Obama Sends Congress $3.77 Trillion Spending Plan

President Barack Obama is sending Congress a $3.77 trillion spending blueprint Wednesday that seeks to achieve an elusive “grand bargain” to tame runaway deficits by raising taxes further on the wealthy and trimming popular benefit programs such as Social Security. The president’s proposal includes an additional $1.8 trillion in deficit reduction over the next decade, bringing total deficit savings to […]

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Obama, Give In to the Irrational GOP

In a rational world, Republicans would get the blame for the budget mess in Washington. In the George W. Bush era, they frittered impressive surpluses into unprecedented deficits. In 2011 they threatened to force the U.S. government into default if President Obama didn’t accept massive spending cuts, essentially taking the global economy hostage; the current sequester was part of their […]

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Despite Talk of Cuts, Members of Congress Push More Spending

Like many House Republicans, Rep. Mike Simpson of Idaho supports “drastically reducing discretionary spending” and warns that further growth in national debt could be “disastrous for the economy.” But as chairman of a powerful appropriations subcommittee in the House, Simpson takes a different tack, especially when it comes to programs that impact his home district. “Simpson Secures Wildfire Funding in […]

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Obama woos GOP, finally

So it’s good to see that the president has finally started calling some Republicans. He’s even invited some to share a meal. And not just moderates, but also those who have been his most vocal opponents — like John McCain and his buddy Lindsey Graham. This, of course, is something completely different. After his re-election, the president was asked about […]

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In Rare Dose of Comity, Congress Takes Early Steps to Avoid Government Shutdown

Congressional leaders in both parties say they have no interest in shutting down the government when its funding expires late this month. Recent history suggests we should therefore be nervous it will happen. For the past two years Congress has jumped from one avoidable crisis to another, and even the shrewdest politicians seem no better than armchair pundits at predicting […]

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A Sequester No One Wants

By the end of the week, everything changes. Severe spending cuts will unleash waves of devastation across the U.S. Picture air travel snarled. Meat inspections curtailed. National security imperiled. Seventy thousand children booted from Head Start programs, 10,000 teaching jobs jeopardized, disability payments delayed, aid withheld from needy Americans and foreign governments perched on the brink of chaos. Hundreds of […]

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Sequester Showdown

We are facing a moment in Washington. Both Republicans and Democrats have decided, in poker lingo, to go all-in on the same hand, the looming set of mandatory across-the-board cuts known as the sequester. Both sides agree it is bad policy, which will be unnecessarily harmful to the economy, and both believe this bad policy once enacted in all of […]

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