News / Economy

Political Bickering Threatens US Economy, Again

Political Bickering Threatens US Economy -- Againi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
July 25, 2012 10:21 PM
A year ago, many Americans were appalled when partisan bickering between opposition Republicans and President Barack Obama’s Democratic Party pushed the nation to the brink of default on its massive debts. The political gridlock prompted a downgrade of the U.S. credit rating. As VOA’s Jim Randle reports, the country now faces even greater financial problems in the midst of a hyper-partisan atmosphere as November's presidential election approaches.
Political Bickering Threatens US Economy -- Again
WASHINGTON — A year ago, many Americans were appalled when partisan bickering between opposition Republicans and President Barack Obama’s Democratic Party  pushed the nation to the brink of default on its massive debts.  The political gridlock prompted a downgrade of the U.S. credit rating.

The country now faces even greater financial problems in the midst of a hyper-partisan atmosphere as November's presidential election approaches.

During the debt ceiling debate, a popular newspaper portrayed leading politicians from the two parties as whining brats in diapers.  

Washington was nearly paralyzed by bickering as it tried to make tough political and financial decisions.

Economist Says US Is Bright Spot in Weak Global Economyi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
Mil Arcega
July 25, 2012 11:35 PM
Financial markets stumbled this week as worries about a potential bailout for Spain, weakness in emerging markets, and a looming fiscal crisis in the U.S. gained momentum. Despite the increasingly negative outlook, a New York economist tells VOA the one bright spot may be the United States. Mil Arcega has more.
Related Video Report - Click to View
The squabbling prompted Standard & Poor's to make an unprecedented cut in the U.S. credit rating.

“There had been significant deterioration recently on both the political and fiscal front --  on the fiscal front, in terms of the government indebtedness as a share of the economy, and on the political side in terms of the willingness to arrest that deterioration,” said Nikola Swann, a key S&P analyst.

Economists say the polarization inherent to this year’s election campaigns could make Washington’s dysfunctional politics even worse.

Last year’s congressional debate focused on efforts to raise the legal limit on what the U.S. government can borrow to fund its deficits and debt.

The squabbling worried some investors even when It ended with a deal that put off some tough political and financial decisions.  

So Congress has to deal with the debt ceiling again and also agree on what to do about tax cuts set to expire at the end of this year.  

Without a deal, the government faces drastic spending cuts that will hit both the military and popular social programs.  

U.S. central bank Chairman Ben Bernanke says that could push the nation back into recession.

“If the full range of tax increases and spending cuts were allowed to take effect, a scenario widely referred to as the fiscal cliff, a shallow recession would occur early next year and about 1-1/4 million fewer jobs would be created in 2013,” Bernanke said.

Brookings Institution economic scholar Phillip Wallach says he expects that Democrats and Republicans in Congress will work something out, eventually.
 
“The Republican leadership compromised just enough to make sure they got a deal done at the last minute, and if you were [willing to make a wager] you would probably say that’s what will happen again the next time around because they don’t want to be responsible for plunging the economy into chaos,” Wallach said.

So Congress and the President have just a few months to finish the difficult task of reaching agreement on spending and taxes in ways that do not damage the economy.

You May Like

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8050
JPY
USD
117.90
GBP
USD
0.6376
CAD
USD
1.1259
INR
USD
61.655

Rates may not be current.