Biden"s monthly payments to families were a "godsend." Now that they"ve ended, parents are "a little bit terrified" about what comes next.

The payments helped millions of families stay afloat. One mother said, It was "huge to just know that we're not going to lose our house." Catherine Falls Commercial/Getty Images Over 36 million families were sent the final advance monthly child-tax-credit payment in December. Parents told Insider how the monthly payments have been helpful, such as for mortgage payments. One said the payments meant she could keep working amid the pandemic and its effect on schools. Meghan Hullinger is a single mother with four children living in West Virginia, and the monthly payments parents received from the government from July to December were a lifeline for her family.Thinking back to the first payment in July, Hullinger told Insider that "it was just the relief of knowing" that she wouldn't have to "play the bill lottery.""It was basically, I had just enough to pay all of my bills and have a decent sitter that I trusted to watch my kids so I could work," Hullinger said. "It was the absolute relief of having enough."But that relief Hullinger and others have felt from receiving the payments has evaporated. Parents who were getting used to receiving monthly checks from the federal government won't see any fresh deposits for the time being, and it could make it harder to pay bills and support their families. Since July, households had received up to $300 per child each month under the expanded child tax credit passed last year as part of the government's response to the ongoing pandemic. The last payment before the program was set to expire was sent on December 15 to over 36 million families, the IRS said. Democrats don't have a clear shot at reviving it anytime soon. They sought to extend it for another year as part of their $2 trillion Build Back Better plan. But it's languishing in the Senate because of opposition from Sen. Joe Manchin, a conservative Democrat from West Virginia — Hullinger's home state — who wants to add a work requirement to the benefit.The advance monthly payments have helped households in a variety of ways. It has helped some make their mortgage payments or pay for rent, food, school supplies, or other school expenses. Some have put it away in savings or used it to pay down debt. Insider spoke with two moms who are also MomsRising members. The two moms had relied on the child-tax-credit payments and were now worried about what comes next.Without another monthly payment, one mom said she was "a little bit terrified.""The monthly payment is significantly more helpful for everyday people who kind of are living paycheck to paycheck and really have to figure stuff out," said Stacy Niemann, a mother of two who received payments of $550 per month.Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, a cofounder and the executive director and CEO of MomsRising, called the expanded child tax credit transformational for families. She said it helped lift children out of poverty and helped working parents afford care, which kept them in their jobs.Rowe-Finkbeiner said the expanded child tax credit benefited not only the millions of families receiving the payments but also the US economy."We can't forget that parents, and moms in particular, are the primary people making consumer purchasing decisions in our consumer-fueled economy," she added.One parent said the payments helped her family 'just be a little bit more comfortable'Hullinger said the monthly payments helped her in multiple ways. For one, knowing that the payments would start in July, she was able to get a used car in May that she said was much safer than the one she already had.The expanded tax credit also helped her keep working. With the pandemic still raging, Hullinger and her family have faced multiple school closures and quarantines. She said that without the payments, such disruptions would have meant taking time off work. Instead, she was able to get a sitter.Hullinger said the last advance monthly payment was a godsend as she was able to buy kerosene to heat her apartment and also get Christmas gifts for her four children.Niemann's experience with the monthly payments differed from Hullinger's. She said her husband's income was the family's primary income."But with my husband being self-employed, our income is variable and kind of unpredictable," Niemann said. "So that's the biggest thing that the child tax credit has helped us with — to know that every month, for sure, we have at least one bill that's going to be paid by getting the child tax credit."Trying to maintain a small business amid the pandemic has been hard for Niemann and her husband. She said they lost a lot of business. She and her husband also both needed surgery and were now paying thousands of dollars in medical debt.She said the monthly payments helped them "in some months to be able to just be a little bit more comfortable."In particular, the monthly disbursements helped with their mortgage payments."That's honestly been huge to just know that we're not going to lose our house," Niemann said.She added that she was able to use the money on fun activities for her two children, such as buying pumpkins or a Christmas tree."None of us are going on extravagant vacations and living our best lives on this money," Hullinger said. "A lot of times it gives us just enough to where we can sleep at night."No more payments could mean negative consequences for some familiesOther parents spoke with Insider's Erin Snodgrass about what the end of the payments meant for their families. "Without these payments, I won't eat so my kids can," one parent told Snodgrass.Congressional Democrats want to extend the program for another year through their social- and climate-policy bill. But resistance from Manchin means they can't muscle it through the Senate and sidestep Republicans anytime soon. The Biden administration has floated retroactive payments for eligible families if the plan clears the 50-50 Senate."The temporary child-tax-credit expansion that we have had in place for the past several months is proof of concept that a permanent child-tax-credit expansion is needed into the future in our nation," Rowe-Finkbeiner told Insider in December.Put simply, Rowe-Finkbeiner said the expanded child tax credit "definitely must continue," and Niemann called it "really just a huge help."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytJan 15th, 2022

Here Comes The Pivot: JPM Sees Sharp Slowdown In US Economy, "No Further Hawkish Developments From The Fed"

Here Comes The Pivot: JPM Sees Sharp Slowdown In US Economy, "No Further Hawkish Developments From The Fed" For much of the past month we have been warning that as the broader investing public has been fascinated by the mounting speculation that the Fed will hike 4 times (or even "six or seven" times, thank you Jamie Dimon) and commence shrinking its balance sheet, the US economy had quietly hit a major air pocket  and - whether due to Omicron or because the vast majority of US consumers are once again tapped out (see more below) - US GDP growth is now rapidly collapsing and may turn negative as soon as this or next quarter as the US economy contracts for the first time since the covid shutdowns in Q1/Q2 2020. 10Y yield LOD 1.82128% as market realizes that Fed is hiking "six or seven times" into a deep slowdown — zerohedge (@zerohedge) January 20, 2022 Throw in the lack of a new Biden stimulus (BBB is dead as a doornail, courtesy of Manchin), and soaring gas prices (Goldman, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America all see Brent hitting triple digits in the near term, while a Russia-Ukraine war would send oil to $150 and crash the global economy), and we are willing to go on the record that a recession before the November midterms is virtually assured. But while this is obviously a wildly contrarian view for now, especially with the labor market still supposedly helplessly backlogged with a near record number of job openings coupled with still soaring inflation, others are starting to notice... Tightening into a slowdown… Déjà vu? — Julien Bittel, CFA (@BittelJulien) January 22, 2022 ... and so is the bond market, which traditionally is the first to sniff out major market inflection points, and which after surging to multi-year highs earlier this week, yields have suddenly slumped. Nowhere is it clearer what is coming than in the ongoing collapse in the yield curve which at the fulcrum 5s30s, is just 30bps away from where the Fed was when it ended its tightening cycle in 2018. So it was with some surprise that we were reading the latest big bank weekly reports where precisely this slowdown is being increasingly flagged. Consider the following from JPMorgan's latest Fixed Income Strategy note by Jay Barry (available to professional subs), who writes that JPMorgan's Economic Activity Surprise Index (EASI) "has swung sharply into negative territory in recent weeks, indicating data have underperformed relative to consensus expectations." This was punctuated by the December retail sales data, as the important control group fell 3.1% over the month (consensus: 0.0%). The weakness in data, JPM explains for the benefit of the Fed which in hopes of recovering its "credibility" after destroying it in 2021 when it said inflation was transitory and is now scrambling to fix its error is now willing to crash the market just to reduce aggregate demand, "indicates consumption should moderate in 1Q22." And since consumption accounts for 70% of US GDP, guess what that does to overall US growth? Or don't guess and read what JPM now expects: "we forecast growth decelerated from a 7.0% q/q saar in 4Q21 to a trend like 1.5% in 1Q22." It's not just retail sales, however, or that recent Empire Fed Manufacturing Survey, which just suffered its 3rd biggest monthly drop in history (with only March and April 2020 worse)... ... more locally, initial claims surged 55k to 286k in the week ending January 15, their third straight increase and the highest weekly reading since October. And while the seasonal volatility in claims around the new year could be amplifying the rise, this was the survey week for the January employment report and presages a much weaker payroll growth this month. In fact, as we discussed in our December jobs report commentary, it is now likely that January payrolls will be negative. Of course, one can blame the Omicron spike in December for much of this slowdown, and many do - especially those who confused the surge in inflation in 2021 as a "transitory" phenomenon - and are now using covid as a smokescreen to argue that the current slowdown is transitory, but the reality is that there is much more to the current sharp slowdown, and Bank of America's  Michael Hartnett put it best on Friday when he said that the "End of Pandemic = US Consumer Recession" (more here). Here is the punchline of what the BofA CIO said: "retail sales 22% above pre-COVID levels... ...payrolls up 18mn from lows, inflation annualizing 9%, real earnings falling a recessionary 2.4%, stimulus payments to US households evaporating from $2.8tn in 21 to $660bn in 2022, with no buffer from excess US savings (savings rate = 6.9%, lower than 7.7% in 2019 & and the rich hoard the savings), and record $40bn MoM jump in borrowing in Nov'21... ... "shows US consumer now starting to feel the pinch." Alongside the realization that an exit from covid means the US is entering a consumer recession, comes Hartnett's admission that any Fed hiking cycle will be short (it not sweet) and will be followed by easing as soon as 2023!.  Indeed, according to Hartnett, while the broader economy certainly needs more hikes to contain inflation, it will take far fewer rate hikes to crash markets, because "when stocks, credit & housing markets have been conditioned for indefinite continuation of "Lowest Rates in 5000 Years" might only take a couple of rate hikes to cause an event (own volatility)". And since Wall Street always leads Main Street (sorry peasants), it is Hartnett's view that the current "rates shock" is grounds for an imminent "recession fear", and as noted above, the Fed hiking into a slowdown guarantees not only an economic a recession but also a market crisis. The only question at this point is when will the Fed realize that it can't possibly hike rates enough to offset the surge in inflation which incidentally is not demand driven, but is due to continued supply constraints, over which the Fed has no power! Which is why JPMorgan's economists go on a limb and perhaps seeking to assure markets, write that "next week’s FOMC meeting will not present the case for further hawkish developments".... and "is only likely to ratify expectations next week and not surprise market participants with another hawkish pivot." Putting it all together is Goldman Sachs, which agrees with JPMorgan that there will be no hawkish surprises from the Fed, and wrote on Friday that if anything, the Fed will be more dovish than expected, and as such Goldman sees "the conditions in place for a large cover rally into and around the FED next week and when month-end new capital comes back into the equity markets, with corporates dry powder." Of course, there is always the risk that Joe Biden, now beyond dazed and confused and terrified of the upcoming Democratic implosion after the Nov midterms... ... does not realize how devastating a market crash will be for the US economy where financial assets are now 6.3x greater than GDP... ... and will order Powell to keep hiking and tightening just to break inflation's back (as discussed above, and as Blackrock also noted recently, the Fed is completely powerless to halt supply-driven inflation), even if it means the destruction of the entire wealth effect that the Fed spent the past 13 years trying to create. In that case, all bets are off. Tyler Durden Sat, 01/22/2022 - 17:00.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytJan 22nd, 2022

Senate Democrats offered Manchin a huge compromise on checks to parents. Then Manchin blew it up and they don"t know why

Dems swapped a three-year expanded child tax credit extension for one year to get Manchin to drop his push for a work requirement. He hasn't budged. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Joe ManchinDrew Angerer/Getty Images Senate Democrats thought Manchin had ultimately dropped his demands for a work requirement on the Biden child tax credit. But he's said he hasn't budged at all on the issue. It's thrown the fate of Biden's big social and climate bill into chaos with no clear path to success. Senate Democrats largely believed the heated clash around one of President Joe Biden's biggest economic priorities was behind them as fall turned to winter.Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia imperiled the renewal of the expanded child tax credit in September when he started demanding work requirements as a condition for families to receive up to $300 in monthly checks per child, amounting to either $3,000 or $3,600 a year for younger kids. The program was put in place for a year under the stimulus law, transforming it into a near-universal cash benefit for parents until it expired in December.Though the vast majority of congressional Democrats back renewing the program as it is, Manchin's desired change carried enormous consequences. Imposing a work requirement would shut out many families with little or no taxable income, significantly denting its anti-poverty effects. But Democrats need his vote in order to pass the centerpiece of Biden's domestic agenda to expand childcare, healthcare, and combat the climate emergency over universal GOP opposition in the 50-50 Senate. Manchin came out against the $2 trillion package and it's now stuck in the mud.To get Manchin to drop his push for a work requirement, Democrats and the White House made a huge compromise to try and get his support: They cut the planned extension for three years to only one, according to two Senate Democratic aides familiar with the matter. Both were granted anonymity to share details of private negotiations.The concession was included in the framework that the White House ultimately released in late October after weeks of negotiations with Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, another Democratic holdout. "I still do not understand what happened with this framework," one of the aides said. "And it being communicated to pretty much everyone that the reason we were only doing [one-year] CTC was because that was the only way he would agree to do the CTC without work requirements."The Biden administration's attempt to dislodge the stalled package landed with a thud. Manchin never publicly endorsed the White House plan and continued to hold back his support until he ultimately blew up the House-approved bill in December. "I've tried everything humanly possible, I can't get there," he told Fox News."Senator Manchin has always supported the child tax credit and would like to see it targeted to those families who need it most," a Manchin spokesperson told Insider via email. The White House didn't respond to requests for comment.Manchin's claim that he wants the neediest families to get the aid runs counter to the demands he's laid out, since a work requirement would block payments to the poorest families.Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado, one of the architects of the expanded benefit, has told Insider recently that he's unsure that he'll get Manchin's support despite personally lobbying him on the issue."I don't think I'll ever convince Senator Manchin on this until he actually sees it in effect, working in his state benefiting the people of West Virginia, as it's benefiting the people of Colorado," Bennet said in an interview last month. "That's a good reason for us to extend it for some years, so that we can see how it's working."It's unclear what a potential compromise with Manchin could look like. Democrats could slash the size of the benefit so its cheaper or further restrict who can tap into the federal aid to satisfy his demands — but it still may not be enough to get him onboard.If it fell out of the Build Back Better plan, it's also unclear whether a bipartisan deal could be struck with the GOP since they're wary of any tax hikes to pay for it. "No Republican, including myself, is going to say, 'Hey, I'm in favor of tax increases of any kind," Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, the author of a competing child benefit plan, told Insider on Wednesday. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 13th, 2022

Joe Manchin digs in on cutting the poorest parents out of the Biden child tax credit as Build Back Better looks dead in the water

Manchin wants only working families to be eligible for monthly checks. The credit expired last year and Democrats don't have a clear path to renew it. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) speaks to reporters outside of his office on Capitol Hill on January 04, 2022.Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images Manchin is sticking by his position to ensure only working families get the child tax credit. "I've been basically very clear on that," Manchin told Insider. But Manchin's demands may add bureaucratic hurdles that could end up shutting families out of the proposed program. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia is sticking by a position he's expressed for at least four months. The conservative Democrat wants only working parents to get the expanded child tax credit."I've been basically very clear on that," Manchin told Insider. "I think there should be a work requirement. That means you file a 1099."He went on: "So I've been very, very direct on that."1099 forms are typically filed by independent contractors and freelancers. A Manchin spokesperson later clarified that the senator meant he wanted families to file a W-2 form to demonstrate they're earning enough to pay taxes.The move to require proof of taxable income would lock out the poorest families — those with no income at all or not enough to file federal income taxes — from being able to receive checks under the expanded child tax credit. Previously, most families, including those where parents had no income in the previous year, were eligible for monthly checks.But some experts say adding that requirement onto the federal aid could pose a fresh bureaucratic hurdle for even middle-income households. Other parents could be working as an Uber driver or a freelancer and file a different tax form that wouldn't be eligible."You'll see more people affected than you might imagine," Elaine Maag, a tax expert at the Urban Institute, told Insider. "It won't just be very low income families that won't be able to meet this test."Manchin's view on the benefit places him as an outlier among Congressional Democrats, most of whom favor locking in the ability of the poorest families to access the beefed-up child tax credit. The one-year child tax credit expansion was enacted under President Joe Biden's stimulus law. It allows most families to get up to $300 each month per kid, depending on their age. It was also changed so families with little or no tax obligations could get the aid.That expanded credit expired in December 2021, and congressional Democrats continue to haggle over whether and how to renew it amid negotations over Biden's broader domestic spending plans.The West Virginia Democrat effectively torpedoed the $2 trillion Build Back Better plan in late December, saying he couldn't bring himself to support it. All 50 Senate Democrats must line up behind the sprawling measure to overcome unanimous GOP opposition.The bill would set up universal pre-K, renew monthly child tax credit payments to American families for another year, establish federal subsidies for childcare, combat the climate emergency and more. Democrats wanted to finance it with new taxes on rich Americans and large corporations paying little in federal taxes.However, talks on reviving the legislation has stalled. "There is no negotiation going on at this time," Manchin told reporters on Tuesday. Instead, Senate Democrats are pivoting to voting rights for the rest of the month.The child tax credit has drawn Manchin's ire since the fall. He's been skeptical of the federal government issuing monthly checks to families with no strings attached.Yet many experts argue that allowing families to receive the aid regardless of whether they owe taxes or not would have big socioeconomic benefits. Research has shown that the child poverty rate has fallen by a third since July."This made a real dent in child poverty as we were coming out of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression," Claudia Sahm, a senior fellow at the Jain Family Institute, said in a recent interview. "That's exactly what you go after."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 4th, 2022

New year, same demands: Joe Manchin will consider supporting Biden"s agenda if monthly child tax credits get an income limit — or are removed altogether

After dashing Democrats' hopes of passing Biden's economic agenda in 2021, Sen. Manchin still wants to cut the child tax credit. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images Sen. Manchin tanked passage of Biden's agenda last year, largely due to the enhanced child tax credit. Axios reported Manchin is open to resuming negotiations if the CTC is cut or gets a lower income caps. Manchin has remained adamant the CTC should be limited and has also proposed work requirements. While Democratic lawmakers were disappointed to end 2021 without passing President Joe Biden's sweeping climate and social-spending package, many of them remained confident they would get it done in the new year.However, West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin — the centrist Democrat holding out on the package — doesn't appear to be easing up on his demands.Axios reported on Sunday that Manchin is open to revisiting negotiations on the Build Back Better agenda if the White House removes the monthly child tax credit payments from the package completely, or significantly lowers the income cap for eligible families, citing people familiar with the matter.This is a demand Manchin has long held. The expanded child tax credit would have allowed parents who earn below a certain income to receive monthly payments of $300 per child under 6 and $250 for children between 6 and 18 for another year, but the last payment went out in December and has yet to be renewed due to Manchin's resistance."Do you believe people making $200,000 and $400,000 should still get the child tax credit the same as someone making $50,000, $60,000, or $70,000 that really needs it?" Manchin previously said. As Insider previously reported, the $200,000 and $400,000 levels are where the child tax credit phases out faster for individual or joint tax filers, and households making more than those levels each year already aren't able to receive the full credit.As Insider's Joseph Zeballos-Roig reported, Manchin's objections to the monthly payments extend beyond an income cap — he also wanted to institute work requirements to receive the federal benefit and has raised concerns parents would spend the payments on drugs. It's unclear when, or if, Biden's agenda will make it to his desk for signature, but given Democrats need 50 votes to pass the economic package, Manchin's support is crucial. The Washington Post reported that prior to sinking negotiations before Christmas, Manchin made a $1.8 trillion pitch to the White House that excluded the enhanced child tax credit, reflecting his firm stance the monthly payments need to be altered or removed altogether.Still, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told his Democratic colleagues last month that despite Manchin's resistance, he will bring Build Back Better to a vote early this year to deliver on Democrats' promises. Schumer wrote in a letter that "nearly all of us were disappointed by the decision to delay floor consideration of the Build Back Better Act because Senator Manchin could not come to an agreement with the president. However, neither that delay, nor other recent pronouncements, will deter us from continuing to find a way forward.""We simply cannot give up," he added.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 3rd, 2022

4 Charts That Explain the U.S.’s 2021 Economic Rollercoaster

The U.S. economy ended up in a weird place in 2021. Consumers were eager to spend money, but couldn’t get their purchases because supply chains were haywire. Wages rose as workers resigned. Prices, meanwhile, soared for everything from groceries to gas to rent and vehicles. And the global health crisis that triggered these trends is… The U.S. economy ended up in a weird place in 2021. Consumers were eager to spend money, but couldn’t get their purchases because supply chains were haywire. Wages rose as workers resigned. Prices, meanwhile, soared for everything from groceries to gas to rent and vehicles. And the global health crisis that triggered these trends is still in full force. If you are feeling a bit of whiplash from all this, you’re not alone. Americans have mixed feelings about what’s going on. A Gallup economic poll in November found that 70% of U.S. adults believe the economy is getting worse—a rate not seen since April 2020, when the country was in shut-down mode. But at the same time, 74% say now is a good time to get a job—the highest rate recorded in the survey’s 20-year history. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] It’s hard to say if things will start to feel more normal in 2022. The unusual combination of economic circumstances from the last year could persist for some time, experts say, but the timeline is uncertain because so much depends on the pandemic’s severity, monetary policies and human behavior—all of which play off each other. Consider all the ingredients that were necessary to create the so-called “great resignation” of 2021. First was the fact that Americans weren’t cash-strapped thanks to federal programs such as relief checks and enhanced unemployment benefits from President Biden in 2021 and former President Trump in 2020. Even as those programs wound down, families with children received child tax credit payments on a monthly basis in the second half of the year. Those income sources, combined with the dampened consumer spending from early in the pandemic, triggered the personal savings rate to shoot up—giving Americans a financial cushion to sit on as they waited to rejoin the labor force. Americans experienced less material hardship during the pandemic than before the pandemic, according to one analysis from the Urban Institute, a left-leaning think tank. “The intentions [of the pandemic policies] might have been good, but they also provided a bit of a disincentive and lack of a need to get back on the job,” says Joel Griffith, an economics research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. “So I think we’re still experiencing some of the lagging effects of that.” Financial security aside, the decision to take a job—or stay in an existing one—became more complicated in 2021 as the pandemic continued to drag on. Some workers left customer-facing jobs due to the health risks. Others left industries like trucking that capitalize on poor working conditions. More recently, employees left jobs in defiance of vaccine mandates, as well. This confluence of factors, both tangible and psychological, created an unusual scenario where people didn’t rush into available jobs. Currently, there are 6.9 million unemployed Americans, but there are 11 million job openings, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A rising number of workers quit in the second half of 2021, hitting a record 4.4 million people, or 3% of workers, in September. The upshot of the great resignation is that companies are bumping wages and benefits to lure and retain employees. Just ahead of the holiday shopping season, for instance, Macy’s announced that all workers would earn at least $15 an hour by May 2022, making the department store one of the latest national chains to boost pay, following the likes of Costco (which set a $17 base wage in October) and Starbucks ($15 by next summer). Amazon’s base wage has been $15 since 2018, but the company announced in September that its average starting pay would jump to $18. The Macy’s decision came amid “intense competition for talent,” as noted in the retailer’s latest earnings report. Although these increases are above the $7.25 federal minimum wage, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who track the cost of living by U.S. county report that even $15 an hour is not enough for most Americans to get by. What’s most defining about 2021’s labor crunch is that so many Americans left the labor force at a time when living costs were rising. Indeed, inflation has been an increasingly worrisome issue, hitting 6.9% year-over-year in November, a 39-year high. Inflation has stemmed largely from tight supply chains (an ongoing problem since the first economic shutdowns) and high consumer demand. Labor shortages haven’t been the main cause for inflation, experts say, but they aren’t exactly helping the problem, either. Indeed, manufacturing, transport and wholesale industries are all paying more to hire and retain workers and certainly some of those costs are getting passed down the line to the consumer. Energy prices are a major reason why inflation has spiked. Consumers around the world are feeling the effects of rising energy costs in their utility bills and at the pump—and just about everywhere else considering the vast number of goods that get produced and transported with fuel. The World Bank announced in late October that energy prices are on track to be more than 80% higher in 2021 compared to 2020, and will stay high in the first half of next year, posing a significant risk to global inflation. “We were in a pandemic recession. We were in a quarantine. We were really slowing down economic activity for a long time,” says Michael Horrigan, president of the W. E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research who previously served as an associate commissioner with the Bureau of Labor Statistics. “As we have come back—and it’s been uneven—but as we have come back, there has been a big increase in the demand for a variety of things that are related to the use of energy.” Prices for goods and services are running so high that they are wiping out wage gains. Wages and salaries for private industry workers as measured by the Employment Cost Index were rising about 3% a year prior to the pandemic. They were up 4.6% for the 12-month period ending Sept. 2021. But U.S. inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, has topped 5% annual increases every month since June, which means that the price increases have eaten into the salary gains for much of the year. Researchers at Harvard’s Kennedy School calculate that inflation-adjusted wages are nearly 3% below the pre-pandemic growth trend. Inflation-adjusted wages may strengthen again if prices return to their pre-pandemic norms in 2022, says Jason Furman, an economics professor at Harvard. “If inflation is below 2.5% next year, then probably workers will start to catch up—maybe not get back all the way, but make up some of the ground they lost in the last year and a half,” he says. “If inflation is above 3%, then they’re likely to lose further ground next year.” (Furman’s personal prediction is that inflation will top 3% next year.) Economists aren’t certain how long it will take for prices to restabilize. The calculation depends on which policy interventions will kick in. The Federal Reserve, which is tasked with maintaining price stability, has signaled that it could raise interest rates in an effort to lower inflation. Higher interest rates could dampen spending and slow down the economy because consumers and businesses will find it more expensive to borrow money. The trade-off in curbing inflation with higher interest rates is that as the economy cools, businesses typically slow hiring. Should that happen, it could take longer for the U.S. unemployment rate—which was 4.2% in November— to drop back down to its pre-pandemic rate of 3.5%. “The Fed expected inflation to come back down much more rapidly,” says Narayana Kocherlakota, an economics professor at the University of Rochester who previously served as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. “The forces that we’re seeing on inflation are more persistent than were expected a year ago.” Now, the clock is ticking as economists debate what normal employment should look like in an era when employees are quitting in droves. For Americans, fearing that inflation is here to stay could make inflation worse. Given enough time and exposure to higher prices, businesses and workers may start to worry that their dollars won’t cover expenses and they may try to hedge against it. For instance, labor unions could demand wage boosts that are commensurate with living costs. Businesses might opt into contracts that account for anticipated price spikes. And landlords may raise rents in their lease agreements. These reactions, in combination with the current inflation triggers like high energy prices and supply chain problems, could lock in high prices for the future, making inflation spiral higher. For much of 2021, Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell publicly noted that inflation was transitory and driven by certain parts of the economy most impacted by the pandemic. Only recently has that outlook shifted. The Fed has acknowledged in more recent weeks that the problem is more widespread, to the point of requiring intervention. “Expectations matter tremendously,” says Kocherlakota. “You’re trying to see, as a policymaker, how permanent do people believe inflation is going to be, because the more they believe it’s going to be permanent, the more tendency there is for it to become permanent.” Managing expectations about how inflation will look in 2022 could curb the behaviors that threaten to perpetuate ever-rising prices. But at the same time, the forces that kicked off the economic problems in the first place—a hesitant workforce, supply chain holdups and a glut of consumer spending—are all rooted in a pandemic that can’t be solved with monetary policies. For the economy to feel healthy again, the world needs to pull together to overcome the human health crisis first......»»

Category: topSource: timeJan 1st, 2022

Joe Manchin made a big $1.8 trillion pitch to Biden that excludes monthly child tax credit checks to families

The proposal included climate investments and universal pre-K, but axed the expanded payments to families, according to The Washington Post. Senator Joe Manchin.Photo by Al Drago-Pool/Getty Images Sen. Joe Manchin proposed a $1.8 trillion counter-offer to Biden's agenda last week, per The Washington Post. The proposal included climate investments and universal pre-K, but axed the expanded child tax credit. Manchin has reiterated he supports a child tax credit but says it should have work requirements. President Joe Biden's Build Back Better package suffered a major blow when Sen. Joe Manchin announced he would not be voting for the current version of Democrats' agenda.This came after the White House was still trying to decide whether to accept the West Virginia centrist's counter-offer, which stripped monthly checks to families.The Washington Post reported on Monday that Manchin last week gave the White House a $1.8 trillion counter-offer to Biden's Build Back Better agenda. While that offer included a number of Democrats' priorities, like universal pre-K and measures to combat the climate emergency, it did not include an extension of the expanded child tax credit that would continue delivering up to $300 in monthly payments to families per child, which was included in the version of the bill the House passed.As the Post reported, the climate investments in Manchin's proposal were scaled back from the nearly $600 billion Democrats proposed, and the omission of an expanded child tax credit made it difficult for the White House to accept the offer.Manchin on Sunday announced on Fox News he will not vote for Biden's agenda in its current version, citing concerns with inflation and the price tag on the package."If I can't go home and explain it to the people of West Virginia I can't vote for it," Manchin said. "I've tried everything humanly possible, I can't get there. This is a no."Following that announcement that blindsided the White House and his Democratic colleagues, the Huffington Post reported on Monday that Manchin expressed grievances toward the child tax credit included in Democrats' proposal. According to sources familiar, Manchin said parents would use child-tax-credit money to buy drugs and workers would abuse the paid-family-leave program in the legislation to get out of work and go on hunting trips.The expanded child tax credit in the Build Back Better agenda would have allowed parents who earn below a certain income to keep receiving monthly payments of $300 per child under 6 and $250 for children between 6 and 18 for another year. Without congressional action, the credit will expire at the end of 2021.Manchin has previously sought to add work requirements to the child tax credit and expressed opposition to passing paid leave. Specifically, he said he was worried that the bill wouldn't fully pay for a paid-leave program and pushed for it to be funded with a new payroll tax on workers and employers. "Senator Manchin has made clear he supports the child tax credit and believes the money should be targeted to those who need it most," Sam Runyon, a spokesperson for Manchin, told Insider. "He has also expressed support for a paid leave program that has a dedicated, sustainable funding mechanism."On Monday, Manchin reiterated his concern that the child tax credit should go only to families with taxable incomes."Make sure the people that need it, get it," he said on a West Virginia radio news program. "If it's a tax credit, you gotta have a W-2 to show that you've worked."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 20th, 2021

Joe Manchin demands that only parents working and making less than $200,000 get the full child tax credit — otherwise he"ll tank it

Manchin's 'no' stance on Build Back Better means the Dec. 15 child-tax-credit payment could be the last one families ever see. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) walks after a vote on Capitol Hill on November 4, 2021 in Washington, DCJoshua Roberts/Getty Images Sen. Manchin doesn't want the child tax credit to go on in its current form — if it extends at all. A work requirement would ensure payments are "accountable," Manchin told West Virginia's MetroNews. And harsher salary thresholds would make sure the aid reaches families that "really need it," he said. The child tax credit will have to look dramatically different for Sen. Joe Manchin to support an extension.The West Virginia senator drove a stake through Democrats' spending hopes on Sunday, announcing on Fox News he won't vote for the Build Back Better plan as it currently stands. Part of the proposal included an extension of the child tax credit, which has doled out monthly payments as large as $300 to roughly 36 million households since it began in July.The last checks for the program went out on December 15, and it was up for renewal in President Biden's BBB plan. Manchin publicly criticized BBB's price tag for months, arguing it posed too great a risk with inflation already running at historic highs. Yet a Monday interview with West Virginia's MetroNews revealed more reasons for Manchin's opposition and, specifically, why he wouldn't back a re-up of the child tax credit.The centrist senator began by repeating his call for a work requirement, arguing such a test is necessary for the payments to be "accountable." Other Senate Democrats had rebuked the work requirement in recent months, with many arguing that raising a child is work in itself. The Monday interview signals that, unless such a stipulation is added, Manchin will allow the credit to expire in late December.Manchin also raised issue with the credit's income thresholds. There's no test to ensure the credit reaches the families who need it most, and that's led the program to be more expensive than necessary, the senator told MetroNews host Hoppy Kercheval."Do you believe people making $200,000 and $400,000 should still get the child tax credit the same as someone making $50,000, $60,000, or $70,000 that really needs it?" Manchin said. The $200,000 and $400,000 levels reference the thresholds at which the child tax credit phases out faster for individual or joint tax filers. Households making more than those levels each year already aren't able to receive the full credit.A separate report published earlier Monday morning revealed some of the qualms Manchin had privately raised with the child tax credit. Manchin told Democratic colleagues in recent months he was concerned parents would waste the payments on drugs, The Huffington Post reported, citing sources familiar with the senator's comments.Though Manchin didn't address such concerns in the MetroNews interview, he noted that the program should be more targeted. Congress should "make sure the money follows a child" so it can go to another caretaker if the biological parents aren't raising the child, the senator said.There are "so many things we can fix that [Democrats] won't even talk about," Manchin said, adding "we've been way far apart philosophically."The fallout from an expired child tax credit would likely be harsh. The program's first payments alone led the child poverty rate to drop to 11.9% from 15.8% through June, according to researchers at Columbia University's Center on Poverty and Social Policy. Almost 10 million children risk falling back into poverty if the credit isn't renewed, researchers at the progressive Center for Budget and Policy Priorities said earlier in December.The credit's expiration would also come months before the Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates, leaving families with higher borrowing costs while direct aid dries up.Other Democrats aren't giving up yet on passing BBB and extending the credit. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer vowed to "keep fighting" for the spending plan on Monday, noting in a letter to colleagues that Manchin's opposition wouldn't deter the party "from continuing to find a way forward."How the party moves forward, however, is unclear. Manchin's remarks all but guarantee that, if the child tax credit is extended at all, it won't be nearly as wide-reaching as it's been this year.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytDec 20th, 2021

She Made Jeans for Americans. When They Stopped Shopping, She Turned to Sex Work

This piece is published in partnership with The Fuller Project. After Anna tucks her five children into bed each weeknight, she walks out the door to a grass patch behind her home. The former seamstress searches for the flat, heavy stone under which she’s buried her uniform for tonight: a camouflage miniskirt. For five years,… This piece is published in partnership with The Fuller Project. After Anna tucks her five children into bed each weeknight, she walks out the door to a grass patch behind her home. The former seamstress searches for the flat, heavy stone under which she’s buried her uniform for tonight: a camouflage miniskirt. For five years, the 30-year-old mother stitched Levi’s jeans at a garment factory in Lesotho, a small landlocked country within South Africa. The salary wasn’t much; she occasionally had sex with a male colleague for an extra $20 a month to support her family. But as the garment industry, one of the country’s largest employers, crumbled during the coronavirus pandemic, she found herself on the end of mass layoffs. In April of this year, management announced that the factory would be closing, due to reduced orders from U.S. brands and other pandemic-related issues. She was let go in August. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] A week later, she turned to sex work full time. “I don’t want my husband to know, so I leave home dressed normally, and then I change into a short skirt that shows my thighs,” she says. “My children don’t have clothes; I don’t have food. I have to do this.” Anna, who asked to be identified by her middle name only for safety reasons, is one of over 6,000 garment workers who recently lost a job with the Nien Hsing group. The Taiwanese company—Lesotho’s largest garment sector employer—owns five major factories, three of which have closed in the past 16 months. Nien Hsing has been a major supplier to Levi’s, Kontoor Brands (owners of Wrangler) and the Children’s Place, but the company has reduced production amid COVID-19 pandemic headwinds. In a country whose faltering economy relies heavily on the garment sector, the U.S. is the largest recipient of Lesotho’s clothing exports. A mostly female workforce—roughly 90% are women—once stitched denim for some of America’s most famous brands. Many are single parents and their families’ main breadwinners. Globally, garment workers like Anna face continued pandemic-era fallouts from disrupted financial markets, upended supply chains and clogged ports. As the virus kept consumers at home and shuttered shops, people bought less, and Western fashion brands canceled or delayed billions of dollars’ worth of orders. At garment factories around the world, staffers, the majority of whom, like Nien Hsien’s staff, are female, were laid off or sent home without pay. Since the start of the pandemic, some 1.6 million garment workers have lost their jobs in seven Asian countries, including Bangladesh, India and Myanmar, according to the Clean Clothes Campaign. After plunging to historic lows last year, U.S. clothing sales have since hit record highs. Apparel stores took the biggest hit, with a 78% drop in April 2020, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. Eighteen months later, October sales at clothing and accessory stores were up 25.8% from the same point in 2020. More from TIME Read More: Exclusive: Workers in Factory That Makes Kate Hudson’s Fabletics Activewear Allege Rampant Sexual and Physical Abuse Retail markets may have begun to bounce back, but for already low-paid and vulnerable workers in factories in Lesotho and larger garment-producing countries such as India and Cambodia, those gains can take time to trickle down. Ongoing disruptions continue to cause havoc in a period when retailers remain uncertain about the future. With few alternatives, women already working in an already unstable industry face abject poverty, spiraling debt and scant job prospects, industry experts say. “The clothing supply chain is run on a knife edge,” says Neil Saunders, managing director at research firm GlobalData Retail. “Margins are so thin because of this continual pattern of deflation and consumers wanting to pay less in Western markets. There’s just no room for error. You can’t say, ‘We’ll take a hit, it’ll be fine.’” In India, there is still a “great deal” of uncertainty about orders in Chennai, an industrial hub on the southeastern coast, says Sujata Mody, president of the Garment and Fashion Workers Union. She estimates that 10% of the multibillion-dollar industry’s approximately 200,000 workforce in Chennai are still unemployed. Many factories remain closed, she adds, while those still working face longer hours, higher expected targets and increased incidents of violence. DeLovie Kwagala for TIMEDuring the day, the streets in the heart of Maseru, Lesotho’s capital, boom with business. At night, women wait patiently among the empty market stalls. DeLovie Kwagala for TIME India makes up about 16% of textile imports to the U.S. and about 5% of apparel and accessories, according to an analysis of U.S. International Trade Commission data by the Peterson Institute for International Economics. “The women who work in these industries are very marginalized. They are dependent on their incomes and really vulnerable. And so nobody really bothers about them,” says Mody. “These women are not just invisible—it’s like they don’t exist.” Female garment workers over 40 have been hit particularly hard, she adds. Viewed as less productive, they were targeted when factory owners downsized during the pandemic, says Mody, who has spoken to hundreds of women who reached out to the union. Some have been able to find temporary low-paid cleaning work, while others are struggling to find anything at all, she says. For Sam Phary, a 40-year-old garment worker in Cambodia, her soaring debts are keeping her awake at night. A single parent to three children, she owes $10,000 to a microfinance lender. As COVID-19 infections rose in mid-April of this year, Cambodia once again shut clothing factories, leaving thousands of workers without income. While she was unemployed, Phary borrowed money from relatives to make her monthly $350 payments. She is back sewing at a factory in Phnom Penh, the capital, but earns less due to reduced orders, she says, and is concerned she’ll lose her home if she continues to default on her repayments. Last year, Cambodia’s $7 billion garment sector, the country’s largest employer with roughly one million (mostly female) workers, was dealt a double blow by the pandemic and by European Union tariffs imposed over human rights abuses. By mid-May of this year, an estimated 102 garment factories in Cambodia had permanently closed, said Heng Sok, Secretary of State of Industry, Science and Innovation, in an interview with local media. Nearly three-quarters went bankrupt because of a lack of orders or suspensions, he added. Lesotho’s garment industry has also long been ravaged with problems. In May, TIME and the Fuller Project reported on vast sexual abuse and harassment taking place at Hippo Knitting, another Taiwanese company in Lesotho’s capital, Maseru. The factory predominantly supplied one brand, Fabletics, a popular U.S. athletic apparel line co-founded by actor Kate Hudson. After a three-month pause, the brand resumed production in August while taking steps to improve workers’ rights. But roughly 600 workers are reportedly expected to be permanently laid off early next year, according to Sam Mokhele, general secretary of the National Clothing, Textile & Allied Workers’ Union in Lesotho. When asked about a reduction in orders at Hippo Knitting, Fabletics said in an emailed statement that orders over the last few months have been greater than or equal to those placed last year. The factory owners declined to comment on looming job cuts. DeLovie Kwagala for TIMEThe Taiwanese company Nien Hsing owns five major factories in Lesotho, three of which have closed in the past 18 months. DeLovie Kwagala for TIME “The workers are free of harassment,” says one seamstress who asked to remain anonymous due to job security concerns. “But we’ve already gone on Christmas break, and we don’t know what’s going to happen when we come back. Our jobs are hanging in the balance.” Less than four miles away, thousands of women from the Nien Hsing factories already face this stark reality. In a matter of months, the company’s estimated 10,000-strong workforce dropped by more than half and lost over $50 million this past year, according to Louis Rouillon, Nien Hsing’s former social responsibility director. He says that in addition to Wrangler and the Children’s Place cutting orders by roughly 30% this year, rising transport costs, recent wage protests in Lesotho and fluctuating Covid infection rates have all played roles in the company’s decline. In an emailed statement, a spokesperson for the Children’s Place said Nien Hsing informed the retailer earlier this year that it was “scaling back operations,” and that the terms of their relationship “did not fit” the Taiwanese company’s new business model. Levi’s said the brand had maintained—and at times increased—its order volume with the Nien Hsing group over the past year.Wrangler did not respond to multiple requests for comment. Each month at the factory, Anna was paid less than the price of two pairs of Levi’s—about $133—but it wasn’t enough to cover her family’s basic costs, she says. No one at the factory knew about her arrangement with her male colleague, she adds. When he was let go, her monthly income dropped. Now, sex work nets Anna roughly $6 to $19 per night. Her family thinks she has found a cleaning job. She’s vague on the details, but worries that her husband has suspicions. “My husband is quite thin,” she explains. “Maybe he’s not gaining weight because he’s harboring all these emotions. When he confronts me about his suspicions, I sometimes leave the house, go to the outside toilet and cry. It’s really painful for me, seeing my husband like that.” Given the company’s three-decade history in Lesotho, Ricky Chang, Nien Hsing’s administration manager, says he remains hopeful some factories will reopen next year. “But it’s hard to tell,” he said. “Look at what just happened in South Africa [with the Omicron variant]—people are in panic again … If the environment does not allow you to stay, you have to seek something else. Right now, ​I am concerned about the entire future of Lesotho’s garment industry.” Anna, meanwhile, has spent five months looking for customers in the dark—five months of feeling in constant danger, she says. Asked what he would like to say to women in her position, Rouillon doesn’t know quite how to answer. “It breaks my heart,” he says. At 4 a.m., Anna jumps into a taxi to return home. The work she does now takes a toll, she says. She gave birth earlier this year. Several months ago, her cesarean wound became so painful she needed to rest for two weeks to recover. “I couldn’t believe it was me doing that,” Anna recalls of her first night of sex work, her voice soft. “I have dreams.” Once home, she slips back into her jeans. She carefully replaces the miniskirt under the flat, heavy stone, ready for tomorrow night. With additional reporting by Sineat Yon in Cambodia.....»»

Category: topSource: timeDec 15th, 2021

Stimulus checks were wildly popular with Americans — but Biden"s expanded child tax credit payments just aren"t

Democrats are banking on it as a political winner, but there are signs giving people money has limits. Older GOP voters especially don't like it. President Joe Biden speaks with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of N.Y., and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., about the American Rescue Plan at the White House in March 2021.Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images Stimulus checks were wildly popular, but the monthly child tax credit hasn't been so far. Part of the reason is that not everyone is getting the money since only parents qualify. Polling shows older people who don't directly benefit especially dislike it, and they tend to be Republican. This year, government cash flowed to tens of millions of Americans.Democrats approved $1,400 direct payments as part of President Joe Biden's stimulus law. It was the third round of stimulus payments, and poll after poll indicated the measure was popular with a huge majority of the public. But those one-time payments were followed up with a new benefit program: a one-year overhaul of the child tax credit that boosted its amount and widened its reach to the poorest families.It was designed to establish a new link between the federal government and children, similar to the connection that's existed for over eight decades between Social Security and seniors. The near-universal child benefit ensures up to $300 monthly to parents per child, depending on their age. It has formed a cornerstone of the Democratic endeavor to lift children out of poverty, and early studies shows it's already been effective.Yet Americans so far aren't fully sold on keeping the program.The latest data provided to Insider from the liberal polling group Data for Progress and Fighting Chance for Families indicated that support to make the child tax credit expansion permanent has generally hovered around 50% since the first checks went out in mid-July.With consistent polling of around 1,200 likely voters on the issue via web panel, the sample group is made up of self-identified Democrats, Republicans, and independents, with a three-percentage point margin of error. The following poll was taken from December 3 to 6.Support for making the child tax credit permanent.Courtesy of Data for Progress.Part of the opposition is simple: Not everyone is getting the money. "I think the big thing is with the stimulus checks, everyone got them," Sean McElwee, founder of the liberal polling organization, said in an interview. He added the child tax credit goes to "a smaller subset of people." Indeed, recipients of the child allowance constitute a smaller pool. The Internal Revenue Service issued 169 million direct payments under the stimulus law. By comparison, the federal government is distributing monthly checks to 35 million families with children each month.Support for the measure shoots up among beneficiaries of the cash, which tend to be parents or grandparents. "The biggest takeaway here is that among recipients, independents and Republicans love the Child Tax Credit," Lindsay Owens, the executive director at the left-leaning Groundwork Cooperative, told Insider.Partisanship plays a huge role in people's views regarding the program. When simply asked whether they support it, Democrats overwhelmingly supported the temporary benefit, a slight majority of independents did, and Republicans were nearly split. 'Democrats have this naive idea that if they just send people money, people will like the Democrats'One area of resistance to the child allowance is concentrated among Republican-leaning seniors, who are generally skeptical of  cash aid programs.  The group's polling indicates that opposition to keeping the expanded child tax credit shoots up for people who are more than 70 years old: 36% in favor compared to 60% against it."Americans have very little exposure to social insurance until they're on Medicare and Social Security," Samuel Hammond, a poverty expert at the Niskanen Center, told Insider. "Any expansion to programs aimed at kids and young families can be threatening to the AARP-set." He went on: "The retirees, Social Security recipients, and the AARP want to hold a strong line in defense of existing entitlement programs — and ironically end up being soft opponents to expansions to younger generations."Owens, who has studied the data closely, argued that Democrats "will be in a strong position to run on an incredibly popular and effective program" in the 2022 midterms."Low support for the child tax credit among seniors is certainly a political hurdle, but not an insurmountable one," she said.Democrats are counting on the program to reap rewards for them in a daunting political landscape in next year's midterms, which is favoring Republicans. Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, chair of the Finance Committee, said he'd been hearing from constituents in his home state about how they're using the new money."They said, 'Hey Ron, things like buying shoes,'" Wyden told Insider on Thursday evening. "So anybody who thinks that this is some luxury kind of thing, that's the account from the real world."But there are signs giving people money may not be a recipe for success at the ballot box either. An NPR/Marist poll released on Thursday found that only 40% of respondents credited Democrats for Biden's stimulus checks, even though the party approved it over staunch Republican opposition."I think Democrats have this naive idea that if they just send people money, people will like the Democrats," Hammond said.The last payment is set to go out on December 15. Democrats on Capitol Hill are scrambling to renew it for a year as part of their $2 trillion social and climate spending bill. Sen. Joe Manchin hasn't signaled whether he'd give a thumbs-up to the sprawling measure, and has thrown cold water on it at times.McElwee argued it will take time for attitudes to shift."At the end of the day, we live in a deeply polarized country," McElwee said. "And the idea that any single government program, no matter how popular, is going to immediately shift through these long-held ideological and partisan beliefs is very unrealistic. We're talking about a margin game here."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytDec 12th, 2021

10 Things in Politics: Dems under pressure to keep child tax credit

And Jussie Smollett was found guilty of falsely reporting a hate crime. Welcome back to 10 Things in Politics. Today is the last edition before the newsletter goes on hiatus. I'll be a senior politics reporter at Insider starting next year. Please stay in touch! You can reach me at or follow me on Twitter at @BrentGriffiths.Be sure to sign up for Insider Exclusives to get our politics scoops delivered right to your inbox. And to help us improve our newsletters, please fill out this quick, seven-question survey.I truly appreciate your waking up with us each morning.Here's what we're talking about:Democrats have 2 1/2 weeks to pass Biden's big bill before parents get cut off from child-tax-credit checksA federal court handed Trump another stinging defeat in his efforts to shield documents related to January 6Jussie Smollett was found guilty of falsely reporting a hate crimePresident Joe Biden.Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images1. INSIDE CONGRESS: Time is running out for Democrats. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer wants his party to pass President Joe Biden's massive spending plan by Christmas. Failing to meet the deadline will do more than just exacerbate frustrations with the state of Biden's agenda. The IRS has advised lawmakers that December 28 is the last day Biden's $2 trillion package can pass to ensure the next round of child-tax-credit payments goes out smoothly.Here's where things stand:Experts say it would be a disaster if the child tax credit expires: Some 35 million families are receiving the monthly child tax credit, per the IRS and Treasury, my colleague Joseph Zeballos-Roig reports. Data indicates the government cash is going toward basic expenses like rent, groceries, and gas.Biden's plan would extend the tax credit through next year: It provides up to $300 a month per child age 5 and under, or $3,600 annually. For children ages 6 to 17, families can receive $250 each month, or $3,000 yearly. And it would lock in the ability for the vast majority of American families to receive the cash every month, regardless of whether they file taxes.A key swing vote remains a holdout: Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia has yet to commit to supporting Biden's plan. He told Insider that even if the revamped child tax credit were to abruptly end, the federal government had stepped in enough with a burst of new spending to help families during the coronavirus pandemic.Read more about where talks on the core of Biden's agenda stand.2. Biden touts economic headwinds before another expected inflation-related doozy: Biden argued that overall the US economy was performing well, saying it was "the fastest movement of people from relying on government support to earning a weekly paycheck in history." Thursday's weekly jobless claims were also at their lowest since 1969. But inflation continues to haunt him. Inflation in October hit a 30-year high. Today's inflation report for November could be a 40-year high.3. Congress now has a clear path to raising the debt ceiling: A bipartisan group of senators sent legislation to Biden's desk that would allow Democrats to lift the limit with a 51-vote majority. The deal cuts short further bluster less than a week before an expected default, but not all Republicans were happy with it. Others said there were simply no good options. "We're confronted with a crap sandwich, and I'd rather have a hamburger," Sen. Kevin Cramer of South Dakota told reporters. Some Democrats view the episode as reopening the possibility of weakening the Senate's filibuster.Jussie Smollett.AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast4. Jussie Smollett was found guilty of falsely reporting a hate crime: Smollett, an actor known from his time on Fox's "Empire," was found guilty on five out of six counts in connection with staging a hate crime against himself nearly three years ago on the streets of downtown Chicago. Smollett, 39, faces up to three years in prison. But experts have said he would most likely be put on probation and ordered to do community service, per the Associated Press. The actor, who is Black and gay, unexpectedly took the stand in his trial, telling jurors, "There was no hoax on my part." More ​​on the verdict from the closely watched case.5. Federal court rules Trump must turn over January 6 documents: Judge Patricia Millett, writing for a three-judge panel, rejected former President Donald Trump's bid to block the House's January 6 select committee from obtaining a tranche of executive-branch documents. Trump, per The New York Times, is now expected to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court. Millett's decision gives his team just two weeks to make such a move before a temporary block on the National Archives turning over the records is lifted. More information from what has become a closely watched court battle.Key quote: "The constitutional protections of executive privilege should not be used to shield, from Congress or the public, information that reflects a clear and apparent effort to subvert the Constitution itself," Millett, an Obama appointee, wrote in a blistering 68-page opinion.More potentially bad legal news for Trump: New York's attorney general, Letitia James, wants to put Trump under oath as her office conducts a civil investigation into the Trump Organization, The Washington Post reports. James also dropped out of the New York governor's race to focus on keeping her current job.6. At least 53 people are dead after a truck carrying migrants crashed in Mexico: "Rescue workers rushing to a highway accident found a horrific scene of death and injury after a freight truck jammed with as many as 200 migrants tipped over and crashed into the base of a steel pedestrian bridge in southern Mexico," the Associated Press reports. Here's the latest on the horrific crash.7. New York gives noncitizens a right to vote in local elections: New York City is now the largest municipality in the US to allow noncitizens to vote in local races, The Post reports. The new policy does not apply to New Yorkers living in the country illegally but does cover an estimated roughly 1 million adult noncitizens. Read more about this historic change.8. Daunte Wright's girlfriend gave emotional testimony about what happened after he was shot: Alayna Albrecht-Payton, who was in the car when the Minnesota police officer Kim Potter fatally shot Wright, testified that she frantically searched for a sweater or towel to "put it on his chest like you see in the movies and TV shows." Potter has pleaded not guilty to first- and second-degree manslaughter charges. Potter has said she confused the placement of her gun with her Taser. More from an emotional day in the trial.9. Buffalo Starbucks workers vote for historic union: Starbucks workers at a store in Buffalo, New York, have voted to form a union, which is a first for the coffee giant's company-owned stores in the US. There could be even more Starbucks unionization efforts on the horizon.10. One last thing: There's no trivia question today, so instead I want to take a moment to thank all the wonderful people who have helped guide this from the start. (Yesterday's answer: Bob and Elizabeth Dole lived inside the Watergate complex for decades. Then the Republican National Committee chairman, Dole was out of town during the infamous break-in. They later lived next door to Monica Lewinsky.)The team: There wouldn't be a newsletter if it weren't for Darren Samuelsohn and his DC reporters' fabulous reporting. Jordan Erb and Phil Rosen often found the quirky 10th things that you love and pitched in more times than I can count. Oma Seddiq and Grace Panetta kindly filled in during my time off. Kevin Kaplan, Kieran Corcoran, and Alexandra Ma have made us all better with their edits. And last but not least, Olivia Oran and Lisa Ryan have deftly guided us from behind the scenes.Like a true Midwesterner, I am bad at goodbyes. So thank you once again for waking up with us. Until we meet again, I hope you have a wonderful weekend and holiday season.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 10th, 2021

Democrats have 19 days to pass Biden"s big bill before parents get cut off from child tax credit checks in January, IRS says

Lingering issues over the scope of Biden's $2 trillion spending plan could force Democrats to work through Christmas to preserve the child tax credit. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill in the State Dining Room of the White House on Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021.(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images The IRS says December 28 is the latest Biden's plan can pass for January CTC payments to go out. Two Democratic aides privately confirmed the IRS communications to Insider. Schumer is putting his foot on the gas, but Manchin hasn't signaled that he's onboard with this timeline. The Internal Revenue Service has advised Congressional Democrats that December 28 is the latest date that President Joe Biden's $2 trillion social and climate spending bill must pass to ensure the January 15 round of child tax credit payments goes out smoothly.Two Democratic aides were granted anonymity to privately discuss the matter with Insider.The development could add further urgency to Democrats' struggle to meet their ambitious timeline to approve the sprawling bill by Christmas. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is using the looming deadline to pressure all 50 Senate Democrats to immediately unite around the package over unanimous Republican opposition."COVID isn't over, and so these checks shouldn't lapse either — on the contrary they should keep going!" Schumer said Thursday on the Senate floor.Though Schumer is pressing his foot on the gas, he's already collided with a major obstacle: Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia.Manchin has not thrown his support behind the bill and said on Wednesday a chunk of the package was still being negotiated. He told Insider that the federal government had stepped in enough with a burst of new spending to help families during the pandemic, in the event of the child tax credit abruptly ending."We're doing an awful lot," Manchin said. "We did an expansion of SNAP. We've done everything that we can to help people — we sent out $5.4 trillion in aid."The current bill would renew the revamped child tax credit through 2022. It provides up to $300 a month per child age 5 and under, or $3,600 annually. For children between ages 6 and 17, families can receive $250 each month, or $3,000 yearly. And it would lock in the ability for the vast majority of American families to receive the cash every month, regardless of whether they file taxes.Some 35 million families are receiving the monthly child tax credit, per the IRS and Treasury. Data shows the government cash is going towards basic expenses like rent, groceries and gas. Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado told Insider on Wednesday that it would be a "disaster" if millions of families were abruptly cut off from the monthly checks. Experts agree."Letting the child tax credit expire would be a terrible mistake," Lindsay Owens, an economist at the left-leaning Groundwork Collaborative who has closely studied the issue, told Insider. "It's successful program that's helping families afford the rising costs and take on childcare costs."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 9th, 2021

Watch Live: Powell, Yellen Return To Capitol Hill For 2nd Day Of CARES Act Testimony

Watch Live: Powell, Yellen Return To Capitol Hill For 2nd Day Of CARES Act Testimony Newly re-nominated Fed Chairman Jerome Powell surprised markets on Tuesday when he affirmed that it was "time to retire" the word "transitory" while also conceding that he and his fellow senior Fed policymakers would consider ending the central bank's monthly asset purchases a few months sooner than previously believed. Powell's comments during the Q&A overshadowed virtually every other aspect of yesterday's CARES Act testimony before the Senate Banking Committee, where Powell was joined by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. Today, the Treasury head and Fed chief will join the House Financial Services Committee for the second part of the testimony mandated by the COVID bailout law signed by President Trump during the spring of 2020. Just like yesterday's testimony, the hearing is set to begin at 1000ET. The committee is led by Chairwoman Maxine Waters, the prickly House Dem from LA who made headlines for clashing with Trump Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin during his routine appearances before her committee. As the world waits to hear more from President Biden about the US's new strategy for curbing omicron, readers can hear more about the Fed's and the Treasury's plans for handling omicron, as well as the Treasury's hopes for raising the debt ceiling before it runs out of dollars, below: Their prepared testimony can be found below. First, Yellen's prepared remarks. Chairman Brown, Ranking Member Toomey, members of the Committee: It is a pleasure to testify today. November has been a very significant month for our economy, and Congress is a large part of the reason why. Our economy has needed updated roads, ports, and broadband networks for many years now, and I am very grateful that on the night of November 5, members of both parties came together to pass the largest infrastructure package in American history. November 5th, it turned out, was a particularly consequential day because earlier that morning we received a very favorable jobs report– 531,000 jobs added. It’s never wise to make too much of one piece of economic data, but in this case, it was an addition to a mounting body of evidence that points to a clear conclusion: Our economic recovery is on track. We’re averaging half a million new jobs per month since January. GDP now exceeds its pre-pandemic levels. Our unemployment rate is at its lowest level since the start of the pandemic, and our economy is on pace to reach full employment two years faster than the Congressional Budget Office had estimated. Of course, the progress of our economic recovery can’t be separated from our progress against the pandemic, and I know that we’re all following the news about the Omicron variant. As the President said yesterday, we’re still waiting for more data, but what remains true is that our best protection against the virus is the vaccine. People should get vaccinated and boosted. At this point, I am confident that our recovery remains strong and is even quite remarkable when put it in context. We should not forget that last winter, there was a risk that our economy was going to slip into a prolonged recession, and there is an alternate reality where, right now, millions more people cannot find a job or are losing the roofs over their heads. It’s clear that what has separated us from that counterfactual are the bold relief measures Congress has enacted during the crisis: the CARES Act, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, and the American Rescue Plan Act. And it is not just the passage of these laws that has made the difference, but their effective implementation. Treasury, as you know, was tasked with administering a large portion of the relief funds provided by Congress under those bills. During our last quarterly hearing, I spoke extensively about the state and local relief program, but I wanted to update you on some other measures. First, the American Rescue Plan’s expanded Child Tax Credit has been sent out every month since July, putting about $77 billion in the pockets of families of more than 61 million children. Families are using these funds for essential needs like food, and in fact, according to the Census Bureau, food insecurity among families with children dropped 24 percent after the July payments, which is a profound economic and moral victory for the country. Meanwhile, the Emergency Rental Assistance Program has significantly expanded, providing muchneeded assistance to over 2 million households. This assistance has helped keep eviction rates below prepandemic levels. This month, we also released guidelines for the $10 billion State Small Business Credit Initiative program, which will provide targeted lending and investments that will help small businesses grow and create well-paying jobs. As consequential as November was, December promises to be more so. There are two decisions facing Congress that could send our economy in very different directions. The first is the debt limit. I cannot overstate how critical it is that Congress address this issue. America must pay its bills on time and in full. If we do not, we will eviscerate our current recovery. In a matter of days, the majority of Americans would suffer financial pain as critical payments, like Social Security checks and military paychecks, would not reach their bank accounts, and that would likely be followed by a deep recession. The second action involves the Build Back Better legislation. I applaud the House for passing the bill and am hopeful that the Senate will soon follow. Build Back Better is the right economic decision for many reasons. It will, for example, end the childcare crisis in this country, letting parents return to work. These investments, we expect, will lead to a GDP increase over the long-term without increasing the national debt or deficit by a dollar. In fact, the offsets in these bills mean they actually reduce annual deficits over time. Thanks to your work, we’ve ensured that America will recover from this pandemic. Now, with this bill, we have the chance to ensure America thrives in a post-pandemic world. With that, I’m happy to take your questions. And Powell's: Chairman Brown, Ranking Member Toomey, and other members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to testify today. The economy has continued to strengthen. The rise in Delta variant cases temporarily slowed progress this past summer, restraining previously rapid growth in household and business spending, intensifying supply chain disruptions, and, in some cases, keeping people from returning to work or looking for a job. Fiscal and monetary policy and the healthy financial positions of households and businesses continue to support aggregate demand. Recent data suggest that the post-September decline in cases corresponded to a pickup in economic growth. Gross domestic product appears on track to grow about 5 percent in 2021, the fastest pace in many years. As with overall economic activity, conditions in the labor market have continued to improve. The Delta variant contributed to slower job growth this summer, as factors related to the pandemic, such as caregiving needs and fears of the virus, kept some people out of the labor force despite strong demand for workers. Nonetheless, October saw job growth of 531,000, and the unemployment rate fell to 4.6 percent, indicating a rebound in the pace of labor market improvement. There is still ground to cover to reach maximum employment for both employment and labor force participation, and we expect progress to continue. The economic downturn has not fallen equally, and those least able to shoulder the burden have been the hardest hit. In particular, despite progress, joblessness continues to fall disproportionately on African Americans and Hispanics. Pandemic-related supply and demand imbalances have contributed to notable price increases in some areas. Supply chain problems have made it difficult for producers to meet strong demand, particularly for goods. Increases in energy prices and rents are also pushing inflation upward. As a result, overall inflation is running well above our 2 percent longer-run goal, with the price index for personal consumption expenditures up 5 percent over the 12 months ending in October. Most forecasters, including at the Fed, continue to expect that inflation will move down significantly over the next year as supply and demand imbalances abate. It is difficult to predict the persistence and effects of supply constraints, but it now appears that factors pushing inflation upward will linger well into next year. In addition, with the rapid improvement in the labor market, slack is diminishing, and wages are rising at a brisk pace. We understand that high inflation imposes significant burdens, especially on those less able to meet the higher costs of essentials like food, housing, and transportation. We are committed to our price-stability goal. We will use our tools both to support the economy and a strong labor market and to prevent higher inflation from becoming entrenched. The recent rise in COVID-19 cases and the emergence of the Omicron variant pose downside risks to employment and economic activity and increased uncertainty for inflation. Greater concerns about the virus could reduce people's willingness to work in person, which would slow progress in the labor market and intensify supply-chain disruptions. To conclude, we understand that our actions affect communities, families, and businesses across the country. Everything we do is in service to our public mission. We at the Fed will do everything we can to support a full recovery in employment and achieve our price-stability goal. Thank you. I look forward to your questions. The big question now: will Powell sound dovish, or hawkish, under questioning? What's more, investors should be on the lookout for Yellen's comments on the debt ceiling - particularly anything she says about the timing for when the Treasury might run out of funds. Fed watchers will be on the lookout for any more clues about the Fed's thinking on the pace of tightening monetary policy by shrinking its balance sheet and raising interest rates  Tyler Durden Wed, 12/01/2021 - 09:55.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeDec 1st, 2021

Monthly Coronavirus Stimulus Checks in 2022? Yes, It’s Possible

The Biden administration may not come up with any more stimulus checks this year, but it is certainly working on extending ongoing monthly coronavirus stimulus checks in 2022. On Friday, House Democrats approved the Build Back Better Act, bringing a one-year extension of the enhanced child tax credit (CTC) closer to reality. Q3 2021 hedge […] The Biden administration may not come up with any more stimulus checks this year, but it is certainly working on extending ongoing monthly coronavirus stimulus checks in 2022. On Friday, House Democrats approved the Build Back Better Act, bringing a one-year extension of the enhanced child tax credit (CTC) closer to reality. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Henry Singleton Series in PDF Get the entire 4-part series on Henry Singleton in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more How Can You Get Monthly Coronavirus Stimulus Checks In 2022? Biden’s American Rescue Plan in March increased the child tax credit payment to $3,600 for kids below 6 years and $3,000 for kids between the ages of 6 and 17 years. Also, the American Rescue Plan revamped the way Americans receive this payment. In place of a lump sum payment after filing their tax return, eligible families got half the credit in six monthly installments, and the other half after filing their tax return. Now, President Biden’s $1.75 trillion Build Back Better Act includes a provision to further extend the enhanced child tax credit (CTC) for one year. By further extending the enhanced CTC, Biden aims to overhaul the social safety net, as well as reduce child poverty. Researchers found that the extended child tax credit program lifted about 3 million children out of poverty and helped in reducing food insecurity as well. Biden’s Build Back Better Act also changes how eligible families get the payment. Instead of receiving half the credit in monthly payments and the other half at the time of filing their tax return, the new system would allow people to get the full credit in monthly payments. Also, the Build Back Better Act expands the scope of the program to cover more families. Currently, parents who don’t have social security numbers but their qualifying child has a social security number were considered for the payment, and this includes children born in the U.S. but whose parents are undocumented. The Build Back Better Act, if passed, would take away any requirement and make any child without a social security number, eligible for the payment. Will The Build Back Better Act Be Approved? Biden originally planned to extend the credit through 2025, but the duration was cut short to just one year during the negotiations. Along with extending the child tax credit for one more year, the Build Back Better Act also makes the credit fully refundable. Joint filers with annual income up to $150,000 ($112,500 for unmarried tax filers) qualify for the CTC payments. Though House Democrats passed the Build Back Better Act, it is only half of the battle won. The bill will now be sent to the Senate, where it is expected to receive stiff opposition and could be revised as well. Democrats, however, could use the reconciliation method to get approval for the Build Back Better Act. The reconciliation method would allow Democrats to bypass Republicans, but that would require every single Democratic vote. In case the bill fails to pass, the expanded Child Tax Credit would end next month, and return to the usual $2,000 per child in 2022. Updated on Nov 23, 2021, 9:56 am (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkNov 23rd, 2021

Buying a House Feels Impossible These Days. Here Are 6 Innovative Paths to Homeownership

A dozen Grade-A eggs will run you about $0.40 more than they did a year ago, and you’ll have to fork over $0.66 more for a pound of ground beef. At the gas pump, a gallon of unleaded is now $1.23 higher than it was in 2020. But few year-over-year price increases compare to what’s… A dozen Grade-A eggs will run you about $0.40 more than they did a year ago, and you’ll have to fork over $0.66 more for a pound of ground beef. At the gas pump, a gallon of unleaded is now $1.23 higher than it was in 2020. But few year-over-year price increases compare to what’s happened to the American housing market. The sale price of a median home in the U.S. has ballooned by more than $67,000 in the past year, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis — surging from just under $338,000 to nearly $405,000. There’s lots of reasons for this. In the past year, a combination of low interest rates and COVID-19, which forced tens of millions of people to work from home, fueled demand for houses. Longtime renters began looking to buy a place with more space, while those who were already homeowners began looking for secondary vacation residences. (Mortgage applications for second homes spiked 84% between January of 2020 and 2021.) [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] That jump in demand was compounded by a nationwide slump in housing supply—the result of both nationwide labor shortages and disruptions in the supply chain of crucial building materials, like copper and lumber. These recent issues have been exacerbated by lags in new housing construction over the past twenty years, according to a June report from the National Association of Realtors. The end result is that millions of American families across the income spectrum are now effectively locked out of homeownership. The problem is particularly acute for young people and people of color. The homeownership rate among millennials, ages 25-34, is 8 percentage points lower than it was for both baby boomers and Gen Xers in the same age cohort. Black homeownership, meanwhile, remains at just 45%—30% lower than that of white families and nearly unchanged since 1968, when overt housing discrimination was outlawed. It’s more than just a housing dilemma. Since home ownership remains the best way for an average family to accrue wealth over a lifetime, it’s a prosperity issue, too. Homeowners in the U.S. have, on average, forty times more wealth than renters, according to a September 2020 report from the Federal Reserve. In light of this crisis in home ownership, here are six ways that communities and companies around the country are legislating and innovating to help Americans buy a house. 1. A narrow case study in reparations for Black families Like most cities in the U.S., Evanston, Illinois has a long history of racist housing laws. For decades, Black residents were segregated into poor neighborhoods where occupancy rates were estimated to be 150% and some units lacked crucial amenities, like heating. While hundreds of vacant homes were available in more desirable parts of town, landlords and real estate agents explicitly barred Black families from renting them, and banks blocked Black families from financing. “Owners and agents of vacant property plan to prevent the negroes from spreading from their own quarters,” a 1918 Evanston News-Index article read. Housing segregation fueled wealth inequality: Black families in Evanston earn $46,000 less than their white counterparts on average. Former Evanston Alderman Robin Rue Simmons sought to address that sordid history. While in office in 2019, she created the first-ever taxpayer-backed reparations fund in a U.S. city. It sets aside $10 million in revenue, raised by the city’s tax on recreational marijuana, over a 10-year period. The first $400,000 out of that reserve will go to victims of racial housing discrimination and their descendants, divided up into $25,000 grants which can be used this year for down-payments on new homes, mortgage payments or renovations on existing homes. That initial $400,000 will hardly solve the problem. There are more than 12,000 Black residents in Evanston and the initial outlay will provide just 16 households with funding. But, Simmons argues, “it’s better than zero”—and the program also sets a key precedent. In the years since Evanston stood up its reparations fund, several other locales, including Detroit, Michigan and Amherst, Massachusetts, have voted to explore or start similar programs. “If you think of any significant, transformative national or federal legislation, it started with localities and grassroots efforts organizing and pushing their local leaders,” Simmons says. “This is no exception.” 2. Community Land Trusts: Buying the home but not the land The most unique part of the two-story home in Winooski, Vermont that Sarah and husband Colin Robinson bought for $172,000 in 2008 wasn’t its quaint terrace garden or the funky bunk-room upstairs. It was the fact that the Robinsons didn’t own the land that it was built on. That’s because the house is part of what’s known as a community land trust (CLT)—a non-profit, community-controlled collection of properties. The first CLT in the U.S. was created in Albany Georgia in 1969. Now there are more than 220 nationwide, offering more than 12,000 homes total. While the particular rules of each CLT are a little different, the idea is the same: aspiring homeowners share the cost of purchasing a house with the CLT, which owns the land the home is built on. When the homeowner sells, he or she returns a share of the appreciation with the CLT. Champlain Housing Trust—the CLT that helped the Robinsons become homeowners—is the largest in the country, with 636 properties in the Burlington area. Under its rules, the purchase price of an average home is offset by about 30%, and upon selling, the homeowner keeps a quarter of the home’s appreciation price, plus the cost of any major renovations invested into the property. The average Champlain Housing Trust member keeps their home for 7.5 years and walks away $25,000 richer—money that they can then put toward purchasing more expensive homes on the regular market. A 2010 Urban Institute analysis of Champlain Housing Trust, founded in 1984, found that 68% of those who left CLT went on to purchase market-rate homes. The Robinsons are a model of how it’s supposed to work. When they sold their first, CLT home in 2014, they walked away with $40,000 in equity, which they rolled into the purchase of their second home on the regular market. “We were able to bring that money with us, and that was really what made it possible,” says Sarah. “It really changed the trajectory of our lives.” 3. Zoning overhaul: Ending de-facto redlining Nowhere in the country is the racial housing gap wider than in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where more than 70% of white families own, compared to just 20% of Black families, according to a 2021 Urban Institute report. One big reason for this disparity is an insufficient supply of affordable homes: the state is 40,000 housing units short of demand, according to a Minnesota Housing Finance Agency estimate. Restrictive zoning rules built on decades of discriminatory policies worsen this shortage. After the federal government outlawed explicit racial housing discrimination in the 1960s, local lawmakers scrambled to bolster different regulations—namely single-family zoning ordinances that would maintain the homogeneousness of their neighborhoods. Under those rules, construction companies were banned from building anything other than standalone homes—including more affordable row homes, condominiums, duplexes, triplexes—in most upscale neighborhoods, which had the effect of pricing Black and brown families out of the market. Lisa Bender, president of Minneapolis’ City Council, argues that changing those rules is “the very bare minimum first thing” that policymakers can do “to fix centuries of racial exclusion.” In 2018, she spearheaded a City Council effort to rescind regulations reserving 70% of the city’s residential land for single-family zoning—a move that could effectively triple the housing supply in some Minneapolis neighborhoods by prompting construction of new, more cost-efficient multi-family units. The rule change went into effect in 2020. Portland, Oregon and the entire state of California have since enacted policies that effectively end single-family zoning too. Most Popular from TIME 4. 3D printing: Construction meets environmentalism and efficiency Jason Ballard, who grew up in an oil-soaked East Texas town, was always interested in environmental sustainability. But it wasn’t until college that he realized the best way he could explore environmentalism was not by becoming a biologist, but by becoming a builder. “Buildings are the number one user of energy. Construction is the number one producer of waste,” he says, adding that construction is also one of the top users of water behind agriculture. In 2017, he cofounded ICON, a construction technologies company that builds affordable, structurally sound, environmentally resilient single-family homes using a 3D printing method that creates far less waste than traditional building processes. While the startup is just getting off the ground—its first four homes sold this year—its cost of construction appears to be 10-30% less than traditional builders, thanks largely to reductions in labor and supply needs. In October, ICON announced a project to use its technology to break ground on 100 homes in the Austin area in 2022, creating the largest community of 3D-printed homes to date. Ballard predicts costs will continue to decrease as ICON automates more components of the construction process. The method also has the potential to be unbelievably speedy. While constructing an average American home the normal way takes 7.7 months, according to a 2018 U.S. Census Bureau survey, a Boston-based 3D printing construction company, Apis Cor, says it can make a move-in ready three-bedroom, two-bath in less than a month. Illustration by Wenjia Tang for TIME 5. Modular housing: building houses like Henry Ford built cars There’s no way that Sara and Jon Comiskey, both in their mid-20s, would have been able to afford a house in the Buena Vista area of Colorado, where median home prices hover around $515,000, if it wasn’t for a start-up called Fading West. In 2016, Fading West began building homes that were constructed off-site, in a factory, streamlining the production in the same way that manufacturers build cars. Workers complete most components of a house—house siding, flooring, and walls—at scale, then attach them to a foundation on site. Final features, like garages and porches, are added once the home is at its final resting place, says Fading West founder Charlie Chupp. “You wouldn’t build a Camry in someone’s driveway,” he says. Why do it for a house? Chupp says his company’s lean production model reduces waste by eliminating weather-related damage to materials like is typical during outdoor construction, requires fewer skilled laborers, and significantly reduces the time required to make a home. “With 100 people on a traditional system, you might be able to build between 100 and 150 homes a year,” he says. “We think we can do between 600 and 700 homes a year.” There are downsides. The need to transport the house components from factory to foundation curtails how large the end-product can be, and the standardization of the process means homeowners must accept limited design options. Customers get two cabinet choices, three tile options, three window sizes, and one color carpet. “We offer a standard quartz countertop in any color you want,” Chupp jokes, “as long as it’s white.” But Chupp also offers something that many other real estate developers don’t: affordability. He estimates his off-site produced houses are at least 25% cheaper than comparable models in the area. In April 2021, the Comiskeys bought a 900-square-foot Fading West townhouse in Buena Vista for $240,000. 6. Divvy: A fresh take on rent-to-own Adena Hefets grew up listening to her parents’ stories of how difficult it was for them to purchase a home in the early 1980s. As an immigrant from Israel, her dad didn’t have an established credit score and so couldn’t get a mortgage. Eventually, her family was able to buy a seller-financed home—a rare home-buying mechanism where a seller allows a buyer to pay for a home in increments, rather than making mortgage payments to a bank. In 2017, Hefets started Divvy, a tech company, that offers prospective homebuyers a very similar model. Divvy purchases homes on the open-market and covers closing costs, taxes, insurance and repairs in exchange for the client paying monthly rent that is approximately 10-25% more than what they would pay for comparable rentals in the area. The differential goes toward equity in the home. The client can then buy back the home with the equity they accrued through paying the rent, or cash out the equity at the end of their lease. It’s not a universal solution. Divvy requires that buyers have moderate credit scores and clients must be able to pay above market-rate rents. But in the last five years, the company has entered partnerships with thousands of families, roughly 47% of whom end up purchasing their home back from Divvy. LaCresa Hooks, who works as an accountant, couldn’t find a traditional mortgage because she was working as a short-term contractor. In October 2020, she signed a lease with Divvy and less than a year later, she’d bought back her 3-bedroom, 2-bath Georgia home with bank financing thanks to the equity she accrued. Now, she looks forward to something most people loathe: Paying her mortgage. “I’m building something now,” she says. “With rent, you aren’t building anything. You’re just paying your landlord and that’s it for the next 30 days.”.....»»

Category: topSource: timeNov 22nd, 2021

Will Tomorrow"s Retail Sales Beat Or Miss: Here"s What The Latest Card Spending Data Shows

Will Tomorrow's Retail Sales Beat Or Miss: Here's What The Latest Card Spending Data Shows Until last month, BofA's track record of correctly predicting whether the month's retail sales print would beat or miss expectations, was flawless thanks largely to the bank's access to the data from tens of millions of debit and credit card issued directly by it and which give it a first-hand view of how much America spends at any given moment. However, like every streak, this one also eventually ended, and in this case it did so by forecasting a small miss in the September retail sales data... ... even though the final nominal print as reported by the government was a big beat, rising 0.7% sequentially (above the -0.2% consensus exp) with August data also revised higher, while core retail sales came especially hot at 0.8% (although some have speculated that the recent surge in inflation has forced outsized consumer spending as Americans rush to buy thing now instead of waiting for a few months or weeks to pay a higher price). In any case, ahead of Tuesday's retail sales data, we were curious if the September retail sales surge would be a one-time outlier, or if the year-end spending splurge would continue. Well, according to the latest data from BofA, spending as measured by Bank of America aggregated credit and debit cards surged 27% over a 2-year period for the 7-days ending Nov 6. This was mostly pushed up by the timing of the pay period at the start of the month but smoothing through, BofA's economists are continuing to see solid spending trends. Some more details: Retail sales ex-autos, based on aggregated BAC card data, increased 0.9% mom SA, in line with consensus. At the same time, total retail sales rose 1.3%, higher than Bloomberg consensus, even though ax-autos and gas, BofA sees a small miss compared to consensus, at 0.7% vs 1.1%. The bank observed strength across-the-board with a 1% mom SA gain in restaurant spending, 1.3% mom SA in department stores and 1.4% mom SA in general merchandise stores. Outside of the retail sales aggregate, spending was even stronger with a 16% mom SA pop in spending on airfare and 4.6% mom SA in lodging. Meanwhile, following up on a recent curious spending divergence, when as we noted in October "Poor Americans' Credit Card Usage Spikes As Their Savings Run Out", BofA dug deeper into debit vs credit card spending trends for the lowest vs. highest tier of income (< $50K vs. > $125K, respectively). Using the monthly SA data, the bank found that debit card spending is up 34% over a 2-year period for the lowest income cohort as of October. In contrast, debit card spending for the highest income cohort is up 16% over a 2-year period. For the lower income cohort, debit card has been running above credit card spending growth since the pandemic but - as noted last month - recently credit card has been catching up. The highest income group has seen a comparable growth rate in debit and credit card spending since the pandemic. According to BofA, this shows the influence of the accumulated savings from fiscal transfer payments to the lower income cohort which facilitated greater debit card spending, although as we also noted recently, the fact that it has now plateaued indicates that lower-income household will soon spend most if not all of their "excess savings." One final observation from BofA relates to the rapid normalization in spending on daycare, which increased sharply and is now only 10% below 2019 levels vs. in the summer when it was about 20% below. This is important data to monitor in regards to the reentry of working parents to the workforce. Tyler Durden Mon, 11/15/2021 - 19:20.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 15th, 2021

Why Did The IRS Send Coronavirus Stimulus Checks To Americans Abroad?

Coronavirus stimulus checks were primarily sent to financially support people struggling due to the pandemic and, in turn, to stimulate the economy. However, the IRS also issued billions of dollars in stimulus aid to Americans living abroad. Even though sending coronavirus stimulus checks to Americans abroad doesn’t exactly stimulate the U.S. economy, several lawmakers believe […] Coronavirus stimulus checks were primarily sent to financially support people struggling due to the pandemic and, in turn, to stimulate the economy. However, the IRS also issued billions of dollars in stimulus aid to Americans living abroad. Even though sending coronavirus stimulus checks to Americans abroad doesn’t exactly stimulate the U.S. economy, several lawmakers believe there is a valid reason for sending payments to Americans living abroad. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Henry Singleton Series in PDF Get the entire 4-part series on Henry Singleton in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Coronavirus Stimulus Checks To Americans Abroad The IRS has issued about $5.5 billion (more than 3.7 million payments) in stimulus payments to people living outside of the 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C, according to government data. This data includes the three stimulus checks sent since the start of the pandemic last year. Moreover, the data includes U.S. citizens abroad, military personnel stationed abroad, and residents of many major U.S. regions, such as Puerto Rico. According to government data, about 9 million U.S. citizens live overseas, and many of them would have qualified for the stimulus checks because of the eligibility requirements set by Congress. Still, it is estimated that the scope of the payments is relatively small, at less than 1% of the total payments issued by the IRS. Those against sending coronavirus stimulus checks to Americans abroad argue that it is not in line with the government’s objective because the aim is to stimulate the economy by increasing demand for goods and services in the country. Thus, sending coronavirus stimulus checks to Americans abroad doesn’t contribute to this objective. However, several lawmakers believe the primary objective of the stimulus checks was to support American households amid mass unemployment and financial hardship. Thus, if the objective of the stimulus checks is to help struggling American families, then it makes no difference if they live in the country or abroad. U.S. citizens living abroad have to file a U.S. tax return on their total income. Thus, by filing a tax return, Americans living abroad may qualify for the Economic Impact Payment (stimulus checks). Americans Abroad Got Child Tax Credit The Economic Impact Payments had a broader scope than most other federal stimulus payments. For instance, Americans living abroad didn’t qualify for the enhanced unemployment benefits even if they were working remotely for a U.S. company. Americans living abroad only qualified for the enhanced child tax credit if they (or their spouse) had their main home in the U.S. for over half the year. As a result, parents who don’t meet this criterion may have to refund the amount of the credit they received. According to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, about $94 million of the total $61 billion sent through the monthly child tax credit installments from July to October went overseas. 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Category: blogSource: valuewalkNov 12th, 2021

A basic-income pilot in Florida will give formerly incarcerated people $600 per month for a year, no strings attached

Formerly incarcerated people in Florida will receive $1,000 in January 2022, then $600 per month as part of a year-long basic-income pilot. People gather for COVID-19 vaccinations at the Bolivar County Correctional Facility in Cleveland, Mississippi, on April 28, 2021. Spencer Platt/Getty Images A basic-income pilot program in Florida will give monthly stipends to 115 formerly incarcerated people. Participants will receive $1,000 in January 2022, then $600 every month for a year. The program hopes to lift recipients out of poverty and prevent reincarceration. The letters are already in the mail: Hundreds of formally incarcerated people in Alachua County, Florida, will soon receive invitations to apply for a basic-income pilot. The program, run by the local nonprofit Community Spring, will offer monthly stipends to 115 Alachua County residents who were released from prison or jail with a felony conviction on or after June 1. People charged with felonies who began probation in Alachua County - whose largest city is Gainesville - on or after June 1 are also eligible.Participants will be chosen randomly among the applicants. From there, they will receive an initial $1,000 payment via direct deposit in January 2022. After that, they'll get $600 every month for a year. They can spend the money however they like.Critics of basic income argue that free stipends reduce the incentive for people to find jobs or may encourage them to make frivolous purchases. But the program's creators hope it will lift people out of poverty and prevent them from re-entering the prison system.The US has one of the highest recidivism rates in the world: Nearly 77% of people released from prison are rearrested within five years. Formerly incarcerated people are also 10 times more likely to be homeless than members of the general public. And they have a 27% unemployment rate - higher than the national unemployment rate during the Great Depression, according to data from the nonprofit Prison Policy Initiative. These same people are often required to pay probation fees, which can cost anywhere from $10 to $150 per month. Many are also charged for ankle monitors, court-ordered drug testing, and mandatory classes, such as anger management therapy. Failure to pay fees could result in additional arrests or reincarceration."We see people all the time get reincarcerated just for money," Kevin Scott, the pilot's project manager, told Insider. "That is straight up criminalizing poverty. The crime is you're too poor to be free." Raul Lopez, 47, wears an ankle monitor at home in Richmond, California, on September 24, 2019. Yalonda M. James/The San Francisco Chronicle/Getty Images Spending $7,600 on a formerly incarcerated person is cheaper than housing them in prison Alachua County's basic-income pilot is privately funded by two organizations: a social impact organization called Spring Point Partners, and mayors for a Guaranteed Income, a coalition of mayors that support basic income in their cities.Several members of Mayors for a Guaranteed Income have already unveiled their own basic-income pilots, mostly through private funding. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey donated $15 million to the coalition in 2020.The former mayor of Stockton, California, Michael Tubbs, launched one of the US's first guaranteed-income pilots in 2019. That program gave 125 residents $500 per month for two years. Researchers found it reduced unemployment, increased full-time employment, improved participants' emotional well-being, and decreased anxiety and depression. Other cities have followed Stockton's lead. Saint Paul, Minnesota, approved a basic-income pilot last year, in which 150 low-income families will get $500 a month for up to 18 months. And Oakland, California, just closed its applications for a basic-income pilot, which gives $500 monthly payments to 600 low-income families for 18 months. Davion Hampton, who was formerly incarcerated in Florida, sits by Lake Monroe, on the outskirts of Orlando, on September 30, 2020. Gianrigo Marletta/AFP/Getty Images Scott said the Alachua County pilot opted for fewer participants and larger individual stipends to account for the unique financial barriers that formerly incarcerated people face. The total cost per person - $7,600 for one year - is much lower than the annual price states pay, between $15,000 and $70,000 per year to house one person in state prison.Researchers are tracking whether the pilot reduces recidivism The Alachua County pilot was designed by people directly impacted by the justice system - including Scott himself, whose own incarceration ended almost six years ago."I'm a white guy, so very much born on third base," he said. "[I] had advantages and had people that cared about me and supported me and tried to give me material support - as much as they could, anyway - and I barely made it."Incarcerated Black Americans make up 1,240 out of every 100,000 US residents, on average - nearly five times the incarceration rate for white Americans. In Alachua County, that rate is even higher: incarcerated Black people make up 1,430 of every 100,000 local residents ages 15 to 64.After prison, Scott said, he found it difficult to support himself. He said monthly stipends would have helped cover his probation fees or buy pants, a bicycle, or a bus pass."There's this hovering axe of 'I gotta make these probation payments or they're going to reincarcerate me,'" Scott said, adding, "if somebody could have spared me just that piece of my re-entry struggle, that would have opened up my whole world."Scott said he'll consider the basic-income pilot a success if it prevents even one person from being reincarcerated due to poverty. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and Suffolk University will examine whether the program lowers recidivism and improves housing security and well-being.Ideally, Scott said, the payments will be "meaningful enough that somebody could further their lives - not just scratch by, but hopefully be able to invest in themselves."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 12th, 2021

Coronavirus Stimulus Checks for Parents of Newborns: Yes, You Can Still Clam It

Chances of another stimulus check from the federal government are very slim. There is, however, one group that might be entitled to more money, and it is the parents of newborns. This coronavirus stimulus check for parents of newborns won’t come this year, rather, eligible parents would get it next year. Q3 2021 hedge fund […] Chances of another stimulus check from the federal government are very slim. There is, however, one group that might be entitled to more money, and it is the parents of newborns. This coronavirus stimulus check for parents of newborns won’t come this year, rather, eligible parents would get it next year. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Henry Singleton Series in PDF Get the entire 4-part series on Henry Singleton in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Coronavirus Stimulus Checks For Parents Of Newborns: What Is It? In March, Congress approved the American Rescue Plan, which offered $1,400 to adults making less than $75,000 (couples earning less than $150,000). Also, the stimulus package promised $1,400 stimulus checks for dependents. Since these payments were a type of advance credit for the year 2021, parents who had a baby in 2021 would be eligible for the $1,400 dependent payment as well. However, they can only claim the payment after filing their 2021 tax return next year. So, once you file your tax return next year (and inform the IRS about the new child), the agency will automatically send you the coronavirus stimulus checks for parents of newborns, if you are eligible. Thus, even for parents who don’t usually file taxes, it is important to file taxes in order to claim the $1,400 payment. If the IRS has your bank account details, you will get the coronavirus stimulus checks for parents of newborns through direct deposit. Otherwise, you will get the payment through a check in the mail. You Can Also Claim Child Tax Credit A point to note is that the coronavirus stimulus checks for parents of newborns will be in addition to the expanded child tax credit program. So, if you haven’t yet informed the IRS about the new child, then by filing your tax return next year, you could also get the expanded child tax credit. Along with offering $1,400 stimulus checks, the American Rescue Plan expanded the child tax credit as well. The child tax credit amount was increased from $2,000 to $3,600 for kids below 6 years and to $3,000 for kids between 6 and 17 years. Also, the American Rescue Plan changed the way how families get the child tax credit. Under the new program, the eligible families get half of the credit amount in six monthly installments, from July through December. Families will get the other half after they file their tax return next year. So, parents of newborns who haven’t informed the IRS about the child, will likely get the full credit amount when they file taxes next year. For more information on the stimulus payments, you can visit this link. This expanded child tax credit program is for a year only, but talks are ongoing to make it permanent. President Joe Biden also supports making the expanded CTC payment permanent.  Meanwhile, a budget resolution proposes to extend the current child tax credit program through the 2022 tax year. 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Category: blogSource: valuewalkNov 5th, 2021

Top Democrat unloads on Lindsey Graham"s argument that the Biden child tax credit will boost illegal immigration to the US: "I just have never heard such a stupid thing"

Republicans, including McConnell, are stepping up their attacks on a benefit that Democrats are touting as an anti-poverty measure. Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images A top Senate Dem slammed Lindsay Graham's argument that the Biden child tax credit will boost illegal immigration to the US. "I just have never heard such a stupid thing," Sen. Sherrod Brown told Insider. Republicans are stepping up their attacks on a benefit that Democrats are touting as an anti-poverty measure. Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, chair of the Senate Banking Committee, unloaded on Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina for arguing the enhanced child tax credit would boost illegal immigration to the US.It comes after Graham held a press conference assailing the $1.75 trillion Democratic social spending bill, which includes an expansion of childcare, healthcare, a one-year enhanced child tax credit expansion and more. "Expanding the child tax credit in this fashion is going to incentivize more illegal immigration," Graham said at a press conference on Thursday. "Word will spread if you can get to America and get a tax ID number, your children will get a tax credit from the government. This is the wrong policy at the wrong time."Brown adamantly disagreed with Graham's characterization of the expansion. "It's a new argument just so that they could give tax cuts to the rich and squeeze working families," Brown told Insider. "I just have never heard such a stupid thing."Most families are eligible for up to $300 monthly advance payments per kid depending on their age. It totals $3,000 per year for kids between 6 and 17 and $3,600 for children age 5 and under.The latest House Democratic bill scrapped the requirement for a Social Security number, meaning unauthorized immigrant children could qualify for federal assistance with only an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). The left-leaning Center on Budget Policy Priorities projected up to 675,000 children were eligible.Republicans are stepping up their attacks on the child tax credit in recent weeks after being muted on the issue. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell derided it as a "monthly welfare deposit" late last month. Now Graham is opening a new line of criticism against the new social benefit as the GOP tries to counter-program against Democrats touting it as an anti-poverty measure.The South Carolina Republican later told Insider he would oppose extending the credit once it comes up for a vote next year.Yet not every Senate Republican may share that position. Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska declined to answer when asked by Insider if she would support extending the child benefit next year.Early research indicates the first month of payments in July kept 3 million children out of poverty and helped feed 2 million kids. A recent analysis from researchers at the Center on Poverty and Social Policy at Columbia University, Barnard College, and Bocconi University found "very small" impacts from the payments on overall employment, suggesting that the credit isn't keeping parents from going back to work.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 4th, 2021

Student-loan borrowers who default could have their child tax credit payments seized - something that"s "entirely preventable" if Biden cancels student debt now, 105 organizations say

Public Citizen led a letter to Biden stressing the urgency to cancel student debt before the pandemic pause on student-loan payments ends in 2022. A sign is displayed in front of The White House on June 15, 2021 in Washington, DC. Paul Morigi/Getty Images Public Citizen led over 100 organizations in calling on Biden to cancel student debt or extend the payment pause. They wrote that debt cancellation would protect defaulted borrowers from losing their child tax credit payments. Defaulting on debt hurts borrowers' credit scores and can lead to wage garnishment, as well. Falling behind on student-loan payments not only impacts borrowers' credit scores - it can prevent them from receiving critical benefits, like the child tax credit Biden starting sending out in July as monthly checks to families.Over 100 organizations said the 9 million defaulted borrowers cannot afford to lose additional benefits, and the best way to prevent that is student-debt cancellation.Public Citizen, a progressive nonprofit, led 104 organizations last week in sending a letter to President Joe Biden urging student-debt cancellation before payments resume in February - and if he doesn't cancel student debt, they are pushing for an extension of the payment pause. The letter highlighted a number of benefits student debt cancellation would bring to borrowers, the economy, and racial justice, with one of those reasons being protecting borrowers with children who rely on the child tax credit (CTC)."The nearly nine million borrowers who are in default on federal student loans, most of whom are low-income and many of whom have young children, will be subject to having their entire tax refunds including CTC" seized by the Treasury, the organizations wrote."For those student loan borrowers-and, most importantly, for their children-this entirely preventable outcome will unwind one of this administration's signature achievements," they added. "The time to act is now."Biden unveiled a scaled-down $1.75 trillion social-spending framework last week that included a one-year extension of the child tax credit: a benefit of $3,600 per child age 5 and under, or $3,000 per kid between 6 and 17. As Insider reported, many parents are relying on those payments to cover basic expenses, like food and education, helping 61 million kids across the country.But those payments are at risk for parents who are behind on their student-loan payments. Defaulting on debt can cause wages to be garnished and payments like the CTC to be seized until the borrower gets caught up, hurting not only borrowers, but their families, too.Insider previously spoke to David Wise, a 59-year-old borrower with $236,485 in outstanding student loans. A low salary caused him to fall behind on his monthly payments, leading his employer to garnish his wages, pushing him into default."I feel like I've actually been responsible, and I've paid a considerable amount of money on my student loans," Wise said. "But it really is a debtor's prison."Along with the advocacy groups, lawmakers also want to protect borrowers in default. In July, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Ayanna Pressley led a group of Democrats in writing a letter to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona with concerns of "plunging" borrowers back into repayment without a plan to protect their credit scores and financial stability.The Education Department is reportedly preparing a "safety net" for when payments resume in February, including a potential "fresh start" plan to automatically erase debt for 7 million defaulted borrowers, but as Politico reported, those plans are not finalized yet and the department has yet to comment on them. While Biden has canceled student debt for targeted groups of borrowers, pressure is building for him to cancel student debt broadly. Newly released documents revealed that a memo assessing Biden's authority for broad student debt cancellation has existed since April - his administration just won't reveal what the memo says."Canceling student debt would ensure we are not punishing those who ultimately could not finish their education with years of default, bad credit, and personal stigma," the organizations wrote. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 1st, 2021