How Washington is killing the economy

How Washington is killing the economy

By: Ben White
October 25, 2013 05:01 AM EDT

The U.S. Capitol is shown. | AP PhotoThe latest round of fiscal drama has sputtered to a temporary close, but the routine crises have one clear victim: the U.S. economy, which is once again losing altitude. And for the third year in a row, Washington gets much of the blame.

There’s not much hope for a quick turnaround.

The most recent slowdown — highlighted by poor job growth, softening corporate earnings and decimated confidence — comes just as Republicans and Democrats prepare to square off in a fresh fight over the federal budget with another potential shutdown looming in January and a renewed debt ceiling crisis possible in February.

Washington’s drag on the economy now springs from a multiplying array of sources, including the constant threat of devastating fiscal crisis, the blunt nature of the sequester spending cuts, the troubled roll-out of Obamacare and the now deeply strained relations with key economic allies over clandestine surveillance allegations.

(PHOTOS: House hearing on Obamacare website) Continue reading “How Washington is killing the economy”

Will Ryan cut a deal?

By Erik Wasson – 10/23/13 06:00 AM ET

 

 

Washington is wondering: Will Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) cut a deal? 

Ryan faces a crucial moment in his political career as the formal House-Senate budget conference gets underway.

Those who want to see a deal — a group that includes deficit hawks, appropriators, defense and farm lobbyists — say the popular House Budget Committee chairman can bargain. 

They argue that if anyone could sell a compromise to the restive House GOP, it is Ryan, and say there is enough wiggle room to do a deal. Continue reading “Will Ryan cut a deal?”

House hopes to move own plan

By Russell Berman – 10/15/13 11:24 AM ET

House Republicans hope to vote Tuesday on a more conservative version of the Senate fiscal deal that would include a delay of ObamaCare’s medical device tax and scrapping of subsidies for members of Congress and top Cabinet officials, lawmakers and aides said.

The bill would modify an emerging Senate plan crafted by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), but retain that deal’s extension of the debt ceiling through Feb. 7.

It would also keep the Senate measure’s plan of funding the government through Jan. 15 and immediately end the shutdown. Continue reading “House hopes to move own plan”

House to vote on back pay for furloughed government workers

By Jonathan Easley – 10/04/13 11:32 AM ET

The House will vote Saturday on legislation that would provide back pay for federal workers who have been furloughed during the government shutdown.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-Va.) office announced the House would remain in session to vote on new legislation that is “critical” to government operations.

One of the bills will deal with back pay for federal workers on furloughs and is likely to pass with support from both parties.

“The House will pass a bill to pay federal workers for their time in furlough once the shutdown ends,” Cantor said in a tweet. Continue reading “House to vote on back pay for furloughed government workers”

Wall Street Visits Washington, the Grand Bargain Returns and Other Tales from the Kidnap House 3Comments

10/03/2013 Damon Silvers

The heads of the country’s largest banks and stock brokers came to Washington, D.C., yesterday to meet with President Barack Obama. Washington is the center of our national hostage drama—to use an old phrase, D.C. is the kidnap house. But we have seen this part of the hostage-taking drama before. First, the extremist House Republicans, who are deeply dependent on Wall Street money, threaten to force the United States into defaulting on its debts to achieve political objectives that Wall Street supports, like cutting Social Security. Then Wall Street pretends to be horrified that the United States might default on its debts, Treasury bonds that underpin much of the world financial system.

Enter the wise old men of Wall Street, many of them around long enough to have been dispensing wisdom back in 2007, when their advice led to the collapse of the global economy. The wise men go to see Obama, and they say, “Mr. President, you have to be the grown-up here, we can’t afford to have the United States default. We know it will be painful, but you have to give the Republicans some of what they want for the good of the country, just like you had to bail us out back in 2009 for the good of the country.” Continue reading “Wall Street Visits Washington, the Grand Bargain Returns and Other Tales from the Kidnap House 3Comments”