The decline in the purchasing power of the dollar has finally caught up with the U.S. Mint, which is planning to remove pennies and nickels from circulation. Also, the GAO wants the United States to stop printing paper one-dollar bills and to switch instead to one-dollar coins.
One of the best indicators of a state’s economic health, according to John Merline, writing in Investor’s Business Daily, is the “U-Haul Index” (first publicized by economist Mark Perry) to see what people are paying to move into, or out of, the state. Renting a 20-foot truck one way from San Francisco to San Antonio, Texas, for example, costs $1,693. Going in the other direction, however, costs only $983 for the same truck.
As Perry explains, "The American people and businesses are voting with their feet and their one-way truck rentals to escape California and its forced unionism, high taxes, and high unemployment rate for a better life in low-tax, business-friendly, right-to-work states like Texas."
In 2010, the U.S. Congress cut the Social Security payroll tax from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent for 2011 as part of a compromise between the president and congressional Republicans. This temporary reduction in Social Security payroll taxes is due to expire at the end of the year.
After 42 years of building an immense real estate and time share company, with 7,000 employees and revenues of $1 billion, its owner is close to giving it all up and, in his words, “calling it a day.” David Siegel, the owner of Westgate Resorts, started his company out of his garage in the early 1970s and, working full time including weekends and holidays, slowly built the company into a powerhouse which, in 2007, just before the real estate crash, employed more than 12,000 people and served more than 3 million customers a year.
But the start of the Great Recession left Siegel and his company with nearly $1 billion in debt which forced him to give back the Las Vegas project to lenders and stop work altogether on his massive 90,000 square-foot home.
Business is better now, but Siegel is nervous about the election and what it means to his company if President Obama is reelected.
The U.S. economy grew slower than previously reported during the second quarter of the year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The economy grew at just an annualized rate of 1.3 percent rate, down from the 1.7 percent growth previously reported.
The anti-tax foundation Americans for Tax Reform has labeled the end of the Bush-era tax cuts that are scheduled to expire at the end of this year — in conjunction with the start of new taxes, such as those brought on by ObamaCare mandates — "Taxmageddon," but would the tax increases built into the law by Congress actually be a catastrophe for the economy, keeping in mind that automatic spending cuts are set to begin as well?
To hurdle the federal government’s looming “fiscal cliff,” Congress and the president must enact a combination of higher taxes and spending cuts, says a group of business economists.
Due in large part to an explosion of government spending and less secure property rights, the United States plunged to its lowest ever ranking on the Economic Freedom of the World report, dropping from second place out of 144 nations in 2000 to a humiliating 18th in this year’s annual survey. The global average scores, meanwhile, actually increased slightly.
The Federal Reserve has announced that it would begin yet another round of quantitative easing, a maneuver that has caused the independent and nationally recognized statistical rating organization Egan-Jones to lower the U.S. government to “AA-“ from “AA.” Egan-Jones specifically cited the third round of quantitative easing from the Federal Reserve, indicating it would hurt the U.S. economy and the nation’s credit quality.
As the real unemployment rate hovers around 19 percent, with more Americans dropping out of the labor force and others being forced to take low-paying, part-time jobs, job creation continues to move at a painfully slow pace. And while a number of lawmakers have proposed a variety of approaches to stimulate job growth, most seem to ignore the fact that a major inhibiter to job growth is the abundance of federal regulations, which have increased dramatically under this administration. According to CNS News, the Code of Federal Regulations has increased by 11,327 pages in just the last three years.
While a record number of Americans are not currently in the labor force, according to the Department of Labor, unemployment for government workers drops to 5.1 percent, the lowest among all industries.