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December 7, 2012 | By Salvador Rodriguez
Besides the announcement of an Apple deal, T-Mobile USA CEO John Legere announced an aggressive 2013 plan for the Seattle-based carrier that includes scrapping phone subsidies and going after AT&T's customers. Speaking at an investor conference in Germany for Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile's parent company, Legere said T-Mobile will offer only its so-called Value Plan next year. The plan is intended to offer customers lower rates for their cellular service by disassociating it with the price of a subsidized phone.
October 23, 2012 | Michael Hiltzik
To hear business leaders and political candidates talk, proper industrial policy comprises only three elements: a fair tax system, a level playing field and "certainty. " So why is it that all three are about to be thrown out the window as a sop to oil, gas and nuclear interests determined to fillet the wind-power industry? The maneuvering in Washington is over a federal subsidy known as the production tax credit, which is worth 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour to wind-energy producers.
October 10, 2012 | By Evan Halper, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - On 7,300 isolated acres in eastern Kern County, a plan for dozens of wind turbines 20 stories high to generate enough electricity for tens of thousands of homes may hinge on who is elected president. Millions of dollars have been spent laying the groundwork. Permits are in order, contractors are lined up, government planners are on board. But like many other green energy efforts in California, the Avalon Wind Project awaits the fate of key federal subsidies. For Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, such aid represents government run amok, allowing bureaucrats to pick winners and losers in renewable energy rather than letting the free market sort them out. Romney has not offered many specifics about what he would cut, but his opposition in general to aid for alternative energy production has been a pillar of his campaign.
September 20, 2012 | By Evan Halper, Ralph Vartabedian and Julie Cart, Los Angeles Times
Driven by the Obama administration's vision of clean power and energy independence, the rush to build large-scale solar plants across the Southwest has created an investors' dream in the desert. Taxpayers have poured tens of billions of dollars into solar projects - some of which will have all their construction and development costs financed by the government by the time they start producing power. Banks, insurers and utility companies have jumped in, taking advantage of complex state and federal tax incentives to reap outsized returns.
September 6, 2012 | Evan Halper
As Gov. Jerry Brown mulls whether to sign into law another round of subsidies for Hollywood production companies, the question that confronts him is how much each job on a movie set is worth to taxpayers. In Massachusetts, lawmakers recently discovered a similar program was much more expensive than they thought. After years of subsidizing film productions without looking too closely at how that was helping the economy, state officials put it under a lens and found that taxpayers were spending as much as $300,000 to bankroll each position.
August 13, 2012 | David Lazarus
We've been hearing - and will continue to hear - a lot about how Paul Ryan's plan to overhaul Medicare and Medicaid would cripple the safety-net healthcare programs. Fair criticism? The answer, as Bill Clinton might say, depends on what your definition of "cripple" is. The Ryan plan has been around for months. It's taken on new heft since Ryan, a conservative congressman from Wisconsin, was tapped over the weekend by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to be his running mate.
July 17, 2012 | By Jon Healey
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 | By Allyn Gaestel, Los Angeles Times
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 | By Ricardo Lopez, Los Angeles Times
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
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