February 13, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - With higher payroll taxes starting to kick in, retail sales rose in January at their smallest rate in three months. Consumers pulled back a bit on their purchases of cars, clothes and home furnishings, the government said Wednesday. Overall, retails sales ticked up a modest 0.1% last month from December, after gains of 0.5% in each of the prior two months. The subdued January performance was in line with consensus forecasts, as many analysts were expecting a drop-off in the growth rate after the expiration of the payroll tax holiday, which translates to about $40 less in take-home pay for the average worker every two weeks.
February 6, 2012 |
In the first legislative battle of the year, congressional Republicans and Democrats are back at it: another episode of one-upmanship over extending a payroll tax cut for American workers. The tax holiday, which Congress extended as 2011 closed, expires at the end of the month, and both parties say they want to avoid a lapse that would hit Americans with a tax increase of $20 a week for the typical worker. But the problem remains the same: how to pay for the $160-billion package?
December 22, 2011 |
With most lawmakers gone for the holidays, President Obama took full advantage of the empty stage, appearing with everyday Americans to make the case that House Republicans need to relent and pass a payroll tax cut extension that would mean an extra $1,000 a year to a typical family. Obama struck a note of disgust Thursday with the paralysis in the Capitol, making the point that only a small minority of House Republicans is blocking a tax cut extension that would help struggling families heat their homes, fuel their cars and pay for essential groceries.
January 2, 2013 |
Whatever the ultimate shape of the "fiscal cliff" solution that has preoccupied all Washington, and a fair swath of the rest of country, in the final days of 2012 and into the new year, Americans of all walks of life should be asking themselves this question: How do we like being conned? The deal, passed by the Senate on New Year's morning, was made final late Tuesday when the House of Representatives signed on. Its essential elements include expiration of the President George W. Bush-era income and capital gains tax cuts on couples' incomes over $450,000, and a modest increase in the estate tax. Unemployment benefits and tax credits for lower-income families will be extended.
December 21, 2011 |
House Speaker John Boehner and his team of GOP negotiators gathered around a conference table in the Capitol on Wednesday to show they were hard at work -- although they have no one to negotiate with, not even Senate Republicans. "It would be helpful if members of the Senate, both parties, were here to sit down and resolve these differences as quickly as possible,"Boehner said, as he sat looking at empty chairs and a throng of cameras on the other side of the table. The Senate left town this weekend, and most of House has done the same.
August 14, 2011 |
If you're a business traveler who books hotel rooms via the Internet, you may be at higher risk of being victimized by computer hackers and identity thieves. Insurance claims for data theft worldwide jumped 56% last year, with a bigger number of those attacks targeting the hospitality industry, according to a new report by Willis Group Holdings, a British insurance firm. The report said the largest share of cyber attacks — 38% — were aimed at hotels, resorts and tour companies.
December 8, 2011 |
Even as he prepares to run for the Senate in Arizona next year, Rep. Jeff Flake is taking an unusual position, especially for a Republican in an election year: He opposes an effort in Congress to save his constituents $1,000 or more in Social Security payroll taxes. Flake argues that voters will be on his side when he makes his case that the country cannot afford to keep such a tax break for 160 million Americans. "What the public understands is the Congress has been unwilling to make any tough decisions — we've had our cake and eaten it too for so long.
September 4, 2010 |
Pressure on President Obama to do something about the weakening economy intensified Friday with new government data showing that hiring remains lackluster, nudging the nation's unemployment rate up to 9.6%. With congressional elections less than eight weeks away, Obama appeared in the Rose Garden to say that he would soon propose a new package of tax cuts and other incentives to spur employment. "We are confident that we are moving in the right direction, but we want to keep this recovery moving stronger and accelerate the job growth that's needed so desperately," the president said.
December 17, 2011 |
The Senate passed a temporary extension of President Obama's payroll tax cut Saturday, sending the House a package that would preserve the $1,000 average tax break for 160 million working Americans — and keeping the issue alive as the 2012 election campaign heats up. Senators overwhelmingly approved a two-month continuation of the tax break, and then swiftly agreed to fund the government to avert a shutdown in a flurry of votes that capped a...
September 8, 2011 |
A huge, one-time tax break to lure back about half of the $1.4 trillion in earnings held abroad by U.S. companies would produce nearly 3 million jobs nationwide over two years, according to a study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. A so-called repatriation tax break, which would temporarily reduce the tax rate on foreign earnings to 5.25% from 35%, has been pushed by the chamber and major U.S. corporations, including Cisco Systems Inc. and Oracle Corp. FOR THE RECORD: An earlier version of this online article said a repatriation break would lure $700 billion in foreign earnings back to the U.S., $500 million more than would come back over the next 10 years, according to the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation.