Author: Industry News

Progressive Groups Want Doug Jones To Throw Caution To The Wind
Social Security Disability

Progressive Groups Want Doug Jones To Throw Caution To The Wind

“The best way for Doug Jones to hold the seat is to legislate as a bold populist to fight for kitchen-table issues, fight for more money in people’s pockets,” said Kaitlin Sweeney, a spokeswoman for the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which raised about $40,000 for Jones.
I’m gonna do whatever it takes to deliver the highest amount of change as possible in my limited time in Congress.’” Some policies where DFA, PCCC and their allies believe Jones has the best chance of pushing a progressive agenda with crossover appeal are expanding Social Security, raising the minimum wage, protecting voting rights ― and even expanding public health care.
Rather than embrace single-payer health care ― or “Medicare for all,” as progressives have dubbed it ― Sweeney suggested that Jones could advocate a Medicare buy-in for the entire population.
“Medicare is one of those programs that’s popular all across the country, including red states like Alabama,” she said.
(Sixteen states are due to run out of the funds needed to keep the program running by the end of January, if Congress fails to act.)
Murshed Zaheed, political director of Credo Mobile, a progressive phone company with an online network of 5 million activists, asked Jones to join Democratic leaders in calling for the GOP to delay a vote on the massive tax bill until Jones is seated in the Senate.
“He needs to speak out now.
I want to have the bully pulpit to challenge those views in public all the time.” At the same time, Jones told the Post that he won based on a focus on “kitchen table” economic issues.
“Roy Moore wants to take away your health care while cutting taxes for billionaires,” one of the successful digital ads declared.
Governing as an advocate for a higher minimum wage and greater health care access is likely to have crossover appeal for the same reason, Dinkin posited.

Feeding your neighbors: Jersey Shore food pantries see growing need
Welfare

Feeding your neighbors: Jersey Shore food pantries see growing need

The Peoples Pantry in Toms River is helping those in northern Ocean County.
Some 4,000 people in northern Ocean County come to this food pantry every month. “These are the idyllic suburban communities where people come, people work hard and never would you think you would find that kind of need in such an idyllic place,” said Carlos M. Rodriguez, executive director of Fulfill, formerly known as the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties.
(Photo: Doug Hood ) There are 130,000 people in Ocean and Monmouth counties who receive food and other assistance from the pantries that are supplied by Fulfill, Rodriguez said.
Today, the urgent post-disaster need has died down, but food pantry workers say they are still helping to feed thousands of working-poor families and struggling seniors.
Contreras said cuts in the federal food stamps program have made it harder for the people he helps to eat.
Monthly benefits dropped from $649 to $640 for a family of four.
Schuchard said as rents have risen at the Jersey Shore, struggling families she sees are placing more of their income into housing and relying more on food pantries to eat.
People’s Pantry Executive Director Patricia Donaghue said the rising cost of food and housing at the Jersey Shore is pinching residents’ grocery budgets.
According to Fulfill, the percentage of children living in poverty in Ocean and Monmouth counties increased from 9.3 percent in 2005 to 14.5 percent in 2015.

Exit polls project a BJP win in Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh
Unemployment

Exit polls project a BJP win in Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh

New Delhi: Exit polls on the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh assembly elections project a saffron win in both the states.
The exit polls were announced after the second and final phase of polling ended in Gujarat on Thursday.
The contest in Gujarat was interesting because this was the first election in the state after Modi became Prime Minister.
While the BJP is trying to win a fifth consecutive term in Gujarat, the polls are important for Congress as it is the first assembly election for Rahul Gandhi after he was anointed president-elect of his party.
“The exit polls show that the Modi charisma and his connect with the people of Gujarat is still there.
The hill state of Himachal Pradesh has seen governments alternate between the Congress and the BJP since 1993.
The election comes at a time when the state is facing increased crime, unemployment and a leadership crisis in the political parties.
The people of Gujarat have always rejected the politics of negative, lies and vote-bank politics,” Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani said, while addressing a press conference on Thursday in Ahmedabad.
The last day of polling also saw the Congress party protest against Modi’s roadshow, taken out after casting his vote.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said, “It is a sad day for the country as EC has denigrated the Constitution.” The Congress’s attack against the EC and Modi came a day after the poll panel issued a showcause notice to Rahul Gandhi for “prima facie” violating the model code by giving interviews to Gujarati television channels on Wednesday.

Bank of Canada’s Poloz Ready to Keep Policy ‘Quite Stimulative’ — 2nd Update
Unemployment

Bank of Canada’s Poloz Ready to Keep Policy ‘Quite Stimulative’ — 2nd Update

OTTAWA – Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz said Thursday he is willing to keep rate policy “quite stimulative” and let upside inflation risks build until there is evidence spare capacity in the labor market has evaporated and uncertainties in the economy have faded.
In a speech in Toronto, Mr. Poloz reiterated the central bank would employ a cautious approach in rate-policy setting after two increases in 2017, due to a set of “unusual factors” playing out in the economy.
These factors include how indebted households will respond to higher rates, the impact of new mortgage-financing rules on the economy, and the fate of talks aimed at addressing Trump administration concerns with the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Mr. Poloz, according to prepared remarks, elaborated on this approach.
However…we still see signs of ongoing, albeit diminishing, slack in the labor market.” “It’s like anybody driving in a snowstorm — you drive a little slower, and you watch all the signs along the way to make sure you stay on the road” until you arrive at the destination.
For example, in his speech Mr. Poloz cited the relatively low labor participation rate among Canadians age 15 to 24 as a concern on top of tepid wage growth. “These are encouraging signs, but it will take a while before they become a trend.”
Some economists warned after the last rate decision, the Bank of Canada was at risk of keeping monetary policy too loose, given some of the strength emerging from labor data.
Roughly 350,000 full-time jobs have been added to the economy this year, and the unemployment rate has dropped to a near-record low of 5.9%.

U.S. Retail Sales Rose in November — Update
Unemployment

U.S. Retail Sales Rose in November — Update

WASHINGTON – Americans ramped up their spending in stores and online in November, which included Black Friday and Cyber Monday, key sales days for retailers.
Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had expected a 0.3% increase in November.
Retail sales increased 5.8% from November 2016.
Electronics and appliance stores and online shopping websites both saw robust growth in sales last month.
Consumer spending, the key driver of the U.S. economy, has been buoyed by a historically low unemployment rate at 4.1% and repeated stock market highs and increasing values of real estate that have driven up the total net worth of U.S. households.
The National Retail Federation, a group that represents retail stores, expected consumers nationwide to spend between about 4.0% more during the holiday shopping season than they had in 2016. “We’ve had strong reports so far from various retailers that it has been a good and healthy start to the holiday buying season.
Though many retailers have struggled in recent years to keep up with consumers’ shift to buying some goods online, the brick-and-mortar stores posted sales increases.
Sales going into the holiday season at some of the nation’s largest retailers have been up in different metrics despite pressures from solely-online retailers, including Kohl’s, which in its most recent quarter saw growth in sales at stores that were open last year.
But even amid record highs, strong numbers like these may further the case that the economic runway may be a bit longer than previously thought,” said Mike Loewengart, vice president of investment strategy at E*TRADE.

Bank of Canada’s Poloz Defends Risk-Management Approach to Rate Policy — 2nd Update
Unemployment

Bank of Canada’s Poloz Defends Risk-Management Approach to Rate Policy — 2nd Update

OTTAWA – Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz said Thursday he is willing to keep rate policy “quite stimulative” and let upside inflation risks build until there is evidence spare capacity in the labor market has evaporated and uncertainties in the economy have faded.
These factors include how indebted households will respond to higher rates, the impact of new mortgage-financing rules on the economy, and the fate of talks aimed at addressing Trump administration concerns with the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Mr. Poloz, according to prepared remarks, elaborated on this approach. “Our current policy setting clearly remains quite stimulative,” he said. “With the economy operating near potential, a mechanical approach to policy would suggest that monetary policy should already be less stimulative.
However…we still see signs of ongoing, albeit diminishing, slack in the labor market.”
For example, in his speech Mr. Poloz cited the relatively low labor participation rate among Canadians age 15 to 24 as a concern on top of tepid wage growth. “Given the number of unusual factors at play, the bank is monitoring these risks in real time…rather than taking a mechanical approach to policy setting,” the governor said.
Some economists warned after the last rate decision, the Bank of Canada was at risk of keeping monetary policy too loose, given some of the strength emerging from labor data.
Roughly 350,000 full-time jobs have been added to the economy this year, and the unemployment rate has dropped to a near-record low of 5.9%.

How to Handle Sudden Unemployment
Unemployment

How to Handle Sudden Unemployment

They don’t want to tell people about it.
Create a Routine Long before you have a new job with new hours, it can be enormously helpful to create some structure to your days, which can help you strike the balance between mental health exercises, doing freelance work, and looking for new work.
“I think it’s very important to make a schedule as if you’re working, [but] it doesn’t have to be nine to five,” Dr. Greenberg said.
It may help to digitize your productivity with time-management apps such as focus booster, which helps you concentrate on specific tasks and build in time for bathroom or email breaks, or Google Calendar, which you can use to block out your day and set some times to get a break (“9am-12pm job searching,” “12pm to 1pm lunch,” “1pm to 3pm freelance work,” “4pm to 5pm gym,” etc.).
Set Small, Concrete Goals Within your newly established routine, it’s helpful to have achievable daily and weekly goals.
It can obviously feel overwhelming to have a big-picture plan to find a new job or change careers, but breaking that down into steps, like working on your resume, or networking with at least five people on LinkedIn can help.
That said, while goals can be crucial, it’s also important to leave your days flexible enough to make room for something like a job interview, says Dallas-based financial planner Katie Brewer, CFP.
This period of uncertainty is also a “good time for somebody to list out what their wants versus their needs are,” Brewer tells us.
“Put that as the very very very last thing you do,” Brewer says.
And more generally, actively better planning your schedule and working in time to attend to your mental health can help you cope and thrive in the new gig economy.

What’s Inside The GOP’s Christmas Box?
Social Security Disability

What’s Inside The GOP’s Christmas Box?

Second, Republican leaders are logrolling to get enough votes to send the bill to Trump.
Next, the promise that tax reform will benefit the middle-class is based largely on the assumption that corporations and wealthy Americans will use their tax savings to expand businesses and create jobs.
Moody’s anticipates that the amount of corporate profits being hoarded overseas will reach $2 trillion by the end of this year.
However, Congress gave a “tax holiday” in 2004 to companies that repatriated their overseas money.
But according to the CBO’s latest data, profitable companies actually pay an average of 18.6 percent (called the “effective” rate), thanks to the array of tax breaks Congress has approved at the behest of lobbyists over the last 30 years.
It found that 258 profitable companies paid a tax rate of 21.2 percent on their U.S. profits.
Other companies paid no taxes at all in one or more of the eight years.
If the additional debt were $1.4 trillion, taxpayers would end up paying nearly $260 billion in interest, according to the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.
House Speaker Paul Ryan has said openly that Republicans will try to cut entitlement programs such as Medicare next year to reduce the debt the tax bill creates.
Despite its pretty wrappings and all the anticipation it has created, the tax bill does not appear to be the gift the middle class was promised.

Ask Larry: ​​Was I Misinformed By SSA?
Social Security Disability

Ask Larry: ​​Was I Misinformed By SSA?

Ask Larry about Social Security: Was I Misinformed By SSA?
You can file for an divorced spousal benefit on a divorced spouse’s work record provided you were a) married for 10 years, b) your ex is age 62, c) you have been divorced for 2 or more years or your ex has started his retirement benefit.
In particular, the second ex needs to reach age 62 before you can collect a divorced spousal benefit on his record.
Be aware that when one of your ex’s dies, you will qualify to collect a full divorced widows benefit or an excess divorced widows benefit if you are already collecting your own retirement benefit.
I suspended my retirement benefits at age 67 and collected instead my divorced spousal benefit so it would increase up to my age 70.
If you had, it would have reduced your divorced spousal benefit by whatever the rate of your own benefit was at that time.
In any case, it sounds like you selected the correct month to start your own benefits.
Hi Larry, I’ll be 66 and receive my retirement benefit early next year.
Before filing, you can run an expert Social Security benefits calculator, whether my company’s Maximize My Social Security or another program that’s not as confused as your friend, to be sure that you choose the best filing strategy.
Best, Larry Can I Draw Spousal Benefits If My Husband Is Working?

Easing the Burden on Caregivers
Welfare

Easing the Burden on Caregivers

Eleanor Thomas and her sister have reorganized their schedules and finances to take care of their 93-year-old mother, Elising Roxas, who needs round-the-clock care.
“A lot of women, especially single women, need to work,” said Ms. Thomas, 63, who lives in Mililani, Hawaii.
How can they possibly do all of that the same time?” A new program in Hawaii, the Kupuna Caregivers Act, is designed to help lift some of the burden on people caring for an elderly family member at home by paying them stipends of up to $70 a day.
The money can be used for caregiving supplies, to supplement lost wages or to hire help.
For low-income families, Medicaid offers some options.
The program would provide $100 a day to support caregiving across a range of care situations including at-home care, assisted living and nursing homes.
The Maine People’s Alliance is collecting signatures for a ballot initiative calling for universal home care, which would make home caregiving available to people over 65 or those with disabilities.
The proposed budget for this program would be funded by a 1.9 percent Social Security tax on people making over $127,000.
The proposed legislation in Washington is limited to 365 days (consecutive or not) of caregiving support and the Kupuna Caregivers program is starting with a six-month trial period.
But they offer options for families that can’t afford private insurance and don’t want to spend down retirement savings to qualify for Medicaid.