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November 20th, 2009
06:10 PM ET

Faith in govt. to do something about soaring debt?

How much faith do you have the government will do anything meaningful about the soaring national debt?

How much faith do you have the government will do anything meaningful about the soaring national debt?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty

The national debt has hit a record high of $12 trillion - which translates to about $40,000 for every person in this country.

And what's particularly troubling is the rate at which it continues to grow... increasing by almost 5 trillion dollars during the 8 years of Pres. Bush... followed by another $1.6 trillion increase so far under President Obama.

It's no surprise when you consider all the spending - wars, bailouts, stimulus package, etc. - under the current administration. Also - the recession and record unemployment mean there are fewer tax dollars coming in to offset spending.

But the debt is also costing us big bucks to maintain: the interest alone on the u-s debt in the next decade is expected to be near $5 trillion. And if interest rates go up, and they will at some point, the price will be even higher.

In 2015, the estimated interest due will be equal to one-third of all federal incomes taxes expected to be paid that year.

Pres. Obama has pledged to take "serious steps" to reduce America's debt. Really? When? Maybe after we spend close to another trillion dollars we don't have for health care reform.

And - with a mid-term election coming up next year, good luck getting the politicians to make tough decisions on tax hikes or spending cuts. The only thing they're willing to cut is the taxpayer's throat.

Here's my question to you: How much faith do you have the government will do anything meaningful about the soaring national debt?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?
FULL POST


Filed under: National debt
November 20th, 2009
02:01 PM ET

Taxing Botox, liposuction to pay for health care reform?

Senate Democrats are proposing a 5% excise tax on elective cosmetic procedures.

Senate Democrats are proposing a 5% excise tax on elective cosmetic procedures.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty

Something called "Botax" might help pay for health care reform. The name derives from a tax on Botox... which in the case of some Hollywood types could raise millions.

Senate Democrats are proposing a 5% excise tax on elective cosmetic procedures... that includes things like Botox injections, breast implants, tummy tucks, face lifts, liposuction, teeth whitening, eyelid repairs, etc.

The tax would bring in an estimated $6 billion over 10 years and wouldn't apply to cosmetic surgery meant to fix a deformity or injury.

Drug makers and plastic surgeons think this is a terrible idea. The company that makes Botox calls it an "easy target" and says the tax is "unnecessarily punitive".

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons says it will hurt countless American women of every income level - that it's not just a tax on "wealthy, suburban Republican women."

They claim the tax would come at a particularly difficult economic time - when many women are trying to spruce up their looks as they search for jobs. I would offer that if you're out of work you probably wouldn't be getting Botox injections... but hey, what do I know?

It could have been worse. Lobbyists apparently succeeded in persuading lawmakers to reduce the tax from 10%, which would have brought in $11 billion over a decade.

Over the summer, many thought that Democrats weren't serious about the cosmetic surgery tax... but Harry Reid and Co. brought it back because they "needed money to make the bill work"."

SO HERE'S MY QUESTION TO YOU: Should the government tax cosmetic procedures like Botox, tummy tucks and liposuction to help pay for health care reform?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Health care
November 20th, 2009
02:00 PM ET

Should Rudy Giuliani pursue a career in national politics?

Rudy Giuliani may have his eye on becoming the next U.S. Senator from New York.

Rudy Giuliani may have his eye on becoming the next U.S. Senator from New York.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty

Rudy Giuliani may have his eye on becoming the next U.S. Senator from New York.

The Daily News reports that the former New York mayor is strongly considering a run next year for Hillary Clinton's old Senate seat - now filled by Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.

A Giuliani spokeswoman says he hasn't made any decisions yet... quote "Rudy has a history of making up his own mind and has no problem speaking it" unquote... adding that when he decides, he'll tell New Yorkers on his own.

The National Republican Congressional Committee says it wouldn't be appropriate to comment on any "unannounced candidates"... although they say "any credible Republican" could have a good shot at capturing New York's senate seat.

Giuliani had earlier been considering a run for governor - but reports now say he's decided against it. Some claim that's because Giuliani would have likely lost the governor's race to potential Democratic candidate Andrew Cuomo – while he may have a better chance to win a senate run.

The Daily News report also suggests Giuliani could use a U.S. Senate seat as a stepping stone to run for president in 2012.

Been there, done that - and not very well either. In 2008 – Giuliani was an early favorite for the Republican presidential nomination.

But he self-destructed when he decided against putting a lot of time into the early-voting states like Iowa and New Hampshire... he skipped the South Carolina primary - planned to win big in Florida. He got clobbered…and that was that.

Here's my question to you: Should Rudy Giuliani pursue a career in national politics?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?
FULL POST


Filed under: Rudy Giuliani