December 23, 2011 |
President Obama's success in getting congressional Republicans to renew a payroll tax cut flowed from a strategy the White House has employed since the summer: Bypass Congress and marshal the political power of middle-class voters fed up with Washington gridlock. The standoff with House Republican leaders formally ended Friday, when Obama signed a bill that extends for two months a Social Security tax cut for employees and unemployment insurance benefits that had been jeopardized by a weeklong impasse.
December 7, 2011 |
Thousands of long-term unemployed Americans from across the country have converged on Washington this week to dramatize their plight and to urge Congress to extend federal unemployment insurance benefits and the payroll tax cut, and to pass President Obama's jobs bill. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 13.3 million Americans are unemployed. Nearly half have been jobless for more than six months — a record. If you add workers who are so discouraged that they've given up looking for work, and people who are underemployed (working part time but who want full-time jobs)
December 2, 2011 |
Facing Republican resistance to extending a payroll tax holiday, House Speaker John A. Boehner is considering sweetening the package for his party members with legislation that would advance the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. Failure by Congress to approve an extension of the payroll tax break before it expires at the end of the year would result in an average $1,000 annual tax hike on 160 million American workers. The prospect of that politically unpopular outcome has led GOP leaders to coalesce around President Obama's proposal to continue the tax break for 2012.
November 2, 2011
Unless Congress acts soon, the federal government will stop offering extended unemployment benefits at the end of the year, cutting off aid to more than 1 million jobless Americans. Meanwhile, states and employers are being dunned by Washington to help pay for the benefits already provided. Critics of unemployment insurance say the problem is the benefits themselves, which they say prolong unemployment. But the issues at the state and federal levels are distinct, and they require different responses.
October 25, 2011 |
California has borrowed $11 billion from the federal government in recent years to prop up its insolvent unemployment insurance fund. The loans kept benefits flowing to millions of laid-off workers, but now the bill is coming due. The state recently sent $303.6 million to Washington, the first of what could be many years of interest payments required to service its debt to Uncle Sam. It will have to pony up at least a half-billion dollars in...
August 8, 2011 |
If there is anything about which the average American has no doubt, it's that the state of the economy is a five-alarm emergency. Consumer demand, already weak, is destined to ebb even more as Americans watch their retirement savings and other investments shrivel in the global markets meltdown. Businesses won't hire in this kind of environment, no matter how much cash is sitting on their balance sheets. And the cycle continues to roll, downhill. These are the times when Americans look to Washington for leadership and solutions.
November 9, 2010
California's unemployment insurance fund became insolvent nearly two years ago, and federal interest-free loans to shore it up ? and to allow the state to keep paying laid-off workers without hiking the cost to businesses ? are due to run out at the end of the year. The problem is basic: With unemployment at 12%, the fund is paying out far more to unemployed workers than it is taking in from employers, who fund the program through unemployment taxes. The shortfall, projected to reach $20 billion by the end of 2011, is now so large that economic recovery alone will be insufficient to set the fund on a sustainable track.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 10, 2010 |
Alarmed that a Rosemead city councilman collected unemployment benefits after he was ousted by voters, state lawmakers are proposing to prevent such payments in the future. John Nunez was paid $11,250 in state unemployment benefits, covered by the city, after he lost a re-election bid in March 2009. The city challenged the claim and sought reimbursement, but the state Employment Development Department sent a letter Feb. 25 saying that the city was on the hook for the money. Nunez stopped collecting payments after his benefits ran out in September.
January 1, 2010 |
The number of recently laid-off workers filing for unemployment benefits dropped unexpectedly last week to the lowest level since July 2008, sparking hope that the job market could be on the mend. Improved prospects for jobs could help spur consumer spending, a key factor for propelling an economy that has been struggling to pull itself out of the deep recession. New unemployment claims have been sliding steadily for months, but fell last week by 22,000 to a seasonally adjusted 432,000, according to data from the U.S. Labor Department.
December 20, 2009 |
The Senate on Saturday passed a $636-billion defense appropriations bill that includes money for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a 3.4% pay hike for the military and a two-month extension of unemployment benefits. The bill was approved, 88-10, after Democrats blocked a Republican attempt to delay the measure's passage in an effort to slow debate on controversial healthcare legislation. The defense bill provides $508 billion for regular Defense Department operations and $128.