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When the government can no longer pay full Social Security benefits

May 7, 2024
Monday's report on the system's "go-broke" date raises questions about how Social Security is funded.
Projections indicate that Social Security and Medicare benefits will be cut immediately after 2033 by 21%, says Will McBride, vice president of federal tax policy at the Tax Foundation.
Bill Oxford via Getty Images

How entitlements like Social Security and Medicare got so big

May 3, 2024
These programs are the biggest part of the budget, and cuts to them feel personal, one expert says. Reducing them has been tough historically.
Social Security started during the Depression as a way to get money to elderly people, many of whom were living in poverty. Now it's the biggest U.S. government expense.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
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Looking for a “fresh start” amid Phoenix’s semiconductor boom

The federal government is spending billions to support semiconductor manufacturing. But trainees seeking chipmaking jobs may have to wait.
Students in the Semiconductor Technician Quick Start training course at Mesa Community College practice while wearing “bunny suits,” the required workwear at fabrication plants.
Maria Hollenhorst/Marketplace

Chip factory growth boughs to native plants in Phoenix

Here's the story of one business at the intersection of conservation and growth amid Phoenix’s semiconductor boom.
“What we have been able to do with developers is make them understand that not only is there an environmental advantage to saving the trees ... there's also a monetary advantage,” says Rob Kater, owner of Native Resources.
Maria Hollenhorst/Marketplace

CHIPS funds are heading to Phoenix, “ground zero for the new economy”

An influx of federal investment in the Arizona metropolis is meant to energize the nation's tech industry and accelerate job creation. Will it work?
President Joe Biden arrives at the TSMC facility in Phoenix to speak in December 2022. TSMC was recently awarded $6.6 billion in CHIPS Act funding.
Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Demand for Treasury bonds dips in times of uncertainty

Apr 16, 2024
Investors fear missing out on higher rates of return by locking up the money they put in for 10 years or more.
Thanks to uncertainty about the Fed's next move, bond traders may not be too excited about upcoming Treasury bonds.
Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images
Ten-year bond yields theoretically signal the levels of interest rates years into the future.
Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images

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Fed Chair Powell: Interest rates likely won't return to "historically low levels" before the pandemic

Powell discusses how monetary policymakers arrive at consensus, the value of transparency and the issues that influence interest rate decisions.
"Marketplace" host Kai Ryssdal interviews Jay Powell, head of the Federal Reserve.
Courtesy Federal Reserve

Child care gets a boost in the new federal spending law, but advocates say it isn't enough

Mar 27, 2024
They say programs designed to help low-income families are only reaching a fraction of those eligible.
"We got this $1 billion increase that's going to help the [child care] programs that exist, but we need so much more," said the Century Foundation's Julie Kashen.
Ina Fassbender/AFP via Getty Images

Proposed appropriations bill would practically double the size of the Border Patrol

Mar 22, 2024
Congress failed to pass comprehensive immigration reform, so it's using the appropriations bill to bulk up the Department of Homeland Security.
The $1.2 trillion spending package to be voted on by the House on Friday includes funds to hire 22,000 more Border Patrol agents.
Suzanne Cordeiro/AFP via Getty Images