August 17th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

Voters want deficits addressed, so why does Washington ignore them?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Voters are fed up with our lawmakers' inability to take action when it comes to reducing the $1.5 trillion federal deficit. And as The Wall Street Journal reports, it's the voters who appear more willing to take drastic steps to do something about the nation's mounting red ink.
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The newspaper talked to voters in Virginia, a swing state, who say they're willing to make the tough cuts - from a national sales tax, to budget cuts, to higher medicare co-pays and deductibles.

The voters get it even if the federal government doesn't. And Washington really doesn't get it. Our leaders worry about being attacked in an election year if they suggest spending cuts or tax increases.

The American people just want their leaders to lead on this issue. Is that too much to ask? That's why they were elected.

One independent voter in Richmond, Virginia told the Journal, "I wish the politicians would be hard-[blanks] and be like, 'You know what? It's going to be horrible for the next few years, but you've got to shut up'."

Wouldn't that be refreshing? Meanwhile we await the results of Pres. Obama's bipartisan deficit reduction commission - which are conveniently scheduled for release after the November election. And when the recommendations finally do come; most, if not all, of them will have to be approved by Congress. Which will likely render the entire exercise meaningless.

Some are suggesting a popular uprising is the only way to get our country back on track. A piece on InfoWars.com suggests "without a revolution, Americans are history."

Here’s my question to you: If voters want the deficits addressed, why does Washington continue to ignore them?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Chandler in Rockaway, New Jersey writes:
Jack, For the same reason we are a nation of fat slobs. Everybody wants to be thin, but hardly anybody is willing to eat less and exercise more. The electorate wants the deficit reduced, especially after being whipped up by Tea Party demagogues. But heaven forbid we touch Granny's Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare. And who would cut support to our brave fighting troops? (If you don't cut those four things, nothing else matters; everything else put together is a rounding error.) Everybody else out there who wants to pay higher taxes, raise your hand. Everybody wants deficits cut, as long as you don't cut spending or raise taxes.

Eric writes:
If you asked those voters in Virginia something like "Would you be willing to pay $1,000 extra a year in new taxes and co-pays to help fix the deficit?" you'd get unanimous disapproval. It's easy to say you want everyone to make sacrifices, but when it comes to opening your own wallet, the status quo is just fine, thank you very much. Let somebody else pick up the tab.

Michael in New Mexico writes:
Democrats are in a no-win situation and they are picking the political lesser of two evils as they see it. If they tackle the deficit, then they have to cut Social Security and Medicaid in some way and in the process anger a lot of voters. On the other hand, if they ignore it and keep spending they will only anger the Tea Party, Republicans and some Independents - not their base. They are betting that if they ignore it they will still lose but not as badly as if they tackle the problem.

Donald in Hilton head, South Carolina writes:
The primary objective of congressmen (and the president) is to get re-elected. So they will always opt to put off the hard decisions to the future. Most of us, independents, recognize there are hard times ahead. The sooner we face that, the better. We desperately need term limits and a balanced budget amendment.

Douglas writes:
When push comes to shove, voters do not want spending cuts that would need to be addressed to curb the deficit. They like the "idea" of deficit reduction.

Ed in Morganton, North Carolina writes:
Our elected officials are like spoiled children who ignore their parents. We can't spank them, but we can vote them out in November.

Filed under: Deficit • Election Process • Elections • Washington
soundoff (177 Responses)
  1. Sean Ross

    Its the never-ending cycle that was mentioned above. Incumbants scared to upset voters. And an uprising/revolution is indeed long over-due. A complete spring cleaning of ALL politicians is whats needed. Our politicians are not leading...they're following – the money trail. Corruption at its worst is at the heart of American politics more so than any other country in the world...we just hide it better.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  2. moneybags

    The politicians do so love to spend our money, and why not, it is not theirs. If they can shift tax dollars from an area to their home districts it is a big help in being reelected. Until the people in Washington start thinking of all the United States, and spend less time plotting to be re-elected, the old tax and spend practices will continue.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  3. Gordon

    Jack, that is just one of the many reasons why there will be a revolution in America one of these days if our congress does not wake up and act on the major problems facing the voters. This is the prime one of those major problems.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  4. Mike - Florida

    In short our politicians are prostitutes who will do anything for power and that includes bankrupting the country if it will keep them in power. They promise everything to everyone with no concern at all that there is no money to pay for it. It's like a parent who gives everything to his kids to win their favor by putting it on the credit card with no concern that he has to pay it off. After all, he can always simply declare bankruptcy.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  5. John Moss

    Washington ignores us because of all of the politicians are in big business pockets. Everything from defense spending to contracting out to you name it. The only way to cut spending big time and not cut into the entitlement programs are to cut back in the multi-billion industries which are stealing the future of the country. Big business could care less as long as they get their money.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  6. Julnor

    Everyone needs to realize that they are not entitled to any money from the govt. The Constitution gives you many rights, buy receiving cash ain't one of them. If you get less, be thankful you got anything. If you get nothing, be grateful you got something before.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  7. David from NY

    Isn't it obvious? Politicians all want to appear as men and women of action, but it's hard to get anywhere without spending a load of money.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  8. Joe from Brigantine, NJ

    If they truly wanted to address the deficits they would quickly learn that they can not do what is needed and remain in office. Social Security & Medicare are sacrosanct, Military spending is run by huge corporations that employ people in almost every state, federal government reductions would add to the existing high unemployment rolls, they need money for their campaigns, etc., etc. I suspect that surgical cuts in Military spending and a complete review and reduction in the government departments created over the years could yield huge savings and reductions in our deficit position. I learned years ago that a committee once formed never dies unless someone strong kills it.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  9. Overby from Melbourne

    Does the word "incompetence" ring a bell? How can anyone that's never run a business have a clue on how to run the government business?

    August 17, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  10. Lance

    Politicians think about the next election......statesmen think about the next generation.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  11. PRWilt

    Easy said, hard to do. The diversity of the voters just makes it impossible to really know what the people want. ask one group its one thing. Ask another its another. If you try to implement anything you upset another group. The fact is the only way out of the problem is to grow our way out and the American people do not understand that. I am not sure Congress know that either. They look for simplistic answers and in turn our congressional representatives use those simplistic answers as rhetorical ammunition to gain points with the voters to get elected while never understanding the real problem.

    The answer is it will be a ten year slug and we are going to have to grow from the bottom up this time.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  12. ray bournival

    First things first Jack ! Gotta get the country back on it feet i learned a long time ago , " It takes money to make money " Sometime a sad & bitter truth

    August 17, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  13. Steven P

    "They" ignore the deficits because they are pandering to the electorate. Full stop.

    However, it is hard to imagine these public servants discontinuing their desire to slake their thirst from the largess of the country even if we stopped asking them for "stuff: In short, they are criminal, and perhaps treasonous in the way they dispense their duty.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  14. Benjamin Carter from D.C.

    If you cut spending, you get voted out. If you rasie taxes, you get voted out. D.C. doesn't ignore the deficit, it's just that their constituents want to have their cake and eat it too.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  15. Gary H. Boyd

    Washington's a world of its own Jack –. kinda like the land of OZ. Obama's the Wizard, while Reid and Pelosi guard the castle entrance. Nothing and nobody gets thru without their okay.
    But on November 2nd we citizens, represented by Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the lion and the Tin Man are gonna make big changes.

    Gary Boyd in Scottsdale, Arizona

    August 17, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  16. Julnor

    A national sales tax is a horrible idea. Like giving a mound of cocaine to a crack addict. We need a tax that is proportional to govt spending that all people pay, say one ten billionth of govt spending. If you are over 17, you pay. It would be due in September and you have to cut a check. When spending increases, the tax increases and everyone sees it. We need this to turn our open loop system into a closed loop system.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  17. Kevin O'Reilly

    Getting re-elected is all that matters. Traditionally, you are required to do something (spend money) to get re-elected, whether that something is needed or not. Single terms for all elected officials is the only means to break this cycle. Just my humble opinion from Smithtown NY.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  18. Andrew

    Hmmm...I wonder if this has anything to do with the corporations that own the government.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  19. Marko

    Oh they know what to do, but they fiddle while America burns to serve their own political interests. The Republicans will not let anything pass, good or bad in order to keep things miserable for Americans who will then naively go and vote for them in November. Another example of doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  20. Teddy

    So why does Washington ignore them?...

    Jack, because they can. Simple really...

    August 17, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  21. Dee in New Paris OHIO

    Washington is in the "O" zone about anything that does not bring more money to their coffers!

    I am not at all surprised and don't understand why anyone else would be.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  22. Cody Dunn

    Because the District of Criminals would rather listen to the lobbyists, corporate, and special interests rather than the People who give them the power to Legislate.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  23. Kathie

    All our elected nonrepresentatives can do is spend, spend, spend. They have absoutely NO concept of living within a budget (like the rest of us), of what a deficit is, of the consequences of a deficit and cannot resist spending money they do not have. They give money away like they can print more anytime they want without a thought of where it is coming from (eg more borrowing). they are so out of touch it is pathetic. Washington should each live like an undercover boss on OUR income for a week (they would never make it)

    August 17, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  24. Thinkforyourself, OK

    Because the Democrat Party has been taken over by Marxist/Socialists and they are trying to destroy the United States.

    In other words, The don't care what WE the PEOPLE think.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  25. Ken E.

    Poor interpretation and execution of Keynesian economics.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  26. Mikaela Skye


    The real question is WHY do the American people keep voting back into office these clowns who have proven time and time again that they DO NOT listen to the American people. Maybe the American people are the problem not the politicians.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  27. Rick Ledford

    It's called being consistent. DC never pays attention to voter desires.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  28. Bernie of Lowell, MA

    Politicians have been ignoring the Federal deficit for years, Jack. The 'consolidated revenue budget' is the biggest Ponzi scheme ever devised. Heck, they've even got Paul Krugman hoodwinked!

    Our Social Security 'trust fund' is myth. The real deficits run many trillions more than what they tell us.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  29. Larry

    Washington's lawmakers' unwillingness to address the deficit can be summed up in two words: Ego and Re-election.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  30. Graeme from Ottaw,ON

    Because "they" don't want "their" taxes raised or "their" programs cuts. Welcome to the I,Me,My Society.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  31. Gene Wright

    Plain and simple... politicians have been self trained to bring home the gravy to get re-elected and the voters in each state or district have become greedy enough to grab the dough and expect some other state or district to cut their spending! That combined with providing lobbyists and donors with legislation to get their money for the politician's war chest. You can't decrease a budget by bringing home a larger chunk of money than what is coming in!

    August 17, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  32. Bonnie G.

    Americans want the deficit reduced when it comes to health care for all of us, but not when we want to wage war to win oil rights. Where are the priorities? In personal gain, sadly.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  33. Frank Cape Coral FL

    I don't believe Washington knows how to get the deficient under control, it has reach such a high level that it's beyond the capability of the present leaders we now have in control, or for that matter any others waiting to go to DC. the sad thing is if they listened to the people they would be able to cut deficient, CUT Government personnel down by half. it might work.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  34. Allen

    Jack – The voters want everything. Even those that are mutually exclusive. They want a reduced deficit, low taxes, the creation of new jobs but without government interference. We the voters are more than a little responsible for the current deadlock in congress. We have to accept that changes have to be made and some of them will hurt.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  35. Matt Alberts

    Congress is the millionaire boy's (and women's) club. The only thing they care about is getting reelected, they don't care about the deficit or the average american. They've got the only job on the planet where you don't have to do your job and you still get to keep it., unless the american voters get to the polls this fall and kick em all out, which is what we need to do!

    August 17, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  36. Tony

    They don't want to resolve the deficit issue because they'd have to raise taxes, which is political suicide in this partisan, bumpersticker-slogan political environment. Making this country function how we like it is just insanely expensive. Yet we Americans want all our cake and to eat it too.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  37. Andrea

    Our Congress and Senate have completely lost touch with voters. I wouldn't be surprised if they have even forgotten they were elected! Look at how happy they appear when they pass legislation, without having read it, as though it were a minor miracle. That's because it probably is.

    New York

    August 17, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  38. Cody Dunn

    Because the District of Criminals would rather listen to the lobbyists, corporate, and special interests with money rather than the People who give them the power to Legislate.

    Cody Dunn from San Diego, CA

    August 17, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  39. Mary Ruth

    Want to know why we're in this mess: Ask Mr. George W. Bush. God, I can not understand where all the people who are complaining about President Obama's spending were when old George W was spending like a drunken sailor! How about a BILLION DOLLARS a month in Iraq!!! A pre-emptive war that we got into because of "W's" lies. If I were Obama, I'd quit like old Palin and say here, you got all the answers people, you do it!

    August 17, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  40. John

    Jack: Read "Shame of the Cities".

    The problem is that politicians know that the public will do absolutely nothing about the issues.

    They can continue to spend with impunity and they will never be held responsible.

    That is why they simply don't care.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  41. Bob

    Let me see they ignor the deficit, the illegal aliens & E-Verify, out sourcing tax, tax on China, big oil pricing, big bonsus for those who received aid, etc etc etc. Is it really a surprise that they ignor the deficit?

    August 17, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  42. Annie, Atlanta

    I'm not an economist by any stretch, but don't the experts agree that deficits during recessions and depressions are a good thing? And just out of curiosity, where was this deficit hysteria during the Bush years? Isn't this just another right wing ploy to use fear, that the sheeple then gobble up?

    August 17, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  43. Alex Landi

    Mt. Shasta, CA

    Washington-meaning the Obama administration and the Democrats-ignore the voters on deficit reduction for the same reason they ignore the voters on amnesty for illegal immigrants and on health care-whatever that reason is.
    Our leaders have forgotten that they are just the hired help and that they work for us. A good reason to fire them.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  44. mark

    Too bad "the voters" didn't get up in arms back in the day when all this money was being spent. Back then those of us who spoke up about tax cuts while engaged in 2 wars were shouted down as "unAmerican".Bush went on to spend money like it was monopoly money and "the voters" are just now getting outraged about spending? Way to stay on top of things,folks.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  45. Eric Hutchins

    The reason that people are ignored is because we're wrong. This is simply a Republican talking point This is not the time for deficit reduction. Most sensible economists are saying that this is the one time that we should have government spending! We are facing deflation not inflation. Popular belief is a really bad reason to make economic decisions. Let's try evidence and thinking instead!

    August 17, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  46. Tom

    There's only one thing voters hate more than the deficits - that's the solution to the deficits. No one wants higher taxes and/or reduced entitlement benefits. The whole situation is made worse by a political system that encourages demagoguery rather than difficult choices.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  47. Guy - Texas

    As citizens we can make a citizen's arrest, why can't we force a mandatory balancing of the federal budget. All the federal government has proven was that they can not manage a budget (Medicare/Medicade, Billions to GM/Fannie Mae, quarterly vacations to France/Martha's Vineyard, a 1 day all-expense paid trip to fund Congress to fund teacher's unions out of Food Stamps from the future). What's even worse is that Republicans think we are fed up with the Demacrats when they are all guilty! Wow I wonder why the confidence in Congress is at 11%!

    Our President can't make a right move even to stay out of the mosque debate...........guess he needs to blame all this on Bush!

    August 17, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  48. Peter

    Its not just Washington that ignores this problem it's all elected officials. They all want that cushy job and pension. The solution–
    Every politician gets paid whatever the minimum wage for their state is until the DEBT not the deficit is gone. No more pensions , no perks no nothing. They need to understand what it's like to raise 3 – 4 kids on $25,000-$35000 per year .

    August 17, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  49. Arika Landry

    Our elected politicians are no longer concerned about the people they represent but rather their job, lifestyle, and perks that come along with being a politician. If they truly represented the people, they would role up their sleeves and get to work. instead, they want to be re-elected. It is a same.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  50. Jonathan Sinclair Morris

    What the USA needs to do to reduce and then erase their deficit completely is to start printing its own currency. Until then, the USA will be owned by the Banks from whom it borrows money.
    (We need to do the same in Canada.)

    August 17, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  51. Crisologo Gregorio

    Politicians don't care simply because there are no term limits. Sitting incumbents do a mediocre job because they know it will allow them to keep their head above water and retire with spectacular benefits, while living in their own sheltered little world at the top. Impose term limits across the board and those that do seek to run for office will do so because they want to make something happen before they would have to return to the world that they created. Good luck getting Congress to vote on term limits, even if 100% of the voters want it, it would not pass. Go figure.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  52. David Eaton

    To make a very difficult and involved problem as simple as possible, it comes down to this:

    the American government has forgotten "for the people by the people" (or which ever way the phrase goes). Instead, it has been building for decades now (remember the famous "now it's our turn to do it to them" on the Capital steps?), government is for personal party agendas – no give and take, no compromise at all. If the party in charge decides they want things to be way "x", even if the majority of people (hummmm.....whatever happened to that concept) want way "y", we're going to get a very strict way "x". Government no longer cares about the people, and I dare say not much for the country. It's all personal and party agendas, not national good.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  53. John from San Antonio

    Does anyone remember, "we will destroy you from within"?

    August 17, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  54. Mary

    Politicians are just like the Corporate CEOs that can't look beyond the next election. They are only worried about taking care of short term issues. From what I can see there is only one true "patriot" in DC, and that is Paul Ryan. He was the only one to offer plans to actually cut health care costs in the health care boondoggle and he is the only one offering a solid plan to reduce the deficit going forward.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  55. wahela

    Jack, we are percentage wise less in debt that after world war II. And that took us about 6 years of really big booming economy to get paid off. Krugman and all the other economists say we need to stiimulus spend for awhile, or we will go backwards into a major depression. that';s what happened in the first depression, they spent a little, but not enough to start a booming economy. We can get this paid off after we get out of these stupid wars, and jobs are going well. But right now, IMO, if we start to work on the deficit, we'll be having a problem with the recession backsliding.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  56. Geoff Snell

    It's very simple Jack; while the voters might say they're willing to suffer the consequences of fiscal restraint, the reality of the required measures would likely prove otherwise and the politicians, who serve themselves first and the people they represent second, are all too aware that imposing fiscal responsibility would result in their unemployment.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  57. Ohene

    Voters are being disengenious here. We all want cuts but would you tolerate your grandma's Medicare being cut? How about federal spending to your state being cut? Unforunately, we all want someone else's spending being cut but just not ours. That's why Washington ignores voters on this.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  58. Henry in Maryland

    Because, Jack, the voters want to reduce the deficit, BUT they want it done without any increase in taxes, without cutting the military, without touching Social Security or Medicare, or any program that benefit themselves, their families or friends, or their businesses. That's like saying I want to lose 25 pounds, as long as I do not need to exercise, and can eat all the foods I like and enjoy.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  59. Glenn

    Common sense must prevail...with the state of the economy teetering on the edge of a cliff and high unemployment, right now is the wrong time to slash the budget....unless you are interested in slashing yourself right out of a job...now that's real sacrifice.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  60. Jeffrey V

    Higher taxes must be part of the solution to our deficit and debt problem. But Republicans invariably refuse tax hikes even during good economic times – preferring instead the massive deficit spending which began in the modern era under President Reagan. Dick Cheney himself said that "deficits don't matter."

    -Redding, CT

    August 17, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  61. Rob Thomson

    Balancing the budget in a recession pushes us even deeper into the recession. The public does not understand this. Washington insiders do (or should).

    August 17, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  62. Julnor

    We need three separate budgets: Social Security, Medicare and General Expenditures (everything else). No money shall pass between them. Freeze overall level of General Expenditures until revenues catch up.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  63. Chris from KC

    Washington is driven by lobbyists, and those who own the national debt (even foreigners) also manage to fund a lot of lobbyists. What better scam is there than to run up the debt, lend the government the money to turn right around and spend as the lobbyists urge, and then sit back and collect interest on it, paid for by the taxpayers? I think the situation is going to keep getting worse until the federal government can't afford to actually DO anything, and our only option will be to renege on the debt.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  64. Jordan

    Washington has become nothing but a cluster of former fortune 500 CEO’s and greedy politicians that continue to care about personal needs and wealth over everyday Americans needs. The recent bailout from us (the taxpayer) has unmasked the true desires of politicians and where their obligations are, the banks, Wall Street, personal interest, and no one else. A revolution in this country is becoming more and more relevant with the right continuing to grow hostile by the day, the rhetoric of moronic people like Sarah Palin, and the growing hostility towards the government. Until we the people, learn to think for ourselves and know the people we are electing, theft on Capitol Hill will continue

    August 17, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  65. Jo

    The government knows Americans are wishy washy..People want the deficit reduced with magic money...No one wants to pay more taxes or service cuts no matter they say....it all sounds great when they say they are willing however should the president suggest it there will be more tea parties...

    August 17, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  66. ~BEVERLY~Mystic,Iowa

    Because they said they want the President to fail.

    Republican's don't care about reducing the deficit, as we saw all during the last administration.

    They don't mind if America goes bankrupt. That's why they want to extend the tax cuts for their filthy rich cronies, to the tune of $70,000,000.00, NONE OF WHICH IS PAID FOR, but don't want to extend unemployment benefits to help people who would otherwise become homeless.

    Whose side do you think they're on? (Here's a hint: they're not big fans of the President & the Middle Class, or of doing the right thing.)

    August 17, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  67. Ben Ellerbe

    Congress is spending on special interest groups that give them money.....Unions..millions on candidates....return Unions get billions in pork...Chamber of Commerce spends millions on candidates.....Chambers interests gets back billions in pork....it's about election perceptions in each district.....as long as you bring a few billion back to your state/district....you get re-elected...and blame the other 49 states and 434 Districts....with the over-spending.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  68. Andra

    Jack That's Easy

    The rich wants their tax breaks

    The politicians want their ego and majority

    The American public don't know what the hell they want


    August 17, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  69. Alison

    Goodness, Jack!

    Do you REALLY believe taxpayers want to raise their taxes, have their pet program cut and generally suffer inconvenience when it comes to government services?

    This is just like when people yell to "get government out of our lives!" and then they want to know what the government is DOING about some crisis or other.

    They don't make the connection between less government and fewer or reduced services. Or between higher taxes and less money to spend on themselves.

    They want everything and no pain...at least not pain for them. it's for "the other guy".

    August 17, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  70. Lizzy in Houston

    Washington doesn't listen because they don't believe the electorate. Afterall, voters have not shown much change in their own fiscal behavior. The recession, and resulting fear, forced csome change, but there is scant evidence that voters have become repentant, just angry. So how can Washington trust the drunken sailors who have stopped spending only now that they are broke and hungover? When they sober up, and without rehab, they'll just go back to the government's still and want free booze again.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  71. wendy scott

    Everyone says that they want "entitlement" programs cut ,but they want someoneELSES entitlement programs cut. People are hurting and Hendge Fund managers pay less than their secretarys and the janitors in percentage of income!! Banks are making RECORD profits. Yes, the "little people" MUST suffer to fix the deficit .And we all buy it. Stop HUGE tax breaks for the rich. If you want to see the deficit ballon make people that are already on the edge go over it. Then we'll see the government HAVE to step in on every leval that people now pay for themselves from food to housing to medical care.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  72. tom thibodeaux

    re; popular uprising. a little revolution every 200 years or so wouldnt hurt a thing. those in power would certainly become out of power, and maybe americans would once again believe in our government

    August 17, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  73. loretta

    Our polticians want their party to succeed. A definite bias. We need a balance(Spending cuts and taxes) Keep in mend we want people to have jobs.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  74. Jerry Maske

    Between the special interests and lobbyists the politicians are afraid to cut anyone out of money. The Democrats can't bring themselves to cut programs and the Republicans need to protect their rich friends and big corporate buddies. The average American doesn't have a prayer against these special interests.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  75. Renate Reisinger

    our president is more concerned about the upcoming elections than any other business. Why does he travel around the country campaigning when there seems to be plenty of "presidential" business in need to be addressed. He seems to relish the TV cameras and all the glamor going along with being a TV star. What about the nation's needs? We the people need a working president who has the intestinal fortitude to make some tough decisions.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  76. Steve Christensen

    The deficit is not being addressed by both sides of the aisle simply because politicians are more concerned with getting elected/re-elected. How many times have we been told of change. The sheer cost of election/re-election has those who run beholding to their benefactors and their agendas. Nothing new, Boss Tweed would roll in his grave at the opportunities that exist now for graft and corruption. We have been sold down the river and taxed for the paddle, that is if you can find a paddle. It's time to start taking the perks away from elected officials. I bet if they lost their pension, social security would get fixed like yesterday! They need to feel the sting. Better yet, lets find some third world country to outsource executive, judicial and legislative duties to... they can't be any more out of touch.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  77. Marc Enoh

    Every government hates deficits. However, "starving the beast" is not a rational option for politicians who want seek re-elections. Government cannot cut spending on defense(US world military superiority and Arms race prisoner's dilemma problem), medicare, medicaid, social security and other entitlement spending that affect many voters. Furthermore, government needs to engage in discretionary spending for it to function and pay its workers wages and pension.
    Government cannot levy a very high tax on consumers to finance its inevitable spending. If you tax consumers so highly, this reduces aggregate demand, reduces output and can further entrench the recession in which we are found right now.
    Therefore government deficits is not something washington can effectively control. Government activity is synonymous to deficits. It is inevitable.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  78. Bobbi

    The ONLY ones who are using the deficit to whip constituents into a whirlwind, are the Republicans; they think it's going to gain them more seats. Did the Republicans CARE about the deficit when they squandered the money from the Clinton Administration... to finance two wars on credit with China, and ship our manufacturing jobs overseas? NO! Better to get America back to work again, and then worry about the deficit, but the Republicans are like dogs with bones... they growl and chew and growl and chew, and in the end, it's only the bones (our tax dollars) that go down the drains and into their pockets.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  79. Richard

    Republicans just want to be Republicans, and democrats Juust want to be Democrats. To me they appear not interested in being American's, not interested in serving the country, but only themselves.I hate to say it but even hitting them on the head with a 2×4 won't get their attention. Time to get rid of the lawmakers/lawyers. All lawyers know what to do is deliberate.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  80. Doris

    Consider the source. The Wall Street Journal is mostly going to have upscale Republican readers.

    The middle class and poor people NEED Medicare and Medicaid doctors and other services to be fully funded, we NEED full payments for Social Security, we NEED unemployment benefits, our states and cities NEED federal money everything we can get. The social entitlements and money for education, firemen and police, etc. take up a lot of the budget.

    So you either raise taxes or cut the other big budget item, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. People are fed up with both wars, but there isn't the political will to bring our forces home abruptly.

    So raise taxes. This will work if and only if it is spread equitably across all social and economic classes – a flat rate increase in income tax. Also, the President needs to find a very good way to explain it to lawmakers and the people – we need the tax increase or you will have entitlements and federal money for the states cut drastically.

    However, fairness to all people and logic are in very short supply today.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  81. John, SF Bay Area, CA


    It is simple, the politicians no longer work for the people. They now work for special interests that make them personally rich. Why else would they spend millions to get a job that pays $160K. They are all bought and paid for.

    Bottom line, it is good for business and the people who pay off the politicians to keep the government in debt because it lowers the dollar and it makes it cheaper for big businesses to expand globally, especially expanding labor costs globally.

    If the people were who the politicians really worked for and cared for, we would have never put ourselves in this situation.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  82. dan

    For the same reason I don't give my kid an all-Cocoa Puffs diet. What she wants and what's good for her are two very different things. Right now deficits are unpleasant but necessary for the overall health of the economy. No doubt we need to get the deficit under control, but trying too hard to get it under control right now risks doing far more harm to the economy.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  83. Nell

    Because we can't really address deficits until the economy recovers. Look at how FDR got us out of the depression. He spent government money. We need to create jobs in green energy and education. It worked in 1030. It will work in 2010.

    Hoover was typical of today's Republicans and, guess what, cutting spending didn't work then and it won't work now.

    There's more. In the 1930s there was a huge reaction against illegal aliens, just as there is now. People felt that the illegal aliens were taking American jobs. We tried to deport them all. (Operation Wetback) It's 1930s all over again and the answer is not cutting the deficit. It's intelligent government spending to create jobs.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  84. Jon

    So, are you saying that voters are willing to pay higher taxes to pay the deficit, Jack? - At least you mentioned the national sales tax above. But funny how raising taxes is the one thing that no one, including you, seems to be talking about.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  85. Alex

    The Clowns in Washington are only interested in getting re-elected and everything they do is timed or orchestrated to achieve this goal. It is to their benefit to do nothing and to say there is much yet to done, and you need to send them back to Washington to “fix” things. You want things fixed … put a permanent term limits. One term for the house and 2 for the senate.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  86. Nurse Lisa

    They thought nothing about it when GWB was running up the deficit for 8 yrs, but now that someone else has to clean up the financial mess we're not moving fast enough. Voters now want deficits addressed because the GOP has made healthcare seem like the socialistic end of the country. They thought the same when Medicare was proposed but now that they're older & collecting Social Security they want the gov't out of their health care – well who do they think is paying for it? All Americans bear the rising healthcare costs when folks are uninsured or underinsured.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  87. David Becker

    Because they are spineless worms, sucking gigabucks into their pockets from the Lobbyists and Corporations,throw out every incumbent, demand
    Better Government,if this doest work, rise up, take up arms and physically take back our Country.I am so sick of the Republican and Democratic bull crap artists,stuffing their pockets while America sinks into oblivion.
    I have said for years, the only thing that the sleazy jerks will understand
    Is outright rebellion, THE TIME IS RIPE,and THE TIME IS NOW!
    Case and point, 8 years of Republican Bush, and 2 years of Democratic Obama, and ANYONE can walk over the MEXICAN BORDER, I have had these bozo's up to my ears! ENOUGH!!!!!! 21 Million Illegals sucking the life out of the USA,and this is just one issue that has never been addressed

    August 17, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  88. Greg M.

    This question alone shows how bad our school system actually is at teaching math.People want to erase a deficit and they also want to pay less taxes.Sorry students,you cannot have it both ways.You may only select one.Please choose the answer that best applies:
    A.Erase deficit with higher taxes
    B.Pay less taxes and sell everything we own to China

    Greg M. Largo,FL

    August 17, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  89. Jacqueline Mongeot

    Why? because it is election year. Yet, we have to bite the bullet and accept to pay taxes. There is no other way out to erase the deficit. We also want services, then we have to sacrifice and to pay for them: health care, maintained roads, bridges, above average education for all children, clean energy creation of jobs, medicare, etc. Otherwise we stagnate and get deeper in the hole. This writer is a grandmother, retired school teacher with a meager pension, who is helping her children paying for the education of their children. I consider them to be the future of our country,.
    Jacqueline San Diego, CA

    August 17, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  90. Steven

    We no longer live in a republic, we now live in a patronage system, and the peoople who own the politicians are making too much money from the deficit spending and do not want the politicians to fix anything. In their opinion, nothing is broken. Jefferson said we need a revolution every couple of decades to keep things fresh. The way things are stinking now, it's long past time for a revolution.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  91. pete

    Because all of the economists are SCREAMING to keep spending up, as it's our best defense against a deeper recession. The people don't always know what's best – anyone with a first year macroeconomics class under their belt can see why this is obviously the way to go. What finally got us out of the Great Depression – government spending.

    We do have some tough choices ahead, but you take those on when the economy can weather it – right now it can't without sinking us deeper into this mess. If you want to call for more appropriate spending, better use of the dollars out the door, that's one thing. But going after deficits now? We have enough problems with the people with all the money hoarding it all.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  92. david

    Jack, I dont think we have any leaders in Washington that have the guts to truely make the deficit an issue, both partys have run up deficit, niether one can take high ground or point the finger effectively on the issue, so it ignored for less important, easier issues that politicians can use to divide us and pander to their own. Im afraid the deficit will never be address until the rest of the world stops loaning us money. Lets face it, people in washington are use to getting what they want, unlike the rest of us, they are incapable of governing within a budget.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  93. walter P.A.

    This whole media storm over this issue is silly, Bill Clinton did not ignore the deficit. The deficit is all the republican party talks about lately, although their stance completely contradicts itself, they say they want to reduce the deficit, yet they want to extend they bush tax cuts for the very wealthy, which makes up 30% of our existing deficit. The solution to all this is a no brainer, sharply increase the tax rate on the very wealthy! In the 1950's the tax rate for the very wealthy was 90%, It was the most prosperous time for average american. It also helped build the infastructure of this great country,which by the way needs to be rebuilt, which would create many good paying jobs. That one change would solve many of this country's current ill's.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  94. Ron

    They ignore it because they don't want to hear what the people want to hear. They want to sit in Washington and TELL US what we want.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  95. jim

    The answer is simple. What people want cut is what effects others but not them. The city I live in decided to address spending and everything they listed caused an uproar. Larger classes, reduce the number of hours Libraries were open. One community suggested that they eliminate a police force that had been in existance only 5 years and return to coverage by the county. Needless to say the people came to a meeting and of the 27 who spoke only 2 were willing to return to the old system.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  96. Tams

    Jack the same reason as usual...politics – they are more concerned about stroking the minority (who might oppose tax increases) or the wealthy and guarding their position in office than actually solving problems. We must all pay a little more to get us out of this mess! I don't want to belong to China or some other country. A sweeping and fair, across-the-board tax increaseof some kind is the only way! We are in a downward spiral – it seems anyone with any sense at all saw this coming after the election!!!

    August 17, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  97. Tim

    "The American people just want their leaders to lead on this issue."
    No. The American people want their REPRESENTATIVES to represent their wants in Washington.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  98. Nell

    Washington ignores them because the people in Washington understand that cutting deficits right now will plunge us deeper into the recession. Look at what happened in the 1930s. Government spending got us out of the depression. We need government spending to get us out of this recession. FDR had it right. Hoover had it wrong.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  99. Mike in Houston

    "Washington" is nothing but an arrogant cast of jerks who think they can continuously borrow-borrow-borrow money with no consequences to fund their favorite projects back home and save their political jobs. We average Americans obviously can not constantly borrow and must live within our means. If "Washington" does not learn this same basic "live within our means" financial rule, all of them, regardless of party affiliation, will be "thrown out" this November and in 2012. The lack of financial leadership and responsibility in Washington is deplorable!!

    August 17, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  100. Deanna Hollis

    I think that its time for Washington own up to the deficit, the taxpayers it is our responsibility to hold those we elect to office accountable. Obviously, those who support pork projects should be sent home. I mean any increases to the deficit we incur now our great grandkids will be paying for it.
    So, its time for the two parties in power to revamp their strategies, because they don't meet the expectations of this taxpayer and I suspect that I am not the only one that feels that way.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  101. John Sims

    Hubris. My company's outside counsel was a very high ranking state legislator and over lunch one day, he told me that the public is not qualified to make decisions. Only the legislators had the intelligence and knowledge to do so. He soon became an ex outside counsel. The problem is that once these yahoos get into power, they assume that they are more qualified than anyone else to make decisions when in fact, the only thing that they are looking for is how to get elected again while having everyone else pay all of their expenses. Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Bring on term limits!!

    August 17, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  102. Ron

    It's because Americans do not understand that the party is over. After 75 years of social programs our ability to pay for them has been exhausted. Unfortunately we are so short sighted that when a politician actually tells us the bill is past due we vote for the guy/girl who lies to us and smiles. We get the government we deserve. Ready to change the direction we're going??

    Those who ignore the red flags will be the 1st group swept out in the financial Tsunami that is at our front door.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  103. dennis in pa.

    as much as we want the deficit reduced no one wants to pay more taxes!
    the only way to reduce the deficit is to raise taxes. maybe if people took the jobs that are out there then we could have a tax base that can support services and reduce the debt. no politician will be elected saying "i am going to raise your taxes!". sometimes a democracy is a bad form of government! we don't elect the better person. we elect the one who is a lesser idiot! we do need a revolution. and it needs to start now and not involve elections!

    August 17, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  104. Ken in Maryland

    Because the only thing politicians care about from the voters is whether they'll vote for them. The decisions are made by the lobbyists, aka the ones with the money. Beyond that, they couldn't care less.

    Politicians only quote polls when the results are inline with what their pocket-stuffers want.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  105. Tom H

    Congress won't address the deficit as long as we, the voters, let them get away with spending to buy votes. This November, we should vote out EVERY incumbant to send the clear message: You had better listen, or pack.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  106. Greg in California

    Again you skew the question. You assume voters want the deficit addressed, and you assume Washington is ignoring it. Why do use extreme words like ignoring? Just because the myriad man hours spent in Washington trying to solve the global financial crisis are not explained to your satisfaction, you feel ignored. Well hard cheese.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  107. Mark from Boston


    When they're spending other people's money, the sky is truly the limit. If I couldn't afford HEALTHCARE for my kids, I wouldn't visit the doctor if my child had a fever of 101. On the other hand give "US" ENTITLEMENTS, and we're in the ER if we have a hangnail.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  108. Sam

    Voters want the deficit address only until it means a spending cut that affects them and until the Republicans frighten them with claims that the economy will be destroyed by any tax increase.
    Clounbia, MD

    August 17, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  109. wayne herbst

    It,s what happens every time with the incompetent, arrogant,jerks in congress Can our party win on, this iissue, irregardless of its relevance? They don't care about what we think–never have, and never will because none of them have a conscience. What can we do to get re-elected, and dam the citizens we are supposed to represent.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  110. Ron M.

    Bringing home the gravy is the least of the expenses. The cost of the military, along with the entitlements, are the biggest budget items. Congress has known for years something had to be done with these, but they keep pushing it off another election year. All they care about is getting re-elected, period! They sold their souls to devil to get there, and it just never stops for them.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  111. Tom J.

    I believe that politicians, not only in Washington, but in general,seem to be much more interested in keeping their "cushy" jobs than in serving the voters who elected them. They appear to be willing to change their politics, not for the public good, but for their own political longevity. I don't consider myself a radical, but maybe the InfoWars article should be taken seriously!

    August 17, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  112. Loretta Baker

    The members of Congress are so busy looking after their own
    interests after they get to Washington they don't have time or
    inclination to do what we sent them there to do. I think it's
    something in th water in D.C.!! They go there with high moral
    standards, but soon get the prevalent corruption that is in our
    nations' capital. I think the capital should be moved to the center
    of the U.S. Maybe that would upset the way things are done today!

    August 17, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  113. Alex

    Most of the needed changes wouldn't be that painful; end the costly wars, streamline other defense spending, require the top 1-2 percent of income earners to pay their fair share, and implement a reasonable estate tax. This pervasive meme that benefits have to be cut and everybody has to feel the pain is utterly false and needs to be addressed as what it is; a lie started by Republicans who want to slash benefits for the working and middle classes and make the rich richer, and perpetuated by some scared Democrats and an uncritical media.

    San Diego, CA

    August 17, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  114. Denny from Tacoma

    Because it is more fun to spend than to save, particulary when it is other peoples' money.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  115. Nurse Lisa

    There hasn't been a republican president who reduced the national debt since Richard Nixon. However Kennedy, Johnson, Carter and Clinton improved our national debt situation. In 2012 be careful about how you vote....

    August 17, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  116. Gerald

    Tax increases will continue to feed the government machine! We need to make the drastic cuts in entitlements and government employment to reduce the deficits.

    I paid over $50K in income taxes last year. More if you consider state income and FICA taxes. I am seriously thinking of down-shifting my career to eliminate tax liabilities. Most be glorious to be in the 50% half of people that do not pay taxes.

    Working for this wasteful government is BS.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  117. Jeff In Minnesota

    They want a divisive issue, not an issue that brings the majority together. Without divisiveness, what makes a Democrat different from a Republican? The campaign managers in both parties have become so lame that the only way they can come up with a way to make their candidates different is to use a divisive issue such as abortion or gay marriage versus the non-starter of the budget deficit . In addition, an issue like the budget deficit requires a modicum of intelligence which I don't think a lot of our Congressional representatives possess.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  118. J. Dixon

    Whether we're talking about the deficit or the acts that brought it to our door it appears to be true that "Washington" and those that pander to its excesses simply don't care. Modern politics is more about career than about a calling; more about expedience than excellence; more about state manhandling than statesmanship. Every other year is "an election year" and this excuse is no longer acceptable. This nation must rely on sound principles, not sound bites.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  119. Gary F.

    Because when one campaigns on a promise to raise taxes, you don't win elections. People want it all for and they want it for free. Pork spending is not wasteful if it is spent in their state. We fought 2 wars without raising taxes, but complain about unemployment insurance being extended without paying for it. Crazy.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  120. Dan Martin Longview Washington

    Jack I don`t know why the lawmakers ignore us., but I do know that if the people don`t get together and vote out (all) incumbents, that we deserve what we get !!!!!!!!!!!

    August 17, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  121. Joop Kaashoek

    The problem is that democratically elected governments can not instate austerity measures, because voters would not accept these and vote for the next demagogue with empty promises. The Republicans started the dependence on deficits under Reagan and they are screaming the loudest against any tax increases. I guess they just want to bankrupt the country.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  122. Nell

    The people pushing for deficit reduction at the same time they ask for lower taxes are mathematically challenged. They think that if you start with a pot of money and take handfuls of money out of it, you will have more money on the pot than you started with. Duh!

    August 17, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  123. AK

    The moguls in DC are 'way disconnected from the American mainstream. They are, possibly without realizing it, spitefully disdainful of the average Americans' intelligence and sense of collective self-sacrifice when necessary. They really believe a tough but fair economic message – some forfeiture on everyone's part, meaning philosophically-considered Government cuts (do we really need a Dept of Education?) along with taxes and service reductions – will be met with 'no' votes by the citizenry. Thank God this venal crowd was not in office prior to WWII. For an example of one politician doing the right thing, gaining success and voter approval, look to Governor Christie of New Jersey.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  124. Dave In Dallas

    There are too many special interest lobbyists defending their funding, too many politicians defending their pork barrel projects, and too many senators and congressmen worried about how budget cuts and tax increases will impact their constituency and their re-electability. The bottom line for these people is that if it does not help them somehow, then they are not for it. They can not grasp the concept that the deficit is not like a fine wine, it does not get better with age.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  125. David Dempster

    Washington ignores deficits because the individual members are always looking for ways to get re-elected. The voters back home want to see that their Representatives are continuing to ensure that federal dollars are spent in their district. It's a vicious cycle in that the deficit continues to balloon while everyone demands fiscal responsibility from everyone else.

    If there were a sense of shared sacrifice, it might be possible to get a handle on the problem. No member of congress is courageous enough to outline a vision that would encourage shared sacrifice for the good of the country.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  126. Dave

    Because politicians no longer work for the people. They work for corporations. After their careers as politicians they turn into lobbyists for these same corporations who pay them tons of money for killing our country. If they don't become lobbyists, they simply get paid $100,000 to do a speech at a university like president Bush does now.

    Our country is lost.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  127. Chaney. La.

    Jack do I have to explain everything , Congress is impotant, they cant do anything but change the conversation,from real problems to,Death Panels, Birther theory, Mosques, etc. heaven forbid we discuss deficits its an election year.... Santas coming....

    August 17, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  128. David - Cleveland, OH

    For a number of reasons. 1. It is easier to pass legislation for spending in order to get re-elected. 2. It is easier to make the deficit someone else's problem. 3. Big government proponents, which includes most of Congress, believe they are smarter than the American people. 4. Elected government has forgotten the principles of the founding fathers. 5. Voter apathy that results in the same group being re-elected. 6. The absence of term limits. 7. The absence of controls that require a balanced budget and debt caps. 8. Congress has voted in so many entitlement programs that no one wants to fix them. 9. Many in Congress desire to redistribute wealth. 10. Many in Congress do not understand the budget, economics or money. 11. Most in Congress are just plain stupid.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  129. Ian from MN

    Americans need to wake up. They are mistaking long term deficits(which need to be reduced and President Obama knows that), with short term emergency deficits(which are needed to keep the economy from collapsing any further than it already has).

    Once the White House feels confident we have avoided a double dip, and we are on a strong path to recovery, they will address the deficits. Doing it right now would be idiotic. The American people need to figure this out.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  130. tom

    Where was all this outrage and deficit talk when Bush and the Republican Senate and Congress was spending like drunken sailors?They gave away the store to the rich on our backs and turned a surpluse into a historic debt. Now we all have to pick up the pieces and they want the power back.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  131. Donovan in Las Vegas, Nevada

    Politics, professional sports, actors, and professional musicians all have one thing in common. When you get to the big leagues, it is like hitting the lottery, and that to them is more important than civics, laws, quality sportsmanship, movies, and music.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  132. Barbara

    Why don't politicians listen? Every vested interest that gets federal dollars are the reason. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$. As long as the lobbyist $$$$$ for campaign coffers flow, the deficit will grow. However, I disagree that many voters are willing to make sacrifices because lately I have observed that many people who claim to be sooooooooo concerned about the deficit are only concerned until it means that they will have to lose a benefit or pay more in taxes.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  133. John from Alabama

    Jack: The deficit is a problem, but the bigger problem is finding the money to reduce the deficit without doing away with some entitlement programs. I believe tax on a product which is a voluntyary purchase should be used to reduce the deficit. Plus Social Security and Medicare are excellent programs which should be for by the user before they retire. Extend the age, raise the ceiling on Social Security, and make it worth having down the road.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  134. David Johnston

    Even though the voters tell pollsters that they want the deficits addressed, they always want then addressed in a way that doesn't affect them. They want higher taxes on the upper class if they are middle cleass or decrease entitlements if they are wealthy or tax business if they are retired. That's why nothing gets done. Everybody wants the hard line unless its hard on them. A politician that avocates raising taxes (read my lips) or reducing benefits, knows that he should do tighten the noose and step off the chair.
    The only real way to decrease the deficit is to have such a robust economy that there sre more taxes paid and quit having a new war every five to seven years.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  135. Nell

    The people who think you can restore the economy by cutting the deficit need a history lesson. When Hoover tried to told the deficit down, the economy suffered. When FDR spent money to employ people we grew the best economy in the world. Spend money on green jobs and education. Spend money on catching up with China in solar energy. Spend money catching up with other countries in wind energy. Jobs will come with the cheap energy that will be produced.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  136. Tom, Providence

    Where was the concern for the deficit during the 8 Bush/Cheney years?

    August 17, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  137. Betty

    Because the deficit is a big joke. What country could force the U.S. to pay there debt. If the U.S. decide not to pay anyone. Then there is always the option of bankruptcy.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  138. Nell, Clemson, South Carolina

    The people who think you can restore the economy by cutting the deficit need a history lesson. When Hoover tried to told the deficit down, the economy suffered. When FDR spent money to employ people we grew the best economy in the world. Spend money on green jobs and education. Spend money on catching up with China in solar energy. Spend money catching up with other countries in wind energy. Jobs will come with the cheap energy that will be produced.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  139. Becker

    We don't have much real leadership in DC right now. Deficit reduction involves making hard choices and that group is not up to it. We will see some changes in November and at least some new leaders to suppress Obama from bailing out more unions and chicago mobsters.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  140. wm in Texas

    The owners of the legislators do NOT want to end deficits. They receive billions in corporate welfare (GE, for example 1 Billion, 100 Million tax payer dollars in direct cash payments from the IRS and 0 taxes.
    Big banks make billions from taxpayer money. The war business is very profitable. Just try and end a defense program that all branches of the military say is unneeded and unwanted and congress will continue to fund it and force the purchase.
    These so called voters do not vote. The 30 million very rich do vote and they are profiting from the deficits. The other 30 million think: Fox is news, Limbaugh, O'liely, Beck-the-weeper and the other 2500 or so hate mongers are right so you can count on deficits and unfunded wars for the future.
    You want to end deficits ask for tax increases to pay for the wars. They will end in a week. Then you can set about to regulate banking and corporations.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  141. DrPete

    It's a simple answer – everyone wants deficits controlled, right up until the spending cuts hit their district. Then their state is mobbed with a herd of sacred cows.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  142. Steve Sharp

    Fire Congress!! Kick them all out! For the best results, Repeat every 2 years.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  143. MIke in TX

    Two wars to fight the terrorists that attacked us, an unpaid for tax cut, monies needed to pull the country out of the financial mess it is in and now the opposition wants to talk deficits. Of course if the taxes are raised to reduce the deficit they will holler about that. Throw in jobs that folks think the govt can force companies to hire folks and should be resolved in weeks or months and the President and Democrats don't stand a chance. With the history of all the instant negativity, legitimate or not, thrown at Clinton, Bush and Obama one has to wonder why anyone would want the job of President. Voters will have to decide whether to fire them for having a deficit, working to get rid of it or jobs.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  144. Remo, from beautiful downtown Pflugerville Texas

    Jack, it's because they don't work for us, they work for themselves. Anarchy! That's where we are at.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  145. timmy

    Because we have a ruling class in our country and they don't care what the unclean, ignorant, ordinary people have to say. They have the PhD on the wall to prove to themselves they are better than the rest of us, and they obviously know what is better for us than we do. The prophetic words of Ronald Reagan are ringing so true.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  146. Charles Dykeman

    Well what do you do, if things start being cut, then that group will complain, if you raise taxes, then some other group will complain. No matter what you do, somebody will complain. Politicians don't want to be on the responsible side, they want to be on the winning side.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  147. NickB5

    This isn't the first time politicians have ignored the will of the people. Remember the Bank Bailouts and TARP. Americans were so opposed to them that the phone system at the capital crashed, but both parties still voted in favor. Our politicians have sold us out time and time again. Vote Third Party or nothing will ever change!

    August 17, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  148. Nell, Clemson, South Carolina

    Because we can't really address deficits until the economy recovers. Look at how FDR got us out of the depression. He spent government money. We need to create jobs in green energy and education. It worked in 1930. It will work in 2010.

    Hoover was typical of today's Republicans and cutting spending didn't work then and it won't work now.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  149. Denny

    Because it's easy to continue to spend – and borrow – other peoples' money. The political class's first concern is their survival, and they don't care about the problems down the road. That's why we don't have action on the deficit, on Social Security and Medicare, on agricultural subsidies – in short, on anything that has to be fixed but will make someone mad (and cost these bums votes and campaign contributions).

    How to fix this? TERM LIMITS NOW!

    August 17, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  150. E.P.

    Because we have a fiat currency scheme and debt-based monetary system. Because we have a Executive/Legislative/Judicial system that does not forbid and even encourages deficit spending. Because politicians don't even have any real power, anyway – they're generally nobodies. The lobbyists that fund their campaigns tell them what to do. Because in the end, everyone that's suckling at the teat of our rotten system knows that by the time this deficit comes home to roost, and the debt collectors come knocking, that they will be long gone, having retired to their private islands.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  151. John Kaufman, Oceanside, CA

    Most voting Americans are very blind to the way politics works in Washington DC. As Gorden Geco from the movie "Wall street said, "Greed is Good!" So goes greed, profitering, lying, deceit, corruption, and scandal. Its the way politics is done and there is nothing that is going to stop it until America is brought to its knees by becoming broke and a second class country. The democratic system no longer is what the founding father intended it to be. You can't replace the bad guys with good, for they all become corrupt under the systems rule

    August 17, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  152. Jerry in The Burgh

    Because the American voter is – deep down – more afraid of the sacrifices that will be needed to rein in spending (entitlements, military, infrastructure, etc) than they are of the deficits. The same mentality that let people pile on personal debt until it breaks them is at work here, but on a much grander scale that boggles the mind of the average voter. Just as most people were shocked into controlling their spending over the last few years, the Amercian people are going to get a proportionately bigger shock once they realize where the spending of the last decade (brought on by both sides of the aisle) has put us!

    August 17, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  153. RG

    Because there is a recession going on...and on....and on.......and on. It's gonna be a long one.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  154. Dave (A.K.A. Homebrew)

    Because neither party knows the meaning of being fiscally responsible. The democrats spend money on legislation that their people want, namely things that benefit trial lawyers, and expanding social services.

    But the Republicans want to spend money on their buddies, see no bid contracts, and $85 dollar hammers.
    The democrats spend us into a hole, but the republicans aren't any better.

    Anyone that says that Republicans are fiscally responsible was asleep during the first 6 years of Bush jrs administration.

    Dave (A.K.A. Homebrew)

    August 17, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  155. Duane - St.Petersburg Florida

    I think it comes down to the way we view our government....the liberals have the belief that government is there to solve all of the country's problems, and/or correct what they see as social injustices....it also appears that the left leaning crowd feels that the government spends money wiser that the people who make it.....so they have no problem with higher taxes on those they feel have too much money or have been successful. Liberals think it's ok to be successful, but not greedy (I think greed is a great motivator). They want to pull the old Robin Hood and take from the successful and give to the poor. Bad idea....
    The right leaning crowd feels government is there to maintain and army, navy air force ect...., and to keep us safe through laws...but pretty much stay out of the citizens business (for the most part). Free markets will fix most problems over time. Bad things happen when government tells banks to loan money to people who can't afford to pay them back.....(see the housing foreclose crisis).

    August 17, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  156. Larry, Providence

    I think that people are more concerned about jobs than the deficit. Where was the concern during the Bush Administration? And where was the "Tea Party" then?

    August 17, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  157. George Ferdinand, Southgate, Michigan

    Political Science 101. To get elected and stay elected. They are hoping for the economy to come back without doing anything about it. By not addressing deficit reduction each candidate up for re-election will not have to vote on a budget or a bill. There opponents will cast them in a very bad light depending upon their stance. Example if a candidate is for letting the Bush tax cuts lapse. Than they would be targeted as one for a gigantic tax hike. Our elected officials in Washington need to get the political will to address our gigantic issues the deficit, social security, medicare and medicaid to name a few before inactivity causes terrible outcomes.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  158. TJ in ND

    OMG, Jack, you couldn't possibly be talking about those DEFICITS we've had for a /decade/ now but "didn't matter" when they were for WARS and TAX CUTS for the MEGAWEALTHY?! Try to reinvest in our nation and help out poor people and sick people and small businesses and help states stabilize after our economic meltdown and suddenly it's "Eeek! A DEFICIT!" RWNJs make me sick.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  159. The City On a Shining Hill

    Both political parties are to blame for the current overspending, and Americans who want cradle to grave security, as Europeans have wanted for decades.

    But, we have a choice. High taxes, more regulation and big government and all its entitlement spending, but high, chronic unemployment from business taxes (39%) which cause jobs to move overseas and prevent hiring and raises, and lower GDP growth.

    Socialism vs. free markets and capitalism.

    The choice becomes very clear on November 2nd and in 2012.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  160. Drew, FL

    Because politicians know that Americans have poor memories. All they have to do is keep repeating lies and sooner or later Americans will swallow it.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  161. Jay

    I am willing to pay more taxes, but it is really difficult to stomach when I see such reckless spending.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  162. Matthew

    All I know is, if I can't pay my bills... I get penalized. If the government doesn't pay its bills... nothing happens. Something is just not right with the system.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  163. Doc Price

    Politicians are only interested in taking care of themselves and getting re-elected.If they were to do something that is right and good for the country and their constituents they would probably fall over dead! They are only going to tell you that (they) we need this, it's important legislation, and the other party is the one who wants to screw up everything because they know what is best for the country, not the other guys.So, they will continue to LIE, CHEAT, and STEAL instead of being a servant of the people.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  164. Brian


    Because the second the government mentions a program to cut or a tax to raise, all of those same people flip out like flabbergasted idiots. Americans are little more than spoiled brats who want the world served to them for free on a silver platter.

    Boise, Idaho

    August 17, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  165. Robert Johnson

    Because Washington is deaf, clueless and spineless. Anyone with half a brain (that would be Congress itself) knew these deficits were coming when Congress passed the 2010 Budget and the Stimulus Program. Bad now? Wait until the Health Insurance Reform fiasco kicks in.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  166. Conor in Chicago


    The only people who are concerned with the deficit are people who thought Saddam was responsible for 9/11, people who think giving the wealthy elite massive tax breaks will somehow enrich their lives, and the people who called this recession "The Obama Recssion" While Bush was still President. In other words: The Republicans or in Sarah Palin's mind, "Real Americans".

    Give Republicans control of the government again and they'll slash some program somewhere as a gesture and run the deficit up even more.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  167. Kevin

    Getting rid of the Bush tax cuts will go a long way.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  168. Doug


    They ignore us because until now, they knew they could get away with it. I hope those days are gone. The leadership in both the House and Senate are extreme left partisans. They are interested in holding on to power by any means necessary. We The People have been lazy for the last generation. We vote for a name based on how many times we have seen a campaign ad on television or, worse yet, we always vote one ticket or the other.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  169. Dan in Seattle

    When asked we all say we want to reduce the deficit UNTIL we find out that cuts or changes have to be made that affect us personally. The idea of sacrifce for the common good is a foriegn concept to our generation. Politicians know that to get elected or stay elected they don't want to tell their constituency the hard facts. Our current administration has no experience in managing a lemonade stand much less running the largerst corporation in the world. It is a recipe for defict spending.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  170. John

    Thoreau once said there are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root. The root of all our problems is the Federal Reserve and the world bankers. The representatives just take their cues from these money vultures. What the people want has become irrelevant. Ending the Fed is really our only hope to return our country to what it was meant to be...a Republic. Shocking isn't it?

    August 17, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  171. Brian K, Los Angeles, CA

    It's quite simple, Jack.

    Republicans don't want to address the issue because Americans have short memories. Who got us the deficit? Ask and a majority of mis-informed Americans will say President Obama and the Democrats. Simple fact checking will disprove that theory, but Republicans like that people are too lazy to do so.

    Democrats are afraid of talking about tax increases because they want to retain control of congress. They would love to tackle the deficit issue, except Republicans would turn them into political whippingboys.

    Essentially, it's a Catch-22. Nobody will do anything because it is too convenient/inconvenient. C'est la vie in modern America, where the 24 hour news cycle trumps truth.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  172. JP

    because our lawmakers seem to enjoy pointing fingers rather than doing some real work, or, when they actually do some work, nothing happens because this political bickering has led to if a democrat introduces a bill every single repub will vote no and vice versa....fire all of them jack, they all have failed our country, democrats and republicans im sick of them both because they are both useless.....ralph nader 2012 baby!!!!! LETS GO GREEN!!!!!!

    August 17, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  173. Hannah

    I didn't hear anyone complaining about the bush deficits. In fact Cheney said that deficits don't matter and no one contradicted him. Then when bush cut taxes, ran up the deficit with two wars and then handed this and a busted economy all over to the next guy, suddenly people are screaming. We're going to have to spend money to turn this all around. It has been proven in history. Bush hid the bill for the wars by not funding them and so here we are. Now taxes will have to go up for some people. The wealthy will hardly know the difference from 35 to 38% but the deficit will go down and the middle class will not have to apy all of the bill like they have been doing.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  174. Mary Mitchell, Seattle

    Unfortunately, too many Congressmen are busy looking out for
    their personal political futures. Maybe if Representatives had a
    4-year term some of the pressure would be removed. I don't
    know what would make Senators face up to reality and focus on
    what the country needs. Political infighting is disgusting, and our
    country is paying the price.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
  175. Korny

    Well the thoery is, you go into debt to keep the economy floating till the next upswing, then pay it off during the upswing. We seem to forget the pay off part of the theory.

    Before 1980 we were the number 1 lending nation, after 1984 we were the largest debtor nation. Reagan funded growth with debt and nobody seemed to want to pay off the debt.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
  176. Mike

    It's a lot harder for politicians to buy votes with taxpayer money if they must spend within a strict budget.

    August 17, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
  177. jeff, alabama

    They ignore them, Jack, because all our representatives
    are in Wash. D.C. to line their pockets with cash and get
    a big piece of the American pie. And they could care less
    what they leave behind.

    August 17, 2010 at 6:00 pm |