April 14th, 2010
06:00 PM ET

Can U.S. survive without disappearing middle class?


Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke testifies before the Joint Economic Committee in Washington, DC. Bernanke testified before the full committee today on the topic of 'The Economic Outlook.' (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Even though the economy is showing signs of recovery, Congress is on track to extend unemployment benefits for the fourth time since the recession began more than two years ago.

The measure, now making its way through the Senate, would allow the jobless to receive up to 99 weeks of unemployment checks - that's almost two years.

Democrats insist that times remain tough. They say Republicans, who are opposed to the measure, are "inhumane" and lack compassion.

But Republicans say they're worried about the price tag - about $7 billion a month - which will only add to our skyrocketing national debt. They want to pay for the measure with spending cuts in other parts of the budget.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke predicted this morning that our national debt will double to $20 trillion or 100 percent of our gross domestic product by 2020.

We're killing ourselves.

There's also another component to this: The longer unemployment benefits are extended, the longer the jobless have an incentive not to work. Studies show many unemployed workers don't start seriously looking for a job until their benefits are about to run out.

In fact, some say the scope of the Obama administration's entitlement programs is leading to a two-class society: The "haves" who are bankrolling the "have-nots."

Conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly writes that the president is transforming the nation by "converting the earnings of American workers into handouts" for those who voted for him.

As we reported in the Cafferty File earlier this week - 47 percent of American households won't pay any federal income taxes this year... in other words, the U.S. has become a country where only half of us are paying for the services that are used by all of the U.S.
Here’s my question to you: Can America survive without the disappearing middle class?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Economy
April 14th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

Pres. Obama keeping his word on transparency?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

"Transparency." What was once a great rallying cry for President Obama seems to have fallen by the wayside... in the tradition of so many campaign promises.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/14/art.obama.summit.2.jpg.jpg caption="Pres. Obama answers reporters' questions during a news conference at the conclusion of the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, DC."]
The latest example comes from the Nuclear Security Summit taking place in Washington this week. Dana Milbank writes in The Washington Post that world leaders arriving in the U.S. Capital may have felt more like they were transported to Soviet-era Moscow... with Pres. Obama "putting on a clinic for some of the world's greatest dictators in how to circumvent a free press."

Milbank details how foreign reporters were shut out of press availabilities after only minutes. One journalist reporting for an Arabic-language TV station said they were only present for Mr. Obama's meeting with Jordan's king for about 30 seconds... not long enough to notice the tie colors of the two leaders.

Also - Multiple events on the president's official schedule yesterday were "closed press"... leading reporters who have covered the White house for decades to say these were the most restricted meetings they'd ever seen.

Where's the transparency we were promised? This disregard for the media is becoming somewhat of a theme for President Obama... from closed events like the recent meeting with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu... to the president's signing of an executive order on abortion. No media coverage allowed for any of this stuff.

Not to mention another broken campaign promise of televising the health care debates live on C-Span.

Here’s my question to you: When it comes to transparency, is Pres. Obama keeping his word?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Obama Administration