August 19th, 2010
07:53 AM ET
4 years ago

Long-term debt: The real problem

New York (CNNMoney.com) – Starting next month, lawmakers will argue until they are hoarse over what to do about various spending bills and the Dec. 31 expiration of the Bush tax cuts.

But make no mistake: The fevered debates will take place in a vacuum.

That's because lawmakers have yet to seriously address how to rein in the country's long-term debt. And that broader debate will involve significant policy changes: A likely overhaul of the federal tax code and a reduction in spending across the board.

Policymakers have been mostly mum on the issue. By December, however, they will have a harder time ignoring the matter, since they will have in hand reports from the Bipartisan Policy Center's Debt Reduction Task Force and President Obama's fiscal reform commission.

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Filed under: CNNMoney.com • Debt • Economy • issues
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. GI Joe

    Raise taxes back to where they were before the Shrub cut them.

    The cuts were unfunded, as were the two wars (one of which was illegal and there should be prosecutions for that one).

    The wealthy did NOT use the cuts to create jobs – they built their own wealth and are HOARDING THEIR MONEY.

    August 19, 2010 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  2. aproudmemberoftheunpatrioticmob

    You are going to get investigated by Nancy Pelosi if you keep publishing this kind of stuff. That is not supposed to be talked about. Can you believe the gall of that botox addled brain, saying that the 62% of Americans who oppose the building of a mosque at "ground zero," should be investigated. This is the second most corrupt and stupid person in the country.

    August 19, 2010 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  3. Gordon Shumway

    Having this President and this congress concerned about long term debt after their record two year spending spree is a joke, a really bad one our children and grandchildren will be paying for the rest of their lives. They all need to be fired!

    August 19, 2010 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  4. Tom-Vermillion Ohio

    I believe Congress will have to take a comprehensive historical look at legislation in the past (or lack thereof), that has contributed to this problem of debt. There is nearly always 'cause and effect'. Sometimes good results, and sometimes bad. Clearly, the situation as it stands now is clearly out of control. Don't even bother fixing the 'design flaws' in a airplane until you know the 'cause' of the crash. Just throwing 'money' at the problem(s) won't make the problems go away. There are numerous problems as a result of past legislation. Laws, no matter how well intensions were, have consequences and those 'mistakes' should not be repeated.

    August 19, 2010 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  5. Rick McDaniel

    When you turn loose a spendthrift......disaster is the result.

    August 19, 2010 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  6. educated american (legal)

    free money gets votes- what would happen if they couldn't promise free money?

    who cares- just put it on our future children's credit cards- they will understand.

    democrats and republicans don't care about you- vote them all out...

    August 19, 2010 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  7. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert, but...

    I'll betcha half a peach that social and education spending get cut, but the Global War on Terror (TM) will not see any cuts. Gots to keep them brown people down and make the world safe for global capitalism. I'll also guarantee that the tax loopholes that allow our corporate masters to weasel out of paying their fair share will remain in place. Don't give me the old "they're taxed enough already" baloney. GE paid no US corporate income tax last year. Nada. Zilch. And they're just one of many. Have a nice day!

    August 19, 2010 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  8. vic

    Simple formula Raise the tax reduce the debt

    August 19, 2010 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  9. Dean

    It is time for the Fair Tax.........................................

    August 19, 2010 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  10. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    American taxpayers have been "sacrificing" for years, being outrageously ripped of by their own government, in large measure to pay for the unearned, undeserved, "entitlements" politicians use to buy votes.

    It's time and past to end the practice of compelling working Americans to subsidise the improvident, indolent, and irresponsible. Entitlements, including Social Security and Medicare must be phased out, starting now. These things never were economically sustainable, and it's time the country realised that, One way or another, the country is going to realise that, the only choice Congress has left is whether to act now and limit the damage done by the bankruptcy of the Welfare State, or to let it catastrophically collapse and hurt a lot of people.

    August 19, 2010 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  11. JES

    Created by the Dem's who lowered the requriements for getting a home loan for people who couldn't afford them any other way.

    It's time we start holding ourelected officials accountable.

    Vote the bums out in 2010 and 2012.

    August 19, 2010 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  12. Frank in Valparaiso Indiana

    We need to tax the wealthy. Over $3 million in income, 90% goes to Uncle Sam. Stock options included. No cap on SS or Medicare.

    We need to cut the corporate welfare. McDonald's does not need Federal money to advertise overseas. Oil companies do not need tax breaks.

    Lets start taxing those TIFs as income. you think people could get away with those sort of scams from state to state? Tax it. That will stop the companies shopping locations from state to state at the expense of local taxpayers who end up getting help from the Feds, there is NO FREE LUNCH.

    Get rid of defense contractors. You need the position filled, make tf civil service or military. That's the biggest scam to hide money in the budget.

    August 19, 2010 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  13. Four and The Door

    The Obama Administration and Democratic controlled congress made a huge bet with our future because they were convinced that increasing spending through the $850 billion 'Stimulus' bill would jump start the economy. They were as wrong as the Independents and Republicans said they would be. All it did was bring America faster up the curve to tragic debt levels. It's time to fix this and there is an unmistakably obvious thing to do. CUT SPENDING! NOW!

    August 19, 2010 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  14. David

    "Long-term debt: The real problem"

    AKA..."Tax Cuts for The Wealthiest Americans: The Real Problem"

    August 19, 2010 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  15. Keith in Austin

    "Socialism works only as long as those supporting it have spent everyone elses money". Margaret Thatcher circa 1982

    August 19, 2010 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  16. Carmelle

    2 Questions:

    - Where are the jobs created by the bush tax cuts?

    - How come Clinton created 23Mil jobs without those tax cuts when Bush created on 3Mil jobs with them

    - What are your ideas for job creation? ( since you say dems a job killers)

    THEY ARE JOB KILLING TAX CUTS! Stop wasting money on ppl that don't need them!!! Help Dems create jobs instead of politiking 24/7. After all, you did create this mess!

    This mosque thing is a whole distraction for the repubs to not answer the questions I listed above.

    Try again!

    August 19, 2010 10:42 am at 10:42 am |