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

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

Total Responses: 1,005
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The U.S. is leading most of its major trading partners in burrowing out of the mountain of private sector debt that nearly destroyed the global economy and is still retarding the economic recovery, a new report says.

By The Fiscal Times Mar 20, 2012 11:15AM
By The Fiscal TimesMerrill Goozner

The U.S. is leading most of its major trading partners in burrowing out of the mountain of private sector debt that nearly destroyed the global economy and is still retarding the economic recovery, a new report says.

However, while the private sector deleveraging is well underway, the renewal of robust global growth will depend on a credible long-term plan for reducing the government’s share of total national debt that continues to mount, the report said. 

His ideas may rouse conservatives, but they won't necessarily make them better off.

By MSNMoney partner Mar 19, 2012 2:25PM
 U.S. News & World Report on MSN MoneyRick Newman, U.S. News

Among the people surprised by Rick Santorum's success in the presidential campaign is Rick Santorum. The former senator has clearly struck a nerve among conservative voters that Santorum himself may not even fully understand.

Santorum's early focus on moral and social issues has evolved into a broader rant about bossy government, curtailed freedoms and fading opportunity. On the stump, Santorum's biggest applause lines tend to come when he bashes President Obama's healthcare reform law, complains about too much regulation, and argues for more personal responsibility and less government caretaking. "I believe in people having the opportunity to take care of themselves," he often tells voters. 

Several recent economic forecasters peered into their crystal balls to predict the president will win re-election.

By The Fiscal Times Mar 16, 2012 5:00PM
By Merrill GooznerThe Fiscal Times

Beware of economists bearing models, especially if you are the presumptive Republican nominee for president.

Several recent economic forecasters peered into their crystal balls to predict President Obama will win the coming presidential election. The latest comes from two economics at Yahoo Labs, Patrick Hummel and David Rothschild, who told IEEE Spectrum that the Hawaii-born son-of-a-Kenyan will be reelected with 303 electoral votes, racking up wins in 26 states including Ohio and Pennsylvania. 

It’s time for Republicans to stop mewing like sick kittens and get on with ejecting President Obama from the White House.

By The Fiscal Times Mar 16, 2012 4:14PM
By Liz PeekThe Fiscal Times

It’s time for Republicans to stop mewing like sick kittens and get on with ejecting President Obama from the White House. Like Victorian mothers fussing over their daughters, pundits on the right can’t stop nattering over frontrunner Mitt Romney’s flaws. He has not yet won over a clear-cut majority of GOP voters, he will preside over a divided party, his unfavorables are too high, he’s gaffe-prone, he carries some baggage – most notably Romneycare.

These are concerns that, in many cases, also dogged Ronald Reagan during primary season in 1980. Mr. Reagan, too, was expected to lose; he, too, was under attack from different factions in the Republican Party, he polled at a disadvantage to the incumbent, he made some unfortunate ethnic jokes, he was pilloried for his record as a tax-raiser. 

Opinion: When it comes to incomes in retirement, fixing Social Security is just a start. The real challenge is to increase saving.

By MSNMoney partner Mar 14, 2012 1:37PM

http://www.bloomberg.comBy Clive Crook, Bloomberg

 

Here's some good news about America's public pension system. Contrary to many reports, the country can afford it.

 

Social Security faces much less fiscal pressure over the coming decades than pension systems in other advanced economies. While it will need patching, the repairs aren't that difficult.

 

But there's bad news as well. When it comes to incomes in retirement, fixing Social Security is the smaller part of what needs to be done. The real challenge is to increase saving.

 

Analysis: Elevated levels of public debt in the US and elsewhere will probably be the most enduring legacy of the world's recent financial crises.

By MSNMoney partner Mar 14, 2012 1:28PM

http://www.bloomberg.comBy Carmen M. Reinhart, Bloomberg

 

As they have before in the aftermath of financial crises or wars, governments and central banks are increasingly resorting to a form of "taxation" that helps liquidate the huge overhang of public and private debt and eases the burden of servicing that debt.

 

Such policies, known as financial repression, usually involve a strong connection between the government, the central bank and the financial sector. In the U.S., as in Europe, at present, this means consistent negative real interest rates (yielding less than the rate of inflation) that are equivalent to a tax on bondholders and, more generally, savers.

 

The income gap, as measured by economists, is a misleading picture of wealth, poverty, and everything in between.

By The Fiscal Times Mar 14, 2012 12:42PM
By Bruce BartlettThe Fiscal Times

A while back, The Fiscal Times sparked a controversy by publishing an article arguing that a family with an income of $250,000 per year is not really rich. When taxes, housing costs, college costs for children and so on are accounted for, even those with an income five times the median family income are just barely getting by, it said.

Subsequently, The New York Times published an article sympathizing with the plight of those making only $250,000. They are certainly not poor, but neither are they rich in any meaningful sense of the term, it said. 

Opinion: Congress has a soft spot for giving corporations a break because contributions are tax-deductible. But allwoing more underfunding hardly seems prudent.

By MSNMoney partner Mar 12, 2012 12:06PM

http://www.bloomberg.comBy Roger Lowenstein, Bloomberg

 

There is something about pensions that makes their sponsors just want to say no. For months we have been reading about cities and states failing to pay what is due into employee pension funds. Now corporate America is getting into the act.

 

Big employers want Congress to give them a break on pension funding. Business lobbies such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers have managed to get a pension sweetener attached to a Senate highway bill that, potentially, would reduce required contributions by billions of dollars.

 

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Follow Republican and Democratic presidential candidates as they battle for the White House. Explore how monetary and fiscal policies affect your finances. Get insightful analysis of the American political economy and the latest news on the 2012 election.

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