Shopper Monica Eaves, with her daughter, Sophia, 2, shops for holiday gifts at The Grove outdoor mall in Los Angeles on Tuesday. A strong start to the holiday season is raising confidence that the consumer is back and that 2011 could be a better year for the economy than expected. AP Photographer/AP hide caption

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Are We Headed Toward Economic Recovery?

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Some Worry Payroll Tax Cut Threatens Social Security

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Tax Deal A Kick In The Pants For The Economy?

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Deficit Plan Is Tough Medicine And A Tougher Vote

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Members Of Debt Panel Stake Out Positions

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Commission Delays Vote On Debt-Cutting Plan

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Federal Deficit Panel Efforts Reach Critical Stage

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President Obama walks at the White House with presidential debt commission co-chairs Erskine Bowles (left) and Alan Simpson. Alex Wong/Getty Images hide caption

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Heeding Wake-Up Call Could Mitigate Debt Crisis

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President Johnson (center) signs the Medicare Act in 1965 as former President Harry Truman (right) looks on. Now the cost of Medicare threatens to crush the federal budget. LBJ Library/National Archives hide caption

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Counting The Reasons Why Deficits Keep Growing

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Pamphlets with information about unemployment are displayed in a career center in Oakland, Calif. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images North America hide caption

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Job Seekers Find Bias Against The Unemployed

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People search for jobs in an employment office in El Centro, Calif. More than 6 million people in the U.S. have been out of work for six months or longer. Mark Ralston/AFP hide caption

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Life On The Sidelines: The Long-Term Unemployed

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Sen. Feingold Concedes, Hints At 'Next Adventure'

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Last month in Des Moines, Iowa, President Obama held a backyard discussion on the economy. With unemployment near 10 percent, the president and his fellow Democrats have had trouble touting positive economic news -- like the lower-than-expected TARP bill. Rodney White/AP/The Des Moines Register hide caption

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Democrats Struggle To Make Case On Economy

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Summers To Leave Obama's Economic Team

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