Taxes may be certain, but growth and job creation aren't.
As the U.S. edges closer to a year-end "fiscal cliff," Democrats and Republicans haven't budged in their fight over expiring tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans — and how best to help the middle class and get the country back to work.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks during a press conference in Brussels.
Credit John Thys / AFP/Getty Images
The economy has so much going for it: low inflation, low interest rates, affordable homes, falling gasoline prices and 27 straight months of job growth. Good times, no?
The economy is slowing, but not because of current conditions. The slowdown reflects the fear of what may be coming next. Economists say employers and investors are paralyzed by the uncertainty surrounding three huge problems: one in the United States, another in Europe and the third in China.
Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers speaks during a discussion about tax codes and revenue hosted by the Brookings Institute on May 3 in Washington.
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Did Larry Summers, the president's first National Economic Council director, just become the second Obama surrogate to stray from the talking points and endorse an extension of the Bush-era tax cuts?
Those tax cuts, which the Obama administration has said it will not extend for the very rich, are due to expire at the end of the year. Along with deep cuts in government spending scheduled to take place at the same time, many have called the end of the year a "fiscal cliff" that would plunge the economy back into recession.
An Amazon worker grabs boxes off a conveyor belt in Nevada, one of a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=hp_468512_which?nodeId=468512#which">handful of states</a> in which the online retailer collects sales tax.
Credit Scott Sady / AP
It might seem counterintuitive that Amazon is doing a deal with New Jersey to build two distribution centers in exchange for collecting sales tax on purchases made in the Garden State starting July 1, 2013.
After all, the free lunch enjoyed by many consumers as they shop tax-free online is one of the huge draws, right?