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U.S. budget gap shrinks for fourth month running

WASHINGTON — The United States notched up a fourth straight month of declining deficits in July compared with a year ago, according to official data released Wednesday. The US government’s budget shortfall for the month was $129.4 billion, a decline of 22 percent from July 2010, the Treasury Department said.…

Little economic impact from U.S. debt deal: analysts

Spending cuts in the new deal to slash the US deficit and raise the borrowing ceiling will not have much immediate effect on the economy — or the deficit itself, analysts said Monday. Heralded as a political success that averts the United States being forced to default on its debt,…

Debt warning rocks US economy

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s has cut the outlook on US sovereign debt to “negative”, raising doubts about Washington’s ability to tackle its huge debt and fiscal deficits. The move, the first time S&P has ever placed such a warning on the US’s gold-standard AAA rating, raised…

Survey finds Californians back tax extensions

SACRAMENTO, California (Reuters) – Californians would overwhelmingly back extending temporary tax increases to help balance the state’s budget if asked to in a special election, according to survey results released on Wednesday. The results of the statewide survey conducted by the University of California, Berkeley and The Field Poll were…

Obama: Wisconsin Gov. Walker waging an ‘assault on unions’

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama took a stand Wednesday against Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to curtail the collective bargaining rights of public employees and force them to pay more for benefits. Walker’s bill, part of a plan to close Wisconsin’s $137 million budget deficit, was coupled with a…

Obama eyes tax hikes, spending cuts to curb deficit

WASHINGTON – US President Barack Obama unveiled a $3.73-trillion spending blueprint for 2012 on Monday, including a raft of tax hikes and spending cuts aimed at curbing a record budget deficit. Kicking off what is sure to be a long and brutal political battle over election-year spending, Obama’s plan bets…

Obama eyes tax hikes, spending cuts to curb deficit

WASHINGTON (AFP) – US President Barack Obama will unveil his 2012 budget later on Monday, proposing a raft of spending cuts and tax hikes aimed at curbing a record budget deficit. Facing a projected $1.65 trillion budget shortfall this year — an all-time high — Obama plans to trim $90…

Democrats shrank US spending, deficit in last fiscal year, figures show

The US deficit shrank nine percent last fiscal year but still topped one trillion dollars, the government said Friday in a report seized on by Democrats’ rivals weeks ahead of mid-term elections. For the 2010 fiscal year that ended on September 30, the government had a budget shortfall of 1.294…

Oakland looks to become first US city to tax, license commercial marijuana production

Local governments in California and other Western states have tried to clamp down on medical marijuana, but Oakland has taken a different approach. If you can’t beat ‘em, tax ‘em. After becoming the first U.S. city to impose a special tax on medical marijuana dispensaries, Oakland soon could become the…

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