President Obama unveiled his budget proposal today, which includes tax increases on the wealthy as well as cuts to social security.
David Kelly, chief global strategist at JP Morgan Funds, joins Marketplace Morning Report host Jeremy Hobson to explain Obama's proposed budget and how it differs from House Republican plans.
The alleged attacker, 20-year-old Dylan Quick, told authorities he "has had fantasies of stabbing people to death since he was in elementary school," according to the local sheriff's department. Fourteen people were hurt before the suspect was tackled by other students.
Also: David Axelrod is writing a memoir; a Kindle creator has choice words for Amazon; Matthew Specktor on the purpose of literature.
The Lady Huskies beat Louisville 93-60. Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma has now won eight women's championships. He's tied with former Tennessee coach Pat Summit for the most titles in the history of Division I women's basketball.
South Korean officials say the North has made preparations and looks ready to make its next provocative move. The mood in Seoul remains calm, however.
This morning President Obama unveils his ideas for a federal budget. It's expected to include a proposal for higher taxes on the wealthy and an end to corporate tax loopholes. It's also expected to include a plan to change the way student loan interest rates are set. Right now, rates are set to double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent in July.
"It's important to point out that the interest rate that's going to double is not on outstanding loans," says Jason Delisle, director of the federal education budget project at the New America Foundation.
"The interest rate that's going to double is on a subset of loans for undergraduate students, for the upcoming academic year," Delisle says.
Those loans, called Stafford loans, are capped at $5,500 a year. Delisle says even if the interest rate doubles it would only mean paying about $9 extra a month.
"Over the course of repayment, it's a lot," says Ethan Senack, who works with U.S. PIRG, a non-profit research organization. U.S. PIRG recently released a report saying the government stands to make billions off of student loans.
"By the end of a student's college career when they enter into repayment, they'll see a cost increase of about $4,000 to $5,000," says Senack, who adds that the government shouldn't be in the business of profiting off of higher education.
When you hear the word lobster, you probably think of Maine. Now the industry there is proposing to spend big bucks on advertising. Some lobstermen say that’s a waste of money, but others want in on new markets.
Lobsterman Nelson King fishes from the village of East Boothbay, about a third of the way up the Maine coast.
“It’s a nice place to live,” he says. “One of the best hurricane-hole harbors around here.” King has been a lobsterman there since 1959, when he says a license cost a couple bucks.
“They’re $167 today, and about to go through the roof,” King says.
Lobstermen’s license fees include a surcharge that pays for the Maine Lobster Council to plug the industry in the U.S. and abroad. A bill before the state legislature would more than double those fees over the next few years to boost the council’s annual budget to $3 million.
That’s ten times the current amount, and Nelson King doesn’t see the point.
“You’ve never heard anyone go into a restaurant and say, ‘I want a New Hampshire lobster, I want a Canadian lobster, give me one of them Massachusetts fellas’,” he explains. King says more marketing would benefit only restaurants and dealers.
Maine lobstermen are catching more lobster than ever but the prices they get for their catch hit record lows last summer. Boothbay lobsterman Mark Jones doesn’t mind the surcharge hike if it helps increase demand.
“You know, I’m looking at this through my own eyes as a business owner, that it's minimal effect and it could have huge payoff,” Jones says. “Five years down the road we may be looking at a huge spike in our price.”
If the new law passes, Maine lobstermen will spend about one percent of the gross value of their catch on promotion. The state got that number from commodities marketing expert Harry Kaiser at Cornell University.
“There’s a basic threshold in a marketing budget,” Kaiser explains. “If you spend under the threshold you’re really not going to have any impact because the message is just not going to get out there.” Kaiser points to successful campaigns like “Got Milk” or “Beef. It’s what’s for dinner.”
Some Maine lobstermen say their commodity is much higher-end, and it’ll never sell like hamburger, no matter how much they spend on marketing.
Tell us: If you were to come up with slogan for lobster, what would it be?
In the airplane-making business, there are really only two big names that matter: Boeing, which is based in the U.S., and Airbus, which is based in France.
This week, Airbus entered Boeing's territory by breaking ground on its first U.S. assembly plant in Mobile, Alabama. CEO of Airbus Fabrice Bregier joins Marketplace Morning Report host Jeremy Hobson to discuss the new venture and what's ahead for the company.
On opening an assembly plant in Alabama:
Bregier: "We are investing in an assembly line in a very complex part of the manufacturing process. What counts for us is to have a strong industry presence [in the U.S.], next to our customers. And we have a selected the state of Alabama because we have been partnering with them in the past. We enjoy very good support with the state of Alabama and the business community."
On competing with Boeing:
Bregier: "It’s an open market. Normally we enjoy a 50 percent market share. In the rest of the world we are leading actually. But in the United States, for legacy reasons, for historical reasons, we are lagging behind. We have a market share which is a bit lower than 20 percent and we believe we are getting closer to our customers. Investing in Alabama will help us increase our market share.
The competition with Boeing is very, very tough. We first have to communicate about the quality of our products. For the legacy companies linked to Boeing, it is more difficult to switch. But if you look at American Airlines, they procured 260 aircraft recently from Airbus, so we can make it. If we are seen as very good U.S. citizens, we produce our aircraft in America, when our competitor is outsourcing, I think it’s also a plus."
To hear more about the global airplane industry and the future of solar-powered planes, click on the audio player above.
The Pentagon won't say what they are, but the Air Force has now officially designated six cyber technologies as "weapons."
"This means that the game-changing capability [of] cyber is going to get more attention and the recognition that it deserves," said Lieutenant General John Hyten, vice commander of the Air Force Space Command.
Recognition and money, since military budgets tend to favor weapons.
"At the same time that there is this mounting pressure and competition for resources within the Pentagon budget, the U.S. government and intelligence agencies are reporting an exponential growth in the number of cyberattacks," says Reuters correspondent Andrea Shalal-Esa.
Shalal-Esa says putting the weapons label on certain cyber systems is about making computer warfare mainstream inside the Pentagon.
"It's all about normalizing, that this is a war fighting domain -- along with air, land, sea, space, and now cyber space," says Shalal-Esa.
If cyber warfare technology brings funding, the government will need to attract talent, and that could be a challenge.
"To really become a specialist in cyber-security, it takes a pretty strong technical background, says Professor John Moore, head of the Math and Computer Science department at South Carolina military college The Citadel. "Not everybody wants to go through that, but people respond to the needs of the United States and the needs of the military, and of course where the funding is."
Bed Bath & Beyond will release fourth-quarter earnings figures on Wednesday and analysts are expecting the company to post good results, despite stiff competiton posed by online retailers and other brick and mortar housewares stores.
Analysts say Bed Bath & Beyond seems to have found its niche -- benefitting from the Goldilocks syndrome. Patty Edwards, retail analyst at Trutina, says, for a lot of people, a company like Crate & Barrel is too expensive, while less-pricey Target doesn't have as much selection.
"[At Bed Bath & Beyond] you can buy a $20 towel or you can buy a $2 towel," Edwards says, "But you can do all of that in one spot."
Edwards adds that as the housing market improves, more people are shopping for home furnishings and housewares. And the threat from online retailers isn't really affecting Bed Bath just yet.
Sucharita Mulpuru, a retail analyst at Forrester, says that online giants like Amazon may dominate sales of books and electronics, but they still have a lot to learn about selling housewares. Mulpuru, who was herself recently trying to buy a hanging mirror which she knew was available at Bed Bath & Beyond, decided to look online as well.
"I couldn't find what I was looking for at all on Amazon," she says.
Every year the federal government gives needy college students $34.5 billion that they don't have to pay back. More than 9 million students rely on Pell Grants. A new study says in addition to many of the students being older, much of that money is going to people who never graduate.
Hackathons are typically events where programmers gather to compete to solve a software challenge. But a food hackathon has just wrapped up in San Francisco, where programmers, designers, and investors spent a couple of days working on ways to improve the food system.
"There is a whole wave of innovation that is going to be happening around different food businesses -- both straightforward, as well as crazy," says Dave McClure, of the venture capital firm 500 Startups who participated as a hackathon judge. Among the things that captured his imagination: Harvesting edible insects, hand-gesture recognition in restaurants, and renting, instead of owning, a garden.
Avant-garde chefs are also part of the movement to bring new high tech thinking to the dining table. Wylie Dufresne, chef and owner of famous New York restaurant WD-50, joins Marketplace Tech host David Brancaccio to discuss his approach to food and cooking.
To learn more about San Francisco's Food Hackathon, click here.
Around the country, budget cuts are bringing some federal public defenders to the breaking point. "We can't not pay the rent, and ... everything else is personnel. We can't send a computer to court," says Washington, D.C., public defender A.J. Kramer.
Amid deep budget cuts and layoffs, the nation's second-largest school district is spending $4.5 million to hire 1,000 new aides this year. The superintendent says he'd rather use the money to hire back teachers, but the shootings in Newtown, Conn., led to a change in priorities.
Almost 1 million people are employed in construction in Texas, but many have a hard time making a living safely. The state's construction industry has the highest fatality rate in the nation, while large numbers of undocumented workers have suppressed wages and made it easy for contractors to exploit laborers.
How should boomers plan to pay for school when, on average, students graduate from college in the U.S. with $25,000 in debt? Ron Lieber, who writes about personal finance for The New York Times, tells Morning Edition's David Greene about planning strategies and pitfalls to avoid.
This final note today, in which President Obama chooses between cigarettes, soda and booze.
David Leonhardt points out on the New York Times website this afternoon that in the Obama budget, the President prefers taxes on tobacco over those on soft drinks and alcohol. The tax on a pack of smokes would just about double under the president's plan, to almost $2 a pack. Federal taxes on soda and beer, wine and hard liquor, meanwhile, haven't budged in 20 years or more.
Pick your sin, I suppose.
When Tiger Woods tees off at Augusta National Golf Club this week, he will have overcome injuries and personal scandal. But commentator Frank Deford wonders whether a Masters win for Woods would be a comeback or his way of getting back at his detractors.
The victory tied Geno Auriemma and the Huskies (35-4) with Pat Summitt and Tennessee for the most titles in women's basketball history. It was the most lopsided victory in a championship game.
Even a budget proposal that's likely nowhere gives a president the chance to state priorities and place dollar amounts next to them.