The Gang of Six plan to cut the federal deficit calls for changes to both but doesn't spell out many details.
You've heard of the Gang of Six by now -- the bipartisan group of senators who have crafted a plan to get the nation past the looming default crisis and into long-term deficit-reduction mode. (We should all be grateful for their hard work, even if we don't agree with them.)
Their proposal is to slash the federal deficit by $3.7 trillion over 10 years. From The Washington Post:
It also calls for raising more than $1 trillion over the next decade by reducing a variety of popular tax breaks and deductions, including breaks for home mortgage interest and employer-provided health care. While some of those savings would be dedicated to debt reduction, the rest would go toward lowering tax rates for everyone, with top individual and corporate rates dropping to at least 29 percent, down from 35 percent.
That got your attention, no? But what exactly would happen to Social Security and Medicare, which, by virtue of their size and growth rate, must be a part of any discussion?
Consumers who are overwhelmed by debt have more options than the government does to fix the problem.
"Basically, the government doesn't take in enough money to pay off all of its bills," Mark Lieberman, a private economic consultant and former senior economist for Fox Business Network, tells MainStreet. He explains that currently, the U.S. borrows 43 cents of every dollar captured in its fiscal budget.
But while it's expected that our government will need to tap other countries for financing, the debt ceiling, currently set at $14.3 trillion, exists to cap just how much our country can legally borrow, and raising this ceiling -- which Republicans and Democrats in Congress are grappling over -- would be like taking out a new credit card to pay off an old one.
This is where the analogy ends.
Rather than toss things like paper towel rolls, dish soap bottles and plastic shopping bags, repurpose them. Here's how.
This post comes from Janey Osterlind at partner blog Wise Bread.
If you're anything like me, you're throwing out too much with the trash. Even though I recycle, I often think that I could surely be doing more to cut down on waste. With a little creative thinking, I've come up with a list of 10 household items I could be saving rather than tossing out.
Here they are, along with some of the ways they can be reused.
A new survey also finds that the majority don't contribute as much as they think they should to their workplace retirement plans.
The majority of working Americans would not be saving at all for retirement were it not for workplace 401k plans, a survey by Fidelity Investments claims.
The survey, released July 14, found that 55% of participants in workplace savings plans say they would not be saving for retirement otherwise. Nearly one in five said they have no retirement savings outside these plans.
When asked about top reasons that encouraged them to use 401k's, 92% said it was important or very important not to lose out on company match dollars, and 90% felt the plans were a good tax-deferred way to save.
There are no guarantees how long it will be good, and every moment you wait, the pickings get slimmer.
I told you back in January and now I really mean it: If you have a Borders gift card you've been meaning to redeem, do it now.
Now. Let the dog walk himself. Skip the weekly lunch bunch. Tell your boss you have to leave early because you have to meet the sprinkler guy. Whatever. But go as soon as you can, either directly to the store, or online, and cash out that card.
Just like hackers at a now-defunct British tabloid, I can access your cellphone's voice mail. Here's how to prevent it.
This post comes from Dan Schointuch at partner site Money Talks News.
With a method probably similar to that used by hackers at News Corp.'s British tabloid News of the World, I can hack into your cellphone's voice mail. All I need to know is your phone number.
It works like this:
Actually, investigations by Reuters and the AP find that sloppy, illegal handling of mortgage documents never stopped. The problems add fuel to housing morass.
This post comes from Marilyn Lewis of MSN Money.
Despite widespread media coverage, public outrage, federal and state investigations, and promises by the banks themselves to stop, "robo-signing" continues by many lenders in many states, according to separate new investigations by Reuters and The Associated Press.
The Associated Press says, "Mortgage industry employees are still signing documents they haven't read and using fake signatures more than eight months after big banks and mortgage companies promised to stop the illegal practices that led to a nationwide halt of home foreclosures."
The old standby gift from grandmothers everywhere is no longer available in paper form, but here are some alternatives.
The U.S. Treasury announced last week that it would end the sale of U.S. savings bonds after more than 75 years. As of Jan. 1, 2012, savings bonds can only be purchased through the Treasury website, a measure it claims will save taxpayers $70 million during the next five years.
The real loser here is your grandmother.
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