollar but more like pennies on the thousands of dollars. Explain this to me, now that we have made war so profitable, will we ever see a end to it, or a reason not to go to war. Am I the only one that sees the insanity in this arrangement

    Dave from NH.

    July 1, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
  18. Mike W

    Simple...do the math. Don't spend more than you make. What part of that don't you understand?

    July 1, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
  19. Paul Austin, Texas

    Go back to the gold standard when a dollar of gold was the dollar. At first we may not like it but when we all adjusted to it at least our money would be much more stable than it is now.

    July 1, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
  20. doug gengler

    put people to work. in order to do that we pass a new world trade agreement which is simple, for every overseas container of goods that comes into the country one filled with US goods must go back to the country of origin, i know this is going to hurt the largest retailer in the world but they are ultimatley responsible for the job loss in this country.
    doug in knoxville arkansas

    July 1, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
  21. Jeremy

    Eliminate deficit spending policies. Period. Both parties do it equally yet differently. Both parties are equally culpable. Eliminate corporate lobbying, pork barrel, earmarked legislation, special interest legislation, ad hoc miltary expenditures, campaign finance contributions from corporations, aid to foreign nations when America needs help herself, bloated bureaucratic budgets,bailing out large corporations that were failing anyways, inequitable taxation loopholes for publicly traded complanies, shipping of jobs overseas and the constant propagation of this status quo garbage-governing by the US House, US Senate and Executive branch.

    July 1, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
  22. Michael M, Phoenix AZ

    As an economist, it's jobs, jobs, and more jobs. Quit sending jobs "off shore" and quit training people from other countries to compete against us.

    July 1, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
  23. Jeremy

    Oh yeah. I forgot. Eliminate the two party strangle hold on the gov't and lets create a plurality of political opinions to the table because, let's face it, the Democrats and Republicans are not succeeding nor are they honestly doing the best they can. They are chiefly concerned with their own general welfare first and the American people second and the U.S. government third.

    July 1, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  24. Jerry Johns Creek, GA

    The answer is in getting America back to work by brining back all of the jobs lost due to incompetency in Washington. we bailed out GM and what did they do? Build factories in Mexico!! If we can get our jobs back, the GDP will expand, taxes will increase as a result. And then there;s wall Street. The government must make certain that anyone who makes investments has fat in the fire. No more credit default swaps and derivatives should be totally eliminated. No more bailouts, you make bad decisions, sorry someone else will have to pay your bonus. Let's get back to work in the traditional mode of an honest day's pay for an honest day's work.

    July 1, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  25. Dee in Woodstock GA

    One way to stabilize the deficit (bringing it down might be impossible) wouold be to get out of the two wars that we are borrowing heavily to pay for. Another way might be to get control of "defense" spending, which seems to be run amok!

    Another way to help might be to call in some of the debt other nations owe us. And if that is not possible, how about stopping all the billions in aid we give away. The aid does NOT make countries like us, and it is a big waste of our money.

    The main thing is, there may be no way to reduce our debt or even get a handle on it! We are just like a mortgagor repeatedly refinncing his home, and each time taking cash out! At some point that has to stop.

    But what will probably happen, with any attempt to get fiscally responsible, will be that the programs that NEED to be kept, and the people who really NEED the breaks, will instead find themselves the scapegoats. It is already happening, as more and more people think the pathetic illegals and the poor are the cause of all our problems! How ignorant, and ignorance often wins.

    July 1, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
  26. Geri

    For supposedly well educated brilliant people the people in Congress as well as the policy makers at Think Tanks and Universities are sure stupid as surely the situation of our country defines them.

    One: We raise taxes. Two: We cut spending across the board. Three: The American people wake up and smell the coffee and stop electing people to office who are liars, spendthrifts, and cowards when it comes to addressing the problems that face our country.

    One wonders why we keep electing people to office who have sought everything except wisdom and good judgment. Perhaps it's because the people of this nation haven't displayed much wisdom or good judgment either when it comes to money and politics.

    Geri, Mead, OK

    July 1, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  27. Annie, Atlanta

    For Starters: Manufacture our own stuff. Heavily tax companies that ship jobs overseas, rendering off-shoring unfeasible. A progressive tax, like we had under Ike, to discourage ways of cheating for obscene wealth. Estate taxes. Regulation of companies that could give a darn about our fragile eco systems. Stop the wars and get our kids back home. Get the corporations out of the halls of Congress. End the war between our two political parties. We’re destroying ourselves over petty differences we’ve allowed our politicians to blow way out of proportion, with the help of corporate owned media. Yeah, I'm a dreamer.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  28. HD in Phoenix, AZ

    Revolution. Pure and Simple Revolution!

    HD in Phoenix, AZ

    July 1, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  29. Burbank

    A big chunk of the answer is to give the jobs to Americans right here at home. By giving the blue collar jobs to the millions of illegal aliens and sending the white collar jobs overseas, greedy American business has completely eroded the middle class tax base. Now the rich are whining because they may actually have to pay their fair share of taxes for a change. What do you expect when you send all the jobs away? A good parasite does not kill the host.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  30. common sense in Texas

    I can't say I know the answer to this one. I do know you can't spend your way out of debt!

    July 1, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  31. NM in TX


    1. Rescind the tax cuts on the rich.
    2. Get out of two wars against those who pose no treat to the U.S.
    3. Stop welfare payments to Corporations.
    4. Decriminalize drugs: save Mexico, stop funding terrorists and close the DEA.
    5. Cut the military to a reasonable size which matches the threats to the U.S.
    6. Fix the U. S. tax code into a rational system where a corporation like General Electric does not file a 27Thousand page return.
    There are more but this will give us a start.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  32. Ed from Port Aransas, TX

    Get Superman to fly around the Earth in the opposite direction, changing the rotation of the planet to take us back in time to the years before Bush.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  33. MDM - Acuña Mexico

    Can you say VAT?

    Let's ignore the fact, that with Japan announcing last week they will be cutting their corporate tax rates, the U.S. will have the highest corporate tax rate in the world. Coupled with new promises/threats of enhanced regulations, additional tax burdens, etc, it makes the U.S. as an investment opportunity weak to say the least. Foreign investment would increase revenue, regardless of the rate.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  34. Minesh

    Like UK cut government spending by 25 percent. Repeal health care reform law. Raise Social Security and Medicare minimum age to 75 in the next 20 years basically 1 year every 2 years.
    Also audit the Federal Reserve Bank.This would be a good start.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  35. Susan from Idaho

    we are in a hole and need to stop digging. It's the same old story repetitive spending hoping for a different result. Let common sense prevail, fire all the politicians and let the chips fall where they may, it can't get any worse.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  36. bill

    Jack, when the middle class was the majority, we had no problems with the financial institutions, immigration, or medical health issues. Middle class paid for everything and we never complained. With the shrinking of middle class there are fewer people to pay the bills and that brought forth our current problems. Wall street and well to do always had loop holes to avoid taxation, now we are looking at them as a roasted pig ready for the picking.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  37. John Bailie

    Finally, Someone is really saying it like it is..can you say "Term Limits"–or 4 and out. Thanks Jack for the clear thinking.. Keep it up–no fear.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  38. Paul, Parry Sound, Ontario

    Learn Chinese.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  39. AL Brown

    The solution to the problem is to vote out the "bleeding heart" progressive (liberal) democrats in office. They think the solution to this depression is to spend more money and create more government jobs. Government does not create jobs. Every time the government gets involved with the economic engine of this country another wheel falls off the train!
    Al Brown
    Gorham, NH

    July 1, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  40. Jane - WI

    Stop scaring business owners. Who wants to hire people with all the uncertainly from this government about new taxes, regulations, health insurance mandates, etc? Government needs to get out of the way.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  41. Diane Glasser

    Just get rid of the Republicans that are blocking financial reform and include any Democrats too. This means any Congressman who has had more than $10,000 given to them in any form by oil companies, banks, businesses or any other financial institutions should not be allowed to vote on financial reform in Congress.
    I wonder if that leaves anyone left to vote in Congress except the public.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  42. Jan - Lancaster, PA

    The answer is industry. Revise NAFTA to bring business back. Make everyone pay taxes, not just the middle class & make them pay the same percentage of their income without tax loopholes for the extremely wealthy. Get the energy / climate change legislation passed so the green energy businesses that have been started can move forward with expansion and which will produce jobs. Stop drilling for oil ! Keep the wells that have been working but start scaling it back. Do it now before it wrecks the economy of the east coast as well. Stop the arctic drilling before the companies move forward with new wells. These areas are food & economic sources for this country. The oil companies have said they don't have the technology to fix a spill ... evidence available in the Gulf ... let's be smart about this.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  43. Linda in Arizona

    According to the teabaggers and YOU, eliminate the poor. Just get rid of them, Jack. They're a drain, and they're stealing from your grandchildren.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  44. Brian Smith PhD San Diego CA

    Where is there a good bankruptcy lawyer when you need one?

    July 1, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  45. Squeek / Houston

    Well Jack, it's becoming more and more apparent that Big Corp. run this nation and use our elected officials to do their bidding. Your question should be directed towards our gov. and all it's officials deceiving the people then then hiding behind the constitution to justify it. How patriotic does congress feel?

    July 1, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  46. Andy

    Let me see...I will take a large portion of that new healthcare entitlement. (one trilllion++) Give me some more Medicare Beneifits, and for desert I will have a large peice of Social Securiry. Let's throw in all of these same benefits for 12 million illegals once they are registered.....how much did you sat that will cost??? You have got to be kidding!!! Democrats can't afford that! If you can't get some more money out of Republicans you will just have to PUT IT ON THE BILL!!

    July 1, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  47. Melissa

    There is none. But this country does need a GST like Canada has that goes only toward paying off the debt and nothing else, and is gradually lowered year by year until it disappears.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  48. Willie Gene Wynn

    We are lost Jack. Our politicians simply are not up to the job. The only thing that I see that can be done is a constitutional amendment stripping congress of it's power to control the purse and to temporarily bestow that responsibility upon the president. As long as there are 525 voices in the ring, nothing will get done. Let one man do it and let the responsibility be his alone. Oh, and by the way. We will have to grant him at least three terms in office (another constitutional change).

    July 1, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  49. Meg from Troy

    I'm no economist, but if we let all of our state and local institutions fail because there is no longer any federal support for them, where will we be without eduation, libraries, police and fire forces, local, regional, and state governments? I think it's called throwing the baby out with the bath water. Cutting off your nose to spite your face? We have good economists in this country–someone needs to listen to them and follow what they advise. Just saying no and going into hysterics over the deficit won't get a damn thing done.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  50. Gigi Oregon

    The answer is to included the rich in paying a fair share of the taxes. We need a fair flat tax. Corporations have gotten rich of the backs of labor and paid very little for it. And still they want more. A fair and flat tax please. And stop using money from designated funds such as Social security. If big business and corporate want a war raise war bonds. And enlist your sons and daughters to fight in it. I don't try to con us about the enemy wants to see "we the people" dead.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  51. chris brown fl

    i think that we need first to go to a national sales tax. fl has been doing this for years, and do away with income tax . more money moving in the economy. save billions on the IRS. second get hold of the banks . the country needs a national deficit lottery this will be applied directly to the deficit any politician that brings up any other use fired on the spot .

    July 1, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  52. Jeff In Minnesota

    We have become a society that wants everything and wants it now! We have lost our sensibilities when it comes to prioritizing what we need and can afford versus what we desire. The health care and financial reform bills are a prime example. Both cater to their respective clientele, but can we really afford them and do they fix the real problems? No! Because we refuse to hold our elected officials responsible for their incompetence and greed. We have leveraged ourselves to the hilt and we refuse to acknowledge what we are doing to our country and the ramifications down the road. We just keep finding economists that rationalize why huge deficits do not matter and keep heading toward the cliff like a bunch of lemmings. Thanks to our wonderful care taking, our children will be the first Americans that will not live better than their parents. There's a legacy for you.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  53. Chris


    The answer is to develop a car that runs purely on water, then sell it to other countries with fine print that the water must be from the Gulf of Mexico.

    Chris, MN.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  54. Don (Belleville, Canada)

    The answer is certainly not to continue spending America into bankruptcy.
    Some fiscal improvement could be attained by the following:

    1. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan must be fully ended in 2011.
    2. Immigration reform must be used to kill the underground economy. Illegal immigrants don't pay most taxes.
    3. Civil service jobs have become far too lucrative. Pay freezes, no new hiring, and reduction in numbers by attrition must happen.
    4. Real across the board spending reductions in big ticket items such as military (40%), medicare (10%), and education (20%), and at least 5% in all other areas. This means federal and state governments. Honest spending reductions will take some time, however, so until they actually kick in, see number 5.
    5. Some modest tax hikes which can be reduced once the spending cuts have shown good results.

    July 1, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  55. calvin

    clean up banks ,wall street and vote out thecongress.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
  56. Mark from Boston


    It's simple. It's not rocket science. America is an addict, addicted to DEBT. You can't cure this addiction with more DEBT or arguing about how we got addicted. And most importantly, beating our addiction will require WITHDRAWAL. It's either stop pointing fingers and go through the austerity measures or die from the addiction.

    We need to hurry while we still have a choice.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
  57. Marguerite

    From Seattle, WA

    I think that our government needs to reduce spending first and foremost. And here is one of the first things I would look at.

    I have read we have over 865 military sites around the world . Among the installations considered critical to our national security are a ski center in the Bavarian Alps, resorts in Seoul and Tokyo, and 234 golf courses the Pentagon runs worldwide.

    I am having a lot of trouble understanding why the government is wasting taxpayer dollars on ski centers, resorts and golf courses in other countries.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
  58. Don, Gulfport, MS

    We have to get rid of massive amounts of debt. We have to stop behaving like spoiled children and get rid of most of the federally mandated entitlement programs. The politicians who are sinking us into unmanageable debt are doing so because we are co-dependent with the nanny state. As a people we are a bunch of selfish, spoiled brats who are easily manipulated by those who seek to buy our votes with handouts.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  59. dide

    jack i am an avid listener and you are the bomb you keep america asking important questions.
    I think what Obama did was the best way to dig out of the whole that Bush left us, clinton had trillions in surplus and it took eight years to get to a near depression, republicans should admit it, that they and the tea partiers are out of touch, are racist, sexist and hate anyone who isnt white.
    Another idea to get money is to allow immigrants to get citizenship by having them write down the years and the name of who employed them and like all tax evaders should be made to pay back taxes on the moeny they made and when caught up they become citizens. then fine all the criminal companies that have gotten away with paying less than minimum wage and fine them and make them pay the us governament the difference to credit the immigrant due to us for back taxes. then when all collected they get in. all of us regular us citizens pay each month their taxes so why not them?
    And tax the rich and the corporations that dont have to pay any taxes.
    dide from eugene oregon

    July 1, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  60. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    We need to hit the reset button which would mean taking the money out of politics (massive lobbyist and campaign finance reform) then criminalize business practices like mortgage bundling which virtually insure that someone will lose everything.
    We need to be willing to look at our failure to participate in government and take personal responsibility. In doing that, we need to face the likelihood that, like curing cancer, making these changes will be painful.
    Then, Americans need to find our WWII "Can Do" mindset and pull together in spite of politicians and corporate America.
    America never was and never will be perfect, but we used to believe in honesty (an honest day's work) and integrity (do unto others), now we just believe in money and selfishness.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  61. Don (Belleville, Canada)

    The Republicans say that drastically cutting government spending will do the trick, but that raising taxes will make things worse.
    The Democrats say that raising taxes is the solution, but that cutting government spending will destroy the average American.
    Neither party will agree to do both. Therefore, incredibly, America is stuck on its current path to bankruptcy, each political party blaming the other guy and refusing to work together. America's enemies must be enthralled watching the USA trainwreck unfold. Canada is horrified, because when the American locomotive goes over the cliff, we get pulled over with you.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  62. howard2, Seattle, WA

    get the Federal government and state governments back to actually balancing the budgets.. The Governor of Washington, Chris Gregoire, just complained yesterday that the Federal government had "let the state down" because Washington had "balanced their budget" based on free money from the Feds. That's not REALLY balancing your budget, that's depending on a handout but Gregoire feels she is "owed" this money. I think the Feds just need to tell her to take a hike and get her own house in order.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  63. Ernie Naples Fl

    Move to Belize!

    July 1, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  64. Dex Zucchi

    Ron Paul 2012.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  65. Arnold Mi

    There is not any answer to our financial crisis. We have turned the country into an organized crime syndicate, monitored and manipulated by the American Bar Asso., and our primary source of income is extortion, which includes employee wages & benefits, corporate profits, and government bailouts, tax credits, investment credits, and extravagant salaries and this lopsided distribution of wealth has left us with an adverse effect on consumer spending and tax revenues, and all of our solutions to the problems are generated by corporate & financial liars who have a vested interest in the statements they make.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  66. Mike in Phoenix

    Every country in history that has gotten to this point has folded. I do not believe we can dig our way out of this without some extreme changes. The changes will have to start by reforming our own government. Since the people in government will have to do it and they do not have the ability to be proactive the changes will never happen.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  67. Larry

    Re-elect Clinton and go back to pre-Bush tax rates.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  68. Teresa Gieschen Germantown TN

    It is simple –
    bring troops home from both wars
    raise taxes – it has to be done

    July 1, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  69. mitch from calif

    deport illegals

    July 1, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  70. Mark Rebelowski

    This is so overwhelming.. maybe we should ask the banks we the people bailed out to bail us out and forgive the debt? Other then that...stop spending money on wars and donating to foreign countries who dont support our government!

    July 1, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  71. Hagan from Kentucky

    There is only one way to lower debt, whether it's your personal credit card debt, or the debt of a nation: cut spending, and raise revenue. This means, albeit unpleasant, that taxes must be raised. Whether we like it or not.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  72. Micah from Canton OH

    Really all of this financial stuff is so rigged up it doesn't matter whether our budget is 60% debt, or 100% debt. The government isn't like you or I Jack, it doesn't have a checkbook to balance. The current system is set up only to make thew few rich and make the many into debtors. I say let them spend, as long as they spend it on us, the average Janes and Joes.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  73. Carol

    I wish there were a simple, painless answer. We need to raise taxes for the wealthy at the same time we surgically reduce or redirect government spending. Oh, and let's actually regulate our financial instituions so we don't have to bail them out again!

    Glen Ellyn

    July 1, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  74. CJ , Roanoke, VA

    There is no easy answer to this, but it is the politicians who have made the mess we are all going to suffer with. The essence of the problem is that the elected officials are/were too selfish to put the country first. The only thing that ever mattered was getting reelected by giving free stuff to constituents and "bringing home the bacon" in the form of pork spending.

    Cut gov't spending to the bone, bring home our troops from over 120 countries they are stationed. That would be a good start. The only thing the country has left is the status of the US Dollar as the worlds reserve currency and that has been in jeopardy for quite some time now.

    The good times are over for most in the USA.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  75. Dennis

    That's easy.

    Bring the troops home......END our two unwinnable wars and there will be plenty of money to take care of the rest of the budget.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  76. Jason

    The solution is we do not spend more than we make including the interest and payments on current debt. If congress will not do what is right then the President should not pass the budget and let the federal government shutdown.

    This is not rocket science at all...


    July 1, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  77. Slick Tipton

    Stop spending. Let the private sector help

    July 1, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  78. Jeff

    The answer? Middle-class revolution that wipes away the current crop of self-interested politicians, Republicans and Democrats alike. This country needs - no, it must have - a new Body Government that truly tackles the budget issues this country faces. And key among the changes: Cut the budget first, then come to the tax payers; then entirely revamp the taxation process. Our tax code should be simple, no different that Hong Kong's. Flat tax. No carves out for special interests, like housing (and I'm a homeowner). Incentivize saving instead of consumption.

    The biggest mistake our politicians are making is not understanding the anger that isbuilding among the middle class. True anger. And it will end badly if lawmakers don't act in radical ways.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  79. Khan Alim

    Jack, one party wants to continue war for life long and another party wants to increase social service on everything. How do you think US president and his administration will be able to reduce deficit? Only one way .. making everyone unhappy.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  80. Mark Z

    It's all about jobs..period...Not just jobs..its good jobs.. New jobs must be created, and old jobs must return from being outsourced. I am sure that if given the choice, most americans will pay more for an american made product that lasts twice as long as a chinese made product

    July 1, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  81. Mark Lorenz

    I believe that the most obvious answer to America's financial crisis is to end the tax free status of churches and other religious organizations in the United States. This is a vast source of revenue that is being ignored due to emotional and illogical reasoning.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  82. Sergio

    The answer to the deepening financial crisis? How about cutting military spending to a size where it's only about... oh, 5 TIMES as much as every other country's combined. This is the one bloated waste of money that the media just refuses to discuss, yourself included.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  83. David , Laguna Niguel CA

    It is very basic..DO NOT SPEND MONEY YOU DO NOT HAVE! Works for individuals, families, businesses, and governments.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  84. Philip

    Tax the rich until they're as miserable as 10-15 percent of American workers and have to stand in lines for welfare, unemployment, and food.

    Socialism, you say? Has Capitalism really helped the people of the Gulf? The private investors in banks?

    One more thing: Take personal responsibility. Don't ask government to regulate everything if you're unwilling to pay for it.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  85. Matthew Travers

    The most viable option I see is to restructure the agricultural and industrial sectors of our economy. Build more American made products that the world want, and grow more crops the world want. Then export, export, export. But what do I know, I just graduated high school.

    Brevard, NC

    July 1, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  86. Kim in Mpls, MN

    Jack I have always been on the low side of middle income bracket, so I pay between 20 and 30 percent taxes. If we know how much we have spent (Trillions) why hasn't someone figured what the tax load per dollar spent verses man hours times wages times population earned should have been for the correct percent going back to the mid 60's.

    In Europe their taxed a little higher, however education and healthcare are included. I feel that I have paid my fair share and I hate to pile it on the rich however have they paid their fair share or have they benefited from tax shelters? We are in a mess that keeps getting larger and no learning from this is taking place. There were deficits going back to the mid 60's... over 50 years of spending without consequences.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  87. Ria Giuliani

    Bring back all the jobs that have gone to other countries. I can't stand calling a company and speaking yo someone I can barely understand. I boycott these companies in my small attempt to get the jobs back here.

    If everyone did so, we'd have a lot more Americans working.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  88. Len Forster

    Come on, Jack. You're starting to sound like a Tea Partier.

    Just after WWII, the deficit was equal to 120% of GDP. Now, according to you, it's 62% of GDP.

    After WWII, Democrats focused on jobs, jobs, jobs and the G.I. Bill, to create a more educated workforce.

    In 2010, Democrats want to focus on jobs, jobs, jobs, and extension of unemployment benefits.

    After WWII, the GOP opposed everything.

    In 2010, they not only oppose everything, they want to sabotage the recovery just to be able to sabotage the President so they can regain control of Congress.

    The Federal Deficit is not THE most important thing today. Jobs are. Get over it.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  89. Sharon

    First, why are we allowing the banking system to charge 25% and plus interest on borrowing, yet pay only 2% ,if that, on savings??

    Secondly, if we look back "before income tax", it appears that taxing more and more for social programs is just not acceptable today.

    Thirdly, we talk about cutting spending, but at the same time, we continue to try to be a police man for the word – no cuts in military spending.

    Fourth, SO much money goes into the tax coffers – the inherent problem is how that money is spent – our priorities tend to get out of order....we see the same things in our private lives – what makes us think the government would be different? We are the government!

    July 1, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  90. Jim Blevins

    Seems like Obama has the right answers. Remember what put us in this mess in the first place - the Republican financial philosophy. So long as we keep resisting the shouts from those that want to go back to the philosophy that destroyed our economy, we will get the economy working properly. Once the economy is working properly, the deficits can be handled.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    July 1, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  91. Harry Moscatiello

    Just have the Treasury print up a few trillion dollars and pay off a big part of the National Debt. The increase of money in the system will help the economy and wages, and the inflation will only hurt Wall St and the Super Wealthy and so what...who cares if they are a little less wealthy.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  92. Nathan Seper

    In my opinion the only way we can solve our financial crisis is get real. In California, voters have rejected most measures to balance their states budgets because it raises their taxes or cuts their benefits. What the government needs to do is work hard to cut unnecessary programs, raise taxes, and more importantly remind a nation of what it needs to pay its dues.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  93. art from michigan

    well one way to help the deficit is to stop giving billions of dollars to other countries every year. Start taxing companies that ship jobs overseas and restrict the the sale of our companies banks land to other foriegn countries and tax these foriegn companies in our country

    July 1, 2010 at 6:17 pm |

    The obama administration has no clue how to solve the economy.
    1] the housing and credit crisises has basically removed between 15%-20% of the work force. Most of those jobs are not coming back any time soon. 2]What special courses or plans have been brought forward to retrain workers? 3] Can anybody with a straight face say that last years stimulus worked or was it PORK. 4]now the first thing to do is cut programs that have given people advantage for morally
    bad behavior (example no money for drug treatments if the person has been enrolled twice before.5] increase size of irs audit group and force federal AG to bring 10 cases per zip code no mater what the value.6] tell HS Naplitano to enfore immigration laws against employers. this will help many other small businesses to hire lawful workers and cut unemployment.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  95. John from Lubbock, Texas

    Yard sale? Bake sale? Sell our congressmen to China? Breast Feeding Tax? Tax all Politicians for every bill that has a rider attached? Or attach a Rider for 13Trillion to the next credit card/banking bill. Tax Religion, Invade Mexico? Canada?

    Any other ideas you want?

    July 1, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  96. Stephen R. Collier

    Raise the upper tax limit by five or ten percent. The richest people really make all their money from the work of people who aren't nearly as well-compensated as they are so they should be willing to pay some back. I personally think the modern conservative movement is really aimed at keeping this from happening, but it's a nice thought.

    Virginia Beach

    July 1, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  97. j. bower

    from Van Alstyne, Texas
    Congress is not sitting on its collective hands; they are busy looking for ways to throw some more money. The White House is cheering them onward.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  98. Chris NY

    Hello Jack,

    Tax the Rich, Tax the Rich, Tax the Rich and remove the tax credit that benefits Corprations to outsource Jobs overseas. Did I mention Tax the Rich. 70% or more.

    God Bless the USA

    July 1, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  99. Dave From New Jersey

    Congress should pass a forcing banks to give 30 year mortgages at 1% interest rates. We've already paid for the interest in bailouts! The extra thousands of dollars per month in household income would be like doubling everyone's saleries. It would really spur economic growth.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  100. bob

    It was about two years ago when I first heard the overall American debt was impossible to repay. If it was that way then it can only be more so now. So brace yourself...we are on the brink of serious economical changes world wide and it is nearly impossible to forecast what our so-called "leaders" will be planning. In the meantime, forget it–it doesn't make any real sense anyway so just forget it...live, have fun and ignore those meat-heads in DC. Face it, even if they do explain what the problems and solutions are you can't trust them so, again, just-live.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  101. ARM

    Jack, I don't know that anyone can truly offer up a solution. I know that I can't. I do believe however, that it is apparent our current national (and global) economic system is unsustainable as it is. As a global community, we are going to be forced to redefine how we buy, trade and sell goods and services and provide for one another's needs.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  102. Delia, Katy, TX

    Jack, if any politician were truly serious about wanting to reduce the deficit, they would take all their campaign contributions and special interest money and apply it to the debt. Dems and Reps, alike, are reluctant to do that because they all LIKE politics as usual. It is a chess game and we are the pawns.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  103. Jeff

    Why would you assume there's a solution to the problem? Maybe China has been financing America's debt so that they could own the productive capacity of the entire country. Maybe the US has reached an endpoint from which it cannot return? When a business collapses into unmanageable debt, the creditors take control – China is the largest holder of the debt and the most powerful creditor. Maybe it's time to learn Mandarin.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  104. Drew

    Two words Jack "legalize it"

    Nashville, Tennessee

    July 1, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  105. Bob

    Stop blowing stuff up Jack. We wasted more money to fund two wars than we borrowed to bail out every company that was "too big or important" to fail. We don't have Bin Laden, the Iraqis are not hugging our soldiers and welcoming the great liberators, we didn't get any deals on oil and the dollar is dropping like a brick....... I'm scared for my four year old.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  106. John from Cincinnati

    Jack I believe you've asked a question to which there is no answer. I'd love to see things turn around but with the jackasses and the elephants fighting like a couple of school girls, I just don't see a way out. I really hope I'm wrong but were are out of options and out of money. I'd hate to see what a Chinese debt collector looks like. I see red...

    July 1, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  107. Kyle from Florida

    The solution to America's deepening financial crisis is getting rid of the Federal Reserve and Going back to a Gold/Silver standard monetary system just like Constitution says we should. The Answer is we have to elect Ron Paul for president in 2012 to save our country!

    July 1, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  108. Dave froM Canada

    Hey Jack
    You are headed in the direction of a broad based Value Addes Tax also known as a goods and services tax.It will affect everthing that you buy.It is the easiest way for a Government to rip you off. It's coming.Guaranteed.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  109. DW

    A VAT is the answer if and only if the tax must be countered by reductions in other federal taxes AND if companies can apply for exemptions based on economic and social requirements such as environmental laws. This would allow American companies to be exempt from the tax but places like China would not. This would create American jobs and put American companies on a level playing field with the world.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  110. Truth in Texas

    Jack, there is NOTHING anyone can really do. This is the plan by the international banksters and their means to have the Global government that they want to have in place by 2013. This has been a long time coming and the collapse of the U.S. financial system is key. It will allow them to swoop in and "save" us at a time that everyone will be screaming for help. It will allow them to fully implement the Global government while having it appear that all people want it when it will be the ONLY choice. Make no mistake about it, it will happen. They will use the financial card as well as the climate card to reach their end goal of controlling the world's masses AND their money.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  111. Dave From New Jersey

    Congress should pass a law forcing banks to give 30 year mortgages at 1% interest rates. We've already paid for the interest in bailouts! The extra thousands of dollars per month in household income would be like doubling everyone's saleries. It would really spur economic growth.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  112. Khan Alim

    Jack, one party wants to continue war for life long and another party wants social service on everything. How do you think US president and his adminstration will reduce deficit? Only one way... making everyone unhappy.

    Khan Alim
    Sacramento, CA

    July 1, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  113. Bob Lueck

    We could begin by leaving Iraq, Germany, Afghanistan, and everywhere else that we are hemorrhaging money. Build roads, schools and infrastructure here, instead. Return to tax rates of the Eisenhower era. Restructure so called "Free Trade" agreements that have made us a country that builds nothing for itself, much less exporting to others.
    It's a start.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  114. Nancy, Tennessee

    Look at unnecessary spending and cut, cut, and cut some more. Unnecessary spending is bridges that go to no where, super highways that accomodate one family, and projects that produce scenic views where the natural view is more beautiful. Congress uses the same old lines Medicare and SS are running up the debt. Congress forgets that money from SS has been used to keep the debt down in the past before it was all used up. Now that SS is not a cash cow for everything it was not intended, they want to do away with it which will leave many seniors wondering how to survive. Congress needs to look at their pet projects and cut billions from the budget before looking at the only income some seniors have that they paid for.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  115. mitch from calif

    bring the troops home and secure the border, deport illegals that are on welfare then vote out all the tax and spend politicions and see what happens.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  116. Ed

    We need to continue spending until we stabilize. It doesn't sound like a smart thing now with the size of the deficit but it will work. We will recoup our spending in years to come if we increase taxes, a sacrifice civilians should be happy to make. We need to begin taxing imports more than ever and increase domestic manufacturing. We still are the global leader with creating material goods but China is hot on our tail. Why can't we make our own tables and chairs anymore?!

    That's my 2 cents.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  117. Tom K. from Santa Monica, CA

    End NAFTA and other agreements like this, stop taxing corporations that do business here and hire American workers, stop wasteful government spending, especially cut out most welfare programs, get rid of the unions, end the war and deport the illegal immigrants. Lastly, maybe we should hire a third-party to figure out what our national debt really is. It seems alarming that no one really knows how much this country owes.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  118. Brett

    Jack, clearly we are in an end game scenario. How do we adress this reality? Look at Iceland, financially destitute, bottomed out. So they changed the rules. They implemented debt memorandums, they essentially did a structured do over. And mow they sit solvent , balanced, renewed. But America would never admit structural failure or would it ?

    July 1, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  119. Bob G

    Huge import tax. And I mean HUGE. Then all these wealthy business owners that outsourced there companies manufacturing would bring it back. A chevy in Japan cost triple what it cost here. How is that fair trade. Include companies that use people overseas for customer service questions. Just once Iwould to call to get a question answered and hear a good old American accent. And of course get control of the border then there would be no immagration issue.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  120. gilwee walker, phd

    It's easy, stop these stupid wars and reduce the "WAR" depts drain-about half of our GNP goes to so called defense and residue from past wars. A return to real progressive taxation is also part of the solution.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  121. Joseph Leff

    With all the companies having downsized during the last couple of years, we should downsize Congress. How about 50 Senators (1 for each state) and 219 Representatives. Yeah, Jack, that works for me.

    Joe Leff, Delray Beach, FL

    July 1, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  122. Chuck Barker

    Stop wars. Stop lobbyists. Stop tax exemptions. Stop pork barrel spending. Stop illegal border crossings. Stop sending jobs overseas. Stop the government's obsession with buying votes.

    But mainly, stop the wars.


    July 1, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  123. Birddog in Mississippi

    Jack, the 'deepening financial crisis' will get worse if you keep harping on the debt. Stimulus spending isn't what caused the debt, paying unemployment benefits isn't what caused the debt. What caused the debt is the baby boon, the Bush tax cuts, and the Bush prescription drug benefit. All of that is 'structural' debt, meaning it's long-term stuff that influences the deficits every year. Stimulate the economy now with one more big jobs bill, and then deal with the structural stuff. It's not that hard, but if the government stops spending now, then we really will have a crisis.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  124. Jan Westwood

    I don't even pretend to have all the answers but a good starting point is to bring the jobs back to the US from companies that received tax credits for sending them overseas. Do not give companies tax refunds because their US market loses money while bringing the company billions of dollars in tax free income from their over seas operations. Maybe it is time for a flat tax, with limited tax deductions. Every one person and every company must pay their fair share tax to support the programs that we have come to believe in. I don't like paying taxes while I see the country's millionaires pay less than I do, but I am thankful I can pay my taxes to continue this country's great programs to help all.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  125. Frank

    Jack: You just got through talking about our country's national debt. We can get this problem under control immediately! How? Stop the stupid war in Afghanistan! Pull out immediately! There's our money to fix the debt crisis. Do you agree?

    July 1, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  126. Gary

    It's simple! Make it law that every American must go to tanning salons so the government can get that 10% tax. Oh yea, you can't afford to tan without a job.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  127. Randy in CA

    Hello Jack,

    The sad answer is that the glory days of low taxes on individuals and corporations is over, or else. What many forget is that as little as 50 years ago, the tax rate on wealthy individuals was as high as 87 percent. Those who argue that Americans are taxed too much today are living in fantasy land. Also we need to rebuild the manufacturing base as it applies to industries such as alternative energy resources a la the Space Race. Instead of the USSR, the enemy is America's economic failure in the long term. More efficient government and streamlining entitlements need to play a part as well. But the overriding fact is that we Americans expect a lot from governement but don't seem willing to pay for it. We need to inspire ourselves with a sense of duty to one another and stop blaming the poor for our problems.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  128. Wanda Hartman

    The way to solve our nation's deepening debt crisis is to start with balancing our nation's budget. Take out every item that is not necessary in other words take out ALL THE PORK! Our Congressmen, Legislators, President should all take a pay cut. That would show that they are aware of our nation's financial vulnerability. This is just a start, but it would be a big one. Keep on talking about these problems, I hope people start paying attention and letting their lawmakers know how unhappy they are. We can't just let President Obamb go unchecked because he is driving our nation into the ground.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  129. Daniel M Maryland

    $13 trillion in debt can't be paid off as easily as eliminating red tape or cutting a few things here and there. Either the government can completely shut off the need to fund the wars, increase taxes to subsidize paying off the debt, or go communist to make some real revenue without getting it from taxes. And I don't mean communist how the GOP labels liberals, I mean the federal government becoming like the Chinese government actually controlling a business to make profit. And then sending that profit directly into the debt hole. Not just profit either, profit like Microsoft used to make. Maybe they can utilize their shares of companies they bailed out in exchange for stock to pay it off. At least we should be selling some government owned gold reserves with gold being at a record high. And force Yuca mountain to be used, afterall, it has the potential to be the most lucrative dump on Earth, not to mention it keeps ingredients for dirty bombs in US hands.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  130. Lucas

    There is no answer for a problem that is based on an empty number. America will change, we will change, and for our troubles we will gain a new persona. When its all said and done we won't be remembered because of our debt, but by how we react in trying times.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  131. Dan Hite

    Oh Jack...We should just give up...Thinking what our debt is now and how we are spending.

    Maybe the banks will bail us out...

    July 1, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  132. Flyingwolf, Manchester NH

    Tax the Rich, Tax the Rich, Tax the Rich. Nationalize the giant industries like Big Oil & Corporate farming, Monsanto & Big Pharma and anything else that has "proprietary secrets" that we can't use to our own advantage. That way all the money the corporation makes goes to the USA and not to offshore banks. Round up homeless people and give them jobs that illegal aliens were doing. Hey, I solved the problem–make me the President. Better still–make me the Dictator!

    July 1, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  133. Lee Wagner

    Jack, The only thing that today's politicians fear is not being re-elected. I believe that we should all ignore our previous penchant of re-electing our representative or senator and vote for whoever is not an incumbent in the next election regardless of party. This would get rid of the existing scum and send a message to the new comers that their position is not ordained unless they listen to what we the people want them to do.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  134. Pat McCormick

    Stop Large Corporations, Foreign Corporations and Foreign governments from making campaign contributions. Our elected represented officials need to represent the people not the special interest. Then do everything possible to reduce the balance of trade. We need to start growing, manufacturing and mining all that we need in the United States. Keep the jobs here. A good place to start would be to force th creation of Thermal Solar, Wind, Hydro and Nuclear electrical generation. Set a date when we all need to be driving electric cars. and eliminate unequal foreign trade agreements. Use stimulus money to rejuvenate the US Steel industry. Penalize corporations for manufacturing overseas and reward them for manufacturing here.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  135. joseph

    The only way to solve the budget crisis is to make the entitlement programs based on income. They dont call them social insurance programs for nothing and benefits should be based on need.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  136. kim cotter

    Jack, To solve our countries financial problem we need to enact a "PATRIOT TAX" this would establish a 50% federal sales tax on all imported manufactured goods> it would not tax raw imports like oil. The revenue would go 50% to pay off the national debt and 50% to subsidize and give low cost loans to Americam based manufacturers and employers. This would pay off the national debt and make our manufaturing base strong again. The tax would start at 5% and increase by 5% each year u ntil; reaching50%. This would reverse the "ECONOMIC TREASON" of out sourcing to countries like China. kim Prescott Az

    July 1, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  137. Dylan from Florida

    Our Answer to Americas Financial Crisis is Ron Paul, because he is the Revolutionary that will save our country from the Corporatists like Obama and Bernanke. Ron Paul 2012!

    July 1, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  138. Donald Zook

    I am optimistic about the long term future of the US because I believe that at some point a majority of the people will see the need for some drastic changes. There is no reason why a person being paid ten million dollars a year shouldn't be taxed on some part of that at 70%. In addition it will be essential that the entitlements be means tested. There is no reason why a retired person with a $100,000.00 annual income should be collection social security.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  139. Sandi G

    This answer is easy. When our family loses income or faces some financial crisis we sit down and make a budget. 1. We do away with things we don't need, 2. we cut back on things we don't need as much of and 3. we give up things. The US gov can do the same: 1. we don't need; pork projects, the 2 war money pits and probably half the "staff" these capital hill jokers have so those things are done away with; 2. we cut back on; salaries of so called "full time" politicians. I work 40 hours a week so I get full pay, they don't so let's do some slicing of their salaries and 3. we give up; any more trips by law makers to go and see things, private dinners, lunches etc for entertaining lawmakers including the white house, plane fare to anywhere (pay for your own tickets!), chauffeurs and their vehicles. This is only a start, I could go on for ever...support our schools, our veterans, our disabled, our unemployed, our elderly...that's where our priorities should be.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  140. Michael H. in Albuquerque, NM

    Invest in America. Enforce the regulations. End the Dreivatives Casinos. Audit the Federal Reserve. End the tax breaks for companies that ship our jobs overseas.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  141. A. in DFW

    Bring all troops on the planet back to U.S. Soil immediately and cut the military budget by 90%. Cease all profits from all companies and all the income that individuals make above 500k until the entire debt is paid off.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  142. Golden P. Ruel

    Hermosa Beach, California

    It is not that hard...........drop wars you have no intention of winning! We haven't been committed to a war since WWII. Get rid of Junk Bonds, Sub Prime and Derivatives they are second hand formulas with no true substance attached...... keep the market real! It is obvious what happens when we make up things that have no fundamentals behind them!
    Presto we balance a checkbook, we get respect back for the dollar and all these taxes that we pay for bailouts and useless wars would stay in the hands of the consumers and Boom the economy is rolling!! I know too simple, but it is only complicated because we made it that way!

    July 1, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  143. Kevin

    Well, one of the things that does not seem to be a popular option (yet), and was taken out of your story (??on purpose??) was the cost of foriegn oil to our overall economy, and the cost of the war in two foriegn countries. I have never felt threated br Afganistan. Spending money on troops there is also like sending money out of the country for foriegn oil. It does not create jobs here at home. I do not see any thing wrong with the government spending money for medical care, doctors, improving our schools, and improving the infrastrutcure andespecially infrastructure that makes us less reliant on oil. What about some sidewalks here in Alabama where i live, or bike lanes or mass transiet?

    July 1, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  144. Tim G.

    The first step in attacking the problem is to do so on two fronts. Assemble the best we can find in the country and from other nations to develop a plan to produce a plan to produce energy from U.S. sources. Sources are wind, solar, nuclear, coal, natural gas, etc. Plus the infrastructure needed for a new energy system. This would employ millions. This could be a 25 – 30 year plan. Second, borrowing a concept from the business world appoint a chief financial officer for the country – David Walker would be an excellent choice – who is responsible for putting the federal govt on a path to financial health. (Walker is a non-partisan with wide ranging experience to help with the major fiscal problems of the federal govt.) Congress could vote up or down on the budgets he proposes, but the financial officer would be given the authority to get the country on the right fiscal track

    July 1, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  145. Jim

    The budget crisis and immigration reform could help each other. I think everyone should be able to understand that the illegal immigrants can't raise a family on $5 an hour. They come here for the work and the benefits. Cut out the benefits to help the budget and the flood will be reduced to a trickle.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  146. Matt Ford, M.P.A.

    For starters, our government can eliminate foreign aid in dollars.

    These monies given to other countries are not audited and besides we need to get our own house in order.

    We also need to eliminate all those earmarks that politicians attach to legislation.

    The savings would amount to billions we could use for our own people and I'm not talking about the politicians.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  147. John E

    10% of the US population own 80% of the nation's wealth...... these people have a "responsibility" to step up and help, because they actually have the "ability to respond" to the crisis.

    I would suggest a one time "living estate" tax of their wealth, perhaps 20%, which would likely pay off our federal deficit and leave enough available to kick start a truly meaningful national jobs program, to say, rebuild our infrastructure, convert buildings to be more energy efficient, perhaps start a nationwide tutoring program to train and educate our young population to better compete in the world.

    In compensation for the tax, perhaps guarantee that these wealthy would be exempt from any future traditional death tax.... who knows, the dollar might strengthen so much that these folks might actual end up in better shape financially !

    July 1, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  148. Brenda

    The answer is to stop sending all of our middle class manufacturing jobs overseas to countries like CVhina and India. And we need to stop this nonsensical thinking that this will be a "jobless recovery." I fear we are quickly becoming a two class society- one that will be comprised only with very the rich and very the poor. The 40 year old father of three who lost his $15 per hour factory job and who is now working as a greeter at Walmart for $5 an hour pays little or no taxes. I know of no economy in history that has ever survived without manufacturing something of value.

    Brenda M.
    Sylvania, Ohio

    July 1, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  149. willie j.

    we are a company here in houston, texas with the designs and plans that will create millions of jobs,aide to stimulate the economy, and provide the means of preparedness and response for our Homeland Security all while using government funds...

    July 1, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  150. Dustin

    We have the same few options we have always had...cut social services to the working poor or maybe be a bit more reasonable and decrease the 800 billion plus military budget. Cut in half it's still more than any other country spends and more than enough to responsibly operate in Afganastan.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  151. Chris


    There lies no clear answer. Monetary systems embracing fractional reserve banking hinder economies via incurred interest. The emergence of the Federal Reserve, effectively debasing currency, and over zealous social programs such as Medicare, Social Security, Veteran's Affairs, all contribute to the consumption mentality held by many Americans. The collapse of the Dollar seems inevitable. Along the way, economist and politicians have seemed to forget that a recession acts as the natural response or "cure" for the disease of "over-consumption". Maybe someone more intelligent could explain how paying back debt with deficit spending constitutes a profitable net gain? I suppose we could leave the country and reside elsewhere; however, we live in a world market largely influenced by America's consumption. I have little hope.

    Denver, CO

    July 1, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  152. Rick in Idaho

    Send illegal Aliens Home. Make corporate America come home by tariff and taxing them. Make it a felony for businesses that hire illegals. Stop these pointless wars too. Bring our troups home and let them defend their open border to the South so their families and the American people ca have their jobs back. Americans in turn will spend their money in this country and the dollar will reciprocate through American communities that need it the most. This would be a good start!

    July 1, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  153. Paulette in Dallas,PA

    The answers appeared in a Spring copy of Vanity Fair Magazine. I forget the month and the author but it advocated what the Pecora Commission did for Roosevelt in 1934. First reinstitute regulation in ALL industries. Deregulation became popular in the 1970s and we see the results. Secondly,separate commercial and investment banking again. In 1999 the Glass-Stegal Act was repealed which separated the two. And finally,re- empower the S.E.C. which was severally weakened in the early 2000s. These were the basis of the Pecora Commission strategies to end the Great Depression. Maybe we can take some helpful hints from our history and turn our country around.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  154. Doug S., NM

    Simple Jack:
    Tax the top 5% of the population similar to 1998 levels, stop corporate welfare, secure the borders of the US, end the 2 wars we should not be fighting and step out of our role as global police officer for the rich.

    Take the vast sums of money saved and train those who can be trained (most everyone) so they might be self supporting through living wages and also contribute financially to the support of our country.

    All the above requires is the will of the people.

    Don't forget that meeting Jack.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  155. emma texas

    stop paying congress and see how they feel when they try to get their unemployment.... make the rich pay their share of taxes.... and yes stop the wars bush and co. forgot to pay for.........

    July 1, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  156. Brenda

    The answer is to stop sending all of our middle class manufacturing jobs overseas to countries like China and India. And we need to stop this nonsensical thinking that this will be a "jobless recovery." I fear we are quickly becoming a two class society-one comprised of only the very rich and the very poor. The 40 year old father of three who lost his $15 per hour factory job and who is now working as a greeter at Walmart for $5 an hour pays little or no taxes. I know of no economy in history that has ever survived without manufacturing something of value.

    Brenda M.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  157. NM in TX

    1. Rescind the tax cuts on the rich.
    2. Get out of two wars against those who pose no treat to the U.S.
    3. Stop welfare payments to Corporations.
    4. Decriminalize drugs: save Mexico, stop funding terrorists and close the DEA.
    5. Cut the military to a reasonable size which matches the threats to the U.S.
    6. Fix the U. S. tax code into a rational system where a corporation like General Electric does not file a 27Thousand page return.
    There are more but this will give us a start.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  158. David Nichols

    The lack of Responsible and "Humane Immigration Reform in 2007, and the Mass Exodus of America's hardest, and most devoted "Human" workers is absolutely responsible for the forclosure crisis, and this Recession!

    January 2008 = Start of the E-verify law and the I.C.E. Deportaion/Incarceration programs.

    January 2008 = The Start of "The Worst Recession in U.S. History!"

    This is no Co-incidence!

    All States that Deported or Starved away thier Tax Base as Census counted for nearly thirty years, are now in Total Economic Disaster!

    America please keep Bailing Arizona we now have aprox: 30% Excess of Government services across the board!

    A very wise 1840's French Hisatorian said: "America is great, because it is good, when it ceases to be good, it ceases to be great."

    Well, here we E-verified are!

    This is our I.C.E.'d Economy!

    Waske up!

    July 1, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  159. Gary Wn Wichita

    Jack, one answer to the financial crisis would be to place a 30 billion dollar tax on the Wall Street corporate criminals who caused the financial mess we are are in and provide extended unemployment benefits – most or all of which will immediately return to the economy. Bet the corporate bought and paid for congress will not put this idea to a vote.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  160. Kim in Tx

    Cut the pork out of the federal budget – we know when it's pork.

    Cut benefits to illegal aliens.

    Cut the cash out of welfare benefits. Give only the necessities – food and medical attention.

    Everyone pays the same percentage in income taxes – no deductions.
    Now that's fair.

    There are endless ways that add up.
    We just have to get started and not wait until we've hit bottom.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  161. Carmen


    Don't re-elect Obama. He unfortunately is not what he pretended to be and he did not accomplish what he claimed he would do for the American people. Obama wants to govern the world, and the American people are simply a way to achieve his goal, a stepping stone he uses for satisfying his personal ego. He has ignored the needs of Americans, modified American English to please the Muslims inside and outside the United States, modified the rules dealing with terrorists who harmed the US in order to protect the terrorists, and his goal is to change the American Constitution with his own Supreme Court Justices. Obama's ego is his own downfall: he has bankrupted our country and does not deserve to be reelected.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  162. Lyn

    The best way is don't elect anymore Republicans ever again.
    If you do we will be right back where we were when Bush left office.
    They talk about tax cuts but it is only for the rich people. Don't let them lure you to believing their lies. They pretend they are the answer to solving everything but they don't tell you what they are for.
    The Media is trying to get them back in office by talking about the administration that is in office now. That is because a bunch of them qualify for the tax cuts too. Wake up America.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  163. Robert

    What is your answer to this question ,Jack–what do you think can be done?

    July 1, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  164. John E

    10% of the US population own 80% of the nation's wealth...... these people have a "responsibility" to step up and help, because they actually have the "ability to respond" to the crisis.

    I would suggest a one time "living estate" tax of their wealth, perhaps 20%, which would likely pay off our federal deficit and leave enough available to kick start a truly meaningful national jobs program, to say, rebuild our infrastructure, convert buildings to be more energy efficient, perhaps start a nationwide tutoring program to train and educate our young population to better compete in the world.

    In compensation for the tax, perhaps guarantee that these wealthy would be exempt from any future traditional death tax.... who knows, the dollar might strengthen so much that these folks might actual end up in better shape financially ! -John Rye, NH

    July 1, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  165. Larry in North Carolina

    Stop spending and restore the top Tax rate back to the 50% level it was from WWII till President Reagan slashed it in the 1980's to 28%. Eliminate the AMT and close the tax loopholes that allow so many well off to avoid taxes. We should end the wars we are in and reduce considerably the size of our presence overseas. We have a great Navy, and wars now a day are more light and fast deployments.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  166. Rodd

    Jack, you know the answer! Lets start another war, preferably middle east. After all war is good for the economy. That's what has been sold to us Americans. We even have the media to help selling it just as they sold the Iraq war.
    Better idea yet, lets get rid of Obama and bring back Bush & Chaney since they were good at this. Look how many people profited from the Iraq war!! It is just a coincident that they were their buddies.....haha

    July 1, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
  167. frank staten island

    Jack, as I read through many of these responses it is absolutely amazing and unfortunately indicative of what our country has become – a group of people who blame everyone else for their problems. A great deal of our debt is caused by US – Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare. Who is willing to take a cut? I won't hold my breath waiting for volunteers. The problem with government not resolving the above issues along with spending overall is...again – US, look at what we are voting into office. Until we are focused as voters and demand change we will never get change.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
  168. bryan in NY

    I think a simple new industrial age would help America's financial crisis. More exports, creating goods will help bring in more money and create jobs. When you in-port more then you export common sense tells me we are spending more. Money we spend on war also has to stop, if it is a war for oil like some say. Makes no sense to go green after all that waste of money.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:42 pm |
  169. Allen in Hartwell GA

    Jack, if this were my home I'd have to cut my spending to the basics. This would mean no more freebies for the rich. No more freebies for multinational companies. No more foreign aid. No more foreign interventions. No more military on foreign soil. No more national grants. No more large defense expenditures. No more free usage of public lands by companies. No more pet projects for states. Everyone would pay their fair share of taxes after a standard deduction, and no one would get a tax refund. All company profits would be taxed the same rate as individuals, with no exemptions. There would be no free ride for anyone.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:48 pm |
  170. Brett

    Jack, clearly we are looking at an end game scenario. How does one face the unsustainability of an entire system? Well, denial, usually. Or unusually like Iceland did recently there is a collective "f" it. Which becomes a completely restructured do over. A clearing out of debt. A reconconceptualizing of our very foundation. And look at Iceland now. Solvent, healthy , reborn.

    July 1, 2010 at 6:48 pm |