Daily Digest - July 28
- Already Retired Workers May Receive Reduced Pensions
- U.S. Cities, Counties are Poised to Cut 500,000 Jobs
- Debt Commission: Dealing With Federal Debt Likely To Require Tax Hikes, Spending Cuts
- City Manager To Reveal Her Plan In August To Cut $130 Million From Budget
- Illinois Has Nation's Largest Budget Deficit
- Local School Boards Tackle Difficult Budget Deficits
- Bleak Forecast For Schools Budget
- Linden Mayor Trying To Avoid $344 Average Tax Increase
- Omahans Take Mayor To Task Over Taxes
- Orange County Wants Tax Hike On Ballot
- Audit: US Cannot Account For $8.7B In Iraqi Funds
- Liability for Scrapping Yucca Mountain Could Run In the Billions
- House Poised To Approve $37B Afghanistan And Iraq War Spending Bill
- Erie County Facing Possible $36M Deficit
- County Faces $31 Million Budget Shortfall In 2011
- Hawaii Buys Homeless Plane Tickets to Mainland
- College Students Hide Hunger, Homelessness
- N.J. Food Pantries See Increase In Bare Shelves And Hungry Families
- Low Food, Financial Donations Hit Conway-Based Food Pantry
- Red Light Cameras Rake In The Cash
- China Banks Resigned To Defaults
- US CBO: US Could Face 'Difficult Choices' If Rates Spike
More pessimistic assumptions about rates of return peg the pension system liability as high as $173.9 billion — not to mention some $55 billion in unfunded health care costs. Experts and officials have begun to say it more clearly: There is no way New Jersey will ever be able to pay for the promises it has made to current and retired workers.
(State Treasurer)Sidamon-Eristoff said he would not rule out the possibility that even already retired workers may receive reduced pensions or have to pay more for medical care.p>
U.S. local governments may cut almost 500,000 jobs through next year to cope with sliding property taxes, a decline in state and federal aid and added need for social services, according to a report released today.
The report, a result of a survey by the National League of Cities, the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the National Association of Counties, showed local governments are moving to cut the equivalent of 8.6 percent of their workforces from 2009 to 2011. That suggests 481,000 employees will lose their jobs, according to the report, which said the tally may yet rise.
Even some leading Republicans have said in recent days they expect that a debt reduction plan will include a "revenue" element. That means taxes.
It turns out the national debt, when you factor in the promised benefits of Social Security and Medicare versus what those programs are expected to bring in, is much higher than the $13 trillion national debt – between $61 and $106 trillion, depending on whom you talk to.
In less than two weeks, Dallas residents will have an idea what services will be cut in order to balance the budget. Dallas city leaders have been wrestling with ideas to eliminate a projected $130 million budget shortfall.
The study released Tuesday by the National Conference of State Legislators also said all the states together will have a shortfall of $83.9 billion for fiscal year 2011, MarketWatch reported.
As of the present time, seven states are projecting deficits for the end of fiscal year 2010,and Illinois has the biggest, according to MarketWatch. Following Illinois are Oregon, Michigan, Kansas, Washington state, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina, the report said.
School boards in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties are scheduled to meet today. Both are scheduled to tackle projected budget deficits for the upcoming fiscal year. The school board in Hillsborough County is set to hold the first of two public hearings at 3 p.m. today on its $2.8 billion budget plan. School leaders are looking at an estimated $41 million dollar shortfall.
In Pinellas County, the school board is scheduled to hold the first of two public hearings on its $1.3 billion budget at 5 p.m. School leaders are facing an $18 million budget deficit.
Susan Quinn, chief financial officer of the Department of Financial Services, said that if the 4.7 percent increase in county funding for the 2011-2012 school year is not obtained, about 1,200 positions within the school system could be eliminated.
Under the proposed budget municipal taxes for a home assessed at the city average of $140,000 would increase $344, according to city officials. A public hearing and adoption of the amended budget is scheduled for 7 p.m. Aug. 17 at City Hall. "This budget is upsetting," said Gerbounka, who doesn't propose, prepare or even vote on the budget. "As mayor I am very frustrated."
He said estimated tax bills just went out and he's received about 30 calls from residents, especially widows, crying because they can't afford the taxes.
It was the second public forum to explain Suttle’s plan to raise property taxes, increase the wheel tax and create a tax on restaurants, bars and catering services. The mayor said the extra revenue is needed to close a $34 million budget shortfall projected for next year....But for some, any additional tax burden is more than they can handle. “I still can’t go out for entertainment. I’ve cut down using gas by not going anywhere,” said Joan Hillman. “Where am I supposed to cut?”
It could cost homeowners more than $100 per year; it depends on the value of the home....A $90 million budget shortfall is looming for the Orange County School District's 2011-2012 school year and, before federal stimulus dollars dry up, the district must find a new stream of revenue. Tuesday night, the school board will vote on asking property owners to tax themselves to raise tens of millions of dollars for the district.
U.S. audit has found that the Pentagon cannot account for over 95 percent of $9.1 billion in Iraq reconstruction money, spotlighting Iraqi complaints that there is little to show for the massive funds pumped into their cash-strapped, war-ravaged nation. The $8.7 billion in question was Iraqi money managed by the Pentagon, not part of the $53 billion that Congress has allocated for rebuilding. It's cash that Iraq, which relies on volatile oil revenues to fuel its spending, can ill afford to lose.
Eleven years after the government pledged to begin storing nuclear waste for commercial nuclear plants, the Department of Energy decided to scrap its planned repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada — leaving the Justice Department with dozens of lawsuits on its hands....“DOE’s most recent estimate of potential liability … was as much as $13.1 billion,” Hertz said. “This estimate does not fully account for the government’s defenses or the possibility that plaintiffs will not be able to prove the full extent of their claims, and they were created before the administration’s 2009 announcement that it would not proceed to build a repository at Yucca Mountain.”
The House appeared poised Tuesday to approve spending $37 billion on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, overcoming growing doubts among congressional Democrats who have concluded that the Afghan conflict is unwinnable.
While Collins (R) has long warned of fiscal "storm clouds" gathering in the future, the budgetary squall may be coming a bit sooner (and stronger) than he had hoped. "Relative to the rest of the state, Erie County is in the best shape of any county there is," Collins said. "But these storms clouds are everywhere."
Thanks to special tax bills sent out this March, commissioners have enough to balance this year’s budget. But with property values dropping, officials will have a $31 million budget gap to fill in 2011.
With the homeless population up 15% over last year at a cost of $35,000 a head—and worries that tents on the beach will drive away tourists—the state is resorting to buying them one-way tickets to their home state.
Proponents of the free flight to the mainland are getting criticized for dumping their problems on other states, and there's worry that some enterprising folks will game the system by flying one-way for a Hawaiian vacation, knowing they can cadge a free ride home. And then there's the irony that at least some of Hawaii's vagrants have already taken advantage of another state's fly-them-out-of-here program: It seems New York's Project Reconnect paid for at least five people's flight to Honolulu.
For many college students and their families, rising tuition costs and a tough economy are presenting new challenges as college bills come in. This has led to a little-known but growing population of financially stressed students, who are facing hunger and sometimes even homelessness.
UCLA has created an Economic Crisis Response Team to try to identify financially strapped students and help keep them in school.
“How do you split four cans of corn over 30 families?,” asked Sandra Burton, director of the Metro Park Assembly of God pantry in Woodbridge, which receives most of its supplies from the warehouse. “You don’t. You feed some of them this week and some of them next week.”.....“Our numbers have definitely doubled” this year, said Traci Lassiter, the director of the Apostles House food pantry in Newark. “Before, we were serving 500. Now, I’m serving a minimum of 1,000.”
High demand and low donations are creating a perfect storm for a Conway-based organization that supplies food and financial assistance to those in need. Officials at the Churches Assisting People Center in Conway said they're struggling to keep food on the shelves of their food pantry, as demand continues to rise through the summer months.
Gail Steinfield, executive director of the CAP Center, said the organization is constantly running out of food, but has yet to refuse service to someone in need. "It's very, very hard these days for people to pay their bills and buy food," Steinfield said.
"Those cameras," he said, "is not operating right."
To which Magistrate Bill Cristie replied, "do you have anything else you want to add?"
"No sir," Hernandez replied. He left $150 dollars lighter in the wallet......Same thing for Honda SUV driver Josefina Campos. She unsuccessfully pleaded poverty, telling the judge she hasn't even paid rent for the month. To which Cristie said gently, "I listen, I sympathize. But it cannot be part of my decision-making process." But Campos did get an extra 15 days to pay.
In most countries, the revelation that local governments would default on a fifth of their bank loans would be greeted with alarm. In China, however, the news came as a pleasant surprise.
“The fact that nearly 80 per cent of those projects have at least some capacity to service their debt is quite amazing,” said Qu Hongbin, chief China economist at HSBC.
In all three of those fiscal crises in other countries, sharp increases in interest rates on government debt forced the affected governments to make difficult choices. The U.S. government would also face difficult choices if interest rates on its debt spiked. For example, a 4-percentagepoint across-the-board increase in interest rates would raise federal interest payments next year by about $100 billion relative to CBO's baseline projection-a jump of more than 40 percent.
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