December 15th, 2010
06:00 PM ET

2,000-page, $1.1 trillion spending bill that some lawmakers haven't seen? 

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Congress had all year to do the public's business, but it didn't.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/12/15/art.reid.jpg caption="Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)"]
It's Congress' job to pass a budget, which they didn't even bother to try to do. But check out what they came up with at the last minute:

A $1.1 trillion, 2,000-page omnibus spending bill put together behind closed doors. This Senate bill - which would fund the federal government for a year - includes more than 6,000 earmarks. Of course, this all comes only weeks after many senators swore off earmarks.

Republicans are blasting the bill, calling it "completely inappropriate." They say many in their caucus haven't even seen the bill.

Here we go again. Some lawmakers haven't even read the thing, but congressional leaders expect it to just sail through.

Instead of a government-wide, or omnibus spending bill, Republicans are calling for a short-term continuing budget resolution, which is similar to what the House passed last week - without any pork.

Meanwhile Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is threatening to keep Congress in session through the Christmas holidays and into next near, saying, "We're not through. Congress ends on January 4."

You see, with just days to go before the Democrats lose their majority in the House, they've decided now is the time to pass the legislation they haven't gotten around to in the last two years including an arms treaty with Russia, an immigration bill, repeal of "don't ask, don't tell," you name it.

It's no wonder that according to Gallup polling Congress' job approval is at a historic low of 13 percent. That's the worst it's ever been in the 36 years they've asked this question.

Here’s my question to you: Should Congress pass a 2,000-page, $1.1 trillion spending bill that some members haven't even seen?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Congress • Congressional Spending
December 15th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

Do you expect to be better or worse off one year from now?



FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

As millions of Americans continue to suffer from the troubled economy, there are signs that things may be looking up. It's very slow going, but there are some glimmers of hope.

For millions of Americans it's about a job - and unemployment remains stubbornly high, at just under 10 percent.

But economists have a more optimistic outlook for 2011: They're predicting three percent growth in GDP next year. It's not a runaway train, but not terrible either compared to where we've been. Experts have also reduced the odds of a double-dip recession to only about 15 percent.

However, the Federal Reserve struck a cautious note on economic recovery yesterday, saying it is "continuing, though at a rate that has been insufficient to bring down unemployment."

The extension of the Bush tax cuts - which passed the Senate a few hours ago - will likely become law soon, as will the extension of unemployment benefits. These measures should bring added relief to nearly everyone.

As for government spending, there's a new sheriff in charge of the Congress.

Republicans are vowing to tackle spending next year after the tax cut extension goes through. It remains to be seen how serious they are about spending cuts - or if they too will continue to add to our $13-plus trillion national debt.

For investors, the stock market is behaving okay, and businesses have a lot of cash on hand. If they ever become convinced things are finally on the mend, they can start hiring and investing.

So how do you think all these ripples in the economy will affect you and your family?

Here’s my question to you: Do you expect to be better or worse off one year from now?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Longevity • Recession • Unemployment • Unemployment / Economy