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NEWS
February 26, 2014 | By Lisa Mascaro
WASHINGTON -- A top House Republican unveiled an ambitious tax code overhaul Wednesday, taking aim at long-protected loopholes for mortgage interest deductions, corporate jets and Wall Street pay, while promising to lower top rates to 25% for most individuals and corporations. But it has little chance of becoming law. The White House cautiously welcomed the effort, but top Republican leaders in Congress, including House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)
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BUSINESS
February 22, 2014 | Walter Hamilton
Los Angeles has one of the highest levels of income inequality in the nation, but that's due in part to a relatively strong local economy that's stoking the fortunes of higher-income people, according to a new study. Of the 50 largest U.S. cities, L.A. has the ninth-highest level of income disparity, according to the analysis by the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank. The top three are Atlanta, San Francisco and Miami. Inequality has become a flash point nationwide as the wealth of top earners surges while the middle and lower classes grapple with stubborn income stagnation.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 20, 2014 | By Gale Holland
Los Angeles is among the top 10 U.S. cities with the widest gulf between the rich and poor, a Washington think tank reported Thursday. The upper 5% of Los Angeles residents earned more than 12 times what the bottom 20% took in,  Alan Barube, who studies social policies affecting low-income families for the Brookings Institution, said in a paper . The income spread was similar in New York City, Washington, Oakland, Chicago and Baltimore, he...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 19, 2014 | By Matt Stevens
Paramedics met a Delta Airlines flight at Los Angeles International Airport on Wednesday to treat nine teenagers who apparently became ill after consuming food before boarding in Guatemala City, officials said. Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey said the nine passengers consumed “common” food, possibly fruit, before the flight, prompting the medical emergency at Terminal 5 upon landing. The teens were traveling together, Humphrey said, and were experiencing nausea and vomiting.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 19, 2014 | By Jeremiah Dobruck
A Newport Beach contractor was sentenced Tuesday to 18 months in federal prison for underreporting his income by about $2 million. The government lost out on roughly $300,000 in tax revenue as a result of Jeremy Scott Levine, 42, underreporting his income over a five-year period, according to the  Internal Revenue Service . U.S. District Judge Margaret M. Morrow ordered Levine, who owns Newport-based JSL Construction and Landscaping, to...
OPINION
February 10, 2014 | By Sarah Amandolare
Last October, in between arguments over the debt ceiling, the federal government somehow found time to send me an email. My student loan payment was 70 days past due, the message read, so the government had negatively reported me to each major credit bureau and would continue to report me until my account was brought current. I'm betting the government sent out a lot of those letters to people like me: college graduates from middle-class families who didn't qualify for much in the way of scholarship aid and had parents who couldn't afford to pay for their schooling.
SPORTS
February 2, 2014 | By David Wharton and Sergei L. Loiko
SOCHI, Russia - Tired of hearing reports about alleged corruption and budget overruns, some Russian citizens have given the 2014 Sochi Olympics a nickname. Kickbacktiada. The Games, which begin Friday, rank as the most expensive in Olympic history with an estimated cost of more than $50 billion and counting. A recent study by a Russian watchdog group alleges that organizers paid far more than the going rate for numerous venues built in and around the Black Sea resort.
BUSINESS
January 31, 2014 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- Consumers opened their wallets more than expected last month even though their incomes failed to grow, another indication the economy picked up steam heading into the new year, the Commerce Department said Friday. Spending rose 0.4% in December after an upwardly revised 0.6% increase the previous month. Economists had projected so-called personal-consumption expenditures increased only 0.2% last month. "The consumer has a lot of spending momentum and is off to a good start for 2014," said Chris Rupkey, chief economist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi in New York.
NATIONAL
January 29, 2014 | By David Lauter
WASHINGTON - President Obama's sixth speech on the state of the union spotlighted many issues, but more than anything it illuminated the vast gap between his policy ambitions and the tools he has to achieve them. The president made the ambition clear last month, when he referred to a "dangerous and growing inequality and lack of upward mobility" in the U.S. as the "the defining challenge of our time," a theme he repeated Tuesday night. "After four years of economic growth, corporate profits and stock prices have rarely been higher, and those at the top have never done better," he said, "but average wages have barely budged.
BUSINESS
January 28, 2014 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- Nearly four in 10 Americans want the government to do more to reduce the widening gap between rich and poor, according to poll results released Tuesday. However, there was no clear consensus among respondents in the NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey for addressing income inequality, a topic that is expected to be a major focus of President Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night. The poll found that 37% of respondents said they want the government to be more involved in reducing income inequality, which has widened since the end of the Great Recession.
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