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March 18th, 2008
06:13 PM ET

How is the shaky economy affecting you?

ALT TEXT
Real estate signs sit in front yard of four houses on one in Detroit, Michigan. The Detroit area, had the highest foreclosure rate in the nation last year. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The United States' economic problems are getting worse.

Americans are grappling with higher costs for food and gasoline, while their adjustable rate mortgages go up and the value of their homes goes down. The economy is losing jobs – 63,000 of them last month. The dollar continues to hit record lows against foreign currencies, like the Euro, while rising commodity prices signal inflation.

The nation's fifth largest investment bank, Bear Stearns went belly up. And the Federal Reserve, on a Sunday night, struck fear into everyone's heart by suddenly announcing that the government is going to make emergency loans available to Wall Street firms in addition to banks.

Why Sunday night? What did they know that couldn't have waited until Monday during regular business hours, when the fear quotient of their decision could have been greatly reduced?

Similarly, the Fed's race to dramatically lower interest rates in big chunks – for example, today's reduction of three-quarters of a percentage percent – also raises the question whether things are worse than we're being told. A recession is all but inevitable and it could be long and deep.

A new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll shows 65% of those surveyed are very concerned about inflation. 59% are very worried about unemployment. 48% point to the drop in home values and 40% to the drop in the stock market.

Here’s my question to you: How is the growing bad news about the economy affecting your daily life?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Katherine writes:
Groceries are killing us. We started a garden this year to help keep expenses down. We have to watch where we go and the cost of gas. And we are doing better than some I know. I fear more for what may come next and if it gets worse.

Josh from Tampa, Florida writes:
I bought a house in 2007, 100% financing at a fixed rate. Remodeled it and now almost overnight my house is worth 25% less then when I bought it. How exactly does that happen? It's a home, not a stock, people! Things are seriously broken.

Don writes:
Two weeks ago, a dozen plain donuts at Wal-Mart cost me $2.50. Yesterday, I went to Wal-Mart and the same dozen cost me $3.33.

Kevin from Red Hook, New York writes:
My boss is sweating bullets over the economy. The weak dollar and high costs are putting a huge strain on us. We manufacture car racing equipment and the cost of some materials has doubled in the last year, up 23% just this past week. He’s talking about making cuts, but doesn't know who or where. My main worry is that we've only got six employees and I'm the new guy. I'm getting ulcers already.

Ann from Newton, New Jersey writes:
I am over 70 years of age, unable to live on Social Security and still have to work to keep my head above water. With gas prices over $3.00 a gallon, food and heating rising, having to pay supplement health and prescription insurance, higher taxes, the water is now also rising past my lips. I hope I don't drown too soon.

Jeff from Boston writes:
Jack, I was laid off on Friday of last week. My brother just called to let me know he was laid off today. Does that answer your question?


Filed under: Economy
soundoff (211 Responses)
  1. Ed Reed

    It has made me re-balance my portfolio. I am shorting stocks and bonds while taking a long position in cans of vienna sausage and shotgun shells.

    Ed Reed
    Port Aransas, TX

    March 18, 2008 at 1:52 pm |
  2. Cheryl

    I am a real estate agent and we know where that business is at right now. As much as i like the fact the interest rates for mortgages are coming down slowly, i do not like the fact that the interest rate on investments/savings accounts are also declining. the price of gas is horrible, with a new oil heater in my house i have already spent double of what i did last year. the price of food continues to climb and we certainly need to eat !!! And is there an end in sight??? the bush tax incentive is a rude kick in the butt. I do not have credit card debt,nor do i have a car payment, utilities and my mortgage payment are it. according to a article in the new york times a couple of weeks ago, i am considered wealthy!!!! because i have no credit card debt. well i have news for them, I am a middle class working woman who now has to watch every penny she spends. Hopefully a change in the administration will help!!! the present administration does not even recognize , admit the severity of this problem. Maybe they would like to come live with me for awhile!!!!

    March 18, 2008 at 1:55 pm |
  3. O. A. Eze a.k.a OGB in Austell, GA

    Jack,

    The growing bad news about the economy is affecting my family's daily life. Every thing out there is becoming unnecessarily expensive. We practically have to ration every thing from food to the usage of our cars because of the exorbitant gas prices. Even with the joint income between my wife and I, we are strained at the end of every month. Our energy bill has gone up, the water bill has gone up – everything is just going up. Come to think of it, we don't buy milk anymore – at $5.00 or so for a gallon, that is just too much. We are just managing to get buy as middle class Americans. Maybe, by the stroke of luck, or better, a miracle, we hope to hit the jack pot someday so that whether the country is in a recession or not, we will always have more than enough to get by and also enough to help others. If this current trend continues, I will not be surprised to see a mass migration of Americans to other countries where their currencies are much greener and stronger than the dollar. Thanks to the war, we Americans are drowning in the nasty, bitter quagmire of absolute despondency. Its a lamentable state. Is this still the American Dream? This dream has turned into a real nightmare for many middle class Americans. May God help us in these times. May God bless and help America through these hard times.

    March 18, 2008 at 1:59 pm |
  4. Dave Brooklyn, NY

    The “news” isn’t affecting me at all – I try not to listen. But the fastest and largest price increases I have ever seen at the grocery store and the pump definitely does affect me and not in a good way. I hope the same people who bailed out Bear Stearns bail me out when I need it. That’s “when,” not “if.”

    March 18, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  5. Gigi in Alabama

    As a senior citizen living on a fixed income, it matters. I have a son living with me and that helps but we are both feeling the strain. He is retired from the Navy and also has a fixed income.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  6. Bert, Iowa City, IA

    It makes me mad as ell to learn that Bear Stearns' collapse was precipitated by the failure of Carlyle Capital, an arm of the Carlyle Group, the worlds largest private investment firm, whose principle investors include George H W Bush, former Brittish Prime Minister John Major, James Baker III, and of course the bin Laden family; this just 10 months after Carlyle Capital made millions off it's Initial Public Offering. So now, we, the taxpayers get to bail out the greedy failed investments of the super powerful and superrich former world leaders and the bin Ladens. Isn't the free market working great?

    Bert
    Iowa City, Iowa

    March 18, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  7. Heather, PA

    Hey Jack,
    My husband can answer the phone at 3:00 a.m. That's when he gets up to pur more wood on the fire so that the house is warm for the kids in the morning. We can't afford to pay $3.65 a gallon for heating oil! We are lucky to have a woodburning stove – a lot of people don't and they are really cold!

    March 18, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  8. Mary

    Holy crapola! It is scaring the heck out of me. We don't go anywhere, or do anything. We pay our bills, buy gas, groceries, that's it in a nutshell. We have never lived beyond our means. We get movies from the library for entertainment. and our computer is still dialup. We do not have a cell phone, and only have basic cable tv. IMO, Hillary wins hands down with the economic situation. Listening to the other 2 candidates after listening to her is the difference between night and day! She is articulate, knowledgeable, mature, intelligent. I go with Hillary here.

    Mary from Florida

    March 18, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  9. Red Dog from ND but now in Floida

    No money to pay bills, because my gas costs tripled. Wife lost job, due to cutbacks. I will have to borrow money to go broke. Thanks a lot bush and cheney for your lies and illegal wars.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  10. Mike S., New Orleans, Louisiana

    In the almost eight years of the Bush administration, my 401K retirement fund has decreased by over $40,000 despite the fact I contribute regularly.

    When will the Republicans admit that trickle down economics doesn't work, and in fact, causes severe damage?

    The whole world is seeing it, why can't they?

    March 18, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  11. Allen L Wenger

    It has caused me to change how I get my economic information. I used to read the newspaper, subscribe to business magazines, and watch the news channels, but the bad news depressed me. Now I only listen to President Bush and inflation is non-existant, the economy is strong, we have turned the corner and the future looks bright. Why would anyone want to live in the real world, when Bushland is so much better.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  12. W B in Las Vegas

    Jack,

    as a 62 year old retiree on a fixed income I am most afraid of inflation.

    my grandfather and grandmother immigrated from Germany in the early 1920's and lived through that country's hyperinflation where their money became worthless. I see the same thing setting up here in America right now. I fear a future "reevaluation" of the US dollar that will rob me of the savings I worked so hard for over my lifetime.

    if that happens my retirement income will go out the window and it will either be "welcome to WalMart" or "do you want fries with that order" for me.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  13. Chuck in Alabma

    I've had to cut my Wal Mart trips down to one a day. Now I sit home and watch my buddies (Wolf, Jack, Lou, Anderson, and Larry) on CNN.
    Hopefully cable costs aren't tied to oil costs?

    March 18, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  14. tim from Ravenna, OH

    I eat less, I haven't gone out for entertainment in quite some time, I don't do any unnecessary driving, I stay away from places like Wal-mart and Target. Worst of all Jack....I am now starting to ration toilet paper.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  15. Nicki

    Given the condition of my husband's company, he took a buyout. He finally found a job, though it's a long commute (given home values, this isn't a good time to sell the house). Others have not been so lucky.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  16. Ann, Charlotte, NC

    Jack, it is not the growing bad news about the economy it is the reality of what has already happened. I no longer have disposal income it has been wiped out with increased utilities, gas prices and the cost of food. Each month as I think they have gotten as high as they can. Each month they get higher. It has been 4 years that my income has remained the same.

    The question should be how has the economy already affected you and not how the growing news is affecting daily life.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  17. Deanna, Katy Texas

    So far other than things costing more Jack it has not but my Father who is 72 is having problems due to the increase in cost of just living and soon will become a part of my household due to his inability to maintain his own home in light of the increasing costs of living alone.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  18. Tammie

    I am very fortunate to live in a well to do town, home to Dow Chemical. Even during the depression we weren't affected. The higher gas prices do have me staying home more & cuttng back just to be on the safe side until things get better.

    Tammie
    Midland, MI

    March 18, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  19. Paulette Dallas,PA

    I'm sitting tight and watching the markets. I haven't booked a summer vacation as yet and maybe won't. I'm not going out shopping like crazy for nonessentials. I am deeply concerned about our economy and Alan Greenspan's remarks yesterday resound in my mind. My heart aches for all of the people out there that are really in bad financial shape. I am worried about WHAT this country is going to offer my grandchildren. The American Dream has turned into a Nightmare.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  20. Johnny 5

    Jack, I am retired living on Social Security, and savings in cash accounts. I took all of my money out of stocks and invested in savings accounts that were getting 5 to 6% interest. Now that the interest rates have been lowered so much, my secure income has shrunk considerably. Oh well, at least It wasn't invested in Bear Stearns. I still have all of the original money!! Chicago, IL

    March 18, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  21. Jennifer Carriedo

    The soaring gas & food prices are severely crippling our community. I have seen two neighbors lose their homes to foreclosures. I now stress over keeping up with my gas bill which monthly comes out to $500! The government is sending out these IRS Checks, which we qualify for, however since we owe back taxes from last year they are just going to keep our check and pay themselves back first! (I called the IRS and asked if they would keep my stimulus check since they already kept this years tax refund and was told YES) How can I help stimulate the economy or get that extra boost that my family desperatley needs, if they are just going to keep my IRS stimulus check and then turn around and tax me on something I never received next year anyway!??

    March 18, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  22. larry loots

    Living on a fixed income is not fun. Higher fuel costs leading into higher heating costs for our home, prices at the pump, costs in consumable goods, delivery costs, medical care, etc. The loss of jobs in the first two months of this year is unacceptable and Bush has the grapes to call himself a "Confident Fella". His economic policies smell a lot like "Putting Perfume On A Pig".

    March 18, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  23. Terry from North Carolina

    Jack
    Cost of gas and food are hurting us. I am retired my wife still works, with the cost of gas and all the goods we purchase skyrocketing I am looking for work. So much for the "golden years "

    March 18, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  24. Eugene in Northern California

    Jack, it's not just the bad news about the economy affecting my life, it's the economy itself. I'm a 100% combat disabled veteran, on a fixed income and receiving a pittance, for my disability like all vets. With the price of gas driving up the cost, of everything else, I've hit rock bottom. I've been forced to sell my truck , small trailer and cancel all vacation plans. God help a working family, with a couple of children, to support. The President's insistence, on an idiotic free trade policy and the consistant outsourcing, of millions, of American jobs has devastated our economy. I compare our economy, to the Titanic moments, after it hit the iceberg. We're sinking the the Administration doesn't know it.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  25. Josh

    It sure makes it differcult to buy food and gas. To think the Bush Adminstration just sits there and does practically nothing while the average person suffers is terrible. George W. Bush and his wrongheaded economic policies are the source of the problem. We seriously need to start getting tough on executives who outsource jobs, put an end to corporate greed and punish CEOs who profit at the expense of their workers. So far, the government has turned an blind eye to these sheganians and we need to crack down on this stuff big time. Sylvania Ohio.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  26. gCs Gonzales LA

    The economy is affecting me in various ways. At the gas pumps it's caused me to look closely at how much travel is necessary, before I never considered that. In the markets we've followed a budgeted food list more than ever before.

    We're not able to save as much as we were saving before and the unexpected little expenses that come up are really challenging, because your money is not going as far as it did. If I had to put it in perspective for me, I would say it's hard to game plan against this economy, because there is no stablization so therefore your constantly having to make adjustments to your budget.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  27. Richard Texas

    It doesn't. I am in life for the long haul. Markets and economies go up and down. If you don't live just at or just beyond your means like most do then this too shall pass. Lots of people are complaining for poor decisions they made in the past. Learn from them and move on. No one made those decisions for you except yourself. You have to take responsibility for your own actions and stop blaming the government and everyone else.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  28. Ron Kepics

    Jack:

    Do you care?

    Ron K. San Diego

    March 18, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  29. Paul

    That's simple....EATING.......DRIVING..........HEALTH...............HEATING
    HOME.........HAVING A HOME........let's make this easy...EVERYTHING!!!!

    March 18, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  30. Jessica Morrison

    You know, I hadn't thought much about the economy at all until I went to fill up on last Thursday and saw that gas was at a record high here in Kentucky, at 3.35/gallon for unleaded. I'm a college student on a more than limited income. And now we're being told by the state leaders that budget cuts will be coming from our university, essentially raising tuition and eliminating funding for scholarships and financial aid. Where am I going to get the money for college next year? I've come from a middle class family that has been hit hard by the recession and we simply cannot afford it. I may have to look into dropping out of college in the fall and getting a full-time job to help pay for bills. This is not the American dream I thought I'd be living at age 20.

    Jessica
    Lexington, KY

    March 18, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  31. Randy Covey

    As long as the cuts the federal reserve implements only benifit the credit card companies and mortgage lenders, middle america will continue to suffer. For most americans with mortgages, the fed might as well just send their rebate check to the mortgae lenders, thats where it will go anyway. Just cut out the middle man.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  32. Anne

    As a middle class American, living pay check to pay check is getting increasingly difficult. I purchased a house this past year and fortunately I have a good fixed rate. But filling my gas tank, buying groceries and other necessary goods is very difficult. Every week it gets harder to stretch the weakening dollar. I went to Canada for a weekend in February, and for the first time in my LIFE I received less American dollars then Canadian for my exchange. I was almost embarassed!
    Rochester, NY

    March 18, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  33. Penny, British Columbia, Canada

    The shaky economy in the United States has sent our Canadian dollar soaring. Canadians are flocking to the United States to holiday and spend money.
    Sadly, the U.S. is suffering by losing their homes at a record rate and their children are facing problems that could affect them for years.
    The Bush administration is spinning that there is a slight problem in the country, but don't worry, things will get better..
    Try telling that to the people who have been booted out of their homes and are living in tent cities...
    It will take years for them to recover from a greedy administration.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  34. Justin, PDX

    We're a single income family that has managed to survive the housing shake-up. Our big fear is that one round of lay-offs will leave us indefinitely unemployed or underemployed. You can't pay a mortgage with even 3 part-time jobs.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  35. C.Jones

    Jack;
    Well, let's see.....gasoline has gone from $.98 a gallon to bumping $4.00...milk has gone from $1.29 a gallon to $4+, likewise heating, electric, & water for your home, clothing, that we get from SriLanka, China, etc., electronics...likewise....well it's like the email I received; when you get your "Stimulus-Check," make sure you spend it to help America! BUY BEER!....it's the only thing we can get that MAY still be made in this country!
    Chuck OH

    March 18, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  36. Mary Whartnaby -California

    Jack – I am fortunate to have a job. The sadness comes when Senior Citizens that are on a fixed income are unable to adjust to the weak economy. The next president needs to have concern for the American people, young and old.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  37. Mary - Santee CA

    As with Gigi in Alabama, I am a senior citizen. I have seen the price of my groceries skyrocket and I live alone. I cannot imagine what this does for families. I do not drive alot, therefore, I don't purchase gasoline that often but here in California we are close to $4.00 per gallon and I do not think I can cut back any further (grocery store, doctor visits). My children and grandchildren are the ones that are suffering from the greed of corporate America and what do our so-called representatives in Congress do? – they go on vacation. Perhaps that is a good thing. At least while away they cannot spend our money on pork and earmarks. (Wait – maybe they can. They are a crafty lot)

    March 18, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  38. Al Palmdale, California

    We are doing just fine Jack. We did not use our home equity like an ATM, and we drive only when necessary. We have fuel-saving vehicles, and we recycle glass, plastic, paper, and metals. We shop near home, and wait to buy large items until we know if we can pay them off in time. We are doing our part, so I fail to see why others cannot. Its a slump, and will recover itself as usual. I feel sorry for those of you who are losing their homes. But it dosen't mean I want to pay for your mistakes.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  39. doug gengler

    i keep hearing the media telling me how much money i should hold back for bad times, well the bad times started 2 years ago when gas hit $3.30 a gallon. there is nothing to put back. most people i know maxed out their credit cards months ago just on food and living expenses. were not headed for a recession were headed for a full blown depression, and everyone is gonna lose on this one!

    March 18, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  40. David - Las Colinas,Texas

    I always took our government for granted that things would go well for the country. For the first time, I am responding to blogs like this... and voting

    March 18, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  41. AndyZ

    I really want to answer your question, Jack but I'm so depressed I think I'll go lay down and take a nap.
    In seven years of the Bush Administration we have gone from a surplus to being the biggest debtor nation in the world. How did this happen?

    March 18, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  42. Carol Myers

    My husband and I are retired and on a fixed income. Our health insurance cost $1019.20 cents a month. Our grocery bill has doubled. Our fuel bill for a fill up was $2079 almost double for last year. To fill up the car is more than double. We saved all our lives,put two kids through college, saved a nice nest egg. Then just as we were getting ready to retire Bush was elected Pres. and the bottom dropped of everything. I guess I'm in the same boat as every one else in the U.S.Trying to keep our head above water.
    Carol Scio, Oh,

    March 18, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  43. Patricia

    Jack,

    A lot of us have been feeling the decline for a very long time already. Some areas of the coiuntry never came out of the last recession. And some industries that were supposed to be secure got outsourced.

    Watching an interview on CNN this afternoon with Atlaqnta man-in-the-street types, I was struck by the optimism I saw. No one I know has any faith in the future unless we fix things right, right away.

    The impact is not just on the cutback in food and gas and heat. It's also a terrible sense of failure and depression. We're too old to make up for the last several years. We face only more cutbacks and no chance to remedy the situation before we're forced to stop working. We've done everything we were supposed to do, and we don't have any hope. That may be the worst impact of all.

    Patricia
    Massachusetts

    March 18, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  44. Rex in Portland, Ore.

    Poorly.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  45. Joe in DE

    Adversely to say the least. I see the FEd is apparently going to cut intrest rates again. I am waiting for the intrest rate to go negative to secure my future.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  46. Troy

    I'm a college student living on a fixed income. I think I'll be okay but I am starting to worry about what I'll do after I graduate next year. Every time I hear more bad news about the economy, it proves that we should have listened to ron paul.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  47. Robert Schenken

    The value of the dollar is decreasing on a daily basis, the cost of gasoline and diesel fuel are going up on a daily basis. Simple math will tell you that you are going to be in a worse position with every passing day. As diesel fuel increases on average of 17 cents per gallon each week, this means that everything we see, touch, and feel will cost more. And, since EVERYTHING is transported by a diesel truck at one time or another, there is no way to avoid cost increases. Simply cutting back and foregoing non-essentials has given way to desperation for many. I have heard nothing positive that will counter the downward spiral. And yet, nobody has a plan. We have seen nothing but untimely reactions to the situation which have not helped and, quite possibly, are contributing to the problem.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  48. Patty in New England

    At 60 and single, relocating from Ca to New England, bankruptcy, going from a $22 an hour job in CA to $15, I finally managed to buy a modest mobile home, something I could afford. But now with rising fuel, food and other costs it is very scary and depressing. I am in good health and support myself but how long will that sustain me with what is going on.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  49. Patricia

    Well let's see.... I don't own a car, so I don't have to find gas money. I don't own a home, so I don't have to worry about a loan or a mortgage. But, I do live on fixed in come & I have seen my grocery bill go up by 25 to 30%. Now I wouldn't mind if I knew that money was going to the farmer or the grocery retail worker. But, it not. When it's all said & done, the extra money I'm paying is going to the oil companies.
    By the way Jack, I've been watching the NASA channel lately, because I am getting tired of the bad news in Iraq, the bad news in economy, & the political campaigns. But, none of that's your fault.
    Patricia
    Palmdale, Ca.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  50. Ron Richmond VA

    Ah! Finally something news worthy, Jack. This is only the beginning! People can't afford to pay for gas to get to a minimum wage job, Do the math! And this after Bush didn't want to raise the minimum wage!!!! This Administration has written checks it can't keep. They lay-offs have just begun and the Banks are getting bailed out, not the people. How is it that the top 1% get to fail at everything and get paid to do it. What the Fed is doing is meaningless to the average American. And the Tax Rebates are the biggest lies going. Do you realized that if you were smart like all the Financial Analysts have been preaching and bumped up your W-4s so to reduce your returns and place that money in stocks, you're screwed twice! The stocks are tanking and next year you may owe taxes instead of getting a small return!

    IT'S NOT A TAX BREAK, it's a loan on next years taxes! Only the Banks that screwed up get bailed out!

    How nervous are we, I highly suggest you start squirreling money away under your mattress! Can you really trust Banks? ( I have a story about Bank employees buying new cars, it'll scare the hell out of you how finacically stupid they are!) America is suffering and now that all the Home equity lines are cancelled due to the mortgage meltdown and home prices getting lower by the day. The American people are in trouble and it starts at the top!

    March 18, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  51. Keith Irving, Texas

    The econmy hasn't hit my family as hard as many others – yet, but we still feel it: Ridiculous gas prices, ridiculous grocery prices, etc..

    I just pray that the majority of Americans use common sense in November and vote AGAINST 4 more years of pathetic, failed, and stupid economic policies.

    Get it? No McBush!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 18, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  52. kitty o'hare - slatington, Pa

    Other than I can't eat, sleep, am depressed, irritable, am freezing because of the high cost of heating oil, hearing the president intimate that in the long run everything will be alright (if I live to be in the long run), can't go and take a litle drive in my car because gas costs too much, I guess you could say "it's making my life miserable"!

    March 18, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  53. JT from TN

    I quit my job two years ago to seek a job in my field rather than some minimium wage job. I have an associates degree in business and sadly in the wealthiest country in the world Istill haven't found a job. I think if it keeps on it will discourage recent and future high school graduates from going to college because they will think it's a waste of time. I hope the next president does a better job, so that I can finally find a job and get on with my lide like every other americian because I struggle living on my disability supplement..

    March 18, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  54. Mark - Gilbert, AZ

    Jack-

    I'm kind of glad I took a loan against my 401k last December. I am paying back 8% interest to my 401k which is probably far better than what it would be doing right now than if I had not taken a loan.

    What really scares me is energy prices. I live in the Arizona dessert and electricty costs are already high. Compound that with other necessities like food and gas, which are also getting really high (and summer isn't even here yet), I'm hurting. I just hope our economy doesn't dictate even higher energy costs. If so, we might be living in a house with no air conditioning when it's 120F outside.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  55. Jim

    Due to the decline of sales at work,my amount of hours are being cut every week. I can barely afford the rising gas prices to get there. My dad gets laid off only months after hes hired due to jobs lost overseas. I now pay for everything myself, and not even out of school yet. Im running out of money before I get it.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  56. Jerry

    Jack

    About the economy, its tough for all Americans. I don't know much
    about the Financial world, but I always hear about people making
    over $ 250,000 dollars a year in a lot of political speaches. If you make that much, the economy might be tough on you, but with me
    getting $1388. a month from Social Security will effect my life more.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  57. James D (Cary NC)

    It's going to be the death of the service-sector Jack. A lot of restaurants will be closing done as people scale back of dining out while overhead goes up. I'm not sure what all these waiters and cooks will do, because retail sales will choke for the same reason. Time for a new industry. Green power anyone?

    March 18, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  58. Angeline, Silver spring, MD

    My car is about to rot on the parking lot (I now catch the bus), I know where all the thrift-stores are in my neighborhood (can't afford anything new), I cashed my 401k (Can't afford to have anything extra taken from my paycheck)..., and I'm now contemplating bugging my neighbors for some "bonding time" just so I can watch the Cafferty file/Wolf Blitzer after I disconnect my cable. Am I affected enough? Only time will tell.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  59. Jim from Wisconsin

    Due to the decline of sales at work,my amount of hours are being cut every week. I can barely afford the rising gas prices to get there. My dad gets laid off only months after hes hired due to jobs lost overseas. I now pay for everything myself, and not even out of school yet. Im running out of money before I get it.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  60. Harry

    Being retired, my focus is on nest egg preservation. I am verifying that it is 100% government insured and if not, then adjusting.

    After reading about the Bear Stearns debacle, I have come to the conclusion that we are about to go through times, I have not experienced before. I don't think a depression is in store, but the only inflation right now is in medical, food and energy.

    I fear, that at some point those prices will start falling and we will be in a deflationary cycle and by then the fed will be near zero, with nothing left to ignite the economy.

    Harry
    Carlisle, Ky

    March 18, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  61. Joan in Southern Illinois

    If this government wanted to do something that would help the economy, they would get this country off of oil. It has changed everything. Why are we waiting until 2020 to get cars with high gas mileage? They have had that in Europe for a lot of years. We have the technology now to do it in the next couple of years. The middle and poorer classes of people are the ones who suffer. Wages down and prices high. Jobs gone. Recipe for disaster!

    March 18, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  62. sali from Memphis Tennesse

    The economy is dead. George Bush will not acknowledge the fact due to his arrogance. I work and I go to College at the same time and I don't even know how to pay my tuitions for the spring semester because I have to pay half last January. What an abomination George Bush is?

    March 18, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  63. Bob from Rome NY

    Except for prices being somewhat higher for goods, the economy has not had much adverse effect on me. I was lucky enough to get rid of all my investments in the stock market in early January and put it all in CD's. The fact that I have a variable HELOC has helped lower my payments on the interest quite a bit. I know I will have to revert to a fixed rate when the rates start to climb again but until then all is well in Rome NY.

    Bob

    March 18, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  64. Tina Ft Worth

    I used to get out and do a little bit of traveling but now since I am on a fixed income the joy of my day is being able to get out and hit the over priced grocery store. I swear I go on a Monday and by Wednesday the prices are already jacked up. When will we get a break? And don't tell me when I am laid in the bone yard

    March 18, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  65. jim andresen

    I am struggling the same as everyone. The high price of gas, food and everything can be traced to two things. We are not drilling for oil in this country so we have to buy it on the open market and interest rates have been down for way too long. When Bernanke raised rates to shore up the dollar, mortgage rates went up causing the foreclosure problem we face today. Every thing in the world is priced in American dollars and when investors can’t get a decent return on the dollar, it becomes worth less and the cost of every import around the world costs more. Interest rates must come up. Perhaps when Bernanke raised rates, he should have done it at a slower pace.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  66. Richard, Washington State

    I went into the local market this morning. Steve, the guy who runs the place was talking to me about how his son just graduated from college and can't find a job. I could see the pain in his eyes thinking about his son's future.

    For me, it means I don't buy anything for a while, a long while.
    It's a good lesson on need verses desire.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  67. onenibble

    Jack, I am blogging more.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  68. R.S. in Ohio

    Lets see the neighbor on one side lost his job .The neighbor on the other side lost his house.We all pay almost $4 a gallon for gas so Exxon can get another proffit record year . The war in Iraq is going so badly we dont even talk about it anymore .And the dollar overseas is becoming worth about as much as toilet paper .Dose that about cover it Jack ??

    March 18, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  69. John Lundin

    I'm a real estate broker so you can do the math. These days the definition of a Realtor is "an unemployed person with a real estate license!"

    March 18, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  70. IFEANYI AZUBIKE Houston, Texas

    Jack, I dread to wake up each morning because of the present state of things and the dire predictions that it would get worse. I never knew that a time will come in American when the choice would be between food and gas in the car to go out and buy food, because I thought both choices were complimentary. It only reminds me not to take anything for granted. I only wish I could become a bear and sleep through all of this.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  71. Bob from Traverse city Michigan

    Next month I will become part of what I believe will become a growing phenomenon in this country, the multi generational household. The kids and Grandkids will soon be moving back home in droves as energy and food prices put them over the edge on their mortgages and car payments. For them this economy has taken away their hope. For me this economy has taken away the hopes I had for them.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  72. Richard Sternagel

    I am concerned about the rising number of housing foreclosures! This brings down the value of homes and the resultant property tax base is reduced! This affects schools,police,fire departments.mental health services etc.Which in turn affects the employment rate! So yes we are in a recession in spite of what the Bush Administration says!

    March 18, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  73. chuck cornett

    Jack, Im a recently retired steelworker with medical problems that forced me to retire early, all my children are now married and all but one have children of there own. So my wife and I are mainly concerned about there future as well as our six children.We are doing ok with our fixed income our main concern is our children and the raising of our Grandchildren we feel thats what family is for to help out when we can.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  74. Bonnie/New Port Richey FL

    Every week I go to the grocery store and see how the prices have risen. Then I go to the gas station and feel like I have to take out a mortgage to fill my tank. I have a very ill husband and even though we are now receiving help, the co pays add up. We live on social security from month to month with nothing left to show for it and no light at the end of the tunnel. I feel guilty if I turn on the heat or A/C but have to keep my husband comfortable so he does not get pneumonia. This is our life under the Bush economy.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  75. Ralph from NY

    Jack, Bush has been responsible for our economic woes while he turned his back at home and preferred to look overseas. What worries me worries me most is that in spite of our poor economy, the infighting between Obama and Clinton might be paving ther way for another Republican Presidential victory, leading McCain to the White House.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  76. Maria

    I have a twenty-plus year background in marketing, and have been looking for a job for months - with no success. I think of my struggle to find work a direct result of our poor economy and the Bush administration's inability to manage it whatsoever.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  77. C.N. , West Fargo, N.D..

    My rent was increased last November so on top of that we have to deal with rising gas and food prices. Every penny of my paycheck is gone before I even get it. If I have to buy personal things or cleaning supplies, then a bill doesn't get paid. Groceries are becoming a luxury. I haven't been able to buy fresh produce in months. I use to shop at a major big box store but now I shop at dollar stores as now the big box stores are too expensive. I wish Bush would send me a pair of rose colored glasses like his so I can see the fairy tale world he sees.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  78. Len in Toronto, Canada

    Hey Jack. We don't have it quite as bad here – or so we're told but I'm not so naieve as to believe that what's happening south of the border won't affect us. We may not see the rate of forcloseures that you are experiencing right now but as your economy begins to shrink more and consumer spending drops, that will have a direct impact on jobs up here in Canada too. I fully expect to see alot more stories like "Delta Airlines" today over the next few months at the very least. I really feel that someone is and has been holding back on what's really happening but the guys who are paid to look death in the face and not flinch...are flinching....NOT GOOD!

    March 18, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  79. collins

    I earn a portion of my monthly living from interest income. At three percent interest, less taxes on the gain, I lose 3 to 4 percent of the buying power of my dollar every year. The government, being in debt, in deficit, and at war has little choice now but to inflate away the value of our dollar assets to pay for their ill advised decisions. It's no wonder Americans have a zero savings rate.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  80. Donna-Mobile, AL

    I have a very bright son who wil be graduating highschool next year. I have been telling him all his life to get good grades so that he can go to college. He currently has a 4.3 G.P.A. and I am afraid we don't have the money to get him accomplish that goal.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  81. QUEEN ESTHER ohio

    well since my husband came back from Iraq after serving this country as a translator and they didn't take care of him medically and sent him back to ohio sick and with no job its hard just to make a meal or take a trip to the market or doctors appointment without thinking what the hell did we do? nice to know the top 400 did so nice in this country since the war started and nice to know all you think we doing just a great job in the region but their are other countries besides us fighting the inflation of this tradget. my bills are high here but i can not help but feel for my mother in law who is jordanian fighting inflation to who could feed herself and 8 children for 100 dollars back in 2002 now needs almost 500 dollars to do it. and their king does the same as our president is clue less of how much a gallon of gas is. wake up gigi and i just fighting to find our medication not to fly to the island for a vacation. my heart bleeds with you but will never bleed for this country again we did this and until we fix it we will be dammed

    March 18, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  82. R.Crabtree

    Thanks for asking Jack..My wife & I, are 75 yrs.old and have done nothing but lose money in the stock market..Thousands, to be more specific..
    We took it all out from our so called advisor( A name brand) and put it into bank c.d.'s.In order to live on.. Now, Bernake,in order to show himself off, has decided as usual, to lower interest rates.. I have never seen much of a advantage in this, as you might or not agree..
    All we know is this,Us and other people have decided to save our money in a safe? place.. but His cuts have drastically put us in pearl,as with other people we know..
    We can't do a thing about it,I know..but at least he might know what he is doing wrong with you reading this letter.. thank you..

    March 18, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  83. Ralph Taliercio - Long Island, NY

    You mean besides recent disorders in eating, sleeping, anxiety, and bedroom performance. Not too much.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  84. don

    The Fed isn't helping... I know it's an election year, but there only making it worse. Low rates devalue the dollar, increase the costs of commodities (oil) and benefit the rich and the financial company that, due to their greed, share alot of the blame for this whole mess. The President continues to be in fantasy land. I'll be glad to see him gone. I'm sure he'll blame everyone but himself.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  85. Guy Fisher

    I own a computer repair center, and business is brisk. From a service standpoint, I've found that when the economy is weak, my customers would rather have their systems repaired as opposed to replacing. I've been in business 19 years and have seen the ups and downs of the economy. My business has always been steady, but I see a big increase in repairs when times are tough.

    Columbus Ohio

    March 18, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  86. Jean

    I am a middle-class single mom with two kids and am cutting back everything I can. We are always cold because we can barely afford the heat, so we keep it as low as possible: The kids wear sweaters all the time. Also, no more eating out, movies, or brand name supermarket foods. Finally, no more after-school activities because I can't afford the fees, equipment and gas to taxi the kids around.

    Meanwhile, George Bush is "unaware" that gas is approaching $4.00 a gallon.

    I am (as are many other middle class americans) angry about the growing divide between the haves and have-nots. I have zero level of confidence that a new president, regardless of the party, will engage in any meaningful economic reforms that benefit the middle and lower class because they are too busy paying back political favors to their rich supporters.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  87. don

    The Fed isn't helping... I know it's an election year, but they're only making it worse. Low rates devalue the dollar, increase the costs of commodities (oil) and benefit the rich and the financial company that, due to their greed, share alot of the blame for this whole mess. The President continues to be in fantasy land. I'll be glad to see him gone. I'm sure he'll blame everyone but himself.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  88. Emily

    Once we have a change in Adminstration then the Economy will be better, so long as we are under the Bush Adminstration the average American will suffer

    March 18, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  89. Tom Huntington,NY

    I think the economy will start to get better in about ten months and four days from now. I know I'll feel better then.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  90. Roy Munroe

    Put simply Jack, I had no money before this all started and I still have just as much now, as then. But hey, I look forward to having even less by the time this administration leaves the roost. Only one way to look and that's up from the bottom of this hole.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  91. lou in North Carolina

    Married with 2 children (one in college, the other an at-home handicapped adult) and my mother living with us. I am self-employed, and my husband has a good job with a small privately-owned company. My husband began taking his lunch to work everyday (a few months ago) to try to offset higher gas and food prices (he has a 60-mile roundtrip commute). We plan our errand trips better in order to conserve gas, we keep our thermostats turned down in winter and up in summer, and turn off heat/a/c whenever possible. We have postponed some renovation work on our home, as well as some other "wants". We are trying to control our spending in order to protect our savings, even as we watch our nestegg shrink due to falling home prices and the falling stock market. Health care costs and the thought of my husband's employer possibly going out of business are major concerns.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  92. don berry

    Funny how the Republicans tout the free market, yet they always bail out their own. Media keeps harping on the sub-prime mortgages as the cause, not true. Wall Street and our banks have been gambling money away and the bill has come due. They have come up with all of these fancy terms in order to make things sound more legit then they are – it has been a club and the price of admission was a degree at Princeton, Harvard etc. Get your degree, then go out a leverage a billion dollar real estate deal , hedge fund, take your pick with no money down from your college buddies..
    If things go south, Feds will bail you out and leave the average joe without their retirement fund.
    I find it funny we are talking about a recession. There is nothing that has happened that has not been talked about in alternative news for the last few years. Forget recession, say good bye to the dollar. Every day the dollar hits a new low, so what does the fed do, they print billions more to "bail" out the bankers. By October you may as well use a dollar to wipe your bottom.
    Get chickens, plant a garden and get out of the city because 08 will make the great depression look like a walk in the park. Biggest difference – back then they did not have home equity loans, credit cards etc, PLUS, they used our manufacturing base to pull us out. Too bad we do not manufacture anything anymore.
    Invest in the Euro and get used to a much lower lifestyle. Brought to you by a generation of apathetic americans and a crooked government

    March 18, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  93. John from Ohio

    I am a 61-year-old male who was just laid off in a restructuring. I need to work to pay off my mortgage and am scrambling to find a new job. My biggest concerns are the drop in the stock market (affects my retirement account which I may need sooner than I wished) and the employment outlook.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  94. Phil in Wenatchee, WA

    It has forced me to revert to the Triumph Bonneville. It's a little early, but I have no other choice. The only trips I now make are to the gas station to have enough fuel to reach the grocery store.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  95. John

    Jack, I think it funny that the fed has yet again cut intrest rate, it's not going to work it's going to drive up prices, first. Also the banks are not going to lend money to us people that are having a tough time, they don't care if we fail, they will make money either way. If we lose our house we make money, we keep paying our high intrest to them the make money, if we let them forclose they make money two ways we get stuck with the bill, and they sell the property, and guess what they make money. So we might as well cut interest rates and drive up inflation and screw the little guy a little more. See Bush and Cheney figure out how to kill America, and its the only thing they have truely been effective at. Buy on contract at a fixed rate and save every penny, depression here we come. Stay away from the Banks.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  96. Loren Kee

    How about a movement to get the idiot in charge of the federal reserve fired and have him live on fixed income at 1% rate. Oh by the way disolve his pension also and put it to national debt.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  97. DJ

    Jack after bush and now the silly season of this years primary I am packing my bags as we speak.....moving out of this country ASAP!! going where the euro rules!

    March 18, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  98. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    It may be a challenge for us, but nothing compared to those that are less fortunate. We will go to the store tomorrow and buy some canned goods to take to the food pantry, maybe $10 dollars or so. How about everyone who reads this doing the same thing and feel good because we helped someone. I was taught that this is why we are here, to help each other. It's the little things that can and do make a big difference.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  99. Brett Milam

    It's hitting my parents hard. We use to pay $180 at the grocery, we pay $240 now, even with one less person to feed. Gas is a killer. The economy sucks right now plain and simple.

    Brett Milam
    Cincinnati, Ohio

    March 18, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  100. Jennifer in Pittsburgh, PA

    The reverse-Robinhood administration achieves another spectacular success funneling taxpayer dollars to the poor millionaires and billionaires who have to sell their second and third vacation homes to make ends meet. Aren't those the real victims here? Who cares about the rest of us schlubs?

    Personally, I'll probably weather this recession fine, barring disaster, but the ticking economic bomb is down to one second for a lot of households and I think we'll see some Bush-villes popping up in the next 12 months. At least winter is ending soon....

    March 18, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  101. Matt Toohey

    Jack

    My wife keeps asking me what are we going on vacation this year and all I can say is "can we really afford it". We both have great jobs but we have two kids to put through college and food and gas costs continue to rise. I am a baby boomer and sadly the style of life my parents toiled for is gone. I don't even want to think about the quality of life my children will have.

    Matt from Rockford

    March 18, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  102. Herbert Keltsch

    The economy started affecting me in 1990. That's when de-regulation from the Carter and Reagan years began to kick in. I was tied up in a sub-prime loan in 1990. Although there is a feeling that we should blame the consumer...I don't think that is the whole picture. I took my loan papers on my house to a law university, hoping to find an answer to correct what I had gotten myself into. The law students along with the State Attorney General, who used to teach there, COULD NOT understand the contract I had signed. They finally concluded that the mortgage company could do what they wanted.
    So, if law students and a Attorney General can't understand what I signed...how was I supposed to.
    Anyway...to answer the question...I just cut back on everything; trips to the shopping mall, trips to the store to see what they had that was new, buying luxary items like sodas, cereals, new clothes. I adjusted my diet to the basic foods and have since given up on additional items like ice cream and other extras like that. Also, I 've had my car for 156 years and have just put off buying a new car. I now rent since mortgage rates have just gotten worse since 1990.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  103. Melissa in Huntsville, AL

    My husband and I have good, middle-class incomes and aren't struggling...yet. We're fortunate to have a low, fixed mortgage rate and only one car payment; but the cost of gasoline and weekly groceries has climbed so high within the last month (a combined $200+ difference) that I have started canceling unnecessary memberships.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  104. William from Henniker, NH

    I'm a 22-year old college student at a prestigious institution and am graduating this year. I just tried to get a small loan from my lender and they shut down their student loans on Monday. They only offer loans to my parents. This is the same with many similar lenders. Now I'm scrambling to figure out how to pay for the rest of my tuition without increasing my parent's financial burden.

    Meanwhile, my relatives in Spain can get their college education for free.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  105. Dan Hunden

    Sparks NV
    well it is getting rough. gas is right about 3.47 a gallon. milk right about the same. i am trying to adjust by going shopping only one time each week. buying bulk foods, and whole chickens ( i cut my own ). scrimping on kids cloathes and supplies. looking more towards thrift stores and goods. what i see is a huge class devide while some people are still filling up there ultra big SUV's and complaining about the cost of gas on the way to another nice dinner out at the claimjumper. while others are faced with parking the car in the driveway and waiting for better times for gas and a meal at Mcdonalds for the kids.
    how did things get so top heavy. can you say GREED by so many in a elevated position to help others. no they helped themselves and their families to expensive trips and cars. way to go! they should have been creating jobs not pacifying there spoiled kids.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  106. Burt, Sun Lakes, AZ

    I just hope the price of shoes doesn't spike like the price of gasoline or I'll really be in trouble.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  107. Don Skwierczynski

    Two weeks ago a dozen of plain donuts at Walmart costed me $2.50. Yesterday I went to Walmart and the same doezen costed $3.33.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  108. Pat

    we are doing without all the extras and trying to get by. we were for a while hopeful a new president would help this BUSH MESS, but our hope is beginning to fade. we dont have much of a choice and little hope left. come on democrats....get your party together......we need an organized party .

    March 18, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  109. robert from nc

    I lost my job this past month due to the down turn in the housing market and at 55 it is looking very grim as to when I might land on my feet...The only good news is that I'm willing to hand out the smiley faces at the big gray box store if I hace too...

    March 18, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  110. Tom

    Yup- we're headed for a correction. But come on folks- blaming your government and administration for this is just silly. Sure, the current trend of government bailing out failed mortgages and failed businesses is delaying the inevitable. But the underlying problem is that Americans are over-spent, over-borrowed and under-saved. We've all adopted the habit of financing a lifestyle today with money that we haven't yet earned- and for what? Just to keep up with the Joneses? Is the American dream truly a single-family dwelling, two car-garage, a fenced-in yard, and all the amenities we can think of? Other cultures achieve far greater levels of contentment with far less. The spending habits of those in office simply reflect those of our citizens. I say it's about time we're due for a change. Materialism is not the end-all be-all.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  111. Bob R

    Jack:

    You can watch the news and, if you get depressed, turn it off to escape. It's a little different when you need to go to the store for food or the gas station for gas to get back & forth to work, if you're still lucky enough to have a job; that doesn't go away. Maybe the government should use some of OUR tax money to help out the working class in America instead of the ultra-rich investors who made a bad investment bet. Nobody has reimbursed me for my bad stock investments!

    Bob R.
    Tampa Bay, Florida

    March 18, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  112. Tom

    I'm concerned that we continue to dig an enormous credit hole. Lenders are providing ready cash to borrowers who don't manage their finances very well but they use loaned money to 'keep the economy moving' (or so they're told). Then the bottom falls out, interest rates rise and borrowers can't pay on their debt. Soon we'll be a debtor nation, owing money to everyone with no real equity (as it's all been sold). So what is next? Mortgaged securities and gold at $4000.00 an ounce?

    March 18, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  113. RHONDA

    I would have retired 5 years ago if a Democrat was in the White House. You know if there is a Republican in the White House, the economy only works for the super rich. I wonder how many Republican caused economic disasters it's going to take before this country studies history and gets a clue. Of course many of us are working 2 or more jobs and really don't have the time.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  114. Brian From Fort Mill, S.C.

    This is the second Bush-Cheney recession. The first was caused by the Dot-Com bubble, and this one is caused by the housing bubble. Recessions happen.

    Having said that, I think Bush has shown time and time again that he doesn't give a &#%$! about the middle class. We're the ones hurting the most, and also the ones getting the shaft.

    I'd rather go through a recession with either Obama or Clinton than to have a strong economy with either Bush or McCain.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  115. Shar - Norton, MA

    I am combining my driving trips and turning down social events if they are too far away to conserve gasoline. I am very, very carefully watching my grocery bill and food intake. When I go to the mall, I have my stops planned, only buy what I came to purchase, and walk quickly back to my car avoiding the temptation to hit the sales or browse in any other shops. I live pay check to pay check with a little savings set aside for a rainy day. The company where I work has not given raises or cost of living increases to its employees in 2 and 1/2 years. Yet everything else keeps going up – cable, food, gas, health insurance premiums (we were notfied today at work), etc. It makes it very difficult to make ends meet every month. I am cautious now and will remain so. There will be no over the top consumer spending on my end. I am living lean and mean and will remain so until I see better times ahead. I only hope that I keep my job.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  116. Mohammad

    It's simple! The federal reserve is trying to force liquidity, that is printing money out of thin air, into investment banks to prop up the stock markets at our expense. That -IS- inflation, and that is why gas is at $3.30+ a gallon. We need to make it known that government should not steal our wealth neither through taxes nor inflation! As for me, yeah, things have been rough. I was jobless for two months, and thankfully I had a bit of money saved up for a rainy day to keep me going.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  117. Doug, West Palm Beach. FL

    As a first time home buyer, I hope the housing market continues to fall to more affordable and realistic prices.

    And I am particularly surprised that Hillary has not mentioned the economy more in her speeches when that is on everyone's mind. Not simply the housing market, Bear Stearns debacle, etc., but the fact we were in one of the best economies the world has seen in recent memory during her and Bill's time in the Whitehouse.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  118. Amber

    I bought my first house when I moved to Illinois for graduate school almost two years ago. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but the only equity I have is in this house, and I'm worried that I'll actually lose money when graduate and sell it. As a graduate student, I'm on a fixed income, so I've seen living expenses (especially energy and food costs) rise as my income remains the same. I'm concerned I'll be left with nothing but a degree when I leave.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  119. T in Georgia

    Dear Jack –

    I love you for even asking.

    My list is extensive...I will start with something basic...food.

    My husband and I have cut back our weekly grocery intake as far as we can. The amount of food that $30 used to buy even 2 years ago currently costs upwards of $80. We hardly buy meat. If I weren't 5 months pregnant, we probably would buy less dairy.

    It is frustrating to have been doing the right thing (cutting back on needless spending and trying to add to our savings) and to systematically have even more taken from you. You can't get blood out of a stone. We have had to put GROCERIES on CREDIT CARDS which I swore I would never do. It is absolutely demoralizing.

    Then we are told that it is our patriotic duty to go buy more crap from China. Seriously? Bite me.

    I know it is our choice to bring a child into this world. I just get so angry thinking about what the idiots in Washington are leaving for our child to inherit.

    I am angry and more apprehensive every day during a time that I am supposed to keep stress to a minimum. That is how the economy is affecting my life.

    Thanks for letting me vent.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  120. Warren Eichhorn, Clarksville, VA

    I am not going to worry until they come for my guns. Then I'll worry about running out of amunition.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  121. Victoria maki

    The banks & financial institutions get lower interest rates. Oh, great. The interest rate on my credit card went up.

    Almost on the verge of retirement I have tried to put as much as I can in my 401K. Guess what, – 401K is going way down.

    The average middle class American will not survive George W. Bush's last year. But wait, the oil companies and, I'm sure, the banks, will, AND HOW!!!.

    Trickle down – my ass.

    Oh yeah – I can't wait for the Iraqi Parliament to take another vacation for themselves while our boys and our money keep getting sent there. Way to Go, George!!!!!

    March 18, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  122. john marlton, nj

    No affect at all. The economy is experiencing some problems but it appears the market itself with help from the administration is adequately addressing the issues. Ironically, over the last few weeks there seems to be more people shopping and buying at our local mall. The only sign of a slow down are the previously overcompensated and now unemployed real estate brokers, mortgage brokers and builders.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  123. tim

    poorly....thanks mr bush, you can smile, the gas prices just keep making you richer and richer

    March 18, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  124. JIS Kaushek

    Why is it that no-one mentions the costs of the war that our president and his co-horts have thrust upon the country? It is now approaching 3 trillion dollars. The money has to come from somewhere, whether from spurious currency or increased taxation, the choice seems to lie with the country's politicians whose primary concern is re-election.
    Is it possible to propose that there should be strict term limits placed upon all elected officials and that politicians should be banned from being lobbiests? In this manner we might be able to restore some sense of obligation to our electoral process instead of the feeding frenzy on public funds that goes on in Washington.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  125. Brian

    Jack,

    As usual the Fed (government) is all concerned about "helping" big banks get out of their mess of their own making by doing things that will only hurt middle and low income Americans. What i mean is that by cutting rates the dollar's value drops, inflation goes up and "big" wins again for their greed and MAXIMUM profit first over clients needs and society in general.

    Brian in Iowa

    March 18, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  126. gary saari

    The economy is heading into a recession. That's bad news for most people in our country including some of the very rich. Unfortunately, it affects the poor and "so-called" middle class the most. The greedy corporations have sold out our economy to the lowest bidder. What else would we expect? What are these greedy corporations going to do when our country starts fighting over water instead of oil? Global warming is real, and it affects everybody on this earth. The rising cost of oil affects everyone's daily life. The war in Iraq is directly related to our country's economic problems. The next question should be "When will our politicians stop feeding the corporate greed, so we "lower class people" can continue to buy those cheaper Chinese products from Walmart?

    March 18, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  127. Forrest in Denver

    I feel sort of bad about saying this, given that most people seem to be worried about feeding their kids and keeping the heat on, but the main effect this economy is having on me is this: I'm all of a sudden worried about quitting my job. Normally if I'm not enjoying a job I just resign and find a better one, but now I'm in alarmist mode, and don't feel comfortable walking without an offer for something better on the table. De-pressing.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  128. DON, TC, MICHIGAN

    Hi Jack. Let's see... I'm hardly driving at all. My freezer is near empty. I'm searching the house up and down for stuff to sell on ebay. I'm scared to death... is the great depression of 2008? I have to blame it ALL on our current administration and the amount of money being put into that sinkhole – Iraq.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  129. George, Salt Lake City, UT

    We need to prosecute the Bush/Cheney clan. Who is going to have the guts to stand up to those thieves?

    March 18, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  130. SS

    As a retired citizen – poorly. This country has been operating under a group of people that are out to make themself rich at the expense of the American people.
    Hillary has been stating for some time that this country's economy was going down the tubes. You and the media were to busying trying to make the election about race and gender that you forgot to hear what was being said. The candiates are trying their best to stay on the issues but the media has a problem with hearing therfore one is watching the FEDs.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  131. Patricia

    For sure at the gas pumps. In addition, cost of food. My property taxes are skyrocketing. My cost of living has skyrocketed while my salary stays the same. Want to make a sign for our President who thinks are just in a slowdown "It's the economy stupid".
    Never elect a Texas Oilman President.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  132. Liz in San Francisco, CA

    I left a solid job with a large retailer's corporate offices in Minneapolis, MN to follow my partner to San Francisco, CA... I'm worried, anxious and downright scared for our financial future. The cost of living here was going to be a shock, but now with all of the rising costs of gas, groceries, etc. Ouch. We're a couple in our late-twenties/early-thirties with little debt and healthy savings. We had carefully calculated that we have enough in liquid assets not to bottom out. I just hope the job outlook doesn't get worse. We'll be okay (but not great) if we can go back to a two-income household.

    On another note, with all of this financial uncertainty, can't even begin to think about a mortgage and the housing market. Is that a blessing in disguise?

    March 18, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  133. JAKE BROUWER, HESPERIA CA

    Jack, thanks for your daily dose of level headed opinions on CNN. You say much of what Americans say everyday to themselves about life in general, WE AGREE! I am 58, making it in a paid off home with only monthly bills, but it still feels like I'm having my pocket picked everyday, and can't help but to feel extremely bad for those in worse situations at our age. It's a tough fight that used to be every few months, then monthly struggles, and now week to week and day to day, with gasoline, food. My divorsed daughter with two children asked if she could move home yesterday. What is a family to do? I think we are just seeing the tip of the ice berg and are in for a long, tough time. Hang on Jack, we'll be carrying on from the rear and will not give up on our dreams.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  134. Nancy Munger

    As a stay-home mom, the economy is of great concern. Gas prices are shocking. I have to shop at more than one grocery stores for affordability. I'm looking at getting a job. My husband's work benefits are decreasing. Our school just had to cut $16 million from its budget. For the first time in ten years, our home worth less than the previous year. This is not the end of our economy problems that our government would like for us to believe.

    So, can we now stop talking about Barack Obama's pastor or Paris Hilton and get back to hearing more about the economy on the news?

    March 18, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  135. Bob L. Philadelphia, PA

    With both my wife and I working, we are barely making enough to stay afloat, and we have a fixed rate mortgage. We could afford it then, but now the price of everything else is going up. I am middle class and feel the pinch every day. When I drive my oldest to school, we drive past two gas stations, my wallet hurts when I look at the prices. When I drop her off, I am off to work, and I pass another four gas stations, and I cringe. I never thought that choosing the career of a teacher would be a huge mistake, but thankfully, the job requires me to take 24 credits in my first six years of teaching (I am in year five). Why thankfully, it forces me to obtain my Master's (more pay) and my undergrad loans are being defered until I get out of college. If I had to pay that bill, we would be losing money every month instead of staying with our noses just above the water.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  136. Dan (Chandler, AZ)

    You can add me to the list of people impacted by the economy and housing collapse – I've worked in the mortgage industry for nearly 20 years and am one of the 63,000 people that lost their job last month..

    I see inflation at a much higher rate than reported by our government (a trip to the grocery store will tell you that) and energy prices are out of control. I am now tightly controlling my spending, driving much less to save on gas costs and eliminating weekend getaways. I am bracing for a long, deep recession and hoping to come out on the other side in one piece.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  137. Dick B

    Whenever I hear bad news about the economy I call my 91 year old mother who was raised in the great depression. I always feel better after hearing her stories of growing up in the 30's. SInce most of the news today is bad I find myself talking to her everyday. So the bad econmy is great for me because I get to talk to my mother more often.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  138. Kerry in Fort Worth, Texas

    This economic mess should not be a surprise to anyone who was a wage earner during the "Reaganomics" years. It seems like economic policy is eerily similar and the rich, fat cats that created it will again be bailed out on the backs of the working class.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  139. Brian Mac- PA

    I'm also a college senior- I'm fortunate enough to have a job lined up after school, but I'm very concerned for the majority of my class, most of whom do not have jobs yet. I attend a top undergrad business school and still see a large portion of my classmates having trouble finding work. And now even the elite students who have jobs lined up at the I-banks are having trouble sleeping at night because of the Bear Stearns collapse. I know I lack perspective on the labor market because I'm so young, and I'm sure things have been much worse than they are for my class, but it's still disheartening to see so many smart talented minds will likely struggle to secure solid jobs for the next year or so.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  140. Kathy Flaharty Simi Valley, CA

    Isn't it about time we release the gasoline reserves we supposedly have? How much worse do things have to get? Bush, his cronies, his wepons of mass destruction will go down as the most destructive enity that has ever happened to this country. Thank you corporate, republican, America. You have done what "terrorist" have failed to do....bring this country to it's knees. And you did it not by blood shed, you did it by greed.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  141. Calvin Raleigh, NC

    My main issue is gas prices. None of the candidates are truely adddressing that hardcore. How, can they justify the high gas prices. Especially when there is not a gas shortage at the pumps. I have a long commute to work. Gas is eating up all my income. High gas prices are having an inflationary effect of on consumer goods. High gas prices are lower the value of a dollar. The next democratic president need to start a witch hunt with the Oil Companies and the current President's policies in regards to the oil industry . If they find price gouging as the main reason for high gas prices over the last 5 years, then they should levy fines against them. They should give the money back to consumers as tax rebates. They should also put into effect to bust up these large almost monopolistic entities. Their ridiculous profit margrins only prove they are charging consumers whatever they want to at the pump.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  142. Steve, Idaho

    The millionaires and billionaires running this country have a clue on what people are going through right now. They're more concerned about the stock market and what kind of money they're making or not in their stocks and bonds.

    My wife and I both work we have a family of four, we don't go out to dinner anymore, we don't go to the movies anymore, we don't go on trips hardly at all, and I just canceled my medical insurance and taking a risk because I can't afford. The fat cats and Washington have no clue to wonder if there's a recession or not.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  143. Richard C. Sanders

    The economy is going to be bad. We are going to require someone in the government who will think outside the box. I have little control over the economy so don't spend a great deal of time worrying about it. That's wasted energy.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  144. Sandi McBride

    The gas prices are ridiculous. Therefore the food prices are ridiculous. Thank God we live where we can grow and can and freeze and the treatment of animals at the hands of so called "packing companies" has just about made me a vegetarian (I see the completion of that up the road a piece). We're retired with retirement checks not SS yet, but with banks closing and the Fed bailing them out, how long before they come after that? HEADED towards inflation??? I think we landed in that when the real estate bubble finally burst. And when the nations that have all our jobs and all our plants decide they won't work for peanuts anymore, who's going to produce anything here? No one will remember how it's done.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  145. Tony from Illinois

    As a teacher, I am fortunate to have gainful employment for at least the foreseeable future. That said, I find myself increasingly angry at how the greed of many companies and complete oversight of bad loans by our government has threatened the security of our nation. Furthermore, I have two young children (and a third on the way) which will incur the wrath of 25 years of poor guidance by our government, poor planning, and an endless cycle of corruption that worsens by the day. In short, we are in for a long and nasty ride. However, good can come out of this. Perhaps people will buy a house to actually live in it, and we the American people will truly have to work together to help one another out...the government surely has failed in this regard.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  146. Candice from Michigan

    Like Al, our family has actually been living within our means for some years now. We have no credit card debt. When we bought our home, we didn't buy to the limit of what we could afford, and that has served us in good stead. We paid cash for our vehicle, so we have no car payments. We have a small nest egg that would cover our needs for a couple months were something catastrophic to happen. But the increased gas prices have definitely cut into our disposable income; we both commute to work and, while we do carpool, our gas expenditures are still larger than we'd like. No vacation this year. We're putting unneccessary purchases or home projects on hold. We're looking into buying a more fuel-efficient vehicle. I've downgraded all manner of luxury items (department store makeup, perfume, clothing – I either buy a cheaper version or I buy it on ebay.) Also like Al...I am so sorry for the people who made bad decisions and are now paying the piper, but I also don't think they should be bailed out. How else do people learn?

    March 18, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  147. Kelly from Colorado

    How is the growing bad news about the economy affecting my daily life? It is adding stress to say the least. I have always had a decent career in telecom however the company I have enjoyed working for 4+ years is hoping to achieve a 60% work reduction all going to workers in India. Wonderful. I am curious... who will be left able to afford the products being supported out of India when we all have no jobs/homes in the USA? How could this "off-shoring" EVER have seemed like a good idea? I am no genius, in fact I have very little formal education and this seems more then obvious to me!

    March 18, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  148. Tina Wolff

    I watched as the values of homes almost doubled in my neighborhood and watched as people bought more home than they could afford. My husband and I kept asking each other how are these people financially able to buy these over priced houses? This year we watched the value of our home drop back down. We bought our house in 2001 and it's probably worth $25,000 more in 2008. Two years ago we could have made a profit of $125,000. I wanted to buy a bigger house, but I understand my financial limitations. Shady lending practices and ignorant buyers have contributed to the credit crises, but my husband and I are doing just fine. Live within your means, that's the answer!

    March 18, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  149. Joanna Ventresca

    The gas and the oil prices have people losing their jobs because demand has went down in certain areas of the country. Most companies have to cut back and that means people lose their jobs and their homes. Two of my best friends this week have lost their jobs. We are all in our mid fifties. Retirement is way down the road for us or even if that is possible. Most of the people I know are working class and have two incomes. They are now having to both work extras jobs plus their normal jobs to provide for their families. The only profiting from this ecomony is the rich. This adminstration has ruin our country as we all knew it. I sure it can change and bring back the America we all once new. Thank you....

    March 18, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  150. Bruno from Miami

    It doesn't seem like anyone is interested in being responsible. The federal government spends more than it takes in, as do most American's.

    This is not a course of action that can ever work. You can't get something for nothing. Enron tried to do it, homeowners/lenders tried to do it.

    The time has come for American's to stand for 'doing what is right', rather than 'doing what is easy'. Indeed, the Great Depression was awful, but look at the good that came from the Great Generation.

    Perhaps another such episode in America's history will lead to anothe great era in America, like the 40's and 50's were.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  151. Sandor johnson, New York

    The cost of food has gone up.
    The cost of fuel has gone up.
    Property prices are crashing.
    We're fighting two expensive wars we can't afford.

    Of course its affecting me, Jack! I'm taking a lesson from the Greatest Generation. I threw everything I have into gold. There's only so much of it on the planet and it'll hold it's value in proportion to the useless, paper money the Fed keeps printing by dropping rates to CPR this dead horse.

    Sandor Johnson, New York

    March 18, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  152. Lora Buchanan

    I live on Social Security. Some Genius has decided Gas and Food should not be included in the cost of living index. Need I say more?
    Lora
    Tucson, AZ

    March 18, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  153. Hawk Smithfield RI

    Jack,

    not as good as the fed's to the wall street invesment firms and credit
    card companies!

    March 18, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  154. Mary

    Jack-my family is fortunate as we have a 15 year fixed mortgage on our condo-but I feel for all the families who are loosing their small part of the American dream. We are planning a nice vacation with our trailer but budgeting more than ever for the higher gas prices sure to be around this summer. The American taxpayer is in my husband's and my opinion getting "raped". The Bush administration has never had any policy that remotely interested us-from Soc. Sec. to Iraq, not to mention Health care and the best interests of our poor planet. One of the scariest things I see though is the media interviews with John McCain. iI will be another 4 years of "Bush" mentality. McCains eyes basically glaze over during interviews about the economy or any other issue but national security. Apparently he doesn't seem to realize that what is happening here at home affects our National Security as surely as the failed Iraq policy this last 5 years. If the Democrats loose this election it's because they gave it to McCain-God help us all!!
    Mary-Las Vegas NV

    March 18, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  155. Carole MA

    The growing bad financial news is heavy on the minds of the middle class and is very depressing. Although I'm not one of the crowd with loans, car payment, and credit card debt, (I live within my means and don't buy what I can't afford) except for a mortgage payment, I am still having a very hard time making ends meet. Property taxes, utilities, food, heating and gas have all gone through the roof with no end in sight. And no increase in income or benefits. Oh-except for federal, state, local, and school employees.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  156. Tami Kelley

    George Bush and his adminstration have decimated this great country. He should have been impeached long ago along with Cheney and then maybe we would not be in the situation we are in. I work for a mortgage company and I am being laid off today. I have to be prepared to earn $1000 LESS a month than I have been. I have cut back as much as possible. The only place to cut now is in the quality of food my family eats. We are going to have to go with the "filler" foods as opposed to healthy fruits and vegetables. This administration has lied to us and failed us all. All except the wealthy few. What about the majority of us who are low to moderate income people just trying to get by week after week.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  157. Dawn- Oregon

    I'm a college student and parent to 4 children. We somehow manage to survive on one income and student finacial aid. To have food to eat and a warm house, 3 of us do not have health insurance. We simply cannot afford the additional $300 a month premium.

    I commute 30 miles a day in our mini-van for class and the gas prices are forcing us to do less "stuff". There's plenty of outdoor activites here in Oregon, but we don't dare drive anywhere. We find ourselves always at home with cabin fever.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  158. Dan G from Pittsburgh, PA

    Gotta love ARMs, eh?

    The only thing affecting me is the rising gas prices. They are getting insane. It's costing me more and more every week. When I got my first car, gas was $1.19 a gallon. Now it's $3.29 here, up from $3.09 two weeks ago...

    As for home costs? Heh, well, I'm glad I was able to find a nice apartment quickly. That's the nice thing about apartments. Usually easy to find, many of which are moderately priced per month (certainly a lot cheaper than some of these homes you find being foreclosed).

    Hey, if I can live off of $5.35 an hour (before the minimum wage increase) with a $400 a month rent, $100 in utilities, $110 for car insurance, $40 every 2 weeks in gas, and about $50 a month for food and novelties, then anyone who's single should easily be able to handle more for $10 or more an hour. Bugeting isn't that hard, even with today's prices. It's all about sitting down, seeing what you do and don't need, and not stressing over it. Stress means you'll make mistakes, mistakes mean more stress. Do whatever it takes to save at LEAST $2,000 in a savings account (if you're single and only have to support yourself) and make it a point to not buy anything "cool" (like going out to eat, a new video game, etc...) until you've reached the $2k mark. That way, if anything happens, you have some money saved up.

    Easy enough, I think...

    March 18, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  159. Clark

    My grocery bill is a little higher, but that's about the only change. My car is paid off and sits unused most days (I bike to work). Since the only way I could afford a home in Boston was to get a variable rate, I rent. I have no credit card debt and pay into my savings each month. I make big purchases only when they still allow me to meet my savings goals. Right now, I guess that means I make big purchases less frequently, but I haven't actually noticed that yet. Suppose I'm financially fortunate to have a steady job and no dependants.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  160. Annie, Atlanta GA

    For starters, the biggest effect is I'm scared, and waiting for the bottom for fall out. We have less to offer in a global market and are getting more desperate. You don't need an economics degree to see the obscene imbalance of wealth and extreme debt, both thanks to Bush & Co., cannot bode well for us.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  161. Julia Hays from NJ

    Economy woes affect every aspect of our lives. The lower and middle classes are struggling to get through this. The government does not bail out individuals like it does Bear Stearns. As a college student I hope to keep my grades up so I can someday pay off the accumulating debt that I'm now wallowing in. Thanks, Republicans.

    -Julia Hays
    from Pitman, NJ

    March 18, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  162. B Geibel from PA

    I live in a small town an hour outside Pittsburgh, PA. I had to get a job in Pittsburgh to get a decent wage. With gas prices going up and the price of everything affected by gas I'm really fealing pinched. I never go out to diner, bowling or movies, I don't have cable thuns no reception in my town and wouldnt have a phone if I didn't have to. I am barely making ends meet an am afraid that soon I won't be able to do that.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  163. Laura in AL

    When the economy dips, the first people to feel it are in the service industry. When people can hardly afford groceries, they eat out less. My hours have been slashed nearly in half and the tips I used to rely on to pay my bills are becoming more and more trivial each day.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  164. Amia

    The economy is horrible. The gas situation needs to be fixed. Why is that we are spending more for gas and the oil companies' profits grow? I don't understand that. It is a ripple affect. This increase in gas is increasing the costs of all our goods and services.

    I have always had a good job, making an above average income; however, I am now making half of what I made for the last nine years. I sold my house, thank GOD, before this extreme housing slump. I have a business degree and an MBA, but no one wants to hire. My brother and I are roommates right now. I have never lived this this and I am not comfortable.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  165. Norma

    I'm an unemployed mortgage worker, divorced mom of 3, that has been out of work for 7 months. . I am having a hard time making ends meet and am having to consider moving in with family. I go out everyday to "pound the pavement" and I check the web. I have been very deligent about looking for employment but I'm facing discrimination due to my past career with a mortgage company. This in spite of me being involved in the back end of the mortgage industry. I have found a few jobs that I've had to turn down because due to the price of gas I would be in the hole each month if I chose to commute. I've also applied at my kids school to receive help with receiving free lunch but do not qualify because of my unemployment check. I guess reduced lunch rates is better than nothing.

    I've gone back to school in the meantime but of course I did not qualify for any type of financial aide as I needed to school tax returns for 2006 not 2007 when I became unemployed. Since I did go back to school to be retrained I know need to wait and see if unemployment will extend my benefits. I have my fingers crossed.

    Unemployed mother of 3!

    Fullerton, CA

    March 18, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  166. earl illingsworth

    Jack, as long as the bridges don't collapse, i'll be all right ,with at least a roof over my head. P.S. Food is my only other concern, but I recently heard "Pidgeon"s provide a good sourse of food.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  167. Frank, Cape Haze, FL

    I am 60. Disabled. Have been looking for a part time job since last spring to no avail. No one seems to want a 60 year old with a bad ticker. We live in Florida. Last summer home insurance quintupled. Flood Insurance doubled. Citimortgage said pay up or we will foreclose 18 times. Foreclosure papers served yesterday. Gas at $3.40 a gallon and food prices thru the roof. Other than that things are great.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  168. Carmen from Chicago

    I am more careful about how I make purchase decisions. I am closely watching my portfolio and making different decisions on my investments. But I am also buying another home, getting a great rate, and believe that while we are in a difficult period, we will rebound.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  169. Shelley

    My husband is a small-time builder in the mountains of Colorado. We had no problem in the past borrowing money for construction loans to complete the homes we built. Even though we have perfect credit and a perfect track record in the building business, there is no way we can get a loan now. The banks we were borrowing from don't even do construction loans now.

    Not only has our livelihood been put on hold, all the people my husband employed are not working. Everything around us seems to be falling like dominoes.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  170. April in texas

    My budgeting on grocery shopping has tightened as well as weather or not my husband will be let go from his job. That happened before during the Dell layoffs in Texas of over 3000 jobs that were shipped overseas. It does add lots of stress in most everything I do..

    March 18, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  171. Kim

    I graduated college almost two years ago and moved from an area where the cost of living is relatively cheap to one of the most expensive areas in the country. When I moved here to start my career, I accepted the fact that it would be more difficult to set aside enough money for food and rent every month. I adjusted, and I saved what I could. Yeah, the economy is not ideal, but it is what it is. I'm adjusting, and I'm saving what I can. Maybe it's because I'm young and naive, but I see this as a unique opportunity. Instead of complaining, I've been trying to figure out the best time and place to invest since I know the economy will recover and I want to put myself in the best position possible when that time comes.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  172. Bill in Quarryville Pennsylvania

    I was hoping to buy a HD TV this year, but that won't happen. What I will be doing is saving every penny I can for heating oil, gasoline and food. I will not be taking a vacation, I will not be spending any money for any unnecessary things. I think the bubble that was building in our country for some time has finally burst. Now what I needed to is hunker down and try to get through it.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  173. Tara McKinney, Texas

    It doesn't. I am in life for the long haul. Markets and economies go up and down. If you don't live just at or just beyond your means like most do then this too shall pass. Lots of people are complaining for poor decisions they made in the past. Learn from them and move on. No one made those decisions for you except yourself. You have to take responsibility for your own actions and stop blaming the government and everyone else.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  174. Rusty

    Let's me see. I saw this coming & made sure that I paid off as much debt as I could. Just so that I would have "extra" money. Well good thing since that "extra" money is going to gas, food & just plain living.

    All I can say is everything went up except my salary. At least I have a job. I see no end in sight.

    What am I going to do with 600 bucks????? Probally buy food, gas for my car & heat for my home. Go figure, I get a bonus just to pay to live. Funny I think not.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  175. patt from ohio

    hope all who voted for Bush..twice no less...are happy. He has ruined our country

    March 18, 2008 at 4:06 pm |
  176. Scott from SC

    I am getting close to retirement and it has hit my 401k fund pretty hard. In addition to that, the bad economy has caused a mass migration from the northeastern and midwestern US to the southeast due to job losses. The south is the last bastion of manufacturing left in America. Help! It's gettin' crowded down here!

    March 18, 2008 at 4:09 pm |
  177. John in Wisconsin

    Jack
    Thank you for your comment that Florida should not be allowed to vote in November, neither should Ohio.
    Our economy will not improve until GWB gets the Iraqi economy going and their ifrastructure rebuilt so his Iraqi oil company can make money.
    PS, nobody in the media is commenting on the massive military base the US is building in eastern Iraq.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:09 pm |
  178. HardTruth

    After reading some of your posts on here, one thing is clear. People are hurting and most people do not understand why. Well, here is THE reason. We are now involved in the longest running war in our nation's histroy. Energy prices are out of control becasue of that and our failure to reinvest in our own country. Add the two together and you get misery.
    Hold on to your butts, cuase its just gettign started. Darwin's survival of the fittest at its finest. Here is some advice. Dont wait around for the government handouts; get off you butt and do what you have to do.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:09 pm |
  179. Fernando

    Hi Jack,

    We are always in the business of bailing out our neighbor countrymen through out the world. We give out millions of donations of grants and loan to everyone but still can't take care of our own back here in the US. You know I bet if I could take some of that money from the war and what we spent on the other non sense most of my fellow American would be still living the American Dream and not worrying about when their next meal or next paycheck is coming from. I'm disgusted on how we are the richest country in the world and yet don't take care of own backyard....something is wrong in denmark!!!

    March 18, 2008 at 4:09 pm |
  180. John

    Thats why we dont want bush – clintons whos created global economy fiasco just make china be filty rich

    March 18, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  181. Josh from Tampa, FL

    I bought a house in 2007 100% financing fix rate. Remodeled it and now almost overnight my house is worth 25% less then when I bought it. How exactly does that happen? It's a home, not a stock people! Things are seriously broken.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  182. doug henson

    Have you ever seen Mel Gibson's movie 'The Road Warrior'? I suggest you do, if you haven't. No gas, no food, no motor cars, not a single luxury. The greed of a few has done in the many. But not to worry. The 1930's weren't all that bad.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  183. John E Jenkins

    It's given me alot more free time. Being an owner of a once thriving car dealership, I feel the fear of the consumer each and every day. Consumers are terrified to spend. Hence...I have alot more free time on my hands. Thanks George!

    March 18, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  184. Shari Mattingly,Los Angeles

    I've read all of your comments, and I am in the ditch with the rest of you. But remember, in order to change things, we need to make a serious change. New President; new Congress. The President can't make laws, only execute them. We must make a change in the Congress. We have been sending them back year after year to do nothing. We must use that vote wisely. I was most encouraged when I heard Dennis Hastart's supposedly "Safe Seat" went to a Democrat. If the American people do that 49 more times in the Senate and 229 more times in the House, things will change!

    March 18, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  185. TC

    The stimulus package as passed is stupid. Everyone gets a check that they spend at Walmart on Chinese made imports. The better idea would have been to invest 150 billion in roads, bridges, and other infrastructure. This would provide american jobs and at the end of the day we would have something to show for it. The package as passed is only to passify the masses for politcal reason and is prosperity at any expense.
    The housing debacle should just be allowed to play out. Who ever loses, loses. 95% of all the problem was caused by corruption. People were taking loans they never should have had in the first place.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  186. Diana in Syracuse

    Our grocery bills are outrageous now. With two growing boys, ages 9 and 13, our grocery bill is triple what it was two years ago; I now buy the store brand for everthing I can and we have pasta three nights a week and eggs once a week for dinner. Just today I was grocery shopping and a guy was complaining about the high prices. I think his ending line sums it all up, "At 45, I didn't think I would have to go back to ramen noodles and hotdogs to survive on."

    March 18, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  187. sbell

    I support Senator Obama and his race is not a factor any more than is Tiger wood's race is a factor. I cheer for them both as a southern white male.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  188. great gramps

    My husband worked extra hard as a Teamster for 43 plus years so he could retire and enjoy life as he had always dreamed. The retirement and his dream lasted only six months. He decided to return to the workforce again to help our children pay for our oldest of 10 grandsons to finish college. There was no other way this extremely bright young man would have graduated this year had his grandpa not have taken this step.For all 5 of our children are struggling finanically right now. Thank God for his good health so grandpa could do this for his family. Families will have to all pull together if things get much worse with our economy.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  189. Elizabeth

    As a college graduate now pursing my Masters with full tuition assistance from my company, I make a decent salary compared to some of my former peers. I feel I will need this Masters degree in the future when jobs become more and more scarce, to give me an edge over my competition! I would not be able to return to school without my company’s financial help!

    Public transportation costs are rising, when the service they provide is beyond poor and getting worse! Forget about buying a home anytime in the near, or far, future.

    Almost all of my paycheck goes to paying off my school loans and credit card bills, which only contain balances from college expenses like overpriced textbooks and supplies! The rest goes to the oil/gas/electric/water/food bills for our apartment. I have no money left over in the end to give my boyfriend money for the rent. I have NO money left over for savings accounts or for “rainy day” activities.

    I can’t travel as I would like to. I can't fly to see my USMC brother off to Iraq in a few months because of high priced airline tickets.

    I can’t buy my friends nice gifts for their baby/wedding showers. I can’t fix the dents and scratches put in my car (by the nice NY’ers around here who don’t care about other people’s property)… the ones that my insurance company won’t pay for even though a good chunk of my paycheck goes to them every month too (the biggest scam)!

    Everywhere you turn in this country its one rip-off after another. One scam after another. One lie after another.

    Once I can afford it, I’m moving to Europe! (Clean, organized, technologically advanced years ahead of America, well educated, well-taken care of by their government, consistent laws throughout the entire European Union, etc……..)

    For now, I'll have to keep to brown bag lunches, cable tv movies, and my bicycle!

    Hopefully my brother will come back from Iraq in one piece so he can help our OWN country next!

    March 18, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  190. Edward Bennett

    Jack,

    My family is the epitome of Middle Class. Does the swing in the economy affect my life? Sure – I get to talk about it every day – it makes my life exciting. 😉

    Is it going to break me? No – unlike some of the interviewees I have seen on CNN the last few weeks, my wife and I have not overextended ourselves the last few years, so realistically, the only notice I have seen in my immediate life is in the price of fuel. Fiscal responsibility is not impossible, and it is a shame the current generations of Americans have not been taught that.

    Edward Bennett, SLC, UT

    March 18, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  191. Adrienne

    Gas and food cost more and my son can't afford to move out. Otherwise we are ok. We bucked conventional wisdom and bought a home and a car that we can afford.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  192. calvin camp

    I quit chewing tobacco.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  193. ron from Upstate NEW YORK

    in my neck of the woods we've been in this mess for quite a long time....politicians promise, but never deliver. now the FED is bailing out big business and ignoring the housing crisis which MR. Greenspan allowed (caused) to occur on his watch...keep an eye out for inflation because soon it will rear it's ugly head...

    March 18, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  194. Jan

    The economy like the weather is cyclical and our family spends and dresses accordingly; we're doing fine. What confounds us is how the current market crisis can come as such a surprise to so many. We are just working people and we understood that the market was overvalued, that credit was being "sold" to those who couldn't truly afford it by any conventional measure, and yet the practice was allowed to continue unabated. We'd like the "sellers" of this erroneous credit held accountable not the taxpayers?

    March 18, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  195. doug henson

    sorry, that's huntington, west virginia

    March 18, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  196. CharrM from Texas

    GREATLY!!!! I reside in Texas under the Governorship of Rick Perry. Following in the unsuccessful footsteps of his surrogate brother George W., Rick is making every Texan feel the pinch of the recently imposed Conviction Surcharges (texas Transportation Code, Chapter 708).

    After losing my job last year, I was stopped due to my license plate light being blown out (Whoa!). My car insurance policy had lapsed 2 weeks prior to the stop and I received a Driver Responsibility citation as well. After paying the hefty citation of $450 in January and renewing my policy, I thought my troubles were over. Little did I know that I would receive a Conviction Surcharge Notice in the mail today totaling $260. I was furious!

    The nerve of the state government to cannivingly make us pay for its Mexican-Canadian SuperHighway without our permission is appalling... Not only is this surcharge costly despite paying for the actual citation, if the surcharge is not paid within 30 whopping days, my driver's license will be suspended. These surcharges range from $104 up to $2000+...

    I believe that the economy would be better if American just begins anew - impeach them (elected officials) all!!! We need some r&r from these tired and outdated "Got'cha Tactics" they play. I am tired of being double-dipped in Texas!

    March 18, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  197. Barry, Miami, FL

    I think this recession will affect me less than the last recession – why? Because I lost nearly everything in the LAST George Bush recession. Being burned more than once will make you frugal in a hurry. People, you need to live within your means: To the slimy realtors who told me to buy more house than I could afford I say: HAH!. I bought a cheaper house. To the slimy mortgage brokers who tried to get me into variable rate mortgages I say HAH! I got a 30 year fixed. I'm not a college graduate but I live within my means and did my research work. My grandmother, who lived through the Great Depression, taught me well. I'm surviving. Thank goodness George Bush can't get a third term, though, otherwise my survivability might really get challanged.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  198. Rich in Albany, NY

    I'm doing ok. We still have our jobs, and we haven't had to tap our 401ks, but we certainly have to think about the cost of groceries and gas much more than we used to. I just spent almost $40 to fill up my 10 gallon Honda Civic!

    Why is it that the Feds can cut rates without even thinking about the effect it will have on inflation? Anything to keep the banks and Wall Street happy I suppose...

    March 18, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  199. Nancy

    the Feds just cut interest rates again – whopee! Whopee my ass. Retired and living on fixed income and money derived from investments that keep loosing money! C.D. rate of 2.30%!

    March 18, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  200. JDM from MN

    We were much better of in the 90's under Clinton. I miss those times. Bush needs to be held accountable for his ill advised tax cuts for the wealthy and the abundantly increasing debt, crisis in home foreclosures, and high gas prices along with rising insurance and Medicare costs. So, I say take him and his administrations to court and sue for damages. It seems to me these are crimes against the middle class.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:47 pm |
  201. Rick

    I have never made so much money and been so poor all at the same time.

    This economy is killing me!

    March 18, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  202. Hal

    The country's economic problems are not affecting me at all. In fact, in some ways they help me because I've never owned a home and if I want to buy one they are much more affordable now.

    A big reason I'm doing well is because commuting to work has not cost me a penny since 2005. From 2005- 2007 I biked to work (in Alaska, when temps were sometimes in 40s and 50s BELOW) and now I live in Colorado where I bike to a Park-n-Ride, where I catch a bus that is completely paid for by my employer.

    I don't say these things to brag, but to point out that simple choices are what really affect people- not the government's decisions. I moved from Alaska last year and chose Colorado because, among other things, life is healthy here with great bike paths and public transportation.

    Part of the problem is the fault of U.S. citizens, who demand a suburban lifestyle that includes living far from work and shopping and this requires a car. Part of the problem is that most of the U.S. has very poor mass transportation and bike/ walking paths. The suburban model really does not work, and eventually impoverishes people.

    March 18, 2008 at 6:38 pm |
  203. Tiffani

    Jack,

    What life? In past month my husband was laid off, hence no insurance and I fell breaking a rib. Going to the hospital was not an option. Unemployment screwed us out of 2 weeks pay and food stamps are a maybe within 30-45 days. Now, one month later, my hubby was called back to work and I'm still in bed worrying how we are going to eat while our tax dollars are bailing out CEOs with obnoxious salaries at Bear Stearns. Only in America!!!

    March 18, 2008 at 6:40 pm |
  204. William

    Should have listened to Ron Paul.

    March 18, 2008 at 6:41 pm |
  205. Armand Hargett

    Obama's speech today was excellent, end of story!

    March 18, 2008 at 6:42 pm |
  206. Jay

    Jack, two things will happen in Los Angeles as the price of everything, including gas goes vertical. 1) We will have fewer cars on the road, making for a much easier cross town commute. 2) We will appreciate the advantage of open roads as we dodge the gun-fire caused by the harsh financial times. Hey, I have a Prius. Happy Motoring.

    Jay
    Pasadena, CA

    March 18, 2008 at 6:43 pm |
  207. Tim Legendre

    It hasn't been too bad for me since i've been raised to be cheap, but I do feel bad for other people around my age who are dating. The cost of women were astronomical years ago. I can only imagine how far into debt those people are going to be now.

    Port Neches, Tx

    March 18, 2008 at 6:43 pm |
  208. mike

    of course i'd rather be paying $2.29 for gas than $3.29. but you know what, i didn't buy a new car or truck every time my neighbor did. when times were good, we saved. and when times were bad, we still saved. as clint eastwood said in the dirty harry movie, a man's got to know his limitations. as a whole, we're too happy to celebrate the good times. we tend to forget, a rainy day is coming.

    March 18, 2008 at 6:43 pm |
  209. C Cipov

    Chicken little the sky is falling. I shop longer before making purchases. I try harder to buy American products. I plan my shopping routes more carefully to save gas. What makes me really angry is that the country and the media sound shocked by what is happening. The value of the dollar has been sinking since 2002. Last year I heard that the value of the dollar had dropped 40% since 2002 and has continued to drop. We need to stop looking for scapegoats and face the facts. I want to puke when I hear politicians refer to the United States as the richest nation in the world - we are the greatest debitor nation in the world.

    March 18, 2008 at 6:44 pm |
  210. Buzz Anderson

    Hello Jack,

    This last month it has finally started to really hit home. We are cutting back on everything but essentials now. We don't go out at all. Movies? A thing of the past. Treats for ourselves? Not any more. Trips? You have got to be kidding. I use to go to Vegas to visit family and friends at least 4 to 5 times a year. Now it's one time a year and that will be later this year.

    Going to amusment parks? Not anymore. They have gotten outrageous as well. We have let this criminal administration do it's best to strangle America just like the Neo Cons have been wanting to do for so many years. Their Mission Statement: To strangle the American enconomy in a bathtub until it is dead, dead dead.

    IT's working. Soon, nothing but the rich, the working poor and a tiny managment class....just like it has been for centuries except for the last one hundred years.

    March 18, 2008 at 6:44 pm |
  211. Herbert Keltsch

    Dear Jack;
    As a Native-American living here, things have always been bad, so, welcome to the block

    March 18, 2008 at 6:45 pm |