July 6th, 2011
06:00 PM ET

Would you want to live to be 150 years old or even older?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

A leading British scientist says the first person who will live to the age of 150 has already been born.
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Doctor Aubrey De Grey, the chief scientist of a foundation dedicated to longevity research, also believes that the first person to live to be 1,000 years old could be born in the next two decades. You heard right. A thousand.

De Grey made these comments in an interview at Britain's Royal Institution's academy of science.

So far, the longest-living person in the world on record lived to age 122.

But Dr. De Grey says we have a "50/50 chance" of bringing aging under medical control within the next 25 years.

He believes that aging is really just the accumulation of molecular and cellular damage in the body over a lifetime...and that some day doctors will be able to undo this damage. We'll all just go to the doctor for "maintenance checks"– you know, like a tune up for your car. But these visits will include gene therapies, stem cell therapies, and immune stimulation.

De Grey does have his critics. In 2005, the MIT Technology Review Journal offered $20,000 to any molecular biologist who could prove Dr. De Grey's theories were so wrong they were not worthy of debate. But no one ever won that cash prize.

Here’s my question to you: Would you want to live to be 150 years old or even older?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Longevity • On Jack's radar
July 6th, 2011
05:00 PM ET

Is a balanced budget amendment to the constitution a good idea?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The warnings continue that if the debt ceiling isn't raised by August 2, the U.S. could default on its debt obligations. That's less than a month away. If it happens, this already weak economy could get its legs knocked out from under it.
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On Thursday, the top two leaders from each party in the House and Senate will meet with President Barack Obama in the White House to talk about reaching a final agreement. Good luck.

Nothing much has changed - Republicans want spending cuts and no tax increases. Democrats want to avoid steep cuts to social services and get rid of tax breaks for wealthier Americans. No reason to expect one side or the other is suddenly going to say, "You're right. Let's do it your way."

And to complicate matters further, there is a growing group of Senate and House Republicans who say their vote to increase the debt ceiling would be contingent on caps on federal spending as well as the passage of a Constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget every year.

It might sound good, but it would be an uphill battle. Amending the Constitution requires a two-thirds majority vote in the House and Senate. In other words, if all 47 Republican senators support the measure, 20 more Democrats would have to join them. And even if it passed the House and Senate, the measure then would have to be ratified by three-fourths of the state legislatures, which could take years.

Critics of a balanced budget amendment say the results could be disastrous as the population of this country ages and relies more heavily on social services. The Senate and House versions of the legislation require a balanced budget starting in 2018, but both also mandate how it must be done. Federal spending would be capped at 18% of the gross domestic product - that spells major cuts. And two-thirds of Congress would have to vote to approve any tax increase.

That may be difficult math to do down the road. And as usual, they are talking about "down the road."

Here’s my question to you: Is a balanced budget amendment to the constitution a good idea?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Government • United States