budget deficit

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Italy to Shrink Deficit Using Hookers, Cocaine

Illegal activities to be added to GDP

(Newser) - Surprisingly enough, this idea didn't come from Silvio Berlusconi: Italy plans to include things like illegal drug sales, prostitution, and cigarette smuggling in its GDP figures for the first time, immediately giving the size of the economy a big boost, Bloomberg reports. Prime Minister Mario Renzi has pledged to... More »

Ryan Sees Balanced Budget in 10 Years

But that would require repeal of ObamaCare

(Newser) - Paul Ryan unveiled a Republican budget plan today that would slash $5.1 trillion in federal spending over the coming decade and balance the government's books with wide-ranging cuts in programs like food stamps and government-paid health care for the poor and working class. About 40% of Ryan's... More »

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 »

As Deficit Plummets, Feds Actually Saw Surplus in Dec.

Fiscal Q1 figures were looking decidedly up, CBO reveals

(Newser) - Don't look now, but after years of congressional dogfights, the federal budget deficit is in pretty good shape. The deficit plummeted by more than a third in October, November, and December—the first three months of fiscal 2014—the Congressional Budget Office announced yesterday, Reuters reports. In fact, December... More »

Congress on Verge of Drama-Free Budget

Low-ambition deal might make flying more expensive

(Newser) - Paul Ryan and Patty Murray do not want another government shutdown. That much is clear based on the quick budget deal that the two are reportedly finishing up—one so modest that the Washington Post characterizes it as a "cease-fire." The bill doesn't reduce the debt, close... More »

Shutdown Actually Costing Us More

'New York Times' editorial points out the hidden costs of not running government

(Newser) - You might assume that the government shutdown is at least saving money and shrinking the deficit. But you'd be wrong. "The shutdown will actually be very expensive and will wind up costing the taxpayers and the economy far more than the regular operations of government," the New ... More »

Dear DC: 7.6% Unemployment Is Not OK

Paul Krugman thinks everyone's dropping the ball on employment

(Newser) - Once upon a time, back before the financial crisis, Americans had certain expectations for their economy. "Normal, back then, meant an economy adding a million or more jobs a year," and an unemployment rate "not much above 5%," recalls Paul Krugman at the New York Times... More »

Obama Sends $3.8T Budget to Congress

Seeks 'grand bargain' with cuts, taxes that rile both Dems, GOP

(Newser) - President Obama's budget plan for fiscal year 2014 is en route to Congress. Seeking to slash the deficit, it contains a mix of tax hikes on the wealthy and cuts to government programs—including entitlements—that is upsetting both sides of the aisle, the AP reports. "I have... More »

Obama Budget to Offer GOP a Spoonful of Sugar

Medicare, Social Security cuts 'demonstrate willingness to compromise': NYT

(Newser) - Obama's personal salary isn't the only figure the president plans on cutting this year. A new budget set to be released next week proposes cuts to Medicare and Social Security. It's a deficit-reducing olive branch to the GOP, and the administration says it will lead to... More »

Senate Passes First Budget in 4 Years, 50-49

Calls for $975B in new taxes over decade

(Newser) - The Senate gave pre-dawn approval today to a $3.7 trillion budget for next year that embraces nearly $1 trillion in tax increases over the coming decade but shelters domestic programs targeted for cuts by Republicans in the House. It's the first budget the Democratic-run Senate has approved in... More »

Chicago to Close 53 Elementary Schools

Teachers' union fumes over deficit-fighting move

(Newser) - Chicago yesterday released a long-awaited school closings list, which named the 61 buildings it plans to shutter. The Tribune breaks down the "confusing" math behind the closure announcement, and reports that the plan will spell the end for 53 elementary schools; 13% of elementary and middle schools in the... More »

Like Saddam's WMDs, We Still Manufacture 'Mainstream'

Paul Krugman thinks we haven't learned to examine 'mainstream' consensus

(Newser) - It's the 10th anniversary of the Iraq war, a disastrous war fought on false pretenses. "So did our political elite and our news media learn from this experience? It sure doesn’t look like it," Paul Krugman writes in the New York Times . The real trick of... More »

Obama's Problem Is With Democrats

John Boehner complains that Obama isn't offering concessions, wants leadership

(Newser) - "So it was a good meeting." That's how John Boehner begins his op-ed in the Washington Post today, in reference to yesterday's face-to-face with President Obama . But it wasn't that good. "While this may have been the first time some of my colleagues have... More »

Ryan's New Budget Axes ObamaCare, $5T in Spending

Would balance over 10 years

(Newser) - Paul Ryan is unveiling his latest budget proposal, and this time, he says, it'll balance in 10 years—half the time he claimed for his previous budget, NPR notes, because he's including new revenue from the fiscal cliff deal. As promised, the new plan calls for repealing ObamaCare,... More »

Sequester Day Has Arrived

At some point today, Obama will have to initiate the cuts

(Newser) - Happy sequester day, America. By 11:59 tonight, Barack Obama will have to formally notify federal agencies that it's time to start implementing across-the-board cuts, barring a last-minute deal that at this point seems wildly improbable. While Congressional leaders will meet at the White House today, there's so... More »

Palin: Feds Fear Unrest, Are 'Stockpiling Bullets'

'We're finished,' says ex-governor

(Newser) - An "economic Armageddon" is coming, Sarah Palin says—but it's not the sequester she's referring to. "If we are going to wet our proverbial pants over 0.3% in annual spending cuts when we’re running up trillion-dollar annual deficits, then we're done. Put a... More »

Obama: We Can't Afford 'Reckless' Sequester

President slams Congress, and Republicans in particular

(Newser) - President Obama took the stage at a White House event this morning, backed by a crowd of uniformed first responders, to warn against an upcoming round of " automatic brutal spending cuts " that he warned would cost America jobs, harming everything from border patrol to military readiness, education, and... More »

Simpson, Bowles Back With Sequel to Deficit Plan

They want to slash another $2.4T, far exceeding Obama's goals

(Newser) - If you liked the first Simpson-Bowles plan, good news! Washington's favorite bipartisan hypothetical budget slashers have come up with a sequel of sorts, proposing $2.4 trillion in new (and probably politically impossible) deficit cuts over the next decade, Politico reports. How would they get there?
  • They'd slash
... More »

Why We Need to 'Kick That Can'

Paul Krugman: US debt problems are long-term; fixing now would be 'destructive'

(Newser) - Paul Krugman appears exasperated with John Boehner's exasperation. On Wednesday, the speaker of the House discussed his determination to tackle the deficit, saying, “I’ve watched them kick this can down the road for 22 years since I’ve been here. I’ve had enough of it. It’... More »

Obama Calls for Brief Sequester Dodge

Will seek budget cuts in address this afternoon

(Newser) - President Obama wants to put off the dreaded sequester just a little while longer. In an address this afternoon, Obama called for a handful of small budget cuts to justify pushing the automatic spending cuts back again, this time until after Congress has crafted a new federal budget, the Washington ... More »

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