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Posts Tagged ‘Budget Crisis’

U.S. Economy Slowed to a Tepid 1.5% Rate of Growth

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 28, 2012

By SHAILA DEWAN

The United States economy grew by a tepid 1.5 percent annual rate in the second quarter, losing the momentum it had appeared to be gaining earlier this year, the government reported on Friday.

Growth was curbed as consumers limited new spending and business investment slowed in the face of a global slowdown and a stronger dollar. Several bright spots in the first quarter, including auto production, computer sales and large purchases like appliances and televisions, dimmed or faded away altogether in the second quarter. Growth was not strong enough to drive down the unemployment rate, which has stalled above 8 percent in recent months.

The sluggishness of the recovery makes the United States more vulnerable to trouble in Europe and, at home, the coming expiration of several tax breaks and other buoyant measures known as the fiscal cliff. It also illustrates the election-season challenge to President Obama, who must sell his economic record to voters as the recovery slows. Read the rest of this entry »

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Foreign Aid Set to Take a Hit in U.S. Budget Crisis

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 5, 2011

By 

WASHINGTON — America’s budget crisis at home is forcing the first significant cuts in overseas aid in nearly two decades, a retrenchment that officials and advocates say reflects the country’s diminishing ability to influence the world.

As lawmakers scramble to trim the swelling national debt, both the Republican-controlled House and the Democrat-controlled Senate have proposed slashing financing for the State Department and its related aid agencies at a time of desperate humanitarian crises and uncertain political developments. The proposals have raised the specter of deep cuts in food and medicine for Africa, in relief for disaster-affected places like Pakistan and Japan, in political and economic assistance for the new democracies of the Middle East, and even for the Peace Corps.

The financial crunch threatens to undermine a foreign policy described as “smart power” by President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, one that emphasizes diplomacy and development as a complement to American military power. It also would begin to reverse the increase in foreign aid that President George W. Bush supported after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, as part of an effort to combat the roots of extremism and anti-American sentiment, especially in the most troubled countries. Read the rest of this entry »

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