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Nov 29, 2010

Tax, spending divide hampers U.S. deficit cut push

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two more proposals to cut the U.S. budget deficit emerged on Monday, underscoring a deep divide on taxes and spending that is likely to blunt the impact of a plan due in two days from a presidential panel.

The deficit and the national debt have soared in recent years.

The White House sharpened its focus on the issue on Monday, saying U.S. President Barack Obama will propose a two-year freeze on the pay of civilian federal workers.

Nov 18, 2010

Obama deficit panel wrestles healthcare ‘gorilla’

WASHINGTON, Nov 18 (Reuters) – A proposal to overhaul the
costly Medicare and Medicaid health programs met opposition on
Thursday in a closed-door meeting of a presidential commission
looking for ways to balance the U.S. budget.

As private groups studying the problem of the federal
deficit unleashed a wave of alternative plans, President Barack
Obama’s commission convened again on Capitol Hill with just 12
days left before it must issue a final report.

Nov 18, 2010

Medicare overhaul studied by deficit commission

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A proposal to overhaul the costly Medicare and Medicaid health programs met opposition on Thursday in a closed-door meeting of a presidential commission looking for ways to balance the U.S. budget.

As private groups studying the problem of the federal deficit unleashed a wave of alternative plans, President Barack Obama’s commission convened again on Capitol Hill with just 12 days left before it must issue a final report.

Nov 17, 2010

Bernanke defends Fed policy before skeptical lawmakers

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Under withering fire at home and abroad, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke paid a visit to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to try to tamp down lawmakers’ anger over the central bank’s bond-buying program.

The program announced on November 3 has triggered far-flung criticism, from charges overseas that it is a plot to drive the dollar’s value down, to home-grown allegations that it sows the seeds for inflation and outstrips the Fed’s authority.

Nov 17, 2010

Soda pop, sales tax targeted to cut US deficit

WASHINGTON, Nov 17 (Reuters) – Warning of a “death spiral”
without drastic changes, a group of experts on the U.S. federal
budget deficit on Wednesday called for a 2011 Social Security
tax holiday, a soft drink tax and government spending freezes.

In an ambitious plan to slash the deficit and the
fast-mounting national debt, the group also called for a new
6.5 percent national sales tax, as well as lower and simpler
individual income and corporate tax rates.

Nov 17, 2010

Sweet drinks, sales tax targeted to cut deficit

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Warning of a “death spiral” without drastic changes, a group of experts on the U.S. federal budget deficit on Wednesday called for a 2011 Social Security tax holiday, a soft drink tax and government spending freezes.

In an ambitious plan to slash the deficit and the fast-mounting national debt, the group also called for a new 6.5 percent national sales tax, as well as lower and simpler individual income and corporate tax rates.

Nov 12, 2010

Obama taps NC official to regulate Fannie, Freddie

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will nominate a state bank regulator to be the new head of the U.S. agency that oversees mortgage giants Fannie Mae (FNMA.OB: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Freddie Mac (FMCC.OB: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the White House said on Friday.

At a time of crisis and growing calls for change in America’s broken housing finance system, Obama intends to tap North Carolina Commissioner of Banks Joseph Smith to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the administration said.

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 10, 2010

Private panel urges shake-up in US budget process

WASHINGTON, Nov 10 (Reuters) – A private panel called for a
shake-up of the U.S. government’s budget process that would set
clear targets for cutting red ink and impose spending cuts and
even tax increases if targets were missed.

The recommendation by the Peterson-Pew Commission on Budget
Reform, a balanced-budget advocacy group that has no official
government role, came as a separate presidential deficit
commission met behind closed doors.

Nov 9, 2010

House panel challenger Ed Royce warns on QE2

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Republican challenger to the chairmanship of a key U.S. congressional bank oversight panel on Tuesday questioned the Federal Reserve’s decision to buy $600 billion in government debt.

The Fed move, known as quantitative easing, was unlikely to diminish uncertainty in the business world or do much to boost lending, Representative Ed Royce told Reuters in an interview.