April 4th, 2011
05:00 PM ET

GOP getting serious about meaningful cuts in federal spending?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The prospect of a federal government shutdown this Friday is hanging over the heads of lawmakers.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2011/images/04/04/art.fiscal.jpg caption="House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan."]
You see, they still can't agree on spending cuts for the 2011 fiscal year budget.

They've been pushing this off since October, and they're still not much closer to reaching an agreement.

President Obama has summoned congressional leaders to the White House on Tuesday, but don't hold your breath.

Meanwhile, a much, much bigger budget battle is shaping up.

Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan, the new chairman of the House Budget Committee, is expected to release the House Republicans' 2012 budget resolution Tuesday.

Ryan's plan calls for cutting the federal deficit by $4 trillion over the next decade - far exceeding what President Obama's debt commission called for in December.

The Ryan plan calls for tax reforms and across-the-board spending cuts, returning discretionary spending to 2006 levels.

It will also dramatically change the Medicare program.

Ryan's plan is the first one to touch the so-called entitlement programs.

It's a politically dangerous move, but a necessary one.

By the end of this fiscal year, the national debt will exceed $15.4 trillion.

The necessity of cutting spending and addressing our debt crisis may finally be getting legs. A bipartisan group of senators known as the "Gang of Six" is also working on a proposal to cut the deficit by $4 trillion using recommendations made by President Obama's deficit commission - recommendations that have been ignored so far.

Here’s my question to you: Do you think Republicans are getting serious about making meaningful cuts in federal spending?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

David in Alexandria, Virginia:
I think they are very serious. The back and forth over the current budget is just the warm-up act. The real fireworks will start next week when the Paul Ryans of the world will start talking reality about our fiscal crisis.

Bonnie in New Jersey:
I hope so and I somewhat hope not. I know we have to have reform in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, but why can't we also have some revenue increase from the richest? It is so clear at this point that their gain over the last 10 years has come at the cost of the country. Why can't they share the burden? The Republicans are protecting the rich, the Democrats are protecting the poor, and no one is looking out for the middle class. We can't bear the entire burden.

Deb in Montana:
No. The only things the GOP is serious about are: protecting their big money donors, eviscerating the middle class, and trying to prevent President Obama's re-election, even if they have to derail our recovery to do it. It's interesting how today's GOP has never seen a billionaire's tax cut it didn't love, and has never seen a social program to help the struggling middle class that it couldn't wait to kill.

Steve in Clifton, Virginia:
Jack, please don't use the phases "meaningful" and "budget cuts" together when referring to the Republicans. Those two terms can be used together only when the Republicans and Democrats conduct transparent open serious discussions on the Defense budget, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.

Alex in Bremerton, Washington:
Republicans are very serious about cutting the budget because they know that if they don't they will face a Tea Party primary challenge in the next election.

Pete in Georgia:
The Republicans will be very serious but the Harry Reids of the world can't survive 2 days without hand outs, giveaways, always feeding cradle-to-grave parasites to continue their desperate, pathetic charade posing as "Civil Servants." The only way these empty vessel politicians exist is give away handouts at the expense of decent, hard-working, legal tax paying Americans.

Filed under: Government • Republicans
soundoff (164 Responses)
  1. Joe R - Houston

    No. The collective known as the "Legislature" hasn't the intelligence to recognize that counterfeiting is illegal for good reasons.

    April 4, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
  2. John from Alabama

    Jack: The Republicans are just grandstanding when it comes to cuuting the budget. The 800 pound guerilla in the room is the mounting deficit, which neither political paries wants to handle. Cutting the budget will not reduce the deficit, but reform the tax code, close the loop holes, do away with all taxcuts for every citizen in America, and in 5 years the deficit would be gone. I do not think there are any statesmen in D.C.; therefore, all things will stay in chaos. Good to see you back, Jack.

    April 4, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
  3. Marcy from Margate, Florida

    Truthfully Jack,
    I do not think anyone from the President on down to the Congress is really serious about any cuts in federal spending. All they want to do is continue to spend our money and get reelected.
    All I can hope for is the Tea Baggers to seriously hold their feet to the fire.

    April 4, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
  4. s in fl

    Seriously deranged, maybe. Meaningful to the Koch brothers and their ilk. That's about it. Our problem has been and continues to be the Bush tax cuts. Period. We need to start collecting taxes again.

    April 4, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
  5. Richard C.

    I believe they are very serious, especially if they want re-election. The Democrats are not serious about anything except road blocking what the majority of the people in this country desire.
    Once again, our President is showing his lack of leadership. I honestly do not feel he has a clue about what he is doing. His narcissism is hurting the country.

    April 4, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
  6. Terrence Cain

    GOP getting serious? Ha! What delusional world are you living in, Jack? The only thing the GOP is serious about is screwing the American People over, and the Democrats are just a bunch of wimps letting it happen. What they need to do is take and reform Social Security. Take it away from the Government's greedy hands and set it up to where it goes into private banks of the employee's choosing. The bank adds 10% interest annually and thus you have a true retirement savings for yourself, and the government can't touch your money ever again. That would reduce the debt quite a bit because there would be no debt from Social Security if they had done it that way in the first place. Then get rid of that F-22 plane no one uses in the Military and whatever wasteful spending we do with the Military and that would help reduce the debt significantly. Of course the government won't listen to a no body like me, but hey, least I still have freedom of speech to rant to people like you, Jack!

    Terrence Cain
    Big Spring, Texas

    April 4, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
  7. Frances Cappelletti

    The Tea Party is serious about one thing. Taking from the Middle Class, The Working People, The Poor, The Sick, The Elderly, The School Children and giving it to their big donors, the rich and the very rich, The Big Corporations, Fat Cat CEOs. You know the people who already have most of the money and power.

    The working people, the middle class should look at the real facts. Vote in your own best interests.


    April 4, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
  8. Greg M.

    And I quote "We Republicans will blah blah blah blah blah blah",and then they do not give any ideas as to how they will do whatever they are claiming they will do.Then they don't even do what they claimed they wanted to do in the first place. Greg M. Largo,FL

    April 4, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
  9. Bob Kobs

    Are you kidding me? The GOP is only interested in privatizing healthcare and shutting down the govt. They ran on the promise to create jobs but have you heard anything from them other than banning abortion, gay marriages and rescinding Healthcare?

    They are pathetic.

    April 4, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
  10. Greg in Arkansas

    NO, the perpetual campaigning will never cease and these clowns will continue to parrot sound bites to protect their political positions for the next election.

    Instead of focusing their shots "down range" at the problems facing this country, they take shots at each other in an effort to lay blame for failure or take credit for success....all the while, they tip-toe around the polls to make sure they don't do anything to upset "their" group of voters.

    If they would work for Americans instead of just voters, Jack, you would have a lot fewer topics for discussion on your blog.

    April 4, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
  11. Conor in Chicago

    Deficits only matter to the GOP when they are up for re-election, a Democrat is President, or they can't hide their spending with budget supplementals the way GWB did for 7 years, largely explaining why people think Obama is at fault for most of our deficit when Bush's Iraq War is the lions share of it all.

    April 4, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
  12. Kathleen Parker , South Carolina

    The GOP is serious about cuts in spending as long as those cuts mainly effect the middle class or the poor. This was they can not only protect their rich patrons, but probably give them additional tax deferments they can invest in China.

    April 4, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
  13. Russ in PA

    Ron and Rand Paul are serious about cutting federal spending. I doubt that any other Republican has any intent to cut the spending. After all, how many Republicans – or Democrats for that matter – are willing to end the wars, and bring home all troops from all foreign lands? But, no, now our brilliant politicians have dug us into another war, as if the money spent – wasted – in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Israel wasn't enough.

    April 4, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
  14. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Yes they are Jack. They want to cut taxes for the Palin's of the world so they can create good jobs for the rest of us, like picking peas. Then they want to cut, cut, cut everything for those that really need our help, like kids with severe medical issues. Sounds like a good plan for the rich and famous.

    April 4, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
  15. Rich McKinney, Texas

    I would like to think so Jack but I have my doubts. 23 billion is a start but it is just a small drop in the bucket and less then a 1/4 of what they promised this last election cycle. The problem i see is that both parties are trying to act like the little boy poking his finger and toes into holes in the dyke. Eventually you run out of fingers and toes. The thing is while they try and plug the dyke with fingers and toes they are forgetting to turn off the dam water. In the end we all drown.

    April 4, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
  16. Richard Oak Harbor, Wa

    AARP isenthusiastically ratcheting up for the 2012 election with an aim to keep Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security in a steady state for upcoming boomer retirees.

    The GOP stands to lose any momentum they've gained from their coatstring ties to the recent Tea Party victory who on second glance have already proven themselves overly eager to abruptly disrupt American Life as we know it.

    Mitt Romney will come up with a sensible business model for economic recovery and will become the GOP choice for 2012.

    April 4, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
  17. Ed from California

    Oh, The Kochplican Party is dead serious in cutting all federal spending and programs that apply to them and their, 400 very wealthy "family" friends. With their motto, "Sho me da money', Or, "Wentworth, will be attending Oxford in the fall". They don't lose sleep if you or I don't have a job or not. We still have to purchase items for survival from their stores. So they say, "What? me worry"!

    More than 60,000 factories have closed in the United States of Koch brothers since 1999. These factories and it's middle class employment have been shipped off to foreign lands, most likely for good. So, with less revenue coming into the State and Federal coffers, they might as well cut all the programs off, defund everything, and we can just strap a Colt to our hip. And live Charles Darwin's discovery of, "Survival of the fittest"! "Keep on rock'n in the U.S. of Koch!

    April 4, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
  18. Donna from Wisconsin

    No! All they are cutting is support/aid to low income folks and the elderly. No mention of Farm Aid Subsidies which many of them have coming into their own pockets. Or tax cuts, tax cuts & more tax cuts to the wealthy. When they start cutting these two programs and pork going to their states, then II will believe they are serious.

    April 4, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
  19. Carl

    Hello Jack,

    Happy to see you back. Niether the Republicans or the Democrats are serious about this problem. In my opinion, the one and only thing they are serious about is how to lie, cheat, steal from the American tax payers. I don't believe their is an honest politician anywhere in our country, they are all just totally worthless, the only people they serve, are themselves.

    April 4, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
  20. Ruth, Indianapolis

    Cuts – yes. Meaningful – no. What is meaningful about cutting funding for the EPA (our air and water), Planned Parenthood (health for people without much money), Public Television and NPR (an alternative to the toxic nonsense from Fox)?

    If they want to do something meaningful, why not get rid of subsidies for oil companies since they already make enough money or remove tax loopholes for corporations like GE who pay NO taxes? Why not raise additional revenue by additional tax for billionaires?

    In all my years (75 of them), I have never been so terrified of my government as I am now. I am grateful for the MUTE button on my remote.

    April 4, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
  21. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    I hear nothing about the republicans taking away the tax cut for the most wealthiest people. I hear nothing about making companies like GE who paid no taxes in 2010 and received over a 3 billion tax incentive paying their fair share in taxes. I hear nothing about the republicans wanting to freeze their own wages and cuts in their benefits. The day I start hearing these things is today I will take them serious about wanting to cut the deficit in a fair way and not just on the backs of the people who can least afford it.

    April 4, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
  22. Meg from Troy, Ohio

    It's serious all right when the only discussion about cutting spending is on the backs of the elderly, the young, and the poor. I'll know that they're serious when I hear some plans to have the wealthy–both individuals and corporations(businesses and Wall Street as well) share some of the pain of the slash and burn that they are discussing. So far, I haven't heard any plans for ALL Americans to share the budget cutting, and until I do, I'm not a believer.

    April 4, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
  23. Jane in CA

    Of course they will cut spending. Once you eliminate medicare and medicaid, food stamps, jobless benefits, social security and all safety, environmental and financial regulations there will be lots of money for military weapons and tax breaks. The question is, do they care how many people die as a result?

    April 4, 2011 at 2:50 pm |


    Do you think Republicans are getting serious about making meaningful cuts in federal spending?

    The only thing the Republicans are serious about is getting Obama and the other Democrats out of power. Its all about them and nothing more!

    We, Americans, don't even matter to them.

    Roseville CA

    April 4, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
  25. Loren, Chicago

    The Republicans have been serious about spending cuts all along, just not very deferential to the Democrats thinking.

    I think the question should be posed about the Democrats. After all, they're the ones who forced through the Health Care Reform Act sight unseen with all the increased spending it entails.

    April 4, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
  26. David in Tampa

    Jack, In a word NO!!! They are willing only to cut those programs they don't like funding. You know like Planned Parenthood or Radio Free America, which represents a drop in the bucket, but are unwilling to touch Republican sacred cows like defense or write offs for corporations that enable them to pay little or no taxes, subsidy programs that benefit people that do not actually work in the area for which the subsidy is granted. We will have meaningful budgetary reform when both parties put the vested interests of John Q. and Suzie Q. Public, aka John and Jane Doe, ahead of party well being and the well being of the special interest groups that fund them. When elected officials take a 100% cut in pay and benefits they can cut my Social Security 10%.

    April 4, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
  27. Pete from Georgia

    The Republicans will be VERY serious but the Harry Reids of the world can't survive 2 days without hand outs, give aways, always feeding cradle to grave parasites to continue their desperate, pathetic charade posing as "Civil Servants".
    The ONLY way these empty vessel politicians exist is give away handouts.....................at the expense of decent hard working legal tax paying Americans.

    April 4, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
  28. Al

    The issue is value and investment in our collective future. Not all cuts are good, not all cuts are bad. For example, investing in main street America will create jobs and a future in ways that Wall Street welfare will not. The Republicans have yet to clearly state how their suggested cuts will strengthen our country and build our future.

    April 4, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
  29. Tom Bulger, Canandaigua

    Republicans insisted that their tax cuts for the super rich be extended or they would scuttle Obama's tax cuts for the middle class. We don't have the money so we are forced to borrow it from China.

    Big Oil has record profits and Republicans insist that we continue to give billions in subsidies and grants. I could go on, but you can probably see how serious they are.

    April 4, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
  30. Patsy

    May sound harsh, Jack, but I think the Republicans are throwing
    out as many smoke screens as they can to hide the fact that
    they are unwilling to do what is best for America, and are only
    worried about keeping the good times rolling at the cost of
    the taxpayers. I base this on Paul Ryan's Sunday morning
    appearance. He talked way to fast, and seemed totally
    disintersted in explaining what his "plan" was. He was evasive,
    non-specific, and unable to explain anything. He came off as
    not as smart as he thinks he is, and dumber than I realized.
    If this is their "go-to" man for writing a budget, then I understand
    the smoke screens. They don't know what they are doing.

    April 4, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
  31. Wilhelm von Nord Bach

    NO, Jack and they NEVER WILL.

    they will pander to their "Tea Party" supporters (all 200 of them at the last "rally" in Washington) but they know IF they fool with Social Security and MediCare the Seniors will riot and cutting Defense programs my mean cutting jobs in their districts.

    so they will "talk tough" but do NOTHING. only LOGICAL way to get the debt down is a combination of spending cuts AND tax increases, hopefully the latter on major corporations and multi-millionaires.

    April 4, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
  32. Steve, Clifton, VA


    Please don't use the phases "meaningful" and "budget cuts" together when referring to the Republicans. Those two terms can be used together only when the Republicans , and Dems, conduct transparent open serious discussions on the Defense budget, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. These discussions must be done in earnest and serious and void of any political posturing by either party.

    April 4, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
  33. Bonnie from NJ

    I hope so and I somewhat hope not. I know we have to have reform in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, but why can't we also have some revenue increase from the richest. It is so clear at this point that their gain over the last 10 years has come at the cost of the country, why can't they share the burden. The Republicans are protecting the rich, the Democrats are protecting the poor and no one is looking out for the middle class, we can't bear the entire burden.

    April 4, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
  34. Ms. Lou Mullin

    Those boys are the boys who put us in this mess. They will not do anything they don't have to do. Get rid of the Lobbists and we won't have as much trouble straightening out things.

    April 4, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
  35. Harold , ANCHORAGE, AK

    No,not as long as they keep spending money on expensive weapons systems we don't even use in combat,like the F-22.
    What are they holding them back for: air shows and museums?

    April 4, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
  36. Deb in MT

    No. The only things the GOP is serious about are: protecting their big money donors; eviscerating the middle class; and, trying to prevent President Obama's re-election, even if they have to derail our recovery to do it.

    It's interesting how today's GOP has never seen a billionaire's tax cut it didn't love, and has never seen a social program to help the struggling middle class that it couldn't wait to kill.

    April 4, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
  37. Dave in Phoenix

    Republicans are not even close to being serious. Until the pass laws that make corporations pay taxes like the rest of us, the budget will be a mess. I seem to remember last election, Republicans making a big deal of Obamacare death panels, now the first things they want to cut is medical care for old people. Sounds like the pot calling the kettle...

    April 4, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
  38. David of Alexandria VA

    I think they are very serious. The back and forth over the current budget is just the warm-up act. The real fireworks will start next week when the Ryans of the world will start talking reality about our fiscal crisis.

    April 4, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
  39. Kim Smith

    When Republicans make cutting the military budget a priority, then they can say they accopmlished something. Anything less than that is unacceptable.

    April 4, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
  40. Jay


    I'll believe that the GOP (or the Dems for that matter) is serious about federal spending the same way I'll believe that wall street is becoming honest – when they cut their OWN salaries and stock options by 50%!

    Jay in Ridgecrest, CA

    April 4, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
  41. Richard, in Kansas

    Funny thing is theyre only going after programs traditionally favored by democrat's. Then when the dems wont agree to them theyll say "we tried to cut the deficit but the dems just want to spend, spend, spend " . It's just a game they play. No real interest in solving problems, just politics as usual. They say that you get the government that you deserve, what could we possibly have done to deserve this dysfunctional mess.

    April 4, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
  42. Bud Rupert

    The cuts they put on the table will be for PR purposes and that's about it. They can talk about all this until the cows come home but nothing will make a dent unitl entitlements are addressed and that ain't going ot happen. Not if they want to stay in office.

    April 4, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
  43. Jayne

    No. They are trying to make a political statement by nickel and diming with cuts to organizations like NPR and Planned Parenthood. If they were serious, we'd be talking about ending some wars, making corporations like ExxonMobil pay a few taxes and maybe cutting Congressional salaries back to a measly $150,000 a year.

    April 4, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  44. Alex in Bremerton, WA

    Republicans are VERY serious about cutting the budget because they know that if they don't they will face a Tea Party primary challenge in the next election. They are more serious about keeping their position and privileges than doing what is right for most Americans.

    April 4, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
  45. Gary H. Boyd

    Not really Jack. The GOP has too many folks pulling in different directions to get a meaningful concensus among themselves let alone present a unified proposal on federal spending. Individually they talk a good game but collectively they're a mess..

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    April 4, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  46. Frank, Connellsville, PA

    Jack, if you believe that either party is serious about any meaningful cuts to federal spending, then you also believe that Mr. Smith really went to Washington this year.

    The officials in both parties bow (in this order): party first, lobbyists second, friends who helped raise them the most money third, constituents who elected them fourth, things that will hurt the other party fifth. Doing what is best for the country isn't even in the top 10 (most likely not even in the top 20).

    April 4, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  47. Robby Bowling

    Some of them will try but it wont be enough. All the democrats wont to do is pander & scare people with propaganda ( these cuts will cost lives). And the republicans will back off because they don't want the blame. If we don't deal with this, this already fractured country will break-up the same way the old USSR did. Don't think it couldn't happen here, just wait & see if we don't do enough. We are as divided as we've ever been thinks to liars & crooked politicians. Who should you TRUST no one.

    April 4, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  48. Jim in Denver


    No! Their Corporate & Wall Street masters won't allow it. Same for the Democrats. The middle class is screwed.


    April 4, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
  49. andyz Lynn, MA

    Oh ya, uh-huh, of course, fer sure the Republicans are serious about making meaningful cuts in federal spending. Just as long as all these cuts benefit the top 5%, their loyal constituents. Anyone outside of this ultra-rich window gets squat.

    April 4, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  50. Remo, from beautiful downtown Pflugerville Texas

    As long as we can't touch, social security, medicade, and military budgets, nothing will be cut enoughfrom the remaining 16% that's left that can be touched to have any effect. It will cut programs that are mostly needed and hurt more than helps. So we're screwed.

    April 4, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
  51. Michael in Albuquerque, NM

    They are not going to spend a minute creating jobs. They are not going to spend a minute to keep businesses in America. They are not going to increase the tax base or close loopholes in the tax code. Instead they are giving tax breaks to the rich, and to corporations. They will instead blame those that lost their jobs for the loss of revenue and for the foreclosures. They will cut salaries and benefits for teachers, firemen, police and military. They willcut benefits and services for the poor and the needy. They will not invest in health, education, research or infrustructure. NO, the republicans will not be serious. They will be INSANE!

    April 4, 2011 at 4:22 pm |

    I work for the federal goverment.
    How's freezing my pay for the next 5 years sound to you?

    I paid $12000 for health insurance last year and they want me to pay a higher percentage in the future. My only choice is to reduce my coverage drastically so I can eat.

    They also want to reduce my retirement fund.

    Is that serious enough?

    April 4, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  53. Mark from Voorhees, NJ

    Meaning ful cuts in spending? Not until there are meaningful cuts to the Pentagon, (hundreds of billions) or to the "health insurance" companies (all of it). The old Republicans are too busy committing serial acts of corporate-legislative fellatio, and the new Tea Party Republicans are just lucky they have escaped from electric shock treatments at the mental insitiutions from which they seem to have escaped.

    (I know this one won't be read)

    April 4, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  54. lou

    Neither side is serious about cutting the spending. They just have to put on a good dog and pony show for their base. And it's worked. They've got everyone argueing over planned parenthood and radio stations instead of the pawltry billions both sides proposed to cut for a deficit in the trillions.

    April 4, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  55. Lori - PA


    I'll believe Republicans, and Democrats, are serious about anything pertaining to the deficit when companies such as Bank of America can't get out of paying taxes anymore.

    April 4, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  56. MNResident

    Serious enough to put their jobs on the line, attract major criticism, and invite a government shutdown over it.....

    April 4, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  57. Layne Alleman

    JACK, Until ALL lobbyist and special interest money is banned, and ALL campaign contributions made public, this, and all future cuts will be nothing more than partisan showboating. Defense will need MAJOR cuts along with all the other typical pork-barrel projects that get these fools elected in the first place(and keeps them coming back for more). Want to get really serious? The U.S. has to stop being the worlds tough-guy cop-on-the-beat. Layne A. Antioch, Il.

    April 4, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  58. Ray in Knoxville

    Jack, this is just the best chance for the twin pillars of the GOP, big business and the white, southern evangelical right to do away with American policies that they have been railing against for years, regulation and civil rights. The debt is a convenient tool they can use to get Independents to go along with them.

    April 4, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  59. Roger from Albion PA

    I think they finally are Jack. Democrats are still in a state of denial thinking they can incease social programs and the beneficiaries will vote for them. People are wising up and realizing we have to pay for those vote buying scams. Roger from Albion PA

    April 4, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
  60. Susan Frost

    You're joking, right? No, the GOP is simply bent on carrying out its plan to destroy the American middle class by cutting education, health care, environmental protection, etc...everything that stands in the way of its dream of an elitist kleptocracy...unfortunately, we seem to be letting them win.

    Tuscaloosa, AL

    April 4, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  61. Kevin in CA

    Meaningful – probably so, if you are referring to socially corrosive cuts designed to indenture and generate one gigantic underclass.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  62. Michael Armstrong Sr. Sherman Tx.

    I think there both meaningful it's just getting them both to agree on something and do it as long as we have a president setting an example that there is no hurry on anything it may be too late to make a difference .

    April 4, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  63. Bryan Price

    The GOP can't afford to. Unless they start selling off massive parts of the government, they have to pay back those that gave them the money so that they could be elected.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  64. Pat in Michigan

    If they are anything like Michigans govenor .and they are .Yes they are serious about cutting federal spending.Reduced social programs spending . Increased spending of the taxpayers money to their corporate sponsors. Oh Yeah Jack .They're serious allright.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  65. Annie, Atlanta

    Of course they’re serious about cuts. If they succeed, they’ll kill off our struggling economy, and win the class war against American workers, though the purpose for this war in the first place escapes me. All you ever need to know about the GOP – the take from the poor and give to the rich party.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  66. Dave, Orlando, FL

    No. They haven’t been serious about anything other than trying to get rid of Obama. The only thing they will seriously address with regard to spending cuts is to eliminate all forms of social services and to cut the Social Security savings/pension accounts that the middle class has paid into (for their own future) all their lives. They will also try to deny UI which is an insurance policy (just like your homeowner’s policy) which we all paid into in the event that we lost our jobs (just like our houses). They will try to do this so there is even more money to give to the wealthy, the big corporations and the financial institutions that caused all our problems (and which we, inexplicably, were forced to bail out for their bad behavior).

    April 4, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  67. Alvah Brown

    I think the newly elected members are serious about cutting the deficit but the "bleeding heart liberal democrats" in congress don't want their pet projects to be part of the cuts. Harry Reid is a bone in the throat of progress.
    Al Brown-Gorham, NH

    April 4, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  68. Jane (Minnesota)

    Depends on what your definition of meaningful is, Jack. Cutting funding from the poorest of people and from planned parenthood are acts of a group who does not have much conscience or heart and are pandering to the small percentage of the electorate. The majority of the voting public will tell you they've done nothing.

    I would rather Washington actually look at what they can do to create meaningful jobs for the unemployed in this country and to do what Reagan did and actually close up loopholes for the huge corporations and the ultra-rich as a means to balances the budget in addition to cutting expenditures. Fat chance of that with the power the lobbyists wield.

    It is very sickening to watch and have very little power to change anymore.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  69. Dave in Indiana

    No... this is simply an excuse for the Republicans to make cuts in programs they don't like. They aren't interested in the slightest in cutting the programs that funnel money to their corporate buddies.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  70. Scott Stodden

    No, No And No! Were The Republicans Ever Serious About Running Congress Since The Election? This Republican Led Congress Is Nothing But A Mess Especially Speaker John Bohener He Has No Clue As To What To Do!

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    April 4, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  71. Midwest Jim

    We are "beyond busted"? Really?
    What percent of GDP is our debt?
    It that really busted?
    Yes we must pay for our entitlements, reign in fiscal spending, and yes we must go back to the tax levels of the Reagan era, with the ultra rich paying much more.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  72. Jamie

    Not as long as types like Ryan are talking. If he had a second brain cell, he would rattle. Where are the companion raises in taxes to go with slash and burn on the middle class and poor? Congress handled Social Security like Madoff and now blame the investors?

    April 4, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  73. Pierre Angiel

    The question is silly.

    Jack, we don't need spending cuts. We have an income problem.

    We need to increase our income. The rich and the Corporations pay no tax.

    The answer is easy. Tax the wealthy and corporations and solve the fake problem.

    Pierre Angiel
    Miami, Fl

    April 4, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  74. Chris

    If they were getting serious the first thing that they would do is take aim at corporate tax dodgers. Instead of four trillion over ten years it would reduce the deficit by a trillion dollars every year. Ten trillion dollars over ten years. More than twice as much as all their current proposals combined.

    That they don't do this demonstrates that they are not serious.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  75. James

    All the Republicans in Congress are doing is cutting programs that work for the people while continuing to subsidize corporations. If $4 trillion is cut from spending there will still be $9 trillion more that is spent that we don't have. In 10 years the debt will be $22 trillion. Who do they think they are kidding?

    April 4, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  76. Lew L.

    No, the republicans have had their chance to show how serious they are by stopping the tax cuts for the rich. Now we are just along for the ride.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  77. Evan Armstrong

    I cannot wait to view Paul Ryan's opus on the budget tomorrow andI am pleased to see that Rep. Ryan is unafraid of touching the sacrosanct entitlement programs. That along with cutting defense spending are going to be necessary for this country to get back to financial stability. Although Wolf says it still wont balance the budget, it could be quite a start.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  78. Arthur

    Jack, Let me go on record. this deficit problem is never going to get solved until we increase the revenue side to the levels of Clinton. These politicians need to get a grip on this or it will be too late. We cannot "cut" our way to solvency.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  79. Chad in MA

    They have to, or they will lose their jobs just like the democratic congress. Our politicians are slow learners, but in less than 2 presidential terms we have seen great failings on both the left and the right. With both parties receiving bloody noses in quick succession it might just bring about an attitude adjustment.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  80. Xrepublican

    Could the Senate and Congress look at their retirement plan and yearly expenditures before cutting elsewhere.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  81. Mike in TX

    In the last year and a half of the presidential election cycle with cuts in Medicare, Medicaid, etc. I have to ask....Really Jack? Posturing and sound bites that's all and business as usual.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  82. Linda in Arizona

    If you mean cuts to poor people and the elderly for their food and medical care, of course they're serious. If you mean cuts to the ever-expanding war machine, corporate welfare, and increasing taxes for the obscenely rich, absolutely not. Whether they're "serious"or not, the spineless sold-out corporatist, warmongering fake democrats will give them whatever they want, bending over as usual without so much as a whimper. By the way, the country is not "broke". That is a lie perpetuated by republican tools like yourself to scare the sheeple.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  83. Steve in Michigan

    The Republicans are serious about TALKING about meaningful budget cuts. I'll believe them when they DO make serious cuts. Until then I am still voting Libertarian. The only political party that WILL reduce the size and scope of the federal government in a meaningful way is the Libertarians. Republicans are all talk.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  84. Richard

    No they are not serious, they only want to cut programs they don't like and are only making token efforts to cut the deficit

    This isn't that hard.
    1: Return to the Clinton era tax rates for the rich
    2: Cut military spending – it's the biggest pot and has the most fat
    3: Eliminate the cap on Social Security payroll payments

    April 4, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  85. Bill Bauman

    Let's start cutting into the deficit by slashing the Salaries in Congress, eliminating THEIR health care, eliminating their retirement (5 yrs in the House, 10 yrs in the Senate) make them pay into Social Security like the rest of us. What they make is far too much when millions are out of work, losing their homes and investments, and living on dwindling paychecks and reduced benefits. Let's get rid of the Fatted Calf and that Goose with the Golden Eggs.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  86. Larry L, Torrance, CA

    Republicans are always ready to cut government spending. This is how they make government smaller – by destroying it.

    Notice how the Republicans do NOT propose raising taxes. They are, as usual, ready to lower taxes for the richest among us – and that already cost $1-trillion during the 'lame duck' session of Congress a few months ago.

    Nor are Republicans ever prepared to speak about corporate taxes. We have a corporate tax system where, for example, General Electric can 'park' its U.S. profits of $4-billion in Ireland, and avoid U.S. taxes on that income. Additionally, they have claimed tax credit on future taxes owed in the amount of $3-billion.

    There are trillions-of-dollars able to be collected. The Republicans only do 'tax reduction' for the richest individuals and corporations, never 'tax increases'.

    What a scam.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  87. Ed Caldwell

    No. Neither side is serious as they are all preparing for the 2010 election. The 2nd term of President Obama is the best chance to get the budget under control. The first term started in trouble and there was never a chance to get a handle of the U.S. economy.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  88. Dustin Pugel

    Are they getting serious? Yes. Are they even close to a realistic and systemic solution? NO.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  89. David

    Mr Cafferty,

    We not only have a spending problem, we have a revenue problem. Until the Republicans are ready to address the revenue problem, they are not serious about the deficit.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  90. Frank from Denver

    They would like to think they are getting serious – nothing will get done until the real "owners", the people who bought and paid for the government, get involved. This is unlikely because the owner's economic interest are in conflict with reducing debt. We will need a meltdown to get anything done.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  91. A. in DFW

    No, but they are serious in making 150 to 200 million people not be able to afford health care. Raising taxes on the rich and corporation will be the only solution that will work and would not destroy the U.S. as a viable country.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  92. Michael

    Why is it that anytime there is a government shutdown, it is a democrat presidentr? This shows how intransigent the republicans are. They are definitely fighting for all the wrong reasons. Please show some maturity and cooperate to avoid this shut down. The country cannot afford that either.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  93. Theodore R. Wade Jr.

    I would like to think so, but I think it is more an effort to prevent Obama from making any progress in turning the country around. I remind our brain dead citizens that when Republicans took over the country in 2000, there was a $200 M surplus, a balanced budget, and no china indebtedness. I also would like to point out that for 10 consecutive years, they made no effort to reign in Mr. Bush, the "Decider".

    April 4, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  94. Bob, in Florida

    ABSOLUTELY """NOT""" Jack! IF the Republicans were SERIOUS about cutting the deficit they would RAISE TAXES for the wealthy "DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR" IN CUTTING ENTITLEMENT SPENDING. Entitlement spending is a "Red Herring" budget problem SINCE the Congress has been spending Social Security monies in the GENERAL FUND for more than three decades!!! DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR, Jack cutting Entitlements while RAISING TAXES for the wealthy....THAT'S THE SOLUTION.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  95. Don Desaulniers (Belleville, Canada)

    Does it really matter any more?
    The stock market is doing wel, and the Bush tax cuts have been renewed.
    Both the Democrats and Republicans have completed the only tasks that they were hired to do.
    Meaningful spending cuts are now meaningless.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  96. larryb

    Yes they are, and the tea party has shown them that most of the public is with them on this. It's not political death to take on the hard problems, in fact I think the ones who refuse to do it will not get re-elected.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  97. Sonia H. Maulsby

    I will believe that congress, either party, is serious about
    cutting the deficit when they propose cuts to military spending and foreign aid.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  98. David Sjolander


    I don't think the Republicans are anymore serious about cutting the National Debt than they were in 1980, when then-Candidate Ronald Reagan claimed to want to balance the budget – later, doubling it.

    David, Michigan

    April 4, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  99. Michael Pazden

    The government will get serious when it starts cutting the cost of GOVERNMENT – federal,state and local. Please explain to me why a 67 year old man or woman should work and pay taxes so a GOVERNMENT worker – yes I include policemen,firemen and teachers – can retire at 55 or younger. And explain why GOVERNMENT oorkers health insurance should be better than Medicare.Grossly inflated GOVERNMENT salaries and benefits are a much larger problem than so called entitlements.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  100. Philip Fernandez

    GOP is proposing exactly what our family is doing... cutting spending/costs. Dems only want to keep "investing", code for spend more. Makes no sense.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  101. Bill (Vancouver)

    With all of the huffing and puffing about budget expenses by the Tea Party conservatives, do they ever step back and admit that they too are responsible for the financial mess by voting to invade Iraq in 2003? The financial disaster in the U.S. can be directly connected to the financial costs of that war. And, of course, there is the ongoing medical costs of the life and injured soldiers that attributable to the Republican's poor judgment.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  102. Ron Belanger

    Hey Jack,

    It's the REVENUE stupid. When you have a deficit you can cut spending or increase revenue. If we did away with the ReagaBush gifts to the super wealthy and made the wealthy and corporations pay taxes like the rest of us then there would be no problem. It is all about the REVENUE. Gotta love Republican president Eisenhower who did that the right way.

    Ron Belanger
    San Diego

    April 4, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  103. Mitch Dworkin - Dallas, Texas

    I think that many Republicans are serious about making meaningful cuts in federal spending but they fear the tea party too much to come up with truly bipartisan legislation to seriously address this problem. Every elected Republican in Congress saw what happened to those Republicans who did not play ball with the tea party in the 2010 GOP primaries and they are all on notice right now (including John Boehner) that they will be primaried the next time that they are on the ballot if they do anything to seriously compromise with Obama and the Democrats on the budget. I hope that Republicans can overcome their fear of being primaried by the tea party where they can vote for truly bipartisan budget legislation that the tea party may not like.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  104. Gigi Oregon

    The Republican Party has No intentions, I should say good Intentions. Their purpose is to control the spending for their interest only and corporate America. When the American people get hungry enough the will wake up. I have never been more disappointed and scared in my country than I am now. My first election was for President Eisenhower.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  105. Linda Solbeck

    They seem to be serious, hopefully they are serious! Something has to be done with the amount of debt and deficit going on!! Now, if the dems would just cooperate, instead of belly-aching about any cut. One cut I would love to see happen is the Cowboy Poet Convention in Nevada!!!! What a waste of our tax dollars!!!!! I'm also thinking that just maybe we need to eliminate the two party system altogether. All they do now is blame each other. What about all the different offices covering a single department?????

    April 4, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  106. Mike in PA

    As an Indipendent, I voted for the republicans to do just that. Get Serious about Spending antd the Debt. All the Dem's want to do is Demonize them. Thr Dems could'nt even Pass a budget when they were in charge. It Is time we get serious, and Ryan seems to want to do it. I say Go To It!!

    April 4, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  107. Peter Bonafonte, Tarrytown, N.Y.

    What we're hearing about the cuts republicans want to make is mostly focused on "entitlements". I'll begin to believe them when they place their own taxpayer funded retirement "entitlements" on the table.
    If they're willing to accept what I currently (barely) survive on I'll listen. Until then it's horse s- and hot air.
    They're serious all right, as long as they don't have to bear any of the burden.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  108. Larry Norris

    If the republicans were serious about the federal defecit...they would have allowed the Bush tax cuts to expire for the rich. You can't balance a budget if you ignore revenues...cutting spending in a time when the economy is still in the tank does not make sense to me or any other person that is serious about the defecit. You can cut spending until the government has no more money to spend...then what...if the economy is in the tank...spending cuts are just a futile exercise to please a bunch of polictical zealots who don't care about the well being of the US or its citizens...

    April 4, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  109. Mike

    Untill the Bush tax cuts are back on the table no budget deal will be possible. The American people will not allow the Republican Party to throw the Middle Class Overboard (Again)

    More than Half of the Debt is the Taxcuts for the wealthy

    Enough Is Enough

    April 4, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  110. George from Tampa

    We will know that the GOP is serious about cutting spending when they endorse Rep Ryan's proposal. We'll know that both parties are serious about the deficit when republicans endorse tax increases for millionaires and Democrats endorse entitlement reform.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  111. Robert

    Jack, until the Red-ugly-can's incorporate tax increases into their plan, the likelihood of anything actually being fixed is on par with the Demented-crats proposing to overhaul the recent healthcare mandate. Neither is probable, but unfortunately for Citizen Joe, both need to happen. I will gladly pay another 5% in income tax if it means I don't have to listen to Congress complain about their own failings.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  112. Jeffery, Toledo, Ohio

    Maybe. But as long as those spending cuts involve programs that benefit the poor and elderly, while endorsing the Bush tax cuts to the rich, the Republicans are offering nothing more than "six of one, and one half-dozen of the other". So what difference does it make? Not a thing.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  113. Bernie of Lowell, MA

    The Republicans knew a very long time ago that they were creating this Ponzi scheme "crisis" with:
    1. their massive "give-away" tax cuts for the rich and
    2. funding two wars on our national "credit card" and
    3. continuing to encourage the "free trade" myth that has outsourced so many jobs to slave labor markets and...
    4. increasing our military budgets to untenable heights...
    ..... this Chinese dragon is much bigger than the Trojan horse.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  114. David Nova Scotia

    Welcome home Jack, Defense Spending would have to be cut by 50% at least and even then y'all would be spending far more than many countries combined and of course that is only home grown large industry y'all have left. Health care with the new Senior Boomer Generation in full swing will demand more spending and boys oh boys do these people know the value of their vote.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  115. Tim (a liberal)

    Good afternoon Jack, welcome back.

    It's my opinion that the Republicans will aggressively cut spending and target programs that they deem aggressive and more importantly those programs that target those who really are in need of assistance from the federal government. The down trodden and needy.
    Just my opinion.
    They will not target Farm subsidies or address tax cuts for the wealthy. These two things that will not be addressed are a great start to real government spending reform.

    Formerly a Republican now a proud liberal.

    My best.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  116. Stan Champaign Illinois

    No. The Republicans are not serios about reducing the deficit. The DOD budget is over $750 billion. without cuts there we will just continue to get our military people killed being the plicemen of the world. BTW if we just required the defense spending to be made in US manfactured products, in Union shops, we would have no deficit to talk about.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  117. Fran

    No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No and a thousand time No. The Republicans are not serious about reducing the budget deficit, because they will not put tax cuts on the table. They will reducing spending by cutting the legs, arms and every part of the middle and low income. but they won't touch corporations. It was the greed of the rich that put us in this hole. "Trickle down" economics is a laugh. Tax cuts for the rich another laugh. Under Reagan administration and Bush administration business got everything they ask for and the country still went "belly-up". They are just talking politics. Giving the people what they want to hear.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  118. Tim

    Congressional Dems have been in power for years and done nothing to control spending. For all the ridicule the tea party and Republican Party, in general, have taken it is refreshing to finally see someone put country ahead of party and self.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  119. Stephen in FL

    The Republicans will never be serious about anything fiscal except giving corporate tax breaks for all big businesses. The only thing they will ever care about is Big Business, Corporations, Corporate Billion and Millionaires and money. The US system is broken and there needs to be a new one.

    The US needs a political party that will actually be there to care about families, the middle class, the workers, education, veterans and not kowtow to the corporate blaggards or hate groups like the Family Research Council.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  120. Michael W Kinney

    A republican politician from Wisconsin? I think that says it all. I'm from Wisconsin where All Republican politicians are in the pocket of big business. Corporations determine the agenda of these politicians while the middle class suffers. Ryan is just trying to upstage President Obama. Can you say Koch Brothers?

    April 4, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  121. Bill (Vancouver)

    With all of the huffing and puffing about budget expenses by the Tea Party conservatives, do they ever step back and admit that they too are responsible for the financial mess by voting to invade Iraq in 2003? The financial disaster in the U.S. can be directly connected to the financial costs of that war. And, of course, there is the ongoing medical costs of the injured soldiers that attributable to the Republican's poor judgment.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  122. Virge

    Only if there are votes or $$ involved . Our elected officials can not balance a budget, but are, extremely successful at raising campaign contributions.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  123. J St. John

    Yes I believe the GOP is getting serious about meaningful cuts , because we have NO choice it is that or loose everything!

    But none of this matters if there is not real change in 2012, the GOP can control the house, and over take the Senate but if they do not defeat Obama he still will have the power and stroke of a veto pen .We know he will use it.

    So them getting serious is absolutely a good thing, but it will be up to the people if they really want to cut the debt this is not something that will be done over night but after just 2 1/2 years one man has ruined our country and Obama needs to be fired for that!.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  124. Michael Pazden

    I realize that discretionary spending is a small percentage of federal spending but GOVERNMENT salaries are a HUGE percentage of state and local budgets which are routinely subsidized one way or the other by the federal government including by deductibility. Tax money is fungible. I care about the total dollars not whether you call it city,state or federal.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  125. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    No, and they won't be serious about cuts in federal spending until they can decide on a 2012 candidate who is qualified to take on any questions about the deficit. If they use this process it would eliminate a few of their hopeful candidates that they don't want but need their support.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  126. Anne in Minnesota

    NO, if republicans were really serious about decreasing our national debt they would certainly work towards closing the large tax loopholes for big businesses like GE and super rich republicans. Take on that challenge, republicans!!!

    April 4, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  127. Robert

    The insane republican plan to pay for medical insurance for old people instead of paying for actual medical bills just means a lot of dead old people and profit taking for big business. Sure the healthy ones might be able to get insurance. I'm fairly sure the rest will find it quite difficult to afford a useful plan on their stipend.

    As for the rest, everyone keeps forgetting the main reason we are deeply in debt. We could not afford ANY of the Bush tax cuts. Revenue has to be part of the picture, along with other cuts, including defense. You can't, however, gut education and infrastructure, that in the long term benefits the country.

    People also need to wake up and realize there are trade-offs in life. A modern (safer) nuclear reactor may mean thousands less deaths and diseases from air pollution, or powering thousands of electric cars, rather than paying for wars for foreign oil, which is currently a major source of federal spending.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  128. John



    It is the same play different decade.

    Neither party wants to do the tough things necessary to get this budget under control. In a way, both Republicans and Democrats are tax and spend "liberals" but with slightly different priorities. You can see the Republicans priorities in this budget proposal.

    Democrats love to spend on social programs and social welfare they think help people while doing everything really to make themselves rich with personal payoffs through gifts and campaign contributions.

    Republicans love to spend on defense and business welfare they spin to say it will "trickle down" to the normal people eventually all the while getting rich with personal payoffs through gifts and campaign contributions.

    When will common sense finance hit the government? Anyone who can balance a checkbook might fit the bill. Apparently that is too complicated for these elected officials.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:28 pm |

    Jack , The president is busy running for office. The democratic controlled senate is dithering. The republican plan is the only hope that the may be a modicum of common sense in Washington DC.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  130. Bonnie in Arkansas

    Remember the Bush tax cuts? Originally they were becasue we had such a SURPLUS we needed to give money back. Then when we had a DEFICIT, they were to stimulate the economy! Has that worked? Michelle Bachman whined that "You can't raise taxes on the job creators!" WHAT JOBS have they created, may I ask? They talked about jobs when they wanted to get elected, and now they want to cut jobs, again, of course. Eliminate the shameful tax cuts for the wealthiest - but the hypocrites will never do that!

    April 4, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  131. Charlie Jordan

    I am a 65 year old man who is an independent voter. if our representatives in congress don't get off their primadonna butts and take some corrective action to reduce this deficit, I believe that they will all be voted out in 2012, Republicans as well as Democrats.
    We need action now, so my kids can enjoy their lives without worrying if their country will survive this unbeleveable state we find ourselves in.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  132. Jake Mendez

    A well trained monkey can tell that this is a politically motivated release. The only value is to help establish the boundaries of the negotiation. the GOP wants to put out a number to be able to say they are leaders on the issue.
    For the next 18 months we will see these type of moves from both Republicans and Democrats, by then the untrained monkeys will also be able to figure out what is going on

    Austin, Texas

    April 4, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  133. Pat in NV

    No! The only thing republicans and democrats alike might cut is social services. Members from both parties will not stray from their brothers, and they will not get much accomplished as usual. The real cuts should be in the military and pet projects the government has, but both sides rather cut education, medicare, health care etc. . . before they cut out of the real pie!

    April 4, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  134. Joni Ashton

    Jack-Until the Republican or Democratic parties put the defense budget on the chopping block they're not serious! They threaten the middle class with "entitlement" cuts but refuse to cut the corporate welfare. We have an income problem and the Republicans will never address that issue.

    And by the way, the President's Debt Commission did not have a concensus - several individuals have published their plans including Paul Ryan, the Erskine/Bowles plan, and the one that I think is the best is the one put forth by Rep. Jan Schakowsky from Illinois.

    Joni from North Carolina

    April 4, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  135. Kevin

    Heck no... if they were, then the bush tax cuts wouldn't been extended. if they were, they'd be including tax hikes not cuts in all their current proposals.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  136. Georgia

    Jack: You do know that The Republicans also want to continue The Bush taxcuts for 10 MORE years , which will ADD $4 TRILLION DOLLARS TO THE NATIONAL DEBT! So, by the end of 10 years – The Republicans will have done NOTHING to cut the National debt! NOTHING! They will NOT have cut one cent!
    The Republican's Plan is a joke! These are people who even refuse to raise taxes on the rich – so the Republicans plan to cut the national debt, will NEVER work!

    The Democrats have a better chance of succeeding at reducing the debt, since they are actually willing to raise taxes on the rich, and on corporations!

    April 4, 2011 at 5:33 pm |

    No they are not serious. Their retirement is safe, they can vote themselves raises when they choose. Why should they care about
    the old folks. Let them raid the Federal Employees Retirement Fund.Cut federal aid them we might think they care abiut Amaericans.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  138. Dan in Florida

    Absolutely, a blind person can see this. With our total debt approaching $15 Trillion (that is with a “T” not a “B”), Republicans are the only party concerned about our future and the future of our children and grand children. Republicans, want to cut $61.5 billion from current spending levels while Democrats want to cut far less. You tell me who is getting serious about meaningful cuts to our spending!

    April 4, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  139. Betty from Fl.

    The Republicans should be reminded that during the Bush administration they "borowed" billions from the S.S.TRUST fund.
    Now they are telling us S.S. needs to be cut beacause we boomers
    are running it dry.Excuse me, but payments were made into S.S. from
    all of us for decades.Now we find S.S. is running short of $.Why don't they come clean & tell us they "raped" S.S. and now blaming the "boomers" for living long enough to collect.When the Republican party pays back what is owed to S.S. I bet it would be in the black.
    Anderson Cooper should do a little investigation piece on this subject.
    I bet the Republicans would LOVE that..

    April 4, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  140. john s.

    Of course they're not. They say the deficit is at a crisis level, but they won't touch the big items for fear they won't get reelected.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  141. Bernie of Lowell, MA

    The Republicans under the rapture of the Tea Party and Libertarianism will have thrown our country into the ocean before they're finished. We don't need a tsunami. Economic collapse is their tidal "wave".

    April 4, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  142. dan

    I am glad the discussion toward balancing the budget has finally surfaced but, as the banter between you and Wolf clearly points out, deep cuts by the Republicans in those areas favored by Democrats will, in and of themselves, not be nearly enough to balance the budget. The Republicans need to realize that the wealthy and corporations need to do their fair share by accepting tax increases for the top-400, and for the corporations, just paying their taxes would help nicely.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  143. Matt4 San Antonio Texas

    The Repubicans are gonna take this country back...to about 1880.
    I seem to remember the Speaker of the House stating that they would stop Obama by piece-mealing the budget so nothing could get done.
    Sounds like the GOP is out to destroy our great nation. They came close during the Bush years, now they want to finish us all. Will you let them?

    April 4, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  144. Gill Baba

    I believe we should cut our coat according to our size, but we should also remember that America is a big country, a big size country requires an adequate coat to cover its size. It is economically stupid to keep cutting revenue (tax cut) in other to reduce deficits. If this spending cut continues without tax increase U.S will collapse like a 300lbs fat boy that wants to loose 150 lbs in one month. A debtor that refuse to do two or three jobs to pay his debt but insist on cutting back on his groceries to pay his debt will die!

    April 4, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  145. Jim

    Jack the real question is where do we borrow our money after China and other countries refuse to finance us, then we will be forced to cut. We must cut and show we are trying pay our debt.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  146. Barbara Teixeira - Las Vegas, NV

    The Republicans? What about the Democrats? Are they exempt from cutting spending? All of Congress and the President need to get serious about the deficit problem. We, the American people, need to take the checkbook and credit cards away from them until they learn that they can't spend more money than they have.

    Let's start by not sending money to every country to "help them" with their problems. We have enough problems of our own. Then we can stop getting involved in the Middle East Crises – there's a new one every day. No one in Congress is serious about cutting spending. No one!

    April 4, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  147. Tom Penrod

    C'mon Jack, when has the GOP been serious about anything other than their own self-interest? They service the "haves" and "have mores" only. Sure, maybe Newt Gingrich will waffle again, and Maybe The Speaker-of-the-House will tell us we should balance the budget the way households have to, and then get a little teary-eyed. When they address the bloated defense budget and tax corporations like "households" (this means you GE) then they will be getting serious.

    Santa Cruz CA

    April 4, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  148. Ken

    Are the Republicans serious about dealing with our budget problems? NO, but they are serious about trying to gut the New Deal and Great Society programs they've opposed for decades. Paul Ryan is serious, but he's an ideologue.

    No chance of seriously dealing with our budget issues unless increasing revenue is considered along with cutting spending.

    Four trillion dollars over 10 years? That's the amount the deficit would have been reduced if all the Bush tax cuts had all been allowed to lapse - remember?

    Cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan - at least a trillion dollars over ten years. Was revenue raised to pay for them? No. For the first time in U.S. history, taxes were reduced rather than raised during war time.

    Worried about Social Security? It could be fixed for decades by increasing the amount of income subject to FICA taxes. The key to fixing Medicare is not eliminating it but finding ways to control rising health care costs.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  149. AB

    The Republicans are serious about wrecking our nation's economy and further destroying the American standard of living. As far a sound fiscal policy is concern, their proposals are ridiculous and dangerous.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  150. BobK from Larchmont,NY


    I think the Republicans are serious about making meaningful cuts to federal spending - the problem is the President will not engage in the debate. Now that he has announced his intention to run for reelection, EVERY DECISION of his will be impacted by: HOW WILL THIS EFFECT MY REELECTION? Because debt reduction is opposed by his liberal base - he will obstruct and oppose any reduction in spending where his base will benifit. Therefore, the Republicans will not make any headway and I predict no agreement will be reached and both parties will blame each other. Blame a lack of leadership from the President of the United States!!

    April 4, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  151. ken, atlantic city, nj

    The gop is not serious about cutting because they won't cut defense and they won't raise taxes on the rich. The deficit is 1.6 trillion and the gop wants to cut 60 billion. The dems have become the party of no cuts and the gop is cutting too little to make any difference with the 15 trillion dollar debt. If they were serious they would cut 500 billion this year just like ron and rand paul proposed. It is time to stop talking and start cutting.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  152. Worried in America

    I hope so. I sit here scratching my head while the Parties argue over a $1.6 Trillion or a $1.55 Trillion one year deficit. Meaningful cuts are undeniably needed. The Dems kept pointing to the Reps to come up with an actual plan instead of just talking about reducing the deficit. Now that several have, will it result in a serious discussion.....or will it be used, as I suspect, as political ammo.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  153. Clarence

    I am sick and tired of the Republicans bad-mouthing the President of the United States. Every day or every hour some Republican is out there on the media saying bad things about everything and even the President. Who created the budget deficit? It was done during the Bush era. Interesting.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  154. claire

    No I don't think they are serious. What I do think is serious is that we are in deep trouble and they are only interested in trying to make Obama look lincompetent.
    If they were serious they would consider joining the little people and pay for their own health insurance, give up their subsidiized pension and pay into social securty. They would close the loopholes that give large corporations additional tax breaks even when they are receiving subsistence.
    Increase the tax percentage for the millionairs.

    That would be sdeious.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  155. Martha Wheeler

    If the Republicans were really serious about the deficit, they would rescind the Bush tax cuts, tax hedge fund managers at the same rate as people who work for a living, stop giving tax subsidies to oil companies and tax breaks to corporations who ship jobs overseas, allow Medicare to bargain for prescription drug prices, etc. Fact of history-Republicans at the national level have never balanced a budget and have only increased the national debt. Reagan and Bush 1 quadrupled the national debt. Clinton ended up with a surplus. Bush 11 ran deficits every year he was president. Give me a break- just look at historical facts. Deficits are a Republican creation so I'm not holding out hope.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  156. scott

    The gop is serious about cutting entitlement programs! They should look at how bloated the federal government is with too many employees and not enough work to keep them busy. They could do more work with less people.Cut all they want, as long as we keep policing the world the deficit will never balance.The american taxpayer is the one who has to watch their standard of living & quality of life erode while we try to solve everyone's elses problems.Tell me what is not an interest of the u.s.a.'s foreign policy.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  157. John in Iowa

    Until they get serious about eliminating 'Pork Barrel' spending, pet projects, and all sorts of grants, then they aren't really serious about cutting spending and reducing the deficit.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  158. Joyce Grissom, Marshall, TX

    They want to make cuts, just not "meaningful" ones to them. The GOP wants to provide as much to corporate America in payment for continued funding of their political careers. The GOP will cut at the heart of America, in an unAmerican way.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  159. Conor in Chicago

    The Republicans will never get serious about the deficit. The reason is because they aim to continue the Corporatacracy and make it stronger. To do that you need a bloated military budget and massive military to go with it. To do that you need to find creative ways to justify cutting needed programs-etc.

    Perpahs once we are all in the streets beggining but Wall Street still profits and we have invaded 5 more countries people will understand this.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  160. Kevin

    Jack, the Republican party is so desperate to recover from the failings of the Bush years that they are doing anything they can to destroy anything that the Democrats have done in an effort to appear effective. Unfortunately, instead of looking like crusaders for the good of America, they are looking like a party of obstructionists who are unwittingly destroying it.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  161. Shawn

    My parents' and grandparents' generations reaped the benefits of the incredible debt they racked up, so I think Medicare and Social Security should be cut to balance the budget. It's time to pay the piper.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  162. Jeff in NC

    Neither the Dems nor the Dems are serious about tackling the debt and spending. They are only trying to score Party points and get re-elected.

    It is so bad that they are past the tipping point and one day soon...very soon, they're going to get a phone call from our creditors telling them what to do.

    God help us.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  163. Brandon McDonald

    The Republicans are serious about it but the field is not level. The percentage that we all pay is not level. The middle class pay a higher percentage in taxes' than the rich. How is that right? I am a republican but damn I work hard for my money and while I am sure most rich people do as well but how is it fair for us to kill our selfs for other to pay nothing into the system at all and other pay less into the system? Those who leach off the government (my money) who are more than capable of working need to stop holding out a hand and start offering a hand.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  164. Von Shipman, Valdosta, GA

    Let's face the facts my friend. Cutting federal spending will be difficult. However, it must be done. The question is how can it be done that will satisfy everyone. Unfortunately everyone must step up and accept a cut in their special interest. I propose we cut deep then make adjustments based on need over the next two years. Many can adjust to the cuts. There is no way we can continue to spend our way out of this mess. It is time to stop the madness...........

    April 4, 2011 at 5:59 pm |