April 12th, 2010
12:05 PM ET
12 years ago

'Earthshaking' ways to fix U.S. debt

The debate over how to reduce U.S. debt levels has generated a lot of partisan huffing and puffing in Congress, but no meaningful action.

Enter President Obama's bipartisan fiscal commission, which will hold its first meeting in a few weeks.

The panel's goal is not to erase the deficit - that would be far too difficult at this point. Rather, the commission will recommend policies that can slow the growth rate of debt to a "sustainable" level. Among other things, that means making sure annual deficits don't grow faster than the economy.

The commission's first task is to figure out what lawmakers can do to bring the annual deficit as a percent of gross domestic product (GDP) down to 3% starting in 2015.

Broadly speaking, Congress has three options: raise taxes, cut spending or do both. None will be pretty.

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Filed under: Congress • national debt • Taxes
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. JA/TN

    get rid of taxpayer susidized healthcare for legislatures of, which most are wealth without gov't assistance

    April 12, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  2. jp,michigan

    #1. cut spending #2 no earmarks #3 no back door deals to pass adminstrative agenda.. Let the government show the American people they are willing to toe the line, if there is no money for a project , then there is no project. American are willing if need be to help when they can, but not at only their expense, while the government goes wild. In other words,"SHOW ME, THAT YOU CAN (GOVERNMENT) THEN ASK WHAT WILL I DO (AMERICAN PEOPLE ) TO HELP."

    April 12, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  3. Rick McDaniel

    That's all just political spin, to make it appear ok, that Obama is a spendthrift!

    April 12, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  4. Mark from Louisiana

    No new taxes unless every American has to pay. A national sales tax would do that. No taxes where people can avoid them by deductions, income levels, whatever.

    Instead of taxes how bout a spending cut, America funds some really stupid stuff and send entirely too much money overseas.

    April 12, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  5. What Price ... War

    True Conservatives know that the Constitution says that the military is expected to be used for the defense of the country.

    The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq would not meet the founding fathers intent for the use of the military.

    As such, if Republicans were anything other than "Convenient Conservatives", they would be demanding that these EXPENSIVE wars be stopped immediately.

    If we want to cut the deficit, one of the BIGGEST things we can do is to stop fighting unnecessary wars. Bring our troops back from Germany, Korea, and all the other places around the world.

    April 12, 2010 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  6. Dean

    Congress needs to take a huge pay cut. say they get minimum wage. after all they are doing it to serve out country right,

    April 12, 2010 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  7. Smith360

    Great, after the Republican led Congress, Senate and Karl Rove-Bush-Cheney completely imploded America's economy along with much of the worlds economy with the Republican credo of 'less government is better for America'.

    It seems the Republican lawmakers willingly forced this situation to occur after receiving a large federal monetary surplus from the previous Democratic led administration of President Clinton.

    April 12, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  8. Dana

    Since we’ve been told by economists for years that Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid can not possibly be sustained in the long term, why not prepare a smooth landing to their end and phase them out over 5 to 10 years. American will adjust to life without them as we have for centuries.

    April 12, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  9. JonDie

    Bush and Cheney created more than one TRILLION dollars of debt in order to "win" the war in Iraq, and most of the money was funneled from the taxpayers' pockets into the pockets of Bush-Cheney supporters. The first step toward reducing the deficit should be for these people to GIVE THESE ILL-GOTTEN GAINS BACK.

    April 12, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
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