Republicans propose funding cuts to OSHA during pandemic

Nov 11, 2020
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says it has received more than 10,000 COVID-related complaints.
Loren Sweatt, principal deputy assistant secretary of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, responds to questions during a House subcommittee hearing on the federal government's actions to protect workers during COVID-19 on May 28, 2020 in Washington.
Rod Lamkey/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

U.S. debt is hitting historic heights. How much of a problem is that?

The last time the deficit was this high, as a percentage of the total economy, was 1946.
A national debt counter from mid-June. The U.S. is approaching a position it has not seen since World War II, as the amount of government debt is on pace to exceed the size of the nation's economy.
Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Which businesses should governments bail out during COVID-19?

May 21, 2020
The speed at which governments are having to decide which companies to offer assistance to has echoes of the 2008 financial crisis.
"What we're talking about now is government having its ownership fingers on probably all types of business imaginable," Lord Paul Myners said.
Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP via Getty Images

Why the Chamber of Commerce is making a case for bipartisanship

Jan 14, 2019
The Chamber of Commerce wants lawmakers to end the shutdown. And to do it, they'll need to reach across the aisle.
The U.S. Capitol is seen at dusk, Jan. 21, 2018 in Washington, DC.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Paying lip service to the deficit

Nov 8, 2018
Politicians have been pretty quiet lately about the $800 billion budget deficit. That's about to change.
“Washington needs to find a way to spend less,” Mitch McConnell said in 2011, back when the Kentucky Republican was Senate minority leader. Above, he addresses the Value Voters Summit in Washington, D.C., in September. 
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

How much U.S. debt is too much?

Oct 16, 2018
Balancing the federal budget is a bigger deal for politicians than economists.
The United States could simply make more money to pay its bills, said Stephanie Kelton, an economics professor at Stony Brook University. But taken to an extreme, that could lead to higher inflation.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

How much U.S. debt is too much?

Oct 16, 2018
Balancing the federal budget is a bigger deal for politicians than economists.
The United States could simply make more money to pay its bills, said Stephanie Kelton, an economics professor at Stony Brook University. But taken to an extreme, that could lead to higher inflation.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

You’ve got questions. We help you answer them.

Support nonprofit, independent journalism that makes you smarter.

Here’s how deficit-inducing tax cuts lead to trade deficits

by
Sep 5, 2018
The U.S. trade deficit in July surged to a five-month high, $50.1 billion, as exports of products like soybeans and civilian aircraft fell, while imports reached record levels. President Donald Trump regularly complains about trade deficits, but his own spending policies tend to undermine the goal of lowering the trade gap. One part of the […]

Why budgets of federal agencies are “use-it-or-lose-it”

Mar 27, 2018
Federal agencies are now trying to figure out how to spend billions of dollars in the next six months. President Donald Trump signed the $1.3 trillion spending bill Congress sent him last week, unleashing funding for fiscal year 2018, which is already half over. It’s a use-it-or-lose it situation for federal agencies. Click the audio player […]

On infrastructure, Donald Trump has a math problem

by
Feb 12, 2018
Today, the White House outlined a $1.5 trillion plan to deal with our nation’s infrastructure problems — everything from waterways to highways to commercial space infrastructure. But the federal government plans to provide just $200 billion of that $1.5 trillion. Where would the rest come from? Mostly from state and local governments, who already feel burdened […]