February 20th, 2009
03:20 PM ET

Send us your questions on the economy

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/20/art.market.anon.jpg]

You’ve heard about the Stimulus plan, and the Housing rescue plan, and the TARP bank bailouts. But you still have questions, right?

Ask us your questions here, and our experts will give you some answers tonight on AC360° at 10PM ET.

Filed under: Economy • T1
soundoff (315 Responses)
  1. Andrea

    I don't have a house. I don't have children. I get paid on 1099. I have no health insurance. I can't collect unemployment. I don't qualify for food stamps. I have no interest in a blue collar job and I'm not an engineer. I feel like more than falling between the cracks, I have landed in the valley. Where do I fit in?

    February 20, 2009 at 11:19 pm |
  2. nathan

    So the bill for last years rebate checks totaled 160 billion and it was used for paying off debt. What do you think people would do with 4-5 times that? That would be directly into the economy, people would spend it. If they did pay off debt, there you go banks, debt off your books. What kind of rebate would people get if they added all the bailouts for banks, automakers, stimulus, and the rest?

    February 20, 2009 at 11:18 pm |
  3. Jeane

    I have a Traditional and Roth IRA. I am not contributing because I am retired and receive a goverment retirement. My IRA's are in a Mutual Fund with Fidelity and are losing money. I do not have to start withdrawl for another seven years. With the market the way it is would it be best to withdraw the money and put it in a CD. I would appreciate any advice you can give me to save my principa;

    February 20, 2009 at 11:18 pm |
  4. Toni

    Why is no one talking about the credit rating system. If a person is behind on bills and loan payments, chances are that person's credit score has tanked. No bank will refinance, no bailout/stimulus or mortgage handout will help a person with a low score. The system needs to be overhauled.

    February 20, 2009 at 11:18 pm |
  5. Dian A.

    I'm retired as of March 20th.I'd be glad to donate time teaching again, if I could get a little help on my home. I've taught 35 years. i still have my certificate. think i could work a deal with the gov't????? My home adjusts in November.I lost almost all of my 401 K.!!! I have never missed a payment in the last 7 years. because of guaranteed income of 4,000 a month, so far, Shouldn't i wait to refinance because of low rates? home +119,000 left and 30,000 second mortgage. I want to help. Any ideas?????

    February 20, 2009 at 11:16 pm |
  6. Laurie Orlov

    I would like to issue a challenge to CNN and its peer TV and radio news outlets:

    Find 10 stories a day: that are about a business that is starting or growing, a person who is optimistic, a public service to the poor or elderly, a new invention, a part of the US economy that hasn't collapsed (even with 10% unemployment, 90% are employed).

    Reverse the ratio of collapsing economy – positive news. Make it 1 to 10, not 10 to 1.

    It was too much broadcast of banking bailout, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, that spread the fear that froze banks and consumers.

    Maybe if the news media picks up the optimism threshold, the President will head there too.

    In a media-saturated world, running constant bank failure banners on the screen is disheartening - and when we all put our money under our mattress because we're disheartened and fearful, then what?

    February 20, 2009 at 11:15 pm |
  7. Bharat K. Shah

    how about tax deduction on interest paid on car loans? this will certainly help consumers spend money on new cars.....

    February 20, 2009 at 11:14 pm |
  8. Dale Luck

    Not everyone that bought a house in the last few years were trying to live an extravegant lifestyle. Because the mortgage lenders were trying to make a fast buck, approving loans that should never have been approved, and other easy credit actions, the price of houses was pushed up, causing this bubble.Making it easy for everyone to buy a house. For those of us that just needed to move into a new house because of a growing family, we have no choice but to try to buy a house in an inflated market hoping that both of us do not loose our jobs. So many of these people are hard working people just trying to afford a basic house with an over inflated price. When there is a price correction and loan principles might be reduced, do you think the person in that house is going to get anything? Not a dime. No! They are probably just getting the house at the correct price, instead of the inflated price.

    It boils down to this. Who benefits from reducing these principle balances, tax breaks for the middle class, etc?

    Everyone does.
    Right now everyone gets hurt from lowering housing prices, even the ones that do not get their principle adjusted.

    And for those high income people (>250k income), they will also benefit from tax breaks for the (250k


    February 20, 2009 at 11:10 pm |
  9. Sylvia

    The stimulus package will be ineffective as long as America continues to outsource jobs to other countries. Goods need to be manufactured in America, not China or India.

    February 20, 2009 at 11:07 pm |
  10. Kofi

    Anderson: I love your show. One tough question I will like you to ask these negative guys is: do they want the president to just do nothing about the foreclosure issue?. we were all complaining of the government not doing enough before the plan came out. now the plan is in and people are still complaining. People should realise that no matter how big the rescue plan is, it will still not cover all. some people will always be left out.
    Do firefighters when called to help asked why you burnt your house down before providing the necessary help? Even helping your neighbor who is facing foreclosure will in turn raise the value of your house. of course people are too miopic to understand this or see te big picture

    February 20, 2009 at 11:05 pm |
  11. Frank

    The Government could install solar panels on peoples homes. Just enough solar to operate the home, and enough to sell back to the electric company. This would take care of my electric bill and pay for a portion my mortage.

    February 20, 2009 at 11:04 pm |
  12. robert mcauliffe

    The "bailout" will not work. Our nation need to get back to a manufacturing based economy. Economics 101: moving money arround doesn't add value, increase wealth, or grow our economy. Barriers to success: unions, elietest concerns about "carbon footprints" & "global warming" need to be shelved. We are teaching our kids how to run company's. We forgot tha company's need to produce somthing of value. We as a nation forgot how to do that.

    February 20, 2009 at 11:01 pm |
  13. Joel From Kingston Ma

    Everyone have a good night and kiss your kids. God Bless

    February 20, 2009 at 11:01 pm |
  14. Joel From Kingston Ma

    Why is the gas prices going up when the barrel is not moving over $40.00 per barrel?

    February 20, 2009 at 10:59 pm |
  15. Lawrence

    With all the jobless and homeless families needing cash fast, why have I not heard anyone question the 10% Early Withdrawal penalty on retirement accounts (IRA's and 401k's)? We need to institute a moratorium on this added insult to injury . I want a moratorium on the penalty.

    February 20, 2009 at 10:58 pm |
  16. Joel From Kingston Ma

    Carole makes an intersting point. If the person gets help and sells the house then the difference from a lowered motgage put a time limit on it say 5 years or so that they would not be able to sell without the penelty. I have farming on my land if i sell my land i would have to pay back taxes for 5 years for the abatement.

    February 20, 2009 at 10:57 pm |
  17. greg tressler

    How will I pay my taxes in the future after this whole thing is over. Having to pay for other peoples mortgages, it is tuff enough to pay my own but in the future when taxes are increased to make up for all this money we spent in this past couple weeks, what will happen then is this going to end up in a never endding cycle where we never recover and in the end I end up losing my house anyway.

    February 20, 2009 at 10:57 pm |
  18. carole

    Why can't there be a substantial tax penaly on any profit a government refinanced mortgarge home owner might make on a resale. The "equity" from a improved housing market would go back into the public coffiers! That might make the rescue plan more palitable to the tax payer!

    February 20, 2009 at 10:53 pm |
  19. Joel From Kingston Ma

    Sung Ho Choi,
    I am not only blaming the banks I am blaming the whole process. These banks knew that they were making stinky loans but they were making so much money they did'nt care. They still continued to make these loans. Just like the crappy builders that are not in business anymore so are the mortgage brokers like New Century and Saxxon and so on. But these companies cannot answer for that but the country is stuck with it. and so are the homeowners who were told they can re-finance after a couple of years that no bank will touch now for the life of them. they are stuck with the interest rate going up because the arms are coming to the end.

    February 20, 2009 at 10:52 pm |
  20. Jeff Foreman

    All this $$$ to bailout Banks, and the Auto industry that failed to prepared for a pyridine shift. Banks did not see the shifting market, and kept lending $$$ when the housing market was shifting. The Auto industry kept building gas hogs rather then leading the shift in the market for better gas mileage cars.

    I’m being asked to take a 20% cut in pay…who’s going to be there for my family and me. I went to my bank to ask for some type of help, and what Wells Fargo said to me is that my loan has been sold. Wells Fargo suggested that I call CCCS, a credit counseling company.

    All this talks of bailouts almost 800 Billion Dollars to shore-up the economy, after 750 Billion Dollar TARP bailout. I feel that the first 750 Billion Dollars should have been divided-up amongst the American Tax Payers. Most of us would have paid-off our homes, bought cars, and spent this money at the mall. There would have NOT been a better “stimulus” package!

    Please, with your experts; help me understand this…

    February 20, 2009 at 10:52 pm |
  21. Joel From Kingston Ma

    I do not want the government to bail me out and I certainly don't want them to own the banks. But the banks made alot of bad decisions as did alot of americans. but when people were getting 600,000 mortgages making $900.00 per week this is outrageous $900.00 per week. Me and my wife make alot more than this and we do not have as big of a Mortgage. What we do have is a huge Interest rate. My house still has a little value about $75,000 in equity still but thats dwindiling fast.

    February 20, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  22. Michael

    What is the difference between this stimulus and the previous one? WHy will this one work?

    February 20, 2009 at 10:44 pm |
  23. Sung ho Choi

    Why are we blaming the banks for this mortgage mess?

    Nobody told you to buy an expensive home you can't afford.

    Maybe we need some common sense class in our schools.

    February 20, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  24. Bonnie

    Question regarding economy.

    My husband has lost his job 5 times through no fault of his own in our 38 year marriage. We keep acquirring credit card debt during these times to the tune of $112,000. We have had to llive off the cards. We are now 4 months behind on our mortgage. We have a 1994 pickup and lease a 2007 Honda. We have gone through debt manage and they have suggested bankruptsy. We are scared. Are there any alternatives.

    February 20, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  25. tim embry

    Now laid off but not under water yet. Are there any plans to let people get their ira,annuities,out without paying 20 plus 10 percent on them

    February 20, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  26. Joel From Kingston Ma

    If the banks are getting bailed out by the taxpayers YOU and ME then they should work with the people infusing them with cash.

    February 20, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  27. Kurt Fischer

    Dear Anderson, I have a question for David Gergen. It is, why doesn’t the Obama administration and congress bring back the Glass-Steagall act of 1933. This act was probably the single greatest law passed from the Great depression era. It prohibited the banking industry to be inter- twinde with the securities markets because they feared that there was too much risk with securities. If the securities failed then the entire banking industry could fail and the govt would have to pay out enormous amounts of money. The Glass-Steagall act was repealed in 1999 by a law written by Sen Phill Gramm of TX. It had bipartisan support. It was then signed into law by then Pres. Clinton. This, in my opinion, has been the crutch of this banking meltdown. My question to you is do you think they should repeal the repeal of the Glass-Steagall act? Kurt Fischer.

    February 20, 2009 at 10:38 pm |
  28. Joe

    Why was Bank of America forced, buy the Gov't , into saving M/L and now going under?? Sounds like Uncle Sam should have stayed out of it!!!

    February 20, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
  29. Joel From Kingston Ma

    Iagree with the last poster PAM.I understand the frustration me and my wife did not do this but with the economy the way it is I am selfemployed in the shed business and even when the market was awsome i did not charge outlandish prices for my product like all the builders that got licenses did in 03,04,05,06 now all those builders are gone and the honost ones are left to pick up the peices but its almost to late. all I am asking for is a little help I am not asking to decrease the amount i owe just the interest rate a little.

    February 20, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
  30. concern/denver Colorado

    What about all those spanish that well fargo gave those loans to and knew those people could not qualify..and some could not even speak enlish and had lawyers placing those homes in the lawyers name ..and now all of them are out doors ..and yet the banks want a bailout ...The banks were looking forward to getting those homes back and hoping to do the same to the next person ...it was all about how much money they could make ...and Now they have the never to be crying broke ...get real

    February 20, 2009 at 10:33 pm |
  31. Joel From Kingston Ma

    The economy can change for the better. These banks that are forclosing on these houses can make the difference between total failure and saving the people of America. If the banks are willing to sell the loans for .40 cents on the dollar then these bank should offer a re-write on the homeowner for the same deal. maybee not ten years ago but this is different.

    February 20, 2009 at 10:31 pm |
  32. Jean Williams

    We the hard working taxpayers hear a lot of facts politics!
    What is the truth?
    Wall street investors and credit card affinities have robbed us of our meager standard and quality of living.

    February 20, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  33. Pam

    I am a disgusted shareholder of BAC & voted against the Countrywide & Merrill-Lynch mergers (& a lot of good that did). I have seen my dividends eliminated & my shares whittled down to almost absolutely nothing. Some of your guests forget that BAC was strong-armed into the merger with ML by the Feds. Please stop talking about nationalization for the big banks... that's the easy way out to be all doom & gloom (that was the last 8 years) ! Let's just be a little more patient & hopeful.

    February 20, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  34. elliot k

    I don't disagree with helping homeowners who bought at the top of the market and are now underwater but I would be incensed if the bailout helps homeowners that have refinanced to pull money out for their "toys" and now find their mortgage underwater. Too many people have used their homes as a bank account to cover their discretionary or expensive life styles and they should now be held accountable.

    February 20, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  35. Joel From Kingston Ma

    Our leader president Obama should stop talking so negativley and start rallying the american people to stand up and move forward. This is like men in combat if your officer and NCO's start looking gloomy then the troops around them also give up and don't drive forward towards the objective. America wake up and drive forward take back our great nation and help each other out the best we can

    February 20, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  36. Joel From Kingston Ma

    When the government says 2.5 million jobs lost and then the bill goes through 5 million jobs are lost the stock market drops huge. This is already spiraling out of control. Nothing is helping the businesses that are getting this change is hording it and not doing what they are supposed to do.

    February 20, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  37. Donna M.

    Finally, I would like to add something that will shock everyone.

    There are about 350 million Americans in the U.S. – give each one $1 million dollars – that's a really cheap bailout – $350 million instead of $787 BILLION!

    Now how's that for boosting the economy?

    February 20, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  38. jon Carmer

    We've always been told buy & hold stocks – don't try to time the market – when it goes down it's only a paper loss – it will come back. Now there is talk the government is going to take over some of the banks which a lot of us own stock that is in our retirement accounts – it will wipe out what we have in those banks – where do we go from here?

    Jon in Sonoma, Ca

    February 20, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  39. Joel From Kingston Ma

    Why is the government so quick to bailout banks that are not willing to work with people. GMAC got 19 Billion dollars for a bailout and they will not work with me for a $290.00 a month car payment does'nt seem fair

    February 20, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  40. Kurt Fischer

    Dear Anderson, I have a question for David Gergen. It is, why doesn't the Obama administration and congress bring back the Glass-Steagall act of 1933. This act was probably the single greatest law passed from the Great depression era. It prohibited the banking industry to be inter- twinde with the securities markets because they feared that there was too much risk with securities. If the securities failed then the entire banking industry could fail and the govt would have to pay out enormous amounts of money. The Glass-Steagall act was repealed in 1999 by a law written by Sen Phill Gramm of TX. It had bipartisan support. It was then signed into law by then Pres. Clinton. This, in my opinion, has been the crutch of this banking meltdown. My question to you is do you think they should repeal the repeal of the Glass-Steagall act? Kurt Fischer.

    February 20, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  41. Bridget, TX

    I have no interest in what Bill Clinton has to say, but didn't he and SOS Clinton promise that we were not getting two for the price of one?

    February 20, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  42. Dennis

    Using the term "nationalization" creates political infighting. The economic reality that we need to face is that many of these banks will have to be placed into "receivership" because for all practical purposes they are insolvent – unable to meet their debts as they become due. I believe the Republicans have injected the term "nationalization" to gain political points while ignoring the economic reality.

    Shame on the press for falling for it, or worse, for exploiting it for ratings.

    February 20, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  43. Tabi Ntoung

    How do we expect the stimulus package to work effectively when there are a bunch of republican senators and house representative out there wishing for the worst senario to occur. Instead of Americans coming together to fight the most dreaded economic melting pot of our generation, some republicans are busy attending private churches in their homes wishing for the Obama administration to fail so they can assume power in 2010.

    God Forbid!!! America will recover

    February 20, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  44. Donna M.

    After reading many of these comments and questions I see that many people have written mostly about two things:

    1. The negative media is feeding this recession almost to the point of keeping it going.

    2. People want to know more of how they can be helped with their mortgages when they didn't act irresponsibly.

    I can tell you from my own experience that part of the mortgage crisis involves outright fraud.

    In order to qualify for a refi on our home, the mortgage broker did a "stated income" loan. This was so the underwriter of the loan would put it through. This is fraud, plain and simple.

    We sold our home in 2007 and the refi was meant to be temporary anyway, but if one mortgage broker committed fraud then it's likely many more also did. Then these loans were sold to mortgage companies.

    Our government shouldn't have bailed out mortgage banks and companies that are responsible for this crisis – they should have put the CEO's on trial for fraud.

    If you think I'm talking through my hat, just go online and type in the words "Mortgage Fraud" in the search and you'll get a clearer picture of what the definition is and how this crisis started.

    February 20, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  45. Vincent

    Why don't we reinstate the the uptick rule? This was put in place after the Great Depression to prevent our stock market from being ravaged and it was removed in 2007.
    Why don't we give the banks all the help they need and allow them some FORBEARANCE just like we did during the savings and loan crisis? When they get back on their feet, they can pay the Fed back.

    February 20, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  46. Rajeev

    I am not an American, but People of America has to back the stimulous plan. However where in the world the ordinary people can get the details of the plan? Govt should not expect every single citizens to be financial analyst or economist to figure about where the money is going? There should be lay man terms explanation provided to the common people. As long as that not happening this going to be an debate forever.

    February 20, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  47. Joel From Kingston Ma

    Why doesnt the banks work with the bad loans that they knowingly made. The customer and the banks and mortgage brokers are all at fault. Lets work together and get it right. I have a loan at 9.15% have a Job and if my bank lowers my rate to 6% it will free up $1400.00 per month for my family. why are the banks so resistant to help. They are drinking from the taxpayers troth so they should work with the people bailing them out. Please answer this some way Thank you

    February 20, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  48. Bridget, TX

    Hi Anderson, I wish Ali was on today to help explain what's going on with the stimulus plan, if it's a good move to nationalize the banks and what we can expect over the next 12 months.

    My heart and prayers go out to President Obama, he has a country screaming for help, having to be honest and let people know we're in a crisis and it's going to take time maybe years to stabilize. At the same time he has to sell hope, but to give some hope is to set them up to point the finger in a couple weeks when they don't see immediate help.

    May God guide the president and bless us all.

    February 20, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  49. Bob

    Mr. Clark doesn't agree with bailing out Banks but what about bailing out home owners who also made bad decisions. Is that right??

    February 20, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  50. Tommy Cornstubble

    My question is since we just have to give alot of money away, what would be wrong with giving each American Citizen about 385 million, I believe is the present count, 2 million dollars each in a government account, then give each person that owes on a home a voucher for the amount of the average home loan in America, this would solve the foreclosure problem, people who do not owe on a home could draw a bigger Social Security check as this account would solve Social Security from now on. Then give each house hold a voucher for two automobiles, this would solve the auto industryies problem. This account would also take care of the people who are on government assistance or state assistance Hud housing, food stamps. the list of things that this account would take care of can just go on and on. The people who qualify for these assistance avouchers would be the same as the government assistancs or state assistance that they recieve now. Social Security would be the same qualifications and rules as we now have in place. My main question is if something of this nature, would it not jump start the economy swhole lot faster, and also would it not make the Good Ole USA a lot stronger quicker, also would it not make our Dollar stronger quicker, and maybe make us not a debter nation for as long as we are going to be with these present give aways? P S we probably could solve Health Care with this account also, what is your opinion?

    February 20, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
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