Democrats want to see tax rates go up on the wealthy; Republicans want to see cuts in entitlement programs. But neither side is trumpeting an extension of the payroll-tax cut, which is also expected to expire at the end of the year — opening the door for the federal government to dig deeper into the pockets of 160 million workers.
Federal welfare spending has grown by 32 percent over the past four years, fattened by President Obama's stimulus spending and swelled by a growing number of Americans whose recession-depleted incomes now qualify them for public assistance, according to numbers released Thursday.
The presidential campaigns were trying to win older voters Friday with speeches before the AARP and a new video produced by President Obama's campaign that argued rival Mitt Romney derides seniors behind closed doors.
Come January, be prepared for fewer air traffic controllers, FBI agents, border patrol officers and park rangers, as well as lower farm and winter heating subsidies. Less meat might get inspected. Furloughs likely will sweep across the government. Even the weather service could be affected.
Jose Gallegos' company eliminated employee health insurance to save money, so when his gut started hurting and his skin took on a yellow tinge, he resisted seeing a doctor. When he finally went to the emergency room, physicians diagnosed stomach cancer.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Thursday defended her proposal to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for those earning up to $1 million annually, saying she is trying to find a middle-ground approach that can jump-start debate.
Thursday's tentative deal on Capitol Hill to extend the payroll tax cut also freed another hostage — the so-called "Doc Fix" that Congress has enacted each year to keep a 1997 budget-cutting law from biting too deeply into physicians' payments, which doctors say would force them to stop seeing Medicare patients.
In the first full calendar year after the Great Recession, the U.S. poverty rate jumped past 15 percent, the highest in 17 years, as a new historical high of 46.2 million Americans fell below the official poverty line, the Census Bureau said Tuesday.
Tax-free shopping is under threat for many online shoppers as states facing widening budget gaps increasingly pressure Amazon.com Inc. and other Internet retailers to start collecting sales taxes from their residents.