Daily Digest

Daily Digest 5/16 - Student Fees Increasing, Over 55 And Jobless, Why So Many Ph.D's Are On Food Stamps

Wednesday, May 16, 2012, 9:49 AM
  • Saverin dumps US citizenship ahead of Facebook IPO
  • Italy Economy Contracts Most in Three Years on Recession
  • IMF head says Greece could leave euro
  • New Jersey April Revenue Collections 5.3% Below Budget Goals
  • SNAP faces billions of dollars in cuts
  • Shelling out to use Sonoma Coast beaches
  • Recession hits "pretty grim" EU states in the east
  • Metals Thefts Spike 400 Percent In One County
  • Half of college grads working full time, with less pay, deep debt
  • Greek Banks See Deposit Withdrawals
  • In about-face, Greece pays bond swap holdouts
  • Foreign holdings of US debt hit record high
  • China faces pressure to reverse economic slump
  • Why So Many Ph.D.s Are On Food Stamps
  • Student fees increase
  • KU proposes tuition hike of nearly 5 percent, effective next fall
  • MnSCU proposes tuition increases for St. Cloud State, tech college
  • Milliman: Healthcare costs for American family exceed $20,000 in 2012
  • Over 55 and jobless, Americans face tough hunt
  • Financial Troubles Continue for City of Lincoln
  • Kuwait risks exhausting oil savings by 2017 - IMF
  • Italy's banks shaken as economic slump deepens

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Economy

Saverin dumps US citizenship ahead of Facebook IPO

Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin has renounced his U.S. citizenship, a move expected to save him hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes stemming from the company’s impending initial public offering.

The Brazil-born 30-year-old became a U.S. citizen in 1998 but has lived in Singapore since 2009. Giving up his citizenship will allow him to avoid paying taxes on billions of dollars of capital gains when Facebook launches its IPO Friday. Singapore does not have a capital gains tax.

Italy Economy Contracts Most in Three Years on Recession

Italy’s economy contracted for a third quarter in the three months through March as the nation’s recession deepened amid an intensifying euro-area debt crisis. Gross domestic product declined 0.8 percent, the most in three years, Rome-based national statistics institute Istat said in a preliminary report today. The contraction was more than the median forecast of 0.7 percent in a survey of 14 economists by Bloomberg News. GDP fell 1.3 percent from a year earlier.

IMF head says Greece could leave euro

"If the country's budgetary commitments are not honoured, there are appropriate revisions to do, which means either supplementary financing and additional time or mechanisms for an exit, which in this case must be an orderly exit," Christine Lagarde said in an interview with France 24.

New Jersey April Revenue Collections 5.3% Below Budget Goals

New Jersey’s April revenue was 5.3 percent below Governor Chris Christie’s targets as income and business taxes fell short, leaving collections $230 million behind forecasts for the first 10 months of this fiscal year.

SNAP faces billions of dollars in cuts

Melissa Booher is scared. For the last five years this mom has been able to put food on the table for her family because of food stamps. "I honestly don't know what I'd do without them," said Booher.

But she may soon have to figure it out. In an effort to reduce the deficit and replace what would have been a 10 percent cut to the military budget, the House of Representatives voted last week to cut the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by $36 billion.

Shelling out to use Sonoma Coast beaches

California State Parks is planning to charge for day use at 14 popular beaches on the Sonoma Coast, 20 years after a similar effort sparked months of furious protest that ultimately forced the state to rescind the fees. State parks officials now want to charge visitors $8 a day for parking at Goat Rock in Jenner, Bodega Head, Salt Point State Park and at several other beaches where access now is free.

State officials say the fees are necessary to keep beaches open and to reopen those that are closed as the park system grapples with budget cuts and a deferred maintenance backlog of more than $1 billion.

Recession hits "pretty grim" EU states in the east

The Czech Republic's economy shrank for the third quarter in a row and Romania fell back into recession from January to March, as the euro crisis and government austerity hammered domestic demand and squeezed exports across central and eastern Europe.

Metals Thefts Spike 400 Percent In One County

Baltimore County Police have set up a special team to investigate the spike in thefts of metals.

Chief Jim Johnson has created a Metals Theft Team. He tells WBAL Radio that since 2009, there has been a more than 450 percent increase in metal thefts in the county. Johnson says aluminum bleachers, poles and products are also been stolen, dismantled and scrapped.

Half of college grads working full time, with less pay, deep debt

For most recent college graduates, these are gloomy times. Only about half are working full-time, with the majority starting with less pay than expected while also dealing with huge student debts. Nearly six in 10 think they'll end up less financially successful than their elders.

Greek Banks See Deposit Withdrawals

Greek depositors withdrew EUR700 million from local banks on Monday, the country's president said, and warned that the situation facing Greece's lenders was very difficult. In a transcript of remarks by President Karolos Papoulias to Greek political leaders that was released Tuesday, Papoulias said that withdrawals plus buy orders received by Greek banks for German bunds totalled some EUR800 million.

In about-face, Greece pays bond swap holdouts

Greece made a last-minute about-face on Tuesday and paid bondholders who rejected an earlier debt exchange, a move likely to upset creditors who accepted just cents on the euro in a historic bond swap.

Greece opted to pay 435 million euros ($552 million) of a May 15 bond to holders who had refused to exchange their debt, despite insisting at the time of the offer in March that anyone who rejected it would get nothing.

Foreign holdings of US debt hit record high

Total foreign holdings rose 0.3 percent to a $5.12 trillion, marking the eighth consecutive monthly increase, the Treasury Department reported Tuesday. U.S. government debt is considered one of the safest investments. Demand has increased as investors worry about the uncertainty surrounding Europe's debt crisis.

China faces pressure to reverse economic slump

Gao Runping, who makes mechanical components for the oil industry, founded his business in the central city of Taiyuan with equipment bought from failing companies after the 2008 global crisis. Now, with China's economy cooling abruptly again, Gao sees another wave of bankruptcies about to hit his industry.

"I can see about one-fifth to one-third of the factories are about to close, and owners are preparing to sell off their equipment," said Gao, general manager of Taiyuan Fanhe Engineering Co.

Why So Many Ph.D.s Are On Food Stamps

It's no secret more Americans are relying on food stamps, but host Michel Martin looks at why those applying for government aid with master's and Ph.D degrees have more than doubled in recent years. Martin speaks with Stacey Patton, a reporter with The Chronicle of Higher Education, and Tony Yang, who is unemployed and holds a doctorate degree.

Student fees increase (Deleware)

Starting next fall, dining hall, residence hall and student health fees will each increase by more than 5 percent, according to university officials. The university’s Board of Trustees approved the resolutions recommended by the Student Life subcommittee to change the rates last week.

The previous health fee of $238 per student per semester, which was set last fall, will increase to $252 next semester. All full-time students are charged for Student Health Services at the beginning of each semester.

KU proposes tuition hike of nearly 5 percent, effective next fall

Incoming KU freshmen who are Kansas residents would pay an additional 4.9 percent in tuition and fees, taking the cost of a 15 credit hour semester at the university to $4,839. Tuition and fees for non-resident freshmen would increase by 5 percent, to $11,874.

MnSCU proposes tuition increases for St. Cloud State, tech college (Minnesota)

At St. Cloud State, annual costs to attend would increase $299 to $6,584 or 4.7 percent. The Technical and Community College tuition would go up $139 to $4,767 or a 3 percent increase.

The proposal raises tuition $171 for full-time undergraduates at the state colleges and $285 for the full-time students at the state universities. Full-time students at the 24 state colleges would pay average tuition of $4,815 a year and full-time students at the seven state universities average tuition of $6,782.

Milliman: Healthcare costs for American family exceed $20,000 in 2012

"The average rate of increase this year dips below 7% for the first time since we began analyzing these costs, but the total dollar increase is still the highest we have seen," said Lorraine Mayne, principal and consulting actuary with the Salt Lake City office of Milliman. "This helps illustrate the challenge of controlling healthcare costs. When the total cost is already so high, even a slower rate of growth has a serious impact on family budgets."

Over 55 and jobless, Americans face tough hunt

About 55 percent of jobless seniors, or 1.1 million, have been unemployed for more than six months, up from 23 percent, or less than 200,000, four years earlier, according to a Government Accountability Office report released on Tuesday.

The GAO, a non-partisan investigative arm of Congress, also found that years of lost work significantly reduced retirement income, particularly for those with defined contribution retirement plans.

Financial Troubles Continue for City of Lincoln

"Things are actually slated to be even tougher this year," said Lincoln Mayor Spencer Short. The city is staring down another $2 million budget shortfall. "We've depleted most of our reserves and we'll probably deplete the rest of our reserves this year." The nationwide housing and foreclosure crisis is still taking a toll.

"Most of the housing prices were running $440,000 in 2006, today they're running 220, which means all of those foreclosures are reset to a lower property tax figure," said Short. Combine that with dozens of empty storefronts looking for tenants.

Kuwait risks exhausting oil savings by 2017 - IMF

Kuwait will have exhausted all its oil savings by 2017 if it keeps on spending money at the current rate, the International Monetary Fund said in a report published on Tuesday.

Italy's banks shaken as economic slump deepens

As Greece erupts, Italy is moving into the eye of the storm. Its economy is contracting at speeds not seen since the depths of the slump in 2009 as draconian austerity bites, greatly increasing the risk of social revolt and a banking crisis. With the world's third largest debt after the US and Japan at €1.9 trillion (£1.18 trillion), it is big enough to bring the global financial system to its knees. It is also in the front line of contagion as the Greek crisis metastasizes.

Yields on 10-year Italian debt jumped 16 points to 5.86pc on Tuesday after Italy's data agency said the country is sliding even into deeper recession, with GDP shrinking 0.8pc in the first quarter.

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saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
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dps
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California pest protection, and border inspections, to suffer

By Tom Karst, From The Packer Daily

A $16 billion state budget shortfall in California will lead to cutbacks in border pest protection activities.

 

Dave Puglia, Sacramento-based senior vice president for Irvine, Calif.-based Western Growers. said California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross briefed industry leaders May 14 with a plan that will require $2.1 million in cuts from the agriculture budget to deal with what he called a “rolling crisis.”

 

“It is very difficult to process another round of cuts to CDFA, minor though they may be on paper,” Puglia said.

 

Budget stresses have resulted in $31 million in cuts to the general fund support for the agriculture department in the last two years, he said. Those cuts represent about 30% of traditional general fund support for the department, Puglia said

 

“The vast majority of those cuts are coming out of the plant side of CDFA, not the animal side,” he said.

 

Puglia said Ross told industry leaders that the majority of the expected $2.1 million in cuts may come out of the state’s border inspection stations, potentially starting when the new fiscal year begins in July 1.

 

While Puglia credited the CDFA’s Ross for implementing creative strategies to keep border inspection stations open with rotating hours, he said additional cuts will hurt.

 

“Major pathways still have 24/7 coverage, but those back road entry ways into the state will probably see very little border station activity,” he said. “Our exposure (to pests and diseases) is being increased.”

 

Cutting $2.1 million from the CDFA budget will weaken protection for agriculture while not contributing much to solve the deficit crisis, he said.

 

“Every additional cut is deeper into the bone,” he said.

 

The lack of funds will put more pressure on the industry to fund programs, but Puglia said the state’s growers are already heavily burdened by fees and taxes not only from CDFA but other state agencies including the State Water Resources Control Board, Cal EPA and other agencies.

 

“The reality is that California farmers are already paying exorbitant fees to support state government programs,” he said.

 

The total pro CDFA budget in 2012-13 is proposed at $340 million, of which about $63 million comes from the state’s general fund, $106 million comes from the federal budget, $156 million comes from special/industry funds and $14 million is from reimbursements.

 

Puglia said the industry is talking about other strategies to raise funds for support of agriculture programs.

 

“Everyone should be coming to the realization that the general fund dollars are going away and we’ve got to figure out a mechanism to make sure we can adequately fund protection and eradication of invasive pests without all of the costs falling strictly on agriculture,” Barry Bedwell, president of the Fresno-based California Grape & Tree Fruit League, said in a comment about the crisis.

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RogerA
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Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

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Time2help
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A 12-year old Canadian perspective.

A 12-year old Canadian perspective.

!!!

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saxplayer00o1
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