To a considerable extent, Democrats and Republicans agree that ordinary Americans are financially strained and that the challenge merits attention. That basic consensus represents a significant step, some experts say.
The fact that Rahm Emanuel faced a runoff is a sign of the concern around how to handle big pension deficits. But old mind-sets about public-employee compensation are giving way to new economic and demographic realities.
Republicans' budget plan calls for a deficit of zero by 2025, while President Obama's plan shows a $687 billion deficit in 2025. The gap symbolizes competing visions on the role of government in America’s economic life.
Liberals say a Wisconsin 'right to work' bill weakens unions – and weakened unions are behind the rise in income inequality. Experts don't all agree on that point, but say Wisconsin could be a tipping point for such laws nationwide.
If the Supreme Court rules against the current implementation of subsidies, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle would be hard-pressed to forge a path that would avoid leaving millions of Americans uncovered.
The largest private employer in the US announced Thursday it was raising the pay of 500,000 workers. Wal-Mart's move also raises a broader question: Is momentum building for 2015 to be a better year for US wage growth?