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Who do you think is most to blame for the fiscal impasse?

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  1.  
    40 %
    Obama
    398 votes
  2.  
    41 %
    Congress
    415 votes
  3.  
    4 %
    Voters
    36 votes
  4.  
    15 %
    All of them!
    154 votes

Total Responses: 1,003
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Obama will return to the White House for his second term with a strengthened hand to tackle the fiscal cliff with a divided Congress.

By The Fiscal Times Nov 12, 2012 12:35PM
By Merrill GooznerThe Fiscal Times logo

Avictorious President Obama will return to the White House for his second term with a strengthened hand to pursue his centrist agenda with a divided Congress.

While the Republican House majority may continue to oppose Obama’s initiatives, the legislative calendar now works in the president’s favor. The first test will come over the next several weeks as Congress wrestles with the fiscal cliff, the already legislated set of tax increases and spending cuts that could yank a half trillion dollars out of next year’s economy and throw the nation back into recession. 

The real lesson of money and politics: It pays to have a friend in Washington, even if that friend comes at a high price.

By Jonathan Berr Nov 9, 2012 4:20PM
A politician counting money in front of the US Capitol Building -- Antenna, fStop, Getty ImagesLas Vegas Sands (LVS) CEO Sheldon Adelson spent at least $53 million on presidential challenger Mitt Romney and others in the 2012 election, and all his candidates lost with the exception of one: incumbent Republican Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada. Though some of Adelson's many detractors may label him as a "one-hit wonder," they are missing a bigger point.

Having even a single elected official on your side isn't just a good thing. It has the potential to be stupendously awesome. Heller can now go to bat for Adelson in battles large and small with the federal bureaucracy. Adelson, who in addition to being a political donor is a major Nevada employer, needs all the "friends" he can get in Washington as his company faces a criminal investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice for its business practices in Macao.   

Tax rates for the wealthy move into focus as congressional leaders meet next week to tackle the fiscal cliff.

By Kim Peterson Nov 9, 2012 3:26PM
Image: Dollar bills floating over U.S. Capitol -- CorbisNow that the election is over, how will Democrats and Republicans move forward in the face of major economic turbulence ahead?

We don't exactly know yet. But both sides are dancing, dropping hints about their strategy. The real work will get started next week, when President Obama is set to begin talks with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker John Boehner.

The most immediate issue on the table? Whether to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans, either by hiking the 35% top-tier rate or finding another way, such as closing some tax loopholes. 

State victories for recreational pot use are prompting questions about its pros and cons.

By Bruce Kennedy Nov 7, 2012 3:59PM

Does Tuesday's legalization of recreational pot use for adults in Washington State and Colorado signal a death knell for illegal marijuana across the United States -- and the start of a new, legal and profitable industry?


Tuesday's elections "have forever changed the playing field regarding cannabis prohibition laws in America (and probably in large parts of the world too)," Allen St. Pierre, the executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, wrote on the group's website.

Supporters say the measures will generate tens of millions of dollars in revenue for state and local governments while undermining illegal drug enterprises.

 

MSN Money readers see more gridlock ahead, but an economist says it's no longer an option.

By Jonathan Berr Nov 7, 2012 2:00PM
President Barack Obama will not have much time to savor his re-election, as serious challenges abound, such as the fiscal cliff that could derail the economic recovery.

Moreover, the Republicans can continue to obstruct Obama from the House of Representatives, where they retain control.
 
Many voters are justifiably cynical that much if anything will change in Washington, D.C., even though both parties have vowed to work together to solve the serious issues affecting the economy. It's no wonder the stock market has plunged in the first trading day after the election. 

This election was the most expensive in history. Here are a dozen other things the money could have been spent on.

By The Fiscal Times Nov 7, 2012 12:59PM

The Fiscal Times logoBy Blaire Briody

One dubious distinction of the 2012 elections is that it's the most expensive election season ever in history. According to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, total spending on all local, state and national elections could top $6 billion, $700 million more than in 2008.

Much of that spending has gone to political advertising. Over one million presidential ads aired on local broadcast and national cable between June 1 and Oct. 29, an all-time high, according to the Wesleyan Media Project – 39 percent more ads than the 2008 election.

 

The president has a full plate that includes budget reform, immigration policy, health care, war and financial industry regulations.

By The Fiscal Times Nov 7, 2012 12:45PM
The Fiscal Times logoBy Josh Boak

President Barack Obama returns to the White House, but he leads a country that -- after a bruising year of campaigning -- remains painfully fractured.

The results trickled in Tuesday night showing an almost impeccably engineered victory for Obama. He received an estimated 303 electoral votes, while Republican Mitt Romney managed to nab 206, according to the Associated Press. It was enough to secure victory without Florida—where Obama was maintaining a tight lead with the vote tally still incomplete. 

After a hard-fought campaign, the president must turn immediately to the fiscal cliff and the nation's debt limit. Already, a credit-rating agency is warning of a possible downgrade.

By Anthony Mirhaydari Nov 7, 2012 11:30AM

Image: American Eagle © Steve Allen, Brandx Pictures, PhotolibraryIn the wake of the bare-knuckled brawl with GOP contender Mitt Romney, President Barack Obama's emotions likely ran from aching exhaustion to ebullience and excitement last night as he took the stage with his family to celebrate his re-election.

 

But soon after, no doubt, a creeping worry set in as he took stock of what lies ahead. While he won't have to win the approval of voters again, if he wants to protect his legacy, Obama must get to work. Fast.

 

While he's no rookie when it comes to facing tough choices as a just-elected president -- he faced a financial crisis and economic catastrophe when inaugurated back in January 2009 -- the current list of fiscal and foreign-policy needs is nothing to sneeze at.

 

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