By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – It wasn’t easy to successfully avoid news of the debt-ceiling crisis in Washington while I was away on vacation; I really had to work at it, but I did.

And after all that effort, turning away from newspaper headlines, and turning down the volume on the radio for everything but the baseball scores, it really didn’t make any difference.

I returned this weekend to the same situation I tuned out on ten days ago – hyper-partisans in Washington, most of whom did nothing while this problem built to a climax, dug into ideological trenches of fear and loathing, bent on fighting to the death.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

The deal that has been reached will enrage both the hard right and hard left, which is a pretty good sign that there’s some sense in it, and it will surely kick the can down the road and move mountains to avoid any sign of real political courage.

And one other thing I predict for the analysis of the deal, there will be plenty of finger-pointing and assessments of who “won” or “lost,” as if there can be any winners in such a display of mismanagement.

But there will be little or no mention of who’s really to blame for this mess.

That would be us, the voters.

We want our taxes unraised and our tax loopholes untouched.

But we also want our benefits and our services and our grant money and our local line-items.

We all want any budgetary pain to be taken out of someone else’s hide, please.

And we want to punish and coerce the pols who can’t seem to make that math work by passing new laws and constitutional amendments, without acknowledging that it’s our own inflexibility and adamancy that makes their task impossible.

Gridlock, chaos, and 11th hour can-kicking?

Of course that’s what we’re getting.

That’s exactly what we ordered.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

Comments (61)
  1. Willow says:

    Oh, so now it’s the voter’s fault? As a retiree, it’s my fault that I would like to be able to collect some of the money from social security that I worked 47 years to pay into? You want someone to blame, how about generational welfare recipients, disability fraud, and support given to illegals who haven’t even worked in this country (Obama’s aunt). There’s plenty of cuts to be made by those who have freeloaded long enough. Where are the cuts in Washington first, then let’s talk about SS, Medicare. Let’s not forget all the tax loopholes that corporations and the wealthy are prevy to as well. I’m fed up with the men and women who call themselves professionals and patriots.

  2. tsal says:

    I heard a comment yesterday on Meet the Press from a tea party member saying the very same thing, Jon. By the way – welcome back from what I hope was a very nice vacation.

    The comment was that voters want compromise and cuts as long as the cuts don’t apply to them. He said voters are sending a mixed message. My immediate thought was the politicians (some) are deliberately twisting the message to easy their conscience.

    When voters ask for cuts, I believe we mean to the mismanagement in Washington. As far as social security and medicare and medicaid, I have worked my entire life paying into those programs and they are mine. They are not something I am “entitled to”. Explain to me how much a SS or medicare cut affects the wealthy who have private health insurance.

    The push on the cuts IMHO is due to the fact that cuts are all the wealthy and the corporations want. I hear the comment from wealthy all of the time “that we have to share in the burden.” That is the biggest joke of all. For a decade the wealth in this country has seen annual income increases ranging from 10-14%. The rest of Americans have seen annual increases of less than 1%. Please tell me where the sharing was at that time?

    It isn’t a mixed signal at all – It is a demand to stop putting the entire burden on the average American while continuing to allow the richest few and the major corporations to have breaks. It’s pathetic.

  3. Stephen Stein says:

    “We want our taxes unraised and our tax loopholes untouched.

    But we also want our benefits and our services and our grant money and our local line-items.”

    YES! 30 years of cutting taxes and not cutting spending has brought us to this pass. There can be no surer sign of the selfishness of the baby-boom generation. It’s also had the effect of hollowing out the US economy. In 1980, the top 1% had 9% of the income. Today the top 1% (>$500K/yr) has 25% of the income. The middle class has been squeezed out, and that’s hurt demand in a big way. No wonder we have an economy based on bubbles or bust.

    1. tsal says:

      absolutely – amazing how something so obvious can’t be understood

    2. roadbowler says:

      The middle class is tax-ed, fee-d, and surcharge-d to death. Businesses are tax-ed, fee-d, and surcharge-d to the point where it’s impossible to stay in business or are forced overseas or to states with sane fiscal policy. The poor pay NO TAXES, NO FEES, NO SURCHARGES. The wealthy have the means to avoid, taxes, fees, and surcharges (See John Kerry and his yacht). With all this being said, as a percentage the wealthy pay nearly half of all taxes. The middle class, of which there is more of than any other class, pay the rest.

      Show me where the ‘shared sacrifice’ is. It’s the middle class and the rich paying the freight and the poor reaping all the government bennies. The easy solution is to reduce the number of poor folks collecting bennies. You accomplish that by creating private sector jobs. Government jobs do not accomplish this because government jobs are 100% paid by the taxpayers. Government employees cannot be considered taxpayers as their salary comes entirely from tax dollars. Even if government employees were taxed at a rate of 100% it would be a wash.

      The only way to create private sector jobs is to get rid of our current regime who is gumming up the works with their ‘Boy who cried wolf’ manner of governing. Everything is a crisis. Every time they throw the word crisis out there, private businesses panic and pull back. Stability is what will bring businesses back to the table and start creating jobs again.

      1. Stephen Stein says:

        What nonsense. That the poor pay no taxes is one of the more pernicious lies of the right. The truth is, the poor pay many taxes – they pay payroll taxes far in excess of the wealthy as a percentage of their income; they also pay sales taxes, property taxes, again in percentages far exceeding the wealthy.

        In fact, the tax burden is shared pretty closely in proportion to income – see for the facts.

        Income taxes are lower now than in the Bush years – lower now than any time in the past 60 years. Corporate taxes are among the lowest in the world, and many corporations pay no tax at all.

      2. Ajay says:

        The taxes that you listed that the poor pay are the same taxes that all of us pay. Payroll (I assume that you mean FICA), property, sales, ect. are paid by everyone equally.
        Since we’re talking about the federal budget, I assume that we’re talking about income taxes here, not sales and property. Last year, over half of American’s filing paid no federal income taxes at all. Invact, many took more out than they paid in thru earned income credits and such. So please don’t say that its any sort of ‘shared’ sacrifice that’s the president is demanding.

  4. John says:

    We need to stop corporate welfare (an entitlement program for the rich). For the trillions of free money givenaways to the rich (excuse me, the “job creators”), the last 11 years of free money has yet to produce job 1. The millions of peoplke in the unemployment line would like to know just exactly where are these jobs are that the “job creators” have created. I would argue that these people are really “job destroyers”. Too many of our large corporations are making record profits and continue to lay off workers.
    This country desperately needs a new party that will cater to the middle class only. Tax the rich, and stop taxing to death the middle class (that goes for you Gov. Patrick).
    The problems we are having is partly due to voter ignorance, but is also due to a lack of candidates that will listen to the middle class. Our choice is always either a wacky left or a wacky right candidate, neither of these will care or listen to the concerns of the middle class.
    Let’s stop calling social security an entitlement program. The elderly have contributed all their life into this system, and are just asking for their money back. They deserve nothing less.

    1. tsal says:

      John, to your point, I’ve heard many comments lately that there are passionate people (politicians) on the far right and far left but there is an obvious lack of passionate people in the middle. There is a reform movement called Rebuild the Dream which at the moment seems moderate but as a very wise friend pointed out it will need to be watched to see if the it hijacked just as the tea party was.

      We also need to create a fair way for anyone to run for political office and get rid of special interest groups. Someone needs to reign in the supreme court and stop it from giving more and more power to the corporations.

      The more I type the more the mess seems almost insurmountable.

    2. roadbowler says:

      The elderly contributed a nickel a week into a program that’s paying them hundreds to thousands a month. That’s the problem with SS.

      Corporate welfare??? You mean GE, Obama’s buddies, who paid zero taxes on 5.5 billion in profits last year???

      The Tea Party is made up of the middle class people from both sides of the aisle. They are the true ‘centrists’ in this country. They represent you. They are already making a difference in Washington. They do not have the numbers to fully reach their potential. This is why we must continue electing new blood. We need more people like Marco Rubio in the senate. If you don’t know who he is, look him up.

      1. tsal says:

        a nickel a week????? Thousands a month????? The tea party members are centrists?

        First you pay a bit over 6% I believe for SS and if you are one of the lucky ones who owns his/her own business and is a sole proprietor you get to pay a duplicate amount for yourself as your employee. Second, I do not know of one person getting thousands of dollars a month in SS. Third, the tea party is so far right that it scares the heck out of the every day right sided republicans. As massman said, too much faux news can be very dangerous.

      2. pdq says:

        roadbowler: – I agree with you. SS is nothing but a giant Ponzi scheme, and now that the chickens have come home to roost, eyes are opening up wondering how to pay for it for the future retired boomers. It has to be phased out and its problems solved. Those opened eyes had been closed for decades, and here we are again to cope with what many of us foresaw.

  5. Justin says:

    1.) To those who believe that the wealthiest ought to “pay their fair share”, it is quite the opposite. Your obvious lack of education should render your opinion useless as far as I am concerned. The “wealthiest” Americans pay a rate that amounts to 51% of their income annually. When YOU begin to see HALF of your paycheck go to government, then you can complain that the wealthy ought to pay more. Enough is enough. If you want to cripple the rich, leave America and let me keep my work ethic and my freedom.

    2.) The budget crisis is simple: You have spent too much. Period. 535 people have spent $14.3 TRILLION DOLLARS. Something seems a little off? But then again, I’m far from $14.3 in debt and don’t enjoy the benefit of a AAA credit rating.

    3.) Finally, the SSA is a complete flaw. Everyone who has paid into deserves a complete refund with interest. After that, eliminate the program. Greedy bureaucrats never appropriated a fund for social security dollars and have spent it like free money on countless entitlement programs, foreign aid, and wars. Old people survived for HUNDREDS of years without a government managed retirement program and were all the better for it…but we’ve abandoned responsibility and saving in lieu of “big brother’s care”….

    1. tsal says:

      Justin – the wealthiest will tell you – ask Buffet and Gates and any other wealthy people if you know them – that they pay far less than the average person – in the vicinity of 17%. They have loopholes that are only available to them and their high priced accountants. Buffet will tell you he pays less in taxes than the woman who cleans his house.

      Also, no one else has said that you are uneducated and your opinion doesn’t matter. I’m not sure what you think insults accomplish. I’d say both Buffet and Gates have a bit more experience than you or I and can hardly be called uneducated with opinions that are useless. They both have been very outspoken on the fact that the wealth of this country does not begin to contribute its fair share.

      1. Willow says:

        tsal, I actually saw that interview too. Guess they don’t know what they’re talking about, huh?

      2. pdq says:

        Gates and Buffet are only two billionaires. Did you ask or hear from the rest of that upper echelon? They have opinions, too, and they might be opposite of Gates and Buffet, who are known democrats and close buddies.

    2. Willow says:

      Justin, elderly people survived for hundreds of years without a governement managed retirement program because there was a time when they could count on a family member to care for them in their “golden” years. They didn’t need or pay into the program because it wasn’t needed then. How many elderly people do you know that are being well cared for by a family member? What I would like to know is who gave the government permission to spend money that wasn’t theirs to spend. Social Security is not an entitlement program. It was saved for and earned.

    3. Liss7799 says:

      It’s insulting for you to imply that people who are not wealthy have no work ethic. I work hard but don’t bring in enough to survive on every month. The job I have, I love, but the salary just doesn’t cut it. So why did I take it? Because after 1-1/2 years of unemployment after a layoff, it seemed better than living on unemployment insurance.

      OH – and half of my paycheck does go elsewhere – for the health insurance premium I have to pay, and to the government in the form of taxes.

      Don’t assume you know what other people’s situations are.

      1. tsal says:

        Liss7799 I’m glad you were able to find a job. Others sadly are not as lucky and some of those hurt the most in this mess that we call compromise but is by enlarge exactly what the GOP wanted are those on unemployment. Under this new plan from what I understand there will not be any UI extensions.

      2. Nab71 says:


        With all due respect I don;t think you and Justin are communicating. I believe the 33% that he referred to was federal income tax. When you add other taxes in he could be easily over 51% My federal rate is 25% plus 15.3% self employment tax plus 5.3% state income tax. That’s 46.6%. Add approximately$1000 in sales taxes and $6000 in taxes on my home and I;m at 53% And there are three federal income tax brackets higher than mine. My income since 2001 increased 2.5%. Not 10-14%

      3. tsal says:

        nicely said nab – I think you are correct. That still leaves my question open as to why any group that has seen very high annual income gains over a decade needs a tax break. The tax credits were to help those struggling. I seriously doubt anyone in the top percent is struggling.

    4. massman says:

      51%? I’d suggest you stop watching FOX.

      1. Justin says:

        Massman, I am in the highest tax bracket in which one third of my paycheck goes to the federal government, and additional eleven percent to the state before local taxes…

        Re: above comments. Regarding your lack of savings, inability to spend within your means, and general distaste for individual liberty…it’s not my or anyone else’s problem but your own. You do not tell your children that despite their hard work, if they get C’s they can the A student’s homework. This idea that we are a collective is what is ruining our economic system. You can disagree but the fact is when there is no US Government to depend on, I wont be hurting…

      2. tsal says:

        Justin – 1/3 of my paycheck goes to the government also and I’m not in the highest paid. If you are in fact in the highest paid, you have also had income increases of between 10 and 14% over the past decade. While I have seen nearly no increase. Will you please explain to me why you are in the highest paid bracket and you have received double digit increases over the past decade and yet you continue to need a tax credit. Remember, it is not an increase in taxes that anyone is discussing – it is a discontinuation of a credit to the wealthiest.

  6. Ron says:

    Every comment is correct, but Jon is right too. We The Voters put these incompetents in congress by voting for them again and again.
    Perhaps it’s time for term limits.

    1. Nab71 says:

      Its time for a balanced budget amendment instigated by the states under Article V of the Constitution. The Congress will never pass a proposal. At least if the States started the process we could get a true reading of the true feelings of all the country rather than relying on what politicians intent on preserving the status quo tell us. The Framers included the State option for proposal to allow the States to reign in a federal government that is out of control. I think we’ve reached that threshold

      1. tsal says:

        Jon am I permitted to ask Nab71 what the benefit of a constitutional amendment to force a balanced budget is? I’ve read some about it and know there are pros and cons but like hearing from someone who might have a better understanding.

        Ron, I used to agree with regard to term limits but in the case of this mess it’s the “old fellows” who seem to see more reason and the “freshmen” who have no clue how to govern and run with the idea of accomplishing a narrow goal at all costs and really don’t care if they are re-elected.

      2. Nab71 says:


        A balanced budget amendment would force Congress to keep its word. Realistically a combination of tax increases and spending cuts is necessary to eliminate deficits and bring the debt down. . This type of agreement has been made before, most notably under Reagan Taxes were raised , then spending cuts stopped, and the spending machine revved up again. If you are from Massachusetts it would be similar to Proposition 2 1/2 in that it would not allow deficit spending for the ordinary expenses of government, but could be overridden by a 2/3 vote of Congress in emergency, i.e. war.

      3. tsal says:

        Nab71 thank you for your explanation. I asked the question and then went off to see what I could find. I think a lot more clear information on the pros and cons of a balanced budget may need to be researched before it should be forced through. I am not in any way indicating it’s not a good thing; however, I’m finding some potential downsides that are concerning.

        The most concerning of all is that it’s something being ramrodded by the tea party and it is my believe that at the moment that group has no ones best interest in mind other than its own.

        I did find this and am sure there is a lot more out there

    2. Nab71 says:


      One of the benefits of a balanced budget amendment that is difficult to measure but is intuitive is the change in direction of power. Instead of the Federal government being the servant of the people, the people,local governments, and state governments have become dependent on the Federal government for aid, much of it from borrowed money. We are in a self fulfilling dependency, financial addicts. The Feds impose new laws and regulations on the states and individuals, but make some aid available to put rules into effect. If a state doesn’t agree one way or another money is withdrawn. We are controlled by the promise of borrowed money from the Feds. Force a balanced budget and this corrupt blackmail and erosion of our rights ends.

  7. Nab71 says:

    I just saw an interview with Nancy “We must pass the bill to know what’s in it” Pelosi. She says she’ll have to see the details of the bill. What a hypocrite. I guess details are only important if Republicans have input. Democrats are so trustworthy as in stealing from the Social Security Trust fund

  8. tsal says:

    Ron I agree that we the voters put these morons (both sides) in office and that Jon is right that makes us just as guilty. In this case, I do not think the voters message is necessarily confusing. They are sick of the voice of the wealthy.

    I have on many occasions said the American voter sends mixed messages and even though I don’t see it at the moment, I can’t help but think of the majority who voted for Obama who campaigned openly and loudly for health care reform then decided once he was elected they didn’t really want health care reform. I DO NOT intend for this to be a discussion on health care reform but use it as an example of how Jon is right that we can send mixed messages to our politicians.

    1. Ron says:

      The T Party is a response to the mess the old time pols got us into in the first place
      by spending more than the income.

  9. emom says:

    JON welcome back………….. Ok ahhhhh WHAT………… Are our politicians insane… To even think the AMERCIAN workers in this country are to blame for the DEBT, Washington is insane. But what do we all expect from them.. For decades they pass the buck, blame the next party, DEMS verses REP.. Independents verses ALL, and Now the TEAPARTY against what seems to be the entire country. We haven’t heard a LOGICAL sense of anything in a very long time. All we hear year after year is ‘WE MUST CUT THE BUDGET”, WE MUST MAKE SACRIFICES “, WE HAVE HARD DECISIONS TO MAKE” WE NEED TO CUT SPENDING WHERE ITS HURTING THE BOTTOM LINE”….. These measures never truly help the economy…. The loopholes are ridiculous, Its those making above, $150,000 a year and beyond , screaming UNFAIR, we cant afford the tax threshold, we have a hard time LIVING, our taxes are to high…….. Why us ,,,, OH BOO WHO, these folks that live HIGH up on their gold gilded pedestals of selfishness, those that strut around whining about it being so unfair to them , its these that need to come off their pedestals and live like the common average hard working American , to see what life is for use, to see those struggling monthly to make their rent or mortgage payments, to struggle to buy healthy foods and NOT GO BROKE, Struggle to KEEP their health insurance , because a STATE requires you to have it, and then HAVE to pay extremely high premiums and other costs that go with it, to spend extreme prices for fuel not only for our vehicles to get to work, but to heat our homes, Utility bills are rising every year with not stopping, (they don’t pay these bills , we due)……What have I missed, the average American that has had to struggle with challenges tries to maintain a budget , If we waver from that budget, we risk a crisis, and have to work that much harder to correct it, we don’t have a group of advisors, or have the chance to sit with opposite parties and HAGGLE our lives away, We don’t have the chance to avoid NOT paying taxes, take long furlough vacations, have our country PAY for all our expenses, NO we cant even take vacations, or avoid that almighty TAX,,,,,,, everywhere we go, everything we do , buy, use, eat, have is TAXED BEYOND OUR IMAGINATION. So for all those in Washington BICKERING about their LOOPHOLES and their bottom line, HOW ABOUT THEY STAND INFRONT OF THE AMERICAN FOLK AND WITNESS THE END OF A GREAT COUNTRY.. I would love to KICK THEIR CANS all the way to the DUMP…… Give back what they have given us. Take from them for which they have taken from us, MAKE them shed their LOOPHOLE life style for that of the COMMON FOLKS LIFE STYLE, have them struggle beyond what they “believe” is a true struggle,,,, That GOLD pedestal needs to come down, crashing down, and the American folks need the breaks ………………………….. For we are the ones feeling the pinch, or should I say “ WE ARE SICK AND TIRED OF IT”.. My BRUISES are huge, they hurt and are not going away…….. Our FAULT really ,,, how insane for them to blame us for their stupidity and selfish acts,,,, Come here so I can ,,,,,,,, KICK YOUR CAN AROUND,, I would turn it in for the deposit But its not even worth anything for the metals,,,,,, WASHINGTON TAKE OF YOUR JACKETS, Your $400 SUITS, Put on these USED clothes, get in this broke down vehicle, and here is your budget for the month, it’s not much BUT see if you can survive on it,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, HAHAHAHAHAHA yeah like even one would ever, even try it….. Where’s that can ,,,, I have some kicking to do,,,,,,,,,,,,, \> (___) (KICK)..

    1. tsal says:

      good rant emom – don’t we all feel like ranting this morning :) And hope you had a great birthday last week if I remember correctly!!

      1. Willow says:

        I’ll second that!

      2. emom says:

        HHHMMM , A rant , hardly , more of an impression of our illustrious government,,,, Both here in this state,,,, ( One that shall be nameless), and those on the other hill in Washington., tearing this country apart , ripping the seams that built this country, robbing peter to pay Paul , Blaming a group of folks because life was great back then,,,, I thought we were to create life to increase revenue, build lives to gain revenue, give opportunity for a good life, Instead we are now taking away what we earn, cutting the hems to be shorter, leaving nothing left, Putting less into something But taking far more than what’s truly there, giving to others that never earn it, nor has any intention to pay it back, allowing the ships to sail with our lively hoods to lands abroad, and letting life slip into the abyss., Does this sound like “LIVING THE AMERICAN DREAM” Hardly But these golden pedestal loopholes are sitting high and comfy, kicking our cans all the way to the poor house, and not caring what the cost to us,,, as long as they still keep there wallets intact…. Besides, I believe the true ranters are those in Washington … because all we have heard is them rant about not wanting to LOOSE their golden parachute income, Let us KICK the can in the opposite direction ,, give back what they have given us,,,,, nothing…..

      3. tsal says:

        emom – rant was meant to be a positive comment. There seems to be little left but to rant at the idiocy we have seen in government in the past months.

      4. emom says:

        I Know,,, But I mean that Washingtin is the true ranters since they only want whats best for themsleves, and the HELL with the American working folks. It’s can kicking time \> (__)

  10. Mark says:

    The major problem with our government is MONEY!!! Lobbyist or Big Business one in the same tells or bribes our elected officials what to do. Big oil, gas ,tobacco you name it,don’t need tax breaks we the middle class need tax breaks and jobs. Please just a level honest playing field would be nice. Lobbyist should be illegal and if a business can’t make it on their own, then they fail and go away. We should raise taxes on the rich and pay off the Chinese that have been undermining us for decades. Just as we pay off our credit cards so should the government and if you don’t have the money don’t spend it.

  11. Alli says:

    All I have to say right now as American citizens (voters) its our right to have these SMALL teeny tiny benefits (if thats what youd call them), its not our fault Washington is padding pockets, and making bad decsions without consulting the american people!!! Thats it for now i will attack this further after a cup of coffee

  12. emom says:

    We may vote these politicians into office, HOWEVER we are duped into believing what they say,,,, the old ‘NO NEW TAXES “ ring a bell,, how many time shad we heard that statement, sure no NEW taxes but we sure saw the OLD taxes raised .. What’s the difference,,, we Believe what they say,,, they Hypnotize us, tell us a convincing line of how they plan on changing Washington , get the lobbyist to back down, get bills past, Its all of us that hear these fantastic dreams of a brighter future, I have heard so many “SO CALLED TRUTHS” I have to wonder If we are just hearing things,,,,, there is an elf on everyone’s shoulder feeding us a line,,, ( the old “a chicken in every pot” it‘s an elf now) .. Yeah it’s true we did VOTE these can kickers into office, But it was on the premises that they promised a better future, that they would work hard to stop the bleeding of America, to slow the greed and give back to the American folks. We bought it HOOK , LINE AND SINKER. We were duped once again, and that will never chance…. No matter who goes up for election, we will believe their dribble of how they will help the American working folks, what they will bring to Washington and then be our voice, all it is, is a ruse to gain employment,, selling themselves, No prostituting themselves,,, because they get money out of it,,,, The only way to stop this from happening is to not vote any more,,, Ok well that’s extreme, Hey it could come to that some day,,,, NO a far better option is Hold them accountable for everything, for what they SAY especially, they tells us one thing and then LIE,,,, they switch their minds like I switch channels on TV…… OH wait that’s the same now to, REPEATS , REPEATS, REPEATS,,,, nothing new their and same old same old…… Yeah ok blame the American folks for VOTING these loopholes, but that’s about it,,, Blame them for fabricating a line that convinces us things will be much different, and better in the long run….. YEAH and they wonder why voters are down,, HHMMM does anyone truly see their ruse,,, I have, oh wait so hasn’t those that stop voting… HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE AND MAYBE, voters will return,,,,,, because if they mess up they are fired,,,,, …….. \> (__) {_}, my impression of kicking the can thru a loophole….. Have fun.

  13. Maggie says:

    If I walked into a bank and began to argue with my co-signer about how much they spend vs. how much we make, I’d never get a loan. How disgraceful for our Country that our Politicians forget that the world is watching. Blaming others on national television may be a comedy show in another country, but the reality tv aspect has made me sick.

  14. FireGuyFrank says:

    EVERYTHING needs to be on the table — from the first line of revenue through the last line of expense.

    EVERYONE needs to share in the financial pain and sacrifice; and relaize that Social Security and Medicare may not be there for those of us who presently pay in.

    1. tsal says:

      Frank I agree that all has to be on the table but I think the wealthy and the corporations have a considerable amount of catching up to do before we begin cuts for the average American who has not seen anything except cuts for the past thirty years.

    2. mikey says:

      I’ve been sacrficing for years. As someone who is self-employed I’ve been paying both sides of SS for over three decades.

      Why don’t we cut those who don’t work but “work the system?”

      1. tsal says:

        mikey – I think that’s exactly what the voters are asking for – fix the loopholes – that’s where the cuts should be made. I’m in the very same self-employed boat you are in and it’s getting rockier.

  15. emom says:

    FIREGUYFRANK,, nice to see you and I agree,, first we have been paying into a social security system that is poorly managed, and well out dated,,, what we pay now is paying for those already using it…. I know I will never see it when I retire,, wait I will never be able to afford it at this rate.. Next to share the outrageous costs and spending our government has implemented onto us well I believe for the average American we have share a fare higher amount toward it, BUT it’s the government that has once again MISS MANAGED what we have paid and used it to line the golden pockets of corporations, the rich and more so the government and foreign countries. They have taken more and more away from states and towns, the elderly and poor have suffered the most, and the economy has suffered with no end in sight,. I believe those that have the higher salaries should burden the brunt of the problems, since they are the ones that take all the perks and benefits of the loopholes… Honestly I am not sure that the average working American can afford another sacrifice of money.. There is not much left… But I do agree to some extent there are some the needs to SHOULDER THE BURDEN , and get this spending under control and balanced ….

  16. Molly says:

    What choice do the voters have when we all we have to choose from is the bottom of the barrel? For every lying, greedy, self serving politician voted out there is another one waiting in the wings. With over 260 members of Congress who are multimillionaires it’s no wonder how out of touch they are to the realities of the elderly, middle class and working poor in this country. Those of which are the biggest losers in this mess that generations of political greed and corruption have created. Not to mention the rampant greed and corruption of corporations that continue make high profits in this economy thanks to tax breaks and loopholes given to them by our upstanding law makers, even though these corporation have hoarded those profits instead of creating jobs in this country. And let’s not forget the billions and billions of dollars tax payers are forced to hand over in foreign aid to countries who’s citizens take pride in gathering in the streets shouting “death to America”. So exactly how much power do you think the average American voters really have?

  17. mikey says:

    The good news is that the TreasuryDirect website has a link were donations to pay down the national debt are accepted. So, if there’s anyone out there that has an extra 18 trillion, in round numbers, to give away, here’s your chance.

  18. response says:

    I’m confused…as a voter, I did not vote a change in the social security tax rate at the beginning of the year and yet….the Dem’s thought that was a good place to start with cutting social security? Why didn’t they just leave the rate alone? I did not vote to lower the federal unemployment rate for employers when there is over 9% unemployment in the country. (In essense, giving corporations more of a tax break)
    As a voter, I do not get to pick and choose which programs are funded by the government and which ones are not?
    These people were elected to do a job and none of them are doing it. Where is the oversight? Where is the accountability?
    How many employees were hired by companies that took advantage of the tax credit from the government last year for social security?
    How much did it cost the federal government? Let’s see a cost analysis.
    What was the return of all those ‘SHOVEL READY” projects?
    How many people did it put back to work? Are those people still working now?
    How much did those projects really cost?
    I want some real oversight from these people.

  19. MARK says:

    There are too many people making decisions for this country. That is not the way it was meant to be. We live here because we have a voice. Our voice can not be heard because there are too many different views. One man should make all the choices. The president has his hands tied! He is trying but he is frustrated because he has no control. The people spoke but he has no control. The people who wrote these laws are turning in there graves right now. We live in a divided nation. Halve for this halve for that. The president should make the finale call after all most people voted for him like it or not. What is going on right now is a joke! It drives the market for Christ sake. They should all take a pay and benefit cut just like we have. That would save trillions. The poor get poorer and rich get richer no more middle class. Time for real change in Washington! Run it like a real company with transparency. Make money don’t lose it. Charity starts at home. No more money to other countries! Tea party for me!

  20. jaygee says:

    Of course it’s the fault of the voters because every time there is an election, we usually have only two choices and we wind up voting for the clown who makes the best promises, even though the promises never materialize and then we vote for the other candidate in the next election and the same thing happens. I think that’s what they refer to as “Catch-22.

  21. bob says:

    The rich get off the hook again. The big oil companies suck up all of our hard-earned money and contribute NOTHING.

  22. bob says:

    Tax braks for the rich. That’s what the Republican Party is best known for.

  23. Jon Keller says:

    Thanks to all for a lively, mostly civil discussion. Well done.

    1. tsal says:

      Jon – you either were VERY missed or you found a topic many are passionate about. I’d say it’s a combination of the two and welcome back!!! Thank you for taking the time to make these topics available.

  24. Ron says:

    Welcome back Jon

  25. Nab71 says:

    The President has said that “everyone needs to chip in.”
    Its not a bad idea if you could count on the Democrats not to renege on spending cuts after revenue is increased. They did that in the Reagan administration. My definition of “everyone chips in” is different than the President’s. For example you might surcharge the 47% that didn’t pay any income taxes by $200. Those that did owe tax would pay the larger of a 2% surcharge or $200. The point is “everyone needs to chip in”, that is pay something for services.

  26. Sue I. says:

    It’s about time somebody said this. I also believe that people who are very well off have probably used many services, perhaps services they could have gotten without government help. Those selfish people can and should pay a bit more in taxes. I wish people could remember that it’s “taxation WITHOUT REPRESENTATION” that is tyranny, not just taxation.

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