Tamara Keith

Tamara Keith is a NPR White House Correspondent. She is especially focused on matters related to the economy and the Federal budget.

Prior to moving into her current role in January 2014, she was a Congressional Correspondent covering Congress with an emphasis on the budget, taxes and the ongoing fiscal fights. During the Republican presidential primaries she covered Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich in South Carolina, and traveled with Mitt Romney leading into the primaries in Colorado and Ohio, among other states. She began covering congress in August 2011.

Keith joined NPR in 2009 as a Business Reporter. In that role, she reported on topics spanning the business world from covering the debt downgrade and debt ceiling crisis to the latest in policy debates, legal issues and technology trends. In early 2010, she was on the ground in Haiti covering the aftermath of the country's disastrous earthquake and later she covered the oil spill in the Gulf. In 2011, Keith conceived and reported the 2011 NPR series The Road Back To Work, a year-long series featuring the audio diaries of six people in St. Louis who began the year unemployed and searching for work.

Keith has deep roots in public radio and got her start in news by writing and voicing essays for NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday as a teenager. While in college, she launched her career at NPR Member Station KQED's California Report, covering topics including agriculture and the environment. In 2004, Keith began working at NPR Member Station WOSU in Columbus, Ohio, where she reported on politics and the 2004 presidential campaign.

Keith went back to California to open the state capital bureau for NPR Member Station KPCC/Southern California Public Radio. In 2006, Keith returned to KQED, serving as the Sacramento-region reporter for two years.

In 2001, Keith began working on B-Side Radio, an hour-long public radio show and podcast that she co-founded, produced, hosted, edited, and distributed for nine years.

Over the course of her career Keith has been the recipient of numerous accolades, including an award for best news writing from the APTRA California/Nevada and a first place trophy from the Society of Environmental Journalists for "Outstanding Story Radio." Keith was a 2010-2011 National Press Foundation Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow.

Keith earned a bachelor's degree in Philosophy from University of California, Berkeley, and a master's degree at the UCB Graduate School of Journalism. Tamara is also a member of the Bad News Babes, a media softball team that once a year competes against female members of Congress in the Congressional Women's Softball game.

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5:36am

Tue December 11, 2012
Economy

What Happens If We Fall Off The 'Fiscal Cliff'?

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 10:55 am

iStockphoto.com

Lines of communication remain open in an effort to avert the automatic tax hikes and spending cuts known as the "fiscal cliff," according to the White House and House Speaker John Boehner.

If no deal is reached between now and the end of the year, would the consequences be that drastic?

To answer that question, let's imagine it's January and the nation has gone off the "fiscal cliff." You don't really feel any different and things don't look different, either. That's because, according to former congressional budget staffer Stan Collender, the cliff isn't really a cliff.

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5:36pm

Thu December 6, 2012
It's All Politics

Boehner Faces Conservative Backlash Over 'Fiscal Cliff' Talks

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 6:40 pm

House Speaker John Boehner appears at a news conference after a House Republican conference meeting Wednesday on Capitol Hill.
Alex Wong Getty Images

The Internet has not been kind to House Speaker John Boehner in recent days. On Twitter, there are some new, not-so-subtle hashtags going around: #boehnermustgo, #fireboehner and #purgeboehner.

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5:18pm

Thu November 29, 2012
It's All Politics

Would Raising Taxes On Investment Income Hurt The Economy?

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 9:53 pm

A screen grab from an ad by the Defend My Dividend campaign, which is funded by utilities and other companies. They don't support a proposed increase in taxes from investment income.
YouTube

As Democratic and Republican leaders try to work out a deal to avoid the automatic spending cuts and tax increases of the fiscal cliff, one area they're zeroing in on is investment income.

Raising the rates on capital gains and dividends, even just for the wealthy, would bring in $240 billion over the next decade. That makes them an easy place to look for new revenue.

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10:10am

Thu November 29, 2012
It's All Politics

Why Dividends, Capital Gains Are Big Part Of Fiscal Cliff Talks

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 1:58 pm

As the White House and Congress debate how to steer clear of the fiscal cliff, one obstacle is the president's insistence that the wealthy should pay more in taxes. And one way that could happen is through changing the rules for dividends and capital gains.

If you own a share of stock in a company today, when the company pays out a dividend, the most you're taxed is 15 percent. And if you decide to sell the stock and cash out, you'd also pay 15 percent on your profits — the capital gains.

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7:43am

Thu November 29, 2012
Politics

Obama's Plan For Dividends, Gains: Who Would Pay?

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 4:03 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

On a Thursday, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

In the latest effort to avoid the automatic fiscal cliff tax hikes and spending cuts, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner meets today with Democratic and Republican congressional leaders on Capitol Hill.

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5:30am

Tue November 27, 2012
It's All Politics

Fiscal Cliff Compromise: Devil Is In The Definition Of Revenue

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 12:29 pm

A grand bargain, a compromise to avert the so-called fiscal cliff, could all come down to one word: revenue. It's now widely agreed that steering away from the cliff — the combination of spending cuts and tax increases set to hit at the start of the year — will require some combination of revenue increases and spending cuts. The central sticking point could well be whether President Obama and Congress can agree on the definition of revenue.

At the moment, the casual observer could easily get the sense that the president and Republicans in Congress are talking past each other.

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3:31am

Tue November 13, 2012
It's All Politics

Fiscal Cliff Would Only Dent The Deficit

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 7:30 pm

House Speaker John Boehner, seen last week, discusses the looming fiscal cliff.
Brendan Hoffman Getty Images

Virtually everyone agrees that allowing the nation to fall off the fiscal cliff would be a bad thing.

Government programs would be cut, taxes would rise significantly on a majority of Americans, and according to the Congressional Budget Office, the economy would fall back into recession.

But get this: Even if all of those things happen, there would still be a budget deficit.

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6:39am

Sun November 11, 2012
Economy

Congress Barrels Toward Fiscal Cliff

Originally published on Sun November 11, 2012 12:36 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

Here's a term you're going to get really tired of in the next several weeks - if you haven't already: The fiscal cliff. It's a combination of automatic spending cuts and tax increases set to hit at the start of the year. That is, if Congress and the president fail to find a way to avoid it.

NPR's Tamara Keith has this primer.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Both House Speaker John Boehner and the president made it clear, they don't want to go off the cliff.

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5:56am

Wed November 7, 2012
Election 2012

Ohio Goes Blue, Disappoints Romney Supporters

Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 10:31 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

For weeks, months - make that years - the conventional wisdom has been that the presidential election would all come down to Ohio, and Ohio would be very close. Well, that was partially right. Ohio was very close, but as NPR's Tamara Keith reports, not as pivotal as predicted.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Jack Shumate(ph) flew into Ohio last Thursday from Dallas, Texas. He came here because this was the place where he felt he could really make a difference for his candidate, Mitt Romney.

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5:41am

Tue November 6, 2012
Politics

Alternative Minimum Tax Could Affect 25 Million Taxpayers

Originally published on Tue November 6, 2012 12:18 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now, let's talk about what's at stake for the winners - our latest installment in the series we're calling "Fiscal Cliff Notes."

(SOUNDBITE OF BROADCAST MONTAGE)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: On January 1st, 2013, there's going to be a massive fiscal cliff - of large spending cuts...

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #1: From the painful cuts to the Defense Department, food safety, education...

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: The Bush tax cuts, the payroll tax cuts...

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #3: Taxmaggedon.

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