Daily Digest

Daily Digest 4/18 - IRS Sinks Under Workload, IMF Tells U.S. To Sort Out Debt Quickly, 21% Of NYer's Living In Poverty

Wednesday, April 18, 2012, 10:46 AM
  • Spain threatens 'decisive' action as Argentina moves to nationalize oil firm
  • BOE Can Loosen Policy Amid Weak U.K. Growth Outlook, IMF Says
  • German public debt rises to record 2.09 trillion euros
  • Russia and China boost arms spending, US cuts back
  • One million jobs for young people lost since 2007 as Labour is accused of hiding scale of unemployment on its watch
  • Budget-battered IRS sinks under workload
  • Bank of Spain Questions Budget Forecasts, Calls for Prudence
  • Harrisburg School District faces $15.8 million budget shortfall, could cut kindergarten, art and music programs next
  • IMF says Italy to miss deficit targets in 2012, 2013
  • Georgia college tuition to increase this fall
  • IMF tells US to sort out debt, quickly
  • Staggering rise of the British food bank: One opens every week after rise in families unable to afford to eat
  • Rochelle Riley: Detroit's budget too tight to run November election?
  • Study: 21 percent of New Yorkers are living in poverty
  • ‘Explosion in Student Debt’ Drags Down Housing: Chart of the Day
  • Shortage of gas may hit power producers
  • IMF lowers India's growth projection to 6.9%

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Economy

Spain threatens 'decisive' action as Argentina moves to nationalize oil firm

"With this attitude, this hostility from the Argentine authorities, there will be consequences that we'll see over the next few days. They will be in the diplomatic field, the industrial field, and on energy," Spanish industry minister Jose Manuel Soria said, according to Reuters. He added that the government would take "clear and decisive" measures, according to Bloomberg.

BOE Can Loosen Policy Amid Weak U.K. Growth Outlook, IMF Says

British economic growth “will be weak in early 2012, before recovering,” the Washington-based IMF said in its World Economic Outlook today. “With inflation expected to fall below the 2 percent target amid weaker growth and commodity prices, the Bank of England can further ease its monetary policy stance.”

German public debt rises to record 2.09 trillion euros

The public debt of Germany, which has campaigned for more austerity in the eurozone, grew last year to a record 2.09 trillion euros, a rise of 32 billion euros, according to figures Tuesday from the Bundesbank.

But the ratio of debt to gross domestic product (GDP) at the end of the year declined to 81.2 per cent, the central bank said. The drop by 1.8 percentage points was because of a sharp rise in nominal GDP that outweighed the slight rise in debt. That debt ratio is still well above the permitted level of 60 per cent permitted by European Union stability rules.

Russia and China boost arms spending, US cuts back

The US remains by far the biggest military spender, with a defense budget of US$711 billion last year, followed by China, which spent an estimated US$143 billion on its armed forces last year. China has increased its military spending by 170 percent in real terms since 2002, the leading research body says.

One million jobs for young people lost since 2007 as Labour is accused of hiding scale of unemployment on its watch (UK)

Almost a million jobs have been lost since 2007 in sectors which traditionally appeal to young people, a new study has revealed. Jobs which account for over half of youth employment - including manufacturing, retail, hotels and restaurants - have suffered the biggest losses over the past five years.

Budget-battered IRS sinks under workload

In 1995, the IRS had a staff of 114,018 to process 205 million tax returns. In 2010, it had 90,907 people to process nearly 236 million tax returns. For this tax filing season, the IRS has 5,000 fewer employees than it did a year ago.

"This is the lowest staffing level I've ever seen, and I've been with the IRS 26 years," says David Carrone, president of the Louisiana chapter of the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU). The New Orleans Taxpayer Assistance Center has six employees, down from 12 eight years ago, Carrone says. Sometimes, it doesn't even have that many

Bank of Spain Questions Budget Forecasts, Calls for Prudence

Spain's central bank chief said the country risks missing deficit estimates unveiled last month just hours after a successful bill sale dissipated some concerns that the government may have to seek a bailout.

"The projected course of total revenues in the budget is subject to downside risks," Bank of Spain Governor Miguel Angel Fernandez Ordonez told a parliamentary committee today in Madrid.

Harrisburg School District faces $15.8 million budget shortfall, could cut kindergarten, art and music programs next

Administrators have spoken with state Education Secretary Ron Tomalis about the district fiscal crisis, but the state has told the district it is broke and has no money to help, Jeff Bader, the district’s business manager, said during the Editorial Board meeting.

IMF says Italy to miss deficit targets in 2012, 2013

Italy will miss its budget deficit targets in 2012 and 2013 and its public debt will rise in both years despite the government's austerity measures, the International Monetary Fund forecast on Tuesday.

The IMF said in its Fiscal Monitor report that Italy's deficit would fall this year to 2.4 percent of output, well above Rome's 1.6 percent target, and would decline to 1.5 percent in 2013, when Italy is aiming to balance its budget. The forecasts are a blow to Prime Minister Mario Monti, whose popularity is sliding and whose reform efforts are meeting rising criticism and resistance as the country's borrowing costs rise.

Georgia college tuition to increase this fall

Undergraduate tuition rise 2.5 percent at all schools, except for those attending three research institutions who’ll see a bigger jump. At Georgia State University, the increase will be 3.5 percent, at the University of Georgia, 5 percent and at Georgia Tech 6 percent.

IMF tells US to sort out debt, quickly

The International Monetary Fund issued a clarion call to bickering US politicians Tuesday, urging them to solve the country's debt problems before a still-vulnerable economy is tipped over the brink.

In a hallmark semi-annual report, the Washington-based fund warned policymakers on the other side of the US capital that, while the world's largest economy is improving, they invite trouble by not addressing a looming debt crisis. "The first priority for US authorities is to agree on and commit to a credible fiscal policy agenda that places debt on a sustainable track over the medium term," the IMF said.

Staggering rise of the British food bank: One opens every week after rise in families unable to afford to eat

Shocking figures have revealed that every week a new food bank opens in Britain as more people find themselves struggling to make ends meet.

And the number of people needing emergency aid is expected to rise with many food banks operators worried that the full impact of the recent budget will not kick in until 2013. There are now over 190 food banks nationwide, 88 of which were launched in 2011 alone.

Rochelle Riley: Detroit's budget too tight to run November election?

Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey says it is not possible to conduct a presidential election for city residents with the money Mayor Dave Bing has proposed in his new budget. Bing wants to cut overall spending by 25% in the city Department of Elections and slice the budget for the presidential election in half.

Study: 21 percent of New Yorkers are living in poverty

The number of New Yorkers classified as poor in 2010 increased by nearly 100,000 from the year before, raising the poverty rate by 1.3 percentage points to 21 percent — the highest level and the largest year-to-year increase since the city adopted a more detailed definition of poverty in 2005. The recession and the sluggish recovery have taken a particularly harsh toll on children, with more than one in four under 18 living in poverty, according to an analysis by the city’s Center for Economic Opportunity that will be released on Tuesday.

‘Explosion in Student Debt’ Drags Down Housing: Chart of the Day

The CHART OF THE DAY shows tuition expense has risen about three times as fast as wages since 2001 before accounting for inflation, according to data from the Labor Department. The chart uses average weekly earnings to gauge workers’ pay.

Tuition climbed 57 percent on an inflation-adjusted basis during the period, Lapointe and two colleagues wrote yesterday in a report. At the same time, the average wage for American workers between the ages of 25 and 34 dropped 7 percent.

Shortage of gas may hit power producers (Australia)

ELECTRICITY generators have revealed they are having trouble finding long-term gas supplies at any price, adding to doubts about the government's ambitions to use gas as a "transitional fuel" to a low-carbon economy.

IMF lowers India's growth projection to 6.9%

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has marginally lowered India's economic growth forecast to 6.9 per cent in 2012, from 7 per cent projected earlier, on weak global and domestic demand.

In its World Economic Outlook (WEO), released ahead of the IMF-World Bank Spring Meetings here, the IMF said that world economic growth rate would slump to 3.5 per cent from 3.9 per cent in 2011.

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13 Comments

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
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saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
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More U.S. cities set to enter default danger zone

More U.S. cities set to enter default danger zone

Bill Hicks's picture
Bill Hicks
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 3 2011
Posts: 34
Another U.S. Government Sellout: Fracking For Export

billhicksisdead.blogspot.com/2012/04/another-us-government-sellout-fracking.html

So all of the risks that the American public is being asked to run by allowing fracking to continue are not even being borne to benefit them, and what's more, their own elected government is the one selling them down the river. Too bad so many of them are hooked on American Idol, Dancing with the Stars and the NFL and will never notice until the day a fracking-generated earthquake drops the roof right down on their...thick skulls.

maxnigh's picture
maxnigh
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Posts: 5
Goverement spending and taxing for its special benefit projects

 

Will some one ask the question" Why can't the governement get is money somewhere else than from Stiudent Loans>?" School should be free , thru college, as it is in many countries. The govenement could get its money from "toll roads, etc"

It knows the public would not stand  for it.  Why should we stand for the young people getting ripped off?

rhare's picture
rhare
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Posts: 1264
Nothing is free...

maxnigh wrote:

School should be free , thru college, as it is in many countries.

School is never free.  It's alway's paid for by someone.  From a Libertarian standpoint, it should be paid for by those who benefit otherwise you end up with out of control spending.  Who best to decide if the cost is appropriate other than the student?  Who is in a position to keep costs affordable to insure that the benefit matches the cost?  Just like health care or any other service, if you disconnect the beneficiary of the service from those that have to pay for it you get spiraling out of control costs. 

Want cheaper education, get government out of the equation.  Let colleges charge what can be paid for by students.  Colleges that do well by their students will do well financially by attracting student tuition, those that don't provide a benefit that is comparable to the tuition will fail.  As far as what is done in other countries - particularly Europe, we are now seeing the failure of all those social programs (health care, education, ...) fall apart as they run out of money, just as is occurring here.  While it sounds noble to want to give free education, health care, ...  it always ends badly when the costs become overwhelming.

Skyrocketing college costs

Why the government is to blame for high college costs

Peter Schiff how government programs drive up college tuition

Peter Schiff exposes college scam

Poet's picture
Poet
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Posts: 1836
Free College Tuition? Sign Me Up!

Sounds like a great idea Maxnigh! I sure could use some time off from work to pursue higher education. Especially if the government will pay for it. I suspect a lot of people would like that. I'm sure the government will help take care of my wife and kids while I go to school. I might even want a couple of advanced degrees, too.

Are you aware that, in those countries where college is free, only a limited number of students get to go - often life-tracked from the beginning of secondary education, or limited through entrance examinations? All the other high school students are tracked into trades or business - some only have compulsory (state-provided) education until 9th grade.

Poet

maxnigh wrote:

Will some one ask the question" Why can't the governement get is money somewhere else than from Stiudent Loans>?" School should be free , thru college, as it is in many countries. The govenement could get its money from "toll roads, etc"

It knows the public would not stand  for it.  Why should we stand for the young people getting ripped off?

Doug's picture
Doug
Status: Diamond Member (Online)
Joined: Oct 1 2008
Posts: 2718
GI Bill

Poet wrote:

Sounds like a great idea Maxnigh! I sure could use some time off from work to pursue higher education. Especially if the government will pay for it. I suspect a lot of people would like that. I'm sure the government will help take care of my wife and kids while I go to school. I might even want a couple of advanced degrees, too.

Are you aware that, in those countries where college is free, only a limited number of students get to go - often life-tracked from the beginning of secondary education, or limited through entrance examinations? All the other high school students are tracked into trades or business - some only have compulsory (state-provided) education until 9th grade.

Poet

maxnigh wrote:

Will some one ask the question" Why can't the governement get is money somewhere else than from Stiudent Loans>?" School should be free , thru college, as it is in many countries. The govenement could get its money from "toll roads, etc"

It knows the public would not stand  for it.  Why should we stand for the young people getting ripped off?

I went to college on the old GI Bill, not the new one.  It basically paid me a monthly income from which I was able to pay for college and living expenses, with a job on the side, without borrowing.  I understand the current GI Bill is somewhat different, but the idea is still there.  You want something from the gov't?  Give up a few years of your time to gov't service, military or otherwise.  Think of it as delayed income.

Doug

ao's picture
ao
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 4 2009
Posts: 2220
maxnigh wrote:   Will some

maxnigh wrote:

 

Will some one ask the question" Why can't the governement get is money somewhere else than from Stiudent Loans>?" School should be free , thru college, as it is in many countries. The govenement could get its money from "toll roads, etc"

It knows the public would not stand  for it.  Why should we stand for the young people getting ripped off?

Before the public begins paying for free college, they'd probably like the prospective college students to have mastered basic grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc. such that they'd qualify for college entrance and derive actual benefit from the education.

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
Another AUS. Government Sellout: Fracking For Export

Bill Hicks wrote:

billhicksisdead.blogspot.com/2012/04/another-us-government-sellout-fracking.html

So all of the risks that the American public is being asked to run by allowing fracking to continue are not even being borne to benefit them, and what's more, their own elected government is the one selling them down the river. Too bad so many of them are hooked on American Idol, Dancing with the Stars and the NFL and will never notice until the day a fracking-generated earthquake drops the roof right down on their...thick skulls.

Wow......  same thing's happening here in Australia, all the SG oil mined from Coal Seams goes straight to China.....

wags999's picture
wags999
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 16 2009
Posts: 24
Deutsche Bank: Worst of Global Crisis Yet to Come as Rescue Cash

http://www.moneynews.com/Headline/Deutsche-Bank-Worst-Crisis/2012/04/18/...

Poet's picture
Poet
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 21 2009
Posts: 1836
Sarcasm

I was being sarcastic, Doug.

Poet

Doug wrote:

Poet wrote:

Sounds like a great idea Maxnigh! I sure could use some time off from work to pursue higher education. Especially if the government will pay for it. I suspect a lot of people would like that. I'm sure the government will help take care of my wife and kids while I go to school. I might even want a couple of advanced degrees, too.

Are you aware that, in those countries where college is free, only a limited number of students get to go - often life-tracked from the beginning of secondary education, or limited through entrance examinations? All the other high school students are tracked into trades or business - some only have compulsory (state-provided) education until 9th grade.

Poet

maxnigh wrote:

Will some one ask the question" Why can't the governement get is money somewhere else than from Stiudent Loans>?" School should be free , thru college, as it is in many countries. The govenement could get its money from "toll roads, etc"

It knows the public would not stand  for it.  Why should we stand for the young people getting ripped off?

I went to college on the old GI Bill, not the new one.  It basically paid me a monthly income from which I was able to pay for college and living expenses, with a job on the side, without borrowing.  I understand the current GI Bill is somewhat different, but the idea is still there.  You want something from the gov't?  Give up a few years of your time to gov't service, military or otherwise.  Think of it as delayed income.

Doug

Hrunner's picture
Hrunner
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 28 2010
Posts: 208
College Education needs Major Reforms

I have to agree with rhare and others that government involvement in our colleges has destroyed the cost/ value proposition.  Like retirement (social security), healthcare (medicare/ medicaid).  As usual, the government reverse Midas touch is in effect, turning into mush virtually everything it tries to central plan.  Military is also too expensive but at least it works, mostly because of the people serving and the ingenuity and hard work of people in businesses developing military support systems and hardware.

Government involvement in Pell Grants etc. has "mispriced" (as Chris likes to say) education.  Students have borrowed now over a trillion dollars for something of uncertain value.

College education in America is due for a radical reformation by becoming more like a business and focusing on delivering the best, most appropriate 'education as product' which meets current economic demands (I mean the job market) for the lowest cost.

What colleges are, which may shock some folks, are giant 1%-type corporations (ironic isn't it considering the OWS crowd) that extract money from a) highly over-inflating undergraduate fees, b)  from federal student Pell loans (banks of course skim a profit off of this in the process) and c) federal grants programs (that is your and mine tax dollars). 

To support massive research programs, giant building and real estate development campaigns and overblown athletic entertainment industries. 

I fully support and have personally benefited from a liberal arts education that is broad-based with regards to humanities and arts.  This should include basic foundational education which is more technical i.e. math, physics, chemistry, accounting, biology et al.   Give great pay to great teachers who can both lecture and create great content for web-based learning.  Find the people who have this as their passion, not some bored too busy to be bothered 'star' research professor.  This can be done much, much, much more cost-efficiently if that is your mission and focus.  Clearly for the American university it is not.

Let researchers focus on research and garner independent funding separate from undergrads fees.  Either by targeted federal grants (we discussed a manhatten project for the Top 5 alternative energy problems on the Khosla thread) or consortia funded by private American industry, or from private philanthropic grants.

Doug's picture
Doug
Status: Diamond Member (Online)
Joined: Oct 1 2008
Posts: 2718
Poet wrote: I was being

Poet wrote:

I was being sarcastic, Doug.

Poet

Doug wrote:

Poet wrote:

Sounds like a great idea Maxnigh! I sure could use some time off from work to pursue higher education. Especially if the government will pay for it. I suspect a lot of people would like that. I'm sure the government will help take care of my wife and kids while I go to school. I might even want a couple of advanced degrees, too.

Are you aware that, in those countries where college is free, only a limited number of students get to go - often life-tracked from the beginning of secondary education, or limited through entrance examinations? All the other high school students are tracked into trades or business - some only have compulsory (state-provided) education until 9th grade.

Poet

maxnigh wrote:

Will some one ask the question" Why can't the governement get is money somewhere else than from Stiudent Loans>?" School should be free , thru college, as it is in many countries. The govenement could get its money from "toll roads, etc"

It knows the public would not stand  for it.  Why should we stand for the young people getting ripped off?

I went to college on the old GI Bill, not the new one.  It basically paid me a monthly income from which I was able to pay for college and living expenses, with a job on the side, without borrowing.  I understand the current GI Bill is somewhat different, but the idea is still there.  You want something from the gov't?  Give up a few years of your time to gov't service, military or otherwise.  Think of it as delayed income.

Doug

I know, I was responding to maxnigh.

Doug

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