February 24th, 2011
06:00 PM ET

Time for U.S. to scale back its role in world affairs?


President Obama makes a statement on Libya with Secretary of State Clinton at the White House. (PHOTO CREDIT: JIM WATSON/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama finally spoke out Wednesday on the crisis in Libya. He condemned the violence against anti-government protesters and announced that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be meeting with top diplomats on Monday to discuss how to respond to violence in the region.

However, the president stopped short of calling for the resignation of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi or announcing any sanctions the United States would place on that nation.

The president is expected to speak with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron by phone on Thursday to discuss the unfolding situation in Libya.

All of this happened after the president didn't say anything for the first few days of the crisis. He was reportedly concerned about the safety of Americans inside Libya. It turns out not saying anything is not necessarily a bad thing, according to a new Gallup Poll.

While 66% of Americans think the United States should play either the leading or a major role in resolving international problems, 32% say the United States should be a minor player or not get involved at all. That's up from 23% just two years ago, and at its highest level since 2001.

But as tensions mount and the stakes get higher, which they inevitably do when oil is involved, it's unlikely the United States will remain on the sidelines indefinitely.

Here’s my question to you: Is it time for the U.S. to scale back its role in world affairs?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


February 24th, 2011
05:00 PM ET

Cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid to attack the deficit?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Early Saturday morning, the House of Representatives approved more than $60 billion in cuts in federal spending. It was the first sign Republicans are trying to make good on campaign promises to close deficits and slash government spending.
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But before they break their arms patting themselves on the back, it's worth pointing out that $60 billion is less than 3 percent of this year's deficit, projected at more than $1.6 trillion.

The bill cuts federal funds to Planned Parenthood, the Environmental Protection Agency, and education programs like Pell Grants and Head Start. What it doesn't touch is Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid which account for 57 percent of the federal budget this year. So far, not a single dime has been cut from any of those programs.

According to a recent CNN/Opinion Research Poll, more than half of Americans think the deficit is "extremely important" for the President and Congress to tackle. However, when asked what was more important: reducing the deficit or preventing cuts in Medicare, 81 percent said preventing cuts to Medicare while just 18 percent said reducing the deficit. When asked about Social Security, 78 percent said preventing cuts to that program was more important than lowering the deficit. And when asked about Medicaid, 70 percent said avoiding cuts to the public health insurance program for low-income families was more important, compared to 29 percent who said closing the deficit was more important.

So at the end of the day it's not just the federal government that's at fault here. As the line in Pogo went, "We have met the enemy and it is us." Politicians know senior citizens are among the most consistent, reliable voters in this country, and it's a real risk to propose cuts to programs many of them depend on... especially as we approach the 2012 presidential election.

Here’s my question to you: Should the government cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid in order to attack the deficit?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Health care • Social Security