The Economy Hitting Home

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View of a miles-long traffic jam in the southbound lanes of Interstate 405 in west Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
Traffic on Interstate 405 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

John McCain talks nonstop about hard times. Barack Obama’s knocking down walls to make “breathing room” for the middle class. The Bush administration is pouring public money into private American banks.

Out beyond Wall Street and Washington, it is not news that things are tough — and were tough before the meltdown of the last month.

How tough? We’ll ask.

This hour, we convene a national roundtable of ordinary Americans for their view of the economic moment, and the fix we’re in. We hope you'll join the conversation.Guests:

Joining us from Fort Myers, Florida, is Jean Ann Berg. She has been a certified nursing assistant for 28 years and works at a nursing home and rehabilitation center. A single mother, she's a member of the Service Employees International Union in South Florida and is on leave from her job to work full-time for the union on election issues.

Joining us from Indianapolis, Indiana, is Deb Peters. A mother of two, she is head of Quality Environmental Professionals, a 32-person environmental consulting company. Her business has been hit by the rising price of gas and health care.

Joining us from Van Nuys, California, is Jay Ybarro. He's a locksmith and owner of Veteran Lock & Key. A Gulf War veteran, he is a single father of two children.

Joining us from Nashua, New Hampshire, is Joe Iaquinta. He was in the mortgage industry for fifteen years, as a broker and office manager. Since that work dried up, he’s delivered newspapers and worked as a substitute teacher and a cook. He currently sells flooring. Last month he lost his house to foreclosure.

And from Washington, DC, we're joined by Eric Toder, former director of the Office of Research at the Internal Revenue Service. He conducts research on tax policy and retirement policy at the Urban Institute and Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center.

This program aired on October 14, 2008.


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