Posts by Annie Lowrey
Soon after Rep. Brad Miller (D-N.C.) came to Washington in 2002, a fellow member of the House Financial Services Committee told him to pick an arcane financial issue — any issue — and to make it his pet topic. Miller chose mortgage finance. He knew little about it. Banking lobbyists peppered him with data, but he had difficulty getting much information from independent sources.
Income inequality — the difference between what the rich earn and what everyone else earns — is higher in the United States than in developed countries the world over. Moving against the trend established in the rest of developed societies, the gap between the rich and the rest of Americans has widened over the past 30 years. It has also grown wider during the recession, contrary to most predictions. Since the 1990s, the richest of the rich have pulled away from the merely wealthy, while the recession has made more and more Americans poor.
This morning, President Barack Obama plans to officially announce that Elizabeth Warren — Harvard Law professor and the current head of the Congressional Oversight Panel over the Troubled Asset Relief Program — will head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau…. sort of.
Today, more than 300 economists and policy experts released a letter warning that “the still-fragile economic recovery will be undercut by austerity economics of the kind being pushed by conservative politicians and by the Deficit Commission.”
In a new paper released Wednesday, entitled “How the Great Recession Was Brought to an End,” prominent economists Alan Blinder and Mark Zandi say the stimulus, stress tests, emergency Federal Reserve maneuvers and Troubled Asset Relief Program saved the…
Sometime this spring, Republicans turned against unemployment. In Nevada, Sharron Angle (R), the candidate facing incumbent Sen. Harry Reid (D), told local reporters, “You can make more money on unemployment than you can going down and getting one of those jobs that is an honest job.” (Untrue.) Angle also called the unemployed “spoiled.”
Late Thursday afternoon, President Obama signed into law a bill granting workers out of a job for more than 26 weeks additional unemployment insurance payments, paid for by the federal government. The benefits had been in place since November 2009, but had lapsed for seven weeks — an unprecedented hiatus, given the 9.5 percent unemployment rate. The bill, held up in the Senate by Republicans concerned about the deficit, makes benefits retroactive to June 2 and forward to Nov. 30. In states with higher than 8 percent unemployment, workers will continue to receive up to 99 weeks of benefits.
Tonight, after waiting 30 hours for a cloture vote, the Senate reauthorized the federal extension of unemployment benefits — moving one step closer to restoring unemployment insurance to 2.6 million American workers. Tomorrow, the bill needs four or five…
Today, Congress plans to vote to extend unemployment benefits, which have been held up in the Senate for an unprecedented two months. Lawmakers will reconsider H.R. 4213, also known as the jobs bill or the extenders package, as the vehicle for a $34 billion extension of benefits — retroactive to June 2, when they lapsed, and continuing through the end of November.
In his weekly address, President Obama hammered Republicans for putting the interests of the rich above the unemployed. He said they are making a hypocritical stand on the deficit now, after years of spending, and doing it “on the…