Overheard on CNN.com: Raise the debt ceiling or starve government?
Administration and congressional officials are expected to continue working on a measure to raise the federal debt ceiling.
July 18th, 2011
02:00 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Raise the debt ceiling or starve government?

Exchange of the day

"How about we immediately defund, or at least greatly reduce spending on, NPR, PBS, Planned Parenthood, the EPA, welfare, entitlements (which are by far the largest part of the federal budget), and all other liberal-type programs? Betcha we'd have a balanced budget almost overnight!"– petercha

"What about corporate welfare and the military? Get rid of those conservative programs. Our budget would be balanced in 5 minutes!"–RazorRiely

Debt fallback plan gains momentum as GOP plans symbolic votes

Don't count Boehner out in debt crisis

Capitol Hill leaders are scrambling this week to head off a default on U.S. debt. Gaining momentum is a version of a fallback plan designed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, which would give President Obama the power to raise the borrowing limit but require three congressional votes on the issue before the 2012 general election. The unusual scheme would allow most Republicans and some conservative Democrats to vote against any debt ceiling hike while still allowing it to clear.

The story continues to garner thousands of comments from CNN.com readers, with arguments echoing those on the Hill. Most readers support raising the ceiling and meeting U.S. debt responsibilities, while a few suggest cutting social programs to reduce government and even welcome civil war.

chamber2011 said, "I'm not talking about this debt ceiling issue only, this entire issue. The sheep of the democrats keep supporting any bad move by their representatives, just like Stockholm syndrome. The business owners (who are employers remember) are trying to regain America back from freeloading tax spenders that sit in politician spots and get free money. Lets just go to war. Its about time."

IanA1 said, "All Boehner has done since he got in was to rile up a bunch of uneducated reactionary maniacs on the right, and now those very maniacs have had him take our country right up to the edge of economic suicide."

MeanOldMan said, "Enough of this BS. Pass the increase and get to something that really matters. Everyone knows the ceiling has to be raised and those that don't believe it haven't got the smarts to be running a lemonade stand, let alone a government. This country is falling apart and drifting into being a third world country and these guys are spending all their time arguing over whether to pay the money they have already spent."

TrollWars said, "Okay, let's agree with these entitlement cutting clowns. Let's do away with social security and medicaid. Let's do away with unemployment and food stamps. So what happens to the "majority" of people making between 9 and 13 bucks an hour when they reach old age? You honestly can't expect them to save hundreds of thousands of dollars at that wage? What happens if they have a health problem that sets them back, but doesn't disable them while working. I'm guessing you want us to BEG the local church or search high and low for any doctor willing to do charitable work.

drthink replied, "Let them die, if they are too lazy to save or earn real money it shouldn't be our problem, we can't expect the rich to do all the work and then also pay for everyone. The rich do all the work, the least we can do is let them keep their incentive to earn a profit."

tnoutside1 said, "I never heard all this talk about killing entitlement programs when the budget was fully funded. It was GOP wars and a massive transfer of wealth (through tax breaks) into the hands of Wall Street that caused this mess. Regulation and appropriate taxation are the paths to prosperity. I thought FDR proved this when he cleaned up the GOP/Hoover mess. Or Clinton when he cleaned up the Reagan/Bush mess. People have VERY short memories. "

FelixCat said, "This country will be dead in the long run for it. You simply have no clue what an immediate knee-jerk 40% cut in fed spending will do to a fragile economy. The Great Depression will be remembered as the good old days."

wetfuse13485 said, "They passed how many budget increases during Bush? Now my party wants to hold out on this President when our country is in need and to stop us from going down. Becoming an Independent is looking better and better, and the Tea Party is going to learn a good lesson in politics in the next election. So will the GOP for laughing when they came into our party. US NAVY RETIRED SCPO5326 (SO/S.E.A.L.) 21 YEARS OF MILITARY SERVICE

kittykitty91 said, "I have a grand idea. Give the tea party people what they want. Make them immune to paying taxes. And in exchange we won't burden them with using roads, police, fire, schools, military protection­, DMV, etc, etc. The first time they attempt to back out of their driveway, make them pay a toll to drive on taxpayer funded roads. If their house catches fire, cough up the dough or we watch it burn. The GOP and Tea Party people are the hypocrites; they say they love this country, but all they want to do is see it burn and watch anyone suffer that does not believe in their hateful, close minded, religious agenda."

rlcommenter said, "The Government is a virus that spreads and consumes. ... Why even think of giving it more money. ... It only knows how to spread and consume." SirWilk44 said, "We are dying because your liberal friends refuse to make any politically tough decisions and actually make significant cuts to the debt. 1.5 Trillion over 10 years does nothing when we are running 1.3 Trillion dollar deficit this year. I am sure your grand-kids will wonder why we did not make really tough decisions now to make their life better. "

NoBSObama said, "I think it would be better if we default and declare bankruptcy. All these government programs were never viable. The government should have never got in the business of S.S.I., Medicare and welfare. It would reboot the economy back to a time were people were responsible for their own security. And without the burden of high taxes to support these programs, the average productive person could decide where to spend their own money. Goverment lied to the masses, Whats New?"

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. elmo kitchens

    I hope we dont raise the debt cieling and the DOW falls below 10,000 again. Then I can buy back into the stock market. I bet neither will happen though.

    July 18, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  2. elmo kitchens

    It would be good for everyone if the stock market fell some. It sure seems overvalued. It really does not reflect the actual condition of our economy. Around 1 in 10 people unemployed. Homes everywhere being foreclosed on. etc. Honestly, over hal
    f the people i know are actually out of work. Doesnt matter what the news media or politicians say. Things really arent as great as they would have you believe.

    July 18, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  3. saywhat

    Our cost on wars exceeds $ 3.7 trillion & climbing. Spending on 700 military bases around the world exceeds combined miltary budget of major Western countries. We spend nearly a trillion dollar on Homeland security.
    The total we thus spend on Defence/military is mind boggling. Add to it the billions we pay to 'allies' every year and the reason we are today teetering on the edge of bankruptcy and about to default on our debt. The unthinkable is now a possibility for US.
    Now the really worrying part fellow Americans.
    The ex-chief of Israeli intelligence Mossad – Meir Dagan who left his post just two months back & ex-CIA official Robert Baer have both warned of Israeli plans to attack Iran by the year end and to drag USA along into an unimaginable inferno.
    Now traditionally Mossad officials ibn office or otherwise keep their lips sealed but coming from a hard liner far right Israeli intelligenmce chief this news should make every American sit up & phone his/her rep pronto.
    Because I'm sure that if Israel comits this folly our Congressmen on Israeli payroll would scramble to support & push us into joining them.
    One can only imagine the beginning but the end ???
    If that happens & both warn that the nut Netanyahu is quite adamant about, then forget about any glimmers of economic recovery or jobs or the lifestyle that we take for granted.

    July 18, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Scottish Mama

    President Obama said 1/3 of he boys in Afghanistan/Pakistan are coming home.

    July 18, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    The realities of our economy require compromise from both right and left.
    Centrists with common sense are becoming extinct.
    I think that may be because complex thinking, as required for compromise, is becoming too difficult for graduates of today's schools.

    July 18, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    What needs to be defunded is the vastly overbudgeted D.O.D. which seems to have become a cancer on the national economy. We need to scrap high-priced military items such as those ungodly drones and the F22 stealth bombers among others. This the right-wing thugs in Washington never talk about and never will!!!

    July 18, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Travis

      Thank you, Joey. You said it all. I get so sick and tired of reading all these stupid comments posted by these ignorant fools here and their usurping other peoples' names to do so. This does get old!!!

      July 18, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    I would never write that 3:44 post under my name.
    Many here know how hawkish I am.

    July 18, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Travis

      They should also know what a troll you are. At least the true Joey has enough sense to know that all this needless military spending is ruining our economy!

      July 18, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    My troll always tries to put the words "right-wing thugs" in my mouth.
    I wouldn't say that.

    July 18, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Those right-wing thugs are going to destroy us all. Everyone who reads my post know i am an aging ex hippy and opposed to war. My troll always pretends to be a war hawk and pro military. I say lets smoke a bowl for peace.

    July 18, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    That 3:47 post isnt mine. Lets make love, not war. Peace out baby. Wpuld you like some Heinz 57 on that ?

    July 18, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Passerby

    Someone should tell petercha they are more of a threat to this country than al Qaeda ever could be. If bin Laden were alive, like he was under Bush for 8 years, he would probably impregnate you. Thanks.

    July 18, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  12. JIF

    Non e' giusto, Troll.
    I've been nice to you.
    Play by the rules and leave my reputation as a war criminal intact.

    July 18, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  13. elove

    We own white house our blood sweat tears taxes pay for it cut our checks we should move in why should they get check? Let them live on disability

    July 18, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
  14. My Family's Share?

    That sign should not blame my family, nor incur any debt to any of us. The debt is where it is, because of a few supposedly smart, and definitely wealthy people. I wake up, I go to work and I vote for people whom I think will do a good job (not down party lines). I protested this last election on the ballot by writing in "none of the above". I was smart enough to see the charade, so I refuse to be assigned debt by some group. Thank you.

    July 18, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
  15. IT'S ALL A LIE

    Wall Street, Moodys, the S & P, Buffet, etc; are calling in their marker with the GOP. Who will win, Wall Street V.S. The Young Guns? Lets cut government and lay-off DOD, FAA, FDA, FHA, and Argriculture employees. Lets lay-off Teachers in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Atlanta. Lets cut or steal everybodys pension, SSI, CSRF, etc; Lets cut Congress and Million Dollar State College Football Coaches pensions.

    July 18, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
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