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January 28th, 2010
07:00 PM ET

How confident are you in govt's ability to create jobs?

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(PHOTO CREDIT: Justin Sullivan/GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Jobs, jobs, jobs.

That was one of President Obama's top priorities in last night's State of the Union address.

The president is calling for a "jobs bill" from Congress right away. More specifically, Mr. Obama wants to give a tax break to companies that hire workers - to get rid of capital gains tax on small business investments - and he wants 30 billion dollars of TARP money to help local banks lend to small businesses.

The president also wants to put more federal dollars into so-called green jobs and infrastructure projects - and to extend unemployment benefits to Americans still out of work.

But economists say fixing the jobs situation won't be quick or easy... that it will take a strong economic expansion to get things going again.

The national employment rate is at 10-percent, up from seven-percent when Mr. Obama took office; and just today, the government reported last week's first time claims for unemployment fell, but not by as much as expected.

Meanwhile a new poll suggests that Americans agree it's hard to land a "quality" job.

The Gallup poll shows that only nine-percent of Americans say now is a good time to find a quality job; that number is down sharply from January 2007 - when 48-percent of those surveyed were optimistic about finding a quality job.

And, this bleak outlook on finding a quality job is consistent across all ages, incomes, genders, and different regions of the country.

This means not only does the Obama administration need to worry about lowering unemployment and increasing the quantity of jobs, but the quality as well.

Here’s my question to you: How confident are you in the government's ability to create jobs?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

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January 28th, 2010
06:00 PM ET

Should NASA's plans to return to the moon be scrapped for budgetary reasons?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

No more Americans on the moon - at least not now.

The Orlando Sentinel reports that when President Obama releases his budget proposal Monday, there will be no money for the Constellation program - which was supposed to return humans to the moon by 2020.

Also on the chopping block will be plans to develop a new rocket to replace the space shuttle; and a new cargo rocket - meant to launch supplies and fuel that would one day be needed to extend human life beyond earth's orbit.

In place of the planned moon landing program, the administration is touting what it calls a "very significant program." And insists that canceling the moon plans doesn't mean the president is abandoning exploration and human spaceflight.

Officials point to a new $6 billion project to develop commercial rockets that could take astronauts into orbit. They're calling on American companies to get involved and help develop private space taxis.

And they say this is all part of a larger plan to increase NASA's budget by about $1.3 billion annually over the next five years to increase research and development and extend the life of the International Space Station, among other things.

But - no mention of developing a so-called heavy-lift rocket capable of taking humans beyond the space station.

Here’s my question to you: Should NASA's plans to return to the moon be scrapped for budgetary reasons?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Economy
January 28th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

Should Hillary Clinton challenge Obama in 2012?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

They nearly tore the Democratic Party apart the first time around, yet some are hoping for a Hillary Clinton/Barack Obama rematch in 2012.

(FILE PHOTO) Clinton and Obama during the April 2008 debate in Philadelphia.

(FILE PHOTO) Clinton and Obama during the April 2008 debate in Philadelphia.

When President Obama brought Clinton on-board as his Secretary of State after a long and bitter battle in the primaries, many saw it as a smart move to unite the party and get Hillary on board. It was compared to when Abraham Lincoln brought his "team of rivals" into his cabinet.

Fast-forward a year - there's a piece in U.S. News and World Report suggesting that a lot of Democrats are worried about the ongoing decline in President Obama's approval ratings. When you add in the recent losses in Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts and the president's unsuccessful bid - so far - for health care, it has some Democrats running for the hills.

Similar circumstances helped the late Senator Ted Kennedy challenge the incumbent Democratic President Jimmy Carter in 1980.

For her part, Clinton tells PBS she is "absolutely not interested" in running again for president. But in the same interview, she suggests she is a one-term secretary of state. Clinton says considering the demands of the job, eight years would be very challenging.

No doubt all this has helped stoke chatter about Clinton leaving the cabinet sometime in the president's first term - perhaps over a matter of principle - so she could be in place to challenge Mr. Obama in the primaries in 2012.

For Hillary's supporters, it might just be wishful thinking, but history suggests it's not a good idea to ever count a Clinton out.

Here’s my question to you: Should Hillary Clinton challenge President Obama in 2012?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST

January 28th, 2010
01:00 PM ET
January 28th, 2010
12:30 PM ET