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BLITZER’S BLOG: How U.S. can save you more money
August 5th, 2011
04:11 PM ET

BLITZER’S BLOG: How U.S. can save you more money

(CNN) - With the U.S. economy still reeling from the Great Recession and fears growing of a double dip, it’s critical that the Obama administration and Congress keep a very careful eye on every taxpayer dollar spent.

Like all of you, I was relieved that they finally worked out a temporary fix to keep 4,000 FAA employees and tens of thousands of construction workers on the job. Had they failed to work out a deal, taxpayers would have lost more than $1 billion while Congress remains in recess until September 7. Now, with the Senate having solved the problem, we won’t lose that money.

Here are two more areas where we can save a few more billion dollars in the coming weeks and months.

The Obama administration and the Iraqi government appear to be close to a new deal that will allow thousands of U.S. troops to remain in Iraq after the end-of-year deadline when all U.S. forces are supposed to be gone. Right now, there are still some 45,000 American troops in Iraq.

If they reach an agreement to maintain an American military presence in Iraq beyond the deadline, make sure the Iraqis pay for most of it – just as Germany and South Korea pick up the tab for much of the American military presence in their countries. If thousands of U.S. troops remain in the years to come, we’re talking billions of dollars. Iraq can afford to help out. It’s now a major OPEC oil-exporting country and is pocketing billions with the price per barrel so high right now.

Remember – since the war in 2003, American taxpayers already have spent hundreds of billions of dollars liberating Iraq.

The second source of revenue for American taxpayers – and I’ve harped on this before – is Libya. The U.S. still has its hands on about $33 billion in frozen Libyan assets. Deduct the approximately $1 billion the U.S. has already spent on trying to liberate the country from Gadhafi’s rule before handing over the remaining funds to the transitional rebel authority.

I suspect Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, on Capitol Hill will be receptive to both of those proposals, given the hard economic times the United States is going through right now. Let’s see if the Obama administration is receptive to those ideas. So far, officials have not committed.

Post by:
Filed under: Economy • Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (210 Responses)
  1. JustAMom

    Wolf,

    There are many ways to get out of debt quickly. Here is my list:

    1.) Quit giving money away – I am not sure why congress thinks we should pay billions to Pakistan to be our friends but enough is enough. A budget resolution should forbid congress from giving any money to another county and that humanitarian aid should be handled by NGOs. The US government should not be giving money away to any entity that is not the US Government, state governments, local governments and education. Period.

    2.) Eliminate corporate subsidies – we need to quit paying for tobacco growers to not grow tobacco, quit paying peanut farmers to sell their peanuts out of the country and so on. No more subsidies to corporate entities. And we need to figure out a way to only pay individual farms with family farms.

    3.) No more social services for non-citizens. I worked in the UK, paid taxes their and here, and received no benefits in the UK, so why should citizens of other countries come here and receive benefits? When the budget is balanced and out of debt, we can revisit this issue, but for now only US Citizens should get welfare, medicaid, medicare, social security, section 8 housing, pell grants, WIC, Food Stamps, etc.

    4.) Bring our troops home and quit fighting someone else's war! From now on if a country needs assistance, they should go to the UN and ask for help and let the UN find a way to provide assistance. We shouldn't force our ways on any other country (we wouldn't like if some country came here and told us what to do) and if they need our help militarily like Kuwait did in the 1989, then they should pay the bill. Otherwise, bring home our troops and stop the spending. And we need to pass a resolution that no more conflicts or wars without being funded.

    5.) Corporations need to pay a flat tax. Benefits, pensions and other employee based incentives should be part of the corporations operating costs and taxes pad based on profit. Finally the oil companies will do there fair share. If a foreign corporation wants to come do business in this country they get to pay tax just like everyone else. In fact, all corporations doing business should be required to get a Federal Business License and pay quarterly taxes. We could afford to have a very low corporate flat tax if all corporations paid.

    6.) Reform the bankruptcy laws. If a corporation goes bankrupt and dumps their pension liability on the US Government, then they should not be allowed to stay in business and the executives that ran the company into the ground should be forced to forfeit the executive bonuses, perks and a majority of their compensation. For $400K I can run a company into the ground as good as the best executive and I don't need a golden parachute to do it, so neither should they. If the corporate boards don't believe they can find executive leadership without the fancy packages, they need to take a closer look. They haven't been getting their monies worth with the luxurious compensation packages, so they can dial it back and they may actually get real people who really care about the business.

    7.) Re-regulate the banks. They have too much power, control, congressional influence. If the banks can't be regulated, then we are all doomed because they have shown that they can't be trusted to be honest or ethical.

    8.) Shrink the size of government. We need a smaller federal government and we don't need to pay for all of those government workers. But we can't just continue to lay-off people, we need to develop jobs, so while we shrink the size of government , we need to create jobs.

    9.) Create Jobs – First, we need to put a large tariff on goods made overseas with few exceptions. No member of our military should have to rely on arms, transportation, food, clothing, or shelter that wasn't built in the US by US Citizens. No medication should be dispensed in our pharmacies to our citizens that hasn't been manufactured in the US. And US Citizens shouldn't have to worry about whether they are eating or drinking products with melamine in them. We can do better and doing so will help our economy.

    10.) Stop the transfer of Wealth – we are transferring our wealth to countries that hate us. We need to stop that immediately. We need a 10 year plan to become independent of foreign oil within the net 7 years. Period. If the Kennedy Administration can inspire a program that put a man on the moon, then we should be able to inspire researchers to develop a plan for alternative fuel sources so that we can fuel our country and keep the wealth in our country.

    I think that this list will allow us to significantly reduce our debt, get our budget in line, and as anyone can see, we haven't cut back on any service currently offered today to our citizens. It doesn't really raise taxes as much as it forces everyone to pay the taxes they should have been paying all along. We can do this and if Congress doesn't get the message, we need to vote every last one of them out of office and keep doing so, until we get politicians that understand this government is of the people, by the people.

    August 6, 2011 at 3:15 am |
  2. Brian

    Wolf, drop the liberating Iraq line. America went there for one reason – oil! If it was about liberating the oppressed we'd be in a lot of other nations

    August 5, 2011 at 11:59 pm |
  3. John Smelser

    How can I......................

    believe in a plutocracy.........................

    that governs a white majority................................

    that practices wholesale hypocrisy?

    August 5, 2011 at 10:58 pm |
  4. Chris Honry

    I KNOW HOW TO SAVE EVEN MORE!!! KEEP OUR US MILITARY OUT OF ALL COUNTRIES! PUT THEM ON OUR BORDERS SO AMERICANS CAN get jobs that 25 years ago used to pay enough to make a living like landscaping. MAKE LATIN AMERICA TAKE CARE OF THEIR OWN PEOPLE.

    August 5, 2011 at 10:53 pm |
  5. RON4152

    Get rid of the failed "War on Drugs". The experts have always said to go after the Demand side and not the Supply side. We have spent BILLIONS and accomplished nothing except to make drugs easier to get and flood our prisons with non violent offenders.It seems to be working with regular cigarettes in that consumption is down.
    If you were a CEO and had a division that has produced the results of our "War", you would closed it down long ago.

    August 5, 2011 at 10:43 pm |
  6. allan

    stupid, they did not invite American to liberate them. It is not called liberation, it is called invasion. wake up.

    August 5, 2011 at 10:42 pm |
  7. Brian Smith

    If the USA was to start doing what you suggest Wolf, then our military would truly become mercenaries for hire. Sorry, we need to stick to something called Morals and Ethics. Offering to help and then changing them for it isn't the way to do this.

    August 5, 2011 at 10:40 pm |
  8. Lagos

    Really, Wolf? 2 billion dollars? You spent your time writing an article about how to save 2 billion dollars? I'll tell you how much debt we have RIGHT NOW. $1450 billion. Go ahead and write another 724 articles like this and our debt will get paid off.

    August 5, 2011 at 10:31 pm |
  9. John

    Cut useless social programs.

    August 5, 2011 at 10:26 pm |
  10. John R

    I tend to lean right except for those times I lean left.

    Wolf's logic is exactly why I could never consider myself to ever align with the goals of Republicans though. If we 'want' to invade a country for oil price stability (real or perceived) or knock-off a leader because he tried to knock-off a president, or for national security (real or perceived), or even just for plain humanitarian reasons, well, then there might be a case for it. But that's our choice.

    Asking for reparations from the redeemed nation is like me giving $25 to the Food Bank, but then requesting someone from the Food Bank come vacuum my house for 4 weeks, to "pay off" the $25. If we need to be reimbursed in the end, then we shouldn't be going on foreign entanglements in the first place - particularly if a disposed leader is replaced by some body of desirable leaders. Though I'm sure they're grateful, you never 'discussed the terms of the contract' with them in the first place.

    August 5, 2011 at 9:53 pm |
  11. Beverly NC

    I know – how about ending the 6 figure salary for members of Congress, ending their expensive healthcare plan, ending their expensive pension plan WE the PEOPLE pay for – while these same Republicans members, who are mostly millionaires and do not need these benefits, want to kill Social Security, Medicare, and Veteran benefits and unemployment benefits for those of us who paid into these programs for our whole working careers and depend on them just to survive.
    President Obama just proposed a great new jobs program today – what you want to bet Republicans will reject it immediately – even though it is for veterans and gives those hiring them a tax credit. Republicans are NOT for JOBS and want America to FAIL – thus our downgrade from S&P – because they said they do not expect Republicans to agree to ANYTHING that will help restore our economy. Thank your Republican obstructionist by voting them out of office so we can do REAL work on JOBS and REAL work to help the PEOPLE and our economy. Republicans want to destroy us and are doing a good job killing America.

    August 5, 2011 at 9:46 pm |
    • olroy

      I'd like to see us end the 7 & 8 figure salaries received by CEO's of Insurance companies who take their salaries from the premiums of old folks who buy Medicare supplemental insurance from them.

      August 6, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  12. humphrey2075

    There is only one sure way to save "billions" without cutting into core services. Read Harvard Professor Linda Bilmes' excellent piece in the Harvard Business Review ("What the US Government Can Learn from Business") about why government needs to adopt managerial cost accounting. This is a serious, non-partisan, common-sense approach. Read: http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2011/07/what_the_us_government_can_lea.html

    August 5, 2011 at 9:39 pm |
  13. stambo

    Tooo funny! So if the USA gets into debt all you gotta do is attack a county, completely destroy it's infrastructure and culture, and install a puppet dictator. Then you take their 'seized' bank accounts and natural resource money. You then use their own money to station your military in their country. You also use their money to pay your buddies in the 'reconstruction' business to rebuild the infrastructure you destroyed. Meanwhile, the culture of your 'enemy' is set back an entire generation providing another decade or so of 'superior' development.

    Oh. That's really not a new idea there Wolf. In fact, we call that the military-industrial complex. It's been around a long, long time. Throw in the coin counters and you got the full circle. It eventually leads right to where you are today Wolf.

    Bad idea.

    August 5, 2011 at 9:32 pm |
  14. Matt

    Let's just cut off all foreign aid, then all those countries that say they don't need us or wont our help won't have it and we can fix ourselves

    August 5, 2011 at 9:28 pm |
  15. jeff

    Why dont we level DC and start over, with at least 3 parties....the 2 now are complete idiots.....

    August 5, 2011 at 9:21 pm |
  16. isabella23

    End WARS and save the economy!!!
    simple as that... It will not just benefit the US economy but the WORLD economy too!!!!!
    we should have never gone into war against Iraq and bombing the nation into the stone ages.
    We have no rights to ask Iraq for any money after killing 100,000+ civilians and pushing the nation into civil war. If anything they can ask for money for occupying and destroying their nation over FALSE pretext and LIES of WMD!

    August 5, 2011 at 9:15 pm |
  17. trex

    First thing to do........have ALL tea baggers reliquish all government financial support, such as socialism at work like,....SSI........Medicare....Medicaid....free services of all types.....lower school taxes for the elderly....all pensions since you are STEALING from future generations...............that should solve our financial debt in about months.

    August 5, 2011 at 9:08 pm |
  18. Bob

    Why is it so difficult to balance the budget. Start with all the freebies the Senators and House of Representatives get.
    Close the gym,no free travel, no free haircuts, make them pay for healthcare , Rollback their salaries by 25% ,cut their Aids by 50%, no more special parking ,make them work 12 Months a year in Washington, 2 Weeks vacation and deduct from their salaries each time they are late to roll call. Then we can start on no more Foriegn Aid 000000 None..Just a start........Also make them work for twenty years to collect Retirement prorated and they have to contribute ,like everyone else... better yet no retirement IT is a pleasure to be a public servent.!

    August 5, 2011 at 9:04 pm |
  19. Rhonda

    I say to start with, end pork barrel spending immediately.

    August 5, 2011 at 8:55 pm |
  20. lefty avenger

    How about ending the middle east oil baron wars. Borrowing $4 billion a week from China to blow up the middle east and steal their oil is not working. Tell Exxon and BP to hire their own army to their dirty work of acquiring their texas tea.

    August 5, 2011 at 8:54 pm |
  21. Marc in Florida

    Your too kind Wolf, they are rich in oil – we should give them a bill for all of the costs. If my memory serves be right, Kawait paid the whole tab for our getting the Iraqiis out.

    August 5, 2011 at 8:52 pm |
  22. Doogie

    How can he be an analyst? Take the money from Libya and Iraq? You know why it's not allowed don't you? It was a major contributing factor in World War 2. After WW1 Germany was forced to pay back the cost of the war and hey 30 years later they were broke & pissed and attacked those countries again. Great job Wolf!

    August 5, 2011 at 8:51 pm |
  23. zenduane

    Let the government negotiate prices on prescription drugs and save billions. Conservatives say run things like a business. This is what any good business would do. Use the purchasing power to lower prices and move on.

    August 5, 2011 at 8:35 pm |
  24. Ronnie

    liberating Iraq ? Give me a BREAK !

    August 5, 2011 at 8:23 pm |
  25. Jake

    Iraq should pay for *all* expenses incurred by the US military if our forces stay beyond the previously agreed upon withdrawal date. At that point we would be functioning as consultants, basically, and consulting can pay quite well. Maybe we could recoup a tiny fraction of the resources we have poured into that sandpile of a region. Honestly, if those countries didn't have oil they would be irrelevant on the world stage, no matter how much of the history of civilization is found there.

    August 5, 2011 at 8:19 pm |
  26. Al in INDY

    Kudos for the "Blitzer Plan."

    Critics of your plan may have forgotten that Kuwait paid the bills for the first Gulf War. It is not unreasonable to want to be reimbursed. But what happens to the rest of the $32 billion when the other participating nations want their reimbursement?

    Instead of negotiating to keep 30,000 troops in Afghanistan, we should be negotiating a sizable, permanent military base where we can rotate Army and Marine divisions for training and assistance as requested by the Afghanistan government.

    We should also negotiate for a large military base that would cover parts of Kuwait, Iraq (most in Iraq) and Saudi Arabia. Our goal would be to relocate a sizable portion of our current military presence in Saudi Arabia to a remote corner of Iraq (crossing into both Kuwait and Saudi). Again, this would allow for significant training opportunities for US military units (including reserve and national guard "30 day" annual training)

    August 5, 2011 at 8:09 pm |
    • Bob H

      Speaking as a critic of the "Blizer plan," I consider your comparison with Kuwait in support of Wolf's position as deeply flawed. Kuwait was invaded by Iraq and asked for our help. Libya, on the other hand, is in a civil war, nothing more nor less.

      The "Blitzer Plan" for forced reimbursement from Libya is a Cromwellian, imperialist plan, which history has shown doesn't work (see my post just below yours). I don't see how one can dispute that voluntarily choosing to engage in Libya's civil war followed by a forcible taking of their money as payment would make us bullies and thieves, nothing more. Historically, Cromwell did something very similar in Ireland, but chose to take the lands of the Irish instead of their money. And 350 years later it's still not settled. I will hazard that the modern-day confiscation of wealth from Palestine will not be settled in 350 years either. Our confiscation of Native American land is only settled because we killed so many of them.

      Wolf has proposed an on-the-surface emotionally satisfying, black-and-white, "we're the good guys" solution. Critical thinking is notably absent, as is respect for the Libyan people, to whom the $1B charge-back he is proposing rightfully belongs.

      IIs it really true that our national discourse is reduced to discussing notions like this one to make money? I mean, think about it. We were once builders of ships, masters of tall buildings, and creators of industries that expanded all over the world. Contrast that with our current strategy of deploying our Roman legions to enforce tax collection (aka protection money) from the local barbarians. Why? Because we can't pay for our legions anymore. Kind of reminds me of the quartering of British soldiers in the homes of New England colonists in the 1770s (after all, England needed to collect that Stamp Tax!) Or even Hitler's confiscation of the gold reserves held by the countries of his "bloodless conquests," conducted not-so-coincidentally when Germany was broke.

      In my view, Wolf really ought to stick to the reporting business, and should stay out of the thinking business. His critical thinking skills in terms of seeing the consequences of his proposals are just not where they need to be to play in this arena. I sure hope nobody with any real power is listening to him.

      August 6, 2011 at 11:54 am |
  27. Bob H

    Come on, Wolf . . . we go to war with a country with no provocation against us and we get to make them pay the bill? You would have done very well under Cromwell, who invaded Scotland and proceeded to tax them to death to support the English army. That worked great!! I won't bore you with more examples. Thankfully, the founding fathers had people llke Cromwell (and you) in mind when they put checks on the executive branch and its command of the military.

    August 5, 2011 at 8:07 pm |
  28. Martin

    Okay, so why leave out Afghanistan's poppy crop?

    If you expect the Iraqis to pay for US troops in the country after the deadline, the USA should be demanding a large percentage of the value of seized drug shipments out of Afghanistan.

    What about British GDP? There are still US troops in Britain, after all, the US love to claim that they single handedly won World War II. Why aren't the British paying for their US air bases?

    Come on, Wolf, you sound like a tired old record.

    How about saving money by (a) Not paying billions of dollars to contracts secured by lobbying (b) Not paying billions of dollars to programs funded by pork barrel spending tacked on to other bills to make them pass (c) Not paying billions of dollars to corporations in the form of tax breaks, when those same corporations continue to lay off Americans and send jobs abroad (d) Not paying billions of dollars to Government contractors who are late with their contracted services but demand payment on time (e) Not paying billions of dollars to politicians in the form of full lifetime pensions after they've served two terms?

    I know of NO other job in the country that pays a lifetime pension with full benefits after 8 or 12 years on the job.

    Lots of ways in the USA itself to save money, before you start demanding it from other countries.

    August 5, 2011 at 8:06 pm |
  29. nirmalasuman

    I do not think anyone from Libya asked us to go over there and liberate them. It will not be, reasonable, therefore to recover a billion dollars as cost of liberation. We do not have to scrap the bottom of the bucket just yet. When the time comes we can go around and ask all those nations who had benefitted from our past aid, such as India, Pakistan and other developing countries, to come to our aid. I am sure they would. In fact, the President ask the world to invest in his proposed infrastructure fund by taking out equity. He would find many trillions invested in it by all nations. Once the investments start bearing fruits, we can buy back the shares from the market and extinguish its equity capital. This will solve all debt problems at least for the next few years.
    nirmalasuman@yahoo.com

    August 5, 2011 at 7:57 pm |
  30. Dicky Moe

    You really think the self-centered idiot in the White House wants to save money? All this jackass Obama can do is spend. And borrow. And spend. And borrow.......

    August 5, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
  31. Jacob

    War is good business for imperialists.

    August 5, 2011 at 7:51 pm |
  32. Afell

    Want to save this country money? Get everyone in this country on a single-payer health care program. Just by the economy of scale, you would drastically reduce the average health consumer's health care expenditures. You might even bring Medicare and Medicaid expenditures into line for the foreseeable future and save both federal and state budgets. And you don't even have to have a government controlled plan. For instance, the German model is an entirely private model with a modicum of government regulation, and the average German is receiving some of the best health care this world has to offer.

    August 5, 2011 at 7:51 pm |
  33. SnowBear80

    Want to save billions? Stop federal government's accounting system of that doesn't let any organization role whatever funds they haven't spent into the next fiscal year. Currently, any organization that doesn't spend all their funds get penalized that amount in the next budget cycle when they really need a mechanism to roll over funds for capital expenditures.

    August 5, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
  34. robert

    Wolf – I agree with Iraq to a degree. But until you actually liberate Libya rather than just drop some bombs on it, which is what the US now considers it's primary foreign policy strategy, you don't get to say, "you owe us". in regards to Iraq, seeing as the Iraqi's didn't actually ask to be liberated, the US just did it to grab oil and install american bases, I question how much they really owe the US for their salvation, read that as sectarian chaos. Kind of like Team America, blow up paris just to take out a couple of terrorists and then say, you're welcome.

    August 5, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
  35. Joe, Louisville, KY

    Tajkng money from Libya is stealing pure and simple – I can imagine the CNN reaction if Libya nationalized a US operation and took their money. You should be ashamed of yourself!

    August 5, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
  36. Get the brown people to pay for it

    good idea, Iraqi's really wanted us to go in there in the first place! AND 1 Billion dollars is sure going to do a lot to help our economy... what!?

    August 5, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
  37. jean2009

    Wolf...Wolf...Wolf a large amount of the money we dropped in Iraq was in the form of profits to large corporations intent on making their living off the backs of Americans and their tax dollars. It was mostly a belly-up feeding frenzy at the trough of the military industrial state. This might be the largest amount of money and lives ever wasted for non-existent WMD.

    I dare say your average Iraqi didn't profit all that well.

    August 5, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
  38. Tina

    I believe that Iraq should pay for the whole thing actually. It is high time they start paying back what they owe!!! Lord knows we have paid a very high price in blood and treasure!

    August 5, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
  39. David, CA

    Oh yeah- and let the Bush tax cuts EXPIRE like they were meant to. It's not a tax HIKE republicans- enough with the lying.

    August 5, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
  40. David, CA

    cut congressional pay, benefit, and TERM LIMITS. That will also ensure that healthcare reforms go through. If they have to pay out of their own pockets they aren't going to like it at all.

    August 5, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
  41. crazy sob

    Let's pull out of afghanistan, Iraq, and libya. Also, we need a president who is focused on the job, give a longer term perhaps 6 years. And NO fundraising for the first 5 years as president. we dont need a President ignoring his job to raise money.

    August 5, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
  42. Jeff

    Hey, how about this for a crazy idea: instead of trying to get money out of the countries we invade, why don't we *just* *stop* *invading* *them*!?!?!?!

    August 5, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
  43. Cashual

    When are the american people going to stand up and let the GOP & Democrats know that we run the country. We need to rally at the capital. 7 million strong. Dowwn with lobyist/rich people. Take our country back to the time when everyone matters and deserves health care that is affordable and food and shelter that is humane.

    August 5, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
  44. Richard

    You are right wolfe. If only our Politicans had the guts to tell countries, we wil help you, we will sacrifice Aamericans lives for your freedom and you need to meet us half way and pay your share. Too many of your reader are so hooked on everything being done and paid for them that they are helpless and can't think of us asking someone or some counrty to pay there own way

    August 5, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
  45. John Smelser

    Dear Sirs:
    You ask how we can reduce federal spending and, concomitantly, reduce our budget deficit.............
    Here are my suggestions:
    1] Eliminate PAC's from the election process. Demand a law that limits campaign contributions to $10,000 per INDIVIDUAL.... and permit no individual to bond with another to create a more "influential" voting blc. After all, America is a DEMOCRACY..... and NO special interest group should have more powere than the individual voter.
    2] Bring ALL our young people home from Iraq and Afghanistan. Their issues are their issues. We need to concern ourselves with ourselves... not the rest of the world. If we want to support other nations... let us support those who support us... not maudlin excuses for nationhood that believe in nothing more than generational, century-spanning war, discord, and internal termoil.
    3] Bring our young people home from foreign nations... keep them in the military... and let them do for US what they have been doing for everyone else. REPAIR our infrastructure. Organizing it could resemble that of the WPA [Works Public Administration]. Those of you old enough may not have liked Roosevelt.............. but the efforts of the WPA still stand in many states...... and all of us still benefit from them. FIX our bridges, our highways, our parks, our cities.......... Let Baghdad and Islamabad fix their own problems. Russia went broke trying to govern Afghanistan..... are we going to do the same?
    4] Embrace OUR social problems. Care for OUR mentally ill, our unemployed, our homeless, our hungrey, our children without parents or hope, our sick, our old, our needy. We claim to be a "Christian" nation.... but we practice greed and avarice and a complete unwillingness to honor and support those who are weaker than ourselves.
    5] Reduce defense expenditures. Our nation's defense complex is so advanced that it boggles the globe. Keep the high-tech... and the nuclear weapons [we still have enough to eradicate human life on this planet... if ignited in carefully placed locations]. But significantly reduce the expenses we expend on a paranoid sense of "national defense."
    6] Embrace ALL who have come to our shore... looking for freedom... and still finding it here. Look not to the racists among us.... they are mentally, emotionally, and spiritually challenged [in short, they are assholes!]... look instead to the words at the base of the Statute of Liberty ["Give me your poor, your tired, your huddled masses... Yearning to be FREE..."]... on which words are written that define not only a democracy but a population of people who, for the most part, came here the same way modern immigrants come here.......... run fast, cross the border, and pray you'll be allowed to stay. If we do that, we will have an enormously larger tax base.... as well as a more democratically distributed voting base
    7] What's wrong white people? Do you really believe this is a white, Christian nation? IT IS NOT!!!!!!!!!!!! It is a nation of many races, many faiths, many cultures, many hopes, many dreams.It is only when we give up on THAT... that we begin to decline as a nation, as a people, as a unique and quantifiable contribution to the human race. When we give up on that..... we become nothing more than a bunch WHITE ASSHOLE'S looking for the same kind of superiority Adolf Hitler embraced. Can white people be any more SCREWED UP than that?

    NOTE: I love this country. I fought in Vietnam because I believed that my nation stood for GOOD. Democracy is slowly, but surely, being eroded by fear and paranois. White people have surrendered their dignity and their voice in the cry for freedom.... in favor of a desparate, dark, pathetic grasp for safety. We have surrendered our right to this world-desired concept.... because we have embraced hatred, and the oppression of any who we deem to be threatening. How sad of us! Remember what Abraham Franklin said "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

    God bless my nation....... and every other nation.
    But may God help my people to help themselves.........
    to better be AMERICANS....... not just United States citizens.

    August 5, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
  46. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    It will be hard to "wrangle" the Bush administration et al oil and Halliburton money out of the hands of Iraqis while they are still profiting, but it sounds good. Just follow the money trail and listen for those who will say no.

    August 5, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
  47. setthemfree

    Even if Iraq picked up some of the tab for US troops remaining in their COUNTRY. How much of a bill are we talking about? Let’s say, 10 billion a year, and they are paying 1 billion per year, for our US troop presence. That doesn’t sound like a lot of savings. However, if we pull all US troops from Germany, Iraq, S. Korea, and etc. Wouldn’t that help save possible hundred(s) billions of dollars? Correctly, if I am wrong, but we won those wars, and it seems pointless to maintain a troop presence in those countries. Instead of our troops spending their pay and building those foreign economies. Could someone ask our so called elected experts, why not have that money flow back into the US economy?

    August 5, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
  48. Jonathan

    What you are suggesting sounds familiar..Hitler made the German Jews pay for cleaning up after Kristalnacht.
    Until tonight I respected you Wolf.

    August 5, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
  49. Katie

    1) Make all elected officials pay for their own pensions.

    2) Or make it illegal for anyone to be able to collect more than one taxpayer-funded pension, no matter how many different elected jobs the person held. (Walker in WI will collect three different pensions, and some on his staff will collect five!)

    3) Stop paying expenses for US legislators.

    4) Tax all PACs and all political donations. Even if it's .5%, the obscene amount of money spent on political campaigns – especially the twisted truths of ads – would bring in A LOT of money to the US govt.

    August 5, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
  50. Joe

    Wolf – Stop trying to steal Libya's money – if you think 33 billion is a lot to us then imagine how much it is for that small country – they are going to need the money to rebuild after the civil war – besides it is against international law to do so. The UN/NATO chose to get involved – its up to them to pay for it. Under this logic we could seize Germany's asset's then attack them on the side of some German separatist group and confiscate the money it cost us to overthrow the current government – that is about as illegal as it gets. Imagine the wheeling and dealing we could do following your doctrine.

    August 5, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
    • Pilgrim1

      Wolf is exactly right! They (the rebels) wanted the air strikes, they can foot the bill!

      We should also recoup losses from the last time we had to teach them a lesson!

      August 5, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
    • mark

      wow. you are absolutely right sir.

      That single act alone ( 'stealing' from people already robbed by a brutal dictator) would be the single most depraved act of a once proud and noble country.

      However, a well argued and reasonable rearmament arms deal to rebuild their shattered military infrastructure and perhaps telecommunications capability as well, would be seen as fair and balanced and welcomed by all 🙂

      August 5, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
    • isabella23

      Agree let's not charge nations whose assets we freeze and which belongs to the people of that nation.

      I have an idea. Let's stop paying nations like Israel 5-10 billion in loan free money each year!

      August 5, 2011 at 9:18 pm |
    • Ramesh

      I like Iraq paying for military presence idea as we are making the agreement now and has an option to walk away and get out of Iraq. Regarding Libya, instead of deciding to do this because we have their money, US should make an agreement with rebels stating that US would either take the money that is spent or get some agreement to benefit from the actions after the successful completion of the action. If rebels don't like the idea, then US has an option to take action in Libya or not.

      My suggestion is for CNN to start a new program (30 min. or one hour) to elaborate how the money is spent and where it can be saved or spent better. May be it will help explaining to the public on all the money spent each day by treasury and US departments so people can make up their own mind on what is spent and how is it spent.

      August 5, 2011 at 9:23 pm |
    • tom

      easy thing to do is bring our troops home worry about the usa, get rid of the illegal immigrants or make them pay taxes,bring jobs back to the usa, and put bill clinton back in office!

      August 5, 2011 at 9:47 pm |
    • JASON

      America and Russia took much more than money from Germany without asking. It was a race to clean the country out of money, military secrets, technology, and anything else that wasn't tied down. We just need to stop going into these places in the first place and get serious in negotiations with OPEC. Let's leave Iraq now and let the Chinese and Russians come in and take what we are asking for the proper way. It's going to happen eventually anyways. They already bought all the oil for the next 20 years. So why are we even there guarding Russian and Chinese oil?

      August 5, 2011 at 11:15 pm |
  51. mar

    sorry wolfe,american imperialism only goes so far these days. you see,jacob zuma down in south africa has already told that liar hillary clinton and david cameron that if they try to invade libya ALL of the african natiosn would then nationalize all of their resources.seize all of the assets from western nato countries,then go and DEFEND gadaffi!

    you see wolfe,zuma has already stated on the record that obama lied to him when courted him for his vote at the UN. another thing,just the thought of your white supremacist bigotry and entitlement suggest that you honestly think that america has the right to attack any brown or black skinned nation on the planet under the disguise of so called democracy correct?

    that must be the truth,since it has already been CONFIRMED that the so called rebels are in fact AL-QAEDA TERRORIST! how democratic are if we are defending the same terrorist who have stated on the record that as of February of THIS YEAR, they were in afganistan fighting against and killing american and nato soldiers to drive out the Non believers and infidels?

    your a sick man you wolfe!

    August 5, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
    • No

      Zuma would never jeopardize the money that the US gives to his and other African countries. Besides, NATO is already bombing in Libya, and if that wasn't impetus enough to retaliate against us, nothing really is.

      Also, don't you know that if the rebels in Libya were really Al-Qaeda, that Republicans would be screaming that at the top of their lungs? I don't hear that, so I'm going to go with it being absolutely false and a vain attempt of support for Gaddafi.

      August 5, 2011 at 9:06 pm |
    • Beverly NC

      Who "confirmed" that for you? FOX?
      The rebels are confirmed NOT Al Qaeda – that is why the world is helping them.

      August 5, 2011 at 9:49 pm |
  52. joker831

    Quit paying the politicians. There is half the national debt right there. They don't do anything anyway plus they get a retirement with full medical benefits after 2 terms. What kind of crap is that!?

    August 5, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
  53. David S

    It's not hard to save billions; end the undeclared wars, pull military out of all foreign countries, end the war on drugs, the TSA, the CIA, the FDA, the DEA, and all other fascist federal agencies. stop giving "foreign aid," stop playing world police and playing both sides of the drug trade, end all corporate welfare and agricultural subsidie, get the government out of charity, education, healthcare, and marriage. That should save a few dollars, and halt many of the major violations of rights that this police state and evil empire that is supposed to be a constitutional republic has perpetrated on its citizenry and the rest of the world as well.

    August 5, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
    • Richard

      David, I'm sure you will be the first to be crying and bitching when someone tries to take your rights away...where is the army, where is the police, help me, I didn't realize that those miserable imperialistic army guy were really protecting me for the crazy bastards that hate America......or perhaps you should just move to Russia

      August 5, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
    • George

      I'm with you on those proposals 100 percent.

      August 5, 2011 at 8:00 pm |
    • manual labor

      Every single thing you list, is true, but then again , members of BOTH parties collect so many lobby dollars in connection with that list, they will never stop.

      August 5, 2011 at 8:06 pm |
    • gilbert

      I agree 1000 percent with your comments. If that is done we not only will balance the budget and pay the debt in a few short years, but we can make this country to be again the number one economic power of the world/.

      August 5, 2011 at 8:23 pm |
    • SDB

      Hard to argue that plan.

      August 5, 2011 at 8:24 pm |
    • gilbert

      How about adding to your list: stop sending jobs oveseas and stop buying all the cheap products from China that has their currency artificially undervalued against our currency. That way we can produce more at home better qualty products, give good paying jobs to all and stop making China the richest country that eventually will be our worst enemy.

      August 5, 2011 at 8:31 pm |
    • lefty avenger

      Here Here, End the Middle East Oil baron wars and end the drug war. Waste of money and lives.

      August 5, 2011 at 8:55 pm |
    • Chris

      Thats exactly what the problem is. The goverment has done nothing but grown....and as a result the bigger it gets...the more of our money it needs to run. To me its a sick thought that you can fight for your country, but its illegal to come home and burn a joint.....even make that with an alcohol analogy.

      August 5, 2011 at 8:59 pm |
    • Jenny B

      ABSOLUTELY!!! Please run for President and don't let your thoughts or morals be compromised when you get there. All of these suggestions would fix this country!

      August 5, 2011 at 9:10 pm |
    • Russ

      You are so stupid it's a miracle you can even figure out how to use your computer.

      August 5, 2011 at 9:58 pm |
    • doggie

      Hate to say it, but I think you make sense. You should also add to your list: good, solid fiscal management of the agencies that remain. Truly eliminate waste.

      August 5, 2011 at 10:46 pm |
  54. tlama

    make the term for a president a single 7 yr term. do not let the president fly around the country every 2 years stumping for his party. The tax payer money saved in travel expenses alone would be tremendous, let alone all the other waste that comes from running around the country. Won't pay off our debt, but waste is waste.

    August 5, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
    • a

      Make all federal politicians single term: President 7 years, Senator 11 years, Representative 3 years. What would probably happen is musical chairs between the senate and the house...

      August 5, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
      • Russ

        How very unuseful your comments are. You DO realize that each of these things is written into the constitution. You can't just make a law and change them. It would take a vote in both houses of the congress and a vote by a 2/3 of all of the states. Really?!

        August 5, 2011 at 10:01 pm |
    • No

      If you really believe that the money spent by politicians is that much of our national budget, you need to go read. More than 60% of spending is on three items, Social Security, Medicare, and the DoD. Spouting off about politician pay and benefits is like saying that cutting funding for PBS and NPR is going to make a big difference, which it doesn't.

      August 5, 2011 at 9:10 pm |
  55. Sahil

    The most ridiculous and stupid plan ever. Charging others for humanitarian aid, might as well not give it in the first place...I will not se seeing your show again.

    August 5, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
    • JThomas2121

      Wow, one idea you don't agree with and that's it for ya? How ... communist of you.

      August 5, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
    • Richard

      I would imagine that you are probablly on Government subsidy yourself. It's easy to give away money when it's not yours

      August 5, 2011 at 11:14 pm |
  56. John from IL

    Yes on IRAQ paying us if they want us to stay...but not so keen on skimming the Libyan funds. Feels sneaky and Un-American! That said....these are ideas, so keep 'em coming America!!

    August 5, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
  57. Anonymous

    maybe we should stop giving money to Israel!!!!!

    August 5, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
    • Peikovian

      Some bokharat with your bratwurst, mein Jihadi?

      August 5, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
    • jhudd

      Agreed!!!

      August 5, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
    • Its so sad that

      after decades of being propped up by the US that Israel is still an untouchable

      August 5, 2011 at 7:22 pm |
    • jean2009

      I'm for that.

      August 5, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
    • ranting citizen

      RIGHT ON!

      August 5, 2011 at 9:24 pm |
  58. Yabadabadoo

    How about cutting medicare , medicaid and social security FRAUD (start with Miami!) . Go to a flat tax so that the approx half of the population that is getting only cash for their services (like my cleaning lady and my dog groomer and MILLIONS of others), are forced to pay something. Make EVERYONE pay something, not just me and the 40% of Americans. Maybe recoup Trillions?

    August 5, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
    • Katie

      The GOP doesn't want to cut fraud. In Maine, the Speaker of the House owned pharmacies that were regularly overbilling Medicare and Medicaid. This was BEFORE he was Speaker of the House. When the "problem" was brought to light, the GOP closed ranks and declared this was a personal issue, and his service in the House shouldn't be affected. The man (Nutting) claimed it was a "clerical error" and he shouldn't be held responsible. No money was ever paid back, he is still the Speaker of the House, and that's that.

      August 5, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
      • JThomas2121

        Wrong Katie. Neither party wants to eliminate fraud, just as neither party wants to hurt corporate America with tax hikes. It's all smoke and mirrors. Just follow the money and you'll see that BOTH parties get just as much money from the SAME sources. It's all rigged so don't buy into the hype that one party is more noble than the other.

        August 5, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
    • Irene

      Yes! Fraud and mismanagement devour billions day in, day out. Leave only a few questions in government job applications and make sure ALL of them deal with competence. Leave the rest for Census.

      August 5, 2011 at 7:06 pm |
  59. W62

    Wolf,
    You forgot tom mention the biggest cash drain, I suppose intentionally. The Three billion plus every year to the State of Israel. All they have done for us is given us a bad name around the world with there behavior.

    August 5, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  60. Samuel A. Markes

    Mr. Blitzer, why are you contributing to the decay of the news as an objective vehicle for the promulgation of fact? By publishing your opinions, no matter how worthy, you are no longer a journalist, no longer a reporter, but just another pundit, another opinionated purveyor of biased information. Please, recall yourself and your colleagues to a sense of journalistic integrity that is so very desperately needed in this country.

    August 5, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
    • Philippe

      I totally agree. We need a free and as objective and iformative possible press. The American public is inundated with Opinion shows disquised as news. I think PBS is about the only more or less real news broadcasting left. The rest are news shows with the emphasis on "SHOW"

      August 5, 2011 at 8:35 pm |
    • Ruby

      Well said. We do need more news, and less editorial comment!

      August 5, 2011 at 11:18 pm |
  61. bill

    Disbanding a group like the DEA that makes decisions based on a whim like Schedule One marijuana. If it did not work folks would not use it. Cocky, contrary, non-doctors making the rules. Guess what? Fire in the hole!!!!

    August 5, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  62. Gretchen

    how can the America save money? we can't we shouldnt not right now.People have to stimulate this economy by spending money.But to bring money back to america is to get out of these wars,drill more here as well as create clean energy jobs,and stop the tax cuts for the very wealthy and get rid of those selfish loop-holes that only the wealthy get to use.I don't think we have to touch entitlements except the welfare that america is giving oil company'

    August 5, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
    • Beverly NC

      Amen to that – if we ended corporate welfare using our tax dollars to the richest corporations in America – we would regain BILLIIONS that could be used to help the PEOPLE who are in true need and who paid into these programs their whole lives with the PROMISE they would get Social Security, Medicare, their veteran benefits etc. We deserve what we paid into in good faith. Greedy, corrupt corporations deserve NONE of our money but Republicans stand and protect them and BETRAY THE PEOPLE WHO THEY SWORE AN OATH TO SERVE. We the PEOPLE should swear an OATH to VOTE OUT ALL THESE REPUBLICAN TRAITORS TO AMERICA IN 2012.

      August 5, 2011 at 9:55 pm |
  63. Coffeehead

    Wolf, you are talking about less than 100 billion in currency, and the debt is 14 TRILLIOIN and counting. Are you kidding? There is more waste than this amount in entitlement programs, let alone the added amounts because of fraud, upcoding, and administration of these behemoths. Americans – sane ones anyway – want the debt crushed. Taken out. Totally addressed. Blogging about weak ideas like this is like grandma handing me 50 cent coupons for yogurt from the Sunday papers.

    August 5, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  64. I Can Read

    Wolf

    Why don’t you try watching some old Meet the Press videos with Tim Russert and learn how to start asking some real questions?

    Regarding the BS about not being able to collect billions off Airline tickets because of this FAA funding delay – why cannot they ask for this money later from the airlines especially considering some of the airline simply pocketed these fees? Who told the airlines that we would not later ‘claw back’ these monies – anyone?

    On a different subject that also shows your apparent inability to research and ask smart questions – During Obama’s health care debate he promised ‘80 billion dollars in savings annually via stopping Medicare fraud’. How is that going and why did a new law need to be created just to stop what was already cited as fraudulent?

    August 5, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
    • jeff

      This is an excellent solution....tax the corporations that are making billions and stockpiling it, make them hire US workers, bring US jobs back from India, Russia, and other countries; get rid of pharma and big oil subsidies...we dont need to drill, we need more refineries to process the oil.

      August 5, 2011 at 9:14 pm |
  65. N.W.

    Wolf, corps need to be forced to spend their capital that they are holding irrespective of whether they want to or not. Easiest solution, we will tax you at 30+% unless you spend y% of your reserves/profit for and on your workers(not infrastructure) IE pay increases or benefits increases, workers must make less then 50,000 per year. If the corp do they get a small tax cut if not they pay higher taxes.

    August 5, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
    • justasking77

      that is an interesting concept... Anyone actually have a useful thought to add in countering or supporting the idea? please no emotional response, just realistic analysis for a basis to your point

      August 5, 2011 at 8:35 pm |
    • pk

      The Congress got what they deserved!! They've been playing CHICKEN with the administration on how to make cuts. They know what needs to be cut.... giving money to those who aleady have more than they need. The only big bucks corps and earners who deserve tax cuts are those who can show, on paper, how many people were hired and fired! Tthey're mounting their piles of money given for creating jobs. PROVE IT!!!!

      August 6, 2011 at 8:18 am |
  66. 2012

    A few more billion in cutting congresses & staffers pay in half since they are never at work and dont accomplish anything anyway. I dont get 6 months off from my job with pay benifits and health care. I know that will never happen but i wont lose hope. Need 2 start term limits on these clowns. Too much lobby money changing hands. Supreme court 2!

    August 5, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
    • jean2009

      I say we cap their pay at minimum wage, with no retirement benefits. Why should anyone work two terms and receive health care and retirement?

      August 5, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
    • Russ

      You have absolutely no grasp on what politicians are paid.

      August 5, 2011 at 10:04 pm |
  67. chris

    Geez. Haven't the liberals already claimed our troops are out of Iraq? And Harry Reid and Obama's tax savings are counting on them already being gone. What a bunch of jokers our teleprompter in Chief and his cronies are. And worse. For the people who believe what they read on the screen.

    August 5, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
    • jean2009

      Failure at history and facts...right!

      August 5, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
    • jeff

      I bet u NEVER served a day in the military.
      I've been to Iraq, glad to serve, probably didnt need to be there, but we are and need to finish the job.
      Also need to expand the Afghan conflict, perhaps even go into Pakistan and finish the job.....

      August 5, 2011 at 9:17 pm |
  68. Steve

    I think in the case of Iraq, it more like it's a US request we stay, and the Iraqi asquience. We would hate to see Iraq turn over into another Iran..SO I don't think Iraq will pay much for our presence.. not a popular idea in Iraq.

    August 5, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
  69. Maddog

    I have to agree that Iraq should pay back every cent with interest on the cost incurred by the US to liberate the country and not only for this war, but for the 1991 Gulf War as well. Lybia? Yes, take the costs from the frozen assets to pay back the US treasury and costs to allies as well. Use the frozen assets to pay for the costs. Simple. To do otherwise, quite frankly, is to be a lunatic.

    August 5, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
    • jhudd

      I don't recall them ASKING to be LIBERATED!

      August 5, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
  70. Bill

    Hey Wolf, you can have my vote if you run for president, you are much better than all the clowns running for president.
    Think about it, will yea?

    August 5, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
  71. Banda53

    People, don't worry about what Wolf said. It doesn't matter that he said what he said, or if he said something you'd completely agree with. If the current administration suggested anything....anything at all....regardless of it's prudence, fairness or effectiveness...the Republicans would say no.

    August 5, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
  72. Darlene Buckingham

    I always thought one of the reasons the US invaded Libya was to take the money not to help the people. And having the people of Iraq pay the US after destroying their culture and their land speaks volumes about what the US has become – the biggest bully/mobster on the block.

    August 5, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
    • CatSh

      If THEY want us to stay after we have decided to go, they THEY should pay for the service – just like every other country. After the billions we have spent on Iraq, I have no problem with that.

      August 5, 2011 at 8:49 pm |
  73. Kahoneez

    First of All Former AIPAC spokesman and Jerusalem Post writer , you're a flat out LIAR and PROPAGANDIST . IRAQ invasion based on lies , was officially about " WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION " BESIDES how do you " liberate " people by killing over 500, 000 ( that's before Sanctions , that killed hundreds of thousands ) , causing more CANCER from DU , causing more unemployment , causing more homeless , FACTS NEVER REPORT , covered up for U.S. policy .

    You stopped reporting from IRAQ years ago , no wonder people who watch only CNN are so IGNORANT & Don't know Fallujah CANCER RATES went up 4x , a fact you COVER UP .

    Wolf Blitzer and CNN is a LIAR , a propagandist for U.S. policy and NWO

    August 5, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
  74. brmull

    What about foreign aid? And why is capia in reverse on the list of filtered words?

    August 5, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
    • Hermie

      Agree with you. If we cut foreign aids will be able to solve the economic problems overnight.

      Not a single politician have the guts to bring the subject to the floor.

      August 5, 2011 at 10:18 pm |
  75. JD

    Wolf,

    Maybe you should stick to reading a teleprompter like Obama should. Your "solutions" are merely pennies on the dollar of US debt. The real budgetary crime is that, for decades, the social security trust fund has been used as a trust fund to pay for outrageous govt spending. The ENTIRE sum of both wars (Iraq & Afghanistan) over the last 10 years just about equals the amount that Congress raised the debt ceiling by ($2 trillion). Does that average American know that? Also, the federal govt will crash through that ceiling before you know it. Rediculous amount of spending! The favorite liberal targets of the "Bush Wars" are just a red herring. The VAST majority of our debt is to pay for social security, medicare & medicaid, and other social programs. So, stop whining and go after social spending instead. By the way people throw these nearly incomprehensible numbers around–but think of this...if there were such a thing as a 1 million dollar bill, a billion would be 1,000 of those. A lot of money, right? A trillion dollars would be a million-1 million dollar bills. 1,000,000,000,000. The Sun is 93,000,000 miles away from the Earth.

    August 5, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
    • jean2009

      The vast amount of our debt is to pay for Reagan's and Bush's tax cuts for the wealthiest few... and unfunded wars.

      August 5, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
    • Will S

      DoD's budget is about as big as Social Security and Medicare, actually. Almost $700 billion. Plenty of room for cuts there. If you have several thousand nuclear warheads you don't need a gigantic standing army. The wars in the Middle East have hardly been worth the while...especially the red herring of Iraq.

      August 5, 2011 at 8:59 pm |
  76. Les Dean

    I think it would be a terrific way to get some return on our investments in those countries. I can only imagine who could object to such a plan.
    Another idea I would like to share concerns the transition to alternative energy sources. With all the manufacturing, trucking, and construction industries hurting, we should be mobilizing full force to put windmills, solar panels, hydro-generators, and dozens of other sources to work on every house, building, and unused space available. Why should we let all those things be manufactured abroad? America has the best workforce on the planet–we could create millions of jobs in these areas. And then, to pay at least the initial costs, force the oil companies, with their trillions of dollars in profits made at our expense, to pony up.
    Just a thought...

    August 5, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  77. Bill Bauman

    Wolfster......Has ANYONE realized that the annual salaries for Congress total $94,229,00.00??? PLUS their health care, their pensions, the bottled water and the free postage and printing??? Let's start the cuts in DISCRETIONARY spending THERE, NOT Social Security (does the word SECURITY mean anything???) MediCare, etc. Since these Congressional Miscreants CANNOT balance a budget and want to put the burden on the elderly, the poor, and the disadvantaged, they only want to share in the rewards, not the sacrifices. We have the V.E.T.O. power......Vote Everyone of Them Out!!! Luv yer show

    August 5, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  78. Lily

    We could also legalize marijuana and regulate it just like how we regulate alcohol and tobacco. We can amass billions in tax revenue over the next ten years, and it'll help free up some of the money spent on running the courts and encarceration of marijuana offenders. We can then focus the "war on drugs" on the more dangerous substances like heroin and cocaine.

    August 5, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  79. bmull

    Yes Mr. AIPAC. What about the $3.5+ billion we give to Israel each year?

    August 5, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
    • Peikovian

      Bokharat and brautwurst, was that what they served in the Muslim Waffen-SS?

      August 5, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
      • intothefire

        Peiko, same reply to two posts about israel. you sir are not only a troll but an idiot as well. You dont mention anything but a bad nazi joke you damn tool. More than 3 billion goes to Israel per year. you seem to think everyone who isnt throwing money at Israel is a nazi so go throw your own damn cash and start posting things that have meaning or dont post at all u jerk off

        August 5, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
    • Will S

      The Holocaust ended 65 years ago. You are beating a long-dead horse.

      August 5, 2011 at 9:00 pm |
  80. jarhead

    First, cut 80% of the funding for public universities and eliminate special education for high school kids left behind. That money should go to apprenticeship programs, just like in Germany and better yet, Switzerland. These countries don't try to graduate as many individuals from universities as possible and leave that for the elite, so quality education has not been compromised as much as in the US where many college grad still can't write and are nil in science. for your info. a high school grad from emerging countries or the West, can enroll as a second semester sophomore or first year junior in practically any UN university. And in any kind of science contest, for instance, the US has been scoring among the very last for years in spite of the astronomical sums we have spent on education. Indeed, we spend more on education than any other nation on earth.
    These two countries graduate fantastic technicians and highly qualified workers who then produce the most advanced technology in the world. Germany was the biggest exporter of all nations until china took that place last year. And Germany, or Switzerland, doesn't export chicken feeds, but high tech and high added value products only. The same can be said of other nations that don't stress to death the need to go to college. Aside from the top 50 universities in the US that remain competitive worldwide, all the others (about 3,000 of them) ain't worth bean or little more. Let's stop fooling ourselves with that education "myth" and get down to earth by forming people who can be hired by the manufacturing sector. Jobs will then stay in America.

    August 5, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
    • jhudd

      Amen!

      August 5, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
    • jean2009

      jughead ...What do you think vocational schools do?

      August 5, 2011 at 8:18 pm |
  81. Dennis

    Wolff, I find it disgraceful that you think it would be okay to confiscate Libya's money, simply because the USA has access to it(after seizing it, as part of sanctions – so Gaddafi cannot use it to finance his army). If the USA was to do such a thing – it would be unethical – and NEVER again would anyone in OTHER countries, within the UN – be willing to impose sanctions (like seizure of cash) – in the future – afraid that they would be accused of theft, or of dishonest misappropriation of funds – If UN countries were able to confiscate sanction money – and claim they need it for repayment for their help – NO one would be willing to impose sanctions again – afraid that they would be accused of supporting theft, or the misappropriation of money.
    I will also remind you that – what the USA and other NATO countries are doing in Libya is helping in a HUMANITARIAN CRISIS! It was an effort embarked upon to save the lives of Libyans – from certain death – at the hands of Gaddafistr troops. It would truly be a disgrace for the USA to suddenly start trying to collect money from those they CHOSE to help in an humanitarian effort – and it would leave open the question – will the USA, in the future, only help countries who they feel with be in a position to reinburse them for their humanitarian help. What a disgrace that would be for the USA to become a nation that others thought would only help them – if the USA say some benefit in it for themselves.

    Wolff – An humanitarian effort is just that – an humanitarian effort – it is the choice to extend oneself to AID other human beings.
    I aks you, sShould we be asking Pakistan to reinburse us for helping them when there was a threat of hundreds of thousands dying from starvation during their massive flooding a few months ago. Should we have also asked Japan to reinburse us, when we helped them a few months ago during their earthquake/Nuclear disaster. Should we also
    have asked Haiti to reinburse us after we used our military to help their population during their earthquake disaster.

    Frankly Wolff, I find your willingness to confiscate Libya's money, simply because we have access to it – to be quite deplorable. Your suggestion says alot about you – Nothing Good!

    I , and others, w ould probably have more respect for you – if you were to have suggested that the USA – to help pay down it's – stopped providing billions of dollars of money & military AID to countries like Egypt, and Israel, and Pakistan – but of course – you would NEVER suggest that - INSTEAD, disgustingly – you want the USA – for the first time in its history – to confiscate money from sanctioned funds of Libya, or perhaps to even demand payment from the people of a country – where (through no fault of their own) – millions of Libyans were, and still are facing the possibility of death, because a madman dictator decided to start killing his country's citizens.

    August 5, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
    • JD

      Dennis,

      Obviously you're historically ignorant. For centuries, nations which are defeated in wars have given a tribute or payed reparations of some sort to the victor. (See Weimar Republic) Though Obama has unconstitutionally put us at war with another county, a country whose dictator has supported the killing of scores of Americans in recent history, the US should use EVERY weapon at our disposal for victory...especially economic weapons.

      August 5, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
      • jean2009

        Yes, and what was the results of the Weimar Republic being required to pay restitution? History doesn't happen in a vacuum...paying the war debt forced a country devastated by war into a depression with hyperinflation worse than ours of the 30's...and into thinking they could cure their problems with Hitler.

        I would say you are the one who is historically ignorant.

        August 5, 2011 at 7:57 pm |
    • John

      Four words: You are an idiot.

      August 5, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
    • Frank Furgiuele

      Get real Dennis. Wolf is dead on with his assessment and suggestions. Nothing in life is free.

      August 5, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
      • jean2009

        No, Wolf is wearing his Israeli supplied rosy-colored glasses. George W. Bush and his war profiteer buddies busted Iraq for non-existent weapons. The regular Iraq citizen who suffered through a tyrant like Saddam, and then us devastating their country don't owe us.

        August 5, 2011 at 8:05 pm |
  82. Rich

    Wolf your not going to get money from Libya and you shouldn't try. That money seized belongs to them. America decided to strike Libya along with NATO and any and all costs need to be paid by NATO. It would be seen as America taking money from a country that will need each and every penny to reestablish itself once it gets a viable new leader.

    On the Iraq situation I agree that the United States needs to get out. There are threats elsewhere and troops will be needed there. We need to free up those already stretched thin troops so we have viable assets to use if needed elsewhere. Iraq can buy all the weapons it wants from America or any one else and those that sell them these weapons can also train them on their use. All of this of course comes at a price but keeping Americans in Iraq is a waste of money.

    America has spent way too much money already liberating countries abroad while going after terrorists. We have a financial terrorist knocking on our front door called a failing economy and that takes precedence over any enemy abroad. If we do not put people back to work in this country then it will crumble from within. Jobs here at home is all America need focus on at the moment.

    August 5, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  83. Inga

    Why the hay did we invade Iraq to begin with? The Iraqis were much better off before we invaded their country, even under Saddam Hussein's dictatorship. I am sick and tired of politicians who make STUPID DECISONS which destroy American LIVES, FAMILIES, and families in the countries that we invade. BALANCE OUR BUDGET, STOP GETTING US INVOLVED IN UNNECESSARY AND EXPENSIVE WARS.

    August 5, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
    • Tom

      No person really knows why, only the ones with the plan to go there know why they are there.

      August 5, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
    • PGelsman

      We freed them from tyranny..........and gave them anarchy instead. Mission Accomplished!

      August 5, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
    • Greg0311

      Sounds like you've never been there yourself. Until you can, from firsthand knowledge, make such a claim. Shut your face.

      August 5, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
    • huh?

      Based on your expert geopolitical opinion. You may want to first check with the Iraqi people before you make that claim.

      August 5, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
  84. Bob in Florida

    I agree 100% Since we Americans see ourselves as protectors of democracy for the entire planet–and assuming other countries actually WANT democracy–then they should help foot the bill. Remember, we're also fighting for ourselves in this current economic slump. It's only fair that other aspiring democracies should pay their share. WE certainly have.

    August 5, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
    • Jake

      Taking Seized/Frozen assets from a country in conflict isn't "Payment" for services and help provided, especially if the said country doesn't agree to it, it's theft plain and simple. Lybia will need that money to rebuild after the conflict is over.

      Think about that before thinking of yourself and your comfortable life.

      August 5, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
  85. Josh

    I personally agree that we ought to have Baghdad and deduct Gadhafi's billions in US assets to our coffers. That being said, regarding Gadhafi's billions, I think you would need to go through the courts because since they are invested in the US, they are subject to US law and thus due process applies certainly regarding the government withdrawing X amount for its own expenses.

    I also think that it might be more difficult to get a bill passed that would enable the government to withdraw frozen assets for its own expenses because of the GOP controlled House. The GOP's primary constituents (millionaires and billionaires) would be on the hook for providing the funds for their own prosecutions should they be caught doing something illegal like insider trading or jeopardizing the global economy by pushing for less regulation in years to come. The Tea Party would rally the people who barely have a pot to "pay into" arguing that Washington will make you pay for your own prosecution should you be arrested for speeding, for example. I exaggerate purposely because the Tea Party and their GOP puppets live to blow things out of proportion. They ought to take a lesson from Alan Simspon, who Brooke Baldwin interviewed earlier today, and bite the bullet for the good of the country. Ignore knuckleheads (as Jack Cafferty might say) like Grover Norquist because if you are elected to serve in Congress then your primary constituents are the people who vaulted you into that position and not some cult leader who demands you to drink his Kool-Aid or he will come after you.

    Just some thoughts!!

    August 5, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
    • JD

      Josh,

      Aside from liberal mantra and talking points, where can you point to for one ounce of truth in your statement that the GOP's main constituents are "millionaires and billionaires"? Where do you think Obama got his nearly $650 million for his presidential campaign in 2008? Billionaire General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt? (GE paid no taxes last year thanks to Obama by the way). Besides George Soros and every major Hollywood actor, how many millionaires are there at MSNBC, CBS, NBC, ABC & NPR? With your flawed logic, they should all be Republicans.

      August 5, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  86. Steve Webster

    Wolf, this is a great idea! We need to also dangle the fact that we have our young men and women shedding their blood and Iraq needs to also send us boat loads of free oil. Whatever happened to the saying "To the victor belongs the spoil"? We should just take the oil money to redo our infrastructure.

    Thanks

    August 5, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
    • Dennis

      Victor of what! We went into Iraq because PRESIDENT BUSH – falsely claimed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, and was targetting the USA - THAT WAS ALL A LIE! There were NO weapons of mass destruction anywhere in Iraq!

      August 5, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
  87. Sabin

    Hey Wolf,
    I think we could save even more money if some of the oil companies in iraq gave back to the American people in oil costs. Sending barrels to us by the millions to lower the price by at least $1. per gal.
    Lybia, the thing is, we've been giving that fool millions a year, so why not take the 33 million and give it to the American people's debt? Or to projects like the speed railway.
    I was never concerned about the debit ceiling. I knew this was a month long of politic's. It's just talk, put down the other party....BUT American's are tired of their leaders playing this game for a month long and then only to settle it on the last day...THAT'S WHAT WE'RE TIRED OF, THOSE GAMES.
    Now they are on break till Sept. 7th??? WOW...how about everyone in the USA go on break until then. HA
    Back in the day, I mentioned to the W.H. about giving people $10.000 off a hybrid car, if they trade their gas car in, they came out with cash for clunkers.
    I mentioned there should be a fwy in S. Cali. from Long Beach to LA only for trucks and get the trucks off the 710 that shares with cars. It's like Dinosaurs and ants, bad combo. Now they want to build a 14 lane Fwy 710, basically two 710's one 4 lane north/south for trucks only, and widen the 710 for cars.
    I still would like to see monorails built up and down the fwys and connections too. No more fwy buses. I have 1000 more idea's.
    Thanks for your blog!
    Sabin

    August 5, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  88. joshua

    Wolf, you're talking pennies in a sea of increasing debt. What you need to admit is that Obama doesn't have a clue about job creation and that the working/poor are suffering because of his decisions. Stimulus bills that were nothing more than union payoffs. Government motor bailouts that we will be paying for decades to come. Cash for clunkers programs that actually cost jobs. He has gotten everything he wanted to help the economy and nothing has worked. We were warned over and over about his policies but anyone who complained was called a racist. When will the main stream media start to question his decisions the way they have other presidents? I am afraid Obama is repeating the failed policies of Jimmy Carter. Our economy is starting to look exaxtly the same.

    August 5, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
    • nate

      No, Joshua, it is not Obama that is the problem. If you need somebody to blame, blame the GOP congressmen and Senators that are refusing to allow any spending. Agreeably, spending beyond our means is a poor idea. Unfortunately though, the sweeping budget cuts are quite literally cutting jobs. We don't need to worry so much about our spending right now in the midst of such high unemployment. If you have a problem with the current state of the economy, call your GOP leaders and tell them to stop signing No Tax Pledges and other promises of that nature. When the Government spends a dollar, they are giving it to the economy. When that stops is when we have the problem, not the other way around.

      August 5, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
    • Dennis

      Wow – you're just dumb!

      August 5, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
    • kman02

      What has your beloved TP/GOP house even TRIED to do to create jobs? They are a bunch of goons hell-bent on advancing a social agenda, not an economic agenda. Economists around the country agree that the balanced approach put forth by the president was clearly a better plan than than was the one ultimately passed. Your morons up there don't give a gray rat's azz about this country.

      August 5, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
    • jean2009

      The worst president of my lifetime was not Jimmy Carter, it was Ronald Reagan...and George W. Bush may out do Reagan yet for the trophy as worst president, in the last 76 years.

      August 5, 2011 at 9:09 pm |
  89. roy

    i agree, those two ideas are great, and would help. so would making it legal to grow industrial hemp. thousands of jobs in agriculture, manufacturing, new, innovative ideas would happen, it can even be used to make a cleaner-burning synthetic fuel that is much better then ethenol. we are allowed to import hemp products, why not grow it here, and "buy american?" you cant get high off of it. why not grow it and improve our economy?

    August 5, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
    • nate

      Oh brother. Weed can fix everything man it cures cancer but the Goverment doesn't want you to know. Yeah right. You remind me of this guy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2bCO6tr7Zw

      August 5, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
      • roy

        nate-
        im not talking about marajuana here. im talkin industrial hemp. it does not get you stoned, no matter how much you smoke. it is one of the strongest-fibred plants that God ever put on this earth. our forefathers recognized it as an absolute boon to a free society, useful in making so many different products. anything that can be made in the wood, paper, and plastics industries can be made with hemp. it grows like a weed, (lol), needs no pesticides, and reaches maturity in about 6 months, so, two crops per year is the norm. i heard that our forefathers actually asked all farmers to grow an acre and a half on all farms. the biggest reason there is so much resistance to legal agriculture of it is, the powers that be, the big corporations, the lobbyists, all have a firm foothold on polluting our planet for profit. they are not willing to make changes, even at the cost of deforestatin, and filling up our landfills with plastic that takes 700 years before it can turn into dirt. we owe it to our planet and future generations to chang the status quo, and create a free market, sustainable economy.
        roy
        roy

        August 6, 2011 at 11:30 am |
      • roy

        well, geez, nate, thank you for wasting a minute and 46 seconds of my life for me. the purpose of this discussion is to come up with viable solutions to the problems we have in our economy, not to send people to some stupid movie clip which adds absolutely nothing to the conversation seeking solutions to the problems we have.
        closed minds inhibit free thinking.
        roy

        August 6, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
  90. Clark Hurlbert

    We should also increase tax rates for indivuduals.

    Germany's economy is fairly strong, stronger than ours. Some politicians say we need to keep our individual rates low to compete with other countries.

    Germany's individual tax rate is 14% to 45%, plus they have a very expensive VAT tax.

    This needs to be done.

    August 5, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
    • JD

      Clark,

      I hate to break this news to you but...socialism is failed. European countries are in as bad, if not worse, shape than us. Look at countries with newly elected conservative leaders like Canada. Canada's economy is growing at 4-5% a year after they've lowered their corporate tax rates. In comparison, the US has some of the highest corporate tax rates and our economy is in the crapper–along with unemployment.

      August 5, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
      • intothefire

        America has corporate tax rates that are on paper higher than others but the ways around them having to pay it are numerous

        August 5, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
      • jean2009

        Canada has universal health care, a welfare system, a Social Security Retirement system, a public school system, public financed roads, public financed rail and air transportation, environmental and other standards, and so on. So obviously socialism is not a failure there or here.

        Remember conservatives were the loyalist that went back to Britain and King George. The Revolutionaries were liberal socialist.

        August 5, 2011 at 8:55 pm |
  91. Drew

    Wolf you disappointment lets talk real solutions:

    1- Infrastrurure Bill RepubTea party is blocking,
    2. Rasing import taxes on China.
    3. Close tax loopholes for American business that outsource jobs overseas.

    Just a few ideals and stop blaming the President look at the crazy representatives he has to deal with daily.

    August 5, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
    • Gary Goodwin

      AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      August 5, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • Jim

      First learn proper English.

      August 5, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
      • intothefire

        Jim, add something to the convo or dont post!

        August 5, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
    • jean2009

      @ Drew: You are right!

      @Jim, it is considered a breach of etiquette to correct another person's spelling and grammar.

      August 5, 2011 at 8:34 pm |
  92. Berwin Arceneaux

    Sounds like a plan! I just hope I can hold off my cynicism.

    August 5, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  93. Catalina

    Agreed! Now someone send this to Washington so we can start saving the US some money. Perhaps you might consider a run for the White House?

    August 5, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  94. awal

    Interesting perspective. How about giving tax breaks to companies willing to bring jobs to the US ??

    August 5, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  95. Rod Norgren

    The people are not privy to the machinations of international defense involvement. I think the people should demand their government account for the economics of conflict and I think we should be compensated in a timely and predictable manner. Any thing short of this is malfeasance in government.

    August 5, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  96. Bob in Florida

    Much too practical and simple. Congress could never find a way to do that.

    August 5, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  97. tim gates

    huh!!!! do you really think those goons in Washington will do something right. holy moly come on Wolf.
    i say throw all the bums out.

    August 5, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  98. Paul B

    It's a perfect solution!

    August 5, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  99. Brenda

    Sounds like a plan that would actually work!!

    August 5, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  100. mdeegs

    I'd say go for it ... to keep troops in Iraq they need to generate a source of revenue for actually paying for it. So this means either more taxes, or have someone else pay for it. We already paid for two wars over the past ten years while CUTTING taxes several times. This is not a recipe for success. Likewise, it would be fair to deduct what we have spent on Libya's cause. Those Hellfire missiles that we pounded Libya with are extremely expensive.

    August 5, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
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