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

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  1.  
    40 %
    Obama
    407 votes
  2.  
    41 %
    Congress
    419 votes
  3.  
    4 %
    Voters
    37 votes
  4.  
    15 %
    All of them!
    155 votes

Total Responses: 1,018
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Mitt Romney said this week that the running mate he was looking for could have different “perspectives and skills” than his own.

By The Fiscal Times Jul 20, 2012 7:21PM
By Eric Pianin and Maureen Mackey The Fiscal Times

Mitt Romney said this week that the running mate he was looking for could have different "perspectives and skills" than his own. But given the current drift of the bruising presidential campaign, those skills had better include a sound understanding of the federal criminal and tax code and a junkyard-dog propensity to go after the opposition.

Reeling from relentless attacks from the Obama campaign that he lied about the terms and timing of his departure from Bain Capital, that his former private equity firm shipped jobs overseas, and that he’s hiding something by refusing to release more than two years of tax returns, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee may need a bodyguard as much as a vice presidential running mate. 

The fierce debate over President Obama’s plan to hike taxes on families earning more than $250,000 a year has ignored the consequences for individual taxpayers.

By The Fiscal Times Jul 20, 2012 2:09PM
By Josh BoakThe Fiscal Times
 
The fierce debate over President Obama’s plan to hike taxes on families with incomes above $250,000 a year has mostly revolved around ideologically-fueled disputes about the impact on the broader economy—and has ignored the consequences for individual taxpayers.

Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney predicts an increase would cripple growth as tens of billions of dollars flow away from the private sector each year, while Obama claims that a beleaguered middle class would suffer from the brunt of spending cuts needed to preserve the lower rates that were first introduced by President George W. Bush in 2001 and 2003. Voters heading to the polls in November will decide not just the occupant of the Oval Office, but what income tax rates will look like starting in 2013. 

President Obama is locked in a tough race with Mitt Romney in Michigan, despite having provided $85 billion in government loans to bail out two of the Big Three automakers.

By The Fiscal Times Jul 20, 2012 1:30PM
By Eric Pianin The Fiscal Times

DETROIT – President Obama has told Michigan voters that his decision to use $85 billion in federal loans to bail out General Motors and Chrysler saved over a million manufacturing jobs in the Midwest, created 128,000 new jobs and helped rejuvenate the Wolverine State’s long-troubled economy.

His campaign stresses that the president was willing to step in to restructure two of the Big Three automakers with direct federal assistance, while Republican challenger Mitt Romney would have let the industry undergo a “managed bankruptcy” with no guarantee the companies could have found private financing. “People remember his position, which was, ‘Let’s let Detroit go bankrupt’ and his opposition to government involvement in making sure that GM and Chrysler didn’t go under,” Obama said of Romney in an interview with ABC News this spring. 

Economists have been criticized for their performance during the financial crisis, rightly at times, but not all of the criticism has been fair.

By The Fiscal Times Jul 20, 2012 1:28PM
By Mark ThomaThe Fiscal Times

Economists have been criticized for their performance during the financial crisis, rightly at times, but not all of the criticism has been fair.

It's true that macroeconomists, as a group, did not see the signs of the disaster that was about to hit the economy. There were a few lonely voices who warned that a dangerous bubble was building in the housing market, but they were mostly ignored. And even after the economy’s troubles became evident, it took macroeconomists longer than it should have to correctly diagnose the problem as a balance sheet recession. 

The Obama campaign is blasting the Republican's tax-reform proposal, even though the president's own advisors have long backed the very same policy.

By TheWeek.com Jul 17, 2012 5:05PM

Obviously, the Obama campaign believes it has hit on a winning attack in the campaign to defeat Mitt Romney and win a second term, even if the Obama team can't quite define the assault properly. For the last two weeks, Team Obama has hit Romney over "outsourcing," when they really mean off-shoring — the process of sending jobs overseas to reduce costs. Then there's the fight over when Romney's tenure at Bain Capital ended, something that just became an issue in and of itself in the last few days. This supposedly matters because of the date when Bain started investing in companies that off-shored significant numbers of jobs. Those decisions appear to have taken place after Romney ended his management of Bain investments, but the president's advisers need to tie him to those decisions in order to make Romney less palatable to the working-class Rust Belt voters that polls show are abandoning the president.

 

Romney digs in his heels even as some Republicans say it's time for him to give the public a better look at his personal finances.

By TheWeek.com Jul 17, 2012 4:50PM

With President Obama's campaign hammering Mitt Romney over his personal finances, even some Republicans have begun calling for the presumptive GOP nominee to release more than two years of his tax returns. Conservative political analysts say Romney is allowing people to assume he has something to hide. "It's crazy" not to release several more years of returns, "tomorrow," says William Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard


Despite the pressure, Romney said Monday on Fox News that he was releasing his 2010 and 2011 returns, and nothing more. Why won't he turn over documents from other years? Here, six theories:

 

Food, housing and income support policies have largely ameliorated the worst effects of being poor in America over the last half century.

By The Fiscal Times Jul 17, 2012 4:34PM
By Merrill Goozner The Fiscal Times

Fifty years ago, Michael Harrington wrote The Other America, documenting -- among the many ravages of poverty -- that millions of children in the richest country on earth went to bed hungry every night. His book inspired two Democratic presidents, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, to launch a war on poverty, then estimated at more than 20 percent of the population.

Fast forward a half century. Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, running in the Republican primaries, accused President Obama of being the "food stamp president" because more people were receiving benefits from that anti-poverty program than at any time since its inception -- 46 million at a cost of $75 billion a year. The recession-driven expansion triggered scorn from conservatives on Capitol Hill and a government crackdown on fraud that allegedly wasted about one percent or $750 million a year. 

Romney and his party haven't quite gotten their stories straight since the Supreme Court's ObamaCare ruling.

By TheWeek.com Jul 17, 2012 3:22PM
Now that the Supreme Court has upheld ObamaCare as constitutional under the federal government's taxing power, "the Republican message machine is trying hard to accuse President Obama of increasing taxes on middle-class Americans," says Michael Shear at The New York Times.

 

"But the party is doing so without the help of Mitt Romney." At first, the entire party was basically on the same page: Romney vowed to start dismantling the law on his first day in office, conservatives flooded his campaign with cash, and optimistic Republicans said the boost of anti-ObamaCare anger would sink Obama in November.

 

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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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