December 30, 2013 |
When the calendar flips from an old year to a new one, we have a sense of being given a new start and new possibilities. Of course, the reality is that days and months and years are human constructs that merely mark the progress of the Earth around the sun. The world we live in on Jan. 1 is pretty much the same as the world we experienced on Dec. 31. This is especially true when it comes to Congress. Our senators and representatives left town for their Christmas break wi th plenty of unfinished business, and that business will be waiting for them when they return to work in a few days.
December 28, 2013 |
Some 1.3 million Americans, including about 222,000 Californians, lost jobless benefits Saturday as the federal program to assist the long-term unemployed expired. Here are six things to know about who is affected and why the benefits went away. Who lost benefits? Anyone who has been collecting unemployment for more than 26 weeks loses benefits, roughly 1.3 million people immediately. Several million more people are expected to hit the limit over the course of the next year; they would lose benefits at that point.
December 27, 2013 |
Some 1.3 million Americans will lose unemployment benefits on Saturday as the federal program to assist the long-term unemployed expires. Here are six things to know about who is affected and why the benefits are going away. Q: Who will lose benefits? Anyone who has been collecting unemployment for more than 26 weeks will lose benefits. Roughly 1.3 million people will be affected immediately. Over the course of 2014, several million more people will hit the 26-week limit and will also lose benefits.
December 27, 2013 |
WAIMANALO, Hawaii -- With unemployment benefits set to expire Saturday for about 1.3 million Americans, President Obama on Friday pressed for Congress to act, calling two senators who have offered legislation that would extend them for three months. The president made the calls from his vacation home on Oahu to Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), according to White House spokesman Josh Earnest, offering support for their proposal and praising them for “working in a bipartisan fashion” on a problem that he said would adversely affect the nation's economic growth and job creation.
December 12, 2013
Re "How the other half invests," Business, Dec. 8 This article on wine collectors reaping windfalls repeats a typical theme of rising markets - making money faster - but it performs a disservice as well. As in the case of 1957 Chevrolets now bringing six-digit prices on the auction block, the downside of an influx of big money into a field of collecting is that what was a pleasant hobby for many becomes a speculative battleground for the wealthy few. The whiff of high prices at auction has driven up the retail price of very ordinary wines and pushed those bottles into climate-controlled cases.
December 12, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Reps. Dana Rohrabacher, an Orange County conservative, and Maxine Waters, a Los Angeles liberal, on the same side of an issue? The Ripley's Believe It or Not moment came Thursday in a House vote to pass a budget deal designed to prevent another government shutdown. The vote scrambled the usual alliances within California's congressional delegation, with nine of the state's 53 House members - seven Democrats and two Republicans - voting against the agreement. Democrats who voted no were upset that the budget deal did not extend federal unemployment benefits for an estimated 214,800 Californians whose benefits expire after Christmas.
December 2, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Congress' unfinished business threatens to leave millions of Americans - including the unemployed, Pentagon contractors and even supermarket shoppers - in the lurch this holiday season. With partisan dysfunction unlikely to subside in coming weeks, lawmakers appear ready to punt several issues into the new year. But many Americans could start feeling the effects of inaction as early as this month. An estimated 1.3 million Americans will lose federal emergency unemployment benefits after Christmas if the program is not renewed.
November 15, 2013 |
SACRAMENTO - Late payments, glitch-prone computers and swamped call centers aren't the only problems bedeviling California's unemployment insurance program. The insurance fund that pays state jobless benefits - run by the Employment Development Department - owes nearly $10 billion to the federal government. That's because the state has been paying far more in jobless benefits than it receives in employer-paid taxes, and the feds make up the difference. "The whole system is really whacked out right now and needs a fix," said Assemblyman Curt Hagman (R-Chino Hills)
November 5, 2013 |
A report released Tuesday by the National Employment Law Project blames chronic underfunding by the federal government for problems with states' unemployment insurance programs that include extensive backlogs and outdated, unreliable systems. State unemployment insurance programs, which receive federal funding for administrative costs, were put to the test during the Great Recession, NELP said. Before the recession, about 2.5 million people were collecting unemployment benefits but that figure jumped to 10 million at its peak. NELP found that state unemployment programs use technologies that are 26 years old on average and that most state systems rely on antiquated programming languages.
November 5, 2013 |
Suzanne Dinatale lost her job as sales manager for a biotech company in July. She applied almost immediately for unemployment benefits to help cushion the blow. Dinatale, 41, of Manhattan Beach, said she had no problem receiving the forms she needed to get the ball rolling with California's Employment Development Department. "After that, nothing," she told me. "I called them and got hung up on. I sent emails that got no responses. " Dinatale is now dipping into her retirement savings to get by. "This is the first time I've ever needed unemployment," she said.