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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 9, 1998
Re "And Now, Tackle the Debt," editorial, Feb. 3: I couldn't agree more. With a debt of 5.4 trillion, there can be no "surplus." The Reagan administration gets much of the credit for the debt, with massive defense spending. It is also possible that this ended the Cold War. If this is true, it is time to pay up. Any surplus should be applied to debt reduction. ROBERT J. DOYLE Newbury Park
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NEWS
February 17, 2014 | By David Lauter
WASHINGTON - Five years after its passage, White House officials and their Republican critics are still fighting over the merits of President Obama's economic stimulus law. Later this week, Obama will mark the fifth anniversary of signing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Monday, his Council of Economic Advisers issued a 70-page report lauding the law's impact. Republicans, meanwhile, seized the anniversary to denounce the law for increasing the federal debt while failing to cure the economy's troubles.
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NEWS
September 17, 2013 | By Jon Healey
Two reports came out Tuesday that, just by happenstance, help illustrate why nothing gets done in Washington. One was the Congressional Budget Office's updated federal budget projections , which predicted that if Congress leaves current law in place -- including the much-maligned sequester -- the deficit will soon be no larger than 2% of GDP. Because that's less than the CBO projects U.S. GDP will grow (fingers crossed!), the federal debt should start to shrink in relation to the economy.
NEWS
February 11, 2014 | By Lisa Mascaro and Michael A. Memoli
WASHINGTON - Unable to corral his restive troops around a debt ceiling plan, Speaker John A. Boehner announced Tuesday he would bring a bill to the House floor to allow continued federal borrowing with no strings attached. A vote is set for Wednesday on the measure. Boehner will need to rely on Democrats for passage since many GOP legislators continue to oppose any effort to lift the ceiling on federal debt. [Updated at 8:38 a.m. Feb. 11: Boehner subsequently announced that the vote would take place Tuesday night due to a snow storm expected to hit Washington Wednesday.
BUSINESS
April 16, 2013 | By Michael Hiltzik
One of the most fearsome statistics in the war against the federal deficit has always been the country's ratio of debt to gross domestic product. When this ratio reaches 90%, the argument goes, watch out -- lower economic growth is on the horizon. And that's scary, because that's where the U.S. has been heading. This idea comes from Harvard economists Ken Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart, who featured it in a 2010 paper and popularized it in a book entitled " This Time is Different : Eight Centuries of Financial Folly.
NATIONAL
November 18, 2004 | From Associated Press
The Senate approved an $800-billion increase in the federal debt limit Wednesday, a major boost in borrowing that Sen. John F. Kerry and other Democrats said was the result of President Bush's fiscal policies. The mostly party-line 52-44 vote was expected to be followed by House passage today. Enactment would raise the government's borrowing limit to $8.18 trillion -- more than eight times the total federal debt that existed when President Reagan took office in 1981.
NEWS
August 15, 1986 | KAREN TUMULTY, Times Staff Writer
The House on Thursday passed a measure that would increase the federal government's borrowing power enough to keep it from going into default before late September. But raising the borrowing authority--an annual exercise on Capitol Hill as the government approaches its legal debt ceiling--faces complications in the Senate today. Sponsors of the original Gramm-Rudman deficit reduction law plan to attach a rider that would restore that law's threat of automatic spending cuts.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 24, 1990 | From Times Wire Services
The nation's youths are being challenged to begin a national debate on the trillions of dollars in federal debt today's politicians would bequeath them. Frank Pia, an English teacher at Mamaroneck High School, laid the groundwork for the debate by pioneering an awareness program he hopes will spread to every high school in the country. "If budget reform is going to happen, it's going to have to come from the little guy standing up and saying, 'Enough is enough,' " Pia said.
NATIONAL
May 31, 2003 | From Times Wire Services
Democrats, eager to hammer home their assertion that President Bush's tax cuts are driving the country into a fiscal ditch, on Friday estimated government budget deficits will top $400 billion this year and approach $500 billion in 2004. A new round of tax cuts, coupled with a continuing U.S. occupation of Iraq, could help drive up the federal debt by $3.6 trillion through 2011, according to forecasts by House Budget Committee Democrats.
NEWS
September 16, 1995 | DOYLE McMANUS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
It's the federal budget equivalent of a nuclear standoff. Republican budget hawks are vowing that if President Clinton does not agree to their deep spending cuts, they will block a scheduled increase in the federal debt ceiling--a move that could theoretically force the government into default. In response, the Clinton Administration is warning Congress that even talking about such a move risks a fiscal "disaster," including panic in world financial markets and soaring interest rates at home.
BUSINESS
October 14, 2013 | By Michael Hiltzik
There are so many to choose from, but these four take the cake. In no particular order: 1. The Vitter amendment. Concocted by David Vitter (R-La.), this majestically cynical measure is based on the common misconception that members of Congress and their staffs are "exempted" from the Affordable Care Act. It would prohibit the government from paying for any part of the health insurance for federal legislators or their staff. The facts of the "exemption" are these: During the 2010 debate over the ACA, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa)
NEWS
October 13, 2013 | By Lisa Mascaro
WASHINGTON - Talks in the Senate aimed at resolving the crisis over the federal budget hit a setback Sunday as Democrats, emboldened by GOP disarray, pushed their advantage, leading Republicans to warn against efforts to “humiliate” their party. Although Senate leaders continued to talk, they appeared to make little progress over the weekend, dashing hopes that a deal could be announced before markets opened Monday. Some senators urged House Republican leaders to try again to push a measure through their chamber.
BUSINESS
October 4, 2013 | Don Lee and Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON - Less than a week into the federal government shutdown, the economic effects are starting to be felt beyond the nation's capital. Layoffs are beginning in the private sector. More investors are unloading Treasury notes. And beneath the surface of the apparent calm in financial markets, banks and corporate chief financial officers are quietly taking steps to prepare for what many see as a potentially disastrous scenario if lawmakers fail to raise the debt limit by the Oct. 17 deadline.
OPINION
October 3, 2013 | By Michael R. Strain and Stan A. Veuger
Much is in flux in Washington this week. But two important realities have remained constant, whether certain elements in the GOP accept them or not: We must not default on the federal debt, and we shouldn't wait until we're on the brink of default to raise the debt ceiling. Here's why. As measured by economists Scott R. Baker, Nicholas Bloom and Steven J. Davis, policy uncertainty was more severe during the previous debt ceiling fight in the summer of 2011 than at any time since the terrorist attacks of Sept.
NEWS
September 17, 2013 | By Jon Healey
Two reports came out Tuesday that, just by happenstance, help illustrate why nothing gets done in Washington. One was the Congressional Budget Office's updated federal budget projections , which predicted that if Congress leaves current law in place -- including the much-maligned sequester -- the deficit will soon be no larger than 2% of GDP. Because that's less than the CBO projects U.S. GDP will grow (fingers crossed!), the federal debt should start to shrink in relation to the economy.
NATIONAL
September 17, 2013 | By Lisa Mascaro
WASHINGTON - The federal deficit has shrunk to its lowest level since 2008, according to a report released Tuesday, but House Republicans will begin the next budget battle this week with a vote that threatens to shut down the federal government unless President Obama agrees to halt his healthcare law. The deficit has dropped from its peak at the start of the Great Recession and is on track to decline even more thanks to an improving economy, higher...
OPINION
September 3, 2009
Almost two decades after Ross Perot put his poster-sized charts on national TV, the federal deficit is becoming a political issue again. Republicans and conservative advocacy groups are trumpeting the latest projections from the White House Office of Management and Budget, which predict that Washington will run up $9 trillion in deficits over the coming decade, almost doubling the national debt. The Congressional Budget Office predicted that the debt, which amounted to less than 60% of U.S. economic output in 2000, would be more than 100% of GDP by 2023.
NATIONAL
September 17, 2013 | By Lisa Mascaro
WASHINGTON - The federal deficit has shrunk to its lowest level since 2008, according to a report released Tuesday, but House Republicans will begin the next budget battle this week with a vote that threatens to shut down the federal government unless President Obama agrees to halt his healthcare law. The deficit has dropped from its peak at the start of the Great Recession and is on track to decline even more thanks to an improving economy, higher...
NEWS
September 17, 2013 | By Lisa Mascaro
WASHINGTON - The federal deficit has shrunk to its lowest level since 2008, when President Obama won election at the start of the Great Recession, and is on track to decline even more thanks to an improving economy, higher taxes on the wealthy and reduced federal spending, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday. But even with declining deficits, the nation's debt keeps piling up, leaving lawmakers with no easy choices to fix the poor long-term fiscal outlook.
BUSINESS
July 28, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - In the closing days of the Legislature last year, Gov. Jerry Brown helped forge a compromise on a sweeping overhaul of the workers' compensation insurance system and persuaded Democratic and Republican lawmakers to pass it into law. Now he is taking on another big challenge: He wants to fix the state's financially ailing unemployment insurance program, which pays jobless Californians up to $450 a week. With one of the nation's highest unemployment rates for several years, the state has had to borrow money from the feds to keep the program going.
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