American Morning

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August 24th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

We Listen – Your comments 8/24/2009

Editor's Note: Various elements of heath care reform were debated among Monday’s American Morning viewers. Many believed that Americans did not understand that current government health care was “public,” while others argued that these very programs were headed toward bankruptcy.

  • Ruth: Please explain our current health care programs: Medicare is a public program for those over 65. The Veterans Admin. is socialized medicine, i.e., gov't owns the hospitals, docs work for the gov't., and Medicaid – a federal/state program for low income citizens of any age. Some states limit Medicare coverage due to state budgets. I believe that if people understood these three programs, they would have a better idea of what is being proposed by Congress. Thank you.
  • Hubert: COST TOO MUCH???? If we fix health care, we would save money. Cut the fraud, cut the high cost of insurance. Cut the lobbyists. Cut the (CEO's) bonuses. Cut the politicians kickback from pharmaceutical, and only god knows how many more. UNLESS congress want to payback the lobbyists and give them money that they might have made buy cheating us. The people that don't want a change must be making $millions from fraud and overcharges.
  • Ginspelts: Congress's answer to everything is spend now and worry later about how we will pay for it. Is that what they did years ago when they passed Medicare & social security? Because both are now fixing to go bankrupted. Why don't they concentrate on fixing both of those government programs? Their answer is to worry about it later when it comes crashing down on our heads

With the various problems faced by Social Security, the Veteran’s Administration, and Medicare, is the government capable of running an appropriate public health care program for all our citizens? What are your concerns about this?


Filed under: We Listen
August 24th, 2009
12:20 PM ET

'Clunkers' comes to an end but there's still cash out there

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="The word 'clunker' is written on the windshield of a truck traded in as part of the federal Car Allowance Rebate System or 'Cash for Clunkers' program."]

Didn't have a clunker to junk? But still want to buy a new car? "Cash for Clunkers" has shifted into park, but there is still government money for you.

It was your Romans’ Numeral this morning but we wanted to tell you more about incentives still available for new car purchases.

The original stimulus break for new car buyers is still in effect. New car buyers can write off the state, local and excise taxes they pay on their 2009 tax return. Taxes vary by state, but on a $35,000 new car that's about $600 on average.

On new cars bought between February 16 and January 1, 2010 you can deduct state and local sales taxes paid on up to $49,500, depending on your income. The benefit phases out the higher up the income ladder you go.

If you are a clunker customer, remember the tax write off is good for you, as well. You keep the $3,500 or $4,500 cash refund and you can write off the state and local taxes on your return next year.

Where the auto industry goes from here is anyone’s guess. But there’s still a little money out there for you.

Filed under: Minding Your Business
August 24th, 2009
10:43 AM ET

Pres. Obama under pressure on health care

This morning President Obama is on Martha's Vineyard for a week-long vacation. But there's no rest for the debate over health care reform.

A growing list of lawmakers are breaking with the White House over a so-called public option. That's a government-run health plan that would compete with private plans and supposedly drive down costs. CNN's Jim Acosta reports.

Filed under: Health • Politics
August 24th, 2009
10:29 AM ET

Sen. Corker: More troops may be needed in Afghanistan

The top man in the military is painting a grim picture of the fight against the Taliban in Afghanistan. Speaking of the situation there to CNN’s John King, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen said, “Well, I think it is serious and it is deteriorating and I've said that over the last couple of years – that the Taliban insurgency has gotten better, more sophisticated...”

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Sen. Bob Corker visited Afghanistan during last week's elections there."]

Tennessee Republican Senator Bob Corker visited a voting site in Afghanistan last week. He spoke to John Roberts on CNN’s “American Morning” Monday.

John Roberts: We’ll get your take on the elections in just a second here, but let me first of all ask you about this proclamation from the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that the situation there in Afghanistan is deteriorating. According to the New York Times, American military commanders told Richard Holbrooke they didn't have enough troops there to do the job. You were on the ground, had a good look at things, what's your assessment of the situation there militarily?

Bob Corker: I don't think there's any question that things have deteriorated. The fact that we were far more concerned about this election and security surrounding it than we were the election of 2004 to me is a clear indication. And I think no doubt we've had a lot of focus on Iraq, things have deteriorated. And I think the American people – we need to talk directly with them about it. We are engaged in Afghanistan, truly in nation building or state building probably is a more appropriate term. We're building a nation that candidly will not be able to sustain itself financially. And we need to be able to articulate to our troops what true victory is. We need to remember that still our enemy is al Qaeda. There are about 2,000 al Qaeda operatives around the world. About 500 of them reside today in the … areas of Pakistan. And that still is our enemy. And so this is getting particularly complicated, and I think certainly our troops need to understand clearly what victory is in Afghanistan.


Filed under: Afghanistan
August 24th, 2009
08:45 AM ET

College financial aid planning tips

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Get college costs under control with these tips and tools."]

From U.S. News & World Report

Paying for College Guide

For Parents
Make paying for your child's education as painless as possible. Learn more

For Students
Get college costs under control with our tips and tools. Learn more

Paying for College News

Filed under: Economy • Education
August 24th, 2009
08:19 AM ET

After the Storm: Signs of economic growth in New Orleans

Four years ago this week, New Orleans was decimated by Hurricane Katrina. 80 percent of the city was under water after the hurricane came roaring through.

According to the government, more than 1,800 lives were lost to Katrina, which caused an estimated $100 billion in damage. Many believed the city would never recover.

We're in New Orleans all this week for our special series "After The Storm." Today, CNN's Sean Callebs reports that while the rest of the country languishes in a recession, New Orleans actually shows signs of growth after Katrina.

Filed under: After the Storm
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