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House Rejects Senate's Payroll Tax Extension

The House blew up the end-of-year deal to extend the payroll tax holiday, but it insists it's the Senate's fault. If both chambers fail to forge a compromise, taxes go up, unemployment benefits expire and payments to Medicare doctors get cut by 27 percent — all starting Jan. 1.

Investors Endure Another Disappointing Year

In 2011, savers earned almost no interest in savings accounts. That was painful because consumer prices were rising by nearly 3.5 percent. Investors also found it tough going. Most stocks declined, with prices falling by roughly 5 percent across the board. But there were some bright spots: gold and bonds.

Is A Privatized Post Office Better?

Not everyone thinks the U.S. Postal Service is worth saving. Tad DeHaven of the Cato Institute says spiraling costs and uncertain revenues can be solved with privatization. Host Michel Martin and DeHaven discuss what a private postal service might look like.

Do You Need Your Mailman?

Today is perhaps the busiest day for the U.S. Postal Service. While workers are hustling to keep up with holiday mail, the agency lost $5 billion last year. The postal service plans for major cuts, but Congress wants to weigh options. Host Michel Martin speaks with two advocates of the postal service, Rep. Ed Towns (D-NY), and author Philip Rubio.

House Republicans Prolong Payroll Tax Cut Standoff

The House on Tuesday is scheduled to vote to send the fight over the payroll tax holiday to a conference committee. But Democrats say they won't appoint conferees. House Republicans object to the Senate measure, because it would extend the payroll tax holiday and unemployment benefits for just two months while a longer-term deal is worked out.
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Virginia Assembly Considers Tax Credit Transparency

Legislators in Virginia are working on a bill that would make all tax credits received over $1,000 a matter of public record so state residents could have a better idea of who is -- and is not -- helping fill state coffers.

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Virginia Governor Unveils $84.9B Budget Proposal

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell unveiled his first state budget Monday -- a $84.9 billion proposal that features major contributions to the state retirement system and major adjustments to education funding.


Tablets Replace Some Small Businesses Tools

Tablets are not just changing how people go about their lives. They're also changing the way businesses function. Small businesses especially are using tablets to replace a variety of business tools: from menus, to timecards, to cash registers.

House Poised To Reject Budget Deal

Days after it seemed Congress had struck a budget, tax cut and unemployment deal that would get it through the holidays, it is clear that they did not. House Speaker John Boehner Monday must deal with a restive House GOP caucus that signaled over the weekend that it had no interest in going along with the Senate's two-month plan. NPR congressional correspondent David Welna joins Lynn Neary with the latest.