Overheard on CNN.com: Readers weigh in on U.S. financial future
President Obama is proposing $4 trillion in deficit cuts.
April 13th, 2011
05:47 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Readers weigh in on U.S. financial future

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

President Obama lays out long-term plan

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."

Big cuts for high speed

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!"

Are Americans willing to compromise?

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.

soundoff (153 Responses)
  1. where can i get a free ipad

    Nice review! This is truly the type of blog post that should be shared around the internet. Shame on the Yahoo for not ranking this post higher!

    April 14, 2011 at 8:24 am | Report abuse |
  2. Taylor

    Republicans will never agree to more tax increases on the rich. Democratics will settle off tax increases to republicans if labor rates increases to desire, then democratics will forget.

    April 14, 2011 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  3. Ancient Texan

    Joyce- you keep mentioning the $5 trillion surplus that Clinton left to Bush..... Sorry, there was no surplus-NONE- it was a projected surplus that never happened. They had been counting the Social Security revenues in that figure, but the closest it ever came to a surplus was a $19.7 billion deficit. Google it.

    April 14, 2011 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
    • ron smith

      Facts are Clinton left 1.5 trillion in the US treasury and Bush spent every dime of it ,reduced taxes to the rich, using this surplus as a reason . Bush proceeded to allow political cronies to run regulatory agencies right up to the point where the housing and stock market crash. The same supply side economics coupled with unregulated markets destroyed this country in 07 and 08 and it may never recover. Obama continues to borrow printed money that is not backed by anything except HOPE or the hope that things will change. Congress has just agreed once again to postpone econo0mic armegeddon until after Christmas. Happy shopping , America.

      November 4, 2013 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Lyle Lanley

    Well, sir, there's nothing on earth
    Like a genuine,
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    Monorail!
    What'd I say?
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    What's it called?
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    I hear those things are awfully loud...
    It glides as softly as a cloud.
    Is there a chance the track could bend?
    Not on your life, my Hindu friend.
    What about us brain-dead slobs?
    You'll be given cushy jobs.
    Were you sent here by the devil?
    No, good sir, I'm on the level.
    The ring came off my pudding can.
    Take my pen knife, my good man.
    I swear it's Springfield's only choice...
    Throw up your hands and raise your voice!
    Monorail!
    What's it called?
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    Once again...
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    But Main Street's still all cracked and broken...
    Sorry, Mom, the mob has spoken!
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    MONORAILl!

    Mono... D'oh!

    April 14, 2011 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  5. William

    You can't really say much about his budget, because it was not a budget, just a speech with good sound bites. He talks about the rich but fails to point out that most of our small businesses are in that category. My company is one of those (rich people) and now I am even more hesitant to add an exployee after this speech. I don't think he understands the equation.
    I have lived through 11 Presidents but this is the first one that doesn't understand the importance of their word. Transparency, C-Span, Gitmo, raising the debt limit, Afganistan, fiscal responsibility, etc., etc. and are just some examples. And the media is letting him get away with it for some reason.
    I hope the Democrats come up with someone to challenge this guy because he is really hurting our country. I'd like to see social improvements, but this is not the guy we want to be leading our country. I am very dissappointed to say that my Republican friends were right. He's a great politician and candidate, but a terrible President. His lack of action on the deficit is going to hurt our children in a huge way. If everyone understood the math, there would not be any division between Dems and Rep. on this issue.

    April 14, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  6. angelo

    Cut foreign handouts, add tariffs to imports, cut tax breaks to outsourcing corporations. This will save us taxpayers billions per year.

    April 14, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Patty

    Excuse me!! Why R U people blaming the Pres. Look back to the Reagan Years in 8 years he never balanced the budget.

    GM
    Bush 2 never vetoed any spending bill he passed everything that came his way and left us in a hole.Get Real people. For those of U who R under 55 the GOP is ripping your future apart and your kids. Please do your homework.

    Also, my dog oliver wants to run for pres. He will let U know who is coming and going. He will agree with everthing U say and then do as he pleases " Like the GOP" he tries to behave but, somehow is falls short. OLIVER FOR PRESIDENT! With all the dogs we have in the GOP he should fit right in. LOL!!

    April 14, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  8. RichP, easton, pa

    Give our elected officials in Washington DC more tax money and they will spend it, based on history they will not spend it wisely either.

    April 14, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  9. jennifer

    whatever.....how old are you???
    Not one person I know under 50 is a basher like you tea drinkers...we are all middle class americans of all different political backgrounds that are voting for Obama 2012!!!
    The ultra conservatives have destroyed their own parties by thinking everyone agrees with their line of thinking..Good luck with running that dude that has filed bankruptcy twice and has a squirrel on his head or what was that chicks name ..susy palin??

    April 14, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  10. bethnorman

    Establishing a solid credit history can cut your insurance costs. "Auto Insurance Clearance" will get you the lowest rate even for low credit scored.

    April 15, 2011 at 5:15 am | Report abuse |
  11. John Bainum

    The government can cut more money to balance the budget since we are the world's police ( per-say). Let other countries know IF we need to step in, they have to assist in the cost. The UN would have to also help with the debt. The United States can't afford to police the world & foot the bill also, those days are gone.

    April 16, 2011 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
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    April 16, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Gary Dubois

    Pushing the Nation into HyperInflation was reckless. Then having the rich not help to keep the nation solvent is just insulting.

    April 17, 2011 at 3:31 am | Report abuse |
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