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General: As part of the recent deal to temporarily raise the debt ceiling, a congressional "super committee" was created to recommend ways to reduce federal spending and lower the deficit. What recommendations do you think this committee should make?

Comments: 267

Engage in absolutely no new spending. Examine every existing program and department and mandate a certain percentage cutback in budget and/or workforce. Consolidate. Cut out freebies like cars, flights, etc. Mandate a coinsurance contribution of all Senators to their health insurance, present and past/retired members.

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d l
hartford, CT

The committee needs to recommend: * a drastic reduction of the military budget currently used to occupy other nations (especially Afghanistan and Iraq). * a reasonable tax on the very wealthy (incomes ove $250,000), so that they pay a fair share of the public expenditures currently used to ensure access to markets and resources, use of public transportation infrastructure, and public educational costs for training the employees who are vital to any business's success. I * increase support for public education at all levels. * eliminate unneeded subsidies for commodity growers. * increase suport for clean, renewable energy at all phases.

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Jeffrey Schimpff
Wisconsin Science Professionals
Madison, WI

We need strong, ENFORCEABLE, legislation that prevents American companies from wholesaleing American jobs overseas. If this cannot be achieved, or perhaps in addition to the legislation, incentives must be given to American companies to keep and create jobs here in the US. Investment must be made in American citizens.

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deborah rogers
alliance/aft
mesquite, TX

People need to work and be put to work especially considering the condition of our infrastructure. Any and all people whom receive welfare should have a job to do in some capacity. Initiate a fair and equal tax rate for everyone, personal or commercial. Tax credits to companies that employ Americans in the USA at good paying jobs, not minimum wage jobs. Make products in this country.

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John Fusco
Newton Falls Classroom Teachers Association
Newton Falls, OH

We need leaders, not politicians. We need unity, not partisan politics. Cutting taxes does not provide jobs. 1) So, raise taxes on the rich ($500K+/year), 2) tax windfall profits, 3) cut corporate welfare, especially to oil companies, 4) provide tax incentives for companies hiring individuals who haven't been employed for 6 months or more, 5) take the profit out of healthcare, 6) reduce our military presence in the world, 7) slash the defense budget, and 8) build infrastructure and provide "shovel-ready" jobs at the same time.

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Michael Nejman
Arlington Heights, IL

As a retiree, I am deeply concerned about efforts to "reform" Social Security and Medicare. We need to raise the ceiling on contributions to these plans so that wealthy beneficiaries pay higher premiums, but means-testing would be counterproductive. Increasing demand in our economy through payroll tax cuts targeted to job creation would be helpful.

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Abbe Nosoff
UFT
Brooklyn, NY

Reduce federal spending and lower the deficit? So easy a teacher could do it: 1. Remove troops from and end conflict/war in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan and anywhere else! 2. Increase taxes on those making $500,000/year or more. 3. Increase taxes on corporations earning $1 billion or more per year. 4. Allow tax breaks only for those corporations who do not outsource labor.

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Khiera Kersey-Heggs
UFT
New York, NY

Since the military budget is such an outsized amount of the total, and since the Pentagon could not account for $22 BILLION in expenditures last year, this is the best place to start. Perhaps if we put more emphasis on public education, the voters would realize that we could save a lot of money by working for peaceful resolutions of international problems.

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William Niemand
UTLA
Downey, CA

The committee should recommend bringing the troops home and cutting the budget of the military by large amounts and doing this quickly. The cuts should include ending all payments to outside contractors. The cuts should apply to the CIA and armed forces for our spies as well. The deficit should also be cut by revisiting the income tax exemptions for the wealthy and ending these.

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dorothy peters
New York City
brooklyn, NY

Raising the debt ceiling is sort of like the action to release radioactive steam in order to alleviate the pressure at the Fukushima Daiishi Nuclear Power Plant.The plants eventually melted down because it was only a temporary solution. Raising the debt ceiling is only a temporary fix. The pressure will continue to mount as the ever increasing debt will not disappear until we deal with it in a comprehensive strategic manner. One way to deal with the economic downturn is to provide incentives to small businesses to hire more workers through tax-cut incentives. Workers are the backbone of America. Without workers there is no business!

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Carol Ruiz
UFT
Staten Island, NY

1. End the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. 2. Remove U.S. troops from, and close U.S. bases in, all territories outside the U.S. 3. Levy a one cent tax on all stock transactions. 4. Raise capital gains taxes. 5. Raise taxes on those earning over $1 million/year.

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Walter Ditman
Walter Ditman
Jackson Heights, NY

Reduce this nation's military presence in foreign nations. Maintaining military quarters and supplies in other nations is a major drain on our budget. That money could be reinvested in education here in this country.

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Ed Augden
Denver Federation of Teachers
Denver, CO

1. Implement a balanced industrial policy that rewards job creation in a green economy at home. How can multinational corporations have zero tax burdens because they are 'job creators' and at the same time be allowed to engage in globalized trade regimes that outsource jobs?! Global corporatists have had it both ways for 40 years and the country is dying as a result. 2. End the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan completely and redirect all funds to training and education in a manufacturing for a green economy. America should be leading innovations in alternative energy and fuel technology.

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Orion Cervio
TFUSE 1450
Taos, NM

We need an immediate jobs program that creates jobs for the unemployed and underemployed redoing the infrastructure throughout the U.S. We also need to raise the taxes on the wealthy and the corporations so that they pay their fair share. We need real national health care, an immediate program to construct low cost housing and a massive influx of funds into developing our school systems which includes an end to the testing madness and an emphasis on critical thinking skills.

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jose alfaro
UFT
Bronx, NY

Health care needs to be the focus. The costs are sky rocketing for everyone. The ability to bargain down hospitals, phamaceutical companies, insurance companies, is at the heart of sensible capitalism. Working towards comprehensive coverage and realistic deals with the health care community works in many ways: a healthy working population; more efficient, effective healthcare; a cost-effective deal for individuals and companies.

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Louisa McCabe
psc-cuny
Brooklyn, NY

End the war in Afghanistan. Bring home the troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, Japan, Germany, etc. Stop subsidizing oil companies. Make sure corporations are paying their fair share of taxes. End tax breaks for the super wealthy. Provide real oversight of Wall Street and the banks to prevent another mortgage cataclysm. Start projects like high speed rail to jump start jobs. Create infrastructure projects (roads, bridges, dams. power grids, etc.) for more jobs.

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Tess Castell
Bloomingdale, IL

1. Put an end to the Bush tax cuts. 2. End the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. 3. Put people back to work by attacking the infrastructure and transportation issues in this country.

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Maurice Foster
Newark Teachers Union
newark, NJ

Eliminate free trade agreements and reinstate import tarifs. As long as US workers have to compete with countries with child labor, 12 hour days, 6 day work weeks, few safety rules, etc. we will continue to see wages go down and or jobs move over seas. Import tariffs create an incentive to keep jobs in the US, increasing income tax revenue as well as import tax revenue. I believe this will create greater job opportunities for many Americans which is key to bringing back a sense of upward mobility for lower and middle class wage earners.

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Duane Peiffer
1642
Woodstock, IL

1. Make massive cuts in military spending. We have all the troops, bombs, planes, tanks, etc. that we need to protect our country. 2. Bring the troops home, and let the Afgans and Iraqis fund their own internal conflicts. 3. Put an extra tax on those making over $500,000. 4. Require all military personnel to buy a vehicle from Ford, General Motors, or Chysler when purchasing a vehicle. Their pay check comes from our tax dollars, not from Japan, China, Korea, etc. I am tired of seeing our military driving all these rice burners. 5. Tell the President to grow some "huevos" and give Congress "hell" like Harry Truman did.

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Charles Iannello
Retired-AFT Headquarters
Fort Bragg, NC

1. END THE WARS now!! 2. Rewrite the tax code to make it more equitable and progressive for citizens and businesses. 3. Put Americans to work with a national program to upgrade our infrastructure---roads, bridges, water lines, electrical grid, etc.

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Alma Hernandez
Kankakee
Kankakee, IL

The committee needs to make sure they add revenue sources to fund the government while making cuts. The partisanship of both parties needs to end. Flexibility and cooperation must occur.

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Terry Sheppard
Dallas-Alliance
Dallas, TX

Raise taxes! If you spend more than you take in, you need more revenue. End tax cuts and loopholes for the rich and inact a fair tax increase for the middle class. Stop American military adventurism. We can't afford it and it's of dubious benefit to our national interests. Shine a spotlight on American manufacturing. We need to grow our manufacturing base. If other countries are unfairly subsidizing key sectors of their manufacturing and dumping products in the U.S. at unfair prices there should be penalties (with some real teeth) for that.

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Gwynne Mosch
Rochester Teachers Assoc.
Rochester, NY

The general public has to get by with less, therefore how about government officials? Let them pay for 3% of their pensions like school teachers are now doing, and let them take a pay cut as we are with furlough days.

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Nancy Carr
New Port Richey , FL

1. Tax oil companies like other US companies. 2. Increase the gas tax to encourage reduced dependence and promote alternative transportation. 3. Create upper income tax brackets and increase exemptions for corporate donations to non-profits. 4. Turn down the thermostat in public buildings and reset the OSHA standard from 72 degrees to 68 degrees. 5. Turn off the lights when they leave the room.

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Kristin Foster
Holliston, MA
Holliston, MA

1)whatever is spent on military and foreign aide of any kind, match it on jobs, elderly, education here in the USA. 2)make drastic cut to wages, benefits of every one in congress (house,senate) let them experience what the American worker has.

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karen smith
OSEA/AFT
prineville, OR

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