Economic Daily Outlook

February 13, 2012
Budget Sets Stage for Year-End Clash
President Barack Obama’s budget plan, to be released Monday, will serve both as an outline of his re-election campaign message and a blueprint of the White House strategy for another clash looming after the November elections.

OPINION: Autopilot is driving US to ruin (Judd Gregg)
With the death of the super-committee and the ignoring of the Bowles-Simpson Commission report, it is obvious that treading water is now the operative mode for both President Obama and the Republican House when it comes to managing our nation’s dire deficit and debt course.

The Week Ahead: Obama releases budget
President Obama will release his 2013 budget proposal on Monday, setting the stage for the next round of spending battles. Several members of the administration will travel to Capitol Hill to testify about the proposal — Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner alone is testifying before four different committees this week.

Volker to Push Back on Banks’ Trading
Paul Volcker is about to fire back at critics of the proposed rule that bears his name. The former Federal Reserve chairman is expected to file a comment letter on the Volcker rule before a Monday deadline, contending that the U.S. financial system will be safer and healthier with a ban on proprietary trading by banks, according to people familiar with the situation.

OPINION: Dodd-Frank Act’s unintended consequences (Rep. Jeb Hensarling)
As President Barack Obama continues his campaign for a second term, Americans must keep in mind that his major policy visions have already been legislated into reality — and reality has regrettably not lived up to his promises.

Experts Question Medicare’s Effort To Rate Hospitals’ Patient Safety Records
Medicare’s first public effort to identify hospitals with patient safety problems has pinpointed many prestigious teaching institutions around the nation, raising concerns about quality at these places but also bolstering objections that the government’s measurements are skewed.

Obama administration slows environmental rules as it weighs political cost
After pushing through some of the most sweeping and contentious environmental measures in years, the Obama administration has slowed action on several policies as it calculates what it should undertake before the end of the term.

Obama’s 2013 budget request to include community college training fund

As he unveils his 2013 budget request Monday, President Obama will highlight a proposal to invest $8 billion in community colleges to help them train workers in high-growth industries, the White House said. The plan would support Obama’s State of the Union goal of training 2 million unemployed Americans with new skills that would help them find a job.

Virginia lawmakers debate teacher tenure
Virginia lawmakers are debating whether to eliminate seniority-based job protections for public school teachers, making the commonwealth another front in a national fight over tenure laws that critics say protect ineffective educators from dismissal.

Greece Passes Sweeping Cuts 
The Greek Parliament, under heavy guard from riot police, on Sunday approved a deeply unpopular package of spending and wage cuts, defying tens of thousands of people massed in the streets of the capital to protest a further round of austerity demanded by the government’s international creditors.

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