Though Washington can’t seem to get enough of it, the debt and deficits fixation continues to feel pretty theatrical. Far scarier, by contrast, is the state of the economy. Notwithstanding some positive signs in the housing and construction sectors, the drifting economy remains troubled.
When Barack Obama took office four years ago, reducing the budget deficit was a middle-tier item on the public’s agenda. Only about half of Americans (53%) viewed it as a top policy priority in January 2009, placing it ninth on a list of 20 policy goals.
A bipartisan group of senators has just unveiled a new proposed framework for overhauling the U.S. immigration system.
Senate Democratic leaders announced Wednesday that they plan to accept the House GOP plan to extend the Treasury’s borrowing authority, committing themselves to approving a budget outline this spring and putting off any potential default on the nation’s swelling debt until well into the summer.
The number of Americans filing first-time claims for unemployment insurance payments fell more than forecast last week to the lowest level in five years, pointing to further improvement in the labor market.
Maybe it was the lobster tails — or the sparkling wine. But for a few brief moments on Monday, President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans actually seemed to enjoy each other’s company over an elaborate three-course lunch in the Capitol’s opulent National Statuary Hall.
Reiterating a threat he first issued in the summer of 2011, President Barack Obama on Monday warned Republicans that older Americans might not get their Social Security checks and veterans won’t get timely benefits if Congress fails to increase the government’s borrowing authority.
The U.S. economy is expected to grow by 2.5 percent in 2013, improving to 3.5 percent growth in 2014, top Fed official Charles Evans said on Monday.
In the summer of 2011, when a debt crisis like the current one loomed, President Barack Obama warned Republicans that older Americans might not get their Social Security checks unless there was a deal to raise the nation’s borrowing limit.
President Barack Obama warned Congress on Monday that it must raise the debt ceiling or risk a “self-inflicted wound on the economy.” Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner also delivered ominous calls for action.
This fiscal cliff: averted.
Next fiscal cliff: ahead.
“The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law … shall not be questioned,” reads the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The upcoming fight to raise the national debt ceiling has again pushed the clause into the spotlight. Here is some important recent history on the issue: