Scott Horsley

Scott Horsley is NPR's Chief Economics Correspondent. He reports on ups and downs in the national economy as well as fault lines between booming and busting communities.

Horsley spent a decade on the White House beat, covering both the Trump and Obama administrations. Before that, he was a San Diego-based business reporter for NPR, covering fast food, gasoline prices, and the California electricity crunch of 2000. He also reported from the Pentagon during the early phases of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Before joining NPR in 2001, Horsley worked for NPR Member stations in San Diego and Tampa, as well as commercial radio stations in Boston and Concord, New Hampshire. Horsley began his professional career as a production assistant for NPR's Morning Edition.

Horsley earned a bachelor's degree from Harvard University and an MBA from San Diego State University. He lives in Washington, DC, with his dog, Rosie.

President Obama has kept his distance from the supercommittee. Unlike the budget battles earlier this year, there were no bargaining sessions at the White House and no presidential motorcades to Capitol Hill.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The economy is expected to dominate all other issues in next year's presidential race. But in recent days, both the Republican candidates and President Obama have focused on foreign policy.

Republican White House hopefuls criticized President Obama's handling of Iran, Afghanistan and the Arab Spring during a debate Saturday night in South Carolina. It was the first of this year's debates in which foreign policy was the dominant topic.

Although the candidates aimed most of their firepower at the sitting president, the forum did expose some fault lines within the Republican ranks.

The Senate has approved just in time for Veterans Day a series of tax credits designed to make it easier for veterans to find jobs.

Some 240,000 veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan are out of work. The Senate bill would provide tax breaks of up to $9,600 to private employers who hire them.

The tax credits are the first sliver of President Obama's $447 billion jobs package to actually win bipartisan approval in the Senate. Obama says service members who fought for their country shouldn't have to fight for jobs when they come home.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

President Obama joked that the G-20 summit in Cannes, France, offered a crash course in European politics, with impromptu bargaining sessions that stretched late into the evening.

Yet the summit produced no big breakthroughs, only vague promises to prevent the political and economic turmoil in Greece from spreading.

After huddling with leaders from throughout the eurozone, Obama reiterated his belief that the countries on the continent can solve their own debt problems.

The setting for this year's G-20 summit meeting is the Riviera Convention Center that hosts the Cannes Film Festival. President Obama will be walking the red carpet, but it's the European leaders who are stars of this show.

The Europeans are facing pressure to erect a financial "firewall" that will prevent the debt problems now plaguing Greece from spreading to the rest of the Continent and beyond.

The Congressional Budget Office released a report this week showing that the gap between wealthy and poor Americans has become much wider than it once was.

What's behind that expanding income gap?

Federal tax policy is part of the story. Those at the top of the income ladder have been the biggest beneficiaries of tax cuts over the last three decades.

But the biggest change has come in the shape of the economy itself.

Rick Perry doesn't have a catchy marketing slogan for his tax plan. But he's hoping the idea of a flat, 20 percent income tax rate will do for his campaign what "9-9-9" did for Herman Cain's.

"We need a tax code that unleashes growth instead of preventing it; that promotes fairness, not class warfare," Perry said during a speech at the ISO Poly Films factory Tuesday in Gray Court, S.C.

Even as President Obama announced the troop withdrawal from Iraq on Friday, he acknowledged the U.S. now faces a bigger challenge: creating opportunity and jobs in this country.

"After a decade of war, the nation that we need to build — and the nation that we will build — is our own," he said, "an America that sees its economic strength restored just as we've restored our leadership around the globe."

President Obama, a critic of the Iraq War from the beginning, announced Friday that all U.S. troops will leave Iraq by the end of December. After nearly nine years, he said, the war will be over.

The president spoke after a videoconference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The White House says the two men agreed this is the best way forward for both countries.

The president's announcement fulfills a campaign promise he made more than four years ago.

President Obama said Moammar Gadhafi's death marks the end of a long and painful chapter for the Libyan people. The seven-month military campaign that toppled the Libyan leader also marks a high point for the kind of international cooperation that Obama has championed.

The White House was careful Thursday not to claim vindication for the president's policies, but the Libyan exercise does offer an example of what an "Obama Doctrine" might look like.

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