Federal Budget

Gage Skidmore / Flickr/cc

It's our monthly check in with Political Junkie Ken Rudin. We're covering some of the top political stories of recent weeks including Indiana's controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act, federal budget proposals from congress, and the latest from the presidential field of hopefuls.

  Guest:

Federal Debt: How Worried Should We Be?

Jan 21, 2015
Valerio Luise / Flickr/CC

Although the debt debate has receded, some keeping a close eye on the issue continue to advocate for urgent measures to address what they see as an ever-looming problem. But others say those fears are overblown and that the priority should be economic investment and boosting the middle class.

GUESTS:

File Photo / NHPR

New Hampshire U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen says the Senate should pass the two-year budget plan the House passed by a wide margin last week.

The Hawaii Independent / Flickr Creative Commons

With the next big federal budget battle looming, there’s a lot of talk this time that Social Security and other entitlement programs must be part of any debt-reduction conversation.  But other voices are pushing back, saying this is the wrong place to look for savings - given the vital importance of this program to so many Americans.

GUESTS:

File Photo / NHPR

U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen says by getting to work now on a long-term spending plan, Congress can hopefully avoid another last-minute deal like the one reached earlier this week.

Senator Shaheen says one of the positive things to come out of the resolution to the partial government was the establishment of a committee of conference focused on crafting a federal budget.

During a stop at a business in Salem on Friday, Shaheen says that committee has already started its work.

The shutdown of the federal government is expanding to include privately run campgrounds in national forests across the country, a spokesman for the U.S. Forest Service said late Thursday.

“We are in the process of shutting these operations down at facilities across the country due to the lapse in funding,” wrote spokesman Leo Kay in an e-mail. “Some closures have already taken place while others are still in progress.”

That is expected to include twenty-two campgrounds in The White Mountain National Forest operated by Pro Sports Inc. of Campton.

jacqueline.poggi / Flickr Creative Commons

With a partial Government closing now in effect – some services will continue, such as the military and the mail. But others won’t- from National forests and Parks to federally-backed loans.   We’ll look at the politics and the economics of this, and gauge reaction in the granite state.

GUESTS:

Domestic violence programs in New Hampshire are turning away some of the people coming to them for help each year.  This follows a series of state and federal budget cuts.  

jessie owen via flickr Creative Commons

Two weeks ago, Congress passed a continuing budget resolution that included an amendment to cease all funding of political science research. Currently, Poly-Sci gets about ten million dollars a year in support from the national science foundation. In a recent series of posts on Pacific Standard, Seth Masket, political scientist at the University of Denver, says his field has become a new political punching bag. We’ve asked Seth on to tell us why…and why he thinks such research matters.

Win Henderson, FEMA photo library

EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine


Dear EarthTalk: What does the budget sequester that recently took hold mean for the environment?-- Jane Burgos, Los Angeles, CA

Politicians, economists, and pundits consistently compare the federal budget to a family budget, so it follows that like a family with a stack of bills on the kitchen table, government must tighten its belt and live within its means. Whether accurate or not, it’s an easy metaphor for a complicated problem and an almost dizzying amount of line items, deficit columns and numbers followed by lots and lots of zeros. We asked an economist to help us take the analogy a step further. What would the federal budget look like when scaled down to a real household budget? And is that an accurate comparison? With us today, Matthew J. Slaughter, Associate Dean for Faculty at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

Democratic Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen from came to New Hampshire Wednesday to talk about the federal budget with prominent state democrats and business leaders on behalf of the Obama campaign.

As the top Democrat in the House Budget Committee, Chris Van Hollen has spoken out against Paul Ryan and his budget. Now, he is doing the same thing, this time for the Obama Presidential Campaign, by visiting swing states like New Hampshire.