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Federal Budget

The End of the Gravy Train?

Michael Farr | Posted 02.24.2015 | Business
Michael Farr

In the summer of 2013, a sharp spike higher in interest rates caused by the "taper tantrum" (fear that the Fed will soon end monetary easing) reduced both housing affordability and the opportunities to lower mortgage rates through refinancing.

President Obama's Budget: Five Small Steps Forward, One Big Step Back

Doug Hall | Posted 02.20.2015 | Politics
Doug Hall

Unfortunately, this year's budget continues the harmful framework imposed by the Budget Control Act of 2011 of "trading off" defense spending with domestic needs. Once again, increased defense spending has been blindly offered to balance an equal amount of increased investment in job creation and training, education, climate change, and other priorities combined.

Opportunities for Women in the President's Budget?

Amanda Andere | Posted 02.19.2015 | Women
Amanda Andere

As an organization with a 50-year history of ensuring that the gender and economic security lenses are included in policy and budget discussions, Wider Opportunities for Women, had one question in reviewing the President's proposed budget, "Are there opportunities for women?"

Keep Medicaid 'Medicaid'

Elizabeth Taylor | Posted 02.11.2015 | Politics
Elizabeth Taylor

Fifty years since its enactment, Medicaid has proven over and over again to be successful in achieving what it is designed to do: provide needed health care coverage to the most vulnerable individuals.

How to Profit From the President's Budget

Gene Marks | Posted 02.10.2015 | Small Business
Gene Marks

You have people that rely on you and you must plan accordingly to profit from Washington's policies, whether you agree with them or not.

It's Time to Invest in Nutrition

Robert B. Blancato | Posted 02.05.2015 | Politics
Robert B. Blancato

As Congress prepares to move its own budget process, it should embrace those proposals that constitute sound investments as compared to just expenditures. Older adults are an important resource to their families, their communities and their nation.

Land of (Missed) Opportunity: Obama's Budget and the Fight Against Child Poverty

Angela Glover Blackwell | Posted 02.06.2015 | Politics
Angela Glover Blackwell

The child poverty of today doesn't have to be the legacy of America's tomorrow. As a nation, we must take bold steps to ensure that all of the nation's children can succeed at school and in the workforce.

President Obama's Budget Highlights Investments to Curb Climate Pollution and Protect Vulnerable Communities

David Doniger | Posted 02.04.2015 | Green
David Doniger

The world's best scientists are telling us that our activities are changing the climate, and if we do not act forcefully, we'll continue to see rising oceans, longer, hotter heat waves, dangerous droughts and floods, and massive disruptions that can trigger greater migration, conflict, and hunger around the globe.

Statement of Robert Greenstein on the President's 2016 Budget

Bob Greenstein | Posted 02.02.2015 | Politics
Bob Greenstein

President Obama is proposing a surprisingly ambitious budget that would make progress -- in some cases modest, in others large -- in various areas in ...

Senators Race To See Who Can Ban Taxpayer-Funded Oil Portraits First

The Huffington Post | Maxwell Tani | Posted 01.31.2015 | Politics

Someone get Chuck Hagel a frame for his government ID card. If some members of Congress get their way, that might be the only official portrait taxpay...

Put the Pentagon On a Real Budget

William Hartung | Posted 01.30.2015 | Politics
William Hartung

It's budget season again, which means it's time for another round of budget gimmicks on the part of the Pentagon. The Obama administration's new Pentagon budget proposal exceeds the budget caps established in current law by $34 billion. That's a hefty sum even by Pentagon standards.

A Race Against Time

Michael Farr | Posted 01.30.2015 | Business
Michael Farr

The year 2015 may yet produce solid returns for investors in US stocks. However, it's looking more and more likely that TINA ("There Is No Alternative"), more than any other factor, will be responsible rather than strong earnings growth.

In the Balance: The Public and the Federal Budget Deficit

Kathleen Weldon | Posted 01.28.2015 | Politics
Kathleen Weldon

Some economists on the left argue that the deficit is not a serious threat to the health of the economy, while other experts say that projected increases show that long-term solutions need to be found. What does the public think about this debate?

The Inequities in Roe's Wake

Elizabeth Taylor | Posted 01.22.2015 | Politics
Elizabeth Taylor

On yet another anniversary of Roe, women's health opponents in Congress will mark the occasion by voting for a national ban on abortion at 20 weeks. Even if the ban fails, the right under Roe will still not be realized for millions of women.

Bold Action Plan or Delusional Rant?

Michael Farr | Posted 01.21.2015 | Business
Michael Farr

Wherever you stand on the political spectrum, I think there are some undeniable truths regarding our economy that need to be addressed before we reach the next phase of robust and sustainable economic growth.

Taking Stock

Michael Farr | Posted 01.16.2015 | Business
Michael Farr

There are many positive signs in the US. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the 3rd quarter was up 5% on an annualized basis compared to the 2nd quarter (adjusted for inflation).

Turning Science Into the New Welfare Queen

Bob Seay | Posted 01.15.2015 | Politics
Bob Seay

Rand Paul knows that if he can get voters to resent scientific research as much as they resent minorities and poor people, then he and his fellow Republicans will be free to ignore inconvenient facts about climate change, population trends, and other data that goes against the Republican agenda.

When Congress Cooks the Budget Books, the Rest of Us Get Burned

Frank Clemente | Posted 01.09.2015 | Politics
Frank Clemente

What if a losing team could simply change the scoring system so it looked like it was winning? That's what Republicans in Congress recently decided to do after 35 years of pushing a losing policy of trickle-down economics.

Time to Get Excited?!

Michael Farr | Posted 12.29.2014 | Business
Michael Farr

Surging stock prices will likely increase rather than decrease the costs of saving for retirement for most folks. Why? Because most people, including baby boomers who are inching closer to "retirement age", remain vastly underprepared for retirement.

Should the Fed Be Worried About Deflation?

Michael Farr | Posted 02.17.2015 | Business
Michael Farr

For an economy heavily dependent on consumer spending, this is not a trivial consideration.

Elizabeth Warren: An Honest and Courageous Woman in a Cowardly and Centrist Democratic Party

H. A. Goodman | Posted 02.16.2015 | Politics
H. A. Goodman

Wall Street may have won today, and will probably win again tomorrow, but at least we all have Elizabeth Warren to defend the people of this country from those who'd bet the farm and get the farm back when they inevitably lose the bet.

IRS Funding Cuts Likely Mean More Tax-Credit Errors

Bob Greenstein | Posted 02.10.2015 | Politics
Bob Greenstein

Errors in the CTC and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) -- another working-family tax credit -- need to be reduced (as do errors related to small businesses and various other groups of tax filers). But the debate around this issue often is misleading and ignores three significant points.

Understanding the Economics of School Reform

Lydia Dobyns | Posted 02.08.2015 | Education
Lydia Dobyns

It's critical we focus on equalizing education and providing all students -- whether they reside in rural, urban or suburban settings -- with the skills that prepare them for today's technological jobs.

Shahien Nasiripour

Senate Democrat Wants To Take Money From College Students To Pay Loan Contractors

HuffingtonPost.com | Shahien Nasiripour | Posted 12.06.2014 | Politics

An outgoing Senate Democrat wants to take federal money from low-income college students to pay student loan contractors, whose tactics toward borrowe...

The Squeeze of the Middle Class

Michael Farr | Posted 02.04.2015 | Business
Michael Farr

The median household income in 2013 was only slightly above that reported for 1995 (after adjusting for inflation), while costs for necessities like housing (rent), health care, and education are making it much more difficult for middle-class folks to get by.