May 23rd, 2011
06:00 PM ET

Does the next generation have a shot at the American Dream?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

We've got huge problems with money and debt in this country right now.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2011/images/05/23/art.house.jpg caption=""]
Unemployment is still relatively high with good paying jobs continuing to be scarce.

The housing market is still terrible. Home values are down on the year and a record number of properties are in foreclosure.

Banks now own 872,000 homes, according to the New York Times. That’s twice as many as in 2007. And they are in the process of foreclosing on about a million more. Scary stuff.

But despite all of this, most Americans believe the American Dream is alive and well, according to the Pew Economic Mobility Project.

Sixty-eight percent of Americans say they have achieved or will achieve the American Dream.

But the poll also found that less than one-third of Americans think their personal finances are excellent or good.

That number has dropped steadily since the start of the recession and it doesn't bode well for their kids and their kids' kids.

When asked if they thought their children will have a higher standard of living than they currently enjoy, fewer than half of Americans - only 47 percent - said yes.

Just two years ago, 62 percent said their kids will be better off than they are.

And these kids probably don't know what's in store for them.

In a separate poll of kids aged 12 to 17 conducted by Junior Achievement and the Allstate Foundation, only 7 percent think they will be worse off financially than their parents.... 89 percent think they will be the same or better off.

The eternal optimism of youth.

Here’s my question to you: Does the next generation have a shot at the American Dream?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: United States
May 23rd, 2011
05:00 PM ET

Is Pres. Obama making U.S. relations with Israel worse?


Pres. Obama speaks in Dublin on the first stop of a week-long European tour. (PHOTO CREDIT: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama was in Ireland today, the first leg of a six-day trip to Europe. And as he travels to Britain, France and Poland, U.S. tensions with Israel and the overall instability of the Middle East will likely be a theme.

The president's still trying to navigate around comments he made in a speech last Thursday, suggesting peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian people should begin with the borders established before the 1967 war, in which Israel captured Gaza and the West Bank. Palestinians claim some of that land is theirs. President Obama’s suggestion angered the Israelis and created an uncomfortable meeting between President Obama and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday at the White House. Sticking with the pre-1967 borders has been a long-held, but not often-stated, U.S. position.

Yesterday, the president spoke before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Washington's most powerful pro-Israel lobbying group, in an effort at damage control. He reiterated that peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians should begin with the pre-1967 borders, but only as a starting point. Land swaps could eventually be part of the plan in order to be fair to both sides. Netanyahu is addressing the same group tonight.

President Obama has said he's trying to jump-start peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians to slow the growing momentum for a declaration of a Palestinian statehood at the United Nations in September. The president hopes to persuade his European counterparts to vote against it. But tensions between the two long-time allies remain high, and the rhetoric coming from Israel has gotten much sharper.

Here’s my question to you: Is President Obama making U.S. relations with Israel worse?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Israel • President Barack Obama