June 11th, 2009
06:00 PM ET

How will your life change if oil reaches $250 a barrel?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Experts predict the price of oil could soon hit $250 a barrel. Already, a barrel of crude is trading at almost $73 dollars - which is up from the lows of $30 a barrel only four months ago.

Prices are going up for lots of reasons; the big one is a new report that shows the world's proven crude reserves have fallen for the first time in 10 years. Demand for oil has gone up for the first time in 10 months; and as the global recession begins to wane, demand for energy is only expected to increase. Plus, it's the start of the summer driving season.

And, since oil is traded in dollars - a further decline in the value of the U.S. currency could also push oil prices higher. If oil prices keep going up, it's possible that could erase the glimmers of economic recovery we're starting to see.

Some analysts say they wouldn't be surprised if oil hits $80 or $90 a barrel soon; while the chairman of the Russian energy group Gazprom is repeating last year's estimates of $250 dollars barrel.

Meanwhile, rising oil prices mean rising gasoline prices. The national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is now $2.63, according to AAA. Gas prices have increased for 44 days in a row now, with the average price jumping almost 30 percent a gallon since the end of April.

Here’s my question to you: How will your life change if oil reaches $250 a barrel?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Gas Prices • Oil Prices
June 11th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

OK to add to national debt to pay for health care reform?


The National Debt Clock in midtown Manhattan shows the total U.S. government debt as well as the calculated amount per U.S. family. (PHOTO CREDIT: STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama wants to have it both ways. He wants the government to stick to pay-as-you-go rules in order to keep federal budgets under control.

The nation's deficit is expected to top $1.8 trillion this year - more than four-times last year's all-time high.

The president wants Congress to pass a law that requires lawmakers to pay for new spending and tax cuts without adding to skyrocketing deficits. He says the rule, which was in effect in the 1990s when the U.S. had budget surpluses, is simple: "Congress can only spend a dollar if it saves a dollar elsewhere."

But the president apparently wants pay-as-you-go to apply to everybody but him. This plan would make about $2.5 trillion of exemptions for some of the president's priorities over the next 10 years. And Mr. Obama's health care reform plan would also be able to run huge deficits in its early years. Hardly the stuff of fiscal restraint.

Republicans are warning that health care reform will add to budget deficits for years to come. House Minority Leader John Boehner says the Democrats have ignored calls for fiscal responsibility, and he's right: "We don't need more rhetoric and gimmicks. We need action to tackle the tremendous fiscal challenges facing this nation."

Of course, the Republicans ran up record deficits under President Bush, so Boehner's cries ring a little hollow.

Here’s my question to you: Is it okay to add to the record national debt in order to pay for health care reform?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Health care
June 11th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Can Obama's Cairo speech help defeat Ahmadinejad?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Some are calling it the "Cairo effect"... they're referring to indications that President Obama's speech last week has already resonated with the Muslim world. In it, the president made clear that countries that don't back extremists are more likely to win the favor of the West - and avoid isolation.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is running for a second term against three challengers in a June 12 election.

The first test came last weekend during Lebanon's elections, where an American-backed coalition defeated the Hezbollah-backed group. Most analysts had predicted that the Hezbollah-led coalition would win...

But The New York Times reports that while there are many domestic reasons why the pro-west coalition won, many also point to Mr. Obama's campaign of outreach to the Muslim world: "For the first time in a long time, being aligned with the United States did not lead to defeat in the Middle East."

Analysts highlight steps the new administration has already taken to ease tensions with Muslims. For example, they are proposing talks with Iran and Syria - rather than confrontation - which makes it harder for Hezbollah and other extremists to demonize the U.S.

The next test comes on Friday, when Iran's hardline president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is up for re-election against a moderate challenger. Although Ahmadinejad is unpopular at home for many reasons, including the economy, some believe that President Obama's speech could help lead to his defeat.

The last time moderates had a real chance of winning in Iran was in 2002, right after former President Bush included Iran in the so-called axis of evil - and we all know how that turned out.

Here’s my question to you: Can Pres. Obama's speech to the Muslim world help defeat Iranian Pres. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in tomorrow's election?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Iran • President Barack Obama