While everyone in Washington right now is patting themselves on the back in the wake of Wednesday's debt ceiling deal, the reality is that it does little to address the nation's deepest budget issues.
True, the Band-Aid agreement will fund the U.S. government through Jan. 15 and lift the debt limit through Feb. 7.Here are the four biggest issues that Congress ducked out on...
Will Midterm Elections Ignite a Stock Market Rally?
The Democrats and Republicans have spent a record $3.5 billion in preparation for this year's midterm elections. But regardless of the outcome - whether you're a Democrat or Republican - the good news is that the stock market traditionally has performed well during midterm election cycles.
"The question is, 'Did the markets go up in the midterm election years by more than average in non-election years?' Brian Gendreau, market strategist for Financial Network told U.S. News & World Report. "And the answer is, 'Yes, by a huge amount more.'"
In the period from 1922 to 2006, the average gain of the Dow Jones Industrial Average over the 90 trading days following midterm elections (roughly November until mid-March) was 8.5%, according to a new study authored by Gendreau. That's almost 5% higher than the Dow's gains in non-election years.
Investment Strategies: Three Ways to Profit – No Matter Who Wins Tuesday's Midterm Elections
If you're worried that next week's midterm elections could further cloud an already-uncertain investment landscape, take a page from the investment playbook of Money Morning's Keith Fitz-Gerald: Position yourself to profit no matter which party wins on Tuesday.
During an interview with Fox Business Network journalist Stuart Varney yesterday (Tuesday), Fitz-Gerald detailed three strategies that will afford investors both safety and significant profit potential - whether the Democrats or Republicans carry the day.
For the full story - and a look at the video - please click here...
We Want to Hear From You: What Are the Top Three Issues You Want To See Addressed After Midterm Elections?
A tense Congressional tug-of-war will come to an end in less than a week, when the intensely sought-after seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate are filled after the Nov. 2 midterm elections.
The Republican-Democrat contest is the hottest in years. The voter debate is about which candidates will be the most likely to lift the United States out of a morass marked by near-double-digit unemployment, sluggish economic growth and a terrifying $1.29 trillion budget deficit.
As campaigning time wanes, it's clear that an increasing number of seats are vulnerable.
"Let me tell you something," U.S. Vice President Joe Biden wrote Monday. "I've been around campaigns for a long time and I have never seen a midterm election with this many races in play."
Experts described this campaign season as more volatile than most because of a major possible shift in power.
How Washington Should Handle the Bush Tax Cuts
The big political issue for the remainder of this year will be the so-called "Bush tax cuts" engineered by U.S. President George W. Bush in 2001 and 2003.
Those tax cuts are scheduled to expire on Dec. 31, with taxes reverting to their 2001 levels.
It's not at all clear which of the cuts will be extended and which will be repealed.
But one thing is clear: The outcome of the Bush-tax-cut debate will have major implications for the U.S. economy.
To understand the economic implications of extending the Bush tax cuts, please read on...
Battle Over Expiring Bush Tax Cuts Likely to Shape Fall Elections
A colossal battle is shaping up in Congress over what to do about the Bush-era tax cuts that are set to expire at the end of this year. It's an issue that entails sufficient economic and political consequences that could shape the fall elections and fiscal policy for years to come.
The expiring tax breaks received little public attention this year as Congress tussled with heavyweight issues like healthcare reform and financial regulation. But the fate of the tax cuts will be a major focus of debate in September when lawmakers return to Washington from their summer recess and the midterm campaign gets rolling.
"It has enormous ramifications for the fall and clearly will be one of the dominant issues," Sen. Ron Wyden, D-OR, told The New York Times. "This is code for the role of the federal government, the debate over the size of government and the priorities of the nation."
Democratic party leaders, including President Barack Obama, have said they want to extend the tax cuts for individuals earning less than $200,000 and families earning less than $250,000, while letting the cuts expire as scheduled for those exceeding those thresholds.
Most Republicans, and some Democrats, want to extend the tax cuts for everyone, characterizing any tax increases on anyone in this fragile economy as unwise. If no action is taken, taxes on income, dividends, capital gains and estates will all rise.
Money Morning Mailbag: Will Elections and a Resignation Open the Door for U.S. Budget Changes?
Administration officials announced this week that the White House Budget Director Peter Orszag plans to leave U.S. President Barack Obama's Cabinet before work on the next U.S. budget begins, which could be some time in the next few weeks. Orszag would be the first member of President Obama's Cabinet to exit.
The U.S. budget is under scrutiny as the budget deficit is forecast to hit $1.6 trillion by 2011. A President-appointed panel is currently working on budget reduction plans to be presented in a report due in December.
Orszag's strategies as former head of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) supported a stop to deficit spending, but once he was placed in the budget driver's seat, making significant cuts was nearly impossible with recovery progress slow and unemployment high. Orszag instead ended up helping outline the $787 billion stimulus package in 2009.
The Midterm Elections: No Panacea for the U.S. Economy
With many of the primaries past, and the November 2010 midterm elections less than five months away, it is worth taking a look at what policy changes we might expect from the next U.S. Congress. Both the political and economic worlds have changed one hell of a lot since the last elections, in 2008.
Thus, even though U.S. President Barack Obama is slated to remain in office until at least 2013, the Congress elected in November will be very different from the one that was elected in November 2008.
For a view of the future after the U.S. midterm elections, please read on...