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A counterfactual history of the past four years. (Wikimedia Commons) Celebrity historian Niall Ferguson doesn't like President Obama, and doesn't think you should either.
The United States spends 58 percent of the total defense dollars paid by the world's top 10 military powers. | Face the Facts USAThe United States spends 58 percent of the total defense dollars paid out by the world’s top 10 military powers, which combined for $1.19 trillion in military funding in 2011. With its unparalleled global reach, the US outspends China, the next-biggest military power, by nearly 6-to-1. Click on today’s infographic to see which nations round out the top 10 – and in the " What Do Others Say?" section below, explore more about the costs and benefits of superpower status. <p style="text-align:right;color:#A8A8A8"></p>
As of September 2012, the federal government’s outstanding debt surpassed $16 trillion. Who are the nation’s creditors? The government owes the most money to — itself. U.S. government agencies, including giant trust funds of the Social Security and Medicare systems, and the independent Federal Reserve System account for 41 percent of the federal debt, more than $2 of every $5. Nearly one-third of the national debt is owed to other countries.
The United States has the world’s highest corporate income tax rate at up to 35 percent. Japan recently lowered its corporate tax rate to 30 percent, and some US companies are moving operations to countries with lower rates such as Ireland, where the corporate tax rate is 12.5 percent. After various tax deductions and credits, the US collected $205 billion in corporate income tax in 2009 from 5.8 million corporations, down from $228 billion the year before. <p style="text-align:right;color:#A8A8A8"></p>
In the cold predawn darkness of Monday, February 13, 2012, Robert Friedlander walked into a Starbucks three blocks from the White House. As they had been instructed by e-mail the night before, a half dozen reporters were waiting for him—one each from Dow Jones, Bloomberg, Reuters, Associated Press, Politico, and the Washington Post. With no ceremony and not much conversation, the young White House budget office aide slipped each of them a CD in a plain, square white envelope. The contents: President Barack Obama’s budget for the coming fiscal year.
This is a statement that is probably going to change the political landscape, considering how much Sandy Weill had to do with this mess. Most people don't seem to know the story of Weill basically playing chicken with the Clinton administration. He pushed through the Citigroup merger and dared them to stop it. Rather than pick a fight with the financial services industry, they let it happen.
Working at the Treasury frankly sounds kind of boring, which may explain why a number of employees allegedly spiced up their lives with golf, prostitutes and drunken altercations at football games. Internal documents from the U.S. Department of the Treasury show that not everyone on the payroll is exactly squeaky clean. The documents offer details of various allegations against Treasury employees in recent years, as well as the results of probes into those allegations by the Treasury's Office of Inspector General. The documents come by way of the site Government Attic , which regularly posts the results of Freedom of Information Act requests.
The federal government collects taxes in order to finance various public services. As policymakers and citizens weigh key decisions about revenues and expenditures, it is instructive to examine what the government does with the money it collects. In fiscal year 2011, the federal government spent $3.6 trillion, amounting to 24 percent of the nation's Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
According to a recent report by Clear Capital, “The nation’s home prices rebounded with quarterly and yearly gains of 1.7%.” The Home Data Index (HDI) report, which was released on July 10, shows that “Regional performance improved across the board”, and that “Home price forecast through 2012 shows continued growth for the nation…” Hooray!
Lost in the Supreme media chatter last week: a disturbing ruling in Knox vs. SEIU Local 1000 that restricts labor unions from directing collected dues toward political causes. There’s no similar limit on corporations, naturally – yet another indication that the power and status of modern unions is waning, especially when compared to the unbridled influence of Corporate America. With a sharp decline in union membership, a legion of new enemies, and a series of legal and legislative setbacks, can unions rebound and once again act strongly in the interest of ordinary workers?
Before any problem can be fixed it must first be acknowledged. The jobs crisis stays in the shadows, out of mind, and consequently unaddressed. This is allowed to happen because those in power – Republicans and Democrats – both have political reasons to remain silent. When the jobs crisis is discussed, the word “crisis” is seldom used, and the conversation is conducted with hushed tones and minimizing vocabulary. Therefore, when the monthly national jobs report was announced for June, there was quiet grumbling instead of passionate oratory; passivity instead of mobilization and action. In the last three months the country added an average of 75,000 jobs a month.
Michael J. Potter is one of the last little big men left in . More than 40 years ago, Mr. Potter bought into a hippie cafe and “whole earth” grocery here that has since morphed into a major organic foods producer and wholesaler, Eden Foods. But one morning last May, he hopped on his motorcycle and took off across the Plains to challenge what organic food — or as he might have it, so-called organic food — has become since his tie-dye days in the Haight district of San Francisco. The fact is, organic food has become a wildly lucrative business for Big Food and a premium-price-means-premium-profit section of the grocery store.
NEW YORK—Wall Street investors experienced a sudden surge in optimism Tuesday when, after six tumultuous weeks that saw record drops in the Dow Jones industrial average, a $1 bill was spotted on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. The dollar bill was discovered in the northwest corner of the trading floor at approximately 12:05 p.m., and its condition was reported as "crinkled, but real." Word of the tangible denomination of U.S. currency spread quickly across the NYSE, sending traders into a frenzied rush of shouting, arm-flailing, hooting, hollering, and, according to eyewitnesses, at least one dog pile. "With credit frozen and the commercial paper market poised on the brink of collapse, this is the most promising development I've seen on Wall Street in months," said floor trader Tim Formato, one of hundreds who gathered around the $1 bill and excitedly called their clients to inform them that they were looking at actual U.S. tender.
The economy is certain to occupy center stage in the presidential race this fall. Unfortunately neither Governor Romney nor President Obama are likely to give us an accurate account of the economic problems we are now facing. Romney’s efforts seem intended to convince the public that President Obama has turned the country into the Soviet Union, with government bureaucrats shoving aside business leaders to take the commanding role in the economy. He will have lots of money to make this case, which he will need since it is so far from reality. Corporate profits are at their highest share as a percentage of the economy in almost 50 years.
NEW YORK—Seeking to mollify critics over its role in the global financial crisis, Goldman Sachs announced Friday the hiring of junior analyst Greg Kohler, who executives said is the investment bank's first and only employee to possess a clear set of morals or a basic understanding of right and wrong. Officials confirmed the upstanding Kohler, 24, will be based out of the company's Lower Manhattan headquarters, working from within a small cubicle strategically located in a remote corner of the building where he is unlikely to have contact with his morally bankrupt coworkers. "We are very pleased to welcome Mr.