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May 7th, 2009
09:44 AM ET

Federal Budget

President Obama unveils the federal budget. The administration is trimming $17 billion out of the $3.4 trillion budget Congress has approved for next year. What do you think of the proposed cuts? What would you cut? Send us your thoughts!

Filed under: Anchors • Tony Harris
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Gordon Scott

    Nice try, but taking 17 billion off of 3.4 trillion is like taking a sack of feathers off a train before it wreaks so you can improve fuel economy.

    Here's an idea let the bankers that wreaked the countries financial system pay a 100% tax on their bonuses and other earnings (above minimum wage). Do the same with any CEO or board member of a publicly traded company if they don't show a profit.

    As long as we have a system that allows an employee to write his or her on ticket with no performance requirements we will continue to decline.

    May 7, 2009 at 10:26 am |
  2. James

    What's the sense in trimming the budget, if all we do is print money to prevent a banking collapse? At this point is seems counter-productive.

    May 7, 2009 at 10:38 am |
  3. Waqas Ahmad

    We've given the state of Israel $84 billion since 1949. We give them around $3 billion a year – even during the current financial crisis. We need to cut that out of the budget so that Americans can benefit from their own money!

    May 7, 2009 at 11:04 am |
  4. Rusty Minter

    Why in heck are we spending billions of dollars for census when our country's debt is at code red. The count is going to be wrong anyway. For just $5, just count social security numbers then add 20 million or so and the count will be just as accurate. When America crashes from excessive debt , does it really matter how many people live here?

    May 7, 2009 at 11:05 am |
  5. Bmwm3racer

    Cutting funding to Medicare companies? If it were not for some of these companies and their attention to prevention, many of our parents and grandparents (including my own) wouldn't be here today..

    May 7, 2009 at 11:09 am |
  6. James Howells

    In general I approve of the cuts that Pres. Obama is making, it is a start but the US government is bloated with greed, corruption and redundancy and needs a serious cleaning up. Given my choice for budget cuts I would reduce the budget given for Senate and House of Representative pay and reduce the presidents pay to $1.00 the honor of serving as President for 4 years is pay enough.

    May 7, 2009 at 11:10 am |
  7. michael armstrong sr.

    gee tony thats an easy question i would start by stopping billions of american dollars going to banks and auto workers that alone would save us half a trillion dollars a year give the money to the people because the banks arnt and instead of giving auto companys money create government loans to buy cars.

    May 7, 2009 at 11:12 am |
  8. Ernie

    I would not cut anything in Medicaid but I'd redirect funds in trying to bring control on what a vendor can charge for a services, example we had a power wheelchair that the vendor billed medicaid $5,700.00 to purchase outright, and upon reseaching the MSRP on this chair, it can be purchased for $1,500.00 (NEW). It is no wonder why our Medicaid system is in the condition it is in. P.S. this includes what doctors also bill clients too!

    May 7, 2009 at 11:12 am |
  9. Ernie Langdon

    What to cut is always a hard decision but the President has made some hard choices. We should support him even if it is our ox that is being gored. This may look like a very small cut, but it proves to the world that the President is serious about eventually balancing the budget. When President Clinton produced a balanced budget it showed the world that we were on a solid footing. This helped the performance of the economy greatly. President Obama is now telling the world that even though our budget is out of balance now his long range goal is to put it back. Restoring confidence in our economic system is job one for our President right now, and he is doing it very well.

    May 7, 2009 at 11:13 am |
  10. James Howells

    In Response to Rusty Minter's comment, The Census is conducted to ensure that the representatives of the country are evenly distributed, Electors for the Electorial College, and other government funding, as required by the constitution. The Census has also been conducted every 10 years since 1790 and is far less of a cost of taxpayer dollars than many of the non-working government programs Pres. Obama is speaking of.

    May 7, 2009 at 11:15 am |
  11. Tom from Philly

    I think the cuts are great, the limits on increases needed, and the input of employees to reduce inefficiency the most necessary. The argument against government is its inefficiency, however some needs and services are common and need to be funded through taxes.

    The most inefficient cost ineffective program at all levels is the 'drug war' which is the label for the drug control budget. Well if we want to control drugs and addiction we need to control the purity, quantity and frequency of distribution to the individual.

    Do we really need to allow addicts to turn to prostitution and drug dealing to fund thier addictions? As a matter of fact there is incentive to do so, and incentive to get other addicted and pass on unhealthy patterns of use.

    If you look at the increases in spending since 1980's first interdiction based budget which bumped spending from $500M funding rehab to $1.5B targeting supply interdiction, what is it today? 30B$??? before we spend $40,000 on keeping each inmate in jail, the judges and lawers and physical prison space needed. The cost is huge and difficult to measure but it must be. As well the revenue needs to be analyzed.

    We need to turn this massive line item cost and the wake of its costs throgh the legal system into a revenue item

    May 7, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  12. Bill Daigneault

    Why are we giving billions to banks and car companys but when it comes to giving the disabled and elderly a cost of living increase for FY10, they get nothing?

    May 7, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  13. Jim

    Cut any duplication, unnecessary to America's future.

    May 7, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  14. Greg W

    Social Security has been and still is running a surplus. This surplus is being used to make the budget deficit look smaller. I wish the politicians would tell the truth about this and quit spending my retirement money!!!!!

    May 7, 2009 at 11:23 am |
  15. Jolene Davis

    Any cuts should be made with the priviso that real savings should follow...Congress needs to realize they are doing the PEOPLES business and start doing what is best for the nation and not just there small part of the country...Tired of all the politicans what has happened to the statesman we used to have...

    May 7, 2009 at 11:23 am |
  16. John Marra

    Here's how to cut the budget for REAL: Cut ALL goverment pay rates to my level as a Detroit autoworker; $12.70/hr. Then lay them off like they did me. Then take away their health care coverage and retirement plan. Then eliminate all Federal BAILOUT money we waste on those southern & western states when they have fires, hurricanes, and earthquakes. We (northerners) bail them out over and over again and they keep living there, asking for it. When we (Detroit autoworkers) ask for a LOAN, those states say we deserve to lose our jobs. HEY! They take bailout money from us all the time! Let 'em burn, let 'em drown, let 'em blow away.

    May 7, 2009 at 11:27 am |
  17. John Rash

    Implement a hiring freeze for the rest of his term. I mean a hard freeze for all departments not replacing anyone as one leaves or retires. Let the private sector start growing with no competition from govt.

    May 7, 2009 at 11:31 am |
  18. Robert McConnell

    In the medical field, many people make a lot of money. Obviously, wage cuts will be necessary for health care to be affordable. As a RN, I think that it's OK, if you know that means your personal health care is this would protect your earnings in the long run. However, if coverage remains bad, they shouldn't cut wages because you need money to take care of yourself. The wages of medical professionals shouldn't be cut if they already have lower wages-like in Home Health.

    May 7, 2009 at 11:31 am |
  19. Linda

    Have we elected a bunch of idiots to Congress. First of all they gear up to fight Obama's SC nomination, now they knock his budget reductions because they are "insignificant". Haven't these people ever lived on a budget? Any fool knows that every penny saved is a penny earned. Do they forget that Obama was elected for "change". I suggest that to get the change we need, we need to be sure these yokels are not reelected. For Pete's sake Congress, get your head on straight. You go Obama, keep up the good fight.

    May 7, 2009 at 11:31 am |
  20. Marilyn B

    Seniors pay for Medicare then have to get a second insurance to pay the other 20% it usually costs two to three times more than Medicare for this other insurance. Since the second insurance only pays 20% of the bills, quite the profit for them, why not pay more to Medicare and they can then afford to pay 100%. My mom was paying her Medicare and then 279.00 a month to GTL, now she pays 95.00 a month to Aetna Medicare, either way she still pays Medicare and would gladly pay more to Medicare and forget the hassel of a second insurance. Would this save money for seniors?

    May 7, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  21. Arin

    At least he's attempting to do something positive and useful about it, which is something you can't say regarding most politicians.

    Nothing can be done instantly, let alone perfect in the Government, so do it little by little.

    May 7, 2009 at 11:37 am |
  22. Gary

    Politicians are perpetually whining how relatively tiny programs that only cost a few millions are breaking the budget, programs that are not only useful but arguably vital to our future, programs that might add up to a couple of billion at most. Yet when presented with President Obama's budget savings that cut things that are absolutely worthless and are probably criminal in some cases, those same politicians call them puny and political grandstanding. A perfect example of "politics in action".

    May 7, 2009 at 11:39 am |
  23. Wil Clark

    I would not cut anything at this time. The first thing the President should do is take a close look at the alleged national debt. There are numerous estimates between $10-15 trlliion as to the actual amount of this debt. The President should order a complete audit to insure that there are no inaccuracies nor acts of malfeasance.

    May 7, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  24. Deb

    I believe that our congressional leaders need to take a pay cut as well. Anything that would help them to identify more with us normal blue collar workers.

    Also, I agree with the medical equipment charges, a lot of them are grossly magnified. I know several people that will not work, or will have their checking account is someone elses name so they will be eligible for medicaid. This is soooo wrong. Please don't take any funds away from the fraud department.

    I really believe President Obama is doing everything he possibly can for all of us. He needs our continued support.

    May 7, 2009 at 12:11 pm |
  25. Dana

    I love Obama and This Familly, but The moderator's to cnn are The Republicans, Conservatives. Nhow I listining NBC And PBS.

    May 7, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  26. David Schneider

    Would like to hear more about the cuts in Medicare administration.

    May 7, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  27. Matt

    In answer to the person who asked why we are conducting a census when we are so much in debt, I'll point out that we don't have a convenient choice. A decennial (every ten years) census is required by the constitution.

    May 7, 2009 at 12:37 pm |
  28. Jeff Reinert

    Why isn't congress part of social security. I think if everyone is part of the system than we can all work together to fix the problem

    May 7, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  29. Richard

    Can you post a web site on your blog for the fed buget if there is any?

    May 7, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  30. Carrie A

    Hey Richard - try this link:

    May 7, 2009 at 2:57 pm |
  31. concerned

    if we come up with a good healhtcare reform ..we might not need all the funds set aside the republicans should stop whinning so fast ...and lets work on healthcare reform this country really needs it

    May 8, 2009 at 12:31 pm |