Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Arizona Hispanics Poised To Swing State Blue

18 minutes ago
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Edit note: This report contains accounts of rape, violence and other disturbing events.

Sex trafficking wasn't a major concern in the early 1980s, when Beth Jacobs was a teenager. If you were a prostitute, the thinking went, it was your choice.

Jacobs thought that too, right up until she came to on the lot of a dark truck stop one night. She says she had asked a friendly-seeming man for a ride home that afternoon.

Jacobs says he gave her something in an old McDonald's cup — a drug — and as she was waking up the man announced that he was a pimp. Her pimp.

The Boston Citgo sign, all 3,600 square LED feet of which has served as the backdrop to Red Sox games since 1965, is now officially a "pending landmark."

Spanish Surrealist Salvador Dalí spent much of the 1940s in the U.S., avoiding World War II and its aftermath. He was a well-known fixture on the art scene in Monterey, Calif. — and that's where the largest collection of Dalí's work on the West Coast is now open to the public.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

Pages

On Message: The Battle To Define 'Balanced' Budget

Mar 13, 2013
Originally published on March 13, 2013 6:12 pm

In the ongoing Washington budget battles, one word gets more of a workout than most: balanced.

This single word illustrates the vast distance between the parties. Democrats and Republicans are working from very different definitions of the term in discussing their budget proposals being unveiled this week.

What Democrats are saying: A balanced budget is deficit reduction through a mix of tax increases and spending cuts. As in: We want a balanced approach to reducing the deficit.

What Democrats aren't saying: Although a Democratic budget would strike a balance between tax increases and spending cuts — $975 billion of each over 10 years in the plan — it would not eliminate the deficit. That's not the goal of Democrats. Their goal is to stabilize the deficit so that the debt isn't growing faster than the economy. But as President Obama told ABC's George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday, he's not chasing "a balanced budget just for the sake of balance." Instead, the president said his goal is "how do we grow the economy, put people back to work, and if we do that we're going to be bringing in more revenue. If we've controlled spending and we've got a smart entitlement package, then potentially what you have is balance."

What Republicans are saying: A balanced budget is a budget that cuts spending to match revenues, thus eliminating the deficit. As in: Our budget balances in 10 years.

What Republicans aren't saying: The House Republican plan authored by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan projects a balanced budget in a decade, thanks to an improving economy and — notably — tax increases and Medicare savings Republicans decry. For instance, while the GOP House budget proposal calls for the repeal of the president's health care law, it counts on $1 trillion in new revenue over a decade that Obamacare would bring in, as well as the $760 billion in Medicare savings that Ryan campaigned against when he was the vice presidential nominee.

What neither side is saying: We know our "balanced" budgets are dead on arrival. The Democratic version is expected to pass only in the Democratically controlled Senate; the Republican version is expected to pass only in the GOP-controlled House. But neither of these vision documents will actually guide federal policy or government spending. They are markers, position papers, political documents complete with numbers and graphs. If you're an optimist hoping for a big deficit-reduction deal, they're opening offers on the path to a grand bargain. If you're a pessimist or maybe just a realist, they're a sign of the intractable differences between the parties and proof that we'll keep stumbling from one man-made fiscal crisis to the next.

On Message is an occasional feature exploring the language of Washington. Tamara Keith is NPR's congressional correspondent.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.