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Conservative groups describe IRS harassment

Conservative groups describe IRS harassment

WASHINGTON - Fueled by fresh, terse testimony Tuesday from conservative groups detailing intense IRS scrutiny, a powerful lawmaker with watchdog responsibility for the agency promised a relentless effort to get answers from officials at all levels of the Internal Revenue Service.

June 05, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
More than tea-party organizations may have been audited by the IRS

More than tea-party organizations may have been audited by the IRS

WASHINGTON - A group of anti-abortion activists in Iowa had to promise the Internal Revenue Service it wouldn't picket in front of Planned Parenthood.

June 01, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

White House says it knew of IRS probe a month ago

WASHINGTON - The White House acknowledged Monday that senior aides to President Obama knew a month ago that the Internal Revenue Service had targeted conservative groups. The admission expanded on previous administration statements about who in the White House knew about the inquiry and when…

May 21, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Ex-chief: IRS triggered firestorm with planted question

WASHINGTON - Tough congressional grilling Friday of fired IRS chief Steven Miller failed to get answers about which agency employees subjected applications from tea-party groups to special scrutiny but yielded a startling new admission: The Internal Revenue Service actually planted the quest…

May 18, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Critics: Bergoglio failed to protect victims of Argentina's 'Dirty War'

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina - The elevation Wednesday of Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio as the Roman Catholic Church's 267th pope served as a reminder of the church's role during the region's dark days of dictatorship in the latter half of the 20th century.

March 14, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Gas prices shoot up; traders get blame

WASHINGTON - Like locusts ravaging fertile crops, gasoline prices are soaring again and eating away at the purchasing power of ordinary Americans. And again, financial speculators appear to be a big part of the story.

February 20, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
Favorable signs for holiday sales

Favorable signs for holiday sales

Retailers, economists and industry analysts all expect holiday sales this year to surpass 2011 totals, meaning the sluggish economy won't be playing the role of Grinch. Deeper in the expected sales numbers, however, are trends that highlight an uneven recovery and turmoil in the retail sector.

November 28, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Stagnant wages have cost workers in the past 10 years

WASHINGTON - The nation's high unemployment rate captures the headlines with each monthly jobs report, yet many Americans may be surprised to learn that real earnings, when adjusted for inflation, have declined across most industries and sectors since the Great Recession. Since 2002, in fact…

November 18, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

'Fiscal cliff': It's time to put up or shut up - or not

WASHINGTON - Congress returns next week with hopes of a big deal but strong odds favoring another piecemeal approach to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, in a race against the clock to address tax and budget issues while keeping the U.S. economy from tumbling back into recession.

November 09, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Debaters' 'facts' didn't all square with reality, as usual

WASHINGTON - President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney traded barbs on foreign policy Monday night, dueling over everything from military spending to Middle East events to how best to stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

October 23, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Many banks charge firms improper fee

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. ordered last month that its 7,241 member banks stop using its name on any fees charged to business account holders. But many banks continue flouting the instructions and are socking businesses with extra charges.

August 24, 2012 12:00 amLoading…
Despite calls for openness, most in Congress keep taxes a secret

Despite calls for openness, most in Congress keep taxes a secret

WASHINGTON - Rep. Nancy Pelosi was emphatic. Mitt Romney's refusal to release more than two years of his personal tax returns, she said, makes him unfit to win confirmation as a member of the president's Cabinet, let alone to hold the high office himself.

July 19, 2012 12:00 am Photos

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Rising corn prices could show up at the grocery store

Rising corn prices could show up at the grocery store

A punishing Midwest drought may lead to food inflation as the cost of corn soars and the price of a key feedstock for ranchers rises.

July 11, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Obama fails to excite business with budget

WASHINGTON - President Obama's budget proposes a number of initiatives to boost job creation and incentives for U.S. manufacturers to bring their overseas business back home.

February 15, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Europe takes a big step on debt crisis

European leaders closed a pivotal week Friday with an agreement in principle to join a new treaty that would force all but one European Union nation into common budget discipline and would empower EU courts to enforce the new rules.

December 10, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

Feds deciding who'd get paid, who'd get mad

WASHINGTON - Although experts still expect an 11th-hour compromise in Congress to raise the debt ceiling, the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve are busily prioritizing who will get paid and when, should the government run out of authority Tuesday to borrow more money.

July 29, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

The debt: Hope it's not 9/29/08 again

WASHINGTON - As Congress lurches about in search of a deal to raise the nation's debt ceiling before an Aug. 2 deadline, investors are watching anxiously to see whether there'll be a repeat of Sept. 29, 2008.

July 22, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

The debt: Hope it's not 9/29/08 again

WASHINGTON - As Congress lurches about in search of a deal to raise the nation's debt ceiling before an Aug. 2 deadline, investors are watching anxiously to see whether there'll be a repeat of Sept. 29, 2008.

July 22, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

Economists: New 'normal' jobless rate may be 7%

WASHINGTON - A "new normal" is emerging for the U.S. jobs market, and a growing number of economists warn that it's likely to mean that unemployment will remain persistently high, at 7 percent or more, for years to come.

June 12, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

Role of speculators in oil market panned

WASHINGTON - In the sharpest criticism yet of excessive speculation in oil markets, the head of a key regulatory agency presented data Thursday showing that almost nine in 10 traders betting that oil prices would rise were financial speculators, not actual end-users of oil.

June 10, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

Gloomy data spur stock dive

WASHINGTON - Hopes for blue skies ahead for the U.S. economy are fading as forecasters are dialing back their annual growth projections after a spate of lukewarm readings on the performance of the U.S. economy and continuing global woes.

June 02, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

By historical standards, Americans are undertaxed

WASHINGTON - Here's a dirty little secret that most Americans don't want to hear: We're undertaxed.

May 08, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

Stocks plunge on warning over US debt

WASHINGTON - A surprise warning about U.S. debt by credit-rating agency Standard & Poor's sent stocks plunging Monday and crystallized the threat that mounting federal budget deficits and national debt pose to the U.S. financial system and the American way of life.

April 19, 2011 12:00 amLoading…
Warren deft in building consumer agency

Warren deft in building consumer agency

WASHINGTON - The pieces are quietly falling into place to create a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, designed to prevent the sorts of renegade lending practices that crippled the housing market and nearly brought down the U.S. financial system.

January 30, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

Fix for massive US debt to require tough choices

WASHINGTON - Just in time to dash holiday cheer, recently unveiled debt-reduction plans underscore how huge are the fiscal challenges facing the U.S. They also make clear how tough the tradeoffs must be to tame federal budget deficits and the national debt.

November 21, 2010 12:00 amLoading…

Economists laud expiring bank bailout; voters still unconvinced

WASHINGTON - A wildly unpopular government rescue program credited by economists with preventing another Great Depression will go out of business Sunday, two years to the day it was created.

October 02, 2010 12:00 amLoading…

Study: US economy bottomed in June '09

WASHINGTON - With little fanfare, the National Bureau of Economic Research declared Monday that the so-called Great Recession is over, determining that the U.S. economy hit bottom in June 2009 and began a long, sluggish rebound.

September 21, 2010 12:00 amLoading…

Analysts: Tax hike on rich not good, but not disastrous

WASHINGTON - Raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans, as President Obama proposes to do, probably wouldn't wreck the moribund U.S. economy, but extending the tax cuts they've enjoyed since 2001 could spur some economic benefit, many analysts say.

September 09, 2010 12:00 amLoading…
Community colleges face new mission, less funding

Community colleges face new mission, less funding

WASHINGTON - On this Labor Day weekend, the unemployment rate is anchored near 10 percent and experts of all stripes are trying to figure out how to create more jobs.

September 05, 2010 12:00 am Photos

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Community colleges face new mission, less funding

Community colleges face new mission, less funding

Students listen to chef Virginia Olson during a baking class at Anne Arundel Community College near Annapolis, Md., where they are being trained for employment in hotels, restaurants and food manufacturing firms.

September 05, 2010 12:00 amLoading…

Bernanke says Fed could not have saved Lehman

WASHINGTON - Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke strongly rejected as "myth" suggestions that he could have saved Lehman Brothers and prevented the near collapse of the global financial system.

September 03, 2010 12:00 amLoading…

Fed official warns of deflation

WASHINGTON - In an unusual move, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis released a paper Thursday warning that the Fed's policy of keeping interest rates near zero during the economic crisis may lead to Japanese-style deflation in coming years.

July 30, 2010 12:00 amLoading…

Rising oil price tagged to speculators

WASHINGTON - Oil consumption has fallen, demand from U.S. motorists for gasoline is flat at best, and refiners that turn crude into fuel are operating well below capacity. Yet oil prices keep marching toward $90 a barrel, pushing gasoline toward $3 a gallon in many markets, and prompting Ame…

April 04, 2010 12:00 amLoading…

European debt crisis a risk to US investors

WASHINGTON - Stock trading was volatile on Wall Street and across the globe Monday from fear that a debt crisis is gathering steam in parts of Europe and the Mediterranean.

February 09, 2010 12:00 amLoading…

Geithner: Community banks can't do their job

WASHINGTON - Overzealous bank regulators and an attempt by Congress to punish greedy bank executives are restricting the ability of the nation's 8,000 community banks to lend to small businesses, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Tuesday.

February 03, 2010 12:00 amLoading…
Don't expect lower jobless rate anytime soon

Don't expect lower jobless rate anytime soon

WASHINGTON - As bad as Friday's jobs report was, showing October's unemployment rate jumping sharply to 10.2 percent, the outlook is likely to worsen for American workers well into next year.

November 07, 2009 12:00 amLoading…

Moody's reportedly purged those who warned of trouble

WASHINGTON — As the housing market collapsed in late 2007, Moody's Investors Service, whose investment ratings were widely trusted, responded by purging analysts and executives who warned of trouble and promoting those who helped Wall Street plunge the country into its worst financial crisis…

October 19, 2009 12:00 amLoading…
NAFTA passé as N. American leaders gather

NAFTA passé as N. American leaders gather

WASHINGTON — President Obama will meet Sunday in Guadalajara, Mexico, with his Mexican and Canadian counterparts for a summit of North American leaders that will be long on vision and short on anything concrete. In the midst of a punishing global economic downturn, that's not bad.

August 08, 2009 12:00 am Photos

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Ballooning federal deficits putting US in dire straits

WASHINGTON — As the Obama administration wrestles with how to pay for a costly revamp of the health-care system and whether to spend more to spark a nearly lifeless economy, it faces shrinking fiscal room to maneuver. With each passing day, the outlook for the government's finances grows dimmer.

July 19, 2009 12:00 amLoading…
Chrysler Q&A: how it will work

Chrysler Q&A: how it will work

WASHINGTON — Chrysler's combined bankruptcy filing and partnership announcement with Italian carmaker Fiat raised many questions Thursday, ranging from who owns how much of the company to what happens to dealerships.

May 01, 2009 12:00 amLoading…

This week, multiple tasks await Obama on economy

WASHINGTON — This week will be a pivotal one for President Obama and the U.S. economy, as interlocking parts of his economic-rescue effort are set to be signed, sealed or delivered.

February 17, 2009 12:00 amLoading…

Employers shed nearly 600K jobs in January

Worse-than-expected January job losses announced by the government Friday put pressure on the Obama administration and Congress to pass economic stimulus legislation quickly and move on to tackle the banking and housing crises, which are fueling the rapidly worsening contraction of the natio…

February 07, 2009 12:00 amLoading…

Obama calls for swift release of bailout balance

WASHINGTON — President-elect Barack Obama asked the Bush administration on Monday for the remaining $350 billion in Wall Street rescue money, hoping to have the funds available for use when he takes office next week while Congress wrestles with what's sure to be the largest economic stimulus…

January 13, 2009 12:00 amLoading…

Why does US plan to sink billions more into ailing insurer?

Troubled insurer American International Group won a new lease on life after the Bush administration said Monday that it was almost doubling September's $85 billion taxpayer rescue of AIG and broadening government intervention into the financial sector.

November 11, 2008 12:00 amLoading…

How administration bank plan is set up

The Bush administration's financial rescue plan version 2.0 marks an abrupt change in the government's approach toward banks and the use of taxpayers' money. Here are some answers to questions about these changes:

October 15, 2008 12:00 amLoading…
'Free-market finance' vaporizes as turmoil rules world markets

'Free-market finance' vaporizes as turmoil rules world markets

WASHINGTON — The U.S. government this year has placed on its books the liabilities of a major investment bank in March, two mortgage-finance giants earlier this month, and this week the nation's largest insurer.

September 18, 2008 12:00 am Photos

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How will Wall Street crisis affect average Americans?

WASHINGTON — Average Americans have a lot at stake in how the widening financial crisis plays out. Here are some answers to questions about it:

September 16, 2008 12:00 amLoading…

Oil's price is down; why not gas?

WASHINGTON — Oil prices have fallen more than 26 percent from their July 11 record high of $147.27 a barrel. But the price Americans pay at the gas pump has fallen by a more modest 12 percent to Friday's national average of $3.68 a gallon.

September 07, 2008 12:00 amLoading…

U.S. aims to restrain prices

WASHINGTON — The chief federal regulator of U.S. oil-contract trades announced steps Tuesday to restrain price manipulation and excessive speculation that many experts believe are driving up gasoline prices.

June 18, 2008 12:00 amLoading…
Inflation answers: How bad is it, and why?

Inflation answers: How bad is it, and why?

WASHINGTON — Consumer inflation rose a modest 0.3 percent in March, but that's still troubling because food and energy prices continue climbing even as many economists think that the U.S. economy is in recession.

April 17, 2008 12:00 amLoading…

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