As the supporters of President Barack Obama have complained about tax cuts for the rich during the ongoing budget debate, one group of Americans has escaped their notice: the 45 percent of Americans who will pay no federal income tax at all for 2010.

Despite the White House’s contentions that the United States economy is improving, Standard & Poor’s recent decision to change its outlook on U.S. fiscal health over the next two years from “stable” to “negative” tells a different tale. Besides the obvious impact such an announcement would have on the economic recovery, as well as the stock market, it also appears to play a role in the current debate over a potential raise of the debt ceiling.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute released a report today entitled Ten Thousand Commandments: An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State, compiled by Wayne Crews, which reveals that the cost to Americans for complying with federal regulations far surpasses the amount of the federal budget deficit.

According to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, the global economy is "one shock away from a “full-grown crisis.” In a weekend-long meeting at the World Bank building in Washington, D.C., global leaders discussed the global economy and the financial struggles that lie ahead.

There are different ways of calculating unemployment. The data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics culls out those who are not seeking employment, which may include people who no longer need to work (because they have retired, their spouse has found a good job, or because their financial situation improved.) Those Americans no longer seeking work, however, may also include those who have simply given up trying to find a job because the market seems hopeless.

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