January 16th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

How should the government help homeowners?

From CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Home foreclosures were up a record 81% in 2008…that's a 225% increase since 2006. If that doesn't get your attention how about this: more than 3 million foreclosure filings were issued last year and more than 860 thousand families lost their homes.

Should the government be doing anything to help homeowners?

Some say that number is on the low side, and this year things may get worse. Efforts to stop or even slow the crisis have failed. The two government- sponsored mortgage companies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, temporarily suspended foreclosures at the end of November. But foreclosures in December were higher than in November. The experts are now predicting we could see another 3 million foreclosures this year.

The rest of the problem is tied to collapsing prices. The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index says home prices have dropped 21% on average nationally from their peak, and in some of the worst hit areas, like Phoenix, they've dropped as much as 40%. What this means in many cases is that people who can no longer make their mortgage payments also cannot sell their house for enough to pay off their mortgage. The houses are worth less than what is owed on them.

Here’s my question to you: What should the government be doing, if anything, to help homeowners?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Homeownership • US Economy
January 16th, 2009
01:36 PM ET

Why can’t the two parties work together?

From CNN's Jack Cafferty:

House Minority Leader John Boehner sent a clear message yesterday to President-elect Obama that he is far from having the support he and the Democrats need to pass the 825 billion dollar emergency stimulus bill.

Why aren't there any Republicans in this photo?

The sticking point: The plan was crafted by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and her Democratic colleagues without Republican input.

Obama has been pushing for bipartisan support and an end to 'politics as usual' in Washington. The country is in the midst of an economic crisis with no end in sight and the President-elect has warned of dire consequences if nothing is done. But Democrats and Republicans seem unable to put their differences aside and work fore the common good.

And it's a little more than egos and arguing for argument sake. Boehner says the Democrats are operating on "the flawed notion that we can borrow and spend our way back to prosperity."

Some conservative Republicans are uncomfortable with the hundreds of billions of dollars of spending in Obama's plan. Some Democrats don't like the amount of spending as compared to tax cuts in the bill, and there's skepticism whether the business tax cuts will really create the jobs they're supposed to.

Here’s my question to you: Why can't the Democrats and Republicans work together instead of against each other?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 4 pm 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.

Filed under: Bipartisanship • Congress