March 31st, 2009
06:00 PM ET

Car companies treated worse than Wall Street?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

When it comes to President Obama's plans for the struggling car companies, many autoworkers say the administration is being much harder on them than the many failing banks.

Some auto workers have called ousted GM CEO Rick Wagoner (pictured) a sacrificial lamb, scapegoat, and fall guy.

The president of one United Auto Workers chapter calls it the "age-old Wall Street vs. Main Street smackdown," adding that there's lots of money available to banks that are "apparently too big to fail, but they're also too big to be responsible." Meanwhile he says auto manufacturing and middle class jobs have to meet a higher standard.

Many workers even sympathize with General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner, calling him a sacrificial lamb, scapegoat, and fall guy. They believe the government hasn't given the same harsh terms to insurance giant AIG or the banks in which it's taken an ownership stake. And they're absolutely right.

Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm calls President Obama's moves quote "a bit of tough love," and says she hopes the financial industry gets "as tough a scrutiny as the auto industry has."

Also, a piece in 'Politico' asks why the banks get carrots while the auto industry gets the heavy stick. They say the White House believes it gave both GM and Chrysler a chance to prove they could come up with a plan for survival, and they didn't.

Also, although the collapse of the American auto industry would devastate workers, suppliers and executives, it probably wouldn't destroy the broader U.S. economy, like the collapse of certain financial institutions could. And since the public seems to have bailout fatigue, this was a chance for the president to show he's not willing to stick the taxpayer with the bill once again.

Here's my question to you: Some autoworkers say President Obama treated car companies worse than Wall Street. Are they right?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


March 31st, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Pres. Obama headed to Europe, how has U.S. image abroad changed?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

When then candidate Barack Obama traveled to Europe last summer, he was greeted as a rock star; and there's little reason to think it will be much different this time around. The president has a packed agenda as he heads for an eight day, five country trip that includes critical economic and political talks.

President Obama and his wife Michelle deplane Air Force One near London.

He'll attend a G-20 meeting of the world's major economic powers in London, a NATO summit marking 60 years since the alliance was formed, and international summits on hot topics like Afghanistan and Pakistan. He'll also make his first stop in a Muslim nation - Turkey.

Since becoming president, Mr. Obama has begun to follow through on campaign promises concerning issues near and dear to the hearts of many Europeans; things like global warming, ending the Iraq war and closing Guantanamo Bay Prison Camp.

And polls show Americans are very confident in their new leader as he heads overseas. A new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey shows 86 percent of Americans think the president will do a good job representing the U.S. on his trip. And 72 percent say leaders of other countries respect Mr. Obama. Compare that to President George Bush: just after the 9/11 attacks, 49 percent of Americans thought other Countries respected Mr. Bush, and his rating never got any higher than that.

Here's my question to you: As Pres. Obama heads to Europe for the G-20 summit, how has America's position in the world changed?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


March 31st, 2009
04:00 PM ET

How will stimulus bonus affect your life?



FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Millions of Americans will soon start seeing a little extra in their paycheck. It's all part of that massive economic stimulus plan that the president signed into law last month.

President Obama has asked all employers to adjust their payroll systems by tomorrow so eligible workers can start receiving the "Making Work Pay" tax credit in their paychecks.

If paid weekly, single people eligible for the tax credit might get between $10 and $15 per paycheck; and married couples could see $15 to $20. In total, that comes out to as much as $400 a year for single filers and $800 for joint filers.

The full amount will be paid to people making less than $75,000 a year; or $150,000 for couples. There were will also be partial credits for people making more than that; but no more than $95,000 per person or $190,000 per couple. The credit is also refundable, which means that even poor families who don't make enough to pay income tax will still be able to claim it.

$10 or $20 a week isn't AIG bonus money; but for lots of folks it just might make the difference between being able to make that mortgage payment or not next month.

Here's my question to you: How will the stimulus bonus affect your life?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Stimulus Check
March 31st, 2009
12:43 PM ET

War on drugs is insane

Here's something to think about:

How many police officers and sheriff's deputies are involved in investigating and solving crimes involving illegal drugs? And arresting and transporting and interrogating and jailing the suspects?

Cafferty: People will use this stuff whether it's legal or not.

How many prosecutors and their staffs spend time prosecuting drug cases? How many defense lawyers spend their time defending drug suspects?

How many hours of courtroom time are devoted to drug trials? How many judges, bailiffs, courtroom security officers, stenographers, etc., spend their time on drug trials?

How many prison cells are filled with drug offenders? And how many corrections officers does it take to guard them? How much food do these convicts consume?

And when they get out, how many parole and probation officers does it take to supervise their release? And how many ex-offenders turn right around and do it again?

So how's this war on drugs going?

To read Jack's entire CNN.com commentary, click here

Filed under: Uncategorized