Government Downsizes Amid GOP Demands for More Cuts

Republicans and other fiscal conservatives keep insisting on more federal austerity and a smaller government. Without much fanfare or acknowledgement, they've already gotten much of both. Another round of huge cuts, known as the "sequester," will hit beginning March 1.

Obama Presses Congressional Republicans to Avert Sequester

President Barack Obama is urging congressional Republicans to accept more tax revenue in order to avert the sequester -- an $85 billion, across-the-board budget cut due to take effect March 1 that could derail America's still stuttering economic recovery.

Obama's SOTU Economic Pitch: This Time, It's Personal

In Tuesday's State of the Union address, President Obama turned that old feminist rallying cry that "the personal is political" on its ear with a long list of proposals that argued that the personal is economic -- and the economic is political.

Democrats Are From Starbucks, Republicans Are From Visa

Can you tell a person's political affiliation from where they do their shopping? According to "global neuro-insight firm" Buyology, you can. And Buyology's come up with some peculiar political observations from the world of retail.

Democrats Are From Starbucks, Republicans Are From Visa

Can you tell a person's political affiliation from where they do their shopping? According to "global neuro-insight firm" Buyology, you can. And Buyology's come up with some peculiar political observations from the world of retail.

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.

Rick Santorum: An Average Guy with Ordinary Taxes

Rick Santorum has rarely shied away from controversy in his political career, but there's no controversy to be found in his taxes. Based on his recently released returns, Santorum appears to have been a conscientious taxpayer, and a fairly normal (if a little wealthy) guy.

Before You Cheer IRS Budget Cuts, Consider This

Nobody enjoys paying taxes, so hearing that Congress is cutting the IRS budget might inspire you to applaud. But this is the agency that makes sure the rest of government gets funded, and stops the unscrupulous from dodging their fair share of the burden.

How the Chevy Volt Became a Political Punching Bag

GM CEO Dan Akerson is charged up about the politically manufactured controversy surrounding the Chevy Volt. "We did not engineer the car to become a political punching bag," he said. Tough words -- but rescuing the Volt's reputation will be a tough fight.

How You Can Get a Taste of Romney's Low Tax Rate

On Tuesday, GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney released his tax returns, which showed he only paid about 14% of his $21.6 million income in taxes. You'll probably never have that kind of money, but you can use some of his methods to save on your own taxes.

Get Ready to Pay Thousands of Dollars More in Taxes

Lawmakers have gotten in the habit of waiting until the last minute to extend many tax breaks, but last year, they ran out of time. Now, unless Congress acts soon, millions of Americans are face changes that could leave them sending thousands of dollars a year more to the IRS.

2011's Biggest Financial Heroes and Villains

In a year saturated with big financial headlines, identifying the fiscal heroes and villains is bound to be an exercise in oversimplification. But DailyFinance is going to try: Herewith, we present our picks for the best and the worst of 2011.

How Buffett's Plan Cuts Taxes for Some of the Wealthy

In the political battle over taxes, Warren Buffett has been cited often -- both as an example of the country's unbalanced tax code and for his popular plan to boost taxes on the rich. There's just one thing: His plan would leave many of them paying less.

Even With Buffett Tax, Middle Class May Still Get Hit

Warren Buffett's tax proposal would take a bite out of America's wealthiest families: Those who make $1 million or more would pay a total of 30%, while those who make more than $10 million would pay 35%. But even if his plan passes, experts say balanced budgets will still require sacrifices across the board.

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?

9-9-9, Take 2: Cain's Revamp Still Stings Middle Class

GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain unveiled several major changes to his popular 9-9-9 tax plan on Friday. The former Godfather's Pizza CEO even announced that those below the poverty line would pay no income taxes. But the middle class won't find much relief in Cain's fleshed-out plan.

GOP Candidates: Whose Tax Plan Is Best for You?

From Herman Cain's 9-9-9 plan to Ron Paul's proposal to nix the income tax, the GOP presidential candidates have floated a range of ideas for jump-starting the U.S. economy. But will any of them jump-start your home's economics? We looked at how the four front-runners' proposals of would affect an average American family.

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.

Are Investors Fleeing to Apple for Safety?

It looks like Apple stock is one of the places skittish investors are moving money ahead of a potential U.S. debt default -- at least based on its share price. Apple's shares have risen 2% in the last week as the S&P has lost nearly 3% of its value.

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."

Who Shouldn't U.S. Pay If Debt Deal Isn't Reached?

The debt ceiling debate is raging inside the Beltway, but many Americans are tuning it out. And among those paying attention, a majority would ignore the consequences and let the U.S. default. Find out who they'd chose to stiff first -- and tell us who you think the country shouldn't pay if it has to skip out on some of its obligations.

Social Security: Why Seniors Are Just Plain Angry

If Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling soon, come August, the White House warns that tens of millions of Social Security recipients may find their mailboxes empty when they go looking for their checks. Even though some describe it as a "fear tactic," protests by seniors and their advocates are getting much louder.

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.