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Why has government become so financially irresponsible?
July 17th, 2012
03:25 PM ET

Why has government become so financially irresponsible?

By CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It didn't used to be this way.

Our government - local, state and federal - didn't always spend money like a drunken sailor and run up astronomical debts.

In recent weeks, three california cities - Stockton, Mammoth Lakes and San Beranrdino - have declared bankruptcy.

Scranton, Pennsylvania is so cash-strapped that it has cut the pay of all municipal workers to $7.25 an hour - minimum wage. Scranton's mayor wants to raise property taxes by 80% to try to close a $17 million budget deficit and prevent bankruptcy.

And there will likely be more cities forced to declare bankruptcy because of toxic economic conditions.

High unemployment along with foreclosures and plummeting home values means less tax revenue.

The Los Angles Times reports that tax receipts in some areas have shrunk more than 20% over the last three years - and soaring pension costs top funding levels by as much as a $3 trillion debt nationwide.

Meanwhile our federal government is nearly $16 trillion in the hole - that's more than a $5 trillion increase since Pres. Obama took office.

CNSNews.com crunched the numbers and found that the National Debt has now increased by more than $64,000 per federal taxpayer in the last three and half years under President Obama. To pay off the entire $15.8 trillion national debt it would cost every taxpayer in the country $194,000.

In the meantime neither Democrats nor Republicans are doing anything meaningful about the so-called fiscal cliff as we get closer and closer to the edge.

Here’s my question to you: Why have we become so financially irresponsible?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 5pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

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Filed under: Finance • Money
Most Americans aren't too focused on Europe's financial crisis. Should we be?
May 31st, 2012
04:00 PM ET

Most Americans aren't too focused on Europe's financial crisis. Should we be?

By CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Europe's financial crisis is a warning siren for the U.S., but many Americans aren't listening.

A new Gallup Poll shows only 16% of those surveyed say they're following the news about Europe's crisis "very closely."

33% say "somewhat closely," 21% say "not too closely" and 29% "not at all."

This poll also shows even though all Americans aren't paying attention, 71% are concerned about the impact of the European financial crisis on our economy - that includes 31% who are very concerned.

It's been suggested that Americans' concerns about Europe might be higher if more people were actually paying attention.

And it's too bad they're not.

What's going on in Europe is a big part of the reason why we've seen such recent volatility in U.S. markets.

And if it continues, we could see a drop in U.S. exports and less European investment in the U.S. Also, U.S. banks could decrease lending here at home due to worries about Europe.

Meanwhile things are going from bad to worse in Europe. on top of concerns about Greece's debt crisis, Spain is dealing with a huge banking crisis.

Many of Spain's large banks are crippled by bad debt and money is fleeing the country in massive amounts.

Portugal, Ireland and of course Greece have already had to seek international bailouts due to high borrowing costs by the government.

But in the case of Greece, the citizens made it very clear in the last election they are not interested in the government spending less money. They want their handouts come hell or high water. Sound familiar?

Oh, and our government isn't paying attention either. Many of the things leading Europe deeper into crisis are running rampant here - and Washington does nothing.

Here’s my question to you: Most Americans aren't too focused on Europe's financial crisis. Should we be?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 4pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.