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December 15th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

Do you expect to be better or worse off one year from now?

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(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

As millions of Americans continue to suffer from the troubled economy, there are signs that things may be looking up. It's very slow going, but there are some glimmers of hope.

For millions of Americans it's about a job - and unemployment remains stubbornly high, at just under 10 percent.

But economists have a more optimistic outlook for 2011: They're predicting three percent growth in GDP next year. It's not a runaway train, but not terrible either compared to where we've been. Experts have also reduced the odds of a double-dip recession to only about 15 percent.

However, the Federal Reserve struck a cautious note on economic recovery yesterday, saying it is "continuing, though at a rate that has been insufficient to bring down unemployment."

The extension of the Bush tax cuts - which passed the Senate a few hours ago - will likely become law soon, as will the extension of unemployment benefits. These measures should bring added relief to nearly everyone.

As for government spending, there's a new sheriff in charge of the Congress.

Republicans are vowing to tackle spending next year after the tax cut extension goes through. It remains to be seen how serious they are about spending cuts - or if they too will continue to add to our $13-plus trillion national debt.

For investors, the stock market is behaving okay, and businesses have a lot of cash on hand. If they ever become convinced things are finally on the mend, they can start hiring and investing.

So how do you think all these ripples in the economy will affect you and your family?

Here’s my question to you: Do you expect to be better or worse off one year from now?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Dave in Vancouver writes:
We'll all be better off a year from now. One year is "short term" in the economic scheme of things. It's two or three years down the road that we've got to worry about, when all the global stimulus spending has worked its way through the system and the pumps runs dry, and all the houses of cards come tumbling down. Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain are mere foreshadowing, canaries in the coal mine.

Renee in Peoria, Illinois writes:
I'm guardedly optimistic that I'll be better off in a year's time. Unfortunately, I have little control over the matter. After all, the same people who caused the recession just retook control of Congress and I'm poor. The day the GOP bends over backwards to help the poor, I will know for certain the apocalypse is upon us.

Brian writes:
I honestly think I will be better off. The government needs to focus on job creation instead of the debt. For once in my life, I have faith in the Republicans.

Amanda in Reseda, California writes:
I will be better off. My country, I'm not so sure. Maybe this is the natural cycle of entropy that all empires must go through, or maybe we're just doomed by our own hubris, but I don't see any way out of this economic calamity for the U.S. Some people will weather it, and some will be destroyed by it. I personally have already lost nearly everything, but things are starting to look up, and I expect the trend to continue, at least personally.

Jeff in North Carolina writes:
Things were supposed to get better this year. Remember the "summer of recovery?" I don't have much hope for next year either.

Burt in Arizona writes:
I'm on Social Security. With the deficit looming due to the extension of the Bush tax cuts, inflation will increase. With no cost of living for Social Security, I will be worse off.

Jan writes:
To borrow a line from Jim Morrison and the Doors: "I've been down so very damn long, that it looks like up to me."


Filed under: Longevity • Recession • Unemployment • Unemployment / Economy
soundoff (103 Responses)
  1. Amanda Sowards

    (from Reseda, California)

    I will be better off. My country, I'm not so sure. Maybe this is the natural cycle of entropy that all empires must go through, or maybe we're just doomed by our own hubris, but I don't see any way out of this economic calamity for the US. Some people will weather, and some will be destroyed by it. I personally have already lost nearly everything, but things are starting to look up, and I expect the trend to continue, at least personally.

    December 15, 2010 at 2:13 pm |
  2. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Since we don't have millions in the bank and are retired and I am unable to work, financially worse. Just want to be as good or better physically. I just feel sorry for my kids and grandkids because I don't believe their tough enough to face the future.

    December 15, 2010 at 2:28 pm |
  3. BOB K YOUNGSTOWN OHIO

    Both....All the Republicans running or thinking about running for President will be telling me that I am worse off and only they can help me. The Democrats will be telling me I am better off, but I need to elect them so that it gets even better. Or if I don't want to listen to the rhetoric of campaigning politicians, MSNBC will tell me how things have gotten better the past year, and FOXNEWS will be more than willing to tell me how bad I have it. Seems that we have the best of both worlds and just don't appreciate it. Only in America.

    December 15, 2010 at 2:30 pm |
  4. Tina Tx

    I wil still be the same. Fixed income. No cost of living raise. No 250.00 this year. Taxes stay the same. Tax cuts will not help me and I am looking at cans of dog food since everything is going up and I am going to have to start eating cheaper but I am grateful the rich are getting richer.

    December 15, 2010 at 2:35 pm |
  5. Tom Bulger, Canandaigua

    I'm not part of the 2% of the country's wealthiest. I'm part of the 98% that provides them bail outs. With Republicans in charge of the House, they'll not only be bailing out the rich they'll be apologizing for the President calling them to task.

    December 15, 2010 at 2:40 pm |
  6. John from Alabama

    Jack: I expect things to be better in one year. How much better depends on hiring of unemployed people, and maybe the housing market might improve over the next year. The best news would be consumers start to spend without using credit cards. Consumer confidence would improve the economy greatly.

    December 15, 2010 at 2:45 pm |
  7. Kathie

    Don't have to wait until next year as things are worsening as we speak. Our real estate taxes in Kenosha, Wisconsin up nearly 20% while properties devalued by over 22%, insurance premiums up with increased deductibles and coverage, gas prices escalating, foreclosures and job loss up and irresponsible elected officials at ALL levels of government who are comletely out of touch with the struggles of those they are supposedly representing.

    December 15, 2010 at 2:50 pm |
  8. Conor in Chicago

    I expect I will be wielding a weapon and shooting fellow Americans by April once the Republicans decide to destroy this country in the name of corporate profits and Jesus. This of course will happen with the debt ceiling vote.

    December 15, 2010 at 2:51 pm |
  9. Matt

    Jack

    I expect to be better off next year because I am going to count my blessings and be thankful for what I have. I am not going to wish for more nor ask for more. I am going to live my life the opposite of how federal and state legislators lead their political lives and will be content with what is truly important.

    Matt
    Rockford, IL

    December 15, 2010 at 2:53 pm |
  10. Bizz Quarryville Pennsylvania

    For the most part I expect to be the same, treading water and trying to keep from drowning. But I am getting tire and not sure how long I can keep my head above water. I hope the trickle down theory will trickle me down a life jacket soon.

    December 15, 2010 at 3:01 pm |
  11. Rich McKinney, Texas

    There is absolutely nothing that our politicians have done or are doing that is going to make anything better next year. We can always dream I suppose but we can not feed our families on dreams Jack. The longer people are out of work in this country the fewer tax dollars that will be sent to Washington to run the country. That means next year that money has to come from somewhere. Our government is not getting any smaller or financially sharper and with 2 wars still ongoing it is not looking good for the home team in 2011.

    December 15, 2010 at 3:02 pm |
  12. Russ in PA

    Without a doubt I'll be worse off next year, as Congress continues to spend money and enact worthless laws. I wonder how many people are now regretting that they didn't vote for Ron Paul when they had the chance?

    December 15, 2010 at 3:04 pm |
  13. Gary H. Boyd

    Right now I'm not broke - just badly bent. Time was I had concern about such things. Paying my bills, staying out of debt, putting money aside for a rainy day and on and on. But, no more Jack. I've adopted the same attitude as our federal government - the hell with frugality. I'm gonna spend my way into the poor house and then go on welfare.

    December 15, 2010 at 3:04 pm |
  14. Joanne B

    Worse, as a result of the spending like drunken skunks the congress will have to cut many programs – some people have paid into for 50 yrs..yes the poor and seniors will pay through the nose.
    The Bond market will force serious changes as well
    Watch the people shake the chandeliers of these clowns in Wa as they are now spending money like there is no tomorrow.
    Joanne

    December 15, 2010 at 3:13 pm |
  15. southerncousin

    I feel I will be better off. I won't have the leadership of Congress calling me names anymore. I will probably still be called an "enemy" and "hostage taker," by our inept, incompetent, corrupt, lying, union toady president, but he should be pretty well checked by that time and just waiting to be beaten in 2012. Provided we can stifle the dope addicts, we should have the economy pretty well on its way to recovery.

    December 15, 2010 at 3:30 pm |
  16. HURRICANEPAUL from Hawaii

    Jack, the extensions for those collecting unemployment will be a burden for the employers who have to pay into the system.

    The less money employers have, the less money they will have to hire people.

    December 15, 2010 at 3:35 pm |
  17. Tony from Southport

    Probably worse off because there will be no cost of living increase in social security and the cost of living is going up. My medicare rates will increase, causing my check to be less than it was this year. Other premiums for supplemental and prescription plans are going up. If taxes on businesses and their health care costs go up, so will their products and that will increase my costs. At 68 years of age, I have to be concerned that my wife and I don't get any illness that might be too costly to be covered under the new Obamacare which might deny our treatment.

    Yes Jack, we will be worse off than now, unless the new Congress can bring sanity back to this country and fix the gusher of money going out the window.

    December 15, 2010 at 3:45 pm |
  18. Dave, Orlando, FL

    Worse off – hands down! When has an economist ever been right about the economy? When has the Fed ever been concerned about unemployment except its own (when JFK put them out of business in 1963)? And that new sheriff? We all know he has no regard for the middle class.

    I never expected Obama, or anyone, could have turned the country around in four years, let alone a couple of years. But what we seem to have is a president who is running as fast and as hard as he can in the wrong direction.

    December 15, 2010 at 3:50 pm |
  19. Ken New Baltimore

    It can't get much worse. We sold our home for $90,000 even though it was valued at $150,000+. Social Security has been frozen for 2 years now. As seniors, This has put a real dent in our financial future. One hope. ObamaCare's death panel will most likely deny our claims so we will die before using up our nest egg. Wish we could live beyond our means and borrow for the rest of our lives like Congress does.

    December 15, 2010 at 3:53 pm |
  20. KDS Irvine, CA

    Jack I don't think anyone can honestly answer that question. If there is anything we have learned from this recession, is that there is no such thing as job security. As for the unemployment numbers. They are wrong. That ten percent only counts for those who are currently collecting unemployment benefits. That figure does not count for people who's unemployment benefits ran out and college kids with fancy degrees who can't find a job. In all honesty, the unemployment rate is around 18% but nobody wants to admit how bad it is. Only time will tell.

    December 15, 2010 at 3:56 pm |
  21. Rob in NC

    Worse. The teachers in my county just heard that about 100 more teachers would be losing their jobs next year. Even if I manage to keep mine, I will be looking at 40 -45 kids in my room next year. We haven't had an increase in pay in 4 years – yet the price of everything else keeps going up. But at least I have a job.... for now. Rob in NC

    December 15, 2010 at 3:58 pm |
  22. Pat in michigan

    If I can get anyone to buy my home I will take the money and leave the united states.We are done as a nation and our own elected politicians took it down .No enemies really had to fire a shot.

    December 15, 2010 at 4:00 pm |
  23. cal

    falling waters wv

    no one can fore see the whats coming. the way our goverment is being run it dosen't look good. we miss a chance to throw out all the old one and replace them with new ones' now it back to our goverment saleing there vote for there gain. to them were are sheep who can be led with lie's.the only one who will gain are the democrates and the rep. more lie's and dirty tricks

    December 15, 2010 at 4:00 pm |
  24. Paulette in Dallas,PA

    Personally,I think my family will be about the same. I'm not certain about the country though. The rich will keep getting wealtheir and any cuts to be made will come off the hides of senior citizens in social security and medicare ,childrens programs, and those already in poverty. We are becoming more each day a two class society- the "haves" and the "have nots." They have successfully eliminated the middle class and the American Dream.

    December 15, 2010 at 4:03 pm |
  25. Olga

    I am believing the Republicans that claim with the extension of ush tax cuts remaining in place, resulting in jobs, jobs, jobs.

    I say that it will get better. It cannot get any worse!

    Olga
    Austin, Texas

    December 15, 2010 at 4:03 pm |
  26. Jim Hughes

    Jack, I'm fully retired and out of the job market. This will be the second year I don't get my cost of living increases. I don't see prices at the grocery store, or anywhere else for that matter, going down any.

    I try to live on a budget, that don't always work out as well as planned.

    All in all, I won't be doing any better, but I don't see that I'll be doing much worse.

    Jim / Boise, Idaho

    December 15, 2010 at 4:04 pm |
  27. david seattle

    given the nature of obama's politricks and continued accomodation to big business that already bought off our govt i expect to the overall nature of things will continue the second rate feel presently bringing our country closer to 3rd world quality...

    December 15, 2010 at 4:05 pm |
  28. Chandler in Rockaway, NJ

    Jack,
    I will be worse off next year. The clowns in Washington admit that jobs are a problem, then go off on their own agendas without the slightest effort to fix the jobs catastrophe. Next year the Republicans, who are openly contemptuous of anyone who has to work for a living, will block any attempt to repair the economy. I will never get back the money, benefits and security I had when the company where I worked for 27 years cast me out 10 years ago. No one will hire anyone in their 50s for a real job, and next year I will turn 60. Next year, my 401k will be exhausted, and I will lose my health care and my house. If I am very, very lucky, next year I will fulfill the Republican retirement plan for poor people, and die.

    December 15, 2010 at 4:11 pm |
  29. shanda mencsik

    They cut of my unemployment today, one week before Christmas. I been one of those people looking for a job like crazy and have had no luck. Tell the goverment Thanks for doing this one week before Christmas.

    December 15, 2010 at 4:13 pm |
  30. Ed from California

    I hope we're all better off next year. I can only hope those who are unemployed, those being counted and those who fell off the rolls and are not being counted, can all find a decent job, and soon.

    I worry as we bleed jobs off to foreign countries. I worry about a new House of Representatives that is devoted solely to the rich and their demands. And no one is calling them out, and that goes mainly to the Democrats.

    We borrow trillions of dollars from Saudi Arabia and communist China and we're borrowing more, to pay for, Tax cuts for the wealthy, an inheritance give-away, Tax cuts to American corporations who give our jobs to foreign countries, Bailing out the banks and Wall st, Two wars etc.....

    This is like going out for the most expensive dinner you can get and giving the tab to your still unborn great, great, great-grandchild.

    I'm so happy I'm retired!

    December 15, 2010 at 4:16 pm |
  31. Cliff Glass - Rego Park, New York

    Jack,
    The wrong question to ask, but emblematic of how far off course this country has gone. Our concern needs to be not with ourselves, but with our neighbors who have less and face daily choices between food or medicine,or heat.
    Until we do that, we fall further from the ideals that once made this country great.

    December 15, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
  32. katiec Pekin, IL

    Things are going to gradually improve through 2011 and 2012. It will take much longer to get back to where we were, but, do we even want to as was created on quicksand.
    If the republicans start representing our country and us, prove they have concern or even care about our welfare beyond the 2012 election, then perhaps they will work towards the survival of our
    country.

    December 15, 2010 at 4:22 pm |
  33. Griff

    "Well I will be a year older and time is running out, but I hope to finish this Novel by then; so who knows? Nobody will be any worse or better off, more likely just the same. Most things counterbalance themselves, unless you ignore whats happening recently."

    December 15, 2010 at 4:23 pm |
  34. Phil in Port St Lucie, Fl

    NO! Having Republicans with any kind of control will be (and has been) devastating to those people, and their families, who must work for housing and food.
    When will the working class people understand that the Republican Party does not care about or represent them!
    My Republican Congressman voted against investing in the middleclass through "unemployment pay". He DID NOT request input, he, Congressman Tom Rooney, in South Florida, said emphatically "NO!" to helping those that have no employment.
    Republicans worship "Gold Idols" only!

    December 15, 2010 at 4:24 pm |
  35. John ,,,, marlton nj

    Economically, I expect to be a little better off next year. This is the same expectation I have everyyear.

    What troubles me are the constant drumbeat and theater of numbers from the left, such as:
    1. Tax break to rich – can we please find a journalist that will show a pie chart, of how much the 'rich' already pay of the total taxes.

    2. During the Bush years unemployment hovered around 5% and today it is 10%. Yes, every effort must be made to create jobs but
    we must consider two realities; those not working during Bush are the same ones not working during Obama and probably won't work after Obama and there is still 90% employment, versus 75% during the depression.

    December 15, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
  36. Dee in New Paris Ohio

    With Boehner and the Reps at the helm I can only anticipate disaster.

    Under the previous Rep administration we lost just about everything we had, and now they are wanting to do away with Social Security (don't let them fool you when they say they do not want to do that), I wonder how we will be able to live.

    December 15, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
  37. denny smith

    My company a defense contractor in Arizona will be laying of 30% of the employees starting in January. They would have started the layoff during the Christmas week, but they did not want to be portrayed as scrooges during this time. However, the executives will get their bonuses and stock options.

    December 15, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
  38. NM in TX

    Jack,

    1. Live on falling fixed income: less money to cover costs.
    2. Medical costs rising.
    3. state and local taxes and fees rising
    4. Utility costs rising just 30% this year.
    5. Interest rates will rise.
    6. Politicians unwilling to serve human Americans.
    7. Jobs in U. S. economy are permanently gone.

    The majority of Americans will be worse off financially in a year but our elite will be better off.

    December 15, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
  39. Kim Smith

    The ripples you speak off will not affect my personal economy and I am preparing for things to get worse as the Republicans renew their historical assault on the middle class. Politicians don't change, so neither will our situation.

    December 15, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  40. Renee Peoria,Ill

    I'm guardedly optimistic that I'll be better off in a year's time. Unfortunately, I have little control over the matter. After all, the same people who caused the recession just retook control of Congress and I'm poor. The day the GOP bends over backwards to help the poor I will know for certain the apocalypse is upon us. If I'm better off a year from now I have no doubt it will be due to my efforts, not theirs.

    December 15, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  41. Mike F in Anaheim

    Jack, for anyone to be better off a year from now they must either plan to win the lottery or learn to live with less. As new retirees, we have decided to take the latter course.

    December 15, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
  42. thom richer

    As a senior citizen on SS and less than lucrative retirement, combined with the way things are geared to the wealthy getting wealthier and the poor getting poorer mindset in Congress, I can pretty much count on being worse off. It is obvious we are quickly and decidedly becoming an elitist economy. We will be, if not already, a two party economy...the rich and the poor. Our mentality is this: if your are wealthy, you deserve it and if you are poor, you deserve it.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    December 15, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
  43. Phredd

    Anyone who expects to be worse off; will be. They've already set themselves up to lose. Someone who expects to be better off may or may not succeed but as the saying goes: no guts, no glory. A good first step would be to ignore the doomsday naysayers, you know who you are.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  44. Jim

    Jack,

    I expect to be significantly better off next year. Of course, I'm retired so that isn't contingent on my finding a job, merely riding a resurgent stock market up to juicy gains, like this year.

    Jim
    Reno, Nevada

    December 15, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  45. Kirk (Apple Valley, MN)

    I suspect that my wife and I will be better off. Our retirement investments have managed to make more per month than we've been taking out so we're ahead of the game this year. I fully expect things to continue to get better and don't really anticipate things getting worse unless the Republican's totally gridlock everything when they take the House next year only because they want Obama and thus the United States to fail.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  46. Susan - Missouri

    I do expect to be better off in one year; simply because I do not expect to listen to what Democrats and Republicans do this year! Sure I've learned to admire some of them and not others but if I am waiting for the government to tell me what to do I will surely meet my demise.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  47. Terry- Greensburg, IN "Hoosier Hillbilly"

    It's a warm cozy feeling to know when 'i' can't blog somewhere else your here for me, Jack! In winter it's tuff to be retired & have nothing to do – but 'U' get me through. Do you expect to be better or worse off one year from now?
    about the same only a year older. All this political crap shouldn't matter a 'bunch' to me [BUT] when you've lived 65 years and 'U' know how it was & how it is now it bothers me for my kids & grandkids.
    'i' lived thur the very best years – including past, present & future – & 'i' know it; it almost makes me feel guilty.

    !

    December 15, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  48. d.a.n

    QUESTION: Where will the money come from to merely pay the interest on the $14 Trillion federal national debt and the $57 Trillion of nation-wide debt when money is created as debt at a fractional ratio of 9-to-1, 90%-to-95% (or more) of all money in the U.S. already exists as debt, the economy is now 80% consumer-spending driven, and the money required to merely pay only the interest on the current $57 Trillion nation-wide debt does NOT yet exist?

    December 15, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  49. Luci

    I am an optimist so am going to be better off as long as the Republicans don't get complete control of our Country. They already have the Courts and Congress. We cannot stand for this ever again. they are unfit to be in charge.
    The media keeps talking about the job situation. How can people get a decent job when many many of them were shipped overseas under the Republican watch. They even give them tax breaks for doing this to our people.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  50. Lynda

    I fully expect to be worse off after 12 more months of Oligarchy rule. The Republicans are killing us one breath at a time. How can we have any hope facing the rule of John of Orange and Mitch the Monster?

    December 15, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  51. Cy Gardner

    WORSE!!!! How long will it take for bureacrats to stop making themselves look good on the backs of their workers and their frozen salaries? Prices go up and salaries disappear. And I do blame the greedy corporations who are holding on to every dime they don't spend on attack ads. The GOP and their soulless corporate overseers will be perfectly happy to drive this country into the ditch so that they can claim salvage rights. cy arlington, va

    December 15, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  52. Jan an American

    No! I'm a 99er and over 50, an engineer from an outsourced industry and companies aren't even considering the unemployed. The long term unemployed even less. This bill does NOTHING to help create jobs and certainly doesn't help people like me. NOTHING. At least I have a home right now. In a year, I won't. I have a little left of the retirement savings I've been forced to spend. In a year, I won't have that either. I have a phone and internet now. In a year I don't know if I'll have either. So NO! And, nobody seems to care at all.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  53. Kevin Lynch

    If American corporations continue to outsource american jobs then I will request a work visa from India. Well if American corporations begin to show their patriotism then maybe the economy will get better! If the bank will lend me money to open my small business then I may be better off financially. Too many ifs to answer this question; it is all up to American coprporations who continue to show profits and then they follow up that news with lay offs!

    December 15, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  54. Bill - Upper New York State

    Will I be better off next year? Jack, I'm a retiree on Social Security with no other income. Gas prices reach the 'gouging' point, heating oil going up, and everything else, including food going up (thanks to the higher gas prices), but not my Social Security check. My answer is not just 'no', it's HELL NO!

    December 15, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  55. Rhonda DeHaan

    I expect to be worse off. As a small business owner of a company that manufactures sports protective equipment this has been the worst year for sales since the history of our business. We are tracking 2004 numbers! Year over year since 08 we are down by 60% all due to this administrations attack on the working and middle class. They have destroyed jobs in this nation and put more on the roles of unemployment. That means less discretionary income for people to spend on equipment.
    It will take us years to recover from this , If we do...

    December 15, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  56. Richard C.

    As long as O'Bama is still in office we will in a worse position because he does not get it! More taxes and a cowering position in the world will continue to put Americans in a negative position.
    Grow a set, Barry!!

    December 15, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  57. Bub

    Jack, I know that not only will I be worse off this year but so will my entire family. Im in a union and my job is about to be sent overseas unless we concede to management's request for a wage concession. My kids' schools are being defunded to afford some fat cat a lower tax rate on his million dollar income. My mom cant get health insurance and it doesn't look like the Obama health care plan is going to do anything for her.

    Jack, we are in bad shape.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  58. Martin Wielgus

    Since I am retired, and on social security, I expect to be about the same, but maybe slightly worse. I am really concernced about an emotionally unstable leader of the new Republican house, and a man who says that he will not compromise. If politics is the art of compromise, then John Boehner doesn't really have any place there. We are in deep, deep, trouble, but it will take a little while for it to affect us retirees, I hope. Nancy Pelossi was a bitch, maybe, and someone who alienated a lot of people. But things got done on her watch. The cost? Why do we have to go through this over and over again?

    Martinsburg, WV

    December 15, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  59. ron

    i would say hanging on by a string. as someone on social security not getting a 5 dollar a week cola while everyone else gets a break is downright shameful. what kind of country are we in which those with the least are not mentioned in news or by politicians (vets, the disabled, the poor) during this huge giveaway to the rich. h.r. 5987 is dead as well as the dignity of this great nation.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  60. Robert

    God Bless us in the Company I work for. My Employer of 25 years has a sense of things that is strangely ahead of the curve. He told us, before anyone wanted to use the R word that we were IN a recession, and he was acting accordingly as the President of a vibrant Company.
    We all took note and started to think better of wasetful spending and such.
    Short Story: I know we will be better off in one year. We did well for the last three poor years.

    Bob
    Newburgh, NY

    December 15, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  61. Lynda of Colorado

    How can we possibly have hope for a better state of the nation with John of Orange ruling the House and Mitch the Monster obstructing humanity in the Senate? R Regan started the rule of Oligarchy, the Bushes accelerated the game, and now we're faced with an obstructive Congress committed to squeezing the last/final breath from Democracy.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  62. Joshua D. Agee

    I expect to be better one year from now. Not because of the passage or stoppage of the current tax bill and/or anything the Republicans or Democrats plan to do in January. I plan on being better next year by bettering myself, being wise on investments I make, budgeting within my means, shaving a couple dollars off to store away for a rainy day, and helping those I can to do the same. Once we–the American People–realize that WE hold the keys to our Nation's success–not the Democrats or Republicans the better. If we can budget our own lives and live honestly, the national budget/deficit will take care of itself. It sounds crazy, but it's so crazy that it just might work. At this point, isn't it worth a try?

    December 15, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  63. Dylan Bryant

    Jack,
    I was expecting to be better off next year until this morning. The options that were laion the table were 1)lower taxes, lower spending and 2)higher taxes, higher spending. But somehow they concurred up the idea of lower taxes, higher spending! WHEN HAS THAT EVER WORKED? So next year I suspect I will be the same as this year, which really isn't too bad.

    Dylan Bryant
    Bakersfield, CA

    December 15, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  64. d.a.n

    The National Debt is $13,938,649,309,388 and growing fast.
    The Social Security and Medicare systems are pay-as-you-go, with a 78 Million baby-boomer bubble approaching.
    Actually, borrowing is required to continue current Social Security and Medicare liabilities.
    As of DEC-2010, the federal National Debt per-capita is $45,161, which is 2.02 times larger than the previous record-high (which was $21,348 in year 1945 in 2010 dollars, after World War II).
    As of DEC-2010, the federal National Debt per-capita is $45,161, which is 8.23 times larger than the it was near the end of the Great Depression (which was $5,481 in year 1941 in 2010 dollars).

    You don't have to be a rocket scientist to see where this is leading.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  65. Greg in Mechanicsburg

    I expect I won't be as well off, given inflation especially the cost of health care. I was hoping to return to college to earn a teaching certificate, but at the prices colleges charge just for tuition that seems like a no go. Unless some rich relative that I am unaware of dies, things are going to get tighter as time goes by.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  66. Tony

    Much worse, Jack.

    After 86 weeks, I'm due one more UI check (should the Unemployment Extension pass).

    There are no jobs. I know, I'm 58, and haven't received only a few calls for interview in the past 20 months. And the '99ers', all 4.5 million of us, have been forgotten by Congress.

    Just to survive, I'm putting my home, one that's been in the family for nearly sixty years, on the market – a decision tearing out my heart.

    Make it an abysmal outlook for 2011 and beyond.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  67. Kevin Lynch

    If our politicians show any guts then maybe they will pass anti-outsourcing/pro American jobs bills. American corporations show profits then react by laying thousands off! And we give these unpatriotic Americans tax cuts!
    By this time next year Americans will be buying work visas from the government of India and China!

    December 15, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  68. Scott Stodden

    Well Jack I Had An Interview Today At Burger King So Hopefully For Me Things Will Good Come Next-I Hope So Anyways! For Others And For The Country As A Whole I Always Hold Out Hope And Have Faith That Everything Will Be Ok In The End!

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    December 15, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  69. Jan an American

    Worse! I'm a 99er and over 50, an engineer from an outsourced industry and companies aren't even considering the unemployed. The long term unemployed even less. This bill does NOTHING to help create jobs and certainly doesn't help people like me. NOTHING. At least I have a home right now. In a year, I won't. I have a little left of the retirement savings I've been forced to spend. In a year, I won't have that either. I have a phone and internet now. In a year I don't know if I'll have either. So Worse! And, nobody seems to care at all.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  70. Dave, Vancouver

    We'll all be better of a year from now. One year is "short term" in the economic scheme of things. It's two or three years down the road that we've got to worry about, when all the global stimulus spending has worked its way through the system and the pumps runs dry, and all the houses of cards come tumbling down. Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain are mere forshadowings, canaries in the coal mine..

    December 15, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  71. Bob

    No. As it nows stands I do not know what my first pay check will look like in 2011. I have no idea what the Federal tax will be. Hidden taxes are everywhere. Extend tax cuts for two years. That's nothing more than putting the economy on life support. How can you make long range plans? Health care is costing more. Property taxes in Adams County, PA sky rocketed, School taxes are running away, energy costs are accelerating. Too many people are out of work. The government is lying about the true unemployment figures. Houses are going up for sale, being left empty, being taken over by banks. Government spending is out of control. I am sorry that my generation will leave this legacy to our children and future generations.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  72. Ralph Spyer

    Unemployment benefits will run out again for many in 2011 and this time with the Republicans in the majority you could kiss any extension good by. Big businesses will just get bigger and buy up the smaller fish ,all that will be left are the sharks. The country is going down hill.One trillion dollars on two wars and we do not have the money.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  73. Randy

    Better. The tea party will finally catch up to the small amount of us who know that BOTH parties work for the same master. And when those gun totin', bible carryin', "american values" people find out they've been had? PASS ME THE POPCORN.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  74. Ruth Ann

    Thanks to the hard work of the current administration (despite the deliberate obstructionism of the "Right"), I was hopeful that next year would see continued improvement...but with the newly elected Republican and Tea Party legislators coming in, I am deeply concerned that they will do their best to destroy and reverse any chance of progress. I wish the President all the luck in the world that he may get through some of their thick heads in order to continue his slow but sure progress.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  75. D Rundquist

    DUH! we are Seniors who have depended upon a decent interest rate in savings supplement our income from Social Security.......now the interest rates are down the tube.....which gives us less expendable income to help the economy...... No increase in Social Security for 2 yrs. & now this new bill which reduces FICA.......well, you do the math!
    It feels like .......More & more this county has turned its back on the very citizens who worked and paid taxes to help build this country's infrastructure. Sad, sad, sad.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  76. JENNA ROSEVILLE CA

    Do you expect to be better or worse off one year from now?

    WORSE now that the GOP is holding the purse strings and the Democrats are going to spend the next two years giving the GOP "Pay Back" for blocking everything!

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    December 15, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  77. Dylan Bryant

    Jack,
    I was expecting to be better off next year until this morning. The options that were on the table were 1) lower taxes, lower spending and 2) higher taxes, higher spending. But somehow they concurred up the idea of lower taxes, higher spending! WHEN HAS THAT EVER WORKED? So next year I suspect I will be the same as this year, which really isn't too bad.
    Dylan Bryant
    Bakersfield, CA

    December 15, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  78. Bradley, Portland, OR

    In spite of the Republican fantasy that businesses aren't hiring because the top tax bracket on the wealthy might go up a couple of points to what it was under the prosperous Clinton years, the real reason businesses aren't hiring is because of lack of demand.

    If your widget factory is only running at half capacity because demand for widgets is down, you're not going to hire more people to make widgets just because your profits will be taxed a little less. You won't make more widgets if you can't sell them.

    Hiring won't increase until demand increases, and demand won't increase until people feel secure in their jobs and aren't afraid to spend money again.

    At very least, companies need to stop laying off to make people feel safe enough to spend.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  79. Jeff in NC

    With the Republicans running the show I expect that whatever money that we have left will be sucked out of us by corporate greed and energy costs as in the past.

    The Dems blew it with forcing the heathcare bill down our throats and worsening the Republicans' deficit but now we're going back to what I call "the dark ages". I've loaded up on ammo and am getting ready to protect myself and property. People are going to get desparate now and desparate people do desparate things.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  80. Marvin in Polo.MO

    Jack, I am 61 yrs old and unemployed, my wife is fighting breast cancer She was just approved for Medicaid and we qualified for Food Stamps so things are looking up. Now all we need to do is make our mortgage payments and keep the lights on. If we didn't think we would be better off next year we would be sitting on the beach maxing out our credit cards and applying for medical marijuana cards

    December 15, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  81. Jason in Colorado

    Over all I have to say worse. I personally expect to be doing about the same but probably with less money. As a nation I expect the current trend to continue with our Politicians playing games and running up our debt, mean while they sit by and let our country get run into the ground.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  82. Scott Swisher

    Hi Jack,

    I was laid off a month ago yesterday and feel that there is no reason not to believe I will be better off in 2011; an active suspension of disbelief is necessary amid the 24 hour news cycle and monthly unemployment statistics though. For those of us out there in the trenches, there are opportunities, don't give up and keep a positive outlook.

    Companies will start to free up some of that extra cash with the new fiscal year approaching – soon hiring managers will have fresh budgets to hire again.

    Scott
    San Diego, CA

    December 15, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  83. Ruth Ann in Scottsdale, AZ

    Hi Jack - Thanks to the hard work of the current administration (despite the deliberate obstructionism of the "Right"), I was hopeful that next year would see continued improvement...but with the newly elected Republican and Tea Party legislators coming in, I am deeply concerned that they will do their best to destroy and reverse any chance of progress. I wish the President all the luck in the world that he may get through some of their thick heads in order to continue his slow but sure progress.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  84. lynnej in nc

    I hope to be better off, but I'm not counting on it. The Republican Party only has their eyes fixed on hurting President Obama.
    They have no interest in helping the masses whom are out of work, sick, homeless and broke because of their 30 year love affair with deregulation and trickle down economics. We, the poor and middle class are on our own.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  85. John Gill

    Absolutely, about the same. I can't see where continuing Bush's economic policies are going to improve anything.
    Unless we do something serious about the debt by making the tax system fair not only will we be in stalmate but things may get worse.
    I don't see employers taking any risks. They don't have to Everyone who is working dfor them now is scared for their jobs so productivity will continue to improve.
    So as a whole, I think we will be in just about the same boat next year as now.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  86. ken, atlantic city, nj

    I expect things to be worse because obama is a corporotist who does not care about main street just k street and wall street. Everyone loves tax cuts and money to sit a home, but tax cuts and unemployment checks will not provide any jobs. The rich will buy more luxury items, the middle class will buy more junk made in china, banks will make more money loaning money to the government after geting money from the federal reserve at 0% , brokers will make billions gambling on wall street, corporate profits and bonuses will be higher, but there will be no jobs for main street and the government will be deeper in debt.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  87. Jay Moriarty, NM

    We will definitely be worse off in a year. We'll be lucky if the nation isn't bankrupt. With our national "Credit Score" having dropped, the fact that Republicans truly believe deficit spending is good, the fact they forced this BS tax cut bill (that actually only benefits the rich, robs Social Security to pay for it). Their leader is a Bi Polar, 2 faced sob, Fear mongering, lying piece of $h!+ , ALCOHOLIC, (John BONER, I mean Bohner).

    You would have to be a vegetable not to realize the majority of people who voted in the last election screwed up and WE WILL BE WORSE OFF.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  88. Annie Long

    One year from now, I will be worst off. The tax cuts do not help most seniors. No Cola for two yrs. We sacrificed, but not the Wealthy?
    Our rent goes us annually, food, gas, utilities, co-pays and deductibles with Medicare supplement insurance. Wish they could have thrown us a bone. Please remind everyone our situation.
    Thanks,
    Annie
    Apache Junction, AZ.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  89. becky - Las Vegas

    It'll be the same level of pain just in a different way. Now it's no jobs so people don't have money and next it will be people have jobs but taxes are too high so they have no money.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  90. disgusted at Obama for selling us out

    I'm not going to be better off, have looked everywhere for a job, and now I run out of unemployment benefits that I worked 35 yrs for......... I don't see 6 million jobs that are needed anywhere near in the future.......... And from what I have been reading everywhere online, those millions of unemployed will b coming to "borrow" from all those "rich ones that got the tax cut !! They say they will do anything to feed thier babies..............So,,,, I think alot of people are not going to be as better off in a year as they say they think............. all I got to say is I'm locking my doors!!! Happy Holidays!!!

    December 15, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  91. Valerie in Raleigh

    As an optomist, I look for things to get better. However, with the Republicans in control of the House, my optomism fades. Their goal is to cause President Obama to fail, no matter the costs to the country. The Democrats and Independents who did not vote in the mid-term elections that brought the Republicans back to power in the House, need only to look at themselves as the cause of the backward slide to the country. It is my hope that in the 2012 elections, they will see the problems a Republican House is causing and get out and vote for the President and his party. Then, this optomist will again have faith in this country.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  92. Annie, Apache Junction, AZ

    Oh, yes...........most of us Seniors live on less than 16K per yr.
    So, no Cola for two yrs. you tell me Jack!!!

    December 15, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  93. linda sowards

    Sad to say Jack,worse off. I am 70 years old and every day I sit , cry and pray as to how in the world I can buy my meds,groceries and pay the out rageous insurance premiumns and co-pays for every procedure under the sun. Not to mention put gas in my car. For get about buying clothes and going to the dentist. I am so angery with the those idiots we have put in office I could just scream ! My only hope is when they stand in front of their maker, we'll fianlly get justice we so rightly deserve. As for the so called repsentatives of the people, I hope they burn in hell !!!!!!

    December 15, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  94. jim

    With the Republicans coming to power, I worry about social security, medicaid and medicare, while I know that they'll target these programs rather than increase the tax rates for the rich and programs that benefit big business and special interests. We're in a mess now.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  95. Nina

    We will continue to slide down until we remove the "ole boy's club" in Washington. The group that few are ever in the news, have been in power for over 30 years and have a strangle hold on this country! Until we free ourselves from this group, I see no hope.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  96. Ben Doublett

    I expect to be much better off. I own a company that tripled its revenues in 2010 and projections for 2011 look almost as good. The macro level economy might be suffering at the moment, but any individual who finds a need and fills it will always do well, no matter what the Dow Jones is doing.

    December 15, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
  97. Dennis Marshall

    As a simple retired military man collecting a pension and social security I think my life will be much the same next year but it is the coming years that I worry about as those in the halls of power take aways from me to give to themselves and their sycophants...

    December 15, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  98. Dan

    Worse off:
    I'm beginning to believe (more so every day) that we are witnessing the beginning of the fall of the United States of America

    Searsport, Maine

    December 15, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  99. Jared, Pennsylvania

    Much much worse. Because we keep creating money out of thin air and we keep policing the world and expecting our allies to bail us out where we can't even take care of ourselves first.

    We can't be all things to all people! Its time we elect Ron Paul.

    December 15, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  100. Debora Mawji

    If Senators were limited to ONE filibuster every six months, maybe they would pick their battles more carefully, and Congress could get a lot more done. There would be no need to cram everything into the last two weeks of December.

    December 15, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  101. Michael / Boston

    I'll be doing the same thing, danota, isn't that how you say know. I'm attending medical school, and waiting growth in the constuction industry.Along with the 80% Middle Eastern radical , America hating classmates. Furthermore I'm not planning on doing anything until the politicians get it together. The way I see it is the economy will follow constuction industry. There is none, nor is there any in the in the planning stages.The problem started with the Republican Global Stratification , to aid the under privledged, and sread the wealth, so the rich to get richer. Additionally, the Democrats stomped the unions, and Americans sold out. Contrary to belief of the Americans that love imports, when a world wide depression hits you can't eat your imports.They might however be able to burn for heat, if they are l asbestous free . What happened to the Statesmen, may God have mercy on our souls. My recommendation is halt all NAFTA tax breaks, and incentives.

    December 15, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  102. Yemi Bamigbade

    Im not gonna lie to any Tom,dIck, and Harry if i will be better or worse off. I dont just know. Partisan politics wreck this country's economy. All these so-called congress people dont have no clue how to turn the economy around, they're just going about their try and error voodoo economics. It all started with the almighty soothsayer Alan Greenspan, he just sat his butt there, getting all those unnecessaries praises and accollades from both the clueless wrong righties and wrong lefties, Alan you are to be blamed, you did not do your job and that's a shame. I just dont want to see your face on TV,in print or hear any opinion of any sort from you. Please, please, and please just stay retired

    December 15, 2010 at 6:48 pm |
  103. Jack Lamb

    Jack,

    I was a lot better off in 2005, my 4 properties were worth just shy of a million, I was making a nice 6 figure salary, and we were running 4 shifts at the manufacturing plant I was responisible for.

    Here we sit at the end of 2010, 4 years of democratic rule in the house and senate, 2 years with the house the senate and the executive office. My properties are worth about half what they were, the plant runs ONE shift. I make about 30k less annually. The debt is out of control...doesnt look to me like the past 4 years were to kind to anyone but the folks on wall street. Didnt anyone here what the vote in november was all about? How short are liberal memories...but then you would think they would pay attention to Greece, Spain, Italy, France and Belgium....but no, they think they are collectively smarter than all those Euorpeans. I'm stockpiling food. We already have kids and friends moved in with us after the loss of their jobs and homes. I dont see much sun on the horizon just yet.

    December 15, 2010 at 7:00 pm |