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Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
Topic - Karl Smith
The U.S. economy has fared better than expected this year after widespread fears that $85 billion of automatic spending cuts and sharp increases in taxes imposed at the beginning of the year would snuff out growth.
A surge in U.S. production of premium crude oil from shale deposits in the Midwest is helping to hold down world oil prices and has prevented a spike in U.S. gasoline prices this summer.
For example, he noted a key breakthrough this year when Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac achieved profitability after five years of government conservatorship and a deep housing recession, enabling them to provide the Treasury with a one-time cash dividend of $87 billion that partially repays some of the $190 billion they received in a taxpayer-financed federal bailout in 2008.
The revenue windfall from Fannie and Freddie, which was part of the reason for the big reduction in federal spending and deficit estimates this spring, also provided a powerful clue about the underlying strength of the economy, Mr. Smith said.