Where is the Money Going?

1 to 16 of about 1794 News
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Soda Tax Gains Momentum in Cities across U.S.

A soda tax may be coming to a city near you. Advocates say the recent sweep represents a watershed moment in the fight for soft-drink taxes. Once viewed as measures likely to find support only in largely health-conscious cities, soda taxes have emerged as a bountiful revenue source for cash-strapped local governments. “There’s a momentum with these taxes that will be hard for the industry to stop,” said Sanford dean Kelly Brownell.   read more

Huge Increase in Number of Doctors Annually Prescribing Millions of Dollars’ Worth of Medicare Prescriptions

The number of providers who topped the $5 million mark for prescriptions increased more than tenfold. The number of prescribers—mostly physicians but also nurse practitioners–exceeding $10 million in drug costs jumped from two to 70. “The trends in this space are troubling and don’t show any signs of abating,” said Tim Gronniger of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. “It’s going to be a pressure point for patients and the program for the foreseeable future.”   read more

High-Priced Economics Professors Hired by Corporations to Help Push through Mega-Mergers

Economists affiliated with prestigious universities show that mergers benefit consumers. But they reap their most lucrative paydays by lending their academic authority to mergers their corporate clients propose. Corporate lawyers hire them to sway the government by documenting that a merger won’t be “anti-competitive.” Their optimistic forecasts, though, often turn out to be wrong, and the mergers they champion may be hurting the economy.   read more

Americans Spend $30 Billion a Year on Dietary Supplements that Do Little, Says Study

Among the changes found in the new study: multivitamin/mineral use declined to 31% from 37%, “and the rates of vitamin C, vitamin E and selenium use decreased, perhaps in response to research findings showing no benefit,” Cohen wrote. Sometimes people do act sensibly when faced with solid evidence. However, he added, “other products continued to be used at the same rate despite major studies demonstrating no benefit over placebo.”   read more

Surprise Cost of Ammo for U.S. Navy Destroyers’ New Guns: $800,000 a Shot

The price, which is expected to grow, compares with $1 million for a cruise missile. For now, there are no plans to buy projectiles beyond the initial purchase of 90. It's stunning news for a program plagued by growing costs. "Congress is going to want to know how the Navy could get so far down the road without realizing that the price tag on these projectiles is so high," said Loren Thompson, defense analyst at the Lexington Institute.   read more

Beverage Industry Spending Fails to Defeat Soda Tax Measures in 4 U.S. Cities

Though the public remains divided on taxes, often seen as a nanny-state intrusion, more and more Americans are turning away from the beverages. Sales are down, and many people say they are actively avoiding the products. Anti-soft drink advertising is likely to appear in major American cities. The declining public image of the beverages will create new challenges for the industry, even if it does not keep losing soda tax fights.   read more

Bipartisan Group of Lawmakers Sues FEC to Rein in Super-PAC Spending

The challengers contend that SpeechNow has allowed wealthy donors to use super PACs as vehicles that let them "evade campaign-contribution limits designed to prevent corruption and the appearance of corruption." With 3,000 super PACs operating in the 2016 election cycle, 40% of contributions to these groups have come from the same 50 sources. As of October, they had raised $1.1 billion and made total expenditures of more than $799 million.   read more

Trump’s Much Publicized Legal Tax Avoidance Gives Boost to Bipartisan Effort toward Tax Reform

There may be a silver lining in the revelation that Donald Trump paid no federal income tax for years or even decades: “Trump’s scheming on his taxes has put a spotlight on a tale of two systems,” Wyden said. “The first is compulsory. You work a shift...the taxes come out of your paycheck... For the most fortunate, you hire a battery of experts, and you pay what you want when you want to, or even nothing at all. I think we can all agree the tax code is a dysfunctional mess.”   read more

Outside Groups Outspend U.S. Senate Candidates and Parties for First Time

Dark money spending, from groups that conceal their donors, favors GOP candidates six to one. Just three groups, One Nation, with ties to Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell; the Koch network’s Americans for Prosperity; and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, account for 67% of all dark money spending. "While this problem was created in part by 2010’s Citizens United decision, the 2016 data shows we have truly crossed a new Rubicon," wrote Vandewalker.   read more

Retirement Plans are Worse for Teachers, Charities, Clergy and Non-Profits

The people who do the most good in the world, spending their careers helping others in exchange for modest paychecks, often get the worst retirement plans. In fact, millions of people who save in 403(b) plans may be losing nearly $10 billion each year in excessive investment fees. “It’s a wealth transfer from those who don’t know any better — Main Street — to those who do: Wall Street,” said financial planner Scott Dauenhauer.   read more

U.S. Sees Increase in Number of Americans with Bank Account Access

The portion of Americans who do not have a bank account, known in industry jargon as the "unbanked," declined to 7% in 2015 from 7.7% in 2013. The improvements came mostly from households making less than $15,000 a year and among minority populations. Another way of looking at it: For every 10 households that were unbanked in 2013, one of those households is now banked. "The improving economy no doubt impacted these numbers in a positive way," FDIC Chairman Martin Gruenberg said.   read more

Female Law Partners Earn 44% Less than Their Male Colleagues

The lag in pay for female partners could stem from several factors. One is that the “old boys network” still has an outsize influence because of connections made in law school or earlier that affect who is hired to handle their corporate legal matters. Female partners earned an average of $659,000 annually compared with an average of $949,000 for male partners. Female partners take home thinner paychecks because, it appears, men are better at receiving credit for landing big cases.   read more

Illinois Worst State in Nation for Reclaiming Overpayments of Unemployment Benefits

Illinois is billions in debt, has billions in overdue bills and can't seem to remove itself from a budget morass, yet it's the nation's worst in reclaiming hundreds of millions of dollars in overpaid unemployment benefits. The abysmal performance is one reason the U.S. Labor Dept said that it would step in to help Illinois meet standards for management, record-keeping and timeliness. Illinois' 37% recovery rate is the worst among all U.S. states and territories.   read more

26% of Alaska’s 3,800 Backlogged Rape Kits to Be Processed with $1-Million Federal Grant

"Alaska has some of the highest rates of sexual assault and domestic violence in the nation. We must end this terrible epidemic, and that starts by addressing the thousands of sexual assault kits in the possession of law enforcement," Walker said. "We did not know about this problem before we ordered the audit. It is now a top priority. We owe it to victims and their families to deliver justice to perpetrators and bring closure to these tragic experiences."   read more

Justice Finally Delivered to U.S. Military Members Bilked Out of Millions by Predatory USA Discounters

The company misled customers about the quality and price of its merchandise, the terms of loan contracts, and its warranty and debt cancellation. One Army private bought a laptop shortly before shipping out for Iraq. For a model that typically retailed for $650, he agreed to pay almost $3,000. After he fell behind on his payments, he was sued in Virginia while stationed in Germany. The company later sought to seize his military pay and froze his credit union account.   read more

Military Insurance Begins to Cover Transgender Conditions

A number of health services for transgender people will begin to be covered by military insurance beginning Monday. The Pentagon announced in June an end to the military’s ban on transgender service members. The ripple effect of the new health benefits extends beyond active-duty military to include roughly 7 million retirees and children of service members.   read more
1 to 16 of about 1794 News
1 2 3 ... 113 Next

Where is the Money Going?

1 to 16 of about 1794 News
1 2 3 ... 113 Next

Soda Tax Gains Momentum in Cities across U.S.

A soda tax may be coming to a city near you. Advocates say the recent sweep represents a watershed moment in the fight for soft-drink taxes. Once viewed as measures likely to find support only in largely health-conscious cities, soda taxes have emerged as a bountiful revenue source for cash-strapped local governments. “There’s a momentum with these taxes that will be hard for the industry to stop,” said Sanford dean Kelly Brownell.   read more

Huge Increase in Number of Doctors Annually Prescribing Millions of Dollars’ Worth of Medicare Prescriptions

The number of providers who topped the $5 million mark for prescriptions increased more than tenfold. The number of prescribers—mostly physicians but also nurse practitioners–exceeding $10 million in drug costs jumped from two to 70. “The trends in this space are troubling and don’t show any signs of abating,” said Tim Gronniger of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. “It’s going to be a pressure point for patients and the program for the foreseeable future.”   read more

High-Priced Economics Professors Hired by Corporations to Help Push through Mega-Mergers

Economists affiliated with prestigious universities show that mergers benefit consumers. But they reap their most lucrative paydays by lending their academic authority to mergers their corporate clients propose. Corporate lawyers hire them to sway the government by documenting that a merger won’t be “anti-competitive.” Their optimistic forecasts, though, often turn out to be wrong, and the mergers they champion may be hurting the economy.   read more

Americans Spend $30 Billion a Year on Dietary Supplements that Do Little, Says Study

Among the changes found in the new study: multivitamin/mineral use declined to 31% from 37%, “and the rates of vitamin C, vitamin E and selenium use decreased, perhaps in response to research findings showing no benefit,” Cohen wrote. Sometimes people do act sensibly when faced with solid evidence. However, he added, “other products continued to be used at the same rate despite major studies demonstrating no benefit over placebo.”   read more

Surprise Cost of Ammo for U.S. Navy Destroyers’ New Guns: $800,000 a Shot

The price, which is expected to grow, compares with $1 million for a cruise missile. For now, there are no plans to buy projectiles beyond the initial purchase of 90. It's stunning news for a program plagued by growing costs. "Congress is going to want to know how the Navy could get so far down the road without realizing that the price tag on these projectiles is so high," said Loren Thompson, defense analyst at the Lexington Institute.   read more

Beverage Industry Spending Fails to Defeat Soda Tax Measures in 4 U.S. Cities

Though the public remains divided on taxes, often seen as a nanny-state intrusion, more and more Americans are turning away from the beverages. Sales are down, and many people say they are actively avoiding the products. Anti-soft drink advertising is likely to appear in major American cities. The declining public image of the beverages will create new challenges for the industry, even if it does not keep losing soda tax fights.   read more

Bipartisan Group of Lawmakers Sues FEC to Rein in Super-PAC Spending

The challengers contend that SpeechNow has allowed wealthy donors to use super PACs as vehicles that let them "evade campaign-contribution limits designed to prevent corruption and the appearance of corruption." With 3,000 super PACs operating in the 2016 election cycle, 40% of contributions to these groups have come from the same 50 sources. As of October, they had raised $1.1 billion and made total expenditures of more than $799 million.   read more

Trump’s Much Publicized Legal Tax Avoidance Gives Boost to Bipartisan Effort toward Tax Reform

There may be a silver lining in the revelation that Donald Trump paid no federal income tax for years or even decades: “Trump’s scheming on his taxes has put a spotlight on a tale of two systems,” Wyden said. “The first is compulsory. You work a shift...the taxes come out of your paycheck... For the most fortunate, you hire a battery of experts, and you pay what you want when you want to, or even nothing at all. I think we can all agree the tax code is a dysfunctional mess.”   read more

Outside Groups Outspend U.S. Senate Candidates and Parties for First Time

Dark money spending, from groups that conceal their donors, favors GOP candidates six to one. Just three groups, One Nation, with ties to Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell; the Koch network’s Americans for Prosperity; and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, account for 67% of all dark money spending. "While this problem was created in part by 2010’s Citizens United decision, the 2016 data shows we have truly crossed a new Rubicon," wrote Vandewalker.   read more

Retirement Plans are Worse for Teachers, Charities, Clergy and Non-Profits

The people who do the most good in the world, spending their careers helping others in exchange for modest paychecks, often get the worst retirement plans. In fact, millions of people who save in 403(b) plans may be losing nearly $10 billion each year in excessive investment fees. “It’s a wealth transfer from those who don’t know any better — Main Street — to those who do: Wall Street,” said financial planner Scott Dauenhauer.   read more

U.S. Sees Increase in Number of Americans with Bank Account Access

The portion of Americans who do not have a bank account, known in industry jargon as the "unbanked," declined to 7% in 2015 from 7.7% in 2013. The improvements came mostly from households making less than $15,000 a year and among minority populations. Another way of looking at it: For every 10 households that were unbanked in 2013, one of those households is now banked. "The improving economy no doubt impacted these numbers in a positive way," FDIC Chairman Martin Gruenberg said.   read more

Female Law Partners Earn 44% Less than Their Male Colleagues

The lag in pay for female partners could stem from several factors. One is that the “old boys network” still has an outsize influence because of connections made in law school or earlier that affect who is hired to handle their corporate legal matters. Female partners earned an average of $659,000 annually compared with an average of $949,000 for male partners. Female partners take home thinner paychecks because, it appears, men are better at receiving credit for landing big cases.   read more

Illinois Worst State in Nation for Reclaiming Overpayments of Unemployment Benefits

Illinois is billions in debt, has billions in overdue bills and can't seem to remove itself from a budget morass, yet it's the nation's worst in reclaiming hundreds of millions of dollars in overpaid unemployment benefits. The abysmal performance is one reason the U.S. Labor Dept said that it would step in to help Illinois meet standards for management, record-keeping and timeliness. Illinois' 37% recovery rate is the worst among all U.S. states and territories.   read more

26% of Alaska’s 3,800 Backlogged Rape Kits to Be Processed with $1-Million Federal Grant

"Alaska has some of the highest rates of sexual assault and domestic violence in the nation. We must end this terrible epidemic, and that starts by addressing the thousands of sexual assault kits in the possession of law enforcement," Walker said. "We did not know about this problem before we ordered the audit. It is now a top priority. We owe it to victims and their families to deliver justice to perpetrators and bring closure to these tragic experiences."   read more

Justice Finally Delivered to U.S. Military Members Bilked Out of Millions by Predatory USA Discounters

The company misled customers about the quality and price of its merchandise, the terms of loan contracts, and its warranty and debt cancellation. One Army private bought a laptop shortly before shipping out for Iraq. For a model that typically retailed for $650, he agreed to pay almost $3,000. After he fell behind on his payments, he was sued in Virginia while stationed in Germany. The company later sought to seize his military pay and froze his credit union account.   read more

Military Insurance Begins to Cover Transgender Conditions

A number of health services for transgender people will begin to be covered by military insurance beginning Monday. The Pentagon announced in June an end to the military’s ban on transgender service members. The ripple effect of the new health benefits extends beyond active-duty military to include roughly 7 million retirees and children of service members.   read more
1 to 16 of about 1794 News
1 2 3 ... 113 Next