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.
April 5, 2012 |
Last week, the Senate voted on a proposal by New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez to end some of the billions of dollars in handouts enjoyed by the fossil-fuel industry. The Repeal Big Oil Tax Subsidies Act was a curiously skimpy bill that targeted only oil companies, and just the five richest of them at that. Left out were coal and natural gas. Even so, the proposal didn't pass. But that hasn't stopped President Obama from calling for an end to oil subsidies at every stop on his early presidential-campaign-plus-fundraising blitz.
March 29, 2012 |
President Obama on Thursday morning urged Congress to “stand with the American people” by voting to end subsidies to oil companies. “Right now, the biggest oil companies are raking in record profits,” Obama said. “On top of these record profits, oil companies are also getting billions a year in taxpayer subsidies.” Members of Congress can either “stand with the big oil companies,” Obama said, “or they can stand with the American people.” The appearance in the Rose Garden came minutes ahead of a procedural vote in the Senate on a bill to repeal oil subsidies.
March 20, 2012 |
Ratcheting up the battle over a vital energy industry, the U.S. Commerce Department decided to impose tariffs on solar panels imported from China after concluding that manufacturers there received illegal government subsidies. The Commerce Department, in its preliminary finding over illegal subsidies, said solar panels imported from China — now dominating the U.S. market — would face a duty of 2.9% to 4.73%. The tariff is considerably smaller than what some had hoped for but nonetheless marks another step by the Obama administration to get tougher on trade with China.
March 5, 2012 |
With ex-presidents earning hundreds of thousands of dollars in speaking fees and book deals, a bipartisan effort is underway in Congress to scale back taxpayer support for well-to-do former occupants of the Oval Office. The Presidential Allowance Modernization Act seeks to amend a half-century-old law that sought to "maintain the dignity” of the office of the president. The proposal would provide a taxpayer supported pension of $200,000, about the same amount that they now receive.
February 10, 2012 |
The iPhone has been a huge hit for Apple Inc., helping send the company's stock to all-time highs and producing record-breaking profits. But for AT&T Inc., Sprint Nextel Corp. and Verizon Communications Inc., it's breaking the bank. The three wireless carriers all found themselves answering to Wall Street in recent weeks for posting depressed quarterly earnings, and analysts pointed to the heavy cost of offering the iPhone as a culprit. The iPhone has become the single most popular smartphone in the U.S., and that has left the carriers trapped in a kind of Faustian deal: The more iPhones they sell, the more money they lose.
January 19, 2012 |
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan's bungled effort to raise the country's fuel prices to the market rate has hurt his international reputation as a potential reformer and infuriated a population tired of decades of rapacious government. The nation incurred almost $1.3 billion in economic losses during a nationwide strike that followed Jonathan's announcement Jan. 1 that the government was ending a fuel subsidy that kept gasoline prices low, the National Bureau of Statistics said Wednesday.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 18, 2012 |
Looking to boost business at its convention center, a Los Angeles City Council panel set the stage Tuesday for another downtown hotel developer to receive financial help from taxpayers. The council's three-member Trade, Commerce and Tourism Committee voted 2 to 0 to begin determining how much financial assistance the city will provide to Williams/Dame & Associates, which has proposed a Marriott hotel complex across the street from the L.A. Live entertainment complex. The proposal, which now heads to the full council, comes 10 months after the council agreed to provide up to $249 million in tax revenue for the reconstruction of the Wilshire Grand Hotel.
January 12, 2012 |
As Mitt Romney defends his record running a private equity firm, he frequently points to a fast-growing Indiana steel company, financed in part by Bain Capital, that now employs 6,000 workers. What Romney doesn't mention is that Steel Dynamics also received generous tax breaks and other subsidies provided by the state of Indiana and the residents of DeKalb County, where the company's first mill was built. The story of Bain and Steel Dynamics illustrates how Romney, during his business career, made avid use of public-private partnerships, something that many conservatives consider to be "corporate welfare.