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
Not scientifically valid. Results are updated every minute.

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Older people are more likely to become entrepreneurs than the college crowd Romney recently encouraged to “take a risk.”

By The Fiscal Times May 2, 2012 2:52PM
By Yuval Rosenberg The Fiscal Times

Democrats pounced again when Mitt Romney on Friday offered some entrepreneurial advice to students at a campaign stop at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio.

"We've always encouraged young people: Take a shot, go for it. Take a risk, get the education, borrow money if you have to from your parents, start a business," Romney told the crowd at his “guest lecture” before transitioning into the story of Jimmy John Liautaud, who started his Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches chain in 1983 with the help of a $20,000 loan from his father (in exchange for a 48 percent stake in the business). "This is kind of an American experience," said Romney. 

Obama deficit hawk Erskine Bowles warns of a nightmare scenario that's already in progress and must be dealt with now.

By MSNMoney partner May 1, 2012 2:03PM

By William D. Cohan

 

Erskine Bowles, a true Southern gentleman and the co-chairman of President Barack Obama's erstwhile budget-deficit commission, came to New York City from his home in North Carolina the other night to talk sense about the nation's perilous fiscal condition.

 

"I think today we face the most predictable economic crisis in history," he told an audience on April 24 at the Council on Foreign Relations -- an audience that might actually be able to help do something about the problem. "Fortunately, I think it's also the most avoidable. I think it's clear, if you do simple arithmetic, that the fiscal path that the nation is on is simply not sustainable."

 

The protesters have helped to highlight the problem of inequality. But can they articulate their grievances with the same legitimacy that once belonged to a broader effort?

By MSNMoney partner May 1, 2012 1:54PM

By Alasdair Roberts

 

When protesters settled in New York's Zuccotti Park in September, few anticipated how big a phenomenon the Occupy Wall Street movement would become. Soon, dozens of encampments were established around the world.

 

A month later, the majority of Americans knew about the movement and supported its goals. It seemed that a new form of political action -- youthful, tech-savvy and decentralized -- had scored a major victory. Inequality was back on the agenda.

 

Can you picture Jimmy Carter or George Bush standing by while a late-night comic calls him the Preezy of the United Steezy?

By The Fiscal Times Apr 26, 2012 4:08PM

By Yuval Rosenberg


OK, so no president has ever slow-jammed the news like Barack Obama did Tuesday on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon." Can you picture Jimmy Carter or George H.W. Bush (or Mitt Romney, for that matter) standing by while a late-night comic calls him "the Preezy of the United Steezy" or bestows a nickname like "the Barack Ness Monster" – all in pursuit of cool points and the youth vote?

Then again, presidents like Abe Lincoln or Teddy Roosevelt probably could have put on some pretty spectacular slow-jams of their own, without help from TV writers or White House staff. And while Obama is the first sitting president to appear on late-night talk shows, those appearances are just an extension of long-standing political strategy making use of such "free media" appearances to get out a message or just flash some pre-scripted personality. Obama didn't slow-jam the news as much as he slow-jammed his campaign's talking points of the day about student-loan interest rates. Turns out, a comfy armchair on a television studio set serves nicely as a campaign podium or bully pulpit.

 

Incumbent lawmakers and their potential challengers all realize that a deep-pocketed PAC could decide their races.

By MSNMoney partner Apr 26, 2012 2:58PM

By Ezra Klein

 

President Barack Obama's re-election campaign is likely to have more money than any presidential campaign in history. Republican Mitt Romney's campaign, when you factor in the super PACs supporting him, could have even more money than that.

 

Both candidates will, in other words, have more than enough money to get out their message, attack their opponent and support their ground game. Even as they're spending all this money on paid media, the campaigns will receive an almost infinite amount of free media from newspapers, television, magazines and blogs that will spend the next seven months doing nothing but covering the presidential campaign.

 

It's tempting to pine for the days when Congress wasn't so polarized. A looming fiscal storm highlights how much more challenging our system has become.

By MSNMoney partner Apr 26, 2012 2:58PM

By Peter Orszag

 

The nation is hurtling toward what has been called "Taxmageddon," the enormous tax increases and spending cuts scheduled for the beginning of 2013. At around the same time, we will also be spending some more quality time with our old friend: the debt limit.

 

No one can yet see a plausible way through the coming storm. But even though they are not particularly inspiring, paths away from catastrophe do exist.

 

Too many top economic commentators are drawn from a pool of talking heads and economists who treat the welfare of corporations as a top priority.

By MSN Money Partner Apr 26, 2012 2:49PM

By William A. Collins, OtherWords

 

David Kocieniewski just won the Pulitzer Prize for his in-depth reporting on the loopholes that the richest Americans and corporations routinely exploit to minimize their tax bills. Congratulations to him! But most of his counterparts covering economics and business are a bunch of lapdogs.

 

Do you get your economic news from TV or newspapers? Big mistake.

 

US workers have less job security than their European counterparts. In theory, they should benefit from stronger economic growth and a more stable economy. But do they?

By MSN Money Partner Apr 25, 2012 12:13PM

By Mark ThomaThe Fiscal Times

Those who favor a free market approach to managing the economy often compare the U.S. to Europe. Europe, it is argued, is much less flexible and dynamic than the U.S. because of its heavier reliance on social insurance, worker protections, and the high tax rates needed to support these programs.

 

Nobel Prize winning economist Edmund Phelps has argued, for example, that "the free enterprise system is structured in such a way that it facilitates and stimulates dynamism while the Continental system impedes and discourages it." According to Phelps and others, the greater reliance on the free market system in the U.S. results in faster and more robust economic growth.

 

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