On Friday, President Obama is scheduled to sign a new farm bill into law. It contains a provision that allows all dairy farms to be part of a safety net. The point is to offset risk when milk prices are too low or feed costs too high. But Abbie Fentress Swanson reports that even in good times, smaller dairy farms in traditional milk producing states are now giving up.
The Congressional Budget Office earlier this week said this year's deficit is likely to be about one-third the size it was in 2009, when the Great Recession bottomed out. A recovering economy is the main reason for the deficit's improvement, but moderating health care costs have also contributed.
Harvard economist and health policy specialist David Cutler says getting the federal government's finances under control is all about health care.
On Tuesday, economists with the Congressional Budget Office announced findings that indicated the new health care law may result in hundreds of thousands leaving the workforce. The findings spurred new debate on the merits of the law and its economic impact. NPR's Scott Horsley has more on the reactions to the report.
Microsoft's new CEO Satya Nadella is part of a wave of highly educated Indian immigrants who came to America a generation ago with expectations back home that they would succeed. Nadella has done just that and more, taking the reins of one of the world's top companies.
A new front has opened in the political battle over the Affordable Care Act, with Tuesday's release of the Congressional Budget Office's annual budget and economic outlook. The economists updated an earlier estimate about how many workers would leave the workforce because they no longer needed a job to have health care coverage — revising upward from 800,000 people to over 2 million people. Republicans pounced on the higher number, and President Obama now finds himself playing defense.
The federal government's deficit is shrinking quite quickly — and that may not necessarily be a good thing. As congressional forecasters lower their predictions for economic growth over the next decade, some experts are saying that gross domestic product and unemployment figures would look better, were it not for the government's rapid push to get a handle on the deficit.
A top executive at the retail chain Target went to Capitol Hill today to try to explain the massive security breach that hit the company in December. Hackers stole personal information of tens of millions of Target customers during the holiday shopping season. The incident has underscored the increasing sophistication of cyber criminals and the vulnerability of big retailers. NPR's Jim Zarroli has more on the hearing.
Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 8:09 am
With a vote of 68-32, the Senate approved a sweeping farm bill Tuesday that will set rules and practices for American agriculture for five years. The bill does away with controversial direct cash payments made to farmers under a subsidy system, replacing it with crop insurance.
Stock investors looking for a reason to feel optimistic about the economy may have found one this morning.
A new report shows the federal budget deficit has done some mad shrinking in recent years. Thanks to spending cuts, tax hikes and a stronger economy, the deficit in this fiscal year will be only $514 billion, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Now it's time for matters of personal finance. It's been a week since President Obama's State of the Union address. And you might remember him talking about the country's retirement crisis and his plan for something called up MyRAs to help people jumpstart their savings, especially if they don't work for a company with a retirement account.
Istanbul has long been a city of historical layers and sharp contrasts: ancient monuments share the skyline none too comfortably with modern skyscrapers, and charming cobbled streets run alongside massive highway traffic snarls.
Those contrasts have multiplied under Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and his love of giant building projects hasn't abated after more than a decade in power.
Last year, organizers of one of the nation's largest outdoor shows tried to ban certain guns in the wake of the killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. But the industry struck back with a boycott, and the Eastern Sports and Outdoor show was eventually canceled.
On Monday, the Dow Jones industrial average plunged an additional 326 points, down about 2 percent to 15,373. That was the seventh triple-digit drop so far this year. Back on Dec. 31, the Dow was at 16,577.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
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The stock market had one of its worst days in months today after some disappointing news about manufacturing. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 300 points, about two percent. The other major indexes were down even more.
NPR's Jim Zarroli tells us investors are reacting to new concern about the health of the global economy.
Would you notice an unexpected charge of $10 or less on your credit card statement? Lots of consumers don't — and scammers count on that, says Steve Barnas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau in northern Illinois.
But Barnas says the Better Business Bureau is now hearing from consumers across the country about $9.84 credit charges for what look to be very innocuous purchases. But while they may seem legitimate, many are not.
Warning that "simply delaying action on the debt limit can cause harm to our economy," Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew repeated Monday that he believes Congress should act soon to raise that limit so the federal government avoids even looking like it might default on its debts.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. We'd like to start the week talking about a subject that might be on your mind as you start preparing your taxes and you're pull out those bank statements. We want to talk about planning for retirement. Almost half of households in this country don't have enough savings to cover their retirement or even unexpected emergencies, that according to a new report from a group called the Corporation for Enterprise Development.
Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 2:12 pm
If you are buying health coverage in the Colorado ski resort towns, the Connecticut suburbs of New York City or a bunch of otherwise low-cost rural regions of Georgia, Mississippi and Nevada, you have the misfortune of living in the most expensive insurance marketplaces under the new health law.
In parts of the Middle East, people drink camel's milk for its nutritional value. It boasts more vitamin C and iron than cow's milk, and it's lower in fat. But in the American Midwest, some people are rubbing camel's milk on their skin — in the form of a skin-care line from Jordan.
Penelope Shihab is the founder of a biotech company in Jordan — and the woman behind the Missouri startup that's working on the skin-care products.
In his State of the Union speech Tuesday, President Obama stepped up to a podium before Congress and the country and declared that the state of our union was strong.
"Here are the results of your efforts: The lowest unemployment rate in over five years; a rebounding housing market; a manufacturing sector that's adding jobs for the first time since the 1990s," the president said.