U.S. unemployment slid from 8.1 percent to 7.8 percent in September, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), giving the Obama campaign ammunition to tout job growth right before the November election. But as soon as the numbers were released, critics asserted a slew of criticisms over the BLS report, claiming the numbers were cooked to favor the president’s plot for reelection.
Branded as the “violence tax,” Cook County officials in Illinois are proposing a tax increase on guns and ammo, with the intent to curb violent crime and help close its expansive budget gap. Homicides in Chicago have boosted a staggering 25 percent this year, according to MyFoxChicago.com, and some officials are using the tragedy as a pretense to dilute the number of guns and ammunition in circulation.
A lengthy and rather damning new report released by the Washington Post has revealed that 73 members of Congress have in some capacity backed legislation that stands to benefit businesses or industries in which either they or their relatives are invested. The analysis stems from an investigation by the Post of financial disclosure and public records for all 535 members of both congressional chambers.
Gasoline prices in California have escalated to record highs, spiking 50 cents a gallon in a week and prompting Governor Jerry Brown to advocate laxer smog rules so oil refineries can boost supplies of less expensive fuel blends. Regular gasoline in the state has soared to an average of $4.67 a gallon, a staggering 22 percent higher than the national average, according to AAA’s nationwide fuel price survey.
According to a new GAO audit, 35 percent of federal contracting dollars have been awarded to businesses owned by minorities.
Almost 2,400 Americans who collected unemployment benefits in 2009 resided in households with annual incomes of at least $1 million, according to a recent report compiled by the Congressional Research Service (CRS). The 10-page report was published after more than a million people exhausted their unemployment benefits during the second quarter of 2012, when well over 4.5 million people filed for jobless claims.
The federal government’s new “healthy” school lunch program, which is now stirring controversy in public schools across the country, should act as a model for nutrition in the private home, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said in a blog post October 1. Deflecting concerns about widespread cases of students trashing the government-sponsored healthy foods, the USDA emphasized the importance of students consuming (what it deems) a healthful portion of calories that will help keep them alert and energized throughout the school day.
Adding to the growing list of taxpayer-funded boondoggles, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is under heavy congressional scrutiny after wastefully spending more than $700,000 on two employee conferences last year. A 150-page report issued by the VA Office of Inspector General (IG) affirmed that the lavish events, which took place in Orlando, Florida, were poorly planned by the agency’s senior leadership.
In a speech to Arab leaders at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York on Friday, September 28, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton highlighted the economic casualties of intrusive regulations, contending that less government involvement in the economy is necessary because “too many people still can’t find jobs” in countries like Libya, Egypt, and Tunisia.
Nullifying his former position that Internet providers should have the freedom to pursue new and innovative business models, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski advocated his agency’s role of regulating broadband Internet services, asserting that the FCC must act like a “cop on the beat.”