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August 9th, 2009
11:46 AM ET

Is the economy bottoming out?

Thanks so much for all of your comments.

Today in our 4pm ET hour, Josh Levs took your questions about the economy to the experts, and showed some web pages from CNNMoney.com offering information, ideas… and even a little bit of fun. As promised, here are those links:

Clunkers...
http://money.cnn.com/2009/08/07/autos/cash_for_clunkers_sales/index.htm?postversion=2009080714
http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2009/autos/0908/gallery.cash_for_clunker_trade_in/index.html

Housing...
http://money.cnn.com/2009/08/05/real_estate/buy_foreclosures_now/index.htm?postversion=2009080609
http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2009/moneymag/0906/gallery.online_mortgage.moneymag/index.html
http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2009/fortune/0908/gallery.unsold_million_dollar_houses.fortune/index.html

Jobs...
http://www.cnn.com/jobs

And here are the Dolans, who joined us and tackled some of your questions...
http://www.dolans.com/

---–
We had to postpone our Economy theme hour Saturday due to breaking news out of New York/New Jersey. So we are going to re-examine this topic today and we want to hear from you!

The Labor Department says the unemployment rate has dipped a bit, consumers turned in their clunkers for cash in a big way and then this, a few mixed signals on the housing market.

Yes, analysts say existing home sales got a recent bump but then there’s this grim forecast on so called “homes underwater”. Over the next year, half of American homes may be worth less than owners owe on them according to Deutchebank.

So how do you assess all of this? Are these signs of a slowing recession? Perhaps you have questions about how to make the best financial decisions rightnow as it pertains to homeownership, car buying or employment. We want to hear from you.

Tell us your questions and concerns then tune in to Fredricka Whitfield Saturday at 4 P.M.


Filed under: Anchors • Fredricka Whitfield • Josh Levs
soundoff (81 Responses)
  1. woNamabOhcaepmI

    Our President has shown himself to be a rank amateur in politics, a buffoon to other countries, a novice to the ways of economics & business & sadly a disappointment to all Americans. This is the man who was labeled our "post racial president" but he brought up race in a press conference w/out having all of the facts. Our President goes over seas to preach "save the Earth" & is told to mind his own business by all of the developing countries. He visits China to tout our economic policies & China tells him to stabilize our dollar, why...because they hold almost a trillion dollars in our debt. The country undergoes an economic downturn & what does he do? He lets Pelosi push every junk liberal proposal down our throats & calls it a stimulus plan. And yes "inflation" is inevitable! We have Russia, Iran & N. Korea rattling swords & Obama decides to cut military spending. What does Iran & N. Korea do then...they build the “bomb”. Obama promised to get us out of Iraq & instead he keeps us in & sends us to Pakistan & Afghanistan as well. Now he's trying to socialize the best health system in the world...okay it's not a perfect system, but it still has people from all over the world coming here for treatment. We all know that the government has done a bang up job w/ Medicaid, Medicare & Social Security. We’ll impeach Clinton for lying about a bj in the Whitehouse but we're all okay w/ Obama bankrupting this country?!? Well, you voted for him, ignored all of the warning signs...so what will you do in the 2010/2012 elections?

    August 7, 2009 at 10:11 am |
  2. michael armstrong sr.

    It all depends on what you concider the bottom right now the fall has slowed to a crawl this question can only be known after the christmas shoping season this would be a good time for stimulus to the public increasing sales and jobs.

    August 7, 2009 at 10:26 am |
  3. Bill Foster

    The rate does not include all the people that no longer collecting unemployment benefits that still do not have a job. What about the record high increase of people getting food stamps. The media just do not get it!

    Thank you,
    Bill Foster
    St. Louis MO

    August 7, 2009 at 11:26 am |
  4. Robert Wallace

    it hasn't begun it's final spiral yet, wait till everyone cashs in their 401k's that have regained some value

    August 7, 2009 at 11:42 am |
  5. victor aponte

    With the amount of unpresidented jobs lost, businesses going bankrupt, banks collapsing, health care cost out of control, etc. I am amazed that in a little over 6 months we are even showing any signs of recovery at all. One thing I do know if the culture of washington continues the way it is this country is in trouble. The media is a very powerful tool. To set these politicians straight they need to stop giving them the chance to go on the air and lie to us and expose what they are really doing to help the economy. Can you help us please!!!

    August 7, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  6. Charlotte

    Re: the difference between men and women being unemployed, another possible reason for the higher rate of unemployment among men is that women always make less money, so employers are more likely to lay off the men and keep the women. And let's face it, women tend to work harder on the job.

    I realize this sounds sexist, but the part about women making less is a proven fact, through dozens of studies. So it would make sense that that would be a factor in the unemployment rate. Women are cheaper, period.

    August 7, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  7. phyllis Murray

    I think we have never seen the like of this assault on the American Constitution. And, I am 84 years old, having my first vote made for Roosevelt. Obama could be the American Iran. We do not take to bullying and having issues rammed down our throats. Obama will get very nasty before he lets go of any one of hlis pet projects, which include mastering the American electorate and keeping them so. I am scared for America, and I hope we undo this rush to dictatorship in 2010. I love America, and want us to go back not ahead to this madness.

    August 7, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  8. phyllis Murray

    thank you for accepting my comment and allowing it to be viewed. This is my first time at this. I wish i could make a difference.

    August 7, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  9. Mike77

    Shouldn't we be looking at the more realistic numbers for unemployment?

    When you factor in people who stopped looking, people who's unemployment benefits have expired, people who are working part-time and as a temporary bridge... the actual number would be *MUCH* higher.

    Just my opinion, but it seems really slimy that an artificially low number is used.

    Is there a reason why the mainstream media folks would ignore this?

    August 7, 2009 at 12:37 pm |
  10. David Edwards

    I hope this is the bottom. How about hiring thousands of people to inspect the cargo containers on the ports. If you are going to have national healthcare, start construction on thousands of hospitals and clinics.

    August 7, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  11. Rita McCarthy

    c You failed to report on the recent medicare fraud busts in Florida just over a week ago that caught over 320 million. To not report on that fact leaves the viewers with the idea the Government isn't working on health care fraud! leaving this out of your reporting isn't honest broadcasting! Someone sould search all the facts first!

    August 7, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  12. Jan Ruegg

    I DONT KNOW WHY THE REPUBLICANS ARE SO HATEFULL TO THE DEMACRATS When Bush adminastration was in the White House it was a policy "my way or the highway". Obama is trying to make things better for all Amerians, his adminastration is in the White House now let them do the job. It is scary to see the republicans tell other people to go and disturb meetings about health care ...they need to listen and ask questions , Shame on you for doing this .

    August 7, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  13. Tom

    Why is it that when Democrates bus in supporters of health care reform for town hall meetings its called "community organization" but when regular folks ,democrates and republicans, show up spontaniously to protest the health care bill their called mobs or astroturf. Shame on you Mr. President and Ms.Pelosi.
    At least President Bush acknowledged everyones right to freedom of speech.

    August 7, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  14. Ines

    My thought is that a lot of people exhausted their unemployment benefits or have taken part time jobs to make ends meet, which is not reflected in the unemployment figures.
    The better question should be has government spend to much money with the stimulus package?
    Not in my opinion, the thing that pulled us out of the depression was WWII.
    I am not saying we should have anything like this by all means, just stating that our government spend a lot more with putting people to work to make planes ammo etc. they spend a lot of money then which we pulled out of even had a surplus from time to time.
    The cash for clunkers thing is helping people and companies alike.
    I still think banks should have been allowed to fail and nobody should have to suspend their campaign to rush to save the bailout.
    Insurance companies are the biggest scam and gamble in history, because they will find a way out of paying anyone.
    Just my 2 cents.
    Ines in Colorado

    August 7, 2009 at 2:15 pm |
  15. ken dougherty

    Nobody knows if the economy has bottomed out. I do know one thing however, no democrat will ever admit a mistake. I've watched video after video of Bill Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank etc. praising subprime loans during the 90's to the mid 2000's while people like Bush and McCain were worried and thought they should be reined in.
    And who did the media blame the subprime disaster on?
    So back on topic, we've just spent close to two trillion dollars on this situation. And now we have insured that the problem won't go away for a minimum of twenty five years. I would have preferred we take our lumps like twenty years ago, then be over it.

    August 7, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  16. Larry

    I believe we've turned the corner and we're in a recovery now.

    As far as housing prices go and being "underwater" house prices have been exaggerated for the last 20 years. Ten years ago I walked thru a new housing development with homes starting at $250,000. I swear ten years before that those same homes would have been more like $125,000 to $130,000. And this is the Cincinnati housing market, not NYC.

    People have been paying way too much for housing and with two incomes in the family they could afford it. But this severe economic downturn is bringing prices more in line with what they should be. Unfortunately, the people with the mortgages are going to have to live with that, and I predict it will be a long time before housing will return to the levels before the crash.

    August 8, 2009 at 8:19 am |
  17. Alice Hill

    I am one of those who lost a lot in my 401k and I will not cash it in, I work in a local school district and it has started to recall staff that was laid off, there is a difference in busing in people to participate and those to disrupt meetings (those people who are planning this has no plan of their own) they are just out to get The President, IT WILL NOT WORK!

    St Louis, Missouri

    August 8, 2009 at 10:11 am |
  18. pam

    I don't think we have reached the bottom yet like they say. I think they are saying this to make people believe this. There is still so many people loosing their jobs & homes & I do not see it in Minnesota at all. There are no jobs out there for middle aged people, except if you want to work for a fast food place. We have a long way to go yet!! Thank-you.

    August 8, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  19. Linda

    And how frightening is it that they are trying to shove a scary 'services limited' COSTLY health plan down our throats when we as a nation cannot afford it, and everyone is out of jobs?

    If they really want to 'fix' our healthcare system, they have the power to kick out the lobbyists-who by the way the government helps keep the costs high, and they can lower and regulate the medical, hospital, and pharmacy charges for all of us.

    Why has NOBODY mentioned this as a way to fix at least part of the problem?

    It would keep the government from intruding into OUR PRIVATE DECISIONS about OUR health and care-which they should NEVER be a part of, and not screw with the ENTIRE system.
    They have already screwed up the Veteran's care for our brave soldiers. What makes you think they can do this any better for millions of more people?

    The government has the power to lower and regulate our healthcare costs.
    Why are they not doing this?

    August 8, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  20. Cheryl

    I have always enjoyed watching CNN, and have respected the news commmentators, but seriously Lou Dobbs is turning CNN into something similiar to Bill O, or Rush Limbaugh show. I am very disappointed that CNN allows Lou Dobbs to continue reporting out right lies and ridiculous statements. I believe in free speech, but I truly expected better of CNN to allow this kind of rubish to be on their network. Please just tell the facts, and let the chips fall where they may. Lou Dobbs needs to go.

    August 8, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  21. Cody

    Yes, the recession is slowing; however, it is not due to the stimulus. Americans have gotten used to saving money, buying the essentials, and not financing everything (from houses to stereo systems). Our economy is reflecting America living within its means and it needs to stay that way.

    August 8, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  22. Barbara

    Of course no one knows if it has bottomed out, however, we need to be more patient. Everyone is being so negative.

    I think the responses here on this blog are slanted because those who can't afford health insurance are not likely to have as much access to computers and your blog and if they are working probably are working two jobs an don't have time to reply. The people yelling at the town hall meetings have mentioned having health care like our senators. Isn't that a government run program? I'm on Medicare and thankful for it.

    I think the president has been very careful to not be too optimistic and is just reporting what the numbers show. They are the same reports we have had before and certainly they don't show the people who have quit filing for unemployment, but they never did.

    I've been waiting for 8 years for the insanity to end and it won't in a few months. It will take time and a lot of it to get us out of this mess.

    I'm not an economist however, sometimes you have to spend money to make money and I think that is what our government has to do now.

    August 8, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  23. Sharon D.

    I'm a 64-year-old widow whose house has been paid for since 1985. My credit card bill are paid off each month. I have 2 vehicles, 5 and 8 years old, both paid for. In spite of this, I am being forced to sell my house in order to bolster my investment account. I have no pension, being a homemaker whose husband died in middle age: my income is solely from Social Security and stock market investments. Where has the alleged stimulus helped me? I'm stll having to sell my house; I can't take advantage of the cash for cars program as I can't afford to replace either of my vehicles. So, no, I don't see where things are improving; if they were, I could keep my house and trade one of my vehicles on something newer.

    August 8, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  24. Steven Rohde

    Concerning the Health Care reform.
    In the tsate of California everyone has the right to medical attention/health care.
    For those who do not have health insurance, all they need to do is show up at a local hospitals emergency department and they will be seen by a doctor,
    The cost of this care is absorbed by the hospital, local government and the State of California. The monies for this care is all ready being paid by the tax payers of the state,
    With the federal government providing healthcare coverage for everyone who needs it wil just make the monies the state pays for healthcare {all ready provided) to be available to be used for other programs that are being slashed.
    We the tax payers are all ready paying for this. It is just moving the cost of services from the local/state governments to the federal government.
    The cost to the taxpayer seems to end up being a wash if the local/state goverments do not waste the savings!

    August 8, 2009 at 1:00 pm |
  25. Bill

    I know we'd all like to see a genuine recovery, and I'm sure CNBC and others will sell it, but I'm afraid the true fundamentals are poor.

    Is anyone watching what the Fed has done to indirectly prop up the Dow and US Treasuries? This is a disaster still unfolding I think.

    August 8, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  26. Spencer from Virginia

    The economy is out of the recession. There isn't a spike in job losses, plus consumer spending is up.

    August 8, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  27. Conor

    No. I dont not believe the economy is even close to "bottoming out". I believe what we are seeing here is the huge stimulus package creating a bubble; one that could burst just like it did in late 2008. The fact of the matter is that the goverment does not realise this and if they did they would see how bad it is and possibly could be for the America people.

    End fact : This is a bubble blowing up, waiting to pop.

    August 8, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  28. Thomas Mitchell

    When i visiting SC, i noticed a place that had weed growing everywhere. so, we drove in and i saw these three model homes that was empty and seemed to be broken into. So then i looked around and there was people living inside the model home! I went up to one of the people and they said that the person who built this place filed for bankruptcy.

    August 8, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  29. Tammy

    I don't believe we have reached the bottom yet. After seeing the other day, 50% of all homeowners will be under water on their mortgages by 2011, that tells me the housing market has ways to go before it eventually recovers. I still see more foreclosures ahead no longer to sub-prime but more because people just can not pay due to unemployment and I think more people will just "walk away" and leave the keys on the counter. Without jobs, no money and no spending so I view this as a very slow recovery, possibly 3-5 years.

    August 8, 2009 at 1:18 pm |
  30. Patricia L Armstrong of Hampton, VA

    Elephant Alert
    Why is everyone ignoring the elephant in the middle of the living room? We dropped the tariffs so that manufacturing could go out of the country and then bring products into the US with no tax penalty. Our jobs went out of the country to "equalized the world economy".
    Our Congress did that and we suffered.
    Now bring back tariffs so that manufacturing is cheaper in the US than abroad. That's the only way to have jobs again and for our economy to recover.

    August 8, 2009 at 1:24 pm |
  31. Pat of Hampton, VA

    Health Care
    I'm a self employed, single 60 yr. old who doesn't qualify for Medicare until age 65. My insurance premiums are $603 a month and going up each year. My friends went to work at 7-11 so they could get health insurance. I may soon be following them. We need help.

    August 8, 2009 at 1:30 pm |
  32. Patricia of Hampton, VA

    Unemployment ghosts and soup kitchens
    The people whose unemployment ran out before this round of extensions were granted are not being counted among the unemployed.
    They don't qualify for 75% off Cobra insurance coverage, they don't get unemployment and they are living off their 401Ks.
    They are the new poor in America.
    How loud do I need to say this: "There is no manufacturing in the US!"
    No manufacturing, no jobs.
    Obama? are you listening? Penalize manufacturing for going overseas or we'll continue to see a decline worse than 1929.
    Since he's not going to, I suggest everyone locate their favorite soup recipe for our soup kitchens. 1929 Here We Come!

    August 8, 2009 at 1:40 pm |
  33. Patricia A. of Hampton, VA

    Cash for Clunkers:
    Wow, something to help the working class?
    It's scary when a Congressional program actually helps the people at the bottom.
    I didn't get a $400 million bonus at my job so I tried to trade in my 1994 Oldsmobile with 240,000 miles. It got 18 miles per gallon, the same as the new car I wanted to purchase, so I didn't qualify and I couldn't afford to buy an electric car, but tell Congress I appreciated the thought.

    August 8, 2009 at 1:47 pm |
  34. greg

    think the cash for clunkers was/is a great program i think it should of aimed at getting rid of cars from a certain year back. i just don't see the point of cash for clunkers and they use a mpg rating of 2 mpg or 5 mpg better then the big gas guzzler suv's [19mpg] are being sold with that govt discount, that does not make much sense to me it made me think that dealers are just selling anything and guessing that paper work is being forged to say something different. i don't see how a cadillac suv is not a new version of a gas guzzler. I am still trying to figure out a chevy dealership sends me a letter and tells me to my face how my late model 4 cylinder pick up which already gets close to 30 mpg meets gov't trade in for the cash for clunkers. I think some dealers are making out once again govt to big to control things getting ripped off my tax dollars being misused and the auto industry getting another version of bail out money this time without payback to government. When i go to the cars.gov web site i put in my car info it tells me my vehicle does not meet the requirements but a dealership tells me yes and ready to take it off my hands what is wrong here. but maybe i am not suppose to notice that or the govt wants it over looked or the auto industry is suppressing it.

    But i guess the idea is to get the money moving again and nothing else. If that is the case the govt did a great job and i am sure the big 3 auto makers who congress tore apart are stroking those same congressional members saying that was a good show as i am sure they lobbied for this probably kept on the hush. Someone needs to bring back those political cartoon satires once again.

    August 8, 2009 at 1:47 pm |
  35. Darrell from Houston

    Fredricka...i'm a black male...there has always been a recession as far as we are concerned! Anyway, I HAVE 2 WISHES FOR YOU...get a Myspace page & "DO A SHOW/SEGMENT(daily)...called..."WHAT'S GOOD(or something like it)"....in which you ONLY DO REPORTS ON THE POSITIVE THINGS HAPPENING IN THE WORLD(saints, samaritans, donors, not 4 profits, etc.)...CNN & THE WORLD NEEDS BALANCE....PLUS....WE JUST LOVE TO LOOK AT YOU...LOL!

    August 8, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  36. James K in Michigan

    Thankfully, we have the internet which is an excellent source of information if you take the time to search intelligently.

    As several posters have pointed out, jobs are key and specifically anything that creates value-added products for sale on the market is the ultimate source of a nation's wealth. 16th century Spain found out what happens to an economy when you sit back and let the gold and silver flow through your coffers and allow the trades to languish –your state ultimately fails.

    We have built a society increasingly reliant on the FIRE sector –finance, insurance and real estate– and we are now witnessing what that can bring. Basically, bubbles bubbles toils and troubles, with little to hang onto of value in the end.

    Along with ending The Stupid Wars in Asia, we ought to be talking about oversight of the Fed and reinvigorating manufacturing.

    August 8, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  37. RJ

    Not even close.....I would like to inform the American people about our current state. With the pursuit of greed we have as a country been infected with greed. Businesses have for years sought out ways to make more with less and less, I mean human employment. They have done everything possible like moving their operations overseas and south of our border. Flipside to all this, its become more of a trend and millions of families are being left to fend for themselves. Millions of people now due to online banking which might be more convenient but the only ones to really benefit is the companies your paying and in the process are putting hundreds of thousands of Postal jobs in peril which will in turn put more people on government assistance which brings me to why this affects all Americans. In the pursuit of greed rich people who own these companies are putting millions and millions of Americans on some form of government assistance and will in the long run force rich people to pay much higher taxes as they have eroded the middle class tax payer to the point where the rich will have no choice but to spend all the greed back in taxes to support the devastation they have incurred! Hope they sleep well! Nothing in this world is free and the sooner Americans realize this the better off they will be!

    August 8, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  38. Steve-Mich

    As long as the reports show increases in unemployment, the economy is still getting worse.

    Just because it SLOWED for one month's figures doesnt mean its STOPPED descending.

    the Rich and Highly successful, never seem to know anything about reality on the ground. They only seem to read numbers as if every single media person is a stock analyst.
    Trend lines are not the "end all" for the 20 million working adults either not working or only working part time or working for less than they were a couple years ago.

    Corporations will use this downturn to keep employees over a barrel and keep their salaries down as long as they can. They'll use the glut of employees and cut offers as far as they can go.

    August 8, 2009 at 10:48 pm |
  39. Natalie Hughes

    I am a 25 year old female with 2 small children. I am
    currently disabled because I have a bad heart and pacemaker since I was 16. I
    live out in the country, so a vehicle is very important. We need groceries,
    doctor appointments, etc. I tried the cash for clunkers because i have a 91 jeep
    that barely has brakes, but i qualified for the program. Because my credit
    wasn't excellent, I needed a co-signer. (I will get into the credit thing
    later). So I asked my Land lord who is also an electrician, he actually makes
    rides at Hershey park. He makes more than enough money ,has perfect credit, and
    he knows I can make the payments and that I need a safe vehicle for my kids
    because out here in the country there's no bus or taxi's. The dealership called
    me up and had me come in for a test drive. He assured me that I would get this
    car, he said we just have to submit it to the bank and that there should be no
    problem because of my co-signers perfect credit. I gave him money down because
    he said it would be smart to reserve the car I wanted, it was the last Automatic
    in my price range. So, I get home, clean out the jeep and get a phone call
    saying, "I'm sorry none of the banks would accept your application because your
    disabled". I make around 1,500 a month and could guarantee payments, they
    wouldn't have to worry about me loosing my job or anything. So Then I called the
    welfare office to see if they can help me either fix this piece of junk up or
    help get a used car. I don't care what year the car is just so its safe for my
    children. Welfare said we can't help you unless you work. Last year, I had 2,000
    cash and 2 vehicles to trade in. I went to several used dealerships, they were
    all interested until I told them that I was disabled. I even told them my
    income! I feel so discriminated! I can never get a car. The car i got now was a
    gift from my uncle frank, and the ones i had in the past were junkers I got for
    like 5-8 hundred dollars. But none are safe!! Then about the credit thing, my
    credit isn't so good. But I have a real problem with america not educating
    people one credit but yet you can't live without it. Its the most important
    thing right now. I think they should teach you about credit in high school. When
    I turned 18 I got a credit card in the mail and had no idea what it meant. I
    basically thought it was free money. Then I have friends asking me to put phone
    bills, etc. in my name for them. I didn't know that would hurt my credit! But
    even if I could get my credit perfect I still don't think I could get a car.
    Even a used car, thats all. I didn't ask God for my health condition, and now my
    kids have to suffer. So my question is Who is eligible for the cash for clunkers
    program. People with the money who can afford new cars in the first place! I
    come from a poor family who i don't even talk to , my mother is in her 40's and
    is dying from popping pills. She can't even take care of herself let alone talk,
    so I have no help. I always thought the cash for clunkers was a great program to
    help get the gas hogs off the road, but its almost impossible! I would love to hear back from you . I even asked my church,
    local churches for help, but unfortunately nobody can help. This is an issue
    that needs to be discussed. Why do people with disability's who make more money,
    in some cases, than people that do work, are guaranteed not to get laid off, or
    fired, get turned down. I would love to come and talk about it, or
    even the credit thing. Well sorry for writing so much, but I thought if anyone
    in the world could help me it would be you. God Bless you

    and your family, Sincerely,
    Natalie Hughes

    August 9, 2009 at 2:46 pm |
  40. Davis-Davis

    Give me a break, we might be in the 5th inning of this recession.
    FOUR+ innings to go.

    August 9, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  41. Fields (North Carolina)

    I am a firm believer in economic optimism but it is very difficult when more than 700 billion dollars are being used as a smoke screen for the current problems. The free-market system would've bounced back but now that we have a socialist system this free-market system is in a choke hold.

    August 9, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  42. LIz F

    I think the Stimulus is helping the economy. Even though a lot of the funds have not been distributed yet, there is assurance that when it is it is going to make a difference. Therefore this boosts confidence even though there are some doubters who just can't come to terms with that.

    August 9, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  43. Sarah Jo

    I do not think it is bottoming out. If we can't even get the republicans and democrats(i call them gangs) to stop squabbling about free healthcare for Americans, how can the job market get better? People are choosing to go bankrupt over healthcare bills. The simplest thing we could give Americans is healthcare yet we continue treat healthcare like a rhetorical question. Why Healthcare? because I want to live.

    August 9, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  44. Richard Bettis

    I have question about clunkers for cash. why can't you trade a gas hog suburban in on a fuel efecient family van? Instead you have to buy another gas hog suburban or a pickup? If the government's intention is to get the gas hogs off the road then why the discrimination?

    August 9, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  45. Lenny, Dallas, TX

    Republicans completely destroyed the economy. In Bush's 8 years, all we got were 4 million jobs while Clinton created 22.5 million jobs.

    Clinton balanced the budget and left a $5 trillion surplus for Bush. Bush wipes out the $5 trillion and adds another $7 trillion in debt he handed to Obama.

    34% tax cut for the top 1% and 8.5% tax cut for the bottom 60% during Bush ended as a complete economic disaster with companies outsourcing jobs to India and other Asian countries at an alarming rate.

    No one is asking why Bush spent $1 trillion on a worthless war but "Grumpy Ol' People" are whining about providing health care for AMERICANS and saying we don't want "government-run" health care when Medicare is "government-run." Are the republicans saying they want to dismantle Medicare and have seniors buy health insurance from private companies?

    Private companies add $400 billion to the cost of health care by charging profits, advertising, large paychecks for CEOs, lobbyists etc and if we had a single payer-system, we automatically save $400 billion every year to take care of average Americans. Why is it so hard for “Grumpy Ol’ People” to be logical?

    August 9, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  46. gary

    how can the unemployment rate fall when you still have 200k plus jobs gone in the month of July, since last Nov. to July the average monthly loss of jobs is 488k......what about the people who have exhausted their unemployment benefits, or the people who is collecting benefits longer than the 26 weeks...these peopel are not counted in the labor Dept numbers...WHY?????...where are the jobs....what is going on with the Recovery Act

    August 9, 2009 at 2:57 pm |
  47. Rich B

    The economy in the short term may be rebounding as consumer confidence is rebuilt and jobs may even rebound over the next year or so, but at what cost? The government is spending money it doesn't have, the Fed(a sham at best with a Wizard of Oz behind a green curtain) is printing money as fast as the presses can pump it out...the REAL question is who will have to pay? Guess what, it's you and me and if you think things are bad now, wait till then and I'm afraid that will be sooner rather than later...That equals inflation, more taxes to pay for it, more bail outs...The Fed is equal to a Madoff Ponzi scheme THOUSANDS of times greater. You do the math people!

    August 9, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  48. LIz F

    The crowds gathereing at these town hall meetings yelling and shouting are not concerned about free speech. If they were they would do things decent and in order. They are making sure that only themselves are heard and those other people who really came for information are being deprived of their right to be heard. What makes us think we have the right to complain about Iran or Iraq, look at our citizens and how they act.

    August 9, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  49. George Pinkston

    Although some foreign cars are manufactured in the U.S., wouldn't the cash for clunkers program be even more beneficial for the American economy if it were only available for American cars?

    August 9, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  50. Arleen

    The government is cooking the books. Commercial is tanking, no loans available – what is the upside?

    August 9, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  51. Rishi

    Housing market needs to recover for the economy to recover. I think Homeowner credit of $8000 should be extended for next year. This will further boost the housing market. As a result, more construction jobs will be created in the market.

    August 9, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  52. Mo

    Josh, I just graduated law school and I could not find a job until recently. I am not alone in that many of my classmates have had a very difficult time finding jobs. I was so desperate that I started a company called Sign4Hire.com in the hopes of generating some income. This recession is hurting all industries from law to engineering. I appreciate the White House's efforts and hope that we can pull out of this bad economy soon. The question I have is how will the President's other plans such as climate change reform boost our economy and can it boost our future economic outlook? Some say that climate change reform may generate $1 Trillion in economic opportunities for businesses in America.

    August 9, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  53. Mo

    Sorry, I thought that the comments were supposed to be about the economy in general. My Cash to Clunkers issue is that they should have allowed for cars getting 20 MPG or less to be included. My car gets 19 MPG combined and the limit is 18 MPG so I'm out of luck.

    August 9, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  54. Norris

    If you are stuck on the tracks with a train barreling down on you, news that it has slowed from 100 mph to any lesser speed is "good news!" It doesn't mean you stop trying to free yourself, but it does give you more time. The news that "Cash For Clunkers" is working is definitely good news- for the economy and the environment!

    August 9, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  55. Laura

    With bank inter-borrowing rates at 0%, when the mortgage rates hit 3.5% to 4% (the more typical spread) – I'll know the system is working. Until then all the efforts to shore up the banking system isn't working. Plenty of other signs the bank system is still broken. Its time the Feds push harder for the return on our investment. This will be far more important when Obama finishes his policy pushes that are taxing the "wealthy" (those just over the $250 level) – the very people who will need the refinancing option to produce the discretionary income required to fund their new tax bills!

    August 9, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  56. Lucy

    I think the economy is a mixed bag right now. Some areas of the economy are picking up, as indicated by the stock market, while others have yet to hit rock bottom. As a whole, I think the economy is on the rebound, although some markets have yet to reach their lowest point.

    August 9, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  57. Gary

    I thought that Obama was for the average American, how foolish of me. If our leaders were truly for the benefit of all Americans, They would have taken 300 billion dollars and given every family $100,000. Instead, they gave it to the banks and the banks are hoarding the money for themselves. Mr. President, do something good for the avarage American–all of your programs are for people with money.

    August 9, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  58. Mike M. - Toledo

    Where did you find these lunatics? It is irresponsible to give tinfoil-hat wearing conspiracy theorists like these credibility by featuring them on your show.

    As Hilary Clinton said on GPS, "If Obama walked on water, they'd say he doesn't know how to swim."

    August 9, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  59. rob

    HEY FREDRICKA, THIS HAS BEEN A WILD WEEK!!!!!!!!!!! IT BRINGS
    BACK SCENCES, MEMORIES I THOUGHT I WOULD NEVER SEE
    AGAIN..............FRED YOU AND YOUR FELLOW CNNERS FROM BETTY TO RICK TO WOLF TO ANDERSON EVEN BERNIE ALONG
    WITH THE OTHER STATIONS SHOULD GET YOUR PSYCHOLOGY
    CONSULTANTS AND BEGAN TO ANALYZE WHAT YOU SEE.....I HAVE
    SPENT A LOT OF MONEY TO GET AN EXCELLENT EDUCATION AND
    TO BE ABLE SEE, READ, UNDERSTAND AND RECOGNIZE MENTAL
    INSTABILITY. WHAT YOU SEE IN THESE MEETINGS HAS NOTHING
    TO DO WITH HEALTHCARE.....1ST, YOU HAVE RUSH OXYCONTIN
    CALLING PRES OBAMA THE MOST DISPICABLE PERSON OF THE
    20TH CENTURY-HITLER-OTHERS CARRY PICTURES WITH THE
    HITLER STASH.. LOOK AT PEOPLE, THE ANGER, THE EYES AND
    HOW VICIOUS THEY ARE; THE VENOM DRIPPING, ATTACKING ANY
    AND EVERYONE......ANALYZE, LOOK INTO THESE FACES AND
    ATTITUDES THIS NOT ABOUT MEDICINE. IF IT WAS, DON'T YOU
    THINK HARRIET BECHER STOWE'S MICHAEL STEELE; CLAIMING
    RNC CHAIR WOULD HAVE REBUKED THE COMPARISON, INSTEAD
    HE SITS COWERING FROM THE OXY MAN AND NEWT IN HIS CABIN.
    {...} FOR COMPARISON, GO BACK 40-50 YRS GO TO TAMPA
    SELMA, PICK A CITY GO TO VIDEOTAPE LOOK AT THE FACES, EYES
    ANGER, VENOM 40-50 YRS NOTHINGS CHANGED.

    ..........................REMEMBER THE YORKTOWN........................

    ROB

    August 9, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  60. John Yetimor, NY

    Fredericka,
    Your guests are portraying an old style of thinking with the old style of solving problems.
    Please tell them we are in new age of thinking and new style of solving problems.
    Pessimism is not a solution, if they have a solution let them spell it out, other wise talking to them (listening) is a waste of time.

    August 9, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  61. Scott Stodden

    I'll put it this way Fredricka, Iam a liberal Democrat and I supported Hillary and voted for her in the primary season. Things may be looking like there starting to turn around for the country for now, but with all this spending, passing bills that are outragously expensive such as the stimulus package, healthcare, etc... the future of our economy is going to be in jeopardy, things may be lookin good now and will turn around but by 2010 when all this money runs out were goin to be in the same position we were in when President Obama took office. I always said from the beginning that President Obama does not have the experience to handle the problems that the United States is facing, the Clintons know how to balance budgets, turn deficits in surpluses, fix the housing market and auto industry and create jobs for the country. The decisions that President Obama is making are going to be disasterous in the end for the country, so yes things are turning around for now but the future is going to be disasterous with all this spending.

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,IL)

    August 9, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  62. Lucy

    I don't think age matters in the job market right now, it's difficult for ANYONE to find a job. I'm a recent college graduate and have spent my entire summer networking. I have sent my professionally written resume to numerous contacts "in case they hear of something." I have been told over and over nobody is hiring entry-level right now, at least not in Northern California.
    Lucy,
    SF CA

    August 9, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  63. Chris kelly

    Hi Fredricka, how about getting some help from a sen that told us to stop paying our mortgage until the fraud here in PA gets straightened out. here our bank never even called us to hear our story. We are facing a foreclosure and sheriff sale,with everyone turning their backs on us. I thought Mr Obama was going to investigate all the foreclosures esp. here in the Poconos. It has been 11 years now the bank wants us out.They would not even make a decent mortgage amount thats affordable for us.

    August 9, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  64. Patty

    Fredricka,
    Your guests question the "Cash for Clunkers" program by saying people only buy autos with incentives. We have been giving incentives to corporations (along with tax breaks) for years to locate in various states and keep businesses in USA without much success. It seems as if the only part of America which benefits from public assistance are Corporations. Everyone else is supposed to just live with the bad economy. My sentiment is the economy will not improve until we bring back at least 50 percent of our manufacturing jobs. My comment to your guests is to take care of the working/middle class and we will improve the economy. Corporate America and Wall Street are not the USA. The working/middle class are backbone of the USA.

    Patty
    Cumming, GA

    August 9, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  65. pfreak76

    We need to understand that while the American people may be ready to live in the "under water" situation until things improve, the situation deprives them of the disposable cash they would have if their monthly payments were much lower (consistent with today's home values). So we may ride out the so called bad real estate value phase, but you cannot expect a significant change in spending if you dont empower consumers. So in my opinion, there needs to be a more meaningful way to help us recover. The homeowner (primary home occupant) should be able to adjust their mortgage per the current value of their home. I believe this is one of the proposals on the table from some Economics professor.

    August 9, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  66. Epicure43

    We are in deep, to even mention the word economic "recovery" (bottomed out) we should first admit these folks back to the mental institution they escaped from.
    I keep seeing numbers being altered to make them look better... all across the board. Take the banks showing profits, come on, just because the Gov. is allowing them to use different accounting rules doesn't mean they are making money at all !! Just a smoke screen for the ignorant.
    Unemployment, if we were to show a more accurate number it would be 17 – 18% unemployed. They don't want to show that, because the Great Depression unemployment was around 25%, this would cause a true panic in our Country.
    Just keep printing money Uncle Sam... in a year or two we will get to see what a TRUE economic callapse looks like!!

    August 9, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  67. gary

    Call or email your Congressman/woman and tell them to amend Bill H.R. 3404, this bill is to extend unemployments benefits(13 weeks) to states who's unemployment rate averages 9% or higher over a 3 month period. which is about 20 states as of today, ALL states need to extend unemployment benefits......If you dont contact your your legislatures to make sure the H.R. includes ALL states, you could be left out

    August 10, 2009 at 3:14 am |
  68. Mary

    Where is the respect of another person? It is sickening to see how far we have come from the up bringing I had as a child. You just don't go to a public meeting and act in this way as an adult. What do they expect of their children in a classroom? Is this the problem (the parents)?

    August 10, 2009 at 8:09 am |
  69. Rick Parker

    If people sought out correct information, they would be able to discern
    Between smoke and mirrors vs. solid rock news.
    The government as provider is more an enabler reality.
    The republican "business as usual" ethic has them in a panic.
    Health care reform will take away their exorbitant salaries, as that of
    Their wealthy patrons who aim to keep a welfare state.
    All private insurance companies would cease to have a monopoly on
    Deliberating why only they get the best health care.
    Doctors are slaves to lobbyists and perks while fear of malpractice is
    All too real for them as their "services rendered" is now only available to
    Their elitist pompous self gratified clients.

    August 10, 2009 at 8:48 am |
  70. xlorrax

    Bottoming out ?
    50 people I work with got laid off today they think they will lay off more by the end of the month.
    Someone needs to explain just what this government has done to make things better because I been taking time off without pay for several months just to keep my job. There are 50 more angry Americans out there now how many more will it take before this country wakes up...

    August 11, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  71. John Hickman

    In January, 2006 my wife and I wereon a Delta Commuter Flight from ATL to Asheville, NC. Because of bad weather in Asheville, we landed instead, in Greenvilie (GSP) at 2:00 a.m. We remained loched in the cabin fro 2:00 a.m. until about 6:00 a.m. waiting for TSA to allow us to enter the terminal.

    As with the recent Continental flight, this one was fully booked and the toilets overflowed. After all, these planes are used on 2-hour max flights, not four to seven hours. Perhaps that one never made the National news, but it was a miserable experience which changed the way we now book our flights.

    August 11, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  72. joe

    The economy is following a natural progression after such a shock to the system – it would have happened regardless of all the wasteful spending by the government. Its ECON 101. Some areas are bottoming, some are just about to collapse. I expect when credit card defaults and commercial real estate prices slide further, Mr. Obama will point the finger at Bush again.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  73. Patricia A. of Hampton, VA

    Yes, I think the economy is improving.
    Not for me,
    not for the working class,
    but it certainly has improved
    for the CEO's and big companies.
    Throwing money at big business
    was Obama's way of helping the economy.
    GM rank and file had to make concessions
    and GM retirees lost a lot of health benefits.
    but CEOs and Banks made millions.
    I don't see Obama's health care plan
    being any different.
    Congress and federal employees will be safe
    but the rank and file workers,
    you and me,
    will have to make concessions.
    Welcome to Obama's Brave New World!

    August 11, 2009 at 7:33 pm |
  74. Anthony M. Tate

    The Solution on How to Pay for HealthCare Reform.

    The Question has been raised is how do we pay for Health Care?

    The answer is simple, we invent things, the telephone, microwave oven, washing machine, television, radio, and jetliners etc.; that’s how we have paid for things in the past as US citizens and that’s how we are going to pay for things in the future. Everything has not been invented in fact, with the proper funding and assistance to myself and others we have the God given insight to create several hundred millions good paying jobs.

    The Question is as an inventor why health reform needed?

    Once all those jobs are created by inventors and managed by entrepreneurs non –health care reform would be a stubbing block to increasing a person’s wage. The employer would have to make large contributions to an employee’s benefit package and the employee would be left with higher premiums and lower wages.

    What new program could the government start to pay for Health Care Reform or and remove the tax burden for future generations?

    The government should heavily tax the proceeds from Innovative Tax Grants; at present this program does not exist. Inventors would love this approach because they will receive the start-up capital need to purse their innovative ideas. This is how the Innovative Tax Grant incentive program will work. The government would give a best estimate or negotiated Innovative Tax Grant to an inventor, the inventor will use the funds to build a proto-type and seek out other professional services. Once the product hits the market and start producing revenues the Innovative Tax Grant funds along with user fees should be paid back into the system and used for other inventor’s start ups. All innovative Tax Grant ideas that did not make it to market should be posted for study. There is more to this topic.

    By Anthony M. Tate

    .amt27@mchsi.com

    August 12, 2009 at 12:43 am |
  75. janet lawrence

    I would like health care reform too but I do get angry at those who do not take into consideration how this is to be paid for. You have senior citizens screaming for Medicare to cover everything under the sun but at the same time are not willing to raise taxes to pay for it. How selfish does this sound to you? I do believe everyone should have access to health care but only if you are willing to pay!

    August 12, 2009 at 1:48 pm |
  76. Margaret

    This is a comment on Fredricka Whitfield:

    She is the ONLY news woman out there (on any news station)
    that I have ANY respect for !

    She is about doing her job in a professional, honoring, lady-like, manner.
    I've never seen her dress in a way that is un-becoming.
    Always professional, stylish, full of grace.

    I can not understand these "new woman" who think viewers want to see their cleavage and legs. They remind me of woman in bars trying to pick up on men. I turn the news OFF when they are on.....Hooray for Fredricka, who is always such a joy to watch! What a breath of fresh air she is!

    August 14, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  77. Shirin

    I don't think the economy is bottoming out, the government has bailed so many out that, everything is falsely inflated. I have been unemployed for a year and half and my third unemployment extension is about to be exhaused. If I can't find a job and I am an educated and experienced individual, who never had a problem finding a job, who is the average JOE getting by? I AM HOPING THAT THE PRESIDENTS WORKS ON A 4TH AND 5TH UNEMPLOYMENT EXTENSION SINCE THE JOB MARKET IS JUST NOT THERE – HELP FOR CALIFORNIANS IS CRUCIAL.

    August 14, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  78. Lee

    Isn't it amazing that the very people making all the noise at these townhall meetings were silent during the Bush adm? If they had spoken up then maybe we wouldn't have gone into Iraq and killed so many innocent people,and our economy wouldnt be in the tank. I dont remember them demanding from Bush how we were going to pay for the war.

    August 15, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  79. Janet P

    Josh Levs declared this morning that the Health Care Bill contains language that prohibits payments for the medical treatment of illegal immigrants. THE PROBLEM IS THAT FEDERAL LAW PROHIBITS MEDICAL FACILITIES FROM INQUIRING ABOUT ONE'S CITIZENSHIP. So...it looks like the proponents of the bill will have it both ways. Please, please make this clear before you broach the subject again. You are leaving a false impression with a lot of people who are adamant that their tax money not be spent on illegal immigrants.

    August 15, 2009 at 12:44 pm |
  80. Roy J. Meidinger

    Health care expenditures of hundreds of billions or a couple of trillion doesn't mean anything to Congress or me.
    What is relevant is how much is the average cost of a Medicare Beneficiary now, and what will it be under the new legislation?
    What is the average cost of a privately insured individual or family plan now and how much will it be under the Government run health insurance plan?
    Also, what is the average cost of a veteran's benefits?
    The last question is how much would the cost be for a single payer system?

    August 15, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  81. david locken "big d"

    hey from Walla Walla Wa. I'm a plumber trying to understand what is going on in my America. I say my America because i served in the millitary, pay taxes, raised my family, and love this country. My main concern lately is health care. My wife and i just spent a week in Cannada, and talking to the people there it sounds like there national health care "sucks". Maybe we sould think about what we are doing. my next issue is with cash for clunkers. What about "cash for crappers", trade in your old inefficient toilet for a new water saving toilet, give us plumbers some of that bailout money. There are alot more plumbers hurt by this economy than auto workers. CNN thank you for rour objective reporting. Big D concerned plumber

    August 15, 2009 at 1:34 pm |