Fifty-two percent of low-wage fast-food workers rely on public assistance programs like food stamps and Medicaid just to make ends meet, a fresh analysis finds. Many are adults supporting families. But some conservative economists say raising the minimum wage to $15 — as protesters are demanding — wouldn't help matters.
The Senate has been working on a bipartisan deal to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling. But House conservatives have signaled they might not go along with a Senate deal. Steve Inskeep talks to Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss of Georgia about how he thinks the impasse can be resolved.
With the threat of a government default looming, House leaders tried to take the upper hand in the standoff with a bill appealing to their most conservative members. They failed, resulting in chaos in the House and giving the initiative back to the Senate.
Determining the day on which the U.S. government might default is tricky. The Bipartisan Policy Center says the last eight days of October is a critical period because of all the payments due that week. The potential for a credit default is already causing problems for big financial firms that use U.S. Treasurys as collateral.
For the first time in decades, interest rates for jumbo home loans are lower than rates for a typical mortgage. And because of that, the luxury market is the fastest growing sector of home loans. In Phoenix, sales of homes that cost more than $500,000 are up 64 percent.
This could be the last day the United States is assured of its borrowing authority. Congress could forestall this crisis by raising the debt ceiling, as it has roughly a hundred times before. But the debt ceiling is tied to the same confrontation that's kept much of the federal government shut down.
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