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The Obama administration has detailed spending cuts that have been public for the last year, a White House spokesman said Tuesday, disputing House Speaker John Boehner’s earlier remarks that the president had yet to outline spending cuts. Spokesman Jay Carney added that House Republicans so far have not been specific on their proposals to raise revenue as part of the deal. He refused to characterize the talks seeking a fiscal-cliff deal, saying that limiting comment was the best way to help the negotiators reach an agreement.

The Obama administration does not believe that the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution allows the president to ignore the debt ceiling, White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Thursday. The statutory ceiling on U.S. Treasury borrowing is $ 16.4 trillion, and the nation is expected to hit the legal limit near the year’s end. Congress must raise the borrowing cap, and Carney’s comments dismissed the possibility that President Barack Obama could have a constitutional option to get around Congress if lawmakers failed to do so. (Reporting by Jeff Mason, Editing by Stacey Joyce)

Welcome to OnSale at Business, where we look at cool stuff and insane bargains. Find a great gift for the T-shirt lover in your life and do good at the same time. A $ 5 stocking stuffer adds a little extra flavor to any beverage. Keep your ears warm while rocking around the Christmas tree. And get a great deal on fancy photos.   Chari-Tees Los Angeles company Upperatus makes one-of-a-kind, limited edition T-shirts designed to promote a specific charity on a monthly basis and they are great gifts for the person who has everything. The organic T-shirts, made right [...]

Dear Real Estate Adviser, I am looking at a raised ranch house, which unfortunately doesn’t have a basement. I’d like to know if it makes sense to build a basement underneath or build an attached one. Or should I just be content to live with the ranch house like it is?  — Krishna Dear Krishna, So you’re looking for a third level of living space, eh? Raised ranch/descended basement? A raised ranch home typically “raises the roof” of a conventional ranch design to create additional living space. This was a relatively popular construction style from the mid-1940s through the 1980s [...]

House Republicans on Monday presented their first deficit-reduction plan that roughly matches the size of President Barack Obama’s $ 4 trillion tax-and-spending program without increasing tax rates. Under the proposal, the Republicans would increase taxes by $ 800 billion, abour half of what Obama has proposed. It includes $ 600 billion in savings in Medicare and other health programs – more than the $ 400 billion Obama has proposed. House Republicans said the offer was based on a deficit-cutting plan presented by Erskin Bowles, a co-leader of the Obama [...]

Dear Dr. Don,  I currently have a home financed with a 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage. The first mortgage is for $ 179,000 at 5.75% interest, and the second is a $ 38,000 adjustable-rate loan. I have the cash to pay off the second mortgage of $ 38,000. Should I do that or put it into savings? Thanks,  — Mark Mortgages Dear Mark, There’s a simple answer to this one: Look at the interest rates. If the effective after-tax interest rate on your second mortgage is greater than the after-tax rate of return on your investments, then it makes sense to pay [...]

President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney mainly focused on foreign policy at a private lunch Thursday at the White House, officials said. The two candidates focused their talks on “America’s leadership in the world and the importance of maintaining that leadership in the future,” a White House spokesman said. “They pledged to stay in touch, particularly if opportunities to work together on shared interests arise in the future,” the spokesman said in a statement. The private lunch lasted for an hour. The menu included white turkey chili and Southwestern grilled chicken salad.

White House spokesman Jay Carney on Tuesday denied that deficit-reduction talks were at an impasse. At the daily press briefing, Carney said any suggestion that the budget talks had “broken down” was “wrong.” “Our team is continuing discussions with their congressional counterparts on this matter…we believe we can get this done,” Carney said. Carney said the two sides are familiar with the issues. “We are not diving into this either here or on Capitol Hill for the first time. The contours and parameters and even the specifics of what a balanced agreement would look like I think are known by all sides,” he said.

Rep. Jeb Hensarling will take over as chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, according to recommendations issued by the House Republican Steering Committee’s chairmanship on Tuesday. The Texas congressman will take over from Rep. Spencer Bachus, Republican from Alabama, who has reached his term limit in the position. The change at the top of the committee was largely expected. In addition, Mitt Romney’s running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, will continue to lead the House Budget Committee. Dave Camp, Republican from Michigan, will continue to lead the House Ways and Means panel while Rep. Darrell Issa, Republican from California, will stay in charge of the House Oversight committee.

The White House on Monday denied that deficit-reduction talks with Congress were at an impasse, saying discussions were ongoing and that it remained confident about a deal. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell had complained earlier Monday that the talks had stalled, and that it was up to President Barack Obama to break the stalemate. Asked about McConnell’s comments at the daily White House briefing, Carney replied: “We remain hopeful and optimistic that we can achieve a deal.” He said that there was no meeting scheduled between Obama and House Speaker John Boehner. The two talked over the weekend, according to [...]

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