The debate is back over what to do with the Bush tax cuts, which are scheduled to expire at the end of the year.
The Obama administration wants to extend them only for families earning less than $250,000 a year. Republicans generally favor extending them for everyone. What hangs in the balance are tax breaks for wealthier Americans.
Last week, we re-aired an episode recorded in 2010 with economist Joshua Gans, author of the book Parentonomics. In the episode, Gans' 11-year old daughter, B., told us about his technique for keeping her from spending too much allowance money on candy:
The long economic downturn that began in late 2007 came to be known at the Great Recession –- the worst period since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Even though both events were momentous enough to earn the word "great" as a modifier, they really are not comparable, according to recent research by economist Mark Vaughan, a fellow at the Weidenbaum Center on the Economy at Washington University in St. Louis.
A "For Sale" sign hangs outside mostly empty apartment blocks in the Madrid satellite town of Sesena in February. Banks are trying to sell billions of euros worth of property left by bankrupt developers. This is attracting bargain-hunting investors from abroad.
Back in the day, Madrid's Palace Hotel was Ernest Hemingway's old haunt, or at least the bar was. Now, rooms at the posh hotel just down from the famed Prado Museum go for up to $6,000 a night. And gathering in its lobby these days? An altogether different type of foreigner: the kind in expensive suits.
"Probably they are institutional investors, hedge funds, sovereign wealth funds," says Federico Steinberg, an economist at Madrid's Elcano Institute.
There's a lot of cash around the world, he says, and a lot of people looking for bargains.