April 12th, 2010
06:00 PM ET

Make it easier for illegal immigrants to become U.S. citizens?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

As the debate over immigration reform heats up, a hefty majority of Americans are opposed to making it easier for illegal immigrants to become citizens.
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A new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll shows 66 percent of those surveyed do not want to ease the path to citizenship for an estimated 11 million people in this country illegally.

Democrats are more likely than Independents or Republicans to support making it easier for illegals to become citizens.

The poll also shows 52 percent of Americans are sympathetic to illegal immigrants and their families - but 47 percent are unsympathetic; and that number is eight points higher than it was four years ago.

All this comes as thousands of people attended rallies over the weekend in several cities across the country - calling on congress to act quickly on immigration reform. Activists waved American flags and held signs that said things like: "Stop tearing our families apart" and "Reform now."

President Obama has vowed to do everything in his power to get a bipartisan deal through Congress.

But it's not going to happen. As these poll numbers suggest - with a sluggish economy and nearly 10 percent unemployment, a lot of Americans don't have an appetite for immigration reform.

Under President Bush, Congress tried to do the same thing a few years back, but critics called that effort "amnesty," which is exactly what it was, and the legislation never saw the light of day.

Here’s my question to you: Should the U.S. make it easier for an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants to become citizens?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Immigration
April 12th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

Is it right that half of American households pay no federal income taxes?



FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Tax Day is around the corner - but it turns out that millions of Americans don't dread the April 15 filing deadline much at all:

That's because 47 percent of U.S. households will pay no federal income taxes for 2009. That's right - almost half of Americans will pay nothing.

So what we have in effect is roughly half the households paying the tax load for the whole country. One Washington research group says it's either because people's incomes are too low or they qualify for enough credits, deductions and exemptions.

In the past few years, credits for lower income families have grown so much that a family of four - with two children younger than 17 - making $50,000 will pay no federal income tax for last year. Nothing.

We now live in a country where half of the people aren't paying for the government services and programs that benefit everyone - that includes national defense, public safety, infrastructure and education. It's estimated that the wealthiest 10 percent of Americans pay about three-quarters of the income taxes collected by the federal government.

Under President Bush, the nation's wealthiest taxpayers got big tax breaks; but President Obama has been pushing tax cuts for poorer Americans and tax increases for the wealthiest.

Everyone gets hit paying lots of other taxes... things like federal payroll taxes and excise taxes on gasoline, alcohol and cigarettes - as well as state or local taxes. But when it comes to the government's biggest source of revenue - the federal income tax - almost half of all American households pay not one thin dime.

Here’s my question to you: Is it right that almost half of American households pay no federal income taxes?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Taxes