Elections Democrats

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    Fewer than half of the 2.1 million federal workers subject to a shutdown would be forced off the job if the Obama administration followed the path taken by presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton

  • Protesters fill the courtyard and steps outside the State Capitol building on February 16, 2010 in Madison, Wisconsin. Protesters were demonstrating against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to eliminate collective bargaining rights for many state workers.

    With a wary eye on Wisconsin, Republican leaders in several states are toning down the tough talk against public employee unions and, in some cases, abandoning anti-union measures altogether.

  • Wisconsin Governor, Scott Walker

    A prank caller pretending to be billionaire conservative businessman David Koch was able to have a lengthy conversation with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker about his strategy to cripple public employee unions, the governor's office confirmed Wednesday.

  • The collective bargaining process with public sector unions needs to be restructured to keep labor unions from “bankrupting states,” Sen. Ron Johnson, (R-Wisc.), told CNBC Wednesday.

  • Ambulance

    Believe it or not, there is some good news regarding health care reform. Legislators, employers and employees are actually in agreement on a number of important issues facing the industry. If only both political parties in our legislature could come together to implement changes that are not controversial, perhaps the remaining disagreeable items could be tackled later.

  • In order to help balance Wisconsin’s budget, the state’s Republican governor has proposed eliminating collective bargaining rights for most public employees, but Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, a Democrat, told CNBC he does not agree with the approach.

  • Protesters fill the courtyard and steps outside the State Capitol building on February 16, 2010 in Madison, Wisconsin. Protesters were demonstrating against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to eliminate collective bargaining rights for many state workers.

    The high-stakes fight in Wisconsin over union rights could have far-reaching effects on electoral politics in other states by helping solidify Republican power for years.

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    Republicans made good on a pledge to act to shrink government, but the vote sets the stage for a standoff with Senate Democrats and the White House that could lead to a shutdown, the New York Times reports.

  • Protesters fill the courtyard and steps outside the State Capitol building on February 16, 2010 in Madison, Wisconsin. Protesters were demonstrating against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to eliminate collective bargaining rights for many state workers.

    Protesters who have descended on Wisconsin's Capitol in hopes of halting a Republican effort to end a half-century of collective bargaining rights for public workers steeled themselves for a long fight, buoyed by Democrats' decision to flee to avoid the measure's near-certain passage.

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    By most measures, including key ones such as sales and jobs growth, the great growth engine of the American economy in the past four decades is still in a recovery mode—not an expansionary one., as is the manufacturing sector.

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    Having turned its focus from spending cuts to social issues and an assault on the Obama administration's regulatory agenda, a battle-weary House reconvenes Friday in hopes of wrapping up action on a big Republican spending bill that would impose sweeping cuts across domestic programs.

  • State pension funds, facing a potential multitrillion-dollar shortfall, find themselves in the center of a four-way battle: Employees and retirees expect to be paid their promised benefits; the pension systems have clear obligations but may not have the resources to pay them; politicians are looking for ways to resolve the underfunding and balance the burden among retirees and workers; and state taxpayers, challenged to provide for their own retirements, resent the additional tax load.

  • Proposed Republican cuts that could erode the ability of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to implement aspects of the Dodd-Frank Act are an effort "to re-deregulate the economy," Rep. Barney Frank, (D-Mass), told CNBC Wednesday.

  • Andrew Cuomo (D)

    When Andrew M. Cuomo was sworn in as New York’s chief executive six weeks ago, he took control of a multibillion-dollar budget, tens of thousands of state workers and hundreds of agencies. But Mr. Cuomo appears to want to hang on to his old job, too, reports the New York Times.

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    "The simplest answer is that during normal times, we would see inflation," says one economist. "What people are missing is these are not normal times."

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    President Obama's budget proposal resurrects a series of tax increases that were largely ignored by Congress when Democrats controled both chambers. Republicans, who now control the House, are likely to be even less receptive.

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    Next week will be budget or bust on Capitol Hill as the House Leadership gets ready to vote on budget cuts. Some within the GOP are saying the $43 million in proposed cuts proposed by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) are not enough. On the other side of the aisle, they are saying the cuts go too far.

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    Both Obama and Reagan inherited deep and brutal recessions. But the first six recovery quarters look much different for each president.

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    "Most taxpayers are less concerned about the estate tax than they were before," says John Gast, partner and tax attorney at Brennan, Manna & Diamond.  But that's no  reason to forgo estate planning.

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    Federal money has long supported many projects in this upstate New York district, but that money is about to dry up. One of the culprits? The district's new Congresswoman. The NYT reports.