By Jueseppi B.
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden walk to the awaiting motorcade on the South Lawn of the White House, before departing for the U.S. Department of the Interior, March 7, 2013. Kathleen Biden, the Vice President’s daughter-in-law, and Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett walk with them. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Published on Mar 7, 2013
This week, the President urged Congress to resolve harmful budget cuts and reduce the deficit in a way that helps grow the economy and strengthen the middle class, held his first Cabinet meeting of the second term, announced three key Cabinet nominations, and signed the Violence Against Women Act.
March 08, 2013
In October 2011, President Obama nominated Magistrate Judge Patty Shwartz to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Judge Shwartz is widely respected, having earned the highest possible rating from the American Bar Association – “unanimous well qualified” — and has bipartisan support, including from Governor Chris Christie, who has praised her as “hard working, bright, articulate, great with people and conversant in the law.” And yet, today marks the one year anniversary since Judge Shwartz has been waiting for a floor vote in the United States Senate.
Unfortunately, the delay for Judge Shwartz is not unique. Last week, my colleague wrote about Judge Robert Bacharach, who was recommended to the White House by one of his Republican home state Senators, but waited 263 days for a floor vote before being confirmed 93-0. And on Monday – after 347 days of delay — the Senate will consider the nomination of Richard Taranto to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
Overall, President Obama’s judicial nominees wait an average of 117 days on the Senate floor for a vote — more than three times longer than President Bush’s judicial nominees, who waited an average of only 34 days. The Senate must promote the administration of justice by returning to the prompt consideration of judicial nominations. It should consider Judge Shwartz’s nomination without further delay, as well as the fifteen district court nominees awaiting votes. Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved five district court nominees. There is no reason they – and the others approved before them – should not be confirmed within 34 days.
March 08, 2013
Editor’s Note: this post originally appeared as part of a series for National Consumer Protection Week on ConsumerFinance.gov.
Filing taxes doesn’t have to be the worst. For some, tax time can offer an opportunity to set some money aside for goals or a rainy day.
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a refundable tax credit for low to moderate income working individuals and families. EITC can even reduce taxes and result in a refund. Last year, over 27 million consumers received nearly $62 billion in EITC.
Many people who are eligible for free tax services, for example, at IRS-approved Volunteer Income Tax Assistant (VITA) sites, pay to have their taxes prepared. Money saved by using free tax prep, added to part of a refund, could go right into a savings account or be used to pay down debt.
In addition to taking advantage of free tax services, there are many other ways to save. You can save automatically by having a portion of your refund or your paycheck deposited directly to a savings account.
Saving is hard, but a cushion can give you the ability to say “no” to expensive financial products.
For some, information and knowledge in a transparent market is enough to ensure they’re able to choose the best option. But for others, it comes down to having enough money to avoid more expensive products and services . Income alone is often not enough to ensure access to an affordable and beneficial choice, especially for people who are low-income or economically vulnerable.
Everyone’s financial situation is different. Whether you are saving for your next car repair, a month’s rent, or for a personal goal, you are taking the first step to expand your choices by setting savings aside. The power to say “no, thanks” to high-cost products can be one of the most powerful consumer protections of all.
Statements and Releases
This is sooooo magnificent it demands to be repeated…..
By Alan Kreuger who is the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers
While more work remains to be done, today’s employment report provides evidence that the recovery that began in mid-2009 is gaining traction. Today’s report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that private sector businesses added 246,000 jobs in February. Total non-farm payroll employment rose by 236,000 jobs last month. The economy has now added private sector jobs every month for three straight years, and a total of 6.35 million jobs have been added over that period.
The household survey showed that the unemployment rate fell from 7.9 percent in January to 7.7 percent in February, the lowest since December 2008. The labor force participation rate edged down 0.1 percentage point to 63.5 percent in February.
It is important to bear in mind that the reference period for today’s surveys was the week of February 10-16 for the household survey and the pay period containing February 12th for the establishment survey, both of which were before sequestration began. The Administration continues to urge Congress to move toward a sustainable Federal budget in a responsible way that balances tax loophole closing, entitlement reform, and sensible spending cuts, while making critical investments in the economy that promote growth and job creation and protecting our most vulnerable citizens.
According to the establishment survey, in February employment rose notably in professional and business services (+73,000), construction (+48,000), health care (+32,000), leisure and hospitality (+24,000), and retail trade (+23,700). Manufacturing gained 14,000 jobs in February. The manufacturing sector has added over half a million jobs over the last 37 months, the most for any such period since 1986. In the last two years the construction sector has added 306,000 jobs, with half of that increase occurring in the last five months. State and local governments lost 10,000 jobs in February, mostly in education. The local government education sector has now lost 340,700 jobs since its recent peak in November 2009.
As the Administration stresses every month, the monthly employment and unemployment figures can be volatile, and payroll employment estimates can be subject to substantial revision. Therefore, it is important not to read too much into any one monthly report and it is informative to consider each report in the context of other data that are becoming available.
Funny how the economy has steadily improved since POTUS Obama “enforced” his stimulus package down America’s throat.
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