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Posts Tagged ‘Barack Obama’

Unemployment Benefits And Tax Cut Extension Deal

A compromise deal between President Barack Obama and Republican leaders put forth late last night seems to trade unemployment benefits for tax cuts: the deal extends Bush-era tax cuts for two more years and federal unemployment benefits for 13 months.

The whole package could cost between $600 and $800 billion if signed into law, reports CNN Money. (Don’t let’s forget, though: the tax cuts cost $458 billion while the unemployment benefits will cost approximately $57 billion.)

Without the extension, up to 2 million unemployed Americans would lose their benefits by the end of the month.

Leaders are hopeful the measures can pass before the end of the lame-duck session.

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SOTU Recap: Jobs

In case you were trapped in a TV-less cave where not even cell or wifi signals could reach (or maybe you’re just way less dorky than yours truly), you may have missed President Barack Obama‘s proposals for job growth in last night’s State of the Union address.

In short:
Obama’s proposing three things:

  • Use $30 billion of repaid TARP money to help community banks lend to small businesses.
  • Give a tax credit to small businesses who hire new workers or raise wages.
  • And eliminate capital gains taxes on small business investment.

These proposals are short on substance thanks to their context, but at first blush, what do you think of these?

Unemployment Update: At Least It’s Not 10 Percent

The U.S. economy shed another 263,000 jobs in September, pushing the unemployment rate up to 9.8 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.

This loss exceeded forecasts which predicted a loss below 200,000.

The bigger-than-expected job losses are “disappointing,” Christina Romer, President Barack Obama‘s chief economist, said today in a Bloomberg Television interview.

Working hours also declined for hourly workers, down to an average of 33 hours a week. Hourly earnings were a penny higher in September than they were in August.

At the J-Lab: Patchwork Nation

Dante Chinni is the director of Patchwork Nation, a Knight Foundation-funded data-driven journalism project.

This project mashes up data in ways we hadn’t thought of. The project defined counties based on their demographics and slotted them into 12 categories: “Monied ‘Burbs,” “Immigration Nation,” “Evangelical Epicenters” and so forth. (Surprised that there hasn’t been an uproar about the colloquial names of these categories..) Anyway, you can now, for example, compare the number of votes Barack Obama received, county-by-county, with the locations of the nation’s Whole Foods outlets. (Lollerskates.)

Chinni cautions that the data isn’t enough on its own: “The data is really a jumping-off point for doing the reporting.”

Now, is this a viable model? For Chinni it seems to be. But he’s the project’s sole employee, as far as we can tell, and while lean-and-mean is great, it does mean that there will be way fewer reporting jobs in the future.