The failure of the congressional supercommittee to reach a deal on reducing federal government deficits is being called another example of dysfunction and gridlock in Washington. New attention is now focused back on the plan put forth last year by President Obama's bipartisan deficit reduction commission, a blueprint that a number of Democrats and Republicans endorsed. Host Scott Simon talks with former Sen. Alan Simpson, former co-chair of that deficit reduction commission, about the failed negotiations of the supercommittee.
The nation's retailers are hoping consumers open their wallets and spend this holiday shopping season. Amid all the worries about the economy and high unemployment, there are some early indications that this year might be slightly better than last. NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports.
The dismal economy has taken a toll on nonprofits. Donations are down. One nonprofit, Free Arts of Arizona, which uses art as therapy for the children of abused women, has had to make layoffs and budget cuts.
Before Rhode Island's General Assembly passed dramatic changes to the pension system, the state had one of the most underfunded pensions in the country. Many of the state's unions aren't happy with the changes and are gearing up for a legal fight.
Now in its second year, 'Small Business Saturday' aims to drum up support for local business owners. President Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia showed their support by shopping at Kramerbooks & Afterwords in Dupont Circle.
Nearly 75 years ago, a sit-down strike at the facility in Flint, Mich., helped the UAW win recognition from General Motors. Now the former auto body plant and GM design center is home to a company that sells prescription drugs used to treat serious illnesses like cancer, multiple sclerosis and HIV/AIDS.
To gauge the severity of the crisis in Europe, it helps to look at how much it costs the continent's countries to borrow money. Investors are pulling back from buying bonds, one country at a time. Investors have dumped their Spanish and Italian debt; now they're looking warily around the rest of Europe, wondering who's next. And suddenly France isn't looking very strong.
Americans spend more money shopping than the other 47 weeks of the year combined. It all starts on Black Friday. Guest host Tony Cox speaks with consumer credit expert John Ulzheimer about how to shop for the holidays and avoid the financial hangover.
When you give to WAMU, your tax-deductible membership gift helps make possible award-winning programs such as Morning Edition, All Things Considered, The Diane Rehm Show, The Kojo Nnamdi Show, and other favorites.