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September 25, 2013 | By Alexei Koseff
WASHINGTON - Facing a “precarious financial condition” as fewer customers use its services, the United States Postal Service proposed another round of rate increases Wednesday to go into effect in January - its largest price hike since 2002. The plan - which would raise the cost of first-class stamps for one-ounce letters to 49 cents from 46 cents, among other changes - is intended to generate an additional $2 billion in annual revenue for the Postal Service. The agency expects to lose about $6 billion in the current fiscal year.
September 21, 2013
In some political circles, food stamp recipients are portrayed as prone to fraud, too entitled to work or living too comfortably at taxpayers' expense. Some Times readers couldn't disagree more. Those who sent us letters to the editor this week were almost unanimous in their opposition to the Republican-controlled House's vote to pass a spending cut that would remove nearly 4 million Americans from the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, which provides aid to families and individuals who, for a variety of reasons, have significant trouble paying for food.
September 20, 2013 | By Robin Abcarian
Cool guy, that new pope. Wish those House Republicans would spend some time studying the interview Pope Francis gave to the Italian Jesuit journal La Civita Cattolica that was published online by America, a U.S.-based Jesuit publication. They might learn a few things about compassion, priorities and how to be real Christians. Francis thinks the church, to its detriment, is “obsessed” with its battles against abortion, gay marriage and contraception. “The teaching of the church is clear,” he said.
September 20, 2013 | By David Horsey
Since the economic disaster of 2008 sent incomes spinning downward and the jobless rate shooting upward, at least one group of Americans has found a path back to prosperity: the top 1%. Over the last four years, the super-rich have been able to rake in 95% of all income gains.  That's right, according to a new study by Emmanuel Saez, an economics professor at UC Berkeley, while the number of poor Americans has risen and members of the middle class...
September 20, 2013 | By Michael Hiltzik
Let's visit again with Rep. Doug LaMalfa, R-Richvale, who distinguished himself a few months back by making it into Rep. George Miller's Hall of Hypocrites by pocketing millions in farm subsidies for his family farm while acting to slash food stamp benefits for the poor. This week, the House of Representatives voted again on food stamps. LaMalfa voted with the Republican majority to cut $40 billion from the program over 10 years. That would be devastating, if the Senate concurred.
September 19, 2013 | By Lisa Mascaro, This post has been corrected. See note below for details.
WASHINGTON -- House Republicans narrowly approved deep reductions to the food stamp program Thursday that would reduce or eliminate benefits for nearly 4 million Americans, setting up an all but certain showdown with the Senate. GOP leaders yielded to conservative demands to make austere cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program after lawmakers rejected an earlier proposal as part of the usually popular farm bill . Leaders separated the food stamp provision from the farm-subsidy legislation to ensure both bills would pass.
September 17, 2013 | By Shan Li
Panera Bread Chief Executive Ron Shaich can afford to eat just about anywhere. But for one week the millionaire is shelling out no more than $4.50 a day as part of an effort to see how people on food stamps live. Called the SNAP challenge, the experiment involves buying food using only what a family would receive on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as the Food Stamp program. Shaich, who is blogging about the experience on the career site LinkedIn, is taking up the cause just as the House of Representatives is set to take up a proposal that could cut SNAP funding by $40 billion over the next decade.
September 13, 2013 | By Deborah Vankin
We here at Culture Monster - all right, one of us here at Culture Monster - was a stamp collector as a kid. So the news that the Smithsonian's National Postal Museum will be opening what it calls “the world's largest stamp gallery” on Sept. 22 was especially welcome.  The William H. Gross Stamp Gallery - named after its No. 1 benefactor -- will feature stamps as well as historically significant mail in the context of American history and culture, the museum said. FULL COVERAGE: 2013 Spring arts preview Highlights of the collection include stamps of Hawaiian kings, before Hawaii was officially a state; an 1868 1-cent Z-grill stamp - one of two in existence; and a letter to John Hancock postmarked July 4, 1776.
August 22, 2013 | By Ted Rall
California is the No. 1 state in the United States for discouraging applicants for food stamps. The cause isn't ideology, it's confusing paperwork and bureaucracy. ALSO: Area 51: The real cover-up Can you hold the fries for one day for a fast-food wage protest? Georgia shooting: We tamper-proof Tylenol, but gun control is a no-go Follow Ted Rall on Twitter @TedRall
August 20, 2013
Re “ California no friend to food stamps ,” Aug. 18 This sentence from the article: “It also has two clear consequences: Millions of Californians don't get help, and the state leaves hundreds of millions of dollars of federal money on the table,” is a typical misrepresentation of how government works. The money is not “federal money,” it is taxpayer money. It is not free; it comes from someone's hard-earned wages or salaries. It doesn't just appear like manna from heaven.
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