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THE ISSUE: The federal government is borrowing about 1 out of 7 dollars it spends and steadily piling up debt — to the tune of about $14 trillion held by investors. Over the long term, that threatens the economy and pocketbooks.
THE ISSUE: The financial crisis that struck in 2008 touched off the worst recession since the 1930s Great Depression, wiping out $11 trillion in U.S. household wealth and leaving about 8 million Americans jobless. More than 5 million families lost their homes to foreclosure. Reckless trading and aggressive practices on Wall Street in the prior boom years were pinned with much of the blame.
THE ISSUE: Politicians love trying to use the tax code to highlight their goals to voters. This year, it's a battlefield between Hillary Clinton, who wants to boost levies on the rich to pay for expanding social programs, and Donald Trump, who says cutting taxes would gird the economy. The clash has consequences for the rich, poor and those in the middle.
THE ISSUE: Tensions have been rising between China and the United States. China is modernizing its military and pressing its sovereignty claims over the disputed South China Sea, an important route for global trade. The U.S. is pushing back by increasing its military presence in Asia, which China views as provocative. The U.S. also accuses China of unfair trading practices and cyber theft of business secrets. Tough action by either side could spark a skirmish at sea or a trade war that would make many goods in the U.S. more expensive.