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. Tony the Prophet

    America will collapse in 2013 due to the federal government, Poverty will be massive, unemployment, social decay, anxiety, insecurity.

    April 13, 2011 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
  2. L64

    So how do we get congress to pass a bill cutting their own wages and reducing their perks?

    April 13, 2011 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Philip

    @L-64...compute Congressional wages vs. public debt. And then reference 'strauin the gnat while gulping the camel' for further humiliation...come on? he he...is it live? or is it Philorex.

    April 13, 2011 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
  4. L64

    Every little bit helps...

    April 13, 2011 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Al

    I would ask ryan and others that support this stupid plan to name the insurance companies that will sell complete coverage insurance to a 65 year old for a voucher worth $8,000. They should be ashamed of themselves to even propose such a stupid idea.

    April 13, 2011 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Bob Hobbs

    Let's be realistic. $4Bn over 12 years won't cut it!
    $10Bn over 10 years is better.

    April 13, 2011 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
  7. dave

    I listened today to the ladies of CNN prattling on about Obama's plan, I noticed they are so uninformed at CNN they don't remember something so recent as the Bush tax cuts. They incorrectly reported about 30 times in the 3 hours I listened that Obama was recommending the end of the Bush tax cuts. The Bush tax cuts increased the range of people who owe zero income tax, it lowered the bottom bracket and it expanded the middle bracket, as well as reducing the upper bracket. So if Obama was proposing an end to the Bush Tax Cuts all those would go away. Maybe this explains why females in news organizations make less money than men, they know less.

    April 13, 2011 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Colin

    Peter Benesch and Fire Station 78 in Studio City, CA should be closed because those unskilled hacks are just wasting tax payer money. All they do is sit around at Art's Deli and eat and get fat. I hope Jerry Brown sends them all packing and saves the taxpayers a fortune in fraudulent overtime!!

    April 13, 2011 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
  9. gobnait

    Obama and the left are turning neighbor upon neighbor and fomenting class warfare. Don't fall into their trap.

    April 13, 2011 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
  10. mrhapiguy

    I like the plan. The economy is clearly improving. He is not nearly as liberal as they claimed. Sensible and intelligent decisions based on hard numbers and facts, I am loving it. I will vote for him again.

    April 13, 2011 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
  11. CBR

    This will be tough battle. The Republicans will not tax their support group even if it means denying help to those in need. Instead they will change the rules for healthcare and social security, etc, etc. They will call everyone else greedy and never even blink.

    As much as they would like us to believe that they care about those just at the poverty line and seniors on fixed income, they will take away anything they can. People making minimum wage or those just barely making ends meet will surely fall into debt. The costs of fuel, food, medicine are already going higher and higher. How will people cope.

    Thanks GOP and TEA Party. You know how to make our day. Remember we do not have the Koch family sending us money and paying for our travel around the country..

    April 13, 2011 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Ral44

    Sorry Charlie/Barry this is another non plan........
    Just like the Hope & Change act of 2009 he's is dusting it off again for a 2012 Re run..
    I just hope those who voted for him last time have wised up.
    He is a typical( no worse than typica ) Tax & Spend Liberal Democrat/Socialist.
    His aim is to ruin this country and drive us into debt that we will never recover from.
    How about a FLAT TAXflat Mr Prez if you really mean to help thWe The People ..
    No loop holes no favors for your buddies like GE just a flat tax.
    That way evryone pays a percentage and no lawyers lobbiests or back room deals. for anyone.
    It is too late to HOPE Obama Changes this guy is in over his head like most inexperienced Puppets put in office by a socialist groupwith the power to do so.
    His loyalties are with the Chicago Machine crooks and hoods who prefer a socialist way of life .
    Their goal is to tear this country apart.
    i hope we don't let him accomplish it..

    April 13, 2011 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |

    People say tax the rich. I've heard this line many times before, but when you look at the facts, wealthy people pay a higher percentage of taxes than lower income, in fact, wealthy people and corporations pay more in taxes than all lower class people combined. Why should they have to pay more than? Because they are successful? See, that idea didn't work in the Soviet Union, now did it?

    April 13, 2011 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Maketa

    To "Beckers" comment above, I disagree with you wholeheartedly. What do you mean by "give back?" What money did the poor give to the wealthy in which the wealthy must "give back?" I am not wealthy nor am I poor. I'm average; however, I don't feel as though there is any giving back to anyone. It's as-if you are saying the poor loaned money to the wealthy which is far from true.
    Anyways, it's sad that we have come to this point in the country. Great for tackling the debt; however, more social programs need to be cut or revised not just raising taxes on people. I do plan on becoming wealthy one day on my OWN volition and I refuse to stand by and hear people tell me I have to "give back" my hard earned money. Please.

    April 13, 2011 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Maketa

    I meant "bexers24!"

    Give back...are you kidding me?

    April 13, 2011 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6