March 9th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

300,000 illegal aliens getting stimulus jobs?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Illegal aliens in this country could wind up winning big from the recently passed economic stimulus package.

The economic stimulus package could wind up creating 300,000 jobs for illegal aliens.

USA Today reports that studies by two conservative think tanks show illegal aliens could take 300,000 new construction jobs - or 15 percent of the two million jobs to be created by U.S. taxpayer dollars. The numbers of illegal workers getting jobs could be especially high in states like California.

These reports blame Congress for not forcing employers to certify the status of workers. The House of Representatives had included a provision in its version of the bill that would require employers to use a Homeland Security Program called e-Verify, but the Senate didn't include it, and the provision wasn't in the final bill that went to the president. So much for putting Americans first.

This recession/depression isn't that bad and unemployment is only at 8.1 percent and we've only lost 4.4 million jobs in the last 15 months. What's wrong with giving a few hundred thousand jobs away to people who shouldn't even be in the country in the first place? This is your government at work.

An advocacy group for immigrants doesn't dispute the 300,000 estimate - but says it's impossible to know for sure since there could be many jobless immigrants leaving the country because of the recession. The group says these are fear tactics and instead we should be focusing on economic progress for all. Excuse me?

Immigrant advocacy groups along with business groups - who of course benefit from cheap labor - argue that the E-verify program has lots of errors that could mean millions of workers would be wrongly identified and not authorized for jobs.

The Obama administration has delayed until at least May a Bush era order that would require all federal contractors to use E-verify in hiring.

Here’s my question to you: What does it mean if up to 300,000 illegal aliens get jobs created by the economic stimulus package?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Economic Stimulus • Immigration
February 5th, 2009
02:40 PM ET

"Buy American" in stimulus plan?

From CNN's Jack Cafferty:

There's no shortage of controversy when it comes to the massive stimulus bill – including whether or not it should include a "Buy American" provision.

Supporters of the "Buy American" provision want all bridges, tunnels and other infrastructure to be made of American materials.

Supporters insist that using only U.S. made goods in work projects - like bridges, roads and tunnels - will help jump-start the economy by giving business to American companies. Steel companies and labor unions are pushing for such a provision. But others worry that restrictions could start a trade war, and make the economic downturn even worse.

When the House passed its stimulus bill last week – it ensured that only U.S. made iron and steel can be used for construction – with a few notable exceptions. But the Senate has agreed to softened the "Buy American" clause, saying it won't override existing trade treaties.

President Obama says he doesn't want any provision that would violate U.S. trade rules. Already some of our closest trading partners are voicing concern. The European commission says it might challenge such a move if it becomes law. And Canada says it would violate NAFTA if the U.S. buys only American-made steel.

Some economists are also hesitant - saying now is not the time to institute any kind of protectionist measures. If the U.S. refuses to buy foreign made goods, our trading partners might decide to stop buying our exports - which could hurt us even more in the long run.

Here’s my question to you: Should the final version of the stimulus package contain a "Buy American" provision?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Economic Stimulus • Economy
January 15th, 2009
12:57 PM ET

Tax cuts or government spending for stimulus package?

From CNN's Jack Cafferty:

There's no formula for success when it comes to stimulating the economy. As Time Magazine points out, the economists and experts speculating on what will work are simply guessing.

Should the President-elect's stimulus package emphasize tax cuts or government spending?

At the heart of it all is whether the boost should come from tax cuts or government spending. There are pros and cons for both but no one knows if either is the magic bullet.

Tax cuts are a quick solution, and have been effective in the past. But this time they may not be the answer because with consumer confidence as low as it is people are likely to hold on to any extra money they can get their hands instead of running out and spending it.

As for government spending, the projects take a long time to get under way. They leave debt for our children and grandchildren, but the idea is that there is something to show for them at the end of the day. There is a bridge or a building or a highway. There's also the option of, rather than starting new projects, pumping money to state and local governments where it can be spent on projects already under way that are likely going to be cut.

Here’s my question to you: Should President-elect Obama's stimulus package emphasize tax cuts or government spending?

Tune in to the Situation Room to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

Filed under: Economic Stimulus • Taxes