February 1st, 2010
06:00 PM ET

How would you cut government spending?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

You gotta love it. President Obama is submitting a $3.8 trillion budget. It contains a deficit of $1.6 trillion just for this year. That's an all-time record.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/01/art.budget.jpg caption="Pres. Obama, flanked by Treasury Sec. Timothy Geithner (L) and White House budget director Peter Orszag, speaks about his proposed $3.8 trillion budget for fiscal year 2011."]
It will all be done with much hand-wringing about how important it is to get the deficit under control. And they don't think we know any better.

At his State of the Union address, President Obama proposed freezing discretionary federal spending in an effort to save some money. The projection is that this courageous move will amount to a total savings of about $250 billion dollars… over the next ten years. That's one-sixth of the deficit for next year.

The White House claims that the President's budget will reduce the national debt by $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years. That's making a lot of assumptions about how Congress will vote on the parts of the budget designed to reduce the debt. Don't hold your breath.

And they say these things with a straight face…as though we're morons. Maybe we are. We keep electing the same people to Congress who are bankrupting the country.

Last week there was an estimate that the United States will be bankrupt within seven to 10 years. The mightiest economy the world has ever known is going under because the people in Washington refuse to rein in spending. It's an absolute disgrace.

But maybe we can help them.

Here’s my question to you: How would you cut government spending?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Deficit • President Barack Obama
December 16th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Special commission the answer to finally addressing the deficit?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The national debt - now topping $12 trillion - has more than doubled in just the last eight years...
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/12/16/art.debt.clock.jpg caption="The National Debt Clock in midtown Manhattan in July 2009. Those numbers currently top $12 trillion."]
And experts say that if the government doesn't come up with a plan soon to get the debt under control - we could risk panic in the financial markets. They say the government shouldn't raise taxes or cut spending immediately so as not to hurt the economic recovery. But the changes will have to happen by 2012 or else. Don't hold your breath...

One option on the table is a bipartisan commission to look into sweeping tax increases and spending cuts. CNN is reporting that President Obama is seriously considering an executive order to set up such a panel. Excuse me, but isn't that what the government is supposed to do... manage taxes and spending?

This latest brainstorm would have a bipartisan group taking months to study the problem and then decide AFTER the 2010 midterm elections what to do. Wouldn't want to raise taxes or cut spending before they're up for re-election, right?

Meanwhile - instead of the proposed $2 trillion increase in the debt ceiling - fiscal hawks In Congress want to increase it by only a "couple hundred billion dollars" at a time.

I guess the idea is that way nobody will notice how far in the toilet we are. If the U.S. doesn't raise the debt ceiling by the end of this year - we will default on our debt. This is scary stuff and requires a backbone to make some tough calls. So let's get someone else to do it.

Here’s my question to you: Is a special commission the answer to finally addressing the deficit?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 4pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

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

Filed under: Deficit
August 28th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Should government raise taxes to deal with deficit?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/04/10/art.getty.money.jpg caption=" Should the government raise taxes to deal with the deficit?"]FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

With a $9 trillion deficit facing this country over the next 10 years, it is almost inevitable that taxes will have to go up at some point. The questions are: When and by how much? The answers are probably soon and a lot.

As the government continues to spend more than it takes in, it keeps borrowing more – especially from overseas. These countries, like China and Japan, pretty much own us and can demand higher interest rates or decide to put their money somewhere else.

Experts say if that happened, taxes would shoot sky high in the U.S. and the government would only be able to provide the most basic public services while the social safety net would "evaporate."

The problem with raising taxes now is we're still fighting our way out of a recession, and most economists think that's the wrong time to make people shell out more.

For his part, President Obama is promising to keep taxes low for most people. The president's plan to raise taxes on only the wealthiest is estimated to raise about $600 billion over the next 10 years – but that's only a drop in the bucket when you consider a $9 trillion deficit during that same time.

Tax experts suggest Congress will eventually have to take pretty drastic measures, like making the entire tax system less complicated. Also, income tax revenue alone likely won't be enough to raise the money we'll need, which is why some suggest a value-added tax on all goods and services.

Here’s my question to you: Should the government raise taxes to deal with the deficit?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Deficit • Taxes
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