The Federal Budget Crunch
Apr 30, 2011 — As Congress and the White House set a higher priority on cutting the budget deficit, a retired military man sees ways to reap major savings. In a plan he acknowledges as "somewhat radical," former Army Col. Douglas Macgregor proposes slashing the defense budget by 40 percent in just three years.
Apr 29, 2011 — Vice President Joe Biden begins negotiations next week with House and Senate leaders on a deficit reduction framework. The White House hopes the talks will persuade Congress to raise the ceiling on the federal debt. If the debt limit isn't raised by early July, the U.S. could default on its financial obligations for the first time in history.
Apr 27, 2011 — House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan has drawn huge crowds at listening sessions in his Wisconsin district. While a few constituents have asked him to run for president in 2012, others have raised a slew of concerns, from what will happen to their medical coverage to Ryan's plan to cut taxes for the wealthy.
Apr 22, 2011 — The budget proposals from President Obama and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan are filled with claims about reducing deficits, spurring economic growth and cutting spending. But they're often not particularly reliable or well-founded. Experts explain how to read the numbers to find out what's really going on.
Apr 20, 2011 — President Obama holds a town hall meeting at Facebook's headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif. Facebook users have been submitting queries for more than a week. NPR's Mara Liasson talks to Michele Norris.
Apr 20, 2011 — S&P and the other big rating agencies are still important. Despite post-crisis changes, the agencies are still woven into the financial system.
Apr 19, 2011 — For months, lawmakers have known that the nation is on the way to hitting the debt ceiling, and news that credit rating agency Standard and Poor's has lowered its outlook on U.S. borrowing only puts more pressure on the coming debate. Now, lawmakers are weighing their options in the face of another high-stakes vote.
Apr 19, 2011 — President Barack Obama held a town hall meeting Tuesday morning at a community college in Annandale, Va., a swing community in a swing state.
Apr 19, 2011 — In his first public forum since he laid out his deficit plan in a speech last week, the president defended his proposal to roll back Bush-era tax cuts for high earners, and said he would not gut spending on education, infrastructure and research.
Apr 18, 2011 — The credit rating company Standard & Poor's has issued a negative warning on the triple-A credit rating of the United States. S&P says the U.S. has not come up with a credible plan to address fast-rising deficits and mounting debt. S&P warns there's a 1-in-3 chance that it could downgrade the U.S. top credit rating within two years. Markets were down sharply on the news.