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. moon

    be happy u do not need million dollars the basic things in life is 3 meals a day and a roof over your head and a bank baalance for rainy day if you follow this you will feel good inside all are material stuff you can enjoy your life for sixty thousand a year there is a saying (why is the clock round) what ever you do will come back to you thanks

    April 13, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Cesar

    Matt, what is your point?

    April 13, 2011 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      My point is that Obama isn't trying to lead or solve the problem. He isn't trying to unite Americans in a common cause and move our country forward and make it the envy of the world. His speech today proves he is trying to get reelected by pandering to the liberals, stoking class envy and villifying republicans.

      Taxing the rich will only hurt America more. We MUST cut spending, keep tax rates low, and incentivise Americans to once again become the industrious, hard working entrepreneurs that made America great. He forgets, as do most liberals and socialists, that it was the capitalist engine that created the wealth that they have squandered and created a dependency class of victims instead of an industrious class of achievers and overcomers.

      April 13, 2011 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
  3. roshev32

    Obama knows he is not going to get everything he wants, but the plan, at least on the surface, makes good sense and is much more supportive of the middle class than Ryan's plan. Yes, the rich will pay a little more than they do now; but contrary to Republican propaganda, current tax rates for the upper income brackets are historically low, and as Obama points out, most income gains in recent decades have gone to those in the upper income brackets. I happen to be someone whose taxes will go up, but I still think it is the right thing to do.

    April 13, 2011 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Dave

    The Boom of the Clinton years was fueled by innovation in the tech industry. We need to fund that type of growth now to create jobs. Matt is trying to convince us all that taxing the rich will hurt the economy. They paid more under both Clinton and Reagan. We can't just cut our way out of this mess, we have to raise revenue by creating jobs here in America, and all paying our fair share. Maybe the Trumps of this country think that we should just let the growing number of poor people eat cake. Didn't work so hot in 18th century France.

    April 13, 2011 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Joey

    @ Dave:
    You mentioned "providing living wage jobs."
    Who should provide those jobs?
    The government?

    April 13, 2011 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Philip

    @Philip...you ignoramus. The government IS the "M" in MIC (short for corporate fascism) It's one thin to jack my name...it's another to post such ignorance IN my name. he he...it beats playing another game of online chess though. I'm an accomplished chess player, but am master of the blog. And I know, and have known, who you are. Your only reprieve comes in the form of Basil Rathbone. The games afoot! for you. (for me? sigh and yawn. seen the likes of you since windows '95. Give it a name and we'll call it good)

    April 13, 2011 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Philip

      Wait a minute here. It's you who's ignoring the 800lb, gorilla in the room,namely the grossly unnecessary military spending and the three useless and unnecessary wars,neither of which have anything to do with national security nor any of our rights or freedoms. It find it quite sickening the way nobody wants to do anything about it! What a waste!!!

      April 14, 2011 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
  7. Joey

    Who should provide the "living wage jobs?"
    The government?

    April 13, 2011 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Philip

    @Dave...wrong. The "boom of the Clinton years" as you say, was due to one, and only ONE thing: The United States of Americs came out from under International Bancruptcy Protection. (filed with the IMF/World Bank during the Great Depression) Internatinal Bancruptcy status is awarde in 70 year increments. Trace US history @ 70 yr. increments, and you will find our original revolution, our civil war, AND WW1/Great Depression. Go another 70 yrs., and you arrive @ Clinton! Ho-hum. Is it even possible that I can communicate what took me my entire adult life to figure-out in this tiny little postey box? I feel for you all as I struggle. And pardon me...I mean no harm. (shrug)

    April 13, 2011 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Philip

    Hmmm. Hope I worded that OK. Really though. From our forefathers revolution, count 70 yrs. International BK protection. (We didn't pay back the Banc of France for loaning B. Franklin the monies we needed to revolt) 1776-our civil war. Our civil war was about using the souths cotton and tobacco as surety for debt owed England! France sold our delinquent note to the Bank of England! Now count 70 years and you arrive at our great depression. Another 70 and you arrive @ the Clinton "boom" years. Clinton didn' do squat. He just happened to be prez. when we came out from under Inernational BK Protection. Get a clue...everyone! (archie bunker lol)

    April 13, 2011 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Philip

    Now be honest. How many of you knew (drempt of, nightmares, wet dreams) that the USA, The United States of America, had EVER filed for international bankruptcy protection with the IMF/World Bank? Don't be shy. Speak-out! and let your ignorance be known.

    April 13, 2011 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
  11. gordig

    with most rich theres not enough money on this planet last taxcuts, they took that money and invested in jobs the problem is not in america

    April 13, 2011 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
  12. WILTOR

    A large number of the worker's in this country have had their wages reduced or flatout lost their jobs in this recession.
    All american's, except the rich, member's of congress and Washington in general, have had to sacrifice just to survive.
    Well times are tough and some drastic action is needed. I suggest that we look at reducing salaries and eliminating all
    the perks that alot of our elected officials in Washington receive and put that money toward the deficit.

    April 13, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
  13. bob

    I keep seeing msgs to not buy gas on friday. I disagree you should buy gas when you need it. However just dont buy gas from the two top gas companys like Exxon Mobile, Instead buy gas from smaller gasoline companys. This will make the bigger companys have to lower theyre price. which will make gas go down for everyone

    April 13, 2011 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Philip

    @bob...gas is only one of the products we buy fron Big-Oil. Where did that petroleum jjelly and "baby oil" you smear all over your kids come from? You don't even give a ratz azz do ya. Frikken Americans...if there is even such a thing.

    April 13, 2011 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Philip

    Hay there Bob. What's left-over after petroleum (crude oil) is refined (at an US refinery, their all old. why? gov. won't allow any new ones built...for like 25 plus years now.) into "gas" for your import? No, not stock divedends. Petroleum Jelly! Yep...at one time we paid for it's disposal, and now you pay us to make it available for you to smear it on your own baby's behind. God bless America.

    April 13, 2011 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
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