March 20, 2013 |
We all shop for food, put gas in our cars, pay for medication and doctor's visits, day care and college - and, based on those prices, inflation has got to be higher than what the government says. The Consumer Price Indicator registered a puny 1.7 percent in 2012, according to official figures. Real inflation is in fact higher than that, according to the American Institute for Economic Research's (AIER) Everyday Price Index, which in 2012 revealed almost 8 percent inflation ( www.aier.org/epi )
September 17, 2012 |
It was in the fall of 2010, during a break in the taping of a TV talk show, when I first heard the GOP's operative theory about the election of 2012. A conservative activist leaned toward me with a smile and excitedly intoned two magic words: "Jimmy Carter. " And there it was. The template for beating Barack Obama would be Ronald Reagan's victory over the beleaguered Democratic incumbent of 1980. Indeed, Mitt Romney's people keep insisting that, just like in 1980, a bad economy will trigger a late surge toward the Republican challenger, and game over.
April 29, 2012 |
Inflation erodes the purchasing power of money over time. Its effects on your life depend on how well your income and investments do keeping up. Take a look at these sites to see how you're doing. Digging the data. InflationData.com is a personal-finance site edited by Tim McMahon. It posts a current inflation rate, based on the government's Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, of 2.65 percent. The site is rich in articles, charts and links on housing, employment, other economic matters that go into the cost of living, and calculators for doing some figuring on your own. www.inflationdata.com Grim calculation.
February 7, 2012 |
With the government pumping money into the economy and the Federal Reserve pledging to keep short-term interest rates low until late 2014, inflation could soar. What's an investor to do? Pure savers will lose. Low interest rates mean that your deposits aren't going to earn much of anything for the next three years. You're going to lose money on holding cash - after inflation. JPMorgan's Chris Millard explains that with a 2.0-2.5 percent inflation rate, "that means if you leave your money in cash for the next three years, you lose 2.5 percent of that every year.
July 2, 2011 |
A law enacted as part of the budget deal reached late Thursday night makes it much more likely that school boards will have to put tax increases up for voter approval. The legislation goes into effect for the 2012-13 school year, so has no impact on district budgets just passed by school boards. But going forward, the legislation "puts taxing and funding decisions where they belong - in the hands of the voters who are footing the bill," Gov. Corbett said at a bill-signing ceremony Thursday night.
June 30, 2011 |
HARRISBURG - With only hours left before the end of the fiscal year, the fate of the state's new $27.15 billion budget - once seemingly secure - appeared to be in a holding pattern Thursday night. A last-minute dispute over a school tax bill threatened to derail what appeared to be the smooth passage of the deal negotiated between Gov. Corbett and the Republican-controlled legislature. The bill would make changes to a 2006 law called Act 1 that requires school districts to get voter approval if they want to raise taxes above a state-set inflation rate, with certain exceptions.
June 16, 2011 |
WASHINGTON - Reports Wednesday on inflation and manufacturing appeared to offer contradictory snapshots of the economy and helped prompt another selloff on Wall Street. In a report on consumer prices, the Labor Department said declining costs for energy cooled inflation in May. Overall consumer prices rose 0.2 percent, the smallest increase in six months. May marked the first drop in energy costs in nearly a year. But so-called core consumer prices, which exclude volatile food and energy, rose last month by the most in nearly three years.
June 13, 2011 |
ORLANDO, Fla. - When it comes to investing his money, Dave Epstein sees no easy answers out there at the moment. Inflation is eroding any returns he would get from relatively safe bank-savings deposits. But the stock market, while offering potentially higher returns, still makes him jittery with its volatility. For now, Epstein has chosen the riskier of the two roads. "Most of my investments are in stock mutual funds. Certificates of deposit were never even a consideration," said the 81-year-old retired lawyer, who lives in Orlando.
May 9, 2011 |
Since 2006, Pennsylvanians have been able to vote on proposed school-tax increases that exceed a state-set education inflation rate. That might surprise those who have watched their taxes go up well beyond that rate year after year but who have never been asked to vote on them. That's because the law also allows tax hikes for certain spending categories without voter approval. Now, with the support of the Corbett administration, Republicans in the state House and Senate have introduced bills that would remove those exceptions and require all proposed tax increases above the education inflation rate to be placed on the ballot.
April 10, 2011 |
Hey, President Obama has formally announced his reelection bid! I've added the exclamation mark to help ratchet up the excitement. It has been a long and difficult slog since Inauguration Day, so I'm going to assume that the looming inevitability of another presidential campaign is about as welcome as the prospect of trace radioactive elements in your milk. Still, attention must be paid. If you're not up for pondering Obama's current victory odds, no problem, I'll do it for you. Here are the seven easy-to-read factors: Incumbency.