CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 17, 2011 |
Last weekend, a conversation with two teachers from my daughter's public school turned to the likelihood of yet more cutbacks and bigger classes, thanks to a state revenue shortfall. Two weeks ago, I visited elderly clients with dementia at an adult day healthcare center that might close because of state budget cuts, leaving the vulnerable old folks nowhere to get affordable help. Ten days ago, on the subject of the sick young man beaten to death in Fullerton, I spoke to an Orange County judge who said budget cutbacks have left her with fewer places to send those who need treatment for mental illness.
August 11, 2011
Texas, taxes and jobs Re "Amazon stumps outside stores," Business, Aug. 6 I am a visitor to California and a lifelong Texan. Imagine my surprise to encounter an anti-tax signature collector in San Diego arguing that California will lose jobs to Texas if taxes increase. We Texans have already got all the minimum-wage, no-benefit jobs we can handle, along with lousy roads, a 19th century school system, a high poverty rate, hunger, lack of medical care and the highest rate of uninsured people in the nation.
July 25, 2011 |
Seeking to blunt White House efforts to shift blame for a default crisis on Republicans, House Speaker John A. Boehner said that President Obama has failed to lead on cutting government spending and that his party will press ahead with its own plan to raise the debt ceiling. In a televised response to the president's address, Boehner said the GOP-controlled House has already moved through legislation to address the nation's deficit challenge, most recently the so-called "cut, cap and balance" plan.
July 8, 2011 |
Among the many proposals to raise taxes and cut and reallocate government spending to regain our country's economic health, one of the most sensitive is decreasing the tax deductibility of charitable contributions. The independent Congressional Budget Office recently reviewed 11 options for revising the income tax treatment of charitable giving, and it grouped them into four categories. All establish a floor below which contributions would not be deductible. One proposal retained tax deductibility only for donations exceeding $1,000 per couple or, alternatively, 2% of a person's adjusted gross income.
July 2, 2011 |
In a year of political gridlock over deep budget deficits, Minnesota on Friday became the first state to shut down its government after Republicans and Democrats remained at odds over whether to raise taxes for the rich or cut government spending. Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and the GOP-controlled Legislature failed to resolve the state's $5-billion deficit by Friday's beginning of the fiscal year. Without a budget in place, state operations largely ceased, halting paychecks for about 20,000 state employees and shuttering state parks just before the busy holiday weekend.
June 30, 2011 |
Spending on healthcare in the United States continued to far outpace other industrialized countries in 2009, according to a new tally by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. Healthcare spending in the U.S. accounted for 17.4% of the nation's total economic output, nearly twice the average of 34 OECD countries, the OECD found. The next biggest health spender - the Netherlands - spent just 12% of its gross domestic product on medical care. Spending per capita on healthcare, which hit $7,960 in 2009, also far exceeded that of even some of the richest countries in Western Europe.
June 1, 2011 |
Republican Rep. Paul Ryan and President Obama got into a pointed exchange over GOP plans to overhaul the Medicare system, with Ryan suggesting during a private meeting at the White House that the president had engaged in "demagoguery. " Obama met with members of the House Republican caucus in the East Room on Wednesday in an attempt to bridge differences over spending and the debt limit. Democrats have gained traction in the debate with Republicans by painting Ryan's Medicare proposal as a "voucher" program that would harm senior citizens.
May 28, 2011 |
Although economists see little danger of a recurrence of the hyperinflation that undermined the region in the past, Latin America's rapidly rising prices could undercut its remarkable economic growth and even hurt U.S. hopes for an export-led recovery. At food stalls in Caracas, Venezuela, gas pumps in Santiago, Chile, and newly minted subdivisions in Sao Paulo, Brazil, prices are rising. In one sense, it's a sign of good times. Global demand is strong for the region's oil, coffee, soybeans, copper and other commodities.
May 27, 2011 |
Gov. Rick Perry of Texas on Friday said he's thinking more seriously about a presidential run, making him the latest in a growing roster of Republicans suddenly giving the 2012 campaign a look. Texas' longest-serving governor, Perry took office in 2000 when President-elect George W. Bush resigned, and won a third full term last November. Rush Limbaugh is among the conservative leaders who've floated his name in recent weeks. At a press conference in Austin, he was asked if he'd think about running when the Texas Legislature adjourns on Monday.
May 6, 2011 |
Even as politicians try to absorb the impact from the latest jobs figures, the number of Republicans who said the economy and business are their top issues has grown, according to a Gallup poll released on Friday. According to Gallup, 36% of Republicans in April said the economy and business were their top issues, up from 32% in March. That is roughly the same as those who say government spending and power are their top issues, 37%, and far higher than those who make social issues and moral values the most important factor, 15%. The findings come as the latest jobs numbers were released on Friday giving something for all sides.