February 11th, 2009
06:50 PM ET

Have a question for the next CNN Money Summit?

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Americans are coping with a terrible trifecta of wealth destruction. Workers are being laid off in numbers never seen before - almost 600,000 jobs lost last month alone.

Retirement accounts have been sliced nearly in half.

President Obama and Congress are working on a stimulus package to reverse the downward spiral through big spending and big tax breaks.

Will it work? How quickly? We’ll examine the problems and explore the solutions in the next CNN Money Summit Tuesday, Feb. 17 at 11 p.m. ET.

But we want to know what you're thinking. Do you have a question for the CNN Money Summit team about your job, your home or your financial opportunities?

Did you find out about the CNN Money Summit on Facebook? If you did, let us know in your questions!!!

Send us your iReport questions by clicking here. And, if you can, send us your video questions!.

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  1. Bradley Bennett

    I am an owner of a Real Estate company in Myrtle Beach SC. Our real estate market can and would be thriving if it was not for the lack of lenders offering mortgages in our market. What i do not understand about the bail out is why is it that B OF A, Wells Fargo, Chase and all the other major players who were once doing loans in our market are no longer doing loans in our market? The Constantly blame Fannie and Freddie for the changes in their lending guide lines.

    With no banks offering any financing due to Fannie Mae and Freddie Macs guide lines for condos under 750 heated square feet this leaves over 50% of the current properties in our market unable to sell unless sellers are willing to discount their pricing significantly for a cash buyer. In a lot of cases peole have simply stopped paying their mortgage as they can ot sell as they dont have enough equity in the property to reduce the pricelow enough for a cash sale.

    So my question is who is at fault here? Is it really Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that are preventing the loans and causing more of a down would spiral? or is it the banks that we are bailing out who just refuse to do loans on ocean front property in our market?

    February 18, 2009 at 9:22 am |
  2. Mary Ann Wendt

    I was appalled at hearing that GM and Chrysler are asking for a lot more bail-out funding by the Billions while at the same time informing that they will be laying off their employees by thousands upon thousands and closing plants. Wheres the common sense in all this ? Wasn't the purpose behind all this huge bail-out money supposed to bolster the Auto Co's.in order to preserve the employees jobs and create MORE Jobs ? This suspiciously looks like even more of the Jobs are being out-sourced to other Countries at the expense of the tax payers of our Country. Wasn't there any stipulation
    put out stating that any out-sourcing of jobs by the Auto Co's.would absolutely eliminate funding to them and furthermore any of the existing out-sourced jobs be brought back also .

    February 17, 2009 at 10:34 pm |
  3. Virginia - Hermosa Beach, CA


    I am a recent college graduate seeking your advice.

    I was fortunate to cover most expenses with scholarships but after receiving my degree I owe $10,000 in private student loans and $13,000 in credit card debt. I always make both payments on time and always pay more than the minimum. I have a great credit score (over 700) and have a very reliable job. Unfortunetly, I have minimal dispoable income at the end of the month for savings.

    Which debt is more important to pay off first?

    February 17, 2009 at 8:15 pm |
  4. Emma

    I do not understand the point ot Cobra coverage with the governement covering part of it when a person losses hi/her job. There are many issues with this scenario. 1-if the person has been unemployed for more than 3 months they are nolonger eligible for Cobra and will see no benefits. 2-if the person who is now unemployed had no insurance through his/her employer (or had just lost it prior to loosing their job due to cost to the employer) they are not eligible for Cobra. 3-Cobra is still very expensive even with government help. My point and question is why did they have to change from their original idea of making unemployed people medicaid eligible providing them with medicaid instead of Cobra that would have covered more people.

    February 17, 2009 at 7:32 pm |
  5. Emma

    If a person receives SSI (social security supplemental benefit) will the $250 one time payment have to be reported to the social security office? and if so will the social security administration treat this money as it treats income or gift and reduce the person"s SSi for the month accordingly? If so I do not call that a stimulus.

    February 17, 2009 at 7:26 pm |
  6. Roy Solomon

    Mortgage Solution from a simple perspective

    Mega Arrogance, Heartless Greed and Corruption in many areas of our financial system have caused pain and hardship that is spreading like a Cancer. It is time to appreciate the honest, caring people who have built our country on a foundation of integrity and fairness.

    The following plan would allow most homeowners to remain in their homes at a payment that would be similar to a rental rate. Foreclosures would be drastically reduced, helping to stabilize their neighbor’s home values. The plan would not reward delinquency or unfairly penalize the homeowners that have worked hard to live up to their financial obligations. This plan is fair and equitable to everyone.

    Offer every mortgage holder three options on their next payment stub….They may choose one alternative from any or all of the three options….

    1) Short term payment relief options:
    Skip your next one, two or three payments, your payments will be added to the back of your loan, your interest rate will increase x% for the remainder of your loan. __yes __no

    2) Long term mortgage relief options:
    Add 10, 20 or 30 years to your amortization schedule, your interest rate will increase x% for the remainder of your loan. __yes __no

    3) Adjustable interest rate relief option:
    Your interest rate will be fixed for the remainder of your loan, your interest rate will increase x% for the remainder of your loan. __yes __no

    Let’s go back to calling the place we live “Our Home” not our “Investment”. Our Homes should be the place we build memories, not just equity. Roy Solomon

    February 17, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  7. Walter Nehring

    With all the stimulus $, National debt already incured, State debt, American buisness debt, Personal debt. How much is Amerca in debt. Are we returning to a kinder gentler time when people, governments and buineses only borrowed what they can actually pay back? Is Amerca actually bankrupt? This is a crazy idea but only buying what you can pay for may be the real long term sustainable solution. I was born in a time and to parents that lived this way it meant we had no electrcity or running water the first 8 years of my life, I dont recall it being a bad time. It produced 8 children who honor their loan agreements and live within their means.

    February 17, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  8. Gary

    I've read where the tax cuts for individuals is going to come in the form of less tax being taken out of paychecks anywhere from $13-18 a paycheck. I want to know are the tax tables for next year going to be reduced to reflect this? In other words are the tax tables going to be $400 less for single filers and $800 less if filing married. I don't want less tax taken out now if I am going to owe the same tax next year when I file my return. I seem to recall Bush doing something like this one year but the tax tables remained the same the following year. If this is the case it's nothing but a joke.

    February 17, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  9. Derryck S. Griffith

    Woman Mauled By 200 Pound Chimpanze!

    Why would any woman or man want a 200 pound chimpanze?

    Maybe this woman wanted more from this so-called pet, than meets the eye!


    February 17, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  10. Katie

    I have read so many good idea's here. It's too bad congress doesn't hear the people of this coountry, it's seem's like we don't count. until election time. My thoughts are for people who are struggling on fixed income's and who have lost their jobs, The stimulis money should go back to the taxpayers to pay their debt's to the banks, credit cards, car makers whoever, Banks would have their money our Credit would be saved and we would be able to return to jobs created by this indever. BUT, OH, H*** NO! SO, it goes to the banks and loan institutions, now that our credit 's are down the drain we can't even borrow our own money "so who or what is it for"? Those in congress should take a pay cut "just to help out a little" LOL
    why do we need to pay for new golf carts (that should be a personal item), the cars they get drove around in look pretty darn good to me. The People of the USA have absolutely no say.
    I also think that those who are wondering what to do with what little they have left of their retirement that they paid in to banks, stock s, 401k's ETC; Should Save yourself get it and burry it in your back yard or your mattress, Now I realize why my father used to dig up that can when we needed extra money for something. HMMMM it was always there and he didn't have to beg, anyone if he could use it.

    February 17, 2009 at 2:35 pm |
  11. Anne

    What I would like to know – has even one government/taxpayer paid job been outsourced off-shore either directly or through sub-contractor during the Obama time? If yes, these jobs must be brought home!!

    February 17, 2009 at 1:58 pm |
  12. Linda

    The quickest and most effective way to stimulate the economy is instead of throwing money to the bad is to give every American CITIZEN, the $250,000 or less than is going to cost us the money. The money could go to any AMERICAN made product. This would pay mortgages which would help the citizen and should help the banking community, for others it would help buy homes, which would stimulate the building industry and spur the other industries that provide for them. It would enable people to buy auto's, which was stimulate the auto industry. If people don't have jobs or money what is the point of the president's stimulus plan. It would take years to stimulate any job. By that time, we will be the United States of China!

    February 17, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  13. Angela

    I am really concerend about the Packag. Pres.Obama keeps saying jobs for construction but what about those of us with White Collar Jobs and White collar bills? Am I suppose to sit and wait until construction workers get paid and go shopping and stimulates enough growth for me to find a corporate job? It all sounds one sided and a pipe dream. I love Obama and I wish him the best but really as time goes on it seems to get worse and the package just seems like a big gamble and waste. I have to say I am really scared, I cannot find a simple job one that pays only $10 an hour is hard to come by. And what if this fails? What then? And are we really expected to struggle for two years or longer to see if it failed or not. I am usually optimistic but lately I feel like noone knows what to do.

    February 17, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  14. Connie Puckett

    On the $13.00 dollars tax increase on your pay check how much fed tax, med care. state tax and other tax will be taken out of that $13.00 dollars?. Will you see a 13.00 dollar increase or a 2 or 3 dollar after tax incresae ?. Think, our elected officals forgot to say anything on this line.

    February 17, 2009 at 9:55 am |
  15. Jim DiSilvestro

    100 billion should be used as a in store 50% rebate program to get people still working a sure fire reason to spend some money on (American made) products. With our matching funds it would be like a 200 billion stimulus. We have to get the store inventory out the door before they could ever reorder from our factories, which would be the guys recalling laid off workers. Rebates is the solution.

    February 17, 2009 at 9:43 am |
  16. barbara Godbay

    Why are the american people forced to give back the summer stimulus money , Mr Bush gave out in the summer 2008? I was informed that the 600.00 per person will be deducted off my tax refund. According to my tax preparer, the money is not add to increase your income, but deducted after everything is calculated, minus from your refund.Can you explain why this will be beneficial to the econnomy or to stimulate growth? What is the purpose of given the money only to take it back is 6mo.? Are you reponsible for giving this money back if you dont get a refund, will you owe the federal govt?

    February 17, 2009 at 7:17 am |
  17. mark

    Anderson, I feel that banks and credit card co's don't realize that the American public can fight back against unfair practices of not working to help there fellow man by just boycotting all payments to all of these institutions. I believe in paying my bills as do most people but when faced with rude and uncaring company practices I can only say America is stop your payments and maybe the banks will be so overwhelmed they will have to change there attitudes.
    AS for people needing to save 60% on there food bills check out Angel Food Ministries .com God bless us every one.

    February 17, 2009 at 1:40 am |
  18. Sarah

    Hi All –

    Thanks for the opportunity to be apart of this discussion! I'd love to hear someone's thoughts on my current situation – I'm not sure what I should be doing given the crazy economic state of affairs. I'm a young professional, graduated from college within the past 3 years. I carry no debt (education or otherwise), have never carried a balance on my credit card, contribute to my company 401K with every paycheck, and still have managed to save a little extra every month for what I hope will become a down payment on a home some day. I don't own anything substantial like a home (rent in NYC) nor have I invested any of my savings – I've kept it all liquid for fear of the market and the lack of knowledge on how to invest. Given the current state of affairs with the housing and stock markets, what should I be doing with my money?!?!

    February 16, 2009 at 11:23 pm |
  19. Mary

    I am eligible for lump sum retirement. In this economy what would be options to consider for investing the lump sum? It would be rolled into an IRA ...but then how do I go about selecting for investments to protect from losing to the market.

    February 16, 2009 at 8:42 pm |
  20. Bill Skeat -- Athens, WV

    I am being serious with this question!

    Since many Republicans, including Republican Governors, such as SC Governor Sanford, do not support the stimulus and have campaign against it, will they refuse the stimulus money for their state?

    If they don't, what does it say about their opposition? Are they serious or were they after publicity?, throwng cheap shots at Obama?

    It will take everyone working together to solve America's problems. How this be done if the Republicans don't realize the American peoplevoted no to their policies in Nov?

    February 16, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  21. Howell

    Suggestion for Solving the Housing Crisis

    Form a partnership between home owners, banks and the government.

    The government (GSE, Bad Bank, or whatever) agrees to buy mortgages (anyone’s mortgage) from banks with following conditions.

    1. House was purchased in past five years and has been the owner’s principle residence;
    2. The bank agrees to restructure the mortgage to a fixed rate no higher than the original rate and to extend the term of the mortgage to reduce the mortgage payment to an affordable level;
    3. The owner signs an agreement to:
    a) live in the house until at least 1/1/2014;
    b) purchase federally backed “Value Protection Insurance” from a GSE guaranteeing the owner’s original purchase price; and
    c) the owner waives his right to claim a capital gains deduction if he sells the house for more than the purchase price.

    The home owner may at anytime cancel his contract, stop paying the insurance premiums, and take his chances in the market.

    This “deal” is available to any home owner meeting the above criteria but, due to the waiver of capital gains, it will only appeal to homeowners who feel they are upside down in their mortgage and likely to be upside down for several years. Details need to be worked out, e.g. what is the insurance premium and how much does the government pay the bank for the mortgage, but this seems to have the potential to be a win for the bank, who is able to recapture the principle from a troubled mortgage; the home owner who is having trouble meeting mortgage payments and is incented to walk away from an upside down mortgage; the government who is able to finally free the banks of toxic assets; and the American economy that will benefit from a functioning banking system. This deal is not unfair to those home owners who are making their payments. It does not reduce the principle, something which has been a criticism of many of the other proposals to keep owners in their homes and avoid foreclosures. It is available to everyone who has purchased a home in the past five years.

    February 16, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  22. Pam Pettis

    Everyone is talking about the stimulus and TARP. Nothing will work until we put people back to work. The country is scared and unemployed! We have to create jobs and put people back to work. When people have stable jobs the confidence will return, people will start buying and paying taxes. Until then all of this is just prolonging the problem. We saved ourselves in the great depression by the jobs that were created during World War II. Jobs are what we need, stop bailing out the banks and put people to work that will stop the spiral downward!

    February 16, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  23. Rosanna Dill, NM

    Hi Anderson and gang! I appreciate the chance to be part of the conversation. I followed the link from facebook, and have several questions.
    1. Can Ms. Orman please explain the logic behind her suggestion to cash out of stocks if you can't buy more? I can't evaluate that in my context without an explanation.
    2. How will infrastructure projects in the stimulus bill get allocated? My home county punted on a high speed internet project because they weren't sure the state would allocate the funds. NM state budget has a shortfall. How does my county get in the running for stimulus funds for this?
    3. I am unemployed since Jan 08. I did not elect COBRA insurance because it was going to be $1,000 a month for my family vs $600.00 for independent coverage. (It's not as good, but...). How can I qualify for the assistance in the stimulus bill? The no-benefits contract job my husband has probably means we make too much for medicaid.
    4. I am still taking classes to re-tool from my previous job. Where can I get details on the re-training benefits available in the stimulus?
    Thanks all!

    February 16, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  24. Kelly


    My wife and I are both high school teachers in Reno, Nevada, where no doubt the current economic crisis has hit hard, particularly in the housing and gambling industries. Governor Jim Gibbons (R), who was elected on a "no new taxes" platform, is sticking to his guns, and his budget plan presented to the Nevada Legislature, which is controlled by the Democratic party, was balanced through through proposals to cut all state workers' including all school teachers' salaries by 6%, and to decrease the retirement and insurance package they receive by a siginificant amount.

    Higher eduction, the Uniersity of Nevada Reno, and te University of Nevada, Las Vegas was also given a 35% cut in the Governor's proposed budget, which is massive. The Governor has told the University Regents if they can't handle the cuts, they should ncrease tuition.

    The cuts proposed by the governor takes education funding in Nevada, which is currently number 49 for per pupil expenditures in the country, to post 2006 levels which would actually cause Nevada to be inelligible for stimulus aid.

    If the legislature comes up with a plan to make Nevada Eligible for stimulus money, what kind of plans are in there for K-12 education?


    February 16, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  25. Jim

    It seems that "made in America" ideas are not working. Here are two links that I think every American adult should read and forward to their members of Congress and Senate.



    At least one country is doing the right thing by their citizens.

    February 16, 2009 at 2:00 pm |
  26. Bill

    The buzz is all about executive compensation and the new bailout plan, and this is understandable. How can so much money be used to extravagently support corporations that are in the red? And how can we afford to pay corporations that do not provide a corresponding service? It's not logical.

    But this leads to corporate husking (or fleecing) of consumers using taxpayers' dollars. Let's not just get lost in all of these corporate executive idiosyncracies, when we should also examine corporations that have figured out ways to shake down consumers using taxpayers dollars with seals of approval from the stock market.

    Case in point, why isn't Obama's team going after “education” institutes like University of Phoenix? How many millions of dollars each year do these institutes take from consumers in terms of U.S. Government Student Loans without providing an equally compensatory educational service?

    Is this the only well-lubricated, NASDAQ endorsed, Corporate America/U.S. Government setup out there that seems to consistently fleece taxpayers, both directly and indirectly? We should examine corporate practices like these, as well.

    Isn't the American society and the U.S. Government losing terribly in these setups. Isn't anybody concerned?

    Maybe we should shift some of our focus away from corporate executive compensation and "terrorists and attacks from within," as is all over the media, and examine questionable education practices which come from within our own society and are enacted on itself.

    Fleecing U.S. consumers and U.S. taxpayers through our education system is truly an attack from within, with short, medium, and long-term effects. And all the while foreign students are sent by their governments to our real, nationally accredited, U.S. universities just to take their knowledge back to their countries of origin. If the aforementioned educational practices represent healthy capitalism, then I don't see how such a system can support itself.

    Stop the madness!!!

    February 16, 2009 at 1:30 pm |
  27. Michael from Ann Arbor, MI

    hello everyone at AC360! heard about this blog through Facebook...

    My question – if this stimulus package fails to free up credit within the next 6 months, where does the Obama administration go from there? Surely the democrats won't have the political capital to pursue another enormous stimulus, but that won't mean congress would immediately turn to GOP tax cuts, so what then?

    Thank you!

    February 16, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  28. Roger B

    Reading your money summit blog is very saddening, the over all financial and personal crises forced on people and looking back on the spending extravagantly by Congress and the Bush Administration on a unneeded Iraq war and the not regulated administrative pork put in the first T.A.R.P passed before President Obama took office was just bad governing at work. Watching the Congressional Stimulus H.R.1 process and the Republicans all voting a big fat No and then stating we have a better idea. Isn’t deregulating and no oversight of anything, the Iraq war, disregard of the 1996 Republican Contract with America their better ideas when the Republicans had control of Congress? Not everyone finds their main spokesperson Rush Limbaugh good and truthful Media and I don’t see or hear of any publications or Media reports stating the better ideas the Republican Party states they have. If they have them, where are they? Just saying NO to all American lower classed families in need, failing small businesses, and working people, doesn’t seem to be a better idea.

    February 16, 2009 at 11:27 am |
  29. Shamari

    Hey Anderson! I read about the summit on FB and I sure do have a question, or rather 2:

    1. How do I, as a renter, combat this drain when my landlord renews my lease and tacks on a $300/year add'l rent charge? Where's help for those of us who don't have mortgages or foreclosures but still have to figure out how to survive and keep our places to live?

    2. The so-called stimulus refund/rebate going to Joe American is a whopping $400/$800 which breaks down to a few paltry dollars in a paycheck ... considering that the government is handing billions over to incompetent financial institutions why can't they just send people a check for their rebate/refund and let them actually use it productively ... y'know, to pay bills, make medium-sized purchases, use it towards schooling or a down payment on things like car or home?

    and a last...

    3. Has there been any mention of help for student loans? In all of this no one has mentioned the thousands (if not more) of student loans that must be in default because there's no money left to pay out for non-essentials.


    February 16, 2009 at 9:14 am |
  30. Dodie from Irvine, CA

    Why would giving banks more money insure any change? I say, lets federalize all banks that are asking for billions in hand-outs! That way, we will have a little control over how the money is spent!

    To give them more money and then get angry at how they spend it is ludicrous! Our children and grandchildren will be paying for this. I am watching other countries and no one is spending money like we are. Pretty scary!

    February 16, 2009 at 1:09 am |
  31. John C

    I'm not seeing any discussion around American jobs leaving the USA, moving to India. Roughly 6,000 workers where I work (including myself) have been notified that we'll be "disposed of" by end of 2008 as the company frantically works toward offshoring as many jobs as possible: IT; business process; infrastructure; claims processing; call centers. These job losses never hit the evening news as "layoffs".

    How can our government ever hope to "save" American jobs when massive offshoring has been, and continues to be, the solution to greater shareholder ROI and executive bonus incentives? I don't see how our government can even hope to stem the tremendous flow of jobs leaving the USA.

    And I'd like to at least understand how government proposes to monitor compliance with these job movements, such as for HIPAA and PHI in the case of the company I work for.

    February 15, 2009 at 11:49 pm |
  32. Kathryn Bailey-Wright

    So many families are facing foreclosures, why can't the goverment just pay the mortgages for these families for one year? Give them a chance to get back on their feet? Seems to me that the goverment is only trying to save the jobs for the big C.E.Os on wall street . The goverment didn't blink giving wall street bankers big bucks. Where is the money for the thousands that have lost their jobs? Why can't they help families from losing their homes?

    February 15, 2009 at 7:06 pm |
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