Comment of the day: "How does one get out of trillions in debt? It's not that he's not serious, it's that the task is impossible." -lena73
After reaching a budget deal with Republicans last week, President Barack Obama outlined his plan for reducing long-term deficits and the national debt in a speech at The George Washington University on Wednesday. His plan will reduce the federal deficit by $4 trillion in 12 years.
CNN.com readers reacted to his plan:
bexers24 said, "You know, I think it's absolutely wonderful that he's tackling the taxes for the rich. I am one of those people who is poor and I struggle through life, living paycheck to paycheck. If I were one of the super rich, I would WANT to give back to those who need the help."
roaringtiger said, "As an independent, I feel this is a good plan This is the most balanced approach that won't put our country in a drawn out depression while making cuts AND some moderate tax increases. This is exactly what the Bipartisan committee proposed."
smartdem said, "This was simply brilliant. The president reminded the country of the history that lead to this deficit (namely George Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy), then explained why the Ryan plan would be disastrous to the country. He then laid down the gauntlet on increases on the wealthy. Put simply, you cannot ask 33 seniors to pay for each millionaire’s tax cut. Brilliant."
BubBee said, "He never mentioned curbing the costs of illegals, pay cuts of congress and elected officials or cuts in the size of government which has grown at a rapid pace. A 20 percent cut in all 3 would save us billions a year right now."
357fixer said, "Hi, I just graduated 5th grade and I need help on a math problem. If we run a $1.5 trillion deficit each year for the next 12 years, but only cut $4 trillion in spending in the same timeframe, then won't the national debt still increase by $10 trillion?"
JoeinUSA said, "Less talk, more action. I’m tired of hearing about plans to set up this committee and that committee.... proposals to do this and do that. As Larry the Cable Guy would say "Git r dun."
The high-speed rail system was one of the hardest hit federal programs last week–funding was reduced by more than $2.9 billion, basically leaving the project without any funding for 2011. Critics of the system say it's too expensive; supporters say it would create jobs and boost the economy and CNN.com reader comments largely fell into one of the two categories.
Thinkpad said, "I see the oil and auto lobby smiling all the way to the bank."
aorist said, "How about ANY rail service. Most of this country has no passenger rail service at all. I lived in Germany for a year when I was in the Army and was amazed by the efficiency of their passenger trains."
Digipixel said, "There is a old Chinese proverb that says the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The same can be said of a high-speed rail system. With gasoline approaching $4/gal, and predicted to go even high, would someone please, please, please save me from my own automobile!"
TK1957 said, "Compared to the parts of the world that have adopted high speed rail - we still have cheap gas! Kill these projects until we are ready (and until we can afford them)."
RalphinFL said, "The European bullet trains are highly subsidized and the only reason the Japanese trains show a profit is creative accounting by writing off the construction costs. We cannot afford another white elephant, even one that runs really fast."
xdougx said, "How about improving the low-speed rail first? Has anyone here ridden NJ Transit! The most god awful public transportation in the world!"
The art of balancing the budget comes down to compromise, or, as President Obama words it "a shared responsibility to restore fiscal responsibility." In a CNN story that compares some of the more than $61 billion Republican proposed cuts with what was really cut, we received comments from CNN.com readers about the country's ability to compromise.
Guest said, "How about we get the red states to help out a little more? 21 of 22 McCain states (see TaxFoundation) take more from the federal government than they give. Why is it OK that New Jersey gets sixty cents back for every federal tax dollar contributed, and Alaska and Mississippi get back almost two dollars?'
Santex said, "I am willing to accept a $30 increase in my Medicare premiums and an additional two year freeze on SS benefits. What are you willing to put up? We are all in this together regardless of how we got here.” GQPublic responsed, "Until they control spending and get rid of waste, I am not willing to give another cent, period."
topherbc said, "As a part of the middle-class I don't mind some sacrifice for my country. But the wealthy, who have, in the last 30 years, disproportionately amassed so much of the wealth, should cough up said sacrifices: lump sum onetime tax, removed tax cuts, increased tax rates on future earnings."
FlyBD5 said, "Excuse me, but "raising the taxes on the rich" is a lie. What is being asked for is that the taxes on the rich be returned to the rates they were paying before Reagan slashed them and caused the country to enter the vicious circle spiral it is in."
Do you feel your views align with these commenters' thoughts? Post a comment below or sound off on video.
Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.