Your Take: Who Needs to Give?

Guests Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Representative Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) brought two different positions on the spending debate to "Fox News Sunday" today. Senator Durbin said that while he would personally be open to more deficit reduction, he thinks $10.5 billion in cuts in domestic discretionary is about as far as he would go -additional cuts would have to be found elsewhere. On the other hand, House Republicans are pushing their bill of $61 billion in spending cuts, putting the difference between the Republicans and Democrats at about $50 billion. While Hensarling would not say whether House Republicans would accept less than $61 billion in spending cuts, he was firm in his assertion that Republicans wanted to see real savings in the upcoming spending legislation.

Click here to see Sen Durbin/Rep Hensarling appearance today

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Your Take: Elephant in the Room?

Entitlements, that part of mandatory spending that makes up about 40% of the budget and is comprised of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, is not addressed in the president's budget proposal that was released today. Neither is it addressed in the House Republicans' continuing resolution legislation unveiled last week. Spending on mandatory programs is projected to grow to nearly $3.5 trillion by 2021 from $2.1 trillion next year. Yet for all the talk of fiscal discipline, no one seems anxious to act on a plan to curb the growth of entitlements. Who should take the initiative?

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Your Take: Does Biz Have an Obligation?

The president addressed the US Chamber of Commerce today in an effort to convince the business community to begin hiring again. The Wall Street Journal writes that the president framed his pitch to business leaders as a "responsibility to America." The president discussed what his adminstration is doing to create a foundation to encourage economic growth and at the same time challenged business to do its part. "But as we work with you to make America a better place to do business, Im hoping that all of you are thinking what you can do for America. Ask yourselves what you can do to hire more American workers, what you can do to support the American economy and invest in this nation," President Obama said. Click here to read the president's speech to the Chamber of Commerce. What is your take? What obligation does the business community have? What obligation does the government have?

Your Take: Cuts too deep?

House Republicans have put forward a plan to shaveover $30 billion from government spending for the remainder of the current fiscal year. According to the Wall Street Journal, the steepest cuts would be made in transportation and housing programs. The White House and Democrats in Congress havewarned against making steep cuts too quickly, arguing that such action could harm an alreadyfragile economy. PresidentObama proposed in his State of the Union address a 5 year freeze at 2010 levels -as opposed to the spending cutsHouse Republicans have now laid on the table. Tell us what you think.

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Your Take: Blow to health care law?

For the second time in as many months a member of the judiciary has ruled that the provision requiring Americans to buy health insurance, found in the new health care law, is unconstitutional. As the Wall Street Journal points out, the ruling by a federal judge in Florida goes even further than a ruling handed down in December in Virginia- in that this time the judge concluded the entire act is void. While the two most recent opinions have found the individual mandate unconstitutional, two prior opinions went the other way.

Click here to read today's opinion What's your take?

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Your Take: Competing Agendas

Two very different visions for the way towards restoring the nation's economic health were laid out Tuesday night. On the one hand, the president argued for further investments-or spending-in the areas of education, infrastructure and alternative energy, inthe annual State of the Union address. The president made the casethat targeted investments, as well as freezing some domestic spending, areneeded in orderto maintain America's competitiveness on the global stage. Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI), chairman of the House Budget Committee, offered up the Republican response. Ryan argued that increased spendingwould lead us further down a path of fiscal ruin. Not only should lawmakers reject calls for additional spending, but they should push for deeper spending cuts than the president has proposed. Ryan also reiterated the GOP's call for reversing some of the policy implemented over the past two years, particularly the health care law. Today's Wall Street Journal editorial takes Ryan's point, writing, "Tuesday night can't erase the fact that in his first two years Mr. Obama has overseen an historic expansion of government. He has increased federal spending to as much as 25% of the economy from a modern average between 20% and 21%. In terms of allocating resources, this means that 4% of annual economic output was suddenly taken out of private hands and put under government control." The New York Times took an opposing view, one that supports the president's vision for government taking more initiative as we move forward, writing, "Tuesday nights State of the Union address was President Obamas chance to rise above that pinched vision, to help Americans understand that while government cannot do everything, it is indispensable in reviving the economy, spurring innovation, educating Americans and keeping them healthy and making the nation competitive globally." The president and members of his cabinet now hit the road to sell his vision to Americans where they live and work. Maybe not coincidently, the presidents first stop is an important one for his re-election effort in 2012. Fox writes, "With the lengthy speech to Congress behind him, the president begins his 'White House to Main Street' tour with his seventh trip to the critical swing state (Wisconsin) since taking office." Now we want to know what you think. Which vision resonates more strongly with you and why? Click here to read President Obama's State of the Union address Click here to read the Republican response

Your Take: Health Care Debate

We want your take on developing stories we are watching as we plan for this week's show. The big topic in Congress this week is one that has dominated Washington for the past two years: health care reform. Fox has posted a new story highlighting some of the latest developments we are keeping an eye on as we prepare for Sunday. "Three Democratic Senators Encourage Repeal of Health Care Reporting Requirement" The House of Representatives has voted to scrap the health care law, but the Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid (D-NV), has vowed to prevent a full repeal vote in the Senate. What's next in the battle over health care reform is the hot topic this week. Click here to see how your Representative voted on repealing the health care law. A new Fox News poll finds 56% of voters say they would vote to repeal if they were a member of Congress and 39 percent would vote to keep the law in place. Feel free to tell us where you think this debate will end up.

Predictions for 2010

Happy New Year from all of us at Fox News Sunday! Thanks for sharing your Sunday with us each week. We look forward to a another great year with you in 2010! This week our Power Panel -- Brit Hume, Nina Easton, Bill Kristol, and Juan Williams -- will share their predictions about politics, entertainment, sports, and the economy. We won't spoil the fun by telling you what they think just yet -- you will have to tune in on Sunday to find out. In the meantime, we want to know what your predictions are for 2010. Share your thoughts and ideas here and we'll see how closely they match up with our Power Panel on Sunday. Happy 2010!!

Does Climate Change Exist?

We'll have a fair and balanced debate on Fox News Sunday. But we want to know what you think. Does climate change exist? There seems to be scientific evidence to support both sides. The State of Scientific Consensus on Climate Change: Almost all scientists agree that the Earths climate is changing, having warmed by 1.1 to 1.6 degrees Fahrenheit since the Industrial Revolution. Science indicates that the Earths global average temperature is now approaching, or possibly has passed, the warmest experienced since human civilizations began to flourish about 12,000 years ago. Most climate scientists conclude that humans have induced a large part of the climate change since the 1970s. Although natural forces such as solar irradiance and volcanoes contribute to variability, scientists cannot explain the climate changes of the past few decades without including the effects of elevated greenhouse gas concentrations resulting from fossil fuel use, land clearing, and industrial and agricultural emissions. Over the past 150 years, measured carbon dioxide concentrations have risen by more than one third, from about 280 parts per million to about 380 parts per million. Scientists have found it is very likely that rising greenhouse gas concentrations, if they continue unabated, will raise the global average temperature above natural variability by at least 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit during the 21st Century. Source: Congressional Research Service, "Climate Change: Science and Policy Implications" by Jane A. Leggett, May 2, 2007. What Skeptics Say: Skeptics say the Earth isn't warming, at least not to any extent that could actually be called a "crisis." In fact, some data even suggest that the Earth is getting colder. The planet may have grown warmer over the course of the 20th century. But that warming stopped more than 10 years ago, and since 1998 the trend shows less warming or even cooling. The period from December 2007 through November 2008 was the coldest 12-month span of the decade. Even if the planet isn't cooling, there's no evidence that warming is accelerating or that temperatures are increasing at an alarming rate. The Response: By most measures, average temperatures this decade seem to have plateaued. But this isn't evidence of a cooling planet. Partly, it's a result of picking an exceptionally hot year -- 1998 -- as a starting point. That year experienced an unusually strong El Nino, a natural and periodic warming of the Pacific Ocean that can have powerful effects on global climate. The long-term trend since the mid-1970s shows warming per decade of about 0.32 degree Fahrenheit. This demonstrates how natural year-to-year variations in climate can either add to or subtract from the long-term warming trend caused by the increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Temperatures have still been exceptionally warm: The 12 years from 1997 through 2008 were among the 15 warmest on record, and the decade itself was hotter than any previous 10-year period. While 2008 was the coolest year since 2000 -- a result of the cooling counterpart of El Nino -- it was still the 11th-warmest year on record. And 2009 is on track to be among the five warmest. Source: The Wall Street Journal, "What Global Warming? A look at the arguments the skeptics make -- and how believers respond," December 6, 2009.

Van Jones Resigns

President Obamas Green Jobs Adviser Van Jones resigned late Saturday night amid controversy over remarks he made about Republicans and a petition he signed suggesting a government role in the 9/11 attacks. Below is the text of his resignation letter, sent to the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality Nancy Sutley: "I am resigning my post at the Council on Environmental Quality, effective today. On the eve of historic fights for health care and clean energy, opponents of reform have mounted a vicious smear campaign against me. They are using lies and distortions to distract and divide. I have been inundated with calls - from across the political spectrum - urging me to "stay and fight." But I came here to fight for others, not for myself. I cannot in good conscience ask my colleagues to expend precious time and energy defending or explaining my past. We need all hands on deck, fighting for the future. It has been a great honor to serve my country and my President in this capacity. I thank everyone who has offered support and encouragement. I am proud to have been able to make a contribution to the clean energy future. I will continue to do so, in the months and years ahead. Appointed by President Obama in March 2009, the newly created position found Jones working with various "agencies and departments to advance the administration's climate and energy initiatives, with a special focus on improving vulnerable communities." Jones is also an attorney and author of the best-selling book about green jobs The Green Collar Economy. What do you think, did Jones have to go or was he brought down by what he calls opponents of reform?


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