Can Washington Cut the Deficit?

Friday, November 12, 2010

coins, bank (Tattooed JJ/flickr)

Love them or hate them, the co-chairs of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform have released their draft proposals to slow the quickly growing national debt. Many politicians say the ideas will never, ever be approved by any future Congress. With proposals that call for major cuts in domestic and military spending, bumping the age to qualify for (decreased) Social Security benefits, and a simplified but much broader tax base with fewer exemptions, the plan is guaranteed to be unpopular among politicians and voters alike. But as unpalatable as these notions are to politicians, is it time to start getting serious about painful cuts?    

For specifics, the Takeaway checks in with personal finance guru Alvin Hall to discuss how the average American would fare under the new laws.  


Alvin Hall

Hosted by:

Patrik Henry Bass

Produced by:

Hsi-Chang Lin

Comments [8]

Proud to be a Liberal from South Florida

I would add to Crank from Connecticut's list:

- Stop allowing large US corporations to pay $0 in taxes.

It floored me when the commission chair report stated that it would LOWER corporate tax rates when something like 1/4 of corporations don't even pay any. [Don't quote me on the 1/4 - I think that's what VT Senator Bernie Sanders said on the Rachel Maddow show this week] - but I've heard on several news shows and read that companies like Exxon paid $0 last year. And even a company like Google doesn't pay all of its taxes because it does some fancy footwork funneling some money to Ireland. So if this is true and I am not saying I know it for 100% [who can trust any media outlet these days] then corps...big profit corps need to pay taxes - all of their taxes! Trickle down just won't cut it.

Because I guarantee that most corps will not pass the "tax savings" on to their workers or customers [although Google probably did]. Remember it's called Trickle down economics for a reason: trickle as defined by Webster is "to move or go one by one or little by little" or to "fall in drops" or to "dissipate slowly" And that is why it never works.

Nov. 12 2010 04:10 PM
The Crank from Connecticut

-- End all military involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq
-- Make all earned income subject to Social Security taxes.
-- Raise income taxes on those earning more than $250,000 annually
-- Eliminate loopholes in Federal tax policy that are designed to benefit the few over the many
-- Eliminate unnecessary farm subsidies such as those for tobacco
-- Raise taxes on alcohol and tobacco. Those who wish to destroy their health and become a burden on society should pay for the privilege of being able to do that.

Raising the retirement age should not be an option. Too many people who work in the trades or who do other physically demanding labor are literally worn out by the time (and sometimes before) they reach current retirement age. My wife has been a teacher in an urban school system for 37 years and she's worn out from the experience too.

Nov. 12 2010 03:18 PM
EruditeMan from Land of 10,000 taxes

Given that Senators and Congresspeople will NEVER be held personally liable for every penny Congress spends above United States revenue the United States will never balance the budget. In order to resolve the tremendous National Deficit and National Debt. All tobacco & crop subsidies should be permanently stopped. All Government employee wages should be adjusted downward so they are equal to comparable wages found in the private sector. No government subsidies for sports teams should exist. Income taxes should be abolished & all Federal revenue should be generated by sales taxes so that consumers may decide whether-or-not to pay more taxes with each purchase.

Nov. 12 2010 01:00 PM
J.C. Craig from Takoma Park Md

I'd give up the Mortgage deduction. I think is would better to cap it and make it a tax credit. So it is better for everyone not just the wealthy.

Social Security can start when I am 70.

Nov. 12 2010 01:00 PM
eastony from california

I have posted this already here before You guys should stop complaining because, one the health care we have now isnt as good as it was supposed to be. also the law has just been signed so give it some time. so if u want to say u have the right to choose tell that to ur congress men or state official. If you do not have insurance and need one You can find full medical coverage at the lowest price check If you have health insurance and do not care about cost just be happy about it and believe me you are not going to loose anything!

Nov. 12 2010 11:20 AM
D.L.McNamara from Staten Island, NY

I would give up funding Public Broadcasting. If we truly want an informed public, access to free wi-fi is a better option.

Nov. 12 2010 10:42 AM

To the gentleman who complained that he wasn't willing to pay more ss taxes than he would get out of it - Americans wouldn't pay any taxes on anything if given the choice. The way to collect taxes is to insist that they must be paid. Welcome to Club America!

Nov. 12 2010 08:05 AM
Peg from rural NY

Raise the income tax rate for the top 2%. Make the rich pay social security taxes on all of their income. End the war in Afghanistan. Bring our soldiers home before they all get killed, seriously injured or suffer from PTSD. Close or downsize overseas military bases. Single payer or Medicare for all - end employer provided health insurance (makes our businesses non-competitive with other countries). Review social security disability cases. Quite a great number of the recipients are very capable of working (just not necessarily what they were originally trained for). Support the reemergence of quality manufacturing in the US. We are sick of low quality, cheap junk from Asia. Cut carbon emissions. Tax carbon.

The middle class is already suffering - we are supporting the entire US non-working classes - at the bottom, and also at the top. We are tired, our children are tired, our friends are tired. What we would like to cut are the countless hours we spend working to carry the rich and poor burdens besides taking care of our own families. Give us a break!

Nov. 12 2010 06:40 AM

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