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NEWS
October 16, 2013 | By David Lauter
Now that Congress is set to lift the current limit on how much the government can borrow, here are four facts about the national debt that, polls indicate, many people don't know. 1. The U.S. debt burden is starting to decline. That's right - it's going down, not up. The important measure of the debt is not the dollar amount, but its size relative to that of the economy. Just as a wealthy family easily can handle a mortgage that would crush a poor person, a large economy can handle a much bigger debt than can a smaller one. Economists measure the debt relative to the total size of the gross domestic product.
ARTICLES BY DATE
NATIONAL
December 23, 2013 | By David Horsey
I'm a big fan of Christmas, but I'm not inclined to join Sarah Palin's pro-Christmas crusade. Her new book, "Good Tidings, Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas," lays out the case that Christmas is under attack by stringing together a litany of slights against the holiday -- real, imagined and exaggerated -- that do not add up to much more than her usual chip-on-the-shoulder complaint against anyone outside her narrow definition of "real Americans....
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OPINION
August 30, 1992
If politicians were taxed a penny for every word spoken to the public, we could pay off the national debt before Nov. 3. BARBARA BURBY Garden Grove
OPINION
December 11, 2013 | Doyle McManus
Here's what counts as success in Washington these days: a budget deal that almost everyone hates and that doesn't solve any of the country's major problems. The spending bill that Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Rep. Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) unveiled Tuesday evening has something for everyone to dislike. It won't cut federal spending or shrink the national debt, so conservative Republicans don't like it. It won't restore much money for domestic programs or extend unemployment insurance, so Democrats don't like it either.
NEWS
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.
NATIONAL
November 26, 2011 | By Richard Simon, Los Angeles Times
Atanacio Garcia isn't waiting for Washington to reduce the national debt. The 84-year-old retired postal worker from San Antonio, a man of simple means and a simple credo, donates $50 a month from his pension, plus whatever he makes from collecting aluminum cans in his neighborhood, to reduce Uncle Sam's IOU. "I'm a believer in our country," said Garcia, an Army veteran who has promised that he will contribute "until the debt is paid off...
ENTERTAINMENT
December 4, 2013 | By Scott Collins, This post has been updated, as indicated below.
Martin Bashir has learned something Alec Baldwin already knows: Even a cable news host can say too much. MSNBC announced Wednesday that Bashir, a commentator and host of the 4 p.m. hour, is leaving after an uproar over his remarks last month about former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Disputing Palin's position that compared the national debt to slavery, Bashir during an on-air segment called Palin "America's resident dunce" and then suggested a slave-like scatalogical punishment for her. (Entire video is below; warning: strong language.)
OPINION
November 9, 2013
Re "A crisis of competence," Editorial, Nov. 7 Listening to the discourse in Washington, many Americans feel that compromise is not feasible in the near future. I cannot help but think of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, when representatives from the 13 states came together and compromised on principle, for the survival of the nation, to create the government that currently exists. For the sake of our nation, can we now compromise on principle again and focus on other matters such as the national debt and avoid another government shutdown?
NATIONAL
October 19, 2013 | By Lisa Mascaro
WASHINGTON - The latest federal budget showdown has quickly set the stage for the next one, as Republicans and Democrats have just three months to craft a new agreement to avoid another shutdown crisis. This time, though, the parties come to the table with serious incentives to reach a deal. Both want to make changes to mandatory budget cuts that kick in next year, slicing into Pentagon accounts that Republicans want to protect, and domestic programs, such as Head Start early education classes, that Democrats favor.
OPINION
October 18, 2013
Re “Crisis averted - for now,” Oct. 17 Although it's tempting to feel relief that our government is restarting, we must recognize the irreparable damage that's occurred in the last 16 days. A small, extremist faction of Republicans put people out of work, bruised our international reputation, desensitized us toward the ploy of brinkmanship and made us a more cynical nation. California voters are fortunate to have congressional representatives who are, in general, balanced and represent us well.
NEWS
October 18, 2013 | By David Lauter
WASHINGTON -- As Democrats and Republicans prepare for negotiations over the next round of the scheduled budget cuts known as the sequester, incentives for both have swung toward a small deal, rather than the sort of “grand bargain” President Obama and House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) once tried to negotiate. On the Democratic side, interest in a grand bargain that would reduce long-term deficits by cutting Social Security and Medicare and increasing tax revenue has faded.
OPINION
October 16, 2013 | Doyle McManus
God bless Mitch McConnell. The Senate Republican leader isn't an especially lovable figure. Even many of his fellow conservatives are lukewarm about him. He's colorless and charisma-free. He's a thoroughgoing partisan who has launched more filibusters than any Senate leader in history. He's a relentless fan of unlimited campaign spending and a bitter opponent not just of Obamacare but of all things Obama. Asked in 2010 to describe his highest legislative goal, he said it was to make sure Barack Obama was a one-term president.
NATIONAL
October 16, 2013 | By Richard Simon
WASHINGTON - Even as a deal was in the works to end the federal government shutdown, bickering continued Wednesday morning -- over the closing of national parks. House Republicans accused the National Park Service of barricading open-air monuments such as the World War II memorial in Washington to make the shutdown "as painful and visible as possible. " But Democrats ridiculed the hearing, coming as congressional leaders scrambled to avert a potentially economically calamitous default on the national debt and end the 16-day government shutdown.
NEWS
October 16, 2013 | By David Lauter
Now that Congress is set to lift the current limit on how much the government can borrow, here are four facts about the national debt that, polls indicate, many people don't know. 1. The U.S. debt burden is starting to decline. That's right - it's going down, not up. The important measure of the debt is not the dollar amount, but its size relative to that of the economy. Just as a wealthy family easily can handle a mortgage that would crush a poor person, a large economy can handle a much bigger debt than can a smaller one. Economists measure the debt relative to the total size of the gross domestic product.
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