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  • Morning Bell: America's $15 Trillion Nightmare

    This week, the U.S. national debt clock hit a nightmarish milestone: a record $15 trillion. Words can’t even begin to describe the scope of borrowed federal spending, but it is no doubt a staggering figure that has risen dramatically in the last decade and is more than $4 trillion higher than when President Barack Obama took office less than three years ago. Unfortunately, Washington does not appear poised to take action to rectify the problem, and those with their hands on the wheel are ignoring the root of the problem: spending.

    House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) on Wednesday said of the news, “Today marks an infamous day in American history. It is the day that the national debt has surpassed the $15 trillion mark. This debt is hurting not only our economy today, but will result in our children and our grandchildren experiencing a diminished future.” Ryan is right. Future generations will be shackled by today’s debt. And Heritage’s Alison Fraser explains how federal spending is headed toward a cliff of terrifying proportions:

    Federal spending, at about 24 percent today, is significantly over the average of 20 percent of GDP, but in a decade it will top 26 percent.  Within a generation it will reach nearly 35 percent of GDP. Before the end of the decade taxes will have recovered from their recession-driven levels and will continue to rise thereafter.

    So what’s Washington doing about it? Fighting over how high to raise taxes instead of getting to the root of the problem. By Thanksgiving, the 12 members of the congressional “super committee” are required to reach agreement on a plan to achieve $1.2 trillion in deficit-reducing measures–a mere drop in the bucket when measured against America’s spending crisis. Yet even that task appears out of their grasp. Fraser writes that Democrats on the committee have said no to several actions that would alter America’s crushing spending path, such as increasing the Medicare retirement age or changing in the measure of inflation used to calculate entitlement benefits, including Social Security:

    Sadly, there are few additional changes on the list for them even to react to — and their so-called bold changes from several weeks ago have all but dried up. The Democrats’ intractable attitude on entitlement reform defies logic.

    The facts are simple: Entitlements are going to generate European style debt levels unless they are reformed. Paying for it without bringing down their spending would require constant, crushing tax hikes on all taxpayers — not just the top 1 percent.

    Fortunately, there are actions that Congress could take to rein in entitlement spending (which already comprises 40 percent of all federal spending), and those include bold reforms to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. But the same old ineffective approaches to cutting costs of years before–like cuts to doctors, hospitals, and other providers–will cause more harm than good and should be scrapped.

    And there are some in the House and Senate who understand the problem and are advocating significant action. Seventy-two Members of the House and 33 Senators are standing against continued overspending, over-borrowing, and overtaxing. In a letter yesterday to the super committee, the House Members wrote, “It is evident that America has a fiscal crisis because Washington spends too much, not because it taxes too little,” and warned, “Increasing taxes on Americans would destroy jobs, erase all hope of an economic recovery, and simply serve to feed out-of-control spending in Washington.”

    The Heritage Foundation, too, has called upon the super committee to “drive federal spending down — including by fixing ever-expanding entitlement programs — toward a balanced budget, while preserving our capability to protect America, and without raising taxes.” And Heritage vice president David Addington writes, ”The super committee has a chance — one chance — to get it right.  More taxes means more government and a worse economy.  The super committee should recommend legislation that rests on three pillars: (1) cut non-security spending, (2) maintain defense capabilities, and (3) do not hike taxes.”

    There are 15 trillion reasons that show how deeply America’s fiscal house is in disorder, and there are 12 members of the congressional super committee who can propose a solution that helps the country turn the corner without raising taxes, without weakening our defense, and without burdening future generations. But getting there will require serious leadership, action, and an understanding that doing business as usual will not bring this nightmare to an end.

    Reminder: Next Tuesday, November 22, at 8 p.m., The Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute are co-hosting a GOP presidential debate on national security and foreign policy, broadcast on CNN. Click here for more information.

    Quick Hits:

    • LUNCHTIME CHAT: Join us today from 12 to 1 p.m. ET as we talk foreign policy in the run-up to Tuesday’s GOP presidential debate hosted by Heritage and the American Enterprise Institute on CNN.
    • Occupy Wall Street protesters failed to shut down the New York Stock Exchange as planned, but their clashes with police resulted in nearly 200 arrests and dozens of injuries.
    • Congress approved a spending bill to keep the government operating until December 16. Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) voiced opposition to the measure, saying, “I don’t think the American people know how badly they have been hoodwinked by the Congress.”
    • According to a new poll on education, 52 percent of California voters have a favorable opinion of charter schools and 48 percent say charters provide a better education. Only 24 percent consider traditional schools more effective.
    • France has called for the U.N. Security Council to act against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Meanwhile, Syria has agreed “in principle” to allow an Arab League-proposed observer mission into the country.
    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    61 Responses to Morning Bell: America's $15 Trillion Nightmare

    1. Lynda Fairman says:

      Great information…but you need to proofread! "Fighting over how high to taxes instead of getting to the root of the problem." It should read "…how high to tax…"

    2. R.U.KIDDIN says:


    3. zygote1331 says:

      The truth? Over 1.5 Trillion dollars were spent on two wars while at the same time Bush tax cuts cost us nearly 5 Trillion dollars and counting: (http://costoftaxcuts.com/) . I dare you to point out a time in US history when taxes were lowered when we waged war.
      So Mr. Ryan and Heritage wonks, as they say a Trillion here, a Trillion there and suddenly you have 20+% of GDP. What we clearly have is revenue problem. And your ongoing distortion of facts only reinforces the notion that the 99% movement is correct: your policies will only continue to create massive inequality and ultimately doom this country into a period of economic distress.

    4. harleyspoon says:

      And, based on federal FY Budget figures from Oct 2001 to Oct 2009, over $6 trillion of that $15 trillion is a result of the GWBush's (and his 6 years of Repubican congresses) unpaid for tax cuts, unpaid for Prescription Drug Law, unpaid for wars in the Mideast, giveaways to the oil and drug companies and his non-veto of Republican congressional spending from 2001-2007…So, when you look for a culprit, Heritage Foundation, go look in the mirror at that Republican looking back…

    5. harleyspoon says:

      Yes, I understand my comment has to be approved by site admins…and since it is a true assessment of federal budgetary situation, I am sure it will not appear publicly…based on past experience with you "party before country" people….

    6. harleyspoon says:

      In other words, when GWBush's last FY budget was no longer in effect (Oct1, 2009), the federal budget deficit was $12.1 trillion….It is now $15 trillion…Tat exposes a growth of $3 trillion in three years, not $4 trillion….And how do you justify they cost of Bush Great Recession in lost production, lost tax revenues, costly unemployment compensation over and above the continuation of Bush's wars, his prescription drug legislation, his tax cuts, etc….??? You can't expalin it with truth..so you will have to spin and mis-represent the facts in order to keep that Koch brother money coming in….

    7. Dan Robbins says:

      Sorrily, our once independent and proud to work populace has now been replaced by a different mindset. They feel all their problems are mostly in part do to those who have succeeded and have taken to demonstrating at their workplace and even more tasteless, their homes. When did being successful become such a crime? Why are these moronic demonstraters so canonized and those who have become successful so villianized? I can see those on the Left sitting in the White House with their illegally elected President wringing their hands saying, 'everything is going just as we have planned for our total takeover and enslavement of the, once, greatest. freest, nation in the World'.

    8. pat bradley says:

      When will Heritage take the LEAD TO COMBAT Obama/Liberal "tax and spend" MEDIA SPIN with A CONSERVATIVE HEAD-TURNING, TO-THE-POINT , MEDIA BLITZ TO (1) TELL THE TRUTH ABOUT THE PERIL AMERICA IS IN AND (2) EFFECTIVELY and REPETITIVELY REFUTE OBAMA/LEFTISTS WHO DOMINATE THE LIBERAL MEDIA WITH FALSE BUT EASY-TO-REMEMBER AND BELIEVE-IN STATEMENTS? The Conservative American voice needs to fight" fire with fire"…with brief, powerful statements that move people to action. As Bill O'Reilly says in a column today, IF the pro-Obama media that swooned for Obama in 2008 give him the same edge in 2012, Obama could win. If that happens, there goes our country as we know it.

    9. ThomNJ says:

      Don't you just love how some of the so-called Republicans against over spending just keep on voting for those continuing budget resolutions that continue the over spending?

    10. Jim says:

      for some time I have believed that our debt crisis is part and parcel of a larger plan by Obama and the radical left. Many pundits have said Prezbo is incompetent, over his head, etc. and while that maybe true, actually it plays a part in his "transforming America". if we can get the debt up way high, have the OWS (occupy wall street) to protest and acutally do some silly stuff like they promise to (hello Molotov cocktails) then they will try to do what the Dem gov of NC wants to do and that is suspend elections based on this crisis and anther opportunity to enlarge the scope of gov't. The idea of a revolution from the occupiers is okay with the Dems and radicals as they believe that they can control the revolution. Looks like Greece here we come.

    11. Russell Errett says:

      "At a GOP debate last summer, all the GOP presidential candidates raised their hands when asked whether they would reject a deficit reduction package composed of $1 in tax increases for every $10 in spending cuts. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, was one of them."

      Cry wolf 1 : Congress persuaded President Reagan to except a tax increase with a promise of a spending cut. Taxes were increased but spending was not initiated

      Cry wolf 2: Congress persuaded "read my lips" President Bush to except a tax increase with a promise of a spending cut

      . Taxes were increased but spending was not initiated

      Cry wolf 3: Is it any wander that the GOP would not go along with the increase in taxes with a spending cut no matter what the ratio.

      • marge says:

        Russell, you may have used spell check but don't use the correct words…..you have your except/accept mixed up and also wander? that means to walk around aimlessly!!! What are we teaching in school these days??

    12. Lloyd Scallan says:

      This is exactly what Obama planned. When will more of the American people accept the fact that Obama is deliberately attempting to destroy this nation by collapsing our economic system so Americans will turn to socialism to save them. Both Dems and Repbs are using this "supercommittee" to take the focus off of Congress inability to do anything to stop this Obama administration form ending our way of life.

    13. Carol M Kite says:

      To me, it's glaringly obvious how to cut costs in this gov't starting with fire half the unnecessary staff each member of Congress has, cut their exorbitant pay, limit terms (they never leave while they accumulate enormous wealth doing little to earn it), eliminate all the lulus, earmarks, special considerationns to special interests & to those who contributed largely to vote the president in, limit how much CEOs can glean, stop giving whole livelihoods free to illegal immigrants to insure Hispanic votes (of course they ignore honoring our border) while leaving alone paid into Medicare & Soc. Sec., simple & common sense that'd save tons of money, just for starters. Common sense, the flavor of the month! It can be done so easily if honest attempts were made.

      • Jeanne Stotler says:

        You forgot cutting the csars, I've been in D.C. area most of my life, both parents worked for Navy Dept. during and after WWII. There are alot of employees that are due to retire in the next 18-24 mos,if these were bought out and essential jobs filled with inter agency transfers, this would cut a lot, continue salary freezes, not intergrade increases, then cut Sen. and Rep. pay as well as all staff pays, cut staffs as well. A big cost is the health plan WH and Congress get for life, Stop salary for life, cut out the ability to use the insider dealing, we cannot, All members of Congress, the Supreme Ct. and WH, MUST live by the laws of the land and get the same benefits for sitting in Congress we get for working. Another big waste is that they buy from companies that are big donors therfore paying astronomical prices for toilet seats and tools. I could probably think of a few more cuts but these would save a lot to start.

      • marge says:

        Sounds absolutely fabulous to me–I guess our people in Washington have NO common sense!!!

    14. Chris Grafft says:

      The problem with solving the entitlement spending fiasco is that the severe action that is required is not a "vote getter". A simple compromise that the politicians might get their head around would be to announce the end of Social Security for future generations, i.e. those that can't vote yet. That won't have an immediate effect on the deficit but it will change the way of thinking for those under 18 years old, i.e. you will have to depend on yourself to earn and save money – the government is taking a pass. It will also undo one of the biggest mistakes this country has made.

      This could be coupled with a staged draw down of planned benefits for those in different age groups. That is, potentially have a different structure for 19-25 year olds, and 26-35 year olds. That should give them plenty of time to change their retirement strategy. Everyone over 35 might then correctly expect their benefits to be available when they reach retirement age.

      Beyond that the only immediate impact, the vote seekers could have would be to try to separate the truly poor from the pseudo-poor (read lazy). By spending money and time identifying those who do not have the mental or physical capacity to earn a living, those that truly need welfare will be better served and the group that is receiving benefits because they have found a way to play the system would no longer be on the payroll.

      Realizing that the people who are dealing with the deficit really care more about maintaining their position than they do the about the future of this country is a tough pill to swallow. I think its pretty clear that we have to change the nature of the occupation before, "government of the people, by the people, for the people" will become a reality.

    15. bassboat says:

      While the article is spot on spending reform won't happen to any appreciable degree. There is an inherent nature in people to want something for nothing, it is just the DNA at work. The cut someone else's benefits are the cry of the electorate. Until there is grassroots push back led by Joe Six Pack the best that will happen is to try to contain the liberals. President Reagan would be ashamed of me for being negative but that is how I see it. There is a sliver of hope if we were to elect a president who could communicate and a congress that is fiscally conservative but you and I know the chances for that.

    16. Chris Grafft says:

      The problem with solving the entitlement spending fiasco is that the severe action that is required is not a "vote getter". A simple compromise that the politicians might get their head around would be to announce the end of Social Security for future generations

    17. AD-RtR/OS! says:

      Note to SuperCommittee:
      Yes, that's the trick, more taxes and the subsequent additional spending, driving the Debt ever higher, will bring the American Economy out of the doldrums…and into a death spiral.
      Your names will live forever in infamy, and we'll see all of you in Hell!

    18. Keith White says:

      The super committee cutting 1.2 trillion is a joke as that is less than the projected deficet spending for this year only and the 1.2 trillion is for ten years?? We need to make real cuts to programs and the cuts will have to be 12 trillion over 10 years to hold the spending to the amout the government takes in per year in taxes.
      The cuts they call savings are nothing but a scam as they call a cut a saving if they say they aren't going to spend the full amout they have projected. Not spending a dollar you don't have is not a saving cut.

    19. Bob Pennington says:

      Entitlement reform- yes. But first, cut out the unnecessary spending in Federal departments such as Education, Commerce, EPA and oops Energy, if not eliminating them altogether. Quit subsidizing private companies, grants for non-security studies and other non-essential expenditures. Reduce congressional staffs by at least half. If you expect Seniors to support entitlement reform, clean up the waste in government first.

    20. Mike says:

      Tick, tick, tick, Got gold? Are you aware that total world supply above ground of silver is only 1/4 the supply of gold? That's right, silver if not for fed res market manipulation would be priced higher than gold. When the dollar collapses how long will the fed res be able to hold silver price down? Yep, not at all. Real money in the hand means freedom. No real money means starvation.

      • Neil says:

        I don't understand the gold/silver argument. If the economy collapses those with gold/silver will be better off? How would that work? If I wanted to buy something would I shave off a little gold/silver and hand it over to the merchant? Would the people who did not have gold/silver discover those who did and just take it away? Sounds like a very bad scenario. Hopefully you can show me where I am going wrong so I can sleep at night (8-)

    21. John Beans says:

      I am 65 years old and I cancelled my medicare. I would favor ending medicare and medicaid. Health insurance is a waste of money. It only covers traditional medicine in which I have no faith.
      I would also solve the education night mare in this country by getting the government out of it all levels.
      Since the current infrastructure is mostly goverment owned, I would begin by requiring the schools to be self-funding. Yes, charge tuition. I went to parochial schools and so did my kids. I just got my CDL so I can drive tractor trailers and had to pay $5000 for the school I attended.
      People need to take care of themselves and quit asking their neighbors to bail them out.
      Those that refuse to pay for their own education can pick cotton or do other jobs that we are importing foreigners to do. It is their choice.

    22. Charles Nystrom says:

      You are corrent, of course, that the now $15 trillion debt bodes ill for the U.S. But to make special note of it now is futile. Last August the House and Senate voted to allow $2.4 trillion to be added to the then $14.3 trillion debt so the die was cast. Now The Heritage Foundation will have the opportunity to lament again when our debt reaches $16 trillion and lament even more when the debt approaches $17 trillion.

      Without directed acton NOW to interdict the inevitable, all the lamentations will not save the U.S. from dire consequences. Where are our political heroes?

    23. inverbrass says:

      A simple conept which contiues to eludes the majority of those in Congress and the fool posing as presient.

      The super committee is a joke. Another example of Congress abdicating its responsibility. Every time either assemble, "Send in the Clowns" should be playing in the background.

    24. Edward Shick says:

      While we are trying to control spending the man who hates America is out flying around the world spending More money Ground Air Force One and take away his credit cards, If it was your wife you could file for a devorce

    25. Michael Gabel, CPA says:

      That Obama, and those on the political left continue to advocate for tax increases, as if it has anything to do with the real problem of reckless government spending, is despicable.

      Its also amazing that the media drones line up to parrot the left's talking points.

      Most incredible is that some Americans actually believe a higher tax burden (on ANY American) will lead to less spending, and lower deficits and debt.

    26. Bobbie says:

      John Kerry's going to "work until the last dog dies!?" guess we'll see…
      it's funny how they make it so difficult for themselves AT OUR COSTS IN VARIOUS WAYS!

      Why aren't "special interests" WHOSE COSTS ARE FORCED on tax payers uninterested, not rid of? The appropriate cost to any expense is rightly those of the interests or civilly responsible to do without. It doesn't matter that it might not amount to much, it has to get cleaned up wherever it is. "it" is in reference to waste and corruption. "waste and corruption" is this ugly display of American leadership weighing extreme on the democratic side…

    27. The Farmer GR MI says:

      How is this for a possible answer, put 2 bills forward, one increases revenue wherever and by whatever amount the Democrats want to, the second bill cuts expenditures wherever and by whatever amount the Republicans want to, both bills coming to a total that would balance the budget within 5 years?
      The Republicans vote present on the Democrats bill, and visa-versa, then after the next election whoever the American people put in control can re-adjust the budget according to their dictates, with a simple majority, with the President voting with the people.

    28. Rob P. says:

      I'm tired of everyone expressing the National debt in terms of each family's share. It was our elected Federal officials who generated this crushing debt, and those same elected Federal officials who now refuse to address the spending problem they created. I think they should be held accountable, individually. There are 537 of them (435 in the House, 100 Senators, 1 VP, and 1 disgrace of a President). $15 Trillion divided by 537 elected Federal officials = $28 Billion each. Each one needs to be held accountable to reduce spending by a minimum of $28B, with no tax increases. Tax increases would equate to a reward for incredibly irresponsible behavior.

    29. Mary......WI says:

      Depressing. I want my country back!!

    30. Dr. Henry Sinopoli says:

      Is 15 Trillion the amount of the national debt or the amount that Pelosi, Boehner and all the other life-long politicians made on insider trading….

    31. Wayne Grievo says:

      Unfortunatly we have to a time and place that our government is not acting Constituntionally, but only for themselves and they are getting very rich…….. We need to shake them up before we are living by Obama REGULATIONS. ie Edicts from on high. Obama is nothing. Congress had better get their priorities straight and get their a$$!$ in gear. Term limits, term limites, term limits, pay cut, cut perks, cut their insurance and retirement. Serve your country by serving your consitituents or get out of town by sun down.

      George Washington served two terms NO PAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He did not want to be king as some in congress had wanted. Wake up America. The Tea Party was just tea until no one listened in London and kept raised our taxes and restricted our trade. SOUND FAMILIAR. Regulation without representation. Let's go Americans. Stand up and be counted. NOW.

    32. Jeanne Stotler says:

      #!-WAke up America! We the ones living and voting today, made this mess. Ever since WWII parents have gone out of their way to "Make things better for their kids" I know my kids had a lot I didn't as I grew up during WWII and there was a lot of rationing, then came the post was things, we were finally able to buy cars, sugar and gas without the ration book. We got TV in our homes, BUT most of us held jobs during High School and worked while we went to college, then came our offspring, most ofus again passed on our values BUT for some reason, these kids who did not know what it was to do without (Rationing) decided that every new item on the market, their kids HAD to HAve. MOst kids today do not know what it is to really work until after college, I mean working in the potato field, type of work, not Mc/ d's.

    33. Jeanne Stotler says:

      #2- They don't want to go outdoors and play kick the can, or street baseball, they have their computer games. We allowed this to happen, this bred a generation that wants instant graitude and do nothing in return. My kids had chores, we did not buy them new cars, we did help them get used ones, not pay for them, and they went to school on their own time and didn't occur thousands of debt. Our country is not Lazy as POTUS says, just soft and WE the parents allowed it to happen. Now we can turn things around, first vote in people who will turn this nation around, install term limits and obey the laws they create.

    34. Curt Krehbiel says:

      It is absolutely asinine to be borrowing and paying interest of 40% of every dollar the government spends. Get rid of the national debt and taxes could be lowered significantly and the government would still have sufficient money with which to operate.

    35. RennyG says:

      What a sad state of affairs we have allowed to happen to our country. As previously stated, why are we talking 10 years down the road. What is wrong with now? It's because they don't have the guts to do so!!

    36. steve h says:

      No intellectually honest economist would say the problem is just spending. It's a deficit problem, not a spending problem. You cannot just look at spending when taxes are at historic lows. Taxes are lower than ever and all you can look to is spending?

      There are 3 major reasons that a projected surplus from the year 2000 are the highest that have ever been – and over the next decade will continue to grow to new heights.

      3 main reasons:
      - the 2001/2003 tax cuts and their extensions
      - two wars
      - 2003 Medicare Rx legislation

      Over the enxt decade, they are by far the biggest factors of our debt/deficit problems. Until conservatives become honest about the issues, we'll never get anywhere.

    37. steve h says:

      Lloyd, if you think the current President is aiming to destroy the nations economy, can;t imagine what you think of the previous president.

      Do you recall in the 4th quarter of 2008, GDP had contracted over 8%. That's negative 8% GDP growth. It's been in positive growth every since Preident Obama took over.

      Do you recall in 4th quarter of 2008, the country was losing an average of 750,000 jobs a month. It's been adding jobs since the 3rd month President Obaam took over.

      Again, if you think he's tryign to destroy the american economy, i can't imagine the words you'd use for the previous president.

      • Lloyd Scallan says:

        Steve H – What you fail to admit in your zealous attack on Bush is that in 2007 the Dems took over Congress at the start of the "4th quarter". Most leftist like you and your ilk, look past that fact to continue to blast Bush when in actuallity the Dems cause the down turn you account to Bush.

        But just as important, the national left-wing media did everything to crucify Bush for doing what the Dems did (and Obama is doing today), without a peep, to set up the American voters to accept Obama by delibertately hideing his past radical assocations and ideology.

        And yes, I do believe Obama is delibertly attempting to drive this nation into accepting socialism, Marxism, or communism (whichever you choose) by making policies that will and has begun the collapse of our economical system. Anyone with an IQ over 50 can recognize every action Obama
        implements is designed to reach that end. For the life of me, I cannot understand why any person,
        that call themself a true American, can not recognize that fact and reject Obama. Of course, the radical leftist and anarchist support Obama because they are the same, politically and ideologiclly

      • Clearhead says:

        Steve, someone has really seriously tainted your gray matter if you actually believe that stuff you wrote. If present obama is doing such a good job, and hiring is increasing, and the GDP is increasing every month, then Why aren't people working? Why is a large number of people all over the nation rioting? Why are food stamps at an all time high? Why is our country so intensely divided? Was it Bush's fault? (That's an archaic mantra since obama wore it out) I suggest you change drug dealers — the one you have is passing some kind of stuff from outer space onto you.

    38. Jay says:

      1 am sick and tired of social suricerty being called an entitlement we worked and paid for it . if the gov would havekeep thier hands out of it when they stadted STEALING from it we had a surpluss. now they say we are broke they want to cut us. why not cut congress and senate pay i read on the computor congress gave themselves a 3000.$ ayear cost living raise. we havent had a raise in 3 years they are busy refigureing our 3..5 raise for this year its to much they think. please congres try living on my pay each month

    39. Bill Witter says:

      I am really tired of hearing Social Security and Medicare called "Entitlements". I have paid into these programs for years. If my and my employer's contibutions to Social Security had been put away, or invested in stocks or bonds, like myu 401K, I would not be able to spend all of it in my lifetime. Medicare, I have not paid into as long as SS, but I continue to pay almost $100.00 per month for it.
      If both of these programs had been properly managed for the past 75 years, we would not have a problem.
      Let's blame the spenders – not the recipients.

    40. michael mudrak says:

      Are we taking into account all of the czars and their horrific spending habits. How about trimming some of the staff
      members in senate and congressional offices. Be grouped by states and share the same staff. Bring in the millitary for white house security & get rid of over paid staff.cut the staff of the white house it self only what is necessary.

    41. Joseph W. Harrison says:

      Our problem is we do not have a conservative in charge of the house. The balance budget amendment the speaker put forward for a vote today was a joke. Luckily it was voted down. How do you balance a budget with no caps on spending? Raising taxes! Do these people think we are stupid? They just voted to raise the limit on FHA loans to over 729,000 with 3.5 percent down. They are still doing the same thing. Did the vote in 2010 mean nothing to these people? What do we have to do to get their attention? I call, I write but nothing changes. The whole system is corrupt. Only 4 Republicans voted against the bogus balance budget amendment. Pau Ryan needs to be the Speaker of the House!

    42. 2DOkie says:

      Wonder what it takes for the present pile of political idiots to realize the ship of stte is on fire and going down. Wonder if they if they think they aren't on onboard like the rest of us. I also wonder if all the union members think that they'll be able to keep up with the coming tidal wave of inflation!!!

    43. KHM says:

      This is a national shame and crisis that our published debt is $15 TRILLION dollars.
      One, the super committee should never have been formed. It is UnConstitutional, the Dems chose all far-left members and set it up to fail. Blame the Republicans will be the cry – mark my words.
      Two, @ steveh(7 hours ago) the figures he quoted were completely false. He claimed that jobs have been added ever since O took office. Wrong again, Steve, unless you count government jobs.
      We cannot keep pushing this problem down the road.
      . The biggest shame is that our country until the 1970s was a creditor nation. Now we are the biggest debtor nation, no better that the 'three-eyed-pigs (Portugal, Iceland, Ireland,Italy and Greece).
      Finally, the 15 Trillion dollar figure doesn't include our unfunded liabilities such as Medicare, Medicaid, SS.

    44. blueridge says:

      Wasn't the Heritage Foundation FOR raising the debt ceiling in August???? Regardless of the reason, you can't have it both ways.

      We have missed 3 opportunities to shut down the Gov't and FORCE the Democrats to show the American people what their priorities are.

      Instead of stopping this insanity right here and now, the Republicans keep passing CR's and pray they win the Senate with this wishful plan. In the mean-time they look just as complicit as the Democrats in spending our children's future.

      The Republicans need to have a frank discussion with the American people on how much money we take in and how do we want to spend that revenue. When interest rates rise this country is going to be shocked at the cost of having $15 trillion in debt. What's %3-5 interest on 15 trillion?

    45. Clearhead says:

      "without raising taxes, without weakening our defense, and without burdening future generations. But getting there will require serious leadership, action, and an understanding that doing business as usual will not bring this nightmare to an end." Most of us are in mourning because we know that under the present administration, this is nothing but a utopian dream. If our so-called "leaders" refuse to understand this, then they have hit the TREASON switch in their little brains. This finger is not being pointed at democrats, republicans, independents, or any other "caucas". It's being pointed at ALL of them.

    46. Wayne, La says:

      Money grows on trees. Why cut and tax? Just print more of it.

    47. Becky says:

      I agree with those that say social security is not an entitlement…to cut the budget congress should (1) cut their pay until the budget is balanced..$100.000 a year. (2) get rid of the Czars (3) get rid of excessive staff at the White House (4) get rid of Congress's entitlement programs (5) have past politians that have tax payer secret service detail pay for them themselves if they have more than a million dollars (most of them do) (6) cut foreign aid to countries that hate us. (7) get rid of congress perks that are on the taxpayer dime. (8) stop free aid to illegal aliens. (9) stop bailing companys out (10) if congress wants to spend more money than we have, have them donate to projects important to them without adding more taxes to the average working person.

    48. Keith says:

      Hmmm. Say, wasn't the federal budget in surplus at the end of the Clinton years? Why yes, i beleive it was. When did it go into deficit again? Was it when Obama took over? No, I think it was before then. So sometime after Clinton left office but before Obama took office. Doh! Damn pesky facts.

    49. Dante Flagello says:

      What I find really sad is that everyone continues to play the blame game. It does not matter why we are in the situation. What matters is the solution. Suck it up and fix the problem

    50. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      We're in for another Obama downgrade.

    51. It took more than 225 years to put this country 11 trillion dollars in debt. How terrible!!! Our President has spent another 4 trillion just since he took office. Whether you like Obama or not, if your Spouse, Child, Employee or anyone else you know overdrew your bank account that much money would you let them hang around another 4 years to do it again?

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