Now to one of the big sticking points in Washington these days. Much of the debate over impending tax hikes and budget cuts centers on the tax rate for top earners. President Obama argues the tax rate for income over $250,000 a year should be allowed to go up. Republicans say there should be no change in tax rates. When Democrats talk about raising taxes on the wealthy, Republicans hear it as raising taxes on small businesses and killing jobs.
Well, NPR's S.V. Date has been exploring that argument.
Michigan's House approved legislation on Tuesday that would significantly weaken union powers, as protestors gathered outside. Opponents claim it is politically motivated and hurts the average worker. Supporters say it will help attract new businesses to the state. Thousands of protestors descended on the capitol building as the vote took place.
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Speaker of the House John Boehner took to his chamber's floor today with an update on negotiations over the federal budget. As the clock ticks toward automatic spending cuts and tax hikes, Boehner gave the impression that little has changed.
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George Zimmerman, the former neighborhood watch volunteer who shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, has himself become a victim. That was the message today from Zimmerman's lawyers, who were in court asking a judge to loosen the terms of his release on bail. The judge refused.
But as NPR's Greg Allen reports, the hearing gave a preview of some of the arguments expected if the case goes to trial.
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And I'm Audie Cornish. It is the biggest penalty ever paid by a bank to the U.S. government. HSBC, a British company, will hand over $1.9 billion to settle a money laundering case. The Justice Department says HSBC violated the bank secrecy act and the trading with the enemy act by doing business with the likes of Iran.