On the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson's "War on Poverty" speech, the clash between Republicans and Democrats on how to alleviate poverty has come front and center. Republicans insist that anti-poverty programs have failed; Democrats say they have worked and should be expanded.
Steven Levy, senior writer for Wired, has written an article called "How the NSA Almost Killed the Internet." He tells Audie Cornish about what he learned from security personnel at many of the top tech companies. They claim that they were surprised to learn of the National Security Agency's data gathering.
Robert Siegel speaks with political commentators, E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and The Brookings Institution and David Brooks of The New York Times, for the latest in political news. They discuss the 50th anniversary of President Johnson's declaration of war on poverty and the state of income inequality in the country today. Also, they take on the political repercussions for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, after recent revelations that his staffers orchestrated lane closures on the George Washington Bridge.
Reports this week about former Defense Secretary Robert Gates' new book have implied that he thinks President Obama approved a 2009 troop surge in Afghanistan believing the strategy would fail. But Gates tells NPR that's not right. He believes Obama became skeptical about the "troop surge" later on.
Four years into the conflict in Syria, relief agencies working with refugees are starting to shift their focus to permanent resettlement. But not many countries — the U.S. included — are welcoming Syrian refugees with open arms. Steve Inskeep and David Greene report.
This week, we've been looking back at the legacy of the "War on Poverty," launched by President Lyndon Johnson, 50 years ago. Johnson also pushed to increase the nation's minimum wage. Low-wage workers actually saw their purchasing power peak while Johnson was in office. Adjusting for inflation, minimum wage workers earn less today than they did in the late 1960s.