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Nov 30, 2010

Short on votes, deficit panel paints grim view

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A presidential commission on balancing the U.S. budget likely will fail on Wednesday to secure enough support for its deficit-cutting plan to trigger a congressional vote on it, aides and analysts said.

With just a day left before a deadline to produce a plan, the commission’s co-chairmen were still scrambling to nail down 14 votes among the commission’s 18 members — a super-majority threshold set when the panel was created in February.

Nov 18, 2010

Soda pop, sales tax targeted to cut U.S. deficit

WASHINGTON, Nov 17 (Reuters) – Warning of a spiraling of
debt unless the U.S. government takes action soon to balance
the budget, a group of experts on Wednesday called for a
one-year holiday in 2011 from the Social Security tax, a new
tax on soft drinks and a new 6.5-percent national sales tax.

In an ambitious plan to slash the federal deficit and
national debt, the group also called for freezes on government
spending, lower and simpler income and corporate tax rates as
well as major changes to the Medicare and Medicaid programs.

Nov 15, 2010

In switch, top Senate Republican backs earmark ban

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Monday that he would join his fellow Republicans in opposing earmarks, bowing to pressure from Tea Party activists who see the special project funding as a prime example of out-of-control government spending.

Speaking from the Senate floor, McConnell said that after discussing the issue with his constituents in Kentucky and fellow Republicans he supports the ban against earmarks.

Nov 10, 2010

U.S. deficit panel targets Social Security, taxes

WASHINGTON, Nov 10 (Reuters) – Leaders of a presidential
commission proposed raising taxes and the retirement age among
bold ideas on Wednesday for slashing the U.S. budget deficit,
but faced a difficult task in winning the support of Congress.

Days after voters vented their fury over government red ink
in midterm elections, commission co-chairmen Erskine Bowles and
Alan Simpson floated proposals that they said would bring $4
trillion in deficit reduction through 2020.

Nov 10, 2010

Deficit panel targets Social Security, taxes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The co-chairmen of a presidential commission to cut the budget deficit on Wednesday proposed reducing benefits and raising the U.S. pension retirement age among an array of tax and spending changes.

Taking aim at some of Washington’s most politically explosive fiscal issues, the draft proposals were portrayed as achieving $4 trillion in deficit reduction through 2020, but they got a mixed reception from other commission members.

Nov 10, 2010

US deficit panel to detail proposals, clock ticks

WASHINGTON, Nov 10 (Reuters) – A presidential commission
exploring ways to balance the U.S. government’s budget has
scheduled a press briefing for Wednesday at 1 p.m. (1800 GMT)
to discuss proposals being put forward by its co-chairmen.

The 18-member panel, formed this year by President Barack
Obama, held a closed-door session on Capitol Hill on Wednesday
morning. It faces a Dec. 1 deadline to produce a final report
on cutting the national debt and budget deficit.

Nov 9, 2010
via Tales from the Trail

Peterson Foundation launches OweNo campaign on U.S. debt


While the ads are humorous, the subject is serious.

Fictional presidential candidate Hugh Jidette (pronounced huge debt) will soon be making a pitch for more U.S. debt held by foreign countries in television ads that will be appearing across the country.

The tongue-in-cheek spots are actually trying to drive home to the American public the consequences of failing to tackle huge debt increases facing the United States if lawmakers fail to balance the annual budget and continue to run deficits.

Nov 8, 2010
via Tales from the Trail

Palin talks tough to kids on quantitative easing


Now that the midterm elections are history, Sarah Palin is setting her sights and rhetorical skills on the Federal Reserve and its easy money policy.

On Twitter, the former Alaska governor and possible 2012 presidential contender┬ásaid she would begin a round of discussions at school events to teach children about quantitative easing to prepare them for the results of the Fed’s plan to boost the sluggish U.S. economy.

Nov 7, 2010

Republicans plan assault on U.S. healthcare law

WASHINGTON, Nov 7 (Reuters) – Congressional Republicans
said on Sunday they plan a full-scale assault against President
Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul next year but acknowledged
it could take until after the 2012 presidential election to
repeal it.

Representative Paul Ryan, expected to become chairman of
the House Budget Committee chairman, said his fellow
Republicans will try to deny funding for implementation of the
healthcare legislation and hold hearings to point out its
shortcomings when the new Congress convenes in January.

Oct 25, 2010

Treasury too rosy on bailout cost: TARP cop

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration’s latest estimate of taxpayer costs of the Wall Street bailout is too rosy and could ultimately damage public trust in government, the top bailout cop said on Monday.

In its quarterly report to Congress, the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program said the Treasury Department’s bailout cost estimate for American International Group was an example of using misleading numbers to paint a positive pre-election account of the program.

    • About Donna

      "Washington congressional correspondent specializing in economics, taxes and budget issues. Covered the healthcare reform legislation and President George W. Bush's push to overhaul Social Security. Also covered the savings and loan crisis and spent time covering the White House during President Bill Clinton's administration. Covered trade and Federal Reserve policy as well."
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