POLL

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

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  1.  
    39 %
    Obama
    374 votes
  2.  
    43 %
    Congress
    397 votes
  3.  
    3 %
    Voters
    30 votes
  4.  
    15 %
    All of them!
    146 votes

Total Responses: 947
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A slowing Chinese economy is weakening the case for Romney's pledge to declare the nation a currency violator.

By The Fiscal Times Apr 12, 2012 4:31PM
By The Fiscal Times Merrill Goozner

Fast-changing economic realities have a way of making presidential campaign rhetoric as ephemeral as Washington’s fading cherry tree blossoms.

That would appear to be the case this year with Republican soon-to-be standard-bearer Mitt Romney’s China policy.  On the eve of a once-a-decade transition in the top ranks of its ruling Communist Party and the possibility of a political turnover in the U.S., China’s long-running and rapid economic expansion is showing distinct signs of aging.  

Consumer groups are pushing the Obama administration to limit commodity speculation centered in the nation's largest investment banks.

By The Fiscal Times Apr 10, 2012 2:31PM
The Fiscal TimesBy Merrill Goozner

Democrats in Congress are preparing a volley against oil market speculators in their effort to counter charges by Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney that the Obama administration’s energy policies are to blame for skyrocketing gasoline prices.

A coalition of consumer groups, petroleum marketers and some industrial users said Thursday that legislation will be introduced in the House and Senate in the next few weeks that would slap new controls on oil futures markets. The goal is to curb the speculation that they say is driving up oil and gasoline prices and threatening to derail the economic recovery

After the elections, Congress will have to make some momentous decisions about taxes, spending and extending the nation's borrowing limit. Missteps could be disastrous.

By MSNMoney partner Apr 10, 2012 12:08PM

By Rick Newman

 

Hey, did you happen to see where the recovery went?

 

For a while there, it looked as if jobs were returning, the housing market was close to bottoming out and consumers were growing more confident about their own economic outlook. But then came a disappointing jobs report, a three percent stock market correction and renewed fears that the recovery would fade.

 

Many economists feel the choppy nature of the recovery, which officially began in 2009, is normal given debt problems that still exist and other aftershocks from the recession. In that view, markets will remain volatile, but continue to gradually improve.

 

Lower consumer spending could tip the balance toward a moderate and overdue downturn.

By MSNMoney partner Apr 10, 2012 11:52AM

By A. Gary Shilling

 

For several months, I've been forecasting a recession in the U.S. this year, arguing that weakened consumer spending -- the key to the economic outlook -- would tip the economy back into a downturn.

 

But what about recent positive data and markets? Do they affect my forecast? Bullish investors will say I'm wrong, pointing to the 29 percent increase in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index (SPX) from its October 2011 low.

 

If he loses to Obama, historians will ask whether he really had to box himself in so tightly to win the GOP nomination.

By MSNMoney partner Apr 10, 2012 11:34AM

By Jonathan Alter

 

If Barack Obama prevails in November, it will be in large part because of what has come out of Mitt Romney's mouth in the past year.

 

I'm not talking about gaffes, for which the presumptive Republican nominee has a Freudian propensity. It's as if the gaffe that ended his beloved father's 1968 presidential campaign (George Romney said he had been subject to "brainwashing" on a trip to South Vietnam) puts Mitt Romney into "Don't think of an elephant" mode. He's so conscious of not making a gaffe that his subconscious insists on one every couple of weeks.

 

Tallies of national production have been key to measuring economic progress worldwide. But a growing number of economists say that GDP is not enough.

By MSN Money Partner Apr 6, 2012 3:52PM
By Yuval RosenbergThe Fiscal Times

Gross domestic product -- and the very idea of growth that it is meant to measure -- is under attack these days by a small, radical group of academics who are calling for a shrinking of the world's developed economies through voluntary reductions in production and consumption. This kind of contraction, they argue, is needed to preserve environmental resources and rebalance inequalities between developed and emerging economies.

To these proponents of "degrowth" -- who will be holding a conference in Montreal next month -- GDP is a failed economic indicator ready to be consigned to the scrapheap of history. "A fixation on economic growth is at the root of our environmental issues and social inequalities," reads a press release for the conference.
 

The numbers make clear that richer countries do tend to be happier. But the relationship is not quite that simple.

By The Fiscal Times Apr 6, 2012 11:29AM
By The Fiscal TimesYuval Rosenberg

Feeling blue? Maybe relocating to Denmark would help.

The Scandinavian nation came out on top of a new ranking of global moods. Finland, Norway, the Netherlands and Canada rounded out the top five countries in a “World Happiness Report” published by The Earth Institute of Columbia University and released this week as part of a United Nations conference to discuss the idea of a new economic paradigm based on public well-being. 

Let's settle this now so we can move on to something more important: The odds of a Joe Sixpack residing in the White House after the November elections are zero.

By MSN Money Partner Apr 6, 2012 8:55AM

By Rick Newman

 

It's easy to imagine the two presidential candidates on a playground.

 

"You're out of touch," Mitt Romney taunts President Barack Obama.

 

"No, you're out of touch," Obama retorts.

 

"No, you're out of touch."

 

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