The End of the 99ers: Extended Benefits Tier for Unemployment Expires

By: Wednesday August 8, 2012 6:56 am

The 99ers are no more. There are still plenty of people who have been out of work for 99 weeks or more, to be sure. But the 99 weeks of unemployment secured by one tier of extended benefits have ended. This has affected a half-million workers, and it’s a direct result of the failure to [...]

The Fiscal Slope, and Why Words Matter

By: Tuesday June 5, 2012 12:55 pm

I want to revisit Chad Stone’s important analysis about the “fiscal cliff” and the dangers of metaphorical language. The truth is that there’s no such thing as a “cliff” in fiscal policy. First of all, everything is changeable, in many cases retroactively so. Second, it’s not like on January 1, 2013, without Congressional action, all [...]

Austerity Everywhere: Fiscal Drags Coming Out of Great Recession

By: Tuesday May 15, 2012 1:44 pm

Austerity has clear negative consequences for Greece, but one of the major problems in that country is an inability to collect taxes. That’s why all the austerity measures to “increase taxes” in Greece, without setting up or funding a new tax collection system, made no sense. And the one solution that did move in that [...]

230,000 Unemployed Will Lose Benefits This Weekend

By: Friday May 11, 2012 10:15 am

The deal to extend the payroll tax cut through the end of the year included a deal to “extend” unemployment benefits. I put “extend” in sarcasm quotes because the bill actually reduced that extension gradually. Instead of 99 weeks of unemployment to jobless workers in hard-hit states, the bill gradually backed that off to 79 [...]

Steny Hoyer’s Push to Ruin Everything

By: Monday February 27, 2012 11:04 am

In the aftermath of a horribly bruising debt limit deal and the Occupy movement, the focus in Washington shifted away from deficits and back to the economy, jobs and income inequality. But as a reminder that social movements must be constant and vigilant, one powerful Democrat, in association with a DC lobbying group, wants to [...]

Payroll Tax/UI Bill Passes the House; Senate Vote Will Not Face a Filibuster

By: Friday February 17, 2012 9:35 am

The House passed the payroll tax/UI/doc fix bill this morning by a count of 293-132. 91 Republicans and 41 Democrats voted against the bill, but the combination of Democrats and Republicans in support were more than enough to carry the bill across the line. Republicans voting against it were mostly hardliners philosophically opposed to things [...]

Payroll Tax Cut Deal Could Get Vote in Both Chambers Today

By: Friday February 17, 2012 7:40 am

The House has released the conference report for the payroll tax cut agreement. It’s pretty much what we heard last night. The plan is for both the House and Senate to pass the conference report today, so that both chambers can go out on recess next week. This violates the House rule of having 72 [...]

Payroll Tax Cut/UI Details Released

By: Thursday February 16, 2012 2:21 pm

Talking Points Memo snagged the details, written up by the House Ways and Means Committee, of the payroll tax cut/unemployment insurance/”doc fix” bill. So let’s go over it. We know the topline stuff: it’s a $150 billion piece of legislation, and $52 billion will be paid for. The payroll tax cut, extended to the end [...]

Deal on Payroll Tax/UI Bill To Get Vote Within Days

By: Thursday February 16, 2012 6:28 am

Negotiators say they have a deal on a $150 billion bill to extend the payroll tax cut, some unemployment insurance benefits and the “doc fix” to the end of the year, a bill that will sacrifice some health care prevention money, several weeks of unemployment eligibility, and at the very end, pension contributions for new [...]

Latest Details on Payroll Tax/UI Bill Includes Cuts to Health Care Prevention Fund, Jobless Benefits

By: Wednesday February 15, 2012 1:35 pm

The details on this emerging deal on various expiring measures are getting worse by the minute. Here’s what we know: The $150 billion bill, extending the payroll tax cut, some extended unemployment insurance benefits and the “doc fix” on Medicare reimbursement rates, will only require $50 billion in offsets. The payroll tax cut won’t get [...]

Payroll Tax/UI Bill Still Mired in Negotiations Over Pay-Fors

By: Wednesday February 15, 2012 10:59 am

There is less optimism now over the prospects of a deal wrapping up on the payroll tax cut, unemployment insurance and a doctor’s fix on Medicare reimbursement rates than there was this morning. Leading House Democrats exhibited caution over declaring a deal done. “We’re still a long ways from getting there,” said Rep. Xavier Becerra [...]

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