budget cuts

Fiscal Cliff Pop Quiz: Fun Facts from the Economic Apocalypse

On Jan. 1, 2013, the United States will fall over off the fiscal cliff -- unless Congress and the president ink a deal to avert the crisis. If you think you know all about the forthcoming economic apocalypse -- or if you're just wondering what all the fuss is about -- check out our quiz and see.

Debate Preview: What Obama and Romney Will Say About Budget Cuts

As Barack Obama and Mitt Romney await tonight's debate, we examine one more key topic they'll go toe-to-toe over: budget cuts. Will they cut Medicare, defense, or the many smaller programs that effect us every day? And how will they spin those budgetary choices? Here's what we may hear.

Fiscal Cliff Ahead: The Party's Over for the Payroll Tax Holiday

When pundits talk about the fiscal cliff, they7 usually focus on the damage that'll be caused by the expiring Bush tax cuts and the across-the-board budget cuts. But what you'll probably feel first will be the end of the payroll tax holiday, which will take an instant bite out of your paycheck.

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.

Spanish Government Unveils Nearly $80 Billion Austerity Plan

A day after winning EU approval for a huge bank bailout, Spain's government imposed further austerity on the country Wednesday as it unveiled sales tax hikes and spending cuts aimed at shaving $79.85 billion off the state budget over the next two and a half years.

Who Really Gets the Lion's Share of Entitlements?

Conservative politicians have spent the past few months venting their ire on America's entitlement programs, and the alleged mass of lazy layabouts who make use of them. But a closer look at who actually lands in the social safety net reveals some surprising facts.

Will Budget Cuts Leave Our Nation Defenseless? Hardly

President Obama's proposed cuts to national defense spending have critics in a panicked tizzy. But while the document outlining his plan suggests that real change is afoot, it clearly contradicts the outlandish claims of its detractors.

Deep Spending Cuts Pose a New Threat to US Economy

Just as the U.S. economy is making progress despite Europe's turmoil, here come two new threats. A congressional panel is supposed to agree by Thanksgiving on a deficit-reduction package of at least $1.2 trillion. If it fails, federal spending would automatically be cut by that amount starting in 2013.

Perry's Flat Tax Plan: Big Savings, Bigger Costs

On Tuesday, Texas Governor and GOP presidential hopeful Rick Perry finally entered the tax debate with "Cut, Balance and Grow," a startling new flat tax plan that borrows freely from Herman Cain's 9-9-9 proposal. But would it help American workers, or slash, topple and shrink the U.S. economy?

It's Europe's Fault: They're Holding Back the Recovery

Many European nations have deficits that make the U.S. look thrifty, and over a year after their problems came to light, they're still holding the worldwide recovery back. But because they share the euro, normal solutions aren't available, which means the EU must bite the bullet and accept an orderly default, or watch matters spiral downward.

Tax the Rich? 80% of Young Voters Say 'Yes'

Younger voters are weighing in extremely positively on President Obama's proposal to tax millionaires another $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years. According to a new survey, 80% of Americans under the age of 30 strongly support the move, while less than 9% oppose it.

Tea Party Rep. Spends Big Bucks to Feed His Family

What do Tea Partiers feed their families? On Monday, Rep. John Fleming (R-La.), met with MSNBC's Chris Jansing to discuss President Obama's proposed tax hikes on the wealthy. Rep. Fleming only brings home $600,000 a year, and his explanation of why that just isn't enough offers an interesting glimpse into the world of Tea Party economic theory.

Cutting Medicare Eligibility Would Cost U.S. Billions

Among the many ideas legislators in Washington have proposed for reducing federal spending is raising the age at which Americans qualify for Medicare benefits from 65 to 67. On the surface, that makes sense. But scratch the surface and the numbers show it to be an $11 billion blunder.

Irene's Aftermath: Economic Boost or Partisan Battlefield?

Now that Hurricane Irene has passed, it's time to get back to discussing the country's biggest unnatural disaster: the economy. But here, too, Irene is making her impact felt, as economists and pundits across the country debate whether the hurricane will help or hurt America's bottom line.

Medicare's Next Patient: The Federal Budget Deficit

As the federal super committee looks for $1.5 trillion in cuts, it's clear that fixing the federal budget will mean tackling big items -- including Medicare, America's most popular social program and one of its most expensive.

Pell Grant Backers Rally to Fight GOP Funding Cuts

More than 1 million of America's poorest college students may have to take out bigger loans, find another way to pay tuition, or drop out in 2012, if Republican budget cuts are passed that shrink the government's Pell grant program. But supporters are mobilizing in an online rally Monday for "Save Pell Day."

What Stops When a State Gov't Shuts Down?

The government of Minnesota has been essentially shuttered for a week since the governor and legislature failed to find a compromise solution for the state's $5 billion shortfall. But it's hard to imagine what it means to "shut down" a state of 5.3 million people. Here's what it means to them.

Layoffs Are Back as Public Sector Workers Get the Ax

Massive layoffs were both a cause and a symptom of the recent recession, but job creation began to revive late last year. Unfortunately, in May, the U.S. added only 58,000 jobs, and layoffs may be on the rise again. This time, they're taking a particular toll on state and local government workers.

Austerity Means a Cloudier Forecast for LDK Solar

LDK Solar has long depended on demand driven by government subsidies from countries such as Germany, Spain and Italy, which makes it vulnerable in this period of European austerity. Trefis has revised its estimates for LDK Solar down -- but still meaningfully above the market price.

Best and Worst States for Jobless Benefits

For the nearly 14 million Americans who want to work and can't find jobs, unemployment insurance is a vital lifeline. But how much help that lifeline is varies widely from state to state. 24/7 Wall St. and DailyFinance crunch the numbers to see which states are the best -- and worst -- places to be unemployed.

GOP Wins Budget Battle, but May Lose Political War

The Republicans are winning this year%u2019s budget battle: Discretionary spending will decrease. But this is hardly the time for the GOP to take a victory lap: Next, the GOP will have to lower unemployment and improve the average American%u2019s daily life -- two areas where the party has historically come up short.

Paging Book Lovers: Dedicated Authors Keep Libraries Afloat

For public libraries, it's the best of times and the worst of times: Usage is skyrocketing, but budgets are being slashed. What to do? A few thriller authors are stepping in -- and using their time and fame to help keep their favorite libraries afloat.

State Governments Are Just Adding to Labor's Woes

American labor unions have been in decline for a half-century now -- and, currently, virtually the only large unions still growing are those in the public sector. Until now. Cash-strapped states are attacking unions where it hurts by trying to strip them of the right to collectively bargain.

Boston University Complains About Federal Loan Cuts After Building Luxury Dorms

University heads are lobbying President Obama to preserve funding for the Federal Perkins Loan Program, which provides loans to low-income students. Perhaps, however, if universities focused more on keeping tuition costs down -- rather than building luxury dorms -- students wouldn't need to rely on federally guaranteed loans to go to college.

Obama's Cuts: Less Than Meets the Eye, Thankfully

A parade of Republicans immediately lined up to attack the president's proposed budget cuts this week, claiming the plan falls short of making a real difference. They're right. And that's good, because really deep cuts are the last thing the economy needs right now.

IMF Lays Out the Challenges Ahead for Global Recovery

In its latest report, the IMF applauds national policymakers for stabilizing credit markets and putting the global economy on a recovery track. However, thorny problems remain -- including how to prevent overheating in emerging markets, and how to cut the U.S. deficit while lowering its unemployment rate.

U.S. National Debt Is Huge, but It's Not a Catastrophe

True, the U.S. national debt is large and it should be reduced at some point, but does a large national debt doom a nation to economic ruin? Only if you believe that nations like Germany, France, and Japan are economic basket cases too.