The congressional negotiators trying to write a budget to avoid a potential shutdown next month missed their first informal deadline Monday.
Federal welfare spending has grown by 32 percent over the past four years, fattened by President Obama's stimulus spending and swelled by a growing number of Americans whose recession-depleted incomes now qualify them for public assistance, according to numbers released Thursday.
Come January, be prepared for fewer air traffic controllers, FBI agents, border patrol officers and park rangers, as well as lower farm and winter heating subsidies. Less meat might get inspected. Furloughs likely will sweep across the government. Even the weather service could be affected.