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Heritage Foundation: Yesterday, the Senate narrowly voted (51-48) to raise taxes on 1.2 million small businesses, which will likely kill more than 700,000 jobs at a time when nearly 13 million Americans are out of work. Senators Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Jim Webb (D-VA) joined all Republicans in bipartisan opposition to the tax hike.
NCPA Policy Digest: With regard to wealth insecurity, Rank finds that workers between the ages of 25 and 60 experience vast changes in income over time, and that this exposes them to a wide variety of economic conditions . . . By age 60, nearly 77 percent of Americans will have lived in a household earning more than $100,000 for at least one year.
NCPA Policy Digest: Many suburban communities have long made it difficult, or impossible, for homeowners to convert underused space — barns, garages and basements — into rental apartments. But across the United States, homeowners are pressing for changes in zoning laws to allow rentals while home builders report a rise in demand for houses with in-law suites or quarters with separate entry, says the Wall Street Journal.
National Law Journal: The median starting salary has dropped by 17 percent since 2009, according to NALP, and the average salary has decreased by 16 percent.
Cong. Ron Paul: The true evil of inflation is that newly created money benefits politically favored financial interests, especially banks, on the front end. Over time, however, the net result of monetary inflation is always the devaluation of savings and purchasing power. This devaluation discourages saving, which is the key to capital accumulation and investment in a healthy economy. Inflation also tends to hurt seniors and those living on fixed incomes the most.
Trial Insider: It appears two U.S. Senators’ criticism of spending for a Maui judicial conference in August by the the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals paid off. The court announced it was calling off its 2013 conference set for Monterey, Calif. and pushing it back to 2014. | Related post at How Appealing with a new letter to the court and additional coverage.
Arthur B. Laffer and Ford M. Scudder at the Wall Street Journal: The United States faces an economic collapse thanks to massive tax increases on Jan. 1, and continued deficit spending for years on end.
National Law Journal: The dismal job market for newly minted lawyers has influenced how most law school administrators approach their course offerings, with 76 percent of the institutions surveyed by the American Bar Association reporting that they’ve modified their curricula to adapt.
Findlaw: Law firms have long been the training ground for new attorneys while in-house positions are generally for associates with several years of experience. The rationale is that new graduates don’t have the practical skills to dive into legal practice. In-house counsel don’t have time to provide training on both how to be corporate counsel AND how to practice corporate law. But that problem might be solved as more law schools focus on practical coursework.
AP: “I believe that if you understood who I truly am in my heart, and if it were possible to fully communicate what I believe is in the real, enduring best interest of African-American families, you would vote for me for president,” Romney will tell the NAACP’s annual meeting, according to excerpts of his speech that were released early by his campaign.
Politico: “It is interesting that when it comes to outsourcing that this president has been outsourcing a good deal of American jobs himself by putting money into energy companies, solar and wind energy companies, that end up making their products outside the United States,” Romney said. “If there’s an outsourcer in chief, it’s the president of the United States, not the guy that’s running to replace him.”
LA TIMES: The city’s fiscal crisis has been years in the making, compounded by the nation’s crushing recession and exacerbated by escalating pension costs, lucrative labor agreements, Sacramento’s raid on redevelopment funds and a city reserve that is tapped out, officials said.
BBC: The number of new UK graduates working in jobs like cleaning or bar work has almost doubled to 10,000 in five years, according to government statistics.
PR Newswire: In 2010, U.S. businesses with paid employees numbered 7.4 million, a decline of 36,800 establishments from 2009, marking the third consecutive year of decline, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In comparison, between 2008 and 2009 there was a decline of 168,000 establishments. These findings are from County Business Patterns: 2010 . . .
KGW.com: In opting to become the nation’s largest city to seek federal bankruptcy protection, this river port of 290,000 took a rare financial step of last resort after struggling with the economic downturn, soaring pension costs and contractual obligations.
Detroit News: The Treasury Department estimates the taxpayers will lose enormous sums in the auto bailout — more than $20 billion. That is more than Michigan spends on public education, more than the federal government spends on NASA, and more than America gives in foreign aid. None of these losses were necessary to keep General Motors and Chrysler in business. The entire net cost of the bailout came from subsidizing the United Auto Workers’ pay and benefits.
The Hill: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) called on companies to issue hundreds of thousands of layoff notices to workers threatened by an impending $500 billion in automatic defense cuts to highlight the danger of sequestration.
National Law J. on Law.com: Slightly more than half of the class of 2011 — 55 percent — found full-time, long-term jobs that require bar passage nine months after they graduated, according to employment figures released on June 18 by the American Bar Association.
Wall Street Journal: Members of the law-school class of 2011 had little better than a 50-50 shot of landing a job as a lawyer within nine months of receiving a degree, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of new data that provides the most detailed picture yet of the grim market for law jobs.
NCPA Policy Digest: A silent victim of the last two recessions, teen unemployment has hit record levels since 2001. This trend is especially noticeable during the summer months, which are a traditional time of the year when teens head to work in droves, enabled by freedom from school and openings in seasonal employment. Recent labor statistics, however, suggest that this pattern has been largely disrupted, says the Sacramento Bee.
National Law Journal: The American Bar Association and NALP are not “indispensible absent parties” to a proposed fraud class action brought by 12 recent graduates against the Thomas M. Cooley Law School, a federal judge has ruled.
Elizabeth Marquardt at Family Scholars: The United Nations is apparently atwitter over the fact that more parents — or, let’s be real, single mothers — are abandoning infants in so-called “baby boxes” at hospitals across Europe.
AP: Here’s a look at the 10 states with the lowest funding percentages in 2010, according a new report from the Pew Center on the States . . .
NCPA Policy Digest: This concern, that current joblessness woes signal permanently higher structural unemployment, would have drastic implications for the health of the economy if found to be true. However, several other theories remain for why the current fragile recovery may not be an indication of larger problems.
Mirror of Justice: Along with the bleak jobs picture, the class of 2011 emerged with a mountain of debt. The debt is every bit as high at Catholic law schools as anywhere else. Here is the average debt for 2011 graduates of Catholic law schools . . .
Findlaw: Nearly one-third (32 percent) of lawyers interviewed for the quarterly Robert Half Legal Hiring Index plan to hire full-time legal staff during the third quarter of 2012, while just two percent anticipate staff reductions.
Investors.com: Private-sector jobs are still down by 4.6 million, or 4%, from January 2008, when overall employment peaked. Meanwhile government jobs are down just 407,000, or 1.8%. Federal employment actually is 225,000 jobs above its January 2008 level, an 11.4% increase. That’s right, up 11.4%.
NY Times: The median family, richer than half of the nation’s families and poorer than the other half, had a net worth of $77,300 in 2010, down from $126,400 in 2007, the Fed said. The crash of housing prices explained three-quarters of the loss. This vast loss of wealth was compounded by a loss of income, as the earnings of the median family fell by 7.7 percent over the same period.
LA Times: Congressional GOP leaders launched an orchestrated round of attacks on President Obama’s assessment that private companies are doing “fine” in the sluggish economy, essentially ridiculing the White House’s assertion that it is the public sector that needs government support to keep teachers, firefighters and other employees on the job.
Kay S. Hymowitz at LA Times: The single-mother revolution has been an economic catastrophe for women. Poverty remains relatively rare among married couples with children; the U.S. census puts only 8.8% of them in that category, up from 6.7% since the start of the Great Recession. But more than 40% of single-mother families are poor, up from 37% before the downturn. In the bottom quintile of earnings, most households are single people, many of them elderly. But of the two-fifths of bottom-quintile households that are families, 83% are headed by single mothers. The Brookings Institution’s Isabel Sawhill calculates that virtually all the increase in child poverty in the United States since the 1970s would vanish if parents still married at 1970 rates.
The Hill: A dismal May jobs report is being perceived as a possible game-changer in the presidential battle between President Obama and Mitt Romney, with Republicans saying the numbers provide further proof that the economy isn’t improving.
Heritage Foundation: One year ago, the state of Wisconsin adopted sweeping reforms that curbed collective bargaining rights among government workers, brought the state’s pension system into line, and empowered those workers to choose whether or not to pay union dues. A firestorm of opposition erupted among public sector unions. But despite all the rhetoric, the reforms did not spell doomsday for government workers.
NCPA Policy Digest: Federal regulations cost hundreds of billions — perhaps trillions — of dollars every year over and above the costs of the official federal outlays that dominate the policy debate.
Bloomberg: Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) is considering cutting as many as 25,000 jobs, or 8 percent of its workforce, to reduce costs and help the company contend with ebbing demand for computers and services, people briefed on the plans said.
The Hill: President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) clashed during a White House meeting on Wednesday, with the Speaker telling the president that he was “not going to allow a debt ceiling increase without doing something serious about the debt,” Boehner’s office said.
NCPA Policy Digest: But a new Gallup study reinforces what people intuitively know: recessions do not hurt everyone equally. Specifically, this economy has been particularly harmful to young people (ages 18-29), who have even bleaker job prospects than their more-experienced counterparts.
Anna Cuevas at Huffington Post: Is there a correlation between divorce and foreclosure? Does foreclosure increase the likelihood of divorce, or does divorce increase the risk of foreclosure? The answer is both are probably true.
AP: Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle agree: It would be a mistake to let interest rates on student loans double in July. Especially if they’re going to be blamed for it in an election year.
San Francisco Chronicle: UC Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco is reducing its first-year class by more than 20 percent this fall and eliminating 17 nonteaching jobs . . .
National Jurist: Law school applications have continued to drop — with the number of applicants down by 15.6 percent from last year. While the numbers are not final, it appears the total number of applicants will be down from 87,500 in 2010 to less than 67,000 this year.
William McGurn at the Wall Street Journal: Paul Ryan shocked the gentle souls at Georgetown University when he traveled up to their campus last Thursday and said: “We believe that Social Security legislation, now billed as a great victory for the poor and for the worker, is a great defeat for Christianity. It is an acceptance of the idea of force and compulsion.”
CNN: But over the past few decades, we’ve lost sight of Roosevelt’s words. It’s time to rethink the notion of family values and remember, as the story of Willy Loman reminds us, that a strong family starts with a strong economy.
Washington Post: Since the beginning of his term, state and local governments have shed 611,000 employees — including 196,000 educators — according to government statistics.
NCPA Policy Digest: The Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in the fourth quarter of 2011 that the median full-time working woman made 81.6 percent of the wages of the median fulltime working man. Since then, big government, feminist organizations and liberal politicians repeat this “wage gap” statistic, implying that discrimination is its cause, says Carrie Lukas, managing director of the Independent Women’s Forum.
NCPA Policy Digest: Here’s some bad news: The latest report of the Social Security and Medicare trustees shows an unfunded liability for both programs of $63 trillion. That is equal to about 4.5 times the entire U.S. gross domestic product (GDP), says John C. Goodman, president of the National Center for Policy Analysis.
Reuters: Many borrowers, particularly since late 2010, thought they were buying at the bottom of a housing market that had already suffered steep declines, but have been caught out by a continued fall in prices in wide swaths of America.
Findlaw: Newly released law school job-placement data is sparking renewed debate about postgraduate employment rates: Many schools report hiring their own graduates for jobs, straight out of law school.
The Hill: Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) on Wednesday is expected to introduce an omnibus energy/federal land use bill combining several bills that have passed the House over the last year but have stalled in the Senate due to Democratic opposition.
LA Times: California’s population will grow much more slowly in the next few decades — and that is good news for the state’s still-struggling economy, according to new population projections by USC.
Christian Science Monitor: Older jobless workers have a higher rate of long-term unemployment than any other group. And employer policies end up discriminating against them. Yet workers age 50 and up comprise nearly a third of the US workforce. Policymakers must help this key demographic find good jobs.
AP: An aging population and an economy that has been slow to rebound are straining the long-term finances of Social Security and Medicare, the government’s two largest benefit programs.
Peggy Noon at Wall Street Journal (via Google): I’ve long thought that public dissatisfaction is about more than the economy, that it’s also about our culture, or rather the flat, brute, highly sexualized thing we call our culture. Now I’d go a step beyond that. I think more and more people are worried about the American character—who we are and what kind of adults we are raising. Every story that has broken through the past few weeks has been about who we are as a people. And they are all disturbing.
Rasumussen Reports: Consider this: Four years ago, 80 percent of homeowners thought their home was worth more than they paid for it. That number fell to 62 percent last fall and 49 percent today . . . But while the soft economy was the trigger, most homeowners recognize that the underlying cause of the housing crisis was a corrupt relationship between the federal government, elected politicians and well-connected financiers. While the housing market was collapsing, the financiers were getting bailed out.
Daniel Henninger at the Wall Street Journal: The differences between America in 1936 and America 76 years later hardly matter. In a time of genuine economic anxiety, as now, Team Obama has chosen a plausible strategy: During tough times, the government will be there for you.
Ryan Messmore at the Heritage Foundation: Ryan believes his federal budget plan helps accomplish that goal. In a letter last year to then-Archbishop (now Cardinal) Timothy Dolan of New York, Ryan stated that his proposed budget better targets assistance to those in need, repairs the social safety net, and fulfills the mission of health and retirement security for all Americans.
CNSNews: Although he has served less than a term, Obama is now the first American president to see the federal government’s debt increase by more than $5 trillion during his time in office.
NCPA Policy Digest: Over the course of the last century, the United States slowly emerged as a formidable administrative state — one that is run by unelected federal government bureaucrats instead of the elected representatives of the people.
TIME: After a proposal to cut funding to Planned Parenthood sparked outrage in January, the Susan G. Komen breast cancer foundation is having trouble attracting donors.
Heritage Foundation: In addition to today being Tax Day, it’s also, coincidentally, “Tax Freedom Day” — meaning that it has taken from January 1 until now for Americans to earn enough money to pay this year’s federal, state, and local tax bill — 29.2% of all our income. In other words, for the first 111 days of the year, everything you earned went straight to Uncle Sam. Compare that to back in 1900, when Americans paid only 5.9% of their income in taxes and Tax Freedom Day came on January 22.
Reuters on Yahoo: A Moroccan worker in Italy set himself on fire on Thursday in protest at not being paid for months, a day after an Italian businessman set himself alight over a tax dispute, police said.
The Hill: The House on Thursday is poised to approve Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) budget measure, which would give Republicans a much-needed lift after months of intra-party squabbling.