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July 20th, 2009
06:00 PM ET

How committed are you to U.S. continuing war in Afghanistan?

The war in Afghanistan could soon become a real test for the young Obama administration. The Taliban has posted a video online of a young Idaho solider captured there.

Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl shown here in a video made by his captors, members of the Taliban.

In the video - Bowe Bergdahl is prompted by his captors to beg for the withdrawal of U.S. troops, saying the U.S. is wasting time and lives there. The 23-year-old says he misses his friends and family and is scared he won't be able to go home.

The U.S. has condemned the video as a violation of international law.

Meanwhile - after eight years of war in Afghanistan - a new Gallup poll shows 36 percent of Americans say the U.S. involvement there was a mistake; compared to the 58 percent who say our involvement in Iraq was a mistake. 54 percent of those surveyed say things are going well for the U.S. in Afghanistan.

But public support may not last forever. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says U.S.-led forces must show progress there by next summer; otherwise the American people will believe the war has become un-winnable.

Gates says victory in Afghanistan is a "long-term prospect," and that after the Iraq experience, the American people won't have the stomach for a "long slog" in another conflict: "The troops are tired; the American people are pretty tired."

The U.S. recently sent an additional 21,000 troops to Afghanistan - after a year that saw a significant increase in extremist attacks against U.S. and NATO troops.

Here's my question to you: How committed are you to the United States continuing the war in Afghanistan?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

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Filed under: Afghanistan • United States
July 20th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Fair to soak the rich to pay for health care reform?

As the debate over paying for health care reform takes center stage, it seems like the rich could wind up with the heaviest burden. Democrats want to hit the rich with even higher income taxes to pay for the proposed overhaul; along with limiting deductions that wealthy families take for mortgage interest and charity contributions.

Taxing the rich to pay for health insurance would mark a significant difference from how this country has paid for safety net programs. For example, both Social Security and Medicare are funded by payroll taxes that affect all Americans.

It’s estimated a single taxpayer making $450,000 a year would pay $7,100 a year more in taxes, while a family making that much would pay an additional $1,000. Meanwhile - a single taxpayer making $5 million a year would pay $452,000 more in taxes; while a family at that income level would pay $443,000 more.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she wants to soften the proposal by making it apply only to families that make $1 million; and individuals that make more than $500,000.

Republicans are pushing back big time. They say some taxpayers would wind up facing tax rates above 50-percent when you combine federal and state taxes.

The White House has problems on this issue. A new poll shows approval of the president's handling of health care has fallen below 50 percent for the first time.

Here’s my question to you: Is it fair to soak the rich to pay for health care reform?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Health care