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AMERICAN MORNING

Plane Crash in Butte, Montana Kills 14 People; Two FedEx Pilots Dead After Crash in Tokyo; Government to Unveil Trillion Dollar Plan to Buy Toxic Assets; Money Team Answers Financial Questions; New Study on Heart Disease; Obama's Policy on Dealing With Mexican Drug Cartels

Aired March 23, 2009 - 07:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: Well, we're crossing the top of the hour and here are the big stories on our agenda in the next half hour.

First, breaking news. Two deadly plane crashes involving Americans. The first in Butte Montana. The FAA says 14 people, including seven children were killed after a plane crashed and burned in a cemetery. Federal investigators are on their way right now.

And in Tokyo, Japan, a FedEx jet crashes in a fireball. The jet bouncing off the runway before bursting into flames, the pilot and co- pilot killed. They were the only ones on board.

And finally, new details in the revamped bank bailout. The Obama administration is expected to roll out its plan to tackle the banking crisis and get loans flowing to families and businesses again.

But we begin the hour with the latest on a developing story. The FAA confirms 14 people are dead in Butte, Montana, after a single engine plane crash. Two residents of St. Helen in California tells CNN an entire family of five including three young children are among the dead. Federal investigators are on their way to that crash site.

Our Dan Simon is live on the scene this morning. And, Dan, you've had a chance probably to talk to some folks there. Are we learning anything more about how this plane went down?

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, John, still no clues. We should tell you that the crash site about 300 yards behind me pretty much right in the middle of the cemetery. The site right now protected by local law enforcement until the NTSB starts analyzing the wreckage. Again, no clues really in terms of what may have brought down this plane. The preliminary information shows that the pilot did not declare an emergency.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SIMON (voice-over): The single engine turbo prop plane, a Pilatus PC-12, was just about 500 feet from the runway in Butte, Montana, when witnesses say it crashed straight into the ground.

MARTHA GUIDONI, WITNESS TO PLANE CRASH: I've never seen anything like this in my life. We were just taking a ride and all of a sudden, we watched a plane just take a nosedive right into the cemetery. SIMON: The FAA confirmed seven children and seven adults were on board. No one survived. Federal officials say the group might have been headed to a ski trip, but the destruction at the crash site leaves very few clues.

GERRY O'BRIEN, EDITOR, "THE MONTANA STANDARD": One of the eyewitnesses who ran across the street in there and took some photos said he was about 20 feet from the wreckage. It had created a large pit when it augured in and it just -- it just disintegrated. There wasn't much left of the plane, of the wreckage.

SIMON: The aircraft began its journey in San Diego and made a few California stops, the last of which was in Oroville, where it refueled before heading to Bozeman, Montana. The FAA says the flight diverted to Butte where it went down in the Holy Cross Cemetery just 500 feet from the airport. The cause of the crash is still unknown.

BEN BERMAN, FORMER NTSB INVESTIGATOR: The loading of the aircraft is one of the things the investigators will be looking into. They will be looking into, you know, whether there was a possibility of engine failure that could have bought the airplane down as well as many other possible crash causes including weather and pilot performance and all kinds of things.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SIMON: As you can see it is still very cold here in Montana. Still very much wintertime here in Montana. Weather, however, does not appear to be a factor.

Still not much information yet about the victims, John. CNN did speak to two people who live in the Napa Valley community in California. We are told that a family of five from that area died in the plane crash. The father said to be a very prominent eye surgeon, the wife a dental hygienist. They had three children, very young children just four, three and two years of age.

John, back to you.

ROBERTS: Yes. And still no idea why he diverted from Bozeman to Butte in the first place. But I know you keep working for us this morning.

Dan Simon in Butte. Dan, thanks so much.

KIRAN CHETRY, CNN ANCHOR: And also developing right now, U.S. investigators are also on their way to Japan after a FedEx jet crash landed and then exploded at Tokyo's main international airport. The huge fireball caught on tape after the plane bounced off the runway, flipped onto its side and then burst into flames. The pilot and co- pilot, both Americans, were killed. They were the only two people on board.

CNN's Kyung Lah is retracing the story live from Tokyo this morning. And again, they're focusing on wind gusts at the time at the airport, Kyung. KYUNG LAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Oh, Kiran, it is still windy here in Tokyo. And when those investigators from the NTSB do arrive here in Tokyo, the wreckage will be waiting for them. It is still sitting on the runway. It has not yet been moved.

The investigators, according to what we're hearing from Japan's government, will be focusing first on the wind. The wind gusts today have been very severe at the time of this exact crash. Wind gusts were between 30 to 50 miles per hour. And according to Japan's ministry of transport, there was a radio call. The plane ahead of the FedEx plane in fact radioed air traffic control to say that there are wind shear conditions. Air traffic control radioed the pilots of the FedEx plane. That was four minutes before the crash.

Now this crash, a dramatic picture, captured by live traffic and weather cameras on Japanese television. The plane bouncing twice on the runway, leaning to the left and then bursting into flames. It landed upside-down. It landed on its head. Fire crews were there within moments, but they were not able to save the two American pilots, a pilot and a co-pilot. We are not naming them as of yet because we are still awaiting word whether or not their family members within the U.S. have been notified.

A number of flights have been canceled throughout the day, especially those long flights between Tokyo and the U.S. Investigators say again when the NTSB does arrive, they will be looking at wind as the primary factor although they will be looking at a number of other factors, Kiran.

CHETRY: Kyung Lah for us in Tokyo this morning. Thank you.

ROBERTS: Well, turning now to issue number one. This morning we're finally going to learn about the Obama administration's bank rescue plan. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is expected to lay out all of the details live on CNN at 8:45 this morning about a trillion program to unclog vital arteries of the economy. The money will be made available to private investors to help buy up bad mortgages and other so-called derivatives from banks, mortgage-backed securities.

But there are major concerns about putting some of the responsibility on Wall Street and the people who got us into this mess in the first place.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your treasury secretary, Tim Geithner, has been under a lot of pressure this week and there have been people in Congress calling for his head. Have there been discussions in the White House about replacing him?

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Has he volunteered to or come to you and said do you think I should step down?

OBAMA: No. And he shouldn't. And if he were to come to me, I'd say, sorry, buddy. You still got the job. But look...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTS: So a vote of confidence on the part of the president for his treasury secretary who's going to be unveiling that plan this morning.

Christine Romans "Minding Your Business" this morning. This is a plan -- wasn't this plan sort of a variation of this plan dismissed more than six months ago?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Yes, this plan has been kicking around for a long time. And in fact the treasury secretary himself when he announced that he was going to really pursue this about six weeks ago, Wall Street panned it. They wanted more details. They didn't want just the broad brush strokes. Well, now, they're getting the details.

This is the government subsidizing with taxpayer money, private investors to go in and essentially have a public/private partnership to create a bad bank to buy the toxic assets off the banks' books. The government is going to put up about 100 -- up to $100 billion to buy up bad real estate loans. These are loans that are in default. It's using government money to seed these partnerships with the very people, by the way, that last week were reviled by Congress.

You know, it's using Wall Street, Wall Street expertise and Wall Street money to try to solve this problem. The government really shouldering a lot of the burden, financing up to 50 percent. The FDIC is involved. The Treasury is involved. The Fed is involved.

Timothy Geithner, the treasury secretary, this is what he said in a very telling "Wall Street Journal" op-ed about why the government needs private investors, why the government needs the expertise of the private market. He said, "Simply hoping for banks to work through these assets off over time risks prolonging the crisis in a repeat of the Japanese experience."

The Japanese experience, of course, ten years of recession or no growth, and a very painful time for a western country. There's also expanding the TALF program. This is another program with the treasury that is to help spur lending, consumer lending for student loans and for consumer loans, credit card loans and the like. So, kind of a two-pronged approach here. It's getting the bad assets off the books, try to spur lending here. It has to work.

I mean, a lot of people are telling me it has to work. The idea to get it off the books the banks can start lending.

ROBERTS: So Geithner says if we don't intercede like this, we could face the Japanese type of situation. But then, again, does anybody really know how bad these investments really are and how much taxpayers possibly stand to lose?

ROMANS: We don't know and there's how much do they stand to lose or how much money the taxpayers stand to gain? There's also already this discussion about well, what if the private investors make a bunch of money? There's concerns that Congress would go back in the end and say you used taxpayer money to make all this money. We want to tax you on it.

CHETRY: Right.

ROMANS: And that might actually be pushing some private investors to the sidelines to wait how it works out at a time when you really need the private investors to get involved.

CHETRY: And the other question is why not just do it themselves? Why bring in private -- you know, there are some who were saying why bring in the banks in general? Just do it.

ROMANS: Right.

CHETRY: You're pouring all this money in. If it works, the private partnerships get wealthy. If it doesn't work, the government is still on the hook.

ROMANS: Right.

CHETRY: So why not just do it as the government.

ROMANS: Because as Timothy Geithner and the Treasury Department said and has said repeatedly and believe, they want to share the risk with the private sector, and they don't want the government to just be going in and buying these off, because then there's no market for these things. If the government is going to set the price and there's no real market, they're trying to create a market.

You know, the economists who say that there isn't really a market at all if the government is involved.

CHETRY: Right.

ROMANS: It's a sticky, messy situation, but a lot of people saying that they hope -- they hope that getting these assets off the banks books -- I know.

ROBERTS: It was almost pleading.

ROMANS: I know. How many times over the past seven months have I said we hope this is the thing that's going to unlock the credit. And you know, this is the one -- this is the big, big plan they spent an awful lot of time working on it. We'll watch for the details later this morning.

I'm just reporting. I'm not pleading. I'm pleading and reporting all at the same time.

CHETRY: Christine, thanks. Well, defending the new bank bailout, the president's chief economic adviser is going to be here to tell us why the latest trillion dollar plan is a good use of your money. ROBERTS: Is your biggest investment on solid ground? If you have questions about your interest rate, your mortgage or refinancing, the CNN money team takes your calls. Your "amfix" just ahead on the Most News in the Morning.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHETRY: Well, if you need some help, this is the place today. We're turning to CNN's money experts to answer some of your financial questions. We've been getting hundreds of them since we launched our new show hotline, 877-MY-AMFIX.

We have Gerri Willis with us. We have Christine Romans here as well to tackle a few of them.

And Christine, the first caller has a question for you.

ROMANS: Sure.

CHETRY: So let's listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERT, MICHIGAN: Hi, my name is Robert Smith from Michigan.

My question is all these politicians feel like they're above the laws even though they write the laws. When are they going to be treated like every other American and if they screw up enough, like any other job, you're just fired?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Or you're not re-elected. I mean, that's the way it's supposed to work, right? You don't get fired. You get fired by your constituents.

I think that one of the messages from last week, Robert Smith from Michigan, is that Congress took a big hit in the likeability last week. I think that there are a lot of people, I'm getting a lot of e- mails and heard a lot of phone calls from people who are saying, wait a second, Congress is the one who has OK'ed all of these bailouts and rescues from the very beginning and now Congress is running around in circles trying to figure out how to put strings and such on all these bailouts and they looked like the ones who weren't really prepared and didn't know what they were doing. And --

GERRI WILLIS, CNN PERSONAL FINANCE EDITOR: I think there's a long list of those people.

ROMANS: Yes, absolutely. But I think that, Robert, it's a very good question. And if they -- I love this. If they screw up enough like any other job, you're just fired. That's what the American voters are supposed to do. You get the chance to fire people, folks.

CHETRY: That's right. You can go to the polls and fire them, right? Hope that the next person does a better job. All right. Well, Gerri -- right, exactly.

WILLIS: Hope (ph).

CHETRY: Right. Exactly.

WILLIS: It's a big problem, though, right?

ROMANS: Right.

WILLIS: We should say.

CHETRY: Gerri, this is a question from a homeowner that underwater. Let's listen to this call.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LINDA, MICHIGAN: My husband and I have owned our home for about 20 years. We owe $154,000. We have 5.75 percent. He just retired last November.

We aren't with Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. We're with Washington Mutual. But when I called, they said that our house is worth less than we owe. But are we still eligible to refinance?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WILLIS: Probably not eligible under the president's program although you can get real details by going to the Web site makinghomeaffordable.gov. But it sounds like your original mortgage was not conforming loan. It was a jumbo loan, probably too big to be able to participate in the president's plan.

Here's what I would do. I would try to get a new loan maybe even from a new lender out there. You need to go to your existing lender or a new one. The rates out there right now are fantastic, but you may have to bring money to the table because you are underwater. You owe more than that house is worth.

So this is a point in time where you're really going to have to take the lead. You're going to have to solve this problem on your own, have the gumption out there to contact your original lender, again, ask for assistance, tell them about the new programs and then talk to other people as well.

CHETRY: So you got from it that perhaps she had a jumbo loan. I thought maybe they took out a home equity line of credit, too. Because if you had the house for about 20 years, and then, I mean, this was something that they were just pushing and pushing. You got a ton of envelope saying take out a home equity line of credit, it's wonderful. And now we're seeing, you know, the repercussions of that.

WILLIS: That can be true -- that can be true as well. I know a lot of people, you know, the problem is that this monthly bill is so high, and getting that to an affordable level is what you want to do but you can't because you're underwater. You still owe money. You know, you owe more than the house is worth. So that's the problem.

You're going to have to tap other savings. It sounds like maybe you're, you know, in your 40s. Maybe you're at 50s, you may you have other savings that you can tap there and now may be the time to do it.

ROMANS: And folks, gosh, interest rates, I mean, Gerri and I have been talking about this for a week now. It is so incredible how they've fallen so quickly. I mean, people are refinancing now at historic lows. So if you can do...

CHETRY: All right. Thanks, guys. Well to get to your questions and comments a little bit later in the show, go ahead and call us, 877-MY-AMFIX, and we'll try to get as many of those in as possible.

It's 17 and a half minutes after the hour.

ROBERTS: The toxic trillion. The inside story of the government's big plan to buy up banks' bad assets. President Obama's chief economic adviser breaks it down.

Plus, what the deal will do to your bottom line ahead on the Most News in the Morning.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROBERTS: Well, in less than 90 minutes, the Obama administration is going to roll out its latest plan to tackle the banking crisis and get loans flowing to families and businesses. Joining us now live from the White House to talk more about this is President Obama's chief economic adviser, Christina Romer.

Ms. Romer, great to see you this morning. So tell us, if you could, how is this going to work, this toxic asset buyout?

CHRISTINA ROMER, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF ECONOMIC ADVISER: The way it's going to work is that the U.S. Treasury is going to partner with private investors and with both the Federal Reserve and the FDIC to go out and buy these so-called toxic assets off the banks' balance sheets. These are the assets that are pretty uncertain. We're not sure where the prices are. And they're these assets that are making banks nervous, making them not want to lend, making private capital not want to go into banks. So, we think getting them off will be very helpful.

ROBERTS: All right. So first of all, why would private enterprise want to partner with the government on this? And why would the government want to partner with private enterprise instead of -- just as Secretary Paulson was suggesting last fall in an idea that kind of went down in flames -- the government just buying all this stuff up?

ROMER: Right. So there are a couple of things to say. One is, the reason that we're going in here is that this is a market that's basically disappeared, right? We don't -- it's the classic example in economics of what we call a market failure, that we don't have a well- functioning market in these kinds of things. So that's why the government's going in.

Why are we going in with private investors? It's because it's a way to leverage the amount of money that we have. It's also a way to do a check on ourselves, to make sure that we don't pay too much for these things. We want private investors with those good sort of market instincts...

ROBERTS: Right.

ROMER: ... to help us figure out how much we should be paying for these things.

ROBERTS: So there's -- go ahead.

ROMER: And then the last thing to say is that the reason that the private investors are going to go in is, we are doing some favorable financing for them. So, we are trying to make it more worth their while so that they're willing to come in and partner with us.

ROBERTS: So, there's a whole lot of questions about this, and there's a fair amount of commentary on it as well. Some commentary coming from Paul Krugman, the Nobel Prize-winning economist writing in "The New York Times." He says that this is just recycling the Bush administration "cash for trash" idea. He says it, quote, "fills him with despair."

And he wonders about the exposure to the taxpayer. He says in his blog over the weekend, quote, "If you think that the banks really, really have made lousy investments, this won't work at all. It will simply be a waste of taxpayer money."

What do you say to that?

ROMER: I say that he's just wrong. The key thing here is that -- right -- the reason that we're partnering with the private investors is to make sure we don't overpay for them. So if they really aren't worth very much, that's what the private investors are going to help us to realize and make sure we don't make mistakes. That's part of how we protect the taxpayer.

The other thing I think that Paul is missing is the sense that this just one piece in a very broad financial rescue. We've already done so much with the small business program, the housing program, doing an evaluation of the banks to figure out how much capital they need.

ROBERTS: Right.

ROMER: And so this is all going to be part of that. This is one important step. But it's certainly not in any way the only thing we're doing for the banking system.

ROBERTS: And our good friend Jeff Sachs up at Columbia University, a noted economist, head of the Earth Institute up there, who has high hopes for this administration, wrote me an e-mail this morning saying that, quote, "this seems to be a non-transparent, unfair, and unnecessary massive giveaway to the banks." What do you say about that?

ROMER: I just say it's not right, that it is -- it's going to be -- it's a carefully worked-out program. Again, I'd like to emphasize the degree to which we're partnering with the FDIC, with the Federal Reserve. Right? This has been a concerted effort.

I think what we think it's going to do is to establish a fair price, a good market price for these assets that will encourage the banks to sell these things off. And remember, the whole reason that we're doing this is because we want to get lending going again...

ROBERTS: Right.

ROMER: ... and this is something that just hasn't been happening.

ROBERTS: And Ms. Romer, there's one other big issue out there, and that's, you know, if you're private industry, you're looking at what's going on in government right now, and you see what's happening with AIG and all of this retroactive action to claw back these bonuses, and you've got to be thinking, OK, I'm a private firm. Do I want to get involved with the government? Because if I make money off of these assets, maybe they're going to come running after my butt and try to tax the heck out of it if I make some money.

What do you say to those people?

ROMER: I say to those people, the president has made a very important distinction. He said, you know, when we have a financial institution that's in trouble and the government has to come in and put in a lot of money, of course we're going to have very high standards for what they do and really expect them not to pay bonuses and things like that.

But he said, think about the firms that we're hoping to partner with in this. These are healthy financial firms that in some sense doing us a favor, right? Coming in to help us try to get these bad assets off banks' balance sheets. And I think the president has really tried to say there's a very big difference between those two kinds of firms.

ROBERTS: Boy, there's so many other questions I've got this morning, but unfortunately we're out of time. Christina Romer, the president's chief economic adviser, good to talk to you this morning. Thanks so much.

ROMER: Good to talk to you.

ROBERTS: All right.

CHETRY: Well, big expensive plans that critics say could bankrupt our country. Some Republicans predicting doomsday if the president gets his multi trillion dollar budget saying deficits could crush future generation. We're going to talk about it at 26 minutes after the hour.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHETRY: Welcome back to the Most News in the Morning.

President Obama and his aides are in the middle of an aggressive push to sell his $3.6 trillion budget. Some say it's staggering and that it's going to leave future generations in trouble. Well, all of this while there are still some real concerns that our financial system here and now could collapse.

That's something the president addressed last night on "60 Minutes." Let's listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEVE KROFT, CBS CORRESPONDENT, "60 MINUTES": Citibank?

OBAMA: Yes, I think that systemic risks are still out there. And if we did nothing, you could still have some big problems.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHETRY: All right. Well, let's get reaction now from the founder, editor-in-chief of thedailybeast.com, Tina Brown. Also with us this morning, Republican strategist Ed Rollins, a CNN contributor. Great to see both of you.

TINA BROWN, FOUNDER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, THEDAILYBEAST.COM: Good to see you.

CHETRY: So we have the Congressional Budget Office out with this new report calculating that the spending plans would be nearly $10 trillion over the next decade and Senator Judd Gregg, who's a senior Republican on the budget committee, is sounding off as many Republicans are. Let's listen to what he said about that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JUDD GREGG (R), NEW HAMPSHIRE: If we maintain the proposals which are in this budget over the ten-year period that this budget covers, this country will go bankrupt. People will not buy our debt. Our dollar will become devalued. It is a very severe situation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHETRY: Is this hyperbole, Tina, or do you think that there are some real concerns about this?

BROWN: Well, for a start, it has to be rich (ph) to hear the Republicans getting so anxious about the deficit. I mean, where were they for the last eight years? So let's set aside that for a moment.

We keep hearing that Obama is doing too much, but he's right, I think that he should try to address the present and the future at the same time. He has to. That's what any CEO of any company has to do, deal with the short term but also the long term. He ran on the fact that he believes that health care costs have to be addressed that we need to get rid of our dependency on oil and that we need to increase spending on education and has to deal with those things in order to deal with the long term.

In the meantime, he has his new plan that he's going to be rolling out later for the banks, et cetera and for the rest of the bucket. But I do think that he's right, that he has to do two things at once. I don't think, I think that this current figures from the CBO are simply about the stats now. I mean, if it works that Obama's plan, he's going to look like a genius. And...

ED ROLLINS, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, there's no question, he'll be a genius if it works, but you also have a tendency to forget that other democrats for the last two years, democrats have controlled the Congress. All money is appropriates by the Congress. Who will take credit for the deficits before that while we control the Congress. You control the control. You had the chairman of the budget committee who also has very serious objections.

I think the reality is you're not going to grow out of this thing. You've got very, very optimistic growth figures and the Congressional Budget Office which is obviously very important has said your figures - not yours but the president's are overestimated. Trying to do health care, trying to do education, trying to do energy reform, trying to fix the most severe crisis and still fight two wars at the same time is an impossible task.

CHETRY: Here is what the "Washington Post" said today in an editorial. They said - "Mr. Obama should treat the CBO report as an incentive to fulfill his repeated promises during and after the campaign to make hard choices on the budget. Until now he's offered a host of new spending without calling for much sacrifice." Now he talked about this idea of a grand bargain. How will he keep that promise going forward. What needs to go?

BROWN: Well, I mean, from the start, (INAUDIBLE) hasn't even gone through the process yet. And I'm sure there's going to be a huge amount of discussion as it does which you will understand as well. But I also do think that we're now operating in such a demonized climate.

One of the problems for Obama is whatever he proposes, we're operating in a climate where feelings are so high and populism is so intense and he has to deal with a Congress that is so reactive and so kind of disgracefully, sort of unprincipled about it its populist. I mean, the fact of the matter is, as Ed Rightly says, the whole issue with AIG was a bipartisan disgrace.

CHETRY: What does Obama do to the situation as president, to the democrats in Congress to say, listen, you're making this a harder sell for me than it needs to be?

ROLLINS: He has to talk to them. He has to every day have some kind of relationship going on there because these guys, the chairwomen and chairmen, a lot of them have been in there 30, 40 years. They have been waiting for a liberal to come in so they can move big agendas. And I think to a certain extent, he's got to say, no, AIG was a bad idea. He should have said that last week before they started moving the bill.

Now he has to go basically to veto it or basically to push it off the table. If you get at war with your own Congress, they'll go in different directions. And they basically do control the budget process and they do control the priorities. And you got to basically say these are the things that are important to you and these are the things that are important to me. How do we make it work?

CHETRY: All right. We have to leave it there but I'm glad to have both of with us this morning, Tina Brown as well Ed Rollins. Thanks.

ROLLINS: Thank you.

CHETRY: John.

ROBERTS: Well the other big story that we're following this morning, two plane crashes on different sides of the globe, both of them with deadly results. A FedEx cargo jet with an American pilot and co-pilot on board bursts into flame on a runway in Tokyo. Both of the pilots were killed. Investigators say high winds could be a factor.

And in Butte, Montana, a single engine turbo prop plane crashes just 500 feet from its runway. 14 people including seven children, a family of five are dead. We're looking into the possible causes this morning. And joining us for more on this, this morning is commercial pilot John Lucich who joins us when we have crashes like this? Any idea what happened with this Butte, Montana crash. This was a Pilatus PC-12, 14 people on board, said by many people to be one of the safest aircraft in its class out there.

JOHN LUCICH, LICENSED COMMERCIAL PILOT: Yes. In fact, this is the first incident that I know of with the Pilatus PC-12. When you take a look at some of the facts that had been reported already. There are 14 people on board. And this airplane is a standard airplane for about nine people. Now, it could have been modified and additional fuel have been added but we don't know that yet.

Based upon what I've heard by the witnesses that this airplane was wobbly, that it all of a sudden nosed down, it tells me this airplane might have had an ash CG problem.

ROBERTS: Meaning?

LUCICH: It's tail loaded. It's heavy in the tail.

ROBERTS: What do you say is the center of gravity, isn't...

LUCICH: Absolutely. It's aft center of gravity, tail loaded in the tail. And what happens is it loses the stability along the longitudinal axis. And all of a sudden you get that wobbly and then all of a sudden when you recover from a potential stall, now you can't lower the nose.

ROBERTS: OK. You're talking a language that many pilots will easily understand, but can you put it in laymen's terms.

LUCICH: Sure.

ROBERTS: To make sure folks know what you're talking about.

LUCICH: An airplane stalls when it reaches a critical angle of attacks. So all of a sudden and an airplane can stall, it means an abrupt loss of lift. It's just going to fall out of the sky. One of the symptoms of that is that the nose goes straight down. Now if a pilot feels a stall coming on, and hears the stall warning that actually goes off in the cockpit, he can lower the nose, but if you have a tail heavy, you can't lower the nose and all of a sudden it will have a violent stall.

ROBERTS: There's some confusion as to how many people this plane can carry. I've seen it configured for nine or 10 passengers. The FAA says it was configured to carry 12 people, but we don't know if includes the pilots as well. Is it possible, and I've seen this discussed on some aviation enthusiasts' board. That maybe there were a couple of infants in arms on board, would that be OK.

LUCICH: Absolutely. There are other issues around here. But the two main issues that affect the flight characteristics of any aircraft are going to be two things, whether it's overweight and whether it's imbalance where it needs to be.

ROBERTS: So let's talk about the other crash then at Narita airport. This is very similar to something that happened in July 1997, just across the Hudson River here at Newark, New Jersey, which affects MD-11, same configuration as this aircraft. It came down too fast, bounced, flipped over, tipped. That one flipped over to the right, and this one flipped over to the left. When you look at this videotape her, you see the pilot comes in hard, and then he balloons back up again and then he really slams down hard, and then loses it to the left. What do you think is happening?

LUCICH: I think what's happening is just like you said. Flight 14, July 31st, 1997, that came back to be a pilot error. I think what you're going to find here in my estimation from what I've seen in this video is that this - the contributing factor was most likely the wind.

ROBERTS: He was landing in pretty stiff crosswinds.

LUCICH: Very, very stiff crosswinds and potentially wind shear because there is a recorded wind shear since the day before. So they've had a lot of wind problems here and some of the gusts were 47 knots I believe that they were reported at. So what you're having here is the airplane comes in and bounces. And all of sudden, comes up, you see the nose go down, I think the pilot may have, based on what I see here, overcompensated like on the Newark flight and then drove that nose down causing it to bounce, flipping over to the left. As soon as it goes over to the left, you can see that airplane wing just break apart. The fuel comes on and explodes.

ROBERTS: Did you ever bounce before on a landing? LUCICH: Oh absolutely, I have and it's a scary feeling. The first thing you want to do is when that nose comes way up on you is to push that nose down but you got to make sure that you stay within your flare and you don't destabilize your flare.

ROBERTS: John Lucich, it's good to talk to you this morning. Thanks for sharing your expertise. Appreciate it.

LUCICH: Thank you.

ROBERTS: Thirty-seven and a half minutes now after hour.

New quandary for private school parents. Pay the mortgage or pay your kid's tuition.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAM POCHINSKAS, PARENT OF PRIVATE SCHOOL STUDENTS: There are nights when I don't sleep and say, you know, is this all going to turn around?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTS: How mom and dad make the choice.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LEO POCHINSKAS, PARENT OF PRIVATE SCHOOL STUDENTS: So I've got to pay it off, it might take me five years or 10 years, this is an investment.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTS: Ahead on the Most News in the Morning.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROBERTS: We're back with more of the Most News in the Morning.

(WEATHER REPORT)

CHETRY: All right. Here's what we're bringing you in the next 15 minutes. Pay the mortgage or pay the tuition? It's a difficult decision facing families across the nation. How the recession is affecting America's private schools and also what some parents can do to try to keep their kids in them?

And a small plane crashes just shy of the runway leaving 14 dead including 7 children. CNN is on the ground in Butte, Montana, with the latest in this investigation.

It's 42 minutes after the hour.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) CHETRY: Welcome back to the AMERICAN MORNING.

There's some shocking details about how much more at risk you are for developing heart failure depending on your race. A new study finds that black adults developed heart failure at a rate 20 times higher than white adults. Our senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen joins us now from the CNN Center in Atlanta. We've always known that there has been a disparity but to see 20 times, really is shocking.

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: It really is shocking. I think even for people who followed this, this really shows the huge differences in heart disease rates for a black people versus white people. We'll get to the reasons later, but first, let's look at another statistic that is truly shocking. Take a look at this.

With this study in the "New England Journal of Medicine" found is that the heart failure rate for your average 35-year-old black person is the same as the heart failure rate for your average 55-year-old white person. In other words, heart failure tends to be happening about 20 years earlier for African-Americans than for white Americans.

And Kiran, I want to add, this is really a pretty note worthy study. They followed black and white people for 25 years. Rarely do you see that kind of longevity in a study. Kiran.

CHETRY: And they went on to note, some of the other key effects. One of the three black women in their late teens or their 20s already has high blood pressure. Why are there so many more young African- Americans high blood pressure?

COHEN: Wait, high blood pressure is really a key to these high heart failure rates later on in life. It's not exactly clear why so many young African-Americans have high blood pressure. There are probably lots of different reasons. But one of the reasons might be according to one of the study authors we talked to is that when young people show up at the doctors with high blood pressure, doctors might be less likely to treat them.

So a 55-year-old shows up with high blood pressure. They might be more likely to take it seriously and treat them. When a 25-year- old shows up, they might say oh, we'll give it some and we'll see what happens. So one of the things that this study really shows is that high blood pressure needs to be taken very seriously, no matter what age you are.

CHETRY: Right and he had a really, you know, maybe make sure that talked to your doctors, or get checked out or just to double check especially if you're in a high risk group...

COHEN: That's right.

CHETRY: Because there's medicine that can help and some lifestyle changes.

COHEN: That's right. Lifestyle changes too, that's right.

CHETRY: All right. Elizabeth Cohen for us this morning. Thanks.

COHEN: Thanks.

CHETRY: It's 48 minutes after the hour.

ROBERTS: New quandary for private school parents. Pay the mortgage or pay your kids' tuition?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

P. POCHINSKAS: There are nights when I don't sleep. You say, you know, is this all going to turn around?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTS: How mom and dad make the choice?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

L. POCHINSKAS: So I've got to pay it off, it might take me five years or 10 years, this is an investment.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTS: Ahead on the Most News in the Morning.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROBERTS: Welcome back to the Most News in the Morning.

Pay the tuition or pay the mortgage. Sadly, it's the type of financial decision many American families are suddenly facing in this current recession. CNN's Susan Roesgen is in Chicago for us this morning with one family's story.

SUSAN ROESGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John and Kiran, in this economy, parents have to make some tough choices, even where to send their kids to school.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ROESGEN (voice-over): For most parents, private school tuition has never been cheap. But these days, some parents are struggling more than ever to pay it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Marian Catholic High School tuition.

ROESGEN: Leo and Pam Pochinskas had to make a choice, take their kids out of private school or take out a second mortgage. They took out the second mortgage.

L. POCHINSKAS: So I've got to pay it off, it might take me five years or ten years. This is an investment for a real person.

ROESGEN: Leo is a musician, who's had his hours cut in half at a local music store. Pam works in a corporate office that shrunk from five people to two.

P. POCHINSKAS: There are nights when I do have -- when I don't sleep. And there's nights when you have the stomachaches, and you would say -- you know, is this all going to turn around? And, you know, am I -- are we going to be a statistic?

ROESGEN: Joey Pochinskas is a freshman at Marian Catholic High School. Emily Pochinskas is a senior. They're combined private school tuition is about $15,000 a year. And the alternative is a lot closer and cheaper.

(on camera): In this case, the public school is just a few blocks away and they wouldn't have to spend thousands of dollars to send their kids here.

(voice-over): But Pochinskas believe their children are getting a better education where they are. A few weeks ago, the principal of the private school had to send 300 students home because their parents hadn't paid the tuition on time.

SISTER CATHLEEN ANNE TAIT, PRINCIPAL, MARION CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL: I think there are families who say we just simply can't do that. You can't forego a mortgage payment forever. You know, so there are people that have to make those choices.

ROESGEN: And that's why the Pochinskas will skip eating out, keep clipping coupons and hang on to a 22-year-old car.

EMILY POCHINSKAS, PRIVATE SCHOOL STUDENT: I know that what they're doing for me, like, it's not necessarily the easiest thing because I, you know, my mom comes home, some days I make dinner, and we'll sit down and we'll talk. And, you know, I'll be like how is everything going, mom? She's like, yes, you know, another person was let go today.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROESGEN: While many parents are nervous, so are many private schools. At Marion Catholic High School, in fact, they are already planning to have a lower enrollment next year - John and Kiran.

ROBERTS: Obama supporters going door-to-door.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm part of a nationwide movement today.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTS: Why Team Obama is back.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He has already crippled the economy, him and the democrats.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTS: Plus, from Paris Hilton to the president? What is TMZ doing on Capitol Hill?

You're watching the Most News in the Morning.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHETRY: Welcome back to the Most News in the Morning.

Is the White House ready for this plan to deal with drug violence in Mexico? "The Washington Post" is reporting that President Obama's plan would include sending more federal agents to the border. That announcement could come as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton heads to Mexico City. Her two day trip starts Wednesday and President Obama is also planning a visit next month.

Our Michael Ware has been tracking the deadly gun battles, between the cartels and the Mexican authorities and he joins us now to discuss the plan.

OK. Welcome, by the way. Good to see you this morning.

MICHAEL WARE, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's always a pleasure.

CHETRY: The earlier, the better, right?

WARE: Oh, my god! Today, of all days. Sorry.

CHETRY: All right. This plan to actually put more U.S. boots on the ground, what type of impact do you think that will have?

WARE: Not much. In my opinion. And yet, we haven't heard the (INAUDIBLE), of course, and when we say boots on the ground, we're talking about a few DEA officials who, I suspect, would be relaying intelligence about the cartels, and will be cooperating with their Mexican counterparts. That is a good thing. But what kind of a dent is it going to make in a fight where estimates say that there is a hundred thousand cartel foot soldiers who are as heavily armed as some American infantry platoons?

The solution has been much more drastic. Yes, it's a good thing to send extra help, but it's a finger in the dark.

CHETRY: This is interesting. There are a couple other people who agree with you. John Cook is the mayor of El Paso, it's a border town of course. He's saying that the deployment of federal troops is really not the way to go. He thinks that a safer and a more effective approach for federal help, if we're getting it here, would be to search all vehicles heading south into Mexico, that you need to stop a lot of these guns that are coming from the U.S. WARE: Yes, I saw that. They are talking about now using extra techniques to detect weapons in vehicles as they cross over. The sad fact is that these cartels are good operators, they always find a way to get their guns. And the guns is only one part of it. What America is trading is guns and the demand for the drugs. And Mexico is the one that bears the brunt of the violence and there is a recipient of the benefits that America is giving.

In essence, it's spilling over the border. You know? We're seeing in Tucson, house invasions where they're kidnapping children to get drug debts repaid. I mean, it's...

CHETRY: Will that ever change? I mean, we understand the demand for drugs is coming from the United States. Has that ever changed?

WARE: Well, I mean, think of prohibition. I mean did demand for alcohol change? Fortunes were made by some of America's most prominent families. Can anyone find an answer to curb the demands for drugs from America? Because as long as you have that, forget the guns, forget everything else. They will find a way.

Now, at this point, there are two things that you need in this war with the cartels. One is intelligence. Information on who is doing what and how. We don't have a lot of that and Mexico doesn't have a lot of that yet. The other thing is you need honest, reliable boots on the ground in uniform and Mexico is using the army because they can't trust the federal police or the local police.

Essentially, America, an extreme situation would have to send in American troops to basically fight a counterinsurgency and none of us want to see that but that is where we're at. I can't begin to tell you how terrible the situation is.

CHETRY: Well, you're living there, right now? Or you're going to be soon?

WARE: Yes, I will be soon. Yes.

CHETRY: You'll be able to tell us firsthand. Hopefully there will be some progress made. Secretary Clinton is heading to Mexico City on Wednesday and President Obama is planning a visit next month. So keep us posted.

WARE: I shall, but the thing is with all of the good intentions, what are they offering? I mean, it's such a difficult problem here. Much different to Al Qaeda and the Taliban, but also with a similar dynamic. Basically, this war has been going on for at least two years and it's only now that American people are waking up to that. That, in itself, is a crime. It's going to take some real commitment to deal with this.

CHETRY: Always great to see you, Michael Ware, our national correspondent.

WARE: Thank you.

CHETRY: (INAUDIBLE) morning.

WARE: Oh, I'm so good in the mornings.

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