April 28th, 2010
06:00 PM ET

How serious is Congress about reducing natl. debt?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

"Everything has to be on the table." That's what Pres. Obama says about reducing our skyrocketing deficits. Don't bet on it.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/28/art.debt.clock.jpg caption="The National Debt Clock in Manhattan."]
For one thing the president refuses to say which programs may be cut. And, other lawmakers have been all over the place lately saying what they want off the table. No value-added tax, no cuts to Social Security, and not allowing tax cuts for low and middle income families to expire.

All this as the president's 18-member bipartisan debt commission gets to work. The commission is meant to bring the federal budget down to three percent of the country's GDP by 2015. Right now the deficit is on track to be double that.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke warns that if we don't do something about these deficits they will do "great damage" to the U.S. economy. Bernanke says our debt levels are on an "unsustainable path."

Budget experts point out that new measures will have to rein in Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security costs. But we continue to be represented by people who won't make any tough decisions because they're afraid if they do they won't be reelected. Time to vote them out. We can't keep kicking the deficit can down the road any longer.

And don't get too excited about this so-called debt panel created by Pres. Obama, either. It has no legal authority. They need 14 of the 18 members to agree to any recommendations, which can then be ignored by Congress. This is sort of like sitting on the railroad tracks, seeing the train barreling down on you, and refusing to move out of the way.

Here’s my question to you: How serious is Congress about reducing the national debt?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Congress • Congressional Spending • National debt
February 17th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

How confident are you D.C. will address our skyrocketing debt?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The facts have been staring us in the face for some time now: our skyrocketing national debt will eventually take us down if Washington refuses to act.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/17/art.debt.clock.jpg caption="FILE PHOTO: A shot of the National Debt Clock on July 13, 2009 "]
The president of the federal reserve bank of Kansas City warns of a new financial crisis if the U.S. doesn't address its growing debt problems. He says mounting deficits might lead to inflation. If that happens the federal reserve would be forced to raise interest rates which would make paying the interest on our more than $12 trillion debt next to impossible.

The government needs to either cut spending or raise taxes - or both. Those are the only ways to address the expected deficit of $1.6 trillion this year alone. Last Friday behind closed doors President Obama signed a bill raising the national debt ceiling to more than $14 trillion.

Another ominous sign that U.S. debt is unsustainable: foreign demand for U.S. treasuries fell by a record amount in December - with China selling off more than $32 billion in treasuries. China is saturated with U.S. treasuries, which will force us to look elsewhere to finance our debt. Japan; Great Britain? Maybe for awhile... but how long before they say no?

Pres. Obama is planning to sign an executive order tomorrow that would set up a debt panel. This bipartisan commission is meant to come up with ways to reduce the deficit. It's a nice idea... but in reality it's meaningless.

The Senate already rejected a stronger version of this panel which would have had the power to force Congress to act. The president's commission won't have the power to force congress to do anything. In other words - another empty political gesture that means absolutely nothing.

Here’s my question to you: How confident are you Washington will address our skyrocketing debt?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: National debt • Washington
November 20th, 2009
06:10 PM ET

Faith in govt. to do something about soaring debt?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/11/20/deb.jpg caption="How much faith do you have the government will do anything meaningful about the soaring national debt?"]

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty

The national debt has hit a record high of $12 trillion - which translates to about $40,000 for every person in this country.

And what's particularly troubling is the rate at which it continues to grow... increasing by almost 5 trillion dollars during the 8 years of Pres. Bush... followed by another $1.6 trillion increase so far under President Obama.

It's no surprise when you consider all the spending - wars, bailouts, stimulus package, etc. - under the current administration. Also - the recession and record unemployment mean there are fewer tax dollars coming in to offset spending.

But the debt is also costing us big bucks to maintain: the interest alone on the u-s debt in the next decade is expected to be near $5 trillion. And if interest rates go up, and they will at some point, the price will be even higher.

In 2015, the estimated interest due will be equal to one-third of all federal incomes taxes expected to be paid that year.

Pres. Obama has pledged to take "serious steps" to reduce America's debt. Really? When? Maybe after we spend close to another trillion dollars we don't have for health care reform.

And - with a mid-term election coming up next year, good luck getting the politicians to make tough decisions on tax hikes or spending cuts. The only thing they're willing to cut is the taxpayer's throat.

Here's my question to you: How much faith do you have the government will do anything meaningful about the soaring national debt?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Filed under: National debt
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