Economy Now

Instant reaction and smart charts on economic trends.
  • Surprise! Budget mess rolls on

    Congress and the White House took another few steps away from conducting a well-reasoned, bipartisan budget process on Wednesday, as Democrats and Republicans let loose another round of ultimatums and rhetorical bombs.

    Let's start with the battle between House Republicans and the White House. Last year, with just hours to spare before a voluntary default on the nation's debt, Congress passed a piece of legislation called the Budget Control Act.

    Along with MORE

    - Apr 19, 2012 11:30 AM ET
  • Romney's economic brain trust

    The long trek to the White House is never made alone. Instead, candidates pick up all manner of consultants, pollsters, advisers, press officers and wanna-be appointees along the way.

    Mitt Romney, now considered his party's presumptive nominee, has his own team of four economic advisers. Harvard economist Greg Mankiw and Columbia Business School's Glenn Hubbard hail from academia.  Former Sen. Jim Talent and Rep. Vin Weber bring knowledge of Washington's hallways MORE

    - Apr 18, 2012 5:00 AM ET
  • Romney hints at tax changes

    One of the biggest knocks on Mitt Romney this election cycle is that his policy proposals have lacked specificity -- especially when it comes to how much the government should tax, and what programs it should spend that revenue on.

    But on Sunday, a few new details were revealed as reporters were able to eavesdrop on a closed Romney fundraiser.

    We know Romney wants to cut income tax rates MORE

    - Apr 16, 2012 11:43 AM ET
  • What kind of car is Obama?

    If President Obama was a car, what kind of car would he be and why?

    That's the question Resurgent Republic, a conservative polling and advocacy group, asked independent voters in Virginia and Colorado recently. The focus group members all voted for Obama in 2008, but are undecided heading into this year's general election.

    The answers, to say the least, varied.

    One voter said Obama is most like a Yugo. Yes, the subcompact MORE

    - Apr 12, 2012 1:17 PM ET
  • Obama's army of tax-paying secretaries

    A phalanx of administrative assistants and their millionaire bosses joined President Obama onstage Wednesday at the White House as he once again called on Congress to pass his "Buffett Rule."

    Why the odd pairing of secretaries and millionaires? The general principle behind the rule is that millionaires and billionaires like investor Warren Buffett shouldn't pay a lower percentage of their income in federal taxes than middle-class households, and specifically their secretaries.

    Buffett MORE

    - Apr 11, 2012 1:04 PM ET
  • The return of Simpson-Bowles

    More than a year has passed since the ambitious Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction plan went down in flames.

    In December of 2010, the plan fell short of the 14 votes required for the commission to present its recommendations to Congress for a legislative vote. Much lip service was paid to the "seriousness" of the plan. But most members of Congress gave it no serious consideration. Ditto for the White House.

    Now Simpson-Bowles is MORE

    - Mar 28, 2012 10:01 AM ET
  • How to avoid the looming budget train wreck

    Republicans desperately do not want to raise taxes on the über-rich. And Democrats certainly don't want to gut entitlement spending for the nation's most needy. But with the Bush tax cuts and Obama payroll tax cut set to expire at the end of the year, and automatic budget cuts tied to sequestration set to kick in at the beginning of next year, it's clear that Congress has to do something MORE

    - Mar 22, 2012 9:17 AM ET
  • Romney's message in an improving economy

    Mitt Romney thinks the economy is improving.

    That might come as a shock if you've heard the candidate's stump speech. But it's true.

    Romney met with voters Monday in Springfield, Ill., on President Obama's home turf, and made clear that he is not a member of the second-recession doomsday crowd.

    "I believe the economy is coming back by the way," Romney told the crowd. "We'll see what happens, it's had ups and downs, MORE

    - Mar 20, 2012 11:16 AM ET
  • Oil release: Obama and Cameron in cahoots?

    The price of crude oil took a nosedive on Thursday after Reuters reported that President Obama and his British counterpart David Cameron had agreed to a release of strategic oil reserves that would take place within months.

    The White House later denied that such an agreement exists, but did say that Obama and Cameron had discussed rising crude prices.

    For the United States, such an agreement would mean tapping the Strategic Petroleum MORE

    - Mar 16, 2012 10:52 AM ET
  • Obama whacks Republicans on gas price rhetoric

    President Obama defended his energy policy on Thursday, and at the same time called out Republicans for promising lower gas prices while allegedly ignoring alternative sources of energy.

    Without mentioning any of the candidates by name, Obama went so far as to suggest that the Republicans seeking the presidency are the kind of people who might deny that Earth is a sphere.

    "A lot of the folks who are running for a MORE

    - Mar 15, 2012 1:57 PM ET
  • Unemployment rate drops in key swing states

    The Obama campaign got a bit of good news on Tuesday, as new data showed the employment picture is brightening in states that are likely to help decide the 2012 general election.

    Mirroring national trends, the unemployment rate dropped or remained static in 12 key swing states in the first month of the year when compared to the previous month, according to the most recent data available from the Bureau of MORE

    - Mar 14, 2012 3:02 PM ET
  • Rich voters love Romney

    The 2012 Republican primary contest has been defined by a series of roller-coaster lead changes. At various points, 11 different contenders have led national polls.

    But one demographic group -- the wealthy -- seems to have settled on a candidate.

    And their man is Mitt Romney.

    On Tuesday, Romney lost to Rick Santorum in both Alabama and Mississippi. But among individuals making more than $100,000, he received more votes than his competitors.

    In Alabama, MORE

    - Mar 14, 2012 12:20 PM ET
  • Swing state watch: Where do gas prices hit hardest?

    Two new polls from The Washington Post and The New York Times show President Obama's approval rating has dropped precipitously over the past month.

    In particular, Americans are not pleased with how Obama is handling the economy.

    But most economic data indicates the economy -- and especially the job market -- is actually picking up steam. So what's causing this drop?

    One theory is that rising gas prices are dragging down the president's MORE

    - Mar 13, 2012 1:38 PM ET
  • Gas prices a drag on Obama's numbers

    Gas prices are up, and the president's poll numbers are down.

    Way down.

    A full 50% of Americans now strongly disapprove of how President Obama is handling the economy, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. That's the highest level of his presidency, and a 9-point jump from the previous month. Another 9% of Americans somewhat disapprove, while only 38% say they approve.

    It would appear that rising gas prices are at MORE

    - Mar 12, 2012 10:43 AM ET
  • One bourbon, two bourbon. Red bourbon, blue bourbon.

    I got an e-mail from one of my local liquor stores (is it a problem if I am on the list for more than one wine shop in my neighborhood?) alerting me to the fact that one of my favorite makers of brown liquor, Heaven Hill Distilleries, is now selling election-themed straight bourbon whiskey. (Yes, with an E. This is America! Although they make Whiskey in Ireland too. But I MORE

    - Mar 9, 2012 4:13 PM ET
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