Why does my Buick sputter, accelerate on its own and is hard to stop?

A couple days ago my 99 Buick century suddenly started sputtering, backfiring and most the time will accelerate hard on its own while backing up, or pulling off from stop. Its cut off a couple times now at red lights. My brakes suddenly became hard to push in as well and is becoming harder and harder to stop. I know the two probably aren't connected, but can someone please tell me what it may be? Thanks!

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Deck the Halls
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Actually Candy the two problems may be connected . You brakes are boosted by a vacuum pump to give you power assist on the brakes and your car sounds like it could possibly have a vacuum leak in the intake manifold which would cause the engine to run like a POS. This can cause erratic idle speeds and backfiring and if the vacuums not there then neither is your power assist on your brakes . The quickest way to find a vacuum leak is to start the car leave it at an idle and take a propane torch ,not lit, but with the gas on and slowly move it around the intake maifold until you notice an increase in the idle speed . Thats were you,ll find the leak .Hope this helps

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