January 27th, 2011
04:35 PM ET

Tea Party the answer to cutting govt. spending?


Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) greets a supporter during the first meeting of the U.S. Senate Tea Party Caucus today on Capitol Hill. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

For those who thought the Tea Party was a passing fad, it might be time to reconsider:

For starters, it seems like the Tea Partiers may be among the only people in Washington who are serious about reining in government spending.

While Democrats and Republicans talk... and talk... and talk about cutting spending and reducing our skyrocketing deficits and $14 trillion national debt, some in the Tea Party have real solutions.

Newly elected Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky is proposing cutting $500 billion from federal spending in just one year. To be sure, he has some drastic suggestions - including cutting $42 billion from the food stamp program and $16 billion from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Also on Paul's cutting block: the Departments of Energy and Housing and Urban Development, most of the Department of Education, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the National Endowment for the Arts. Massive cuts also for Homeland Security, the federal court system and the FDA. And that's just some of it.

Paul says he hopes he can start a dialogue in Congress about how to save the economy. It's clear that Paul and his fellow Tea Partiers are going to put some serious pressure on the republican leadership.

In fact, they already have. Look no further than Michele Bachmann's response to the president's state of the union address this week. it's unheard of to have two responses... but the republican leadership was afraid to say no.

Here’s my question to you: Is the Tea Party the answer to finally getting government spending under control?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Government • Tea Party
January 27th, 2011
04:30 PM ET

Teachers grade parents on child's education?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

What if, on your child's next report card, the teacher graded you, too? A Florida state lawmaker is proposing exactly that.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2011/images/01/27/art.parent.teacher.jpg caption=""]
State Rep. Kelli Stargel thinks public school teachers should grade the parents of students from kindergarten through third grade. These grades of "satisfactory," "unsatisfactory" or "needs improvement" would show up on the student's report card.

The Republican lawmaker from Lakeland says parental involvement is key to educating children. And she's absolutely right.

According to the proposed legislation, the grading system would be based on three things:

1. The student should show up to school on time and ready to learn, well-rested and fed

2. The student should have done his or her homework and be prepared for any tests

3. There should be regular communication between the parent and teacher

All of which seems perfectly reasonable. Some experts call it a "unique" idea, while others say teachers are in no place to judge parenting.

Florida has been trying to overhaul its public school system for years to make teachers and schools more accountable. But many parents, teachers and lawmakers aren't on board. Last year, then-Gov. Charlie Crist vetoed a bill that would tie teacher pay to the student achievement.

The sad fact is the U.S. needs major changes like that if we want to be competitive in the global economy. And we need these changes yesterday.

A recent international test showed 15-year-olds in the U.S. rank 25th out of 34 countries when it comes to math. They also rank 14th in reading and 17th in science. This is a disgrace.

Guess where China placed? The Shanghai region finished first in all three categories.

Here’s my question to you: Should teachers grade parents when it comes to their child's education?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Education