The U.S. economy is improving, even though Americans keep having to look over their shoulders at Europe. The state of the economy affects everything in American politics right now, from the presidential election to the budget that the White House lays out today.
NPR's Cokie Roberts has some analysis, as she does the most Mondays. Cokie, good morning.
COKIE ROBERTS, BYLINE: Hi, Steve.
INSKEEP: OK, so what does the president's budget tell us?
Deficit reduction takes a back seat to job growth in the federal budget President Obama will unveil Monday. The spending plan forecasts more red ink in the current fiscal year than in 2011. Under the president's plan, budget deficits wouldn't reach a sustainable level until 2018.
In January of last year, snow blanketed more than 42 percent of the country. Last month, it was just under 13 percent. The warm weather has lowered our heating bills and created a bit of an economic boost.
After two brutally long winters, the temperatures this year have been positively balmy. In the Washington, D.C., area, they've hovered in the 50s for much of the past two and a half months. Area landscapers, whose schedules are usually pretty lean this time of year, are busier. Take Chuck Dod Landscaping, which is building a stone wall in the backyard of a home in Mclean, Va.
Governor John Hickenlooper released his 2012 budget today. It includes further cuts to higher education and K-12 schools, although not as deep as in the current budget. It also spares state workers from additional furloughs and does not call for any prison closures.
We should know next week the make-up of the bipartisan “super committee” of lawmakers who will be tasked with cutting another $1.2 to $1.5 trillion from the nation’s deficit. KUNC’s Brian Larson spoke with Colorado Statesman Publisher Jody Hope Strogoff if anyone from Colorado could be on that committee.