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InstaPoll: Which plan do you support to address our nation's debt crisis?
Posted by Randy | July 28, 2011

This evening, the House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on a plan offered by Speaker Boehner that addresses the nation's debt crisis by creating a two-step process for the President to increase the debt limit by as much as $2.5 trillion, following the enactment of $2.7 trillion in spending cuts and other deficit reduction measures.  The bill also creates a bipartisan Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction composed of 12 lawmakers to recommend $1.8 trillion in deficit reduction in order to achieve the total $2.7 trillion in spending cuts. Finally, the measure requires the House and Senate to vote on a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution before the end of the calendar year.  Speaker Boehner has announced that the House will vote tomorrow on two separate balanced budget amendments; one version of the amendment will require a two-thirds supermajority to raise taxes and the other will not.  Leader Reid also announced that the Senate will vote on Speaker Boehner's proposal tonight if it passes the House.  The Wall Street Journal recently published a side-by-side overview of the competing debt limit proposals currently being considered in the House and Senate.  The chart is available below, or by clicking here.

Question of the Week: Which plan do you support to address our nation's debt crisis?

(  ) I support the plan offered by Speaker Boehner.
(  ) I support the plan offered by Leader Reid.
(  ) I support either plan.
(  ) I support neither plan.
(  ) I am unsure.
(  ) Other (share your thoughts below)

Take the poll here.

The results of last week's instaPoll are available here.

What do you think? Weigh in:
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  • Brad Kurtz commented on 7/28/2011
    We are not in this situation without Bush's unfunded wars, the tax cuts that did not create jobs (in fact quite the opposite), and Bush's allowance of mergers of any companies (causing job destroying monopolies). Do the opposite, do Obama's 4 trillion cut and 1 billion in revenue, now!
  • Paul Last Name commented on 7/28/2011
    We have a spending problem, not a revenue problem. I support two things: 1. Reduce the budget by a certain % every year, every part of the budget, until it is balanced. Maybe 2% every year. After 5 years we'd be down 10%, as an example. To keep people from whining, make this effect every single part of the budget. No one is exempt. 2. Institute a Flat Tax. We all live here - we all pay our "fair share". This means that the 48% of Americans who currently get a free ride have to contribute to the system. These items remove a lot of the power of Washington DC - the power to direct money to certain special groups of people. For that reason, it would never get approved. But it's the right thing to do.
  • bk durham commented on 7/28/2011
    the penny mack plan is the only one which truly cuts spending. the others only cut increases in the budget. how does that help with the deficit??? it doesn't.
  • Rodney Leary commented on 7/28/2011
    There are no easy solutions to this mess that has been created by BOTH political parties since the 60's, however there are some common-sense steps to start to fix it and threatening not to pay people the monies they have EARNED, (military retirements, social security, etc., is not one of them). Start off by ceasing pay to all of the foreign countries that we have funneled billions to over the years, to make them "like" us; they do not. Shut off all payments to illegals who have no right to them, (have your fellow congress-people look up the word "illegal" in the dictionary if they are unsure of the meaning). Look at ways to draw manufacturing jobs back to this country instead if driving more out to foreign shores. QUIT ACTING LIKE SPOILED CHILDREN AND GET SERIOUS ABOUT THE DIRECTION AND PROBLEMS THIS COUNTRY IS FACING. If my children acted as I have observed you people acting they would have been sent to their rooms. This is a time for serious people with serious suggestions, not political posturing. The current conduct of this ELECTED government is embarrassing; get over yourselves, quit worrying about Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, etc., and do your jobs. The Romans used the gimmick of breads and circuses in place of serious governing and we all know what happened to them.
  • Pat Amato commented on 7/28/2011
    I don't believe either plan addresses the debt issue to the degree it needs to be. The amounts that both the Democrats and Republicans are proposing are drops in the bucket to the total debt. They are not focusing on the real problem - instead, they are focusing on who will be offended by the cuts and how that will affect the next election.True statesmanship, where one is more worried about the state of the country than oneself, has all but been eliminated from the USA.
  • Edwin Friend commented on 7/28/2011
    I DO NOT support any plan which touches social security or medicare, without eliminating Congresses pension plans and insurance plans!!! Any an one Congress who votes to accept cuts to social security and medicare, while keeping their own benefits intact, I WILL VOTE AGAINST IN COMING AND FUTURE ELECTIONS!!! You guys want to decrease our benefits, which we paid into and YOU ROBBED, and keep your own!!!? You are guys are as much a thief and con-artist, as anyone in jail for those offenses!!! How can you keep your dignity and still do such a thing!!! You are ROBBER BARENS!!! The rich robbing from the poor to feed you own benefits!!! WE AMERICAN CITIZENS ARE BEING RIPPED OFF BY OUR SENATORS AND CONGRESSMEN, and if they pass either side's plan, of which BOTH include reducing Social Security Benefits AND Medicare, YOU ARE NEITHER A SENATOR NOR A CONGRESSMAN. DO WHAT YOU WERE ELECTED TO DO!!! REPRESENT THE PEOPLE OF YOUR STATES!!!! I see nothing in either plan that represents THE PEOPLE of the United States!!! You railroaded us into a socialized health plan, and now you are railroading us into reducing the benefits WE PAID FOR!!! SHAME ON YOU!!
  • L Chavez commented on 7/28/2011
    I support Speaker Boehner's plan for the most part but I feel that another debt ceiling increase should NOT be revisited in a few months (why put us through this again???). I am also not opposed to taking some tax credits away from the wealthiest Americans. Middle class America should not face any economic burden from whatever plan is adopted. And, please check the egos at the door and get this done for the good of the country, not for the good of politics.
  • Allison K commented on 7/28/2011
    I don't support either plan. I want Congress to CUT SPENDING NOW. Get your fiscal house in order Congress - if you were businessmen you would be in jail. CUT, CAP, and BALANCE!!!!
  • Charles Fish commented on 7/28/2011
    It seems to me that it goes withut saying that the Boehner Plan will get the same savings from the wars that Reid claims. You want more savings? Cancel or eliminate the BILLIONS spent each year to support a good life for illegal aliens. You can also cut foreign aid to those "freinds" that don't supportthe USA.
  • Bonnie Norem commented on 7/28/2011
    I support Speaker Boehner's plan because Reid's plan is until 2012 and if Obama is President again we will continue to spend, spend, spend and we will be bankrupt. The Dems like to raise taxes, have unemployed and come up with big "change" that destroy jobs - global warming and reengineering of the government, health care (that needs to be addressed but not with all their undercover perks for entitlements for study, taxes on our sale of our homes, fines for not buying into their plan except if you are muslim or other interest groups). I also question who will be on these committees that will form that are more destructive many times in what they do behind our backs like executive orders by the President. We need our military support. I know I had to work and pay my way through college and it is time we let people work and not expect handouts from the government while the rest of the hard working Americans pay high taxes to support these entitlements! We all who worked besides the government paid into Medicare and it is the government that used our money for Medicaid and helping to use our money not wisely. It is time I , the President and Congress quite playing the blame game and take good responsible action!!
  • Stanley Bennett commented on 7/28/2011
    Boehner's plan is a joke, an absolute slap in the face of the electorate that allowed him to become speaker. His "plan" would cut spending for a total of 10 days in a 10 year period, he's an idiot. The PEOPLE voted in Republicans to STOP spending and reduce government, he's done neither, he needs to go!
  • Alison Worret commented on 7/28/2011
    This is one of the few times in the last 2+ years that Republicans have the power. Don't let it slip away. Don't be weak. Stand firm. CUT, CAP AND BALANCE! This may be our last opportunity to save our country. Perhaps you were put in office for a time such as this...
  • Carol C commented on 7/28/2011
    I am TOTALLY disgusted with Congress....in particular the HOUSE. I'm sure the founders of this wonderful country are turning over in their graves at the rediculist antics, partisan politics, posturing, self serving agendas that many representatives serving now have shown. Whatever happened to working together (compromise) for the good of the country. ALL of you are there to represent US, THE PEOPLE. From the way some are acting, especially the hard nosed "Tea Party people", they don't care about anything except whatever pledge they took to get themselves elected. They say...."Let the country default". If the poor and middle class of this country have to live through another recession, or worse yet, a depression it will be because of these attitides. The rich will survive!!! Congress has it's BIG salary, it's GREAT health benefits, it's UNREAL retirement plans......what about the rest of the people? Why don't you all take a cut in salary to 1/2 of what you are paid, get private health care like the rest of us and have 401K plans for your retirement. If the market crashes, interest rates rise, etc. because of a "default" ......it appears that the HOUSE could care less...they're safe. When a congressman/woman retires they should have a 401K plan, use whatever you managed to save (like the rest of us) to live on and have Medicare as your health plan. I think if any of these things were to happen, we would see a much different attitude in our congressmen/women. I have considered myself an independent....I'm registered to vote that way. I vote for whom I believe is the right person for the job. But frankly, right now I think the Republicans could care less about the poor, middle class and seniors of this country...just the rich and BIG companies. As far as the "plan", Reid or Boehner, BOTH should have tax increases as part of the overall deal. If you REALLY care about the country and it's people, get is done NOW....not next year. You ALL are making a laughing stock of the country!!!
  • Nanette Cerny commented on 7/28/2011
    Cut, cap and balance. Why is that not available to vote on? That's what most people I know want so why is that not an option on the table? But my second choice would be Speaker Boehner's plan with the ammedment for future nonsense to halt. Federal Goverment needs to be stopped in their tracks. They are runining this country with the worst one at the helm. Shame on all of them.
  • Steve Bryant commented on 7/28/2011
    Congressman Forbes, I strongly feel we need to stick as close the Cut, Cap & Balance bill that has been introduced. If the Boehner plan is sticking to the guidelines I am all for it.
  • Gregg Williams commented on 7/28/2011
    Cut, cap, balance Fair Tax Get on with it or get out - what else needs to be said.
  • D McNeill commented on 7/28/2011
    Republicans continue to push the hallucination tax breaks for the rich create jobs. This is a cruel and dangerous FICTION. We went through eight years of the Bush administration and watched tax breaks for the rich followed by relentless job losses. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! Pay your fair share. Republicans like you, Mr. Forbes, have screamed JOBS, JOBS, JOBS while almost exclusively on everything else: abortion, supporting the enrichment of the already wealthy. When 400 Americans control as much as the bottom 150 MILLION citizens, you have failed us, Mr. Forbes. You should have addressed the economy and JOBS and supporting those who created this country, not just the parasites who support your war chest. May you know the hunger for one day many of your constituents suffer each and every day.
  • Roger Epperson commented on 7/28/2011
    I support the plan of the President of the United States. It is still the best long term plan with its combination of deep spending cuts and increased revenue. Only an idiot would vote for Cut, Cap and Balance or Speaker Boehner's plan. His plan cuts nothing, takes only from the middle class and is politically driven. Get onboard and support your President or lose the next election.
  • John Parker commented on 7/28/2011
    We have NO debt crisis. Our debt-to-GDP ration is well below what it was after World War II and both Democratic and Republican Presidents spent federal money to grow our economy out of debt. But Republicans are creating a fake debt crisis to destroy the last remnants of FDR's New Deal by dismantling social safety nets, downsizing the middle class, and handing over the commons to transnational corporations. And they are exacerbating the situation to destroy Obama's presidency, via our credit rating. As long people continue to fall for the bloviating about a so-called debt crisis, Republicans will continue to believe they can get away with turning the United States into a banana republic. Then we all lose.................
  • Patty Stewart commented on 7/28/2011
    The only plan that makes sense is Senate passage of the Cut/Cap/Balance. These other plans are full of false promises and will not cut our debt. Moody's has already told the USA that we need a minimum of $5 trillion to be cut just to keep our current credit rating, so why would anything less than this be acceptable? If our ELECTED representatives cannot do the job we have elected them to do then we should each and every one of them.
  • robert shields commented on 7/28/2011
    To balance the budget : Stop all money to foreign countries. If that is not enough cut government spending for "not needed to live positions and programs" and outlaw insurance of every kind. If that is not enough cut all goverment employees wages starting with congress, senate & judiciary. When the USA is healthy again we can start to help other countries and the rich again. Of course we will never be in good shape with out God's blessings, which has ceased due to the country's immorality and the denial of Christ.
  • Andrew Sidhom commented on 7/28/2011
    The American public is not composed of a bunch of uneducated idiots as you and some of your colleagues may believe. We are tired of these budget gimmicks being employed by both parties. We are fed up with political posturing and ready for some adults to come together in order to construct a plan that will help ease the fiscal concerns of our nation. This plan CAN NOT be formed in just a few days...We need the leadership in both parties to just talk straight with us rather than deceive us with the phony plans on the table. Reid's plan requires a temporary suspension of disbelief to appear even remotely genuine, and Boehner's plan is riddled with lies. For example, we are being told that the cuts will exceed the raise in the debt ceiling. This is utterly false. How can we be comparing cuts that will supposedly take place over 10 years to a debt ceiling raise that gets us through a year or two? You guys are just wasting time by even considering Boehner's plan. You have already passed an infinitely better plan in cut,cap, and balance. Cut, cap, and balance is not without it's faults, but it seems to be the most serious plan thus far. Boehner's plan is a gimmick and don't you think for one second that your constituents don't see right through the " smoke and mirrors".
  • Dave Noble commented on 7/28/2011
    Randy, there is no support for Mr. Boehner's bill. Your guys are fighting a losing battle -- one that hurts the poor and middle class and asks nothing of the richest Americans. It contains NO plans to eliminate spending on two useless wars, holds the country hostage in that we will be revisiting this manufactured crisis again in six months, and has no chance of passing the Senate. I ask you again to please start acting like someone who has the best interest of the country in mind instead of playing political games. I know you don't want to come out on the losing end of this, so show some leadership, stop trotting out all the same mandated right wing talking points, and vote for a bill that makes sense for the American people.
  • William Allen commented on 7/28/2011
    What is wrong with you guys? Every federal agency we have should be cut by at least 25% and the same percentage completely eliminated. If you continue to act in this irresponsible manner it is just a matter of time until the people of country will be forced to rise up and physically take the country back. From what I have observed, speaker Boehner is to weak and stupid to deal with the dug in socialist that are hell bent on destroying our country. China is growling bigger and stronger every day and the U.S. politicians are dragging our country and its people down every day. This has got to stop!!!!
  • S Duffey commented on 7/28/2011
    I prefer Speaker Boehner's plan over Reid's plan for sure, but it is still not enough. I just wish somebody with integrity, someone who really loves this country would step up to the plate and not let the George Soros puppets control/manipulate them into giving in or giving up.
  • Gene Johnson commented on 7/28/2011
    Congressman, I am against borrowing any more "fictional money" from The Fed. No more debt!
  • Dave Last Name commented on 7/28/2011
    I support the Penny plan all the rest are trash!
  • John Lecik commented on 7/28/2011
    Neither!! The Best solution is to " CUT " government WASTE. STOP taking much needed monies & plans that are to help the LEGAL citizens of this "once" great nation. How stupid is it that government officials want to take Medicial away from American Citizens? How stupid is it that government officials want to make cuts in our education? How stupid is it that government officials want to make cuts to our military ? How stupid is it that government officials want to cut into Soc.Sec. illegaly ? How stupid is it that government officials want to make cuts to programs to help feed, cloth, house, health care, from "legal" American citizens, Yet use our monies towards illegal immigrants. How stupid is it that government officials want to send BILLIONS overseas to help other countries, when again, AMERICAN CITIZENS need help so badly? How stupid is it that government officials are scamming, cheating, lieing, stealing, from the very citizens of America that they "SWORE TO GOD" to protect and work to help ? etc, etc, etc. And the list goes on and on. How stupid is it that government officials don't have to worry about their future, because they gave themselves raises, bonus, medicial, and undeserved pensions even for only serving one term ? How stupid is it that government officials can break the law and get away with it ? How stupid id it that government officials are "not" made to "refund" monies they got for jobs they aren't or haven't done. If they commit crimes againest the people of this nation, that they are "not" fired and made to return monies that they recieved for pay or other ways. How stupid is it that our government is not run like a business. If they do not do their job, then FIRE THEM. How is it that our government has been allowed to disgrace this country and get away with it ? How is it that BIG BUSINESS can get billions of help from our government and we have people that are homeless, starving, uneducated, unemployed, etc. ? HOW DID ONE OF ENRONS TOP VP's GET AWAY WITH SO MUCH MONEY THAT HE IS "NOW" THE 2ND LARGEST LAND OWNER IN COLORADO ? Where is the justice for the legal American Citizens ? Who takes up for us ? Who is going to make it right and just for the American People ? Start by bringing back the American Legion in schools. If someone has a problem with Our Pledge of Allegiance to this nations FLAG, then they can get the hell out. Bring back the LORDS prayer in our schools. There wasn't as much crime by the younger kids when we had GOD in schools. Tell Obama that if he loves his muslems so much, get out of our CHRISTIAN NATION. We the Legal Citizens of Our United States of America are not going to play stupid forever. Sooner or later, we will join together and let our words be heard. I PRAY TO GOD IT WILL BE PEACEFUL AND NON VIOLANT. Sir, if you can answer these questions, I would be very impressed. Forever, John Lecik 1604 Myrtle ave. Chesapeake, Va. 23325 757-420-6180
  • Jason K. commented on 7/28/2011
    I agree that we must get our national financial house in order. I think all should share an equal burden of the tax, i.e. a flat tax. A flat tax allows for equal treatment and does not punish those that work hard to be successful. All the political posturing is ludicrous. The scare tactics being hyped in the news about the military, retirees, government workers, and social security recipients is a plain falsehood. They all will be paid as planned on 7/29/11. Ask anyone of those recipients to look at the bank accounts and see the reality. The reality is that we have to come to gripes with having fiscal self-control and doing the right thing ror the U.S. and the citizens. The U.S. credit rating is already being affected and will have repercussions for years to come from the poor management of the budget. Congress has about two weeks until the Treasury may be in trouble paying the military and government employees. The Treasury Department has to pay the just bills, debts, pensions, and bounties. Both parties must get their act together and start doing what is right for the United States.
  • Deana M commented on 7/28/2011
    Someone has said, quite accurately, that Washington has no money to spend that they don't first take from someone else. Washington doesn't earn money, it takes it...from us. Washington needs to start doing their budget the way every other "responsible" American household does theirs...with a zero baseline. I'm tired of hearing the phrase, "That's not how Washington works"...well, perhaps it's time that Washington starts to work that way! I'm tired of all the threats of default and if we don't do this, this group won't get paid or that group won't get paid. What's sad is never once have I heard, "If we don't do this, Congress won't get paid." If you all really care so much about the elderly, retired and our military, I would think that you would skip your own paychecks before you'd not pay the others...especially since I'm sure most members of Congress have other sources of income besides their Congressional pay. Just a thought. As a family, our income has gone down this year...we haven't had the luxury of printing more money...we've had to make choices...hard choices. There are businesses that don't have our business anymore because of the choices we've had to make to do without certain things. It's sad, but it's just the way it is. The government would do well to learn how to do the same. Congress needs to quit worrying about its collective re-election and start worrying more about this great country and start running this government the way most responsible Americans have to run their households.
  • Glenn Fox commented on 7/28/2011
    Mr Forbes- if you are really pro-business, vote for something closer to the Reid plan or the President's plan. It gives us more time to deal with the problems without having another fight that roils the capital markets and makes businesses even LESS likely to want to hire, expand, or buy equipment. Federal fiscal stability helps business, so please vote for a plan that gives some stability! Overall, we have to raise more revenue to pay for what we want. Polls show this is the position of the majority of Americans. There is no way we can cut our way out of this situation- even obliterating the entire Department of Defense won't do it! So let's look at some reasonable, commonsense ways to raise more revenue. That's what the people want, after all. A few places to raise revenue- eliminate the Bush tax cuts, particularly on the highest earners. As others have said, the gap between rich and the rest of us is the largest it has ever been in the history of the country- the top 1% of the country owns more than the entire bottom 99%. As the society has allowed the rich their extraordinary wealth, they should pay more in response. Besides, repealing Bush's cuts only returns us to the Reagan tax rates! That's hardly confiscatory socialism. Second, raise the tax rates on Capital Gains at least to the level of ordinary income. It is completely unfair that someone who works hard for a living should pay more (as a percentage) of their income in taxes than someone who makes money via investments. That is utterly un-American. This idea, by the way, is something that would cause ME to pay more in taxes. I have substantial investments in taxable accounts, but to me it is worth the extra cost to make things more fair for the working man (and woman)! Just as a point for everyone else- the "supply-side" philosophy which has been the darling of Republican thinking since Reagan has not worked. We have had a colossal shift of wealth to the wealthy in the last 30 years. So where is the prosperity, the "rising tide" that is supposed to "lift all boats"? Instead we have the opposite- the rich get richer even faster and many of the rest of us struggle to make ends meet. The middle class is getting smaller, not larger. Contrast this to the 60s, when taxes were higher and there was a lot more "redistribution" of wealth- the middle class was bigger and growing. You could get a job with a high-school education and be in the middle class with one paycheck. Now many people are lucky to be in the middle class with two paychecks, and we work more hours than ever before to boot. The right would call the policies of the 60s "socialism" but it seems like a pretty good deal to me.
  • Roger Shell commented on 7/28/2011
    Live within our means, quit the spending
  • Terrance McGowan commented on 7/28/2011
    It is easy for a party to say "no" but hard to govern. Some people speak of the Government as some entity that is evil. These are the same people when there is a flood , oil spill, wild fire, etc; they are the main ones screaming for federal aid. I agree with some of the comments on here; if Congress wants to reduce Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, they should also be willing to reduce their salaries and healthcare as well. Congressmen and Women who voted against Obamacare and want to repeal it should put their money where their mouth is and decline their gov't healthcare. Let's see how many stand by their conviction then. What they advocate for us should be the same for them. We need JOBS JOBS JOBS! This debt crisis is a self inflicted wound which diverts the republicans from talking about the jobs they haave not created!
  • Marcy K commented on 7/28/2011
    Dear Congressman Forbes, Since you asked . . . For one, I would tell the Federal Reserve to cancel the interest due to them on any monies they have 'loaned' to the U.S. Treasury since the U.S. Treasury is supposed to be minting the money directly to begin with according to our Constitution. In doing so, money would be freed up immediately to pay legitimate expenses such as Social Security and Medicaid to those that have been paying into the system throughout their working lives. (This money was supposed to have been set aside and drawing interest. Had that been done, we would not have any problems with our retirement programs). I do think that any money being doled out to illegal aliens should be brought to an abrupt halt . . . keyword . . . illegal. While on the subject of retirement, the Congress needs to jump on ship with the 'commoners' of this Nation. Why do you guys get special privileges? You work for us. You are supposed to be our employees. I simply don't understand how our Government seems to feel they are above the people they work for. Step 2 would to bring our troops home Worldwide, put a stop payment on any monies being funded to build and/or refurbish Mosques' Worldwide, along with any other payments we are making in the form of foreign aid. We are a Sovereign Nation. We should act like one. Speaking of which, we need to get rid of NAFTA and put America back to work. We've extended ourselves to foreign Nations for much too long and the effect of said efforts is to bankrupt ourselves. We don't need to raise the debt ceiling, we need to quit spending money that we don't have, especially in areas that are of no benefit to America. All of money we spend extending good will would not be necessary if we quit going around the world killing other people's families and dictating their Governments. That is not our job and Congresses' allegiance should be to the citizens of the United States of America.
  • doug poff commented on 7/28/2011
    Keep ALL cuts from both plans, including Reid's farm acreage plan. Don't need liberal "Artists" like Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi getting subsidies for their tax shelter boutique "farms" while wailing against us "rich" small business people. The ending of. the wars as a savings is false accounting - do not let them count savings as money they were not going to spend anyway. By that logic I just saved my family 1 million dollars by not buying a Bugatti Veyron tomorrow.
  • John Sullivan commented on 7/28/2011
    The Boehner plan has some points but I have little faith that Congress will deliver on any of the savings. Much of it seems like smoke and mirrors to me. STAND FAST ON CUT, CAP, AND BALANCE. It is the only sensible course to take. Congress can't control itself and won't police itself. Therefore, a balanced budget amendment is a MUST. Do not allow these issues to slip until after the next election. That would be just another example of politicians putting their interests above those of the American people.
  • Jim Borden commented on 7/28/2011
    We need to have a balanced budget plan. We have to stop kow-towing to the liberal agenda that feels that we must support and continue to support every entitlement and social services program that is out there. We have to rip the teat out of the mouth of those who would literally suck Momma America dry. Neither party has been even close to fiscally responsible in the last twenty plus years. I agree with Paul's plan (commented on 07/28/2011) to wean the American parasites off of the taxpayer and restore fiscal sanity to the equation. All of this talk about us pushing Grandma over the cliff and not supporting social programs is strictly political terrorism to prevent us from doing what we need to do.
  • Sid McCormac commented on 7/28/2011
    I really think it's a crying shame the budget process has come to this. It really supports the idea of Term Limits for you folks in both houses of Congress. You become to entrenched and concerned about the next election that all else gets shoved aside. I personally am tired of it.
  • Linda Last Name commented on 7/28/2011
    It is time to stop posturing and start truly compromising. Compromise is not a dirty word. Rather, it takes into account the wide ranging views of the U.S. population. More than any group, the Tea Party is doing a grave disservice to our country by drawing a line in the sand. Their position is completely unrealistic. Yes, we need to cut spending substantially but it cannot be done overnight. Unfortunately, many in the American voting public seems to be too impatient to allow politicians to set a more moderate, but yes longer term, direction toward reducing the deficit, but also, many seem unwilling to listen to reasoned arguments regarding the cuts that must be made. To allow this debt ceiling impass to continue will only serve to worsen the U.S. economy. We need compromise NOW.
  • Norwood Powell commented on 7/28/2011
    I siupport the gang of six plan. You need toget it together. Be realistic and trully think about the good of the country. I am tired of the politics. I can tell you that if you do not get this resolved before the weekend , it will cost you ploitically
  • Charles Roach commented on 7/28/2011
    I would rather the House not pass the Boehner plan and fall back to the Cut, Cap & Balance bill that has already been passed, forcing the Senate to act on it instead or actually present a clear plan to solve to problem.
  • LS Hiers commented on 7/28/2011
    I dont like either of them so there. There has never been a more pathetically petulant group assemblied. The tea party repubs have made a serous error in believing their promises made to get elected. Such promises are not sacred. But there now seems to be a group of people whose religion is politics. Such people are dangerous because there is an instant and irreconcilable conflict of church and state. My advise to Rep Forbes is to set some distance from those people. I know that he is conservative. Fine. Tea Party folk have a fanatical aspect that has hurt the peaceable, reasonable discourse of the rest of the representatives of the people. They have made the best possible case for having two and only two parties. Finally, this disfunction has resulted in Rep Boehner being the Speaker for some of the House and not all of the House. This arrangement cannot continue. Something must change politically because the imbalance is unhealthy and is unsustainable.
  • R Burris commented on 7/28/2011
    I had so much to say but I can't say it any better than Carol C and D McNeil have already stated. It's time to bring in some revenue instead of cutting programs designed to help those in need. Or cutting programs that the majority of working Americans have paid into whether we wanted to or not. I'm sick of hearing that same old song you all have been singing since the 80's cut corporate taxes and more jobs will be created. Here it is 2011 and I'm still waiting on that trickle-down effect to happen. I work everyday and for the last 2 years, the company I work for has frozen wage increases. So while my salary has remained the same, groceries, gas, electric, water and so many other things I could name has gone up. I am tired of all the rhetoric, the walking out of negotiations like a child. If my child had done that, they would have been grounded for a month or more. You all are paid servants but you've seem to have forgotten that. I pay your salary, all of us who work pay your salaries and all the other perks of your office. For that I expect for the two parties to sit down and work things out and stop all of this posturing. I thought the plan that Mark Warner had put together was a good start but none of you are even interested in looking at it.
  • stephen spence commented on 7/28/2011
    i support CUT, CAP, AND BALANCE. Why is this not an option?
  • Sara B commented on 7/28/2011
    Democrats and Republicans are both to blame for the debt crisis. Additionally, we taxpayers are culpable as well! We continue to send them to Washington. There will be no easy fix; it will be painful for all…especially those in DC!! I believe a flat tax is the way to go; eliminate the tax code and everything you earn, regardless of amount, you pay a specific percentage. No ambiguities to hide money. We have to stop increasing those that do not pay taxes approximately 48%. We have to end the welfare state and the mindset that someone owes us something; that I deserve a BMW just because you have one regardless of my work ethic or earning potential. We have to stop entitlements for illegal immigrants and aid to foreign countries. Enact the Flat Tax Reduce Entitlements Pass Term Limits
  • Alan Armitstead commented on 7/28/2011
    It is impossible to balance the federal budget through cuts alone. We have a decade now of tax cuts that favored the richest Americans and the so-called job creators and the result is fewer and poorer paying jobs, more uncertainty about our collective future, and a dramatic increase in the gap between rich and middle class not to mention the Grand Canyon-sized chasm between the rich and poor and white families and minority families. The system is nearing the breaking point. The Bush and Republican tax policies are as bad for our country as is runaway spending that is the fault of both parties. It is time for elected officials to step up to the plate and come to an agreement with the other side to increase the debt limit, and then address our future by reforming tax laws, increasing taxes on the so-called jobs creators, rein in entitlement spending and oh by the way investing in our country's future by rebuilding crumbling infrastructure. Neither party has the solutions on their own, perhaps by actually working with the other side we might get a workable solution that puts us back on solid footing. But Randy, I am not holding my breath. The entire Congress is a laughing-stock and full of pompous windbags who couldn't lead a scout troop let alone our great country. Shame on you all.
  • William Teawell commented on 7/28/2011
    I have to agree with Brad Kurtz that anyone looking at just there last years ignores the fact that President Bush added 6 trillion dollars to the national debt. Maybe we would (should) still be having this discussion now but at least it would be 6 trillion dollars lower. As soon as the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were initiated, the tax cuts should have been rescinded. Even Newt Gingrich said in an interview with Tucker Carlson that "you don't cut taxes during war time." So, were we or were we not in a "war time." Alan Greenspan may also have said that something needs to be done or there will be a huge surplus; but he also said that there needs to be a trigger to cut short any cut in tax rates if something should happen. And "trickle down" economics was tried in the 80's, and how did that go for everyone? Maybe more landscaping and domestic jobs were created as the super-wealthy bought more homes. Be that as it may, the " grand compromise" that the House Speaker and the President worked out was the best solution, before the Speaker was forced to change his position. It is now time to remove all social and economic engineering from the tax code. The tax code should do one thing, and only one thing - raise revenue. It does not need to encourage home ownership, or research & development, charitable giving, etc. So, Congressman Forbes, I challenge you to lead the floor fight to revise and reform the US tax code because that is the only way we can ensure loser tax RATES for everyone. Everyone should pay something; even if it is one dollar. Dividends should not be taxed at the corporate level, but at the individual rate. Same with "capital gains" with is one of the biggest myths being perpetuated. The average individual does not have access to IPOs. So, they never committed "capital" in the first place, they have simply bought and sold stock in the market place. Do they go out and start a business (after selling a couple 100 shares) I doubt it. Before the knee-jerk reaction of increased taxes, even temporary ones, kill jobs... be specific which jobs will be killed; because the only ones I can think of being killed is the Lobby industry along K Street. If the tax code is streamlined (all loop homes and deductions removed) and locked down (maybe afterwords) with an Amendment, there will be no need for companies and industries to maintain an army of lobbyists. And the money that companies will save could (would) go to job growth, or R&D, or increased dividends; and companies would not have to have large accounting departments or tax lawyers and that money could go to job growth or R&D ..., and companies like aftermarket tax companies (which implicitly entice people to cheat on their taxes by implying "if you get caught, we will get you out of paying a dime.") would no longer be needed. So much money could/would be directed back at the private sector. I bet the salary paid to 1 lobbyist would pay for 15 to 20 new workers. Just my thoughts.
  • Neil W. commented on 7/28/2011
    I support neither plan. I would support a plan to cut spending and pay off debt. Our country has a spending problem and accountability problem. It starts at the top--show Americans that leaders know how to lead and get control of poor spending habits. Maybe a Dave Ramsey course on "Financial Peace" would help the leaders of both houses get a better perspective on spending and debt .
  • Janie Laferty commented on 7/28/2011
    I agree with the Boehner plan. In addition, I would like to see the other half of Americans that do not pay any taxes, stop getting "free money" through wealth redistribution of the Earned Income Credit. If they don't pay taxes, they should not get hand outs. Government should help out with natural disasters, but let communities and churches take care of helping with someone needing food or shelter. Too many "poor" people have luxury cars and iphones but somehow get food stamps to buy their groceries with while average people try to work making an honest living, not waiting or asking or expecting a hand out. Giving money to people who don't pay taxes is just buying votes. Take that money and use it to pay our debt. Tell those folks the gravey train has left the station. They need to be responsible for themselves.
  • Greg Jevnikar commented on 7/28/2011
    i do not support either plan. i support Cut, Cap and Balance. An even better approach is Connie Mack's Mack Penny Plan which is simple and really addresses the problem. it seems to be the best balanced approach ...
  • Bob Falk commented on 7/28/2011
    I support a plan than includes reasonable cuts and reasonable revenue increases. I think that the growing disparity between the ultra rich minority and the middle and lower classes should be a clear warning to our leaders that the position that budget cuts alone are acceptable is self-destructive, short-sighted, and wrong-headed. I think that wasting time passing symbolic, meaningless legislation ("cut, cap, and balance", for example. If you think they will abide by a balanced budget, or that this is always a good thing, I submit that history tells us both beliefs are untrue) is additional evidence that our legilslators, especially the Republican side, are exhibiting a stunning inability to reach a compromise and displays a gutless approach to legislation, while indicating that they are willing to further damage the national and world economic system. Come to the middle and legislate.
  • Ray Bousman commented on 7/28/2011
    Charlie Reese's last column, I share this with you because our system is broke and it is very frustrating Charley Reese has been a journalist for 49 years. He is retiring and this is HIS LAST COLUMN for the Orlando Sentinel. This is about as clear and easy to understand as it can be. The article below is completely neutral, neither anti-republican nor democrat. Charlie Reese has hit the nail directly on the head by defining clearly who it is that in the final analysis must assume responsibility for the judgments made that impact each one of us every day. It's a short but good read. Worth the time. Worth remembering! Be sure to Read the Poem and the tax list at the end. 545 vs. 300,000,000 People By Charlie Reese Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them. Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits? Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes? You and I don't propose a federal budget; the President does. You and I don't have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations; the House of Representatives does. You and I don't write the tax code; Congress does. You and I don't set fiscal policy; Congress does. You and I don't control monetary policy; the Federal Reserve Bank does. One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one President, and nine Supreme Court justices equates to 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country. I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank. I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a President to do one cotton-picking thing. I don't care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator's responsibility to determine how he votes. Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party. What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits. The President can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it. The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the speaker of the House? John Boehner. He is the leader of the majority party. He and fellow House members, not the President, can approve any budget they want. If the President vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to. It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted -- by present facts -- of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can't think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist. If the tax code is unfair, it's because they want it unfair. If the budget is in the red, it's because they want it in the red. If the Army & Marines are in Iraq and Afghanistan it's because they want them in Iraq and Afghanistan... If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it's because they want it that way. There are no insoluble government problems. Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power. Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like "the economy", "inflation", or "politics" that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do. Those 545 people and they alone are responsible. They, and they alone, have the power. They and they alone should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees.
  • C. Lowe commented on 7/28/2011
    Both plans are missing an important element of revenue. It simply is not good business or economics to think that expense cuts alone will suffice. It sure doesn't work in my business. I believe tax loop holes need to be revised and taxes on those making $1M + can tolerate a tax increase. I also believe that a plan needs to be passed thru to 2013. This country does not need an instant replay of this outrageous drama. There will be enough drama with the 2012 election. I am not an Obama fan but the basis of his plan makes the most sense. We need to cut spending and increase revenues. Very sadly, I have lost faith in our Congress, once heralded as idealic and an example to the world, able to make good decisions, while we watched the parliments of other countries make fools of themselves. Well, the US Congress is about to become an equal, able to demonstrate buffoonery and incompetence at it's best.
  • Elaine Last Name commented on 7/28/2011
    Get real people, and let's not forget that 8 years of president bush got us to this point. I personally think we should raise taxes acroas the board, and stop robbing our seniors. It is time for the very wealthy to pay the tax-man like the dwindling middle class has always done.
  • Gregory Puetz commented on 7/28/2011
    No more grants, no more foreign aid, no more garrisoning of troops in Europe, Japan, the Pacific, bring them home and stop spending money greasing the wheels of the large multi-national industrial firms. NO MORE DEBT. This is a problem created by BOTH the Republicans and Democrats. It is time the Republicans ACTED on principle instead of mouthing platitudes. Our Republic is in danger of collapse and our children are being sold into debt serfdom.
  • doug cullipher commented on 7/28/2011
    Cut/Cap/Balance was proposed as constituionally mandated, in the house and passed to the senate. It is also the only plan that provides for the financial stability badly needed, not only nationally, but globally, the economy is looking for fiscal stability and responsibility. Let the senate vote on the PASSED house proposal and get this country back on track. Let then be accountable otherwise.
  • Connie Harn commented on 7/28/2011
    I am sick an tired of hearing social security called an "entitlement" program. I've worked for over 45 years and my employers withheld social security amounts (after tax) because the federal government made it mandatory to do so. The money I put in would still be there had politicians not taken that money and used it for other programs. I didn't spend the money, Congress did! To reduce social security now is telling me that I worked for much less money than my employers hired me for. It totally diminishes the work that I did. Social security is also taxed AGAIN, when it is taken out. Enough is NEVER enough for the government. If we want to save social security, then get everyone who is not here legally off of our social programs! Seniors are those that built this country, fought for this country and in some cases, died for this country. Seniors should not be cheated! If we want to balance the budget, we need to get rid of Obamacare, get rid of any duplicate of unnecessary programs, stop "entitlements" for those that are not here legally and perhpas most important, we need to get Obama out of our White House in the next election.
  • Anita Last Name commented on 7/28/2011
    What a convaluted, confusing mess we have! Does anyone reeeaallly know what we spend and where? Illegals, foreign countries, citizens on the public dole, illegally. Both parties presenting budgets that are vague; one actually believing that the "wars" will end with a windfall of savings. We man bases all over the world. A war ends, we open and man and maintain bases and feed the foreign coffers. The insanity is that we actually are speaking in future tense of possibly ending our involvement in the mid-east while our men and women serving there continue to die. Bring 'em home now; start saving now! How about thinking about lives instead of $, "Leader" Reid. The point I'm trying to make is those of you in power (and what power you wield) must stop the huge spending waste. Dig in to the depths of this government's budget and spending and stop the unending bleeding. The only ones, I believe, who can do this are those like you, Congressman Forbes. We know these are overwhelmingly huge problems, but you come to the table with plausable solutions. Stay on track by cutting wasteful spending, not social security and medicare that were funded by us and then bled dry by past and present leaders.
  • Chantal Carnes commented on 7/28/2011
    I second Brad Kurtz' thoughts, and if the Republicans in congress REALLY cared that much about the people, and really do believe that the only way is to cut spending without generating revenue, I suggest they start with themselves by taking a pay cut.
  • Youlander Hilton commented on 7/28/2011
    "I demand that we act responsibly to resolve the debt ceiling dilemma and NOT engage in partisan, political posturing. I demand that we not put our entire economy at risk just so millionaires, billionaires and oil companies get to keep their tax breaks; It is time for them to pay their fair share. I do not want us supporting or voting for cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. I want us to find a compromise that works for all Americans and will accept nothing less. I want an up or down vote on a clean debt ceiling bill".
  • sue blake commented on 7/28/2011
  • SUE B commented on 7/28/2011
  • K App commented on 7/28/2011
    Compromise is the answer to the poll. Which means that BOTH parties give a little on the Deal Breakers!!!! In my opinion we don't need another crisis a year from now. Most people I have taked to want Congress to work! Not fight. My fright is that waiting till the 11th hour on these crises, will perhaps force bad decisions, with unintended consequenses.
  • Mark Last Name commented on 7/28/2011
    We have to hold the line with the president and reduce spending now. If the Dems can't make the right decisions before the election they sure won't be able to make them after the election. This is about the future and heart of the country. The spending in excess of revenue ends now. A new committee to make decisions about future spending cuts? Come on! Give us a break. It's time to be courageous and make decisions about tough stuff now, not later with a committee made up of equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans. That is not a solution. We told the House to stop Obama's ludicrous spending and assault on the American people. What else do we need to do to get the House to move on that agenda! What Boehner is demonstrating is an unwillingness to leverage the mandate given to the House in the last election. Congressman Forbes, you have held the line in a series of tough battles as a prophetic voice of one in a wilderness of irrationality and irresponsibility and you have been correct each time. I as one want to encourage you to hold the line with Boehner. We won't get another opportunity. It's now or never to get us back on the road to fiscal responsibility.
  • michael hill commented on 7/28/2011
    Penny-Mack makes the most sense; real, but gradual reductions in spending leadimg to a balanced budget.
  • James Simmons commented on 7/28/2011
    Why do the house Republicans need to make a deal when they hold the hold the majority? Just refuse to raise the dept limit, and let the cutting begin. that's how you you balance the budget.
  • Judy McReynolds commented on 7/28/2011
    There must be an increase in revenue as well as cuts. Tax the wealthy and close loop holes. I feel sick when I see the ads on TV that suggest you can pay a fraction of what is owed in taxes. Everyone should pay their share and it is up to you to pass laws to make that happen. You have been given this trust by virtue of being elected. I am insulted by BOTH the choices on your poll. If there is no new revenue, the problem cannot be solved.
  • Darlene Simmons commented on 7/28/2011
    I too am tired of all the ridiculousness of the goverment (all parts) and the inability to act on this crisis in a more responsible manner. By waiting to the 9th hour, it does not leave much time for people to truly voice their opinion, or really know what is going on. I really don't think that Social Security or Medicare should be the means to reduce our deficit as so many people depend on them. Many good suggestions were included here. Foreign spending for silly reasons should be stopped. Also paying for benefits to illigal immigrants should go before the elderly are hurt. I don't want higher taxes, but would rather have a tax increase than have the elderly and sick pay for this mess. What happened to the "United" in United States of America. It is time for America to pull together to save our country.
  • Thomas G commented on 7/28/2011
    The speaker's plan is worthless...between the two the Reid plan is best. That said, the lack of a revenue component is incompetent, shameful, is against the will of the American people, is contrary to recommendations for past and present Federal Reserve chairmen, the IMF, hundreds of the nation's economists, past and present Treasury secretaries, many of the nation's CEO's and even the recommendations of the debt commision majority. Cut Cap and Balance was not the answer thus its defeat. This legislation can only come from the Senate...the House is dysfunctional. Congressman Forbes, you are failing the nation and the people you represent. So far you have supported the Ryan budget, a huge failure and Cut Cap and Balance, another failure and you refuse to even consider a 1 penny increase in the tax of millionaires and billionaires! You are not making your case Mr. Forbes...and your tenure in congress happens to coincide with the 8 years of the Bush presidency...you own these problems...your vote created such a record...I implore you to act responsibly and publically rescind your ridiculous and irresponsible commitment to the Grover Norquist blackmail pledge.
  • Michele Aiken commented on 7/29/2011
    Simply cutting spending will not fully address the problem. I really don't understand why it is totally out of the question to ask those who profit most in this country to contribute by eliminating tax loopholes and the like. Coming after the middle and lower classes simply perpetuate a downward trend. I would really appreciate a representative that actually had the interest my families well being instead of those who really have the ability to take care of themselves.
  • GF Last Name commented on 7/29/2011
    There is no good reason to increase the debt ceiling. The great fear and uncertainty in the economy is due to the lack of fiscal responsibility in D.C. for many, many years. The sky will not fall on Aug 3rd, just like it didn't fall after the last arbitrary date set by the liars in D.C. We won't default without a debt ceiling increase, and seniors won't miss their checks; there is plenty of revenue to pay those obligations, several times over. Cut, cap and balance. Make them be responsible. It's what we elected all of you R's to do. Be bold enough to hold the line (even if it means bucking your leadership).
  • John Boren commented on 7/29/2011
    Compromise would be good right about now. The Republican side is becoming political suicide if they do not meet the opposition half way. I support the Republican agenda but come on guys, your going to lose on the next elections if you dont give something the other side wants. Its not the battle that needs to be won but the war.
  • Tionico Last Name commented on 7/29/2011
    Let's stop the playing STUPID little kids. CUT massively. bring home the troops from Afghanistan Pakistan, Iraq, and nearly every other of the hundred fifty or so places round the world we now have them.. for what purpose, exactly, is that again? How about massively cutting the budgets of most federal agencies. Most of them are unconstitutional anyway. Cut them. Let their present staff go out there and find priductive work. Start with the EPA, Dept of Ed, end ALL subsidies to grow/not grow any product. End the tyranny of subsidised methanol production for fuel... it is too expensive to produce, does NO good, causes a number of problems with vehicles. END all of the stupid federal multi-agency raids, complete with SWAT teams in full battle dress, against "crimes" such as marijuana growing/possession (NOT constitutionally regulated by the Feds anyway.. they haev NO power to meddle here), unpasteurised milk, raw honey, "mislabelled" products.... simple administrative actions are all that are necessary in such cases.. but the FACT is that the FedGov have NO authority under the Constitution to meddle in ANY of these things. Repeal the stupid and unwanted and monstrously costly "Obamacare" debacle that is unconstititional, will NOT work, and is unwanted. Just repleal the whol mess. Do it tomorrow. END all federal level bailouts, at home and abroad. NO constitutional authority anyway... we are NOT a fascist state. Why spend money like one on private enterprise? Any business "too big to fail" which is failing anyway is NOT too big to fail. Let them fail.... stub your toe, guess what? You learn to walk so it doesn't happen. I know folks who have bankrupted a few businesses.. learned from their errors, and are now VERY successful in new businesses they have started or presently manage. Some learning does not come from books.. it comes from PAIN. Time OUR federal government learn a few things from PAIN.... that's how WE, your sovereigns, mostly learn.
  • Joan Cook commented on 7/29/2011
    Get as close to CC&B as possible. Cut illegal's benefits & send them home, period. Cut subsidies to int'l governments, period. Keep your paws off my Social Security and Medicare. It's not an 'entitlement' -- I paid into that and my employer matched it, so it should be my savings account IF those who don't understand NO had left it alone. Don't like to revisit this again, BUT also don't think a long-term ceiling increase is something we need if, heaven forbit, we have the same president next term. Our AAA rating isn't just dependent on raising the debt ceiling - a very big part of the rating is to get our spending under control. That means: STOP SPENDING, PERIOD! Any child can understand the word NO. Just ask any homemaker, bookkeeper or whomever pays the bills and balances the checkbook. When there's a -O- balance, you just stop spending. PERIOD!! And if you don't think those who are working their butts off to pay for the perks of those in Washington are mad, better think again. Time the "living high off the hog not only while in office but the rest of their lives" comes to an end! Benefits of Washingtonians should equal the average Americans - you get what you pay for! Just Get 'er Done, PERIOD! I'm tired of all the spoiled brats in Washington Kindergarten!
  • Richard Insley commented on 7/29/2011
    I support Cut, Cap, and Balance or Rep. Mack's Penny Plan. Both will accomplish real cuts now and more cuts as time passes. In order to prevent this whole mess from redeveloping, we must have a Constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget.
  • David Last Name commented on 7/29/2011
    The statement that "taxes increases will slow job growth" has been repeated so many times that many now think it is a fact. It is NOT a fact, it is a therory. Stop being politicians, and become Americans. Solve the problem, quit worrying about saving the party.
  • James Jones commented on 7/29/2011
    We are in a crisis -- neither plan goes far enough in raising revenue -- I support the $4.1 Trillion debt reduction that was originally under discussion and abandoned. In any case we need to put the debt ceiling issue behind us and raise the ceiling.
  • Paul Marcinko commented on 7/29/2011
    Wondering why Congress hasn't taken a closer look at the Mack Penny plan; set spending at 2011 levels and cut 1% every year for 6 years to balance the budget. In the last few years, most Americans have not received a pay raise and have had to reduce discretionary spending, so why can't our government do the same. If we care about our future and the future of our childern this is the right thing to do. I think even liberals can understand that concept.
  • Sean Bilby commented on 7/29/2011
    The Bush tax cuts for upper income earners are not the only thing to get us in this mess, but they are a major factor in getting and keeping us here. It is time for them to expire, and for us to pay for the services we expect and to pay for today's wars today -- not continue to push the bill onto the future.
  • Christopher Tolliver commented on 7/29/2011
    None of the plans I've seen to date do enough to cut government waste and taxpayer abuse. I read an article that said 42 cents of every dollar our government spends is borrowed. That begs the question of how our household budgets would function under the same debt. If we as taxpayers and citizens are expected to be fiscally responsible then why isn't our government held to the same (or higher) standard? I don't personally want my government borrowing money to turn around and pump money into another nation's economy, I want that money to take care of things here at home, or better yet, stop borrowing and limit your spending like American families have to do. We've all heard about the housing bubble, this is a government spending bubble and it's time it popped. On the topic of the scare tactics and threats to our seniors, if SS checks don't go out as usual then the only clear action there is for those responsible for "borrowing without permission" or as I see it stealing, the money from those that paid into SS is for each and every one of them to be brought up on charges. Military and SS checks go out first, any other outcome is completely unacceptable. We've all had to make painful choices the last several years, if pet projects, government paychecks or Washington's light bills don't get paid I can live with that. If they don't pay our seniors or our military then our officials need to exit Washington.
  • Huey Dennis commented on 7/29/2011
    I know we as a country have to reduce spending. Maybe a slight tax increase to the weathiest is necessary but it seems like any time poloticians are allowed to increase taxes they decide to increase spending along with it. I don't know what all is affected by the proposed cuts so its hard to say if I 100% agree with them or not. I know the cuts need to come from anything that is given away and not earned by the recipients. Social Security, Military retirement, Veterans benefits and active duty pay is all earned and should not be on the table for any cuts. Both parties need to do whatever it takes to fix this now!
  • jane Haislip commented on 7/29/2011
    Cut, Cap, and Balance! The only reason I would suggest the Boehner Plan is this plan addresses the issue again before elections. I would like to see a balanced budget, term limits, pay reduction and hiring freeze on government workers, and Obama defeated in 2012! Questions I would like answered - What are retirement benefits for our elected officials? Why are their health care benefits better than the people that elected them? Why would anyone be interested in bailing out another state that did not control their spending?
  • Karen Hazelwood commented on 7/29/2011
    The Cut/Cap/Balance plan makes sense to me. Larger Cuts MUST be made up front and we have to pass a balanced budget amendment. History has proven that cuts over 10 years are a JOKE--they never happen.
  • Joe Lojek commented on 7/29/2011
    The Democrats and Republicans both need to start representing the people not their interests for re-election. How much public out-cry does it take for them to do their jobs properly? The country is fed up and they still don't get it. I have lost faith in the entire governments abilities to govern. Double the number of U.S. Representatives and add some Senators to each state. Then we can neutralize the partisan views we are stuck with now.
  • Bill Yannetti commented on 7/29/2011
    Both the Speaker's paln and the senate plan do no do enough to address the serious issue we are facing. We need to increase taxes and cut spending. This si going to be painful but the options would be more painful. I am disappointed that both parties seem to be playing to small special interest groups and not listening to the people
  • Reggie Newcomb commented on 7/29/2011
    I don't understand the relevance of a "debt ceiling" if it can arbitrarily be raised. I know my creditors won't increase my "debt ceiling" if my spending exceeds my income. They will probably freeze my “debt ceiling” and then expect me to pay back what I owe. Why doesn’t it work this way with congress? If it takes a balanced budget amendment to keep Congress under control then I’m for it. Cut spending (not the rate of increase in spending) and live within our means. The idea of Congress saving billions or trillions over ten years isn’t even smoke and mirrors. At least smoke and mirrors are real.
  • William Chase commented on 7/29/2011
    Thank you for posting the chart. It makes the two plans clear. I like Reids cutting the Ag subsides which for the most part go to large corporations(they are ruining the food supply). The posturing about Reids (one vote) and Boehner's (two votes) is understandable, but political. I think we should cut it all now, gain favor with the people, an look for another way to win the Whitehouse. I don't like wars but we cant balance the budged on the back on the military.No New Taxes. I still like Cut Cap and Balance.
  • lee wilhelm commented on 7/29/2011
    What's wrong with the plan proposed by Mark Warner's bi-partisan Group of Six (I won't use Gang due to negative connotations)? In today's Virginian Pilot, Warner is quoted as saying if Congress can't get this done "we should all be fired." So true! Begin with the Tea Party when firing, please. I'm a Republican no longer. Both parties are behaving like spoiled brats, which I have come to believe you are. Have you not noticed how you are damaging our beloved nation? More and more it's obvious that there are no statesmen (or women). Only politicians looking out for their own well-being and to heck with the rest of the country. To heck with folks like me, hardworking for all my adult life, now retired and very angry. Mr. Forbes, you do not have the ability to represent my interests in Washington any longer. I will NEVER vote for you again.
  • Hank Keiser commented on 7/29/2011
    after 16 years of unsupported spending, NYC went belly up during the Ford administration. the solution to the mess was the sale of bonds backed by revenues tied to public transportation. by law, those taxes sunsetted when the bonds were repaid in full, as they were, 5 years earlier than expected. and what emerged was a NYC fiscally stronger, and until Bloomberg, fiscally more mature than much of the rest of the nation. why can't that sunset tax template work here? Congress needs to replace the IOUs in the Social Security Trust Fund with the cash it has drawn out since the days of Reagan. Congress nees to replace the $6 Trillion they handed over to Wall St to cover the botched economic bets (made possible by the repeal of Glass-Steagal) that are destroying the middle class. Congress needs to replace the $4 Trillion taken from future taxpayers for the off line financing of the Bush/Cheney/Obama wars. Congress needs to stop stripping the domestic spending of 90% of the population in it's drive to placate the top 10% on the economic ladder - who, frankly do not create jobs, unless part time pool attendants qualify as jobs. since you can't tax people who have no income (about 20 million citizens if you look at unemployment as including those who are drawing unemployment insurance AND those whose benefits have been exhausted and still have not found work, even part time work), any cuts to domestic spending will make things worse, not better. if your goal is to stop abortion by closing hospitals (good luck finding treatment when a family member has a heart attack), then your reality is that doctors, nurses, hospital admininstrators, vendors and supliers, all of whom are domestic taxpayers, will have no income to pay taxes. no 940 and 941 moneys will flow to the Treasury. that won't increase the value of your home, that won't increase the revenue of the grocery stores, hardware stores, or the local pizza joints - it will contract them. the entitlements I hear being ranted about are all programs established by the Nixon and Reagan Administrations. Alternative Minimum Tax is a Nixon tax, Earned Income Credits and Aid to Families with Dependant Children, the Child Care Tax Credit, and the Elderly Care Tax Credit all came from Reagan. The Schedule M handout belongs the Bush II. all of them need to be reviewed, revised, and, in some cases, eliminated. particularly EIC and AFDC, which has the effect of depressing wages and encouraging women to have children they cannot support without government subsidies. Social Security and Medicare are not entitlements, they are contracts the wage earner enters into and pays a premium for through payroll deductions. Medicaid is a subsidy that, like EIC and AFDC, keeps poor people poor. that contracs the tax base, with limited value to the economy. we need to restore the taxes Bush II eliminated for his, and his fathers, friends - but not permanently; dedicate the moneys to pay down the defecit AND replace the Social Security IOUs. When the country's long term debt gets back to the pre Bush II levels, and the Social Security Trust Fund has been made whole again, sunset the tax. the alternative - take a good look at Haiti; that's what happens to a nation when the rich are not asked to contribute.
  • Nicolas Russo commented on 7/29/2011
    We owe what we owe. First, cut the out of control spending from top to bottom. Make the tough decisions and Stop borrowing!!! Then, since taxpayers bears the burden, let our legislators set the example by digging into their pockets first. Let those who got us into this mess be true leaders Also, have the Exxon-Mobil, BP, and other profitable corporations who benefit in this country pay their increased share. Reform the tax code to make that happen. Eliminate the breaks only the wealthy can benefit from and Balance the budget!
  • Bill Outlaw commented on 7/29/2011
    I support neither plan. I think that by taking this down to the wire both parties are posturing to their constituents and like in 2007 when we were in much the same mess Harry Reid made the statement "now we can negotiate". They did negotiate behind closed doors, something, I believe, the members of congress had planned all along, and the American people, again, paid the price with yet larger deficits. In short, what we, the American people, need to realize is that the members of congress DO NOT have the best interests of the United States of America in mind. They have their own best interests in mind and they will do whatever is necessary to keep themselves in office even if it means continuing to buy votes of individuals and special interests with further bloated deficits. Regardless of the majority party over the past 50+ years we have been on an accelerating downhill slide fiscally, morally and just about every other way. Will we ever come to our senses and return to the Constitutional Republic set forth by our founders? Will we ever again hold our elected State representatives accountable and have them take back from the Federal government the responsibilities we should never have given up in the first place?
  • William Weissner commented on 7/29/2011
    Cut the budget - 3-5% till the amount we spend equals the amount we collect. Cap the debt ceiling - I can't go ask the bank to raise my limit because I was not responsible with my spending. Balance - Since Congess is not responsible with our money it's time to put hand cuffs on their spending - a balance budget amendment with real accounting oversite - not the government gameplaying that goes on. And if you can't support those - then maybe we can get your replacement to go with the FairTax a much better that that would take the power to tax out of congresses hands.
  • Fred Lewis commented on 7/29/2011
    I support the Gang of Six senators plan that Speaker Boehner and President Obama were discussing a week ago that proposes $3.7 trillion debt-cutting by combining tax increases and spending cuts. Any reasonable person should support a BALANCED approach and not leave any one segment of the population behind or at risk. In 2008 during the election cycle, both parties kept saying that everyone will have to sacrifice during this fiscal crisis. But the Cut/Cap/Balance plan is protecting the top 10% from having to sacrifice anything! I don't see why all Americans can't share the burden. I'm certainly willing to. And from what I can tell (I did not research this), this is the only time in our history that we have been involved in fighting wars and CUT taxes, NOT raised them.
  • Ron Ferguson commented on 7/29/2011
    Both plans are a scam and fail to address the problem. Point blank, revenues are 2.2t therefore spending should be limited to 2.2t. At this point raising taxes may actually reduce long term revenues as jobs either go away or move to another country. Perhaps a 1% increase in Social Security and Medicare withholdings would be prudent to cover down on the aging population. In 2004 we spent 2.2t so that may be a good starting point for real reform. Why do we need 99weeks of unemployment? We have able bodied people on Welfare; cut there benefits in half or kick them off the roles or at least make them work even if its volunteer work. Do not let the poor be too comfortable in their poverty or they will never get out of it! Yes, it will hurt, but our childern and grand childern will be hurt a lot worse in the future if we do not get spending down. Yes even grandma and grandpa may have to sacrifice a little( I dare ANYONE say I don't love my grand parents!!!). Kill Obamacare!!! These people blaming Bush for everything is getting old, even if there is some truth to it. Ok Bush did drive us into a ditch, but Obama is driving us over a cliff.
  • Atwood Brooks commented on 7/29/2011
    I prefer the already passed Cut, Cap, and Balance over any of the other current choices. Of the two proposed I think Boehner's plan is right in that it doesn't allow Obama to get out of this debate again before the election. Neither plan has any real spending cuts. I think immediate cuts should be in the TRILLIONS and any thing that promises cuts over years without altering program frameworks is somoke and mirrors. We do not need to raise taxes, we need to cut spending. If Obama wants to share the sacrifice with regard to revenues, let him start with the 50% of households that pay 0 taxes, but take billions in entitlements. If we just get domestic oil production up where it could be then the government revenues would increase by millions of dollars a day! Let's quit playing games and get the conservatives out there to make the hard decisions we hired them for. CUT SPENDING NOW and CUT IT BIG.
  • Tracy Ralphs commented on 7/29/2011
    I support neither Plan. Speaker Boehner's Plan raises the debt ceiling immediately in hopes that promises over 10 years will be met. Promises from a debt commission from the very same people that say any cuts are extreme or would destroy the country. I support a Cap, Cut & Balance! I support a 10% flat tax and NO National Sales Tax. I support rolling back to 2008 levels and cutting 1% every year there after until we are balanced. We do not have a revenue problem. We have a Federal Govt. spending problem. If your not drinking Tea your drinking the Kool-aid.
  • Jeffrey Butler commented on 7/29/2011
    I think the members of Congress need to remember that they represent all of the people in their districts, not just the ones who voted for them. If a compromise is not made here, no one "wins". We all lose. The balance of a divided government should be that both sides give in and accept a middle ground. That cannot happen if members on either side declare from the onset that they will not compromise. Rather than declare that I won't vote for anyone who raises taxes a dime, or cuts medicare, or crosses any of the other lines in the sand that have been drawn, I propose that I will support for re-election any Republican who has the sense to compromise to get something done here before real damage is done.
  • Margaret DeTar-Lavallee commented on 7/29/2011
    You must vote to raise taxes. There is no way out without increased revenue in the form of tax increases. We are paying less in taxes than at any time since the 50s. It is time for us to raise taxes and pay for what we are getting. No more free rides for the wealthy.
  • Marion Grigg commented on 7/29/2011
    I support only Cut Cap and Balance. Everything else is a bandaid.
  • JR Wilson commented on 7/29/2011
    Do not raise the debt ceiling. Stop spending money we do not have. Stop sending our money overseas to corrupt governments. Stop paying corrupt govt contractros. Stop the corruption in the entitlement programs. Fix the loopholes that allow organizations and individuals from paying their fair share of taxes. Stop oil subsidies for companies that post billion dollar profits. Stop subsidizing any company or industry that sends our jobs overseas. Bring our men and women of the armed services home. There is your trillions of dollars in savings. 'Who Feels The Pain' --- the American people who are trying to feed and educate their families, senior citizens who deserve more respect than what we are showing them, Americans with disabilities, including our own armed services men and women injured while serving their country. Be a better steward of my money before asking me for more.
  • Kirit Mehta commented on 7/29/2011
    I support neither plan. The best plan I love is Paul Ryan's which did not pass Senate.but I am hopping it will be revived after 2012 election. Second best is Cut Cap and Balance plan which house has passed but Senate has tabled.
  • S Donahue commented on 7/29/2011
    I really don't like either plan, because I don't believe a solution without tax reform/tax increases for the wealthiest Americans and corporations is realistic... BUT given a choice between only those two options, I find Reid's preferable simply because it resolves the issue for longer. I have zero interest in having to go through this nightmare again in six months - it will be even worse in the immediate run-up to the election.
  • Ken Last Name commented on 7/29/2011
    Neither of these plans fixes the problem that got us in this mess to start with, politics got us in this mess, where is the transparency that we were promised with this new administration, neither party is showing us transparency, why do we have closed door meetings that noone outside of the room can hear. I think these meetings and everything that is said should be on CSPAN and should be available to the public. The tax system is the other part of the problem, why do we talk about getting rid of the loop holes on the upper income earner's but not talk about the people that don't pay taxes at all. Why is it that no matter who is in office it is always the hard working middle income earners that suffer, we pay our taxes but everytime the government screws up the budget it is us who get laid off and can't find work. I think any deal should include serious tax reform, not blown smoke. Get rid of the loop holes and quit allowing free rides on our backs.
  • Richard Stephenson commented on 7/29/2011
    I support the "Grand Bargain" the house GOP caucus walked away from: Cuts to spending ( discretionary, defense, and entitlement) more revenue through reformed tax code (end Bush tax cuts on those individuals making more than $400k, close corporate loop holes, phase out over 10 years deductions such as mortgage interest and broaden the base) and bring some certainty to the economy and the nation allowing debt ceiling raise through 2013. I also would like to point out the last time Congress's partisan divide became so wide that meaningful compromise was unattainable it could not perform its governing responsibilities (in other words it failed) The result was we ripped this country apart and 600,000 Americans perished. This is not a political game. History can repeat itself. Our futures and our nation is at stake. For all the representatives: Lead, follow, or resign. (and if you don't know what leadership really is just resign!)
  • Anna Beasley commented on 7/29/2011
    Any plan that does not address the elimination of the Bush tax cuts or unfunded wars does nothing to really address the core of our budget and deficit problem. http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2011/07/deficits?fsrc=scn/fb/wl/bl/thereneverwasasurplus spells it out quite nicely. $1.3T in debt would've been much more preferable to the $14T we have today. Both the House plan and the Senate plan fail because the core reasons for our debt and deficit are not addressed. I like that the Senate resolves the debt ceiling issue until after the elections so Congress can focus on something other than brinksmanship and partisan ego stroking that's been going on for the past three months and do the work of the people. I like the agricultural subsidy cuts in the Senate plan and the educational savings in the House plan. But without increasing taxes, neither plan shows that it is serious about decreasing our dependence on borrowing to finance our wars or our domestic programs.
  • Richard Stephenson commented on 7/29/2011
    I support the "Grand Bargain" the house GOP caucus walked away from: Cuts to spending ( discretionary, defense, and entitlement) more revenue through reformed tax code (end Bush tax cuts on those individuals making more than $400k, close corporate loop holes, phase out over 10 years deductions such as mortgage interest and broaden the base) and bring some certainty to the economy and the nation allowing debt ceiling raise through 2013. I also would like to point out the last time Congress's partisan divide became so wide that meaningful compromise was unattainable it could not perform its governing responsibilities (in other words it failed) The result was we ripped this country apart and 600,000 Americans perished. This is not a political game. History can repeat itself. Our futures and our nation is at stake. For all the representatives: Lead, follow, or resign. (and if you don't know what leadership really is just resign!)
  • George Scarborough commented on 7/29/2011
    I think you could cut government spending by 5% across the board as a start. After that, create incentives to save money through the budget process. As it stands now, if an agency doesn't spend all of its budget allocation it is taken away from them the next budget cycle without justification. If we could provide a common sense approach to saving money without compromising the REAL budgetary needs it would go a long way to saving money AND providing MISSION funding. The first budgetary item to completely cut is OBAMACARE!!
  • Bob F commented on 7/29/2011
    Thought the group might be interested in this analysis By PAUL KRUGMAN The facts of the crisis over the debt ceiling aren’t complicated. Republicans have, in effect, taken America hostage, threatening to undermine the economy and disrupt the essential business of government unless they get policy concessions they would never have been able to enact through legislation. And Democrats — who would have been justified in rejecting this extortion altogether — have, in fact, gone a long way toward meeting those Republican demands. As I said, it’s not complicated. Yet many people in the news media apparently can’t bring themselves to acknowledge this simple reality. News reports portray the parties as equally intransigent; pundits fantasize about some kind of “centrist” uprising, as if the problem was too much partisanship on both sides. Some of us have long complained about the cult of “balance,” the insistence on portraying both parties as equally wrong and equally at fault on any issue, never mind the facts. I joked long ago that if one party declared that the earth was flat, the headlines would read “Views Differ on Shape of Planet.” But would that cult still rule in a situation as stark as the one we now face, in which one party is clearly engaged in blackmail and the other is dickering over the size of the ransom? The answer, it turns out, is yes. And this is no laughing matter: The cult of balance has played an important role in bringing us to the edge of disaster. For when reporting on political disputes always implies that both sides are to blame, there is no penalty for extremism. Voters won’t punish you for outrageous behavior if all they ever hear is that both sides are at fault. Let me give you an example of what I’m talking about. As you may know, President Obama initially tried to strike a “Grand Bargain” with Republicans over taxes and spending. To do so, he not only chose not to make an issue of G.O.P. extortion, he offered extraordinary concessions on Democratic priorities: an increase in the age of Medicare eligibility, sharp spending cuts and only small revenue increases. As The Times’s Nate Silver pointed out, Mr. Obama effectively staked out a position that was not only far to the right of the average voter’s preferences, it was if anything a bit to the right of the average Republican voter’s preferences. But Republicans rejected the deal. So what was the headline on an Associated Press analysis of that breakdown in negotiations? “Obama, Republicans Trapped by Inflexible Rhetoric.” A Democratic president who bends over backward to accommodate the other side — or, if you prefer, who leans so far to the right that he’s in danger of falling over — is treated as being just the same as his utterly intransigent opponents. Balance! Which brings me to those “centrist” fantasies. Many pundits view taking a position in the middle of the political spectrum as a virtue in itself. I don’t. Wisdom doesn’t necessarily reside in the middle of the road, and I want leaders who do the right thing, not the centrist thing. But for those who insist that the center is always the place to be, I have an important piece of information: We already have a centrist president. Indeed, Bruce Bartlett, who served as a policy analyst in the Reagan administration, argues that Mr. Obama is in practice a moderate conservative. Mr. Bartlett has a point. The president, as we’ve seen, was willing, even eager, to strike a budget deal that strongly favored conservative priorities. His health reform was very similar to the reform Mitt Romney installed in Massachusetts. Romneycare, in turn, closely followed the outlines of a plan originally proposed by the right-wing Heritage Foundation. And returning tax rates on high-income Americans to their level during the Roaring Nineties is hardly a socialist proposal. True, Republicans insist that Mr. Obama is a leftist seeking a government takeover of the economy, but they would, wouldn’t they? The facts, should anyone choose to report them, say otherwise. So what’s with the buzz about a centrist uprising? As I see it, it’s coming from people who recognize the dysfunctional nature of modern American politics, but refuse, for whatever reason, to acknowledge the one-sided role of Republican extremists in making our system dysfunctional. And it’s not hard to guess at their motivation. After all, pointing out the obvious truth gets you labeled as a shrill partisan, not just from the right, but from the ranks of self-proclaimed centrists. But making nebulous calls for centrism, like writing news reports that always place equal blame on both parties, is a big cop-out — a cop-out that only encourages more bad behavior. The problem with American politics right now is Republican extremism, and if you’re not willing to say that, you’re helping make that problem worse.
  • Mary Howald commented on 7/29/2011
    Between the two, I prefer the Republican plan because it does not guarantee money to Obama through the election. However, they both raise the debt ceiling. That's a bad thing. Cut unconstitutional departments. The Dept. of Education comes to mind. The libs will scream that you want children to not get an education, so before you mention cutting it, you must lay the groundwork of showing that it does no good. Even the No Child Left Behind Act (what was Bush thinking?) has led to widespread cheating. Children can't depend on their test grades being valid. We spend more money per child than most countries but our students perform near the bottom. Money is not the solution. Cut foreign aid. We vote on X amount to spend on foreign aid, but Congress does not decide how much money goes to which countries. We give money to just about every country on earth. That's wrong. We are not buying friends; in many cases, we are financing our enemies. How dumb is that? Get out of Libya. It's a war, but undeclared. Why are we there? Why isn't Obama impeached for that? Get out of Afghanistan. Let them know that we will bomb them if they export terrorism, but otherwise they're on their own. We won in Germany because Nazism was shown to be inferior, at least in firepower. We won in Japan because the emporer denounced his godhood. In both cases, we undermined their religious underpinnings. If we want to win in Afghanistan, we must send in hundreds of Christian missionaries. I remember reading of the government confiscating Bibles a soldier imported for distribution to local Christians because the Muslims wouldn't like it. Mr. Forbes, as long as they are Muslims, they will hate us and fight against us. It's their religion. If we can't change their religion, we won't win. IBM offered to cut 900 billion in medicare/aid fraud. Why don't we let them? Switch our nuclear reactors from uranium to thorium as a fuel. That will save money and can also use up the spent uranium as fuel. Offer a tax rebate for parents who homeschool or private school their kids. Make it, say, $6,000/year, less for homeschoolers since they don't have infrastructure costs. That will be less than it costs public schools, so you will get a hefty savings as well as better outcomes. Let other-schooled children attend public schools for selected classes and participate in sports for a reasonable fee. Let parents choose which public school their children attend. Increase charter schools. Put parents in the driver's seat! That has shown time and again to improve education! More money is not the answer. Forbid unions to make political contributions. I don't like unions, but I believe they are necessary. Power corrupts. Management gets out of hand; unions control that. But unions get out of hand, too. Preventing political contributions will go a long way toward keeping them under control. Also, limit the size of any given union. I'm not sure how--by industry, or state? I don't want to defang them, just to keep them on a leash. Stop the FDA from persecuting supplement companies. Supplements cannot meet the standards of drugs; the process costs millions of dollars. Drug companies get the money back because they can patent their product; supplements cannot be patented. It's an unreasonable standard. Supplement companies should be able to make health claims if they're based on valid studies. That will cut medical costs by quite a bit.
  • Terry Brady commented on 7/29/2011
    Of the two plans, Reid's is preferable. It is abundantly clear that the desire of the Republicans is to have another embarrassing playground brawl like this one before the 2012 elections. There is no other motive for the shenanigans going on in the most do-nothing Congress in my memory.
  • John Parker commented on 7/29/2011
    If Obama used the 14th Amendment to avoid this faux "crisis" in the manner suggested he would not be lifting the debt ceiling, not issuing new debt, not even authorizing any spending not already authorized by Congress. He would simply be the assuring validity of existing debt, as his oath to support the Constitution requires. Read the 14th amendment! The tea partiers always want to adhere to what the Constitution says, so he should go with it. It is unconstitutional to question the debt of the U.S. of America. Better yet, let the tax breaks for the corporations/wealthy expire, start bringing our loved ones home from useless overseas wars, close unneeded overseas bases, quit giving "entitlements" to every country (including Israel) and we can have this "manufactured crisis" eliminated within 10 years, easily......
  • John Dorry commented on 7/29/2011
    STOP all foreign aid forthwith.......bring the troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan......SETTLE the budget problems NOW or STOP pay to congress and senate until it is settled !
  • Kimberly Stone commented on 7/29/2011
    Neither plan presents a true compromise and ong term solution. The most balanced proposal I have heard so far is that forwarded by the Gang of Six. We need an end to the political posturing and mechanics. We need true compromise and a lasting solution. Kicking the can down the road another six months is unacceptable.
  • John Leiter commented on 7/29/2011
    The only true plan that shows compromise from both sides is the "gang of six" plan. I'd like to see that plan compared to both of these.
  • lee wilhelm commented on 7/29/2011
    Mr. Forbes, I read these comments and I wonder -- do you actually LISTEN? Or are you, like all of those in DC, especially the once but no longer Grand Old Party, merely thinking about the next election? Do you ever think about your country, the middle class, the fact that the rich are getting richer and the middle class poorer? Do you think about these things when you kowtow to the right wing of your party? Shame! Shame! Shame on all of you. THE SIX LED BY MARK WARNER HAD THE ONLY THING PLAUSIBLE. And what did you do? Ignored them. Not a peep of support for your fellow Virginian. The Boehner plan is not bad but inferior to the Reid plan in terms of timing. Boehner's is SO political. Cause another ruckus before the next election. Anything for politics. Where are the statesmen? Gone, all gone. You and your ilk have given 2012 to the Dems.
  • Stephen Studer commented on 7/29/2011
    I do not support either plan. Neither of these plans addresses the real problem, which is spending and the debt. In fact both plans allow for more spending and more debt. Does that make any sense at all? The compromise that's being asked for by both parties is about how to spend more with money we don't have which means we have to raise the debt limit to do it. So in reality, neither side is willing to address the real problem. This issue needs attention every day, week, month and year to ensure these people aren't spending us into bankruptcy! Until everyone is willing to address the real problems and come up with real solutions, we are just spiralling down the drain to 'third world' status.
  • Mary King commented on 7/30/2011
    I don't like either plan. However, Boehner's is the lesser of two evils. I'm tired of senior citizens and our military personnel being scared to death. The Republican Party needs to get their word out more effectively and stop letting the Dems run all over them.
  • Fred Humphrey commented on 7/30/2011
    I suggest Congress get back to basic in solving the nation’s budget crisis and reduce the national debt. The House passed the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act, H.R. 2560, I believe this is a first step in creating a foundation to build upon to achieve the nation’s desired goal. First, Congress must agree and pass a Balanced Budget amendment to the Constitution with President’s signature, this is what the people want and would match existing processes performed by our state governments now and have achieve balance budgets for many years. Just examine the effect and difficulties the states have had over the past two years in creating balanced budgets. Second, cap federal spending at 2011 budget level for the next 10 years. Establish within the law Congress is not permitted to adjust the law until it expires. Can only excess the balance budget when Congress declares war (President cannot obligate armed forces action outside of the balance budget, for example Libya) or President Recommends and Congress approves national disasters. Third, cut federal spending by 1 percent for the next 6 years reducing 2011 federal spending by 6 percent overall. Leave entitlement programs alone until the 10 balance budget period expires then evaluate whether or not entitlement require adjustment. Additionally, eliminate all deductions and personal exemptions, modify income tax regulations from zero to 6 percent income tax on income regardless of source, and retain existing corporate and small business tax regulations for discussion later.. This solution doesn’t matter whether or not you are single, married, head of household or widowed in determining filing status, there would be no filing status required (just list all members living in the household). This solution addresses other individual taxes under the current tax regulation would be eliminated and treated as normal income for tax purposes, e.g., capital tax would become normal income, inheritance income would be treated normal income, interest/dividend income regardless of gain as normal income with no income cap, etc. Adjust existing personal income tax table as following: 0 – $33,950l = zero income tax $33,951 - $82,250 = 1 percent income tax $82,251 - $171, 550 = 2 percent income tax $171,551 - $372, 950 = 3 percent income tax $372,950 - $550,950 = 4 percent income tax %550,951 - $1,000,000 = 5 percent income tax $1,000,000 and over = 6 percent income tax Create a national sale tax of 2.5% for good sold across the counter (no exception permitted). This would bring in additional income from all walks of life regardless their here legally or not, commit a crime or not because every purchase every day goods to survive. Finally, Congress would not permit to create a commission, committee or board to study or analysis these new laws until two years prior to expiration. AT that time they should evaluate the success or failure of these laws and make modifications to improve the balance budget process.
  • j ryan commented on 7/30/2011
    Once upon a time, meetings were preceded by the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States of America. Now, the House of Representatives should begin sessions by pledging allegiance to Grover Nordquist and his no-tax bunch. It seems our Fourth District representative actually already has taken such a pledge, as have his brethren in the Virginia 2nd, 1st and, of course, the Majority Leader Eric Cantor in Richmond. Also, once upon a time, we elected people who represented us in Congress. Now, it seems, we elect people who represent only those voters who adhere to the tenets of the Republican Party and its splinter groups, such as the Tea Bag people, the Nordquists and whatever organization Karl Rove decides (with money) is worth following. Those who did not vote for the representative, those who do not agree with the Republicans, Nordquists, etc., no longer have a voice, it seems. And, yet, those representatives proclaim that they espouse beliefs on behalf of "The American People," an unbelievable exaggeration or, better, outright lie. It's difficult to say why, in a district in which the vast majority of voters earn much less, Forbes and his brethren are so wedded to those people who earn more than $250K annually, save for an understanding that they are law partners and contributers to reelections. And it's difficult to understand why the tenets of Supply Side Economics, proved fraught with contradictions and outright failure in the Reagan and Bush II administrations, are still proclaimed as the savior of our future (except that those who benefit from Supply Side Economics; their taxes remain artificially low). We have a debt issue, and I'm not in love with it. At the same time, asking those whose retirements already have been hammered in a stock market debacle four years ago; whose retirements are being hammered again because of Washington's intransigence; and whose Social Security and Medicare, planned to couple with those retirements, are under attack to bear the brunt for repairing the debt situation while top earners among those still working remain lightly taxed is rampantly unfair. I expect no leadership from the Fourth District. We haven't had any in a decade. I would, however, implore a vote by the representative that is based on the best interests of a majority of those represented and not just an ideology that forms the basis of a tyranny of the minority; or a vote for an allegiance to a leader who has been bullied into submission by that minority's tyranny. That ideology shouldn't be why we send people to Washington. And someone with as comfortable seat in Congress as the Fourth District representative (and who has one more comfortable?) shouldn't have to pledge allegiance to anything other than the flag and the country to stay in office.
  • Leif Manley commented on 7/30/2011
    If we want all the good stuff (Social Security, Medicare, A strong National Defense) then you have to bring in the revenue (Taxes). The decoupling of what we want and what we earn (collectively) is a lot like a college kid with his first credit card and a student loan. Schools over and it's time to pony up.
  • Sue Last Name commented on 7/31/2011
    It saddens me to realize that I do not trust my leaders. I read both of the proposals but who knows what is really in them? We are forced to take whatever they vote for and I feel helpless. I am frustrated and disappointed that our leaders have forgotten who they are supposed to serve. I would like to see a proposal that requires a balanced budget by the Federal Government every year, CUT, CAP and BALANCE as well as implement the "Flat Tax" so everyone can do their fair share. I also agree with some people that Congress should take a step back and take a very long hard look at their retirement benefits. It is really sinful how much members of Congress are guaranteed just for serving two years. What is going on in Washington? Our leaders don't worry about Social Security and Medicare because they do not have a personal connection with any of these services. When a Congressman/woman retires from Congress, their retirement benefit should be whatever they have earned through Social Security or a 401K like the rest of America! Too many of our Congressmen/women have personal agendas and only care about getting re-elected. Americans NEED HELP and REAL LEADERS! PLEASE do your job and represent us!
  • Raymond Goff commented on 8/2/2011
    A source of additional funds in the amount of $338,300,000.000.00 (Billions) that is being spent in support of Illegal Aliens in this country. That would certainly help with the DoD shortfalls. Consider all of the monies that are being spent on foreign aid. Thats another tidy sum to bring back in house. Bring all of our armed forces back in country. Do you know how many dollars would be saved without all of the lengthy ship deployments? Quit the roll of being the big brother and acting like the world bank to countrys that no longer respect us. Radical changes? They sure are, but the administration and the Congress need to re-establish priorities to solve our fiscal problems. For a copy of the email re: What is being spent on illegal aliens send email address to rgoff7@cox.net. Lets take back our country from the socialists that do not care about our country.
  • Samantha Lewers commented on 8/24/2011
    The American people need not to panic but need to think of ways to save the economy. The economy of the U.S will be in a roving commission if it is mishandled by the elected president for the 2012 US Presidential election. http://www.bookkeeping-brisbane.com.au
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