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.
Former U.S. Comptroller General of the United States David Walker just finished another tour across the country promoting “fiscal reform and responsibility,” according to Forrest Jones, writer for MoneyNews.com. And what he learned is that most people are frightened at the immensity of the fiscal and financial challenges facing the country, but almost no one has any confidence that things can be fixed.
Another day, another subsidized “green energy” firm going bankrupt. This time it’s A123 Systems Inc., a Massachusetts-based manufacturer of batteries for electric cars that received about $500 million in state and federal assistance, including a $249 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
A123, which has tumbled in value from $2.3 billion to just $11 million, filed for bankruptcy in Delaware on Tuesday after missing an interest payment on $143.8 million of debt.
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.
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.