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PODCAST: Grassley on sequester 'done deal', J.C. Penney earnings reveal

President Barack Obama (L) takes a question from top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, at the White House.

The U.S. is now just a day away from the sequester -- the $85 billion in across-the-board federal spending cuts that came out of the debt ceiling debacle of 2011. While it’s tough to find an economist that thinks the cuts are smart policy, the sequester is unlikely to be averted before tonight's midnight deadline. U.S. Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) joins Marketplace Morning Report host Jeremy Hobson to discuss the sequester and its likely impact on the economy.

J.C. Penney had another tough quarter. Sales were down 28 percent -- more than half a billion dollars. What's got the retailer down?

And Japan's prime minister Shinzo Abe said today that he wants to bring some of the country's nuclear plants back online. That reverses a decision to phase out nuclear energy following the Fukushima disaster. In his speech to parliament, Abe said Japan cited the need for energy security. The country, which does not have its own energy resources, must import large volumes of natural gas, oil and other fossil fuels from around the world in the absence of nuclear program.

About the author

Jeremy Hobson is host of Marketplace Morning Report, where he looks at business news from a global perspective to prepare listeners for the day ahead.
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I realize that Jeremy is a "business news" reporter, and not a political expert, but I couldn't believe that he didn't correct Sen Grassley when, during this interview, he said..."the President is showing the leadership that he should have shown over the last 18 months, because the day that the sequester goes into effect, he's going to have leaders down to the White House. Leaders that he hasn't talked to since January the 1st."

You'd only have to go back a whole week to find the last time that President Obama spoke with Boehner and McConnell about the sequester, publicly.

If American Public Media is in the business of reporting whatever any guest says as fact, they have become something other than journalists, and I don't need to be a sustaining member of my local NPR station to listen to politicians pawn off lies as fact for their own political gain.

Why is it that when the federal government has a budget constraint they give workers time off, but when we have a budget constraint in the real economy we just do the same job with less pay and/or benefits? It's like the rest of the economy has had to make adjustments because of the recession we've been in for the past 5 years but for government workers it's business as usual?

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