The U.S. economy is not yet in recovery mode, according to the second quarterly report of 2013 of the UCLA Anderson Forecast's outlook for the United States.
A release on the forecast issued on Thursday notes that despite "improvement in both GDP and key economic sectors, the overall growth falls short of the rates required for the national economy to truly recover from the most recent recession."
In its June issue, UCLA Anderson Forecast Director Ed Leamer notes that the U.S. economy is not in recovery because economic growth levels currently fall far short of the levels needed to bring the economy back to trend. more >>
A surprising and public rift opened up has opened up between President Obama and his lawyers over whether profit-making businesses can pursue goals other than making money, including adhering to religious requirements.
In courtrooms across the country-including one recently in Philadelphia-Department of Justice lawyers told judges that profit-making businesses with religious objections to the HHS contraceptive mandate cannot exercise religion. Profit-making business apparently can pursue just one goal: making money. Business owners must check their religious values at the door.
Yet, President Obama offered the opposite message to a group of men graduating from Morehouse College. He urged them to forge careers in business, but to avoid focusing solely on profits. Instead, they should consider "what broader purpose your business might serve" by pursuing values other than profits, like "transforming a neighborhood." The President's comments echoed his remarks last year at the National Prayer Breakfast, where he proclaimed that leaving our "values at the door" would "abandon much of the moral glue that has held our nation together for centuries." more >>
Man ... there are so many scandals and donnybrooks it's hard to keep track of them. Heck, there has been so much shocking news and fisticuffs I've already forgotten about the Garcia-Woods tango over the weekend. This fresh batch of scandals that's popped up like springtime perennials could have enormous conclusions.
They include:IRS AP Benghazi Army Sex Misconduct
How these are handled will tell us even more about the administration and give insight into how dangerous the power grab of the past four years is. more >>
As I've been working on immigration reform legislation, I've been asked why it should be Washington's focus at a time when we have so many other pressing concerns, including stagnant economic growth that has left millions of unemployed and underemployed Americans, and the persistent threat of terrorism that recently manifested itself on our own soil.
There's no doubt we have a broken immigration system and de facto amnesty that can't continue because it threatens America's sovereignty, security and economy. It's a problem that needs to be solved, and the longer we put it off, the worse it's going to get.
But it's also absolutely true that our lack of robust economic growth, caused in part by Washington's runaway debt, is the real defining issue of our time. These challenges should have been addressed a long time ago but, because Washington hasn't made any meaningful attempt to do so, our debt has only gotten worse, and more of our people have suffered. more >>
Thanks to a renewed interest in the works of Ayn Rand and high-profile figures like John Stossel, Glenn Beck, and Rand Paul, libertarianism is enjoying a moment in the political sun. And just like America's two major parties, libertarians can often be blind to faulty logic and flaws within their own ideology. Timothy P. Carney recently wrote a piece for The Atlantic discussing this very problem:
"Voters despise government officials who get in bed with corporations. But what about corporations who cozy up to government? Are companies who use cronyism to grow their profit acting unethically?
The question makes some free-marketers uneasy. After all, we not only tolerate the fierce pursuit of profit, but also we defend it against taxes and heavy-handed regulation. Milton Friedman famously said, 'The social responsibility of business is to increase its profits.' more >>
Some Republican leaders are looking at the possibility of tying the next increase to the nation's debt limit to tax reform. While most Democrats and President Barack Obama balk at the idea, Republicans may get the support of Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.). Baucus has long wanted to reform the nation's bloated tax code, but, since he recently announced he will retire at the end of 2014, this may be his last shot.
"You'd better be ready to work. I'm doubling down," Baucus told a tax reform panel the day after he announced his retirement, according to National Journal.
Baucus chairs the Senate's Finance Committee, which would oversee any rewrite of the tax code. On the House side, the tax code is managed by the Ways and Means Committee, which is chaired by Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), who Baucus reportedly has a close working relationship with. more >>