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.