bruce watson

Fiscal Cliff Averted: 6 Things You Can Stop Worrying About

After months of lead-up, America finally went over the fiscal cliff -- for about 34 hours, before a bipartisan compromise was reached. So, with an eye toward the bright side, here's are six things that you no longer need to worry about now that the fiscal cliff has been averted.

The 9 Most Important Financial Stories of 2012

Sometimes the most important news stories get overshadowed by short-term crises and teakettle tempests. With that in mind, we at DailyFinance decided to take a look back at the nine stories of 2012 that are likely to have the biggest impact on your wallet in the year ahead.

The Most Depressing Christmas Gift Guide of the Year

Since a ban on assault weapons won't be under the tree this Christmas, a few companies -- notably Utah-based Amendment II -- are betting that parents will take their children's safety into their own hands.

Apocalypse Quiz: Fun Facts from the End of the World

As 2012 and the Mayan calendar wind down to their final days, we offer you a few of our favorite pieces of end-of-the-world trivia. Whether you think the world will with a bang, a whimper, or a horde of zombies, take a peek -- and test your apocalyptic bona fides.

Fiscal Cliff 'Cliffs Notes': How We Got to the Edge in 5 Easy Steps

Back in July 2011, President Obama and Congress set the country on autopilot toward economic Armageddon to give themselves an incentive to reach a budget deal. It didn't work. As we stare over the fiscal cliff, let's take a quick look back at the path we took to get here.

7 Holiday Gift Ideas for Your Very Weirdest Friends

Let's not pretend we're suggesting gifts for your unimaginably wealthy but weird friend: We admit these are the most bizarre gifts we could think of. Still, even if you don't have a hard-to-please buddy, take a look: You might find some gift-giving inspiration among the oddities.

New Tax Credit Exchange Sheds Light in a Dark Economic Corner

Many state and local governments offer businesses tax credits to give them an incentive to create jobs. A good deal -- unless your company's tax bill is already too low for tax credits to help. Enter, the new Online Incentives Exchange -- a place where companies can turn those credits into cash.

Median Family Wealth Is at a 43-Year Low, Study Finds

A recent study by NYU economics professor Edward N. Wolff puts the decline of the American middle class in a whole new perspective: According to Wolff's calculations, the median net worth of American households has now reached a 43-year low. And that's not only troubling statistic he found.

Pop Quiz: A Brief and Bizarre History of Black Friday

As we head into the retail combat that is Black Friday, we wanted to reflect on where annual shopping frenzy came from, and recap some of the worst tales to come out of it. With that in mind, we offer our Black Friday Pop Quiz.

Save Your Thanksgiving from Bad Weather, Bad Food, Big Business

Thanksgiving might not feel like the most appetizing time to start thinking about the safety and health of the food supply. But maybe out harvest festival is the perfect time to consider it -- and to consider what it would cost to give your family a kinder, healthier Thanksgiving Day feast.

Pop Quiz: What Were the Most Expensive Affairs in History?

The recent revelation of Gen. David Petraeus' affair cost him a promising political career. But in the grand history of marital infidelity, it barely warrants a footnote. If you want to see where Petraeus ranks when it comes to expensive affairs, take our quiz.

Pop Quiz: What Were 2012's Strangest Ballot Propositions?

While the main event on Tuesday night was the presidential election, many voters also had the opportunity to amend their local or state laws -- and some of those propositions were more than a bit off-the-wall. Curious about the bold and bizarre ideas that made the ballot? Take our quiz.

Election 2012, As Seen From a Poll Worker's Seat

Usually, reporter Bruce Watson covers events like today's election from a journalistic distance. This time, he'll be a bit more hands-on, as a first-time poll worker. To do so, he'll be balancing two agendas: Making sure that everybody who wants to vote is able to, and making sure that every vote is legitimate.

Pop Quiz: Who Is Living America's Middle-Class Dream?

America's middle class has gotten a lot of attention in the 2012 election, but what, exactly, does "middle class" mean? If you've ever wondered -- and wondered whether or not you're a member of it -- take a peek at our middle-class quiz.

Sandy Reminds Us What Election Is About: 2 Very Different Visions

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is doing much of the heavy lifting in the clean up and relief efforts from Hurricane Sandy. But FEMA's also on the front lines for Republican budget cuts. Which puts a key question of next week's election into sharp focus: What kind of federal government does America want?

Would You Pay $11 to Save Every Endangered Species on Earth?

Opponents of the Endangered Species Act don't argue against it because they have something against gorillas -- it's because, they say, the cost in lost jobs and higher taxes seems too high. But a study recently published in the journal Science suggests it's much lower than you'd guess.

Pop Quiz: Who's Funding Obama and Romney?

Major corporations are pouring a lot of money into political campaigns this year: The stores you shop in, the shoes you wear, and even the movies you watch may be helping to elect your next president. But which brands, and for which candidate? Take our quiz and find out!

Economy by the Numbers: Are We Better Off Than We Were in 2008?

This fall, as Americans prepare to mark their ballots, Republicans are hoping that voters' minds will be focused on one (and only one) simple question: Are you better off today than you were four years ago? Unfortunately for the GOP, the answer isn't quite as clear as they'd like.

Pop Quiz: Who Gets the Benefit from Federal Entitlement Programs?

Over the past few years, the benefits that America offers its citizens have become the center of a huge debate. But who actually qualifies for benefits, and how are they designed to work? If you're interested in where entitlement spending goes, take a peek at our little quiz.

What a Return to the Gold Standard Would Mean for You

This week, the GOP is considering a bold plan to transform the U.S. economy: a return to the gold standard. Most economists are highly skeptical about what it would do to the economy. But how it would impact the average taxpayer? Here's a look at what it means -- and how it would affect you.

How Paul Ryan's Budget Plan Would Affect the Average Family

Republicans in Congress already love Paul Ryan's budget proposals, and now that he's on the presidential ticket, we can expect his fiscal ideas to hold even more sway in a Romney administration. So how would his proposals affect the average U.S. family? Would you be better off in a Romney-Ryan America?

What the 'Fiscal Cliff' Will Mean for You

The economy is rumbling along, out of control. Straight ahead, the road abruptly ends, yet the horses show no signs of slowing. Next stop: the fiscal cliff! Here's how the looming crisis will affect the average American family.

Pop Quiz: Is America Still the Land of Economic Opportunity?

"Moving on up" is a fundamental part of America's identity, but the path from rags to riches is getting harder to navigate. To gauge the state of American promise, we dug into the numbers: Take our quiz to find out if American hope lives up to American hype.

The Latest Lie About Obamacare: Medicare Premiums Will Soar!

Recently, DailyFinance has explored several myths and rumours about how the health care reform law will effect average Americans -- some false, some true. But the latest piece of propaganda to make the rounds from the anti-Obamacare crowd is a real whopper.

Would You Take a Payday Loan from Octomom?

"Octomom" Nadya Suleman has taken on some fairly sleazy jobs to support her super-sized family: reality TV star, stripper, porn actress. But this may be a new low. She's out to become America's most fecund financial adviser, shilling for a payday lending company called OctoLoan.

5 Obamacare 'Myths' That Are (at Least Partly) True

Last week, DailyFinance explored several myths about how the health care reform law will effect average Americans -- myths that had little basis in fact. But these five rumors about the PPACA do contain at least a grain of truth, and they may hit your pocketbook.