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Report: Minimum Wage Increase to $10.10 Could Cost 500K Jobs

Feb 19, 2014, 1:46 pm EDT

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) believes that a $10.10 federal minimum wage could cost the country about half a million jobs.

The CBO’s report is based on data compiled by well-trained economists who came up with 500,000 as the central estimate for job reductions. However, the likely range for job reductions goes from “very slight” up to 1 million if the federal minimum wage was raised to $10.10.

The CBO also found that raising minimum wage would help about 900,000 people move above the poverty threshold by boosting their average family income by about 3%. Read 

Pandora Can Predict Your Political Party

Feb 19, 2014, 12:44 pm EDT

The creators of Pandora (P) are betting that their radio can predict your political party. Source: mailto:letters@investorplace.com

Pandora’s political predictions are part of the company’s efforts to create custom ads for the mid-term elections. The process works by looking at the listener’s zip code and then comparing it to the previous votes from that area. Then the app looks at what kind of music is being listened to and determines a political party, ABC New notes.

For example, the app predicts that those who listen to country in a Republican-heavy zip code are most likely Republican and that those who listen to electronic,  jazz and reggae in a Democrat-heavy area are likely Democrats. The predictions are currently correct 75% to 80% of the time, reports ABC News. Read 

Obama to Tighten Fuel Standards for Trucks

Feb 18, 2014, 10:54 am EDT

On Tuesday, President Barack Obama will visit a Safeway (SWY) supermarket distribution center near Washington D.C. to promote a series of measures meant to enhance the nation’s environmental efforts.

In his remarks, Obama is anticipated to announce that he has ordered higher fuel-efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will have until March 2016 to issue the new standards, the Associated Press notes.

Obama will highlight increased fuel-efficiency requirements as a way to reduce greenhouse gases, potentially blunting the impact of climate change. The move is also meant to show that the president can act on the environment without congressional action. Read 

Gay Marriage News: Virginia Same-Sex Marriage Ban Is Overturned

Feb 14, 2014, 12:18 pm EDT

A ban on gay marriage in Virginia has been overturned by District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen. Source: mailto:letters@investorplace.com

In her ruling on gay marriage, Write Allen compared the ban to the same one that was in place in for interracial marriage prior to 1967. However, she had her ruling halted –meaning gay marriage still isn’t allowed– and now the case goes to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in Richmond, reports The Los Angeles Times.

Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia praised the judge’s ruling during a Valentine’s Day statement. Other still stand behind the gay-marriage ban and have said that judges shouldn’t be overruling what the majority votes, the L.A. Times notes. Read 

House OKs Debt Limit Increase, Bill Heads to Senate

Feb 12, 2014, 10:12 am EDT

The US House of Representatives passed a clean debt limit increase without any conditions — just barely — that signals a win for President Barack Obama, who held his ground against Republicans.

The 221-201 vote for a debt limit increase — again led by Democrats — marked a shift from the failed tactics that House Republicans used repeatedly over the past three years, which culminating a 16-day government shutdown last October.

The debt increase, which is needed when the US reaches its borrowing limit, is not for new spending, but to pay the bills that the US has already incurred. Read 

Obamacare News: Employer Mandate Delayed for Another Year

Feb 11, 2014, 9:20 am EDT

On Monday, the White House said that businesses with more than 50, but less than 100 employees, would get another year to come into compliance with requirements of the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare.

Companies with more than 100 workers will have to meet Obamacare requirements for 70% of their employees who work more than 30 hours a week by 2015, and 95% by 2016. The administration of President Barack Obama, who championed the Affordable Care Act, has already issued several delays to the implementation of the new law, USA TODAY notes.

Republicans pounced on the latest Obamacare delay. A leading GOP congressman called the Obamacare mandate on businesses “bad for middle class families” and warned that it will dampen the nation’s economic growth. Republicans, who have repeatedly attempted to pass legislation to repeal Obamacare have also criticized the president for unilaterally delaying troublesome parts of the law. Read 

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