May 2nd, 2012
07:54 PM ET

Can we defuse the debt bomb?

The numbers are staggering: a national debt of $15.6 trillion. What needs to be done now to defuse what some call the "debt bomb"? Could added stimulus be the key? Or is attacking the debt itself the answer? Sen. Tom Coburn, who's written a book called "The Debt Bomb", joined Erin Burnett.

Filed under: Economic Strike Team • Economy
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Augi Schmitz

    Erin, the issue of debt vs spending can best be measured against the 1945 debt. The USA at that time was 120% of DEBT vs GDP. After that we proceeded to the GI BILL, the MARSHAL PLAN, the INTERSTATE HIWAY SYSTEM, all of this spending brought us even in the face of 2 wars KOREAN and VIETNAM to 1980 with a total debt of less than a trillion and a deficit of 59 billion. Until 1980 marginal tax rates were 90%[Eisenhower] and 65%[Kennedy}. Under Reagan the rates were 38%. So investment spending [infrastructure] and adequate taxation 65% is the right approach, not austerity............KRUGMAN has it right.....................Augi

    May 4, 2012 at 9:59 am | Reply
  2. Robert

    So how does Chen who is under duress, surrounded by guards manage to get a cell phone and call congress and speak to the republican chairman during session? Sounds like republicans trying to hurt Obama one more time. Erin, you should try for fair & balanced reporting. You might have had two other guest during that segment that had opposing views. We don't know yet if the administration has screwed up. And Erin,neither do you!

    May 4, 2012 at 8:27 am | Reply
  3. John

    I know CNN wants to blame Bush for all our woes but as liberals can you please tell me one thing. How can you even go to work when you think business is evil, you can`t get a fair shot, Cnn writes it`s own rules and most importantly you believe the goverment shoukl take care of you? By the way when you answer this question I`m sure you understand why I as a businessman I hire conservatives who believe they owe me a good days work not that I owe them.

    May 4, 2012 at 2:52 am | Reply
  4. tjstelten

    I don't understand how Obama can be blamed for the decisions of other people at the china embassy. He is certainly now in charge of getting it resolved, and as such, give him some time to figure this out. At best it's a delicate dance,, but i believe our President will handle this and people will be on him for something else. Romney spins and lies about everything! I can't imagine him as anything but an empty suited puppet of the far right

    May 3, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Reply
  5. Arik Fetscher

    If discussing deficit rather than debt it would mean that we are talking about growth as opposed to cuts as focusing on the deficit entails closing the gap between spending and income. Austerity has proven a tried and failed solution leaving only growth and increasing taxation as a viable path. There is no longer a choice and only one way forward as a result, that is the answer that the entire economic strike team is giving. Some may say stern is different but he too agrees that current policies are a failure and that only leaves taxation and growth. So the rich can lose some of the Mise"rely" policies and understand that if economic equality and political division go hand in hand increasing divisions or decreasing them and raising funding also now go hand in hand as the only way to prevent war, a historically accurate truism. So pull back against war close the divided and move forward on all fronts. That's CEO speak for get it together kids and you can chart an the answer like an EKG on the nation.

    May 3, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Reply
  6. Matt

    What is the data source for the graph comparing the cost of interest payments to the cost of Medicare. Perhaps I'm misunderstanding the methodology, but the graph appears incorrect. In 2011, Medicare spending was $560B (http://cbo.gov/publication/43154). How can it only be $279B in 2020?

    The graph and commentary are really confusing.

    Thanks for any clarification you can offer.

    May 3, 2012 at 11:37 am | Reply
  7. Raymond Giroir

    I wonder why conservatives did not pay down debt when times were good and money was there instead they increased debt?? Diasters cost money ... so why do we not expect to be paying money to help relieve the crisis??? Expecting that the debt of a nation will be resolved in our personal lifetimes is also funny... as a people we can only try to create direction of debt either up or down.. we know we have to spend after diasters... I am not impressed with conservatives reasonings and even less of their actions... even conservative with their hearts

    May 3, 2012 at 10:31 am | Reply
  8. Pete

    What is the big deal with this Chinese dissident? He has decided to stay in China, continue his education… game over... move on.

    Salt Lake City, Utah

    May 3, 2012 at 2:50 am | Reply

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