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GDP Report: Sequestration Continues To Drag On Economic Growth

The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 1.7 percent from April to June, above the consensus expectations of economists, government analysts reported Wednesday. Reuters’ survey of economists had predicted quarterly growth of 1 percent, with some warning the growth rate might have been as low as 0.4 percent. The preliminary number released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) is subject to … [Read more...]

Three Reasons High Food Stamp Enrollment Is Due To The Economy, Not Fraud

Critics have charged that the fact that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) continues to see high enrollment even as the unemployment rate gradually improves is evidence of fraud. But a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities marshals evidence that the continuing demand for food stamps is thanks to the sluggish economy. The report points to three main reasons … [Read more...]

Poverty Among College Students Increases The Overall Rate

Marina Fang is an intern for ThinkProgress. Source: Shutterstock Poverty rates in many areas of the country decline significantly when they exclude off-campus college students living on their own, a new Census Bureau working paper finds. The Census Bureau calculated that 15.2 percent of the population officially lives in poverty. But for college students living off-campus and not living with … [Read more...]

Big Banks Targeted For Rigging Electricity Markets

U.S. energy regulators announced a $410 million fine against JP Morgan Chase for rigging electricity markets on Tuesday. It is the second such penalty the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has levied in two weeks. Barclay’s is fighting that previous FERC penalty, but JP Morgan has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $285 million and return $125 million in wrongful profits without either … [Read more...]

30 Percent Of Women Struggle To Afford Diapers For Their Children

CREDIT: Shutterstock Close to 30 percent of women surveyed in a new study reported diaper need, or having experienced a time when they couldn’t afford diapers for their children. The peer reviewed study, published in the journal Pediatrics, found that when faced with this situation, 8 percent of women had to stretch their diapers when the supply was running short. The inability to change a … [Read more...]

President Obama To Call For Corporate Tax Reform To Finance Jobs Spending

(Credit: Politico) In a speech Tuesday pressing for Congress to invest in jobs programs that target the middle class, President Obama will propose changes to the corporate tax code to fund those investments. The proposal will also feature some form of a fee on offshored corporate cash, Bloomberg reports. Details of Tuesday’s speech aren’t yet clear, but the reforms Obama has proposed in the … [Read more...]

Gas Tank Plant Explodes In Florida, Leaving Four Workers In Critical Condition

Propane tank plant explosion in Tavares, FL CREDIT: AP A Blue Rhino plant in Tavares, FL that cleans out old propane cylinders and fills them with new gas exploded on Monday night, injuring eight and leaving four in critical condition. So far no fatalities are being reported. All of the injured are employees. Between 24 and 26 workers were in the main building at the time of the first explosion. … [Read more...]

Top Michigan Republican Backs Detroit’s Retirees

Attorney General Bill Schuette (R-MI) CREDIT: Photo: AP Michigan’s Republican Attorney General said over the weekend that he will defend retiree interests in bankruptcy court, calling the state constitution “crystal clear” on pension protections. The announcement came days after his office successfully argued the opposing side of a legal dispute around the same state constitutional … [Read more...]

Woman Awarded $18.6 Million After Credit Reporting Agency Failed To Fix Mistakes

CREDIT: Shutterstock A federal court awarded a woman in Oregon $18.6 million after she spent two years trying to get a credit reporting company to fix major mistakes on her credit report to no avail. It is one of the largest awarded to a consumer bringing a case against a major credit bureau. The judgement is likely to be appealed. Julie Miller contacted Equifax eight times between 2009 and 2011 … [Read more...]

Fewer And Fewer Young Adults Can Find Full-Time Jobs

Kirsten Gibson is an intern for ThinkProgress. Young Americans continue to suffer through the slowed economy. A new poll released by Gallup shows that only 43.6 percent of workers aged 18 to 29 had a full-time job in June. That number was 47 percent during the same time last year. Although college graduates are twice as likely to hold a full-time position than those without a college degree, the … [Read more...]

Bank Profits Have Bounced Back From Post-Recession Lows

The financial industry is on the verge of becoming the largest sector in the S&P 500 Index, the latest indicator that the banking and trading business has recovered quickly and fully from the economic collapse it caused in 2008. Bloomberg reports that financial companies now comprise 16.8 percent of the index, nearly twice the industry’s post-crisis share of the list. That means the industry has … [Read more...]

Why Janet Yellen Is A Qualified Choice For Fed Chair Beyond Her Gender

Federal Reserve Vice Chair Janet Yellen With the announcement that current Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will not stay in his post after his term finishes up, a heated debate has bubbled up over whether President Obama should pick Janet Yellen or Larry Summers to replace him. One attribute Yellen brings that Summers doesn’t, of course, is diversity, as she would be the first woman to head … [Read more...]

Hawaii To Offer Its Homeless Residents One-Way Flights Off The Islands

If you’re a state with the highest rate of homelessness in the country, you’ve got a number of options. You could build more shelters. You could enact new tax credits for the working poor. Maybe provide more counseling and other services. Or you could take the route lawmakers in Hawaii did: offer homeless residents a one-way ticket out of the state. State legislators passed funding … [Read more...]

Low-Wage Worker Strikes Hit New Cities, Bringing The Total To 9

Fast food workers strike in New York in May (Credit: Salon) New strikes in the fast food and retail industries are hitting Kansas City and Flint, MI on Monday, joining their counterparts in a half-dozen other cities in walking off the job over unlivable wages. The industry that has seen the majority of U.S. job growth since the recession is under increasing pressure to raise pay and allow its … [Read more...]

Four Out Of Five Americans Will Struggle Economically In Their Lifetimes

Credit: AP Eighty percent of Americans will struggle with joblessness, live on the edge of poverty, or rely on public programs for at least part of their lives, according to an analysis of survey data from the Associated Press. The report defines “economic insecurity” as a year or more of periodic unemployment, relying on government assistance such as food stamps, or making an income … [Read more...]

Treasury Secretary Says There Will Be No Bailout For Detroit

On CNN’s State of the Union show on Sunday, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew was firm in saying that there will be no federal bailout for the city of Detroit, which is going through the largest city bankruptcy in America’s history. While claiming that the administration “stand[s] by Detroit,” Lew said, “I think the issues Detroit has in terms of problems with its creditors … [Read more...]

Sequestration Delays The Implementation Of Important Regulations

Howard Shelanski (Credit: Government Executive)President Obama’s regulatory chief warned that sequestration and furloughs are delaying his agency’s ability to review proposed regulations. Howard Shelanski told a House committee on Wednesday that sequestration is “having a negative effect, constraining us from having as much personnel” as the Office of Information and … [Read more...]