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May 31st, 2011
06:00 PM ET

Home ownership levels are on the decline. What does that say about the American dream?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

More than two-thirds of Americans say they have achieved the American Dream or will do so at some point in their lifetime according to the Pew Economic Mobility Project. But a new report out today says one crucial part of the American dream is no longer a reality for many Americans: Owning a home.

The rate of home ownership in this country is now back to the level it was in 1998. Forget the housing boom-it's like it never happened. And some economists and industry experts say the home ownership rate could drop even further to the levels of the 1980s or earlier.

Last year, 66.4% of Americans owned a home, down from a peak of about 69% in 2004. Housing prices fell in March to their lowest level since the so-called Great Recession began. This is all according to the Standard and Poor's Case Shiller Home Price Index, considered one of the best indicators of the housing situation in the country.

According to a survey from real estate websites Trulia and RealtyTrac, 54% of Americans said they thought the real estate market would recover in 2014 or later. That's up from about one-third who gave the same answer when the same poll was given last November.

The outlook is pretty bleak. Unemployment and bad credit are preventing many Americans from buying a home. Others are struggling to hold on to what they already own, either underwater in their homes– meaning the home is worth less than their mortgage - or facing foreclosure. And then there are those who have the money to buy a home but are choosing not to...often out of fear the worst is still to come.

Here’s my question to you: Home ownership levels are on the decline. What does that say about the American dream?


Filed under: Homeownership
May 31st, 2011
05:00 PM ET

When it comes to the war in Afghanistan, how much is enough?

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(PHOTO CREDIT: Brian Ferguson/U.S. via Getty Images)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It's coming up on 10 years since we went to war in Afghanistan. The stated purpose at the time was to get Osama bin Laden and the rest of al Qaeda who had attacked us on 9/11. Bin Laden is dead now, and we're still fighting and dying in Afghanistan. The U.S. death toll recently passed 1,500.

In a speech in December 2009, President Obama announced he would begin the withdrawal of U.S. troops in Afghanistan in July 2011. Well, a year and a half has passed, July is almost here, and Americans are waiting to hear his plan.

And pressure is mounting from some unlikely places. House Democrats are becoming more vocal on Afghanistan, pushing for an accelerated withdrawal plan and, according to Politico.com, asking the president to go after a settlement with "all interested parties" to speed up the process. That includes the Taliban.

Only 37% of military members approve of the job President Obama is doing compared to a 48% job approval from Americans who have not served in the military.

We're still in Iraq. We were told we would be in Libya for a matter of a few days; that was more than two months ago.

Afghanistan has never been conquered. Russia gave up after seven years. And everyone else who has ever tried has eventually been forced to leave with their tails between their legs. The Karzai government is a joke, ineffective and corrupt. The schools in Afghanistan openly teach young children how to hate the United States. The population can't read, but they're taught how to hate our guts.

Here’s my question to you: When it comes to the war in Afghanistan, how much is enough?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Afghanistan