April 26, 2013 |
The Obama administration's Home Affordable Refinance Program is at last helping legions of American homeowners with upside-down mortgages. Nearly 1.1 million homeowners with little or no equity were able to refinance last year under HARP, which assists borrowers who are current on their monthly payments. That's nearly as many as in the three previous years combined, and the latest figures show that early this year, the pace of these refis abated only slightly. The program has become a success story after a stumbling start with slack lender participation.
February 28, 2013 |
Anticipated federal budget cuts expected to kick in Friday have forced the cancellation of the U.S. State Department 's Passport Day on March 9. "Due to the anticipated sequestration, the Department of State must cancel 'Passport Day in the USA,' which had been scheduled for Saturday, March 9, 2013," the State Department said in an email Thursday. "We regret that we cannot offer this service as planned. " The Los Angeles Passport Agency at 11000 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1000 (Wilshire and Veteran)
February 26, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Seeking to shift blame onto President Obama's party for the looming budget cuts, House Speaker John A. Boehner said Tuesday it was about time the Senate “gets off their ass” and develop a way around the enormous automatic reductions. The Ohio Republican reiterated Tuesday that he has no intention of putting forward his own alternative, arguing that the House twice passed proposals last year that would shift the burden of cuts away from Pentagon programs and onto other domestic accounts - including school lunches, food stamps and others.
February 25, 2013 |
California's defense industry is bracing for a $3.2-billion hit with the federal budget cuts that are expected to take effect Friday. But myriad other federally funded programs also are threatened, and the combined effect is expected to slow the momentum that California's economy has been building over the last year. As the state braces for pain from so-called sequestration, there are warnings of long delays at airport security checkpoints, potential slowdowns in cargo movement at harbors and cutbacks to programs, including meals for seniors and projects to combat neighborhood blight.
February 24, 2013 |
The sequester, those $85 billion in across-the-board spending cuts scheduled to hit the federal government on March 1, was designed to be stupid. In 2011, when President Obama proposed the scheme and both parties in Congress embraced it, their thinking was: With a whole year to work on a deal, surely we can figure out a way to avoid a catastrophe. What Washington did they think they were living in? With no negotiations under way, it's virtually certain that on March 1, a long list of federal programs will get slashed.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 14, 2013 |
President Obama and congressional leaders are engaged in high-stakes negotiations over billions in federal budget cuts that could have a dramatic impact on California's economy. But Gov. Jerry Brown refused to say whether or not he supports the reductions, urging lawmakers instead to be wary of the effect decisions in Washington can have on the state's economy. Billions in cuts to defense, healthcare and other programs are set to go into effect on March 1 unless Republicans and Democrats in Washington can come up with a replacement deal.
December 19, 2012
Conservatives argue that Washington never cuts programs, it just increases spending on them more slowly than planned. But to recipients of federal benefits, that type of "cut" can seem just as painful. That's why there is an intense battle looming over a proposal to reduce the cost-of-living adjustments applied to numerous federal programs, including Social Security. The change is billed as a more accurate way to calculate the effects of inflation, but it's really just a way to make Washington's financial picture marginally brighter.
November 21, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to hear an appeal from Fresno raisin growers Marvin and Laura Horne, who contend that the federal marketing program that can take nearly half of their crop is unconstitutional. Their case poses a significant challenge to the New Deal-era farm program that seeks to prop up prices by keeping part of the crop off the market. It also raises questions about the limits of the government's power to regulate commerce, an issue that sharply divided the justices in the major healthcare overhaul case decided in June.
October 9, 2012 |
Mitt Romney may have won the first presidential debate, but what stuck in many people's minds was his threat to fire Big Bird. Apparently, Romney thinks America's debt problem can be fixed by picking up pennies along Sesame Street. Pressed to explain how he would balance the federal budget while cutting trillions of dollars in taxes, the allegedly masterful debater offered up just two specifics: He would repeal “Obamacare” (even though the Congressional Budget Office says the healthcare act actually reduces deficit spending)
September 19, 2012 |
Republicans tried this week to help their presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, rebound from the drubbing he's received over his secretly recorded remarks about the 47% by unearthing a 14-year-old recording of then-Illinois state Sen. Barack Obama saying, "I actually believe in redistribution. " Note to America: Not only does President Obama have a secret plan to take your guns, he'll grab your piggy bank while he's at it! The mainstream media hasn't exactly leaped on the recording, in part because we went through a very similar episode four years ago. In other words, this is a dog-bites-man story.