democrats

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.

Can the Tea Party Platform Reduce Unemployment?

The U.S. set the forces of globalization in motion, and now more than ever, it's clear we're suffering the consequences: high unemployment, stagnant or declining incomes, and rising costs for goods. Can the policies of the surging Tea Party provide solutions, or will they just make matters worse?

Congress Passes Spending Bill: GOP Wins First Round of Federal Budget Battle

Right now, everything is coming up roses for the Republican Party: It's won the first round of the budget battle, and if the GOP%u2019s momentum continues, the new federal budget will reflect its spending-reduction priorities, not the Democrats'. Even so, if the two parties can agree on a budget, the greater danger, a potentially market-impacting government shutdown, will have been averted.

State of the Union: Obama Eager to Fix Health Reform Law

In his State of the Union address, President Obama didn't shy away from tackling the ongoing questions about the health care reform law head on. And though he opened with a joke, he made it clear that while he's serious about repairing any flaws in the law, repeal is not an option.

Gov. Brown Declares State of Fiscal Emergency in California

Newly-installed California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of fiscal emergency on Thursday, underscoring the need for quick legislative action on the state's massive budget deficit. Without corrective action, he said, California's combined deficit for this year and the next will be $25.4 billion.

Getting to Zero: How Congress Could Balance the Federal Budget

It took about 10 years of decisions for the federal budget to get more than a trillion dollars out of whack, and it's going to take at least five years to balance it again. The only way to do it is piece-by-piece, with equal sacrifices from both Republicans and Democrats.

What the New Tax Law Deal Means for You

After a revolt by unhappy Democrats, the tax bill has finally passed. The Obama tax cut compromise extends Bush-era tax reductions on income, capital gains and dividends through 2012. But there were also some changes. Here's how the tax bill affects you.

Americans Deeply Divided Over Tax-Cut Extensions

While most people support extending at least some of the George W. Bush-era tax cuts due to expire this year, a new Gallup/USA Today survey finds that Americans are deeply divided on which cuts should continue -- and for how long.

GOP Blocks Bill to Extend Jobless Benefits

Unemployed Americans are facing a bleaker holiday season after Republicans in the House of Representatives thwarted an expedited effort by Democrats to extend jobless benefits into next year. The measure passed by a 258-154 vote, but failed to meet the two-thirds majority required for "fast-track" legislation. Republicans opposed the legislation because it wasn't paid for with unused funds from last year's economic stimulus program.

New Congress: How Will Gridlock Affect Economy?

With the two houses divided, the parties will have to compromise to get legislation passed. But will they? The challenge will become acute if the Fed's latest stimulus gambit falls short, leaving the economy gasping. The GOP's aversion to spending could be tested.

Is Gridlock Good for Stocks?

Tuesday's election results probably won't affect the stock market much, at least not in the short term since the outcome was largely anticipated. But even so, it's worth thinking about the effect divided government could have on the stock market over the next two years.

Will a GOP Victory Give
the Stock Market Wings?

If history is any indicator, stocks tend to do best when the president is a Democrat and Congress is Republican. Other precedents offer conflicting signs. But it seems clear that stocks often outperform in the year after a midterm election.

House Republicans Unveil Election Manifesto

Republicans in the House of Representatives promised to end "job-killing tax hikes" and repeal the health reform law as part of their campaign manifesto for the November election. In their "Pledge to America," House Republicans also say they will ban federal funding for abortion, cancel any unspent stimulus funding, and try suspected terrorists in military courts, The New York Daily News said.

White House Fights Back on Stimulus Spending

The White House fought back against criticisms of the $814 billion stimulus plan, with a new report that highlights job-creating projects including bridges, roads and cancer research. Vice President Joe Biden is releasing a report Friday called "100 Recovery Act Projects That Are Changing America," The Associated Press reported. The report points to projects it says are creating employment and boosting economic growth.

Obama May Name Elizabeth Warren as Interim Head of Consumer Agency

President Barack Obama may appoint Elizabeth Warren as the interim head of the new consumer protection bureau, avoiding a possibly contentious Senate confirmation. The White House is exploring ways that Warren could run the bureau without having to go through a confirmation battle, The New York Times reported without naming its sources.

Obama's Business-Friendly Proposals Aim to Quiet His Critics

Recognizing that voters are worried about the economy, President Obama is offering an olive branch to his critics with a $50 billion infrastructure plan and a deal to make the R&D tax credit permanent. Conservatives say it's too little too late, but the game is far from over for the Democrats.

Stimulus Helped the Economy, but It Won't Matter in November

Economists say the Obama administration's stimulus program actually saved the country's economy from plunging into the Great Depression 2.0. Yet that news will likely fail to sway voters who believe the current administration didn't do enough to support the economy.

Could an October Surprise
Lift Stocks?

Stocks have a history of posting impressive gains in the fourth quarter of a mid-term election year. From a surprise tax cut to gridlock in D.C., there's a host of outcomes that could cause investors to celebrate.

Risky Business: No Easy Policy Options Left for the Fed

As he addresses the nation%u2019s weak economy, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke doesn%u2019t just face the traditional risks of rising inflation or an economic stall, but a polarized, caustic political climate that will make creative solutions even harder to propose, let alone implement.

Boehner: Time to Fire Treasury Chief Geithner

House Minority Leader John Boehner will call on President Barack Obama to fire Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and adviser Lawrence Summers in a speech today. In a speech in Ohio due at 8am today, Boehner will attack Geithner and Summers as promoting "19 months of government-as-community organizer," Politico reported.

Target's Talks With Gay-Rights Group Break Down

Target's efforts to make nice with the gay community fizzled after it rejected proposals to donate money to gay-rights groups to offset an earlier donation helping the election of a conservative, anti-gay Minnesota gubernatorial candidate.

Will Michigan Pick the Tough Nerd or the Angry Mayor?

After Tuesday's primary, the governor's race in Michigan sounds like a battle between comic book villains. The GOP's Rick Snyder, former head of Gateway Computer, calls himself "one tough nerd." His Democratic foe, Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero, has the nickname "America's Angriest Mayor."

Senate Democrats Push $26 Billion Jobs Bill

Senate Democrats will propose a vote on a $26 billion measure to help states and local school boards in a bid to preserve jobs. The bill aims to preserve the jobs of tens of thousands of public sector employees by extending programs from last year%u2019s stimulus bill, The Associated Press reported. Democrats hope to gain support from Maine Republicans Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins.