American Morning

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January 25th, 2010
02:05 PM ET

Dr. Frist back from Haiti

Aid is finally flowing into earthquake-stricken Haiti. Up to 140 flights a day are bringing supplies into the country. But it's still an uphill battle to meet the overwhelming need for food, water, shelter and medicine.

Former Senate Majority Leader Dr. Bill Frist just came back from Haiti where he performed life-saving surgery on earthquake survivors. He joined us live on Monday's American Morning.

Complete coverage: Haiti earthquake


Filed under: Haiti
January 25th, 2010
12:30 PM ET

Was there enough stimulus money in the first place?

Editor's Note: All week, CNN examines the stimulus and looks at one of the greatest areas of concern for Americans: the economy. Tuesday on American Morning, we'll show you some of the good news from the stimulus money. One family says they have food on their table because of it.

By Lakshman Achuthan,
Managing Director, Economic Cycle Research Institute

Lakshman Achuthan says it’s clear that the economy began to improve before the 2009 stimulus began to hit the economy.

Lakshman Achuthan says it’s clear that the economy began to improve before the 2009 stimulus began to hit the economy.

Question: Was there enough stimulus money in the first place?

Answer: To be clear, we’re talking about the $787 billion stimulus enacted in early 2009, not earlier efforts by the Fed to rescue the financial system in the fall of 2008, which certainly served to pull the economy back from the abyss.

That said, if we look at the objective data, it’s clear that the economy began to improve before the 2009 stimulus began to hit the economy. The major driver of the economic recovery remains the massive rebuilding of inventories, which was guaranteed once Armageddon was taken off the table in late 2008.

This is reminiscent of when FDR first took office in March 1933. That very month, before any of his policies took effect, the economy blasted off on a four-year expansion that boasted 10% average annual growth, slashing the jobless rate by 14 percentage points. Believe it or not, that recovery began nine months after President Hoover raised the top marginal tax rate from 25% to 63%.

All of this is to say that the power of the business cycle dwarfs virtually all short-term fiscal policy initiatives by politicians. Please also recall the first bipartisan stimulus package that sank without a trace in the spring of 2008, because the business cycle simply overwhelmed it, and the outcome would have been the same even if it had been twice the size. Likewise, for the second (2009) stimulus, size doesn’t really matter.

Bottom line, politicians will either take the credit or the blame for whatever happens, regardless of their efforts. In the same way, pundits will keep pushing their respective agendas regardless of the facts. To be fair, I too have an agenda which I strongly believe in - which is to highlight the importance of the business cycle.

Complete coverage: The Stimulus Project


Filed under: Economy • The Stimulus Project
January 25th, 2010
11:00 AM ET

Counting Down Cady: Astronaut's mission for kids

Editor's Note: Cady Coleman, Ph.D. is a NASA astronaut – a veteran of two space missions, who has logged over 500 hours in space. She is assigned to the Expedition 26 crew and is scheduled to fly to the International Space Station aboard the Russian Soyuz 25 in late 2010. This is part of our year-long American Morning original series, "Counting Down Cady."

Don't miss: Read Cady's blog


Filed under: Counting Down Cady • Tech
January 25th, 2010
10:00 AM ET

Is Obama's stimulus working?

Editor's Note: All week, CNN examines the stimulus and looks at one of the greatest areas of concern for Americans: the economy. Tuesday on American Morning, we'll show you some of the good news from the stimulus money. One family says they have food on their table because of it.

We're taking a hard look at how your tax dollars are being spent, who they're helping, and who has abused the program. A new CNN poll says most Americans now oppose the stimulus. And as President Obama starts his second year in office, unemployment is in double digits.

So is the stimulus working? We asked Chrystia Freeland of the "Financial Times" and economic analyst Lakshman Achuthan on Monday's American Morning.

iReport: Signs of the economic times
We want to see the signs of the economic recession near you. Is your favorite store closing? Are foreclosure notices filling up your street? Is anyone in your neighborhood trying innovative ways to find work? Share your photos and video of the economy around you. Share your story

Complete coverage: The Stimulus Project


Filed under: Economy • The Stimulus Project
January 25th, 2010
09:00 AM ET

Searching for life two weeks after Haiti earthquake

The Haitian government has officially called an end to search and rescue operations in the wake of the devastating earthquake. But rescue teams are still out there, searching for miracles.

On Saturday, 11 days after the earthquake, a 24-year-old man was pulled alive from the rubble of a hotel. So what are the chances more rescues will be made?

On Monday's American Morning we talked to two men who have been leading some of the rescues in Haiti – Dennis Cross, fire captain of the L.A. County Search and Rescue Team; and Larry Collins, L.A. County Fire Dept. Search Team manager.

Related: Families to Haiti: Keep searching


Filed under: Haiti
January 25th, 2010
08:00 AM ET

How is stimulus being spent?

Editor's Note: All week, CNN examines the stimulus and looks at one of the greatest areas of concern for Americans: the economy. Tuesday on American Morning, we'll show you some of the good news from the stimulus money. One family says they have food on their table because of it.

We're breaking down the $787 billion stimulus plan and holding Washington's feet to the fire for the spending. Where did your money go? Who is it helping? And who has abused it?

On Monday's American Morning our Christine Romans gave us a breakdown of where all that stimulus money actually went.

Complete coverage: The Stimulus Project


Filed under: Economy • The Stimulus Project
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