Money in a Minute: Headlines for April 14, 2011

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In today's news: Obama promises to cut trillions, one in six Americans are on the federal dole, more jobs are being posted than in years, stores report slightly higher sales, and the government may force airlines to pay for your lost luggage.

BUDGET CUTS: Obama seeking $4 trillion deficit cut by 2023

President Obama has vowed to slash the federal government’s budget by trillions over the next 12 years. “Obama would target government spending, from the Pentagon to the Department of Agriculture,” Bloomberg reports. “and called for ending the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.”

FEDERAL AID: Record number of Americans get government help

With talk of massive budget cuts, CNN reports that one in every six Americans is receiving financial help from the government: “Enrollment in Medicaid and food stamp programs are at record highs, while unemployment insurance rolls remain at elevated levels. Many people depend on more than one program.”

JOBS: 3.1M job openings advertised, most since ’08

In February, employers posted more job openings than they have in years. “The Labor Department said employers advertised 3.1 million available jobs that month, the most since September 2008,” USA Today reports. ‘The number of jobs advertised has increased by nearly 1 million since they bottomed out in July 2009.”

SHOPPING: Store sales post slight increase

First, the good news: sales of everything from furniture to electronics rose slightly in March – a total of 0.4 percent. The bad news? “The overall gain was offset by a 1.7% decline in auto purchases in the month,” CNN reports.

SHOPPING: Government wants airlines to repay fee after losing bag

The federal government wants to force airlines to pay for your lost luggage. “The airlines charge $15 to $35 to check a bag, $20 to $45 to check a second, and more for the third and beyond,” the Associated Press reports. “Most airlines won’t provide a refund, even if it takes days to return a passenger’s suitcase.” That may be changing.

Stacy Johnson

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