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April 13th, 2010
08:59 AM ET

Erasing the US debt: What are you willing to cut?

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GETTY IMAGES

From Pennsylvania Avenue to Main Street – Americans are growing anxious about the nation’s mounting debt, which currently stands at more than $12 trillion. From increased taxes to slashed benefits, officials are wrestling with what to do.

Well we want to hear from you. What are you willing to sacrifice or accept in order to bring down the national debt?

Leave a comment and we’ll share some of them on air in the CNN Newsroom, 11am ET – 1pm ET.


Filed under: Tony Harris
soundoff (390 Responses)
  1. gercart

    well I'ld be willing to give up politician they'er schooled to do what ever looks good up front and whatever they can get away with under the table we need leaders men who don't run for office but have it thurst upon them to sever for the good of the people not for the glory and power of the offices and cut congress trem to 8 years period in a life time take some of the power out of the office

    April 13, 2010 at 9:14 am |
  2. Dean

    Cut defense spending, I think too much is spent on it. Merge USAF back into Army. Reduce amount of Carriers. Possibly merge DEA/ATF into FBI.

    April 13, 2010 at 9:14 am |
  3. Scott Sheppard

    1. I am willing to pay more for gasoline. We could tax it so that it is $4 per gallon. The tax could fluctuate so that as the price of oil changes, the price at the pump stays the same. This would encourage more commuting and help the environment as well.

    2. I would like to see a tax incentive for those who are healthy. People who can pass the presidential fitness test could get a tax credit. This would encourage people to eat right and exercise. This would help lower health costs.

    3. Speaking of health care costs, I do not mind that doctors make hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. I just wish they had to work five days a week to earn it. So I would like to see the "supply side" of health care increase to meet the what-will-be rising demand.

    4. I would like to see a national sales tax. This would collect money from people who not report income. It may move us in the direction of a barter economy, but I predict we would collect more money, for example, from drug dealers who buy expensive cars than what we would lose from people who trade services.

    5. I am willing to give up Friday and Saturday delivery of US postal mail.

    April 13, 2010 at 9:15 am |
  4. Jeryl

    Of course, I'd be willing to cut my lifestyle. As a matter-of-fact, I already have. But, any further cuts are based on one simple thing: Congress being willing to cut spending, cut earmarks out of legislation, and forget new bills that will raise taxes and costs on the consumer. I don't believe Congress is willing. They are willing to curtail our lifestyles, but are unwilling to do their part.

    April 13, 2010 at 9:15 am |
  5. michael armstrong sr.

    It's no longer a matter of what the people need's to cut but instead what the government needs to cut im willing to cut the pay to congress in half because there doing a sorry job at taking care of buisness .

    April 13, 2010 at 9:19 am |
  6. LaSonya, TN

    I think there should be a national sales tax to pay for universal free healthcare for all. The rich, the poor and the working class would all pay their share (oh! dont let me forget the illegal) 1% sales tax would go a long way, because we are spending money at the mall every week-end, but yea we are in a recession. Food shouldn't be taxed.

    LaSonya, TN

    April 13, 2010 at 9:28 am |
  7. Darin Williams

    Just through the legalization of cannabis,( marijuana), our country could save a bundle by releasing those in jail on all cannabis related charges, halting all eradication efforts, and taxing the sales could help turn the budget around.

    April 13, 2010 at 9:37 am |
  8. Terry in Colorado

    Cut defense spending drastically. Do this by bringing a rapid end to the Middle East wars, reducing our global military presence, and shrinking the entire force. Reduce the Pentagon's budget by 5% per year for the next 10 years. Our military is larger than all other military forces in the world COMBINED. It is not necessary. It is the Department of Defense, not the War Department or the Department of Offense.

    The U.S. Military is the largest user of petroleum products in the world. By reducing the size and scope of our military, we reduce our dependence on foreign oil as well.

    Bring the top marginal tax rates, for incomes over $3 million per year, back to their pre-Reagan rates of 80%. This will reduce the amount of gambling on Wall Street and spur actual business investment.

    Get tough with tariffs to protect domestic industries. Force companies to bring manufacturing back by making it too expensive for them to import their dirty products back into our country.

    Drive less. Drive more fuel efficient vehicles. Every drop of oil we import transfers money out of our country.

    Buy American. Pay a little more for American quality and keep a fellow American working. Patronize locally owned businesses!

    April 13, 2010 at 9:37 am |
  9. D

    I would like to be able to say that I have alot that I am willing to give up. But unfortunatly my family's income has all ready been cut in more than half do to today's economy and loss of jobs due businesses going under. I don't know what else the goverment could possibly ask of the majority the people that were making it years prior to all of this,even though back then we were still consider below middle income families.

    April 13, 2010 at 9:39 am |
  10. Gigi Harrison

    Cut ALL THE CONGRESS & SENATOR'S HEALTH insurance. Make them live like us and maybe they will learn to do their job like us. Give up all their vacation time – no spring, summer, winter breaks.

    April 13, 2010 at 10:05 am |
  11. Dan

    Free handouts (Both Welfare and Foreign Nations).
    People on Welfare get free taxpayers money, no strings attached.
    However, the working man and woman has to take an occasional urinalysis test to pay the taxes that the welfare recipients draw from. There is definately something wrong with that picture.

    April 13, 2010 at 10:11 am |
  12. Ian Harrell

    end medicare and medicare, bring ALL the troops home from ALL over the world, no more bailouts under any circumstance.

    April 13, 2010 at 10:22 am |
  13. Richard

    Have a bake sale. It raises money and will stimulate the economy.

    April 13, 2010 at 10:22 am |
  14. Dixon Buhtz

    My first born.

    April 13, 2010 at 10:22 am |
  15. Steven Mingus

    I would definitely be willing to sacrifice subsidies for gas, water, and corn. These subsidies destroy competition and allow for resource use that's beyond our capability to pay for. This is a substantial problem with the modern American lifestyle.

    April 13, 2010 at 10:22 am |
  16. Wayne

    1. Cut all monies being sent to foreign countries immediately and no exceptions.
    2. Cut all earmarks and pork from all bills going back 5 years, if need be states must repay that money.
    3. Bring all troops home from where ever immediately and stop all war funding immediately.
    4. Cut all elected persons salaries for all branches of government by half.
    5. Cut all staff members for Congress by half, the Representatives and Senators will need to do more with less, that is what the average American is being asked to do.
    6. Cut all bureaucracies from the current Health Care Reform, all
    111 of them, and no new hiring at any Federal agencies, no exceptions.
    7. Double up duties on similar agencies and cut the rest.
    8. Probably the hardest to actually accomplish, repeal the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 and print enough "green backs" to pay off the balance of the debt that the first 7 cuts above did not pay off.

    April 13, 2010 at 10:22 am |
  17. Janet

    I am not willing to give up anything more than I already have.

    April 13, 2010 at 10:23 am |
  18. Justin

    I would like to see a tax increase on imports from China. We need to pay off the debt we have for them, but they keep driving down the prices so low, it's too hard to combat. This might in return spur job growth in the US.

    April 13, 2010 at 10:23 am |
  19. Leon "COJAC" Woodard Polk Couty, FL

    I will cut back on a lot give more than I get. If the government pays back my debt give me some grants I am doing my best.

    April 13, 2010 at 10:23 am |
  20. Scott Wendt

    I wish we as Americans would have the foresight to increase the national gas tax. It would improve the sale of economical cars vs gas hogs, reduce greenhouse emissions and keep more money in the U.S. instead of sending it to the middle east. That money could be used to pay down American debt, improve infrastructure etc.

    April 13, 2010 at 10:23 am |
  21. Kal

    This is our debt wether we like it or not, i am willing to invest in our debt vs. the chinese. Invest just like in wall street for a profit just like China. This will eliminate the debt and free us from China's control.

    April 13, 2010 at 10:23 am |
  22. Donna Repici

    I am willing to give up all Perks giving to members of Congress!

    April 13, 2010 at 10:24 am |
  23. tonyfair

    Tony, I've given up on the idea that Social Security is going to be there for me in any significant way. If it means helping the economy today, let us phase out Social Security.

    April 13, 2010 at 10:25 am |
  24. Ron K.

    I don't think that our politicians, of either party, can make these hard decisions without an independent panel making the recommendations. We need to reform Social Security, to delay the start of benefits, which would directly affect Baby Boomers including me. On the revenue side, we need to raise taxes. That may be in the form of a value added tax, which is very common in Western economies.

    April 13, 2010 at 10:25 am |
  25. Gail Solomon

    I am a business owner of a multi million dollar company. And I am willing to pay more taxes to help our country get out of debt. Yes I know this sounds rediculous but we as job creators and innovators have to help so we can grow. We were willing to take a risk to start our business now lets take a risk and bet on our country.. Taxes have to be raised for a period to help.. lets all stop the rhetoric and get real.
    Gail

    April 13, 2010 at 10:25 am |
  26. Jennifer Green

    How about we follow the lead of Germany, Switzerland, Sweden and many others and tax churches.

    April 13, 2010 at 10:26 am |
  27. Jordan Jimenez

    I would accept a bill that requires myself to pay a percentage of my income towards the national debt. The bills promises must be kept.

    April 13, 2010 at 10:26 am |
  28. Lee Barnett

    So glad you asked that question, Tony. I gather the emphasis is on 'sacrifice.' I would gladly sacrifice all of President Obama's policies, take-overs and stimuli. It is a big sacrifice alright, but I would be willing to make it.

    April 13, 2010 at 10:26 am |
  29. Broken Veteran

    I am willing to give 10% of my income to the country.
    More taxes will bring it down.
    Let's make something to sell to the world.
    I make $243 a month. Thank you VA!.
    I would give $24.30 each month to support my country.
    Many do it to pay for their Pastor's wife's car. Why not support your country instead of a church? Make churches businesses and tax them.

    April 13, 2010 at 10:26 am |
  30. Alexander Mackenzie

    am willing to give up our purchased politicians. And both existing major parties.
    One cannot spend money to "Create Jobs" and expect them to last. Washington needs to create the atmosphere for private investors to reinvest in the US and not Asia. That means to realize the America workers didn't create the economic world this country presently lives in. No American worker created two dollar loaves of bread, cars for $30,000 or homes that cost $200,000 to $500,000. The fed and Washington have created the overprinted money supply that inflated the money and removed any value to the paper, now based on dreams, and coinage made of scrap, to the point of worthlessness. Salaries, and wages for the everyday worker have not kept up with this false economy. But the investors who got mega rich in the insulated economy got congress and our international presidents to
    toss out the tariffs that kept jobs here, and allowed all production to go to areas of the world with, in effect slave wage labor. And neither Americans of African decent, Hispanics or Caucasians can just talk it to a cure. Just a New Hampshire rant. Funny to see the infighting for the first class rooms by the lower income earners now that the Titanic Americana has been sinking for quite a while from the free trade ice-burg Ross Perot warned us about.

    April 13, 2010 at 10:27 am |
  31. Josephine

    I already gave up almost everything except mortgage payments since I lost my income. I still would be willing to pay higher VAT especially on luxury items, as it is in other countries. I think that way those who have an income enough to spend on those items (in this new economy) will have to contribute part of that spend to the VAT tax. This way everyone can decide if spending on that TV or not, on that vacation or not, on that washer/drier or not, but those who are struggling to barely make monthly payments or to buy food will not be hit even more with an imposed tax on top of all their suffering.
    VAT is a good way to increase taxes without hitting on those who will go bankrupt if their property tax go up or who would not be able to pay minimal expenses if their income tax on their already extremely low income takes more of it.

    April 13, 2010 at 10:27 am |
  32. Duane

    one thing we should cut out, is stop having things made in China. Start making everything in the U.S, we can make millions of jobs available today and we wont have unemployment problems in the U.S.

    April 13, 2010 at 10:27 am |
  33. Eddie B.

    I am willing to give atleast 1 % of my paycheck every week for one year or a gas tax increase will work as well. What ever it takes I will do, and we all need to have the same kind of thinking in order to get this country back on track. Together is the ONLY way we will get this done. And strict regulations on these funds so they will not be spent unwisely.

    April 13, 2010 at 10:28 am |
  34. Robert

    National Debt...what would "I" do, what would "I" sacrifice, nothing, "I" like a lot of American's didn't create this debt, the government did, sacrifice is a dramatic word, but you can start with war, you know, the business of it, this is just ridiculous, the money that is spent could have rebuilt New Orleans and Haiti, government salaries would be another, they are not like the police and firefighters that risk there lives daily, NASA would be another great one, space exploration, please, so much money is wasted by government, start with that and get back to me, I've got a lot more on my list.

    April 13, 2010 at 10:28 am |
  35. John

    I think the first thing to do is since the politicians got us in this mess they take a 50% pay cut till they show us they can manage our money. The average american always gets stuck with doing and giving more to the government who only pisses it away without any direct consequences to them personally. I think the middle class needs a break from always being responsible to do more and have less to help out the incompetent politicians.

    April 13, 2010 at 10:28 am |
  36. Ethan Pope

    I will not, nor should I have to, give up anything to bring down the national debt. This is not my mistake, this is the government's mistake. What THEY need to do is give up all of the entitlement programs. Government needs to be run like a business. Cut out all the waste and the debt would be gone in no time.

    April 13, 2010 at 10:29 am |
  37. AmericanYouth

    It's time to "Wise Up" and decriminalize Marijuana completely! Stop all this medical "B.S." and make it completely legal! As a nation we should grow Marijuana and sell it to the rest of the world! We sell Tobacco to the world and it kills hundreds of thousands of people every year. So why are we so reluctant to sell Marijuana, witch will kill no one!

    April 13, 2010 at 10:29 am |
  38. dan

    Dear Uncle Sam, you are welcome to raise taxes on all my fuel and other non-renewable energy use. Leave energy prices at current levels for businesses (so that our food and goods prices do not go up), but increase all consumer fuel taxing (except for low-income families). This wouldn't just help in paying our nation's debt, it would help with the push for renewable energy alternatives.

    April 13, 2010 at 10:29 am |
  39. Cliff Schneider

    National debt, my debt, its everyones debt. We all should do something, small or great to reduce it.

    I am retired and on a fixed income but am willing to pay more taxes if it will help the nation. We all should ask ourselves,"How can I help in this crisis, " instead of thinking only of ourselves.

    cliff

    Glendale, AZ

    April 13, 2010 at 10:29 am |
  40. Jeff Burr

    Cut back on the wars. The likes of Osama bin Laden must be delighted watching us spending billions we don't have to incite more terrorism; it is exactly what they hoped for when they attacked us.

    April 13, 2010 at 10:30 am |
  41. Patrick Ferguson

    Tony,

    We need some 12 Trillion Dollar ideas to debate.

    We could vote on them like American Idol.

    April 13, 2010 at 10:31 am |
  42. Kathy T.

    I'm willing to give my my tax season income. As a CPA, I think it would be much more fair to those who worked hard and have succeeded, and those who struggle, to have a flat tax on income – no deductions for mortgage interest, multiple children, ...no loopholes whatso ever. Every dollar you earn, from whatever source, no matter your status or lack thereof, gets taxed at the same rate as everyone elses' dollar.

    April 13, 2010 at 10:31 am |
  43. richard

    i would be more than willing to give up our existing congress and house of reps for one year. they are the biggest obstacle to any recovery. iwould be willing to give up my social security for one year if it goes back to the way it was originally set up. only those who pay in get money out.

    April 13, 2010 at 10:31 am |
  44. Steve Perlman

    All the things that cost the taxpayer billons, yet provide the taxpayer with no benefit, should be the first to cut. Among those things are all the benefits and pensions provided for gov't employees. Why should we be forced to support them with money borrowed from our future and our children's future, as if they are a special class?

    April 13, 2010 at 10:31 am |
  45. Blake Snyder

    I think it should start with our politicians. They often treat our money like it is a credit card knowing that they truly don't have to worry about...its not their money. We need to cut earmarking in legislatian and pork barreling. I also feel that the parties need to actually work together like they claim they do. With them arguing constantly over some of the silliest things makes writing important bills extremely hard and thus a million provisions have to be tacked on to make the bill pass. It is often the people that have to pay for this.

    April 13, 2010 at 10:32 am |
  46. Paul

    This kind of debt is like nothing this country has ever in it's history. I am will to sacrifice work and time to help this debt. This debt is just a number and means nothing to me. Question is, who are we in debt too?

    April 13, 2010 at 10:32 am |
  47. Mark LaPenna

    Some of the answers here are comical at best. I've been thinking this through for some time now, and here's an idea that if implemented could wipe the national debt out within the next 10 years; Eliminate all restrictions on off shore drilling...place enormous fines and penalties on spillage...place an EPA Compliance Office on each rig (and rotate them each month so they can not be influenced by personal relationships) to ensure environmental compliance. Highly tax the licenses to drill and the production, and then treat the product the same as you would any "imported" oil from a tax/tariff perspective. Based on proven reserves and "reachable" oil, and based on mathematical certainty we could generate approximately US$32 Trillion in the next 15 years which, when inflation and time cost of money is taken into account, would effectively eliminate the national debt, and BTW...would cut our dependence on foreign oil by well over 60%...can you say re-election? It amazes me how childish our whole system of government has become, and how openly corrupt it is as well.

    April 13, 2010 at 10:32 am |
  48. sheilamills

    What I would like to see is the President tackle the tax system. There needs to be a flat and fair tax that is based strictly upon gross income that applies accross the board to every single American with income regardless of the type of income or where it comes from. The tax should be based upon a certain percentage of that gross income and there would be no exemptions, no deductions and no exceptions.

    If this were done, I think you would see so many less complaints about taxes and less of a feeling of unfairness that comes from the middle class feeling that it carries the tax burden while others get away scott free from paying taxes.

    April 13, 2010 at 10:32 am |
  49. Jon

    I would be willing to cut the salaries and benefits of all Congressmen and Senators. Cut the fat,pork and earmarks in our inflated budget. Cut Pelosi's personal Air Force that she uses for commuting to and from California.
    Americans don't need to cut and sacrifice anymore. What we need is responsible government that knows how to balance a checkbook.

    April 13, 2010 at 10:32 am |
  50. Bob from Phx AZ

    Good morning Tony.
    I am 56 yrs old and I think we should start with Social Security and the retirement age. Seeming we are all living much longer than the original retirement age set back over 70 yrs ago .......
    If you 60-64 yrs old add a 1 yr.....
    in your 50's add 2 yrs ....
    in your 40's of age add 3 years....
    in your 30's now – add 4 years to the retirement age for social security to kick in, and finally in your in your 20's of age now add 5 yrs making the new younger age group 72 yrs old to begin social security for retirement.

    April 13, 2010 at 10:32 am |
  51. Susan

    Tony,

    It's time to sacrifice fighting two wars,
    it's time to sacrifice billions in bonuses to CEO's,
    it's time to sacrifice golden parachutes and huge severance
    packages.
    It's time to sacrifice huge corporate profits and create
    new well paying manufacturing jobs right here in the U.S.
    Maybe then we could also sacrifice buying all the cheaply made
    stuff imported from China...

    The middle class has already sacrificed their houses,
    their jobs and their retirement.
    Many families have sacrified their loved ones fighting for
    our safety, security and freedom.

    It's time for the people on top to start sacrificing too...

    April 13, 2010 at 10:34 am |
  52. Mohamed

    I'm willing to cut the military budget to the two illegal wars we are involved in and to limit all future war expenditures.

    April 13, 2010 at 10:34 am |
  53. Richard

    Tony,
    Why not reduce spending in our largest budget item? The public should not be asked to sacrifice while Halliburton and others are getting fat on no-bid military contracts, for example.

    April 13, 2010 at 10:35 am |
  54. Donna Repici

    Tax all non profit organizations, cut all the travel expenses and cut members of Congress expenses budgets to half.

    April 13, 2010 at 10:35 am |
  55. Jim Wilson

    I would be willing to sacrifice two pointless wars in the Mideast. I would be willing to sacrifice about 80% of our so-called defense establishment. We don't need it with so many rednecks running around armed to the teeth. I would be willing to sacrifice the entire TSA establishment, who are worthless. I would be willing to sacrifice the bloodsuckers on Wall Street, who produce no tangible product except foreclosures. I would be willing to sacrifice the pharmaceutical industry, which bleeds our healthcare system mercilessly. That alone would wipe out the federal deficit in about two years. We waste an awful lot of money tending to people's fears.

    April 13, 2010 at 10:37 am |
  56. Jay

    I personally would be willing to pay a little more at the pump or to only have my mail delivered Mon. thru Thur. to help bring down the national debt, but its going to take a bigger commitment from our leaders to get us there.

    April 13, 2010 at 10:38 am |
  57. Eddie B.

    ...Better yet, I willing to have the goverment just collect all of the overdraft fees for one year from bank's that collected a bail out .....that will surely put a big dent in the country's deficit.

    April 13, 2010 at 10:39 am |
  58. Casey C

    Maybe it's time we take a hard look at the Fair Tax - a national sale tax of around 23%, yet we eliminate all income taxes (you'd keep your entire paycheck). That way we'd only tax consumption, rather than production, which would encouraging savings and less dependency on our government for our own financial welfare. Lower income citizens would receive rebates and the cost of necessities like food wouldn't be taxed as well.

    April 13, 2010 at 10:40 am |
  59. Laurence Laureno

    Cut out the abuse in Medicare. Cut out the Pork from both parties.
    Const. Amendment for Term Limits limiting corruption & pork.
    Stop spending money on ' the Stimulous ', now being called " The Jobs Bill " because the Stimulous was a failure.
    Whatever's left over from Stimulous use to pay down the deficit.
    Do not put in a Value Added Tax . That is counterproductive.
    Don't raise taxes on the rich because the rich then will find a way to shift their assets out of the country. Be practical & smart . Ideally , issue a relatively low flat tax , say 20 – 23 % . It has been tried by some of the Eastern countries and it's working well for them.
    Raise age for SS Benefits to 68. We are living longer now.

    April 13, 2010 at 10:40 am |
  60. gercart

    Eddie B. Thank you well said a lot of good thoughts posted to bad every body is scared of change we like are rut it safe for now we can see the brick wall the brakes are on we are sliding in the muck the wheels want trun the rut become a track taking us stright to the wall easy off the break the wheels will trun and we can exit this track and pray we don't hit a tree

    April 13, 2010 at 10:41 am |
  61. Terrance campbell

    I'd cut every politicans salary to basically living wages. Who knows how much we could save if the lobbying was banned from congress and the house and senate members all made 60,000 a year.........

    April 13, 2010 at 10:42 am |
  62. Ken

    Cut off Social Security and Medicare for those Tea Party Old Farts that are against socialism and single payer.

    April 13, 2010 at 10:42 am |
  63. Dan

    It's amazing that people in this country want "separation of church and state". But look at the above comments about "taxing the church".
    You can't have it both ways.

    April 13, 2010 at 10:43 am |
  64. Jim Wilson

    addendum: We have nothing to fear but fear itself.

    April 13, 2010 at 10:44 am |
  65. Alexander Mackenzie

    I am willing to give up low cost drugs from undocumented pharmacists.
    The border patrol has a hard decision to make when confronted by a drug dealer. If the border patrol agent shoots at the dealer, and god forbid hits him in the arse,
    the border patrol agent goes to jail. Wonder why they find it safer to look the other way?
    The Mexican army patrols their side of the border, and at times crosses into the US side, (actually took a couple of BP officers captive on the US side of the border). No big deal was made here, if it had been reversed, the Mexicans would have screamed "Invasion" of Mexico by the evil Yankees. The border is militarized on the South side,
    many times said patrol troops look for openings to aid illegal crossers. To solve this problem, lets join Mexico, and put troops on the North side. If illegal crossers were to
    have only a 10% chance of success instead of a 66&2/3s (per Border Patrol estimates) as it is now, drugs and thus monies to cartel's would actually cripple the rich murderers that hire the low life killers, and greatly increase the cost of so called fun drugs (90% come across our Southern national border). And that price increase would cut user access. All good things.

    April 13, 2010 at 10:44 am |
  66. Danny Boy

    Before they ask me to sacrifice anything, or pay more taxes, let them balance the budget, and then pass a Constitutional Amendment requiring it to stay that way!
    If that is not done, you can be sure they will be back for more somewhere down the road.

    April 13, 2010 at 10:44 am |
  67. Bob S

    Sacrifice is not a problem for me. I will do whatever it takes. My problem is that not everyone is being asked to sacrifice.
    Why is it only the average American is always being asked to sacrifice every time our leaders and big business get us into trouble. I've seen this before with the S&L's.
    They get the benefits while we (the everyday Americans) pay the bills!

    April 13, 2010 at 10:46 am |
  68. Ol'Bob

    What I am willing to do with out is my fellow citizens who believe they can demand services and refuse to pay for them.

    What I am willing to do without are politicians who are so weak kneed and spineless that they refuse to raise taxes to pay for services they promise to their constituents.

    I'm the kind of person who wants to have the money in hand before I spend it. They make fun of Democrats for being the same way they call them the party of "Tax and spend".

    You know what? Tax and spend beats the hell out of "Borrow and Spend and Declare Bankruptcy" which seems to be the Republican Party's approach. I know how that works out. I saw people I graduated from high school with go out and borrow and borrow and borrow. Forty years later their net worths are still negative. But, they vote Republican because they don't want to pay for anything.

    Ol'Bob

    April 13, 2010 at 10:47 am |
  69. Joey L.

    Our government caused all these financial problems. Now they ask the people to make all the sacrifices to fix the problems? Where is the long list of sacrifices the government is willing to make? I have nothing left to give up. I'm taxed to death as it is!

    April 13, 2010 at 11:00 am |
  70. Dan

    Good afternoon Ol'Bob.
    I am neither a Democrat or Republican. You talk about the Republicans wanting to borrow and spend.
    If I recall correctly this current President (who by my recollection is a Democrat) just printed off almost a trillion dollars last year for the so called "stimulus" package. Oh, by the way, that money is borrowed.

    April 13, 2010 at 11:02 am |
  71. Justin

    I have an idea. Let's split into Eastern and Western America. One side Liberal, one side Conservative. Play this situation out Hypothetically. Have you seen who has come out of the debt faster? We all know what has to be done.

    Aside from that, we need more government syncronizatoin with it's people. We are far too reliant on protection, when it seems more like retaliation.

    April 13, 2010 at 11:02 am |
  72. Jewzabel

    The question is framed as though you are expecting "The People" to give up more, haven't they given up and lost enough? Like most of the folks here I am all for cutting back the amount of state and federal workers and for starters cutting 10% of all politicians salaries and expense accounts.
    Over the weekend I was listening to our local public radio station and they were talking to wall street and financial guys that went through the rise and fall of our country's recent mortgage fiasco, I'd like to quote one line, "No banker ever lost money, they may not have a job right now, but they did not lose any money." Why don't we ask the bankers what they are willing to give back?

    April 13, 2010 at 11:04 am |
  73. HillClimber

    I like to take the long view, so for the betterment of the country and the reduction of the national debt, I am willing to forgo subsidies, guarantees, education, and all forms of support for illegal aliens. This will immediately cut the outgo of funds, and provide an incentive for the self deportation of aliens. The Constitution of the United States provides that the only persons who have rights in the United States are Citizens of the United States, and the unnecessary and outrageous support of illegal aliens will diminish and soon be stopped. We need to refocus our actions and support on the needs of American Citizens, the only persons who have a right to be on my land, on my roads, in my schools, and the potential recipient of our social services.

    April 13, 2010 at 11:17 am |
  74. Tom

    Tony,

    Cut everything. I have not problem with a 40% in federal spending.

    How about a 90% cut!!

    Thanks,

    Tom

    April 13, 2010 at 11:20 am |
  75. Jacques Casimir

    Tony,

    We need to place a one time tax on all 401ks and IRAs. Everyone who is old enough to have one has contributed to the debt and it is time to pay.

    April 13, 2010 at 11:20 am |
  76. Steve Klotz

    I've already cut massively – by being laid off.

    What about discussing bring back corporate income taxes to reasonable levels? How would that impact the national debt? After all, many companies (oil, banking, insurance) are making record profits! What are THEY paying in taxes? I believe that Exxon paid NONE last year!

    April 13, 2010 at 11:20 am |
  77. Steve D

    I am willing to pay more taxes if it will wipe the debt out BUT wall street and others must bail themselves out.

    April 13, 2010 at 11:20 am |
  78. Francine Usanase

    I'm willing to cut nothing out of my budget...I say we cut government in two thirds. It's too big...and they are not solving anything. They are a bunch of overpaid fat cats with little concern for the everyday civilian.

    April 13, 2010 at 11:21 am |
  79. Ginny in San Diego

    I would not miss Saturday postal delivery. That would save the government money.

    April 13, 2010 at 11:21 am |
  80. jason boyce

    I go along with cutting congress pay. I don't believe they are doing a good enough job for the money they are earning. There is to much bickering and posturing without any regard to how the delays are affecting the common middle class citizen.

    Jason Boyce

    April 13, 2010 at 11:21 am |
  81. Gene Lucas

    I'm one of those people who pay no taxes, but I beleive that everybody should. Very few Americans pay taxes, but all Americans benefit from living here. The best way to do that is probably a VAT tax on all domestic products, since that would also tax people on the "cash" economy.

    April 13, 2010 at 11:21 am |
  82. Melissa

    America loves big business, that's where all the money is. How can you keep taxing the people if we have debt to pay off. If we never pay off our debt, we'll have trouble contributing to the economy.

    from Miami, Florida

    April 13, 2010 at 11:21 am |
  83. TL Harris

    You asked what I'd be willing to sacrifice. I'd love to "sacrifice" all financiers who engineered the crash and enriched themselves; this because it's the only to prevent a reapeat. They remain at their posts, have not been jailed nor even charged, and therefore it will happen again.

    April 13, 2010 at 11:21 am |
  84. Ken

    If we legalized marijuana, taxed it, let out all the non violent marijuana offenders from jail, debt gone. But everyone has been brainwashed that pot is evil.

    April 13, 2010 at 11:21 am |
  85. Jon

    The battle goes on and on with this issue, but still its like people are blind. Money, Money, Money.. we need money. Well, legalization of POT will gain us $22 Billion dollers a year! Point Blank we need that money.

    April 13, 2010 at 11:22 am |
  86. Daniel

    Legalize marijuana, so we can tax it!! Some surveys show it's our number one cash crop. Plus it will reduce the burden on our legal system, and the DEA.

    April 13, 2010 at 11:22 am |
  87. Jeremy D

    I also agree about cutting congress' paychecks. They get payed way too much for what little work they do. I'd abolish the DEA, they are useless. I'd cut down on traffic cops, they are unnecessary. I'd do a flat tax like people were talking about. Everyone pays based on their income. Fair and simple. I'd STOP borrowing money from communist country's! I'd like to know who made that decision Tony!

    April 13, 2010 at 11:22 am |
  88. Karl Horton

    I would be willing to forfeit half of my tax refund yearly only if Congress passes a law allowing the President line item vetos.

    April 13, 2010 at 11:22 am |
  89. Gerard

    Do not forget about what worked during the Clinton administration ... increase the economy to increase both individual corporate income tax receipts. If corporations have so much cash they can make movies about political opponents, they can put it into the general fund to help everyone instead.

    April 13, 2010 at 11:23 am |
  90. Sky Minor

    Defense spending!!! There is absolutely no reason why we need to have troops in over 170 countries around the world! This is exactly why Rome fell, they were stretched too thin! The military consumes funds like Kate Moss sniffs...well you know the rest. And who are we fighting against? There is no conventional war opponent any more. Why do we need to build massively expensive new technology? Our enemies are not going to be defeated with an F-22 stealth fighter any more easily than with a 30 year old F-16 fighter. We don't have any enemies with military might any more. Stop defense spending! Spend it on schools so the USA can compete on the real battlefield-international trade and business.

    -Sky Minor

    April 13, 2010 at 11:23 am |
  91. Chris Dieringer

    Fixing SS is the way to go, bump retirement age, means testing of benefits... all will impact a lot of people. But it is just common sense we can allow politicians to tell us we can get benefits without paying for them. Thanks

    April 13, 2010 at 11:23 am |
  92. Sharon

    What is magic about the year 2015? How about 2020? What would the numbers be then?

    April 13, 2010 at 11:23 am |
  93. Diane Zimberoff

    I am willing to cut SOCIAL SECURITY for people earning over $70,000 (or whatever amount is right.) There are millions of people who have large incomes, but just because they reach age 65 are still eligible for SS.
    Diane
    Issaquah, WA

    April 13, 2010 at 11:24 am |
  94. Max

    You're kidding me, right?!

    Washington is spending money like water and you're asking ME what I"M going to do????????????????????

    Those creeps spent our grandchildren's future and suddenly this is OUR problem???!!!!!!!!

    WE need to sacrifice more? I don't think so, Tony.

    April 13, 2010 at 11:24 am |
  95. sg

    There are 300 million people in this country. If we all donate just $ 40 the US debt would be paid overnight. If we all love this country we could establish some kind of a people's bail out program where "we the people" can save our country in one day.

    April 13, 2010 at 11:25 am |
  96. John D.

    How about to save on spending we stop providing funds to all the illegal immigrants such as:
    Section 8 housing and subsidized rent, food stamps, free (no deductible, no co-pay) health care, free breakfasts and lunches at school, relief from high energy bills, SSI, Medicare. All of this is at (OUR) taxpayer's expense that could be put towards the deficit!!

    April 13, 2010 at 11:25 am |
  97. G. Ramirez

    Kudos to President Obama tackling health care reform which will reduce the deficit by 1 trillion dollars over the next 20 years. Now, it is time to reform one of the costliest entitlement programs: Social Security.

    Recently, the New York Times reported that because of the current economic state, the trust fund for this year has gone into deficit six years ahead of schedule.

    Raising the retirement age is not the solution, for it was already raised in 1983 under President Regan and his administration's plan said it would keep it solvent for 75 years. Well that did not work out.

    Also, I am sure we can agree that raising payroll taxes is not a fair prospect for the middle and working class already struggling under a tough recession.

    To keep Social Security solvent into the future, the answer lies in lifting the current tax-cap of 96,000 a year, that is, tax all income with no cap as is the present case so that earners making over 96,000 pay into Social Security fairly.

    Those making over that amount a year account for six percent of the U.S. population leaving the middle and working class, which account for 94% of the population, to pay 100% all Social Security taxes into the system. This income inequality tax needs to change, and very soon.

    April 13, 2010 at 11:25 am |
  98. Audrey Sullivan

    Raise retirement age to 70. If 70 is the new 60, you'll be 5 years ahead.

    April 13, 2010 at 11:25 am |
  99. Mary Anne

    Please remember – every tax break you fight for takes money away from your communities schools. Your own child may be in private school but be assured – one way or the other – you will have to intereact with the UNEDUCATED!

    April 13, 2010 at 11:25 am |
  100. Shaun in Ottawa

    Americans need a tax increase to pay for the massive amounts of government spending. We have much higher tax rates in Canada, but it's not like the money disappears, the government needs it to pay for your health care, for education, and for many other public services that are an investment into the future of your country.

    April 13, 2010 at 11:25 am |
  101. Annie Carr

    I'm willing to give up Social Security and Medicare in favor of personal responsibility to myself as I grow old. I'm in favor of being closer to my family and my God, and looking out for each other. Doctors are normal people (believe it or not), and they once worked for trade- even chickens and vegetables. People really care about one another if government isn't depended upon.

    April 13, 2010 at 11:25 am |
  102. Susan

    As someone who works for the Medicare program... if Congress really wanted to make cuts in that area they would educate themselves and stand up for their decisions when they change guidelines, policies, etc. Instead of when we deny claims for Medical reasons, etc. bending to angry beneficiaries and medical societies and asking us on the back end to fix their claims. We follow their rules and they consistently back down from them! This costs taxpayers when there is no consistency!

    April 13, 2010 at 11:25 am |
  103. Anthony Ellick

    Like a person already commeted on, I think we need to hear about law makers talking about cutting there salaries. I'm sure they make upwards of $250,000 and with side interest many of them make or have more money than they will ever be able to spend, yet they have aproblem even raising minimun wages.

    April 13, 2010 at 11:25 am |
  104. John

    We need to stop the entitlements and get back to basics, take care of our citizens first. We have to concentrate on public service, public works and life safety. We can't afford to give evryone everything..

    April 13, 2010 at 11:25 am |
  105. J. Ledford

    The unemployment rate has to be wrong! Why is no one seeing this. One of the reasons the rates down is due to the fact that most people who are unemployed are now living with family. These people are unable to collect benefits, and therefore are not on the national average. I love how we continue to take care of people who do not work or never have on welfare. Yet we do not take care of those who do work and want to work who need unemployment.

    April 13, 2010 at 11:26 am |
  106. Maloney

    The U.S. government, our government must show more than a modicum of responsibility in dealing with the national debt, of course. To assure that that takes place, the U.S. public, that's us, must participate in a proactive manner. Too often we sit back and watch, then complain, then go on about our business. We do not participate.nearly enough. If we require those that we have elected to work for us rather than simply for themselves so that they will be reelected, then maybe, just maybe something will be accomplished. Otherwise, it just won't happen.

    April 13, 2010 at 11:26 am |
  107. George From Mn

    Heres what im willing to give, the amount of american dollers that was wasted during the hole health care issue, we elect these officials to pertect us and they only worry about there own party and we paid them hundreds of thousands of dollers for months to act like children im a fellow rep been a rep for 32 years and i can not bolieve that one rep didnt wont the health care to pass i am so disapoited in my party thank you for your time.

    George

    April 13, 2010 at 11:26 am |
  108. Max

    Follow the Carlysle money under Bush I and the regime under Bush II and all those cronies like Cheney and Halliburton and other lobbyists. There, there is our National debt! Go get 'em...and get it back!

    April 13, 2010 at 11:26 am |
  109. Loren

    Tony,

    I think there are several things the government should be willing to do to assist the US taxpayers in reducing debt. No bailouts, extraction of soldiers from Afghanistan, Japan, Germany, and other assets, selling of government assets at auction, cuts in pay to both houses of congress, legal action to stop lobbyists.

    I am willing to pay 5% in increased taxes to pay down the debt based on consumption. This would mean that everyone is paying the equal amount.....poor and rich alike. We all benefit from residing in America.

    April 13, 2010 at 11:26 am |
  110. Willem

    Instead of having the 35% tax rate on 3xx K, have it on all incomes over a 100k. This together with an overall increase of taxes will make sure we will have a sustainable country for the years to come.

    April 13, 2010 at 11:27 am |
  111. Janie

    I am willing to live with a modest tax increase as long as the govenrment sticks to a "pay-go" policy while cutting spending. Given what we have seen raised through small contributions in political campaigns, I wonder how much could be raised through voluntary, perhaps tax deductible contributions. I believe that most people are patriotic enough to give what they can.

    April 13, 2010 at 11:27 am |
  112. David

    I think government should pursue a flat income tax. If everyone paid 20-25% flat income tax the country would have a surplus.

    April 13, 2010 at 11:27 am |
  113. Lisa

    Where were all of you budget minded people during the Bush years when W ran the national debt through the roof? And why is it that you are asking those of us who have already given to the point of bankruptcy for more? Did we not bail out Wall Street? And didn't Wall Street use that money for jets, caviar, retreats and call girls? Stop asking us to give more and more and more. Go ask Rush Limbaugh to give up a few hundred millions, or Hannity or O'Reilly. I completely resent your media attack on Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security. These programs protect the elderly. All it would take is a few of the gluttonous corporations to kick in their fair share to give these programs a whopping surplus. Stop milking the working people and go sweat the phat corporations for their fair share. And if they don't like it, tell them they are UN-American and to go find another country to terrorize.

    April 13, 2010 at 11:28 am |
  114. Brittany Davis, Chicago

    I'm willing to give up Social Security, at least in its current form. Why can't I "opt-out" and be responsible for my own investments? I wouldn't pay for any sort of insurance that I knew wouldn't pay on a claim...so why is it that I am expected to pay into Social Security when the trust will be depleted before I retire?

    April 13, 2010 at 11:28 am |
  115. Ren

    I'd be willing to cut back on the employees I helped hire who are in charge of the national budget in the first place. Sorry, I mean the ones I helped vote for. If I was an employer who hired 500+ lawyers who couldn't agree on anything – who simply fought and argued and never managed to process the work I'd hired them to do...

    ...Well, I'd fire them and hire new ones that would.

    This has stopped being a "partisan" issue; a vast majority of us get it, it's just the loudest ones that keep making it about "us versus them".

    Long story short: Who is in charge of balancing the national budget? Because THAT'S the group you should be asking. Americans – middle class down – have already been sacrificing. Now it's time for the rest to tighten their belts and give back to the have nots.

    April 13, 2010 at 11:28 am |
  116. Cam

    I'm willing to make cuts anywhere but education. An under educated, unprepared rising youth will only perpetuate our economic and social woes.

    April 13, 2010 at 11:28 am |
  117. Allen Meyer

    Remember that the US spends much more per capita on health care than any other developed nation - great savings can be made in this sector. Furthermore, we can assure greater revenues in the future with a well-educated population and an efficient infrastructure. We shouldn't be penny wise and pound foolish.

    Allen

    April 13, 2010 at 11:28 am |
  118. KProfitt

    What is wrong with the GOP? Bush had us in debt 1.2 Trillion because of his war and rich buddies tax cuts. His party burnt the money in excess. I did not vote for Obama, I will next time. We all need to vote democratic they are helping the people, not the banks as does the GOP. McCain said he was a uniter, he is a man who is ruled by his dollars. Can't we all just get along and do what is right for us broke Americans?
    Ken from Phoenix

    April 13, 2010 at 11:28 am |
  119. Stevenson Desir

    I am willing and happy to cut the Federal Reserve. These rascals should be in jail if not executed. All of the evil that they have cost this great country needs to be charged back to them. Return the constitutional mandate to create money to congress. this would wipe out the Federal debt and return the USA to prosperity and no income taxes. PLEASE do not elect any politician who does not want to abolish the illegal unconstitutional federal reserve and the illegal income tax.

    April 13, 2010 at 11:29 am |
  120. Sam

    Tony:

    You just had a guess that said that in a few years 93% of oiur tax dollars will be spent to pay Medicare, Medicade and bond holders. Would it make sense for me to purchase US savings bonds? I would rather have the US govenment pay me interest that to see that money go to other countries that hate us anyway and become a hostage to their thoughts and way of life.

    April 13, 2010 at 11:29 am |
  121. Bradley Capron

    I won't sacrifice anything to bring down the debt, and NEITHER SHOULD YOU! Until the $24 trillion, 0% interest, Fed/Treasury scam is exposed and put to rest, there is nothing any citizen should sacrifice. Obama is no communist, he is no socialist, but it is EXCEEDINGLY CLEAR that he is a blatant corporatist. Left vs. Right is a false paradigm. Take away corporate control of our government, get rid of the Fed, replace most politicians on the national stage, and I would be willing to THINK about making sacrifices. Corporate and Political vampires won't EVER let this happen willingly, so here are just a few of my solutions:
    1.Spend with cash, not plastic.
    2.Invest in durable, tangible goods YOU own, not stocks or currency.
    3.Develop usefull skills that you can barter with, and circumvent using the financial system.

    April 13, 2010 at 11:29 am |
  122. Dan

    So Diane Zimberoff, even if one has paid in to Social Security their entire life, and make ove $70K a year, they should be penalized?
    That's the democratic thinking.
    I make over that, and I have paid social security for over 30 years. There are people drawing Social Security that have NEVER paid a dime in to the system. That is Democratic thinking. I say if you have never paid social security, YOU DON' T RECEIVE!!

    April 13, 2010 at 11:29 am |
  123. keyne smith

    I would cut war dollars and bring the troops home. You cannot change people that do not want to change. We are training them with our money and our equipment, this will make it that much easier for them to get us again. Bring the troops home – it will save money!

    April 13, 2010 at 11:29 am |
  124. Sally

    I'm willing to sacrifice exactly what they are willing to sacrifice... I don't ask anybody to do anything I'm not willing to do myself... They laid off 100 people at my husband's work this week... so that would be fine in Washington also... they cut my husband's salary to save his job but increased his hours to absorb the extra work, so that would be fine in Washington also... We got rid of one of our cars to cut expenses, so that would be fine in Washington also... My budget is down to skin & bones (have they tried that???)... that would be fine in Washington also... I'll give 'em my $10 hammer, it works just as well as their $500 hammer... that would be fine in Washington also...

    A DOSE OF REALITY??? THAT WOULD BE FINE IN WASHINGTON ALSO!!!!!

    April 13, 2010 at 11:31 am |
  125. Tom Armistead

    A Treasury official with an important but obscure position–Comptroller of the Currency, I think–was in the news (on CNN) a few years ago because he was traveling the country trying to focus attention on the terrible financial fix we were headed for. All this focus now on the national debt and the deficit is essentially what he was saying then.

    I think a powerful news story would be about how and why his efforts yielded so little result and what he has to say about the situation today. And, of course, what he would advise us to do now to turn the situation around.

    April 13, 2010 at 11:31 am |
  126. Don Wilkinson

    In my years as a financial analyst the best thing for reducing costs is to do them across the board. We need to cut defense spending by 10%, Make social security a "Needs based" program with tiers depending upon your actual income level and net worth, medicare needs to renegotiate the drug costs under the Part D program and we need to reduce farm subsidies, corporate welfare in the form of Tax breaks to wealthy companies shifting jobs overseas and companies. This and minor increases in overall taxes and repealing the Bush tax cuts will help to bring everything back into line and not have a negative effect on the overall economy as a whole. We need business incentives to bring back value added manufacturing to the U.S. for jobs growth, green or otherwise. More cash will come into the treasury as aresult of this.

    April 13, 2010 at 11:31 am |
  127. Dave

    There is a very easy fix that will completely fund all safety net programs. President Obama just has to have the nerve to do so... remove the "income caps" from all safety net programs. By doing this we can give everyone Medicare and its fully funded.

    The "Income CAPs" I'm referring to is the amount of income that a person makes at which all taxation stops, currently I believe its at or around $120k. So, anyone who makes more than $100k or more doesn't pay FICA or SSI or Disability on the money made over that amount. So millionaires and billionaires are scott free after the first measily $100k. Time to change this CAP rule!!!

    For the last 30 years since Reagan changed the tax codes and imposed these CAPS we have been starving these programs, like Social Security, Medicare, Unemployment Insurance, and Disability just to name four. This has been the GOPs fixation since the 1970s, to dismantle FDR's New Deal and Johnsons’ Great Society programs.

    The middle class and the working poor have shouldered the burden alone for long enough. For the last 30 years the rich, the mega-rich and the ultra-rich have hoarded their earning and been given every advantage to rape the middle class via tax cuts and outsourcing the jobs from their corporations, for long enough!!! It is now their turn to help shoulder the burden and pay their fair share to right the wrong the GOP created on their behalf.

    Make the RICH pay for the mess they and GOP have created over the last 30 years of failed "Raygun-omics/trickledown economics", the whole mess that was cooked up by some conservative think tank morons!!! The hens have now come home to roost and its now on them to pay for the mess they have created!!!

    Simple fix: Remove the CAPS!!!

    April 13, 2010 at 11:31 am |
  128. Marilyn

    RE: National Debt. Cut the senators and house of representatives that are over 70 years old.

    Comment re: Cutting Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid. What is the elderly going to live on? Elderly is having a hard time living on Social Security now. If this should happen, the state will be paying more for these low income families because they will not be able to afford to pay electric or heating bills. Why always pick on the low income? Take more from the higher income families.

    April 13, 2010 at 11:31 am |
  129. johnnie

    well i cant cut any more and i think the goverment and congress should take a pay cut and we should vote on there raises they have no clue on what they are doing to the american people and to cut social security for people who paid into it all there lifes is not right we take care of other countrys when we should take care of us first if we didnt spend all the money in other places we would not be that bad off all they are going to do is cause a civil unrest like they have never seen the amercian people are tierd of being told what we can do or not tired of intrusion in or lifes im a dem but dont like they way goverment is handling or economey they worried about getting us health care and forgot to get a job hard to get anything with out a job johnnie

    April 13, 2010 at 11:32 am |
  130. Manny

    The US should institute a 1% national sales tax ( a tax on consumption) and dedicate it exclusively to pay down the debt to an acceptable level as a % of GNP. When that level is reached, the tax should automatically expire. Future borrowing should be capped to maintain the deficit at or below that % of GNP. Emergencies (war, disaster relief, etc) should automatically trigger the 1% national sales tax until the deficit returns to or below its target based on GNP.
    Better yet–this is the perfect time to implement tax reform–eliminate all deductions and implement a tax system where EVERY ADULT PAYS. For example, 2% for the lower bracket, 12% for the middle bracket, 25% for the upper bracket. NO REPRESENTATION WITHOUT TAXATION!

    April 13, 2010 at 11:32 am |
  131. Robert

    we wouldnt have to borrow money if our country DID NOT:

    1.get involved in unjust wars
    2. have unjust politicians
    3. do unjustice to other countries–supporting some and suppressing others

    April 13, 2010 at 11:32 am |
  132. bjchristian

    All Americans now realize this is not a quick fix situation,we are just starting to pick the paint peels Yes we will all have to do far more than
    our generation has ever thought of doin g, Past generations know the struggle and the scarice that is in store for all. All public officals should give up their total free benefits and pay just as their cconstituants. take a 1%cut in pay as we are asked to do

    April 13, 2010 at 11:32 am |
  133. JENNA

    In order to cut costs Americans should no longer have to flip the bill for salary and medical care for life so our US Senators. They are wealthy, they don't need for the nation to pay them more.

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    April 13, 2010 at 11:33 am |
  134. Bill

    Why did our Washington politicians let the estate gift tax terminate for 2010? We had the taxes thru 2009, had a lapse for 2010, and will have the taxes again in 2011. It seems substantial revenues have been missed for the year 2010 by our "hard working" representatives.
    they only know how to spend money we do not have.

    April 13, 2010 at 11:33 am |
  135. Kate Kemker

    Tony,
    My taxes have increased already by 5% and in one year that is already a LOT. So I feel I'm doing my part.

    Like many others, I propose some limits on our governing body: 1) eliminate life-time pay benefits for all congressional (house & senate) employees. salary during term is quite enough;

    2) put congress on SAME health care plans as say, Mediacare? OK maybe not good enough for them, how about the new government option that is now offered to 33 million additional Americans.

    3) congressional pensions should not be greater than our coal miners. Here is some data on that: In 2002, the average congressional pension payment ranged from $41,000 to $55,000. A Congressman who worked for 22 years and had a top three-year average salary of $153,900 would be eligible for a pension payment of $84,645 per year .... With most private pensions being eliminated, congress should fall in step with their constituents!

    4) Or how about just a simple flat tax - no convaluted maze of deductions just every one pays their share, period.

    Kind regards, Kate Kemker

    April 13, 2010 at 11:34 am |
  136. JENNA

    Tony,

    In order to cut costs Americans should no longer have to flip the bill for salary and medical care for LIFE for our US Senators. They are wealthy, they don't need for the nation to pay them more.

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    April 13, 2010 at 11:35 am |
  137. Judith Lachance

    We need to stop pointing fingers and blaming others and get serious. When Congress proposes to cut benefits, fix the tax code, close loopholes and raise taxes to reduce the defict, those with the courage to vote for these bills should be overwhelmingly reelected, not criticized. I, personally, am a senior citizen who gets Social Security as well as a pension. Since I don't really need my Social Security to live, I am willing to return it as long as I can keep Medicare.
    Perhaps there are others who would do the same as long as the funds are put toward deficit reduction.

    April 13, 2010 at 11:36 am |
  138. greta hawthorne

    Tony, lets wait for 12/21/12!

    April 13, 2010 at 11:36 am |
  139. Gene Diefenderfer

    To straighten out one of our biggest expenditures, which is social security and medicare, we need to remove the $96,000 cut off point and everyone pay social security tax for the full amount they earn

    April 13, 2010 at 11:36 am |
  140. Jarret

    I work for the government and I can tell you there are ALOT of highly overpaid government official that don't have a pertinent job to perform. Cutting the number of government officials working for us may be a good place to start. May I suggest starting with the Electorial Colledge? With todays technology are they really necessary?

    April 13, 2010 at 11:39 am |
  141. dave benedict

    Cut spending or raise taxes. When President Clinton left office he had a fiscal surplus. President Obama is on the same track. INCOME,INCOME,INCOME. The democrats put a dollar in the working mans pocket to stimulate the economy and in turn when we all are working and paying taxes that create Income. This is not my opinion it is the track record of Reagan, Bush, Bush,Clinton. With all economic indicators the democrats have a 30% better economic situation. Just look at the past numbers. Dave Warren Pa.

    April 13, 2010 at 11:40 am |
  142. Pat

    I recentlly forwarded an email with the following suggestion to the White House. The people of our country like to gamble and/or buy lottery tickets for both entertainment as well as with the hope of getting a little richer! I believe that many would be encouraged in contributing to the solvency of our country and lowering the national debt with the institution of a "USA Debt Reduction Lottery." ( The proceeds for which could not be used for anything else ) . We are the investors and investing in our country and our future. The principle would be the same as with the state lotteries except the winnings would be distributed over many, many people instead of one big pot!! Winnings starting at $100,000 on up depending on number of tickets sold. Therefore, making many investors happy! To those who say tsh, tsh, it is gambling, I say better to lower the debt and work together than owe our soul and be beholding to another country who could call the debt at anytime and own us! Maybe it is time to think outside the box.

    April 13, 2010 at 11:41 am |
  143. Mona McDade

    For a quick painless budget cut eliminate congressional/senate travel by 1) only commercial airline flights to and from home and 2) NO overseas travel – they need the internet programs that provide conference settings. Imagine how much money this would save.

    April 13, 2010 at 11:41 am |
  144. Darlene Piekarski

    I think us seniors have had enough cuts. Most are already at or below poverty level. Why does government and business always start at the bottom? About time they started with the top, cut their own salaries, benefits and all the waste in Washington ! They should be given some of the annual incomes seniors have to exist on and see if they still need to cut the benefits further. They are so far out of touch with the common people they don't have a clue. If you keep cutting away at the bottom layers the whole structure will collapse. Pour the money into job creation instead of Wall Street and they'd be accomplishing something. Of course there's not enough money for SS right now, no one's working and paying into the fund. JOBS, JOBS

    April 13, 2010 at 11:41 am |
  145. Kim

    We (blue collar workers) habe nothing else to give up. Do you want our blood? Oh yes, you already have that, too. We are broke and homeless. Tell the government to give up their paychecks, homes, cars, planes, vacations, college educations for their children, pensions, 401k and then come back and ask us what we are willing to give up. Don't ask us to give up anymore if the ones making it worse wont give up anything. Going to Haiti on tax payer $ isn't helping us at home, look in your own backyard first. As for cutting the military, no we need them, make the gov't live on a Privates pay and tell me the military gets to much. It isn't the miliitary personnel that gets paid to much.

    April 13, 2010 at 11:41 am |
  146. Johnnie

    Tax my employer more instead of me. I'd give up one work day so they can foot the bill.

    April 13, 2010 at 11:41 am |
  147. L Adams

    I think that the people who are benefiting the most should pay the most, its not brain surgery, but it is a fact of greed. Whats with these Capitalist Zealots who think its OK to make in one year what 100 people wouldn't make in their lifetime. You so called Capitalist really didn't learn very much about economics, whenever the wealth, and power of a nation or civilization is concentrated in the hands of a few it " Will Collapse ", study your history, something you should have done while getting your MBA! Grab a bucket and start bailing or all your perceived wealth will be worth nothing as this ship sinks! " Wealth is a figment based on the number of haves Vs have nots " it will not prevail.

    April 13, 2010 at 11:42 am |
  148. Jan Seall

    My late husband, Joseph H. Seall, already gave! He never received a dime of HIS SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY, after being diagnosed with terminal cancer and given six months to live in 2006. He applied for his Social Security Disability immediately but was told because "the rule" says you have to wait five months before you can draw, he'd had to wait until those five months were up. Even though I had a letter from his doctor stating his terminal cancer diagnosis. HE DIED one day short of the six month diagnosis. HE NEVER GOT A DIME – the first check came the next day, which I sent back. I want ALL of what he was entitled to – he paid for it – AND THEY ARE HOLDING SOMETHING THAT BELONGS TO MY LATE HUSBAND. Social Security and the Government are well aware of this – and anticipate those with terminal illnesses WILL DIE. They kept Joe's Social Security, and HOW MANY OTHERS!! And tell us Social Security is going broke. How can that be??? I fought to have legislation introduced – HR2713 – to change this – it died. Wonder why?? We all need to write to the President, as I have done, and Congress. They are not listenting. I PROMISED MY LATE HUSBAND I WOULD SEE TO IT THAT THIS GETS CHANGED AND I FULLY INTEND TO DO SO.

    April 13, 2010 at 11:42 am |
  149. Jackie Earl

    I am willing to cut ALL PORK in government, I'd cut politician benefits like their perfect health care, and cut the constant infusion of U.S. money to other countries where it is only stolen anyway, plus let's cut/end funding of the Iraqi invasion. I am not willing to cut ANY of what little the middle and lower class American has left.

    April 13, 2010 at 11:44 am |
  150. Alam

    Hi Tony, About the national debt, I can not spare any because I am already broken. But President and congress can cut budget from defense,Account. We don't need to policing around the world, but our own. So if we pull out all our troops from all over the world including Iraq and Afghanistan, we can cut out debt in half.

    April 13, 2010 at 11:45 am |
  151. Jon

    I am willing to give up several military bases around the world. Who are we protecting Europe from? If there are countries that need our protection, perhaps they should pay for this service.

    April 13, 2010 at 11:51 am |
  152. Robert

    mr tony

    even 1st graders know

    spend ONLY with what you already have

    April 13, 2010 at 11:52 am |
  153. John Mason

    Tony,

    I work in the US Government and can tell you that the SEIU (Service Employees International Union), a professional-workers union, has taken over the Federal Govt. and up to 33% of all Govt. employees are not competent and should be fired, but will not be because of this very powerful labor union. We taxpayers should not be held hostage by fellow Americans, hiding behind a Union.

    John

    April 13, 2010 at 11:52 am |
  154. Martina

    I am willing to go along with whatever is decided just like when Bush was in office. We did not have a choice then we do not have a choice now. Whoever is the ruling party gets to do what they want, if they can get anything made into law, whether we like it or not.

    April 13, 2010 at 11:53 am |
  155. Keith

    Pass the Fair Tax legislation. The government would collect 350 billion dollars that is missed each year. Every illiegal imigrant, drug dealer and individual that is paid "under the table" would contribute who are currently escape the confusing 670 page tax code today. 350 billion dollars would be greater than any tax increase or major spending cuts that will never be passed. Keith-

    April 13, 2010 at 11:53 am |
  156. Lee Darnell

    The first thing to do is do away with this health care reform. Look at smaller reforms that don't raise taxes so high and expand government so much. A comprehensive review of all government agencies & programs and slash some of the nonsense. For example, the census program giving away t-shirts & hats. Do away with some of the crazy pork barrel projects that are benefiting no one but political cronies. Look at the stimulus bill and some of the projects. Many of the projects don't produce or maintain jobs and I have no clue how they ever got approved. Major tort reform. If taxes need to go up hit items such as alcohol & tobacco which increase health care costs anyway. Give the president line-item veto power so that he can be responsible and cut out the silly political add-ons while preserving important items. Finally, pray to God that our leaders remember that this country is based on the people and not centralized power.

    April 13, 2010 at 11:53 am |
  157. Stephanie

    To eliminate some of our National Debt is going to have to come from everyone (not just the poor)
    Rescind the tax cuts for the wealthiest (those making over $250,000 a year)
    Demand payment of the 3.5 Trillion deficit created by those Bush Tax cuts in 2003.
    And every City, County, State, Federal and appointees making over $250,000 of tax payer money take a temporary 50% reduction in pay and that should yield another 3 to 4 Trillion in reduction in our national debt bringing it to around 6 trillion instead of 12.

    April 13, 2010 at 11:54 am |
  158. Jeff

    Make Congressmen operate efficiently and stop wasting the money of the American people. Pay members of Congress per bill of legislation passed and approved by 51% of 10,00 American citizens in a random poll. Deduct a portion of their pay for each pork belly projected attached to a bill. Give each Congressmen a small bonus for any bill that reduces the U.S. Debt.

    April 13, 2010 at 11:54 am |
  159. Jackie Earl

    How about we cut the "war on drugs" by napalming every poppy field in the world. Especially in Afghanistan where we are at war against terrorists being funded by drug sales HERE, causing health and crime problems which causes extra spending that we can ill afford on the local, state and federal levels. Legalize marijuana, control the growth and safety creating JOBS and then TAX the sales.

    April 13, 2010 at 11:57 am |
  160. Molly

    We shouldn't have passed health care reform, and we must stop spending money we do not have. We should cut back on welfare spending, spending by politicians, and we need to institute a flat tax.

    Reaganomics worked, kids.

    April 13, 2010 at 11:58 am |
  161. Joseph Rhoden

    The question about cutting social security has anyone besides myself think that surely there has to be a cap those monthly payments at just for instance people drawing only say, $2,000.00 a month and under there wouldn't be any cuts? For instance I draw less than a $1,000.00 a month. Try living on that, and pay the twenty percent out for medical care that medicare doesn't pay. I was receiving medicaid that picked up that other twenty percent until a few months ago when I was told because I draw SS and not SSI that I was no longer eligible for SSI. So I was dropped, in other words because I paid the proper amount, what I was required to pay I'm being penalized. Before even if my medical provider didn't accept medicaid they would give me what they called a cortesy write-off (don't ask me why or what that's about that's just what I was told). Even if this doesn't make the air I hope this gets addressed. JWR

    April 13, 2010 at 12:04 pm |
  162. Shane

    I am a 26-year-old member of the Armed Forces. My family (wife, son, and myself) survive on my income alone. I am willing to forgo my cost of living adjustments for at least the next three years to help reduce defense spending. Furthermore, I believe that every member of every uniformed service–including state and local uniformed services–who isn't willing to make a similar sacrifice should take another look at the meaning of SERVICE.

    –Shane

    P.S.- I would welcome an opportunity to discuss ways to reduce completely WASTEFUL government spending accross the board.

    April 13, 2010 at 12:04 pm |
  163. L Adams

    139 comments and you people haven't got a clue, you all think cutting spending is the problem, "HELLO!!! its greed and the unequal distribution of the wealth and resources on this planet. Capitalism is a poor excuse for greed, alone it will never save this country.

    April 13, 2010 at 12:04 pm |
  164. Elizabeth Glasierf

    When it comes to federal budget problems, why is everyone ignoring "the elephant in the living room?" We are spending billions per month on our two wars, and what for? I wrote to President Bush before he started the Iraq war that he was creating enemies for the United States faster than he could possibly kill them. I think we still are. Let's pull out quickly and use that money to pay down the debt.

    April 13, 2010 at 12:05 pm |
  165. James Smith

    I'm 39, I would cut Social Security for anyone under 40. But keep paying the SS tax until everyone ages out of it. Change income tax to a flat rate starting at the poverty line. That would most like make my taxes go up but it's fair. We also need better control/over site on wellfare. Get it to people who need it most not to people who just don't care to improve themselves. Same with unemployment benefits. I know people who don't work just to get the money. That needs to stop.

    April 13, 2010 at 12:07 pm |
  166. Danny

    Put a time limit on Welfare Payments for those that are not severely disabled, and are able to work. Offer recipients job training, or community college, plus help with job placement and child care. Welfare was supposed to be a safety net and was never designed to be a career! That would save billions every year!

    April 13, 2010 at 12:08 pm |
  167. dave benedict

    I refuse to give my opinion. I look at history. President Clinton was the best president we ever had economically. President Obama is exactly on tract to do the same. He even has many of the same staff. Yes it is that simple. Trust me when President Obama leaves office history tells us that the economy will be turned around. Everything is based on history. Go online and look up bar graft economics republican democrat. This is not my opinion

    April 13, 2010 at 12:13 pm |
  168. Ken Weaver

    Tony:

    We need to change the discussion. States need to start picking up more of the tab. I would be willing to pay more in taxes at a local level (city and state), were services are more immediate to the individual. If the states take on more of the financial burden, rather than asking the federal government for educational funding, earmarks, medicaid, and unemployment assistance, the federal government can reduce spending. To summarize, shift the tax burden from the federal government to the states. Let the states raise taxes!!!

    April 13, 2010 at 12:14 pm |
  169. Joseph Rhoden

    Shouldn't be a line for cuts to people drawing $2,000.00 and above? Try living on that. I draw less than half that. I barely get by. I don't know how I could live on less.

    April 13, 2010 at 12:16 pm |
  170. Max

    Tax the uber rich at 91% – Eisenhower did and he was Republican!

    April 13, 2010 at 12:18 pm |
  171. Eric

    We need to increase tax rates on EVERYONE. 40% for the top and 12% on the bottom would be a good start. Currently the bottom 40% pays nothing or ends up with more money in their return than they pay in so make it so nobody gets more back than they pay in. Raise the medicare age for those under 50 by 5 years, iNCREASE spending on infrastructure such as roads, bridges and phone lines (get our rating up from a D to a C) and farm these projects out because private contracts pay forward to more jobs. Cut Gov't salaries so that pay is equal to private sector (the benefits will still be a major draw). Impeach congressmen who keep their living expenses after trips ($100-200 a trip really adds up) and cut trips as well as staff.
    There's a lot more to do but start here

    April 13, 2010 at 12:21 pm |
  172. Mark Tulowitzky

    Tony, I'm not willing to sarifice any services or entitlements to help with the national debt. My wife and I pay our taxes, that's part of living in a civilized society. If the govt. would collect the taxes due from U.S. and foreign corporations it erase the debt in a relatively short period of time. It's estimated using IRS data in a study done by the GAO that 61% of American corporations and 71% of foreign corporations pay no federal income tax this along with the abusive tax schemes that major U.S. companies engage in deprive the Treasury of tens if not hundreds of billions of dollars of revenue every year.

    April 13, 2010 at 12:27 pm |
  173. MR.AL

    How about Lawmakers salary and bennifits. They froze SSI's pittifull raise and gave themselves a generous raise and bennefits. Everytime there is a cut they never include themselves. The cuts should come from the top. That includes CEO's in the Corperate world. The multimillion dollar salaries these people recieve could possibilly help save their company!! I Don't expect mutch to happen!! The greed Ive seen in the last nine plus years has shown what these people care about!!!!

    April 13, 2010 at 12:34 pm |
  174. Ryan Rosso

    I would be more than willing to cut the money resulting from pork in legislation as well as the unnecessary favors to corporations who just waste our tax dollars anyway.

    April 13, 2010 at 12:36 pm |
  175. Brooks

    Cut the IRS and go with a flat tax. Those that spend alot contribute alot. Significantly reduce our global footprint and economic aid packages. End the war.

    Between those three highly improbably things one could certainly make significant inroads to a green balance sheet.

    April 13, 2010 at 12:38 pm |
  176. Nick

    My idea to remedy our national debt situation is simplistic, we need to correct the Medicare/cade and Social Security programs. They make up just under 45% of government spending and for retired people, they receive over half of that money in SS checks or supplemental medical care assistance. When Congress enacted these programs in the 60's the retirement benefits age was the formula of: male life expectancy in 1965, or as we know 65. This age has not been corrected......EVER! I think its time Congress corrects this. If they do, the new age would be 72 and remove close to $18 trillion from the budget, and reduce Medicare/cade and Social Security's footprint to about 27% of government spending. Yes, you read it right. That figure is correct and if you take the numbers from the Social Security website, you would reach them too. I am willing to sacrifice and work 7 years longer if it means we get our country out of this mess.

    April 13, 2010 at 12:39 pm |
  177. Ol'Bob

    @sg

    Your math is off.

    $40 * 300 million = 12 billion.

    The current debt is nearly 13 *trillion* dollars. A trillion is 1000 times larger than a billion. That come out to $41,667.73 per American. That's more than a 1000 times larger than the number you quote.

    Ol' Bob

    April 13, 2010 at 12:44 pm |
  178. Jay A

    Nobody should have to give up anything. There are other ways to make up the money. Government controlled hospitals. Right now hospitals charge for everything from bandaids to x-ray machines. At an elavated price to. If the government have the hospitals a bandaid woould cost 20 cents flat rate on x-rays. We pay millions to CEO and partnerships that do us the american people no good. To pay the 12 trillion down and pay for the health care. Government sponcered events for the people to get out and enjoy. Insted of taxes I would be more willing to pay for an event to pay for things.

    April 13, 2010 at 12:46 pm |
  179. MR.AL

    i'M retired and theres nothing to cut. Lawmakers have already taking from the retirees in 2010, remember they froze all raises because of "NO FUNDS" but found the money to give themselves a sizable raise and bennifits!!!

    April 13, 2010 at 12:47 pm |
  180. Ron

    I believe a 10% entertainment tax (including all sporting events, Nascar racing, concerts, movies, ect) would be a way for all Americans to be involved, but it must only be used for paying off the national debt.

    April 13, 2010 at 12:52 pm |
  181. uk

    How about collecting All the stolen money from the banking and Wall street suits
    Trade down the national debt with China trade the GOP {Greedy Old Pr....s } for labor
    Don't pay down the National Debt let the whole thing crash Then rebuild With Equality for all

    April 13, 2010 at 1:03 pm |
  182. Jay

    - I am willing to sacrifice mail delivery Wed.-Sat.

    – I am willing to accept a tax on exotic dancers as employees

    – I am willing to sacrifice all local police, and handing over there duties to the state police

    – I am willing to accept social security being invested in private american companies

    – I am willing to sacrifice a 1% increase in federal taxes to put solar panels on every home and building in America

    – I am willing to sacrifice the electoral college and go to the actual american vote so we don't have corrupt politicans and presidents

    April 13, 2010 at 1:37 pm |
  183. kent

    First we need to tell the truth that the total national debt is 65 trillion dollars counting social security and medicare. Our debt is 400% more than our total GDP. The U.S. is totally broke and first needs to state the true problem to the american people. We have a financial emergency and need to act accordingly. Defense should immediatley be cut by 25%, we need to immediately remove troops from iraq, aghanistan, europe, s. korea, and japan, cut nasa and agriculture aid 50% , eliminate the departments of education, and energy, freeze all government spending, eliminate corporate welfare, eliminate business tax deductions for salaries above 400,000, raise premiums for medicaid and medicare based on income, eliminate early retirement for social security, raise the social security payroll tax base from $110,000 to 1 million, and raise the top tax rate to 90%.

    April 13, 2010 at 1:43 pm |
  184. santiago

    My credit limits on my credit cards have been decreased. They are forcing us to spend less and pay for that debt. USA will have big problems in the future.
    But in some ways USA is paying for its bad plan. USA is paying for its bad manage of the resources. Androides....

    April 13, 2010 at 2:02 pm |
  185. Marcus Deeman

    While it is important to reel in spending it is also important that we remain human. In part, this relies on our ability to correctly sort out our basic needs as human beings. One of those is healthcare. Those who would cut spending on the health of have-not fellow human beings would be ignoring the fact that in developing and prioritizing the infrastructure to treat the uninsured sick we are indeed instituting self protective measures. Is it okay to allow your neighbor to go around spreading H1N1 for example because he is too poor to pay? Would we have eradicated small pox if we had charged the impecunious for the vaccine? I think not. Selfishness is as human as altruism we know. We can decide to be self serving individuals and in the end all suffer or we can exercise timeless wisdom.

    A number of suggestions above make sense. Less Bible thumping with cuts to the war on drugs makes sense. A small enough tax on all but significant revenue in sum makes sense. We can certainly live with these. Defense spending is more complicated. I am not sure that we can decide its worth in absence of thorough overview of why we spend. The world is dangerous and that should not be brushed aside with hand-wringing.

    April 13, 2010 at 2:14 pm |
  186. Bob from Yorktown

    I'm will to cut the US Government and the functions is manages down to just that which is authorized in the U.S. Constitution, per Ammendments Nine and Ten.

    April 13, 2010 at 2:25 pm |
  187. R. Keith Turley

    Hello Tony,

    I catch a little of the stimulis "where does your money go" from time to time and have not seen a report on importing drywall made in China.

    I do remember seeing (possibly on the DOC channel) about a drywall manufactuer in the U.S. that is sitting idle waiting to get back to making and distributing.

    Chinese products have been making people sick, any insight?

    Thank you,

    Keith

    April 13, 2010 at 3:04 pm |
  188. Nancy Dodge

    Raise or eliminate the cap on Social Security (FICA) payroll deductions(contributions) and create a ceiling for the payment of Benefits. Those making under $125K pay FICA on 100% of their income, but those making $250K only pay on 50% of their income. If Everyone paid on 50% of their income, problem solved. Not sure where a celing should be, but it seems a 65 year old, making 6 million a year should not need to collect a Benefit.

    April 13, 2010 at 3:05 pm |
  189. Smith in Oregon

    Republican lawmakers state Military spending is only 30% of the total revenue. I seriously doubt that number is only 30%, and would place it at least 50% when all of the linked NSA, CIA funding and black project costs are taken into account.

    What would I cut?

    I would shut down nearly 90% of all the 700 overseas Military bases which are nothing more than cold war relics and no longer relevant nor needed.

    I would shut down both Iraq and Afghanistan Wars.

    I would place a 1 year moratorium on giving Billions of taxpayer dollars to country's around the world to promote (bribe) their democratic direction.

    I would disband the huge and entirely worthless Dept. of Homeland Security agency. Bush-Cheney's credo of lesser Govt. was nothing but a huge lie when you consider how expensive, wasteful and un-needed DHS is.

    I would combine many Federal agency's whose specific area's considerably overlap and mirror each others functions such as Bureau of Land Management and Dept. of Forestry.

    I would stop the War on Drugs and return America's medical community to control the use of drugs on America's citizens.

    April 13, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  190. Carl

    I'd get rid of the Republican Party that created the debt without any way to pay for it then I would have the I.R.S. investigate each of their personal tax returns.
    When it came to war Republicans had no problem spending billions of tax payer money every month. Suddenly its a problem for them to help our country fund health care for the disenfranchised even when our President has a plan to fund it and not add to the debt.

    April 13, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  191. JH

    There is no simple solution because it requires our politicians fix their own problem... however, for starters – tax the 47% of households in this country that don't pay any taxes, force congress to use a balanced budget and Stop overspending, cut congressional salary's, and get rid of their 'freeloader' pensions.

    April 13, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
  192. john

    stop having things made in China, buy made in America, by made in America, by made in America, by made in America.
    And stop spending ridiculous amounts on the military!!!!!!!!!!!
    Pentagon is crazy and irresponsible! We have a backlog of weapons to arm all Africa!
    Stop supporting the lobbis that are hurting our country economically! Don't and allow any lobbies in the government! That's not democracy that's greed,

    April 13, 2010 at 8:05 pm |
  193. Mikaelike

    Has anyone given a thought to the billions of tax money bieng shot up into an enormous black hole by NASA every year? It seems like a shuttle launch every month with no real benefits.
    I personally could do without pictures of non life sustaining space.
    Lets use that money here so our children will not have to foot the bill for white elephants from NASA.

    April 13, 2010 at 11:05 pm |
  194. USAFireFly

    Who are they kidding? I know people who can't afford their mortgages, struggle to pay mandated auto insurance, and keep barely above water month to month. HOW can we the people pay any of this debt back? I never gave permission as a voter for any of this debt, did you?

    April 14, 2010 at 7:13 am |
  195. Michele

    I agree with whoever said everyone should donate $40 or $50 dollars and pay the debt immediately. BUT to make sure we dont end up back where we started, the answer, I believe, lies in US jobs. More US jobs means more income taxes coming in to pay the bills. You cannot go into a store and look at anything in the store and find a made in the USA label on it. I have tried....most items say made in china. Companies are so greedy that they buy items from other countries so that they can put more in their own pockets. I would be willing to pay a few dollars more for Made in the USA. The answer is not taxing the already taxed to death middle class.....there is nothing left for them to sacrifice. Bring the US troops back home....end these money pit wars. Let the CIA deal with Bin Laden. Incorporate Homeland security with the Dept of Defense and cut out the excessive spending on "extra govt agencies". The majority of Americans are working longer hours with less pay ( at least those who still have jobs). Lets hold our govt to the same standards the rest of us have to live by. We need to worry about our own country and our own people before we concern ourselves with other countries and their people. Using the old adage...." dont go cleaning someone elses backporch if your own is a mess".......that is where we are right now. It is time to clean our own porch and quit worrying about what the neighbors are doing.

    April 14, 2010 at 8:17 am |
  196. ken

    I am willing to cut defense, education, agriculture, nasa, energy, medicare, medicaid, social security ,corporate welfare and freeze all other government spending and programs. To bring in more money for pay for our 65 trillion dollar national debt I would also be willing to raise the top tax rate to 90% as president roosevelt did, raise the social security payroll tax base to 1 million, and raise medicare and medicaid premiums based on income.

    April 14, 2010 at 8:41 am |
  197. CarrieL.

    I would be more than willing to vote to slash the pay of our congresspersons, representatives, etc. You know who they are...the people we elect into office under the premise that they wil serve our best interest and then only serve their own. After a year or two debt would be significantly paid down...

    April 14, 2010 at 10:25 am |
  198. M Kline

    Do what we did about 20-30 years ago. Every federal and state employee gave up a day’s pay.

    April 14, 2010 at 10:27 am |
  199. Jay

    The better question is what is government willing to give up? How about their money machine. The value of the $ since 1913 is 4 cents on the $. The FED got us into this mess they should be held accountable not the American people.

    April 14, 2010 at 10:28 am |
  200. James Sanson

    I would reduce spending, and create a city called the city of welfare where people who current get welfare move to, and work for their welfare. They take our jobs back from China and put these people to work in them for their welfare. Then more cuts, but not in military. Then I would increase a port charge. I would punish companies for going overseas for cheaper labor, and reward them for producing in the USA, and not punish or benefit them for producing in Mexico. This would give them the cheaper labor in Mexico, and give our illegals in the USA jobs back home. I would not even create GOVT Deathcare, because you do not go to Disneyland when you will lose your home. I would stop bailing out the business, and find out where the $$$ money went to in the USA, because their was a boom and big numbers removed from the table like a magic show, and I would go and collect that money back if possible. Then finally I would do a program where you reward Americans for investing into America- long-term bonds, etc.

    April 14, 2010 at 10:30 am |
  201. Patricia - The Villages, Fl

    I am not willing to give up any more. I worked hard all my life and now the gov't is taking it away. Why should we give more when the gov't can't do anything on their own? I am retired & It has become increasing difficult to do so When 1/2 of our retirement funds have been taken away. We have to live on a budget without anyone to bail us out. Why can't the gov't understand that they have to live within their budget? You just can' keep printing more money and selling out our country to foreign nations.

    April 14, 2010 at 10:31 am |
  202. Grrace

    I heard a man call regarding this question. He wanted to cut the U.S. Post Office completely. I disagree with this, because that EQUALS PRIVATIZATION of the U.S. Mail. No! What will follow is UPS and Fed Exp gouging the customer. We must keep Saturday Delivery is UPS and Fed Exp. keep it. Otherwise, there is no real competition between private business and the average "consumer" (i.e. the government in place to keep costs low FOR the consumer, BY the consumer.)

    April 14, 2010 at 10:32 am |
  203. Jim Gray

    I am willing to give up interest on US savings bonds. I propose US saving bonds be offered to replace/payoff loans received from other nations (China). Stop paying interest to other governments by replacing those debts with interest free bonds purchased by US taxpayers. This would be similar to the war bonds during WWII. We can all sacrifice a few dollars of interest to free our nation from debt obligation to other nations.

    April 14, 2010 at 10:35 am |
  204. Marshall "Lee" Quentel

    Hi Tony & CNN,

    First, the USPS is not funded by Taxpayer Dollars.

    Second, I seriously doubt you could/can find anyone, anyone on our planet for that matter, that would be willing to take a letter from me and Take it all the way to my Father in Miami Florida for 44 cents!!!

    Even resorting to another carrier would cost one a lot more than the the USPS does it for.

    Thirdly, the USPS would be invaluable in the event of a major U.S. catastrophic event such as a War, Nuclear Strike, Pandemic, or super Volcanic Eruption of the Yellowstone Caldera.

    Finally, I think the USPS should raise the price of a stamp at least to 1 Dollar, So they can modernize and compete more effectively with the Private Sector!

    Lee, Montana

    April 14, 2010 at 10:40 am |
  205. Nancy Dorsey

    As a tax paying American, I would be willing to sacrifice the free medical care I/we provide to illegal immigrants while I pay for my own surgery, insurance and medical costs. I am also willing to sacrifice the interpreters provided at my expense for all hospital visits and doctor visits for everyone who cannot speak English.
    I'm also willing to sacrifice the wages for people who do the paperwork for infants born in the US by illegal immigrants which will also ultimately save Americans money by limiting what we have to pay for families of these infants.
    I can also sacrifice the education expense for these illegal immigrants as well as the extra teachers we have to provide in a class if there is 1 child who does not speak English.
    This will save A LOT of MONEY. It is less expensive to put them on a plane and fly them back. The jobs these illegals do, can be manned by American welfare recipients and subsidised by the govt if necessary. If you don't work and are physically able, you should have to for your welfare check. I'm tired of paying for everyone else!

    April 14, 2010 at 10:41 am |
  206. Grrace

    I would be will to pay 5 cents more per gallon of gas, and use that money to get us OFF the GAS. I would also be willing to cut that 54 BILLION every year for nuke maintenance, to 25 Billion a year. And, I would like to cut the budget from the BLM to kill our wild horses and burros (including torture of those animals) to a BIG FAT zero. Zero budget to "manage" (code for: round-up, torture, kill) our wild horses and burros...i.e. our American Wildlife...our American Wildlife Native to their land. Thanks.

    April 14, 2010 at 10:42 am |
  207. Etha Gay

    Tony, What happens now that a ranking military officer has refused to follow the Presidents orders? Is he going to get a free pass because the president is Black, or will he be court martialed as is provided for in military law? In the past, such an refusal would have had him removed from the field and stripped of all his rank and imprisoned.

    April 14, 2010 at 10:42 am |
  208. Nancy Dorsey

    As a medical professional, I have to submit to any "spot " drug check. I feel we could save a lot of money by requiring all welfare and disabled recipients to pass drug tests. Too much welfare money goes to people who are doing drugs and not to providing for their children anyway.

    April 14, 2010 at 10:45 am |
  209. John Miller

    Tony, we have to go back to the moon first before we go to other planets. The moon has 1/6 the gravity of the earth, so it requires a much smaller craft than one that would leave from the earth.

    April 14, 2010 at 10:48 am |
  210. James Sanson

    Furthermore, after we fix this mess and we have no debt what will we do to prevent this from other happening. I saw we put into law that our GOVT cannot borrow money without the vote of the people, and at least 60% saying yes to it. Also, we create a law preventing our GOVT from creating or increasing taxes without 60% of the people's vote. Oh, and massive things like universal health care have it require a 60% yes vote by the people too.

    April 14, 2010 at 10:50 am |
  211. W Vance

    We need to help ourselves FIRST. I will gladly give up:
    1. Cut ALL foreign aid.
    2. Stop immediately printing money.
    3. Cut/consolidate government agencies.
    4. All goverment politicians MUST have 20 years combined holding political office for retirement purposes.
    5. Recend congress' recent pay increases and eliminate monetary perks. It should be an honor to serve ones country.
    6. Deport ALL illegals NOW. Three presidents before did, successfully.
    7. Drill for our oil in our midwest states.
    8. Stop robbing Peter to pay Paul. Put the Social Security monies back where it was intended.
    HAVE AMERICA FIRST, AMERICANS FIRST

    April 14, 2010 at 10:55 am |
  212. James Sanson

    Why is the son of sam law not used on illegals having children in the USA? This is a huge impact- we are giving them welfare rights because of this. Becoming a citizen is a benefit, and the son of sam law says you cannot benefit from a crime.

    April 14, 2010 at 10:55 am |
  213. John

    How about instead of cutting Police and Fire service they should cut some of the ridiculous entitlement programs? But they won't do that since their re-election campaign is just around the corner...

    April 14, 2010 at 11:05 am |
  214. Bob Soby

    Tony
    I'm willing to give up paying Congress. I think the special interests pay them enough. We don't need to suppliment that pay with tax payers money.

    April 14, 2010 at 11:07 am |
  215. Miam

    I'd be willing to cut military spending! When we cannot afford things like police for our own towns and cities, we cannot afford two foreign wars. We need to grow jobs in some sector other than the military industrial complex.

    April 14, 2010 at 11:08 am |
  216. Jim

    Hello,
    I can understand cutting back on eating out...traveling unecessary distances,,,to save money,,,however,,, it was not the public in general that got us into this financial situation and it should not be the general public to get us out of it.
    Those who created this problem need to be held responsible finacially.
    STOP giving money out to companies to save them... let them die .. others will show up ...
    Let the government employees... the large coporations,,give up their moneies not us!.

    April 14, 2010 at 11:10 am |
  217. Wesley Spears

    There is a a major issue with cutting government costs. Cutting costs is easy eliminate jobs. For instance how about following the Canadian Postal System. Where everyone picks up mail from a central location. Also post offices are in grocery stores, which in most cases has only one employee. But what about the jobs lost, what about the pensions. Its a catch 22.

    April 14, 2010 at 11:10 am |
  218. Skyler Brinley

    Marijuana laws need to be reformed, regulated, and TAXED.
    Cigarrettes are garbage.
    Stop trying to improve on nature.
    Work with nature and invest in new energy.

    April 14, 2010 at 11:10 am |
  219. Mark Anderson

    So very typical. Police and firefighters are the first to see cuts. This is what the political class does to make any reduction in spending seem absurd. Thank you for exposing it.

    April 14, 2010 at 11:11 am |
  220. Shawn Peterson

    I think that all US citizens should go one year without getting a tax refund. This would drastically reduce the national debt as long as ALL that money goes to the debt and nothing else. I understand that this sound like a lot to ask, but the general public isn't missing that money because it is already taken out of their checks. Most people don't rely on their tax refunds for anything. It is just a big perk that we get in the spring.

    April 14, 2010 at 11:11 am |
  221. James Sanson

    Yes- no more paying the senators or congress. They are so me, me, me. They are trying to remove the luggage charge on the planes, because they themselves do not want to pay. The senators and congressmen should be the top business people in the country. Hence, they should be doing this work as charity. If Bill gates stops being lazy and throughing money at aids, etc and starts focusing on how to fix this country with his thoughts, etc then we will see our country improve. I like knowing what our annual taxes are, signing off of them as a county, and then dividing it by all of the citizens int he USA or people in the USA, and paying it all equally.

    April 14, 2010 at 11:11 am |
  222. Mark

    Its astounding that the government is not helping the law enforcement agencies with their times of need. When our departments start to cut their budgets and cannot provide the service that the officers are sworn to do there is a problem. Why cant the government step in like they stepped in to help the banks that were failing. Saving our Law Enforcement departments would be money well worth spent. I work in a small rural Kansas Police Department and I couldn't imagine what it would be like if our budget got cut. I feel sorry for those departments who had to cut theirs. Lets hope this Administration steps in and does the right thing, and that's helping these departments help their citizens.

    April 14, 2010 at 11:12 am |
  223. 1st. Amendment Ed

    Good Morning Tony, my comment on this issue is that as an American citizen I feel that I should not have to sacrifice anything period! After all it was not the American citizens fault that put us in this position of being in debt. The guilty party of this issue is Wall Street and the Banking institutions.

    Therefore, I believe that we should impose a "Bailout Tax" on Wall Street and the Banking institutions to pay off our national debt. This could lead to future bailout reserve for our country.

    April 14, 2010 at 11:13 am |
  224. Pierre Angiel

    You don't have to cut anything.

    1. Start taxing the wealthy, for a change.
    2. Adopt Roosevelt/Truman/Eisenhower Marginal Tax rates of over 90%
    3. Allow write off for investments in US business only, but only to 50%.
    4. Place tarrifs on Chinese and Indian goods to protect US businesses
    5. $500 Billion to $1 Trillion more $$ will be brought in
    6. The new employees will bring in more $$ (everything else needed.)
    7. Depression ends

    April 14, 2010 at 11:13 am |
  225. James Sanson

    Never cut military spending. That is the last thing you ever cut.

    April 14, 2010 at 11:13 am |
  226. James Sanson

    We have to cut massively dating back to the great depression. The GOVT is not here to loan or borrow money. It is here to be an operating system like Windows 7. Right now it is running like store front programs. We must first clean house, shrink GOVT spending, prevent out of control future spending. Then create a 5 year business plan to pay off our International debt equally by all America Citizens or people he with work visas.

    April 14, 2010 at 11:18 am |
  227. zip trower

    It's interesting the 'things' people will personally give up to correct the mismanagement of politicians. I say elect people who want to 'serve', not enhance their stature/or pocketbook, and ensure any gov't entitlement is temporary for those who are not disabled. Once credible people are in Congress, entitlements removed, bogus programs eliminated, and a balanced budget, THEN a one or two year national assessment based on AGI would be amenable. To be valid, this would have to be done after full repeal or major modification of the recent health care bill.
    Also, comments to defund our military during this time of world chaos and lack of experiential leadership in Washington is a ludicrous proposal and demonstrates the foolishness and ignorance of those who advocate it.

    April 14, 2010 at 11:19 am |
  228. Carlos A Perez

    I am willing to sacrifice my $1000.00 tax return every year until the debt is paid.
    To help the nation's long term income people should support INVESTMENTS like energy projects, lower the cost of health care, support higher education, NASA.

    Thank you from Orlando Florida.

    April 14, 2010 at 11:22 am |
  229. C--

    Tony,
    Not sure what else I can give up for my country. My wife and I live at my disabled mother's house that I grew up in along with my brother and some friends who have gone temporarily homeless. We earn "too much" for food stamps, but not enough to pay all the bills we have and we owe due to paying bills on credit cards after job losses, no job gains, and loss of unemployment. Somehow I still owed money on my taxes. We eat because churches are willing to give us food and help pay our bills. Can't get a consolidation loan that would help decrease finance charges becuase of our income/debt ratio. We used to have credit scores close to 800 just two years ago and were closing on a REASONABLY PRICED house... We have health insurance, but can't afford to actually go to the doctor... now we HAVE to have insurance, so that $350 cost still looms monthly.

    What else can I do Tony? I watch CNN at the local cafe where I use their internet to look for jobs and check email. The only "fun" item we have is our cell phones, but only because it would break us to break the contract. I've walked away from a loan so I can buy gas to get to interviews.

    Times for me are already hopeless... maybe if someone else had to "come off" something, I'd feel a little better, and I don't mean the homeless guy on the street either. How about the Exxon CEO who's company paid $15billion in taxes to other countries and $0.00 to the USA in taxes.

    And I owed $200 on top of what I already gave them.

    What else can I do Tony?

    April 14, 2010 at 11:23 am |
  230. Mary Pike

    I, like many others would be wiling to give up the billions of dollars we spend on wars. Take part of that money to keep our country safe and let the rest to help the people here in our country. It is time to stop being so worried about other countries and take care of our own.

    April 14, 2010 at 11:24 am |
  231. J C Champagne

    Hi Tony in U.S we complain about everything, outside U.S government could not care less about a lot of things. We should be thankful there is a system here that has functionable department at least 80% check rules & regulations if not we would be just like them

    April 14, 2010 at 11:27 am |
  232. Tom West

    Hiya Tony,
    We don't need to cut, just enforce the laws and ensure Corporate America pays its 35% tax rate on all profits in the first instance, instead of being allowed to hide and write it off through their shareholders. Ie: 2008 profits were approx. $1,700,000,000,000.00, thats 1 trillion, 700 billion+ dollars in profits. Which come to a tax debt of around $500-$600 billion dollars, but as records show, corporations only paid around a total of $300,000,000.00, (thats 300 million), little short wouldn't you say.
    We have a government which is ruled by judicial interpatation, not the constitution, read the Supremacy Clause, Article VI, Clause 2, and then read Barron v. Mayor of Baltimore, 32 U.S. (7 Pet.) 243 (1833),
    this was and is the beginning of the end for freedom.

    April 14, 2010 at 11:29 am |
  233. Virginia in Wisconsin

    I would be willing to give up (eliminate) most of the federal entitlement programs in order to drastically cut federal employees (and the need for them)

    One example: the new healthcare (entitlement) program requires thousands of new government jobs be created( within the IRS) to police compliance....

    April 14, 2010 at 11:30 am |
  234. Helen

    Cutting services of our poice or fire departments is not the answer;basic safety of our citizens should never be where we make cuts. Where do we get the money? Legalize drugs in doing so we would rid govenment spending on trying to stop the import of drugs from other couhtries. It would stop violence on the borders. The drugs could be taxed at a high rate like cigarettes and alcohol. Less young people would use drugs because it is no longer against the law and hence not as cool to do. It would open up new industry both in manufacture of the drugs and centers to treat addicts which could be forced to be for profit and they can pay taxes. Which would also cut down on costs on prisons since most of the prisoners are small time drug dealers. We never get the big guys. Stop spending on space exploration, we can not take care of things here on Earth so there is no point in going somewhere else that we will not be able to take care of.

    April 14, 2010 at 11:30 am |
  235. James Sanson

    "Tony,
    Not sure what else I can give up for my country. My wife and I live at my disabled mother’s house that I grew up in along with my brother and some friends who have gone temporarily homeless. We earn “too much” for food stamps, but not enough to pay all the bills we have and we owe due to paying bills on credit cards after job losses, no job gains, and loss of unemployment. Somehow I still owed money on my taxes. We eat because churches are willing to give us food and help pay our bills. Can’t get a consolidation loan that would help decrease finance charges becuase of our income/debt ratio. We used to have credit scores close to 800 just two years ago and were closing on a REASONABLY PRICED house… We have health insurance, but can’t afford to actually go to the doctor… now we HAVE to have insurance, so that $350 cost still looms monthly.

    What else can I do Tony? I watch CNN at the local cafe where I use their internet to look for jobs and check email. The only “fun” item we have is our cell phones, but only because it would break us to break the contract. I’ve walked away from a loan so I can buy gas to get to interviews.

    Times for me are already hopeless… maybe if someone else had to “come off” something, I’d feel a little better, and I don’t mean the homeless guy on the street either. How about the Exxon CEO who’s company paid $15billion in taxes to other countries and $0.00 to the USA in taxes.

    And I owed $200 on top of what I already gave them.

    What else can I do Tony?"

    How about get off your bumm and go get a job. If there are no jobs there then go to s state that has jobs.

    April 14, 2010 at 11:33 am |
  236. Steve D

    i would be willing to cut the politicians wages

    April 14, 2010 at 11:35 am |
  237. James Sanson

    Tony West- corporate taxes should be $0. Income taxes should be $0, and we should only have purchase and property taxes. Then our GOVT should have to manage from these set numbers. The GOVT thinks they can just keep creating debt, and we the tax payers will just keep paying.

    April 14, 2010 at 11:36 am |
  238. Andrew

    The Average American has given up enough for the time-being. Uncle Sam and his friends on Wall St. have made this mess. Therefore, I feel, Uncle Sam and his friends on Wall St. should clean it up, without the help of the Average America this time.

    April 14, 2010 at 11:37 am |
  239. Don L.

    I'm willing to sacrifice the new healthcare law in favor of something more affordable. That should save the US taxpayer a couple of trillion.

    April 14, 2010 at 11:37 am |
  240. Mark

    I'd be willing to give up all of the money that goes into law enforcement and the judicial system for petty marijuana enforcement. Legalize it and tax it or just stop enforcing the laws on it to save money and put our police force and judicial system onto more important issues.

    April 14, 2010 at 11:37 am |
  241. mises

    cut all spending on everything not allowed in the US constitution. If progressives had burdened us with entitlement programs, we wouldnt be in such a great mess.

    April 14, 2010 at 11:37 am |
  242. Nicholas Smith

    I am willing to sacrifice all the corporate, investment, and banking CEO's in America for the economy. I want to see the government arrest all of them and publically hang one a day until all the outsourced jobs and factories are returned to the US.

    April 14, 2010 at 11:38 am |
  243. John Mason

    Tony,

    I am willing to sacrifice at least 1/3rd of the Federal Government employee workforce. They are overpaid, generally under qualified and certainly not working as hard as the every day American citizen. As a Fed Govt. contractor here in Washington, I have seen this firsthand and wish that the average American could see how their tax dollars are being wasted by selfish bureaucrats. John

    April 14, 2010 at 11:38 am |
  244. rick in northewrn california

    I'm willing to sacrifice the salary of most of Congress. House and Senate. And all their exorbitant benefits they receive post service. I'm willing to sacrifice the banks who fleeced us out of billions of dollars. I'm willing to sacrifice 60 billion dollars a year on a war with no possibility of winning for an unappreciative scheming Afghan government.

    April 14, 2010 at 11:38 am |
  245. Chris

    Dump NASA completely.

    April 14, 2010 at 11:38 am |
  246. jonquil alexia

    what to do about the deficit? V.A.T. of 25%. that would pay off the deficit, pay for health care 'reform', cut out paying income taxes for the majority of americans, & is a fair tax. after all, you only pay it on the things that you use!

    April 14, 2010 at 11:38 am |
  247. Mike

    One time excessive corporate executive pay tax of 50% retroactive to the past 5 years for pay over $1M. Should help while modestly raising "upper" middle class taxes for those over $200,000.

    April 14, 2010 at 11:38 am |
  248. Mike

    We just flatly have to cut 50 – 75% of the foreign aid and earmark this for debt payment. In our financial shape it is time for the rest of the world to step up and quit being the slackers they have been for better than 40 years. It is also time for domestic aid before foreign aid. THINK about it. It makes sense

    April 14, 2010 at 11:38 am |
  249. Talmage Shipman

    Dear Tony:

    To reduce the national debt you have to address the two main causes of the problem.

    First we must take back our money from the private bankers who own the Federal Reserve Bank. These bankers charge the American People interest for issueing worthless federal reserve notes to use as legal tender. Just getting rid of the interest on the Nationa Debt would go a long way to helping the problem. See the Constitution for the legal grounds to do this.

    Second 'We The People' need to reduce the size of the Federal Government and it's entitlement programs. My first choices for agencies to get rid of are HUD, HEW and DOE. None of these agencies perform functions that cannont be better served at the State level. It also conforms to Amendment 10 fo the Constitution. Unless and until the Constitution is amended none of these agencies should have been created in the first place.

    My third choice would be to get rid of the "Black Budget" administered by the CIA. According to the book "Blank Check" by Tim Weiner, this budget runs in the 2-3 trillion range per year. The only real power that The People have over their government is the power to review how the money is spent.. The "Black Budget" violates this basic tenet of our government.

    Regards,

    Talmage Shipman

    April 14, 2010 at 11:39 am |
  250. Tim Montesonti

    I am willing to stop cut all purchases of Exxon products. They paid no US taxes this year. If they and other large corporations paid fair taxes we wouldn't have to cut anyuthing..

    April 14, 2010 at 11:39 am |
  251. Johnny

    Why is it that everyday Americans are asked to sacrifice more and more, while companies like Exxon, the most profitable corporation in the world, pay NO TAXES in the US?? Where is the public outrage??

    April 14, 2010 at 11:39 am |
  252. Dave

    Economic crisis + Healthcare crisis=
    Salary reduction last year and mandatory hour reduction this year...
    I work in healthcare...
    what's next?

    April 14, 2010 at 11:40 am |
  253. Jim

    Tony,

    We couldn't afford to cut anything else. I lost my job 2 years ago, we lost our house last year and we didn't do anything wrong. We didn't have one of those silly adjustable interest only loans, we lived well within our means, we had year's worth of mortgage payments in the bank but when the economy soured and I couldn't find work we lost everything. Our family of 4 squeezed into an 850 square foot 2 bedroom 1 bath house and we were thankful to have that.

    We are on the mend now, I am working, but making half what I used to. We racked up a ton of credit card debt trying to stay off the streets and we're trying to pay that down. So, in a nutshell, you can't squeeze blood from a turnip. We have nothing left to give up.

    April 14, 2010 at 11:40 am |
  254. Allan A. Philiba

    I believe that if all our congress people would take i/2 of the present retirement benefits they receive for the rest of their lives, we could save billions of dollars.
    Let's see how patriotic, they really are.

    They are spoiled and greedy, concerned only about themeselves.

    April 14, 2010 at 11:40 am |
  255. richa

    I would cut Congress. They are always willing to cut us.

    April 14, 2010 at 11:41 am |
  256. Walter Greene

    Tony: Locally if we got rid of all illegals and the welfare cheats, we could probably cut local public expenses by 50%. Locally, we have extreme numbers illegals and all are on welfare plus having as many babies as possible because they get paid per baby.
    Walter

    April 14, 2010 at 11:42 am |
  257. Colin

    Tony,
    How about looking into the Federal Reserve System and realizing that when the Fed (NOT out Federal Government) prints money we pay interest. Our Government should not let the big banks push people to rags as they are making more and more. At the same time our government is going into more and more debt.

    April 14, 2010 at 11:42 am |
  258. John Beecroft

    I would be willing to accept a higher gasoline tax, with the condition that the taxes raised are used to repair and maintain the highways only!
    Part of the stimulus package was put toward highway maintainence. These funds should come from gasoline taxes! This particular tax has less impact on the unemployed than other consumption taxes, also, everyone pays!

    April 14, 2010 at 11:42 am |
  259. Disabled2004

    Tony, we won't have a problem if we don't have 2, count them 2, unpaid wars, unpaid tax cuts and small businesses that can get loans or graduates that use there education to start small businesses. More tax revenue, less problems and crazy stories about doom and gloom.

    April 14, 2010 at 11:42 am |
  260. Charles

    I can't believe that people here are advocating to INCREASE taxes. To cut the debt we need to tackle spending. Some in this blog are atttacking Democrats or Republicans, not realizing that according to economic analysts the budgets differ only by 3% between parties! Sacred cows have to die!

    April 14, 2010 at 11:43 am |
  261. Jim P.

    I would be happy to sacrifice all the JOBS and BENEFITS of the Congressmen and Senators who are voting us into paupers. This especially includes Obama. Replace them all with fiscally responsible ADULTS.

    April 14, 2010 at 11:43 am |
  262. dan moran

    from canada

    1..eliminate the space program...there is nobody out there...
    for tourisim ..build a cool space museum and amusement park.

    2 eliminate your standing army and get out of iraq...become a peacekeeper.

    April 14, 2010 at 11:43 am |
  263. ALA Texas

    I am willing to support a tax increase. I think the banks and well-to-do who don't pay taxes should pay an indreased amount to make up for all those years of not paying anything.

    April 14, 2010 at 11:43 am |
  264. Joe Romero

    Tony, I'm NOT willing to give to a system that is corrupt and has no discipline. This country is headed to economic failure and dragging it's inhabitants along with it. We know what needs to be done "yesterday" yet the politicians choose to pay us more lip service. what I would willingly give up is the current tax code. Give us a flat tax now and watch the world invest in the USA only again.

    April 14, 2010 at 11:44 am |
  265. Paul

    I'm willing to give up nothing... I just graduated in December from college and am forced to work in fast food for the same pay as if I had never finished high school. If it weren't for my parents, I wouldn't be able to pay my student loans.

    Because of the situation, I cannot compete with the thousands of experienced people already out of work because the government and big business has dug us into this hole.

    I say every single elected official in DC should give up most, if not all of their pay. We would have to be naive to believe this is their only revenue source. It would be at least a good gesture to the American people that they care what happens to us.

    April 14, 2010 at 11:44 am |
  266. Brigid

    I recently retired at age 66 so for the first time I am receiving a DIRECT benefit from the federal government. I won't be able to give up much there. I would be willing to contribute 1% of my income to a "National debt relief fund".

    Another way for the government to increase revenues would be to legalize the many undocumented immigrants who are bringing in income. It would be a win-win for the government and for the immigrant. If the immigrant is not contributing to the labor pool and is collecting benefits send them home.

    In that same vein if the government was required to purchase supplies that are manufactured in the U.S. that would help the employment problem and would thus increase tax revenues. The unintended consequence would be that these goods would increase government expenses because they would cost more. In that case they may need to examine their purchasing and ask "is it really necessary"? An example that comes to mind is the T-shirts and hats for census workers. They were not produced in the U.S.. Could they have used white t-shirts with a "census worker" stamp on them?

    Like many I can give up Saturday mail delivery but I don't know how much that would help. Some people are going to be unemployed as a result of this and then will need additional benefits to survive. In fact almost every thing i can think of in the way of reducing government spending will have unintended consequences that will actually increase spending.

    Government spending does help support our economy so the trick is to make it income generating in the area of employment while examining the spending for unnecessary costs. In the example of the t-shirts the reduction in spending wouldn't have negative effects because the money wasn't going into U.S. coffers anyway.

    April 14, 2010 at 11:45 am |
  267. George Fulmore

    Tony: The increasing national debt has NOTHING to do with Social Security or Medicare. Both have revenue to pay its bills, primarily via the payroll tax. What we need to reduce are the costs of the wars and the military industrial complex. These have NO REVENUE OFFSET. None. We do not reduce our national debt until we end the wars and sharply reduce the costs of our military industrial complex. On this issue, even Ron Paul has it right.

    April 14, 2010 at 11:45 am |
  268. charles c.franklin

    I would be willing to do without two months a year of my social security payments and one months of my retirement a year if i could be assured of the same medical benefits I enjoy at this time.

    April 14, 2010 at 11:45 am |
  269. Judy

    My family and I are willing to make sacrifices to help alleviate the huge deficit in this country. Is the government willing to do the same? They could start by dealing with the illegal alien problem which costs the United States $90 BILLION DOLLARS ANNUALLY. In my home state of California the problem costs us over $10 BILLION DOLLARS ANNUALLY. With funds like that we wouldn't have to sacrifice our safety by eliminating jobs on our police forces or sacrifice the education of our children by reducing the number of teachers, reducing their salaries, and reducing time spent in the classroom.

    April 14, 2010 at 11:45 am |
  270. johnnie

    I am willing to sacrifice all the perks, bonus's, overpay and extra's all our senators and congressmen receive on a daily basis. I am willing to sacrifice an Exxon CEO's 90 million dollar bonus or any of our financial institutions CEO's bonus's. I am willing to sacrifice lotto money that schools never receive. I am willing to sacrifice the exhorborant amount of money that athletes get paid for playing a game they are supposed to love. I am willing to sacrifice all profits made by our healthcare and insurance industry that is filled with scams. I was willing to sacrifice my life for our country until my country turned its back on me.

    April 14, 2010 at 11:45 am |
  271. Terry

    Tony, I'd be willing to pay our U.S. Congressmen and Senators 25% less until they bring the debt in line.

    April 14, 2010 at 11:46 am |
  272. Charles

    Very few people are willing to cut the four-greatest contributors to the deficit and the debt: interest in the debt, Defense Dept, Health and Human Services, and Social Security. These four dwarf all other spending! Unless we cut spending in the Big-4, no significant cuts will be achieved and we'll continue to mortgage our children's future...

    April 14, 2010 at 11:47 am |
  273. Victor R. Lopez

    Hi Tony, Why don't we foot the bill to Israel? the one trillion dollars that we spent in war costs is due to the two wars in the middle east as a result of our policy in the Middle East. We owe close to one trillion dollars to the Chinese and God knows how much we owe to the japanese. The worst thing is that we keep spending billions of dollars every year in those wars and to make matters worst we are losing young american lives in those conflicts without a single soldier from Israel fighting side to side with our soldiers. The rest of the money can be easily re-paid if President Obama imposes a 40% Tax to all chinese products being imported to America.

    April 14, 2010 at 11:47 am |
  274. Phil

    I am sure most Americans have no idea we have over 700 military bases OUTSIDE the US. 737, I believe.
    Do we really need all these, and why are we still having to be the world's police?

    April 14, 2010 at 11:47 am |
  275. Doug Olson

    I am a 52 year old from Canada.Lots of Countries are in financial trouble.Trading goods/oil with these countries is the same as playing poker with people that have no money only you can lose and only they can gain.With all your debt why would countries trade goods.Our government likes a low Canadian dollar because our export goods look more attractive to other countries but is their money any good??

    April 14, 2010 at 11:48 am |
  276. Linda Farrell

    My husband and I don't count because we bring home under 40,000 a year and we make too much to recieve any breaks. We cannot afford family health care I have none. Are we supposed to file bankruptcy to afford health care? You never hear about price freezes any more especially food. I pay 9% sales tax on food. We live with the basics. We do not take vacations any more.We own two used vehicles that we can afford to pay insurance on so we can drive leagly. We are taxed and insured to death now.The only people that seem to be building houses and buying new cars here and having the American Dream is immigrants So no I am not sacrificing any more. Just at the point to call it quits on having any thing Bankruptcy looks like my only alternative. I feel like I am living with a gun to my head.

    April 14, 2010 at 11:48 am |
  277. Rudy

    I have already been sacrificing over the many years as I work in the underpaid and under appreciated class.

    It's time for those in upper classes who haven't been sacrificing meaningfully to start sacrificing and find out what it's like. Those who are in government need to be fiscally prudent and meaningfully accountable. Can you say 'Fantasy, Hallucinate, Dillusionary?

    April 14, 2010 at 11:49 am |
  278. Rich Lessing

    There is no easy cut. And no easy tax. I feel the pain that local, state, and the federal governments are experiencing. Until we are all back to work and more of us can pay into the system, cuts must be made and taxes increased for those who can afford it. I have always been pro-space. We have benefited in too many ways for us to leave it behind. Do we need to go to the moon? Yes. Today? Maybe not. So let's invest in creating the means to get beyond low-Earth orbit, to Mars and beyond. Let's develop the science that will be necessary to live both on the Moon and Mars. We can wait for a little while before we actually go to the Moon. But let's be ready to go when we decide we can afford it.
    Space is one of our last true frontiers. We, all of us on this planet, need to explore it. We can share a ride with others if it allows us the time and money to be prepared for the next step. That next "giant leap for Mankind."

    April 14, 2010 at 11:49 am |
  279. Tim California

    I wouldn/t have to cut anything if corporations llike Exxon paid more that 0 in US. Taxes. They don't pay taxes and yet can control lawmaking through their lobbies.

    April 14, 2010 at 11:49 am |
  280. Dorothy

    There is no reason why we should even be having this discussion. The FED is entirely unconstitutional. Our government has the right to print it's own money!!

    April 14, 2010 at 11:49 am |
  281. RonS

    Because of the economy I am now unemployed, the value of my home is about half of what I paid for it and my property taxes keep going up, so I give up our elected officials...

    April 14, 2010 at 11:51 am |
  282. Marie Bernadotte

    Has anyone checked on the taxes paid by Corporations? I'm curious because since the Supreme Court acknowledges corporations are persons I believe we should be filing charges against several – – for tax evasion. We've caught some big-time crooks for that crime and I believe Mobil Exxon hasn't paid ANY US income tax. Think how many programs we might have saved if these 'Patriotic' corporations were paying their fair share.
    When you get some answers I'll reconsider my list of sacrifices!

    April 14, 2010 at 11:51 am |
  283. Mark Anderson

    I am willing to pay into and NOT receive any social security or medicare benefits. That is because I am a responsible person. I save money, go jogging and brush my teeth. Lazy irresponsible people are bankrupting my country.

    April 14, 2010 at 11:53 am |
  284. Julie M.

    First of all America should get to see where the money we have put/are putting in through taxes has gone and we ought to get to see if there are ways we could spend less in every aspect. If the government is truly concerned for our welfare,for once,then they need to see a debt consolidation company! Most importantly our government need to put their eyes back on the Real Father of our world, GOD!!! 2 Chron. 7:14

    April 14, 2010 at 11:54 am |
  285. Fellow American

    I would be willing to take a 50% cut on my 2011 tax return to put toward the deficit. I only say this becuase I love America and do not want to see it go down the drain do to past greed and ignorance. I applaud President Obama (who was handed this mess) for attempting to get both parties online to make sure this never happens again and working so diligently to repair what has already been done!

    April 14, 2010 at 11:54 am |
  286. Vance McFarland

    The National Debt-trillion dollar deficits need to be paid by a system that does not hit middle income Americans, Payroll taxes, cut social security-medcare for the 70 Million baby boomers and burdens our kids and grandkids forever. What is the system –has anyone ever considered out of the box–

    1. National sales-flat tax of l% or so that pays the debt??

    2. Gold Bonds-G 20 Bonds for Deficit reduction–$5Trillion for USA, PIGS, Global Deficit reduction for Sovereign Countries??

    3. Revise Foreign Corp and Corporation Taxes so billions of cash-taxes come back to USA and the trillions held offshore pay taxes for deficit reduction (or encourage trillions to stay in America, be taxed?).

    4. Revise the laws for Capital Investment in America is encouraged and trillions come back for economic growth-development-JOBS-recovery–driving capital away while we pay this trillion dollar deficit in Bonds-Interest to China has a Catch 22–lowers income taxes to pay deficits and burdens us with interest on debt, vicisious cycle??

    5. Use the billions to trillions of dollars of CMO's floating all over still to be leveraged, financed, traded and cash paid for deficits. After all these assets-CMO's got us into trillions of debt–why not use these to pay the deficits that they created??

    6. Change Trade laws, estate taxes so the structures, recovery can even us out and we do not have deficits or are closer to balancing the budgets for normal government services (cutting all the fluff out from Military budgets, earmarks, wasted funds). Clinton had balanced budgets and Bush went to trillion dollar tax cuts, deficits without even considering the CRASH and what that created for more deficits.

    I.e. task force-Deficit Czars-non-partisan Congress approach takes the smart and Patriotic ways to solve deficits and not "business as usual." Which is better–sticking it to Americans or solving the deficits.

    Thanks!

    April 14, 2010 at 11:55 am |
  287. Gary

    These sacrifices being mentioned, will be on the backs of the middle class citizen. One of the reasons we have such a huge debt, is that the Republicans gave away so much money in the form of " so called tax breaks". Since taxes equal revenue, the government was giving away it's revenue while the expenses of the government continued unabated. Now in order to restore balance we have the mention of sacrifices once again. The Democrats want their own programs while hinting that taxes may have to be increased. Upper class americans are complaining of paying more taxes because of their income. Lower class people are unable to pay more, yet are probably the biggest benefactors of social programs. End result: Middle class pays again.

    April 14, 2010 at 11:55 am |
  288. Bert

    what am i willing to sacrifice to help with the National debt? I have been unemployed for the past two years and have not been able to find anything job within my field of study. Furthermore, without doing in research into the livelyhood of Congress I can only say of what I have heard. So, from what i understand on how Washington works...everybody in Congress receives very high salaries for getting Americans further into debt, that should change; they should be on an hourly pay like the rest of us (Americans) who work hard. This would put things into prespective to those who have no concern of the working class (the majority of tax payer). I further understand that all who work in Congress have their health care cost covered at no cost to them, Wow what a concept!! free health care while those who work or dont work can not even or are barely on some kind of health insurance. To conclude, I do understand that they are elected individuals who are working for their respective constituency, so the constituency should take action to stop this further rapacious of the American public.

    April 14, 2010 at 11:55 am |
  289. ron lang

    To help cut the National debt ALL government employees should take a 10% cut in pay & benefits. Institute term limits so the politicians can't get entreched to gain enough power to become a part of the problem. bring their healthcare plan & retirement plans in line with the private sector.

    April 14, 2010 at 11:56 am |
  290. Steve Flanigan

    What would I give up? What do I have to give up? NOTHING! I have been out of work for almost a year and thanks to some slide of hand from my previous employers I can’t get unemployment. I survive due to the graciousness of my family that helps me pay the basic utilities and food only.

    I have no life style to cut back on, nothing. Why does everyone including the government have their hands in my, (average Joe Citizen’s) pockets. Locally we are told, “Well, our costs are increasing and we need to raise our rates to cover this.” But you don’t see the average Joe’s pay increasing to cover this.

    Nationally I couldn’t conceive an idea to clean up that debt. All I can say is today’s middle class Americans can’t afford vacations, are working harder than ever, struggling just to make payment and existing taxes and for what? Only to be raped by the Government financially and watching the “American Dream” go down the toilet only to take their children and grandchildren and great grandchildren with it.

    April 14, 2010 at 11:57 am |
  291. Tod

    What am I willing to give up?
    For my family and myself we still have our home and are just able to make bills. For the hundreds of thousands that have lost all, their jobs, their homes, their self esteem and the respect of friends and families, through no fault of their own but to the greed and disdain shown by the Insurance Companies and major banks.
    I am willing to give up the boards of directors of all of these companies, strip them and their families of all they have and allow them to feel the loss of self respect and esteem they have forced on so many others.

    April 14, 2010 at 11:57 am |
  292. Margaret

    After the previous president's irresponsible spending on Iraq's war and tax cuts benefiting the wealthy, I feel it is unfair to put the blame on a president that is actually in office to help everyday people. What would I be willing to do? I'd accept a tax increase and I'd like to see us totally out of Iraq, which I think would help channel the money wasted there now into helping our economy. During the previous administration we stopped receiving pay raises at work, there were no bonuses – I think government officials that got us in this mess should accept those terms now. And maybe George Bush and Cheney can donate the profits they received during those 8 years that got us into this mess and actually do something worthwhile.

    April 14, 2010 at 11:57 am |
  293. James Ward

    Tony, I'd be more than glad to give up something, but I'm disabled and I live on my social security and small pension. If i had something to give up, like a new car or tax breaks or cut in social services I'd jump at the chance. But the real truth is, we as a people, as American people have to change. To the world we cannot be a place were they turn to in a catastrophe, or to fight against some internal conflict.

    We need politicians who are not fueled by corporations, were the only job they have is the populations best interest is in mind. NASA is a great program, but we can'r affort it. The Iraq war is costing 10 billion a month, we can't afford it. subsidizing farmers and corporations, we can't afford it. I could go on, but we need as a people to demand that our government run on what it collects in taxes, and not increase those taxes simply to pursue some new cause. Why, WE CAN'T AFFORD IT !

    April 14, 2010 at 11:57 am |
  294. Candace

    Tony,

    I am sick of hearing the Republicans and people who have jobs make "paying down the National Debt" a priority as 15 million people are still unemployed and are running out of money! Many families do not think about passing on the national debt to their children because I am sure their kids would rather have a roof over their head, clothes on their backs and food on the table! Now is not the time to "pay down the national debt" but to secure jobs so that everyone can get back to work! I do not believe in frivalous spending, but programs to support job creation, support unemployed people so they can survive and helping people reduce personal debt when unemployed versus declaring bankruptcy. There will be a time when unemployed reaches under 5% when we all truly focus on paying down the national debt. Let's start charging countries that have the resources to help pay for our military support! That way we will not incur debt to protect foreign countries from their own people!

    April 14, 2010 at 11:58 am |
  295. James Sanson

    Dan Moran – reduce our military? How about you Canadians pay the USA a tax, because without us here you would be attacked. We are your police and military.

    April 14, 2010 at 12:00 pm |
  296. George Fulmore

    The claim that we are "all" going to have to pay the federal debt is not true. The fact is that the top 20% of American households own about 85% of the nation's wealth. The other 80% own only 20%.
    True, this the top 10% of American households pay about 80% of the income taxes. But because of the relatively low tax rates on "capital income," they still come out ahead. They get richer every year via income from capital gains, interest, dividends and rents, on which they pay taxes at historically low rates.
    So, the rich do NOT pay enough taxes to reduce the debt, and, in the process, they get richer every year, not really caring if the debt increases or WHAT the federal government spends its money on.
    Meanwhile, conservative pundants claim that the debt is caused by Social Security and/or Medicare, which is ABSOULUTELY FALSE!

    April 14, 2010 at 12:00 pm |
  297. David American-American

    I am willing to cut all the hefty perks and benefits, top notch lifetime medical care, and any and all extra benefits that the house and senate
    have entitled to themselves.
    If you require more, please feel free to remove and redistribute all the monies that I pay in entitlements to the people that are here ILLEGALLY.

    April 14, 2010 at 12:00 pm |
  298. Jose Salgado

    Tony what's happening with our goverment in power, why it is so difficult for then to understant how important is for millions of American who are unemployed the extension of benefit, if our senate reject this bill, my family and I will be in the street next moth, how can we help,

    April 14, 2010 at 12:01 pm |
  299. ron lang

    eliminate income tax the way it is today. tax everyone at the rate of 10% on all income, be it wages of $1000.00 or $100,000.000.00 per year. that would be fair to every tax payer and the government would be able to pay off the national debt..

    April 14, 2010 at 12:01 pm |
  300. D.McStrong

    I am will to give up war! I am willing to give up bases in other country's, give up supporting other governments.

    April 14, 2010 at 12:02 pm |
  301. Donald

    Our Country is in need of these changes. People are put the blame on the President. It's not his fault,he's just trying to get out of what big businesses has put us into"debt". Also the rising cost of food,clothes,and living has gotten to be out of control. Gas has gotten back to were it was from the start. And Wages dosen't match the living. At this point the only people live this country is the greedy rich people who hold on to something that can't take with them when they die "Money". If the cost of living continue to rise the poorer this country will get. And I think you will see change at a rapid rate.

    Donald

    April 14, 2010 at 12:03 pm |
  302. James Sanson

    Count our taxes that come in nationally. Then put that on the left. Then look at our spending. Then put that on the right. Then see if we lose money each year or make money. We know we lose money. Then figure out what we need to close down or shrink. Then do it until we break even. Then take our international debt and divide it by five years. Then see that number. Then reduce our annual spending by this $ amount per year, so that we pay it off. We bring in way too much money to stand around saying our only way of fixing this is thru what are we willing do more as tax payers. No we need to slim up GOVT spending. We need to be smarter. We all should have to pay a tax fee to be in the USA – like going to disneyland. We all should pay the same.

    April 14, 2010 at 12:06 pm |
  303. john

    Read the book middle class caveman!! IT WILL HELP PAY OFF THE DEBT!! Basically make more rich people. We could raffle off properties as an alternative to standard sales this way everyone has a 1 in 25 thousand shot at winning a property. We could sell the houses at 2006 levels and more to pay for the national debt. The new owner could either borrow on the property or rent, or remodel or just resell. We could also raffle cars this way I would not mind winning a 2 year old car for the price of a twenty dollar ticket. Make more rich people who spend back into the economy reverse trickle down effect instead of the trickle down effect which felt like piss to me .

    April 14, 2010 at 12:14 pm |
  304. Ben in NJ

    I have sacrificed enough with the amount of taxes I pay. They need to run the corruption out of office and stop giving do nothing jobs to every political supporter. If they ran government offices with the same efficiency as a business and not spend money like the tax payers were a limitless well to draw from, we would have the money to pay for health care and pay down our national debt. Secondly we need to make the country a freindly atmoshpere for manufacturing and curb the trade deficeits abroad.

    April 14, 2010 at 12:15 pm |
  305. Ron

    The public society has already been bled dry. No More. Don't have to cut anything of any use. The wealth
    of this nation and possibly the whole world exists within a society that places itself on a pedestal. This
    pedestal of wealth I'm referring to is religion. The only thing that religion hasn't failed at is the wealth it has
    accumulated over the centuries. Still, in this 21st century there exist wars, crime, violence, sexually abuse,
    in which they're one of the biggest contributors. They can't bring about peaceful conditions in cities, much
    less world peace. What good is religion? They are a bigger bunch of crooks then we have in corporations or
    government for that matter. It's time America, get rid of the fat cats, and religion is the biggest of them all.
    If religion had to pay taxes, property, food, housing, transportation, educational taxes would be a thing of the
    past. Social Security and health funds would be soiled for over 200 years. Come on Listen.

    April 14, 2010 at 12:18 pm |
  306. Eladia Luna

    When discussing government debt and deficits, the cost of paying out SOCIAL SECURITY keeps being brought up as a huge problem for our future. The real truth is that social security has been PAID FOR IN ADVANCE BY AMERICANS WHO HAVE WORKED FOR YEARS, along with their employers. The crux of the issue is that our legislators need to repay the money with interest that they borrowed from this fund through the years. Instead of GROWING OUR INVESTMENT, their CRIMINAL MISUSE OF OUR MONEY has resulted in a feeling of fear among our senior citizens who are ENTITLED to receive their corresponding income as a RETURN ON INVESTMENT. Perhaps our Congressional leaders should pay some of THEIR OWN RETIREMENT FUNDS to replace the money that they EMBEZZLED from our SOCIAL SECURITY FUND!

    April 14, 2010 at 12:20 pm |
  307. Theresa

    Tony...It's upsetting that they "have to" cut Social Security, that's not fair. Seniors, who are currently on S/S, have contributed all their working years to this government plan. If they want to reduce S/S, they should have a 'step down' plan that would give non-retirement age individuals fair warning...and an opportunity to plan ahead for upcoming reductions... the age for receiving S/S could be increased over a period of time....

    How many 'deals' are were made with health care...to 2014(?!)... so they don't 'get hurt'....corporate and banking executives get away with buying planes...taking horiffic amounts of government money and bonuses even though they performed in a manner that should have caused terminations. Did anyone 'note' how the passel of executives are 'sorry they didn't know better'...all of them??

    Then, we have all the Pork Barrel plans that sneaked in... "Oh well...gee..." Just how many of these could be frozen for a year..two... three years if necessary....or done away with altogether... Freeze tor put an end to the Pork Barrel...and see how we can use "our" money better. What did they do with the money we gave them?

    And...just a little "Psssst... Don't let the banks kid you about the sub-prime rates... When 4-5 different mortgage lenders give you the same 'spiel' about this "great opportunity we can give you..." or "think of all the things you could do with that 'extra money'... and they are pushing it... "What's wrong with you that you aren't seeing the value of this opportunity...?" Ask..."When did the rates change last...? Two years ago and you want me to put my house in danger of another change happening...??" Tsk, tsk... Shame, shame...

    April 14, 2010 at 12:28 pm |
  308. conrad

    each year the federal government spends tens of millions of dollars on grants to police to fund "safety checkpoints" I don't think our tax dollars should be spent making sure everyone is wearing their seat belts. The insurance industry wanted seat belt laws then let them pay for the seat belt crackdowns. I am willing to give this up. Conrad Raczkowski, Kankakee, Il

    April 14, 2010 at 12:29 pm |
  309. Jaycie

    I'm willing to cut the Bush tax cuts for the rich which has pushed our deficit up astronomically. I saw a bar chart of our deficit over time recently, and our current deficit started to rise dramatically under Reagan (tax cuts), got better under Clinton (we had a surplus when he left office) and got horrendously worse under Bush (unfunded wars, tax cuts for the rich), and now, we have Rep[ublicans in Congress who created this mess in the first place, demanding a pay-as-you-go policy! What hypocrisy! I believe that the Republicans would actually like to see the country bankrupt as it is the only hope they have of getting rid of all our social programs like Medicare, Social Security, public schools, etc. which they HATE. This is why the notion of health care for all drives them insane. The Republicans careonly about two things: money and power, and they will say or do anything to get and keep both. If you think for even a minute that they care anything about you or your well being, think again; they don't!

    April 14, 2010 at 12:36 pm |
  310. Dave

    Why will CNN not talk about the FED?

    A lot of people here have talked about the Federal Reserve and I believe that they are the root cause to the financial problems of America today.

    "Some people think that the Federal Reserve Banks are United States Government institutions. They are private monopolies which prey upon the people of these United States for the benefit of themselves and their foreign customers; foreign and domestic speculators and swindlers; and rich and predatory money lenders."

    – The Honorable Louis McFadden, Chairman of the House Banking and Currency Committee in the 1930s

    April 14, 2010 at 12:45 pm |
  311. John Holmes

    What am I willing to give up?

    Nothing I have given enough. I have gotten nothing from the government. I have paid my bills, lived within my means and I am sitting on a ledge looking at defeat. So many made bad decisions and they are rewarded for their actions. Others are lazy and bilk the system for a living. The government officials line their pockets with tax dollars and say it is ok not to return the per diem. The banks made bad loans, the CEOs made millions in bonuses and I still have gotten no help. Gas is going to hit $4 soon and the interest rates are about to go up and maybe I will get some help since I will have to walk away from my house.

    So, What am I willing to give up? I already gave it up. My patience. I am pissed and ready to join the revolution. It is time to reinvent this country and the government that runs it. The corruption runs deep and it needs to be excised.

    April 14, 2010 at 12:49 pm |
  312. Angie

    Why don't we give up improving other countries economy and concentrate on our own?

    The Chinese imports from China pay lower Tarriffs than many other countries along with a few other countries whom import their goods for sale in the USA. Why not make it fare for everyone selling their goods in our country by raising the Tarriffs that countries have to pay to sell their goods in America to match the true cost of living in our country?

    It is time to raise those Tarriffs, giving our own products a chance to really compete. Right now as it stands, our goods never had a chance in competing with other countries which sold in our country for less. In turn Jobs and economy will improve in the USA plus the Federal Government will make the money it needs to pull itself out of Debt. And all this will pull the states out of the deep hole they were placed in.

    April 14, 2010 at 12:54 pm |
  313. Gene Lucas

    I'm willing to pay more taxes, but the government should also take cuts. They could eliminate useless NASA, and cut defense spending by half without afecting our security at all. These are largely "make work" programs that don't help the country at all.

    April 14, 2010 at 12:55 pm |
  314. Nicholas Smith

    I'm willing to sacrifice the freedom and independence of the next ten generations of my children to support the lavish and promiscuous lifestyles of the political, financial, investment, and banking leaders of our Nation.

    After all, they are so great, intelligent, and competent they deserve to live like royalty.

    April 14, 2010 at 1:01 pm |
  315. Sherry N. Calif.

    I have sacrificed but not by choice as many as my fellow Americans have done. Retirement? That is a foreign word to me. It is gone. Social security won't cut it either. I have sacrificed my retirement to work until the day I die. So be it.
    Haven't we the people suffered enough? with the exception of the TOP 1%. Since 1978 to 1998 the average American saw their income rise to 9%. WOW. The top 1% rose to 140%. So where is all the wealth? trickle down, trickle down, trickle down? I hope Reagan is rolling over in his grave.
    Some of the biggest Corporations did not pay any taxes to Uncle Sam this year. Why? All their interests are outside the U.S. TAX, TAX and COLLECT from these thieves that have taken our jobs to other countries. How can this be?

    April 14, 2010 at 2:03 pm |
  316. Kenneth Seversen

    I'd be willing and glad to pay more taxes b/c I can afford to and b/c politicians don't have the courage to fund wars and new expenses.

    Tony, yours is the only CNN program that I watch in its entirety. You have a deft touch and natural manner which makes for enjoyable and informative viewing. My wife concurs.

    April 14, 2010 at 3:00 pm |
  317. Mike Neal

    How about have the federal legislators invest some serious time to examine the current tax laws and exemptions in use? I would bet an analysis would reveal that a large segment of individuals and businesses are avoiding taxes by clever application. I suppose if it’s legal, why wouldn’t you? The problem is the mighty engine of tax generation, the middle class, is both shrinking and sinking. While looking for pork to cut expenditures, let’s tune the tax laws for maximum performance, and fairness!

    April 14, 2010 at 4:16 pm |
  318. Doug Olson

    Here we go again,China is investing in Alberta oilsands.They own about 90% of Suncore energy.They also bought a coal mine in Grande Cache a year or two ago with their U.S money they have no trust in.This is the spin off of heavy U.S dept

    April 14, 2010 at 7:49 pm |
  319. Katerina

    There are alot of things I, and I am sure many others, could cut but the postal service is not one of them. This morning I heard a caller say that if he wanted to send something he would just fed ex it, but why would I go through the trouble of Fed exing something when I could just put a stamp on it and drop it in my mailbox? Think people! There are definitely other things that can be cut like governemtn perks. Or maybe we should spend a little more and buy American made to keep our workers employed...just a thought.

    April 14, 2010 at 8:12 pm |
  320. Judy Rice

    I agree with those who have called/written asking why do we always ask the middle class what they would sacrifice.

    I say it's time our representatives–all Congressmen ,Senators and government workers accept the same health plan the rest of us must subscribe to.

    The health benefit plan they enjoy costs the people of this country more than anyone realizes! Ask them to sacrifice their health plan.

    April 14, 2010 at 8:16 pm |
  321. Linda

    I would be willing to have a small consumption tax across the board. 1/2% consumption tax would be something that is barely noticed to the consumer. on a hundred dollar purchase it would only add 50 cents. While it wouldnt make a huge difference to consumers it would add up quickly. The consumption tax would have to be only for the purpose paying down the deficit. A consumption tax is a fair tax, everyone pays it doesnt target any one group. People visiting our country from other countries will also pay.

    Neither party is bold enough to propose it. Democrats dont want to levy taxes on the middle class, and the republican are mislead if they think you can cut enough from the budget to pay down the deficit by only cuts.

    As Americans it is time to take care of this problem. When Ross Perot ran for president he suggested a tax on fuel, everyone said it would kill the economy and Americans wouldnt pay it. Yet over the past few years gas prices have gone higher than we even imagined and Americans have paid it. We could have already had our debt paid off, but instead we refused to deal with the problem and continued to pay money to big oil industries and foreign countries. We need to make the decision to pay down this debt and give our future back to our kids instead of giving them this horrible debt

    April 14, 2010 at 9:20 pm |
  322. Whatnextnow

    How about first on the list, cutting ALL GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES WAGES, including Congressmen, House, Senate and President and his Crew.
    Next: Stop their raises, while people dont have money for food, housing clothes.
    Next, cut their Wonderful automatic Retirement Fund.
    Just think all the money that would save that would be there to help Americans, after all, these people getting all this money from The American People are the ones that helped ruin this country and the economy and jobs.
    Stop their unnessary spending on things this country does not need.
    I think those cuts would save billions! And should be done first.

    April 15, 2010 at 6:09 am |
  323. Whatnextnow

    Oh and I forgot, Cut all government health Insurance and make them take exactly what they made All Americans take and also be subjected to the Taxes that they tacked on the Reform Bill.

    April 15, 2010 at 6:12 am |
  324. Richard A. Lawhern, Ph.D.

    I've read most of this very long thread. A lot of the input focuses on our resentment of what might be called "our governing class" - elected officials or government employees, Wall Street market manipulators and bankers. While such resentment is understandable, it leads us nowhere. I hope CNN moderators will permit a reasoned counter-argument to such scapegoating.

    I suggest that "we" are not the victims of any wide-spread conspiracy to steal from us. Instead, we are among the thieves - or at least willing accomplices. Our government has done exactly what we demanded of it for the past 40 years. What we demanded was that it help us to live beyond our means.

    How many of us bought "too much" house when money was easy, just because we could? How many of us ran up credit card debt to furnish such McMansions? How many of us threatened political mayhem at the very mention of tax increases or caps on cost of living increases for Social Security?

    US National Debt, yearly Federal budget deficits and unsecured future liabilities (e.g. Social Security and Medicare) have grown to such extremes that none of the half-way sacrifices proposed in this thread (many of them, sacrifices by OTHER people than ourselves) can help. The world economic system is so over-leveraged in debt that an economic collapse sometime in the next ten years is practically inevitable. Whether by a Weimar Republic style hyper-inflation (which seems to be present policy of the US government) or by a Second Great Depression that may dwarf the first in scope, we are soon to discover the hard way, the consequences of two generations of spending beyond our means. Such consequences may include the outright starvation of tens of millions of people in Bangladesh and northern China and Poland and Appalachia.

    And all because we let ourselves be ruled by our wants, and by the foolish notion that government could give us a free lunch. As Pogo phrased it, "we have met the enemy... and he is us!"

    April 15, 2010 at 9:33 am |
  325. William Asa Fowlkes IV

    Where was the Tea Party during the eight years the conservative Bush administration added $6 trillion to the national debt? Does this not matter to anyone?

    April 15, 2010 at 10:20 am |
  326. Morris

    Cut the military budget by 25% and get out of the middle east. We have been the world's cops for too long. Time to give that duty to other countries and spend the money within our own borders.

    April 15, 2010 at 10:30 am |
  327. Stephen Manning

    Most comments deal with giving up something that benefits others or is ideologically opposed; i.e. Post Office, defense spending.

    As a retired military officer, I will give up part of something that benefits only me and actually requires a sacrifice. How about 1% of my pension? How about paying 1% more income tax?

    April 15, 2010 at 10:33 am |
  328. James

    I just saw the immigration discussion about the new law in Arizona. Really!!! Illegal immigrants are not law breakers? If Barrack Obama's adminitration takes up this issue other than to inforce our current laws, he will lose my vote in 2012, 100%

    April 15, 2010 at 10:52 am |
  329. chris deese

    absolutely!!!,If they're here legally,they don't have anything to fear.Anyone that's(aiding and abedding),ILLEGAL mexicans(mainly),should be questioned as well.What kind of person,supports people,knowingly and continuously BREAKING THE LAW,ILLEGAL,that's the end of the discussion.Please.......

    April 15, 2010 at 11:00 am |
  330. Rebecca Dalmeida

    It seems to me when 47% of the country doesn't pay federal taxes the first question should be why. Excessive government spending will continue until all voting US citizens are held responsible for the bill. So first should be a flat tax rate for all, second government spending needs to decrease–they should start with funds spent on congress member's perks–example why does the entire country pay for Pelosi to fly? Why do we pay for an expensive healthcare and retirement program for Congress that exceeds what those of us paying for it get? And event the president could save a lot of money by doing telecommunication internet conferences instead of all the "free travel" for him and his family. Then cut out all pork spending–each project if really having merit shoud be voted on individually. Here is a good place for our leaders to start.

    April 15, 2010 at 11:16 am |
  331. Don

    Tony,
    A poster mentioned cutting the military budget. Is there any way to interview republicans and democrats to find out if they would support cutting the military budget instead of making the average american give more? It could show the american public what their representatives and senators are all about. I'm sure many people would like to see members of Congress try to make excuses why we can't cut the military budget while so many americans are asked to give more. Is this topic off limits because it doesn't seem like many networks are posing this cut to military spending as a possibility? The Constitution says nothing about what percentage of tax payer dollars should go to the military. Thanks.

    April 15, 2010 at 11:23 am |
  332. Mike Jahn

    Most of us agree the Government can waste a lot of money. Perhaps we should hire an outside firm to assess the biggest money spenders in government- Military, HEW, Conress, etc ,
    Then, Pareto the findings and go to work on making cuts.
    We have a lot of layed off Engineers in this country right now ( another waste by the way ) that know how to use VEVA methods to reduce costs- these are not new principles !

    MJ

    April 15, 2010 at 11:23 am |
  333. Wil Wagner

    Tony,

    Why is CNN only publishing anti-tax stories, such as the Tea Party, inmate scams etc? Why are you not publishing some stories about some of the good things that are tax dollars have done recently? How about some balance in your reporting. Or are you interested in only sensationalism?

    April 15, 2010 at 11:29 am |
  334. John Davidson

    I am willing to cut my senators salary down to $50,000 and send the rest to pay off the debt, until such time as the debt is resolved. Sounds only fair, I have lost my job and soon my home during this past year.

    April 15, 2010 at 11:33 am |
  335. Mary Dee Kirkland-Ellis

    Have we ever had a President who receives as much media coverage as our present President Obama? I watch your show and feel very
    comfortable with you and your coverage of the news. What I don't understand about the new media is the way negative news is top priority but the positives that the President does is reported as an
    after thought. Have we forgotten how bad it was when this president
    took office. He didn't create the present situation, loss of jobs, foreclosures, economy, etc., but the Republicans and their followers
    would rather say NO than to get on board and help this Country
    get back on it feet.

    April 15, 2010 at 11:47 am |
  336. MC

    How about getting the 60% of the population that pay nothing in tax to pony up~?

    April 15, 2010 at 12:00 pm |
  337. Kyle E.

    i'm willing to give up my time, and some of my money if it means that the well being of the country is upheld. i'm not so greedy as to demand something for nothing.

    April 15, 2010 at 12:00 pm |
  338. Eddie Paciano

    We should voted in Ron Paul..read his book The Revolution this alone can fix our country!

    April 15, 2010 at 12:02 pm |
  339. Ted

    Tony,

    I watch CNN news daily, and you are one of my favorite reporters. I just want to say, you don't look as camera shy as you use to. I remember when I first started watching you during the time frame that you are on, You would find it very difficult to look at the camera. Now though, you don't look down as much as you use to. You are very proefficent at your job. Keep it up. I like your show very much.

    April 15, 2010 at 12:02 pm |
  340. Scott

    If I can donate $3 to a presidential campaign on my taxes, Why can't we donate $3 toward the national Debt?

    April 15, 2010 at 12:02 pm |
  341. William

    We need to take time to get our own finances under control, before we go glavanting off to other parts of the world and aiding countries. I am NOT again helping other countries, but we need to help ourselves first. Once we get things under control here, then we can look at aiding other countries.

    April 15, 2010 at 12:03 pm |
  342. july_1991

    I am willing to pay HIGHER TAXES, however the government needs to abandon welfare, social security, medicaid (only keep Medicare) Paying higher taxes and getting rid of these programs will eliminate tha national debt...almost over night!

    April 15, 2010 at 12:03 pm |
  343. BOB

    question should be:What is Congress willing to give up?

    April 15, 2010 at 12:04 pm |
  344. JEANETTE

    as a small business owner i have already given up everything in this economy. but i agree with what someone else said. "I would be willing to give up war and bases around the world". why is the money we spend on war looked at in such a different way then money we spend on people who live in our country. we as a country need to buy our own products and focus on our own people. i can't afford taxes as they are now but i think you have to spend money to make money. you can not just sit on your money and not contribute to the local economy and expect it to thrive. people who can buy should and that will help all.

    April 15, 2010 at 12:05 pm |
  345. Samuel Woolsey

    Want to take out a chunk of our national debt? Over-tax soft drinks and beer. People will either stop buying it and reduce the number of diabetics and alcoholics, or they'll simply suck it up and pay more. Either way, out country comes out ahead.

    April 15, 2010 at 12:06 pm |
  346. Todd ONeill

    I am willing to pay an across the board 2-4% consumption tax. 2 or more cents added to each dollar you spend is a small price to pay to get out of this hole our government has gotten us into.
    Todd from
    Cheektowaga

    April 15, 2010 at 12:07 pm |
  347. Roderick Cunningham

    If we can pay the Iraq people not to fight us why we cant take care are own ? My mother always told me that you take care home.

    April 15, 2010 at 12:07 pm |
  348. Michael IN Phoenix

    Start with anchor babies and services for illegal immigrants.
    Stopping all government subsidies on private businesses and entertainment
    Reducing the salaries of the government workers who make more than the average citizen
    Change welfare so the recipient is given a job they must hold, possibly somewhere in the government
    Change welfare so a child while on it will disqualify you for services
    All pork barrel projects and earmarks
    Government officials that are corrupt

    April 15, 2010 at 12:07 pm |
  349. Karla from Kansas

    How much do you really need?
    We drive cars with over 150,000 miles on them. Why buy another when the one we have works?
    I apply that to everything we use. As long as it functions properly take PRIDE in not buying new.

    April 15, 2010 at 12:09 pm |
  350. paul

    nothing, i was born disabled and cant work, my mother is disabled, my father is disabled and worked his whole life but is 3 points short of full benifits. i am so sick and tired of people calling us "lazy" i am not lazy, i am a responsible child taking care of his parrents. i cant afford a nurse to come in and watch them while i spend 2 hours on a bus to work because i cant drive spend 8 hours there spend 2 hours coming back home only to have 3 hours to take care of them before i have to go to bed a repeat.

    if you think its easy living off of ssi id love to see you try and live off of the pitance of $674 your expect to survive off of.

    what id like to see is some enforcement. my father had to fight for 5 years to get what he deserved and even then had to sue. yet i see people gaming the system who dont need it, how about hiring some PI's to keep tabs on people and if there clearly comitting fraud make them pay it all back with a 100% interest rate.

    and in the mean time how about basing what we get on the cost of food, clothing, and housing, instead of what some rich person pays to buy a boat.

    April 15, 2010 at 12:09 pm |
  351. Terrie

    I am willing to give cheap stuff from China and pay more for American made products.

    Steve made the ipad in the USA. And bring the Apple computer back to the USA.

    April 15, 2010 at 12:10 pm |
  352. Katherine Hayes

    From the time I was sixteen years old (31 years now), I have never claimed myself as a dependant; I have always claimed "0" and have had an extra $30 taken out every week from the federal, and $20 extra from the state.

    P.S.: Where was the Republican outrage when it was one of their own – George Bush – who had taken surplus HE inherited and turned it into a deficit...all of it to justify a war that was never necessary? Why are the GOP all of a sudden crying foul? I DON'T GET IT!

    – Kathy Hayes
    Quincy, MA

    April 15, 2010 at 12:10 pm |
  353. L Clark

    I'm in my sixties and since I have been on social security, I have given up my electicity, then my water, then my housing. Now I bearly have money to drive my vehicle due to the price of gas and which is now my primary residence. There was no cost of living increase for those of us on social security. I don't buy anything but food, gas and oil. What else would you like me to give up.

    April 15, 2010 at 12:10 pm |
  354. Lindell

    Why should I take a cut when the federal employees aren't willing to take a cut? There are 2.15 million federal employees. The average annual salary is $74,000.00 per. If they took just a 10% salary cut accross the board it would save us $16 billion a year. Not to mention their expense accounts...

    April 15, 2010 at 12:10 pm |
  355. july_1991

    Everyone talking about selling military assets and getting rid of military bases overseas are completely ignorant! The world is dangerous, everyone wants to kill America, we need military all over the world! I've lived on bases in Germany, Japan, and Korea! Without national security we would just be taken over!

    Cut welfare, wic, foodstamp...if you cant feed them dont breed them
    anyone who earns more than 60k a year cannot get Social Security
    Raise the SS age to 70

    April 15, 2010 at 12:12 pm |
  356. Minerva Timones

    One way to reduce our National Debt is to stop paying SSI to people who just come here to collect. In most cases their children are able to support them inspite of this they still qualify for SSI. Just another example of broken government.

    April 15, 2010 at 12:13 pm |
  357. trish

    I say, legalize drugs and tax them the way they do cigarettes.
    Everyone wants a fair tax across the board, so go to the FAIR TAX system and have everyone pay tax on what they spend, eventually doing away with the IRS.

    April 15, 2010 at 12:13 pm |
  358. Don

    I am willing to give up being the world's policeman. I am willing to quit producing ever more technical military equipment that will never be used. I am willing to quit subsidizing the drug industry and the corporate farms. I am willing to quit educating and administering free health care to illegal aliens. I am willing to accept a balanced budget amendment for the U.S. so our Congress will have to make the tough decisions. I am willing to accept a fixed tax rate that will be applied equally to all. I am willing to accept an increase in the gas tax to improve infrastructure and parks. I am willing to accept a national 1% sales tax to go towards universal health care. I am ready to see the explosion in government employees and their union benefits reigned in.

    April 15, 2010 at 12:15 pm |
  359. Marie

    I am willing to give SSI for children because children in our country are not able to hold jobs. So why are SSI given to them when they are underage anyway. A employer would not hire a seven year; meanwhile, why is the government giving parents check for their children who are disable at the age would they would not be able to work without the disability. At least the government should wait until they are legal working ages, when they start sending check for parents to supplement the income.

    April 15, 2010 at 12:16 pm |
  360. Linda Rizzo

    My question is why would I have to give up anything? I think the real question should be is what are our political representatives willing to give up? When private jets, limosines, and lucrative retirement pensions are perks of being part of the Congress, it is time for our government to cut back on budgets, salaries, and lucrative expenditures which tax the American citizen who seem to be last on thier list of representation!

    April 15, 2010 at 12:19 pm |
  361. BLD

    Its not about what the people are willing to give up its about what the U.S. government must give up. Dont tax the people more we need to deregulate the markets, let free competition reign. Stop the bailouts and stimulus packages. Has anyone ever gotten out of debt by spending more money? I think not. All in all America is leaning towards a socialist government. The only way to get out of this economic crisis is to deregulate the markets and take power away from the government. America needs a free market economy without government intervention. When people act in there own self interest the economy will work itself out. Our forefathers are turning over in there graves.

    April 15, 2010 at 12:19 pm |
  362. gerald

    I've worked since I was 12 Yrs old, 35 yr now. Paid every bill I've created, Paid every taxed owed. I've been responsible for all my choices I've made in my life so far, and teaching my teenage children this as-well. So as far as I'm concerned, we should stop paying all benefits to present and past Congressmen, and Presidents. They haven't done there job of managing this country, so why pay them. Talk about a parachute clause.

    April 15, 2010 at 12:20 pm |
  363. Scott

    If the government would cut back to bear minimum, without compromising the nations security, we tighten our belts and do without for a year or two, the debt could be wiped out. We currently pay billions of dollars in interest on the debt. If the debt was gone, that money could be used to do other things. (Maybe even a tax cut).

    April 15, 2010 at 12:21 pm |
  364. Shannon

    Senators and elected officials getting lifelong pay for only a few years of service. You get paid for what you work not life!

    14th amendment that if you are born in the us you are a citizen. If your parents are here illegally then you are not a citizen! Enough said!

    April 15, 2010 at 12:21 pm |
  365. Barry Lienert

    There is nothing any of us can do except pay more taxes. Cutting our personal spending will make matters worse as this will lower tax revenues. US taxes are at their lowest fraction of GDP in 60 years. Most of our present deficit of $12 trillion was accumulated under presidents Reagan (who increased it $3 trillion above the total deficit of $1 trillion accumulated since 1776) and George W. Bush who doubled it, from $6 triilon to $12 trillion. These two presidents tax cuts are responsible for $9 trillion or 75% of the present deficit.

    April 15, 2010 at 12:23 pm |
  366. Greg Wilson

    Big business and politicians have a strangle hold on the country/economy and for the average citizen to give up more will only fatten their wallets. I am working to develop a new wind generator and I run into brick walls of greed, corruption, of a monopolized government.

    April 15, 2010 at 12:24 pm |
  367. Tony P

    Where was the tea party at the last 27 years? When i was born until the day Obama became our president they were not complaining. Now that he is President Obama they are furious? Sounds like Right Wing Extremists to me. I can't believe we are taking them serious. The problem for them is that open minded people out number them. Petty compared to Chicago in November 2008.

    April 15, 2010 at 12:25 pm |
  368. Dean

    I'm willing to give up the 3200 on death row in the U.S. give them thier last meal in the morning.
    Ron Paul (R) TX and I are willing to stop giving billions every year to Israel, Return all U.S. Military to the CONUS (at least thier dependents making overseas tours one year). And do we really need the Air Force Thunder Birds?
    I didn't pay any tax this year, but I like the flat tax idea.

    April 15, 2010 at 12:25 pm |
  369. Michael IN Phoenix

    I am willing to get rid of the people running maricopa country. They are broke so they raised taxes then gave out raises.

    April 15, 2010 at 12:27 pm |
  370. Curtis Mulkey

    The first thing we need to do is to bring ALL of our Troops home from Iraq AND Afganistan. We have zero National Security interest in either of these Countrys. Bring our Troops home and tell the Terrorist to come on over here if they want us.
    Then we need to take a serious look at all of our Foreign Bases and seriously re-evaluate their necessity.

    April 15, 2010 at 12:28 pm |
  371. Tony P

    They have a whole tea party and could not have more people at a rally than President Obama on a 2 day notice. Child Please.

    April 15, 2010 at 12:29 pm |
  372. ROBERT

    The wealthy deserve the wealth they've earned. This country is capitalistic, NOT communistic. They share their wealth and give charity if/when they want to. Those less wealthy should work harder to achieve their materialistic dreams if they want wealth. G-d gives us what we need, not what we always want. The problem in America is that we have president Hussein Obama who is post-American in his thinking. That is to say, his sentiments are not mainstream or even connected to the typical American. His eloquence has deceived the mediocrity, who believe as he does in his narcisisstic way, that he is above the people, not accountable and worse, his focus is upon the demise of our great nation. Next is capping he wants...Has anybody understood his socialistic plan? Look up the word AMERO, the monetary system he aspires to relace the dollar with, once Obama destroys it. His coddling the nations of Islam while punishing Israel for its rightful, G-d-given claim to the land and especially to Jerusalem reveal his heart in another dimension. The bottom line is remove Obama at least through impeachment, and remove the economic burdens that he creates and that his liberal lackeys condone.

    April 15, 2010 at 12:36 pm |
  373. Ryan

    What would we cut? How about what would our government cut?

    1 – Ammend the Constitution to require an annual balanced budget, caps on annual tax increases and a 75% congressional vote to collect any new taxes, fees or special assessments. Disallow backloading of costs for programs which have immediate benefits - enact a 'pay-as-you-go' plan (For WARS, special considerations can be made – such as selling US bonds to US citizens).

    2 – Reduce the Social Security benefit for every person born after January 1, 2011. Calculate the Social Security shortage from now until January 1, 2076 and begin funding by increasing the withhold amount BY THE SAME RATE ON EVERY WORKING AMERICAN (not by increasing the ceilings so the poor do not pay for a benefit they will receive later in life).

    3 – Require that every single federal government program be cut by 2% IN REAL DOLLARS. This does not mean increasing a program's budget by 5% instead of the budgeted 10%. This means a cut of 5% from the most recent year's budget. Any new programs or funding of current programs must be included in the balanced budget act. This 5% would pay the entire interest on our debt entirely on Day 1.

    4 – Collect from TARP and do NOT put collections into the general fund. Any collections from TARP should either pay down the debt or be returned as a prorated tax refund to all Americans who paid taxes in 2009. A 60% Congressional vote will determine if TARP repayments go toward the debt or to a tax refund.

    5 – Enact a 1% national sales tax on all purchases (even internet), whick goes directly to pay off the debt (not into the general fund). Once the debt is paid, the tax goes away. No sales tax credits for the poor.

    6 – End pension plans for all Federal Employees, instead match their pension plan to the average provided to employees on Fortune's top 100 companies. Enact strict term limits for Senators and Representatives. Limit federal funding for elections and elimate 'soft money' donations.

    April 15, 2010 at 12:42 pm |
  374. Michael IN Phoenix

    Tony,

    The rich do pay their taxes it is just htta the percentage is lower than the common persons. I do not know how they do it but I have seen it first hand. Somehow they manage to write off so much that they pay 3% where the rest of us pay 15 – 30 percent.

    Buffet said he pays less in taxes than his employees do.

    April 15, 2010 at 12:45 pm |
  375. Stephen Rule

    Tony:

    1Trillion in a year. 12 years 12 trillion

    U.S.A. Loto 50 million Tax Free
    world wide paticipation
    weekly drawing
    2 picks for $1
    Open to th World Wide Web secured site.
    100 Million participants weekly average $5 +

    April 15, 2010 at 12:48 pm |
  376. Ann P.

    This morning there was a comment about lazy ppeople bankrupting our government . My husband worked hard paid taxes , even owned a business that provided income and benefits for hundreds of familys . He passed away at the age of 56 without an adiquet rerirement plan. My sons and I now live on Social Security.
    How do we decide who is lazy and who gets to make that decision.

    s

    April 15, 2010 at 1:08 pm |
  377. RAMON BAEZ

    I agree totally with Mary Dee Kirkland-Ellis, the media is giving so much amount of time to republicans to talk, these people have a problem for each solution, they should be replaced in congress and since they just say NO, they doing nothing good for our country but defending the banks, corrupted corporate America, corrupted Insurance companies, they forgot that they destroyed this country in just 8 years, they all should be in jail including Mr. Bush and Dick Cheney for lying to America on Irak war. If republicans had a bit of shame they should be under the bed to avoid that any American could see them. They all lost their memories of what happened, and are playing the game of hypocrisy before America, I hope one day the Americans that they are saying they represent could make justice.

    April 15, 2010 at 1:31 pm |
  378. ramani

    The cost of living index needs to follow the wage and salary standards. The distance between these two is why we are in this situation. The price of the housing market needs to be re-evalued to reflect what it was back in the 1950's. We need to go back to gold standard. We need to de-centralize our trade relationship with China – what about increasing our trade with India, it is a democracy like us and other countries in the Far East. We need to establish a healthy balance between domestic internal commerce and import/export. I was shopping yesterday and saw garlic being sold grown in China. We need to focus on the supply and demand mechinism that can be, 'made in America,' for Americans.
    Finally. I saw a bill board at one of the Tea party rallies announce that a Kenyan needed to be booted out, or words of that effect. It was plain to see and Tony you didn't say anything to your guest, and by the way, this Kenyan is also Irish.

    April 15, 2010 at 2:42 pm |
  379. Dean

    Tax churches

    April 15, 2010 at 2:56 pm |
  380. ramani

    Questions for Tea Party members:
    I believe it was Native Indians that were paid to throw the tea in the drink. Is that try?

    Do you believe that if there is total free trade that we can trust that there will not be greed and cheating?

    What percent of large to mega company CEOs and corporate officers are patriotic American and think of the American people first before making policy?

    Would you support a flat tax rate no deductions so tax payers would not have to subsidies business costs like parking lot lighting and company parties at golf clubs?

    Will you except paying more for fruit and veggies when all illigals are thrown out?

    Do you think that producers of our fruit and veggies that employ illigals are librals?

    There is more.......

    April 15, 2010 at 3:07 pm |
  381. maze1gerald

    I say cut out giving thousands in free grants to immagrints,also only give section 8 to the elderly.also cut out giving ssi checks to people with so called kids that are slightly slow.I've seen mentally retareded people get and hold jobs.From what I have seen most people that get ssi and section 8 party a lot.single women with kids they don't give them any initiative to work the goverment is inadvertently contributing to the thug problem,nough said.

    April 16, 2010 at 12:32 am |
  382. SD

    Let's see. I took a bus to a grocery store at the other side of town tonight, spent $90, so there were quite a few bags, and my son and I hefted these back onto the bus, made a transfer, walked to and from bus stops, a total of 3/4 mile with the bags. I have a car, but I can't afford insurance; so there it sits. I've been trying to sell it for months. It's a classic sports car and in pretty good shape. My CT scan last week revealed that I have a growth in the tube from kidney to bladder – the ureter. The tests leading up to this one, plus this one, have probably already qualified my out-of-pocket max. I have another test which will include a biopsy, and depending on those results, I might walk out of the hospital minus a kidney, ureter and part of the bladder. There's a day-brightening thought, eh? Thing is, I am a student – I have no INCOME. I went back to college to try and level the age discrimination in employment field, but as we all know, the economy has tanked and, well, job prospects will remain few and far between for years to come. So these bills will probably end up in collections when I don't pay the amount the clinic wants every month. I usually eat one regular meal every day, and sometimes, I might have a snack. I haven't been out on a date in years now because everything I had went to provide for my kids – when their father didn't pay full, adequate, timely child support. Dating takes money: wardrobe, possible travel, certainly reliable babysitters. I've been looking for work, full or part time at this point, doesn't matter, since last October. I can't stand for long periods because that causes huge back pain as the result of the scoliosis/herniated disk I have, and bleeding, which is simultaneously startling and embarrassing. Financial aid is about to run out. Never had any savings – that money all went to keep the kids fed, housed, and healthy. They are. That's the good news. Thank God. Part time jobs here are scarce and even office jobs, requiring the skills I now possess after 30 years of working, only pay minimum wage in this area. There's 26,000 students here. One son still lives with me; he has an autism-spectrum diagnosis. He's been looking for work for over a year now. In the last year, we haven't been out to eat a meal in a restaurant, gone to a movie, went bowling, or any other 'entertainment' activity, but I have ordered maybe 5 pizzas in that time. Oh, I have rented 3 movies through the cable channel in the last year. I've become addicted to the guilty pleasures of electricity, running water, and a bed to sleep in. So I'm wondering...What would I be willing to cut?

    April 16, 2010 at 12:45 am |
  383. gloria lewis

    Its not about cutting its about leveling off the playing field .The president has the right vision ,the playing is not on level ground which makes it unsustainable .If we can quit being greedy and selfish and realise that everyones looses in yhe long it would make more sense to give up a littel now to prevent more turmoil later .This mess can be fixed with a unified efffort on everyones part .

    April 16, 2010 at 10:05 am |
  384. Frank Cigus

    I would eliminate the earned income tax credit. It is expanded every year. The maximum credit for 2009 is $5657. The average payment is over $2000 a year. How can we afford to give millions of people thousands of dollars. It is borrowed money. We need a flat tax with 2 or 3 levels so everyone pays.

    April 16, 2010 at 10:17 am |
  385. Joe

    I think the filthy rich in this country should pay the national debt off. After all, they got richer when Bush increased the deficit by granting them huge tax breaks.

    April 16, 2010 at 10:45 am |
  386. Nileya Nettles

    as an american, there is alot of things we should be willing to cut to make ourlives better during this time. each day i will add one to this post as i discover them in my life. 1) obesity is a major problem for americans. we need to become healthier. alot of americans eat fast food, we can cook more in the home and enjoy family dinners to talk connect within the home.

    April 16, 2010 at 3:05 pm |
  387. Nileya Nettles

    2) I am willing to recycle. It will saves me and u money. Also more importantly save the world we all live in.

    April 16, 2010 at 3:39 pm |
  388. maze1gerald

    A bad economy is caused the ultra rich sitting on the dollar and not investing.Also foreign countries siiting on dollars they have made off the U.S.I would simpley scrap the U.S. dollar,print new currency and allow those sitters to exchange the old currency for the new currency the old currency would only be worth 25 percent it was,the old dollar would be worth only 25cents.now take that rich guys.hehe

    April 16, 2010 at 8:47 pm |
  389. nileya nettles

    4)as a american, im will to do as much as i can to save power and energy. coal keeps us powered we dont have to run to another country to get it or have a war over it.so i will ill start saving energy in the home turning off lights etc. coal and power keeps americans fueled.

    April 17, 2010 at 9:58 am |
  390. john dannet

    I am sure many would be glad to see a guicker reduction of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan
    Go after al quids only and reduce military costs

    April 21, 2010 at 3:07 pm |
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