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January 11th, 2008
05:55 PM ET

Which candidate do you trust with the economy?

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FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

"It's the economy, stupid"... That's the message presidential candidates are once again getting from voters. The economy now tops Iraq as the most important issue to Americans.

The list of problems with the economy is long and getting longer: the mortgage meltdown, the credit crunch, the rise in unemployment, the continuing decline of the dollar and high gas and oil prices.

It all adds up to the likelihood of a recession. A lot of people think a recession has already begun. The Wall Street Journal surveyed a panel of economists who put the chance of recession at 42%.

Ordinary Americans are more pessimistic than those economists. A new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll shows 61%of those surveyed think the economy is already in a recession.

And there's more bad news: Moody's credit rating agency says the U.S. government is now at risk of losing its triple-A credit rating, unless we do something to curb our soaring costs of health care and Social Security. U.S. government debt has had the highest rating possible (triple-A) since it was first rated a hundred years ago in 1917.

This is a big-time alarm bell and should force the candidates to sharpen their focus on these issues. The problem is that the solutions require either higher taxes or cuts in benefits, and no politician wants to talk about those things during a campaign.

Here’s my question to you: Which presidential candidate is most capable of dealing with problems in our economy?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Uncategorized
January 11th, 2008
04:46 PM ET

Mideast peace deal a reality?

 Prime Minister of Israel Ehud Olmert & Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Prime Minister of Israel Ehud Olmert & Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Bush is predicting a Middle East peace deal by the end of this year.

The president has been in the region this week, meeting with both Palestinians and Israelis. He's calling for an end to what he says is Israel's "occupation" of Palestinian lands that began in 1967. Mr. Bush says the deal must establish Palestine as a homeland for the Palestinian people. However, he's also asking Palestinians to confront terrorists, and urging Arab states to "reach out to Israel."

The president took that message to Kuwait today, where the administration said not to expect a "blinding flash" of Arab cooperation for the restarted peace talks. Yet they insist the process is moving forward.

Critics suggest that Mr. Bush's trip is more talk than action. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas still hasn't been able to stop militants in Gaza from firing rockets into Israel. And, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is reluctant to confront Jewish settlers. Both sides agreed to getting these things done before starting peace talks... but they haven't happened yet.

Meanwhile, President Bush says he will return to Israel again in May.

Here’s my question to you: President Bush predicts a Middle East peace agreement by the end of the year. Will it happen?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Uncategorized
January 11th, 2008
02:40 PM ET

Changing opinions on Iraq?

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Baghdad, Iraq (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Some encouraging news coming out of Iraq, exactly one year since President Bush ordered an extra 30-thousand troops there as part of the so-called "surge."

A U.S. general says that the country's western province of Anbar, which had been a hotbed for Sunni insurgents, will be returned to Iraqi control in March.

He says it's time for the handover because levels of violence have dropped significantly and Iraqi security forces are now capable of taking over.

So far, 9 out of 18 provinces are back under Iraqi control. It's a process that's gone slower than what the Bush administration had initially hoped for, mainly due to the challenge of getting the Iraqi police and army strong enough.

Even though Anbar province will return to Iraqi control, U.S. forces will still stay there as partners with Iraq's security forces. Nevertheless, it's a positive sign when you consider that as recently as 18 months ago, Anbar was the stronghold of al Qaeda in Iraq.

And there are other positive signs: the number of U.S. casualties has been declining for months. In December, 23 troops were killed, that's compared to a death toll of 112 in December 2006. This isn't to say we're out of the woods yet: 9 U.S. troops lost their lives in just two days this week.

While there have been military successes, progress on the Iraqi political front has been slow to non-existent.

The progress being reported in Iraq may be responsible for this: While an overwhelming majority of Americans remain opposed to the war, it is no longer the number issue on people's minds. It has been replaced by the economy.

Here’s my question to you: Has your opinion of the war in Iraq changed?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: War in Iraq