November 16th, 2010
04:28 PM ET

Where will federal government make deepest spending cuts?



FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Ever since the proposals of the bipartisan deficit commission have started to emerge - critics from all over the political spectrum are trying to shout loudest about what they don't want to see cut.

And now, you can add Defense Secretary Robert Gates to that list.

Gates is blasting the proposed reductions in military spending, saying such cuts would be "catastrophic" to national security. He says he's trying to use a "scalpel instead of a meat axe" to make cuts to his department.

Gates adds that when it comes to the deficit, the Defense Department is not the problem.

But that is the problem here - no one wants to see the programs near and dear to them cut - yet, if we're going to get serious about reducing our $13 trillion-plus national debt, a lot of cutting is in order.

And the deficit commission seems to have put nearly everything on the table with its draft recommendations. The overall goal being to reduce the debt by $4 trillion by 2020.

In addition to defense cuts, the commission recommends cuts to: Social Security and Medicare, raising the retirement age, increasing taxes, cutting contractors for domestic government agencies, freezing the pay of federal workers, shrinking the size of the federal workforce, and eliminating all earmarks.

Congress is already hard at work on that last one - voting on a symbolic, non-binding resolution to ban all earmarks. A non-binding resolution is about as worthless as Congress.

Here’s my question to you: In light of the deficit commission's draft recommendations, where do you expect the federal government to make the deepest spending cuts?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Government
November 16th, 2010
04:25 PM ET

Would you pay extra for flight with no children?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

More in the Cafferty File today on the pleasures of modern air travel:
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/11/16/art.child.on.plane.jpg caption=""]
After you're groped, X-rayed and looked at like a common criminal, you finally make it onto your flight only to find you're seated in front of, next to or behind someone traveling with one or more small children.

For the duration of your flight, you can look forward to screaming, crying, kicking, food-throwing and yelling parents.

The New York Times says for some, sitting near such an uncontrollable child is "the second biggest fear of flying." They report on a growing push for airlines to create child-free flights or to designate "family-only" sections on planes.

A recent travel survey shows 59 percent of passengers support creating these special sections, while close to 20 percent say they'd like to see flights with no children.

Some travelers say they'd gladly pay extra to fly with no children on board. Even some parents support the idea of separating kids from the rest of the passengers.

They say a family-only section would give parents and children more freedom to make a little noise. They also point out it's stressful for parents when their kids are screaming and won't calm down.

But it's unlikely any of this will happen. A major airline trade group says the industry is working hard to return to profitability; and they don't want to start turning people away from certain flights.

As for family-only sections, they say it would be too complicated. Plus it could set a dangerous precedent once you start separating passengers by age. What if there are calls for elderly-free flights or obese-only sections?

Here’s my question to you: Would you pay extra for a flight with no children?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Airlines • Children • On Jack's radar