MTYT: Finding ways to resolve the nation's deficit

By Gary McNair - bio|email

We are often told the road to recovery begins with admitting we have a problem.  I think President Obama forming a bipartisan commission on deficit reduction made a gigantic first step toward that road.

But now what?   They've issued their report and there are some really painful things in it.

How about:

  • raising the retirement age for social security?
  • an extra 15 cent tax on gas?
  • eliminating the home mortgage tax break?

We've already heard people on both sides of the aisle say, "No way, we can't do that." But the problem is we have to do something.  We can't fix this problem and protect "sacred cows" at the same time.

I thought about the possibility of a scientific poll to rank the items.  But I think the better idea is to let the people vote.  List the potential cuts on a ballot and let the taxpayers dictate the ranking.  Then lawmakers will have a blueprint for getting us out of this mess that is truly the intent of the people paying the bills.

We're just plain crazy if we think we can do this without everyone feeling the pain.  But if we are all given an opportunity to participate, the medicine for the cure just might go down a little easier.

That's my turn.  Now it's your turn.  To comment on this segment, or anything else, email me at

Emailed comments from viewers:

I agree we need to make choices to reduce the deficient.  We cannot keep paying for all these special programs.  One thing that could be done is to drug test all SSD, SSI, Social Services and Medicaid recipients.  If they are not drug free than NO benefits.  Very little would be spent on the drug testing versus the savings that would happen.  Why should drug users live off of us working people?  I understand some of this is State money and not federal but then the States would not need as much Federal funding.

Also, how about cutting the money that can be spent on elections?  How much money was just wasted by these politicians trying to make each other look bad.  A lot of this money is federally funded not provided by private donations.


I applaud your presentation of the subject of our  burdensome National Debt , and  while I do not believe that we can resolve the issue of "whose ox shall er gore " by a referendum , I am hoping that you will continue to revisit this very important issue .

The appointment of Mr Bowles and  and  Mr Simpson to the blue ribbon committee  on the subject  may turn out to be one of Mr Obama's  best efforts . I can assure you that they will rankle almost everybody , as they seek ways to solve the deficit problem by trimming on everybody's ox . But the process they will lead us through will hopefully resolve our problem .

As a banker friend once said , a business' credit rating doesn't matter until it matters . And then it's the only thing that matters . The same applies at the  national level.

A bipartisan plan to address the   National debt has been done before . Let's hope it can be done again . Meanwhile , keep up the good work .


Wake up, you don't get it as neither do our elected's. Cut back, but as you don't get it how about you and WECT pay each of us to watch your channel. That is pretty much what you suggest by wanting to increase taxes because of the elected's failure to control their fical spending. You know the thieves that I am speaking of, as they are the ones that stole our Social Security 20 years ago the made us pay income tax on the S.S. we receive and the list goes on.

Get off your high horse and try and see things on the playing field level where both the husband and wife have to work just to try and make ends meet.


Regarding your segment tonight, Tuesday, Nov. 16th, 6:20 PM, I disagree with messing around with social security ANY MORE than what government has already done. To push the age even higher is tantamount to saying YOU CAN'T RETIRE! I'm a retired nurse who has worked in nursing homes and realize the majority of resident ages.... care to guess? You can bet most are around 70 years plus.

Better than messing with social security, why not outlaw the retirement of congress members after just one term? Or two terms? Or even 3 terms? Compare it to the average worker who has to work at least 15 years before qualifying for a retirement package... and most even at least 20 years. Cut out the special medical insurance except for president of the US. All others should have the same as regular folks. And speaking of regular folks, make Congress pay into social security and retire the same as all of us... deal with Medicare and Medicaid if necessary. We are THEIR employers! Yet THEY dictate their wages and benefits! I say the people should vote on whether or not congress gets a raise. Also, cut out the pork! That will go a long way toward helping the deficit!


Let the public vote on how we reduce the deficit? You've got to be kidding! You should go reread the Constitution. This country is not a Democracy, but a Republic and we elect our Representatives and Senators to make these difficult choices. The last thing we need is a California style "proposition".


how about a vote on what we pay are elected cut their icome in half

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