This story is closed for comments. Comments on WRAL.com news stories are accepted and moderated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Oldest First
  • junkmail5 Nov 28, 11:44 a.m.

    Raising taxes will not solve our problems.- aspenstreet1717

    Nobody said they would though.

    They will HELP though.

    Spending cuts alone won't solve the problem either.

    We need both.

    Refusing to do one thing because it only fixes SOME of the problem is pretty silly.

    It'd be like saying you have an unreliable car, so you won't fix the brakes because the radiator would still leak.

    You need to do more than one thing to fix the problem. One of those things is raising taxes.

    Another is cutting spending.

    neither alone fixes it. Together, along with growth, they can.

  • SouthernPackerFan Nov 28, 11:20 a.m.

    Hey Nighttrain, Reagan didn't cut tax's?????Pfft
    President Reagan lifted remaining domestic petroleum price and allocation controls on January 28, 1981,[6] and lowered the oil windfall profits tax in August 1981. He ended the oil windfall profits tax. Reagan followed his 1981 tax cuts with the Tax Reform Act of 1986, which sought to eliminate deductions, lower marginal rates for the wealthy, and significantly raise taxes on those earning less than $50,000[7][8] In 1982 Reagan agreed to a rollback of corporate tax cuts and a smaller rollback of individual income tax cuts. The 1982 tax increase undid a third of the initial tax cut. In 1983 Reagan instituted a payroll tax on Social Security and Medicare hospital insurance

  • aspenstreet1717 Nov 28, 11:05 a.m.

    Raising taxes will not solve our problems. It sounds good but it won't work.

  • Rebelyell55 Nov 28, 10:34 a.m.

    They'll do something, but it'll most likey not be what's good for the average citizens. Also, the cuts that will happen will put more burden on the states and local goverment, who'll in turn raise your taxes one method or another. This is what'll hurt the middle class and lower.

  • Screw WrAl Nov 28, 10:27 a.m.

    these out of touch old guys need to go back to the rest home because nothing they say is going to motivate anyone to do a thing. the best thing that can happen to this country is to go crashing right over the cliff. after we all pay a few thousand more in taxes and see what Obamacare is going to do for our doctor trips maybe then we'll wake the spit up.

  • junkmail5 Nov 28, 9:56 a.m.

    Literally- as the top tax rate has dropped, more and more of the total wealth accumulates in the hands of the ultra wealthy.

    Envy gets you nothing- mep

    Again, you seem to be confusing envy with...ya know... math.

    Every nation that has seen its wealth accumulate in a very tiny fraction of the population has come to ruin, over thousands of years of history. It's a very bad thing to let happen.

    This is something the founding fathers understood, and you clearly do not.

    "As riches increase and accumulate in few hands, as luxury prevails in society, virtue will be in a greater degree considered as only a graceful appendage of wealth, and the tendency of things will be to depart from the republican standard. This is the real disposition of human nature; it is what neither the honorable member nor myself can correct. It is a common misfortunate that awaits our State constitution, as well as all others."
    — Alexander Hamilton

  • junkmail5 Nov 28, 9:51 a.m.

    Sadly, you have no facts to back this up.- mep

    well, except actual facts, which back it up... unlike all of your posts I actually support the things I say.

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2010/aug/17/eddie-bernice-johnson/texas-congresswoman-eddie-bernice-johnson-says-soc/

    "By the best available measures the rate in 1935 was, as she stated, more than 50 percent."

    Further, before medicare, over half of seniors were uninsured... here's proof of that too-

    http://media.jsonline.com/documents/Medicare2000.pdf

    So why do you want grandma to be poor and without medical care?

  • Plenty Coups Nov 28, 9:35 a.m.

    mep-
    "Sadly, you have no facts to back this up.... poverty was not defined nationally."

    Are you kidding? Data clearly shows that social security currently keeps about half or nearly half of elderly Americans out of poverty. And while we don't have a definite number from back then as there was no official poverty threshold, it is easily estimated that about half of all elderly citizens would have been in poverty. The great depression wiped out life savings and millions of people wrote to the government asking for help.

    urbanpolicy.berkeley.edu/pdf/Ch6SocialEG0404.pdf

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2011/sep/19/rachel-maddow/rachel-maddow-said-social-security-keeping-older-a/

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2011/sep/20/has-social-security-stabilized-poverty-among-elder/

    Half of elderly NC would be in poverty using census records.:

    http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=3851

  • Pseudonym Nov 28, 9:11 a.m.

    Ain't gonna work. Obviously the voters of this country don't see anything wrong with the status quo, since they put the same "more rons" (sic, thanks GOLO) back in office. The only thing that will fix it is when we do go off the fiscal cliff and the world does indeed collapse. Of course, by then it will be too late.

  • mep Nov 28, 8:46 a.m.

    Prior to social security about HALF of all elderly lived in poverty. That's what you want to return to apparently.
    junkmail5

    Sadly, you have no facts to back this up.... poverty was not defined nationally. Americans had a far better standard of living that a vast majority of others in the world... and still do. Americans are the only ones where those in poverty also suffer from obesity. LOL.

  • mep Nov 28, 8:44 a.m.

    Literally- as the top tax rate has dropped, more and more of the total wealth accumulates in the hands of the ultra wealthy.

    Envy gets you nothing..... and a govt that robs Peter for working hard to pay Paul for doing nothing is even worse. Theft is theft.

  • junkmail5 Nov 27, 7:59 p.m.

    For nearly 200 years, the citizens of the US lovingly provided all social welfare, charity, and even education with virtually NO taxation or govt bureaucracy. The nations standard of living increased by 900% in the 19th century and our GDP exploded and we became the greatest nation on the planet... all without a massive entitlement centered govt.
    mep

    Yes, the 19th century....the heyday of.... relatively few super rich people, and lots and lots of super poor people.

    Prior to social security about HALF of all elderly lived in poverty. That's what you want to return to apparently.

  • junkmail5 Nov 27, 7:57 p.m.

    "the top tax rate reductions appear to be associated with the increasing concentration of income at the top of the income distribution.” That is govt speak used to incite class warfare and envy -mep

    No, it's math and facts

    Why do republicans hate math and facts so much?

    Literally- as the top tax rate has dropped, more and more of the total wealth accumulates in the hands of the ultra wealthy.

    That's -facts-

    It's also a fact that this happening is _always_ a pretty terrible thing for a major country, as proven by thousands of years of history.

  • mep Nov 27, 7:57 p.m.

    Wrong. Only the rich who do not need to spend their entire incomes benefit from a flat tax. Tax the 1%!!
    rushbot

    WRONG, a consumption tax that exempts necessity items taxes people when they spend, and does not punish those for earning like the current system.

  • mep Nov 27, 7:56 p.m.

    For nearly 200 years, the citizens of the US lovingly provided all social welfare, charity, and even education with virtually NO taxation or govt bureaucracy. The nations standard of living increased by 900% in the 19th century and our GDP exploded and we became the greatest nation on the planet... all without a massive entitlement centered govt.

  • junkmail5 Nov 27, 7:56 p.m.

    Until we go to a flat consumption tax and do away with the antiquated and corrupt tired income tax- mep

    Uh... no... a complete flat tax is the opposite of fair.

    Taxing poor people for food and shelter would consume all, or more of their income. rich people would still have piles of money to roll around in.

    Even Adam Smith, the guy who wrote the book on capitalism, understood the fairest system was progressive taxation:

    "The necessaries of life occasion the great expense of the poor. They find it difficult to get food, and the greater part of their little revenue is spent in getting it. The luxuries and vanities of life occasion the principal expense of the rich . . . . It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion."

    "it is the luxuries, and not the necessary expense of the inferior ranks of people, that ought ever to be taxed"

  • mep Nov 27, 7:51 p.m.

    "the top tax rate reductions appear to be associated with the increasing concentration of income at the top of the income distribution.” That is govt speak used to incite class warfare and envy, used as a tool by liberals to divide a nation and redistribute wealth EARNED by others. How sad.

  • mep Nov 27, 7:48 p.m.

    mep - "WE ARE IN SERIOUS TROUBLE FOLKS.WE ARE IN SERIOUS TROUBLE FOLKS."..exactly so..the uber-wealthy have not paid their fair share since Reagan..time for that to change!!!
    rushbot

    Until we go to a flat consumption tax and do away with the antiquated and corrupt tired income tax, your right..... the uber wealthy dont pay their fair share, (despite paying the bulk of Federal taxes) and neither do the majority of Americans (51% pay none). Change to a fair, flat tax is what we need.... and a balanced budget amendment!

  • retiredindependentpopo Nov 27, 7:47 p.m.

    Spending more that you bring in creates debt, not a person keeping what they worked for. UNDERSTAND?
    Stop spending so much and you won't have to steal so much from the rest of us.

  • retiredindependentpopo Nov 27, 7:45 p.m.

    "Again, tax the 1%. Them keeping their wealth . . . . "

    Someone please explain to me why this isn't a socialit idea. They worked for their wealth. It's their's, NOT YOURS!!!! Get a JOB and build your own wealth without trying to steal someone elses!!

  • Uhavenoclu Nov 27, 7:39 p.m.

    Forget the nationa27. North Carolina
    > Debt per capita: $1,983 (9th lowest)
    > Budget deficit: 30.6% (7th largest)
    > Unemployment: 10.5% (tied-6th highest)
    > Median household income: $43,916 (12th lowest)
    > Pct. below poverty line: 17.9% (13th highest)

    In recent years, North Carolina has had a mixed track record. In fiscal 2010, the state had one of the nation’s lowest debts per capita, and 96% of employees’ pension plans were funded — the second-highest percentage in the nation. But in fiscal 2011, North Carolina’s budget shortfall reached nearly one-third of the 2011 budget, higher than most states. The state has struggled with especially high unemployment rates, which at 10.5% in 2011 is tied for the sixth-highest in the nation. Despite these problems, North Carolina maintains perfect credit ratings from both Moody’s and S&P. Additionally, Site Selection, a magazine covering corporate real estate strategy, ranked North Carolina’s business climate as the nation’s best.

  • rushbot Nov 27, 7:37 p.m.

    mep - "WE ARE IN SERIOUS TROUBLE FOLKS.WE ARE IN SERIOUS TROUBLE FOLKS."..exactly so..the uber-wealthy have not paid their fair share since Reagan..time for that to change!!!

  • mep Nov 27, 7:30 p.m.

    Lets see, taxing those so-called wealthy folks (those EARNING more than $250,000 per year) a bit more will raise $82.3 Billion dollars in new revenue each year (money taken out of the economy)... or enough money to pay the govt bills for 8 DAYS. Say it again, 8 DAYS. Not one single dime of that money will go towards lowering our $16 TRILLION dollar debt, and in fact, the govt will still have to borrow roughly another $800 BILLION PER YEAR just to keep pace with current spending levels. Even a robust economy under normal taxation would be insufficient to keep pace with our nations spending, the debt, and under funded entitlement programs like Social Security, Medicare and Federal pensions. WE ARE IN SERIOUS TROUBLE FOLKS.

  • rushbot Nov 27, 7:25 p.m.

    "There is not conclusive evidence, however, to substantiate a clear relationship between the 65-year steady reduction in the top tax rates and economic growth,”

    "You mean the increase in GDP in the country over the past 65 years is not an indication that low taxes equals growth? Uh-huh. Right"... .. .. .. perhaps you should take a moment away from your studies of micro and macro economics and of finance and read the report. Or are you afraid...

  • lizard Nov 27, 7:20 p.m.

    "There is not conclusive evidence, however, to substantiate a clear relationship between the 65-year steady reduction in the top tax rates and economic growth,”

    You mean the increase in GDP in the country over the past 65 years is not an indication that low taxes equals growth? Uh-huh. Right.

  • rushbot Nov 27, 7:13 p.m.

    Again, tax the 1%. Them keeping their wealth does nothing at all for the economy. The non partisan Congressional Research Service attempted to report that “There is not conclusive evidence, however, to substantiate a clear relationship between the 65-year steady reduction in the top tax rates and economic growth,” the report stated. “However, the top tax rate reductions appear to be associated with the increasing concentration of income at the top of the income distribution.” The republicans went all out to kill that report.

  • jrfergerson Nov 27, 7:09 p.m.

    NC has a new governor - you former folks should get out of the way and let him do his job.

  • nighttrain2010 Nov 27, 7:09 p.m.

    And what's even better for those with rose colored glasses we haven't even begin to discuss the interest due on the debt. The government cannot afford what will happen when (not if) the interest rates will be pushed by market forces to their actual level.

    The Fed will of course try to keep the rates low and will as long as they can, making the situation worse when the bill comes due. But in doing so, the Fed is further devaluing the currency 'buying debt' from itself. I would suggest looking into what you're going to do when the market corrects because it's going to be very ugly.

  • retiredindependentpopo Nov 27, 7:07 p.m.

    Hmmmm, lets see. A couple of these guys had a coastal land deal exposed, stole money from the highway trust fund, created a Rocky Mount international zone doon-boggle, etc., etc,. . . and someone wants to trust them???

  • nighttrain2010 Nov 27, 7:04 p.m.

    >>It will be able to only fund 75% of the benefits. You could simply raise the tax rate to 16% instead of the current rate. Problem solved for the next 75 years. You seem to want a self fulfilling prophecy of doom and gloom

    And then what? Raise it another 16% percent? And another? And you're also not considering the wasteful spending everywhere else in the government, including Wilsonian 'adventurism', massive defense budgets (spending ten times more at least than the Russians or Chinese), and other welfare programs.

    With a shrinking work force? Eventually the work force won't take it. This isn't 'doom and gloom', it's common sense and human nature.

  • 3779LRRP Nov 27, 6:54 p.m.

    Not sure the debt can ever be satisfied. Here's a two minute video from an NC accountant why we are in such a mess. Non-Partisan BTW.

    http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/EW5IdwltaAc?rel=0

  • dontstopnow Nov 27, 6:52 p.m.

    Okay now that I have read all the posts for today, here is my thought. My SS, which the government took mandatory from my paychecks over the past 46 years should be now given back to me in FULL for my retirement. I want it ALL at once and if they don't give it back, I should be able to charge them with theft and embezzlement since they have stolen it, correct? Now if everyone would get on that wagon and demand their money back with the help of attorneys, we might be able to make them stop wasting it by giving it away and stealing it for their other pet projects!

    I am sick of the Washington crooks messing with my money.

  • yankee1 Nov 27, 6:48 p.m.

    Right on it rdc42179. Most of all, those who don't admit to being part of the 47%, voted to stay part of the 47% rather than having to go back to work and take responsibility for themselves. By the way, before you get the usual comments, I think we all agree that there are truly needy people who need assistance. It's the lazy and "you owe me" crowd that needs to be cut off.

  • rdc42179 Nov 27, 6:38 p.m.

    We had a chance to fix the budget problem, you voted for the problem on Nov 6th

  • retroconsultant Nov 27, 6:33 p.m.

    "Tax the 1% at pre-reagan rates." - rushbot

    Great. That takes care of 4% of the yearly deficit. Big deal. Don't you understand that the Obama talking point and the digging in his heels to tax the wealthy is a non-solution????

  • retroconsultant Nov 27, 6:30 p.m.

    Plenty, one does not have to read websites to understand the SS dilemna. One needs only to look at the numbers. There is no money stashed away to fund it. So every penny that isn't covered by yearly deductions must come out of the general fund, therefore competing with every other government program for its funding. When there is insufficient funding for all of the committed funds, who wins? Answer: We all lose.

  • Tax Man Nov 27, 6:30 p.m.

    Great! Just make sure we CUT spending and don't even consider raising any taxes. Those in our government must learn to live within their means and they should not get any more means to waste. Just cut, cut, cut. In fact the feds should only fund the military and border patrol. Congress should serve as volunteers without any pay or benefits. All the rest should be handled at the state level and if you are not happy with your state's spending you need to move! Cut all the federal waste and we will survive this ordeal. The feds should not be involve in welfare, unemployment, social services, education, labor - just national defense and border protection.

  • yankee1 Nov 27, 6:29 p.m.

    By the way smart ones, do you realize that if you took all the money from the wealthiest Americans and took every cent of profit from the top 40 companies in the country, you would fund this corrupt Government for six months? Then what?? You really have no clue at all do you?

  • yankee1 Nov 27, 6:27 p.m.

    Until the people in this country get past their wealth envy and start electing real leaders, we will continue to slide downhill. How all of you jealous types think that taking more from the successful helps you is beyond common sense. All it does is give more to politicians to waste, pay off their friends and buy votes with. Please explain how it helps you? I'm listening!!!

  • retroconsultant Nov 27, 6:26 p.m.

    "retroconsultant so basically Congress stole from the poor to give to the Rich" - SouthernPackerFan

    Why does everything have to be class warfare? A lot of times Congress is trying to tune the economy in certain ways (the mortgage deduction, for instance, GSL, etc.). But many times their meddling has unintended consequences (too many of the wrong people buying houses) that are destructive. In the case of SS, spending the Trust Fund was a poor decision. Creating a bloated bureaucracy to administer (pick your favorite federal program here) is equally wrong.

  • yankee1 Nov 27, 6:23 p.m.

    Laughable! First of all President Steal From You ignored his own deficit commission from day one. Secondly, the freeloaders and most Democrats could care less how far in debt the country goes and finally, the political class in DC only talks the game, they have neither the courage nor the desire to play it! After all, the have we working stiffs to steal from. Why would they care!

  • Plenty Coups Nov 27, 6:21 p.m.

    nighttrain-"Hmmmm, so let's say I make $1 more than the cap. I should pay into it but not get anything? That'll go over swell with the masses. Same with raising the retirement age."

    Its one of several ways to make sure its solvent. You claim there's no way to fix it but that's false.

    "Either way you're just putting off the inevitable."

    Not even close.

    "Eventually workers will be severely outnumbered by those pulling from the system to the point that workers will no longer put into the system except by extreme force."

    Once again, you fix the problem if and when it arises. In 2033, social security won't go "broke". It will be able to only fund 75% of the benefits. You could simply raise the tax rate to 16% instead of the current rate. Problem solved for the next 75 years. You seem to want a self fulfilling prophecy of doom and gloom.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/janetnovack/2012/04/23/will-social-security-be-there-for-your-retirement/

  • rushbot Nov 27, 6:20 p.m.

    It is a very simple to solve. Tax the 1% at pre-reagan rates.

  • bill15 Nov 27, 6:17 p.m.

    "Everyone gives up something for the country we love," he said. Good, let them all pay their taxes on foreign profits and stop lobbying for a tax holiday before repatriating the TRILLION dollars sitting in offshore accounts.

  • Elem-Teach Nov 27, 6:13 p.m.

    Ok Hunt, first you campaign for Obama, now you gonna fuss about the deficit. Which one is it gonna be?

  • meeper Nov 27, 6:01 p.m.

    Since when did Jim Hunt start caring about deficits? It's his liberal party for the most part that got us in to this mess. I get it, he'll be all for taxing our way out of it.

  • aspenstreet1717 Nov 27, 6:00 p.m.

    Raising taxes won't put a dent in the deficit let alone the debt.
    Yearly cuts in the budget will work. Everyone affected will be a special case.

  • vincentwilliam794 Nov 27, 5:58 p.m.

    @ ripetomatoes, very well said, thank you, maybe alot of people who read what you posted will take it to heart.

  • Screw WrAl Nov 27, 5:52 p.m.

    These people will accomplish nothing. They are all relics and Washington could care less. Washington will nod and do as it pleases. Another Obama Words Tour will take place tomorrow and beyond instead of actually doing something. All while we can click off one more day closer to the impending doom that arrives in less than 35 days. Pucker up America, we're all about to pay thousands more while the usual talkers continue to do nothing.

  • miketroll3572 Nov 27, 5:37 p.m.

    Hunt? You gotta be kidding.

Oldest First