President Obama’s Fight Against Inequality

08/19/2014

Don’t think Obama has reduced inequality? These numbers prove that he has.

 – washingtonpost

Today, the average after-tax income of a member of the top 1 percent of earners is $1.12 million. The average after-tax income of someone in the bottom 20 percent is $13,300. That means the average person at the top takes home 84 times the income that the average person in the bottom takes home.

Now, consider what it would be like if none of President Obama’s tax policy changes had happened: not the upper-income tax hikes negotiated at the beginning of last year, not the upper-income tax increases imposed by the Affordable Care Act, not the low-income tax credits enacted in the 2009 stimulus and later renewed.

In this alternative universe, the average member of the top 1 percent would take home $1.2 million, or 6.5 percent more in income, according to a new analysis. The average member of the bottom 20 percent would bring home $13,100, or 1.2 percent less in income. As a result, the average member of the 1 percent would take home 91 times what the average person in the bottom would bring home.

If you’ve wondered whether Obama has made any headway at reducing income inequality, here’s evidence that he has. Based on tax policy alone, he has slightly increased the income of the poor and more significantly reduced the income of the rich. That’s according to a new, exclusive analysis by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, conducted at the request of The Washington Post, that compared today’s income distribution with what it would look like if President George W. Bush’s tax policies were still in place.

Ratio of Avgerage Income of US Earners Under Bush Policy vs Obama Policy

Ratio of Avgerage Income of US Earners Under Bush Policy vs Obama Policy

For more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/07/23/dont-think-obama-has-reduced-inequality-these-numbers-prove-that-he-has/

 

RebuildtheMiddleClass

President Obama’s Agenda

Goodwin College Technician Program

Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Vice President Biden attends an event on workforce development and skills initiative
Goodwin College, East Hartford, Connecticut

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Social Security and Marriage Equality (SAME) Act of 2014

08/12/2014

Patty Murray & lgbt-veterans

“Equal protection under the law is a fundamental right in our country. No one should suffer discrimination because of their race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Whether applying for a job, finding a home, eating in a restaurant, serving in our military, or attending school, we must ensure that all citizens are treated fairly and equally.”

To learn more about Senator Patty Murray’s priorities for the LGBT community

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Murray bill would force Social Security to pay same-sex spouses survivor benefits

A year after Supreme Court decision, some couples still denied benefits

5/8/14 By Liz Goodwin and Olivier Knox – Yahoo News

Nearly a year ago, the nation’s highest court told the federal government that it could no longer withhold marriage benefits from tens of thousands of same-sex married couples.

But that landmark Supreme Court decision made little difference in the lives of gay couples who live in the 33 states that ban same-sex marriage.

Midori Fujii and Kristie Kay Brittain got married in California, then returned to Indiana, which bans gay marriage. When Brittain died of ovarian cancer in 2011, Fujii found out that she would not be eligible to receive her wife’s Social Security survivor benefits.

For months, the Social Security Administration has put survivor benefit applications from same-sex spouses who live in states that don’t recognize gay marriage on hold. That’s because a portion of the decades-old law says that for a spouse to be eligible for benefits, his or her marriage must be recognized in the state where the couple currently resides.

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., hopes to change that with a bill she’s introducing Wednesday called the Social Security and Marriage Equality (SAME) Act of 2014, Yahoo News has learned. The measure would amend the Social Security Act to grant survivor benefits to any individual legally married anywhere in the United States, regardless of whether he or she lives in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage.

It would also declare individuals who were legally married in another country eligible for Social Security survivor benefits, according to a summary of the legislation provided by her office.

“Your zip code should not determine whether or not your family will have the means to survive after the death of a spouse,” Murray said in a statement. “While I believe the Social Security Administration can, and should, resolve this inconsistency through administrative action, the SAME Act would provide a road map to ensure equality under our federal laws do not end at state lines.”

For more: http://news.yahoo.com/murray-bill-would-force-social-security-to-pay-same-sex-spouses-survivor-benefits-220923730.html


SS 45th Annv

Social Security Act of 1935

The Social Security Act, Pub.L. 74–271, 49 Stat. 620, enacted August 14, 1935, now codified as 42 U.S.C. ch. 7, was a social welfare legislative act which created the Social Security system in the United States.

Overview
The Social Security Act was drafted during Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s first term by the President’s Committee on Economic Security, under Frances Perkins, and passed by Congress as part of the Second New Deal. The act was an attempt to limit what was seen as dangers in the modern American life, including old age, poverty, unemployment, and the burdens of widows and fatherless children. By signing this act on August 14, 1935, President Roosevelt became the first president to advocate federal assistance for the elderly.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Security_Act

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Social Security Timeline: http://www.ssa.gov/history/1930.html

 

Contact your legislator Contact your Congress person to TELL THEM TO GIVE THE LGBT COMMUNITY EQUAL BENEFITS!!

U.S. Senators
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 US LGBT Rights Timeline 1903-2014 (ProPresObama.org Civil Rights Timelines ™)

 White House – LGBT

 LGBT Democrats Facebook

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US – Africa Leaders Summit

08/03/2014

US - Africa Leaders Summit

The U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit constitutes the largest single engagement by any U.S. President with Africa. The theme of the Summit is “Investing in the Next Generation.” Focusing on the next generation is at the core of a government’s responsibility and work, and this Summit is an opportunity to discuss ways of stimulating growth, unlocking opportunities, and creating an enabling environment for the next generation. Focusing on the next generation is at the core of a government’s responsibility and work, and is an opportunity to discuss ways of stimulating growth, unlocking opportunities, and creating an enabling environment for the next generation. The Summit will focus on trade and investment in Africa and highlight America’s commitment to Africa’s security, its democratic development, and its people. At the same time, it will highlight the depth and breadth of the United States’ commitment to the African continent, advance our shared priorities and enable discussion of concrete ideas to deepen the partnership. At its core, this Summit is about fostering stronger ties between the United States and Africa.

The Summit will include approximately 50 African heads of state and government as well as the Chairperson of the African Union, a range of U.S. and African civil society and business leaders, young African leaders, and Members of Congress. The presence of so many African leaders in the nation’s capital provides an historic opportunity to further strengthen ties with our African partners and highlight America’s longstanding commitment to investing in Africa’s development and its people.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/us-africa-leaders-summit

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AUGUST 1

Signature Events
The Summit will include six U.S. Government-sponsored “Signature Events,” allowing for in-depth conversations on some of the most pressing issues facing the U.S.-Africa partnership. These sessions will set the stage for the high-level discussions that President Obama will chair during the subsequent Summit leader meetings.

  • Faith Works: Honoring the Contributions of the Faith Community to Peace and Prosperity in Africa – Ronald Reagan Building

 

AUGUST 4

    • Civil Society Forum – National Academy of Sciences
    • African Growth And Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum – The World Bank
    • Power Africa Event, Co-Hosted by the Corporate Council on Africa – Grand Hyatt Hotel
    • Investing in Women, Peace, and Prosperity Working Luncheon – National Academy of Sciences
    • Investing in Health: Investing in Africa’s Future – National Academy of Sciences
    • Resilience and Food Security in a Changing Climate – National Academy of Sciences
    • Combating Wildlife Trafficking – National Academy of Sciences
  • Congressional Reception for African Leaders – Capitol Hill

 

AUGUST 5

  • U.S.-Africa Business Forum Hosted by U.S. Department of Commerce and Bloomberg Philanthropies the forum focuses on strengthening trade and financial ties between the United States and Africa  – Mandarin Oriental, Washington, D.C.
    • Expanding Opportunities: The New Era for Business in Africa –  Mandarin Oriental Hotel
    • Remarks by Dr. Nkosazana Clarice Dlamini- Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union –  Mandarin Oriental Hotel
    • Open Markets: Financing the Africa of Tomorrow –  Mandarin Oriental Hotel
    • Powering Africa: Leading Developments in Infrastructure –  Mandarin Oriental Hotel
    • Game Plan: Shaping the Future of a Fast-Growing Continent –  Mandarin Oriental Hotel
    • President Barack Obama delivers the closing remarks at the U.S. – Africa Business Forum  – Mandarin Oriental, Washington, D.C.
  • White House Dinner on the Occasion of the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit – The White House
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AUGUST 6

Summit Leader Meetings

U.S. Africa Leaders Summit

U.S. Africa Leaders Summit Schedule
FACT SHEET: U.S.–African Cooperation on Global Health
FACT SHEET: U.S.-African Cooperation in Advancing Gender Equality
FACT SHEET: Shared Investment in Youth
FACT SHEET: U.S. Support for Democratic Institutions, Good Governance, and Human Rights in Africa
FACT SHEET: Investing in African Trade for our Common Future
FACT SHEET: The Doing Business in Africa Campaign
Presidential Memorandum — Establishing a Comprehensive Approach to Expanding Sub-Saharan Africa’s Capacity for Trade and Investment
Executive Order –Establishing the President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa
FACT SHEET: Powering Africa: Increasing Access to Power in Sub-Saharan Africa
FACT SHEET: U.S. Engagement on Climate Change and Resilience in Africa
FACT SHEET: U.S.-African Cooperation on Food Security
FACT SHEET: U.S. Support for Peacekeeping in Africa
FACT SHEET: Security Governance Initiative
FACT SHEET: Partnering to Counter Terrorism in Africa

Follow the Summit on Twitter using the hashtag#AfricaSummit

U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit
Washington, D.C.
August 4, 2014

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STOP Angery Tantrums. START Passing Laws to Help Middleclass

07/29/2014

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Obama to GOP: Stop hating

7/30/14 By KENDALL BREITMAN – POLITICO

President Barack Obama had some blistering words for congressional Republicans during a speech Wednesday in Kansas City, saying they need to stop “hating all the time.” “We could do so much more if Congress would just come on and help out a little bit,” Obama said. “Stop being mad all the time. Stop just hating all the time. Lets get some work done together.”

The president’s speech comes on the day that the House is set to vote on whether they will be moving forward in a lawsuit against Obama.

“Now everybody knows this is a political stunt,” Obama said of the lawsuit, “but it’s worse than that because every vote they’re taking like that means a vote they’re not taking to help you. And by the way, you know who is paying for this suit they are going to file? You!” “The main vote that they scheduled for today is whether or not they decide to sue me for doing my job,” Obama told the laughing audience. “So, you know, they’re mad because I’m doing my job. And by the way, I’ve told them, I said ‘I’d be happy to do with with you. So the only reason I’m doing it on my own is because you don’t do anything.’”

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/07/obama-gop-stop-hating-109543.html?hp=l3 .

Update: “House Republicans Just Voted to Sue President Obama”

Ezra Mechaber July 30, 2014 07:02 PM EDT

The House of Representatives just took a vote — and it wasn’t to raise the minimum wage, put in place equal pay, create jobs, or reform our broken immigration system.

Instead, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives just voted to sue the President for using his executive authority. This lawsuit will waste valuable time and potentially millions of taxpayer dollars.

This is the least productive Congress in decades. And instead of doing their job, they are suing the President for doing his.

The President is committed to making a difference for the millions of hardworking Americans trying to do right by their families and communities. While Republicans in Congress continue to waste taxpayer money, this President is going to keep doing his job. President Obama remains ready and willing to work with Republicans in Congress if they decide to get serious and do something for the American people. But he is also committed to acting even as Congress won’t. You’ve seen that time and time again this year — from raising the federal minimum wage on new federal government contracts, to expanding apprenticeship opportunities and making student loan payments more affordable.

The President is not going to back away from his efforts to use his authority to solve problems and help American families. In fact, the day after the vote, President Obama will announce his next executive action to crack down on federal contractors who put workers’ safety and hard-earned pay at risk. It’s just the next in a series of steps this Administration will be taking this year to make sure that American workers are getting a fair deal, and he has pledged to take executive action to deal with our broken immigration system in the months ahead.

For more:  http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/07/30/dan-pfeiffer-house-republicans-just-voted-sue-president-obama

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This Congress poised to be least productive in history

Yahoo Finance

This session of Congress, the 113th, is currently the least productive Congress ever. With only 125 public laws enacted since it began nearly two years ago and an August recess coming up leading straight into midterm elections, it seems like the record for least done is all but won.

“Even by [congress’] terrible standards, they’re going to underwhelm,” says Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former director of the Congressional Budget Office and chief economic policy advisor to U.S. Senator John McCain.

“Our nation has many deep needs for permanent reforms, whether they’re immigration, or education, or entitlements taxes. You look around and there’s big legislation that’s really necessary. Congress is doing none of that,” says Holtz-Eakin, now president of American Action Forum. “They can’t even get the little things done like … the annual spending bills.”

So will this Congress be able to get anything done before the next one starts? Holtz-Eakin has little hope for any big initiatives but he does think there will be some tax extenders, and possibly reauthorization of terrorism risk insurance and the Export-Import Bank.

President Obama has publicly lambasted the 113th Congress saying, “This has become the least productive Congress in modern history, recent memory. And that’s by objective measures – just basic activity.”

Of course quality comes before quantity, and a Congress that passed a few very important bills could be more noteworthy than a Congress that passed a large number of smaller bills. The 113th Congress, however, hasn’t been able to do that either, says Holtz-Eakin. “They’re not going to get anything major done … get ready for the 114th Congress and see you in January.”

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3 big issues Congress will likely punt for now

July 29, 2014 By REBECCA KAPLAN – CBS NEWS

Congress is getting ready to leave Washington for a five-week summer recess and, despite progress on reforming the VA and a short-term fix to prevent the Highway Trust Fund from running dry, there are a host of difficult issues that will be left hanging until they return.

The biggest items lawmakers are punting to the fall include the crisis of child migrants flooding across the southern border, a host of foreign policy crises, and a long-term fix to the nation’s crumbling infrastructure.

Part of the problem is the looming midterm elections, where, according to a CBS News/New York Times analysis, Republicans are narrowly projected to capture the Senate in November.

“The kind of Republican mindset right now is, ‘we’re on a roll heading into this election: don’t give Barack Obama any signing ceremonies’ and so the incentives to cut deals across House and Senate are very limited,” American Enterprise Institute congressional scholar Norm Ornstein told CBS News. “

At the same time we have [Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid looking very hard to get as many confirmations through as he can. Each one is being filibustered, and that means even thought he has the votes for them it soaks up a lot of floor time.”

For more: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/3-big-issues-congress-will-likely-punt-for-now/  .

GOP_Elephant_WRONG_WAY_smallWHAT GOP CONGRESS HAS DONE in 2014 FOR 99% OF  AMERICANS

 

. 2014 Year of Action

President Obama is Taking Action

In his 2014 State of the Union address, President Obama affirmed that this would be “A Year of Action” to help ensure opportunity for all Americans.

Since January, the President has taken more than 20 actions on his own to help build real, lasting economic security for the middle class and expand opportunities for every hardworking American to get ahead.

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President Obama speaks on expanding opportunity for more Americans

Uptown Theater in Kansas City, Missouri Jul 30, 2014

“Let’s really fight to make sure that everybody gets a chance and, by the way, that everybody plays by the same rules. (Applause.) We could do so much more if we got that kind of economic patriotism that says we rise or fall as one nation and as one people. And that’s what Victor believes.

When Victor wrote me his letter, he said, “I believe, regardless of political party, we can all do something to help our citizens to have a chance at a job, have food in their stomachs, have access to great education and health care.” That’s what economic patriotism is. (Applause.) That’s what we should all be working on.

Instead of tax breaks for folks who don’t need them, let’s give tax breaks to working families to help them pay for child care and college. Don’t reward companies shipping jobs overseas; let’s give tax breaks to companies investing right here in Missouri, right here in the Midwest. (Applause.) Let’s give every citizen access to preschool and college and affordable health care. And let’s make sure women get a fair wage. (Applause.) Let’s make sure anybody who is working full-time isn’t living in poverty. (Applause.) These are not un-American ideas; these are patriotic ideas. This is how we built America. (Applause.)

So just remember this: The hardest thing to do is to bring about real change. It’s hard. You’ve got a stubborn status quo. And folks in Washington, sometimes they’re focused on everything but your concerns. And there are special interests and there are lobbyists, and they’re paid to maintain the status quo that’s working for somebody. And they’re counting on you getting cynical, so you don’t vote and you don’t get involved, and people just say, you know what, none of this is going to make a difference. And the more you do that, then the more power the special interests have, and the more entrenched the status quo becomes.

You can’t afford to be cynical. Cynicism is fashionable sometimes. You see it all over our culture, all over TV; everybody likes just putting stuff down and being cynical and being negative, and that shows somehow that you’re sophisticated and you’re cool. You know what — cynicism didn’t put a man on the moon. Cynicism didn’t win women the right to vote. Cynicism did not get a Civil Rights Act signed. Cynicism has never won a war. Cynicism has never cured a disease. Cynicism has never started a business. Cynicism has never fed a young mind. (Applause.)

I do not believe in a cynical America; I believe in an optimistic America that is making progress. (Applause.) And I believe despite unyielding opposition, there are workers right now who have jobs who didn’t have them before because of what we’ve done; and folks who got health care who didn’t have it because of the work that we’ve done; and students who are going to college who couldn’t afford it before; and troops who’ve come home after tour after tour of duty because of what we’ve done. (Applause.)

You don’t have time to be cynical. Hope is a better choice. (Applause.) That’s what I need you for.”

 

 

. Contact your legislator Contact your Congress person to TELL THEM TO START WORKING WITH PRESIDENT OBAMA TO HELP AMERICA’S RECOVERY!!

U.S. Senators

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Social Security Amendments of 1965 Established Medicare & Medicaid

07/29/2014

socialsecurity

The Social Security Amendments of 1965Pub.L. 89–97, 79 Stat. 286, enacted July 30, 1965, was legislation in the United States whose most important provisions resulted in creation of two programs: Medicare and Medicaid. The legislation initially provided federal health insurance for the elderly (over 65) and for poor families.

History

Many politicians were involved in drafting the final bill that was introduced to the United States Congress in March 1965. On July 30, 1965 President Lyndon B. Johnson (D) signed the bill into law.

The concept of national health insurance began in the early 20th century in the United States and then came to prominence during the Truman administration. Between 1958 and 1964, controversy grew and a bill was drafted. The signing of the act, as part of Johnson’s Great Society, began an era with a greater emphasis on public health issues. Medicare and Medicaid became the United States’ first public health insurance programs. The legislation was vigorously opposed by the American Medical Association until it had been enacted, following which the AMA cooperated in its implementation.

In 1912 Theodore Roosevelt included social insurance for sickness in the platform of his Progressive Party (United States, 1912). Around 1915 the group American Association for Labor Legislation attempted to introduce a medical insurance bill to some state legislatures. These attempts were not successful, and as a result controversy about national insurance came about. National groups supporting the idea of government health insurance included the AFL-CIO, the American Nurses AssociationNational Association of Social Workers, and the Socialist Party USA. The most prominent opponent of national medical insurance was the American Medical Association (AMA); others included the American Hospital Association, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Life Insurance Association of People.

Previous administrations

In 1935, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt (D) signed the Social Security Act, medical benefits were left out of the bill. The committee that Roosevelt appointed to study issues related to Social Security wanted to include health insurance in the bill. However, the committee was concerned that amending the bill to include health insurance would kill the entire bill. Harry Truman took on the idea of national medical care and tried to integrate it into his Fair Deal program. Truman’s attempts were also unsuccessful, though during his presidency the fight for national medical care became specific to the aged population.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Security_Act_of_1965

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On the Horizon: The 2015 White House Conference on Aging

Cecilia Muñoz July 29, 2014 01:25 PM EDT

Today at the White House, I was delighted to host a roundtable discussion with leaders from across the aging community who came together to discuss the White House Conference on Aging, which will take place in 2015 – the 50th anniversary of Medicare, Medicaid, and the Older Americans Act, as well as the 80th anniversary of Social Security.

Just yesterday, the Medicare Trustees released their annual report finding that, since their report last year, the life of the Medicare Trust Fund has been extended by four additional years to 2030. When this Administration first took office, the Trust Fund was projected to go bankrupt more than a dozen years sooner, in 2017. The Trustees also project that – for the second year in a row – Part B premiums will not increase, allowing seniors to keep more of their Social Security cost-of-living increase.

Thanks in part to the Affordable Care Act, we have improved the affordability of the program, while at the same time helping Medicare work better for seniors. For example, we are closing the prescription drug coverage gap or “donut hole” to make medications more affordable for Medicare beneficiaries. Just today, we learned that 8.2 million seniors and people with disabilities saved $11.5 billion since 2010 – over $1,000 on average for people hitting the donut hole. Additionally, Medicare now provides coverage without cost-sharing for many preventive benefits to help keep older Americans healthy. The Affordable Care Act also responds to older Americans’ desire to remain independent in their communities by creating incentives for states to provide the services and supports that help people remain at home as they age.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/07/29/horizon-2015-white-house-conference-aging

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Social Security Timeline: http://www.ssa.gov/history/1930.html

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Learn more about Social Security: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/

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Congress to Vote on ‘Bring Jobs Home Act’

07/22/2014

Bring Jobs Home

Stabenow’s Initiative Would End Tax Giveaway That Rewards Companies that Send Jobs Overseas, While Cutting Taxes for Companies that Bring Jobs Back to U.S.

Thursday, Jul 19

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow’s Bring Jobs Home Actwhich ends tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas and cuts taxes for businesses to bring jobs back to America, was supported by a majority of Senators today but Senate Republicans blocked the bill with a procedural move.  While Sen. Stabenow’s initiative received a majority of votes in support, 56-42, the bill was blocked by a Republican filibuster which meant the legislation required 60 votes to move forward.

“Michigan has been hit hard by outsourcing.  We need to be exporting our products, not our jobs,” said Stabenow.  “It’s outrageous that taxpayers are paying companies to send jobs abroad.  Instead of giving tax breaks to companies that ship jobs overseas, Congress should cut taxes for U.S. companies that bring jobs back to America.  We are going to continue to work to get Congress to put politics aside, put American jobs first and pass this bill.”

Senator Stabenow’s Bring Jobs Home Act:

Ends a tax break for U.S. companies that outsource jobs and business activity. Right now, the cost of moving personnel and company operations to a new location is defined as a business expense that qualifies for a tax deduction. Senator Stabenow’s legislation would no longer allow this deduction for companies that move jobs and business activity outside of the U.S.  However, the deduction is maintained for businesses that move jobs back home (or move within the U.S.).

Creates a new tax cut to encourage U.S. companies to move jobs and business activity from another country back to America. Companies bringing jobs home would still be able to claim the current moving expense deduction when bringing jobs home, and would also receive a tax credit equal to 20% of the cost associated with bringing jobs and business activity back to the United States. The company will be able to apply the 20% tax credit against its corporate income tax.

Senator Stabenow has long-championed efforts to ensure U.S. businesses and workers can become more globally competitive and create more jobs in America. Last year, Senator Stabenow introduced her American Competitiveness Plan to crack down on other countries’ trade violations. One of the main provisions of Stabenow’s Plan, which called for a trade enforcement unit to hold countries that violate trade laws accountable, was created by President Obama earlier this year. Other provisions of Stabenow’s plan include a bill to crackdown on China’s currency manipulation (which passed the Senate last year with overwhelming bipartisan support) and provisions to strengthen penalties for foreign companies who steal American technology and intellectual property.

Outsourcing Message from AllAmericanClothing.com

Outsourcing Message from AllAmericanClothing.com

EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20503

July 18, 2012

STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY S. 3364 – Bring Jobs Home Act (Sen. Stabenow, D-MI, and 13 cosponsors)

The Administration strongly supports Senate passage of S. 3364, a bill that would encourage companies to invest in the United States and bring jobs back while preventing companies from receiving tax breaks for shipping jobs overseas.

The Nation’s tax code does too little to encourage job creation and investment in the United States while allowing firms to benefit from incentives to locate production and jobs overseas. This bill can help attract and keep jobs in the United States by providing a 20 percent general business tax credit for eligible expenditures associated with bringing jobs back, which is paid for by preventing firms from receiving tax breaks for deducting expenses associated with outsourcing.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/legislative/sap/112/saps3364s_20120718.pdf

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“Fair pay.  Let’s make sure the next generation of women are getting a fair deal.  Let’s make sure the next generation of good manufacturing jobs are made in America.  Let’s make it easier, not harder, for companies to bring those jobs back home.  Tomorrow, senators will get to vote on the Bring Jobs Home Act.  Instead of rewarding companies for shipping jobs overseas or rewarding companies that are moving profits offshore, let’s create jobs right here in America and let’s encourage those companies.”

July 22, 2014 President Obama

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Congress votes on the ‘Bring Jobs Home Act’

 

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Update:  July 30, 2014 – Senate GOP blocks tax hike on firms moving overseas

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Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)

07/21/2014

skills act

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The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (H.R. 803) is a bill that would consolidate job training programs under the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) into a single funding stream. It also would amend the Wagner-Peyser Act, reauthorize adult-education programs, and reauthorize programs under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The various job programs would be authorized for six years with a requirement that they record and report on how many people get new jobs through their participation in the programs.

The bill was originally introduced into the United States House of Representatives as the “Supporting Knowledge and Investing in Lifelong Skills Act” or “SKILLS Act”.This happened during the 113th United States Congress.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Workforce_Innovation_and_Opportunity_Act_(H.R._803;_113th_Congress)

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Overhaul of America’s Job Training Programs Headed to President’s Desk Following Strong Bipartisan Support from Congress

Jul 09 2014 murray.senate.gov

Current Federal Workforce Development Laws, Written in 1998, Have Been Overdue for Reauthorization for More Than Ten Years; Leaders from Senate and House Announced Bipartisan, Bicameral Agreement in May

Legislation to update the Workforce Investment Act, overdue for reauthorization for more than a decade, is headed to the President’s desk following overwhelming bipartisan support from both houses of Congress. The Senate and House authors of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) applauded the passage of the bill, which seeks to update and improve the nation’s workforce development system. The legislation was approved today by a vote of 415 to 6 by the House of Representatives; it was approved by the Senate last month by a vote of 95-3 and will be signed into law by President Obama.

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act modernizes and improves existing federal workforce development programs, helps workers attain skills for 21st century jobs, provides supports to people with disabilities to enter and remain in competitive, integrated job settings, and fosters the modern workforce that evolving American businesses rely on to compete. In addition to winning strong bipartisan support in both chambers, the bill is supported by a broad array of labor, business, workforce development leaders, and disability advocates, as well as governors and mayors from around the country.

“After receiving overwhelming, bipartisan support in the Senate, today’s vote in the House goes to show that both chambers of Congress are still capable of breaking through the gridlock and investing in American workers and the economy,” said Senator Patty Murray. “I’ve seen firsthand that federal workforce programs can change lives, boost our economy, and get people back to work, but we can’t expect to adequately train Americans for jobs at Boeing or Microsoft with programs designed in the 1990s. Today, we can definitively say that both chambers of Congress agree, and I’m thrilled that this long overdue legislation is now headed for the President’s desk to become law.”

For more: http://www.murray.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/newsroom?ID=3919197b-7b07-4312-9ca3-3818e2f3cc85

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STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY

June 25, 2014

Senate Amendments to H.R. 803 – Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

Sponsors: (Sen. Murray, D-WA, Sen. Isakson, R-GA, Sen. Harkin, D-IA, Sen. Alexander, R-TN and 17 cosponsors)

The Administration supports passage of Senate Amendments to H.R. 803, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014. This bipartisan legislation would strengthen our workforce system and provide workers and job seekers with access to employment, education, training, and support services that will help them secure good jobs and advance their careers.

While this legislation does not address certain reforms that the Administration has pursued, such as the Workforce Innovation Fund, it represents an important bipartisan compromise that will help individuals, including people with disabilities, acquire the skills they need to succeed in the workforce and employers find the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy. Ensuring that employment, education, and training programs are “job-driven”—designed to take business and workforce needs into account—is a critical aspect of helping workers enter the middle class and prosper. This bill would hold programs accountable for getting people into good jobs and providing education and training that is aligned with the skills employers need.

The Administration applauds the spirit of bipartisanship that led to this compromise and looks forward to its swift passage.

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Statement by US Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez on passage of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

7/9/14 dol.gov

WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez today issued the following statement regarding Congressional approval of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act:

“Congress has taken a strong, decisive bipartisan step forward with the passage by both the Senate and the House of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. I applaud the members from both sides of the aisle who led the way to forge this compromise.

“Democrats and Republicans have come together on a bill that is good for workers, employers and the economy as a whole. It will help more people succeed in 21st century jobs and punch their ticket to the middle class. And it will help businesses hire the world-class, highly-skilled workforce required to compete successfully in the global economy.

“WIOA improves the workforce system, aligning it with regional economies and strengthening the network of about 2,500 American Job Centers, to deliver more comprehensive services to workers, job seekers and employers. The bill will build closer ties among key workforce partners — business leaders, workforce boards, labor unions, community colleges and non-profits and state and local officials — as we strive for a more job-driven approach to training and skills development. President Obama’s ongoing review of federal training programs, led by Vice President Biden, will further ensure that we are doing everything possible to prepare ready-to-work-Americans with ready-to-be-filled jobs. WIOA also improves performance accountability, so consumers can get information about programs that work and taxpayers can have confidence that they are getting the best services for their money.

“Better-trained workers; more profitable businesses; stronger, smarter investments in our people and our economy — Congress has demonstrated that these are principles that transcend partisanship. I am excited to see President Obama sign this bill and to continue working with him and Congress on our shared goal of strengthening the nation’s workforce.

July 22, 2014 FACT SHEET: Ready to Work At a Glance: Job-Driven Training and American Opportunity

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President Obama’s Agenda

 

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July 22, 2014
President Obama signs the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014

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Executive Order: Non-Discrimination Protection to LGBT Employees of Fed. Contractors

07/20/2014

HRC Statement on the LGBT Executive Order to be Signed Monday

July 18, 2014 by Charlie Joughin – hrc.org

Following the news that President Obama will sign an executive order Monday outlawing anti-LGBT discrimination among federal contractors and federal employees, Human Rights Campaign (HRC) President Chad Griffin issued the following statement:

“With the strokes of a pen, the President will have a very real and immediate impact on the lives of millions of LGBT people across the country. Each and every American worker should be judged based on the work they do, and never because of a fundamental aspect of who they are – like their sexual orientation or gender identity. These actions from the President have the potential to be a keystone in the arch of his administration’s progress, and they send a powerful message to future administrations and to Congress that anti-LGBT discrimination must not be tolerated. We also call on Congress to immediately pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.” .

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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary

FACT SHEET: Taking Action to Support LGBT Workplace Equality is Good For Business

America is built on the fundamental promise that if you work hard, and play by the rules, you can get ahead. But today, millions of Americans in most states in the country go to work every day fearing that they could lose their jobs simply because of who they are or who they love. No current federal law adequately protects lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) workers from employment discrimination. This is completely contrary to our values as Americans – and it’s also bad for business.

President Obama declared 2014 a year of action – working with Congress where they’re willing, but acting where he can when they refuse to take action. As part of this commitment to expanding opportunity for hardworking Americans, today, the President will sign an Executive Order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT employees and prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity in federal employment.

At a critical time for our nation’s economy, we need all of our workers to be focused on making the most of their talent, skill, and ingenuity, rather than worrying about losing their job due to discrimination. The economy functions best when workers are matched to the jobs with the best fit, maximizing their productivity, increasing wages and helping the bottom line for businesses. Discrimination is not just wrong, it also can keep qualified workers from maximizing their potential to contribute to the strengthening of our economy. For decades, companies have found that benefits and inclusive, flexible, and supportive workplace policies make it easier and more cost effective to recruit, retain, and motivate employees. The same logic applies to extending these basic protections and policies to LGBT workers.

American workers should be judged by one thing only: their ability to get the job done. That’s why the President has long supported federal legislation to explicitly prohibit employers across the country from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. For forty years, Congress has considered various pieces of legislation meant to address LGBT workplace equality. Last November, the Senate passed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) with strong bipartisan support. However, the House has failed to act.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/07/21/fact-sheet-taking-action-support-lgbt-workplace-equality-good-business-0

 

July 21, 2014  – 10:00 AM EDT
President Obama Signs an Executive Order to Protect LGBT Employees from Workplace Discrimination

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Actions of President Obama on LGBT Rights 

ProPresObama.org Civil Rights Timelines ™

2009 -
Oct 28 – President Obama signed The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, also known as the Matthew Shepard Act, is an American Act of Congress
2010 -
President Obama authorizes the US State Department to provide assistance to LGBT defenders and advocates through the US Embassies abroad
2012 -
 May 9 – Barack Obama became the first U.S. president to publicly announced support for same-sex marriage
2013 -
Feb. 22 –   President Obama administration urges U.S. Supreme Court to strike down DOMA
Jun. 26 – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced that the US will give visa applications of gay and lesbian spouses in the same manner as heterosexual couples
Jun. 28-  US Office of Personnel Management extends federal rights and benefits to married gay and lesbian federal employees and their families
Jul. 12 – The Social Security Administration announced that it would begin accepting benefit claims related to same-sex marriage
Aug. 2 – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry Announcemens on Visa Changes for Same-Sex Couples
Aug. 14 – DOD Announces Same-Sex Spouse Benefits
Aug. 29 –  Treasury and IRS Announce That All Legal Same-Sex Marriages Will Be Recognized For Federal Tax Purposes,  Social Security Announces the Processing of claims for same-sex couples
Sept. 23 – First WH Bi Conference
Sept. 24 – Pres Obama’s nominee Todd Hughes, become the nation’s first openly gay federal appeals judge
Oct. 31 – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel  directed the chief of the National Guard Bureau to meet with the adjutants general of nine [of the remaining] states [not in compliance] to resolve the issue of those states denying ID cards to same-sex spouses at National Guard facilities
2014 –
Jan. 10 – Attorney General Eric Holder recognizes the marriages of more than 1,000 same-sex couples in Utah that took place before the Supreme Court put those unions on hold
Mar 14 – President Obama’s Judge Staci Michelle Yandle, an openly gay African-American woman, to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois
Jun 19 – President Obama’s nominee Judith Ellen Levy was confirmed by the Senate as the first openly lesbian federal judge in Michigan
Jun 19 – President Obama’s nominee Darrin P. Gayles becomes the first black, openly gay male judge was appointed to District Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
Jun 20 – President Obama announces a rule that makes legally married same-sex couples eligible for benefits under the Family and Medical Leave Act in all 50 states

Jun 24 –  White House Global Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Human Rights Forum

Jul 21 – President Obama signs an executive order Monday outlawing anti-LGBT discrimination among federal contractors and federal employees

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LGBT Rights are the Civil Rights Fight of Our Lifetime 

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 LGBT Democrats Facebook

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Global Economic Investment in U.S.A.

07/10/2014

SelectUSA - U.S. Business Investment

WINNING BUSINESS INVESTMENT IN THE UNITED STATES

The Executive Office of the President of the United States of America and the U.S. Department of Commerce

May 2014

The United States is an increasingly attractive location for business investment from global companies. In AT Kearney’s 2013 FDI Confidence Index, the United States surged past countries like China, Brazil and India to become the country with the top FDI prospects globally, as ranked by 302 companies representing 28 countries and multiple industry sectors.1 This marks the first time that the US occupied the #1 spot in the survey since 2001.2 In a survey of U.S. manufacturers with production abroad late last year, BCG found that the majority (54 percent) are looking at re-shoring to the United States, up from 37 percent in 2012. 3

More and more companies are choosing to locate here after weighing the United States’ competitive advantages, including our:

  •  Skills and productivity: The U.S. workforce is among the most skilled and productive globally – more than 30 percent more productive than Germany’s and nearly twice as productive as South Korea’s.4
  • Innovation: The United States is the global leader in patents, producing nearly 30 percent of all patents worldwide, and has 15 of the top 25 leading research universities.5 Not surprisingly, the United States also has over a third of the world’s total R&D investment, more than any other country.6
  • Energy: With a century of reserves, natural gas costs one third as much here as it does in Asia and our low energy costs overall are estimated to save U.S. manufacturers nearly $130 billion annually compared to Europe.7
  • Access to markets: Locating in the United States provides unparalleled access to the largest consumer market in the world and rapid access to global markets, with the United States having free trade agreements with 20 other countries and the most rapid export clearances of the 185 countries surveyed by the World Bank.8

As the United States becomes increasingly competitive for investment, more global companies, including companies that are foreign-owned, are investing in and creating jobs in America. Business fixed investment from companies choosing to grow and invest in the United States accounts for more than 20 percent of the rebound in real GDP since mid-2009.

US Exports 1997-2011US Share of FDI Inflows 2002-2012

Source: Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis

Source: Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis

Economy Activity Majority-Owned US. Affliates of Foreign Companies, 2011

SelectUS Investment Success

SelectUSA 2014 Global Events

For the entire report: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/winning_business_investment_in_the_united_states.pdf
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2014 A.T. Kearney FDI Confidence Index:

U.S. Increases its Lead; an Overridingly Positive Outlook Develops for Global Economy

China holds at #2, Canada rises to #3, Europe sees high level of confidence

6/2/14 A.T. Kearney

WASHINGTON, June 2, 2014 /PRNewswire/

Global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney today released its 2014 Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index (FDICI), an in-depth view of forward-looking investment sentiment. In this year’s ranking, the U.S. not only maintains its first place position from last year, but also increases the lead it had in the 2013 study, which was referenced in the recent White House report, Winning Business Investment in the United States. The findings bode well not only for the U.S., but for the global economy: Nearly four out of five respondents are more optimistic about the global economy than they were a year ago. Since its inception, the study has consistently pointed toward top global choices for foreign direct investment, with the top 10 most attractive FDI destinations receiving a majority share of global FDI inflows roughly one year after the survey.

In January 2014, President Barack Obama referred to the prior FDICI findings in his State of the Union address, saying, “For the first time in over a decade, business leaders have declared that China is no longer the world’s number one place to invest; America is.” With an unprecedented swing in positive outlook by global executives surveyed in the 2014 FDICI, half of the respondents indicated that they have a more positive outlook on the U.S. than two years ago. No country has ever recorded a higher positive outlook from investors in the history of the Index. Driven by overriding factors such as the increasingly strong prospect of U.S. energy independence, leading executives continue to plan increased investments in the U.S.

For more: https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/2014-t-kearney-fdi-confidence-130000383.html

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Trade Gap in U.S. Shrinks More Than Forecast on Record Exports

Jul 3, 2014 5:30 AM PT By Jeanna Smialek – bloomberg

The trade deficit in the U.S. narrowed more than forecast in May on record exports, signaling a pickup in global growth that will boost American manufacturers.

The gap shrank by 5.6 percent, the biggest drop since November, to $44.4 billion from the prior month’s $47 billion, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of 69 economists called for a contraction to $45 billion. Sales to foreign customers climbed 1 percent on growing demand for autos and parts, petroleum products and aircraft engines.

Economic expansions abroad that are gaining traction will probably continue to invigorate demand for American goods. A narrowing deficit would mean trade becomes less of a drag on gross domestic product in the second quarter after the world’s largest economy contracted in the first three months of 2014.

Other reports today showed payrolls rose by 288,000 in June and the jobless rate fell to 6.1 percent, according to figures from the Labor Department.

Trade estimates in the Bloomberg survey ranged from gaps of $41 billion to $48 billion. The April reading was revised from a previously reported $47.2 billion deficit.

Exports climbed to $195.5 billion from $193.5 billion in April.

Imports decreased 0.3 percent to $239.8 billion as demand for petroleum dropped to the lowest level since November 2010. Excluding petroleum, imports rose to a record as Americans bought more autos and parts, industrial machines and drilling equipment.

For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-07-03/trade-gap-in-u-s-shrinks-more-than-forecast-on-record-exports.html

 

March 21, 2014, 2:57 a.m. EDT

Fitch Ratings affirms U.S. AAA ratings, outlook stable

MADRID (MarketWatch) — Fitch Ratings affirmed the U.S.’s AAA long-term foreign and local currency credit ratings with a stable outlook on Friday, a move that removed the negative outlook that had been in place since Oct. 15, 2013. “The federal debt limit was suspended in mid-February in a timely manner and in a way that avoided casting uncertainty over the full faith and credit of the US, in contrast to the crises in August 2011 and October 2013,” said Fitch in a statement. Fitch said U.S. gross general government debt should peak at 100% of GDP in 2014 before falling slightly for four years. That’s below the 110% threshold previously identified as incompatible with a AAA rating. It also sees federal government debt at 72.5% of GDP for 2014. Fitch said the U.S. has greater debt tolerance than its peers, due to the dollar and the country’s benchmark fixed-income asset. However, Fitch said after the suspension of the debt limit ends in March 2015 there is a “risk of renewed brinkmanship” that could undermine the dollar, and external liabilities are high.

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A guide through rough trade waters from U.S. Commercial Service

Say you work for a small or medium-sized company. You want to sell pretzels in Vietnam. Or electric power cable in China. Or lipstick in Denmark.

How to go about it?

Maybe you’re ignorant. Maybe you’re scared. Maybe you just want a leg up.

Chances are you will eventually find your way to the local outpost of a federal agency known as the United States Commercial Service.

In an era of tax-slashing and bureaucrat-bashing, this network of 1,500 professionals, based in 221 cities around the world, earns kudos from business executives for the practicality and sophistication of its commercial diplomacy.

Whether tucked away in office parks, or working behind the walls of palatial embassies, they are the ground forces in President Barack Obama’s ambitious push to double U.S. exports over five years.

Commercial service specialists tend to focus on smaller players. With 95 percent of the world’s customers living outside the U.S., according to the Commerce Department, exporting is often the key to expansion, as well as a major job engine in any local economy.

“Doing business outside the U.S. is so different,” said Richard Swanson who oversees Commercial Service offices in California, Nevada and Hawaii. “The biggest hurdle is fear of the unknown.

“But we’re here to mitigate the risks. We have experts in every global market, and in every sector from aerospace to medical devices to franchising.”

“When you are a small- to medium-sized brand, it is impossible to have a network in every country,” Chorna said. “The commercial service has databases of people interested in importing — whether its widgets or franchise brands. It is a fantastic resource.”

  • Trade counseling: The service helps exporters create a business plan for entry into targeted markets.
  • Matchmaking: The Gold Key service matches exporters with pre-qualified distributors and potential buyers in a foreign country, and sets up appointments to meet them.
  • Due diligence: The International Company Profile offers background research on potential foreign partners
  • Advocacy: The Advocacy Center helps exporters bid on public-sector contracts with overseas governments.
  • Trade shows: The service helps set up exhibits for exporters in U.S. pavilions at foreign trade shows, and introduces them to prescreened buyers.
  • Trade missions: On missions led by senior U.S. officials, companies can meet with prospective customers and government officials.
  • Market intelligence: Research reports, country commercial guides and business advisory services offer insights on opportunities, trends and challenges in specific markets.
  • Featured U.S. exporter: Lists products in online directories featuring U.S. export products and services on U.S. Commercial Service websites around the world.

More information: www.trade.gov/cs

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White House Resources for Business in America

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Economic Progress

07/06/2014

Moving-America-Forward_Democrat-party

White House: Best New-Jobs Streak Since 1939

The unemployment rate slid to 6.1 percent in June, which, following several years of chronic joblessness, has a relatively positive ring to it. The economy added 288,000 jobs, the Labor Department reported today.

This follows that 2.9 percent annualized slide in GDP during the first quarter of 2014, the worst contraction since the worst recession since the Great Depression.

“A rebound in the economy after a first-quarter slump is encouraging companies such as Ford Motor Co. (F) to add to staffing levels, laying the groundwork for a pickup in wages needed to further propel consumer spending,” Shobhana Chandra reports. “More employment opportunities will probably keep Federal Reserve policy makers on the path to reduce monetary stimulus.

“The improvement in the labor market is accelerating,” says Robert Stein, deputy chief economist at First Trust Portfolios LP in Wheaton, Illinois, and the top forecaster of payrolls the past two years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. “We’re seeing a self-sustaining recovery where production growth leads to job growth, which leads to consumption growth.”

Since the trough of the recession, through mid-term elections and a presidential reelection campaign, the White House has been highlighting an unrelenting monthly gain in jobs. Today, the streak is running at four and a third years.

For more: http://go.bloomberg.com/political-capital/2014-07-03/white-house-best-new-jobs-streak-since-1939/

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Economic Situation in June:

7/3/14

1. The private sector has added 9.7 million jobs over 52 straight months of job growth

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 288,000 in June, mainly reflecting a 262,000 increase in private employment, which is above the 203,000 per month average over the past year.

private sector payroll – Jan 2008 – 2014

2. Private employment has increased in 52 consecutive months, the longest streak on record.

The current 52-month streak has now surpassed the previous record of 51 consecutive months from February 1996 to April 2000, making it the longest streak in data going back to 1939. The steadiness of job gains is a sign of the progress that has been made in the recovery, but the President continues to believe that more can and should be done to further build on this progress.

2. Private employment has increased in 52 consecutive months, the longest streak on record.

The current 52-month streak has now surpassed the previous record of 51 consecutive months from February 1996 to April 2000, making it the longest streak in data going back to 1939.

3. The unemployment rate has fallen 1.4 percentage points over the past year, the sharpest year-over-year decline in nearly three decades. The unemployment rate remains elevated because of an unacceptably high prevalence of long-term unemployment, but it is encouraging that roughly half the decline in the overall unemployment rate over the past year has come from a falling long-term unemployment rate, a disproportionate contribution since the long-term unemployed represent about one-third of the total unemployed.

4. Aggregate hours worked by private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees rose 4.4 percent at an annual rate in the second quarter, the strongest quarterly growth since 2006. As noted last week, growth in aggregate hours worked is a proxy for total economic output that has historically been reasonably well correlated with real GDP growth.

5. Total job growth in June was the 4th strongest month out of the last 52 months, and a number of industries outperformed recent trends. Looking over the 52 months since March 2010, June was a “top ten” month for the following industries: wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information services, professional and business services, and state and local government.

employment growth by sector March 2010- June 2014

Source: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/07/03/employment-situation-june

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Trade Gap in U.S. Shrinks More Than Forecast on Record Exports

Jul 3, 2014 5:30 AM PT By Jeanna Smialek – bloomberg

The trade deficit in the U.S. narrowed more than forecast in May on record exports, signaling a pickup in global growth that will boost American manufacturers.

The gap shrank by 5.6 percent, the biggest drop since November, to $44.4 billion from the prior month’s $47 billion, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of 69 economists called for a contraction to $45 billion. Sales to foreign customers climbed 1 percent on growing demand for autos and parts, petroleum products and aircraft engines.

Economic expansions abroad that are gaining traction will probably continue to invigorate demand for American goods. A narrowing deficit would mean trade becomes less of a drag on gross domestic product in the second quarter after the world’s largest economy contracted in the first three months of 2014.

Other reports today showed payrolls rose by 288,000 in June and the jobless rate fell to 6.1 percent, according to figures from the Labor Department.

Trade estimates in the Bloomberg survey ranged from gaps of $41 billion to $48 billion. The April reading was revised from a previously reported $47.2 billion deficit.

Exports climbed to $195.5 billion from $193.5 billion in April.

Imports decreased 0.3 percent to $239.8 billion as demand for petroleum dropped to the lowest level since November 2010. Excluding petroleum, imports rose to a record as Americans bought more autos and parts, industrial machines and drilling equipment.

For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-07-03/trade-gap-in-u-s-shrinks-more-than-forecast-on-record-exports.html

 

U.S. services sector activity accelerates in June: Markit

7/4/14 Reuters

NEW YORK, (Reuters) – The final reading for activity in the U.S. services sector hit its highest in 4-1/2 years, pushed higher by increasing new business activity and hiring, a survey showed on Thursday.

Financial data firm Markit said its final services Purchasing Managers Index hit 61.0 in June, the highest final reading since the survey began in October 2009, compared with May’s final reading of 58.1. It was slightly lower than the 61.2 preliminary print.

A reading above 50 signals expansion in economic activity.

The services sector added employees at the fastest rate on record with the employment index coming in at 56.1, higher than the 55.4 preliminary reading. Last month’s final read came in at 52.8.

The new orders subcomponent also hit its highest on record.

For more: http://news.yahoo.com/u-services-sector-activity-accelerates-june-markit-135014769–business.html;_ylt=AwrSyCNSZbVTmQ4ACH3QtDMD

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Job Openings in U.S. Increased in May to Almost Seven-Year High

Jul 8, 2014 7:25 AM PT By Shobhana Chandra – bloomberg

Job openings rose in May to the highest level in almost seven years, a sign the U.S labor market will help boost economic growth in the second half of this year.

The number of positions waiting to be filled climbed by 171,000 to 4.64 million, the most since June 2007, a report from the Labor Department showed today. Separations eased from a month earlier.

Today’s data, among the labor-market measures monitored by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, add to evidence of greater employment opportunities. Payrolls grew more than forecast in June, and the jobless rate fell to an almost six-year low, figures showed last week.

For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-07-08/job-openings-in-u-s-rose-by-171-000-in-may-to-4-64-million.html

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Dow Average Tops 17,000 as Payrolls Rise Amid ECB Plans

Jul 3, 2014 6:33 AM PT By Lu Wang – bloomberg

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed above 17,000 for the first time as data showed employers added more workers than projected in June and the European Central Bank prepared to disclose details of its stimulus plans.

The Dow gained 42.70 points, or 0.3 percent, to 17,018.94 at 9:31 a.m. in New York. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPX) rose 0.3 percent to 1,980.56. Equities markets close at 1 p.m. today before the Independence Day holiday.

“This is a pretty strong report,” said Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at San Francisco-based Wells Capital Management, in a phone interview. “This is stuff that is going to lead to upward revisions of second quarter growth rates and it starts off the third quarter in a real positive momentum place.”

The addition of 288,000 jobs followed a 224,000 gain the prior month that was bigger than previously estimated, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for a 215,000 advance. The jobless rate is the lowest since September 2008. The number of long-term unemployed fell to 3.1 million, showing they’re having greater success finding work.

Benchmark indexes are at record levels as stocks extended a rebound from a selloff earlier this year that started with biotechnology and small-cap stocks. The S&P 500 has rallied 8.8 percent since reaching a two-month low in April as central bank stimulus spread from Europe to Japan and the U.S.

For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-07-03/u-s-stock-index-futures-little-changed-before-jobs-data.html

 

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U.S. economy bounces back in a big way

07/30/14 08:51 AM By Steve Benen – maddowblog

By any measure, the U.S. economy was unusually weak in the first quarter of the year (January through March), though most in the economic, financial, and political sectors were untroubled by the data. Indeed, for most, the winter drop was something of a fluke, caused by unusually harsh weather conditions and an unexpected drop in health spending.

US GDP 4Q 2007-2Q 2014

Still, the first-quarter report made the second-quarter data all the more important. Would the economy bounce back? This morning, we received an answer – and for those rooting for economic success, the results were even better than expected.

The U.S. economy grew by a 4% annual pace in the second quarter, bouncing back from a revised 2.1% decline in the first three months of the year, according to a preliminary government estimate. Economists polled by MarketWatch predicted GDP would grow by a seasonally adjusted 3.2%. Consumer spending, the main source of economic activity, accelerated to show a solid 2.5% gain after a meager 1.2% rise in the first quarter. […]

Also adding to U.S. growth was a pickup in construction spending, increased business investment, a bigger buildup in inventories and slightly higher government spending, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.
Also note, the most recent data showed the first quarter GDP at -2.9%. Today’s report revises that total in a less-awful direction, to -2.1%.

Nevertheless, today’s report showing 4% growth is terrific and reinforces the perception of an economy picking up speed. Though this is a preliminary figure that will be revised in the coming months, if it holds up, this will be only the third time in the last seven years that GDP growth has reached 4% or greater.

What’s more, the swing from -2.1% to +4% is easily the largest positive quarter-to-quarter swing since the start of the Great Recession is late 2007.

For more: http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/us-economy-bounces-back-big-way

 

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VOTE SMART & VOTE DEMOCRAT 2014

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