June 9th, 2009
05:35 PM ET

Should states reduce or eliminate welfare benefits?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Facing a staggering $24 billion dollar budget deficit, California is considering making cuts just about everywhere - including social programs for the poor, elderly and frail. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's proposals could:

Demonstrators call on Schwarzenegger to reverse $170 million in proposed budget cuts in HIV/AIDS services as he seeks to close a $23 billion deficit in California's budget.

– End the welfare-to-work program for mothers and their children - affecting more than 500,000 families.

– Eliminate health insurance for 1 million children from low-income families

– Greatly reduce services for Alzheimer's patients and others receiving in-home care.

Schwarzenegger acknowledges these proposals would be painful, saying: "It's an awful feeling, but we have no choice." The governor has said he won't raise taxes again, which leaves lawmakers with few other alternatives.

Critics say they are in shock at the idea of getting rid of the state's welfare program and the results could be devastating - forcing thousands of families into homelessness.

But supporters say that states still have many other assistance programs and few people would be left without any help... For example, federally mandated programs like food stamps, low-income housing and Medicaid would continue.

California isn't the only state cutting back in these difficult economic times. Arizona reportedly cut funding for a rehab program for almost 5,000 children with chronic or disabling conditions. Georgia has cut back services for the elderly; and Nevada will make it harder for low income families to apply for cash assistance and health insurance.

Here’s my question to you: Should states reduce or eliminate welfare benefits as a way of balancing their budgets?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Economy
June 9th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Should Supreme Court decide fate of 'Don't ask, Don't tell'?



FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

When it comes to gays in the military, the Supreme Court has refused to hear a legal challenge to the 'Don't ask, don't tell' policy.

The law - enacted under President Clinton in 1993 - forbids those serving in the military from openly saying they are gay or lesbian... it also prevents the government from asking people about their sexual orientation. It's estimated that more than 12,000 members of the military have been discharged under this policy - including more than 200 since President Obama took office.

While campaigning, then-Senator Obama indicated that he supports eventually repealing the law; but he hasn't yet taken any steps to do so. A group of more than 1,000 retired military officers - including 47 four-star generals - recently warned the president that overturning the policy could cause problems recruiting and retaining troops.

But Liberal activists who believe gays should be able to serve openly are frustrated by the Supreme Court's decision... and the Obama administration's lack of action.Yet it seems like Democrats and the White House don't want to take on an issue that could divide the public when they need support for other issues - like health care.

Meanwhile a new Gallup poll suggests there might be more support out there on this issue than the president realizes. 69 percent of Americans now favor allowing openly gay members to serve in the military - that's up six-points from five years ago. Also –and this is interesting - the biggest increase in support has come from conservatives and weekly churchgoers.

Here’s my question to you: Should the Supreme Court decide the fate of 'Don't ask, Don't tell'?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Supreme Court
June 9th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Would you rather listen to Palin or Gingrich make a speech?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Sarah Palin didn't make a speech - but that didn't stop her from stealing the show at a big Republican fundraising dinner in Washington last night. The Alaska governor's appearance was a question mark up until the last minute... and followed weeks of an on-again, off-again saga.

Palin had originally been announced as the keynote speaker, but her office said she never confirmed the attendance. Later they wanted to know if she would speak at the dinner; party leaders said she could but then took back the invitation... worried that Palin would upstage Newt Gingrich, the new keynote speaker. Lots of drama.

But Palin, along with her husband Todd, got big cheers from the audience when they were introduced onstage last night; and their table was the only one in the ballroom with a crowd around it.

Several Republicans thanked Palin for showing up. Senator John McCain said it was great to see her, Senator Jon Cornyn praised Palin's leadership, and Gingrich said the U.S. "would be amazingly better off" had McCain and Palin been elected.

There's been speculation that both Gingrich and Palin might be interested in running for the White House in 2012. A recent poll among Republicans showed 21 percent backing Palin and 13 percent backing Gingrich.

Here’s my question to you: Would you rather listen to Sarah Palin or Newt Gingrich make a speech?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Newt Gingrich • Sarah Palin