Debt showdown and the 'Gang of Six'

Published: Wednesday, July 20 2011 1:10 p.m. MDT

AP Photo/Files
A bipartisan group of senators unveiled an ambitious deficit-reduction plan on July 19 that calls for limiting Social Security increases and reducing mortgage and other cherished tax deductions, a last-minute development that quickly won praise from President Obama and could provide a path to break a months-long budget impasse. With House Democrats and Republicans hardening their positions over whether and how to raise the nation's debt limit before an Aug. 2 deadline, the group of senators dubbed the "Gang of Six" outlined the framework of a deal they said would cut the deficit's growth by $3.7 trillion over 10 years. About $1 trillion of that would be raised by overhauling the tax code to lower individual and corporate rates while slicing myriad loopholes, shelters, and deductions. The proposal attracted support from rank-and-file senators in both parties, if not yet their leaders. Here are some key players and comments, reactions:
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What in Tucket?
Provo, UT

Any and all efforts to control our financial disorder are welcome.

Layton, UT

Congress needs to support this plan. This is just bad enough that no one will like it, but can live with it. That means it is close to the "right" answer.

The Rock
Federal Way, WA

This is just like politicians. They created this mess by buying votes with tax payer money, then they refuse to clean up their mess.

It is time that we force the government to obey the constitution. If we have to hold a constitutional convention to force a balanced budget amendment down their throats like they forced Obama care down our throats, so be it.

no fit in SG
St.George, Utah

Yes, it will go down to the wire, but the Democrats, the saviours of the less fortunate in the US, will come out ahead. Those peculiar Tea Party politicians have thrown a skunk in the Republican's soup.

Salt Lake City, Utah

Finally 6 adults in the 535 congress persons who are willing to sit down and talk and try to do what is best for the country. Whether it is the best plan or not, I applaud the effort, and hopefully it is a start. Thank you to Gang of Six

Mcallen, TX

Secrets of the gang of one whiner:

1. Hurry and pass the stimulus before anybody reads it.
2. Hurry, hurry, let's pass healthcare by Monday before it's read.
3. Let's increase the spending ceiling and I'll tell you later how we'll spend spend. Shhh! Don't ask me now, just wait.
4. Anything goes wrong, just blame Bush.
5. Cut jobs--increase benefits. Leave the driving to me.

Bakersfield, CA

Think before you vote. You will be at the mercy of that person's votes on things as important as the budget.

American Fork, UT

Go Gang of Six.


Limiting Social Security and eliminating Mortgage Interest deductions are nothing but a tax increase. The ridiculous Gang of Six want to redistribute income for their own programs. All budget cutting would be played out on the backs of us, the tax payers. It would also further depress the housing market.We should not support any of these corrupt politicians.

provo, Utah

Mortgage intrerest reductions? They are going to close the ONLY loophole the middle class has other than the terrible per-child credit while large corporations and millionares with a good CPA pay NO taxes at all.

Stick it to the middle class - again.

Provo, UT

We need to cut spending, not raise the debt limit. This year federal, state, and local governments will spend a record 42% of US GDP. Business and individuals will spend another 15 percent of GDP to comply with government regulations. When will it all end? How much government is enough?

As power and money flow to a corrupt and massive national government, we lose our freedoms. We may be past the point of no return. History shows that centralized and bloated governments are doomed to destruction. It's only a matter of time, if we don't act now.

American Fork, UT

Nice to see leadership.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT


this is nothing but filling BO's wish list with tax increases (on the middle class, no less)

Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro show "leadership" - in the wrong direction.

the truth
Holladay, UT

This is not a real plan.

Increase taxes, do nothing about spending, kowtowing to the president.

What a total joke.

But I expected nothing less from the left, from progressive of either party.

West Valley, UT

After reading many of the outrageous reasons dump the "Gang of Six" intelligent compromise, it is not difficult to understand why politicians get nothing accomplished.

Cedar Hills, UT

This plan increases taxes by 1.5 trillion. Any idea what that might do to the already lifeless economy? I'm certain all Obama's evil rich will now be more willing than ever to invest and spend and corporates will take advantage of all those "closed" tax loopholes and hire more people and expand their business. But hey, who cares about unemployment anyway. It warms the heart to know that all that new tax revenue will be mostly used for liberal pet programs - and that does NOT include social security or medicare. I am SOOOOOO sick of Obama and his lies. Is 2012 yet???

Orem, UT

The solution to the social security (SS) crisis is simple, and it's unbelievable nobody has proposed it yet.

We are only taxed with social security up to $106,800 of our income, which is more than most individuals earn (even more than most families). Instead of raising the SS retirement age and cutting benefits, just eliminate the cap on the SS tax. Accompany that with a maximum benefit--those who earn over $106.8k per year have little need for additional benefits, but should contribute to fund the multi-faceted SS and medicare program--which the elderly and disabled in this country need and we have a moral responsibility to provide.

Since a lot of income in the USA is far above $107K, this would generate a lot of money, obtain it from those most able to pay, not affect the poor or middle class in any negative way, and preserve benefits and the current retirement ages (up to about 67 years of age).

Would someone please explain why this plan cannot even get any consideration among our wealthy lawmakers?

Mcallen, TX

We talk about limiting Social Security? Why not foreign aid?

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