It’s a busy Wednesday morning at the private Lowell School in Washington. Teacher Sarah Smith is herding rambunctious seventh graders into their seats for the first class of the day: Humanities. Part of the curriculum: government.
I’m a special guest this morning, here to get the seventh grade perspective on the shutdown. These kids have a front row seat for the shutdown show. When I ask who knows somebody who works for the government, hands shoot up.
One student says, "My dad works for EPA."
"My aunt works in the Senate," another shouts.
These students are paying attention. So when I ask them what their advice for Congress is, they’re ready.
"I don’t know whether this would work but maybe if the government had a certain amount of money for each thing they would want to buy," says Naomi Steinglass. "So they would have a section of money for schools and a section for healthcare."
I tell her that believe it or not, that’s how the government is supposed to work, explaining that Congress didn’t pass the budget bills this year. And the government shut down. I ask the kids for more ideas. Ari Katz has something to say. He’s the one whose aunt works in the Senate.
"I think Congress should allow the government an allowance," he says. And when the money runs out, he says, the spending stops. Heads nod in agreement. These kids know how allowances work. It’s sort of like a balanced budget amendment.
Isabel Albores raises her hand. She’s the daughter of the EPA employee. She takes that balanced budget idea one step further.
"The government should start setting aside like five percent of the money they get from taxes, so that they can start paying off the debt," she says.
With that last little bit of earnest wisdom, class is over. And the kids get back to their world. Of allowances, limits and raising their hands to speak.
Ireland is voting on a potentially money-saving proposal on Friday to abolish the upper house of the country's parliament.
The chamber in question has relatively weak power, says Austin Hughes, chief economist at KBC Bank. The amount of money that would be saved is quite limited -- about 10-20 million euros a year -- and Hughes says the savings would just cause a small dent in the country's deficit.
"In the context of a government deficit that this year is around 12 billion euros, arguments about 20 million euros seem very, very unimportant."
Austin Hughes, chief economist at KBC Bank, joins Marketplace Morning Report host David Brancaccio to discuss.
Twitter has made public its papers for an S-1 Initial Public Offering.
It is not 140 characters long, though the company did send out a tweet before releasing its plans to the SEC.
We've got new details on the inner workings of the social network known for brevity. For one, Twitter wants to raise a cool billion dollars -- at least -- when it opens its doors to Wall Street. A nice big number considering the fact that like so many tech companies, Twitter isn't profitable yet.
The IPO documents were made public on the Securities and Exchange Commission web site on Thursday, and in the documents we learned that the company intends to trade under the ticket symbol "TWTR". But, in one of the most closely watched decisions, Twitter declined to select an exchange: Either the Nasdaq or the NYSE.
There's been talk for months about whether the popular micro-blogging site would go public. But Twitter's filing was a bit unconventional.
The company filed for an initial public offering of stock with the help of a provision in the JOBS Act.
Click here to listen to more about Twitter's news.
President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner have had five years of fights and negotiations to learn how to work together. But today, their relationship is as sour as it's ever been. While closer ties might not solve the shutdown, the mutual suspicion and mistrust isn't helping.