Category Archives: Politics

Political Gridlock Will Spur Another Recession

The excesses that led to America’s economic malaise had little to do with politics. Gambling on unsecured derivatives based on triple A-rated bonds composed of subprime loans?  It took Wall Street to bring down the house, or more accurately, houses—millions of them.

But the headwinds that are preventing the U.S. economy from fully recovering from the 2008-09 financial collapse are very much a product of politics. And those ill political winds are blowing from both sides of the Atlantic.

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Obama’s budget focuses on job creation

President Obama called for more spending on community colleges, job training, infrastructure, and research and development as he touted an election-year budget that seemed to complete his shift in focus from budget cutting to job creation. Arguing that the country can’t “cut our way to growth,” Obama delivered a $3.8-trillion budget plan to Congress and blew… Continue Reading

Obama budget: National debt will be $1 trillion higher in a decade than forecast

President Obama rolled out an election-year budget on Monday that would delay action to reduce the national debt in favor of fresh spending on Democratic priorities aimed at rebuilding the American middle class. In his final budget request before facing voters in November, Obama called for $350 billion in new stimulus to maintain lower payroll taxes,… Continue Reading

Congressional earmarks sometimes used to fund projects near lawmakers’ properties

A U.S. senator from Alabama directed more than $100 million in federal earmarks to renovate downtown Tuscaloosa near his own commercial office building. A congressman from Georgia secured $6.3 million in taxpayer funds to replenish the beach about 900 feet from his island vacation cottage. A representative from Michigan earmarked $486,000 to add a bike lane… Continue Reading

Obama appoints Richard Cordray to head consumer watchdog bureau

In a bold act of political defiance, President Obama installed Richard Cordray as head of a new consumer watchdog agency Wednesday, bypassing Republican opposition in the Senate that derailed his nomination last month. Obama cast the move as an effort to protect the interests of middle-class Americans who have suffered as a result of the Great Recession, which… Continue Reading

For Deficit Panel, Failure Cuts Two Ways

The latest Congressional failure to agree on a plan for balancing the government’s books could yield a surprising result: a sharp reduction in annual federal deficits, larger than anything contemplated by the special panel that reached its fruitless finale on Monday. But the absence of an agreement also threatens to significantly slow growth in an… Continue Reading

Witnesses Tell Congressional Subcommittee Small Business Health Tax Credit Is Too Complicated

A tax credit enacted to encourage small businesses and tax-exempt organizations to provide health insurance coverage for employees is too complicated and is not meeting its goal, witnesses told a congressional panel Tuesday. The credit, passed as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, P.L. 111-148, in 2010, was estimated by the Congressional… Continue Reading

Balanced Budget Pressure Rising

The tea party–fueled push for a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced federal budget will get its first real test this week, when House lawmakers cast ballots on the issue for the first time since the mid-1990s. The amendment vote — mandated by the summer debt ceiling deal — is largely a sideshow to the deliberations… Continue Reading