Return to Transcripts main page
CNN IN THE MONEY
Kerry's Campaign Make-Over; Interview With Pat Buchanan
Aired September 19, 2004 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: From New York City America's financial capital, this is IN THE MONEY.
JACK CAFFERTY, HOST: Welcome to the program. I'm Jack Cafferty. Coming up on today's edition of IN THE MONEY:
The John Kerry makeover: Forget that famous head of hair, this makeover is about firing up his campaign. We'll look at how a little tinkering could change the whole presidential race.
And what the candidate are really saying: Watch what happens when a language expert takes those political speeches apart and shows us what's inside.
Plus, conservative is as conservative does: Right-wing icon and sometimes presidential candidate, Pat Buchanan, says the administration and the Republican Party are not living up to their labels. See if you're convinced as he makes his case.
Joining me today, a couple of IN THE MONEY veterans, CNN correspondent, Susan Lisovicz, "Fortune" magazine editor-at-large Andy Serwer.
So President Bush is on the stump campaigning hard for re- election, and one of the things he's telling voters is "we're making progress in Iraq, things are moving toward elections, we're going to be OK, we've got to stay the course." A classified intelligence document that was ordered by the administration last July says quite the contrary. The insurgents are in control of a number of cities, that the outcome by the end of 2005 will range from all-out civil war to at the best, the best case scenario, continued unrest. Republican Senator Hagel from Nebraska publicly saying that we are in deep kimchi, to borrow a phrase, in Iraq. Somebody is not telling the truth.
ANDY SERWER, "FORTUNE": Well, I think obviously what the president has to do is fire the whole bunch of them and get a new study to say -- get it he say and he wants, and all that stuff.
CAFFERTY: There you go.
SERWER: Anyway, seriously, obviously the administration and the American Army is really in -- you know, between a rock and a hard place. They go in full force, could be a blood bath, you sit there and watch, we have a slow burn. And you know, I don't think it's too strong to suggest that radical times call for radical solutions. Maybe we have to rethink a lot of things when it comes to Iraq. Probably won't happen till after the election, though.
SUSAN LISOVICZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: But, I think it's the time for -- you know, armchair quarterbacks to say the administration should have changed its rhetoric a year ago, the famous scene, President Bush landing on that aircraft carrier "mission accomplished" comes back to haunt you. You had a dictatorship for decades there, a brutal dictatorship, that country, it's a big country, its borders are porous. Only the most optimistic person would think that this would be resolved very, very quickly.
CAFFERTY: Well, and there's also the cynical view, which is they're holding off getting too tough with the armed forces over there. I mean, let's face it, our Marines can whip anybody on this planet, but they're not going to turn them loose in places like Fallujah and spill a lot of blood because they don't want that in the news running up to the election.
SERWER: Fair enough.
CAFFERTY: Tough stuff.
Right now, we'll turn that campaign. And from the start the Kerry campaign has faced one big hurdle -- convincing people to vote for John Kerry and not just vote against George W. Bush. A lot of observers think the public isn't convinced yet and the polls seem to bear that out. Time's running out, though. E.J. Dionne is going to take us under the hood of the Kerry campaign, see if there's a way to turbocharge this baby in time for the race to the finish line. He's a columnist for the "Washington Post," senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.
And, Mr. Dionne, it's a pleasure to have you on the program.
E.J. DIONNE, "WASHINGTON POST": It's great to be with you.
CAFFERTY: I mentioned this yesterday. Don Imus is supporting John Kerry. Don Imus is this outspoken, sometimes cranky, radio personality who has a huge following across the country. He's a Kerry supporter. On the radio this week he said at one point he walked into his office and began to beat his head against the jukebox because he couldn't understand anything that John Kerry was saying. That's a pretty harsh criticism from a guy who likes you.
DIONNE: Right, well, that text, if you read it, was to put it very charitably, not the best text that Kerry has ever put forward. I think this race is, to use a term I learned from you guys, "within a very narrow trading range."
CAFFERTY: There you go.
DIONNE: It will stay that way all the way to the end. I think first our view of the race was shaped by a few polls that came out after the republican convention that showed Bush with some big lead. I'm not sure he ever had that lead, but to the extent that he did he now appears to have lost it. On Thursday four different polls came out showing that the race was tied. And so I think the first thing is we, in -- you know, the punditry business have to be wary of taking one set of polls and basing our whole view on it. Having said that, it's pretty clear that Kerry knows that his campaigns, to use another term you guys use a lot, needed "restructuring."
And I think you're seeing that. And I think if you look at the changes he's made, bringing in John Sasso, a seasoned Massachusetts political veteran, on his plane; bringing in Joe Lockhart, who was a -- President Clinton's press secretary and communications director essentially; and also bringing in Mike McCurry, I think they realized that in the month of September they did two things wrong -- they were not very quick on the pickup. This campaign was moving with the speed of an ocean liner, not a swift boat, if I could use that term.
CAFFERTY: (LAUGHING) Very good.
DIONNE: And secondly, it seemed that there wasn't very good communication between Boston and the plane, and I also think Kerry needs some people he really trusts because there are moments when you have to make quick decisions and there are moments when somebody has to tell you you're wrong. For example, please clean up those sentences from the Don Imus show.
LISOVICZ: OK, well, you know, E.J., you used some of our language. We're going to use your language, now. I'm quoting directly in from you: "If John Kerry loses..."
DIONNE: That's dangerous.
LISOVICZ: "If John Kerry loses this election, August will be seen as the time when he did." Well, we're in mid-September now. So what is September shaping up to be? How are we going to go out in September? Bush has lost some of his bounce. Is Kerry going to move in?
DIONNE: Well, the next sentence of that column was "and if he wins, August oddly, will be the month that set up the win." And the reason I think that's true is twofold. One, the republican attacks on Kerry at the convention, which were very tough, particularly Zell Miller's, I think opens up a lot of room for Kerry to be much tougher back on Bush, people like a counterpuncher, they like somebody who's responding to attacks. Secondly, I think the problems in August did make clear to Kerry, and I think his whole operation, that they did need this revamping which they're going through now.
And thirdly, what does Kerry have to show? One of the things he has to show is that he's tough, he's tough enough to deal with terrorism. And I think this campaign, with the attacks on him, give him at least the opportunity to be tough back against President Bush. Michael Dukakis, former governor of Massachusetts, very good guy, was under attack for not being tough enough, and I think he ran into trouble because he wasn't seen as responding to Bush. I think Kerry's got all the room he needs to do that now.
SERWER: E.J., Andy Serwer, here. How are you doing?
DIONNE: How are you?
SERWER: Good. Listen, we're coming into the home stretch here. What exactly should Kerry do? You talk about talking tough. What about the issues? What should he really drill down into?
DIONNE: Well, I think the other problem he has is that if you ask a lot of voters, even though he's been giving a lot of speeches and actually does have a program, a lot of people can't answer, well, what are the two or three things John Kerry would do if he's elected? Why is he running for president? And I think he really needs to focus, first of all, on health care, and I think the president gave him an opening this week by attacking Kerry's health care plan.
I think he needs to focus on health care, and I think he needs to focus on the sluggish economy and the "middle class squeeze," that now popular term, and he needs to say, basically, on Iraq, he needs to turn the tables and say he needs a quick answer to the question, why did you cast those two votes? And he needs to say, as you said at the beginning of this segment, if you look at what's happening in Iraq, there was something badly flawed about this plan, we ought to be able to do better than this. And I think if he manages to do all those things, I think he does have a chance of winning this election. I think this is a very close election despite some of those post- election polls.
CAFFERTY: All right. With that we're going to leave it there. E.J. Dionne is a political columnist for the "Washington Post," senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. We'll try to get you back on the program maybe once more before the election, if you're willing.
DIONNE: That'd be great fun. Thanks for having me.
CAFFERTY: Thank you, sir. Nice to have you here.
You can guess how touchy management gets if we don't run an ad every now and then or if we do run an ad every now and then. It really doesn't matter, they get touchy. It's just part of their nature. We are going to take a break here, however. Don't get the picture, get the frame. We will speak with a linguist about how the candidates use talk to change the way you think.
Plus the retrocon and the neocons: Find out why Pat Buchanan is angry at what he sees being done to the grand old party.
And beat the opposition: Turn your keyboard to a powerful political weapon in our "Fun Site of the Week" where you can knock the stuffing out of the candidates for the White House. Back after this.
ANNOUNCER: Harley-Davidson may be 100 years old, but the Fortune 500 company shows no signs of slowing down. Still riding high after its centennial birthday celebration in 2003, Harley-Davidson recently announced record first quarter revenues for 2004.
As it heads into its next century, Harley is attempting to attract a new crop of hog fans by rolling out new bikes designed for women and smaller riders. Harley is also making its bikes more affordable for buyers by narrowing its traditional gap between supply and demand. In the past devoted customers could wait more than a year for a new bike.
LISOVICZ: The democrats are being painted in this election as a bunch of people who can order dinner in French, but can't talk to plain folks in plain English. The republicans can, and they do. But one linguist thinks it's not just the words they use that help the republicans get their point across, it's the way they package the subjects they're talking about. George Lakoff is a linguistics professor at the University of California at Berkeley. He's also the author of a new book called "Don't Think of an Elephant: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate."
GEORGE LAKOFF, U.C. BERKELEY: Hi. It's a pleasure to be here.
LISOVICZ: And it's a pleasure to have you. OK, so we're going to frame the debate. One of the things that the Republican Party has done very well, I believe, in your view, is the war on terror. Using fear and strength to summon up one of the values, they say, that President Bush will bring to the American people.
LAKOFF: Right. Remember, right after the attacks it was first called a "crime," and then for a couple of days they didn't quite know what to call it. Colin Powell argued for "crime" versus "war," but eventually they settled on "war," so that the president could get war powers. This is a metaphorical war, of course, there's no country you're going to war against, no Army, no possibility of peace treaties, no declarations, and so on. So, what you have is an unprecedented kind of conflict called "war." Calling it the "war on terror" is important for republicans, although it's obviously not literally a war on an emotion, you know, the people who are terrorized are not the persons being made war on, it's the terrorists. So using the word "war" on terror constantly evokes fear, and at the same time evokes the authority of the commander in chief by using the term "war" and actually gives him enormous political authority.
SERWER: Professor, you talk about the war on terror, then you talk about tax relief. This is all about language, words, linguistics. But how conscious are the republicans or the democrats, for that matter, in choosing these words?
LAKOFF: The republicans are enormously conscious of this and very, very good at it, and it's not just words, it's the ideas conveyed by the words. When you have a word like "relief," it calls up what's called a frame, a package of ideas. For example, the word "relief" always calls up the idea of an affliction, an afflicted party who's harmed by it. A reliever, who is a hero, takes away the affliction, and if anybody tries to stop him they're a villain. Tax relief adds to that, the idea that taxation is an affliction, and that's a republican idea. So, every time the word is used, that idea comes up, and it's been used since the first day George Bush was in office.
So, it's used over and over and over again until people get it into their brains, physically in the synapses of their brains, that taxation is an affliction, until even the democrat's start talking about tax relief for the middle class.
CAFFERTY: Yeah, but the ability to use language, professor -- this is Jack Cafferty, pardon for interrupting. The ability to use language is not reserved in the constitution for the Republican Party. Don Imus was on the radio the other morning, he's syndicated all across the country, he supports John Kerry, and he said the following. "I went into my office and started beating my head against the jukebox in my office because I can't understand anything the man is saying." So, while you suggest that republicans might be good at using the language, that kind of comment suggests to me that the other side is awful at using the language. No?
LAKOFF: I hate to say it, but they're not as good by any means.
CAFFERTY: Why do you hate to say it?
LAKOFF: I hate to say it because I'm a Kerry supporter.
LAKOFF: But it's true. You know, I'm a -- you know, I'm a professional. I analyze it. It's true. The republicans are simply better at it. And they've had practice. Remember that they had...
CAFFERTY: Well, Kerry's been in the senate for 17 years, I mean...
LAKOFF: For 35 years they've had think tanks, they've got 43 of them, two to three billion dollars of investments in them. They've worked this out over 30, 35 years with thousands of people working in those think tanks and an entire language apparatus run by Luntz. The democrats have nothing of the sort.
LISOVICZ: You know, let's talk about some democrats who are very good at speaking plain English to plain people, and that would be Bill Clinton, who stepped in and, it seems like, his entire staff has recently stepped in for John Kerry. Are you seeing any differences in that, and what are you expecting from the debates?
LAKOFF: Well, first of all, Clinton was a natural, personally. He just knew how to do it. The staff is not Bill Clinton. The staff can tell Kerry some things to do, but he's not going to come out looking like Bill Clinton. And it's not clear that the staff is the right -- you know, choice for this. But they may be, they did very well with Clinton. I think Kerry has gotten more combative since then. He's been answering all the charges, and the previous strategy was not to, to just be positive. So I think that you'll see Kerry being more combative and being better in some of these things.
SERWER: Professor, do the democrats have any language, I mean, sometimes you hear two Americas. Does anything they do work or...
LAKOFF: Have two Americas half works. It has to be -- you know, explained that this has to do with poor America and elite, or rich America. But it doesn't quite carry the actual message. They need something better, I mean, we have, for example, in this country an economy that is a dual economy in which you have two tiers: A lower tier, all the folks who can't afford health care, for example, the bottom 25 percent. And they do essential work for the company, upholding the lifestyles of the top three-quarters of the country. But, the economy is so structured that they can't be paid what they're worth to the economy. You know, if you're hiring someone to do child care or clean your house or something like that and you're not a high- paid person, you can't afford to pay them what they're worth. And this is true for about 25 percent of our workers. So, they are stuck. These are people who couldn't pull themselves up by their bootstraps. And if by magic they all did somehow, we'd still need 25 percent of the workforce to do those jobs at those wages.
CAFFERTY: I got no time, but let me just put you on the spot. Who do you think's going to win the election?
LAKOFF: I'm looking for Kerry. He's made a big comeback in the last couple of days. And we'll see. But we don't know, I think it's a tossup, to be honest.
CAFFERTY: All right. George Lakoff, he's a professor of linguistics at Cal Berkeley and author of "Don't Think of an Elephant: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate." Interesting stuff.
Coming up after the break, make that a decaf: See if you'd invest in Coke as we tell you what the company is saying to its shareholders.
Plus, one wild party: Republican Pat Buchanan has a beef with his fellow conservatives in the Bush administration. He's going to tell you about that.
And the charge of the cell brigade: See why some people who switched cell phone providers are paying charges they never expected.
LISOVICZ: Now let's take a look at the week's top stories in our "Money Minute." Martha Stewart wants to get it all over with. Stewart has asked a federal judge to send her to prison right away instead of letting her stay free while she appeals her case. Stewart was convicted earlier this year of lying to investigators looking into her sale of ImClone in 2001. Stewart faces a five-month sentence, and she wants to serve that time close to home at a prison in Danbury, Connecticut. U.S. Airways is bankrupt again. The airline filed for bankruptcy after it was unable to get another $800 million in cost cuts from its unions. U.S. Airways says the filing shouldn't inconvenience travelers for now. This is U.S. Airways' second bankruptcy filing in two years.
And maybe we're not so overworked after all. A new Labor Department study shows that American adults have about five hours of leisure time a day. And the study also says most of us spend about half of that free time watching TV. Hopefully, it includes IN THE MONEY.
SERWER: Another big story this week was a warning from Coca-Cola that its 2004 results will be far below expectations. The company is blaming weaker sales in North America and Europe. Coke shares are trading at year lows, right now. But, they're only about 30 percent off their year highs. That means it's had what we call a "tight trading range" in Wall Street parlance, making Coca-Cola our "Stock of the Week."
As far as this disappointment goes, though, you guys, after Roberto Goizueta, the famed CEO of Coke pass away years ago, you had Doug Ivester, he flopped; Doug Daft, he flopped; and now you've got Neville Isdell, an Irishman who comes in with a lot of promise.
LISOVICZ: Well, but he's been in the company a long time.
SERWER: Yes, but now he's the CEO. And all sorts of promise here, and he's falling flat. What's wrong with this company?
LISOVICZ: Well, one of the problems with the company is they're pricing the soda too high and people don't want to pay for it, and so, they pretty much acknowledged it in their "parlance," to use your word, saying they're going to reevaluate the pricing strategy, bring the prices down. Another thing is they had this low-carb drink, C-2, and it's a bomb.
CAFFERTY: Well, and that's part of the problem, too. I mean, when Ford came out with a Model T, they sold a lot of Fords because that was all there was to drive and if you wanted to drive a car you bought a Model T Ford.
CAFFERTY: For a long time people drank Coca-Cola because that had all the shelf space in the stores and it was the predominant brand, but there's a plethora -- there's a word for you...
CAFFERTY: ...of other products out there, now. Gatorade, and things that owned by companies like Pepsi Cola that are just, pardon the expression, kicking Coke's butt.
SERWER: Yeah. LISOVICZ: And also, again, there's concerns about health, with 25 percent of Americans who are obese. And so, Coke has said that's been a problem. And finally, Pepsi, the No. 2 rival here, has a snacks division, and guess what, that can offset the weakness in soda sales.
SERWER: And you know what's really interesting, Warren Buffett, who's the big shareholder of this company, said something to the effect that people are always drinking Coke, and I think that's true, but the point of a company is you've got to get more and more people to drink Coke. In other words, you've got to grow the company. You're so right, Jack. All those iced teas, all those alternative drinks...
CAFFERTY: Sure, Snapple, all that stuff out there.
They're just taking all the fizz and pop and bubble away. And I'll stop right now.
SERWER: They're just taking a lot of the fizz and pop and bubble away. And I'll stop right there.
CAFFERTY: Well, there you go.
SERWER: OK. This is IN THE MONEY, where business news gets to put its feet up once in a while. Just ahead, con versus neocon. Oh, that's interesting. Find out why senior conservative Pat Buchanan is so worried about the Bush administration, the way it's running America.
And later on, do your homework: Asking for a raise takes a lot more than just popping the question. We'll tell you how to do it right.
And, vote with your fists: We'll show you a harmless way to vent that preelection aggression. Stick around for our "Fun Site of the Week."
CAFFERTY: For generations the Republican Party was known as the party as the party of fiscal and foreign policy conservatives. But our next guest says things have changed and not for the better either he adds. These days the GOP gets the blame for sieve like borders, monster budget deficits and a catastrophic war of intervention in Iraq. Patrick Buchanan is the author of "Where the Right Went Wrong, How the Neoconservatives Subverted the Reagan Revolution and Hijacked the Bush Presidency." Pat Buchanan's also a former president candidate and joins us now to visit with us on IN THE MONEY.
So Mr. Buchanan, where did this party go haywire? How did they let themselves get hijacked for want of a better word, by the neocons?
PATRICK BUCHANAN, FMR PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think they sold out their principles for power in the 1980s. After the revolution of 1994 when Republicans were proposing more spending than Bill Clinton was and I think when Mr. Bush came into power and after 9/11, they simply signed on because Bush was so popular, signed onto huge increases for the Department of Education, $400 billion deficits, not a single veto, open borders, amnesty for illegal aliens and going to war against a country that did not attack us, did not threaten us, did not want war with us and did not have weapons of mass destruction or any role in 9/11. That's not Reaganism. That's not Goldwaterism. That's not conservatism.
LISOVICZ: All right. Then you must have found the "Wall Street Journal" op/ed piece this week by John Kerry, his economic policy, most interesting where he was talking about bring down the deficit as Democrats, bringing down the deficit, saying that you should spend as you go, that if you propose a new program, you have to pay for it and proposing spending caps on everything except education and security. So do you like Kerry?
BUCHANAN: Well, because I read Kerry's speech at the convention and I saw the tax cuts, tax credits, tax deductions and all the spending proposals, including virtually national health insurance and it adds up. The president says $2 trillion and you got a $400 billion deficit already. You've got two parties in Washington, neither of which is conservative. One is tax and spend, the Democrats and the other is a party of guns and butter and tax cuts too.
SERWER: Pat, let me see if I can get this straight. You say going to war in Iraq was wrong and not consistent with a conservative agenda. Yet the president insists that he's a conservative. So what's the disconnect? Why did he go to war in Iraq then?
BUCHANAN: I think he went to war in Iraq because the neoconservatives have had this project, this agenda, for war in Iraq and war against the Arab and Islamic states that defy America and Israel in the works for about 10 years. Pearl and others have been colluding with the Israelis on this project. They pushed it during the Clinton era. Come 9/11, they tried to get the president to sign on immediately. He did not. He went to Afghanistan, but the neoconservatives sold Cheney and Rumsfeld and eventually the president bought in. He bought into the idea that we can have a cake walk through Iraq. It's going to be a rose garden when we get there. Democracy will break out in the Middle East. The Israelis and Palestinians will sit down and make peace and some of us warned him that this was a giant West Bank we would inherit and we were right.
Now let's take a conservative, Ronald Reagan. When the Marines were killed in those barracks in Beirut, Reagan looked at it and he could have gone in and captured Beirut with a couple of divisions. He said I may have made a mistake. There's no vital interest there. There's no threat to our national security there. I'm pulling the Marines out. That is conservatism, the ability to admit a mistake and turn it around. I think the president was sold a bill of goods and my guess is he recognizes it by now.
CAFFERTY: What about the fact that places like Iraq have turned into hotbeds of foreign insurgents who are now killing American service people and the theory in Washington, which makes a little bit of sense to a country boy like myself, that at some point you're going to have to take on some of these groups. He might just as well do it over there as allow them to come in and knock down another World Trade Center and kill a few thousand more people here in the United States, that what we're doing there is at least stonewalling and stopping the armed conflict from coming back into this country.
BUCHANAN: You're making the same point that I was making. There was no huge haven for terrorists or a base camp of terrorists out of which attacks were made against the United States, while Saddam Hussein was in power. He was a thug and a criminal, but Iraq represented -- there wasn't a single attack traceable to Iraq on the United States in all the time since the Gulf war. There is now. Foreign fighters are pouring in now. General Abizaid says the number of insurgents have gone to 5 -- from 5,000 to 20,000 in one year when we've killed thousands. The insurgency now take on an organic form. It is growing. It is increasing in numbers. People are coming in. We ignited the mess in Iraq. We have radicalized the entire Arab and Islamic world far beyond what it was. There's one person in the world who is happier than any other that the Americans invaded Iraq and that is Osama bin Laden. We've created a giant spawning pool and a recruiting pool for him.
LISOVICZ: OK, Pat, so, the president's wrong on the deficit. He's wrong on Iraq. He's also wrong on trade in your opinion. Can you just quickly address that?
BUCHANAN: Sure. How can you defend a merchandise trade deficit of $700 billion? One in every six manufacturing jobs has been lost in America since Mr. Bush took the oath. He is for NAFTA, GAFF, the WTO, NFN (ph) for China, all of these things. China is basically leaching out of this country. Our technology, our factories, our plants, our best jobs for our best workers, bringing them to China by a policy of economic nationalism holding its currency down and selling us all these cheap goods as we send all of our basic productive resources to China. That's not conservatism.
But the problem is, Kerry agrees with him. Kerry agrees with him on amnesty for illegals. Kerry agrees with him on Iraq. Kerry agrees with him on big spending, big government. So we don't have a choice for conservative today. I will say this about the president, good on taxes, good on judges, good on sovereignty, good on values.
LISOVICZ: So who are you voting for?
BUCHANAN: I'm in a red state. It doesn't make any difference who I vote for.
LISOVICZ: All right. Pat Buchanan, who has served under three American presidents, also been a presidential candidate. We thank you so much for your time. Pat Buchanan is also a prolific author. His latest book is "Where the Right Went Wrong." Thanks for joining us.
BUCHANAN: Thank you.
LISOVICZ: Now think of what's next as the TV version of a lemonade stand, we're going to run some ads and make some money. After the break, the question that could change your financial life. We'll find out how to ask for a raise and get yes for an answer.
And the beatings will continue until morale improves. Take a swing at the candidate who's getting your goat. Our fun site of the week just might make you feel better.
SERWER: Congratulations. You made it through the recession without losing your job. You survived rounds of layoffs, cutbacks and buyouts and in return for all that hard work and dedication you were lucky if you got a 3 percent raise. But according to this month's "Smart Money" magazine, the job market is looking up and so are your chances of getting a big raise from the boss. "Smart Money" senior writer Beverly Goodman is here to help us all get a bigger paycheck. Welcome Beverly.
BEVERLY GOODMAN, "SMART MONEY" MAGAZINE: Hi.
SERWER: So is it really true that the economy is in good enough shape to really be going out and trying to get a raise at this point?
GOODMAN: Well, we're definitely in the very early stages of the job recovery. But there's a fair amount of evidence there. Corporate profits are at a record high. Capital spending is up and all of that usually means that wage pressure will come into play pretty soon.
LISOVICZ: OK, so the timing is right. Is the first rule of thumb to suck up to management, please say no.
GOODMAN: No. But the first step is really just to take a good hard look at what it is you're doing every day. Chances are you've exceeded your job description and have taken on new projects or filled in for other people and you really need to sort of lay out exactly what it is you're doing and if that's worth more money than what you were hired at.
CAFFERTY: So if you were going to walk in and represent me in some negotiations about getting some more money for hosting...
SERWER: Forget about it Beverly.
CAFFERTY: You want a tough job, I'll give you one. For hosting this very fine television program, what would you tell my boss. In other words, what's the pitch that you make if you're after a bigger paycheck which of course we all are.
GOODMAN: Well, the two main things that everyone needs to know, in addition to figuring out exactly what it is you do at your current job and how that's maybe gone beyond your previous responsibilities is what people do elsewhere at other companies and you can check out what they get paid on sites like salary.com and vault.com, also posts various sort of insider tips as to how people are compensated and you need to take all that information and bring it to your supervisor and make your case as to why you should get a little more money. SERWER: All right. Beverly, so there's a Web site where I can find out how much money Jack makes?
CAFFERTY: It's called notenough.com.
SERWER: Should you always go for the maximum amount because I hear people saying you know, three years ago I asked for the moon. I got it and then now they're telling me I'm overpaid and I'm going to get laid off.
GOODMAN: Well, it's true and that's a good point. You definitely need to be reasonable and your expectations can't really be quite as high as they were during the boon years. But if you made it this far and your company values you, chances are you are worth something to them and if you're underpaid according to other profession -- I'm sorry, other companies or even if your own department, then you should ask for what you think (UNINTELLIGIBLE)
LISOVICZ: All right. So you documented your performance. You've checked out what other people are making and your boss still says no. You say, don't take no for an answer. So what do you do then? You hit him with your hook shot?
GOODMAN: I'm not sure I would advise that but you definitely have to go to them and ask why and if possible that you are tapped out at your salary or at your job description. Very often companies have a separate budget for increases like assigned (ph) to promotion so perhaps you are in line for a promotion and that should be the tack that you're taking, rather than just a raise. And you unfortunately may just find a surprising assessment of your job and it may be time to look elsewhere.
CAFFERTY: Some people suggest that timing is everything and I would guess that when you go in to ask for a raise, timing is probably at least a part of the equation. How do you determine if your timing is right?
GOODMAN: Well, generally they say that Mondays and Fridays are bad. Mondays people are kind of foggy and playing catch up and Friday's they're checked out, but it really just depends on your job and the cycle that you're in. And chances are, you have a sense or have access to somebody that has a sense of your bosses schedule and you should pretty much go along with that. You don't want to go in and ask for raise after he's just had an unpleasant budget meeting.
LISOVICZ: And we should mention that your article also details how you can trade up going to another company. It all can be read in "Smart Money" magazine, by Beverly Goodman who is the senior staff writer. Thanks so much for joining us.
GOODMAN: Thank you.
LISOVICZ: Next the drama of commerce in your very own home as our advertisers try to turn you into a customer. And after the break, it's your nickel, no make that a quarter. Find out why some cell phone users are paying more for moving around. And put your own two cents in. Our e-mail address is email@example.com.
Firs though, this week's edition of money and family.
LISOVICZ: Are you doing all you can to keep your home safe from disasters? If not, here's some tips on insuring your home. First you need to know what disasters your homeowner's insurance does and doesn't cover. Make sure you review your policy and speak with your agent to go over the fine print. Some policies may cover fire, but not flooding or earthquakes and remember the location of your home will determine what extra coverage you need.
It's also a good idea to set up an insurance emergency fund with a bit of cash you set aside each month. That way you'll have some money in the bank to pay for repairs your insurance company doesn't cover and if you live in a government designated disaster area and your home has been damaged, the Federal Emergency Management Agency provides grants for repairs and temporary housing. The Small Business Administration will also offer low-interest loans for rebuilding. I'm Susan Lisovicz for money and family.
CAFFERTY: I have to recuse myself from this segment, because I don't have one. Another week, another good reason not to have a cell phone. Webmaster Allen Wastler joins us with news of some hidden fees that the cell phone companies may be slamming you with you might not even know it and he also has the fun site of the week. Talk among yourselves.
ALLEN WASTLER, MONEY.COM: If you did have the cell phone, you would be outraged, outraged. We got this new rule, neat new rule that if has change cell phone providers, you get to pop to whichever one you want to and keep your cell phone number. You don't have to be changing it. That's good, right?
WASTLER: Any ideas, you just take it around and you (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and you can just take your cheapest carrier. Well, it looks like a number of carriers have changed the rules. What they've done is that oh, you canceled. Well, we're not going to prorate that last month anymore. We're charging for the full month of service.
LISOVICZ: So is it just one month or is it ongoing?
WASTLER: It depends on your billing cycle and where they do it. Sometimes, some carriers say oh we charge always a month in advance. So we're getting you for the change on this month plus another month.
SERWER: We charge six months in advance. I mean how can they get away with that? WASTLER: Well, the trick is you know, you'd say, well, it's not like that with regular phone service right, not like that with my utility, not like that with my cable bill, but those are all utilities that are sort of regulated by the government and everything and even though cell phone carriers are regulated, different sort of animal.
LISOVICZ: Gray area?
WASTLER: So gray area, making sort of hitchy (ph) with the charge. So now a lot of people are like they say, I'm going to take advantage of the new rule. I'm going to change carriers and then they get this bill, what, $30, $40, 50 bucks depending on the type of service. They're getting mail.
CAFFERTY: If you're like me...
WASTLER: You don't have that problem.
CAFFERTY: ... problem you have to be concerned with.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He doesn't have that problem.
LISOVICZ: Do you even have a phone Jack?
CAFFERTY: Just the kind that comes out, the wire goes in the wall at home.
WASTLER: Do you have the wire plugged?
CAFFERTY: Yes. I got indoor plumbing and everything. What's the fun site of the week?
WASTLER: Fun site, we're talking a lot about politics, right, getting a little upset and getting tired of them. I found a site where you can be either Bush or you can be either Kerry and pound the other guy, OK.
Let's start with you being George Bush and why don't -- or actually let's be Kerry (UNINTELLIGIBLE) come on Bush, come on Bush, come on Bush, come on, you want some of this? Watch his upper cut. Watch his upper cut.
LISOVICZ: You ought to protect your head.
WASTLER: Kerry got you, look at that. Kerry's the winner on that.
CAFFERTY: Now you can flip it around.
WASTLER: We're a bipartisan show, exactly, so let's flip it around and let's go the other way, OK. So this you get to -- come on, upper cut, watch the upper cut.
SERWER: That's just what he did in the National Guard.
WASTLER: Oh, Bush is the winner. SERWER: What about Nader? Does he have one?
WASTLER: No, they don't have Nader. He's like crawling in the grass somewhere. Anyway you can go there, just get out your frustrations.
CAFFERTY: All right. Good to see you. Allen Wastler. Coming up next on IN THE MONEY, time to hear from you as we read some of your e- mails from the past week and ask you a new e-mail question for this week.
In fact, you can send us an e-mail right now. We're at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CAFFERTY: Time now to read your answers to our e-mail question of the week about whether you think the votes will be properly counted in this year's election? Some of you were downright cynical. Susan in Westport, Washington wrote "no, because no man made systems 100 percent foolproof and there are so many people who are too incompetent to even cast a ballot correctly. That means a lot of ballots won't be counted correctly nor should they if they're cast incorrectly." I understand that.
David in Prescott, Arkansas wrote, "I think the problems this year will be with military votes from overseas. With so many troops serving in Iraq, I have doubts all the absentee ballots will be counted, but I am sure that every electoral vote will be counted and you can go to the bank with that."
And Mark writes, "sure, all the votes will be counted. That includes all the votes from the dead people in Chicago, 150 percent of the eligible voters in St. Louis will vote and several thousand non citizens in Florida and California will also get their votes counted."
Now for next week's e-mail question of the week, it is as follows. Is it worth it to live in areas prone to national disasters like hurricanes and wildfires? Send your answers to email@example.com. And while you're at it, you should visit our show page with money.com/inthemoney which is where you'll find the address for our fun site of the week where Bush and Kerry can pound the stuffing out of each other.
Thank you for joining us for this edition of IN THE MONEY. My thanks to CNN correspondent Susan Lisovicz, "Fortune" magazine editor at large Andy Serwer, and Money.com managing editor Allen Wastler. Join us next Saturday at 1:00 Eastern, Sunday at 3:00. Or you can watch Andy and me all week long as we toil in the vineyards of "AMERICAN MORNING" on CNN, beginning at 7:00 Eastern. Whenever we hook up next, thank you for watching. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.
TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com