White House working to avoid government shutdown
February 21st, 2011
02:13 PM ET

White House working to avoid government shutdown

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Congress may be taking advantage of a week long vacation outside the beltway, but back in Washington there is vigorous debate over the prospect of a federal government shutdown.

Amid plenty of finger pointing among lawmakers, the White House is working hard to stave off what the president himself said would be ‘destabilizing’ to U.S economic recovery.

In a news conference last week, President Obama urged caution against ‘being too loose’ with talk about a government shutdown.  “This is not an abstraction,” he said.  “People don’t get their social security checks.  They don’t get their veterans payment.”

On Monday, a senior administration official said the White House is committed to working “with both sides of the aisle in Congress and both the House and Senate to make sure that the government has what it needs to keep operation.”

The administration official added, that just as the president said, “we don’t want a government shutdown.”

The last government shutdown happened in 1995 after a seismic shift in power ushered in a new Republican Congress led by Newt Gingrich.

Everything from national parks to passport agencies were shuttered.

With the Continuing Resolution that currently funds the federal government set to expire on March 4th, the White House is focused on preventing a disruption of “the services the American people expect and need,” the official said.

Topics: President Obama • The News

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soundoff (123 Responses)
  1. Bill

    Shutting down the government is a minor act of treason.

    February 21, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • Henry Miller

      And bankrupting the country is a major act of treason.

      February 21, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
      • holiday_routine

        Well said sir.

        February 21, 2011 at 9:23 pm |
  2. yellowdog

    Were it not a safety issue, I'd like to see the whole federal government shut down to give Tea Partiers a taste of what their Nirvana would be like. No FAA so no flying – commercial or private, no FBI, no DEA, no Forest Service, no Coast Guard meaning no aid to navigation. no internet because government servers are involved, no federal highways – the list goes on. Rand Paul could sit there smugly counting his money with no place to spend it.

    February 21, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
    • Jay in NC

      No one, not even Ran Paul, is advocating a complete shut down of the Federal government. Your extreme example is designed to frighten and misinform. The truth is we can not continue borrowing money to pay for bad promises, entitlements and give aways. Liberals will, in the same breath, condemn President Bush for debts then attack anyone that tries to cut spending. Why are you unwilling to sacrifice for your country?

      February 21, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
      • lgny

        Liberals are ready to cut, but please move beyond the cheap repackaging of the Conservative social agenda as budget discipline. Nearly all the House cuts are programs the conservatives have tried to kill for decades. Please go back and do balanced cuts removing excess in all programs instead of playing narrow politics.

        February 21, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
      • Jay in NC

        lgny, I think there should be a 10% – 15% on every thing Medicade, Medicare, Social Security, Defense, and all other spending. It is time for this country to go on a diet.

        February 21, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
      • Larry

        Jay in NC, such proposals for across the board spending cuts come from people who are too lazy to study where we spend money to determine where it makes sense to cut spending and how much. You've obviously given no real thought to any of this. In addition to not considering the consequences of those cuts on the people they'll affect, you're obviously oblivious to the effect it would have on the economy to pull $370+ billion in spending out of it over a very short period of time.

        February 21, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
      • Jay in NC

        Actually Larry, the markets would rate investing in US bonds even better. The rate we pay on interests would drop. We therefor would have to borrow less money. Less taxes would equal more for personal spending, save and invest. This idea has nothing to do with being lazy or not thinking it through. It has to do with being responsible. Stop your Liberal elitist banter and lets get to work solving the problems.

        February 21, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
      • Larry

        "Actually Larry, the markets would rate investing in US bonds even better. The rate we pay on interests would drop. We therefor would have to borrow less money."

        If a couple million people lose their jobs because the government pulls a few hundred billion out of the economy, they stop paying taxes and cause the government to spend more on benefits for the unemployed. As a result the deficit would not be cut by more than half of the spending reduction at best, and we'd be looking at a noticeably higher unemployment rate.

        That would more than negate the benefit of any small reduction in the interest rate on U.S. bonds. You can't cut spending without cutting jobs. That's simple economics. If you don't cut too many at once the economy can adjust and absorb them without taking a significant hit. If you cut a couple million when unemployment is already 9%, things will be very bad.

        "Less taxes would equal more for personal spending, save and invest."

        No one is talking about cutting taxes at this point, only spending, so this has no basis in reality.

        "This idea has nothing to do with being lazy or not thinking it through. It has to do with being responsible."

        You haven't even thought it through enough to realize no one's talking about lowering any taxes.

        "Stop your Liberal elitist banter"

        I'm not a liberal. I'm a moderate conservative who has spent a lot of time studying this issue and none letting talking heads on either side tell me what to think, fear, or hate. You, on the other hand, are part of a group that believes calling someone a liberal elitist instantly invalidates his arguments. It does not, even if he is in fact a liberal.

        February 21, 2011 at 7:06 pm |
    • Henry Miller

      Actually, FAA ATC would be unaffected, nor would military services like the Coast Guard. The Internet is run entirely rby private companies. No one would miss the DEA and I doubt the forests would suddenly cease to exist in the absence of the Forest Service.

      Basically, truly critical functions of government would be unaffected, and, for the most part, government shouldn't be involved in the first place in things that aren't truly critical.

      February 21, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
      • Larry

        "government shouldn't be involved in the first place in things that aren't truly critical"

        This is an opinion, and not one that is universally held. It's not even one Thomas Jefferson held:

        "The only orthodox object of the institution of government is to secure the greatest degree of happiness possible to the general mass of those associated under it." –Thomas Jefferson to M. van der Kemp, 1812. ME 13:135

        February 21, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
  3. Adalbert

    The President should just let the republican dictators shut down everything and let’s see what happens.

    February 21, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
  4. John

    If the government shut down It will be the Republican fault and the Tea Party. I hope all you tea party backer don't have mom and dad or grandma and grandpa that may be counting on their Social Security check because you may just help stop them.

    February 21, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
    • Jay in NC

      If the Liberals would try living with in our means there would not be a problem. Go spend your own money and leave my kids kids debt alone.

      February 21, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
      • Henry Miller

        Roger that!

        If the Libs had to pay for their outrageously expensive do-goodery out of their own pockets, I expect there'd be a whole lot less of it. It's easy to be generous with other peoples' money.

        February 21, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
      • Larry

        Jay in NC, when you constantly try to pin the blame for all our problems on liberals you make it clear your opinions are not even remotely objective and hence have no real value in an objective assessment of our problems.

        The notion that liberals are the only ones who spend money is ludicrous. Republicans have been every bit as bad at spending money we don't have, they just like to spend it on other things. 20% of the federal budget is for "national defense," even though no country has attacked us in 65 years. I'm 55 years old. All my life the government, Republicans and Democrats, have tried to keep in fear of barbarians at the gate ready to overrun us if we cut defense spending $200. Frankly, I'm fed up with it.

        The Republicans want to let the rich, who have been doing much better than the bottom 90% over the past 30 years, get even richer on some unsupported theory that it's good for the country. It is not. Large income and wealth gaps have always been bad for societies and ours is not immune to the nature order of things. We both know you haven't studied this, and you should know I place no value in the opinions of people who haven't done their homework.

        You have an unalienable right to your opinion. You have a constitutional right to express it. If you people to respect it, that has to be earnedand as far as I can tell you have done nothing to earn respect for opinions about the issues we're discussing.

        February 21, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
      • Larry

        Henry Miller: First, when you use terms like "libs" it tells me you don't have an intelligent argument to offer. The reality is that conservatives support most of the "do-goodery" you ridicule. Other than a small fringe group on the far Right I don't hear conservatives calling for major cuts in Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid.

        "It's easy to be generous with other peoples' money."

        This applies to military spending as well. I can assure you a lot of liberals have a problem seeing their tax dollars go to fund wars they opposed or maintaining a navy that's larger than the next 13 navies combined.

        These kinds of statements based on tired stereotypes make you sound clueless. There are a lot of wealthy liberals out there who are happy to contribute to better our society. The notion that liberals are all poor and on welfare is an idiotic one people only buy into when they can't handle reality.

        I wouldn't be so quick to try and portray selfishness as an American value if I were you.

        February 21, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
      • Jay in NC

        Well Larry, we agree, there is too much spending on the military. How much do you purpose we cut, or would that be stupid to suggest a percentage? Maybe you would feel comfortable naming an amount.

        February 21, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
      • reACTIONary

        Easy. Raise taxes to cover the deficit. People won't cut what they don't actually pay for – if it isn't free then we can make some decisions.

        February 21, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
      • Larry

        Jay, I try not to speculate on things I haven't spent time studying. I've studied health care issues, taxation, illegal immigration, the income and wealth gap, and a couple of other things to a more limited extent. I haven't studied the Defense Dept enough to offer much more than general ideas.

        But I see no rational reason to believe we need to maintain a military ready to go to war at any second all the time in perpetuity. Eisenhower warned us that money spent on the military is money that must be diverted from other purposes that benefit our society, and no one seems to have listened.

        I can't give you a figure or a percentage, but I would start by adopting all of Sec. Gate's proposals to cut costs and spending. I haven't studied this, but he has. I trust his judgment and I think Congress should as well instead of trying to protect their districts from lost projects as Boehner did. What a weasel. One minute he portrays himself as the champion of budget cuts and the next he's fighting to preserve spending for a jet engine because it's manufactured in his state.

        I would also divest ourselves of a variety of installations in other countries. Why do we need 50K troops in Germany? Why do we need an unwelcome naval base at Guantánamo Bay? I would reduce the number of troops.

        It seems to me that the real barbarian at our gate is our growing national debt, something I was warning people about long before it became a popular pastime.

        One Republican congressman compared our situation to a family spending $85K while making $50K. Okay, fine. What if $17K of that was for personal security?

        February 21, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
      • Larry

        By the way, it's my belief that maintaining such a large standing military ultimately encourages us to use it too cavalierly. If we'd needed to double the size of our military and institute a draft to invade Iraq I don't think it would have happened.

        February 21, 2011 at 7:33 pm |
  5. sam sixpack

    Oh, so those who oppose spend, spend, spend are the problem. Only the Whitehouse cares about you? This isn't news – this is shameless propaganda.

    February 21, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
  6. Larry

    When did the richest among us become too lofty to tax? They pay a lower percentage of their income in taxes than they did 30 years ago while much more of the total income goes to them. In 1979, the top 1% earned 7.5% of the after-tax income. In 2009 it was 17.1%. So they're getting more than twice as much of the total after-tax income now.

    The 2010 Forbes 400 reports the total net worth of the 400 richest, the top 0.00000045%, at $1.36 trillion, about 10% of our total GDP.

    Today’s strange brand of conservative looks at this situation and thinks that America’s problem is that the wealthy still don’t have enough money.

    February 21, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
    • Ryan

      Totally agree. It's so unfortunate most Americans are out there fighting for the rich to get richer thinking it will somehow translate into the middle class somehow getting richer. Until Congress closes all of the loopholes and deductions corporations use to not pay taxes, I'm not willing to give up anything the government gives to the people. Who cares if the corporate tax rate is 35%? It could be a hundred percent and still not matter because they find ways to weasel out of paying what they owe (indefinite deferrment of overseas profits?) When corporations start having to actually pay taxes, then we can talk about what the middle class needs to give up.

      February 21, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
      • Dean

        Who do you think pays corporate taxes? You the consumer. You raise their taxes and they raise the cost of their product or services or move out of the country.
        The very rich may be a smaller percentage of their wealth than 30 years ago but the bottom 50% of earners who paid taxes 30 years ago today pay nothing.
        We need a new tax system......everyone pays 15% of gross income period.

        February 21, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
      • Jay in NC

        Who do you think owns the corporations? Millions of individuals called stock holders. Do you not have a IRA, 401 or other savings plan?

        February 21, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
      • Larry

        Jay in NC: "Who do you think owns the corporations? Millions of individuals called stock holders."

        I can assure you that the people who have ended up holding worthless stock in companies that failed while their CEOs made out like bandits would love to have a chat with you. Anthony Mozilo, CEO of Countrywide Financial received $57 million in compensation in 2005 and has a net worth of several hundred million dollars. Countrywide Financial, one of the big players in the subprime mortgage debacle no longer exists. Explain your theories to its stockholders. Then talk to Enron's. Be sure to report back to us about what they had to say.

        February 21, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
      • Jay in NC

        OK Larry, you named two companies out of the 10s of thousand sound viable companies. You forget we do live in a capitalistic country. Are you saying that you have no money invested in stocks? Or is that just what you say to the poor to keep them poor?

        February 21, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
      • Larry

        "We need a new tax system......everyone pays 15% of gross income period."

        You need to spend some time studying taxation and income distribution. A flat tax would be a disaster, which is why no country has one. Even Thomas Jefferson understood the need for progressive taxation:

        "The rich alone use imported articles, and on these alone the whole taxes of the General Government are levied. ... Our revenues liberated by the discharge of the public debt, and its surplus applied to canals, roads, schools, etc., the farmer will see his government supported, his children educated, and the face of his country made a paradise by the contributions of the rich alone, without his being called on to spend a cent from his earnings." — Thomas Jefferson to Thaddeus Kosciusko, 1811. ME 13:41

        "Another means of silently lessening the inequality of property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the higher portions of property in geometrical progression as they rise." — Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1785. ME 19:18, Papers 8:682

        February 21, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
    • rob

      The 2010 Forbes 400 reports the total net worth of the 400 richest, the top 0.00000045%, at $1.36 trillion, about 10% of our total GDP.

      So if we CONFISCATE the wealth of that "400 richest" it would only cover this years deficit.....THEN WHAT. We don't have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem !!!!

      February 21, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
      • Larry

        rob, you don't have an argument and you clearly haven't studied any of this. We most certainly do have a revenue problem, and at this point in time taxing the top income earners would do far less harm to the economic recovery than massive spending cuts that would put potentially millions more on the unemployment rolls, depending on how deep the cuts are.

        Resist the urge to tell everyone how it is until you've actually spent some time educating yourself about how it is instead of letting sources who have passed your ideological litmus test tell you what to think, fear, and hate.

        This is not a good forum for real discussion because they cut off discussions arbitrarily at random points, but there are very compelling arguments, supported by a lot of solid data pointing to the widening income and wealth gap as being serious problems. The fact that you haven't studied this issue and can't discuss it knowledgeably doesn't make me or anyone else wrong.

        February 21, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
    • Larry

      Dean, I think of our corporate tax as an alternative to a value added tax (national sales tax) that other countries with lower corporate taxes have. Yes, the consumer ultimately pays those taxes, but that lets me as a consumer control when I'm willing to pay them. Taxes based on the sale of goods are the only taxes that allow me to control when I pay them.

      "The very rich may be a smaller percentage of their wealth than 30 years ago but the bottom 50% of earners who paid taxes 30 years ago today pay nothing."

      Those people at the bottom haven't been sharing equitably in our nation's economic growth over the past 30 years either. Their share of the total income has declined while the top 10%, and especially the top 1% have seen their incomes grow significantly. If you're content to stand by and let income and wealth flow to the top, don't complain when those at the top have to bare more of the taxation burden. That said, the top 1% pay a smaller percentage of income in taxes today than they did 30 years ago as well.

      We were sold a bill of goods in Reaganomics and now we're reaping the consequences.

      February 21, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
      • Jay in NC

        Reaganomics? Grow up. You Liberals have been hading us this big bad company going to get ya stuff for decades. The rich get richer because they invest. An hourly workers gets paid by the hour. Go figure that they make less money. If you want to make more then invest. Buy a share of the so called greedy company and you too can make the profits. If the Unions had invested the money, not spent it on picket signs, then they would have owned the companies. That would mean that they would have to make the grown-up decisions that co. owners make every day.

        February 21, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
      • Larry

        Sorry, Jay in NC, but your rationalizations don't really hold up against the data and evidence. What you describe has been going on in America for 200 years. The trend I described started around 1980. The data won't go away because you don't know about it or understand it. When you offer explanations that don't hold up to real analysis simply because they reflect your ideological beliefs it tells me you care more about loyalty to an ideology than you do about solving our problems.

        February 21, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
    • reACTIONary

      Crime, Larry, the poor have WAY too much money, and the rich don't have NEARLY enough!

      (Do you have a blog?)

      February 21, 2011 at 7:10 pm |
      • Larry

        No blog, I just love my country.

        February 22, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
  7. Gaylon Barrow

    In the picture walking across the front porch is reason enough for us to restart another government by the people and for the people. THIS MAN IS CERTAINLY NOT FOR ALL AMERICANS. HE IS FOR THE ONES OUR TAXES SUPPORT AND AGAINST THE ONES WHO SUPPORT AND FURNISH THE NATION'S TAXES. GET OUT THE TAR &* FEATHERS FELLAS.

    February 21, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
  8. Gaylon Barrow

    Boy if you read Larry, John and Yellow Dog you would think anyone making over $200,000 are just scum and furnish this country without any assets. But they never consider that 48 % of this country don't furnish anything. Most of them draw tremendous tax returns for most have the child deduction tax return and with dozens of children each woman that is files receives quite a bit of money for one Mommy and Auntie who's raising the children. All they can do is come on here ans say such outhouse remarks that make no sense. GO AWAY MONGRELS>

    February 21, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • Larry

      Gaylon: "if you read Larry, John and Yellow Dog you would think anyone making over $200,000 are just scum and furnish this country without any assets."

      Typical right-wing straw man argument. Nothing I said even remotely supports this claim. Why are you people so afraid of honest discourse?

      "But they never consider that 48 % of this country don't furnish anything."

      I dare say I've studied all this far more than you have given that all you seem to offer are popular right-wing talking points. What you say here is a lie. The 48% figure is an aggregate figure. The bottom 48% pay no net *income* tax. Claims none of them pays income tax are false. Furthermore, you ignore the fact that they pay a higher percentage of their income into taxes such as payroll taxes, excise taxes, sales taxes, and property taxes.

      Glenn and Rush have not prepared you to discuss taxation rationally or knowledgeably. I would point on that despite the fact that the rich pay the lion's share of the taxes the data clearly shows the rich have seen their incomes and wealth grow at much higher rates than those of the people you seem to despise.

      Of the total increase in income we saw between 2004 and 2005, 92% of that new income went to the top 10%, while the bottom 92% got 8% of it. But what that doesn't tell you is that most of that 92% actually went to the top 1%.

      The top 1% received 7.5% of the after-tax income in 1979 and 17.1% in 2009.

      The share of the total income seen by the bottom 90% declined between 1979 and 2005, pretty much held steady for those in the 90-95% group, and the top 1% saw the lion's share of the gain.

      The ratio of CEO pay to average worker pay was 24-to-1 in 1965 and about 240-to-1 now.

      There is a ton of data like this out there all telling the same story: that income and wealth have been flowing to the top for 30 years. This isn't liberal talk, this is what hard data from the IRS, the Census Bureau, and the Federal Reserve tells us, and it's an unsustainable trend. Stop worshipping the rich. They aren't gods and they aren't saints.

      Stop attacking and insulting people just because they know and understand more about this than you do.

      February 21, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
      • rob

        What do you propose to do about the income diparity? Do we tax anyone who earns more than $200000 at say 50% and graduate the scale to 100% for millionaires and billionaires and have our leaders in Washington spend it on everyone else at their whim?

        For all your lengthy sermons to those of us who are less educated and learned as youself, you seem to not understand the basics of our Capitalist system. When we have a robust private sector economy wealth is created exponentialy by allowing people to take risks, invest their own time and money and become rich. Jobs are created for those who want them and opportunities will be their for those enterprising enough to find them and work hard to succeed.

        The larger the Govt gets the less the private sector can thrive, especially now that it is spending us into oblivion.

        February 21, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
      • Larry

        rob: "What do you propose to do about the income diparity? Do we tax anyone who earns more than $200000 at say 50% and graduate the scale to 100% for millionaires and billionaires and have our leaders in Washington spend it on everyone else at their whim?"

        Obviously not, but something more progressive with maybe another bracket or two at the top end would help. Something like 40% of all income over $500,000, for example (the top rate under Clinton was 39.6%). Go ahead, convince me that someone making $600,000 a year is going to suffer if he pays and extra $5,000 in taxes (40% vs. the current 35% on the $100,000 above $500,000). But no, we can't have that. He's practically a god in today's America. No, far better to let him keep that $5,000 and lay off some teachers and police officers so they can draw unemployment.

        Again, you obviously haven't studied any of this, naively believing you can just rely on sarcasm and straw man arguments to produce a valid argument. I am not proposing anything foolish or radical. Far from it. If you look at tax rates and brackets in the decades between 1913 and when Reagan slashed taxes you'll find the top rates were over twice what they are now. And the rich still got richer.

        "For all your lengthy sermons to those of us who are less educated and learned as youself, you seem to not understand the basics of our Capitalist system. When we have a robust private sector economy wealth is created exponentialy by allowing people to take risks, invest their own time and money and become rich."

        I'm not the one who fails to understand how it works. Most people become wealthy investing other people's money, and today, by manipulating money. One person who was new to the Forbes 400 in 2007 make a billion dollars shorting subprime mortgages.

        When the rich get rich faster than they can responsibly invest their money, they invest irresponsibly and create bubbles that have a profoundly negative affect on ordinary working people when they burst.

        "Jobs are created for those who want them and opportunities will be their for those enterprising enough to find them and work hard to succeed."

        Thanks for the fairy tale. If that's true, given that for the past 30 years the rich have been getting richer far faster than in the past, why aren't we seeing all those jobs? Job growth under Bush was the worst of any president in decades.

        The reason you people are so frustrating is that you argue based on beliefs born of ideology, not facts, data, history, or logic. You just spout the mantras without ever considering the possibility that what you believe is not supported by any real world evidence. You turn political debate into a religious argument. When confronted with facts and data you flail about dismissing it as meaningless, claim the source is liberal, tell people they're lying, or just flat out ignore and keep chanting the same mantra.

        If you really cared about this country you'd study the challenges it faces, not let talking heads tell you what to think, fear, and hate. All you people ever have are beliefs you can't support, insults for liberals, derogatory nicknames like "libtard" and so on. Never, ever a fact-based legitimate argument. And you call yourself patriots. What a joke.

        "Educate and inform the whole mass of the people...they are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty."
        — Thomas Jefferson

        February 21, 2011 at 7:56 pm |
      • Larry

        "The larger the Govt gets the less the private sector can thrive, especially now that it is spending us into oblivion."

        There are things it makes sense for government to do, which is why we have government, and things that don't make sense for it to do. In every situation we should consider all the options, including government. If it's really not the best option, we shouldn't use it. But if it *is* the best option, it would be foolish to reject it out of hand because it doesn't pass an ideological litmus test.

        February 21, 2011 at 9:06 pm |
  9. Larry

    Gaylon Barrow: So we should restart the government every time someone you've been told to hate and fear is elected president? This forum doesn't facilitate discussions, but the claims you YELLED at us are easily shown to have no merit based on facts, evidence, history, and even the writings of the founding fathers:

    "The rich alone use imported articles, and on these alone the whole taxes of the General Government are levied. ... Our revenues liberated by the discharge of the public debt, and its surplus applied to canals, roads, schools, etc., the farmer will see his government supported, his children educated, and the face of his country made a paradise by the contributions of the rich alone, without his being called on to spend a cent from his earnings." — Thomas Jefferson to Thaddeus Kosciusko, 1811. ME 13:41

    February 21, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
  10. Marla

    Please voters – remember this in 2012!
    Who was working and worrying along with you this week? Our President!
    Who was taking the week off? Congress, led by the Republicans!

    February 21, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
    • Jay in NC

      Think of it as Barry having to stay after school to write 1000 times "I will not increase the deficit."

      February 21, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
      • Sarah Smart

        LOL yeah right Jay in NC More like Barry volunteered after class to mediate the conflict resolution between the tea bullies and constant doormats. *sigh*

        February 21, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
      • Larry

        I think of people who refer to the president as "Barry" as being incapable of discussing any issue knowledgeably.

        February 21, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
    • ThinkAgain

      Democrats and Progressives need to keep getting the word out about this. The American people have shown they have a short attention span – and the Republicans have proven they will stoop to anything and everything to bring our President and our country down.

      There are more registered Democrats than Republicans, so all we have to do, Dems, is GET OUT AND VOTE DEMOCRATIC IN 2012!

      February 21, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
      • Sarah Smart

        True. I think this past 'week of weight' attacks the 'Republicans' have leveled at the first lady Michelle is THE MOST distgusting and irrelevant politics(?) I have seen EVER. If they have any chance in 2012 they need to get Bachman Palin and Limbaugh to STFU yesterday.

        February 21, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
      • Larry

        Attacking Michelle Obama for encouraging kids to eat right and be more active is yet another example of how desperate the Right is. They know they have nothing to sell, so all they can do is flail around trying to demonize the other side. It makes them look really desperate.

        February 21, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
      • Jay in NC

        Blaming all Republicans because one commentator says something stupid makes it clear your opinions are not even remotely objective and hence have no real value in an objective assessment of our problems.

        February 21, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
      • Larry

        "Blaming all Republicans because one commentator says something stupid"

        Nice attempt at a straw man argument, Jay. I didn't blame all Republicans, or even strictly speaking, any Republicans. I was referring to the far Right folks who embrace the really idiotic stuff we hear from the likes of Sarah Palin™ and Michele Bachmann. Sarah Palin™ is not just "one commentator." She regarded by many as the most visible voice of the Republican party — much to the dismay of many in the party.

        Most of their followers are indeed Republicans, but many Republicans do not fall into that category. Unfortunately, reasonable, thinking Republicans have largely been pushed off the stage by a bunch of right-wing fanatics who regularly make fools of themselves talking nonsense, but it's nonsense their fans like to hear.

        February 21, 2011 at 8:08 pm |
    • Linda

      Bull Hockey!!! You don't think Congress took off last year??? It's a CONGRESS thing, not Republican or Democrat. Stop your hate mongering!

      February 21, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  11. Lisa

    A week's vacation for President's day? Cushy job, Congress.

    February 21, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
    • Larry

      Don't be too hard on them. They *have* been working for over a month now, ya know?

      February 21, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
    • lgny

      In theory, it's a week to return home and meet with constituents. After all we do want them to represent us. However, there's no enforcement and your rep may use it as a vacation.

      February 21, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  12. John

    The President did show he is capable of compromise, during the lame duck session. It's the Republicans who are forcing the issue this time, by putting poison pills such as a backdoor repeal of health care reform, into the continuing resolution. The President is right to call their bluff.

    February 21, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  13. Dean

    When the business world is facing a crisis the employees put in long hard hours to avoid the crisis. When congress is facing a crisis they take a week off.
    Someone at sometime has to stop this crazy debt that increases daily. It might as well be now. A child born today is already about $50,000 in debt. It has to stop if we are going to continue to exist at all.
    Just a thought, but Illegal alien migration into the United States costs American taxpayers $346 billion annually reported by the National Research Council.
    Congress wake up.

    February 21, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
  14. Dean

    Who do you think pays corporate taxes? You the consumer. You raise their taxes and they raise the cost of their product or services or move out of the country.
    The very rich may be a smaller percentage of their wealth than 30 years ago but the bottom 50% of earners who paid taxes 30 years ago today pay nothing.
    We need a new tax system......everyone pays 15% of gross income period.

    February 21, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  15. Martin Townsend

    This is what happens when a country elects people who claim government is evil to run government. Either way they'll run it down because they dont like it, dont know how to run it, or to prove themselves right.

    February 21, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  16. bobnla

    It's time to call the Republicans bluff. Here is reality. they fought for tax cuts, then complain about the dificit. they say Social Security and Medicare are what are hurting us financially, yet they are funded by tax contribtions form employees and employers and are not part of the problem- it's the fact that the funds have been tapped for other uses.
    They complain about how high the deficit is yet don't acknowledge that the war was never figured into the Bush estimate and therefore woudl show that the actualy deficit was higher in 2008 than ever reported and the adjusted figure ihas a very small increase. They want cuts- start with a reasonable tax rate and stop tapping and replace the funds on the progrmas they complain about the most.

    February 21, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  17. haren

    Today CEO's are paid 400:1 than in 70's which was 40:1 and our economy was robust at that time.
    even in clinton's time with 39% tax rate economy was booming.
    All stupid people who tells us that we heve spending problem is wrong, we have revenue problem, too much tax cut to rich guys and they don't pay even 17%. tax.

    February 21, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • Larry

      As I understand it the ratio peaked around 400-to-1, but now it's about 240-to-1 (which is still ten times what it was in 1965).

      February 21, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
  18. williefloyd

    All these folks (Dems) need to get on their phones and call congressmen and the White House to show our support for our president. These Greedy Old People are set on ruining the middle class. These jerks who think we all look for handouts need to shut up. I've worked all my life and paid into S.S. If the govt. kept their hands out of the trust fund we wouldn't be in such bad shape. And now they're trying to crush labor unions. We don't have them in SC-1 reason we have some of the lowest wages in the country.

    February 21, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • Adalbert

      Well stated. We must stand up these right wing bullies.

      February 21, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  19. clwyd

    With boner Boehner saying there will be no compromise I get the idea that all these republicans are fascists. We have a governor in Wisconsin who says the same thing and is taking away rights without even debate or hearing amendments to his bill. Even when state emplyees have agreed to all of his money demands to balance the budget! It is a sad day here in Wisconsin as this has never happened before in our states histroy, that a governor or a legislature had been so radical. They have only been in power for a month and what other power grabs are coming?

    February 21, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
    • budinme

      so radical........we have the most radical lefty in the white house.

      February 22, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
      • Larry

        I know you've been brainwashed to believe this, but we both know you can't defend this claim with a rational, fact-based argument.

        February 22, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
  20. BL

    The more I watch Pres Barry it is now clear that a Government shutdown would be preferred.

    "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste," Rahm Emanuel, Mr. Obama's new chief of staff, told a Wall Street Journal conference of top corporate chief executives shortly after the November 2008 election. "This crisis provides the opportunity for us to do things that you could not do before."

    February 21, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
    • Larry

      I've never seen anyone who refers to the president as "Barry" who could intelligently discuss any issue or offer an intelligent, well-reasoned criticism of his policies.

      February 22, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
  21. lgny

    The big problem here is that the House budget cuts are mainly a repackaging of the Conservative social agenda. Please go back and get serious about bi-partisan cuts that are more than just advancing one side's political agenda. We can and must do better than this.

    February 21, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
    • Jay in NC

      Would you agree to a all out 5% cut on spending? No politics, cut everything by 5%. No special deals, no fancy tax credits or exceptions just an old fashion cut in spending.

      February 21, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
      • lgny

        That's actually a rather bad way to cut since it's applies no intelligence. An economist characterized capitalism as "creative destruction" where new businesses destroy old ones by creating new products. When companies get into trouble, they re-organize and look for product lines that can be dropped as no longer viable.

        Governments have a much harder time doing the same thing. I'd worry less about immediate symbolic cuts and put into place a serious process of examining what the govt needs to do stop doing.

        The Presidential panel's recent report is a good start but these House cuts bear no relationship to that report.

        February 21, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
      • Jay in NC

        I see nothing wrong with me saying that I will cut my pet project by 5% if you cut yours. It is a start and it is very fair. Or we can do it your way and continue arguing.

        February 21, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
      • Larry

        "Would you agree to a all out 5% cut on spending?"

        No. First, it's a brain dead, lazy approach to cutting spending. If you had to cut your personal spending by 5%, would it make sense to cut your going-out-to-eat spending 5% and your rent 5%? Or might it be more sensible to pay your full rent, stop going out to eat, and turn off the cable?

        Second, almost all government spending goes into our economy. It pays the salaries of government workers, pays retirement benefits to retired federal employees and military, provides income for Social Security recipients, and buys a lot of goods and services in our economy.

        During this past recession, a 4.1% decline in GDP led to the loss of 8 million jobs. A 5% reduction in federal spending would pull an amount equal to 1.3% of GDP out of the economy, and at a time when unemployment is already 9%. Expect at least a couple more million people to lose their jobs, stop paying taxes, and start collecting unemployment benefits. And expect increased government spending to provide health care for about a million of them because about half of them will loose their health insurance when they lose their jobs.

        February 21, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
      • Larry

        "I see nothing wrong with me saying that I will cut my pet project by 5% if you cut yours."

        That's not even remotely what you're saying. The vast majority of federal spending is not for "pet projects." You clearly have spent no time studying this, and it really shows. Anyone can just make stuff up off the top of his head, but such proposals are never useful because they're not based on anything real.

        February 21, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
      • Larry

        By the way, the House debated an amendment (google "Jordan amendment") to the budget calling for 5.5% (if I recall correctly) across the board cuts to a certain class of spending (non-defense, non-discretionary spending or something like that). It was solidly defeated for the reason I gave you: across the board cuts cut things that shouldn't be cut and fail to cut enough out of other things.

        February 21, 2011 at 8:14 pm |
    • budinme

      please go back and get serious about bi partisan health care. these cuts are tiny amount of spending. "we" won the election, how many times have i heard/read that during the last two years.

      February 22, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
      • Larry

        No one is willing to get serious about health care reform that could significantly reduce spending both for us in the private sector and the government. Our $2.4 trillion health care industry has promoted a fear of government involvement in health care because they know government is the only entity that has the ability to do what needs to be done. The health care industry does not want health care spending to go down, because what we call "spending" they call "revenue."

        February 22, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
  22. JHA in Texas

    REPUBLICAN AND TEA PARTY EXTREMEISTS forcing government shutdown. The United States has soldiers in harms
    way in two wars!! Republican House Speaker Boenher and Republican Senate Minority Ldr. Mc Connell need to have more regard for our military personnel. They need to control REPUBLICAN / TEA PARTY EXTREMEISTS and be adults and learn to govern. You were elected to "SERVE THE PEOPLE", do no harm, do no harm. Our senior citizens depend on receiving their monthly checks tp buy food and pay bills. Playing politics with people lives does not "SERVE THE PEOPLE". Is there no human compassion in your Republican / Tea Party hearts for you fellow Americans.

    You all need to ask yourself " WHAT WOULD JESUS DO?".

    February 21, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
    • budinme

      im hoping he would see the disaster we are in and cut the budget. the house repubs have "cut" (not really) 60 bllion from the current (last years) continuing resolution. a tiny tiny amount of gov spending and the left is all upset and will allow the gov to shut down rather than admit we are bankrupt. the left is being stupid.

      February 22, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
      • Larry

        The Right isn't earning any awards for smarts themselves. Republicans insisted on maintaining a tax structure that hasn't produced significant numbers of jobs for seven years because needed it to create jobs.

        The richest among us are earning over twice as much of the combined after-tax income as they were 30 years ago, but the Right would have us believe increasing taxes on the highest earners by any amount at all it will hurt the economic recovery more than reducing the income of lower class and middle class workers and putting a million or more people on the unemployment rolls.

        After reading thousands upon thousands of comments online by people on the Right, comments that almost universally lack any factual support or legitimate argument I can assure you the Right has no room to talk about how stupid the Left is being.

        February 22, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
  23. JHA in Texas

    Republicans / Tea Party Leaders Congressionsal / Senate Leadership should be applaud Former Republican President Ronald Regan's budget director David Stockman solution's to our current US financial crisis, during his appearance on CNN's Parker / Spitzer 02/18/2011. He said it was criminal that unfunded Bush Tax Cuts for wealthy Americans was extended for another year and that now US needs to raise tax revenue by increasing taxes on wealthy Americans. A dyed-in- the-wool Republican Conservate, a true budget expert, speaking truth to Republican / Tea Party powers.

    February 21, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  24. lgny

    If that's the only way to get it done, then let's go ahead. But longer term requires a more systematic review of what government does. The panel's report was decently balanced with cuts in several areas. It's unfortunate that the report seems to have disappeared from public attention and discussion.

    February 21, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  25. Jay in NC

    Larry do you have money in an IRA, 401, stock, mutual fund or government savings bonds?

    February 21, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
    • Larry

      My personal situation is irrelevant, though I'm familiar with the tactic of trying to make arguments personal to avoid engaging in real discussion.

      If you have an intelligent argument you'd like to present as a result of studying an issue, one where you can use logic and data, I'd encourage you to stop stalling with tactics like this and present said arguments before they stop allowing comments.

      February 21, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
      • Jay in NC

        It is simple Larry, I think you are a hypocrite. You reel about evil companies and how CEOs take money that belongs to the people, yet you have money invested in those very companies. It is OK for Apple to turn a profit as long as you get a share, but those greedy companies are hurting the workers. Right Larry?

        You see, Liberals like Larry are the new slave holders. They want to keep you poor. They want you to picket, strike and protest, stand out in the rain and hold signs and demand that 'the man' gives you your fair share. All while he tucks extra money away buying stock that he thinks will be worth more.

        I will now now sit back and wait for your typical Liberal hate comments about my grammar, race, living conditions, education.

        February 21, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
      • Larry

        "It is simple Larry, I think you are a hypocrite."

        Well, of course you're going to attack me personally once you realize you can't refute what I'm saying.

        "You reel about evil companies and how CEOs take money that belongs to the people, yet you have money invested in those very companies."

        Another straw man argument. Where did I say CEOs "take money that belongs to the people?" And how would it be hypocritical of me to say that if I have money invested in stocks? If I have money invested in stocks I want less money going to the CEO and more going to my stock dividends. If I have money invested in stocks I want to feel the CEO is going to run the company responsibly with an eye to its long term health, not engage in irresponsible and even unethical practices to drive the stock price up in the short term so he can cash out and be set for life after a few years.

        When CEOs can make tens of millions of dollars in a single year, and keep almost 70% of that (the effective tax rate for all taxes of the top 1% is about 32%), how does that make him vested in the long term health of the company? Anthony Mozilo received $57 million in compensation in 2005, basically by pursuing the subprime mortgage market with a vengeance. So what if he destroyed the company? He's set for life, worth an estimated $800-900 million now.

        "It is OK for Apple to turn a profit as long as you get a share, but those greedy companies are hurting the workers. Right Larry?"

        Another straw man argument. Why don't you try refuting the points I make instead of fabricating points to attack?

        "You see, Liberals like Larry are the new slave holders."

        Give it a rest. I'm not a liberal and every time you stoop to calling your opponent a liberal you're just admitting you have no real argument.

        "They want to keep you poor. They want you to picket, strike and protest, stand out in the rain and hold signs and demand that 'the man' gives you your fair share. All while he tucks extra money away buying stock that he thinks will be worth more.

        I will now now sit back and wait for your typical Liberal hate comments about my grammar, race, living conditions, education."

        Now you're really flailing. You think calling me a liberal somehow strengthens your argument. It doesn't. Then you attack me for things you predict I'm going to do, but have never done and you have no reason to believe I'll do. Keep it up. The more you post stuff like this the clearer it becomes that you can't discuss any of this knowledgeably or rationally.

        You are your own worst enemy in discussions like this, but I understand you can't help it. Rush and Glenn haven't given you anything you can use once your usual tactics fail you. At this point Rush and Glenn usually start yelling at their callers. They seem to make a lot of money doing it, so maybe you should try that next.

        February 21, 2011 at 8:34 pm |
  26. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    The lobbyist have already paid the Republicans millions so Americans little measly pay to them don't mean a darn thing but they won't give it back. Republicans represent an aparthied government for the rich only and no middle class.

    February 21, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
    • holiday_routine

      I am a Republican and the only money I have is what I earned and saved during thirty years service in the Navy on seven different ships. I am tired of my taxes being given away to people who think the government can never do enough for them. No one should go hungry in this great country, but I will be darned if I should be paying for somebody's cell phone or cable tv bills because they are too lazy to get off their butts and go do something. The richest sometimes get tax breaks because they pay most of the taxes. The "poor" (and if you want to see really poor people they don't live in the U.S.) don't get the same tax breaks because many don't pay any taxes except the ones no one can avoid like sales tax.

      February 21, 2011 at 9:32 pm |
      • budinme

        great post holiday.

        February 22, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
    • budinme

      sorry, but its the dems giving away the country. with every program they come up with. i want yo see much less government intrusion in my life and in the private sector.

      February 22, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
  27. Reggie from LA

    @Jay in NC, I don't do hate. This here's a little truth for you and you can respond with typical neo-con smirk language. Wages have grown 1% since 1980. Now if you think I'm effin around (oops, sorry) you do some econometrics and figure it out. That is unless you have already and are in denial. Now Let me hear you tell us how CEO's have been able to demand astronomical figures that most of the uneducated morons that they are, cannot even spend reasonably. I bet you didn't know that Jay. They're not all a bunch of MBAs. I'd suggest do some homework and find out why CEOs are way richer and we are poor. Why their pay went up and ours didn't. Now I was civil, Jay.

    February 21, 2011 at 8:11 pm |
    • Larry

      People on the Right won't study anything. Educating yourself about issues is something for weak-minded liberals who lack the ability to just know everything because it's all common sense. If you actually know anything besides an assortment of tactics you learned from Rush and Glenn you risk being exiled from Glennbeckistan for being an elitist, the highest of all crimes.

      This is why you never see any of these people even attempt honest, legitimate discourse. They state their beliefs, call you a liberal, use derogatory nicknames like Obummer and libtard, insult liberal, make snide and sarcastic remarks, and so on. The one thing they never do is attempt to present a valid argument supported by data and evidence.

      I finally figured out the reason they don't do that is that on the rare occasion they try they just confirm what you always suspected, that they don't know diddly squat about anything. You should hear some of the stuff I've seen them say.

      February 21, 2011 at 8:48 pm |
    • Larry

      The most outrageous thing about some of these CEOs are golden parachutes, agreements that they'll get paid more money than most people make in a lifetime if they're forced out because they underperformed.

      February 21, 2011 at 8:50 pm |
      • lgny

        I'd love a golden parachute, but I'm not a CEO and no one is offering one to me.

        CEO compensation is set by the board's compensation committee which is largely made up of executives from similar corporations. Surprise! Similarly, all proxy votes to appoint the board contain a single slate of directors with no alternate choices. It is any wonder that the candidates are always elected! The only stock holder option is to sell the stock and buy another company with just as bad practices.

        I'm a stock holder but see that the present system is rigged to favor the CEO.

        February 22, 2011 at 10:13 am |
      • Larry

        I agree. In my opinion, golden parachutes, combined with high compensation taxed at relatively low rates give a CEO little reason to care about the long term health of his company. A few years and he'll be set for life no matter what happens to the company.

        February 22, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
  28. holiday_routine

    Why is the government in danger of shutting down (not that that might not be a good thing)? Because the budget that Congress should have passed before the start of the fiscal year on 1 October, was not passed. Passing the budget is the most basic of Congress' s responsibililities, and for whatever reason, they were too incompetent or too political to get it done. It was a Democratic House, a Democratic Senate and a Democratic President who did not get this basic job done. So let's not try to pass the blame on someone else for this irresponsible mismanagement. Let's just remember that once again, the hard choices were not made and the can was kicked down the road.

    February 21, 2011 at 9:21 pm |
  29. Mr Big

    It is funny watching these Republicans talk about deficits when they just demanded and got an extension of Bush tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires that added over $800 billion to the debt. Then they are turning around and slashing and burning the middle class and poor because we are supposedly "broke". Well if that is the case, then why are you giving millionaires and billionaires huge tax breaks that we are borrowing $800 billion to pay for? If they want to restore fiscal sanity, dump the billionaire tax breaks. That is $800 billion in savings right there.

    February 21, 2011 at 10:17 pm |
  30. J.V.Hodgson

    Quite a dialog Larry and Jay in NC. It might pay both sides of the ailse in House and Senate to read it all.
    I believe that the issue is in two parts.
    1) The budget deficit. To solve which can only be fully achieved by increasing government tax revenues and of course cutting costs/spending sensibly. in other words you have to get to a balanced budget
    2) Doing 1 above allows you as the economy strengthens and tax revenues rise to reduce the national debt and importantly the interest burden.
    I wish our elected government would have sensible debate and both sides put ideology in thier back pocket! Because if they dont the financial status of the US over time will equate to Junk bonds. S&P have just downgraded Japanese debt it will happen here in the US as well. TRhe Japanes are coming to terms with it by increasing what they call consumption tax (everywhere else VAT) and for me just one lone voice VAT is a solution for America as it can be a two tier levy first to help balance state budgets and reduce stae debt, and then a federal VAT surcharge%. Exempt food, and Hit luxury good with higher federal rates.
    Link it to an income tax review equalling an overall reduction % wise but sorry the rich pay a higher rate than now
    The debt ( not deficit ) is 14 trillion. Saving on discretionary spending alone I.e Republican $60bn ( the $100bn is playing with words and not real) is a drop in the ocean and relatively meaningless when existing cuts made by liberals yield $41BN and equally not the long term solution.
    The military being a sacred cow for no reduction is ridiculous the potential savings with out major damage to national security are bigger than any where else and much less painful to the USA majority of people.

    February 21, 2011 at 11:52 pm |
    • Larry

      Most political debate in this country is based on myths, misconceptions, and misinformation (some of which is spread deliberately).

      You can't have reasonable debate without common ground, and the common ground should be facts, data and valid logic. Unfortunately, these are almost entirely missing from any debate that takes place on the public stage. People choose instead to steadfastly advocate opinions about issues they haven't taken the time to study at all because it's what someone else has told them to think or it came to them off the tops of their heads.

      February 22, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
  31. Julio from CA

    I don't care who you voted for or what party you are in. If these clowns cause a goverment shut down, we must say to them "YOU'RE FIRED!!!".

    There was a revolt in Egypt, time for a revolt here!

    February 22, 2011 at 12:43 am |
  32. ellielewis55

    If you are planning a mortgage refinance then you should search online for 123 mortgage refinance before you decide they found 3.25% refinance with bad credit history and also did instant analysis of my mortgage.

    February 22, 2011 at 2:16 am |
  33. dave

    i read conservitives comments and wonder when they will connect the dots. you were told that supply side economics was the answer to our future and it would seem that even a high scool drop out can see that its a big falure. the average income for an american was $33,800 a year in 1985 in 2009 the average income for an american was $33,000 a year. trickle down economics that was supposed to make your life better has failed and even a first grader can do this math because they know you have to raise your hand for trickling. now your all upset that finally a union has said enough is enough for giving back! do you non union right wingers think that you have paided for health insurence , a paid for pension plan, paid for vacations paid holidays because your company loves you so much? you get these things because of union efforts to make these things a part of working a job. how many of you conservitives know that all general motors retired NON UNION workers just got a letter in the mail that said that GM would no longer pay for their life time health coverage any more and they were on their own because they had no contract that they had to live up to? so much for your employers love of you because your next to loose these things with a letter in the mail!

    February 22, 2011 at 3:24 am |
    • Larry

      No one can do the math without numbers, and the vast majority haven't done their homework to learn what the numbers are.

      February 22, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
  34. Abe Vagoda

    Let it stop! What would it do? We still have to pay everyone, we still have to GIVE money to the un-needy who hold their hands out for money they didn't earn. when I was let go from my job, I was on un employment for 1 month! I took any job I could because I needed to pay for my son and me. I didn't want a government check! You people that whine and cry about Federal Workers and State workers being asked to give a little back, WHY? If you want to look at the rich and undeserving look at the government and state worker. What do they create? What do they sell or add to our bottom line? NOTHING! They take and have no compassion or thought of where the money comes from...which is you the tax payer. As for CBA, why should they be allowed rights to medical and health that we don't, as private sector employees get? Through CBA, teachers in Buffalo, can get free cosmetic surgery! I don't have a problem with Salaries...if you take a bullet or save a life, you should make a great life. But the DMV Secretary, Or the guy that installs street signs shouldn't be getting to retire at 53, with a full pension just to be able to go work at Wal-Mart and start getting a Social Security Check to boot! I think peoples priorities are whacked, stop hating the business man Making jobs and creating wealth for the economy and start seeing how non elected government employees are sucking taxpayers dry!

    February 22, 2011 at 8:09 am |
    • lgny

      So, teachers who are preparing the next generation to become productive citizens are not performing a useful service? Yes, they can do a better job, but it's a mischaracterization to paint them all as useless non-productive workers.

      We need to find the right balance point between:

      a. Communities unable to weed out bad teachers vs. teachers being victim to the latest political whims (e.g. get rid of those biology teachers who mention evolution).

      b. Immediate compensation (salary) vs. deferred compensation (retirement).

      c. Hiring the best teachers vs. hiring based on seniority.

      d. Retaining experienced teachers vs. hiring young teaches with new approaches/ideas.


      Traditional union rules are not the answer, but total abolition of unions is not the answer either.

      February 22, 2011 at 10:23 am |
      • Abe Vagoda

        Igny, WE should not have to do ANY of the above that you have mentioned. And I DON'T put Teachers in the same line as Government workers. I just:

        A. Don't think that someone should be allowed to pay 4% into a program and get 100% back for the rest of their lives after they retire.

        B. Get a top rated health care program that they are not paying into.

        C. Deserve to create their own hours and vacations, hell..they are getting as bad as Hallmark.

        this goes for All State and Fed employees! never said that teachers salaries should be slashed...never said that. I do believe that they, gov employees, should pay what I pay or any tax payer pays. Why should they recieve more than what you or I get? This bill only has them paying 8% more towards the programs! My Girlfriend is a teacher, and pays 11% right now!

        February 22, 2011 at 11:56 am |
    • Larry

      This is just a rant, and rants don't help anything.

      February 22, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
  35. john,pa

    The only talk about shutting down the Government is coming from the Democrats and their bleeding heart friends in the old media. This is a Democrat made up event and Obama and the 23 Democratic Senators up for election in 2012 better understand their jobs are on the line they will be replaced. We are at depression levels of employment in America our government debt is at crisis levels. It’s time for the new Congress to investigate, prosecute and put these people in prison.

    February 22, 2011 at 8:15 am |
    • KatR

      Democrats did not cause this mess....Republicans did. Despite a 100 yr income tax history that reflects higher taxes during times of war and lower taxes during times of peace Bush did just the opposite. He also hid the expenses for 2 wars..labeling it as 'discretionary spending'. He hammered the final nail in America's economic collapse by urging Congress to give billions of taxpayer dollars to the financial sector. The Democrats are trying to clean up the mess that the Republican party created. It is so unfortunate that individuals like yourself are still duped by the GOP/TP propaganda of twisted facts and lies.

      February 22, 2011 at 9:46 am |
      • lgny

        At this point, we need to move beyond who's to blame and focus on how we can reduce the hyperpartisanship in order to work on cleaning up the mess. As long as this remains a battle to structure budget cuts to hurt the other party, the budget reform is guaranteed to fail. That is precisely my complaint with this first round of House cuts.

        The plan for reducing the deficit that was released a month or so ago was a much better start as it tried to be plausibly bi-partisan (yes, the Republican members refused to sign off on it). Where it is now? It seems to have dropped off the political map.

        February 22, 2011 at 10:06 am |
      • Larry

        KatR, Bush didn't "give" billions of dollars to the financial sector. The money from TARP was use for loans, and most of it has been repaid.

        February 22, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
      • Larry

        lgny, there may be no value in talking about who is to blame, there is great value in understanding what got us here so we can fix it. The Bush tax cuts were foolish. They did not result in significant job creation, but they did contribute to the continued movement of income and wealth from the bottom 90% to the top 10% that started with the Reagan tax cuts as well as the additional $4.9 trillion added to the debt under Bush.

        I have no idea how people who make a lot of money reached the exalted status they have in our society today that has people believing taxing them is just wrong. They aren't saints, and taxing them just a wee bit more will not hurt economic recovery. Reducing what the lower and middle classes have to spend and causing an upsurge in unemployment with sudden, drastic cuts in government spending is far more dangerous.

        February 22, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
    • Larry

      Unemployment is not as high as in the Great Depression. But since you brought up the Great Depression, in 2007 the top 1% earned 23% of all pre-tax income, the highest level since 1928. What do the subsequent years, 2008 and 1929, have in common?

      February 22, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
  36. jim

    Let it shutdown. For good. I think America will have a better chance to recover if these bastards stay home – ALL OF THEM!!!!!! They all suck !!

    February 22, 2011 at 8:57 am |
  37. lgny

    Personally, I see corporations as amoral entities whose primary mission is to make profit for their owners by creating/selling goods and services to the public. Government's role is to establish the rules that shape their actions to the public good. Ideally, it functions like a good referee or umpire to assure that business acts orderly without showing a preference to any one entity. Some examples over the year include:

    a. Contract law to assure fair play among all parties
    b. Accounting standards to assure parties don't lie or cheat
    c. Anti-trust laws to restore competition when one party dominates the market
    d. Worker rights laws to assure fairness and balance between employer and staff
    e. Environmental, health, and safety laws to protect the greater good.

    The conservative right wants to push the umpires to favor big business as much as possible while the far left wants to push back in the opposite direction. The middle is where we need to be even if it is much harder to defend since it does not lend itself to the easy slogans of the extremes.

    Personally, I feel the umpires have moved more and more pro-business ever since Reagan's presidency.

    February 22, 2011 at 9:12 am |
  38. Liz Carter in Georgia

    GO LARRY! I agree and appreciate your analysis of the situation that our political system is in these days. You probably won't agree with me nor am I even expecting you to reply, however, whether you will admit it or not, and I all but know you know what you're talking about; YOU KNOW YOUR POLITICS! I trust your figures, but there's a hidden agenda for many AMERICANS, as to why we're in this predicament! It's an agenda that reeks of hate, bigotry, power, subserviency, and after all this time, supremacy.

    February 22, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
  39. Liz Carter in Georgia

    @Larry; I agree 100% with your response to Igny. I was just about to respond to her remark about getting past the blame too! I've often wondered how the RIGHT could sit up here and BLAME any and everything on the LEFT; DISMISS any and everthing the PRESIDENT and the LEFT tries to do to fix and projectively resolve the issues facing our nation today, but whenever we point to the 'original sin' as to why we're EVEN here, they start squealing 'We need to get passed BLAME and start working on the solutions'!!

    February 23, 2011 at 11:26 am |
  40. Liz Carter in Georgia

    It's pretty hard to turn a completely blind-eye to the blame, when all day long blame, poisonous propaganda, right wing rhetoric, fearmongering, misinformation, hate and lies are being leveled back on 'we the people' and the LEFT through the media! We can't truly get passed it when everything that the OBAMA administration is even having to try to rectify, revamp, or 'change' is in direct results of decisions made by years of past administrations; especially the last one! They have real memory 'DEFICITS'!

    February 23, 2011 at 11:43 am |
  41. Small business owner

    Wow! So many of the comments above that are hateful represent why our country is in this mess today. We refuse to respect one another and one another's opinions and work as a team to solve our problems. I am a small business owner that has been unable to pay myself for almost the year my primary care clinic has been open. I decided to take a leap of faith because I wanted to offer healthcare that my patients deserve and provide jobs. I have been unable to get any of the "help" that is supposed to be out there. I was turned down for a healthcare loan because I didn't have enough cashflow. Hmmm...do you think I would need the loan if I had enough cashflow? We have used all of our home equity and savings and have maxed out 0% interest credit cards. We have cut back our personal spending and are barely living off of my husbands paycheck. My husband who just happens to be a federal employee.

    April 7, 2011 at 11:56 pm |