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Federal Deficit

October 2, 2012 | Michael Hiltzik
Who's the most influential billionaire business figure in national politics? If you answered one of the Koch brothers (Charles or David) or George Soros, you're wearing your partisan blinders. The former are known for their devotion to conservative causes, the latter to liberal. In either case, you're wrong. The most influential billionaire in America is Peter G. Peterson. The son of Greek immigrants, Peterson, 86, served as Commerce secretary under President Nixon, then became chairman and chief executive of Lehman Bros.
August 29, 2012 | By Lisa Mascaro
TAMPA, Fla. -- Call it the battle of budgets, brains and beer. Before Paul Ryan takes the stage at the Republican convention, and Americans are introduced to the architect of the GOP's austerity budget, his Democratic counterpart in the House offered another view Wednesday of Mitt Romney's vice presidential running mate. Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland is among his party's best budget minds -- its answer to the brainy, wonkish Ryan, and just as affable as he wades through the weeds on deficits, debts and Medicare acutarials.
June 26, 2012 | By W.J. Hennigan, Los Angeles Times
The nation's military contractors say they are preparing to shut facilities, tear up supplier contracts and issue pink slips to thousands of aerospace employees to deal with proposed federal budget cuts threatening to hit Pentagon spending. After a decade of heady growth amid the military buildup following Sept. 11, 2001, contractors had already braced themselves for $487 billion in cuts over the next decade. But an additional $500 billion in cuts are now being discussed in Washington.
April 20, 2012 | By Lisa Mascaro
WASHINGTON -- A new analysis concludes that President Obama's 2013 budget would bolster the economy in the short term and hinder growth in later years, igniting a fresh round of debate as Democrats and Republicans offer competing economic visions heading into the fall election. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found that Obama's proposal would boost the nation's gross domestic product by 1.4% beyond what is expected under current law, primarily because the White House plan would extend certain tax breaks that are set to expire this year.
April 6, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
The federal government ran up a budget deficit of nearly $780 billion in the first half of the fiscal year amid more spending on TARP, Social Security, Medicare and more, according to the Congressional Budget Office. But the shortfall is actually $53 billion less than it was in the same period last year. From Oct. 1, 2011, through March 30, 2012, the government pulled in $29 billion more in corporate income taxes -- a 53% increase -- due to businesses making higher payments and getting smaller refunds.
April 2, 2012 | By Morgan Little
With polls showing him comfortably ahead one day before the Wisconsin Republican primary, front-runner Mitt Romney joined with native son Rep. Paul Ryan to make the case that the GOP has the best formula to bring the federal budget under control. Ryan, who last week endorsed Romney, introduced the candidate at a campaign event at a building supply business in Green Bay, declaring that Romney is the best candidate to head off a "predictable economic crisis" if the federal deficit is not brought under control.
January 31, 2012 | By Lisa Mascaro
Federal deficits are declining but are expected to continue at near record highs in 2012 as the "sluggish" economy continues to generate lower tax revenues and projected spending cuts lead to a bump in the unemployment rate, the Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday. "How much and how quickly the deficit declines will depend in part on how well the economy does over the next few years," CBO said in its annual Budget and Economic Outlook report. "Probably more critical, though, will be the fiscal and policy choices made by lawmakers as they face the substantial changes to tax and spending policies that are slated to take effect within the next year under current law. " The report shows the annual federal deficit is expected to hit $1.1 trillion in fiscal 2012, down from its record highs of recent years, but still more than anytime between World War II and 2008.
January 31, 2012 | By Lisa Mascaro, Washington Bureau
Here's one way Congress can trim the nation's record deficits: Do nothing. Keeping Congress gridlocked on budget issues would cut the projected annual federal deficit in half by the next fiscal year and set the trend on a downward path for years to come. Legislation already on the books, if left alone, would do several things: Tax cuts passed under President George W. Bush's administration would expire Dec. 31, generating more revenue. And deep budget cuts passed as part of last summer's debt ceiling deal would be automatically triggered, slashing spending in 2013.
November 22, 2011 | Michael Hiltzik
So once again, political leaders in Washington have lived down to the expectations of business owners and consumers — just about everyone. Having set up a "super committee" to consider how to cut federal red ink by at least $1.2 trillion over 10 years, Congress this week conceded a self-inflicted defeat. Is this failure good or bad for the economy? In the long run it's probably neutral, because it doesn't say anything about the absence of grown-up economic policy thinking in Washington that we didn't know already.
November 17, 2011 | By Michael A. Memoli
The Treasury Department confirmed this week that the national debt has surpassed $15 trillion -- that's 15, followed by 12 zeros -- a milestone Republicans have latched on to for a fresh attack on President Obama's fiscal management. The timing could not be more conspicuous, with less than a week left before the super committee's deadline and no deficit-reduction plan in sight. A leading Senate Republican said Thursday his party continues to wait for a counteroffer from Democrats, and charged that Obama has been "AWOL" in the discussion.
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