federal spending

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Federal Deficit Has Biggest Drop Since WWII

$680B deficit is lowest since 2008

(Newser) - The federal budget deficit for fiscal 2013 has plunged by more than $400 billion, the biggest drop since the end of World War II, the Treasury Department says. It comes in at $680 billion—not exactly pocket change, but a lot better than the trillion-plus deficits of the last five... More »

Your Tax Dollars: $79K a Year for Grounded Plane

TV Marti plane for Cuba in sequester 'limbo': Washington Post

(Newser) - The Washington Post today has one of those logic-defying stories about government-spending, this one involving a plane that's not allowed to fly. The government is paying a Georgia contractor $6,600 every month to house the plane, originally intended to fly over Cuba and broadcast anti-Castro programming. The problem... More »

Don't Fear the Looming Pentagon Cuts

...because it's the domestic cuts that will really hit home

(Newser) - Much ink has been given to the Pentagon cuts set to hit on Jan. 2, thanks to the failure of last year's deficit supercommittee. But with less than five months til D-Day, the AP takes the opportunity to dish out a cheery recommendation: Don't fear those $55 billion... More »

Obama: Republicans Are the Real Big Spenders

Federal spending is rising at slowest rate since '50s, report finds

(Newser) - Republicans are trying to fool the country into believing that they are the party of fiscal responsibility, President Obama told a fundraiser yesterday. "I’m running to pay down our debt in a way that’s balanced and responsible. After inheriting a $1 trillion deficit, I signed $2 trillion... More »

House GOP Caves, Backs Payroll Tax

Boehner and Co. say they'll accept tax cut without paying for it elsewhere

(Newser) - House Republican leaders have surprised and angered rank-and-file lawmakers by abruptly backing down from demands that a 10-month extension of the payroll tax cut be paid for with cuts elsewhere. GOP leaders are wary of holding up a tax cut for 160 million Americans in an election year, Politico notes,... More »

Lawmakers Use Earmarks to Aid Own Properties

Just a coincidence that pork benefits own real estate, they say

(Newser) - Members of Congress are not only steering earmarks to their own districts, but also their own backyards, funding projects that boost the value of properties they own, a Washington Post investigation finds. Comparing disclosure forms against public records revealed that over the last few years, some 33 members of Congress... More »

Deal Averts Government Shutdown

Congress forges $1T spending deal

(Newser) - The spirit of Christmas, or at least the spirit of competence, appears to have reached Capitol Hill. Lawmakers have set aside their differences to forge a $1 trillion spending bill for federal agencies that will avert a government shutdown this weekend, the Washington Post reports. The bill—heralded by a... More »

Poll: We Hate Congress More Than Ever

Approval dives below 20%

(Newser) - The debt ceiling mess has pushed Congress' already dismal approval ratings into the abyss, according to the latest New York Times / CBS poll. Some 82% of Americans don't approve of the way Congress is doing its job, the lowest rating since the Times started asking the question in... More »

Secret Service Pays Biden Rent

Total it has forked over since April: $13K

(Newser) - Joe Biden is the vice president ... and due to a strange arrangement with the Secret Service, he's also a federal contractor. The Secret Service pays Biden to stay in a rental cottage adjacent to his Delaware home. Since April, Biden has collected $13,000 in rent, and he could... More »

Why the GOP Is Winning: It Has a ('Very Bad') Big Idea

Democrats need a big idea to win the debt fight: Eugene Robinson

(Newser) - The Democrats are getting their butts kicked in the debt debate because conservatives have a big, easily communicated idea and Dems don't, writes Eugene Robinson for the Washington Post . The GOP's idea—which is, in Robinson's opinion, a terrible one—is that "taxes are always too... More »

FAA Forced Into Partial Shutdown

Airport construction work halted across country

(Newser) - As debt ceiling talks drag on, the Federal Aviation Administration is already feeling the effects of lawmakers' failure to agree. The agency was forced into partial shutdown yesterday after Congress failed to extend its funding, the Los Angeles Times reports. Construction work at airports around the country has ground to... More »

Dems: We'll Win Debt Fight for the Gipper

Gipper 'wouldn't be welcome in modern GOP'

(Newser) - The Democrats, the party that Ronald Reagan ditched in 1962, says that even the Gipper would be on their side in today's debt ceiling debate. Dems are telling Republicans they should follow Reagan's lead in fiscal responsibility, circulating a 1987 radio address in which Reagan slammed brinksmanship and... More »

Poll: Public Wants Debt Compromise

GOP losing ground in battle for public opinion

(Newser) - As talks drag on, public opinion is shifting in favor of lifting the debt ceiling and against politicians who refuse to budge, according to two new polls. Some 38% of Americans now favor lifting the debt ceiling, a 10-point jump from a month ago, as opposed to 31% against, according... More »

House Passes Doomed Debt Measure

'Cut, cap and trade' plan expected to die in Senate

(Newser) - The House of Representatives passed the Tea Party-backed "cut, cap and balance" plan today, sending the measure to the Senate, where it stands next to no chance of passing. The measure, which requires trillions in spending cuts and a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution in return for raising the... More »

Cantor Bails on Budget Talks

Says Boehner, Obama need to work out tax issue

(Newser) - Eric Cantor has told reporters that he’s not attending today’s Joe Biden-led budget meeting, or any future budget meetings, because the group has reached an impasse over taxes that he thinks can only be bridged by John Boehner and President Obama. “We’ve reached the point where... More »

Big Biz, Tea Party Diverge in Debt Debate

Chamber seeks compromise, Tea Party says 'hell no'

(Newser) - A rift between big business and the Tea Party movement is growing as the very real prospect of America defaulting on its debt looms, the Christian Science Monitor finds. The federal government hit the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling yesterday, and while Tea Party-backed lawmakers are sticking to their guns... More »

Tea Party on Budget Deal: 'We Won' to 'Disappointed'

Not everybody's happy, but Boehner doesn't have a mutiny on his hands

(Newser) - John Boehner put a happy face on the grinding budget deal reached last night, but reactions varied among the GOP rank-and-file—specifically those with their eye on the Oval Office. Some reactions from around the Beltway, courtesy of Politico:
  • Michele Bachman: “The deal is a disappointment for me and
... More »

Still No Deal After Latest White House Talks

Obama expecting final answer on budget deal Friday morning

(Newser) - President Obama emerged from the third White House meeting with Harry Reid and John Boehner in 24 hours Thursday night without a deal to avert a government shutdown at midnight Friday. The president told reporters that differences still remain between the two parties, adding "I’m not yet prepared... More »

Budget Meeting Fails to Avert Shutdown

Shutdown would be 'inexcusable,' Obama says after talks with Reid, Boehner

(Newser) - President Obama emerged from a late-night meeting with John Boehner and Harry Reid Wednesday with no deal to avert a government shutdown. The president told reporters, however, that the 90-minute talk had helped to "narrow the issues" and he's still confident that a deal can be forged before the... More »

No. of Reps Who Donated to National Debt in 2010: 3

But even if they gave full salaries, they'd barely make a den

(Newser) - For a bunch of people so concerned with the growing national debt, the House of Representatives doesn't have a lot of members putting their money where their mouths are. The House has program that allows representatives to return a portion of their salaries toward debt reduction (the Senate doesn't even... More »

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