How to Weaken Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform…One Bill at a Time

Dodd-Frank Act: How to weaken it

H.R. 1105, the Small Business Capital Access and Job Preservation Act, was introduced by Congressman Robert Hurt (R-Virginia). The purpose of the Act is to exempt advisers to certain private equity funds from the new registration requirements required by Title IV of the Dodd-Frank Act, the Wall Street reform act that is supposed to regulate the practices of Wall Street to prevent another financial crisis. … [Read more]

Fifty years and counting for paycheck fairness

pay check fairness?

Fifty years ago, President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act of 1963 as part of his New Frontier program. The federal law amended the Fair Labor Standards Act that was directed at abolishing wage disparity based on gender.

Today, 50 years to the day, President Obama marked the anniversary of the Equal Pay Act.… [Read more]

Flogging the Taxman Redux

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Congressional Republicans are trying to keep alleged White House “scandals” simmering well past al dente doneness. As facts unfold, it’s more like vainly trying to keep a wave upon the sandy beach.

Let’s remember last year’s GOP presidential primaries. Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) made a seemingly intoxicated tirade about a tax return the size of a postcard.… [Read more]

The next big financial bubble can be popped.

Senator Elizabeth Warren

Education can be an individual’s or a nation’s greatest investment. We talk about the disparity between the  public education provided to students with fewer economic resources and those who have greater financial means. We also talk about gender differences in that young women are often steered away from  Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields of study.… [Read more]

Immoral…

Immoral Budget Cuts

Religious leaders have called it immoral; some have even suggested that Jesus himself would oppose it. Various leaders of the Republican party have opposed it and even David Stockman, Ronald Reagan’s budget director, called it a fairy tale. Many on the left have referred to it as ‘austerity on steroids.’

What has all of these different people so upset?… [Read more]

Budget Bargaining

Obama Budget

Many of us are watching the next move in the political game of financial chess. Today, President Obama will submit his long-awaited budget proposal. Keeping focus on deficit reduction in the face of a slowly recovering economy and unemployment figures that hover in the upper end of the 7 percent level, the president’s proposal includes $1.8 trillion in deficit reduction over the next decade, which is expected to bring in total deficit savings to $4.3 trillion.… [Read more]

Can anyone imagine Congress taking a pay cut?

Sequester

President Obama’s salary and pension may be exempt from sequestered cuts but that hasn’t stopped him from taking the same cut that other federal employees are being subjected to due to budget sequestration. Today, it was announced that the POTUS plans to return 5% of his $400,000 annual salary in response to and in support of federal workers who are going to be furloughed.… [Read more]

Paid Sick Leave: Approved.

Paid Sick Leave Deal Made

A few days ago, the issue of earned sick days for workers was in the news. Its was noted that, for example, more than a million residents of New York who do not have paid sick days and that suffering an illness means losing out on a pay check at best and a job at worst. … [Read more]

Earned Sick Days for Workers – Will the idea catch on?

Christine Quinn

Legacies. If or when elected officials think about how their constituents will remember them once they’re out of office, what thoughts cross their minds? Do they think about how they could have left their jurisdictions better than they found them? Do they give thought to how they could have reached back a little bit more to help those who were most in need of their support?… [Read more]

The Economy’s Back! But for Whom?

In-the-Money

Though the news this week is of the election of Pope Francis and what this means for the Catholic Church’s Legacy following the resignation of Benedict XVI, I want to focus on the big news last week. Last Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit the astronomical all-time high of 14,253.77, and has continued breaking records for nine straight trading days.… [Read more]

Beware of elephants bearing ‘gifts’

Boehnerquester

So the Republican-controlled House of Representatives proposed a $982 billion bill to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year instead of more brinksmanship.  Before we start dancing in the streets, and name a few golf courses and watering holes  after House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), the devil is again in the details.

As a former Federal agency budget analyst and before that, a military comptroller, we need to look beyond the spin platitudes and delve into the numbers.… [Read more]

When the going gets tough, the tough go on vacation.

USA BOEHNER SEQUESTER

Two-time Pulitzer winning cartoonist Mike Luckovich, of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, sketched an appropriate cartoon the other day on the string of inept GOP brinksmanship showdowns. Yes, America is tired of it. Making a mess in the kitchen, and leaving it for the missus is not a path to domestic bliss.

Kowtowing to the Tea Terrorists, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Oh.) “led” his ‘Party of No’ on another sabotage raid on the American economy.… [Read more]

All the wrong talking points…but they still won’t shut up.

fox-gop425

How many times must the GOP and its laughable public relations firm, Fox News, be wrong before they realise that it’s a good idea to remain silent?

When an announcement came from the office of the Israeli President, Shimon Peres, on Monday that President Obama will receive the Presidential Medal of Distinction – the first time ever that Israel has given this honour to a sitting US president – I wondered just what will it take?… [Read more]

Obama’s Stirring SOTU Speech

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For a guy who never has to face another election to keep his job, President Obama confidently strode to the dais to deliver a bright, ambitious smorgasbord of public needs and his answers to a weary, but recovering, nation saddled by an obstructionist Congress.

State of the Union

In a stirring address, the President told the Joint Session of Congress, America, and the world, that while much has been accomplished, much remains to be done. … [Read more]

What makes *them* so important? Bankers are not too big to jail!

wall street: the untouchables

FRONTLINE documentary titled “The Untouchables” aired on PBS stations last night. The focus on the financial system meltdown of over four years ago may have been eye-opening to anyone who hasn’t been paying attention to the financial services industry but, for the rest of us who have a Wall Street-sized chip on our shoulders, the excellent documentary served to heighten our disgust at the fact that no bankers were jailed for crumbling the U.S.… [Read more]

TARP: A Not-so-done Deal. It’s Financial Reform Time

Banking and TARP

Yesterday, 10 US banks and mortgage firms agreed to pay $8.5 billion to settle complaints of wrongful foreclosures. Federal regulators undertook an extensive review process of  homeowner foreclosure files as required under an enforcement action filed during 2011. According to terms of the agreement the banks – which include several of the nation’s largest financial institutions such as Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo – will end up paying individual homeowners anywhere from several hundred dollars to $125,000 once it has been determined that those individuals were wrongly foreclosed upon.… [Read more]

Stuff you didn’t know was included in the fiscal cliff deal

Corporate Welfare

Yes, by now many of you have heard that a fiscal cliff deal was passed late last night in the House of Representatives. Neither side of the political aisle is completely happy with the final deal; those who wanted more spending cuts are dismayed that so-called entitlement programs were taken off the table, and those who sought more revenues are not happy that President Obama received only half of the revenues – about $600 billion – requested from an increase in taxes currently paid by the wealthiest Americans.… [Read more]

Bank (Still) Behaving Badly: Snatching Homes from Widows

Banks behaving badly: grabbing widows' homes

For many months those of us who have been paying attention to financial and economic reports have heard that the economy is growing, albeit too slow for our tastes. That’s great news on a macro level but, on an individual level, it’s all too common to still hear stories about people who are falling through the economic recovery’s cracks.… [Read more]

Salvaging and Growing the U.S. Economy: Moving on with Lessons Learned

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Ask most and they will tell you there are two ways to salvage an economy: the revenue side, by way of taxation or fees, or on the the spending side, by way of expenditure reductions. Determining where and how much is the point at which negotiations and compromise get bogged down.

The President re-elect has released his budget for 2013 that the administration believes is fair;  at another time in history the budget would be viewed as pragmatically centrist.… [Read more]

Small Business Saturday

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Everyone is concerned about our economy. Fiscal cliffs and what-have-you.

The easiest and best way for all of us to do something RIGHT NOW to help is to support small businesses.

That’s right. Forget the big box stores and the corporate greed, and go local and go small.

When you support small businesses, you put money back in the pockets of the middle class.… [Read more]