Scenes Of A Shutdown: A Synagogue Hosts Furloughed Workers

NPR

Scenes Of A Shutdown: A Synagogue Hosts Furloughed Workers

by Christina Cauterucci

October 01, 2013 6:08 PM

As more than 800,000 government employees were sent home this morning, the staff at Washington, D.C.’s Sixth & I Historic Synagogue opened “,” a gathering space for furloughed locals to work and play.

Esther Safran Foer, Sixth & I’s executive director, called an impromptu staff meeting yesterday morning to suggest that they allow displaced federal workers to use the Wi-Fi at the synagogue, which regularly hosts secular concerts and lectures in addition to events for the Jewish community.

“I can’t imagine how stressful it is to … wake up in the morning and realize you have no idea if you’re going to get paid for that day, or for the next couple days,” says Beth Semel, the synagogue’s program associate. “We wanted to give people a place to forget about it.” Continue reading “Scenes Of A Shutdown: A Synagogue Hosts Furloughed Workers”

White House Warns Of Sequestration’s Effects

by Krishnadev Calamur

February 17, 201311:27 AM
White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough at the White House on Jan. 25.

White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough at the White House on Jan. 25.

Carolyn Kaster/AP

The White House and congressional Democrats are sounding the alarm bells over the consequences of the sequester, the across-the-board cuts to the budget that are scheduled to go into effect in March.

White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said the cuts would offset “pretty good” economic activity over the past few months. He said President Obama had a plan to cut an addition $1.5 trillion from the deficit.

“He’s ready to do another $1.5 trillion to get up to the $4 trillion target that economists across the country tell us is needed to stabilize the debt over the next 10 years,” McDonough said on ABC’s This Week. “So that’s exactly what the president has done, working with Democrats and Republicans.” Continue reading “White House Warns Of Sequestration’s Effects”

Durbin: ‘We’re Buying What We Can Get’ With Debt Ceiling Extension

NPR

Durbin: ‘We’re Buying What We Can Get’ With Debt Ceiling Extension

Copyright © 2013 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Joining us now is the Senate Majority Whip, the number two Democrat in the leadership, Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois. Welcome to the program once again.

SENATOR DICK DURBIN: Good to be with you.

SIEGEL: You and other Senate Democratic leaders seem to regard the House deferring action on the debt ceiling as an olive branch. Meanwhile, House Democrats like George Miller say they’re tied to a three-month leash. What’s the good part of this deal that House Democrats don’t get? Continue reading “Durbin: ‘We’re Buying What We Can Get’ With Debt Ceiling Extension”

The Fiscal Cliff, In Three And A Half Graphics

NPR

September 20, 2012

by Jacob Goldstein and Lam Thuy Vo

For more, see this story from NPR’s Marilyn Geewax on how Congress might pass some stopgap measures to blunt the effect of the fiscal cliff.

A bunch of federal tax increases and spending cuts are scheduled to kick in around Jan. 1, 2013. This is what people are talking about when they talk about the “fiscal cliff.”

If recent experience is any guide, things will probably start to get crazy as the deadline approaches, and Congress will move at the last minute to block some of the tax increases and spending cuts.

Before things get crazy, let’s take a quick look at the numbers for fiscal year 2013. Continue reading “The Fiscal Cliff, In Three And A Half Graphics”

How ‘Government’ Became A Dirty Word

How ‘Government’ Became A Dirty Word

by NPR Staff; September 1, 2012

 President Ronald Reagan and his wife, Nancy Reagan, in the inaugural parade in Washington, D.C., in January 1981. In his speech after being sworn in, Reagan called government "the problem."

Enlarge APPresident Ronald Reagan and his wife, Nancy Reagan, in the inaugural parade in Washington, D.C., in January 1981. In his speech after being sworn in, Reagan called government “the problem.”

The message at the GOP convention this week was clear: Government is too big, too expensive, and it can’t fix our economic problems.

“The choice is whether to put hard limits on economic growth, or hard limits on the size of government. And we choose to limit government,” said Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan.

There’s nothing new about the message. Anti-big government sentiment is practically part of the American DNA, and it has deep roots in the Republican Party. Continue reading “How ‘Government’ Became A Dirty Word”