March 8th, 2011
05:29 PM ET

Should Congress vote again to raise nation's debt ceiling?


The National Debt Clock in New York City. (PHOTO CREDIT: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

As Congress continues to all but ignore the debt crisis in this country, the threat of a government shutdown is now less than two weeks away. Lawmakers are looking to make spending cuts for this fiscal year's budget both Republicans and Democrats can agree on.

It won't happen.

With a $14 trillion debt and a projected deficit of $1.6 trillion for this year alone, Congress is arguing over whether to cut $10 billion or $60 billion from the budget. They are completely divorced from reality in Washington.

Here's the reality:

Sometime between April 15 and May 31, our national debt is going to exceed the debt ceiling – the U.S. borrowing limit – which now stands at $14.29 trillion.

The debt ceiling has been raised 40 times in the last 30 years. Under President George W. Bush, Congress approved measures to increase the debt limit seven times.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke both want the debt limit raised. If it's not raised, they say the United States could default on loans and other financial obligations, which could lead to an economic meltdown.

President Obama and Democratic leaders support raising the debt ceiling. Of course. But Republicans say they'll vote down any measure to increase the debt limit unless some sort of cap on federal spending is included.

Here’s my question to you: Should Congress vote again to raise the nation's debt ceiling?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 6pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

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

Filed under: Congress • Congressional Spending • National debt
soundoff (91 Responses)
  1. Jayne

    We have no other choice. If the United States cannot meet its obligations and our credit rating is lowered, we'll be looking back at the Great Depression as the good old days.

    March 8, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
  2. Gerry

    We need to get back what hasn't been disbursed. There is no oversight on the bailout funds. Before another dime goes out we need to know what happened to the first increments of the bailout funds. Washington needs a mental enema. The newly elected rookies seem to have avoided being corrupted so far. You have a whole administration that has never held a job in the private sector telling us how to stimulate and save the economy.


    March 8, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
  3. Conor in Chicago

    No Jack, let's not. Let's let the dollar crash and the American Republic descend into chaos. That's the better call.

    March 8, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
  4. Jane (Minnesota)

    Yes they should, but should also agree to pass a bi-partisan budget bill this time to actually determine a strategy going forward – something they haven't done for some time. Congress must have forgotten the planning part and God forbid they actually try to do some long term planning like business and individuals need to do.

    I have never seen such a large group of big children who can't work together. They've rather gather up all their toys and go home.

    March 8, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
  5. Bradley, Portland, OR

    There's no choice but to raise the debt ceiling, unless you want to default on all our debts to China.

    Then again, maybe "strategic default" is the way to go... start over with a blank slate.

    March 8, 2011 at 1:49 pm |

    NO, NO , AND NO , If they don't stop our dollar will be useless. Why is Obama, and Reid trying to destroy America?

    March 8, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
  7. Patricia in Korea

    Are we ready to rejoin the third world? If so, vote against the debt ceiling. The effect would be the same.

    March 8, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
  8. Amber - Austin, TX

    Not to raise the debt ceiling, but they certainly should be voting to cut their own pay and benefits! The rest of us have endured that, why doesn't Congress?

    March 8, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
  9. Jenna

    Should Congress vote again to raise the nation's debt ceiling?

    What other choice do they have? They had no problem with raising it as they spent our tax dollars like druken sailors while giving their friends a free ride. Now they must raise it to continue to pay for their foolishness.

    Refusing to do so is another example of them being uninformed.

    Roseville CA

    March 8, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
  10. John from Alabama

    Jack: This should have been done on March 4th, but they decided to play politics rather than doing the right thing an raise the debt ceiling.
    Congress wants people on social security, veterans on disability, and retired military to sweat blood until the 18th of March. Congress does not care about the good faith and credit of the United States of America. Congress needs to get off their brains an definitely vote to raise the debt ceiling.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
  11. Rick McDaniel


    It is time to turn our situation around, and like a family budget.....you will NEVER get out of debt, if you keep growing the debt.

    No matter how hard it is, no matter how tough the sacrifices, we HAVE to get out of debt, both as a nation, AND as family units.

    Both Washington, and the Smith household, must stop creating debt, and must do without, until they can afford to PAY cash up front, for the things they want. There really is, no other way, to solve the problem.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
  12. Pete in Georgia

    To vote on this issue has no real meaning any more. It's actually an insult to the average American; our elected officials pretending they actually care what the national debt really is.

    Please.............................spare us the theatrics.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
  13. Carl


    For these worthless elects, and I mean both parties, this is a no brainer. They raise the debt ceiling and print new money 24 hours a day, we are doomed.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
  14. Ed from California

    As long as John McCain thinks that the iPad and Apple phones are Made in America....then yes, they should! Because we're going to need more unemployment money.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
  15. Ken from Pinon Hills, California

    Ask Wall Street, it is up to them.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
  16. bonnie from nj

    I have just officially notified my credit cards that since I have spent so much more than I actually have, that I have raised my debt ceiling and am now no longer in danger of shutting down (until next week.)

    March 8, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
  17. Joe R - Houston, TX

    My preference would be to furlough IRS, BATF, CIA, HUD and FCC employees, but since Ben Bernanke says the current level of expenditures has created an unsustainable debt, then sure – he hasn't been right about anything else – more debt is just what we need.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
  18. Chad N., Fresno California

    Aren't we supposed to be working out ways to reduce our nations debt rather than voting on increasing its limits? Just a thought.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
  19. Kevin of SD CA


    Enough is enough!

    When my credit cards are maxed out the bank doesn’t just give me more credit so I can go buy more stuff!

    If this government wasn’t rewarding a bunch of failures on all levels then it might be a different story!

    March 8, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
  20. jim in Alabama

    Unfortunately Jack, yes they should. The economic ramifications of not doing so would be catastrophic. I'm all for cuts but I'm not in favor of the emphasis that the Republicans have placed on social programs rather than concentrate on the really wasteful programs such as the bloated military, foriegn aid, subsidies, and tax breaks for the wealthy. Those breaks created no new jobs under Bush so why should we continue them? Answer, the rich run the country now.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  21. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    No, we just need to do the simple things to cut spending. Stop sending any money to other countries, end the two wars and go back to the Clinton era tax levels which would allow us to pay down the debt. We could start tomorrow if they had any guts.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
  22. Bud Rupert

    I don't have a clue. You get a bunch of politicians (most of whom don't even balance there own check books) and we expect them to make decsions on an economy as massive as the United Sates. Please!
    The scary thing to me is Jack that economists don't even agree on what to do. You would think that somewhere there would be a right and wrong way to go about this. But I have never heard of or seen that actually happen.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  23. Russ in PA

    No. It is absolute nonsense to think that raising the debt ceiling, and continuing the same spending habits, will result in a better outcome than has so far been achieved. Economists – and I use that term with disdain – are morally bankrupt to recommend that spending, printing, and "investing" will solve our debt and growth problems. Guess they never learned simple math in our public school system...

    March 8, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
  24. Kevin of SD CA

    You get what you reward!

    When are all you Stanford Grads Going to understand this!

    Raising the national Debt Limit is just asking for more of the same irresponsible spending and regulation! Enough!

    March 8, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
  25. Loren, Chicago

    Nice if it didn't. but Congress's inability to vote for fiscal reform means our children will have to pay up the record amount of debt being racked up by this administration.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
  26. Steve, Clifton, VA

    Of course they should and will....Corporate America will demand it notwithstanding China.

    March 8, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
  27. Tom Bulger, Canandaigua

    That is a question that should have been asked when Republicans were throwing trillions at Iraq, oil, and pharmaceutical companies. At this point there is no other option.

    March 8, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
  28. Patrick Malinowski

    Indeed the United States Congress has no choice but to raise the 'debt ceiling,' what other viable option is there at the present time? I don't see jobs coming back to the states in record number, more jobs created here, means more plants and office being occupied, meaning taxes paying down the debt, but, not seeing it....serious though, President Obama made the worst mistake in his term so far by extending the lame duck Bush tax cuts...PERIOD...

    March 8, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
  29. crazyal

    why can't we put the people we voted in office for spending money that is not there's .if we did this we would by in jail.

    March 8, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
  30. Hubert Bertrand

    Jack; no one knows the truth, They lie so much you don't know what is right or wrong in CONGRESS. If they can get a piece of the pie, Then they will vote together,.They DON'T care about AMERICA

    March 8, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
  31. bob z fr ,pa.

    no they sould be cutting spending . vote all the incumbants out

    March 8, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
  32. Bob Kobs

    YES. I am surprised that this matter is even up for debate. Repugs in Congress need to act responsibly and vote to raise the limit. Otherwise they will mess and ruin this country beyond repair. They need to do their job or return to the backwoods whence they came.

    March 8, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
  33. Rich McKinney, Texas

    Why bother. They will end up spending ten times what they budget anyway. What they might want to do instead of wasting time on a vote is to take a Rosetta Stone course in Mandarin because if they raise the debt ceiling any more they will be speaking it in the next congress.

    March 8, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
  34. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: No–I think everyone is missing the point here-When you run up this kind of deficit, we always talk about increasing the debt ceiling--but one thing we [all] have to remember is that we still have to pay interest on all of that debt. This nation is prosperous on the whole, but how much prosperity is there in a hole?

    March 8, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
  35. Dennis north Carolina

    yes and then lay off congress to pay off the debt.

    March 8, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  36. David, from Plant City Florida

    Jack thats not a question
    We HAVE to raise the nations debt Ceiling there is no question, there is no option. BUT if we do that we need to have a REAL commitment to reducing the deficit and start paying back the debt. When I say real commitment I mean cutting into the defense spending and cleaning out the waste there. I mean optimizing and cleaning out the waste in the entitlement programs.

    And MOST of all I mean raising taxes, on the rich, and on others. If we want to SERIOUSLY address the problem all options need to be on the table, including tax increases.

    March 8, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  37. Joe CE

    The budget process is the bigest waste of time the Conress inulges Whenand in an institution which has perfected wasting time, that is saying something. It is rediculous that we allow any chance that politics can shut the govrnment down. We need to reform the process to provide that if Congress dose mot adopt budet by March 1, then the funding otinues at 90% of he previous year. If the actual appropriations acs are different then the budget changes (as is presently the case).

    March 8, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
  38. Leslie

    No. The current congress and administration are not being honest with the American citizen. They have to raise taxes and cut spending at the same time to get us out of this mess. It has to happen sooner or later so if not now when?

    March 8, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
  39. Cheryl in Bluffton, SC

    Yes. Clearly if they don't, the consequences will be borne by the poor and the middle class. Welcome to the Mad Tea Party, America.

    March 8, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
  40. Alex in Bremerton, WA

    We might as well, Jack. The congress did so a number of times during the Bush years without a problem when VP Cheney famously said, "Deficits don't matter." So why are the conservatives suddenly screaming about the immorality of deficits now when it didn't seem to bother them for eight years?

    March 8, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
  41. andyz Lynn, MA

    Congress needs to forget about increasing the debt and start worrying how to pay the debt. As unpopular as it is; a tax increase is in order. We are already the greatest debtor nation in the history of civilization. A balanced budget, the end of deficit spending, no more contributions from non-voting entities (corporations), among many other changes and we just might save this country.

    March 8, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
  42. Ed from Harrisburg

    Raising the national debt ceiling is the worst thing our elected representatives could do. It's a cop out for lacking the courage and discipline to make the necessary cuts in spending that characterize our propensity for "acquisition disorder," confusing wants with needs and thinking we are entitled to simply print more money to solve the problem. America is wise to these problems and we need to show some discipline and the spirit of sacrifice to wrestle our spending demons to the grown rather than kick the can down the road to our children and their children to pay a debt that we incurred. If everyone sacrificed a bit and some a bit more, we could solve this problem, but if we just spend money like there's no repayment obligation, we shall be placing ourselves in great jeopardy. We cannot spend more than we make. It's impossible and it should be a crime to enable our elected officials to do so. Please note, I am not a Tea Partier or even a Republican. I am a liberal Democrat who knows he will have severe consequences if he does not balance his own budget.

    March 8, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
  43. Wilhelm von Nord Bach

    WHAT is the ALTERNATIVE, Jack?

    IF the United States was to DEFAULT on our government bonds it could cause yet another financial market panic.

    THEN we could have a re-run of TARP complete with John Boehner crying on the floor of the House that "we have to vote YES" (on TARP funding) like he did on November 3rd, 2010.

    March 8, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
  44. Remo, from beautiful downtown Pflugerville Texas

    NO! They need to look at military spending, Medicade, Medicare Social Security, and anything else there is to cut or streamline.
    Raising the debt ceiling is not an option. Well it is if I can print my own money and pay my taxes with it. Wouldn't it be the same thing?

    March 8, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  45. Paul, Parry Sound, Ontario

    With the U. S. fighting two wars on borrowed money and considering a third action in Libya, is there a choice?

    March 8, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  46. Frank in Valparaiso

    We need to raise the debt ceiling.

    IF you really cared about the debt, tax the rich at 70%, that includes all the media Jack, you make more than people think. Rein in Wall Street, stop all the derivatives trading. Banks need to be reined in, more regulation on the financial sector. Never going to happen, we're going to hell.

    March 8, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  47. Alice from Virginia

    No, the debt ceiling should not be raised. We need to try to solve the problem and reevaluate funding allocations. What is necessary to fund and what is not necessary. We need the indiviadual who got us out of this situation, Bill Clinton. Obama needs to talk to Clinton. Once we get out of this situation, we should not vote another Republican into Office, especially a Bush.

    March 8, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  48. Sylvia from San Diego

    No....Let's vote to stop spending beyond our means.... Gee, I wonder why that thought seems to be so difficult to comprehend??

    March 8, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  49. Jack

    Hell No
    time to put our foot down and stop spending
    money we don't have.

    March 8, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  50. roc from selkirk

    Maybe congress would act more quickly if we demanded that they use their salaries to pay off the debt. They seem to be immune to Obama's declaration upon his election that we will ALL have to feel the pain of recovery, yet I don't see congress cutting it's salary by 20% to match the middle class loss and cutting their staff by the "fictional" 10% unemployment number. No to increasing the debt ceiling until congress acts responsibly.

    March 8, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  51. Dave, Orlando, FL

    I was thinking of doing the same thing myself. My income can barely keep up with my debt service. I figure that if I take on even more debt than I have now I’ll be able to live better than I do now. If it works for the government, why shouldn’t it work for me? Does that answer your question?

    OK. Try this: Maybe we should bring it to a head and default. It’s going to happen eventually. We may as well share the pain with our grandchildren who will suffer the full brunt of the looming disaster with which we are crushing them.

    March 8, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
  52. David in Raleigh, NC

    They should not raise the debt ceiling.

    They should cut all non-essential programs until they get the budget below tax revenue.

    March 8, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  53. pat in michigan

    sure why not. It has become as irrelivent as our politicians.
    There is one thing and one thing only that will stop the bleeding.STOP THE DAMN WAR AND BRING OUR CHILDREN HOME.PERIOD!!!!!

    March 8, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  54. John .................................... Marlton, NJ

    NO, absolutely not. The $14.29Bln doesn't include unreserved federal pensions, social security, medicare, or state messes and the 'total problem is likely double or triple of the $14.29 number.

    As parents we do everything to protect our children. Any lawmaker voting to increase the ceiling is nothing more than a financial pedphile

    March 8, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  55. Annie, Atlanta

    Right after they vote to rescind those extra bonus tax cuts for billionaires, and start collecting from corporations and those who shelter earnings in off-shore accounts (in my dreams, that is).

    March 8, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  56. Tom San Antonio

    unfortunately I don't see how they can't. Congress keeps talking about chopping things and we keep hearing about Entitlements being the major problem but who has more entitlements than congress. I say term limits for congress and put them on Social Security and have them take care of their own insurance and see how quick the problems are fixed. Then maybe they would feel our pain as they so often like to say.

    March 8, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  57. Kim Smith

    I'm just glad that I live in a country where we deem it more fiscally responsible to fund illegal wars, subsidize fradulent banking institutions, promote predatory insurance schemes, and consider bankruptcy the corporate ideal. What a fabulous role model we have in Federal Government. If you look real close you'll probably see congressional pay raises buried deep in the legislation that will push the national debt higher.

    March 8, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  58. Ryan

    No. We should all suffer for the way we vote and who we have put into office and since we can not control spending by telling these leaders of ours to stop spending. As with anyone with debt that they can not see a way out of. Get some Debt Counseling because BROKE CAN NOT PAY!

    March 8, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  59. Richard Oak Harbor, Wa

    The debt ceiling should be raised to prevent undue hardship to Americans who can least afford less than they already have. Budget cuts should be carefully considered and mandated prior to next year's corrected budget appropriation. Congress should become more professional and complete step one before implementing step two. Changes should be calculated to avoid catastrophic disruptions to segments of society who are most affected by necessary budget cuts.

    March 8, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  60. Ros - Illinois

    Yes, President obama has it right. You need to do this to get things straightened out from the eight years of Republican rule. They are the ones that caused this to have to be done, so quit your griping and shut up.

    March 8, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  61. Ralph Spyer

    Timothy Geither and Ben Bernanke are like people in Platos cave, they"ve been staring at the shadows on the wall so long they think they see the way out.

    March 8, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  62. Terry in Chandler, AZ

    No disrespect towards CNN viewers, who I think are the most informed of any who watch news. Nearly all of us are not qualified to answer the question. This is a discussion that is best suited for those highly educated in economics. Hmmmmm, that leaves out most of Congress. So I will respond with an under educated answer: gotta go with President Obama on this.

    March 8, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  63. Gary H. Boyd

    Years ago two Senators Evertt Dirkson and Charles Halleck, made news almost weekly with what became known as the EV and CHARLIE show. One time they were discussing the national budget and Dirkson made the off-hand remark "You spend a million here and a million there and pretty soon it adds up to some pretty fair change". Today, we've gone by millions and billions and are now talking trillions so, as EV and CHARLIE might say –" Now that's some pretty fair change". So sure, the sky's the limit.
    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    March 8, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  64. Scott Stodden

    In My Opinion I Don't Feel That Raising The Debt Ceiling Is Going To Solve Our Debt Crises That We Now Have. If We Cut Unneccasary Spending And Raise Taxes On The Rich Then The Majority Of The Problems With The Debt Will Be Solved But It Takes Balls From The Lawmakers And From President Obama Which They All Have None.

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    March 8, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  65. Kevin in CA

    No ... they should impose tariff's to regain a balance of trade and debt.

    March 8, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  66. Mr. D

    Let's just "raise the ceiling" over the bad political behavior that has gotten us in this financial mess. What a country.

    March 8, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  67. Kevin in CA

    Sure, as long as they impose a minimum tax on corporations of 30%, you know, kind of like they do to the middle class ... after-all, corporations are treated as individuals now – right?

    March 8, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  68. Jim

    Absolutely not. They should shut it down, go home and save us the money they get paid for causing nothing but havoc.

    March 8, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  69. Barb Rider

    I think the government has to raise the debt ceiling in order to keep economic stability. However, they should come up with a 5 year plan that includes spending cuts and tax increases to reduce the debt. It was a huge mistake to continue the Bush tax cuts and I hope they will be repealed next time. The wealthy need to pay their share of taxes.
    Also, we should have a transaction tax on all securitized instruments.

    Fairfield, Iowa USA

    March 8, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  70. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    Why not, what is trillion or two? It's not their money.

    March 8, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
  71. Sean in Michigan

    They absolutely should. But democrats need to understand the nation has no more tolerance for increasing debt, so they must meet the republican demands of spending caps in exchange.
    I think that's called bipartisanship. I could be wrong though.

    March 8, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
  72. Connie in KY

    No! Those of us in the private sector are doing more for less pay these days. Why not have all the federal employees (non-military) give up 1 hour of work and 1 hour of pay each week.. Debt crisis solved! I tend to become a little murky when it comes to such large numbers, but I guarantee we'd save a very large chunk of change.

    March 8, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
  73. Gigi Oregon

    No! they should establish a war tax and put all war debt into a separate account. And a establish a 2% tax on all Americans earning under a million and 10% for those earning more than a million a year. I believe this would lower the debt. Remove all of Bush's war debt from day one. Republicans need to step up to the plate and be responsible for the debt created by their president. This was the first time as a country to go to war with out a war tax and a sound plan. This might be the turn around for the United States to once again to be # 1..

    March 8, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
  74. Jim


    The Republicans held the extension of the Bush tax cuts hostage until they were also extended for the super rich. That proved they were never serious about dealing with the budget situation. Nevertheless, that hostage tactic worked so well they're now trying it with debt ceiling. Their position is ridiculous and Obama and the Democrats should call their bluff. A default by the U.S would be horrendous and EVERYONE would know who was to blame.

    Reno, Nevada

    March 8, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  75. Raymond Racine

    Yes, Congress should vote again to increase the debt ceiling., They cannot back out now.

    March 8, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  76. Bill in South TX

    No, no more raising the credit limit on the nation's credit card.

    Time to tax the rich they have over 95% of the wealth but pay only 60% of the taxes.

    Time to cut the military. We all know there is much waste in the security budget which has grown out of control in the past 10 years.

    It would be nice to stop giving tax credits to corporations for moving US jobs overseas.

    March 8, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  77. Birddog in Mississippi

    Want to reduce the deficit? Raise taxes on the wealthy. Until the rich give up cosmetic surgery, gourmet dog food, and thousand dollar handbags, the middle class should not be asked to give up anything – particularly education.

    March 8, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  78. jurby

    with all the whining the GOP/Republicans do THEY should be the ones whose jobs, salaries and benefits get slashed/pink-slipped! With all their talk about laying government workers off they should have to start with slashing their own jobs! But would they ever do that? Noooooo, of course they wouldn't! They like to talk about how government employees need to buck up and be first in line to take fiscal responsibility by cutting their salaries, benefits, jobs, etc but the ones doing the talking wouldn't dare to start with themselves as they believe they deserve all they get and heaven forbid they're fat paychecks and cushy benefits be taken away from them (not that it would impact them much as they probably have nice fat hefty reserves in their personal bank accounts to keep themselves afloat financially for many years)! Being a government employee who barely gets by paycheck to paycheck, it's insulting that my job that keeps a roof over my head and food in my mouth is now in jeopardy while the bigwigs wouldn't ever dream of cutting their own jobs, salaries and benefits.

    March 8, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  79. Bruce, of Delaware

    No, they need to be fired instead.

    March 8, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
  80. Dariel, Santa Rosa, CA.


    95% of Americans did not create this mess and should not be penalized.
    Penalize the 5% that created and profited vast amounts of wealth from this fiasco.

    March 8, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
  81. William Middleton

    Both the Repubs and Dems are responsible for this delima, the lying and misleading of Americans must stop. We should insist on politicians telling the truth's and if not and found out then they should be impeached with prejudice.

    The spending insanity must stop now! If the Repubs knuckle under this time when will we Americans ever have the chance to see this happen, it's now or never.

    I do not want to see my child and/or his children to live in a country that was once so proud and prosperous, WE MUST INSIST ON SAVING AMERICA NOW!

    Shut down the government if if it comes to that. At least they would not be able to spend any more of our money.

    March 8, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
  82. Jack

    Should the junkie go cold turkey or do wean him slowly. Jack, the sooner this country learns to spend within its means the better. The president was elected to make the difficult decisions, well here it is. What to spend and what to cut. I say, let the ceiling stay as is.

    March 8, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
  83. Nick, Minnesota

    Not only should we not raise the debt ceiling, we should lower the deficit and spending. There is plenty of money in the United States, it is just simply mismanaged. Our politians need to stop worrying about smaller social issues and focus on the larger economic crisis that is still here. Government needs to work harder, faster, and more cost efficiently. If government officials can't achieve goals like working within their budget, then what if anything can they do?

    March 8, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
  84. Gail, Plano TX

    Yes, they should. Otherwise, we will crash. And while it is what the GOP wants, it will really put the final nail in the government's coffin!

    March 8, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
  85. james

    no, we will need to pay the piper at some point, the sooner we can do that the sooner the tea party will shut up

    March 8, 2011 at 7:05 pm |
  86. Lou

    We should raise the debt limit and we will be forced to do so until the politicians get some guts and raise taxes on the rich and corporations to help pay down the debt. You can cut the entire federal budget but still have the deficit with raising revenue to pay for it. If the deficit is not raised we will become a bankrupt country that can not afford the two wars we are currently in.

    March 8, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
  87. Mike

    Yes, and then get serious about the hugh debt the politicians of both parties have heeped upon us. We need to make cuts and raise taxes on those that can afford it.The top 2 percent and the oil companies should pay more

    March 8, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
  88. Brent

    Absolutely not Jack. If we can't pay the debt we already have. How in the world are we going to pay off a even higher debt. I'll tell you what I think. I like Pres. Obama, I even voted for him. This economy is bigger than all of us, and including Obama's business knowledge. Not saying he isn't smart cause he is. A great man; however, in 2012, if Donald Trump runs for President he will be the one that will be able to create jobs, pay off the national debt, and bring the economy back to a better place than its ever been. We need Donald Trump's business knowledge to run the country in the 21st century. We need him!

    Greeneville, TN

    March 8, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
  89. Mark from Boulder City

    Absolutely NOT! Default, end it right now. We can't keep going on pretending we're wealthy. Sure I'm wealthy if I used all my capital on my credit cards, well I would look wealthy anyways. This is the position that the US is in. Stop the madness and get our house in order.

    March 8, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
  90. Conor in Chicago

    "President Obama and Democratic leaders support raising the debt ceiling. Of course. "

    Oh "Of course" eh Jack? Bush raising it 7 times to pay for Corporate Wars suddenly makes Democrats the bad guys? Pathetic.

    March 8, 2011 at 7:57 pm |
  91. Dan Cleveland

    What kind of question is this? If the debt ceiling isn't raised and we begin defaulting on the nation's obligations. Nothing can be done about it – there is no way to cut spending by 1.6
    trillion or raise taxes or some combination before. the ceiling is reached – so Congress of course will raise the ceiling as it always have. If there is some sort of compromise on spending cuts is of course an open question.

    The question as it is posed is inane to anyone with an understanding of how these things work.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:55 pm |