There are theories floating around, preparations being made and websites updating to keep people “informed” about the pending end of the world, Dec. 21. The Mayan calendar ends with the winter solstice this year, plus there’s supposedly an ancient planet headed our way.
Federal contract spending declined for the third year in a row in fiscal 2012, the Office of Management and Budget announced, decreasing by 4.5 percent from fiscal 2011. In fiscal 2011, the government spent $537 billion in contract costs, and in fiscal 2012, it spent $513 billion.
Republicans and Democrats are wrestling with a variety of riddles that have come to be known as the fiscal cliff, a double whammy of tax increases and spending cuts scheduled for the start of the new year. Here is a primer on unraveling the knotty political and economic threads.
Despite a myriad of new government programs and spending over the last 40 years, the system has failed to improve economic and social well-being for an astonishingly large segment of the American population. There is a different way forward, focused on increasing the effectiveness of existing funds. This way forward could be an excellent fit as the administration and Congress ponder a second-term agenda for President Obama with little new money to spend.
The Pentagon will send hundreds of additional spies overseas as part of an ambitious plan to assemble an espionage network that rivals the CIA in size, U.S. officials said. The project is aimed at transforming the Defense Intelligence Agency, which has been dominated for the past decade by the demands of two wars, into a spy service focused on emerging threats and more closely aligned with the CIA and elite military commando units.