November 9th, 2010
04:56 PM ET

Who would you support as 3rd party candidate in 2012?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Maybe 2012 will be the year when a third-party candidate has a real shot at the White House.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/11/09/art.bloomberg.jpg caption="New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg"]
Maybe this time will be different.
It's still two years away, but some potential candidates are already making some noise, including our mayor here in New York, Michael Bloomberg.

The Republican-turned-independent is out with some colorful criticism of the incoming members of Congress.

During a trip to Hong Kong, China, Bloomberg said many of them "can't read" and probably don't have passports. He warned that we're about to start a trade war with China because "nobody knows where China is. Nobody knows what China is."

Bloomberg added that the United States should stop blaming China and everybody else and take a look at ourselves. There's a thought.

Some suggest that if the Republicans nominate a far-right candidate - like Sarah Palin - in 2012, it could provide a perfect opening for a politician like Bloomberg to run for president.

It wouldn't hurt to have someone who knows a thing or two about the economy and business sitting in the Oval Office. Especially if the economy doesn't improve and we're still looking at high unemployment.

Of course there are always the same challenges for a third party - including getting on the ballot, raising money and generally trying to make yourself heard in a political system that's intentionally built to keep two parties in and keep everyone else out.

But if the voters are as fed up in 2012 as they are in 2010 - if they're as set on voting against the status quo - maybe, just maybe, we'll try something new.

Here’s my question to you: Who would you like to see run as a third party candidate in 2012?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: 2012 Election
November 9th, 2010
04:55 PM ET

Calif. borrowing $40 million/day for unemployment benefits


Unemployed people search for jobs in an employment office in the southern California town of El Centro. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

California is borrowing $40 million a day from the federal government to pay unemployment benefits.

That means California is borrowing $40 million a day from you and me to pay unemployment benefits.

The Los Angeles Times reports the state will have a $362 million bill for interest alone due on a total debt of $10 billion next fall.

Thanks to the recession and poor management, California is an economic disaster zone, with one in every eight workers unemployed. More than 1.2 million Californians have lost their jobs since the start of the recession, and they're staying out of work for longer periods of time.

Plus in 2001, state lawmakers nearly doubled unemployment benefit levels without raising taxes. That was smart.

The result of all this is that if California keeps borrowing from the federal government, employers could face a steep hike in their unemployment taxes.

California is not alone here. 32 states in total have been borrowing from the federal government to pay unemployment benefits. The total is $41 billion. Some of these states are asking the feds for a deferral on repaying the loan until the economy improves.

The solution to this is fundamental: either increase contributions or decrease benefits - or both. Want to bet neither one happens?

Here’s my question to you: Should California borrow $40 million a day from the federal government to pay unemployment benefits?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?