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April 15th, 2008
06:00 PM ET

Answer to rapidly rising food prices?

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(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Food inflation in the U.S. is at its highest level in 17 years and might get worse.

The rising cost of everything from milk to eggs to chicken is hurting many Americans – especially the poor. It's also tough on businesses, like bakeries and delis, who have to explain price increases to their customers.

Last year, U.S. food prices rose 4%. That's compared with an average 2.5% increase for the last 15 years. And the government says that 2008 could be even worse, perhaps as high as 4.5%.

For many poor people, costlier food means having to give something else up in order to eat. The Food Bank of New Jersey says the sticker shock could cause some of the poorest Americans to go hungry. They say a family of 4 is eligible for a maximum $542 a month in food stamps. They say that never lasted the whole month before and now lasts for even fewer days.

The price jumps for various foods are due to many factors, including higher commodity costs for things like wheat, corn, soybeans and milk along with higher energy and transportation costs.

And these higher costs aren't just an issue here at home. Economists say that in Bangladesh, for example, 30 million of the country's 150 million people could be going hungry. In Haiti, the prime minister was booted over the weekend due to food riots.

Here’s my question to you: What's the answer to rapidly rising food prices?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

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Filed under: Food Prices • US Economy
April 15th, 2008
02:16 PM ET

BET founder brings race back into the race

 Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

BET Founder Bob Johnson. Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The billionaire founder of Black Entertainment Television says Barack Obama wouldn't be his party's leading presidential candidate if he was white.

Hillary Clinton supporter Bob Johnson has revived comments previously made by Geraldine Ferraro, telling The Charlotte Observer,

"What I believe Ferraro meant is that if you take a freshman senator from Illinois called 'Jerry Smith' and he says I'm going to run for president, would he start off with 90 percent of the black vote? And the answer is, probably not... Geraldine Ferraro said it right. The problem is, Geraldine Ferraro is white. This campaign has such a hair-trigger on anything racial ... it is almost impossible for anybody to say anything."

Ferraro stepped down last month as an adviser to the Clinton campaign after she said something similar.

Obama's campaign calls the latest remarks "just one in a long line of absurd comments by Johnson and other Clinton supporters who will say or do anything to get the nomination." They say the American people are tired of this kind of politics.

Johnson also says Obama is likely to win the nomination and that he has the support of the "liberal media."

He stirred up controversy earlier in the campaign when he referred to Obama and "what he was doing in the neighborhood." Many took that as a reference to drug use, although Johnson later insisted he was talking about Obama's time as a community organizer.

Here’s my question to you: What is your reaction to BET founder and Clinton supporter Bob Johnson saying Barack Obama wouldn't be where he is if he were white?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

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Filed under: 2008 Election • Barack Obama