FROM Rick Newman
Out of Work and Out of Luck: The Politics of Unemployment The Senate returned from recess today to consider Emergency Unemployment Compensation, a three-month extension to long-term unemployment insurance that lapsed over the holidays for 1.3 million Americans out of work for more than six months. Programs like it have been passed in every recession since 1957. This one had been re-authorized 11 times but expired when Congress failed to include an extension in the latest contentious budget battle. As a result only one in four unemployed Americans is estimated to receive jobless benefits, the smallest proportion in half a century. Last weekend President Obama urged Congress to re-instate long-term jobless aid. Does federal aid help job hunters stay in the labor market or discourage them from looking? How does the loss of benefits affect the economy as a whole? Should government put the money towards creating economic and job opportunities rather than providing cash?
Obama Tax-Cut Deal with GOP Faces Opposition from House Dems Supporters of President Obama's tax-cut deal with Republicans are calling it another stimulus measure. Democrats say Vice President Biden told them it's a "take it or leave it" deal. But today the House caucus voted not to debate it in its present form.
The Tax Battle Isn't Over House Democrats today voted to block debate on the trade of tax cuts for unemployment benefits that the President worked out with Republicans. Vice President Biden reportedly calls it a "take or leave it" deal, but party liberals insist the Administration gave too much and got too little. Others say it's really a second stimulus -- even bigger than Stimulus One -- that will boost the economy in time for the next election. With two-thirds of Americans in favor of its major provisions, would it be Obama's demise or salvation? What are its chances of passing?
After Government Bailout, GM Reports Profits General Motors posted its biggest quarterly profit in six years today, and tomorrow, it's expected to file for a landmark stock offering which could allow the government to give up its majority. Rick Newman is chief business correspondent for US News & World Report .
Profits of Doom: Breaking Wall Street's Addiction to Greed President Obama says free enterprise should reward hard work, but that "it does offend our values" when executives get huge bonuses, at the same time their companies are getting taxpayer bailouts to stay alive. So his so-called "pay czar" has cracked down on executive compensation at AIG, General Motors and five other companies.
Profits of Doom: Breaking Wall Street's Addiction to Greed President Obama says free enterprise should reward hard work, but that "it does offend our values" when executives get huge bonuses at the same time their companies are getting taxpayer bailouts to stay alive. So his so-called "pay czar" has cracked down on executive compensation at AIG, General Motors and five other companies. At the same time, the Federal Reserve has issued guidelines to discourage short-term risk-taking, prevent pay practices that endanger the long-term health of American banks, and reward long-term successes. Are the real villains being punished? Will unprecedented government interventions protect against another recession or is free enterprise the best protection after all?
GM Bondholders Accept Deal, Bankruptcy Still on the Table Some holders of General Motors bonds have accepted a government-brokered deal to ease the company into Chapter 11 bankruptcy early next week. The Treasury Department will provide more than $50 billion and end up owning 72.5% of a new, much smaller GM. Rick Newman reports for US News and World Report , where he is chief business correspondent.
Venezuela spirals into economic and political chaos Venezuela, a country whose potential for prosperity is unmatched, finds itself on the verge of civil war. What sustains the repressive government? With time running out, guest host León Krauze looks at what the international community can do to pull the country from the edge of collapse.
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.