Demonstrators hold signs at a protest against the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) near the White House in 2009 during a visit by then-Colombian President Alvaro Uribe. Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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President Barack Obama waves from Air Force One before taking off from Reno, Nev., Thursday. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP hide caption

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House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) takes questions in reaction to President Obama's speech on a federal spending plan at the Capitol on Wednesday. J. Scott Applewhite/AP hide caption

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At a House Budget Committee hearing in February, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) holds up a Congressional Budget Office report on the federal budget. Alex Wong/Getty Images hide caption

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President Obama displays his Nobel Peace Prize during a ceremony in Oslo in December 2009. During his acceptance speech, the president discussed the concept of a "just war," saying: "There will be times when nations — acting individually or in concert — will find the use of force not only necessary but morally justified." Susan Walsh/AP hide caption

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A $5 per gallon price is posted at a gas station in Belmont, Calif., on Wednesday. Paul Sakuma/AP hide caption

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The sun gleamed down on the closed Washington Monument as the federal budget impasse continued in Washington on Jan. 4, 1996. Brawling and bargaining by turns, President Clinton and Republican congressional leaders struggled to make progress toward a balanced budget, while blaming each other for a partial government shutdown that inconvenienced millions. Dennis Cook/AP hide caption

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President Obama faced a battery of questions about his budget Tuesday during a news conference at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington. One problem Obama and other politicians confront when it comes to the budget is that most voters want more government than they're willing to pay for. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images hide caption

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A lack of stability in home prices has made it more difficult for the Obama administration to curb government's role in the country's mortgage-finance giants. David Goldman/AP hide caption

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GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt strides to the stage at the GE plant in Schenectady, N.Y., to introduce President Obama on Friday. J. Scott Applewhite/AP hide caption

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Economists agree that the effort to recalculate the tax system should be guided by the principles of efficiency and simplicity. hide caption

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White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs has announced that he will step down from his position at the White House in February to work on the upcoming 2012 campaign. He says the changes coming to the Obama administration amount to a "pretty major retooling." Roger L. Wollenberg/Getty Images hide caption

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Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) says he and Virginia Democrat Mark Warner have been talking regularly with roughly two dozen Senate colleagues about tackling the deficit. Charles Dharapak/AP hide caption

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