July 17, 2012 |
Congressional Republicans are so obsessed with the idea of repealing any or all of "Obamacare," they don't seem to care about the potential harm that might inflict on their constituents. The latest example comes from Tennessee Republican Reps. Phil Roe and Scott DesJarlais (both of them physicians), who introduced a resolution aimed at denying lower-income Americans in more than two dozen states, including their own, the subsidies the bill provides for health insurance. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires virtually all adult Americans to obtain coverage, starting in 2014.
July 15, 2012 |
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - Facing the crumpled remnants of the national palace, an expansive plaza is punctuated by trees, benches and statues of Haitian heroes. Students read in the shade, women gossip, children play soccer. This serene picture in Port-au-Prince's central square might seem ordinary, but it is not. After a massive earthquake devastated Haiti's capital on Jan. 12, 2010, about 5,000 displaced people took shelter on the square, turning it into a crowded and dangerous new neighborhood.
July 13, 2012 |
Congress wants to ditch the usual subsidies for dairy farmers and replace them with a new type of insurance to protect farmers' bottom lines during hard times. But some California dairymen aren't lapping it up. The measure would replace outright subsidies with a voluntary insurance plan to pay farmers enough to maintain a profit margin when milk prices drop too low. Farms that opt into the insurance plan, however, would be required to produce less milk whenever prices fall below a certain point, based on the idea that a glut of milk forces prices down.
June 20, 2012
Re "Hotel project in L.A. to get subsidy," June 14 The city of Los Angeles will give $67 million in tax subsidies to a private corporation to build a project that will dump profits into private pockets. For a city that claims to be broke, this is insane. Bill Rosendahl was the only person on the City Council with the guts to vote against this socialism-for-the-rich scam. Does the city government represent taxpayers or only the wealthy? Jack L. Schwartz Los Angeles ALSO: Letters: Political lessons from Montana Letters: Rodney King and the price of abuse Letters: With legal marijuana, everyone wins
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 14, 2012 |
Responding to appeals from an array of construction unions, the Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday approved a $67.3-million subsidy for a new downtown hotel across from L.A. Live. The council voted 10 to 1 to provide developers of a 23-story Marriott complex on Olympic Boulevard a tax rebate equal to half of the revenue - from sales taxes, property taxes, parking taxes, business taxes, utility taxes and room taxes - generated by the project over 25 years. That money will flow to the developers, Williams/Dame & Associates and American Life Inc., in the form of a hotel tax rebate, said Chief Legislative Analyst Gerry Miller.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 12, 2012 |
Despite claims by business leaders that downtown's hotel market is coming back strong, the developer of a proposed 23-story Marriott tower next to L.A. Live is in line to get up to $67.3 million out of City Hall over the next 25 years. Williams/Dame & Associates and its partner, American Life Inc., would receive permission to keep up to half of the sales taxes, business taxes, room taxes, utility taxes, property taxes and parking taxes generated by their 392-room project once it opens, according to the proposal.
May 10, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - It's a deal that most businesses would relish: Buy an insurance policy to cover losses or falling prices, and the government will foot most of the bill. Such an arrangement has been enjoyed for more than a decade by the farmers who grow crops such as corn and soybeans, and the companies that insure them. And it's about to get even better. The farm bill now before Congress includes a provision - estimated to cost about $3 billion a year - that would help cover the losses farmers suffer before their crop insurance policies kick in. Those losses, termed deductibles, can run in the tens of thousands of dollars for a typical mid-size farm.
May 7, 2012 |
TEHRAN — On a recent trip to a city on the Persian Gulf, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stood in the back of a pickup as it made its way through a thick crowd clamoring for his attention when an older, disheveled man began to shout at him. "Ahmadinejad, I am hungry, Ahmadinejad, I am hungry," he pleaded desperately. The man banged on the pickup's front window to get the notice of the president, who leaned forward as the two exchanged a few words. A young woman then climbed onto the hood of the vehicle and told the leader, "I have problems.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 26, 2012 |
The American public is divided about whether to eliminate federal subsidies for any form of energy and is giving less support to nuclear power and U.S. funding of renewable energy, a new poll has found. Fifty-four percent of respondents opposed doing away with subsidies for oil, gas, coal, nuclear or renewable energy, while 47% favored the idea. Support for building more nuclear power plants has fallen dramatically, to 42% from 61% in 2008. The Yale-George Mason University poll being released Thursday found that 76% of Americans support regulating carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas pollutant and that two-thirds believe the U.S. should pursue policies to reduce its carbon footprint.
April 18, 2012
In a few months, the Los Angeles County Housing Authority will begin allowing rent subsidies to be granted to homeless ex-convicts on parole or probation. The move is controversial, with some critics complaining that it rewards criminals, giving them special treatment and moving them to the front of the line for the limited and much-sought-after subsidies. But that's shortsighted. Homeless ex-convicts, including many who committed only minor, nonviolent crimes, don't go away if they don't get housing aid. Although there are risks associated with the new rule, they're risks worth taking.