California is moving to pay down debt and boost reserves after an economic rebound left it with the biggest surplus in more than a decade. Hawaii may increase spending on education. Officials in Florida, New York, Minnesota and Wisconsin are considering tax cuts.
It’s tempting to call for a pox on both political parties in the deficit debate, but the fact is that President Barack Obama has been willing to give a lot to get an increase in the debt ceiling. His original proposal -- from which he now seems to be pulling back -- called for $2 in spending cuts for every dollar in increased revenue.
The ranks of poor Americans remained at a record high number last year, even after government-aid programs such as food stamps, housing vouchers and heating subsidies were included, the U.S. Census Bureau said today.