Political Capital

Secretary of State John Kerry, center, is welcomed and escorted by U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Sung Y. Kim, left, and deputy director general of South Korea's Foreign Ministry, Moon Seoung-hyun, in front of a traditional honor guard at Seoul air base on April 12, 2013.

Photograph by Paul J. Richards/Pool

Secretary of State John Kerry, center, is welcomed and escorted by U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Sung Y. Kim, left, and deputy director general of South Korea's Foreign Ministry, Moon Seoung-hyun, in front of a traditional honor guard at Seoul air base on April 12, 2013.

Washington Daybook: Definitely Maybe

Will budget cuts reduce U.S. economic growth? No, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg whose median forecast is solid 3 percent growth in the first quarter. Yes, says the International Monetary Fund, which lowered its forecast for U.S. growth for...

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Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, D-W.Va., left, and Sen. Patrick Toomey, R-Pa., arrive at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, on April 10, 2013, to announce that they have reached a bipartisan deal on expanding background checks to more gun buyers.

Photograph by J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo

Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, D-W.Va., left, and Sen. Patrick Toomey, R-Pa., arrive at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, on April 10, 2013, to announce that they have reached a bipartisan deal on expanding background checks to more gun buyers.

Toomey, Manchin: Read Second Amendment Rights Protection Act

Read it, say Sens. Pat Toomney and Joe Manchin: The Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act. In the art of bill title as political statement, this one’s a classic. They put their bill online last night.  Manchin even...

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Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service (IRS) 1040 Individual Income Tax forms for the 2012 tax year.

Photograph by Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service (IRS) 1040 Individual Income Tax forms for the 2012 tax year.

Bloomberg by the Numbers: 2%

That’s the share of Americans who identified taxes as the biggest problem facing the nation, according to Gallup surveys last month. The share of people identifying taxes as the biggest problem historically has been in the low single digits, according...

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Jim Graves, CEO of the Graves Hospitality hotel company, is applauded as he enters the room with his wife Julie, right, on April 10, 2012 in St. Cloud, Minn.

Photograph by Glen Stubbe/The Star Tribune/AP Photo

Jim Graves, CEO of the Graves Hospitality hotel company, is applauded as he enters the room with his wife Julie, right, on April 10, 2012 in St. Cloud, Minn.

Losers of Close 2012 Races Seek 2014 Rematches

‘Tis the season for would-be members of Congress to announce rematches of close losses last November. Minnesota businessman Jim Graves, a Democrat who came within 1.2 percentage points of unseating Republican Michele Bachmann in 2012, said today he’d try again in...

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Storage tanks stand near a Lufkin Industries Inc. Mark II Unitorque electric pumping unit as it removes crude oil from a Fidelity Exploration & Production Co. well outside South Heart, North Dakota.

Photograph by Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Storage tanks stand near a Lufkin Industries Inc. Mark II Unitorque electric pumping unit as it removes crude oil from a Fidelity Exploration & Production Co. well outside South Heart, North Dakota.

State Tax Revenue Hit Record in 2012

Here’s more evidence the economy is coming back: State tax collections reached a record in 2012, totaling $794.6 billion. The tally breaks the previous mark of $779.7 billion set in 2008, the U.S. Census Bureau reported today. Many states attributed...

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Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), center, and Sen. John Isakson (R-GA) depart from a Senate subway car as Senate Republicans and Democrats head to their weekly policy luncheon on March 19, 2013 in Washington, DC.

Photograph by T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), center, and Sen. John Isakson (R-GA) depart from a Senate subway car as Senate Republicans and Democrats head to their weekly policy luncheon on March 19, 2013 in Washington, DC.

Rand Paul: Role of Government

Rand Paul, the Republican senator from Kentucky with a libertarian outlook and son of the retired congressman from Texas who ran for president with an appeal to libertarian instincts, says there is a goal for government. Protecting your property. “If...

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Members of Newtown, Ct. clergy set up more than 3,300 grave markers on the Mall during a 24-hour vigil to support the gun violence legislation.

Photograph by Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call

Members of Newtown, Ct. clergy set up more than 3,300 grave markers on the Mall during a 24-hour vigil to support the gun violence legislation.

Senate’s Gun-Control Rebels: 16-2

What do Sens. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Roger Wicker of Mississippi have in common? The same thing that Sens. Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Mark Begich of Alaska have in common. They bucked their parties today in allowing...

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Traders gather at a post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on April 11, 2013.

Photograph by Richard Drew/AP Photo

Traders gather at a post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on April 11, 2013.

Record Stock Prices Make Top Earners Feel More Comfortable

Confidence among American households earning more than $100,000 climbed last week to the highest level in more than two years just as the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index set a new record, the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index showed today. The...

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Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., left, meets in his office with families of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn., including Nelba Marquez-Greene, mother of victim Ana Marquez-Greene and Mark Barden, father of victim Daniel Barden, on the day he announced that he reached a bipartisan deal on expanding background checks to more gun buyers, at the Capitol in Washington, on April 10, 2013.

Photograph by J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., left, meets in his office with families of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn., including Nelba Marquez-Greene, mother of victim Ana Marquez-Greene and Mark Barden, father of victim Daniel Barden, on the day he announced that he reached a bipartisan deal on expanding background checks to more gun buyers, at the Capitol in Washington, on April 10, 2013.

Majorities Favor Stronger Gun Laws Republicans Vowing to Block

A majority of Americans favor stronger gun laws and believe undocumented immigrants should get a path to citizenship, according to a poll released today. As the Senate prepares to vote on whether to allow gun legislation to be debated, amended...

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