July 7th, 2011
05:00 PM ET

Should the U.S. leave troops in Iraq past the deadline for leaving the country?



FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

In 2008, President Obama promised over and over again to get all U.S. troops out of Iraq by the end of 2011. After winning the presidency, he vowed to keep that promise.

Now as that deadline for military withdrawal from Iraq approaches, he's apparently prepared to break that promise. Gee, what a surprise.

The President announced this week that he's offering to leave 10,000 U.S. troops in Iraq indefinitely, beyond the scheduled December withdrawal date. The White House says it's concerned that the planned pullout of nearly all U.S. troops at the end of the year could spark violence and trigger militant attacks there. Oh, and don't forget the oil.

Any extension of U.S. military presence depends on a formal request from Iraqi government, and so far no request has been made. But the Pentagon wants to give Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and his government time to decide so if they need the help, there is time to plan. The Iraqi government is reportedly divided on whether the U.S. should leave additional troops behind and al-Maliki is facing pressure from hard line members of his own party to let the troops leave on schedule.

There are about 46,000 U.S. troops in Iraq right now. Only about 200 were supposed to remain in the country in "advisory" roles beyond December to train security forces there. The White House said yesterday that's still the Pentagon's plan and that time for the Iraqi government to ask for the troops to stay is running out. What'll you bet they ask.

Meanwhile there are discussions about cutting Social Security and Medicare to deal with a ballooning national debt and deficit caused at least in part by the war in Iraq which so far has cost an estimated $1 trillion. Makes a lot of sense.

Here’s my question to you: Should the U.S. leave troops in Iraq past the deadline for leaving the country?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Iraq • Troop Withdrawals • U.S. Army • United States Military
July 7th, 2011
04:56 PM ET

Is the cost of higher education becoming prohibitive?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Here's something that will scare you out of a vacation if you've got kids in high school or junior high school: During the past 20 years, tuition and fees at public universities have jumped nearly 130%, and they're going up some more - again. With states facing budget crunches like never before, some state colleges and universities are being forced to raise tuition and fees even higher.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2011/images/07/07/art.tuition.jpg caption=""]
According to the National Association of State Budget Officers, 25 governors have proposed slashing college funding in their states. That would total $5 billion in potential cuts nationwide. And these cuts in funding are forcing colleges in some states to boost tuition by more than 20%.

In Arizona, for example, the legislature voted to slash higher education funding by $198 million in fiscal year 2012. As a result, tuition will jump 22% at the University of Arizona, more than 19% at Arizona State University and 15% at Northern Arizona University. Incoming freshmen at the University of Arizona this fall will pay more than $10,000 a year, almost double what freshmen in 2008 paid.

Public colleges and universities in California, Pennsylvania, Washington and New Hampshire are also being forced to raise tuition because of state budget issues. And schools in Florida and Tennessee are also raising tuition as federal stimulus dollars have dried up.

And considering the median income for middle-class Americans is actually $400 less than it was 20 years ago, more and more young people and their parents are digging themselves a deeper hole just so they have a better shot in a dismal job market.

Here’s my question to you: Is the cost of higher education becoming prohibitive?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Education