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Everything posted by bostonangler

  1. White House considering tax incentive for more Americans to buy stocks, sources say The White House is considering ways to incentivize U.S. households to invest in the stock market. Under the proposal, a portion of income would become tax-free for investment purposes. The Trump administration is considering several proposals as part of a forthcoming economic stimulus package. WASHINGTON — As part of a forthcoming package of proposed tax cuts, the White House is considering ways to incentivize U.S. households to invest in the stock market, according to four senior administration officials familiar with the discussions. The proposal, one of many new tax cuts under consideration, would see a portion of household income treated as tax-free for the purposes of investing outside a traditional 401(k). Under one hypothetical scenario described by multiple officials, a household earning up to $200,000 could invest $10,000 of that income on a tax-free basis, although officials noted these numbers are fluid. “Nothing’s ruled out,” said one senior administration official. “Nothing’s been ruled in, either.” Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, told CNBC the approach looked at most closely centers on creating universal savings accounts, which would combine retirement, education and health care savings into one vehicle. Money put into the account would be done so on an after-tax basis, and taxed when withdrawn as well; but any accumulation of profits during the investment timeframe, known as capital gains, would not be taxed. Kudlow told CNBC this policy, if pursued, may extend to bonds as well as stocks. Kudlow noted that this and other ideas have yet to be fleshed out, and no decisions have been made. The development comes as President Donald Trump seeks reelection this fall. He has sought to distinguish himself from his potential Democratic rivals by accusing of them of pursuing “socialist” policies while he has touted tax cuts and deregulation under his administration. After the Great Recession, the percentage of American households owning stocks fell to 52% from 62% before the crisis, according to Gallup. That percentage reached 55% in 2019, a year when the stock market hit record highs. The tax break, if enacted, would represent “a pretty substantial amount of money for people” to have for retirement, according to Stephen Moore, economist at the conservative Heritage Foundation and close confidante of the White House. “That’s the type of thing that would expand ownership,” Moore tells CNBC. The stock market’s rise under Trump’s tenure is a well-documented point of pride for the president and his top economic officials, who have called the Dow Jones Industrial Average a “barometer” and a “mark-to-market indicator” of the administration’s performance. The S&P 500, seen as the broadest index of corporate performance, has risen 49% since Trump took office. The White House publicly has been pointing to the package as a new shot of adrenaline in an economy whose growth shows signs of slowing 10 years into an expansion. A payroll tax cut would become an option only if the economy experienced significant decline, according to two senior administration officials. Separately, Kudlow has suggested cutting the tax rate to 15% for middle-class earners. Kudlow and Vice President Mike Pence have suggested that the package could be unveiled in early fall, as voters are deliberating whether to elect Trump to a second term. New tax cuts are “one of the reasons why we’re going to focus so much energy on making sure that not only do we get President Donald Trump four more years in this White House,” Pence said in a recent interview on the Fox Business Network. “But we’re going to make sure that we reelect a Republican Senate and elect a Republican House of Representatives.” Any tax cuts would need congressional approval to take effect, a tall order while Democrats have the majority in the House of Representatives. For that reason, officials described the proposal that would be made public as “conceptual in nature.” “It’s sort of an idealistic document,” said a senior official involved in discussions. “Sort of, ‘If you reelect this administration, this is what you’re going to get.’” Awesome.... Put that tax cut in the casino market to keep it running.... Wouldn't it be better to just give it to the people to spend on trinkets? Consumer spending is 2/3's of our economy. Playing the roulette wheel of Wall Street will cost people their future. JMHO B/A
  2. Yup I agree, that is going to really shape where this thing will go. B/A
  3. That is so intelligent... No it's not. Yes it is. No it is not... Yes it is.... And so it goes..... B/A
  4. That makes so much sense then building a wall someone can climb over.. And let's start holding the companies hiring illegals accountable. They come here to work and we pay the price. Of course when corporations pay millions into campaigns you know they won't be held accountable for their illegal deeds. B/A
  5. They've had like a thousand people die out of more than a billion? I think they will find replacements. B/A
  6. No offense Indy, but medieval technology is simply a joke. and a waste to tax dollars... What's next a moat? B/A
  7. No I believe republicans and democrats have tried for high tech modern means and technology, not ancient technology that a goat herder can overcome. But I digress. Wake up... good one. The price of one B-1 Bomber could completely change the situation, or even better, instead of giving away corporate welfare so multinationals can buy back their stock and give huge bonuses to their over paid CEOs, that money could be spent on defending America. But of course our fearful leader just wants to build something to hang his name on... He has a lot of old signs laying around as new owners of his bankrupt properties take them down. B/A
  8. Smugglers are reportedly helping migrants scale sections of Donald Trump’s multi-billion border wall using $5 ladders. US Border Patrol has seen a rise in camouflage “hook-and-ladders” within the far south-west region of Texas since May last year, according to The El Paso Times. El Paso’s urban stretch of border is said to be littered with the ladders, which are engineered out of rebar and match the rust brown colours of the wall. “Somebody is making money off those ladders,” agent Joe Romero told the newspaper. “The agents pulled it off the wall and cut it up so it can’t be used again.” The redbar ladders began appearing in large numbers once construction of a replacement wall in El Paso was finished last May. According to Border Patrol, illegal crossings have increased ever since. “We’re starting to see a lot of evading activity,” said Agent Ramiro Cordero. “We’re starting to see the criminal organisations working hand-to-hand on either side to avoid detection. More and more we are seeing ‘failure to yields’ — they are utilising ladders to go over the fence and diversionary tactics.” Border Patrol apprehensions of single adults — those most likely to use the ladder method — have nearly doubled in the El Paso sector. From October 2019 through January 2020, Border Patrol apprehended 10,030 adults, compared with 5,150 in the same period a year ago. The ladders appear to be made by hand from two poles of 3/8-inch rebar and four thinner poles, fitted with steps and bent over at the end in a ‘U’ shape to hook on the top of the wall. The El Paso Times reports smugglers could be sourcing the rebar from a local hardware store in Ciudad Juarez, a Mexican city just south of El Paso, where six metres of the material costs roughly $5.30 (£4). To date, almost 100 miles of border have been built under the Trump administration, mostly to replace and improve existing barriers. Mr Trump’s campaign promised that Mexico would pay for the wall, but thus far the almost $10bn (£7.7bn) budget has come from taxpayer money. The president has proposed spending an additional $2bn for border wall construction. A total 450 miles of the barrier is expected to be completed by the end of this year. We've come a long way..... B/A
  9. Total U.S. household debt reached a record $14.15 trillion at the end of the year after increasing by $193 billion, or 1.4%, in the fourth quarter of 2019, according to the Fed’s Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit. The report, based on “a nationally representative sample of individual- and household-level debt and credit records drawn from anonymized Equifax credit data,” noted that total household debt is now nominally $1.5 trillion higher than the pre-recession peak of $12.68 trillion in the third quarter of 2008. U.S. household debt. (Source: FRBNY Consumer Credit Panel/Equifax) The rise in household debt, led by mortgage balances, marked the 22nd consecutive quarterly increase. Housing balances rose $120 billion from Q3 to December 31, 2019, ending the year at $9.56 trillion. Read more: How to manage debt Non-housing balances increased by $79 billion in the fourth quarter to hit a record $4.20 trillion. The Q4 increases included $16 billion in auto loans, $46 billion in credit card balances, and $10 billion in student loans. (Source: New York Fed) Wilbert Van Der Klaauw, senior vice president at the New York Fed, noted that the data showed that “transitions into delinquency among credit card borrowers have steadily risen since 2016, notably among younger borrowers.” And though student loans may have only seen a “muted” increase of $51 billion, borrowers are still struggling with their debt. In terms of the percentage of outstanding balances that are seriously delinquent or severely derogatory, student loans still lead the way. (Data, graphic: New York Fed) Progress on student debt varied across America in 2019 According to a separate analysis of metros across the U.S., student loan borrowers in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, saw the biggest increase in their student loan balances over the course of 2019, while those in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, saw the biggest decline. The analysis by Student Loan Hero — which analyzed over 450,000 credit reports of consumers across the U.S. between Q1 and Q4 of 2019 to understand how student loan borrowers were making progress on student debt — illustrates that student loan borrowers aren’t one monolithic bloc and are making varying levels of progress on their debt. (Graphic: David Foster, Data: LendingTree) Overall, student loan borrowers in 59 metros saw their student loan balances increase, with four reporting double-digit increases. Borrowers in Harrisburg, Penn., saw their student loan balances increase the most by 11.9%, from $22,408 to $25,081, followed by borrowers in Des Moines, Iowa, who experienced a 11.3% increase in their balances from $21,894 to $24,374. The average borrower’s balance was $22,763 in the first quarter and increased by 2% — to $23,089 — by the end of the year. “Borrowing across the board has dropped dramatically,” Kali McFadden, a research manager at LendingTree, told Yahoo Finance. But “because of the [income-based] repayment programs or deferments … you could definitely see that your interest outpaces your monthly payments … [and] that is a big reason why some of these numbers went up.” According to data from the Department of Education from 2018, nearly 30% of borrowers were not in repayment — rather, they were in forbearance or deferment or delinquent or defaulting on their loans. And so while fewer people were taking out loans, the reality of interest rates outpacing payments led balances to rise. (Graphic: Student Loan Hero) Two metros saw double-digit decreases, according to the Student Loan Hero analysis. In contrast, borrowers in Winston-Salem, N.C., saw a 12.6% decline in their student loan balance, from $25,830 to $22,578, followed by borrowers in Springfield, Mass., who experienced a 10.5% decline from $19,419 to $17,382 . McFadden said that there may be a few reasons for the dramatic declines, ranging from demographic shifts, to people moving away. Winston-Salem, for one, is a college town, and graduates are quite likely to move away (or home) to find better opportunities. B/A
  10. Sorry out of pluses, but I would much rather hear from someone who has been there then someone with an agenda... I hope you have some great pictures to go along with those memories. B/A
  11. I think people are less informed because they only watch the slanted news they like... FOX or CNN for example. And regardless of who is in the final election, it won't be a landslide, it will be who gets out the most voters, because we as a country are that divided. Not many democrats will ever vote for Trump and not many republicans will ever vote for any democrat. So the independents may be the deciding factor. B/A
  12. LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Culinary Union, the most influential union in Nevada politics, has decided to stay out of the state's Democratic presidential caucuses, denying candidates who aggressively courted the group from getting a major leg up in the upcoming contest. The casino workers’ Culinary Union, a 60,000-member group made up of housekeepers, porters, bartenders and more who keep Las Vegas’ glitzy casinos humming, said Thursday that it will instead use its organizing power to get out the vote for the caucuses. The move is a blow to former Vice President Joe Biden, who is looking to shore up his support in Nevada's Feb. 22 caucuses after disappointing finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire. But the union's decision wasn't unexpected: The union’s parent organization, Unite Here, announced last month that it would stay out of the primary, and the Nevada members were expected to follow suit. Biden's campaign had told donors on a call Wednesday that it wasn't counting on the Culinary Union's support. “We've known Vice President Biden for many years. We know he's been our friend," Geoconda Argüello-Kline, the secretary-treasurer for the Culinary Union, said at a Thursday afternoon news conference. “We know all of these candidates and we respect each one of them." The Culinary Union, which is majority female and Latino, is a political powerhouse that can turn on a get-out-the-vote machine that’s been credited with helping deliver Democratic victories in the swing state. White House hopefuls had worked over the past year to win over the union, holding meetings with the labor group’s leaders, issuing public statements in support of their organizing battles with casino resorts, touring the union's health clinic and training facility, and appearing at town halls. After the union’s 2008 decision to back Barack Obama over Hillarious Clinton caused division among the union’s ranks, the union decided to stay neutral during the contentious 2016 Democratic primary between Clinton and Bernie Sanders. With the 2020 primary field still crowded as it barrels toward Nevada, the Culinary Union can likewise avoid stepping into a contest that could split its members. Many unions nationally have made a similar calculation this year, deciding to stay on the sidelines of a volatile field without an unambiguous front-runner "They could have actually pushed an election," Eddie Vale, a Democratic strategist and former political director of the AFL-CIO, said of Culinary. “Even if some of the big unions endorsed, it wouldn't have much of an impact on the race.” A number of Culinary's sister unions and Unite Here affiliates have entered the contest, siding with the field's most liberal candidates. Five of Unite Here's affiliate unions based in California are backing Sanders. Another affiliate, Unite Here Local 11 out of Southern California and Arizona, announced in January that it was backing both Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. The union’s New York affiliate, the New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council, issued an endorsement in June 2019 of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who later dropped out of the presidential race. While the Culinary Union isn't endorsing a candidate, it has not refrained from wading into the contest. Over the last two weeks, the union has distributed leaflets to members in the employee dining halls at casinos warning that “Medicare for All” plans espoused by Sanders and Warren would threaten union members' health care. Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg has sought to capitalize on the controversy, name-checking the Culinary Union on the debate stage and on the campaign trail as he contrasts his health plan with Sanders' and Warren's. “Who are we to tell them that they have to give up those plans?" Buttigieg said Thursday night, speaking at a League of United Latin American Citizens town hall in Las Vegas. Sanders said in a statement Thursday that he appreciates the work the Culinary Union does and that, if elected president, he looks forward to working with the union. "We must provide guaranteed health care for all,” he said. “As someone who has the strongest lifetime pro-labor record of anyone in Congress, I would never do anything to diminish the health care that unions and workers have fought for. Under Medicare for All, health care will be preserved and expanded for all, including unionized casino workers and service staff, uninsured food service workers, and striking workers fighting for their rights.” Sanders also addressed the union’s complain of online backlash. “Harassment of all forms is unacceptable to me, and we urge supporters of all campaigns not to engage in bullying or ugly personal attacks,” Sanders said. “We can certainly disagree on issues, but we must do it in a respectful manner.” Vale noted that, despite Culinary's high-profile beef with Sanders' Medicare for All plan, the Vermont senator supports most of the union's goals -- as does every other candidate in the field. "It's not like the ‘60s, ’70s and '80s when you had just one labor candidate," Vale said. "Everyone's supporting your stuff." Biden has long-standing ties to labor and the Culinary Union, in particular. He was introduced at a December town hall with the Culinary Union as the keynote speaker at the 1974 convention of the union's parent organization. In 2018, he headlined a get-out-the-vote rally for Democratic candidates at the union's hall. He has locked up the endorsement of the Culinary Union's former political director, state Sen. Yvanna Cancela, who is now serving as a senior adviser to his campaign. I wonder if they are waiting on Mike... The democrats really have problems in their party. B/A
  13. The system is fixed against ordinary people... I understand if you don't pay your property taxes that eventually you have to forfeit it, but people should have time to catch up. I don't understand how they can say we are taking your property because we think we have a better use for it. B/A
  14. Too true... When I posted this I knew people on all sides would find something they didn't like and things they did like, but of course in today's world the reactions are to the negative side... For the right, there is some great stuff bashing Biden, the democrats and the impeachment. But I hear crickets. On the left there is great stuff bashing republicans, tax cuts, the impeachment, but again crickets. I guess people are programmed to react to what they don't like... Like voting, people mostly vote for what they are against instead of what they are for. Maybe that's why they are so loyal to Trump. His supporters believe they are voting for what they stand for. He has done a good job of promising what they want to hear. And that's what a good politician does. B/A
  15. Exactly... And I don't know if was a case of eminent domain. It does suck when the government just comes in and makes you sell your property. B/A
  16. I don't know if he had a choice to sell it.... That is a good question. But don't you find it funny? He is saying not in my backyard.. You have to admit that is the classic response of people when they get what they ask for, but it's too close to home... I've seen it locally when people demand sidewalks until it takes part of their yard... It just made me laugh. B/A
  17. For over 100 consecutive months, the United States government has reported that the economy has produced 50-year highs in employment and record lows in unemployment. The data from the Department of Labor (DOL) suggests that we are in a Utopian period of economic prosperity due to the historic low rate of unemployment. By many metrics, the job market is doing well and, in some spots, it's blazing hot. There is a big disconnect. The reality for most people is inconsistent with the employment figures. Stories of job seekers spending an exceedingly long period of time searching for a suitable job, lackluster salary offers, relatively small wage increases for employees and the rapid growth of gig-economy jobs—such as Uber and Lyft drivers, Instacart shoppers and DoorDashers—repudiate the “best job market ever” narrative. There have been some new reports that back up the claims of people who say that the job market is not as hot as advertised. A study by the Brookings Institute, a nonprofit public policy organization that conducts research to solve problems facing society, found that a large amount of the newly created positions are “low-wage” jobs. According to the report, low-wage workers make up a huge part of the workforce. A staggering amount of people—over 53 million; 44% of all workers ages 18 to 64 in the U.S.—earn low hourly wages. A new job-measuring metric, the U.S. Private Sector Job Quality Index (JQI), tracks the quality and pay of jobs is gaining attention. The researchers, which include Cornell University, plan to report their findings each month along with government’s DOL data. The JQI tracks the weekly income a job generates for an employee. Similar to the Brookings Institute study, it reflects sluggish hourly wage growth, flat or declining hours worked and low labor participation (the amount of people actively looking for work). Since 1990, the jobs available have significantly declined in quality, as measured by the income earned by workers. Less hours worked with less pay and little room for growth is becoming the norm. The increase in low quality jobs is a byproduct of the growth in the service sector, including healthcare, leisure, hospitality and restaurants, which pays lower wages. This trend coincides with the decreased needs in the once-flourishing manufacturing sector. The low-quality jobs offer an average of 24.6 hours of work per week at $14.65 an hour, which is $360 per week. These roles are also the 13.5 million retail jobs offering 30.3 hours a week at $16.73 an hour, which is $506 in weekly pay. About 83% of all private sector jobs—105 million workers—are in nonsupervisory jobs. More than half of those positions—58 million—pay less than the average weekly U.S. wage of $793. A good deal of these jobs don’t afford proper healthcare or benefits. Unfortunately, for many Americans, these are the best jobs they could get. Bloomberg asserts, “If quality is more important than quantity, the U.S. labor market isn’t as good as the headline numbers indicate,” as it relates to the index. Daniel Alpert, an adjunct professor at Cornell Law School said, “This will be the grain of salt to take with the rest of the jobs data.” Alpert, who also works on Wall Street and is a managing partner of Westwood Capital added, “This is talking about the erosion of the middle class: the more people you have in low-wage, low-hour jobs, the worst inequality is.” While this is happening, certain sectors, such as technology, can’t find sufficient enough people to staff their open headcounts. It looks like a bifurcated job market. On one end of the spectrum, there is a strong demand for certain skilled professionals that offers high salaries, advancement, solid benefits and equity in the company. The other side of the employment spectrum consists of workers just getting by with low-wage, no-growth jobs. As long as the government only reports the quantity of jobs (as opposed to the quality), it sends a false picture to the public about the real state of the overall job market. I told you not to watch it B/A
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