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February 28th, 2011
06:00 PM ET

Will the federal government ever agree to meaningful spending cuts?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Democratic and Republican lawmakers returned to work today and they've got a big deadline looming.

President Obama unveiled his 2012 budget earlier this month.

President Obama unveiled his 2012 budget earlier this month.

If Congress doesn't reach an agreement on spending cuts by Friday, the government will face a shutdown for the first time in 15 years.

The House already approved $61 billion in spending cuts in a measure passed earlier this month, but Senate Democrats have said that the proposed cuts go too far and that they will not vote in favor of them.

So the Republicans have proposed an interim spending plan that would give Congress a two-week extension. It would involve just $4 billion in cuts and would keep the government funded until March 18.

I wonder if they'll ever stop playing games and actually address our country's fiscal condition in a serious way.

Our national debt has now surpassed $14 trillion - a staggering sum that will never be repaid. And every day the government refuses to do anything about it, it just gets larger. We are bankrupt.

This weekend, Speaker of the House John Boehner called the national debt a "moral threat" to this country and said people "better start praying."

It will take more than prayers. It will take guts… the kind being displayed by people like the governors of Wisconsin and New Jersey.

Here’s my question to you: Do you think the federal government will ever agree to meaningful cuts in spending?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Budget cuts • Government • Spending
February 28th, 2011
05:00 PM ET

Should the power of public labor unions be reduced?

ALT TEXT

Demonstrators protested in the capitol rotunda last night in Madison, Wisconsin. Demonstrators have occupied the building with a round-the-clock protest for the past 13 days protesting Governor Scott Walker's attempt to push through a bill that would restrict collective bargaining for most government workers in the state. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It's been two weeks since public-union supporters in Wisconsin began protesting in and around the state capitol in Madison.

They're upset over Republican Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to close the state's $3.6 billion budget gap. It calls for putting limits on public workers' collective bargaining rights and requiring those workers to have more money taken out of their paychecks for health care and pension funds.

But the budget bill is at a standstill. It passed the State Assembly, but rather than vote on the bill in the Senate, which is their job, the Democratic state senators ran away to Illinois and have not returned. But Walker is holding his ground.

Pro-union protesters have taken to state capitol buildings in Indiana and Ohio as well over the past week. This is also in response to Republican-sponsored bills calling for cuts to public union employees' benefits and limiting their collective bargaining rights.
In Tennessee, teachers are fighting a bill that would take away their collective bargaining rights. They've already said they'd make some concessions on areas such as tenure, which prevents teachers from being fired but is often criticized as keeping bad teachers in the classroom.

In this economy, public labor unions have lost a good amount of popular support. That's because private-sector union workers no longer get the job protection, health benefits and pension plans these state employees still enjoy.

Here’s my question to you: Should the power of public labor unions be reduced?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Uncategorized