Instead of the Buffett Rule, why doesn't President Obama talk about cutting spending?
April 10th, 2012
03:40 PM ET

Instead of the Buffett Rule, why doesn't President Obama talk about cutting spending?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama's push for the Buffett Rule is nothing more than election year baloney.

And that's putting it nicely.

Fact is, if the proposal to raise taxes on the wealthy passes - which it won't - it will raise less than $5 billion a year in additional revenue - for the next ten years. This country, under Mr. Obama, is running $1 trillion-plus deficits annually. $5 billion a year is less than a drop in the bucket.

The so-called Buffett Rule is based on the idea that millionaires and billionaires, like Warren Buffett, shouldn't pay a lower percentage of their income in federal taxes than middle class Americans.

President Obama wants millionaires to pay at least 30% of their income in federal taxes. Senate Democrats are expected to vote on similar legislation next week.

This is all great politics if you're running for re-election. Divide the country along economic lines. Those nasty one-percenters versus the masses. Class warfare at its finest.

But there is no talk of cutting spending - spending which has added more to the national debt under President Obama in three and a half years than under former President George W. Bush in eight years.

A report out today says Obamacare will add $340 billion to the deficit over the next decade.

In a likely effort to get ahead of the criticism, the Obama Administration acknowledges that the Buffett Rule will do absolutely nothing to bring the deficit down and get the debt under control. They say it's all about fairness.

They're using it to talk about the wealthy - conveniently including Mitt Romney - paying their "fair share."
Republicans call it an election year stunt - which it clearly is.

Tax experts say the Buffett Rule would only further complicate an already complex tax code.

Here’s my question to you: Instead of the Buffett Rule, why doesn't President Obama talk about cutting spending?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 5pm 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.

Posted by
Filed under: President Barack Obama • Spending
soundoff (109 Responses)
  1. barbara in nc

    Why aren't you listening? He has talked about cutting spending - especially the subsidies to the oil companies. That sure got shot down fast by the lobbyists. Why don't you listen before you come up with these biased questions that just rile up the baggers?

    April 10, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
  2. Jenna Roseville CA

    Instead of the Buffett Rule, why doesn't President Obama talk about cutting spending?

    Did I miss something, I thought the Obama administration has done a ton of spending cuts already. You can't get blood from a stone Jack.

    Maybe its time we focus on repealing the tax breaks for BIG OIL and the wealthy.

    Roseville CA

    April 10, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
  3. John from Alabama

    Jack: President Obama did talk to the Speaker of the House about cutting spending. The offer was $4 trillion over 10 years, but the Speaker could not get the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party to agree. President Obama then moved toward the Buffett Rule has away get more funds to cut the deficit. Until the House and Senate are controlled by one party there will be no answer to cutting spending, or raising taxes on wealthest people.

    April 10, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
  4. bonnie from NJ

    Obama has offered Congress spending cuts that were thrown back in his face. Just because he his not saying it in this particular instance does not mean it is not part of his whole package. What I want to know is why is everyone democrat or republican who speaks of spending cuts does not mention the military, only domestic programs that help the middle class.

    April 10, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
  5. Russ in PA

    Cut spending? Democrats and Republicans? Are you serious? Only Ron Paul has the gumption to take on such a challange. The rest of the political horde is too busy pandering and planning their next raid on the American public to be bothered with spending cuts. Afer all, the public school system, the Federal Reserve, the MSM, and most politicians spends a lot of time and money convincing people that one must "invest" in technology and training, etc. Unfortunately one does not escape from a debt crisis by spending more money. But such logic escapes the political class.

    The best answer here is once again: Ron Paul in 2012...

    April 10, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
  6. Tom (Atlanta)

    In 2008, the President answered that when he said it wasn't that taxing millionaires will raise much money and decrease the deficit, he sai it was "fair". Right, fair is a a relativistic term but truth is what is good for everyone may not fit the Presidents understanding of economics. Building the economy creates more money for the very people to whom he wants to distribute wealth. But, taxing the very people who create the economy is known not to grow the economy. On the contrary it is known to shrink it. Karl Marks found that out too. :-/

    April 10, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
  7. Emmett M. Smith

    That's an easy question, Jack. The reason that Obama doesn't cut spending is that this is an election year. He might alienate some special interest group if he cut their pet program. Emmett Smith, Mobile, AL

    April 10, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
  8. Richard C.

    Jack, the Buffett Rule is meaningless when almost 50% of people in this country pay no taxes. This is typical Obama grandstanding to penalize those who have earned their money and to redistribute wealth. Obama has a vendetta against corporate entities and wants to demonize success. Stop the bail outs and wasteful spending on boodoggles like Solyndra and maybe the Obama deficit disaster will be reduced.
    Malvern, PA.

    April 10, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
  9. Susan-NJ

    Pres Obamam is following the Kennedy-Johnson rule: Spend like there is no tomorrow and make the lower upper and middle class pay for it while the rich skate and reap the benefits of a better educated low wage employee.

    April 10, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
  10. Herman Portland OR

    The President has talked about cutting spending and has promised to do so. From a re election & democratic point of view it is not a good subject to run a campaign. The vision or the ideologies of the President the administration are far from the realities of fiscal discipline and economic growth.

    April 10, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
  11. Randy

    Because the people would rather have roads, police, military, firemen, social security, Medicare/aid, and countless other benefits of civilized society than to help buy another corporate jet or pink bentley for Paris Hilton.

    April 10, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
  12. Steve, Clifton, Virginia

    Not only has the President talked about spending cuts, he has proposed it on numerous occasions with the house Speaker who at one time was agreeable to a deal to cut spending and raise taxes. The President also proposed spending cuts in the amount of approximately $4 Trillion during the Commission on Spending. The President has proposed putting Medicare and Social Security reform on the table however, the Republicans seems to be working more towards ensuring the Presidents failure and only serving one term than they are interested in spending cuts or a balanced budget. The Republicans are more interested in preserving the Bush Tax cuts which significantly contributed to the state of our economy than elimination of the deficits. Since the Republicans are only focused on a single component of the deficit which is unbalanced, the President is sticking to his guns and addressing 'one" of the single important components of a balanced approach to elimination of the deficit. Your question would have been better served had it been asked in a balanced fashion as opposed to placing all of the burden on the President. Why can't the Republicans talk about something other the refusal to raise taxes regardless of the fairness or equity of the issue?

    April 10, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  13. Steve Merritt

    How about both? Oh, wait - he HAS. You've deliberately failed to mention there are also spending CUTS proposed in President Obama's latest budget because you want make it look like we have to have one or the other - Steve M, Suntree, FL

    April 10, 2012 at 1:50 pm |

    Because the uber rich needs to help get the country back on track. They have their secret accounts overseas, and we have to foot the bill while they hide their money .

    April 10, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
  15. Thinkforyourself, OK

    Because Obama is ONLY INTERESTED in creating a division between classes. Kinda like Vlad Lenin during the Bolshevik Revolution. You must first Bankrupt a country and create CHAOS to bring about Marxist Socialism.

    April 10, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
  16. Conor in Chicago

    That's funny Jack. You know why? Because President Obama talks about cutting spending all of the time. The difference is that he talks about increasing tax revenue along side spending cuts. I know that might not fit your narrative for the day but that doesn't give you the right to turn into a right wing hack out of nowhere...

    April 10, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
  17. Loren

    Because it is not part of his political agenda, i.e. blame the rich for America's problems. Once he talks about government spending, then he puts the Democratic Party in the crosshairs and that is not the message – blame the Republicans, the party of the rich. President Obama, politics all of the time.

    April 10, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
  18. Jim


    Obama has had a lot to say about searching for ways to cut spending. Were you on vacation. Or perhaps you're asking why Obama isn't advocating taking a Ryan meat ax to vital social programs. The answer is simple. Such cuts hurt people, and specifically the people who can least afford the pain. Obama cares about the poor and middle class in this country, unlike conservative Republicans.

    Reno, Nevada

    April 10, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
  19. Thinkforyourself, OK

    Obama is NOT INTERESTED in saving the country. He is only interested in Fundamentally Changing it from Capitalist to Marxist Socialist.

    April 10, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
  20. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    Jack, I think you are misinformed. Obama had agreement with Boehner with big cuts and tax increases but Cantor and the other tea party members told Boehner no. But I guess you can blame is Obama too, because he did not take it into account that Cantor and the tea party members in the house were calling the shots and Boehner was nothing but a puppet on strings, plus the fact that the Republican Party was stupid enough to make a pledge to one man, Glover Nordquist not to raise taxes especially on the rich. When you have a wealthy man running for president who has offshore Cayman Island accounts and pays less tax than the average citizen, I don't care what you say that needs to change.

    April 10, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
  21. pat in michigan

    Sorry Jack that is not in his DNA. Social Architecture costs money. and you can't bomb the hell out of other countries and provide for us too without running a deficit.Everyone knows this Bufett rule is just a dog and pony show.The Dems don't have the votes and the republicans won't vote for it so it's a dead horse .Pass out the fiddles!

    April 10, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
  22. Doug Ericson

    Neither Party has offered anything serious to cut back the budget deficit. Congressman Paul Ryan doesn't even know what effect his own budget plan will have. When interviewed recently on TV, Ryan repeatedly said, "I don't know", to questions asked by the interviewer, Cindy Crowley. Neither Party is willing to cut in a meaningful way, so we are about to get another round of big tax increases. Expect your Real Estate taxes to double their current rate in the next ten years. Say goodbye to your Mortgage Tax Deduction. Say hello to a National Sales tax on everything. Get used to your property tax payments being higher than your mortgage payments, even as the value of your house continues to trend downwards. The Government has become bigger and more powerful than the people it is supposed to be working for. There is nothing you can do about it, and as my fith grade teacher liked to say, " there izzz noooooo ezzzzzzcaaaaaaaaaaaaape." Doug, Pepperell, MA.

    April 10, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
  23. ken, atlantic city, nj

    Obama is the clown who made a deal with boner to extend the bush tax cuts for two years. If obama were serious about the 16 trillion dollar debt he would just let all the bush tax cuts expire, and cut defense spending 25%. He is just pandering to the voters who know it will never pass anyway because both the dems and pubs in congress are owned by wall street. The federal debt is now 100% equal to the entire GDP of the U.S. Instead of threatening syria and iran and laughing at romney obama needs to cut the deficit in half like he promised during his 2008.

    April 10, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
  24. Ed from California

    Sounds good to me, Hannity! We need to cut welfare out completely............. to, oil companies, defense contractors, health care insurance companies, big agriculture, telecommunication companies, pharmaceutical companies, all the red states that use the Medicaid tax dollars for their general budget and lets stop returning more in tax benefits to the red states than they pay in federal tax........yeah lets stop welfare altogether. Let stop these damn wars!! That's 10 billion a month!

    Or, perhaps, we need to bring the outsourced jobs back and get America back to work, like about 30 million unemployed people, and get them paying taxes again. The US has lost 50K factories since the turn of the century, we need them back!! Then we can balance budgets again. Mr. Boehner, "Where are the jobs"??

    April 10, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
  25. Richard Oak Harbor, Wa

    Cutting spending responsibly will take time. Rooting out the waste and inefficiency of a reckless spending non-partisan government beuracracy should be the main priority in saving taxpayers money. In the meantime the tax revenue gap should be funded by the grateful to be American wealthiest among us. Thanks for your contribution Mr. Buffet.

    April 10, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
  26. Pete in Florida

    Obama has spoken MANY times about cutting spending, COUPLED WITH increasing taxes on the wealthy and reducing some corporate welfare. Any nonpartisan economist will agree that it will take a combination of reduced spending AND increased revenues to fix our deficit and debt problem. Republicans want to only cut spending, while Obama and the Dems want to do both. Your anti-Obama bias is showing again, Jack, with this unfair and dishonest question.

    April 10, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
  27. wahela

    He gave Congress a budget that would cut something like $4 Trillion dollars over 5 years. And the Obstructionists and filibustering prevented it. Obama states a lot that we need both. We cannot do it all on spending cuts. Cuts and revenue are the best ways to do it. And now that the wars are winding down, we will hopefully have more revenue saved by saving this money. However, he has been saying for a couple of years now that we need to do both. Cuts and revenue together. The GOP wants to use spending cuts only, and of course, from entitlements that are desperately needed right now due to the economy. The GOP refuses to add taxes, even tho their hero raised taxes several times. When the economy is good, we don't need so much revenue, when the economy is doing poorly, we need additional revenue.

    April 10, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
  28. Don Desaulniers (Belleville, Canada)

    He does talk about cutting spending. Problem is, he can't bring himself to actually do it. My guess is that he adheres to the now discredited politicians' cardinal rule that for every billion dollars in actual spending cuts, a presidential candidate loses four votes more than he gains. You do the math, Jack.

    April 10, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
  29. Beth O'Connor-Ontario, Canada

    I am glad to see that Obama is still pushing to pass the Buffet Rule. This is a matter of fairness. Why should struggling Americans have to pay a higher rate of tax than the wealthy? It is not surprising that Republicans refuse to go along with raising taxes of the wealthy because that would include them. There is something very self-serving go on here. Obama has talked about ways of reducing spending but he is criticised here too because he is hesitant to cut entitlements such as social services and wants to put more money into education. How is that a bad thing? The last stat I heard indicated the U.S. rates 26 in the world with regards to education. Leave Obama alone, he was handed an enormous mess back in 2008 and has done an impressive job of getting the country back on track. Sure there is still a long way to go, but what evidence is there that the Republicans could do any better? They created this mess and, sure the players have changed since the Bush administration, but the ideologies of the GOP have not and therein lies the problem.

    April 10, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
  30. Cliff Glass - Rego Park, New York

    The current Washington practice of legalized bribery prevents any objective decision on spending cuts. The special interests who don't need government subsidies and loopholes pay their advocates – read Congress – to keep feeding at the public trough while Americans who rely on government programs have few, if any advocates. With Congressional obfuscation, filibusters, and the new math of 60 vote majorities, President Obama is doing his best given the existing endemic corruption.

    April 10, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
  31. Bill of New Mexico

    Debtors cannot be choosy.

    It is presumptious of Obama and the US to think that there is still control over the budget and taxes of the US.

    Ask Greece, Italy, and Spain if they have control of theirs.

    The next President of the US may think that he too has choices.

    But, the following President will clearly know that the US has run out of choices.

    It will be a bitter education for us all! Our economy will have no energy, no power. No choice is no fun.

    April 10, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
  32. tom Bulger, Canandaigua, NY

    There have been too many spending cuts already. By cutting jobs and spending the federal government has slowed the recovery. Federal employees spend their salaries in our economy and pay taxes instead of collecting unemployment.

    The Pentagon is where cuts should occur. Republicans have not only fought against them, but the Ryan budget increases military spending. General Eisenhower preached that it was a drain on the economy.

    April 10, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
  33. Pete in Georgia

    Assuming this is a serious question, it's all about a government bent on a road to socialism where Big Government takes care of you from cradle to grave. And in the process you dumb down America even further, killing what free enterprise spirit there is still trying to survive.
    Beyond pathetic.

    April 10, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
  34. Kim , Dodge City, Ks

    Why can't we do both? Convert the military to strictly high-tech, eliminate congressional pensions and health plans, (lord knows they can pay for their own), eliminate the vast majority of foreign aid, and set a flat income tax of 30% for everyone, including corporations and religious organizations.

    April 10, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
  35. David

    OMG: Obama Must Go!!!

    April 10, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
  36. Frank Poynton from Los Angeles

    Over the years just how much talk have we heard from politicians about spending cuts and what has all that talk gotten us? Talking about spending cuts is the tired mantra of practically every politician either running for office or currently sitting in office. President Obama is talking about a revenue source with the Buffett Rule, and thusly not beating a dead horse.

    April 10, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  37. Max Brooks

    Because 'cutting spending' is a dirty word to a lot of politicians, just like 'marijuana legalization' and 'the constitution'. The bulk of America knows that these aren't dirty words and our politicians should treat them seriously instead of just sticking their fingers in their ears and going LALALALALA whenever someone says one of these things.

    April 10, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  38. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Voters don't want to hear about cutting spending. They want to hear about what are they going to do to help me get a job with benefits. This talk of taxes is nothing more than campaign spin to win votes since nothing will change, again.

    April 10, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
  39. Michael Bindner, Alexandria VA

    Cutting defense spending, indeed, most spending, will slow the economy – which is not what we need right now. The Buffett rule is entirely political. The real action is from the prospect that Obama can, if he wants to, veto any extension of the Bush tax cuts. Once the wealthy realize he holds all the cards, they will tell their pet Republican legislators to make a deal on long term tax reform.

    April 10, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
  40. David in Tampa

    Beats me Jack. I would welcome a dialogue on cutting spending at the national level. Let us hear from where and by how much, not only Obama and the Democrats, but (looks most likely) Romney and the Republicans want to make cuts so we can make an informed decision for whom to give our votes. Fat chance of any of these people ever being honest enough, or respectful of the electorate to do that. Also, how would both parties deal with taxes if they can not cut spending sufficiently. We have been playing the tax break game so long that the first thing out of their irresponsible yaps is more tax breaks while the deficit and debt skyrocket. Enough is enough guys; you have already given away the farm and sold every bridge in America on far too many occasions.

    April 10, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  41. Richard Texas

    For a man that is half black and half white you would think he would understand prejudice and segregation better. Obama wants everyone to accept him for what he is as a person and not the color of his skin yet when it comes to the wealthy he is prejudice at their success. We know this by his pushing the Warren Buffet rule inciting voters by putting the wealthy at odds against the middle class and poor. You can not preach equality and then push to make some pay more taxes then others because they are successful and have means. All people should pay the same tax rate regardless of their power, wealth or influence or lack thereof.

    April 10, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
  42. Ed from Texas

    The President attempted "the grand bargain," but you cannot reduce the deficit by spending cuts alone. Jack, don't you remember that debate? When all the Republican candidates said they would not accept $1 in tax increases for $10 in spending cuts.

    April 10, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
  43. chris

    brilliant idea but the president and congress is too dumb to figure out how

    April 10, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
  44. Ken from Pinon Hills, California

    No cuts in spending equals no cuts in profits.
    In the bottomless pit of profits, why doesn't the marketplace cut the price of goods and services. Spending cuts means cutting profits for business. Oh didn't you guys know, it is our socialistic free enterprise system, national spending and borrowing, funneled to the marketplace, and to the pockets of the 99 percent rest of us.
    It has been government welfare for all of us, and non dare or can stop it.

    April 10, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
  45. Mr. D

    Obama isn't that interested in the "Buffet Rule" He is more preoccupied with the "Obama Rule" (more government spending.) We cannot "level" the playing field for everyone in this country by uninhibited government spending.

    April 10, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
  46. Doreen Augusta, Maine

    President Obama has consistently talked about cutting expenditures as well as taxing the wealthy their fair share. I don't know what you are thinking when you say he hasn't discussed cutting costs. He tried to get Boehner to cut costs last year, but Boehner caved when his Republican pals fought him on everything. We need both, and President Obama has said so for quite some time.

    April 10, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
  47. bob z. from pa.

    well since the usa was downgraded again on april 5 2012 the usa will have to cut spending or we will be like greese in a year or two this pres has to go with the rest of the dem spend trifts

    April 10, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  48. gg canada

    i guess shipping the manufacturing jobs to china ,when your population was growing was not a good idea,what were they thinking.not everybody can work at wal-mart,so where do you cut ,welfare,food stamps,do away with social security,medicare.medicade,employment benifits.it took 30 yrs getting into the mess.it will take a while to get out off.if the1% does not step up to the plate they will be the biggest losers

    April 10, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  49. latonafamily

    Cutting spending is not going to get him any votes. Those on the receiving end hear 'cut spending' and think it directly means them. Instead it's 'let's go after the rich' rhetoric. Now that is going to get him support.

    His actions are not politics. They are disgusting. It should be illegal for him to lie to the country. It's illegal if you lie to the government but apparently not the other way around.

    April 10, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  50. Ed from Texas

    You've forgotten, Jack, the Bush tax cuts expire December 31st and CBO says that will reduce our deficit by $370 billion a year. Also, those automatic spending cuts agreed to during the debt crisis are going to start happening. Yes, if our politicians do nothing, our deficit problem is going to be reduced. There's hope, Jack, because doing nothing is what they do best.

    April 10, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
  51. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    What spending would he cut? Medicare? Social Security? Defense- no way, the GOP wants to expand it and have more wars! I know, lets eliminate FEMA, Education, IRS, Homeland Security, Secret Service and Energy then cut Medicare in half, SS by 2/3rds and pay all of our bill so we have more money for wars and to give to other countries. After that the President can move back to Chicago and teach economics.

    April 10, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
  52. Julia, Fayetteville, NC

    The President has learned what he can do about anything – nothing. My real concern is ...WHAT HAPPENS IF MY PRESIDENT IS RE-ELECTED??????????????? NOTHING AGAIN?????

    April 10, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
  53. Karl in Flint, MI

    Better question: Why should President Obama talk about spending cuts instead of the Buffet Rule. It was the Bush unfunded tax cuts [and don't forget his two unfunded wars] that made the rich even richer and dug the hole we are in that need to be reversed and the income increased. There isn't much to cut that won't make the poor even poorer, the schools less educational, our infrastructure a bigger disaster then it already is. That is stupid and this president isn't stupid. The GOP want to take us back a century in many ways but the president want to get up into the real 21st century.

    April 10, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
  54. Noel Sivertson, Roswell, New Mexico.

    If Obama starts talking about cutting spending the Republicans will very quickjly start talking about getting rid of Medicare and privatizing Social Security (and wouldn't some Wall Streeters love to start stealing that!).

    But nobody will start talking about defense spending cuts. As soon as a new military aircraft comes off the assmbly line the military-industrial complex begins designing a new one to replace it.

    Nobody talks about stopping the wars that drain our economy. And Iran is just waiting until after the election. We always find money to kill people a half a world away but never a dime to help disadvantaged Americans at home.

    If going bankrupt is the only way to quit starting wars across the globe then I say lets spend and spend until the money runs out. We may not be better off for it, but much of the world will be.

    April 10, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
  55. Rick, Medina, OH


    Obama did not create $1 trillion per year in new spending. His administration is spending what Congress passed and previous presidents signed, including the 'Bush' tax cuts, two wasteful wars, and the prescription drug add-on to Medicare, which costs more than ObamaCare ever will. And yes, we do need to cut spending, and overhaul the tax system, which won't happen until people stop pointing fingers, and actually lend a hand. The 'Buffett' rule may be mostly symbolic, but if it gets people talking about the right things, it is worth it.

    Medina, OH

    April 10, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
  56. wayne, va beach, va

    Cutting spending is not in the DEM. dna. But then theres a lot of things lacking in his dna.

    April 10, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
  57. Phyllis G. Williams

    Instead of the Buffett Rule, why doesn't President Obama talk about cutting spending?

    "God loveth a cheerful Giver" (2nd Cor. 9: 7) if they realize that "the profit of the earth is for all"
    "He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver"(Eccle. 5: 9) and give cheerfully to
    help others, God answereth them in the joy of their hearts (Eccle. 5: 20).
    " Cutting spending" is usually criticized as "doing nothing" as all progress requires finance.

    April 10, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
  58. Steve

    The reason Obama doesn't talk about cutting spending is because that would destroy his base of support from the Liberals which is the gimmie culture. The old saying is, don't bite the hand that feeds you. He wants to raise the taxes on the people that work for a living so he can give more to the people that don't want to work. Gimmie culture uses terms like the party of hate and the party of no. In realty the Democrats are the party of hate and the party of no. They're using reverse Phycology. Look at the news today, it's the Democrats/Wall Street Occupiers and others that are demonstrating out there. The bottom line is vote the Democrat bums out and the country will be prosperous again. At least under Bush, I had a job and the unemployment was asveraging at 5.5%. Today it's between 8.0% and 9.0%. It all started with rumdum Democrats taking over Congress in 2006 and kept on getting worse in 2008. The deficit is out of of control and racism getting worse. That's is the real story.
    By the way Jack, I congratulate you asking a question finally not involving a Republican canditate. Maybe if you can split your questions, in the future, 50% about the Democrats and 50% about the Republicans that would be considered fair and unbiased. .

    April 10, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
  59. David

    I voted Democrat in 2008. I HOPE Obama understands that I plan to CHANGE my vote for a new President that will serve all Americans. OMG: Obama Must Go!!!!

    April 10, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
  60. david from herndon, va

    Because he doesn't have any adults left to work with. Any reasonable person knows the only answer is both tax hikes and spending cuts. But for three years now we've seen the GOP hold the country hostage - they're on some bizarre anti-tax religious boondoggle while screaming for cuts to anything that helps poor and sick people. It takes both.

    April 10, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
  61. Gary in San Jose, California

    Obama doesn't want to talk about spending cuts for the same reason all the other politicians avoid discussing spending cuts. It's hard to get elected when you're telling your constituents what you're not going to do for them. Apparently we would rather hear lies. If we had a balanced budget amendment then we would debate the areas to cut instead of the need to cut.

    April 10, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
  62. Simon/Orlando

    Because spending the country into insurmountable debt is part of his plan to destroy and than remake the country into his socialist dream. Read "Atlas Shrugged ". You'll see what's in our future.

    April 10, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
  63. thom richer

    Immediate withdrawal of all troops in the Middle east would be a huge cut in spending and wasting our tax dollars and just may be enough until we get really serious about our economic, health, social and educational problems.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    April 10, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
  64. gg canada

    how many so called capitalist depend on goverment money.or go out of buisness.the same people that do not want to pay taxes

    April 10, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
  65. Ms. M

    Your taxed if you make money, your taxed if you save money, your taxed if you die, your taxed if you live. Never mind the middle class make or break moment, all classes will freeze in their current state, until the rich no longer are motivated to earn. They are already rich... If I were a Buffet I would stop making money. I think it would be more effective to the economy to require every college student to attend Harvard for a week and learn how to think for yourself.

    April 10, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
  66. Patricia - Arizona

    Because in Washington, Rule One—to get yourself elected—trumps all others, including Mr. Buffet's. There's little time for frills, like actually getting anything done. But lest you despair, the Golden Rule still lives in the hearts of many a proud lawmaker: Get as much gold as you can in case you don't get voted back.

    April 10, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
  67. Kim , Dodge City, Ks

    Depends on what you want them to cut. Their pensions, pay rates and health care packages? The obeese military budget? Government fraud and waste (GSA anybody?). Foreign aid, oil and farm subsidies, foreign travel? Dream on,Jack. The only time they do any cutting is if it affects only us little people, not them. I wouldn't trust these guys to cut anything meaningful, ever.

    April 10, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
  68. Riley ODay

    All of the current spending keeps people employed. Where will they work if funding is cut ? Put taxes to the max.
    The United States is in financial trouble. Go get the money.

    April 10, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
  69. BILL, WI

    It's an election year. In this moment in time politicans are happier spewing rhetoric and promises than anything of substance.

    April 10, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
  70. Annie, Atlanta

    But he has, and will continue. He ended the war in Iraq and more government employees have found their jobs disappear under Obama than Bush. The FDA is running on bare bones. His health care program removed the donut hole in Medicare. And I could go on and on. The military could be cut severely, but Republicans won't allow it. May I remind you of Greece's recent austerity, as well as austerity in England that has plunged that country back into recession. I don't think you're really looking at him cutting us back into a recession, are you?

    April 10, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
  71. Roy Birdzell

    A Democrat talking about cutting spending Jack? That would like asking a leopard to change its spots.

    Roy, FL

    April 10, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
  72. MNResident

    You are overlooking the biggest and easiest answer–IT'S AN ELECTION YEAR! It is more politically advantageous for Obama to talk about 'taxing that millionaire behind the tree" than to talk about cutting government. This is especially true considering Obama's core voters–the dependent class of government workers and people dependent on government paychecks via various programs that can be called "welfare".

    April 10, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
  73. JD in NH

    Maybe President Obama listens to economists, most of whom agree that cutting government spending during dire economic times is not a good thing to do. What's so horrible about fat cats paying their fair share? It's not like we ask them to serve in the military or anything.

    April 10, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
  74. Annie, Atlanta

    Why don't you pick out the Bush budget which ran through October 2009 and the money from programs started under him to try to kick-start the failing economy? Yes, we've seen an increase in the deficit since Obama took office, but not to point out that not all the money was him is disingenuous. You get your talking points from Luntz, too? And who is really dividing this country along economic lines when the GOP is taking care of the wealthy and kicking the rest of us to the curb. Let's go back to tax brackets under Eisenhower, or even Nixon or Reagan for that matter, and really get you GOPers howling.

    April 10, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
  75. Mark from New Jersey

    Yeah, Jack! Blame the president, for two unfunded wars, (which he has included in the budget which Bush falied to do), and a huge tax cut (benefiting disproportianately the wealthiest, which he foolishly extended). Go tell the Republicans to cut the military budget (they can't wait to shovel even more tax dollars at the military, even more than they ask for.) We tried giant tax cuts and we almost wound up in a second Depression, and Europe is trying "austerity" and they are heading back into recession. When we had high taxes in the fifties, we actually built roads bridges, parks, and dams and a middle class that made this country the marvel of the world. Those that have not learned the lessons of history are doomed to repeat it, but cut away Jack, just don't do it at the expense of the people who built this country, and not just for those who by rigging the rules, profit from it.

    April 10, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
  76. Jeff In Minnesota

    A Democrat cut spending? That's like asking a Republican to raise taxes! Congress couldn't even vote for Simpons-Bowles and you want the President to talk about spending cuts. What's the color of the sky in your world Jack?

    April 10, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  77. Dave, Orlando, FL

    Because, to put it nicely, he is full of baloney, and has been ever since he organized a community. (And I’m not even sure he did that very well either.) He has no clue how to fix our problems, nor does he care. He only worries about how to get himself elected. You can take that to mean that he is the best politician ever. Cutting spending causes pain. He is smart enough to not cause pain before an election. And that’s why he doesn’t talk about cutting spending.

    April 10, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  78. Gigi Oregon

    It may be bologna to you Jack, but paying taxes is what builds a strong America. And the rich need to invest in this country or leave. It's the Patriotic thing to do. I'd rather pay taxes than be a rich squatter.

    April 10, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
  79. Rebecca from Georgia

    Cutting spending isn't much of an option when you're trying to keep the country from a second Great Depression. The Buffet Rule is a fair idea. If the wealthy paid as much or a little more than the middle or lower income people do that's fair. Think about it if we raise taxes in general I can imagine the rise in crime rates. People killing for money just to buy food or gas. We need to tax the people who can afford to give.

    April 10, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
  80. Larry Feierstein-Denver

    Its all baloney Jack, no matter the discussion. So do you want quality baloney out of the democrats? or second rate baloney, a bit state from the Republicans. The more things change the more they stay the same.

    April 10, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
  81. Dan in Albuquerque

    Jack,the problem with a flat statement that we should cut spending is that the GOP's ideas on what to cut are damaging to the country and would result in an even bigger problem than we have today. Cutting spending the Republican way means more jobs lost, college educations lost, health care deterioration not , fewer teachers, firefighters and policemen, losing medicare and medicaid. plus a lot of other regressive measures. That's the GOP way. The Democrats say cutting spending in critical areas and giving more tax breaks to rhe wealthy destroys the middle class Cut spendingon a gradual basis, but continue spending on programs that help create jobs and helpeople.

    April 10, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  82. Bruce Harrer

    He does not talk about cutting spending because fundamentally he does not want to cut spending and he would be the bearer of bad news if he were to advocate spending cuts. He is not the only politician to avoid the tough issues that must be resolved to restore fiscal sanity to this country, but he has taken the idea of deficit spending to a whole new level. Rather than working with Congress to make hard choices about what the Government should and should not do, he views the Government as both the driver of economic growth and the means to ensure fairness in society.

    April 10, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  83. Liz

    The Republican party is so blindly immersed in their ideology that they wouldn't recognize irony if it bit them on their butts. They have the gall to cry "class warfare" whenever someone proposes raising taxes on the wealthy, yet they continue to push for even more tax breaks for wealthy individuals and corporations. Then they turn around and offset these sweet deals with cuts to public education, and social services VITAL to the middle class as well as the poor. Of course, these programs are of little or no use to the wealthy. However, for the middle class, the loss of these services are no less damaging than a major tax increase to the middle class. Hypocrites.

    April 10, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  84. Larry in Houston

    Instead of the Buffett Rule, why doesn't President Obama talk about cutting spending ?
    Warren Buffet doesn't care – He's got plenty of money, and doesn't need favors like the Oil Companies do, and their Lobbyists do, such as giving them a break. So, in essence, 'ol Warren doesn't care if Obama uses his name or not, it's no skin off his back.
    BUT – the Oil Companies, ( or some may call them, BIG OIL ) when Obama had tried to cut Their Subsidies, guess what happened ? Their Lobbyists ends up putting Obama's head in a Vise, and Obama knows it. They All Cave to the Huge Corporations, and Big Companies, it doesn't matter Who's in Office, they ALL Cave. When a President is against something the Big Corporations does, or say, They will do things to him – that will cost him . whether it be Votes – or whatever. That's Just the way it is.

    April 10, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  85. Stella-Northern New York

    Hello Jack. It's not about cutting spending its about "fairness". Let's first get down to leveling the playing field for all of us and then concentrate on where to cut and where we need to spend. Your just upset because YOU and others like you may have to start paying your fair share again. Kinda got use to having the poor and middle class make all the sacrifices while you continued to better your standard of living. Don't worry it won't pass. The Republicans always take care of themselves first and the 1%. Their like you Jack. It's all abourt ME,ME,ME.

    April 10, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  86. Michael, from Smiths, Alabama

    You must live under a rock, Jack. Obama has been talking about spending cuts and even implemented quite a few of them, for the last three years. Taxing the wealthy would also need to be added to the spending cuts, so that people like Romney won't accumulate enough wealth to buy a small island. Clearly, the GOP propaganda machine has been working overtime to make this, like all of Obama's other good ideas, look like an apocalypse.

    April 10, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  87. Rich in Gainesville FL

    He's not insulting our intelligence by talking about cutting spending when we know he'll never do it. That's more than I can say about the Republicans who talk the talk but never ever walk the walk.

    April 10, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  88. Ed in California

    Robin Hood this President isn't, he is more like corrupt Sheriff. To discuss cutting government programs which benefit those who don't WANT to work would cost this Sheriff re-election.

    April 10, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  89. deborah ballweg Seibert, co

    Because his largest conginent are freeloaders. I heard today that people who pay no taxes are getting earned income checks. Who would vote against that?

    April 10, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  90. Dan from Stewartstown PA

    There once was a man named Obama.
    With Boehner he tried stopping drama.
    But in case you did miss it.
    The Tea Party said "kiss it."
    Now we're all better fleeced than a Llama.

    April 10, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  91. Bob in Florida

    The President offers both spending cuts and tax revenue ideas. Jack, why do you choose to ignore that?

    April 10, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  92. DT - Saint Paul, MN

    I agree with you Jack, but for different reasons. Here is what you do if you're Obama. Take the Current revenue divided by Current expenses. As an example lets say its 90%. Propose a bill that cuts ALL spending to 90%. Put in the bill that all of these changes will go into effect in 1 year or very soon. Beg the Democrats to let it pass. Then go on t.v. and tell the people of this country if they want to repeal the bill and raise taxes on the rich instead of cutting programs, to vote out the Republican congress. THATS how you play politics Jack.

    April 10, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  93. Kyle S Irvine, CA

    Democrats "talk" about cutting spending but they never do it. President Obama is as liberal as they come.

    April 10, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  94. Tim TX

    the rich have skated by too long with out paying thier fair share of taxes. as a democrat i agree with obama and the rich should pay up and not those at lower end. if cuts are to be made it should not include the eldrerly and disabled.

    April 10, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  95. H.R

    He has brought it up quite a bit but the Repubs want no part of it. They can't line their pockets if they don't march to the Right Drummer. Why are you so against our President?

    April 10, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  96. DT - Saint Paul, MN

    P.S. The Republicans won't pass that bill. I promise you if Obama presented a bill that cut Grandma's Medicare, He would instantly become the bad guy.

    April 10, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  97. PiedType

    Obama won't talk about cutting spending and the Republicans won't talk about raising taxes. That's what's wrong with Washington. It's obvious to any rational person that the answer is compromise - some cuts in spending and some hikes in taxes. It's high time our politicians stopped looking ahead to their own re-elections and started doing the job they were elected to do.

    Susan R

    April 10, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  98. Larry in Houston

    Jack – It IS an election Year stunt – and the class warfare thing IS dividing this country. The thing is:that most of the "masses" you're talking about is the people that works those regular Jobs – a huge percentage of those people may be eligible to Vote, but don't, plus some don't care whether they Vote or not. I'm talking about the "masses" you are talking about, people who work in all the Malls all across this country – how about all the people that work in the Restaurant Industry – OR the Fast Food Industry ? How about the people that work in Hospitals ( not the Doctors) but all the Other People that work in Dr.'s Offices ? How about the people that work for the Board of Education, and the School Systems all across this Country / This includes bus drivers/teachers & etc. How about the people that work for the City / State ? ( Those Are The Masses of People surely you are talking about)
    If these people actually got out to Vote, ( since most of these people don't make 250K or more) There would be a Democrat Voted IN, Just about every Presidential Election. The majority of these people make Less than 60K per yr. ( If the Truth be known)

    April 10, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  99. Patrick from Maryland

    This President like all good Politicians is pandering to his base and letting the Republicans look like the bad guys in the "cutting spending" department. Whenever you hear the term "cut spending" it automatically makes you think of entitlements – unemployment benefits, medicare, medicaid, etc. Taxes can also be pushed from the Federal to the State level like they have in Maryland. Just look at OBAMA's good pal Governor Martin OMalley raising Income Taxes in 2012 and asking for an additional hike in the gasoline Tax. Why talk about cutting spending when what you're really doing is finding ways to hide where the Tax comes from or gets pushed to. This President is not a shoe in, I voted for him last time but he hasn't shown or illustrated any accompishments.

    April 10, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  100. Warner from Michigan

    Jack, you sound like your now one of the 1%, and your not paying attention. The rich are getting richer at the expense of the poor and middle class. The Buffet Rule is a good step in the right direction along with roping in Wall Street.

    April 10, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  101. jimmy in nc

    A Democrat. Cutting spending? Why do you think they spend all that money getting elected? To cut spending? No, tax and spend is too much ingrained in their souls.

    April 10, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  102. Mark in Houston

    Because Jack, it's all about being elected or re elected. What is good for the country has long ago been replaced by what is good for the politician.

    April 10, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
  103. Tyrone, Schenectady NY

    Most of the spending that most want to cut assist the poor!!!! You can't cut defense with Bin Laden dead, and you can't cut Medicare or Medicaid. So we have the Defense budget protected by hte Republicans and we have the social programs protected by Democrats. There is no wins in this casa.

    April 10, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
  104. marybeth, massachusetts

    Jack, either you've been asleep all those times the President discussed and tried to get spending cuts passed (Boehner couldn't deliver on his end) or you're planning to work at Fox News so you're deliberately ignoring the facts.

    He HAS been talking about spending cuts. But you can't balance the budget with spending cuts alone, especially since the Republicans refuse to consider tax increases, and Paul Ryan's plan is nothing but an even bigger give-away (in tax cuts) to the wealthy while getting rid of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Oh, and the DoD would be exempt from cuts–they're the one dept. that would get a spending increase.

    Let's see–Bush II gave the Bush tax cuts to the wealthy, then started two wars which he didn't pay for (remember "deficits don't matter), plus he put into place Medicare part D (also unfunded). The wealthy can take advantage of tax loopholes, corporations get welfare, subsidies, and pay a low tax rate. The wealthy pay less (percentage wise) in taxes than working class and middle class people. President Obama is right to talk about the wealthy paying their fair share. Ryan's plan will just bankrupt the country. You can't fix the budget problem without BOTH tax increases and spending cuts. It is like trying to lose weight by just cutting your calories–it doesn't work unless you increase your physical activity. This isn't rocket science or brain surgery, just common sense. If Congress doesn't do something to fix the tax inequities in this country (and I'm not talking about the people who pay NO taxes because they're too poor–they don't make enough money to pay taxes), no amount of spending cuts will fix the problem.

    April 10, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  105. JB from Nasville TN

    President Obama will continue to spend because entitlement is his ideology...and, then, he will blame,
    George W Bush.

    April 10, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
  106. Pete/Ark

    Because ANYTHING he talked about cutting would become a weapon for his opposition ,he can't win ... that is until AFTER the election...where have I heard THAT recently ?

    April 10, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  107. Ray in Knoxville

    Jack, we were in good shape financially back in 2000 when the Republicans won back the White House. Then came the Bush tax cuts, 9/11, the war in Afghanistan, the Bush family war against Saddam Hussein, continued dismanteling of the New Deal era safety nets and the almost complete collapse of the American economy, which led to reduced revenues for the government. Why not ask about fixing all of the above and getting our economy back on track? Did Glenn Beck e-mail this question in?

    April 10, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  108. Liz

    Republicans only want it one way – theirs. Class warfare? Seriously? Then what would you call what's been happening to the middle class all these years? Cutting public education vital services is no better than increasing taxes on the middle class. With the savings made by cutting social services, the rich can push for more tax cuts. The middle class need public schools and rely on medicare and social security. Do the wealthy? Just saytin'. It's the middle class who've been under attack, not the wealthy. Class warfare? Give me a break. The wealthy only want to take care of their own. Enough said.

    April 10, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  109. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio

    Mr. Cafferty:

    When He parks AF-1 (two and three) then I will listen to his comments on saving money !

    April 10, 2012 at 5:29 pm |