POLL

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

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  1.  
    40 %
    Obama
    410 votes
  2.  
    41 %
    Congress
    423 votes
  3.  
    4 %
    Voters
    37 votes
  4.  
    15 %
    All of them!
    156 votes

Total Responses: 1,026
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As cities face financial hardship and cut police forces, citizens find ways to fight crime themselves.

By The Fiscal Times Aug 17, 2012 2:13PM
By Steve YoderThe Fiscal Times

Dabney Lawless, 38, took it personally when criminals targeted her neighborhood in Oakland Hills with a rash of burglaries. It was December 2010, and due to the city’s budget shortfall, Oakland — a city with the California’s highest violent-crime rate — had just laid off more than 10 percent of its cops.

So Lawless started going door to door, recruiting neighbors to revive a dormant neighborhood watch group. The group, of which she’s a block captain, decided to do more than patrol the streets. Last year more than a hundred of them chipped in about $250 each to hire a private security company to cruise through the neighborhood in a patrol car. Lawless says that investment, plus neighbors using the watch group to keep each other informed about suspicious behavior, has already made the neighborhood feel safer, and though she doesn’t have the data to support it, she’s certain the number of burglaries has dropped dramatically. 

Opinion: While throwing money at the nation's problems won't help, taking from the poor and giving to the rich would surely hurt even more.

By Jonathan Berr Aug 14, 2012 8:34AM
Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney's new vice presidential running mate, has insisted repeatedly that Americans need to have an adult conversation about the federal budget. Too bad the Wisconsin Republican hasn't taken his own advice.

Ryan's budget plan would, in the words of Robert Greenstein, the CEO of the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, "produce the largest redistribution of income from the bottom to the top in modern U.S. history and likely increase poverty and inequality more than any other budget in recent times."
 

The era of big labor is over.

By MSN Money Partner Aug 10, 2012 11:38AM

By Kevin Mellyn


Though recent jobs numbers seem to suggest improvement, the underlying data tells a different story. The official statistics vastly underestimate real lack of work that Americans are feeling.

 

One of the key issues in November is which candidate can credibly promise the voters he can create jobs. The problem is that anyone making such promise is not telling the truth.

 

The GOP candidate is going beyond the economy in his campaign against the president.

By MSN Money Partner Aug 10, 2012 10:53AM

The Associated Press


For months, Mitt Romney has had one main focus - bludgeoning President Barack Obama on the economy.

 

Now, the Republican presidential candidate has started poking at Obama from all sides as he looks to gain ground. In recent days, Romney has criticized Obama in TV ads and speeches on topics that include farm policy, transparency, military voting rights, welfare reform and religious freedom.

 

An income derived from capital gains is easier to manipulate for tax purposes.

By MSN Money Partner Aug 8, 2012 4:15PM

By Rick Newman

 

Did he or didn't he? This is the oddly intriguing question swirling around Mitt Romney as critics contend that he may have paid no income tax for some portion of the last 10 years.

 

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has become chief inquisitor in this weird populist trial, claiming that a "successful businessman" familiar with Romney's finances told him that the Republican presidential candidate paid no taxes for a decade. There's a McCarthyist air to Reid's charge--since there's no proof that it's true--yet it may also be politically effective, since Romney already struggles with an aristocratic, out-of-touch image.

 

The doom-and-gloom economist blames UK policymakers for scaring citizens and tourists away from the Games.

By MSNMoney partner Aug 6, 2012 1:33PM

CNBCAntonia van de Velde, CNBC.com deputy news editor

 

Famously bearish economist Nouriel Roubini has branded the Olympics an "economic failure," saying Londoners have left the city and tourists have stayed away after "excess warnings."

 

The Games were meant to boost tourism in the United Kingdom, and in London in particular, with an extra million visitors a day, but many shopkeepers have reported a drop in activity.

 

A horrific year-end confluence of expiring tax cuts, automatic spending cuts, vanishing unemployment benefits and payroll tax breaks could carry the country over the edge.

By MSN Money Partner Aug 3, 2012 1:42PM

By Josh Boak and Eric PianinThe Fiscal Times


Amid all the mania about the government driving off the fiscal cliff early next year, there is the usual complaint about Washington putting off the kinds of reforms that would stop the federal budget from becoming a time bomb year after year.
 
A horrific year-end confluence of huge expiring tax cuts, automatic spending cuts, vanishing unemployment benefits and payroll tax breaks, and gobs of unfinished legislative business could carry the country over the edge and back into economic hot water, we have been told repeatedly by Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke, lawmakers, and Wall Street economists.

 

Despite the competing party claims that their tax policies are popular with voters, polls show that the public has mixed views on the topic.

By MSN Money Partner Aug 3, 2012 1:38PM

By Eric Pianin and Brianna EhleyThe Fiscal Times

 

The 2012 tax debate was formally joined on Capitol Hill this week, as the Republican controlled House voted to extend Bush era tax cuts to all Americans, including the wealthiest, following Senate action last week in which the Democratic majority pushed through a measure that would raise taxes on the wealthiest two percent of taxpayers.
 
Neither measure will go anywhere – certainly not before the November election – and much of the rhetoric and debate was as much political sloganeering as thoughtful economic discourse. But the action in the two chambers mirrored the tough talk over taxes on the campaign trail, with President Obama portraying himself as the champion of the middle class while Republican challenger Mitt Romney argues that any tax increase would undercut small businesses and drive up unemployment.

 

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