May 16th, 2011
04:27 PM ET

Should Congress vote to raise the debt ceiling?


Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner speaks during a press conference. Geithner announced that the Social Security Board of Trustees estimates that the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance Trust funds will be exhausted by 2036. (PHOTO CREDIT: SAUL LOEB/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The U.S. government officially hit its $14.3 trillion debt ceiling today, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told Congress. It comes as no surprise of course. Geithner pointed to this date months ago. But here we are, and lawmakers don't appear to be any closer to any sort of agreement on raising the limit the U.S. government can borrow.

The U.S. spends on average $118 billion more each month than it takes in. Geithner says he can keep things going until early August. After that, all bets are off. If Congress doesn't agree to raise the debt ceiling by then, the United States could default on its debt obligations. That could have devastating effects on our still-shaky economy and markets worldwide.

Many Republicans and some Democrats are refusing to vote in favor of such a move without a promise to make meaningful spending cuts. And while critics have warned against tying the two issues together, lawmakers are more concerned about how all this talk of debt ceilings and deficit reduction will play out with voters. Some Republicans believe if they vote for raising the debt ceiling, voters - particularly those in the highly vocal, newly powerful and very conservative Tea Party - will see it as a fiscally irresponsible.

A new Gallup poll shows 47% of Americans oppose raising the debt ceiling. Only 19% are in favor of it. But more than one-third say they don't know enough about the topic to say one way or the other. And that's a big part of the problem.

Here’s my question to you: Should Congress vote to raise the debt ceiling?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Congress • National debt
May 16th, 2011
04:25 PM ET

Would terror attack on U.S. make you more or less likely to vote for Pres. Obama?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Senator John Kerry, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was in Pakistan today meeting with government and military leaders there in an effort to mend relations between the two nations.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2011/images/05/16/art.kerry.pakistan.jpg caption="John Kerry listens to Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik prior to a meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani in Islamabad."]
Tensions remain high three weeks after the raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad. But Kerry says the U.S. and Pakistan have agreed to cooperate on future terror targets, and Pakistani officials have committed to finding new ways fight terror within that nation's borders.

We'll see about that.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will also travel to Pakistan in the coming weeks.

It is part of the Obama Administration's careful balancing act - keep up foreign relations while staying tough on terror; especially as the president's campaign for re-election in 2012 kicks into a higher gear.

President Obama enjoyed a much-needed boost in his approval ratings after the killing of Osama bin Laden on May 1, but according to the latest Gallup poll, his approval ratings have dropped back down to 46 percent - which is where they were prior to the bin Laden raid, and right around the lowest levels of his presidency.

Being tough on terror might be a good strategy for winning over American voters. But it took us ten years to find bin Laden. And what if there is another attack between now and the 2012 election?

Here’s my question to you: Would a terror attack on the U.S. make you more or less likely to vote to re-elect President Obama?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?