American Morning

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January 27th, 2010
07:00 AM ET

Angry voters sound off on stimulus

By Bob Ruff and Carol Costello, CNN

How angry are some voters in Youngstown, Ohio?

Here's a clue. Remember that NY Daily news headline, "Ford to New York: Drop Dead"?

It was October of 1975. President Ford was refusing to bail out financially struggling New York City. Voters were furious when the president said he'd veto any bill that aimed to help out the city with its budget woes. He suggested bankruptcy as a better option for the nation's largest city.

Flash forward to 2010. Youngstown, Ohio, a much smaller city, is also struggling mightily with its economy. So we couldn't help but recall the Daily News when we saw this headline recently from the online edition of the Vindicator, a newspaper based in Youngstown: "HUD to Mahoning Valley: Drop Dead"

What's it all about?

Youngstown's once thriving manufacturing base has disintegrated. The city has been in an economic black hole for decades. It's hard to miss the abandoned buildings and foreclosed homes. So, when the Recovery Act, also known as the stimulus bill, was signed by President Obama, cities like Youngstown were hopeful that they'd get a big enough piece of the pie to help them through their financial troubles.

FULL POST


Filed under: Economy • The Stimulus Project
January 26th, 2010
12:00 PM ET

Paying the cost to be your own boss

One couple has turned a hobby into a lucrative online business. But doing what you love and getting paid for it has its price. Our Deb Feyerick has the report.


Filed under: Economy • The Stimulus Project
January 26th, 2010
09:00 AM ET

Dying town in need of stimulus

Editor's Note: All week, CNN examines the stimulus and looks at one of the greatest areas of concern for Americans: the economy. Today, we talked to a mayor in Pennsylvania whose town is in need of a stimulus. And tomorrow on American Morning, can a $5.5 million resort town restoration project be a good use of stimulus aid? We find out why one woman is grateful the government is spending the money.

You would be hard pressed to find a town more in need of economic stimulus than Braddock, Pennsylvania.

It was the site of Andrew Carnegie's first steel mill, a thriving industry town of around 20,000 people. Now, 3,000 remain. Unemployment is sky high, and on Sunday, the town's biggest employer will close.

The mayor of Braddock, John Fetterman, joined us on Tuesday's American Morning to explain why his town desperately needs a stimulus.

Complete coverage: The Stimulus Project


Filed under: Economy • The Stimulus Project
January 26th, 2010
07:00 AM ET

Stimulus paying for 'pork'?

Editor's Note: All week, CNN examines the stimulus and looks at one of the greatest areas of concern for Americans: the economy. Today, our Christine Romans looks at how the stimulus is feeding some American families. And tomorrow on American Morning, can a $5.5 million resort town restoration project be a good use of stimulus aid? We find out why one woman is grateful the government is spending the money.

By Laura Dolan and Christine Romans

Pork: It's what's for dinner. Remember that well-known advertisement on television? Thanks to the stimulus package, it's now true for millions of Americans.

One hundred million dollars of stimulus money is filling the plates of struggling Americans, like Robert Carlucci from rural Franklin, North Carolina.

Carlucci, a single father of two girls, lost his job as a carpenter in December 2008.

"I never went without a job," he told us.

When he didn't have enough money to feed his daughters, he sought help from a local food pantry.

"I can't believe I'm here. I mean I'm usually the one who is donating around Thanksgiving time and Christmas time and going through my cabinets and making a box for my kids to take to school and now I'm here and I'm needing that and it was surreal," said Carlucci.

He's one of 18 million Americans out of work, and many are taking the same path.

FULL POST


Filed under: Economy • The Stimulus Project
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

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://blogs.cnn.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/37/2010/01/achuthan-cnn-art.jpg caption="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
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
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