March 17, 2013 |
BEIJING -- The Chinese government pledged on Sunday a moratorium on new government offices and guesthouses along with a reduction in government payrolls and official cars. The newly installed premier, Li Keqiang, made the promise in his debut speech at the closing news conference of the National People's Congress in Beijing. "The central government will lead by example and lower levels will follow suit," Li told assembled reporters inside the imposing Great Hall of the People on Beijing's Tiananmen Square.
March 14, 2013 |
Piece by piece, evidence has begun to accumulate that after four years of lackluster performance, the U.S. economy is on track for stronger growth than many people had expected. The latest support for that view comes from data on consumer spending, which grew at a surprisingly quick pace in February, pushed upward by robust demand for cars and building materials. The report this week from the Commerce Department came just a few days after employment figures showed faster improvement than most economists had projected, in large part because of the strong rebound of the market for housing.
February 25, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - When it comes to the nation's debt, payback time might be here. Years of low tax rates and rising federal spending, amplified by the devastating economic effect of the Great Recession, have driven the U.S. borrowing tab to more than $16 trillion from less than $1 trillion in 1981. Deficit reduction has become the dominant issue in Washington. The first major tax increase since 1993 took place last month. And large automatic spending cuts - $1.2 trillion over the next decade - are set to kick in Friday.
January 15, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - As Congress again veers close to the nation's debt limit, a leading credit rating company is delivering a stark warning: Don't wait until the last minute. Fitch Ratings said Tuesday that the U.S. could lose its AAA credit rating if lawmakers don't raise the $16.4-trillion debt limit in a "timely manner" as a possible default looms as early as mid-February. Congressional Republicans want major government spending cuts in exchange for another debt-limit increase. But Fitch, one of three major credit-rating companies, said the debt limit should not be used as leverage.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 11, 2013 |
Public schools California's K-12 schools are among the biggest winners in the governor's budget, with a proposed funding increase of $2.7 billion. The money would come with plans to shift some of it away from wealthy suburban districts so it can be spent on schools that serve poor students and non-English speakers. But those receiving less money than in the past would have more flexibility in spending it, because Gov. Jerry Brown's plan would eliminate dozens of program requirements set by Sacramento.
September 16, 2012
A new Census Bureau report confirms that the slowly rising tide of the U.S. economy hasn't lifted all boats. The 20% of Americans with the highest incomes captured an even larger share of the earnings in 2011, while the rest collected the same share or less. The widening income inequality is disturbing, but as the report shows, things could have been considerably worse. Without such safety net programs as unemployment benefits and food stamps, millions more families would have fallen into poverty.