MF Global is the securities firm run by Wall Street veteran and former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine. The firm filed for bankruptcy protection last month after making bad bets on European government bonds. A trustee was appointed to wind down the company.
Lawmakers have spent much of this year struggling to reach a deal that could get budget deficits under control. But the problem has been developing for at least a decade.
Young voters might not be familiar with the government of the year 2000 — at least not by its balance sheet. The economy: booming. Tax revenue: rolling in. Expenses for war: none. And to top it off, there was a $200 billion surplus.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep. Congress threatened itself with punishment if it failed to act. Lawmakers promised automatic spending cuts if a special committee failed to reduce the deficit. Now that they have failed, some want a way out of the punishment with which they had threatened themselves. This may be just one more episode in a long fight over taxes and spending, as we hear from NPR's Ari Shapiro.