UPDATED 7:54 AM EDT, April 29, 2013 | STEPHEN OHLEMACHER, Associated Press
As the population gets older, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are eating up more and more of the federal budget, squeezing the ability of the government to pay for other programs. Today, the three massive benefit programs account for 44 percent of federal spending. Left unchanged, they will account for more than 60 percent in 25 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Last year's huge drought was a freak of nature that wasn't caused by man-made global warming, a new federal science study finds.
Scientists say the lack of moisture usually pushed up from the Gulf of Mexico was the main reason for the drought in the nation's midsection.
Thursday's report by dozens of scientists from five different federal agencies looked into why forecasters didn't see the drought coming. The researchers concluded that it was so unusual and unpredictable that it couldn't have been forecast.
The Blue Angels flight acrobats grounded. Fewer Navy patrols in the Middle East. A thousand fewer Secret Service agents and investigators. Widespread furloughs.
In painstaking and relentless detail, the Obama administration is leaking out stark plans for government cutbacks if the automatic spending cuts known as the budget sequester takes effect March 1, hoping to pressure Republicans to reach a compromise by showing the consequences in their home districts.
It's a giant game of political chicken, and the administration makes no apologies.
Beneath the expressions of grief, sorrow and disbelief over the Connecticut school massacre lies an uneasy truth in Washington: over the last few years the Obama administration and Congress quietly let federal funding for several key school security programs lapse in the name of budget savings.
Voters have already heard a lot about President Barack Obama's use of taxpayer money to fund green energy companies under the $787 billion stimulus law -- especially those that went bankrupt.
Yet for all the angst over the failure of the Solyndra solar manufacturer, the facts surrounding Obama's loans and grants for renewable energy manufacturing offer a picture that blends general success with a few noteworthy, expensive failures.
Republicans have jumped on the bankruptcy of the A123 battery company as an example of wasteful energy spending by the Obama administration. But one of the vocal GOP critics, in fact, requested the money in the first place.
A123 Systems, based in Massachusetts, produces lithium batteries for electric cars at two Michigan factories and was awarded almost $250 million in a grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The company has received about half the money so far.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden has mangled a heaping helping of facts over the years. Despite being newer to presidential-campaign politics, Republican Paul Ryan has already earned something of a reputation for taking flying leaps past reality.
How'd they do Thursday night?
Here's a look at some of their claims:
BIDEN, on whether U.S. should have beefed up security at the U.S. Consulate in Libya before the deadly terrorist attack there: "We weren't told they wanted more security there."
WASHINGTON (AP) — Mitt Romney solely blamed President Barack Obama on Monday for potential defense cuts that Republicans in Congress worked out with the White House and Democrats and left the misimpression that Obama has ignored free trade initiatives.
A closer look at some of the Republican presidential nominee's statements in his foreign policy speech:
ROMNEY: "I will roll back President Obama's deep and arbitrary cuts to our national defense that would devastate our military."