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

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The president returns to Washington to oversee Sandy operations.

By The Fiscal Times Oct 30, 2012 4:22PM
U.S. President Barack Obama holds a news conference from the White House /Larry Downing/Reuters By Eric PianinThe Fiscal Times logo

As Sandy began bearing down on the Eastern Seaboard early Monday, President Barack Obama canceled a campaign event in Orlando, Fla., and rushed back to Washington, D.C., to take command.

Hours later, after conferring with his cabinet and governors from the affected states, the president stood in the White House press room, declaring he was confident adequate resources and first responders were in place to deal with the unfolding crisis, while shrugging off a question about his decision to suspend campaigning just eight short days before the election.

In his dark suit and blue tie, Obama looked every bit the picture of a commander in chief taking charge of a crisis. 

The Republican candidate's comments last year about the Federal Emergency Management Agency are coming back to haunt him.

By The Fiscal Times Oct 30, 2012 4:11PM
Image: Taxes (Peter Gridley/Photographer)By Josh Boak The Fiscal Times

Mitt Romney’s comments in the early stages of the presidential campaign about the Federal Emergency Management Agency came back to haunt him Monday as Hurricane Sandy made landfall with a vicious power.

At a GOP primary debate in June of 2011, the former Massachusetts governor endorsed shifting the responsibilities of FEMA to state governments and private companies.

"Every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that’s the right direction," Romney said in response to a question about the agency. "And if you can go even further, and send it back to the private sector, that's even better." 

The havoc the storm wreaked is likely to last for days, if not weeks -- and the full economic impact may take much longer to assess.

By The Fiscal Times Oct 30, 2012 3:55PM
Elderly Woman Looking Out a Window -- Keith Brofsky, Photodisc, Getty ImagesBy Yuval RosenbergThe Fiscal Times logo

Hurricane Sandy, one of the worst storms ever to hit the U.S., has already halted business activity, shuttered shops and forced the closure of the stock, bond and commodity markets for two days, but the havoc it wreaked is likely to last for days, if not weeks – and the full economic impact may take much longer to assess.

As the winds die down and the surge recedes, it's clear, though, that the superstorm will be remembered as one of the costliest in the country’s history -- but analysts expect the economic shock to be temporary, and relatively short-lived. 

The Fiscal Times dug through work done at Columbia and Harvard for economic ideas not being discussed by the GOP nominee on the campaign trail.

By The Fiscal Times Oct 29, 2012 12:01PM

The Fiscal Times logoCorbisBy Josh Boak

On economic policy, Mitt Romney makes his own decisions.

The former Massachusetts governor and private equity executive considers the advice from his cadre of economics Ph.D.s but ultimately charts his own course, according to the Romney campaign. President Obama has knocked the resulting policies as vague. But two of Romney's leading advisers who both served as chairman of George W. Bush's Council of Economic Advisers have some novel ideas that haven't gotten much airtime from the candidate—and even contradict some of his proposals.


Given the president's sagging standing in the polls, some experts say it might be good for him to shift gears and deal with the storm.

By The Fiscal Times Oct 29, 2012 11:52AM

The Fiscal Times logoDigital Vision Ltd., SuperStockBy Eric Pianin

As Hurricane Sandy threatens to plow its way northeast through the political battleground states of Florida, North Carolina and Virginia early next week, this potentially disastrous freak of nature could well become the October Surprise of the presidential campaign.

With mounting signs that the late season hurricane or tropical storm could combine with a nor'easter to wreak havoc and flooding up and down the nation's Eastern seaboard, Sandy could become the perfect storm that tests President Obama's mettle in juggling his critical last-minute campaigning with the urgent demands of his office.


The candidates may fear offending banks, and a distracted press just ignores the issue.

By MSN Money Partner Oct 25, 2012 4:43PM

This post comes from Marilyn Lewis of MSN Money.


Image: Aerial view of Houston neighborhood © Ocean/Corbis/CorbisWho's the best candidate to fix the economic mess? That's supposed to be the big theme of this presidential election. But you won't catch Republican  candidate Mitt Romney or President Barack Obama making a peep about housing.


The housing and mortgage bubbles were behind the Great Recession. In spite of the bidding wars you hear about in a few cities, housing still is in deep trouble. It's just less deep than a few years ago.


"I find that shocking" that neither candidate mentions housing market issues, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz told Reuters. "It is one of the things that precipitated the crisis."


Surveys contain some wisdom about what will shape the last days of the race -- and potentially decide who occupies the White House.

By The Fiscal Times Oct 24, 2012 1:33PM

The Fiscal Times logo By Josh Boak and Eric Pianin

The presidential campaign has entered its final stretch, which means no more debates but plenty of speeches and endless hours of TV ads await in the final sprint to the Nov. 6 election.

President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney have wrestled each other into a statistical tie, according to most national polls. Those surveys contain multiple lessons about what will shape the final days of the race -- especially in Ohio, Virginia and a handful of other key battleground states -- and potentially decide who occupies the White House.


National interest in legalizing marijuana grows as Washington, Oregon and Colorado take up the issue.

By Bruce Kennedy Oct 24, 2012 9:34AM

Credit: Bruce KennedyIs the United States on the verge of legalizing pot? Already 17 states and the District of Columbia allow the medical use of marijuana, and on Nov. 6, voters in three states will decide whether adults should be able to buy it for recreational use.

Ballot measures in Washington, Oregon and Colorado are in direct conflict with federal law, an issue that opponents hope will sway voters. But the measures are polling well in Washington and Colorado and getting support across the political spectrum, including from some high-profile conservative Republicans, The Washington Post reports.

The issue is in play on a national level, too. In Colorado alone, campaigns for and against the state's Amendment 64 have reportedly spent well over $3 million, much of it from out-of-state organizations on both sides. "This is a big deal, and I think the federal government knows that," said Sam Kamin, a law professor at the University of Denver. "And I think they're watching these elections very closely."



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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market finished an upbeat week on a mixed note. The S&P 500 shed less than a point, ending the week higher by 1.3%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.1%) cemented a 1.7% advance for the week. High-beta names underperformed, which weighed on the Nasdaq Composite (-0.3%) and the Russell 2000 (-1.3%).

Equity indices displayed strength in the early going with the S&P 500 tagging the 2,019 level during the opening 30 minutes of the action. However, ... More


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