December 2010 Archives

MSNBC
By: Elizabeth Chuck
December 22, 2010

'You don't have to be rich and famous to make a little bit of good,' he says.

It's been more than 230 days since Carlo Garcia bought a cup of coffee.

That's because in April, the Chicago resident realized that he could change lives and inspire others to do the same -- all for the price of his morning joe.

In These Times (Illinois)
By: Akito Yoshikane
December 21, 2010

A new report details just how difficult the Great Recession has been for working families as more than 1 out of 3 households earned 200 percent less than the poverty line in 2009. The low-income threshold for a family of four last year was $43,512.

The Washington Post
By: Michael A. Fletcher
December 21, 2010

The Great Recession, responsible for boosting unemployment to its highest levels in a generation, has sharply increased the percentage of working people who earn wages so paltry that they are struggling to survive, according to a new report.

Education Week
By: Kevin Stonewall
December 23, 2010

As federal pressure intensifies to ensure students graduate ready for college and careers, researchers are beginning to go beyond identifying the subject-matter classes students need to succeed after high school and home in on the cognitive and noncognitive skills that also contribute to success.

The Huffington Post
By: Earl Martin Phalen
December 22, 2010

The secret to student achievement lies in parental engagement. Parents are children's first and most important educators, and we must support them, encourage them, and provide them with the tools they need to prepare their own children to succeed in school.

The Huffington Post
By: Laura Bassett
December 22, 2010

Earlier this month, Gregory Schauer, 50, says he looked around his large, one-bedroom apartment in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and realized that he was barely using his master bedroom. Since he slept on the couch most nights anyway, he decided the best thing he could do with all of his extra space would be to invite in a homeless family for the holidays.

MSNBC
By: Sharon Epperson & Chris Murphey
December 22, 2010

Since 1980, one-third more Americans are living in multigenerational households

When the value of stocks and bonds in your portfolio has declined, tapping the bonds of your family can be a valuable asset -- especially in retirement.

CNBC
By: Scott Cohn
December 21, 2010

The dramatic rise in student debt--and in student loan defaults--could leave the American taxpayer on the hook for hundreds of billions of dollars.

The Wall Street Journal
By: Sarah E. Needleman
December 23, 2010

What do small-business owners want most for the holidays?

The Huffington Post
December 22, 2010

Released Tuesday, the U.S. Conference of Mayors 2010 Status Report on Hunger & Homelessness in American Cities -- in their annual assessment of 26 American cities -- has tallied a 9 percent overall increase in the number of homeless families in the U.S in the past year. Fifty-eight percent of the cities analyzed showed an increase in family homelessness.

The Washington Post
By: Daniel de Vise
December 19, 2010

When Adelaide Waldrop learned that she had been consigned to the wait list at each of the four universities she wanted most to attend, it was as if all the excitement had drained from her collegiate quest.

Education Week
By: Ramsey Cox
December 21, 2010

Education advocates and organizations are watching intently as events unfold in Compton, Calif., where parents upset about their children's failing school became the first in that state--and apparently in the nation--to invoke a "parental trigger" law that will force the school to become a charter by the 2011-12 school year.

Congress Passes Stopgap-Funding Bill

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The Wall Street Journal
By: Corey Boles & Martin Vaughan
December 22, 2010

WASHINGTON--Congress completed work Tuesday on a $250 billion package to keep the federal government running through March 4, giving Republicans and Democrats breathing room before they clash in earnest over the next federal budget.

Education Week
By: Alyson Klein
December 21, 2010

Funding for K-12 programs will remain frozen at last year's levels for more than two months, thanks to a measure passed by both houses of Congress today. The bill now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature.

The Huffington Post
By: Laura Bassett
December 21, 2010

Approximately 647,000 minimum wage workers across the country will be ringing in this new year with a modest pay raise, as Arizona, Colorado, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont and Washington are set to increase their minimum wages by nine to twelve cents on January 1. All seven of these states will have minimum wages above the federal level, which is currently $7.25 an hour, but Washington will have the highest at $8.67.

The Washington Post
By: Ian Shapira
December 20, 2010

Navida Joy knows she needs to liberate herself from the District's dole for good. The divorced mother of three has been receiving city welfare checks on and off for six of the past 10 years.

MSNBC
By: Scott Cohn
December 21, 2010

The cost of a college education is rising faster than the cost of medical care and as much as three times as fast as consumer prices in general. But that's just the beginning of the price of admission.

The Washington Post
By: Dina ElBoghdady & Dan Keating
December 21, 2010

Rents in the Washington area have soared to the highest level measured in at least 20 years as an array of economic and psychological forces thrust people into the rental market after the housing sector tanked in the last half of the decade.

CNBC
By: Motoko Rich
December 20, 2010

Temporary workers are starting to look, well, not so temporary.

Despite a surge this year in short-term hiring, many American businesses are still skittish about making those jobs permanent, raising concerns among workers and some labor experts that temporary employees will become a larger, more entrenched part of the work force.

The Huffington Post
By: Susan Ochshorn
December 20, 2010

Davis Guggenheim's Waiting for "Superman" hit movie screens this fall, just as the nation's 56 million children were heading back to school. The documentary, which puts the U.S. public school system under the microscope, exposing all warts, has inspired fierce debate among educators and reformers, many of whom have bristled at its strong critique -- or villainizing, as they charge -- of unions and teachers. They point to the absence of innovative models of public schools. Also given short shrift in this cinematic expose -- now up for an Oscar -- is early childhood education.

Fast Company
By: Austin Carr
December 20, 2010

Intuit-owned Mint.com, the service that made budgeting a fun task, has partnered with Scholastic to offer a free, online personal-finance program to middle-school students, teachers, and parents. The program aims to help build money management skills at a young age. It will feature colorful classroom lesson plans and materials, as well as an interactive game, that should translate to younger audiences.

The Huffington Post
By: Marian Wright Edelman
December 21, 2010

This Christmas season 15.5 million children in America are living in poverty--the highest child poverty rate the nation has seen since 1959. Officially, poverty means living in a family of four with an income below $22,050, a family of three with an income less than $18,310, and a family of two with an income below $14,570. This is what the federal government determines to be the amount needed for a minimum standard of living in America. For poor children, though, poverty means more than lack of money. For them, it can be a life sentence of exile from the larger society.

Senators Plan Debt-Reduction Bill

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The Wall Street Journal
By: Damian Paletta
December 21, 2010

Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Mark Warner said Monday they would introduce legislation early next year that mirrors the recent report by the White House's debt-reduction panel, in an effort to promote a conversation on the country's fiscal problems.

Virginia Spends to Draw Jobs

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The Wall Street Journal
By: Jennifer Levitz
December 21, 2010

RICHMOND, Va.--Virginia is aggressively doling out cash and business incentives to lure job-creating investments to the state, even as it slashes spending to close a yawning budget gap.

The Washington Post
By: Petula Dvorak
December 21, 2010

In her four-wheel-drive pickup truck, Claudia Raskin is bumping over the muddy dirt road on an unusual mercy mission.

The Wall Street Journal
By: Melissa Korn & Mary Pilon
December 21, 2010

The already complicated process of paying for college may have gotten even trickier.

The Huffington Post
By: William Alden
December 21, 2010

Michelle Feliz, a single mother living in Boston, can't afford day care for her one-year-old son. She can't afford new clothes for her teenage daughter. Late last year, she applied for food stamps.

Housing Pick Faces Opposition

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The Wall Street Journal
By: Nick Timiraos
December 20, 2010

The White House's pick to head the agency that oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac appears unlikely to win Senate confirmation before Congress adjourns due to a sharp policy disagreement between the White House and Senate Republicans over how to regulate the mortgage-finance giants.

The Kansas-City Star (Missouri)
By: Sarah Larson
December 20, 2010

As humans, we are creatures of habit. We are always moving but not always paying attention to the direction we are headed.

MSNBC
By: Jane Hodges
December 20, 2010

'Strategic default' losing stigma as homes go deeper underwater

More Americans than ever are showing a willingness to walk away from their underwater homes, according to a recent survey. Chris Kelly is a perfect example of someone who never thought she would send the bank "jingle mail." But she did.

The New York Times
By: Tamar Lewin
December 17, 2010

With the lame-duck Congress winding down and a $5.7 billion gap in financing looming for next year's Pell grants -- and a further $8 billion gap for the following year -- there is growing uncertainty about the future of the grants, the nation's most significant financial-aid program for college students.

The New York Times
By: Peter Baker
December 17, 2010

WASHINGTON -- With the stroke of a pen, President Obama on Friday enacted the largest tax cut in nearly a decade and, in the process, took a big step toward reinventing himself as a champion of compromise in a politically fractured capital.

Senate Nears Deal on Funding Bill

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The Wall Street Journal
By: Jessica Holzer & Patrick O'Connor
December 20, 2010

WASHINGTON -The Senate moved ahead Sunday night on a deal to fund the federal government through March 4, setting the stage for a budget fight early next year, when Republicans will wield more power.

The New York Times
By: Sabrina Tavernise & Robert Gebeloff
December 17, 2010

WASHINGTON -- As incomes fell across America over the past decade, new census data show that one place registered a remarkable rise: the nation's capital.

MSNBC
By: Meghan Barr
December 20, 2010

Money will help keep body and soul together, but what they want is work

CLEVELAND -- Kimberly Smith holds up the piece of paper that is the only thing keeping her from bankruptcy: an application for extended unemployment benefits. She's not happy that she needs it. And she's upset that it was nearly taken away.

The New York Times
By: Jennifer Saranow Schultz
December 19, 2010

In May, TIAA-CREF, the asset manager, started a competition for ideas to raise the savings rate to 10 percent in the next two years, with a grand prize worth $50,000.

We Can Do Better on College Costs

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The Huffington Post
By: David J. Skorton
December 17, 2010

The long, contentious, and often self-interested debate on whether higher education is becoming too expensive has become even more strident since the Great Recession. Is there really a "crisis" in college costs? Are colleges to blame?

Wealth gap becomes chasm at Christmas

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

MSNBC
By: John W. Schoen
December 17, 2010

Luxury retailers see strong demand as lower-income shoppers hunker down

With just a few days left in the holiday shopping season, reports from retailers suggesting strong sales are prompting analysts and investors to declare that "the American consumer is back."

New America Foundation
By: Mark Huelsman
December 16, 2010

In a recent piece for National Review, Editor Rich Lowry has some interesting observations on education and inequality:

The Washington Post
By: Joe Davidson
December 16, 2010

Actions have consequences. One unintended consequence of the two-year pay freeze President Obama asked Congress to impose on federal workers is the impact it may have on higher income employees and those eligible to retire.

Education Week
By: Alyson Klein
December 17, 2010

So educators may never get to see a second round of the Investing in Innovation program, which helps districts scale-up promising practices, or a brand new fund to help states improve early childhood education.

Many Winners, a Few Losers

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)


The Wall Street Journal
By: Laura Sanders
December 17, 2010

House passage of a bipartisan tax bill resolves many urgent questions weighing on individuals and businesses--but also creates vast groups of winners and losers among them.

Spending Bill Withdrawn in Senate

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The Wall Street Journal
By Corey Boles & Brody Mullins
December 17, 2010

WASHINGTON--In a victory for fiscal conservatives, Senate Democrats abandoned a $1.1 trillion bill to fund the federal government for the remaining nine and a half months of the fiscal year, acknowledging that there isn't sufficient support among lawmakers.

Education Week
By: Caralee Adams
December 16, 2010

The growing national discussion on college completion has focused heavily on the performance of higher education and government, with less attention paid to the role of the K-12 pipeline.

Congress Passes Tax Deal

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The Wall Street Journal
By: Janet Hook & John McKinnon
December 17, 2010

Divided Legislature Adopts Sweeping Measure to Avert Increases, Add New Breaks.

WASHINGTON--Congress passed the most far-reaching tax bill in a decade late Thursday, averting across-the-board tax increases, enacting new breaks for individuals and businesses and laying a marker for how Washington might work in an era of divided government.

OUPblog
By Mariko Lin Chang
December 16, 2010

Any day now the Senate will decide whether to raise the retirement age to 69. Proponents argue that raising the retirement age is necessary to save Social Security. Opponents argue that raising the retirement age will disproportionately hurt low-income and minority workers. But this is all irrelevant to many because recent actions by the Senate and current economic realities have already helped to ensure that most people won't be able to fund their "golden years."

The Huffington Post
By: Deborah De Santis
December 15, 2010

Are we making a difference in the world? What is the impact of all our hard work? How do we know that what we do matters? As the year comes to a close, we all ask ourselves these questions. We take stock. After all, it's easy to get caught up in the hustle of our lives and the day-to-day challenges of our work, and forget what all that effort is really for.

CNNMoney.com
By:Catherine Clifford
December 15, 2010

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The Small Business Administration announced two new lending initiatives on Wednesday aimed at getting relatively modest loans to small businesses quickly.

The New York Times
By: David M. Herszenhorn
December 15, 2010

WASHINGTON -- The Senate on Wednesday approved the $858 billion tax plan negotiated by the White House and Republican leaders, and House Democrats said they expected to pass the bill on Thursday after a final, and seemingly futile, effort to change a provision that benefits wealthy estates.

TheStreet.com
By: Laurie Kulikowski
December 15, 2010

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- A number of companies are contributing to the cause to get unbanked or underbanked consumers access to credit and may be outflanking traditional banks efforts expand their customer base.

The Wall Street Journal
By: Laura Saunders
December 16, 2010

As the House takes up a bipartisan tax bill passed by the Senate Wednesday, payroll processors say it could be several weeks before millions of workers see the tax-code changes reflected in their paychecks.

Homeowner Perks Under Fire

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The Wall Street Journal
By: S. Mitra Kalita & Nick Timiraos
December 16, 2010

The U.S. government has long subsidized homeownership through tax deductions and loan guarantees. Now, it is re-examining whether it can afford to underwrite the American Dream.

The New York Times
By: Andrew Keh
December 15, 2010

In February, Evelyn De La Cruz slipped on a patch of ice on the sidewalk and felt a sharp pain in her left ankle.

Tax Deal Steams Closer to Approval

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The Wall Street Journal
By: Janet Hook
December 16, 2010

WASHINGTON--Congress moved toward final approval of President Barack Obama's tax plan on Wednesday, as the Senate approved it by a wide bipartisan margin and House leaders worked to keep liberal critics from derailing its passage.

The Huffington Post
By: Michele Somerville
December 15, 2010

This feature article, which appeared in the December 3, 2010 edition of a Brooklyn newspaper the Spirit Gazette brought tears to my eyes:

The Nerve to Say No

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The New York Times
By: Gretchen Morgenson
December 11, 2010

DECIDING what to do with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the taxpayer-owned mortgage giants that helped set the financial crisis in motion, will be a huge job for Congress next year.

Free Times (South Carolina)
By: Andy Brack
December 15, 2010

A 13-year-old Orangeburg baker. A biofuels dealer in Beaufort who is 17. A young day-spa owner in Marion. A Hamer teen who owns a cookie company.

The New York Times
By: Steven Greenhouse
December 13, 2010

The headline on a new report tells the bad news: "Only One in Four Young Black Men in New York City Have a Job." The report, prepared by the Community Service Society of New York, has other unhappy news about this group -- that the unemployment rate for African-American men in New York, age 16 to 24, was 33.5 percent from January 2009 through June 2010, while the labor force participation rate was 38 percent.

The Washington Post
December 15, 2010

WASHINGTON -- The Senate is moving to pass a package Wednesday that would spare taxpayers at every income level from a significant tax increase on Jan. 1.

Community Colleges Overcrowding

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The Huffington Post
By: Larry Penley
December 14, 2010

Limiting students' educational opportunities creates barriers to success that many cannot overcome. As students seek opportunities in higher education, we must be careful not to limit these options for any segment of society; instead, we should support a system that encourages all students to pursue higher education. A 21st century economy depends upon a person's knowledge as a foundation for increased personal earnings and the economy's enlarged capacity to grow.

The Wall Street Journal
By: Janet Hook & Martin Vaughan
December 15, 2010

WASHINGTON--The final obstacle to President Barack Obama's tax deal--the opposition of House Democrats--appeared to be melting away Tuesday as strong Senate support for the legislation turned up pressure on liberal critics to concede.

MSNBC
December 14, 2010

Says economic recovery is 'insufficient' to bring down unemployment

WASHINGTON -- The Federal Reserve said Tuesday it will maintain the pace of its $600 billion Treasury bond-buying program because a slowly improving economy is still too weak to bring down high unemployment.

MSNBC
By: John W. Schoen
December 14, 2010

Central bankers meet Tuesday to decide whether to print even more money

How much government money will it take to get the U.S. economy moving again? As Federal Reserve officials meet this week to ponder their latest "pump priming" efforts, a recent rise in interest rates presents them with a sobering prospect.

Education Week
By: Mary Ann Zehr
December 14, 2010

If states continue their current pace of progress in narrowing achievement gaps between students of different races, ethnic groups, and income levels, it could take decades for lagging student groups in some states to catch up to their better-performing peers, a study of more than 40 states has found.

The Washington Post
By: Nick Anderson
December 14, 2010

Racial and ethnic disparities in student achievement remain stubbornly wide, despite a decade of efforts to close them, but a new report has found that Latino students are narrowing the academic gaps notably in many schools.

College, Jobs and Inequality

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The New York Times
December 13, 2010

Searching for solace in bleak unemployment numbers, policy makers and commentators often cite the relatively low joblessness among college graduates, which is currently 5.1 percent compared with 10 percent for high school graduates and an overall jobless rate of 9.8 percent. Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, cited the data recently on "60 Minutes" to make the point that "educational differences" are a root cause of income inequality.

The New York Times
By: David M. Herszenhorn
December 13, 2010

WASHINGTON -- With robust bipartisan support, the Senate on Monday advanced the tax-cut package negotiated by President Obama and Congressional Republicans, increasing pressure on House Democrats to set aside their opposition.

The Wall Street Journal
By: Mary Pilon
December 14, 2010

Add this to Congress's year-end to-do list: Dealing with a potential $5.7 billion gap in grants for low-income students.

The Wall Street Journal
By: John D. McKinnon, Gary Fields, & Laura Saunders
December 14, 2010

WASHINGTON--Welcome to the world of the temporary tax code.

Fortune
By: Nina Easton
December 13, 2010

FORTUNE -- What happens to a nation's collective psyche when millions of once-productive people remain out of work for months or even years? What happens when unemployed husbands resign themselves to relying on a wife's income, when unemployed wives feel trapped at home, when twenty- and thirtysomethings calculate that they'd rather live off their parents than face a cut-throat job market, when middle-aged men and women stop searching for jobs after realizing they're hopelessly lost in a haze of rapid-fire technological change?

The Washington Post
By: David M. Herszenhorn
December 12, 2010

WASHINGTON -- With the Senate poised to hold a key vote on Monday on the tax cut deal between President Obama and Republicans, the political jousting has focused on what the agreement does for the wealthy by extending all of the Bush-era tax rates, and for the unemployed, by continuing jobless aid.

CNN
By: Stephanie Chen
December 13, 2010

Lawrenceville, Georgia (CNN) -- Come Christmas dinner, Rolanda McCarty, a 36-year-old single mother, usually goes all out.

Tax Deal Set to Pass Senate

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The Wall Street Journal
By: John D. McKinnon & Janet Hook
December 13, 2010

Supporters Hope Expected Easy Victory Monday Will Build Momentum in House.

Democrats are predicting that a much-debated tax agreement will clear a crucial hurdle comfortably in the Senate on Monday, with a margin that they hope will add momentum to the deal in the House.

The New York Times
By: Hannah Seligson
December 11, 2010

FIVE years ago, after graduating from New York University with a film degree and thousands of dollars in student loans, Scott Gerber moved back in with his parents on Staten Island. He then took out more loans to start a new-media and technology company, but he didn't have a clear market in mind; the company went belly up in 2006.

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The Hill's Congress Blog
Tax commission co-chairs right to prioritize analysis of tax expenditures
By Robert Friedman & Eugene Steuerle
November 29, 2010

Dear Government We Deserve Subscribers,

The President's debt commission has recently proposed dramatically reducing tax expenditures as one way to reduce the deficit. In a recent op-ed, Robert Friedman, chair of the Corporation for Enterprise Development, and I point out that Congress could take the hundreds of billions of dollars spent each year on saving incentives and spend significantly less on them, while encouraging more saving and better protecting low- and middle-income households.

Hope you'll find it interesting.

Gene

Obama weighs income tax overhaul

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The New York Times
By: Jackie Calmes
December 10, 2010

Lower rates, higher revenue among goals to reduce national debt

WASHINGTON -- President Obama is considering whether to push early next year for an overhaul of the income tax code to lower rates and raise revenues in what would be his first major effort to begin addressing the long-term growth of the national debt.

Vouchers for everyone?

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

St. Petersburg Times (Florida)
By: Ron Matus & Michael C. Bender
December 10, 2010

ST. PETERSBURG - Florida Gov.-elect Rick Scott on Thursday blew the door wide open to the idea of a voucherlike program for all students, saying he's working with lawmakers to allow state education dollars to follow a student to the school his or her parents choose.

Obama predicts success for tax deal

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

CNN
By: The CNN Wire Staff
December 10, 2010

Washington (CNN) -- President Barack Obama said Friday he's confident that Congress will pass a compromise tax package despite the objections of House Democrats.

The Hawk Eye (Iowa)
By: Nicholas Bergin
December 9, 2010

A year ago, Greg and Holly Stevenson of Burlington struggled to make ends meet. To supplement their incomes, they trolled Burlington's back alleys looking for discarded metal to turn in for scrap.

The Washington Post
By Lori Montgomery & Paul Kane
December 9, 2010

The Senate opened debate late Thursday on a reworked tax package that would add incentives for renewable energy, which many Democrats have demanded, but leave intact the core elements of a deal negotiated by the White House and Republicans, including a revived inheritance tax that has outraged liberal lawmakers.

The Dallas Morning News (Texas)
By: Robert T. Garrett
December 10, 2010

AUSTIN - A program to help working-poor Texans save for college will begin next spring at some community tax centers, a newly formed group announced Thursday.

Your Child Left Behind

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

Atlantic Magazine
By: Amanda Ripley
December 2010

For years, poor performance by students in America relative to those in other countries has been explained away as a consequence of our nationwide diversity. But what if you looked more closely, breaking down our results by state and searching not for an average, but for excellence?

Imagine for a moment that a rich, innovative company is looking to draft the best and brightest high-school grads from across the globe without regard to geography. Let's say this company's recruiter has a round-the-world plane ticket and just a few weeks to scout for talent. Where should he go?

The Washington Post
By: Nick Anderson
December 10, 2010

Education officials across the country have replaced the principals and at least half of the staff in about 150 struggling schools to obtain federal aid, the Obama administration disclosed Thursday.

Banks Try to Understand the Unbanked

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

TheStreet
By: Philip van Doorn
December 10, 2010

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Desperate to continue their recent success in attracting cheap new deposits to fund their balance sheets, banks are making efforts to tap the approximately 20% of the U.S. population that does not have checking and savings accounts.

The Wall Street Journal
By: Mark Gongloff
December 10, 2010

Rising government borrowing costs have driven mortgage rates to their highest level in six months, challenging the still-shaky housing market and the Federal Reserve's efforts to boost the U.S. economy.

The Washington Post
By: Andrew Taylor
December 9, 2010

WASHINGTON -- The fate of House legislation to freeze the budgets of most Cabinet departments and fund the war in Afghanistan for another year is now in the hands of the Senate, where it faces uncertain prospects.

The White House Blog
By: Jason Furman & Gene Sperling
December 8, 2010

Some recent articles have incorrectly suggested that the tax framework did not do well by middle-income families, hard-pressed workers and their children. We wanted to clear up the record. The tax framework the President agreed to includes provisions he fought for and secured that are very positive policies for jobs and growth, for the middle class and for our nation's most hard-pressed working families. The President fought for an increase in the child tax credit of up to nearly $1,500 for a low-income family with two children and will work to make it a permanent part of our tax code. Middle-class families will keep their tax cuts and get an additional tax cut worth hundreds of dollars more than what they get this year. And the economy will get additional jobs, with several outside economists estimating more than 1.5 million because of the items the President pushed for in this agreement. There are provisions that benefit that wealthy that the President would have preferred to exclude, but we should not miss the forest for the trees.

Time
By Andrew J. Rotherham
December 9, 2010

As America starts to grapple with its out-of-control spending habits, we as a nation really should reckon with our education costs. Few federal education programs were targeted by President Obama's deficit-reduction commission, but that's because most school funding comes from the state and local levels. And that's where the big-time money problem is. According to a report issued jointly last week by the National Governors Association and the National Association of State Budget Officers, when federal stimulus funds run out in 2011, states -- and, by extension, schools -- will tumble off a fiscal cliff, and even an economic upturn won't bring state funding back up to where it was a few years ago.

CBSnews.com
By: Stephanie Condon
December 8, 2010

Most Americans would benefit from President Obama's tentative deal with Republicans for extending the Bush tax cuts, and economists largely agree it would help stimulate the economy. Yet the plan would actually slightly increase taxes for the poorest Americans, economists say -- at a time when some leaders in Washington are trying to bring attention to the nation's widening income disparity.

The Wall Street Journal
By: Jon Hilsenrath
December 8, 2010

The Federal Reserve is likely to leave monetary policy unchanged next week at its final meeting this year as it assesses the impact of its bond-buying program and the unfolding tax debate in Washington.

Tax Plan Spurs Deal Making

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The Wall Street Journal
By: Janet Hook & John D. McKinnon
December 8, 2010

WASHINGTON--The sweeping tax package negotiated by President Barack Obama and Republican lawmakers gained new momentum toward passage in the Senate, building pressure on balking House Democrats to accept the controversial deal.

Learning OT

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The Boston Globe
By: Kathleen Burge
December 9, 2010

Inspired by the popularity, and academic advantages, of after-school programs for its younger students, Framingham is lining up a tougher market: high school.

FRAMINGHAM - Huddling in the auditorium of Walsh Middle School, two groups of students pore over glossy advertisements and debate the merits of smart phones, texting, and minutes per month.

MSNBC
By: Andrew Taylor
December 8, 2010

Party promises to cap Cabinet, Congress's operating budgets at $1.2 trillion

WASHINGTON -- Democrats controlling the House are promising to freeze the budgets of most Cabinet departments while wrapping Congress' unfinished annual spending bills into a single catchall measure.

The Wall Street Journal
By: Sarah E. Needleman
December 7, 2010

President Obama's newly proposed tax package is being praised, though with cautious optimism, by several of the nation's most prominent small-business advocacy groups.

The Washington Post
By: Nick Anderson
December 7, 2010

After a decade of intensive efforts to improve its schools, the United States posted these results in a new global survey of 15-year-old student achievement: average in reading, average in science and slightly below average in math.

The New York Times
By: David Kocieniewski
December 7, 2010

The deal to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for two years includes a bevy of additional credits and deductions that will reduce the burden on nearly all households.

How The Deal Affects Taxpayers

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The Wall Street Journal
By: Laura Saunders
December 7, 2010

President Barack Obama called the bipartisan tax agreement announced on Monday a "framework." As yet there is no legislative language or even a comprehensive outline of the proposals, and its passage by Congress isn't assured.

The New York Times
By: David Leonhardt
December 7, 2010

The compromise is intended to help short-term job creation

WASHINGTON -- A year ago, President Obama and the Democrats made the mistake of assuming that an economic recovery was under way. This week's deal to extend the Bush tax cuts shows that the White House's top priority is avoiding the same mistake again -- even if it has to upset many fellow Democrats in the process.

Working for a chance at a job

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The Washington Post
By: Theresa Vargas
December 8, 2010

It's a Monday morning and Rodney Brown's 28 students shuffle into a lime-colored room at the Department of Employment Services on H Street NE. Several arrive late. Many wear clothes made for lounging, not impressing.

The Boston Globe
By: Megan Woolhouse
December 7, 2010

LeVar and Tamara Johnson, professionals with a six-figure income and good credit, look like the perfect couple to buy a home at today's low prices and rock-bottom interest rates. Instead, they will continue paying more than $3,000 a month for their apartment above an upscale Natick mall.

New America Foundation
By: Maggie Severns
December 6, 2010

L.A. Unified School District is co-locating a new preschool with affordable "workforce housing" for teachers and the public, the Los Angeles Times reported last week. The Glassell Park complex, currently under construction, will include a new apartment complex and a preschool with a 10,000-square-foot "outdoor learning classroom" that will be open as a playground to residents during non-school hours, according to the article.

The Washington Post
By: Neil Irwin
December 6, 2010

Spend now. Commit to saving later, and show exactly how you'll do it. That, in a nutshell, is the approach to the federal budget preferred by a wide consensus of centrist economists, but the strategy has garnered little enthusiasm on Capitol Hill.

Deal Struck on Tax Package

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The Wall Street Journal
By: Jonathan Weisman, John D. McKinnon & Janet Hook
December 7, 2010

Grand Bargain Includes One-Year Drop in Wage Levy, Estate Tax of 35%.

WASHINGTON--President Barack Obama reached agreement Monday with Republican leaders in Congress on a broad tax package that would extend the Bush-era income tax cuts for two years, reduce worker payroll taxes for one year and give more favorable treatment to business investments.

The Los Angeles Times
By: Jason Felch, Jason Song and Doug Smith
December 4, 2010

After the budget ax fell, hundreds of the district's most promising new instructors were laid off. Campuses in poorer areas -- such as Liechty Middle School in the Westlake neighborhood -- were disproportionately hurt.

NPR
By: Jennifer Ludden
December 6, 2010

The path to adulthood used to be clear -- love, marriage, baby carriage -- and no one embodied that more than America's working class. But today, for those with only a high school education, that order no longer holds; in fact, a new study suggests that marriage is foundering in Middle America.

Inflation Risk Is Low, Fed Says

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The Wall Street Journal
By: Sudeep Reddy
December 5, 2010

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke took his message into American homes Sunday evening, defending the central bank's bond-buying program and pledging his "100%" confidence he could prevent runaway inflation.

The Washington Post
By: Shailagh Murray
December 5, 2010

The Senate on Saturday rejected two Democratic proposals to let tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans expire, a symbolic but bitter defeat that now forces the Democratic majority to compromise with Republicans or risk allowing tax breaks to lapse for virtually everyone at year's end.

The Wall Street Journal
By: Stephanie Banchero
December 6, 2010

CHICAGO--Nathan Draper squeezed into a classroom scrum at Urban Prep Charter Academy here, elbowing a huskier classmate aside.

Of Debts and Doubts

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The New York Times
By: Matt Bai
December 5, 2010

WASHINGTON -- Common wisdom here holds that the report issued by the president's fiscal commission last week is probably going nowhere, despite the endorsement of 11 of the 18 commission members. Sure, voters like to complain about the debt, the insiders say, but once you start talking about higher taxes and cuts in benefits, you find that no one wants to be the one to sacrifice.

NPR
December 5, 2010

Until this past week, emergency jobless benefits lasted as long as 99 weeks for people in the hardest-hit states. But with five people unemployed for every job available, 99 weeks might not be long enough.

Tax Deal Within Reach

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The Wall Street Journal
By: John D. McKinnon & Janet Hook
December 6, 2010

Cuts Could Be Temporarily Extended in Exchange for Unemployment Benefits.

WASHINGTON--White House officials and congressional Republicans are closing in on a deal that would extend current income-tax rates for all Americans as well as a benefits program for the long-term unemployed, staving off tax increases for middle-class and wealthy taxpayers alike that are set to take effect after this year.

New America Foundation
By: Mark Huelsman
December 2, 2010

One advantage of the asset-building field has always been its ability to link often-disconnected priorities like homeownership, entrepreneurship, retirement, and education into a cohesive set of policies to spur economic mobility.

The New York Times
By: Morgan Smith & Sarah Butrymowicz
December 2, 2010

It was almost lunch time on the day before Thanksgiving break, but Gustavo Corrales, a math teacher, was not ready to let his students out the door at the San Juan campus of IDEA Public Schools, a network of charter schools in the Rio Grande Valley.

NPR
By: Yuki Noguchi
December 2, 2010

The expiration of unemployment compensation this week is having an impact on the bottom line and the outlook of many people who have been out of work for months.

The Wall Street Journal
By: Victoria McGrane & Deborah Solomon
December 2, 2010

WASHINGTON--The Obama administration's latest attempt to jump-start small-business lending is facing headwinds even before it launches.

The New York Times
By: David M. Herszenhorn & Jackie Calmes
December 2, 2010

WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration is holding out for an extension of unemployment assistance and of a variety of expiring tax breaks for low-wage and middle-income workers as part of a deal with Congressional Republicans to extend all the Bush-era tax cuts.

The Washington Post
By: Lori Montgomery and Shailagh Murray
December 3, 2010

The White House and congressional Republicans have begun working behind the scenes toward a broad deal that would prevent taxes from going up for virtually every U.S. family and authorize billions of dollars in fresh spending to bolster the economy.

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The Wall Street Journal
Tax-Cut Vote Shows Democratic Divide
By: Janet Hook
December 3, 2010

House Passes Extension Excluding Higher Incomes, a Largely Symbolic Effort Reflecting Unhappiness With White House.

The House approved legislation Thursday that would extend current tax rates on income up to $250,000 while allowing taxes on higher earnings to rise, a largely symbolic vote that pointed to divisions among Democrats in the waning days of their dominance on Capitol Hill.

The New York Times
By: Catherine Rampell
December 2, 2010

The longer people stay out of work, the more trouble they have finding new work.

The Wall Street Journal
By: Sarah E. Needleman
December 2, 2010

Job Growth Remains Modest as Businesses Hold Out for Clearer Economic Picture.

When it comes to hiring, Main Street remains reluctant to fully open its doors.

The Washington Post
By: Robert McCartney
December 1, 2010

Washington government workers and New York financial executives have one thing in common: The U.S. public despises them both.

The Wall Street Journal
By: John D. McKinnon & Janet Hook
December 2, 2010

Republicans and Democrats Wednesday sat down to negotiate a compromise on extending Bush-era income tax cuts--an effort that could be the first step toward a deal this month that many strategists in both parties believe will temporarily extend current tax rates for all income levels.

The Huffington Post
By: Richard French
December 1, 2010

Dancing with the Stars and WikiLeaks may be dominating the headlines these days, but the mortgage crisis persists as one of the biggest challenges plaguing America.

Alternative Financing Option

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The Wall Street Journal
By: Scott Austin
December 2, 2010

Entrepreneurs Going the Royalty Route Use a Share of Revenue to Pay Back Loans

When first-time entrepreneur Philip Vaughn recently began searching for start-up capital, he traveled down two conventional paths.

Real families need child tax credit

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

POLITICO
By: Sen. Bob Casey
December 2, 2010

As Congress debates extending tax cuts, it must not forget those that help low-income families.

Deficit Plan Wins Backers

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The Wall Street Journal
By: Damian Paletta & Jonathan Weisman
December 2, 2010

Bipartisan Support Adds Momentum Despite Sharp Criticism From Left and Right.

WASHINGTON--Seven members of the White House's deficit commission, including the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, endorsed its final plan Wednesday, setting up the prospect of action to address the nation's fiscal woes next year.

CNNMoney.com
By: Tami Luhby
December 2, 2010

Don't even think of touching the mortgage interest tax deduction in the midst of a fragile housing market.

Fed Officials Push Fiscal Stimulus

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The Wall Street Journal
By: Sudeep Reddy
December 2, 2010

Top Federal Reserve officials are pressing lawmakers to pair a long-term plan for deficit reduction with new short-term fiscal stimulus to boost an economy that the central bank admits needs more help than it can provide.

CNNMoney.com
By: Jeanne Sahadi
December 1, 2010

NEW YORK -- President Obama's bipartisan debt commission released its final report on Wednesday recommending a wide range of controversial spending cuts and tax changes that would slash $4 trillion in deficits over the next 10 years.

The Huffington Post
By: Robert Creamer
December 1, 2010

You hear a lot these days about how there has to be "shared sacrifice" to revive the economy and get the federal deficit under control.

Time
By: Andrew J. Rotherham
November 30, 2010

High school graduation rates are one of education's perennial bad-news stories. How bad? In 2008, there were 1,746 "dropout factories," high schools that graduate fewer than 60% of their students. But according to a new report released on Tuesday, there is finally some good news to talk about. First, the national graduation rate inched up from 72% in 2001 to 75% in 2008. There were 261 fewer dropout factories in 2008 than in 2002. And during that six-year period, 29 states improved their graduation rates, with two of them -- Wisconsin and Vermont -- reaching almost a 90% rate.

The Washington Post
By: Lori Montgomery
December 1, 2010

The leaders of President Obama's fiscal commission released a final report Wednesday that is full of political dynamite, including sharp cuts in military spending, a higher retirement age and tax reforms that could cost the average taxpayer an extra $1,700 a year.

The Maneater (Missouri)
By: Caitlin Kerfin
November 30, 2010

Saving earlier could encourage families to save more.

The New America Foundation wrote a report this month, Enhancing Tax Credits to Encourage Saving for Higher Education, calling for reforms of the advancing the American Opportunity Tax Credit and reforming the Saver's Credit.

The New York Times
By: Jackie Calmes & Peter Baker
November 30, 2010

WASHINGTON -- The chairmen of President Obama's debt-reduction commission have been unable to win support from any of the panel's elected officials for their proposed spending cuts and tax increases, underscoring the reluctance of both parties to risk short-term political backlash in pursuit of the nation's long-term fiscal health.

American Banker
By: Jeremy Quittner
December 1, 2010

ING Direct has quietly introduced a savings vehicle for the under-18 market.

Why the Spending Stimulus Failed

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The Walls Street Journal
By: Micahel J. Boskin
December 1, 2010

New economic research shows why lower tax rates do far more to spur growth.

President Obama and congressional leaders meeting yesterday confronted calls for four key fiscal decisions: short-run fiscal stimulus, medium-term fiscal consolidation, and long-run tax and entitlement reform. Mr. Obama wants more spending, especially on infrastructure, and higher tax rates on income, capital gains and dividends (by allowing the lower Bush rates to expire). The intellectual and political left argues that the failed $814 billion stimulus in 2009 wasn't big enough, and that spending control any time soon will derail the economy.

MSNBC
December 1, 2010

Nearly half of unemployed in U.S. have been out of work for more than six months

Extended unemployment benefits for nearly 2 million Americans begin to run out Wednesday, cutting off a steady stream of income and guaranteeing a dismal holiday season for people already struggling with bills they cannot pay.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from December 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

November 2010 is the previous archive.

January 2011 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.