Category: Spending


IRS Warns Of Possible Shutdown

 

 

 

 

 

” The IRS is considering its own temporary shutdown due to recent budget cuts enacted by Congress, its chief said Thursday.

  IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said furloughs — forced unpaid days off for employees as part of an IRS closure — is one idea reluctantly being tossed about to save money, though they are hoping they will not have to go there.”

 

 

” “ People call it furloughs; I view it as: Are we going to have to shut the place down? And at this point, that will be the last thing we do, … but there is no way we can say right now that that wont happen,” Koskinen told reporters at a Thursday press conference on the upcoming tax season. “Again, I would stress that would be the last option.”

  He said a shutdown would mean the IRS would “close the agency for a day, two days, whatever days it would take to close the gap that we can’t otherwise close in a reasonable way.”

  The agency estimates each closed day would save $29 million. “

 

Politico

 

 

I think we can all agree that , given recent reports , that the IRS has plenty of room for belt-tightening . 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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People Magazine’s Worst Selling Issue This Year? The One With Hillary Clinton On The Cover

 

 

 

” In June, Hillary Rodham Clinton appeared on the cover of People magazine for the first time in more than a decade. Real people, not the magazine, talked about what the article might mean for 2016. They talked about whether Clinton was using a walker (she wasn’t). They talked about people talking about whether Clinton was using a walker (She still wasn’t).

  According to a report from AdWeek on Monday, the June 16 issue of People featuring the former first lady and senator was the magazine’s worst selling of 2014 with 503,890 copies sold.

  It has not been a good year for Hillary Clinton and print media. Her book, “Hard Choices,” also failed to sell as many copies as initial estimates assumed it would.”

 

Read more at the Washington Post

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

$4.20 Per Pound: Price Of Ground Beef Climbs To Another Record

 

 

bls

 

 

” The average price of a pound of ground beef climbed to another record high — $4.201 per pound — in the United States in November, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

  In August 2014, the average price for a pound of all types of ground beef topped $4 for the first time, hitting $4.013, according to the BLS.  In September, the average price jumped to $4.096 per pound, and in October, the average price climbed to $4.154 per pound. In November, the average price hit the highest price ever recorded — $4.201 per pound.

  A year ago, in November 2013, the average price for a pound of ground beef was $3.477 per pound. Since then, the average price has increased 20.8 percent in one year.

  Five years ago, in November 2009, the average price of a pound of ground beef was $2.062, according to the BLS. The price has since climbed by $2.139 per pound, or 103.7 percent.”

 

Read more at CNS News

 

Below is a list of average grocery prices and other necessary expenses by year from 2008 to 2014 …

 

COL 2008-2014

 

 

   This is a list from one source that we could find quickly and while we find some of the statistics to be dubious in the extreme it does convey the basic idea that , contrary to what the inflation figures provided by the State claim , prices are out of control . Heck of a job Barack …

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food Stamp Beneficiaries Exceed 46,000,000 for 37 Straight Months

 

 

 

 

” The number of beneficiaries who receive compensation from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), otherwise known as food stamps, has topped 46,000,000 for 37 straight months, according to data released by the Department of Agriculture (USDA).

  In September 2014, which is the latest data from the USDA, there were 46,459,998 Americans who received assistance from the SNAP program. The number of beneficiaries has exceeded 46 million since September 2011, a total of 37 months, or more than three years.

  In September, the number of beneficiaries was down from the 46,476,410 beneficiaries there were in August, a decline of 16,412. During that same time frame, the number of families receiving SNAP benefits increased from 22,724,624 in August to 22,750,019 in September, an increase of 25,395.

  Households on food stamps in September got an average of $252.69 during the month, and the program benefits cost taxpayers $5,748,809,023.

  In 1969, the average participation in the SNAP program stood at 2,878,000. In 2014, average participation grew to 46,536,000 showing an increase of 1516.96 percent.”

 

Thanks to CNS News

 

    To put those numbers in perspective in 1969 one out of every 73.6 people was dependent on the State for supplemental food stamps while today after nearly fifty years of fighting the “war on poverty” the ratio is one out of every 6.8 people . Well done … God Bless The State …

Total spending to date on the “war on poverty” has exceeded sixteen trillion dollars and all we’ve gotten for that “investment” has been a larger and larger dole .

 

Since the

 

   The numbers for SNAP spending during the past six years of the Obama administration from the CBO reflect a massive increase in dependency on the State :

 

 

Participation and Federal Spending for SNAP

 

 

” Almost two-thirds of the growth in spending on SNAP benefits between 2007 and 2011 stemmed from the increase in the number of participants. Labor market conditions deteriorated dramatically between 2007 and 2009 and have been slow to recover; since 2007, both the number of people eligible for the program and the share of those who are eligible and who participate in the program have risen.

  About one-fifth of the growth in spending can be attributed to temporarily higher benefit amounts enacted in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The remainder stems from other factors, such as higher food prices and lower income among beneficiaries, both of which have boosted benefits.”

 

Heck of a job Barack …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Antelope Canyon Photo Sells For Record $6.5M

 

LIK USA Peter Lik's Phantom

 

 

 

” The world’s most expensive photo depicts Arizona’s Antelope Canyon, near Page on the Navajo Reservation.

  Landscape Photographer Peter Lik sold his print, titled “Phantom,” for $6.5 million to a private collector in November.

  The black-and-white photo depicts an underground cavern inside Arizona’s Antelope Canyon, a slot canyon formed as rainwater eroded the stone into narrow passageways.

  The canyon, first opened to the public in 1997, attracts photographers and sightseers to marvel at its uniquely smooth, flowing corridors and arches, Navajo Nation parks officials said.”

 

AZCentral.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Obama Opens Fraud-Ridden Benefits Programs To Illegal Immigrants

 

 

 

 

” President Obama’s unilateral executive action on immigration will make hundreds of thousands, perhaps more than a million, illegal immigrants eligible for federal transfer payments. That will be done primarily through two widely used programs — the Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC, and the Additional Child Tax Credit, or ACTC.

  As it turns out, those two programs are already among the most corrupt and fraud-ridden in the entire federal government. A newly-released report from the inspector general of the Internal Revenue Service confirms that the EITC is plagued by fraud (which was already well known) and also reveals for the first time that the ACTC is even worse.

  The two programs, intended for low-income workers, are what is known as refundable tax credits. That means they give workers a tax refund that is larger than their tax liability. So a family with a tax bill of $1,000 might receive an EITC “refund” of $5,000, meaning the family doesn’t write a check to the government but rather receives a check from the government. The ACTC works similarly for low-income workers with children.”

 

Thanks to Byron York at the Washington Examiner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UC Study: Minimum Wage Hike Of 2007-09 Cost 1.4M Jobs

 

 

 

 

” Raising the minimum wage, a stated goal of the Obama administration, likely would cost jobs and hurt low-income workers.

  University of California San Diego economic researchers discovered that the federal minimum wage increase from $5.15 to $7.25 per hour between 2007 and 2009 actually cost the economy 1.4 million jobs, Breitbart News reports. “

 

 

” Even worse, the increase’s negative effect landed squarely on the people it was designed to help — low-paid, unskilled workers, who found themselves blocked out of low-paid or internship positions that would give them a shot at gaining experience and achieving higher-paid jobs, the study notes.

” We find that binding minimum wage increases significantly reduced the likelihood that low-skilled workers rose to what we characterize as lower middle class earnings. This curtailment of transitions into lower middle class earnings began to emerge roughly one year following initial declines in low wage employment. Reductions in upward mobility thus appear to follow reductions in access to opportunities for accumulating work experience,” the report states. “

 

 

 

” While the wage distribution of low-skilled workers shifts as intended, the estimated effects on employment, income, and income growth are negative. “

 

 

   For every government mandate on businesses , industry and technology will create a way to avoid them . If increasing the mandatory minimum wage by two dollars cost a million and a half jobs just imagine the losses from a doubling of the present state-mandated wage for unskilled workers , and machines don’t need healthcare .

   Read more at NewsMax

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

$404,155,000,000: Taxes Set Record In First 2 Months Of FY15—Deficit Still $179B

 

Record Tax Revenues for October and November

 

 

 

” The U.S. Treasury continued to rake in tax dollars at a record rate in November as the federal government closed out the first two months of fiscal 2015 with $404,155,000,000 in total receipts, according to the Monthly Treasury Statement released today.

  In constant 2014 dollars, this is the first time federal revenues have topped $400 billion in the first two months of the fiscal year.

  Even with these record revenues, the Treasury ran a deficit of $178.531 billion deficit in October and November as it spent $582.686 billion.”

 

CNS News has more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obama’s One Night Brisbane, Australia Hotel Bill: $1.7M

 

 

 

” President Obama stayed only one night in Australia for the G-20 summit, but the entire presidential delegation required over 4,000 rooms costing in excess of $1.7 million for the entire stay. Rooms at three different hotels were reserved for the U.S. delegation, and due to the large number of countries involved in the summit, the Australian government parceled out available hotels to each nation’s delegation. The majority of the U.S. delegation stayed at the Brisbane Marriott, with the remainder staying at two other Brisbane hotels, the Urban and the Adina. 

  Presidential visits, such as for the G-20 summit, require advance teams for security and logistics, and may also include arrangements for officials conducting discussions and negotiations before and after the president himself is in the host country.

  Often for such contracts, full and open competition is not possible because time constraints and related security concerns preclude a bidding process. However, in this case, the Australian government required countries to use designated hotels which placed additional limits on alternatives. In any case, the estimated total cost for the three hotels was about $1,732,000; based on an estimated 4,096 room nights, the per room cost comes to $423 per night. The Justification documents for the three contracts state that the cost is “fair and reasonable based on the pricing available across the city of Brisbane at the time of the visit.” “

 

Weekly Standard has the details

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

House Leaders Move To Avoid Immigration Showdown

 

 

 

 

” Trying to avoid a showdown over immigration, House Republican leaders are moving to make a deal with Democrats to pass a spending bill that would keep the government running past next week.

  The emerging strategy follows legislation passed Thursday by the House declaring President Barack Obama’s executive actions to curb deportations of immigrants in the U.S. illegally to be “null and void.” That legislation wasn’t enough for some conservatives, who complained that the only way to stop Obama’s actions on immigration would be to forbid them in legislation that must pass if the government is to stay open.

  Republican leaders are opposed to that course of action, fearing a government shutdown that they don’t want, and they plan to rely on Democratic votes to pass a bill to keep the government going.”

 

 

 

 

” House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said Friday that Democrats were committed to keeping the government open, but she warned that Republicans could lose their support if they include too many contentious so-called policy riders in the spending bill, on issues like school lunch nutrition standards and water quality.

” We haven’t seen the bill. But there are some very destructive riders in it that would be unacceptable to us and, I think, unacceptable to the American people,” Pelosi said.

” The responsibility to keep government open is theirs. If the bill is anything that we can support, we will,” added Pelosi, who has more leverage in the negotiations because of Boehner’s likely need to rely on her to deliver Democratic votes.

  The spending bill would pay for the operations of most government agencies for a year while extending the Homeland Security Department operations only for a few months. Homeland Security includes the immigration agencies that would carry out Obama’s executive actions, so the approach would allow Republicans to revisit them early next year, once they have control of the Senate and a bigger majority in the House.

” We think this is the most practical way to fight the president’s action,” House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said.”

 

What a cowardly bunch of ***holes the House GOP leadership is , read the whole sickening thing .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Best And Worst Run States In America: A Survey Of All 50

 

Party Control Of States

 

 

” How well run is your state? Assessing a state’s management quality is hardly easy. The current economic climate and standard of living in any given state are not only the results of policy choices and developments that occurred in the last few years, but can also be affected by decisions made decades ago, and by forces outside a state’s control. 

  Each year, 24/7 Wall St. attempts to answer this question by surveying various aspects of each state. To determine how well states are managed, we examine key financial ratios, as well as social and economic outcomes. This year, North Dakota is the best-run state in the country for the third consecutive year, while Illinois replaced California as the worst-run state.

  Selecting appropriate criteria to compare the 50 states is difficult because there is so much variation among the states. As a result, policy decisions that may work in one state might not work in another. Some states are rich in natural resources, while others rely on high-skilled sectors such as technology and business services. Some depend disproportionately on one industry, while others’ economies are more balanced. Further, some states are more rural, while others are highly urbanized and densely populated.

  This year, a number of the best-run states again benefit from an abundance of natural resources. North Dakota, Wyoming, Alaska, and Texas are among the top 10 best-run states, and in all four, the mining industry — which includes fossil fuel extraction — is a major contributor to state GDP. Due in large part to the mining sector, North Dakota and Wyoming led the nation in real GDP growth in 2013. And Alaska has utilized its oil wealth to build massive state reserves and to pay its residents an annual dividend.

  Although less than in years past, the lingering effects of the housing crisis still have a negative impact on several of the worst-run states. In five of the 10 worst-run states — Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, and Rhode Island — home values declined by 10% or more between 2009 and 2013. Worse still, in states such as Arizona and Rhode Island, the housing market remains well below its peak, reached just before the start of the recent recession.”

 

   A brief rundown of the top ten and bottom ten states , color-coded (red for GOP , blue for Democrats , purple for split government) by party control of legislature and governor’s office is as follows: 

 

The 10 best run states:

 

” 1. North Dakota

2. Wyoming

3. Nebraska

4. Iowa

5. Minnesota

6. Utah

7. Alaska

8. Texas

9. Vermont

10. South Dakota

 

 

And here are the ten worst run states:

 

” 41. Alabama

42. Missouri

43. New Jersey

44. Georgia

45. Arizona

46. Kentucky

47. Rhode Island

48. Mississippi

49. New Mexico

50. Illinois

 

 

Click through to the 24/7 Wall Street post for a detailed accounting of all 50 states to see where yours stands .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Only 19 Students Ready For College In Paterson NJ

 

 

 

 

 

” A paltry nineteen students who took the SAT from the Paterson (New Jersey) Public Schools were considered “college ready.”

This means they scored at least a 1500 out of 2400 on the exam.

MY 9 NJ.com reports:

Paterson resident Jason Williams is one of the lucky ones. He just graduated high school last year and has been enrolled in college since September, after taking the SAT’s three times determined to score over 1500. He says that the key to his success was not falling victim to the streets.

  Article author Tamara Laine writes that the 19 students figure “is truly shocking considering how large the school district is.” Indeed, according to the district’s Wikipedia entry, the district has twenty-one high schools, and a total student enrollment of 28,139. “

 

    Although we experienced some difficulty in coming up with a solid figure for the Paterson public high school enrollment numbers , according to the information on Wikipedia’s page we’ve arrived at a minimum of 4,684 students .

   If approximately half of that number are juniors and seniors , those taking the SATs , we calculate 2,342 students that took the college entrance exam . That translates into a 0.811% readiness rate … Less than 1 % . Shameful .

This is all the more disgraceful when one considers that Paterson has a 13 to 1 student/teacher ratio (among the lowest in the country) , the national average being 15.5 , and spends $18,891 per pupil which is 8.3% above the national average and ranks below only Alaska , DC and New York . See table below …

 

 

 

Paterson School Spending

   While the reader ponders where all that money is being spent , take note of this story from Monday’s NorthJersey.com :

 

 

” Payroll records show the number of city school district employees making at least $125,000 has doubled over the past five years, an increase that comes as test scores for Paterson students remain among the lowest in the state.

  At present, 66 Paterson Public Schools employees make at least $125,000, the records show. During the 2010-11 school year, the district had 33 employees above the $125,000 mark.

  The rise has been a steady one, the records show. The number of salaries above $125,000 grew to 41 in 2011-12, to 53 the year after that and to 60 in 2013-14.”

 

 

    Gotta love that State provided “free” education … New Jersey tax payers are hardly getting their money’s worth , that’s for sure .

The College Fix

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

30,000 Bought ‘Literal Poop’ On Black Friday

 

 

 

 

 

” Popular game Cards Against Humanity pulled all products from its website for Black Friday, instead offering boxes of “literal poop” that quickly sold out.

  The protest — which follows last year’s action of raising prices on all Cards Against Humanity products on its website and Amazon for Black Friday — saw the website pull all products from its store in favor of a single available item in a box labeled “Bull [expletive].”

  The Black Friday special, which the website promised is “literal poop from an actual bull,” quickly sold out of 30,000 units, company founder Max Temkin tweeted.

” If you buy the poop expecting it to be something else that’s not poop, you’re actually buying a valuable life lesson for $6,” he tweeted.

  The card game and its expansion packs returned to the website Saturday along with a new promotion: “The Ten Days or Whatever of Kwanzaa.” The website said customers who pay $15 will receive 10 mystery gifts in the mail during the month of December. “

 

Thanks to UPI Odd News

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hells Angels Set For 16th Annual Toy Run To Poverello House

 

 

 

” Fresno County Hells Angels member Merl Hefferman was busy Monday collecting bicycles at the Walmart on Herndon Avenue in northwest Fresno for Saturday’s 16th annual Toy Run to Poverello House.

  Last year, Poverello House in downtown Fresno gave away more than 3,500 toys on Christmas morning. “Without generous donors, it would be hard to gather enough toys to distribute to those in need,” says Cruz Avila, executive director of Poverello House.

  The Hells Angels Toy Run helps meet Poverello’s need. Hefferman said it’s an all-day event that’s fun and allows the chapter to give back to the community.

  Poverello House is a nonprofit, nondenominational organization that has been serving the hungry, homeless and destitute in the Fresno area since 1973. It depends on in-kind and monetary donations as well as community members volunteering for various jobs. Today, Poverello House sees more families than ever before, and serves about 1,500 meals every day.”

Read more at the Fresno Bee and a tip of the hat to The Blaze 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total US Debt Rises Over $18 Trillion; Up 70% Under Barack Obama

 

 

 

” Last week, total US debt was a meager $17,963,753,617,957.26. Two days later, as updated today, on Black Friday, total outstanding US public debt just hit a new historic level which probably would be better associated with a red color: as of the last work day of November, total US public debt just surpassed $18 trillion for the first time, or $18,005,549,328,561.45 to be precise, of which debt held by the public rose to $12,922,681,725,432.94, an increase of $32 billion in one day.

 

 

 

 

  It also means that total US debt to nominal GDP as of Sept 30, which was $17.555 trillion, is now 103%. Keep in mind this GDP number was artificially increased by about half a trillion dollars a year ago thanks to the “benefit” of R&D and intangibles. Without said definitional change, debt/GDP would now be about 106%.

  It also means that total US debt has increased by 70% under Obama, from $10.625 trillion on January 21, 2009 to $18.005 trillion most recently.

  And now we wait for the US to become Spain, and add the estimated “contribution” from hookers and blow to GDP, once again pushing the total debt/GDP ratio below the psychological 100% level.”

 

 

And to think that just three short years ago Obama was speaking of reducing our then $14 trillion debt …

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Heck of a job Barack especially when one takes into consideration the record tax receipts the Federal government has been taking in . Be sure to check out the National Debt Clock . Bookmark it and keep up .

Thanks to Zero Hedge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whatever Happened To Inflation?

 

 

 

 

” Since 2008, the Federal Reserve has been trying to stave off economic disaster with an unconventional monetary policy tool known as quantitative easing. By buying financial assets from commercial banks and other institutions, the Fed has massively expanded the money supply-quadrupling it since the practice began.

  Many economists, particularly followers of the Austrian school, deplored the practice and predicted that the unprecedented currency and asset price manipulation would lead to huge and damaging price inflation. Reason was among them, declaring on our October 2009 cover: “Inflation Returns!” A group of free market economists were asked: “Has the time come to stockpile canned goods and pick up a wheelbarrow for transporting currency, or should we be afraid of the opposite-a prolonged contraction that causes prices to crash?”

  Six years later, official consumer price index inflation sits at just 2 percent annually from July 2013 to July 2014, the latest period for which figures are available. This is identical to the rate for the previous year.

  We asked four economists and market analysts to revisit what they originally predicted would happen after quantitative easing and assess whether (and why) they were right. Analyst Peter Schiff sticks to his guns, saying that any “claims of victory over inflation are premature and inaccurate. Inflation is easy to see in our current economy, if you make a genuine attempt to measure it.” Economist Robert Murphy believes we are in a “calm before the storm” and is “confident that a day of price inflation reckoning looms.” Contributing Editor David R. Henderson writes that the “financial crisis has brought such major changes in central banking that uncontrolled inflation from discretionary monetary policy is not as great a danger as it once was,” though he remains critical of the Fed’s growing powers. And economist Scott Sumner claims victory for the “market monetarists,” noting that both Austrians and Keynesians have been proven wrong by events, and urging both sides to “take markets seriously.” “

 

Reason has more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cost Still A Barrier Between Americans And Medical Care

 

Percentage of Americans Putting Off Medical Treatment Because of Cost

 

 

” One in three Americans say they have put off getting medical treatment that they or their family members need because of cost. Although this percentage is in line with the roughly 30% figures seen in recent years, it is among the highest readings in the 14-year history of Gallup asking the question.

  Since 2001, Gallup has asked Americans each November if they have put off any sort of medical treatment for themselves or their families in the past 12 months. Last year, many hoped that the opening of the government healthcare exchanges and the resulting increase in the number of Americans with health insurance would enable more people to seek medical treatment. But, despite a drop in the uninsured rate, a slightly higher percentage of Americans than in previous years report having put off medical treatment, suggesting that the Affordable Care Act has not immediately affected this measure. “

 

Gallup has the details

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Black Friday Is Here, And You All Look Like Morons

 

 

black friday fights

Click pic for Vines Video

 

 

” It’s Friday 28th November, a day that most people consider as ‘the start of Christmas shopping’. But in the States , they call it Black Friday.

  For many years, the day following Thanksgiving in America is known as Black Friday, a day where chaos ensues all over the country. Why? Because most items in most shops are about 1 dollar cheaper than the day before.

  Fast forward to 2014, and obviously, the UK has decided to adopt this tradition. Why? I don’t know. There seems to be a sale on everywhere nowadays, in most shops. Couches are pretty much free for the first decade and every high street clothing shop has a maze of rails full of price cut shite. “

 

    UniLad provides a host of video idiocy taking place as we speak . Watch shoppers battle it out and display a decidedly unchristian side of the holiday season .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Getting Fired Is Mission: Impossible For Federal Bureaucrats In The Obama Era

 

 

 

 

” Federal managers have fired fewer bad employees each year since President Obama took office.

  Fewer than 4,900 career civil servants were fired in fiscal year 2013 out of 1.4 million — about one out of every every 300 employees — according to Office of Personnel Management data.

  The figures were 5,700 in 2010, 5,500 in 2011, and 5,200 in 2012. Only partial data was available for fiscal 2014, but it was on track for 4,800, the lowest in recent memory.

  There are also about 7,700 senior executives in the federal government, who are held to a higher standard than those in the General Schedule rank and file.

  But only five in the Senior Executive Service were fired in 2012, seven in 2013 and none in the first half of 2014.

  Both of Congress’ new top bureaucracy watchers — Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, and Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis. — have identified the inability to get rid of bad federal employees as a top reform target.”

 

Read more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Fiscal Cost Of Unlawful Immigrants And Amnesty To The U.S. Taxpayer

 

 

Immigration Costs 2013 - Table 4

 

” Unlawful immigration and amnesty for current unlawful immigrants can pose large fiscal costs for U.S. taxpayers. Government provides four types of benefits and services that are relevant to this issue:

  • Direct benefits. These include Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance, and workers’ compensation.
  • Means-tested welfare benefits. There are over 80 of these programs which, at a cost of nearly $900 billion per year, provide cash, food, housing, medical, and other services to roughly 100 million low-income Americans. Major programs include Medicaid, food stamps, the refundable Earned Income Tax Credit, public housing, Supplemental Security Income, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
  • Public education. At a cost of $12,300 per pupil per year, these services are largely free or heavily subsidized for low-income parents.
  • Population-based services. Police, fire, highways, parks, and similar services, as the National Academy of Sciences determined in its study of the fiscal costs of immigration, generally have to expand as new immigrants enter a community; someone has to bear the cost of that expansion.

  The cost of these governmental services is far larger than many people imagine. For example, in 2010, the average U.S. household received $31,584 in government benefits and services in these four categories.

  The governmental system is highly redistributive. Well-educated households tend to be net tax contributors: The taxes they pay exceed the direct and means-tested benefits, education, and population-based services they receive. For example, in 2010, in the whole U.S. population, households with college-educated heads, on average, received $24,839 in government benefits while paying $54,089 in taxes. The average college-educated household thus generated a fiscal surplus of $29,250 that government used to finance benefits for other households.

  Other households are net tax consumers: The benefits they receive exceed the taxes they pay. These households generate a “fiscal deficit” that must be financed by taxes from other households or by government borrowing. For example, in 2010, in the U.S. population as a whole, households headed by persons without a high school degree, on average, received $46,582 in government benefits while paying only $11,469 in taxes. This generated an average fiscal deficit (benefits received minus taxes paid) of $35,113.

  The high deficits of poorly educated households are important in the amnesty debate because the typical unlawful immigrant has only a 10th-grade education. Half of unlawful immigrant households are headed by an individual with less than a high school degree, and another 25 percent of household heads have only a high school degree.

  Some argue that the deficit figures for poorly educated households in the general population are not relevant for immigrants. Many believe, for example, that lawful immigrants use little welfare. In reality, lawful immigrant households receive significantly more welfare, on average, than U.S.-born households. Overall, the fiscal deficits or surpluses for lawful immigrant households are the same as or higher than those for U.S.-born households with the same education level. Poorly educated households, whether immigrant or U.S.-born, receive far more in government benefits than they pay in taxes. “

 

Read the entire study at Heritage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Renewable Energy ‘Simply Won’t Work': Top Google Engineers

 

 

 

” Two highly qualified Google engineers who have spent years studying and trying to improve renewable energy technology have stated quite bluntly that renewables will never permit the human race to cut CO2 emissions to the levels demanded by climate activists. Whatever the future holds, it is not a renewables-powered civilization: such a thing is impossible.

  Both men are Stanford PhDs, Ross Koningstein having trained in aerospace engineering and David Fork in applied physics. These aren’t guys who fiddle about with websites or data analytics or “technology” of that sort: they are real engineers who understand difficult maths and physics, and top-bracket even among that distinguished company. The duo were employed at Google on the RE<C project, which sought to enhance renewable technology to the point where it could produce energy more cheaply than coal. 

  RE<C was a failure, and Google closed it down after four years. Now, Koningstein and Fork have explained the conclusions they came to after a lengthy period of applying their considerable technological expertise to renewables, in an article posted at IEEE Spectrum.

  The two men write:

  At the start of RE<C, we had shared the attitude of many stalwart environmentalists: We felt that with steady improvements to today’s renewable energy technologies, our society could stave off catastrophic climate change. We now know that to be a false hope …

  Renewable energy technologies simply won’t work; we need a fundamentally different approach. “

 

Read more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Americans Rate Two Agencies Worse Than The IRS

 

 

 

 

” What’s America’s favorite federal agency? Apparently it’s the U.S. Postal Service. Beyond the rate hikes, job cuts, hemorrhaging finances, processing center closures, union tensions and persistent calls for reform, a large majority of people—72 percent—think USPS does an “excellent” or “good” job. That’s a significantly higher rating than the next highest runner up, the FBI, at 58 percent, according to a new Gallup poll assessing American’s perceptions of 13 agencies.

  Four of the 13 agencies included in the poll—Postal Service, the Secret Service, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Veterans’ Affairs Department—were rated for the first time.

  Perhaps most striking was the fact that two agencies rated lower in Americans’ esteem than the scandal-plagued Internal Revenue Service, which may have the most onerous mission among federal agencies—parting people from their money. While only 41 percent of respondents thought IRS was doing a good to excellent job, fewer thought the Federal Reserve Board or Veterans Administration were doing excellent to good work, 38 percent and 29 percent, respectively. “

 

Story continues

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bunny Mellon’s Blue Diamond Sells For More Than $32.6 Million, Sets Two World Auction Records

 

 

 

 

 

 

” A 9.75-carat fancy vivid blue diamond from the collection of Mrs. Paul Mellon sold for more than $32.6 million, shattering its high estimate of $15 million at Sotheby’s New York Thursday. The price set a world auction record for any blue diamond; and at more than $3.3 million per carat, it set a world auction record for price-per-carat for any diamond.

  The pear-shaped diamond was sought after by seven bidders who competed for 20 minutes for the gem, Sotheby’s said. It ultimately sold to a Hong Kong private collector who named it “The Zoe Diamond.”

“ From the moment I saw this diamond, I knew that it would be one of the most important stones that I will ever have the privilege of presenting at auction,” said Gary Schuler, head of Sotheby’s Jewelry Department in New York. “Mrs Mellon’s diamond absolutely deserves the place in the record books that it achieved tonight.” “

 

Forbes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here Is Where Homes Are Most Affordable For The Middle Class

 

middle class homes

 

 

 

 

” If you’re struggling to buy a home in San Francisco or New York, you may want to consider Dayton or Rochester.

  Those are two of the U.S. cities where middle-class buyers are most likely to find an affordable home, according to a new report by the real-estate website Trulia.

  In Trulia’s map below, the bubbles represent the size of a metropolitan area’s housing market. The colors represent the percentage of housing in that market that Trulia considers affordable to the middle class.

  By Trulia’s definition, a city is affordable if “the total monthly payment, including mortgage, insurance, and property taxes, is less than 31% of the metro area’s median household income.” Thus, what’s affordable varies from city to city. “

 

 

The least affordable areas come as no surprise …

 

 

least affordable markets

 

 

Huffington Post

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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