For the past decade holiday spending has begun before Halloween for about 40% of Americans, meaning the 2013 season is already underway. Halloween spending has served as an indicator of things to come, and this year spending decreased slightly (first decrease since 2009). The National Retail Federation (NRF) has projected a modest 2% spending decrease … Continue reading
Category Archives: Fiscal policy
Knock Knock. Who’s There? – Credit Unions.
Since the financial crisis on Wall Street, consumers have been finding their way to the local doorsteps of credit unions instead of corporate banks – and they are realizing that the doors are always open. While banks continue to feed from the pockets of their customers with mounting checking fees, debit fees, hidden fees, and … Continue reading
The SNAP Trap, “Non-Excessive” Funding
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program The 2009 Recovery Act was scheduled to have its boost to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) reduced when it expired on November 1. For households of three, this will be reduced by $29/month reducing monthly assistance from $63 to $37, Single person households’ SNAP benefits will be cut $11/month, and two-person … Continue reading
Egoism Over Action: The Thoughtlessness Behind the Latest Budget Talks
For those in the D.C. metro area, this month has been pretty normal. Employees were furloughed. The government shut down. Partisan bickering continued. The city was placed on high alert after a failed attempt to break through White House security, which led to a car chase down Constitution Avenue. Congressmen realized their approval ratings would … Continue reading
Insufficient Funds: The Unbanked and Underbanked in America
Banking is based on a relationship of implicit trust in which consumers trust the bank to safeguard their money and provide instant access to funds while banks trust that consumers will retain a certain portion of their funds within the institution for use as lending capital. In order for a bank to retain solvency, it … Continue reading
The Farm Bill: Convenient Coalition or Market Manipulation?
In early June, a coalition of urban and rural politicians in the Senate banded together to pass the Farm bill, a legislative piece that distributes welfare benefits to an unlikely pair: wealthy agro-businesses and the inner-city poor. Although widely popular among constituents, a common sense look at the bill reveals serious flaws. The Senate’s version … Continue reading
A Second Look at Head Start
Naptime, wooden blocks, and finger paint have returned to Capitol Hill as politicians debate the fate of Head Start – a kindergarten readiness program that targets children from low-income families. Due to sequester spending cuts, 70,000 young children will be denied access to Head Start. Additionally, 14,000 staff members will lose their jobs, causing an … Continue reading
Apple Employs Tax Tricks
Last week was a big week on the hill, with many high profile hearings. One such hearing that was followed closely was the investigation of Apple. Apple has been accused of evading taxes, but they have apparently found a loophole in the corporate tax code. Apple set up subsidiary accounts in Ireland for its international … Continue reading
Why Senator Warren’s Student Loan Proposal Doesn’t Add Up
Last week, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) unveiled her first piece of legislation on the Senate floor — a proposal to allow students to borrow at the same rates as banks. While this move galvanizes the populist movement, the economics behind it does not quite add up. The interest rate on direct subsidized loans for undergrads … Continue reading
The Impact of the President’s New Budget on future STEM Education
On Wednesday, April 10th, President Obama released his $3.77 trillion budget, as the president begins the arduous process of getting it passed through the Republican controlled House of Representatives. In regards to education, the new budget contains very similar rhetoric used by the president during his 2013 State of the Union Address. For example, the … Continue reading
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