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FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
If someone in Washington doesn't wake up and do something meaningful about America's deepening financial crisis, it could be the end of the road for this once great nation.
It's been clear for some time that we can't continue in the direction we are headed, yet Washington just sits on its collective hands: our lawmakers keep spending money they don't have, while refusing to make any serious cuts.
Take a look at where we are today:
For all these reasons and more - the national debt now tops $13 trillion... some estimate it's growing at the staggering rate of five billion dollars a day.
Here’s my question to you: Is anyone serious about tackling the nation's deepening financial crisis?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
First we need to get out of both unpaid-for wars. Second we need to be done with the Bush tax cuts for the majority of people. If they were doing such important things as the Republicans keep telling us, we wouldn't be discussing our financial crisis issues.
Ben in Boston writes:
Ron Paul. The president has dozens of czars in the White House. I nominate Ron Paul as Congressional czar of deficit reduction. Give him the title and the power and let him loose in the House in January.
Ken in California writes:
It isn't that they aren't serious about tackling the nation's financial crisis, they just don't have a clue how to fix it. Social issues like gays in the military, immigration, abortion, etc. clutter the Washington landscape of politics, blurring focus on the most important crises in our history. The weight of debt is sinking the good ship United States.
For me, this is symbolic of how politics is broken. Instead of tackling the big, long-term problems through compromise, everyone has a short-term focus. They're trying to do whatever is easy or popular and point the finger at the other side in order to position themselves for the next election. If nobody is willing to bend, chances are the country will break.
Alex in Washington writes:
Heck no, Jack! The Democrats are catering to their base, which gets entitlements, and the Republicans still want tax cuts for the rich. The Tea Party is our only hope but some have already flip-flopped on earmarks and the rest of them will probably go along and raise the debt ceiling and continue with business as usual.
Ann in Providence, Rhode Island writes:
Our current political and financial situation is nothing new. I recall my history classes: the fall of Rome, British empire, etc. All great civilizations get arrogant, fat and lazy...and fall off the wall.
Shirley in Ontario writes:
I'm not sure the country can be saved from financial ruin.
They don.t have much worthwhile ideas. They should remove the cap on social security – solves a significant part of deficit estimates. Also impose a health & safety inspection fee on imports for food and general merchantdise. Alternative minimum tax 15% for incomes in exces of $500000. Tax all income at the same rate, maybe a 10% reduction on capital gains – deficit eliminated.
Sell Alaska to canada.Palin can run for Prime Minister; get elected, and ruin the country. We can then offer to take over,add all of Canada ,adding trillions to the coffers. Iam from Sigourney, Iowa.
Jack, Nothing is going to solve the crisis unless both Democrats and Republicans put aside their flawed current solutions and find a workable plan that is going to have to involve a plan for new industry to create jobs for the majority of the population. Simply bailing out corporations, giving tax cuts to the wealthy and using global war as a means of diplomacy has failed to significantly revitalize the sagging economy. I believe things are going to get a lot worse before politicians both in the U.S. and here in Canada start to acquire some moral responsibility to do the right thing for the good of both nations.
Get it straight Jack. It's all about re-election. Nothing else matters.
The Fed. giveth and the Fed. taketh away,,.politicans are puppetts on Wall st. string,,. happy holidays Jack,.
i am i do protests about it every chance i get... you know how to solve local budget crises impacting local school and library budgets that keep getting used to cover the bank payment for the subsidized bonds for the ports....???? renegotiate the offshore discounts ...for example put a federal injuction on the 2011 cruise line season of holland america, carnival,princess,norwegian (which is controlled by genting berhad and abu dhabi investment authority), royal carribean and celebrity cruises until they pay the $150 per passenger rate to cover the debt.. as far as more port earmarks to accomodate the sellouts skimming the offshore 3rd world industrial shipping as a means to an implosive end....renegotiate with federal injuctions until they pay the debt our local budgets are covering through our property taxes so our governor can brag about keeping good credit with those that we already bailed out
How about cutting the pay and perks of all of are corrupt politicians, that's a great start. End the free give aways for all the illegal aliens, free schooling, free medical, food stamp cards, anchor babies, unless your a legal citizen, no more free entitlements. What am I saying, even our own legal citizens don't get these free tax payer paid for things like the illegal do. Until we stop the free give aways and let the corrupt bottom feeders, we call politicians feel the pain, nothing will be done about this major problem.
What financial crisis? Wall Streets doing well, CEO's pay is up this year, and banks are fatter than ever, who cares how much the Americans owe.
Are you serious?! Of course not, the Party of NO will continue its temper tantrum until it takes us all down. And the Dems are just as bad because they allow it. President Obama has got to quit the bi-partisanship schtick and go kick some butt's.
Jim in Denver, CO
Jack, what a totally marvelous question. The simple answer is, no, no one is serious about tackling the national debt. The next quetion in this sequence should be why doesn't anyone want to tackle the deepening financial crisis? It will involve raising taxes across the board. Then in the next election cycle; those that voted for tax increases will be villified, ostracized and have their ancestry and lineage called into question. (See Tea Party candidates.) Doing what is right instead of doing what is convienient has been a hallmark of our country. Now we have politicians more interested in their perpetual re-election than doing the business of the people and what is good for the country. O Tempora! O Mores! - Cicero
Plenty are serious about it, but they are also petrified to be specific on what, where, when and how to try and fix anything.
It's all about votes, or the lack there of – AND the party. What a pathetic lot. They are gutless. Tocqueville who wrote on American Democracy in 1835-1840 predicted: that the "violence of party spirit and the judgement of the wise would eventually be subordinated by the prejudices of the ignorant". Translation – public opinion invokes fear and gridlock in democratic politics. Think we're there Jack ?
To be elected a politician must raise gobs of cash.
The very rich have gobs of cash.
Corporate-persons have gobs and gobs of cash and are free to support any politician that will follow orders.
30 million Americans own 90+% of the wealth. 30 million more do thier bidding: pilots of their private jets, chauffers, plumbers, electricians and thier IT staffs.
You can run an economy on 60 million people with money.
The rest of us do not count and are NOT needed; we are to pay our credit cards and work for minimum no benefit wages and die of hunger and lack of medical care.
SInce the republicans filibuster and vote "no" to even the most common sense bill, the answer is that nothing will get done until they succeed in driving us back into a ditch.
No, Jack. Including the dumb voters who let the Republicans back in
to finish cutting off all of the middle class benefits.
The ill informed and lazy Democrats voters who didn't vote must
like to be "trickled down" upon, Jack.
Jack: When most voters think we have to have a balance of power in Washington for checks and balance. When they think that, it lets greedy people lead then around by the nose. It lets people get into office by spouting off three word phrase's and they slide in as Tea Party/GOP candidates. Washington will not change until a party goes into office with a 66% advantage in all three branches. All the rules that stop good bills from coming to a vote need go. All votes should be one more than half wins. All terms should be at set five years and your out. If we took what was spent on the November election it would make a dent in the deficit. I have only seen one person change the deficit in my life time. He was impeached. We are looking at another recession in two years with the change that is going into office in January.
It's blatantly obvious that no one is serious about elimination of the deficit as evidenced by the fact that during the mid term campaigns the deficit was a primary part of promises being made, however, once elected or re-elected these same politicians want to extend Bush tax cuts that Bush himself never made permanent and were made at a time of two different wars. To extend will certainly add to the deficit. Our politicians aren't interested in reducing the deficit it risk their re-election. I am so sick and tire of hearing these politicians condemn and criticize Washington when their every energy is to come to Washington and never leave it... They are Washington. What incompetent hypocrites!!!
Put people in Congress, give them a checkbook with an unlimited balance and then expect them NOT to overspend? That's just not how human's operate. Congress should get a bank statement and once the money is GONE it's GONE! Then the taxpayers give them another deposit the next year. But, of course that would make sense, so nix that idea.
For me this is symbolic of how politics is broken. Instead of tackling the big, long term problems through compromise, everyone has a short term focus. They're trying to do whatever is easy or popular and point the finger at the other side in order to position themselves for the next election. If nobody is willing the bend, chances are the country will break.
No one is serious about taking on cutting social security, medicare, unemployment, wars or any other sacred cow that needs to be cut to even start to think about climbing out of the morass we're in. Even though Republicans (and Tea Baggers) continue to harp about making deep cuts, they are just as afraid of touching those cows as are Democrats. Face it, when the rubber actually meets the road, anyone who is benefiting from those services will rise up and squash any politician who actually acts on making cuts.
1st we need to get out of both unpaid-for wars. 2nd we need to be done with the Bush tax cuts for the majority of people. If they were doing such important things as the Republicans keep telling us, we wouldn't be discussing our financial crisis issues. There it is-simple as pie!
It looks like it's going to be a blue Christmas for many of us.
I hope Congress will also freeze their pay increases? How about we stop the tax breaks for the oil companies who report record profits every year but have their hands so deep into Congress they seem to get all the breaks the regular folks need.
How about we stop the cash drain that are the two wars that never needed to happen in the first place in Iraq and Afghanistan. We can't even help the people of New Orleans but we are looking for more funds to help rebuild those countries.
The people in Congress have forgotten why they are there and we are all suffering because of it.
Mike from Kearny, NJ
No Jack, not until it becomes a problem getting elected.
Yes Jack, someone is serious about tackling the growing financial crisis and that someone is Joe the Plumber, aka, the average American citizen. Those "elected" officials in Washington are not serious at all about the problem regardless of red or blue. They will not do anything that will effect their financial supporters and lobbyist have both sides totally covered. We are in a lousy situation since those who we are able to vote for in an election are actually selected by their political parties, not the average citizen. There is no one representing the Average American and it will be the Average American who will wind up paying for the entire bill. .
Complicated question Mr. Cafferty. In order to "look at where we are
today", we have to look back at where we came from 12 years ago.
From surplus to deficit, unfunded wars, no vetoes during the 6 years
Congress and White House were controlled by Republicans, TARP,
prescription drug program, tax cuts for the rich (no job creation as a
result, unless you live overseas). So, answer is probably not.
Republicans still want tax cuts for the wealthy (even though would
add 700B to deficit, no help for unemployed unless paid for –
contradiction obvious. There are some small, but nonetheless some
signs that things are beginning to improve, but until these people
decide to do some work, and quit wasting their energy on who they
can take down, the recovery will be at a snail's pace.
Heck no, Jack!!! The Democrats are catering to their base who get entitlements and the Republicans still want tax cuts for the rich. The Tea Party is our only hope but some have already flip-flopped on earmarks and the rest of them will probably go along and raise the debt ceiling and continue with business as usual.
Jack, many people believed the lies that Sarah Palin ,the teabags,
and the Republicans spread about Democrats spending their
children and grand children's money.
Now they don't have Christmas money for those same children and
grandchildren because the Republicans took away their unemployment
benefits to use to pay for tax cuts for the top 1% of the country.
No one is serious about fixing the mess we are in. Republicans don't want to quit spending, they just want to quit spending on the working and middle classes. Republicans don't want to raise money to pay off our debts, they just want to line the pockets of their biggest supporters. Democrats don't want to end the money pit that that our involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan has become. They all just want to play politics, as usual.
That "biggest tax increase in history" is just a little misleading. It's a return to the Clinton era tax rates before Bush cut them twice, mostly for the rich, during 2 wars. And in answer to your question, no. Politicians are about positioning themselves for the next election, the country be darned.
Apparently everyone BUT Congress. We elect these turkeys to manage our affairs and what do they do? They manage only their own affairs. If this Congress does not act, then we have to toss these bums out and enact term limits so people cannot be more beholden to getting re-elected than they are to making the tough decisions it takes to run a government. The electorate holds out hope with each Presidential election that they will get change. But a President can only do so much. If we want change in Washington, then we need to change who is in Washington. Enough is enough already!
Eventually, they will run out of ink like Greece and Ireland. The Germans and France are expected to pick up the tab for Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain ..P.I.G.S.
Eviderntly, somone stayed at the bar to long!
None of the above has the resources to bailout the US. Presumably, when the end comes the US will send an apology to all creditors and default.. The Banksters no doubt will get huge bonuses in the Reposession Heard Around the World..
The Gold Standard will return and imaginary money will vanish.
The good news is the crops still grow, the fish still swim and the Mississippi flows South.
If anyone was at all serious about our crisis there would be an overwelming cry to end those two wars that we should have never started. I know we got to get bin laden, yeah that'll happen. As long as the money keeps pouring into these two fiascos then bin laden couldn't be safer if he was in his mothers arms.
Dave from NH.
Put Donald Trump in the Presidency. Let's try a businessman for a change. Cowboys and academics aren't cutting it.
Look at the choices that we voters have to choose from. Two party candidates that get advertisement/campaign contributions so they can launch thirty second blurbs that tell us nothing. Look at the voters lack of concern for seeking facts about the candidates. Thankfully most of those who don't care don't vote. Now if we can just do something about those who are too partisan to seek or to listen to the truth, then we're getting somewhere.
No, Jack, no one in Washington is serious about tackling the nation's financial problems. The President wants to freeze government workers for 2 years? Does not go far enough. Congress should voluntarily take a serious pay cut. I am laughing as I write this, because they control their wages! They do absolutely nothing. And this is on both sides of the aisle. We are headed for a major depression where our only product produced will be the military.
Sadly I do not see anything really happening for the next two years. In order for our budget too get under control we must go after the three sacred cows in our budget with Medicade/Medicare and Social Security being Democrat sacred cows and the Military being the Republican Sacred cow. We MUST cut those three by huge amounts but neither party will do that just yet. Obama and Reid are far too Partisan Left, and the current make up of both partys are too far Left or Right in their makeup too really come too a compromise ATM. The Democrats had their chance two years ago with a supermajority too tackle the deficit but instead went after ....other issues. In Order for their too be any hope the Republicans need a supermajority in 2012 and lets pray they go after the budget and not ...other issues also.
Simple answer NO! No one has the courage to do what's needed to be done, fixing Medicare, Social Security, government spending, and last but not least our nation's ridiculous tax code.
Jack I Honestly Don't Think Anyone Including President Obama Is Serious About Tackling The Nations Deepening Financial Crises! We Have The Republicans All Promising To Block Any Bills Until The Bush Tax Cuts Are Extended, The Deficit Is Out Of Control, Unemployment Is The Highest Its Ever Been, And The Economy Is So Messed Up Its Not Even Funny. I Believe Unemployment Should Be Extended, The George W Bush Tax Cuts Should Not Be Extended And Raise Taxes On The Rich, And I Believe This Goverment Needs To Create Jobs Right Now Otherwise We're Doomed! We're More Concerned About Wikileaks And Fighting Wars Than We Are About Our Country Yeah Right Mr Obama Give Me A Break!
Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)
Yes, but the ones that are serious are not taken seriously.
Yes. A few. But they will be over shadowed by the "old guard"; the establishment. The "turf protectors". Sad, but I wouldn't "bet the farm" that much of anything positive will happen; until it's too late.
Jerry in GA
Jack that would interfere with them doing the biding of the lobbyist that stuff their greasy pockets with money. No, I'm just thankful that I'll be gone when this country becomes a third rate country. The only ones with money will the the members of congress who will continue to stuff their pockets with lobbyist money.
No Jack! None of them are serious about it. They will all wait, including the President, until everything has gone to hell in a basket before doing anything. Things will really be tough by that time.
Typical of our elected government leaders.
They are more concerned about getting re-elected than leading.
It says a lot about our "Elite government leaders" when the man on the street has a better solution than our elected officails. When we go into debt by... no fault of our own or blind stupid, we get it paid down soon as possible. We once called it "keeping our nose to the grind stone". But the "Elite big wigs" keep looking for a way to blame it on someone else and find a way to let the middle class pay for the debt and hopefully spreading it thin enough to include our grandchildren. It's time that those that create, spend and profit pick up the tab. That means raising taxes for those who can afford it. And give middle class a break.
Real "Tea Partiers" would throw the bums out...right and left. Not produce more of the same right wing rhetoric.
Yes. But they don't live or work in DC.
The President will show and prove that he was the serious one in the end Jack. Wait and see. things take time......
No Jack, the members of congress are to busy stuffing their greasy pockets with lobbyist money. I'm just glad I won't be around when this country becomes a third rate country, the only ones with money then will be members of congress who just keep stuffing their pockets with lobbyist money.
Definitely the Democrats only want to spend more. They keep complaining about Republicans not co-operating but I haven't seen them budge. Can't wait until January when fiscally conscious people will be in charge
Crime goes out of control, we reach the end of the road, God comes back and the movie The Road begins to look like a very real nightmare. Our government does not care cause they are too busy funding NASA in finding water on Mars. Take that money you spend on trying to be God and be a good government and take care of the people who put you all on pedestals cause right now civil unrest is not to far away. Don't give us your sorry, we can't feed our children with sorry.
Jack, this is the U.S. government we're talking about. They can't seriously tackle something that they seriously do not understand.
I find it interesting that when the finances and budgets are discussed there seems to be no comment about how much this war in Iraq has drained the economy.....but I'm sure that Haliburton isn't saying much. Maybe we should get George and Dick and Donald, and Haliburton to pay some of it back!
No one is taking it serious. Since congress won't even consider the debt commission's finding, even that undertaking was a waste of money.
No, politicians, and Americans in general, seem to be oblivious to the fact that our country is falling- fast. Everyone better start preparing to fend for themselves, because other countries are becoming sick of our overconfident, selfish, and corrupt nation.
It's time we all belly up to the bar. Everyone has their own interests, but to solve this financial situation will require sacrifice from everyone, including me. I'm willing to freeze my Social Security, and reduce my deduction for my home mortgage. Anyone wan't to join me in a sacrafice?
Why should politicians worry about the common citizen, they are well paid, great retirement and health benefits, whats to be concerned about?
Two words – TERM LIMITS!!
Voted by the people for the people.
Politics as usual Jack, do they (politicians) care about anything other than getting re-elected? I just hope voters, regardless of party, continue to put pressure on the greedy hill toppers to start focusing on issues that matter.
I truly believe that most of our elected representatives would like to do what is right about taxes and deficits, but they are more concerned about protecting their phoney-baloney jobs. Therefore, nothing will happen. The trouble is who can we get in there that will do what is right?
Yes Jack! there are plenty of us who are serious about tackling the financial crisis, the only problem is none of us are in Washington,
You should repeat this message about government leaders every hour. You should also add a section on on their pay and corporate leadership pay to the hourly message. These folks are selfish and greedy. We don't have technical problems we have values problems. We are ready for deflation.
It's really simple.
They should reduce taxes, reduce government spending, reduce the size of the debt/deficit, reduce the size of government, and reduce government entitlment programs.
If they do the above, the debt/deficit will straighten itself out.
It's a football game Jack and "The Nation’s Deepening Financial Crisis" is the name of the offense and "China" is the name of the Defense and China is egar to tackle the US Government.
NO Jack, they are not. THE FED is like a vicious tumor in this country, growing at an alarming rate, with no stop in sight. Obama can't stop the FED. Congress can't stop the FED. The global banking elite are in control, as always. $9 Trillion overnight to the banks!.. on top of the $109 Billion they received the year before. this is by design! make no mistake about it. wake up America. The 2 party system is a farce.
Yes Jack, YOU!. This is a very scary situation we're in and not one person in Washington is as serious about this as they are about getting re-elected. We seem to be on the brink of a great fall!!
In a word, NO. The Republicans are playing politics with our nation's security, economically and militarily. They're so focused on destroying President Obama, that they're ignoring why they were elected in the first place...to get things done. While the congressional millionaires will go home to their families for the Christmas break, 2 million Americans will be losing the roofs over their heads.
Not yet, both sides are trying to call each others bluff. The dems want to push through all they can before Jan when the reps will control the house and then priorities will change. All that will really change is that the dems will become the party of no.
Obviously our Senators and Congressmen arnot serious about cutting the deficit. They don't want the tax break to lapse on those that earn over $250,00 per year. They all fall into that catagory. Government employees are subject to a 2 year pay freeze. Are our Senators and Congressmen going to vote to NOT get their pay raise. I doubt it. They need to set the example not make examples out of the rest of us.
Thats what we get for voting republicans back in office. The lame duck dealings is payback to the U S population , for voting democrats out of office.
Why doesn't anyone interview economists? Extending tax cuts to the wealthy is IRRESPONSIBLE. They have been shown to NOT stimulate or help the economy in anyway!!!!
Haven't the wealthy already gotten (corporate) tax breaks galore??? Why do they need more??? And then, the Congress wants to decrease Social Security and Medicare benefits. They just don't get it. They have destroyed the middle class over the past 30 years. Keep the Republicans in charge, and we will be a 3rd world country in no time. They will take care of immigration. Those of us who are progressive and educated will be fleeing this country!!
NO..NO..No..How can they be serious when unemployment compensation is being held hostage for tax cuts for people who are already employed. But no job and unemployment compensation is going be the American way......
President Obama didn't create the political gridlock that now defines Washington. Like the recession and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, he inherited it from George W. Bush. Of course he's serious about wanting to tackle the financial crisis, but he's blocked at every turn by Republicans who view sabotaging him and anything he tries to accomplish as their primary objective, the welfare of the nation be damned. The logjam will only be broken when poll numbers start indicating a majority clearly siding with one party or the other on the specific issues you mentioned
Not at all. Why can't they use the money they raise to get elected to pay off the national debt instead?
NO! Who needs a "tax cut," if you do not have a job. The tax breaks for the wealthy did not create any jobs. This crisis began in 2007, were the corporations beginning to worry that the cuts "might" expire in 3 years?
Cuts for "small" business? Like Goldman Sachs, and LLC? Wow, now that is one hell of a small business. Goldman paid $14 million in taxes WORLDWIDE in 2008, after paying $6 BILLION in 2007.
Are you serious Jack? No politican is going to vote to cut anything that might take something away from his/her district. Until Congress is willing to tackle the bottomless pit called "military spending: the deficit will never be reduced. It is disgusting that we can't continue to fund unemployment benefits yet have no problem funneling billions to foreign nations and useless wars. The American people should hit the streets and demand that for the fist time in a long time: AMERICANS HAVE TO COME FIRST!!!!
No! The republicans think they got a madate to do their thing, whereas I think it was a rebuke of the democrats. to Balance the buget, and quickly, they should let the tax cuts expire for everyone, and then start cutting spending and tie tax cuts to whatever spending cuts they can attain,,,lol. they should put in a gas tax of .25 to startand also for shipping.
Jack, don't you find it odd that the very day that millions of people who were collecting unemployment for two years...that the day they are cut off...that the new job numbers are up?
All of these people who were collecting unemployment will be accepting jobs that they refused to accept earlier because they had no incentive to accept these jobs.
The job numbers will continue to increase and, no doubt, Obama will take the credit for the unemployment numbers dropping.
Jack, the rich are getting richer, the poor poorer and the big news today was the Christmas display at the White House. If they would consider doing away with all the hoopla at the white house, maybe treating some of the homeless to a hot meal it would really have the meaning of Christmas. Christ was not rich.
Jack: While I think that Obama is a disrespected and a very weak leader, I am not sure if he is serious about tackling the nation’s deepening financial crisis. But it is certain to me that the Republicans are NOT serious when they are taking advantage of Obama's weaknesses and are playing politics with people's lives by holding everything that people and the country need hostage until Obama completely caves in to them and gives them 100% of what they want. The Republicans in my opinion will never be satisifed or be serious until Obama becomes a Rush Limbaugh dittohead and announces it to the country!
Obama is serious about it. Unfortunately our lame duck congress has created a "lame duck" president, rendering it impossible for him to get anything accomplished. The Congress/Senate are more interested in their individual popularity rather than getting anything accomplished....this may spell the demise to the America that we know & love.
There is definite disagreement as to what the financial crisis is. Your concerns seem trivial compared to people that don't have enough to eat, people who don't have medical care, people who can't find jobs, people loosing there houses. meanwhile, other people do nothing but move money around while producing nothing take home hundreds of millions of dollars a year. Your so called financial crisis is nothing but a red herring trying to hide the real financial crisis.
Jim, Craig, CO
Of course there are people who care, but we don't elect them. Simply put, politics is a rather simple game for anyone with a vague inclination towards crowd control. It's easy to understand that people are more likely to vote for someone who condemns something they hate than to vote for someone who promises to do all those financially responsible things the government is expected to do. It's more advantageous to play the game that way and we encourage it as we always have. Democracy is a system in which we, once every four years, forget everything we've learned in that time.
To answer your question Jack, absolutely not. Politicians are great at talking the talk but not walking the walk. Running the USA into the ground has been the plan all along, including the devaluation of the dollar so we'll all be slaves to the government, ultimately with little freedom and little money.
I am an employee od the federal government and frankly I don't believe for a second tht anyone is serious about the debt. They can freeze our wages, but that only saves a small amout (relative to the problem) by targeting a very easy group to blame. I don't know where the story that we average $150,000 per year originated, but I nor anyone I know in the federal service makes anywhere close to that amount. I have to ask, are those people who are causing those averages to be so high, the legislators, aides, apointees, "Washington types" etc, are they going to have they same pay freeze, or will the burden be carried by those of us making $20 per hour or can the powers that be actually put some thought into cutting things that are not truly important like redecorating the White House or their Congressional Offices?
The only thing these folk are interested in is money. For themeselves and the million dollar lobbys. I predict the reublicans will show their true colors. After bailing out their buddies on wall street, they now intend to make the rest of us pay for it.
I'm sure a vast majority of people holding public office in Washington, both Republicans and Democrats are serious about solving the national debt crisis. However because of partisan politics they feel unable to act on it because they would lose the support of the White House or the Majority Leader. While this game of politics continues we will be unable to get past this serious problem that we now face and foreign countries will continue to buy up the debt.
Short answer...Unfortunately, NO! I believe many in America spoke in our recent election that "ushered" many in Congress out. Hopefully, things will change in 2011...but, don't count on it. We want to; cut taxes for the rich, extend benefits for folks out of work for more than 99 weeks, leave social security as it is, fund unpaid pension plans, bail out states that are broke because they over-spent...etc. Obama's Tax Commission has "medicine for all." Hurt is there for all...but, America Wins in the long run. Our new Congress better take note or begin finding a new career by 2012.
Obviously none of our "politicians" seem to give a darn about fixing any of the looming deficit problem. We must begin by extending the tax cuts for the middle class but not extending the tax cuts for those making more than $250,000/year. We are in the midst of 2 or more wars, have a crumbling infrastructure, are facing the demand for more aid to those in our own country regarding health and unemployment issues, and have an educational system that borders on disaster and we have politicians sitting on their hands and a President who seems to have forgotten the people who elected him. There are a lot of angry people out here who want the people who are continually benefitting from our economy to pay more of their fair share. Somehow it must happen.
When I hear McConnell say he cares about the average American, I feel disgust. His, as his fellow republicans, interest is plainly to take care of the rich and he/they don't give a dam about the average American. There can only be one of two outcomes. The democrats give in to the republican perfectionists sob's or the democrats learn... finally learn.. to be just as firm and united as the republicans and stand firm. The so-called blue democrats which yes did show the diversity of the democratic party have pretty much been voted out. So as a country our voting record shows we do not want politicians who are moderate and seek compromise. My recommendation is for democrats to stand equally as firm as the republicans and don't give an inch to the obstructionist party of no. Even if it means shutting the government down. And yes, even if it means the return for all Americans to the taxing level under Clinton prior to Bush's tax cuts that made hundreds for the middle class and millions for the rich at the expense of writing more worthless iou's to the social security tax coffers, draining it to the trillions so the rich can get filthily richer.
No, no one in Washington cares. Jack we're done - toast - finished. Our debt is now 13.7 almost 13.8 trillion about 95% of our GDP. It will be interesting to see what happens in a few months when we hit the 14.3 credit limit. Will they raise it again?
As a 63 year old baby boomer, I remember that the deficit has been an issue since ever since I was able to vote. Does our governmental system always have to wait until impending doom before it acts? If so, our government no longer works anyway near as effectively as it should. Maybe we should restructure it by modifying the body of the Constitution to suit our more modern civilization.
I think you pose a very good question to which I ask can anybody be serious about paying trillions of dollars in debt? We need to rethink our financial strategy period before we speak of paying debt. We need to rethink the directions in which we flow our government spending and start investing money. It seems for decades America has thrown around money like it grows on trees and is now realizing there's no tree. Evolution is key to survival and evolve we must. For example had Proposition 19 passed, its estimated California would have $1.5 billion in taxes. Maybe thinks like that will cut back some of those 40,000 people in prison who now have to be released anyway. We look at the chaos in Pakistan and Korea like we have to fix those problems and we can't even get Democrats and Republicans here to work together. Let us evolve and work to a better tomorrow.
Keep pushing for financial reform. Make the National Dept of 13 trillion dollars unerstandable to more citizens. Doing the math this comes out to more than $43,000 for every citizen of our country. How much is that for every household? How much is it for every tax paying resident of the USA? Do the math! Put it into perspective. It is over $2,000 for every human being on EARTH ! KEEP PUSHING don
I have a suggestion that should help resolve our financial problems.
The President started it by freezing the wages of all government workers.
The real problem could be addressed as follows; Cut the wages of all House, Senate, and President in half. This by it self could save billions. If and when the problems are fixed then we could raise their income accordingly! After all these are the people who created these issues! I wonder just how long it would take them? Any guesses?
How about it folks?
The real question is "who is going to pay ". If this is a choice between the middle class and the affluent, guess who's going to bear most of the pain. While wealthy individuals and corporations have made fortunes plying their trades in this country none of them want to give back anything. Since most of the assets of the country reside in the hands of a very few at the top, we should follow the lead of the bank robber ,who, when asked why he robbed banks, replied "Because thats where the money is".
Politicians, and Americans in general, seem to be oblivious to the fact that our country is falling- fast. Everyone better start preparing to fend for themselves, because other countries are becoming sick of our overconfident, selfish, and corrupt nation.
No it is a big joke. How much fuel is used everytime they start Air Force One? I cannot remember any wife oth president taking a vacation. Why don't they stop wiyh their luxuries. Let them pay for their health insurance. Why can't the wife wear a dress from Penny"s if people worry about her clothes they need to get a life. What do they get when the leave office and what do their wives get? Secret Service, let the military protect the president. Big dinners what about a good ole' weiner roast. I think they need to start thinking about the people that gave them their position. Cut unemployment benefits to unemployed and raise gas taxes, which idiot thought that one up. Last bring the jobs back from overseas and put people to work so the tax dollars will start coming in.
Dear Jack, The American people must vote out of office every elected official until they get it right. I hope that I can still watch you on CNN in the future and hope we still are called America the greatest nation on earth. Please don't give up.
NO, only a small few are serious about the debt. The govt. runs by its own rules and the only thing they take serious is their power. We will be going down the tubes before anyone will do anything. Wouldn't you like to spend all the money you like and someone else pay the bill.
It's the professional politician that's the issue. We need really business people to handle this with the President. They had the new Republicans drink the cool-aid. They better not become useless like the people in their now (meaning Democrats).
President Obama has made a start by asking Congress to freeze federal employees' pay for two years. Congress has also taken a step in the right direction by refusing to extend unemployment benefits. However, I am tired of hearing the excuse for making the Bush tax cuts permanent or even extending them. That is, the small business man can not grow his/her business, hire new employees, help grow the economy, nor reduce unemployment. What a lame excuse. During the years that tax break has been in effect, unemployment has set records each month, the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer.
In the meantime, a select few should not have to pay the price. Spread the manure nationwide and let us hope the masses will not have to resort to eating dog and cat food.
Hi Jack, If the United States shuts down, it will be the work of our government. The only way to help fix our increasing debt is for the high end government workers take a big cut in their pay. I'm talking from the President on down to the Congress, Senate & all the other services provided by the American people, since we are the tax payers. If they don't do something soon, there will be no people to pay their wages because everyone will be unemployed. Where will their high pay be then. As far as I'm concerned, they are all crooks & are part of the Mafia. Get rid of them all before there is a revolt. I'm sure our forefathers would be rolling over in their graves.
I don't see encouraging news with todays "we're blocking everything until you do it our way" pact by the 42 Republicans. Clearly the voters message of bi-partisianship and the message that Republicans received from the election are two entirely different things. Parties first, America last.
Yes, David Stockman as seen on your own network CNN on Sunday on the Fareed Z show. It was an incredible interview, the best I had seen in years, .. a man being totally honest about things for the entire length of a long interview, amazing. He lambasted both Democrats and Republicans for being Santa Claus parties, both telling us whatever we wanted to hear, not the truth. As he said, we will never get out of this mess with slogans or without both tax increases and spending cuts. WE can pay now or pay later in one form or another. He also said so astutely, if you hear a politician saying anything other than, "we will have to look at revenue increases as well as spending cuts, that discretionary spending, military, social security and medicare are all on the table, then they are not serious about tackling this problem.
Hang on Jack – I guess they still didn't get the message from the last election. Republicans think because they won the house, now they can just hold out until January. I think we all need to hold our noses while we sink into the muk.
Obviously the Republicans are not serious because they want to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy as well the middle-class just so they can line their pockets with more–and that would add 700 billion dollars to the defecit which would be bad for everybody–even ultimately, for them. But you know, selfishness is not only bad for those on the receiving end but also for the those who are selfish. Greed and selfishness are at the height of ignorance.
Certainly no interest in Washington. The party of NO or "My way or the highway" has decided they will do it their way. Keep those millionaires from paying more taxes. Cut spending–cut taxes–that's a net zero in my checkbook. How about a 50% tax on bonuses for the Goldman Sachs types who go us into this mess. They created the Ponzi schemes that eventually sank us, getting huge bonuses. Then when they saw the impending train wreck, cashed in, only to get more bonuses. We could levy hefty taxes in lieu of the jail time they really should get.
No, and just wait until the estimated 2 MILLION more people lose their unemployment benefits, some getting that great news on Christmas Day! Things are going to get worse!
Of course no one is serious about trying to fix our financial problems. But maybe, if all those unemployed would just use whatever means they have left to descend on D.C. on Christmas Day, and refuse to go home until something is done, Congress would get the message!
Of course, THEY (Congress and their cronies) have money and so don't really care about the rest of us. And even if the dollar was devalued the rich would still have more than everyone else, so they don't care.
It will only be when the American People rise up en masse that changes will come.
Immediately bring Dave Stockman to Washington and give him the necessary authority to stop this horrific slide.
If they were serious about the deficeit, they would vote to ban earmarks and repeal the TRILLION dollar health care disaster. Democrats only know how to spend.
Cut spending or raise taxes. Period. It seems simple, but the ones we elected into office to make decisions seem unwilling or incapable to do just that. Make a decision!
Jack, You are obviously more well informed than I am. But from my vantage point, I'd have to say that maybe Rod Paul is....maybe a few Real libertarians are....
Certainly there are fakers to seriousness–those who kiss both sides of the Republican coin–ie on one side of the coin are the rich fat cat multi-national corporations and super-rich and on the other side are the Libertarians who really are so far out on the philosophical limb that its easy to give them lip service on some of their talking points and then just leave them in the dust.
But it seems to me, very few have any clue as to how to tackle the problem so its hard to be serious about doing it....... its hard to be serious when you don't have a clue.....
Elizabeth in Danville, PA
There is no gurantee that this country won't go broke - only volumes of history that suggest it probably will.
Republicans use the lack of jobs in the economy as a platform to criticize Obama and his health care bill. Yet the first items on their agenda are 1) repeal health care, 2) extend Bush tax cuts, 3) stop unemployment extension.
Where is the plan to decrease unemployment? I'm beside myself. Nothing is being proposed to stimulate job growth, moreover the wealthy will keep getting tax cuts (and Reps. still complaining Dems. need to fix defecit) and 2million Americans depending on Unemployment will have no source of income. So the unemployed should go out and get those jobs nobody had created yet?
The most concerning to me is that the Republicans today came out stomping their feet and crossing their arms "we won't do anything till you agree to what we want." Okay you little babies.
Not that it's important, but I am not a Republican. What I am, however, is dissapointed and frustrated by political agendas which are only deepening the degeneration of our economy.
Things are not going to get better any time soon.
The fundamental issue isn't financial, but cultural. The "me" generation has passed on its teachings and we're continuing down that road to nowhere. Government shouldn't be paying for anything other than defense (not offense), infrastructure and education. If a country has granted me the ability to amass great wealth, then I would feel a great obligation to give back in gratitude for the life I've been given. There is no sense of gratefulness coming from any economic group; rich, middle class or poor. We all think we're entitled to what we have and don't yet have. How does is athlete entitled to a $20 million salary or how is a single mother entitled to a welfare check. We need to work for what we have. Pastor Rick Warren set a good example when we paid-back his past church salary and donates a good portion of all his book revenues. If we were all truly grateful for being in such a blessed country, maybe we'd feel obligated to pay our fair share for its maintenance. Politicians would do what is best for their country and not for those who paid for campaign. Money won't solve our financial crisis, only a change in mind-set will.
Yes, anyone who wants to be unpopular with all the special interest groups, big oil, big auto makers and insurance companies could get this done. But who the hell wants that job?
The situation will not improve until America's elected lawmakers begin to care more about the country then their narrow self interests. But you cannot blame them when they constantly worry about getting reelected -the moment they are elected. Unfortunately most of the American public is used to quick fixes. This deficit problem cannot be fixed quickly so really there is nothing we can do except print more money. Eventually the rest of the world would wise up and we will end up like other failed nations. Sad but true.
To answer your question Jack....no!...they are only interested in the next election...they have no shame...we are fighting two wars where nobody knows what we are doing there other than to save face...we are killing more of our young men and women so that the thousands that have already died will not have died in vain and getting ready to stick our nose in another in Korea...spend all that money here in america and get our financial house in order.
Jack we the people are paying for the 8 years of Bush and the same Republician are trying the starve the people that have nothing. Their pay raises will not be frozen and they will continue with their free health care. what did they do for the Bush 8 years borrow from China and other countries to raise 2 wars. Since we are all in this together they should suffer too. As far as unemployment for the people take it from the republican checks. They horriable people and should have never been voted in again. Sometime we bite off our nose spite our face. We are in the same boat all the republican and democrate voters To the republican votes fair well in your choice.
John McCain. John McCain didn't want to cut taxes without cutting spending, and he was willing to reach across the aisle to work out a compromise; it is to bad that he was beaten in the 2010 primary by John McCain.
The voters gave Obama and the Democrats a "shellacking" in the last election because of Obama's Socialist agenda including Obamacare, Cap and Trade, and the failed stimulus.
Unfortunately, Obama and the Democrats believe they got the "shellacking" because they weren't good at communicating how they stuck it to us with Obamacare and the rest of Obama's Socialist agenda.
Obama and the Democrats need to stop what their doing and listen to the voters and allow the Republicans to do what is needed to fixed our economy.
If not, Obama and the Democrats will get an even bigger "shellacking" from the voters in the 2012 election.
Surprise. By letting the rates expire, there will be a scramble to hide all of that money that was hidden in the fake tax breaks of the uber rich. Why won't anyone talk about a flat tax? No, it's much better to take $200 a month from granny than a few measly thousand from a CEO. How pathetic is that. Oh yeah I forgot, granny had every opportunity to be a CEO.
The President is waiting on the deficit commission before giving his opinion on the size of government. The bigger problem for President Obama is The Republicans blocking anything and everything. They both agree on the taxes for the middle class, so that should go through. Yea – right!!!!!!
Until politicians are willing to talk about the "sacred cow" that is military spending then they are only just posturing and nothing more. China spends about 100 billion a year on military spending compared to about 650 billion in the U.S. and they have four times our population. That means that we spend about 25 times the amount per-capita as China. That's insane. I don't see anyone willing to challenge China with their paltry 100 billion dollar a year military budget. Why is our spending so absurdly bloated?
The debt commision is playing politics as usual and should be ashamed of themselves, they are not serving the interests of the American people. They're trying to mess with Social Security when they know full well that Social Security isn't even connected to the debt and deficit and won't balance the budget.
War mongering Republicans and spineless Dems aren't willing to even discuss serious cuts to the Pentagon (and CIA and NSA etc., etc.) so I think we're screwed.
I know the Senate doesn’t care, but I’m surprise to see the new House republicans seem to not care as well. It is obvious they are not trying to work towards a solution. They have made it clear that their only agenda is to hold our country hostage until they can start to make changes under their terms only in January 2011. Both sides need to work together or get out and I don’t believe the Senate and House can.
I wish I knew how to make a web-site, that’s sole purpose, is to allow Americans to sign a petition to recall the entire Senate and House of Representatives.
Everyone one is on the band wagon to cut spending and bring the deficit down. What amazes me about all of it now is the stance that the Republicans are taking now. They want to think about the American public instead of the special interest groups. Where was this group in the last ten years. We could have used their vote when Bush protected drug companies saying the Medicare Part D could not negotiate prices. That's just one example of special interest groups affecting legislation while the Republicans were at the wheel. Yes, they drove us in the ditch.
If anyone cared about this nations finical crisis seriously they would have done something a long time ago. By the looks of it America will not be able to keep itself afloat. With a crumbling infrastructure two failed wars and a debt that will never be fixed, the good old USA might not be around in 100 years.
You have a lot of people on here blaming the tax cut for the rich and believe that is the solution to the problem, perhaps you could be of great service if you educated them that the tax break for the rich accounts for 700 billion dollars, surely we could use it; but the three trillion dollars lost for the middle class tax cut would truly make a dent in the deficit, problem is if we let all the tax cuts expire without cutting spending we would simply spend that money and be in the same position next year and every year thereafter.
When you receive govemnet assistance it is tough to blame the party that wants to expand them.
And Mitch McConnel should be ashamed of himself. He is acting like a spoiled brat that isn't getting his way. You are not governing if you are going to hold up everything until you get what is on your agenda without even attempting to compromise. He has no business being in any position of power in this country. Many of them don't.
I don't believe some are serious about reducing the deficit if they think the only way to do it is through cuts. Our deepening financial crisis didn't just happen over the past 2 years. Yet some don't seem to appreciate the radical and necessary efforts taken by the current administration to keep us from falling completely off a cliff. Hasn't anyone ever heard of the "LILO" philosophy. Probably not because I made it up. It means less in – less out! Just as we cannot afford continued reckless spending, we can't afford to extend tax cuts. And – I don't buy the argument that if we continue tax cuts for the rich, they'll create jobs! If that's the case, where's the millions of jobs that disappeared while they were getting their tax cuts and why in the heck do they continue to practice doing more with less!!
A good analogy was brought to my attention today. You go to the Emergency Room and everyone is bleeding out of a wound on their arm. Instead of fixing the wounds, they just take the blood from one patient with more blood and giving it to another patient with less blood. Eventually all the patients will bleed out while the 'doctors' drink the blood pouring down the banister, mind u the patients all owe blood now due to loan interest. Eventually all the patients will die, the 'doctors' will have all the blood. In reality the blood is the currency, the 'doctors' are the fed and world bankers/elite... Our countries are the patients. Stop letting the world get robbed blind! WE the PEOPLE have the power to stop this. This is not an American issue, it is a worldwide downfall. Welcome to the NEW WORLD ORDER. One central bank and government that own the world. If you haven't given them the keys to your house and liberties yet, you will... They will make you. They will own us... Until we wake up and say, Give me liberty, or give me death! And the second option is the one they will give you. See u at the FEMA camps after the short revolt!
IF they wwere serious about avoiding bankruptcy than they would suppor he "PATRIOT TAX" which would be a federal sales tax on all imported manufactured gods but no sales tax on raw material imp[orts such as oil. it would start at 2.5% and increase every six months until reaching 50&. Half the revenue would go to paying off the national debt and the other half to low interest loans and subsidies to in America manufacturers and employers.
Nope. But they're sure serious about destroying a presidency just because they don't like the guy's racial makeup that resides at the White House.
They'd rather destroy a person and further polarize this country rather than fix the mess that they helped create by starting wars that weren't paid for or not getting rid of the earmarks that we don't need.
Federally mandated term limits would fix this apathy about the financial health of this country quickly.
They will do nothing because this is class war. This is everything Marx spoke about. If you people want to be slaves then go ahead. I. on the other hand, am done.
Because they are too busy backing people who shouldn't be here in the first place! And at a time when we are broke and deep in debt, they continue to give away billions in foreign aid! What's happening right here to our veterans returning home and other unemployed is despicable! They should be helping our unemployed get the jobs that illegals have instead of advocating amnesty, and we are already forced to pay their health care(as Obama admitted), and to make that permanent shows their blatant betrayal to our unemployed, businesses that verifies their employees which helps employ legal workers which is what it takes to get our economy back on track, leading to fiscal success!!
Jack, the real practical solution is to impliment my plan which I call the "PATRIOT TAX" this would be a federal sales tax on all imported manufactured good but no extra sales tax on raw material llike oil. It would staret at 2.5% and increas by 2.5 % every six months until reaching 50%. The revenue would go half to paying off the national debt and half to low interest loans and subsidies to those who help reverse the economic treason of out sourcing to Chino etc . Lets pay of the debt and bring Americam jobs back to America.
The republicans are playing "chicken" with the middle class and the unemployed with their "my way or the highway" nonsense. By next year 2 million people will not have any income, because they are trying to hold unemployment benefits hostage and they want us to believe that tax cuts to the upper class will trickle down. I didn't believe it when Bush passed this bill, and I don't believe it now. If anything gets done it will be a bloody miracle. Obama need to use his executive powers, and circumvent these cowards.
yes, as long as it doesn't hurt the things I want.
This goverment needs to get rid of the federal reserve we do not need to pay interest to a private company we can make our own money interest free. amend our constituation to allow only congress to issue legal currency remember the green back the bankers are behind all our trouble it is impossible to get out of debt with the system we have, now get some dame back bone!
How can anyone in office get serious about the financial crisis when that would mean cutting the entitlement programs that benefit the people we all knew when we were in high school. They were too cool to study, too cool to go to class or say no to alcohol or drugs. Those are the same people that they convince to vote for them. Until we hold people accountable for their choices both in their past and present (spending what they do not have) we will be in debt. And of course we will expect the people who worked hard, studied and went to class to pay for it with higher taxes or giving up the social security they funded!!!
Jack, I do not believe there is. Why? Simply because everything is being done for the wealthy and upper class. Nothing is being done for the middle and lower classes. Workers or non-workers. Money is given to wealthy corporations while being taken away from the working class, retirees, and the poor. Congress receives automatic pay raises while cutting SS benefits, health care and education. We bailed out the banking industry even though they cheated their members. We bailed out the auto industry when the driving public was endangered and taken advantage of. We started and continue to engage in wasteful wars that are not winnable and without any redeeming purpose. But the biggest most evident and obvious of all is the FACT that employment is blatantly ignored by the White House, Congress and Corporate America. The economy will never and cannot ever recover, no matter how many bailouts, borrowing from other countries or printing more money for the wealthy, if they continue to put these useless acts ahead of job creation. Without job creation times will only get worse until all is lost.
Let's suffer with the growing deficit while China rakes it all in. Don't worry America, we seem to have it in a way where we have China depleting itself to oblivion! Soon and at the end, we will rise as the richest and the Strongest Nation of All. Hang in there America!
From Reagan to Cheney, Republicans have claimed the "Deficits don't matter," as they ran up huge debts and funneled money to the wealthy. Now they want us to borrow 700 billion more to funnel to the wealthy while at the same time claiming that they can't extend unemployment benefits unless they are paid for. Meanwhile the CBO has ranked eleven items on which best creates jobs and stimulates the economy: Best – extending unemployment benefits, Worst – tax cuts for the wealthy.
The entire process is flawed. With the commission making only a single proposal, the whole endeavor is doomed to being thrown out. Our Congress needs to debate all alternatives. It isn't the choice of a single person – or just a few commitssion members to dictate the future of our country's fiscal health. . It isn't healthy for the Republican party to represent the richest Americans, either. As it stands now, we have no other alternative but to turn this country into a fascist plutocracy.
No, the only thing they are serious about is tackling the quarterback just like a football player and the financial crisis is just another annoying obstacle in the way, so they push it to the side.
I don't know if the financial crisis is beyond repair, but what country or countries in the world do not have one, and why? Is there anyone we can look to as a model?
Jack, the republican senators gave you a answer this morning by blocking all bills until they get a bill protecting their tax breaks on their millions and their buddies and backer and some democrats who are millionaires who think about their selves. the unemployed can starve because their benefits ran out becuse we need to pay for it first but tax breaks but who pays for the tax breaks.
No, no one is really serious about tackling the debt, until we can take reelection out of the equation (one term and you're done) nothing concrete will materialize.
To help, why not do away with the automatic pay raises Congress receives each year. Why not only provide health coverage while they are in office. Current policy to health coverage for life even if they only serve one year. How about cutting their postal privileges in half, cut out their lunch service, cut back on their junkets, and I am sure there are many other benefits that could be trimmed that we do not know about. In short, make them live like the average American and maybe some of the nonsense will slow up.