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May 10, 2011 – In a speech to the Economic Club of New York Monday, House Speaker John Boehner said any increase in the debt limit must be accompanied by budget cuts greater than the amount of the increase. That could add up to as much as $2 trillion, a number that will be impossible to reach without cuts to entitlement programs. Boehner also said tax hikes should be “off the table.” In response, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said any effort to trim the budget should begin with the elimination of tax breaks for big oil companies.
As many as 5,000 properties may be flooded in Memphis where the Mississippi River crested Tuesday, 14 feet above flood stage, and its highest level since 1937. Residents have been evacuating low-lying areas for several days, and three shelters are set up in the area. Across the river in Arkansas, three deaths have been reported as a result of the flooding.
Microsoft announced its intention to buy Skype, the Internet phone service, for $8.5 billion. Skype averages 145 million users each month, but has yet to turn a profit. The move by the software giant is aimed at establishing a foothold in the growing video-conferencing market.
General Motors is set to invest $2 billion to retool many of its U.S. plants, after earning $3.2 billion in the first quarter of this year. GM survived bankruptcy in 2009 thanks in part to a $52 billion bailout by the federal government.