1. 140,000

    The number of low-income families set to lose rental assistance vouchers, thanks to Congress’ sequestration policy. That will save $2 billion, the same amount the government shutdown cost in back pay to federal workers.

    How to stick it to the poor: A comprehensive congressional strategy.


  2. Happy 55th birthday, NASA! 

    Unfortunately, the government shutdown means not many employees will be around, and the space agency could wind up losing hundreds of millions of dollars. Keith Wagstaff writes:

    If the shutdown drags on, the Mars MAVEN mission could miss its Nov. 18 launch date — an event that can’t be easily rescheduled, seeing as Earth and Mars are only in the right position once every 26 months.

    That means NASA’s $671 million mission — which is supposed to provide information about Mars’ atmosphere, including whether it might have once supported life — could be delayed until 2016.


  3. Turning your back on people who are starving and freezing is not a Republican value.

    Peter King, a Republican congressman from New York, has gone on an epic tirade against members of his own party for failing to pass a Senate package that would provide $60 billion in relief to victims of Hurricane Sandy.



  4. Polls have consistently found that Americans believe around a quarter of the U.S. budget goes to foreign aid, and respondents say we ought to spend at most half that much. In fact, foreign aid accounts for about 1.1 percent of the budget.

    In absolute terms, the U.S. is the world’s most generous country, but as a percentage of national income, our foreign aid budget is stingier than that of any wealthy country but South Korea. Great Britain and France each spend at about twice the rate of the United States, where foreign aid outlays come to less than 40 cents per citizen per day.

    More from this week’s in-depth briefing: Aid to to the world