December 7th, 2009
11:15 AM ET
6 years ago

Citizens lay down law on U.S. debt

NEW YORK ( - When it comes to managing the country's purse strings, Washington gets a failing grade from several groups of citizens and experts across the country.

Those groups, part of the Concord Coalition's Fiscal Stewardship Project, went to Capitol Hill on Monday to deliver a report to their lawmakers detailing their suggestions for how best to address the long-term fiscal storm facing the United States if lawmakers do nothing.

The approaching storm is not a surprise to anyone in Washington.

Indeed, the debt issues threatening to consume the federal budget over time have been in the making for years. The economic crisis of the past year isn't the underlying problem, but it accelerated the timetable lawmakers face for dealing with the country's fiscal problems.

There are many ways to fix what's broken. What's been lacking is the political will.

Some experts believe that all will be much better once the economy recovers. A strong economy means more jobs, more taxable income and more government revenue. And when government has more money coming in, it has to borrow less to pay its bills.

That would be swell. But it's not enough.

Full story

Filed under: national debt
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Just face the fact people that this debt is not going to dissappear overnight. This recession was years in the making due to bad economic policies which Sen. McCain intended on continuing if he were elected President. Get over it. We've got spend money to get out of this mess. The sooner we get out of Iraq, the better off we'll be. That's a trillion war and counting.

    December 7, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  2. Right wingnuts are as dumb as a woonsocket

    How about eliminating unnecessary wars and nation building in areas where we are not too popular?

    December 7, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  3. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    The argument is good but where are the solutions. I get tired of hearing ungrateful complaints while our President is working hard each day despite the mess he inherited. Grow up and come up with solutions we can all use.

    December 7, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  4. william fitzwater

    hopefully obama won't make same mistake that happened in California. when our economy recovered nothing was put aside to protect the sate for another down turn nor have we moved away for the binge of bond issues. result a broke sate or state of confusion. not to mention 2/3 majority fights over budgets which could be much easier if budgets were more common sense in our state.

    December 7, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  5. wait a minute

    If we want to add much more deficits, let's keep status quo in health care.

    Public option will help us control costs as it provides the best competition we need to keep costs down.

    December 7, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  6. Four and The Door

    There are many ways to fix what's broken. What's been lacking is the political will.
    That will change in 2010 and then more in 2012.

    December 7, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  7. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert but...

    Maybe we should raise taxes and close all loopholes. I know it's not popular, but a 30 year binge of tax cuts is partially responsible for getting us where we are now. Just keep repeating that "no new taxes" mantra as the bridge you're driving over on your commute collapses. Keep on wondering why your grandbabies are too stupid to get into college. I think it's safe to say that trickle down economics are a load of bunk. Just look at real income over the last 30 years. The top 5% made out like bandits. The rest of us, not so much. Have a nice day!

    December 7, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  8. Jane/Seattle

    Anything to derail meaningful help to many millins of Americans. Just trot out the Abortion issue and all will be well again as people die from lack of care! Next drag out the gay issue some more for any other single issue to obfuscate our real needs! So transparent!

    December 7, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  9. rdn

    The republicans will say cut taxes, especially for the wealthy, to stimulate the economy. The democrats will say to spend more money to stimulate the economy. Even if either or both worked it wouldn't be sufficient to close the gap. The only thing we're guaranteeing by not taking any meaningful steps is that the standard of living for Americans some decades from now will be much lower than it is today. Our government, both parties, are pathetic. I really worry about my childrens' future.

    December 7, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  10. Jane/Seattle

    NEVER, EVER spend a dime on the citizens who pay for all of this robbery of the Commons! Just spend billions on Failed Banks, Illegal, immoral wars and scream deficit whenever there are other matters to fund! Like Children's needs? Like healthcare? Like Housing? Like Election reform? Like Criminal Justice Reform? Like Impeaching Bush/Cheney? Like, Help to American Homeowners who Were/Are being defrauded? The Entire World looks to see Just How Terrible Corrupted America has Become!

    December 7, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  11. Willy Brown

    Past time to clean house America. Get off the hang up of party loyality and vote them all out! Time for some fresh new blood, the blood of the Americian people not corporate greed and sleaze from both parties

    December 7, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  12. Aaron

    No argument here on federal debt being out of control. The annoying thing is that these right-wing groups had to wait 8 years to protest it. Little was heard from them when their demagogues were in power.

    December 7, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  13. American Expaat

    Agreed! And while they are at it, the "broken dollar" ought to get some attention; it is going to hell in a hand basket! For example, in early 1992, one US dollar could buy one Euro for 88 cents; now, the same Euro will cost you $1.50. The US dollar has lost over 50% of its value. It has lost similarly against other major currencies. A complete collapse of the US dollar, which could happen, will cause an alarming disruption to the US economy!

    December 7, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  14. Bob Pacific Grove, Ca

    I know...lets all be fiscally responsible conservatives like G W Bush: let's cut taxes and, at the same time, increase federal spending, and then start an unnecessary war, which we will conveniently "take off budget"....My question is "Where was the outrage from these same conservative groups when the republicans were adding massive amounts to our debt?" Oh, I see...that was DIFFERENT.......

    December 7, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  15. Mike

    The Government dont need more $. They need to spend what they have in better ways. There would be plenty $ if they would quit giving it away and make the American people that can work, get off the lazy butts. If you graduated college and consider yourself smart. If the job ends in you community (guess what) you need to move or accept a different job. I dont owe you anything just because you went to college. Its an investment. People lose $ every day investing it. You are no different. Dont tell me there are no jobs. Almost every restrauant is lookin for help. I see illegals working in the fields. These people that have 6-8 kids and lay on there butts and suck $ from the Government make me sick. I work for my family and me, not for you. Get up and take care of your own. If there are no jobs were you live, for God Sakes dont have kids there ( are you crazy ).

    December 7, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  16. Enough

    Well someone has to do, the idiots Democrats in office know nothing about controlling their tax and spend ways. There aren't enough tax payers left to pay for all of this.

    December 7, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  17. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Well, people need to understand that the government either needs to cut services dramatically or taxes need to be raised across the board dramatically. I would suggest that there be a rise in the federal gasoline tax on the federal and state levels. That is one good start. We also need faster cutting from various departments. I would love to see members of Congress not put any spending earmarks in the budget this year (but I know that won't happen).

    December 7, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |