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. Jay Horn

    Why is the government funding communist groups such as Media Matters with taxpayer funds?

    July 18, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Michael

    I agree too much polarization in government. Feels weird the big banks having so much say, however, in the situation. Many of them might not be here if not for bailouts.

    July 18, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
  3. betty knorr

    please do not take social security away or military funds or unemployment. we need that money to survive

    July 18, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jonathan

      GET A JOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      July 18, 2011 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Michael

    I hesitate to use the word fraud, but after so many years paying into S.S., it seems like a legal ponzi scheme.

    July 18, 2011 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • My Family's Share?

      @Michael: Don't hesitate. It's absolutely fraud. These companies that have been ripping everybody off acts like we are going to pay more money for making them accountable (pay taxes, end outsourcing) Now they are threatening us with taking away our SS. It's all scare tactics and scamming that's designed to keep them from taking care of this country. They are egocentric, insane, and quite evil. Our politicians are either stupid or corrupt.

      July 18, 2011 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mad Ole Lady

    I'm mad as hell and I'm not gonna take it anymore........I need my SS check. I have medical bills and I'm supporting 2 grandkids and my unemployed daughter!!!!!!!

    July 18, 2011 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini

      You have my sympathies, Mad Ole Lady. I much rather see people like us get the money than to have it needlessly thrown at the Pentagon for big ticket military items which we in no way need and all these foreign dictators who claim to be our ally in this so-called "war on terrorism". Then again, most of the politicians work for the MIC(military-industrial-complex), not us!!!

      July 18, 2011 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jonathan

      GET A JOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      July 18, 2011 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • dt

      Jonathan keeps up the mantra 'Get a job'. What goes around always comes around. When Jonathan gets victimized and crippled and becomes unable to 'get a job', then let's see what he says then. it is just plain greed that drives this rhetoric. Some people just cannot see reality. Personally I hope the teabaggers shut it all down and the Country goes belly up. Then the Jonathans will be getting robbed so the have nots can survive. Next election cycle – no more conservative greed mongers. All gone – end of problem.

      July 18, 2011 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |
  6. RICHARD RASMUSSEN

    ONE OLD SCHOOL SOLUTION TO THE COUNTRIES DEBT. BUY U.S. SAVINGS BONDS!! SINCE CONGRESS CAN NOT GET ITS HEAD OUT OF ITS FOUR POINT CONTACT ITS UP TO US TO
    COME UP WITH SOME SOLUTIONS!
    http://www.savingsbonds.gov

    July 18, 2011 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Logical

      That was a good old school solution. Too bad there aren't trillions of people to buy them now and no confidence or trust in the Governments ability to spend OUR money wisely as they have proved time and again that they are not ! I cashed mine in a long time ago before there wasn't any money left to pay me !
      What happens when the number 1 exporting country becomes one of the Biggest Importers of the people they're getting their loans from ( chinese) ???? And they decide to call in the loan and won't accept the U.S. Dollar ????

      July 19, 2011 at 2:09 am | Report abuse |
  7. Mad Ole Lady

    Thanks JIF. I've had another near death episode (third time)where I was knocking on heavens door and asked to come back because my family needs me. And he granted my request again. Thank you Jesus. But what a mess to come back too. Sheesh!!!!

    July 18, 2011 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mad Ole Lady

    @jonathan. I would if I could but I can't so I won't.

    July 18, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
  9. fernace

    @ jonathan, I'm sure mad ol' lady has worked all her life, is now simply collecting what is hers. If you couldn't work you'd do the same! You payed for it with every paycheck, it's your $, just as it is mad ol' lady's!!

    July 18, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jay Horn

    @JIF: What about the Government-Media-Complex?

    July 18, 2011 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
  11. goodsince

    I can not believe the person who said let them die.He will answer to God for that.You know when I was growing up we had respect for everyones situation.Understanding that everybody does not have the same opportunity.Not even equal opportunity.If that's the case let the drug dealers sale drugs.Let the mophia keep spending blood money.I am a hard worker and money don't make me.Im sure every one in your familly is 'nt well off.So I guess we let them die to,along with the innocent kids. Iddiot.

    July 18, 2011 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
  12. VETSFORGOTTEN US

    Defund the ENTIRE GOV and this will make all the DEMS/LIBS have to take some responsibility for their actions.

    All the losers in America who tell Seniors on Social Security to get jobs are the pot smoking college students supporting Obama as they register other drug users across the nation on campus.

    When these cry babies who have lived off mommy and daddy as they drive their BMW's to school every day telling Disabled Vets and Seniors they dont deserve what they get, they need to get slapped in the face!

    July 18, 2011 at 11:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Logical

      I hear ya VETSFORGOTTENUS- But our society has changed from working to helping ourselves and others to just looking out for number one ! WE created a welfare state with no incentive to do better, S.S, was sold to us as a good idea back when people worked their whole lives for a company and would get a small pension, but now the fund has been stolen from, and s.s. numbers are used for all purposes in tracking every citizens entire lives including all our illegal aliens. Politicians have made rules for themselves alone , they don't live to our standards,they will receive most of their pay for the rest of their lives even if they serve a term or two... Give 'em all a welfare (poverty level) salary and see how FAST they all step down. That 's when the right people will step up ! People who know what stretching a dollar means ! STOP paying other countries for their supposed FRIENDSHIP ! Cut off aid ! Let the individual American send the aid they can afford and want too. You can't help others when you can't help yourself !

      July 19, 2011 at 1:32 am | Report abuse |
  13. goodsince

    YOu are crazy to think it's Obamas fault we are in this mess.Busch and wall street is the fault for this mess we are in.He got out just in time.That coward using Obama as an exscape goat.The facts are out there.When Busch got in the white house we were in the sir plus.But when Obama got in it was good luck.And for your information,there were more pot smokers in the 70's.Next time you say something .say something that makes since.I am tired of people that think they are perfect no one is.

    July 19, 2011 at 12:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Logical

      goodsinse - We have been getting into this mess for many many years, certainly can't call any one particular President the reason for it ! But you are wrong if u think this country had a surplus when Busch was in office ! We have been getting LOANS for a long time ! And we use some of them to the tune of many billions to send away in FOREIGN AID !
      And truth be told most of the pot smokers from the 60's and 70's are still smoking and so r the the kids from the 80's,90's,and2000's ! Many have just learned to hide it better . Personally I believe the states would save a whole lot of money in building and keeping jail inmates costs down if they just let them grow their own for personal use ! It is a personal decision after all people will still do it even if its illegal ... The states could take that money and send all the Mexicans back to Mexico and the ones in jail here can help build the wall to keep them out ! I have to pay a 100.00 for a passport if I want to go to Mexico ! WAY WAY TOO MUCH MONEY is being spent on things that are not priorities for this country and its people !

      July 19, 2011 at 1:57 am | Report abuse |
  14. Jay Horn

    Liberal Democrats need to leave their little utopia and come back to reality. And if a have not ever tries to steal from me I will be waiting for him and that will be the last time the dead beat will try that.

    July 19, 2011 at 1:09 am | Report abuse |
  15. jerry

    the needless spending lies within the govt handouts and the fact that people have learnded to expect it. the gimme my money is whats breakin this country! wake up people! its now an eccepted mentality. sad times...

    July 19, 2011 at 1:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Logical

      SPOT ON JERRY !

      July 19, 2011 at 2:01 am | Report abuse |
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