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February 3rd, 2010
07:00 PM ET

Is now the time for one of the largest federal payrolls ever?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

"The era of big government is over"... that's what President Bill Clinton told the nation in 1996... before cutting hundreds of thousands of federal government jobs. But guess what? They're back… and then some.

According to President Obama's proposed budget - the number of federal government employees will grow to nearly $2.15 million this year - the largest federal workforce's in modern history. AND - this doesn't even include postal workers or the more than 7.6 million federal contract workers.

Since the recession began - 200,000 workers have been added to the federal government payrolls. Have they ever heard of layoffs? During the same time, the private sector was downsizing to the tune of about 7 million lost jobs.

With the country looking at a $1.6 trillion deficit just this year - a record - as well as a more than $12 trillion in national debt - also a record - it seems worth asking if this is the right time for more government employees. One expert says it's a matter of time before Republicans, Tea Partiers, etc. go after the president on this issue.

Perhaps it's time for a federal hiring freeze except for jobs related to national security, public safety, etc. That way the workforce would decline through attrition as older federal workers retire.

But that would require political courage.

Here’s my question to you: In light of record deficits, is now the time for one of the largest federal payrolls ever?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Deficit • Economy
February 3rd, 2010
06:00 PM ET

Would you choose to live to be 100?

ALT TEXT

(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Imagine taking a pill that could help you live to be 100 years old.

Scientists expect such a drug to be ready for testing within three years; and they claim the pill could revolutionize aging.

Here's the deal: Researchers have identified three so-called Supergenes that allow those who have them to live to 100 years.

Two of these genes produce what is referred to as good cholesterol, which reduces the risk of heart disease and strokes. The third gene protects against diabetes.

People born with these three genes are 20 times more likely to reach 100 years old - even if they're overweight, heavy smokers, have a bad diet or don't exercise. In other words - they can maintain these unhealthy habits and still live longer. Those with these three genes in their DNA are also 80 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease.

Now that scientists have identified these Supergenes, they're trying to develop a pill that will duplicate those genes so anyone can live that long.

Experts say this will eventually mean longer and healthier lives for millions of people.

However, the social implications of something like this are immense. We are already overpopulating the planet. And just think about the costs of Social Security, Medicare, etc. if more and more people start making it to 100.

Here’s my question to you: Would you choose to live to be 100?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Longevity • Uncategorized
February 3rd, 2010
05:00 PM ET

How can U.S. reduce deficit when lawmakers won’t support budget cuts in their own backyards?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Turns out some lawmakers are all about fiscal restraint - as long as the cuts don't affect their constituents. Not in my backyard, right?

Pres. Obama speaks on the 2011 budget in the White House Grand Foyer. The budget includes billions of dollars for job programs and mandates deficit cutting.

Pres. Obama speaks on the 2011 budget in the White House Grand Foyer. The budget includes billions of dollars for job programs and mandates deficit cutting.

Politico reports about fiscal hawks who are now balking at Pres. Obama's proposed budget cuts. For example:

  • Republican Sen. George LeMieux of Florida: He called the president's proposed freeze on some federal spending too little-too late. But now he says the president's proposed $3.5 billion cut in the NASA budget makes no sense. LeMieux says there should be "cost-cutting everywhere;" but apparently that doesn't include NASA.
  • Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu - often against big government - is criticizing the proposal to end tax breaks for oil and gas companies in her home state of Louisiana.
  • Republican Sen. Jim DeMint - one of the most fiscally conservative of the bunch - says raising taxes on corporations as a way to trim the deficit is the quote "coward's way out."

And on it goes... Missouri's senators - one Democrat and one Republican - are against the president's plans to cut out spending on the C-17 aircraft... the manufacturing represents lots of jobs in St. Louis. And coal-state lawmakers are unhappy with the president's call to eliminate tax breaks for that industry

With midterm elections sneaking up around the corner - once again, politics will trump all. To hell with the nation's skyrocketing deficits. These lawmakers talk a good game about cutting spending, but at the end of the day, that's all it is: Talk.

Here’s my question to you: How can the U.S. reduce deficits when most lawmakers won’t support budget cuts in their own backyards?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Deficit • Government • Senate and Congress