March 23rd, 2009
06:00 PM ET

Will Pres. Obama's budget bankrupt country?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama's budget could bankrupt the U.S.; so says Republican Judd Gregg. The New Hampshire senator, who was almost a cabinet member, says if we maintain the proposals in the budget over a 10 year period, the country will go bankrupt.

Pres. Obama's budget will reportedly produce $9.3 trillion in deficits over the next decade.

"People will not buy our debt, our dollar will become devalued. It is a very severe situation," said Gregg, who's known as one of the top fiscal minds on Capitol Hill, calls the planned spending "almost unconscionable."

A report by the Congressional Budget Office shows President Obama's budget would produce $9.3 trillion in deficits over the next decade. That's more than four times the deficits of President Bush; and it's $2.3 trillion worse than what the Obama administration had predicted.

And Gregg's not the only one - Republican Senator Susan Collins, who was one of the few in her party to work with Democrats on the stimulus bill, says the planned deficit spending "poses a threat to the basic health of our economy." And Democratic Senator Kent Conrad calls the projected deficits "a stunning amount of money," and says the administration will need to make some adjustments.

But the head of President Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, Christina Romer, is not backing down from the budget proposals - saying the estimates by the Congressional Budget Office may not be accurate.

Here's my question to you: Will President Obama's budget bankrupt the country?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: President Barack Obama
March 23rd, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Taxing bonuses a good idea?


People protest against corporate bailouts in front of AIG's Los Angeles office.(PHOTO CREDIT: GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

There seems to be plenty of opposition to the House of Representatives' bonus tax plan - including perhaps President Obama himself.

In a move that many saw as "grandstanding," the House rushed through that 90 percent tax on bonuses of big earners at bailed-out financial institutions last week. The measure came in response to news that AIG paid out at least $165 million in bonuses - after getting $170 billion in taxpayer bailout money.

But in an interview with "60 Minutes," the president questioned the legality and constitutionality of the tax; and said that he wouldn't "govern out of anger." Nonetheless, Mr. Obama vowed to make Wall Street understand it must do away with "the old way of doing business."

He said the Senate would produce a very different and more acceptable version of the the bonus tax bill; maybe one he could sign.

Also coming out against the tax were other top administration officials - the vice president's top economic adviser, Jared Bernstein, said it "may be a dangerous way to go." And the chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, Christina Romer, said the president favors creating a federal "resolution authority" over bailed-out financial institutions which would allow a judge to void the kind of contracts that let AIG pay out the bonuses.

Meanwhile the American public clearly wants that money back. A new Gallup poll shows 76 percent of those surveyed want the government to intervene to block or recover the AIG bonuses.

Here's my question to you: Is it a good idea to tax bonuses?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Taxes
March 23rd, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Does Pres. Obama risk overexposure?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

I like him, but I'm tired of looking at him. It feels like President Obama is everywhere these days. When he holds a prime time press conference tomorrow night, it will already be the second one in his very young administration.

Media wise, is President Obama getting overexposed?

He was chatting it up with Jay Leno on the Tonight Show last week; which was great until they started talking about bowling. Every day some town hall meeting or summit at the White House or elsewhere gets covered live by the cable networks. We show him leaving, getting there, doing it, leaving, and getting back. Enough!

Plus, you can't pass a newsstand without dozens of Obamas staring at you...

Politico dubs Mr. Obama "the Everywhere President," pointing out how despite a severe recession and two wars overseas - he's making the effort to give off a very personal and intimate presidential image. But some experts suggest a personality-driven presidency does have its risks. One media and pop culture expert says the president is trying to "metaphorically remove the moat from around the presidency," but that can be tricky.

Former White House Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers says that when a president is in the public eye too often, people may just stop listening at some point.

Republicans have already been critical of the president for appearing on ESPN to fill out his college tournament brackets and doing the Tonight Show interview. But the GOP attacked Mr. Obama for being a "celebrity" during the campaign; and that didn't seem to work too well.

And the Special Olympics gaffe on the Tonight Show aside, interviews outside the realm of hard news do give him a chance to connect to more Americans. 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno' scored its fourth highest ratings ever the night the president was on.

Here’s my question to you: When it comes to the media, how much of President Obama is too much?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: President Barack Obama
March 23rd, 2009
10:58 AM ET

Excerpt: Parents, your kids aren't that special

Here is an excerpt from Jack’s new book, "Now or Never"

I never presumed to have any more answers about being a parent than anybody else.

There are no perfect parents, perfect kids, perfect families - only degrees of dysfunction.

You get up in the morning and do the best you can. At the end of the day you say, "Okay, that wasn't so bad, let's try it again tomorrow." Some of my instincts were pretty good and some of them were awful.

I did stay engaged and didn't say to hell with being a father when my first marriage ended. With the younger girls, I eventually made the choice to clean up my alcoholism before I pushed things to the point of no return. But most of the credit does to my second wife Carol; to the girls; and to God Almighty. Ultimately, I've just been very fortunate.

I don't know the status of parenting in America. But I know a little about the status of education in America. Parents' growing inability to impose manners and limits on their kids when the kids are in school is reflected in record dropout rates, as well as teen drug and alcohol abuse, teen sex, and unwed pregnancies. Maybe it's parenting that's on the decline, more than the schools.

Click here to read the entire excerpt

Don't miss this other excerpt: Cafferty: My battle with alcoholism

Filed under: Uncategorized