After beginning the year expecting a $900 billion deficit for 2013, Goldman's economic team, lead by Jan Hatzius, has now cut the figure twice, this time to $775 billion. By the close of 2014, the economists said, the deficit will decline to $600 billion, and clock in at $475 billion at the end of 2015. Goldman had previously expected a $650 billion deficit at the end of 2014 and $500 billion at the end of 2015
If the question you wanted to ask is why is this occurring, then that requires a different answer. The short answer is the unemployment situation is better.
Your scenario seemed to imply it was all about the capital gains tax going up. However, that only applies to folks earning more than $400,000. How many of them are there? Since this expected to a longer term trend, then that implies this is broad-based. So what happened in 2012? The employment situation got better.
The last month of 2011, the unemployment rate was 8.5%. The last month of 2012, it was 7.8%. Housing prices and the stock market rose too, which should mean more tax revenue.
There's a spending component to this as well as spending as gone down, however, it's mostly due to more revenue.
The hours-long hearing produced no major revelation while reviving disputes over the widely debunked comments made by U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice five days after the attacks and the inability of the U.S. military to respond quickly.
"I don't think there's a smoking gun today. I don't think there's a lukewarm slingshot," said Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis.
Well of course a Democrat would say that. These hearings probably won't produce much. I do find it interesting, however, that the mainstream media went out of their way to dismiss the hearings before they even started and how they are avoiding any headlining coverage. This morning my hometown paper buried the story in a small blurb on like page 8A. There was a huge headline and story on page 1 about how much money the head of NASCAR makes. (Rich people are the enemy you know).
NPR this morning was classic. They went with the Bengazi hearing 1st, simply stating that it happened and that the Democrats are dismissing it. No soundbite, no on-site reporter, no quote from the Republican side. Then they went to an extensive story about the president's trip to Texas today, complete with soundbites and on-the-scene reporter and segued from that into an expose of how Obama is helping the economy.
The Internal Revenue Service inappropriately flagged conservative political groups for additional reviews during the 2012 election to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status, a top IRS official said Friday.
Also they just arrested one of the paramedics that in West, Texas fertilizer explosion for having pipe bomb.
Two men dressed in camouflage stand on a patch of dirt amid rubble, Kalashnikov rifles at their sides, at the entrance to a dark hole in the dirt. The wooden screens often found in mosques lay on the ground, cast aside. The hole was the burial place of Hujr bin Uday al-Kindi, one of the prophet Mohammad's companions, widely revered by Muslims, Shiites in particular.
The men standing on top of it are members of Jabhat al-Nusra, a Sunni Muslim extremist rebel group trying to topple the regime of President Bashar al-Assad that recently swore fealty to al Qaeda's leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri.
The desecration of the shrine - and the removal of the remains - drew condemnation from the highest levels of Shiite Islam. Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei called it "bitter and sad," while the militant group Hezbollah in Lebanon issued a statement stark warning that it "foretells a large conflict and gloomy evil."
.....in December, Syrian rebels burned down a Shiite mosque in northern Idlib province. Fighting between Hezbollah and Jabhat al-Nusra is being waged closer and closer to the Zeinab shrine. Shiite villages are coming under attack by militants who praise Osama bin Laden and Sunni villagers are being slaughtered by regime loyalists. Sectarian fighting has already leaked across the border into northern Lebanon. The stage has been set.
DOJ Seizes AP Reporters' Phone Records, Won't Say Why
"Justice Department secretly obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors for The Associated Press in what the news cooperative's top executive called a 'massive and unprecedented intrusion' into how news organizations gather the news. The records obtained by the Justice Department listed incoming and outgoing calls, and the duration of each call, for the work and personal phone numbers of individual reporters, general AP office numbers in New York, Washington and Hartford, Conn., and the main number for AP reporters in the House of Representatives press gallery, according to attorneys for the AP. In all, the government seized those records for more than 20 separate telephone lines assigned to AP and its journalists in April and May of 2012. The exact number of journalists who used the phone lines during that period is unknown but more than 100 journalists work in the offices whose phone records were targeted on a wide array of stories about government and other matters."
Seems like it involves an operation against the main bombmaker for Al Qaeda in the Arabian Pennisula, Ibrahim_al-Asiri. al-Asiri is the guy who made the underwear bomb and the printer cartridges bomb. His own brother tried to kill the Saudi security chief using one of his bombs.