November 15, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - U.S. companies had been pulling the country out of the Great Recession. Now, though, consumer confidence is rising higher than it has in years, while companies are spooked about the nation's risk of going off the so-called fiscal cliff. As politicians and business executives fret, economists wonder whether consumers now can start spending more heartily and take a bigger role in the recovery. So worried are major U.S. corporations about the potential fall from the cliff - the combination of expiring tax cuts and automatic federal spending reductions at the start of next year - that they have mounted a full-court press on the White House and Congress to avert the potential hit of more than $500 billion to the economy next year.
November 15, 2012 |
As America careens toward the year-end "fiscal cliff" with Democrats pressing for tax hikes and Republicans demanding budget cuts, California voters have one firm word for their elected officials: Compromise. By that they mean: Make the other side compromise. In a survey that confirms the difficulty of coming up with popular ways to do unpopular things, a USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll found that 3 in 5 Californians want their elected officials to "compromise with the opposite party, even if that means giving up some long-held positions.
November 15, 2012 |
Well, so much for the olive branch. Last week, analysts and pundits (including yours truly ) were convinced that President Obama had signaled a clear path to compromise on taxes. Although he insisted on squeezing high-income Americans for more tax dollars, he was no longer obsessed with the idea of ending their Bush-era tax cuts. The middle ground -- or rather, the left-of-center meeting point -- would be an overhaul of the tax code that reduced the deductions, exemptions, credits and preferences for the wealthy while leaving rates intact.
November 14, 2012 |
In his first press conference since his reelection, President Obama found himself in a position few would have predicted even a few months ago. The incumbent was on message and on his most comfortable footing Tuesday talking to the media about the economy - demanding tax increases for the wealthiest Americans and repeatedly invoking his concern for the middle class. When his inquisitors put foreign affairs and national security on the table, the president mostly spoke with a lot less force.
November 13, 2012 |
WASHINGTON -- President Obama is assuring liberal allies that he will fight for the middle class during upcoming fiscal negotiations with Republicans, and he is urging those supporters not to lay down their weapons just because the election is over. But the White House is also talking about the inevitability of compromise as the administration and congressional Democrats and Republicans prepare to negotiate an end-of-year fiscal deal that will center on the expiration of the George W. Bush-era tax cuts and a spate of automatic spending cuts.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 12, 2012 |
When John Noguez ran for Los Angeles County assessor in 2010, large donations started pouring into his City Council account in Huntington Park, where Noguez served as a councilman. More than $100,000 flowed through the account that year, mostly from downtown Los Angeles business owners. Only one $250 donation came from a Huntington Park address, records show. Within months of Noguez's election, he and his top aides knocked at least $36 million off the assessed values of properties owned by donors to that Huntington Park fund, a Times investigation has found.
November 9, 2012
It wasn't exactly a Kumbaya moment, but top congressional Republicans offered Wednesday to meet the president halfway when it comes to solving the government's fiscal woes. In fact, House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) said he would support a tax code overhaul that raised more revenue - an apparent departure from the House GOP's no-new-taxes orthodoxy. There's an opportunity here for President Obama to finally obtain the "grand bargain" he's been talking about for years, a deal that brings the federal deficit and debt under control by cutting spending, slowing the growth of entitlements and, yes, raising revenue.
November 9, 2012 |
Top congressional Republicans and President Obama took turns this week analyzing what Tuesday's election results mean for the federal budget and the looming "fiscal cliff. " Here's a short version: House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said the election wasn't a referendum on Obama's economic plan, and Obama said it was. Or to put in another way, the GOP said "no mandate," and Obama said "yes mandate. " Good thing that's settled!
November 8, 2012 |
Voting machines have barely cooled and postmortems flow forth, but the bobbing and weaving over governing has begun in Washington. Just for starters, how will the government avoid the “fiscal cliff” and can it finally agree on how to deal with immigrants who have come to the country illegally? The most partisan voices tend to dominate these discussions, but a group of moderates took heart Thursday in some of the conciliatory notes coming from the White House and Congress.
November 7, 2012 |
In a sign that political leaders are willing to heed President Obama's calls for bipartisan cooperation in the wake of his reelection, both Republican House Speaker John A. Boehner and Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid softened their partisan tones on Wednesday. In separate press conferences three hours apart, they pledged to work together to get the country on a better financial footing. In the hours after his victory speech in Chicago, Obama had called the men to discuss the so-called “fiscal cliff,” the morass of expiring tax cuts, scheduled budget cuts and a rising debt.