American Morning

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March 23rd, 2009
06:00 AM ET

What’s on Tap – Monday March 23rd, 2009

A busy Monday morning.  There’s breaking news. Tragedy in big sky country.  Plus – new details on the bank bailout – and a bonus crackdown.

  • A story developing as we speak: A deadly and fiery plane crash in Montana. More than a dozen people were killed.  Many children are among the victims.  We’re live on scene as the sun comes up and investigators look for answers.
  • The bank bailout – take two.  Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is finally expected to explain how the administration plans to buy up a trillion dollars in toxic assets from banks.  Back on February 10, Geithner gave a bank bailout speech that was short on details. Congress killed it.  Wall Street hated it.  The markets lost hundreds and hundreds of points.
  • Renters kicked to the curb.  You don’t have to own to get hit by the foreclosure crisis.  Many landlords are drowning in debt and they’re pulling tenants under.
  • Getting a raise in a recession.  Personal Finance Editor Gerri Willis has been showing you where the jobs are.  Today she’ll tell you how to make your case for more money. 
  • Tough choices for parents whose kids are in private school.  Some are going to extreme measures, even taking out a second mortgage.  Sounds insane in this economy, but parents who want to keep their kids in private school say it's a gamble they're willing to take.
  • And – From working on Wall St… to driving on Wall St.  Many laid-off white-collar workers are now driving taxis to pay the bills, even as many commuters look for cheaper ways to work.

Filed under: What's On Tap
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. nancy

    I also agree with Tim. I have no sympathy for people with children in private schools. No one twisted their arms to put them in private schools. if they are having a "money crunch", then they need to get their priorities straight. there is plenty of good schools and GREAT teachers in the public sector!

    March 23rd, 2009 8:41 am ET ~~ TIM

    Should I pay my kids tuition or make a mortgage payment. How funny. People don’t listen to themselves very often. Have you heard of public schools? Wake up,teach your kids about how they won’t be able to have everything they want in life. Many people have gone to public schools and have become leaders of their communities. It blows my mind how peoples priorities are so messed up. When you have to decide about food and a mortgage payment then I might have sympathy.

    March 23, 2009 at 11:29 am |
  2. Terry, TX

    Why aren't you reporting about the $400 Obama is giving to everyone in May or June...another stimulus....yet Senior Citizens, Veterans with Disabilities, Railroad Retirees are ....only getting $250.

    Why aren't you reporting about Michelle Obama's kind overtures to soldiers families....then her husband trying to force our wounded soldiers to pay for their own insurance once they are discharged. Thank God ...people screamed to high heaven at the White House....but I didn't see much coverage from CNN. He was trying to save money over the backs of our soldiers.

    March 23, 2009 at 9:03 am |
  3. Marian Librarian

    A Librarian's Day:
    We live in a small town (very small and the largest in our county) less than 5,000, at a small rural library, with five public access computers. Three years ago, we might have five or six people use these computers in a day. We now have forty to fifty people use these computers because Internet access is a luxury that was eliminated from personal budgets. Our state funding has been decreased by 17% and we have been warned to expect even more cuts.

    Over the past 15 years, southern communities like ours, have lost all of our cotton mill and sewing industries. There were NO bailouts for these companies and there were NO stimulus packages for our economy. We are already on the bottom. Now we are seeing other parts of the United States pile up on top of us here on the bottom. Which simply pushes us further down. I didn't think we could go further down but I was mistaken.

    Our elementary school had 57% of its students on free or assisted lunches -- 3 years ago. It has gotten worse than that now. In a community as small as ours, it means that at least 2/3's of the children that come into our library are not getting proper nutrition. It means that when school is not in session, these children are skipping meals. I am seeing fewer fat kids. Exercise? No. Recess and physical education were eliminated for 4th through 12th grade with no child left behind.

    I spoke with one of our city employees several weeks ago. He and some of his co-workers are finding people (I can't believe I am writing this) going through garbage bins behind grocery stores. When they are confronted they say that they are getting food for their dogs. One lady was asked what kind of dog likes lettuce and tomatoes?

    I have finally lost hope. It's bad when Walmart is too expensive. I know that the stimulus thing I have been hearing about will have to filter and trickle down through many layers before we see anything. My husband says that it will many many years before we see any benefits from this stimulus. I am tired. I tried to keep my head up but when I look into what the deep south's future looks like.... I just didn't know it could get worse than it already was.

    I apologize for my pessimism. If your town or community was not dependent on weaving cotton or sewing clothes, then times should get better faster for you. Then maybe it will be our turn. Maybe.

    March 23, 2009 at 8:55 am |
  4. Tim

    Should I pay my kids tuition or make a mortgage payment. How funny. People don't listen to themselves very often. Have you heard of public schools? Wake up,teach your kids about how they won't be able to have everything they want in life. Many people have gone to public schools and have become leaders of their communities. It blows my mind how peoples priorities are so messed up. When you have to decide about food and a mortgage payment then I might have sympathy.

    March 23, 2009 at 8:41 am |
  5. Carlen

    The plane crash in Montana is very disturbing. That plane is rated for 9 passengers, and reports are that 14 died. Overloading the plane could be the problem.

    March 23, 2009 at 8:18 am |
  6. Bruce

    I'm a senior citizen, a veteran, a parent, an American. My head is spinning with all that I see going on. I fear for the future of my beloved country.

    I used to feel that our country was "for the people." I'm not so sure any more. During my life time I have seen avarice permeate our whole society. I don't feel that my government is representing me or any of my beliefs. The ground under my feet shutters as the spirits of our founding fathers roll over in their graves. I feel disenfranchised.

    Whenever I turn on the news I see reports where our "representatives" pass multi-billion dollar bills without even reading the final text . . . and then lying about it. I see Republicans pointing and Democrats and vice-versa laying blame. I don't see anyone saying "We have serious obstacles ahead of us that we need to work together to solve."

    We remove God from our society and wonder why we see moral decay. I read that 86% or more of Americans believe we should be able to have prayer in schools and public events. But I see our courts and government doing just the opposite. "Of the people, for the people?"

    I have seen the devastation of war and fought to keep it's horror from the United States. I spent my life trying to make a better country for my children and grandchildren. I feel that I have failed.

    I hear your commentators talk about using our voting right to change our government. How can we do that when we now have professional politicians who have millions of dollars to spend on public relations to influence the electorate? Does an honest man have a chance to make a difference? I don't think so. I know there are elected officials who have refused office because of the corruption in our system.

    I know I have rambled across a number of areas, but in my opinion most of our problems are all inter-related and that to get out of the hole we have dug we need to get back to basics.

    How can we spend billions or trillions of dollars around the world and not take adequate care of our veterans and their families who have sacrificed so much. Where are our priorities?

    Thank you for this opportunity to comment. None of my congressmen will reply to my emails or phone calls.

    March 23, 2009 at 8:16 am |
  7. Yeagerhood

    If you have never had a home loan. And your credit score is not so good.(due to a shopaholic ex-wife) Is now a good time to buy a home? Will there be good deals on homes in the near future to stimulate the economy?

    March 23, 2009 at 7:53 am |
  8. damian

    Funny to see Judd Gregg be so self-righteous when he covered for John Sununu back in the 80's in New Hampshire. Sununu was offered the Chief of Staff position with George senior and proclaimed a state surplus as a qualifying credential for the job. Gregg discovered a multi-million dollar hole and failed to mention it to us dumb folks who lived and paid taxes there.

    Seems Gregg has taken some remedial courses in math and ethics !

    March 23, 2009 at 7:34 am |
  9. Mel

    I haven't heard anything on the illegal immigrant situation for a long time. The 12mil jobs they have that americians didn't want (aparently constuction jobs, carpteners, plummers, electricians) I'm sure with the unemployment so high, we would like to have then back, wouldn't this help put americians back to work??? And the money that is sent out of this country (probably our biggest export) would stay here and help us.

    March 23, 2009 at 7:17 am |
  10. angry mom

    Ifeel that we have spent to much time on aig and not enough time on real people with relatable american issues we are all facing such as a lack of money,housing,appropriate healthcare,and better schools.AIG is so far away from the average person

    March 23, 2009 at 7:08 am |
  11. R Laviolette

    Bank Bailouts:
    There should be great concern about the U.S. Government "merging" economically with international investors. They care nothing about us. Past history has shown the investors to run both sides of war. Their only concern is economic gain. We have 158 military bases around the world to suppress threats to this banking system under the guise of "American values" and "democracy". Every product we buy from these "investors" sends our soldiers to die in foreign lands (for people that think nothing more of them than as a means to an entreprenurial end) and forces the flow of money to our future rulers in countries that care nothing for us at home in our own land. What little money I have left is coming home. The loss of my factory job, the damages wreaked by illegal drugs to our communities by "dark Capatalism" and the death of friends related to foreign war makes me choose another course. America will never turn around until we understand the root of the problem: So if it is foreign, I guess I just do not need it, I am bringing my money home. I know, having been a serviceman, it is the only way to bring our service men and women home to their families. May we help others figure this before it is too late.

    March 23, 2009 at 7:08 am |
  12. rhonda

    I'm so glad that the Aig story is not big news anymore!!!

    March 23, 2009 at 6:54 am |
  13. HillbillyBill

    Why should I want to borrow money? Isn't debt why people are losing their houses? Isn't debt why the government is in deep trouble? Isn't debt is bad, not good?

    March 23, 2009 at 6:40 am |
  14. ronald

    Do not yourselves deeply consider the media conversations concerning the financial chaos covered far too often?
    Do you potentially perceive that pessimism coverage about the financial fallout only makes folks more pessimistic by nature?
    Where is the optimism coverage lately?
    Nothing else to discuss?
    Meaning, would be nice to view some coverage for which yourselves might enlighten .
    I suggest that your producers take the optimism/pessimism test online to determine for themselves.
    http://www.queendom.com/tests/access_page/index.htm?idRegTest=709

    Now, how about educating ourselves about the sugar tarriff of 1977 and its potential to either assist or fail our determination to sway against oil?
    During the OPEC 1970s, Brazil was wise and structured themselves to accept the usage of sugarcane to devise ethanol operating vehicles.
    This was because oil was and still is traded on the US dollar.
    Now, Brazil, exports more oil than its internal consumption.
    Why? Cause sugarcane ethanol utilizes less energy than alternatives such as corn.
    Vehicles could operate in America running on sugarbeet ethanol.
    Sugarbeets can and do grow in this nation.
    Following the success of Brazil with sugarcane, America could easily embrace sugarbeet ethanol.

    March 23, 2009 at 6:29 am |
  15. Gary Falgout

    I am a teacher in North Carolina. My salary after 17 years was just cut
    200 dollars a month. Across the state teachers are losing their longevity pay and bonus money. Why don't we hear about these people who lose money and are struggling to make ends meet. We have no recourse whatsoever, but millions are paid to those who created this problem.
    An angry hard working teacher,
    Thanks

    March 23, 2009 at 6:19 am |