May 10th, 2010
06:00 PM ET

What services are you worried your state will cut?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Coming soon to a state near you: Painful spending cuts.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/05/10/art.pledge.jpg caption=""]
A piece on CNNMoney.com suggests that although states have been struggling with huge budget gaps since 2008, federal stimulus funds have helped them avoid making some tough cuts.

But this year those federal dollars will be drying up - and the cuts ahead could be brutal: Think education and health programs, like Medicaid.

You see, states are required to balance their budgets; and for the past couple years, they've been getting help from the stimulus package.

To make matters worse, many states have already slashed services and used up their rainy day funds to balance their budgets.

As for money coming in, there are estimates that income tax revenue from this past April is likely to drop - a lot.

States are hoping Congress will renew some of the stimulus provisions - especially increased funding for Medicaid.

Without that federal money - states will be hurting. Big time.

For example, Pennsylvania would have to slash half its funding for domestic violence and rape crisis services, cut 25 percent from the budget for child welfare services, and reduce payments to hospitals, doctors and nursing homes.

As for education, 275,000 jobs could be eliminated nationwide due to budget cuts - which would pretty much wipe out the approximately 300,000 jobs saved by the stimulus bill.

Here in New York state - as many as 15,000 teachers could lose their jobs.

Here’s my question to you: What services are you worried your state will cut?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Budget cuts
May 10th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

Message to incumbents by Utah Sen. Bennett's loss?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

In Boston they threw tea into the harbor. This time around they're throwing incumbents into the street. And it's a wonderful thing.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/05/10/art.bob.bennett.jpg caption="Bob Bennett (R-UT) was ousted by GOP activists."]
Utah has become the first state to oust an incumbent this year - three-term Republican Senator Bob Bennett lost to more conservative candidates in a second round of balloting at the state party convention.

It's the first time since 1940 that an incumbent senator in Utah has failed to get his party's nomination.

Bennett was a powerful and likable Senator, that just wasn't enough this time around. If anything, Republicans in Utah seemed to be turned off by his seniority.

Bennett himself acknowledged what he called the "toxic'" political atmosphere.

The country is in an anti-incumbent rage, and Bennett's loss may be an ominous warning sign for other incumbents. We can hope. National polls show deep-seated unrest and discontent with Washington. And other incumbents are feeling the heat.

In Iowa, long time Republican senator Charles Grassley is in trouble... he's still barely ahead but has dropped 20 points in a hypothetical match-up against his Democratic opponent.

In Pennsylvania, Republican-turned-Democrat turned turncoat Arlen Specter - the state's longest serving senator - may finally be shown the door. His lead over his primary challenger is evaporating. The Pennsylvania district held by the late Democratic Congressman John Murtha is in Jeopardy of going to a Republican for the first time in 35 years. It's all good.

Ironically, like the first one, this revolution also began in Massachusetts... with the election of a Republican to fill the Senate seat of the late Ted Kennedy.

Here’s my question to you: What message does Utah Sen. Bob Bennett's loss send to other incumbents?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Senate