Stimulus Funds – Bellow In Gark http://bellowingark.org/ Thu, 26 May 2022 15:14:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://bellowingark.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/default1.png Stimulus Funds – Bellow In Gark http://bellowingark.org/ 32 32 Stimulus update: Increase in child tax credit has been instrumental in consolidating economies, data shows https://bellowingark.org/stimulus-update-increase-in-child-tax-credit-has-been-instrumental-in-consolidating-economies-data-shows/ Thu, 26 May 2022 13:32:20 +0000 https://bellowingark.org/stimulus-update-increase-in-child-tax-credit-has-been-instrumental-in-consolidating-economies-data-shows/ Image source: Getty Images When the US bailout was enacted in March 2021, it provided many different forms of relief to the public. Not only did this allow for a series of stimulus checks worth up to $1,400 each, but it also increased the child tax credit and changed how the credit was paid. Before […]]]>

Image source: Getty Images

When the US bailout was enacted in March 2021, it provided many different forms of relief to the public. Not only did this allow for a series of stimulus checks worth up to $1,400 each, but it also increased the child tax credit and changed how the credit was paid.

Before 2021, the child tax credit capped at $2,000 per child. Last year, its maximum value increased to $3,600 for children under 6 and $3,000 for children 6 to 17 years old.

The credit also became fully refundable, meaning a family can collect it in full even with a $0 tax liability. In addition, half of the credit was paid in monthly installments that hit bank accounts from July to December.

President Biden initially sought to keep the enhanced child tax credit in place for 2022. But the spending bill that allowed it failed to gain traction in the Senate.

Meanwhile, new data from the Federal Reserve reveals that the enhanced child tax credit has helped families save. And with the improved version on the table, economies could now stagnate or run out quickly, especially in the wake of runaway inflation.

A great help for families

The Federal Reserve found that parents who received monthly child tax credits last year most often saved that money, bought things for their children, or used the money to cover necessities. But interestingly, saving was the most common use of these child tax credit payments, with 43% of recipients saying they were able to bank at least some of that money. .

Not only has the increased child tax credit helped families consolidate their savings, it has also helped many people pay off their debts. In fact, 21% of those who received these monthly payments used at least some of that money to pay off their debts.

What happens next?

It’s a really good thing that so many families have been able to use their boosted child tax credit payments to put themselves in a better financial position. As we all know, the cost of living has skyrocketed this year and many people’s paychecks can no longer cover their basic expenses. So having some sort of cushion left over can keep more families from going into debt these days.

The problem, however, is that many families are dipping into their savings to make ends meet in the absence of monthly child tax credit payments to be expected now. And once they exhaust their savings, they could find themselves in a very bad situation.

Unfortunately, there are no immediate plans to revive the enhanced child tax credit. While some lawmakers are still pushing for it, there’s a lot of opposition due to the cost involved.

This means cash-strapped families may have to make tough choices in the months ahead, such as cutting back on spending or getting out and boosting their income with a second job. It is certainly not an ideal situation. But at this point, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the enhanced child tax credit won’t happen for 2022.

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Stimulus checks for Pennsylvanians? Here’s where Governor Tom Wolf’s push for $2,000 direct payments is at https://bellowingark.org/stimulus-checks-for-pennsylvanians-heres-where-governor-tom-wolfs-push-for-2000-direct-payments-is-at/ Tue, 24 May 2022 21:58:00 +0000 https://bellowingark.org/stimulus-checks-for-pennsylvanians-heres-where-governor-tom-wolfs-push-for-2000-direct-payments-is-at/ Governor Tom Wolf recently launched a push for the General Assembly to pass legislation that would send direct payments of $2,000 to many Pennsylvanians. The legislation will be part of the $500 million PA Opportunity program funded by the American Rescue Plan Act. “Pennsylvanians shouldn’t have to choose between paying for utilities or groceries, child […]]]>

Governor Tom Wolf recently launched a push for the General Assembly to pass legislation that would send direct payments of $2,000 to many Pennsylvanians. The legislation will be part of the $500 million PA Opportunity program funded by the American Rescue Plan Act.

“Pennsylvanians shouldn’t have to choose between paying for utilities or groceries, child care or gas. We have the opportunity and the means to ensure they are not in trouble, to ensure their success,” Wolf said in a statement. “I ask the General Assembly to unite across the aisles on this for the good of every Pennsylvanian – for when they succeed, our Commonwealth succeeds. Let’s get that money out of our coffers and into the pockets of Pennsylvanians. »

Wolf made the proposal in late April. Here’s where the push for stimulus checks is in Pennsylvania.

There haven’t been many updates on direct relief efforts in a few weeks. Still, according to Wolf, Democratic leaders in the House and Senate are ready to introduce bills to support the program.

“Times are tough right now as prices have gone up on everything from gas to groceries, and I’m here to talk about solutions,” Wolf said in late April, according to Newsweek. “I support long-term solutions to better support working families, like raising the minimum wage, but I also offer a solution to help Pennsylvanians get back on their feet now.”

The plan would provide direct payments of $2,000 to Pennsylvanians earning $80,000 or less. Wolf’s press release said, “The program is intended to help families who are still recovering economically from the COVID-19 pandemic or to help them cover pandemic-related costs and manage the current cost of living. , which increases every day.

According to WPIX, Pennslyvania is sitting on more than $2 billion in federal ARPA assistance. If not used by December 31, 2024, funds will be returned to the federal government.

With this kind of funds and the government. is behind the push, the campaign for more stimulus checks is clearly in full effect.

Learn more via WPIX and Newsweek.

READ MORE:

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Port Huron weighs $380,780 ARP grant for CAN Council to help abused children https://bellowingark.org/port-huron-weighs-380780-arp-grant-for-can-council-to-help-abused-children/ Mon, 23 May 2022 02:02:56 +0000 https://bellowingark.org/port-huron-weighs-380780-arp-grant-for-can-council-to-help-abused-children/ Members of the Port Huron City Council are set to approve the use of nearly $600,000 more in federal COVID stimulus aid on Monday, with most of the allocation going toward labor. a local non-profit organization with children affected by child abuse. Small requests would send funds to help with a frontage and outdoor seating […]]]>

Members of the Port Huron City Council are set to approve the use of nearly $600,000 more in federal COVID stimulus aid on Monday, with most of the allocation going toward labor. a local non-profit organization with children affected by child abuse.

Small requests would send funds to help with a frontage and outdoor seating program with the Downtown Development Authority and the purchase of a back-up generator for Mid City Nutrition.

The largest amount of $380,780 would go to the St. Clair County Child Abuse and Neglect Council to fund two new positions for counselors who work with children and families specifically from Port Huron.

Mayor Pro Tem Sherry Archibald is the executive director of the CAN Council and is expected to abstain from voting on this item at Monday’s meeting.

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City of Buffalo Passes Amended 2023 Budget https://bellowingark.org/city-of-buffalo-passes-amended-2023-budget/ Sat, 21 May 2022 02:45:00 +0000 https://bellowingark.org/city-of-buffalo-passes-amended-2023-budget/ BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — The City of Buffalo has passed its fiscal year 2023 budget. In a special session Friday evening, members of the Buffalo Common Council voted to amend the $568 million budget proposed by Mayor Byron Brown. Notably, the city council eliminated the funds Brown proposed to include for the city’s ShotSpotter program […]]]>

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — The City of Buffalo has passed its fiscal year 2023 budget.

In a special session Friday evening, members of the Buffalo Common Council voted to amend the $568 million budget proposed by Mayor Byron Brown.

Notably, the city council eliminated the funds Brown proposed to include for the city’s ShotSpotter program and city user fees and reduced the proposed 4.5% property tax hike to 3, 5%.

The newly passed budget also provides significant investments in the East Side of Buffalo through job training, public safety and small business development programs.

City leaders say the budget will also use federal stimulus money to purchase 19 new vehicles for the Department of Public Works; 11 of these vehicles will be new equipment for the city’s snow removal fleet.

The city council also approved the $5.2 million proposal for the Buffalo Police Department. This money will be used to buy 20 new police vehicles and create 14 new detective positions.

The budget also includes a $1.2 million investment in the Mayor’s Youth Employment Program, as well as an additional $845,000 in investments in recreational and educational initiatives for young people.

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Saving our small businesses from a gloomy winter https://bellowingark.org/saving-our-small-businesses-from-a-gloomy-winter/ Thu, 19 May 2022 13:48:39 +0000 https://bellowingark.org/saving-our-small-businesses-from-a-gloomy-winter/ State Representative Torren Ecker The rollercoaster economy that our small businesses have endured began with mandatory economic shutdowns and has been slow to recover. When Governor Tom Wolf shut down nearly every business at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Pennsylvania went from collecting a steady stream of revenue, including unemployment insurance payments, to running […]]]>

State Representative Torren Ecker

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To keep Saginaw toilet flushing in the right direction, officials are asking for a $7 million fix https://bellowingark.org/to-keep-saginaw-toilet-flushing-in-the-right-direction-officials-are-asking-for-a-7-million-fix/ Tue, 17 May 2022 11:23:00 +0000 https://bellowingark.org/to-keep-saginaw-toilet-flushing-in-the-right-direction-officials-are-asking-for-a-7-million-fix/ SAGINAW, MI — Paul Reinsch doesn’t want to know what happens when all the toilets for homes on the west side of Saginaw no longer go where they’re supposed to. “That wouldn’t be good,” said Reinsch, Saginaw’s water and wastewater operations manager. “That would probably make the front page of the paper.” Preventing such an […]]]>

SAGINAW, MI — Paul Reinsch doesn’t want to know what happens when all the toilets for homes on the west side of Saginaw no longer go where they’re supposed to.

“That wouldn’t be good,” said Reinsch, Saginaw’s water and wastewater operations manager. “That would probably make the front page of the paper.”

Preventing such an environmental nightmare is at the heart of the most expensive of 31 items Saginaw City Hall department heads recently added to a “wish list” of proposed spending that could be funded by $52 million. dollars in federal stimulus funds.

Reinsch and his team estimate that replacing a critical piece of Saginaw’s aging wastewater treatment infrastructure would cost $7 million. Some or all of that estimate could be covered by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) revival that the Saginaw City Council will ultimately decide how to spend in future years.

“It would be best if ARPA covered all the costs, but if that’s not possible, covering $4 million of the cost would allow us to move forward with the plans and development of the project,” he said. .

Saginaw Town Manager Tim Morales said some of the infrastructure requests on ARPA’s “wish list” will need to be addressed at some point, whether financial support comes from stimulus or funds linked to bonds and loans.

“Using ARPA funds could help level future water and sewer rates across the city,” Morales said. “I’m sure there will be further analysis and discussion.”

It’s unclear when the council might vote on the $7 million pipeline project.

In the breach

The costly initiative would replace the existing reinforced concrete pipeline built and buried three feet below the bed of the Saginaw River when Harry Truman was president, Reinsch said.

For more than seven decades, the critical infrastructure served as a sort of undersea bridge, allowing toilet waste and runoff to pass from the west side of the Saginaw River to the east side. This underground journey across the river is significant, Reinsch said, because the Saginaw sewage treatment plant is on this side of the waterway, less than a half-mile south of Crow Island.

There is no sewage treatment plant on the west side of town.

The proposed $7 million project would replace that aging pipeline with nearly 3,000 feet of new pipeline, measuring between 42 and 48 inches in diameter, Reinsch said. Much of the dollar estimate represents the logistical challenges of installing a pipeline under a riverbed, he said.

Records show that crews in the late 1940s installed the existing pipeline using cofferdams, which essentially removed water from isolated stretches of the Saginaw River while workers buried the pipe under the bed of the river. the river temporarily exposed to the air. They accomplished this task in a river that is estimated to reach depths of 27 feet.

A life later, technological advances offer new methods. Reinsch said there was no decision yet on how officials might lay a new pipeline, but the likely approach would involve drilling a channel about 20 feet below the river bed, inserting the new pipeline in the breach. This is a task the crews could accomplish without draining any part of the river.

“You’re talking about a lot of equipment setup and a lot of technical issues, capabilities and knowledge,” he said. “That’s why this project is so expensive. It is not a simple project.

Reinsch said there was an urgent need to move the project forward soon.

While an underwater inspection of the existing sewage pipe in 2008 showed no signs of impending failure, the infrastructure is reaching its estimated lifespan, he said. The evidence supporting this estimate: other parts of the system are beginning to fail.

At the end of October 2021, one of the six raw sewage pumps at the sewage treatment plant broke down. It was equipment as old as the undersea pipeline, and inspectors determined that the damage was likely the result of seven decades of wear and tear. Reinsch said crews hope to replace that sewage pump this summer.

He said it was essential that Saginaw replace its subsea sewage treatment pipeline before it suffered an equivalent failure.

“We don’t want to go there,” Reinsch said of the environmental mess that could ensue. “Let’s put it this way: people would be upset about it, and that would be a big deal.”

If the old pipeline failed, Saginaw workers would redirect toilet flushes and runoff from west side neighborhoods to the combined sewer overflow facilities on that side of the river.

Typically, these facilities are only used when heavy downpours create more wastewater than the pipeline can carry across the river in time to be treated. On these occasions, combined sewer overflow structures treat and discharge inflow into the Saginaw River.

“When you use (combined sewer overflow facilities) you’re basically providing settling and chlorination to kill dangerous bacteria to the best of your ability, but that’s not as effective as what we’re doing at the station. purification”, Reinsch mentioned.

If crews installed a new pipeline, city officials could rehabilitate the old pipeline to serve as a redundancy measure for its successor, he said.

Aging facilities

The third most expensive item on City Hall’s “wish list” for stimulus spending is also Saginaw’s aging sewage treatment system.

Reinsch said he requested $4 million to update an existing combined sewer overflow facility as well as the parking structure built above it nearly half a century ago.

Regulars of the Old Town business district of Saginaw are likely familiar with the targeted structure, even if they are unaware of its hidden functions.

On the surface, the structure serves as a large parking lot on South Hamilton that stretches from Hancock to Court, or as the Ippel Building’s cat corner.

Beneath the surface lot, several columns of additional parking lots were closed years ago, both due to deteriorating structural conditions and frequent reports of “disreputable activity” among those present, Reinsch said. .

Beneath the layers of parking spaces is a combined sewer overflow facility that, in part, serves one of the city’s busiest business districts.

Reinsch said the entire structure needed repairs and renovations. Crews built the facility in 1976, records show.

Learn more about MLive:

Proposal to demolish old Saginaw Fairgrounds renews hopes for redevelopment

See Saginaw staff’s $32.1 million wish list for stimulus spending

Water service cuts will resume for Saginaw residents avoiding bills

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Vanguard may be bypassing the vaunted “owners” of its low-cost index funds as it shifts to Wall Street-style executive competition tactics to thwart rivals and drive out wealthy investors. https://bellowingark.org/vanguard-may-be-bypassing-the-vaunted-owners-of-its-low-cost-index-funds-as-it-shifts-to-wall-street-style-executive-competition-tactics-to-thwart-rivals-and-drive-out-wealthy-investors/ Sun, 15 May 2022 19:20:21 +0000 https://bellowingark.org/vanguard-may-be-bypassing-the-vaunted-owners-of-its-low-cost-index-funds-as-it-shifts-to-wall-street-style-executive-competition-tactics-to-thwart-rivals-and-drive-out-wealthy-investors/ The Malvern, Pa.-based company’s shareholder profits are being sapped by undisclosed millions in executive and staff pay raises as the company seeks to shore up its eroding value proposition. Note from Brooke: Vanguard gets it both ways. He got slaughtered last year when he launched a boo mobile app. He was also hammered on the […]]]>

The Malvern, Pa.-based company’s shareholder profits are being sapped by undisclosed millions in executive and staff pay raises as the company seeks to shore up its eroding value proposition.

Note from Brooke: Vanguard gets it both ways. He got slaughtered last year when he launched a boo mobile app. He was also hammered on the service during the pandemic. Yet this article focuses on Vanguard, perhaps, taking the steps to modernize its workforce that could lead to an overhaul of service and the digital experience. Yet the way CEO Tim Buckley channels his inner BF Skinner for better talent and better effort collides with Vanguard’s other big new emphasis – the co-operative “shareholder” structure. In theory, every investor is a virtual owner. The potential conflict is that when Vanguard chiefs pay themselves princely Fortune 500 salaries, those dollars are subtracted from shareholders’ take, at least in the short term. Yes, this is the way of the free (and not free) enterprise world. Move on. But that doesn’t really explain why – hopefully – Vanguard refuses to share information about this giant expense item with its “owners”. It also makes it harder to connect the dots as an owner on strategic changes that seem out of character Vanguardian. Are they made for the benefit of downstream shareholders or upstream shareholders? Or do they give or take roughly the same? And why this conflict in a company that is apparently a model of transparency for investors?

Vanguard’s secretive shift to a Wall Street-style business model worries longtime corporate watchers who fear it will come at the expense of “owners” who invest in its traditional, low-cost index funds.

Daniel Wiener: Pushing salaries or bonuses… to astronomical levels [they are] still costs.

Evidence of the shift emerged when an internal memo surfaced in a newsletter revealing a 24.2% increase per share last year over the previous year in an employee dividend. – the largest increase since 1987. Vanguard did not dispute the report.

“If the base knew how much these guys got paid while they were busting their ass…” says Daniel Wiener, who publishes “The Independent Adviser” newsletter for Vanguard Investors.

“With angry owners, it may be time for mutiny.”

But these days, Vanguard is both defensive and offensive because corporations are stealing its playbook and even its culture and philosophy, says Eric Balchunas, author of the just-released book, “The Bogle Effect.”

The book shows how legendary investor John “Jack” Bogle turned Wall Street upside down in 1975 with his radical idea of ​​making investors the real owners of his new fund company.

For years, Vanguard’s philosophy has been to prioritize the “owners” of its low-cost funds and reward them with profit sharing.

But “a lot of companies act Vanguardian,” says Balchunas. “There are a lot of Vanguards at Schwab these days. Vanguard is now as much a concept as it is a business.”

Give alarms

Vanguard’s response to growing competition has been to go in the opposite direction: upscaling. Among other things, he began wooing wealthy investors with private equity and active management. See: The Vanguard Group’s private equity push is getting real.

Eric Balchunas
Eric Balchunas: It’s not your grandfather’s Vanguard.

“Certainly Vanguard realized it needed to be driven by outside ideas, especially in emerging areas of opportunity, like direct indexing. of Central America, homemade,” said Will Trout, Director of Wealth Management. to Livonia, Michigan, consulting firm Javelin Strategy and Research, via email.

Vanguard also struck its first whimsical promotional deal with American Express to attract a large number of affluent investors. See: Vanguard, American Express INVEST deal hits a wall – of hard numbers – shattering its supposed value amid blatant ‘fine print’ disclosure – it’s a huge conflict of interest for Amex

The rulings, however, have raised alarm bells among longtime corporate watchers as they suggest Vanguard is selling its owners short to compete at a higher level with Wall Street firms.

“The management team has put growth above performance. Admittedly, the agreement with American Express is an asset collection agreement and is not in line with [Vanguard’s] cheapest mantra,” Weiner says, via email.

High profits

To make matters worse, Vanguard is hiding key data — like human talent-related operating expenses — from shareholders, which is likely counterproductive, Balchunas says.

“When you shut down news, people think the worst.”

Unlike shareholders of public companies — or even most private nonprofits — Vanguard shareholders are denied access to finances, including how and to what extent staff and senior executives are compensated.

Wiener says the company has also blown away the vaunted sense of ownership.

“Vanguard is not, and never has been, a non-profit organization, although much of the language [used is] around ‘operating at cost price’… [it is] excessively profitable.

“If I raise salaries or bonuses… to astronomical levels [they are] still costs. It all depends on how you analyze the language.

“Does a $20 million bonus have a cost? I think so,” Wiener says.

“How does Vanguard fund their partnership plan if not with profits? Well, then I guess [its] not a non-profit organization. It’s kind of circular, its perception, and the opacity around it.”

Slice the pie

Vanguard’s value proposition is anchored in the Vanguard Partnership Plan, which emphasizes the value of investor ownership. Instituted in 1984, the plan further aligns “the interests of our crew and the long-term success of our customers,” spokeswoman Amy Lash said by email.

david danon
David Danon has taken his issues with Vanguard’s use of its mutual structure to court.

“The partnership plan is based on value created for customers over a rolling three-year period. The performance calculation shared with the crew this year was for the three-year period ending December 31, 2021,” it adds. -she.

“And it’s been a good three years for Vanguard, with assets up about 76% over that time – the best rate since 1999 – the partnership plan dividend is up 54%,” says Wiener.

The dividend increase, from about $352 to $437.56, also primarily reflects Vanguard’s ability to control costs relative to its industry peers, Wiener adds.

“[AUM] growth, rather than fund performance, [is] a key factor determining the size of the dividend. The other factor…is the “cost savings” achieved by comparing Vanguard’s average operating expense ratio to industry averages. »

According to Wiener’s research, Vanguard caps most employee bonuses – except those awarded to its top brass – at a level calculated based on their “ranking”, seniority and percentage increase in the dividend. .

Usually paid out between April and June, Vanguard’s partnership plan once paid tenured employees up to 30% of their salary as a bonus. Yet in 2010, the company restructured its partnership and reduced payment levels, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

In 2015, Vanguard reclassified 2,100 employees as hourly workers, removing them from its bonus system, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper.

Pay top talent

“While the nuances of the partnership plan are not public, the overall goals of encouraging growth and asset efficiency to produce cost savings are clearly in the best interests of shareholders,” said Scott Smith, Chief consulting relationships at Boston, Mass. Cerulli Associates, via email.

Cecile Munoz
Cecile Munoz: We all know they’re not for profit, just like the rest of Wall Street

“Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.”

The big proof is that Vanguard manages about 25% of industry assets but collects about 5% of total revenue.

Cécile Munoz, founder and president of US Executive Search, believes that Vanguard cannot be expected to walk on eggshells when compensating to attract and retain talent.

“We all know they’re not non-profit, just like the rest of Wall Street… [but] they can operate at cost while remunerating their talents competitively,” she explains by email.

“It is fair and logical that a meritocracy [match] compensation directly correlates to the responsibility, risk and contribution of an individual’s role.”

Competitive pressure

Vanguard, as Muno notes, may have no choice but to pay out big bonuses to stay competitive, given those available on Wall Street.

Scott Smith
Scott Smith: “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.”

“He can’t afford to lag behind on the compensation front, especially as he looks to be outward looking, both in terms of using outside technology and in terms of cultural,” says Trout.

“Executive compensation is driven by competitive pressures, from which Vanguard is not immune,” he says.

Goldman Sachs paid CEO David Solomon $35 million last year, and JP Morgan paid CEO Jamie Dimon $34.5 million.

Jack Bogle would have made at least $41 million if he was still running Vanguard in 2022, Weiner calculates.

Vanguard points out that paying more employees earns investors greater “shareholder” benefits over time.

“Vanguard says it’s owned by its shareholders, but doesn’t disclose information about … how much it pays its executives, [or] what his bonuses are based on,” retorts Wiener, president of RIA Adviser Investments in Newton, Mass.

“Vanguard is the prototype aircraft carrier, a course change takes time, and it’s important that all reinvention-focused initiatives are coordinated,” says Trout. See: Vanguard mocks ‘digital’ myth by grossing $1.3 trillion after failed debut of new mobile app.

“It’s not your grandfather’s Vanguard, but it’s Vanguard nonetheless,” Balchunas says.


Although Vanguard no longer shares details of its payment system, Wiener uses an old stock count provided to Jack Bogle to calculate an approximate number.

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Biden calls on states to dedicate stimulus funds to police https://bellowingark.org/biden-calls-on-states-to-dedicate-stimulus-funds-to-police/ Sat, 14 May 2022 00:58:19 +0000 https://bellowingark.org/biden-calls-on-states-to-dedicate-stimulus-funds-to-police/ WASHINGTON — Flanked by police chiefs from across the United States, President Biden praised state and local governments on Friday for pledging to use at least $10 billion in federal stimulus funds to bolster policing . And he urged local leaders to keep the money flowing. “My message is clear: Spend that money,” Biden told […]]]>

WASHINGTON — Flanked by police chiefs from across the United States, President Biden praised state and local governments on Friday for pledging to use at least $10 billion in federal stimulus funds to bolster policing .

And he urged local leaders to keep the money flowing.

“My message is clear: Spend that money,” Biden told the Rose Garden. “Do it quickly before the summer, when crime rates typically spike.”

As Republicans take advantage of rising violent crime to portray the White House as weak on law and order, Mr Biden is scrambling to show he is a strong advocate for policing ahead of the midterm elections in Congress in November.

But the timing of his remarks, just two weeks before the second anniversary of the killing of George Floyd by a police officer, has also frustrated progressives who say Mr Biden has yet to deliver on his early promises to reform policing. accused of racial discrimination.

“The funding should be used to help residents hit hard by the pandemic and help them deal with longstanding disparities,” said Hannah Halbert, executive director of nonprofit Policy Matters Ohio.

Instead, she said officials appeared to rely on traditional investments in policing. “You’re just going to double down on strategies that have produced the results that we’re living in right now,” Ms. Halbert said, noting that Ohio officials had used stimulus funds to buy police vehicles.

Last June, months after passing his $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill, Mr Biden announced that state and local governments would be allowed to tap into $350 billion in funds relief and to use the money for public safety. On Friday, the White House said the $10 billion in spending was just a first toll; administration officials expect more money to go to police departments as additional stimulus funds flow.

The White House hopes the spending will help prevent another spike in crime this summer. But some critics said the money should be spent on public health as well as the economic pain caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’re trying to encourage communities to make these investments in health care, education, jobs, housing,” said Kanya Bennett, executive director of government affairs for the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a legislative defense coalition.

Congressional talks to overhaul the police department collapsed last year after nearly a year of negotiations. The Justice Department has announced federal investigations into the Minneapolis and Louisville police departments, but criminal justice advocates have called on Mr. Biden to use more of his executive power to rein in the police. Outgoing White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday the administration was still finalizing an executive order on police reform.

Despite calls in the wake of widespread protests in 2020 to cut funding for law enforcement and increase spending on health and education, Mr Biden said the best way to tackle crime and provoke reforms was to invest in policing.

On Friday, Biden also praised states that had used the funds to invest in community safety programs, such as a Wisconsin initiative that deployed community members to work directly with those most likely to commit crimes. committed with firearms.

“The best way to move reform forward as quickly as possible is to go to the local level and make sure we invest in policing,” Biden said.

The $10 billion in spending included funds to hire additional officers, increase overtime pay, buy police cars and gun detection technology, and improve radio systems and training facilities.

Speaking at the White House on Friday, Detroit Police Chief James E. White said the money allowed him to expand a program that pairs police officers with social workers to better help those with the disease. of mental illnesses. Asked how federal funds have helped his department, Chief White said the extra money allowed him to hire someone to improve diversity in his agency.

The $10 billion figure does not include some state spending plans that are at odds with Mr. Biden’s public safety priorities, such as Alabama’s plan to use $400 million in funds pandemic relief to build two prisons, according to a senior administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the private deliberations.

While the stimulus package was meant to give states flexibility, the senior administration official said Biden spoke on Friday about providing police funding with the intention of putting his “thumb on the scales.” and prioritize public safety spending.

In a private meeting in the Roosevelt Room with police chiefs and community leaders, Mr. Biden said he wanted to continue investing in law enforcement, but that the police should not be solely responsible for the dealing with situations of domestic violence or emergencies involving the mentally ill.

Some cities have used the money for public safety initiatives that don’t involve the police. Mayor Regina Romero of Tucson, Arizona announced plans to use at least $7 million of the funds for outreach programs, youth employment and programming, workforce development and mental health and addiction programs.

Liana Perez, deputy city manager of Tucson, said the mayor and city council have developed a strategic framework for funding.

“So it’s not necessarily our police department, but it’s community self-health and safety initiatives,” she said.

Ms. Perez said the city never decided to defund its police department, but tried to add programs and services to help its police force. For example, Tucson created a community health, safety, and wellness program in hopes of diverting some 911 calls to social services instead of the police.

“We knew we had to address the challenges facing law enforcement in multiple directions,” Ms. Perez said. “Not just, you know, funding new officers.”

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Inflation News and April CPI Report: Latest Updates https://bellowingark.org/inflation-news-and-april-cpi-report-latest-updates/ Wed, 11 May 2022 19:02:11 +0000 https://bellowingark.org/inflation-news-and-april-cpi-report-latest-updates/ +6.2% without food and energy Percentage change year over year in the consumer price index +6.2% without food and energy Year-over-year percent change in Consumer Price Index The pressures that have kept inflation high for months remain strong, new data showed on Wednesday, a challenge for households trying to weather rising spending and for the […]]]>




+6.2%

without

food and

energy

Percentage change year over year

in the consumer price index

+6.2%

without food

and energy

Year-over-year percent change in Consumer Price Index


The pressures that have kept inflation high for months remain strong, new data showed on Wednesday, a challenge for households trying to weather rising spending and for the White House and Federal Reserve as they try to put the economy on a more stable path.

Annual inflation moderated for the first time in months in April, but the consumer price index still rose 8.3%, an uncomfortably fast pace. Meanwhile, a closely watched measure that subtracts food and fuel costs has actually accelerated.

Core inflation – which excludes the cost of groceries and gasoline – rose 0.6% in April from the previous month, faster than its 0.3% rise in March. This measure is particularly important for policymakers, who use it as an indicator to help determine the direction of inflation.

While lower annual inflation has given President Biden and the Fed a dose of comfort, the bigger picture remains concerning. Policymakers still have a long way to go to bring price increases back to more normal and stable levels, and the latest data should prompt them to focus on trying to slow a rate of inflation that remains near its fastest pace in 40 years.

“Inflation is too high – they need to bring it down,” said Laura Rosner-Warburton, senior economist at MacroPolicy Perspectives. “The re-acceleration of underlying inflation is not welcome.”

Stocks were turbulent on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 swinging between gains and losses as investors tried to analyze the latest data.

Annual inflation may now have peaked, after climbing an even faster 8.5% in March. April’s slowdown came partly because gasoline prices fell last month and partly because of a statistical quirk that will continue for months to come. Annual price changes are now measured against the high price readings of last spring, when inflation started to take off. The higher base makes annual increases less severe.




Consumer Price Index 2022

Consumer Price Index 2022


Yet even the White House greeted the new report with concern.

“While it is encouraging to see that annual inflation moderated in April, the fact remains that inflation is at an unacceptably high level,” Biden said in a statement. “Inflation is a challenge for families across the country and reducing it is my top economic priority.”

Economists expect price increases to continue to moderate somewhat this year as they believe consumer demand will decline and supply chain strains ease. The crucial question is to what extent and how quickly this moderation could occur.

Many analysts are predicting slower price increases or even outright price declines on many goods, but those predictions are looking increasingly uncertain. Lockdowns in China and war in Ukraine threaten to exacerbate supply shortages of semiconductor chips, raw materials and other important products.

“There are persistent problems in the supply chains”, said Matthew Luzzetti, chief US economist at Deutsche Bank. “And the most recent developments have not been positive.”

The way forward for the automotive market, for example, remains unclear. Used-vehicle supply shortages show signs of easing, but shortages persist in computer chips, critical to auto production. As a result, companies are still struggling to complete vehicles.

Prices for used cars and trucks fell in April from the previous month, although the drop was smaller than that seen in March. While auto parts had become cheaper in March, they resumed their monthly rise in April. New car prices also accelerated after a lull, climbing 1.7% from the previous month.

Credit…OK McCausland for the New York Times

And prices for services are now rising rapidly, as rents climb and labor shortages lead to higher wages and higher prices for restaurant meals and other labor-intensive purchases. ‘work. If this continues, it could keep inflation high even if supply issues are resolved.

Rents rose 0.6% in April from March, and a measure of housing costs that uses rents to estimate the cost of owned accommodation rose 0.5% from 0.4% in the month previous. The recovery in housing costs is particularly important, as they account for about a third of the overall inflation index.

“Nationally generated inflationary pressures remain strong,” wrote Andrew Hunter, senior US economist at Capital Economics, after the report was released.

Part of the rise in core inflation in April was due to trends that are unlikely to last, including a sharp rise in airfares as travel demand surges following the latest wave of coronavirus. Even so, Ms Rosner-Warburton said she expects annual CPI inflation to remain at 5.1% at the end of the year, well above levels that prevailed before the pandemic.

The Fed is aiming for an average annual inflation of 2%, although it sets this target using a related but different measure that tends to fall slightly and exit with more lag. This inflation index has increased by 6.6% in the year to March, and the April figures will be released later this month.

The fact that high inflation lasts for so long is a problem for the central bank. After a full year of unusually rapid increases, household and investor expectations for future price changes have risen, which could perpetuate inflation if households and businesses adjust their behavior, demand larger increases and charge more for goods and services.

As these risks grew, the Fed began to raise interest rates in an attempt to keep price increases from galloping in a more sustainable manner. In March, Fed policymakers raised their key interest rate for the first time since 2018, then followed up with the biggest increase since 2000 at their meeting last week.

By making borrowing more expensive, officials hope to weaken spending and hiring, which could help supply catch up with demand. As the economy returns to equilibrium, inflation should fall.

Central bankers are hoping their policies will temper economic growth without pushing up unemployment or plunging America into a recession – creating what they often call a “soft landing”.

“I really want this to be the outcome, but I recognize that it won’t be easy to do,” Raphael Bostic, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, said in an interview Monday.

Officials clearly acknowledged that it would be difficult to let the economy down smoothly, and some suggested they would be prepared to inflict economic pain if that is what it takes to fight high inflation.

If the economy gets to a point where unemployment starts to climb, but inflation remains “unacceptably high”, Mr Bostic said price hikes would be “the threat we have to address”.

A challenge for policymakers — and even more so for families — is that price increases are surfacing in basic necessities. Food prices rose 0.9% in April from the previous month, the 17th consecutive monthly increase, according to Friday’s report.

The increase was led by dairy products, soft drinks and a 10.3% monthly rise in the cost of eggs as bird flu decimated poultry flocks. Such inflation tends to particularly affect the poor, who spend more of their budget on necessities such as groceries and gasoline.

But while Americans are seeing strong job gains and strong wage growth — although not strong enough to fully counter inflation — many are managing to withstand rising costs for the time being, maintaining strong aggregate demand.

“Consumers seem willing to accept the higher menu prices, especially as inflation runs wide,” George Holm, chief executive of food retailer and restaurant supplier Performance Food Group, said on a call on Wednesday. to the results. “Nevertheless, it’s something to watch closely over the coming months and quarters.”

Ana Swanson contributed reporting.

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White River Township residents advocate for concrete street repairs https://bellowingark.org/white-river-township-residents-advocate-for-concrete-street-repairs/ Mon, 09 May 2022 19:25:00 +0000 https://bellowingark.org/white-river-township-residents-advocate-for-concrete-street-repairs/ Dan Cecil holds up pieces of asphalt he picked up from the crumbling streets May 2 in the Willow Lakes subdivision. Photos from the daily newspaper Residents of a subdivision in White River Township raised concerns about the collapse of concrete streets in their neighborhood at a county commissioner’s meeting on Monday. Residents of the […]]]>

Residents of a subdivision in White River Township raised concerns about the collapse of concrete streets in their neighborhood at a county commissioner’s meeting on Monday.

Residents of the Willow Lakes Subdivision, a neighborhood built in the 1980s and 1990s located northwest of State Route 135 and Stones Crossing Road, have repeatedly said that the concrete streets in their neighborhoods are crumbling and crumbling. worsen. They have successfully argued for some repairs, but say more work is needed.

They signed up for the commissioner’s agenda to get answers on how and when their streets would be repaired. They outlined their grievances to the commissioners in a letter from the neighborhood homeowners association ahead of the meeting.

Residents had questions about two road projects that were due to be completed last year. In August 2021, residents were notified that the county had received funding to repair portions of Willow Street, Woods Court, and Willow Court in the neighborhood through the state’s Community Crossings Matching Grants program. The Willow Street project has been completed, but residents say repairs to Woods Court and Willow Court have not.

Bruce Bultman, a Willow Lakes resident and homeowners association adviser, told commissioners crews began working on those streets after they sent the letter, which The Daily Journal reported last week. County Highway Manager Luke Mastin said crews have returned to begin work in those areas now because they are waiting for warmer temperatures to complete paving in cul-de-sacs.

Willow Lakes residents also asked about additional funding sources outside of community crossings.

County officials have been looking at various sources to fund roadwork, as the collective price for roadwork over the next five years is approximately $390 million. One of these sources of funding is a possible local income tax which is the subject of discussions between the commissioners and the county council. Discussions are ongoing, West said.

Officials are struggling to come up with money for concrete streets, as most of the county’s road spending is for smaller amounts for annual maintenance, rather than larger capital projects across the county. rebuilding miles of concrete streets, Mastin said. The average bid price for street reconstruction is approximately $1.6 million per mile and the annual maintenance program is approximately $3 million. So if the county put the entire annual fund into concrete streets, officials would be able to rebuild less than two miles a year, Mastin said.

Of the roughly 31.8 miles of concrete neighborhood streets, about 21.7 miles are rated poorest in the county’s road rating system. Those streets would cost more than $35 million to repair, he said.

The highway department has tried to fit in with smaller-scale projects to fix some of the worst roads in Willow Lakes, hoping to receive matching funds from the state. However, those repairs still take up part of the annual maintenance schedule and put the county behind with maintenance on other streets, including the county’s main roads, Mastin said.

Commissioners Ron West and Kevin Walls told residents they had raised the issue of funding street repairs with the county council. Talks are ongoing, so there is no immediate response available. Officials know the problem is compounded by the construction of Interstate 69, which is tying up other funding, they said.

Residents also had questions about a $5 million bond that they said would be reissued. The issue of bail dates back to a June 2019 meeting of commissioners, where a county attorney read a letter on West’s behalf saying repairs to Willow Lakes streets were overdue and recommended when bail for Whiteland Road was raised. ended in December 2020, a new one will be issued to pay for repairs, the letter says. West represents the northern third of the county, including residents of Willow Lakes.

Members of the owners’ association then attended a commissioner’s meeting in January 2021, where they called for the bond to be reissued. On Monday, West told residents he had always been in favor of reissuing the bond, for general roadwork purposes, not just Willow Lakes streets, he said. No action has been initiated or taken on the reissue of the bond.

Willow Lakes resident Craig Thompson told commissioners he was concerned about how commissioners had handled complaints from residents. After years of raising concerns, he’s tired of hearing people talk about them with no progress being made, Thompson said.

With current funding constraints and uncertainties, commissioners can’t do much more right now, said County Commissioner Brian Baird. Residents should know that the council is aware of the needs in Willow Lakes and other areas of the county. Commissioners must balance the needs of more than 160,000 residents, Baird said.

“Give us some consideration as we try to do what we can do for the best of the whole county,” Baird said. “We are not going to do this by being in a constant hurry, it does not work. I would just like to ask that you continue to communicate with us as other people, other additions, other HOAs do, and we will do our best to move forward.

In other cases, commissioners approved an order authorizing $1.5 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act, or ARPA, funds for subdivision road improvements. The county council approved the credit last month.

ARPA is a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package that has provided direct relief to Americans and distributed billions to states to respond to the pandemic and to give to cities, towns and counties to respond to the pandemic. Indiana officials distributed $1.28 billion to communities, including about $30.7 million for Johnson County.

The $1.5 million will be used to repair streets in neighborhoods located primarily outside the Township of White River. The move was made because most of the county’s road budget is typically spent in White River Township, Walls told the county council last month.

While there is a need for concrete street repairs in the township, based on highway department road assessments, rural subdivisions need work more immediately, Mastin said last month.

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