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July 11th, 2011
06:00 PM ET

How do you see the debt ceiling issue being resolved?

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The U.S. National Debt Clock billboard is displayed on July 11, 2011 in the New York City. The national debt exceeds over $14.3 trillion.(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama and Congressional leaders from both parties met behind closed doors at the White House this afternoon to discuss a deal on the debt ceiling - the second time in two days. All parties are still pretty far apart.

Both Republicans and Democrats have laid down ultimatums– Republicans have said everything's on the table except tax increases. Democrats have said they will not agree to a deal based solely on spending cuts. The President has proposed his own deal– a 10-year, $4 trillion plan that tilted 4-to-1 in favor of spending cuts. Boehner said it was dead on arrival.

And the clock is ticking...If they don't reach an agreement by August 2nd, the U.S. could default on some of its loans...and that could send stock markets tumbling, shoot interest rates sky high and cause the dollar to plummet. Both sides in the debate know this. Right now it seems to be a game of chicken - who will blink first. But this time the stakes couldn't be much higher. And it will be interesting to watch the head-on collision between politics and the reality of default. They're juggling hand grenades here.

The president has ruled out signing a short-term extension of the federal debt ceiling. And with just a few weeks left the rhetoric more resembles school yard trash talk than statesmanship. If you're not worried about the outcome of this, you probably should be.

Here’s my question to you: How do you see the debt ceiling issue being resolved?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

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Filed under: National debt
July 11th, 2011
05:00 PM ET

Treasury Secretary Geithner: Hard times for some time to come. Is he right?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The secretary of the Treasury has an ominous warning for the American people: It's going to take awhile for this economic recovery to feel like a recovery, and for a lot of people, it's going to be "harder than anything they've experienced in their lifetime - for some time to come."

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

Timothy Geithner made those comments Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press," in the wake of an outright ugly jobs report for June. The U.S. economy added just 18,000 jobs last month - just dismal - and the unemployment rate went up to 9.2%.

Not very encouraging, especially if you're one of the more than 14 million Americans who are jobless in this country right now. Millions of jobs don't exist here anymore. They've been shipped overseas where labor costs are much less, meaning corporate profits are much higher. But what about the country?

There are 4.6 unemployed Americans for every job opening out there, according to the Labor Department. In some states, it's much worse. In Arizona, for example, there are 10 job seekers for every opening.

What's more, nearly 20% of personal income in the United States is now provided by the government - in the form of jobless benefits, Social Security, food stamps and other programs.

The Great Recession officially ended in June 2009, but many Americans haven't gotten back on their feet. They can't find work. Job growth has been slower since then than after any recession since the Great Depression. And for a lot of average Americans times are tough.

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

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Filed under: Economy • Timothy Geithner