In today's news: The federal government approaches the 11th hour of budget negotiations, Republicans want to cut even deeper, U.S. factories get work from Japan, baby boomers fret about retirement, and the Fed might hike interest rates.
GOVERNMENT: Shutdown: What you need to know
Congress has 72 hours to avoid a government shutdown, and negotiations between Democrats and Republicans have stalled. “It appears the two sides are still billions of dollars away from striking a deal,” CNN Money reports. “With time running out, a shutdown is looking ever more likely.”
Separate from the shutdown crisis, congressional Republicans want to phase out traditional Medicare and revamp the tax code – moves they acknowledge will cause a “big debate” with Democrats. “The plan carries political risk for Republicans because Democrats are sure to use proposals to cut some of the most popular federal programs as a cudgel before next year’s elections,” Bloomberg reports.
Factory work is migrating from stricken Japan to idle plants in the United States – everything from car parts to computer chips. “But most of the shift in production will likely be short-term, once the damaged plants are repaired,” CNN reports.
RETIREMENT: Poll reveals baby boomers’ retirement fears
Baby boomers are worried about going bust after they retire, a new poll reveals. “Only 11 percent say they are strongly convinced they will be able to live in comfort,” MSNBC reports. “A total of 55 percent said they were either somewhat or very certain they could retire with financial security.”
Will interest rates start to rise again? “Federal Reserve officials raised concerns last month that a big jump in energy prices could weaken the economy and unleash inflation,” USA Today reports, “prompting a few to suggest the possibility of tightening credit this year.”