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Congress reaches compromise on ethanol subsidy

WASHINGTON — Key US lawmakers Thursday reached a compromise to cut subsidies for ethanol, which would revamp a policy that has come under heightened scrutiny for diverting large amounts of corn to fuel and impacting food prices. Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein of California said the agreement with two farm state…

U.S. budget talks expected Thursday at White House

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has invited Congressional leaders to White House talks on Thursday to try to reach a budget deal within two weeks that reduces the US deficit and raises the debt limit. “I’ve asked leaders of both parties and both houses of Congress to come here to…

Obama calls for bipartisan effort to cut spending

US President Barack Obama expressed confidence Saturday that Republicans and Democrats will be able to find a way to cut the nation’s burgeoning budget deficit, arguing that no program can be considered off limits in the process. “I?m confident that the Democrats and Republicans in Congress can find a way…

U.S. cost of war at least $3.7 trillion and counting

NEW YORK (Reuters) – When President Barack Obama cited cost as a reason to bring troops home from Afghanistan, he referred to a $1 trillion price tag for America’s wars. Staggering as it is, that figure grossly underestimates the total cost of wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan to the…

Stimulus efforts curbed by deficit: Geithner

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The massive US budget deficit means the United States will be unable to use deficit spending to stimulate the economy for many years to come, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Friday. “It’s not going to be possible in the next decade. We’ve lost the chance,” Geithner told…

Van Jones on the deficit: ‘We are not stupid. We can do the math.’

Van Jones, Obama’s former green jobs czar, kicked off a new progressive movement at New York City’s Town Hall last night with an ambitious goal — to build a vocal counterweight to the Tea Party, who he says has monopolized the dialogue on America’s economic woes. “We are trying to…

Progressive Dems launch anti-unemployment tour: ‘Jobs equal deficit reduction’

WASHINGTON – With the debate on Capitol Hill having shifted from job creation to deficit reduction, the Congressional Progressive Caucus on Tuesday launched a 12-city summer listening tour aimed at refocusing the economic discussion on the unemployment rate. “The Republican majority has not offered one bill, one proposal, one concrete…

Food prices to stay high into 2012: UN agency

ROME (AFP) – Food prices are to remain high and volatile into 2012, presenting a “threat” to poor countries that will have to spend up to a third more on food imports this year, the UN food agency said on Tuesday. The Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said its…

Spanish Socialists hammered in election after a week of protests

MADRID (Reuters) – Spain’s ability to meet deficit reduction targets was thrown into doubt on Monday after voters angry over austerity and the EU’S highest jobless rate gave the ruling Socialists a fierce drubbing in local elections. A week of protests by youth fed up with the stagnant economy and…

United States to hit debt ceiling on Monday

WASHINGTON — The debt-laden US government’s credit card will hit its limit Monday, creating a cash crunch that puts the country’s credit standing at risk as politicians battle over its long-term deficit. Reaching the $14.29 trillion ceiling set by Congress will not have an immediate impact on government finances, because…

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