FUBAR

Our problems go deeper than just the economy

It’s difficult to find a noun or adjective related to the circumstance of disaster that hasn’t been used to describe our current economic dilemma.

It’s been called a "crisis" many times. Sometimes the crisis "deepens." Other times it "cascades." President Obama warns that inaction could turn "crisis into a catastrophe."

A wise politician should learn to just say ‘no’

If you are a prominent politician with big time ambitions, say like running for president, and someone approaches you about delivering your party’s response to the incumbent chief executive’s address to the Congress, State of the Union or otherwise, you probably should come down with a sudden case of laryngitis.

Feds ready another deal to save Citigroup

The government is on the verge of closing a deal to significantly boost its ownership stake in Citigroup. In return, it will demand changes be made on the troubled banking giant’s board and other conditions, according to a person with knowledge of the discussions.

Trillion? Get used to that word

President Obama’s new budget, unprecedented in size, scope and borrowed, money takes the federal government’s finances into uncharted realms. Someone who never ran an enterprise larger than his Senate office staff is asking Congress and the American people to put a lot of trust in his financial savvy.

Does focus on economy weaken our defenses?

Trillions of dollars in government spending might stabilize the economy, but for now it may have weakened some U.S. security interests abroad and hampered the nation’s ability to respond financially to an attack at home.

That curious conclusion by security and financial analysts reveals one of the unexpected consequences that could emerge from the government’s bailout and stimulus plans. It also shows how intertwined the economy and national security have become. The top U.S. intelligence official, Dennis Blair, recently said the economy was the nation’s foremost security concern.

Geithner slams bankers for bad judgment

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Wednesday scolded bankers for creating a damaging loss of confidence, but said nationalizing the banks was the wrong strategy for the United States.

In an interview with PBS television’s "NewsHour" program, Geithner said he was "deeply offended by the quality of judgments we’ve seen in the leadership of our nation’s financial institutions."

Rising health care costs keep the doctor away

One in four Americans said in a survey that someone in the family put off needed health care in the past year because of cost, including 16 percent who postponed surgery or a doctor’s visit for chronic illness.

In all, 53 percent of Americans in the Kaiser Family Foundation poll released Wednesday said they or a family member living with them cut back on health care in one or more ways to save money in the past 12 months.

So, is the economy really on the rebound?

I’m beginning to hear the welcome sounds of an economy starting to rouse itself out of slumber. I’m not saying it’s turned around yet, or anything close to that. I’m just sensing and hoping that bottom may have been struck, or that the slide is starting to slow. We may still be months, if not years, away from economic growth. But the speed of the crash seems to be slowing.

We need you and you need us

As the son of a journalist who became an ink-stained wretch himself, I take the current crisis in the newspaper industry rather personally. (So does the bank holding the mortgage on my house.) In the Internet age, the problem with the print media is similar to that of the world’s oldest profession, to which it is often compared, although print journalists tend not to be as attractive under a street light.