July 16th, 2010
06:00 PM ET

Is it time for Congress to raise the retirement age?



FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

If you like your job, better hold onto it because Congress is thinking about raising the retirement age.

As lawmakers run out of options on how to pay for Social Security, the Washington Times reports how top Democrats and Republicans have been making unusually frank comments on the topic. Usually, politicians talk in generalities about cutting the deficit, and most other things. It's what they do best.

But it seems the flashing warning signs of our skyrocketing and unsustainable deficits have finally gotten their attention.

And now they're getting down to business - with party leaders saying that with people living longer and in better health - the nation can't afford to keep paying out benefits for as long as 30 years after people retire.

House Minority Leader John Boehner suggests raising the retirement age for full Social Security benefits to 70... for those who are now 50 or younger.

Boehner also says we should provide benefits only to those who need them. He says with the government broke, it shouldn't be paying benefits to those who have substantial income from other sources while they're retired.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer also talks about raising the retirement age... and providing benefits primarily to the poor.

Government watchdog groups are impressed at how serious both parties seem to be about fixing Social Security. They say leaders now realize that Social Security - which was long considered the "third rail" of politics - is now the "low hanging fruit," meaning it's one of the easier budget problems to fix.

All this comes as many European countries are moving toward raising retirement ages to fix their budget crisis.

Currently, Americans can start collecting Social Security benefits as early as 62.

Here’s my question to you: Is it time for Congress to raise the retirement age?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Congress
July 16th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

Should Dems pop out champagne if Palin most popular in GOP for 2012?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

There are five Republicans generally viewed as the most likely contenders for the 2012 presidential nomination.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/16/art.s.palin.jpg caption=""]
Bobby Jindal, governor of Louisiana. Mitt Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts - who actually finished his term of office and was a hugely successful businessman. Mike Huckabee, a former governor of Arkansas, who actually finished his term of office.

See where this is going?

Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House.

But the most popular of the Republicans seen vying for the nomination in 2012 is... you guessed it... Sarah Palin. And it's not even close.

Palin, who describes herself as a mama grizzly bear, has a whopping 76 percent favorable rating among Republicans, according to a new Gallup poll.

Compare that to Huckabee, who gets a 65 percent favorable rating, Gingrich 64 percent followed by Romney with 54 percent and Jindal with 45 percent.

Palin, who quit her job as governor of Alaska midway through her first term so she could run out and capitalize on her failed bid to be John McCain's vice president, is the darling of the GOP.

If anything could overcome the increasingly sour view of the Obama presidency, it might be this. The Democrats should be positively euphoric.

You see, the problem with Palin is that while Republicans adore her - the rest of the country just doesn't. According to Gallup, Palin has a 44 percent favorable rating among all Americans; and a 47 percent unfavorable rating. And numbers like this don't bode well for the general election.

Here’s my question to you: Should Democrats pop out the champagne if Sarah Palin is the most popular Republican contender for 2012?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Republicans • Sarah Palin
July 16th, 2010
11:58 AM ET
July 16th, 2010
11:57 AM ET