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How much do you blame Pres. Obama for struggling economy?
September 22nd, 2011
06:00 PM ET

How much do you blame Pres. Obama for struggling economy?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

With the Dow tanking nearly 400 points on Thursday, it looks like Americans are more likely than ever to blame President Obama for the sluggish economy.

A new USA Today/Gallup Poll shows for the first time ever a slight majority, 53% of those surveyed, blame this president for the nation's economic problems.

Just in time for re-election.

That number is up sharply from the 32% who felt President Obama was to blame six months after he took office.

The silver lining here for Obama is that Americans blame former President George W. Bush even more than him for the nation's economic woes. But Bush won't be on the ballot next November.

The poll also shows that about six in 10 independents believe both presidents are to blame.

This is not good news for President Obama, with the economy sure to be the top issue in the 2012 race.

Another recent CNN poll shows eight in 10 people think the economy is in poor shape, and less than 40% approve of how President Obama is handing the economy and unemployment.

What's more, only 9% say the president's policies made the economy better.

Thirty-seven percent say they made the economy worse, while 39% say his policies prevented the economy from getting worse. Fifteen percent say they had no effect.

If it's the economy, stupid – and it always is – the president has a real problem.

If he has any hopes of a second term, something's got to be done about persistent 9% unemployment. And it's got to be done quickly.

But the Congressional Budget Office predicts unemployment will remain above 9% right through the end of next year. Which means it's very likely to become someone else's problem.

Here’s my question to you: How much do you blame President Obama for the struggling economy?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST

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Filed under: Economy • President Barack Obama
How are economic fears changing your life?
September 21st, 2011
06:00 PM ET

How are economic fears changing your life?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Americans are afraid of where our economy is headed - and it shows.

A new study on financial security shows that 40% of consumers have cut their spending in the past two months.

The Bankrate.com survey shows this applies to Americans in all income groups - from the rich to the poor.

Consumer spending makes up two-thirds of the U.S. economy, so if the cutback in spending continues, we could be headed for another recession.

The study also shows people across all education levels say their net worth is lower today than it was last year.

Job security is a big worry too: Only 23% of those under 30 say they feel more secure in their jobs now than they did a year ago. That number drops to a measly 10% for those between the ages of 50 and 64.

It's easy to understand why people are concerned when unemployment remains stubbornly above 9% and is expected to stay there through the end of 2012.

For those who are lucky enough to have a job, median incomes are on the decline. Meanwhile, there are 46.2 million people in the U.S. living in poverty - the highest level in almost 20 years.

As if people didn't have reason enough to worry - the international monetary fund is out with a stark warning today, saying the global economy has entered "a dangerous new phase" with the recovery weakening considerably.

If the U.S. can't find a way to deal with its ballooning national debt, the IMF says the result could be a "lost decade for growth." Decade. 10 years.

And Americans get it. A new USA Today/Gallup Poll shows six in 10 people don't expect the economy to recover any time soon, while 80% think the country is still in a recession.

Here’s my question to you: How are economic fears changing your life?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST

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Filed under: Economy
Is anyone besides Ron Paul serious about our deepening national financial crisis?
September 20th, 2011
06:00 PM ET

Is anyone besides Ron Paul serious about our deepening national financial crisis?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama's $3 trillion debt reduction plan is really a huge tax increase accompanied by very small and somewhat questionable spending cuts.

The president wants $3 in tax increases for every $1 in spending cuts, according to the Washington Times.

His plan will go nowhere in Congress.

Besides the $1.5 trillion in new taxes, here are the president's ideas of spending cuts:

Find "waste" in Medicare. Where have we heard that before?

Count savings from winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which was going to happen anyway.

Count lower interest costs on national debt.

Where are the cuts? There's no entitlement reform in this plan, no orders to cut the federal workforce, to cut the budgets by a significant amount or to close overseas military bases.

There's no means test for Social Security, no raising of the retirement age. Nothing.

Meanwhile, as we wait for the so-called Super Committee to come up with its plan, this deficit situation is a ticking time bomb.

Here's the scary truth: Even if the committee manages to come up with $1.5 trillion in deficit cuts over the next decade, it's a miniscule drop in the bucket.

The United States is more than $14 trillion in debt and we are adding to this debt at the staggering rate of more than $1 trillion in deficits per year.

So even if the government cuts $3 trillion or $4 trillion over 10 years, we will still have a national debt of $21 trillion in 10 years: $7 trillion more than we have now.

The federal government knows this full well and refuses to be realistic about how dangerous our predicament is.

Here’s my question to you: Is anyone besides Ron Paul serious about our deepening national financial crisis?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST

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Filed under: 2012 Election • Economy • Ron Paul
What's the point of President Obama's job speech?
September 6th, 2011
06:00 PM ET

What's the point of President Obama's job speech?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Barack Obama has a lot riding on Thursday's jobs speech - maybe even a second term.

As the president prepares to address a joint session of Congress and with the nation reeling from 9% unemployment, he's in a tough spot. And the Republicans know it.

Obama's approval rating continues to slide. A new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows him at the lowest mark of his presidency with only 44% approving.

Another new poll by Politico shows 72% of those surveyed say the country is headed in the wrong direction. That's up 12 points since May. Only 39% approve of the president's handling of the economy.

If this economy doesn't start to turn around, the president is finished. In fact, one Democratic pollster already says that Obama is no longer the favorite to win re-election.

That’s why Thursday's speech is so important. But here's the thing: The president has made speech after speech on the economy for three years now. Where are the jobs?

The details of this speech are being kept under wraps, but the president might call for infrastructure spending, job training programs, tax breaks for businesses and workers and extending unemployment benefits - again. So far, no word on where the money for all this will come from. We are $14 trillion in debt.

The president claims he will propose ways to get Americans working to which both parties can agree. Don't bet on that agreement thingy.

Washington is more divided than ever, and Republicans can smell blood in the water here. They know Obama is vulnerable, and it seems unlikely that they'll agree to anything that will improve his position.

Here’s my question to you: What's the point of President Obama's job speech?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST

August 8th, 2011
06:00 PM ET

Is the economy killing Pres. Obama's chances of a 2nd term?

President Obama's chances of winning a second term may have been downgraded... right along with this country's credit rating.

Consider the recent rough economic news facing the United States:

  • An unemployment rate that remains stubbornly above 9 percent
  • A tumbling stock market... down more than 630 points today after a 513 point drop last Thursday

That historic downgrade in our credit rating - the first time ever in U.S. history and it happened on President Obama's watch.

There's also a possibility of a further downgrade if we don't straighten out our debt situation. And that's doubtful after watching the charades in Washington that passed for negotiations on the debt ceiling.

  • Economic growth under 2 percent... with many worried we're headed for a double-dip recession
  • Home values worth one-third less than they were five years ago.
  • Only 58% of working age Americans in the labor force... that's the lowest in nearly 30 years.
  • Consumer confidence at two year-lows... and polls showing majorities disapprove of president obama's handling of the economy.

All this is not lost on Republican candidates for 2012... they have already linked President Obama to the S&P credit downgrade and the weak economy and you can believe they will ramp up the criticism as the election gets closer.

Perhaps the only factor working in Mr. Obama's favor is he's got time... the election is still more than a year away.

Suffice it to say if the election was held today he would be back organizing communities.

If the president is going to turn this ship around, he better start soon. Americans who are out of work and seeing their life savings evaporate in the stock market probably don't have much patience left.

Here’s my question to you: Is the economy killing President Obama's chances of a second term?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: 2012 Election • Economy • President Barack Obama
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?

FULL POST


Filed under: Economy • Timothy Geithner
June 16th, 2011
06:00 PM ET

What does it mean that the housing crisis is now worse than the Great Depression?

ALT TEXT

A long line of unemployed and homeless men wait in New York to get free dinner at the municipal lodging house during the Great Depression, circa 1930. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Here's a sobering thought: A new report from Capital Economics describes the current housing market bust as, "larger and faster than the one during the Great Depression."

Since home prices peaked in 2006, prices have fallen an average of 33 percent. During the 1920s and '30s, home prices dropped 31%.

Analysts point out one of the reasons we're in worse shape today is that the boom that came before the dramatic downturn was unlike anything this country saw in the years leading up to the Great Depression. This time around millions more Americans had access to the housing market, and many of those people wound up buying homes they couldn't afford despite having bad credit, or putting little or nothing down.

Foreclosures were down last month, but that may say more about the banks than the people who can't pay for their homes. Banks have been having trouble selling the homes they've already repossessed, so there's little incentive for them to continue the pace of foreclosures.

Additional data out in the last few weeks show nationwide prices are at their lowest level since 2002. What's more, almost one-quarter of all homeowners are underwater, meaning they owe the bank more than their home is worth.

A recent CNN-Opinion Research Corporation poll found that 48% of Americans believe another Great Depression is likely to occur in the next year. Sadly, for a lot of people, it already has. There is a bright spot in all of this. It's a great time to buy a home with rock bottom prices and mortgage rates near historic lows. The problem is so few of us can afford one these days.

Here's my question to you: What does it mean that the housing crisis is now worse than the Great Depression?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Economy
June 8th, 2011
05:00 PM ET

What are the chances the U.S. economy could eventually trigger violence in our country?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

For the first time maybe since the Vietnam War or certainly since the civil rights movement, there are some darkening storm clouds on the civility horizon. A growing number of voices are continuing to suggest that if this economy doesn't turn around, and people can't start feeling optimistic about their futures again, we could be headed for some ugly scenarios. A new CNN poll says 48 percent of Americans think the country is headed for another Great Depression in the next twelve months. That is a stunning number.

James Carville, who in 1992 told Bill Clinton, "It's the economy stupid," says the current economy is so bad, there is a heightened risk of civil unrest. And unless things start changing for the better, it's a distinct possibility.

Our country is bankrupt and our government refuses to do anything about it. Unemployment is stuck above 9 percent. Millions of Americans are out of work, some for a number of years now. The value of peoples' homes is sinking below the break-even line. In the most recent jobs report, more than half of the private sector jobs that were added were at McDonald's.

For young people coming out of the nation's colleges and universities, their families having invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in their education, the outlook is grim.

Add in the early record breaking heat in the cities in the East and we might not even have to wait until 2012. It could become a long, hot, ugly summer.

Here’s my question to you: What are the chances the U.S. economy could eventually trigger violence in our country?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Economy
June 7th, 2011
05:00 PM ET

How will the economy force Pres. Obama to change '12 campaign strategy?

ALT TEXT

A volunteer receptionist answers a phone call at President Obama's re-election headquarters in Chicago. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The continuing struggles of the U.S. economy are becoming a big problem for President Obama and his campaign for re-election in 2012. Economic reports show an unwelcome slowdown in what had been a few months of encouraging job growth, as well as new lows for home prices.

The president's top economic adviser, Austan Goolsbee, is leaving, the latest in a string of top economic minds the president recruited after his election who have abandoned ship.

A Washington Post-ABC News poll out today says about six in 10 of those surveyed give the president poor marks on the economy and the deficit. Nearly half say they strongly disapprove of the way he's handling both issues. And the same poll found that if the election were held today President Obama would lose to Republican Mitt Romney.

Romney, who is far from an overwhelming favorite among members of his own party, has said jobs and the economy will be central issues in his campaign.

Democratic strategist James Carville - who first coined the phrase "It's the economy, stupid" back in 1992 - says if job creation stays down the 2012 race could be "very rough" for President Obama. He said the economy is so bad, there's heightened risk of civil unrest in this country.

For now, there's little the president can do short term other than try to say the right things on the campaign trail. Reducing the deficit and cutting spending are top priorities on Capitol Hill, but so far nothing has been done.

Rising gas prices and declining home prices are crimping consumer spending. So expect to hear the president highlight the modest gains in the economy since the worst days of 2008 and 2009. Strategists say he'll also make the case that things would be far worse if Republicans were in charge.

But if that's all he's got, it's not going to be enough.

Here’s my question to you: How will the economy force President Obama to change his campaign strategy for 2012?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: 2012 Election • Economy • President Barack Obama
April 26th, 2011
05:00 PM ET

Does GOP have the right idea when it comes to budget?

ALT TEXT

(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It’s so far, so good for House Republicans when it comes to how to cut the deficits and balance our budget.

According to a new USA Today/Gallup poll, Americans believe the Republican Party is the party better able to handle the budget problems facing this country and to fix the economy. Apparently that six-month-long game of chicken they played with the 2011 budget really paid off for them. At least for now. However, a much bigger battle over the budget and spending awaits. When Congress returns from its two-week spring break and raising the debt ceiling is front and center, we'll see if popular opinion changes.

It might. According to that same USA Today/Gallup poll, Americans are split on whether the deficit plan drafted by Republican House Budget Chair Paul Ryan or the one proposed by President Barack Obama is the right path for the country. Two-thirds of Americans are concerned the GOP plan for reducing the deficit would cut too deeply into Medicare and Social Security. Everyone wants the deficit cut, but no one wants to cut entitlements.

But it's a topic that's not going away. Republican House Speaker John Boehner said in an interview with Politico on Monday that there might not be a deal on raising the debt ceiling unless Democrats agree to rein in discretionary spending and reform Medicaid and Medicare. Things could get very ugly very quickly when Congress reconvenes.

Here’s my question to you: Do the Republicans have the right idea when it comes to the budget?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Budget cuts • Economy • GOP • Government • Republican Party • Republicans
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