CBN News Panel: The Economy and the 2012 Race

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The number of people seeking unemployment aid remains stuck at a high level, something economists say suggests a slowing job market.
According to the Labor Department, 427,000 Americans applied for benefits for the first week of June  -- nearly 1,000 more than the previous week.

"This really begins to raise some questions of whether there are more long-term issues in the economy than people are letting on," Mark Vitner, an economist at Wells Fargo, told CNN Money.

"I've been in the camp of no double-dip recession, no huge slowing in growth, but now I'm a little worried about 2012. The economy just doesn't have a whole lot of momentum right now," he added.

Applications for jobless claims have been above 400,000 for the past nine weeks. Typically that number needs to dip below 375,000 to signal any real job growth.

"Companies are beating revenue targets and saying that they're cutting expenses, but they aren't hiring," Vitner noted.

"Uncertainty makes it much harder for businesses to expand, and right now we have three big issues making employers cautious: the winding down of QE2 (the Federal Reserve's economic stimulus plan), the European sovereign debt issue, and the U.S. debt ceiling vote," he said.

So where does all this leave those struggling in today's economy -- and how should Americans respond? Is there a role for Christians to play in a bad economy?

Our CBN News of experts --  Alex Brill, a senior fellow at the American Institute and former senior advisor and chief economist of the House Ways and Means Committee, the Independent Women's Forum's senior policy analyst Hadley Heath, and Christian financial advisor Rodney Balance -- addressed those issues and more on CBN News Channel Midday News, June 10.

Part 1: Panelists address:

  • Why the economy's so bad.
  • How Americans can survive.
  • How Washington is responding.

Part 2: Panelist address the "Power of Paul."

Following a failed 2008 presidential bid, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, is back and ready to take another shot at the White House.

Many of his economic policies echoe those of the Tea Party movement. Will that give him a leg up in the 2012 race?

Part 3: Panelist address role of young Americans in 2012.

Today's poor economy is affecting young people more than any other age demographic.

"This is a group of people that swung largely for President Obama in the 2008 presidential election, but largely didn't show up at the poll in 2010," Independent Women's Forum's senior policy analyst Hadley Heath noted.

"These are the people who are burdened most by the poor economy, by poor job markets in the United States, and they're also going to be burdened with our national debt problem," she said.

How the 18-25 crowd will respond in 2012?

Part 4: CBN News panel moderator Lee Webb shared some final thoughts on how Christians should respond to the struggling economy.

--Published Friday, June 10, 2011.

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