TUESDAY, ARPIL 10, 2012
White House highlights tax fairness ahead of Obama speech
Taxes for America’s highest earners have fallen sharply since 1995, according to a White House report on Tuesday, released ahead of a speech by President Barack Obama on fairness in the tax code that is a key part of his campaign for reelection.
The White House estimated the 400 highest income households in the country, who all earned over $110 million, paid an average of 18.1 percent of their income in federal taxes in 2007, well down for 29.9 percent those households paid in 1995.
Servicers Face More Rules
The banks and other firms that collect payments from mortgage borrowers and handle their defaults are drawing scrutiny from a new U.S. regulator, following widespread abuses in foreclosures during the housing crisis.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau may soon require mortgage servicing firms, led by Wells Fargo (WFC -0.92%) & Co., Bank of America Corp., (BAC -3.36%) J.P. Morgan Chase (JPM -1.01%) & Co. and Citigroup Inc., (C -2.41%) to reach out aggressively to delinquent borrowers, warn them about coming interest-rate changes and even apply monthly payments the same day.
Obama healthcare law could sharply worsen US deficits: study
President Barack Obama’s healthcare law could sharply exceed its cost-savings targets and add up to $530 billion to the federal budget deficit, a leading authority on U.S. government benefit programs said on Tuesday.
A study by Charles Blahous, a George Mason University research fellow and the Republican trustee for the Medicare and Social Security entitlement programs for the elderly, challenges the administration’s contention that the 2010 law would better keep healthcare costs in line.
Poll shows majority support for carbon controls, but partisan split persists
A majority of U.S. adults back mandatory controls on greenhouse gas emissions, but support is far higher among Democrats than Republicans, according to a newly released Gallup poll.
The survey conducted March 8-11 finds that 65 percent of adults surveyed support mandatory greenhouse gas controls.
Eighty-two percent of Democrats and 50 percent of Republicans support controls, according to the poll.
Despite the split, the findings suggest that, as a whole, GOP lawmakers oppose carbon emissions controls more than their constituents.
Remaining Big Banks Brace for More Student Loan Scrutiny
Two years after the federal government largely took over the student loan market, the remaining banks in the industry are bracing for another shakeup.
Today fewer private lenders are competing for pieces of a smaller market, as some of the biggest banks have sold, shuttered or slimmed down their student loan businesses. Those who remain are now facing increased regulatory scrutiny over student loan default rates and borrowers’ overall debt levels.
EDITORIAL: President Assad’s Latest Bluff
The international community’s latest attempt to stop President Bashar al-Assad’s reign of terror in Syria is failing. Instead of abiding by a commitment to a cease-fire negotiated with the United Nations, he has kept his killing machine rolling, raising the death toll to an estimated 9,000 Syrians in the year since the start of the uprising.
The events of the past few days should compel the United Nations Security Council to take tough and unified action against Mr. Assad and his forces. That means that Russia and China, which previously vetoed substantive council resolutions, must stop protecting his brutal regime.