Cereal

The Pronk Pops Show 1119, August 2, 2018, Story 1: President Trump Rising In Polls Hits 50 Percent Approval for Job Performance — Party Affiliation of Voters — Independents 41 Percent — Democrats 30 Percent and Republican 26 Percent — Videos — Story 2: Third Quarter 2018 Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Could Hit 5 Percent — Advance Estimate Released on October 26 — Videos — Story 3: Number of Americans on Food Stamps or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Declining As Budgets Decline –Food in A Box — Less Money More Food — Videos — Story 4: Obesity Expanding In America — Fat Ass Americans — Pandemic — Keeping America Fat — Promises Kept — Videos

Posted on August 3, 2018. Filed under: American History, Animal, Banking System, Beef, Blogroll, Bread, Breaking News, Budgetary Policy, Business, Cartoons, Cereal, Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy, Communications, Congress, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Diet, Diets, Disasters, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Eating, Economics, Empires, Employment, Exercise, Fiscal Policy, Food, Food, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Health, Health Care, Health Care Insurance, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Independence, Investments, IRS, Labor Economics, Life, Media, Medical, Milk, Monetary Policy, National Interest, Networking, News, Nutrition, Obesity, Overweight, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Trump, Progressives, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Robert S. Mueller III, Rule of Law, Scandals, Science, Security, Senate, Spying, Success, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP_, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Surveillance/Spying, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Technology, Trade Policy, United States of America, Videos, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

 

 Project_1

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1119, August 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1118, August 1, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1117, July 31, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1116, July 30, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1115, July 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1114, July 25, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1113, July 24, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1112, July 23, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1111, July 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1110, July 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1109, July 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1108, July 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1107, July 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1106, July 11, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1105, July 10, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1104, July 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1103, July 5, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1102, JUly 3, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1101, July 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1100, June 28, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1099, June 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1098, June 25, 2018 

Pronk Pops Show 1097, June 21, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1096, June 20, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1095, June 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1094, June 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1093, June 14, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1092, June 13, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1091, June 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1090, June 11, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1089, June 7, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1088, June 6, 2018 

Pronk Pops Show 1087, June 4, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1086, May 31, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1085, May 30, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1084, May 29, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1083, May 24, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1082, May 23, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1081, May 22, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1080, May 21, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1079, May 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1078, May 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1077, May 15, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1076, May 14, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1075, May 10, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1073, May 8, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1072, May 7, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1071, May 4, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1070, May 3, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1069, May 2, 2018

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Story 1: President Trump Rising In Polls Hits 50 Percent Approval for Job Performance — Party Affiliation of Voters: Independents 41 Percent — Democrats 30 Percent and Republican 26 Percent — Videos —

 

Daily Presidential Tracking Poll

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Thursday shows that 50% of Likely U.S. Voters approve of President Trump’s job performance. Forty-nine percent (49%) disapprove.

The latest figures include 35% who Strongly Approve of the way Trump is performing and 41% who Strongly Disapprove. This gives him a Presidential Approval Index rating of -6. (see trends).

Regular updates are posted Monday through Friday at 9:30 a.m. Eastern (sign up for free daily email update).

Rasmussen Reports invites you to be a part of our first-ever Citizen-Sourced National Midterm Election Polling Project.Learn more about how you can contribute.

Now that Gallup has quit the field, Rasmussen Reports is the only nationally recognized public opinion firm that still tracks President Trump’s job approval ratings on a daily basis. If your organization is interested in a weekly or longer sponsorship of Rasmussen Reports’ Daily Presidential Tracking Poll, please send e-mail to  beth@rasmussenreports.com .

President Trump in a tweet yesterday reiterated that the Justice Department should end the Special Counsel’s investigation into whether there were “links and/or coordination” between the Russian Government and his 2016 campaign.

Stemming from that investigation, the trial of former Trump campaign manager and business associate Paul Manafort enters its third day in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia. Will the trial lead to criminal charges against the president? We’ll tell you at 10:30 what voters say.

Nearly half of voters don’t believe Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe is worth what it has spent (more than $22 million as of July, according to one report) investigating allegations of Russian collusion in the 2016 election, and few believe the outcome will benefit the United States.  

Vice President Mike Pence yesterday led a ceremony in Honolulu to receive the remains of U.S. servicemen killed during the Korean War. Their return resulted from President Trump’s June summit in Singapore with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

Voters are only slightly more positive about the president’s dealings with North Korea but are cautiously optimistic about the denuclearization deal Trump and Kim have signed. As is often the case, however, partisan affiliation makes a huge difference in perceptions.

While his daily approval rating is 50% today, President Trump has earned a monthly job approval of 46% in July.

Democrats continue to lead over Republicans on the latest Rasmussen Reports Generic Congressional Ballot.

20-Jan-1729-Mar-1705-Jun-1711-Aug-1718-Oct-1729-Dec-1709-Mar-1816-May-1802-Aug-180%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%80%www.RasmussenReports.comTotal Approve (Trump)Total Approve (Obama)

It has been almost two years since Trump was elected president, but for a third of voters, the 2016 presidential election has had long-lasting negative effects on relationships with family and friends. Most voters also think Americans are less tolerant of each other’s political opinions these days.

Several U.S. Democratic gubernatorial and senatorial candidates have been stumping for single-payer healthcare as part of their 2018 midterm election platforms. Voters are now closely divided on whether the federal government should provide healthcare for everyone even though most believe their personal taxes will increase as a result.

While most voters continue to give the health care they receive a positive rating, few hold the nation’s health care system in high regard.

 

-620-Jan-1729-Mar-1705-Jun-1711-Aug-1718-Oct-1729-Dec-1709-Mar-1816-May-1802-Aug-1810%20%30%40%50%60%www.RasmussenReports.comStrongly DisapproveStrongly Approve

Some readers wonder how we come up with our job approval ratings for the president since they often don’t show as dramatic a change as some other pollsters do. It depends on how you ask the question and whom you ask.

To get a sense of longer-term job approval trends for the president, Rasmussen Reports compiles our tracking data on a full month-by-month basis.

Rasmussen Reports has been a pioneer in the use of automated telephone polling techniques, but many other firms still utilize their own operator-assisted technology (see methodology).

Daily tracking results are collected via telephone surveys of 500 likely voters per night and reported on a three-day rolling average basis. To reach those who have abandoned traditional landline telephones, Rasmussen Reports uses an online survey tool to interview randomly selected participants from a demographically diverse panel. The margin of sampling error for the full sample of 1,500 Likely Voters is +/- 2.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Results are also compiled on a full-week basis and crosstabs for full-week results are available for Platinum Members.

 

Trump got a dynamite GDP number last quarter — and early signs point to the next one being even better

trump thumbs upReuters
  • President Donald Trump took a victory lap Friday after second quarter GDP came in at 4.1%, the strongest since the third quarter of 2014.
  • Trump said the GDP reading proved that his policies were working and that the country was on track to fulfill his promise of sustained 4% annual GDP growth.
  • Many economists doubted the strong growth would continue, since transitory factors help boost the second quarter number.
  • But early estimates for third quarter GDP look potentially even stronger.

President Donald Trump took a victory lap Friday after the release of a strong second-quarter GDP number, and early signs point to the celebration continuing in the third quarter.

The 4.1% second-quarter reading was the highest since 2014, as both the White House and GOP pointed to the growth as proof that Trump’s policies were boosting the US economy. The president also touted the number as proof the economy could achieve his promise of annual GDP growth over 4%, a claim of which almost all economists were skeptical .

While Friday’s release was substantial, many economists pointed to short-term factors that could fade in future quarters — like a huge boost in soybean exports ahead of Trump’s tariffs and fiscal stimulus from the federal budget.

But early indications from third-quarter economic data show that Trump may have reason to boast about the third quarter, too.

The Atlanta Federal Reserve’s GDPNow measure, which uses available data to predict the current quarter’s GDP growth, stands at 5% as of Thursday — up slightly from an initial estimate of 4.7%.

The estimate has a strong track record of prediction. But GDPNow isn’t perfect, especially so early in a quarter, and it is subject to updates as more data emerges.

But Neil Dutta, head of US economics at research firm Renaissance Macro, pointed to data that shows the strong initial reading from the Atlanta Fed is likely to hold up.

While Dutta said it’s “unlikely that we’ll get 5% for the third quarter,” the economist noted that the average move for the GDPNow reading over the course of a quarter since its inception is a 0.6-percentage point drop. Given the initial reading, that would put the final third quarter GDPNow estimate at 4.1%, which would be on par second quarter and one of the highest post-recession readings.

Screen Shot 2018 08 02 at 2.23.43 PMRenaissance Macro Research
  • The biggest downward move in the GDPNow’s estimate over the course of a quarter was 2.2 percentage points, per Dutta’s breakdown, which would still leave GDP growth at a respectable 2.5%.
  • On the other end, the largest upward move was 1.5 percentage points, so an equal move from this quarter’s reading would put the third quarter at 6.5%. That would be the highest quarterly GDP print since the third quarter of 2003.

“Anything in that range is consistent with strong, above-trend growth and would be a reasonably solid number coming after a 4% GDP print,” Dutta said.

In the second quarter, the 4.1% GDP reading was also above the Atlanta Fed’s final estimate of 3.8%.

Trump, for his part, is already banking on a big third-quarter reading, which is set to be released October 26.

“I happen to think we’re going to do extraordinarily well in our next report,” Trump said at the press conference Friday.

https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-gdp-growth-q3-third-quarter-strong-2018-8

Story 3: Less Than 40 Million Americans on Food Stamps or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Declining As U.S. Federal Budget For SNAP Cut — Trump Proposed America’s Harvest Box — Less Money More Food — People Want Choice Not Preselected Boxes of Food –Little Boxes — Walk Off The Earth — Videos

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Little Boxes – Walk off the Earth

The history of food stamps

SNAP, Food Stamps, Obesity, and Behavioral Economics

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

Donald Trump’s Budget Declares War on Hungry Children and Families w/ the ‘American Harvest Box’

Republicans Put Rural Poor SNAP In Crosshairs

How Trump’s ‘food box’ proposal could affect families in Wisconsin

Bay Area families worry about the future of SNAP benefits after President Trump proposes cuts

SNAP EBT Food Stamps CUT! true or not true REPLACED By Food Delivery! DO SOME RESEARCH FOR U

Concerns White House Proposal To Food Stamp Program

Food stamp changes worrying business owner

Food Stamp Cuts Will Affect You Whether You Get Them Or Not

President Donald Trump Wants To Cut SNAP And Give Poor Boxes Of Food | AM Joy | MSNBC

Trump Wants To Replace Food Stamps With Food Boxes

Trump Wants To Send People On SNAP Cheap Food Boxes

Trump To Cut Half Of Food Stamps (SNAP) And Replace Them With “America’s Harvest Box” (REACTION)

Look What Trump Just Did To Food Stamps—Millions Of Freeloaders Enraged

Little Boxes – Walk off the Earth

 

Overview

Last Published: 08/01/2018

The Program Data site provides selected statistical information on activity in all major Food and Nutrition Service Programs (FNS). These include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC); Child Nutrition Programs (National School Lunch, School Breakfast, Child and Adult Care, Summer Food Service and Special Milk); and Food Distribution Programs (Schools, Emergency Food Assistance, Indian Reservations, Commodity Supplemental, Nutrition for the Elderly, and Charitable Institutions).

Four types of tables are provided: historical summaries, annual state level data for selected elements, monthly national level data for major programs, and the latest available month for state-level participation in major programs. The summaries begin with 1969, the year that FNS was established to administer the Department of Agriculture’s nutrition assistance programs. Data are provided by federal fiscal year rather than calendar or school year. This includes the months of October through September (prior to FY 1977, it covered July through June). Annual state-level tables include data for the five most recent complete years (2013-2017). The latest month for state-level activity is April 2018. Data are as of July 06, 2018; FY 2017 and 2018 numbers are preliminary and are subject to significant revision.

If you need additional information or have any questions, please e-mail us. The following program area pages provide detailed program explanations and information: SNAPChild NutritionWIC and Food Distribution.

Food Stamp Cuts Could Hurt Thousands of Service Members

Posted By  on Thu, Jul 5, 2018 at 3:02 pm

screen_shot_2018-05-29_at_5.12.17_pm.png

Military service members are among the millions of Americans who would be affected by proposed budget cuts to federal food stamps, also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

In February, President Donald Trump released a fiscal-year 2019 budget proposal that included a new approach to the program that “combines traditional SNAP benefits with 100-percent American grown foods provided directly to households.” The change would cut SNAP funding by $213 billion dollars over 10 years.

According to a 2016 report from the US Government Accountability Office (GAO), approximately 23,000 active duty military service members were SNAP recipients in 2013.

Brenda Farrell, director of defense capabilities and management at GAO, oversaw development of the report.

“Don’t assume that service members don’t need help,” Farrell said. “We all know that over the years the pay has increased and bonuses have been there to attract the right people, but you still have pockets where the need is still there.”

The San Antonio Food Bank provides food for 58,000 people a week, and one in seven active or former military service members use similar services across the U.S., according to food bank President and CEO Eric Cooper. 

“We know from our work that many active enlisted servicemen and women call our center,” Cooper said. “Sometimes they might not want to share with people they are closest to that they are in need, so they reach out to the food bank as a neutral place so they don’t have to ask for help from those who are closest to them.”

According to Cooper, the House proposal increases some barriers and the program’s cost while cutting some benefits for low-income families.

“Our current farm bill has a strong nutrition title,” Cooper said. “It’s not perfect, but it helps to ensure that 42 million Americans have access to good nutrition. … It just never seems to make sense to me that we would increase cost and bureaucracy while decreasing services and benefits to someone in need.”

The San Antonio Food Bank and its partner agencies have been discussing how to move forward if the budget cuts are approved, Cooper said, but their ability to meet people’s needs is heavily dependent on farmers, donors and food industry partners.

“If the proposed SNAP cuts go through, it will literally take food off the table,” Cooper said. “For that need to be met, we feel that we will see longer lines at our food pantries and the demand for services will be even greater for us at the San Antonio Food Bank.”

Cooper said there are some challenges unique to service members that frequently result in them turning to the food-stamp program. Often they have children and a spouse who’s unable to build a career due to the constant mobility of active-duty life. The military’s Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) benefit can also present a challenge since it can make a person ineligible for food-stamp assistance.

San Antonio’s Director of Military Affairs Juan Ayala said there has been a shift in the people who volunteer for service.

“If you take a look at the average service member that joins today, a lot of them are married and have dependent children,” Ayala said. “That is different than when I came into the Marine Corps in 1976, when almost everybody that came in was single. … Less than one percent of the population in the United States think about joining the military, and a small number actually join so sometimes the pool for recruiting is challenging so sometimes we get older recruits.”

Ayala said lower-ranking service members are the most likely to need food assistance services because they make the lowest salaries, and with a familythey could easily become eligible for SNAP.

Lower ranking troops stationed in high cost areas such as California and Washington D.C. will be the most directly affected by the SNAP budget cuts, according to Ayala.

“It is going to affect those that are in uniform, a lot of those that are deployed and can’t get a second job,” Ayala said. “If you’re in uniform performing a service to the country I think that it should be taken into consideration — for anybody that really deserves [SNAP] and really needs it — but especially for the troops.”

Trump’s ‘Harvest Box’ Isn’t Viable in SNAP Overhaul, Officials Say

Image
People paid for fresh produce using federal assistance at a farmers market in Lake Orion, Mich., in 2013.CreditLauren Abdel-Razzaq/The Detroit News, via Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program offers about 46 million low-income Americans both sustenance and economic choice by providing an allowance to buy the fruit, meat, fresh vegetables, soda, ice cream and kind of bread they want to eat.

But on Monday, the Trump administration sprung a surprise: Under a proposal in the president’s budget many participants in the program would be given half their benefits in the form of a “Harvest Box” full of food preselected for nutritional value and economic benefit to American farmers. The cache of cheaper peanut butter, canned goods, pasta, cereal, “shelf stable” milk and other products would now be selected by the federal government, not by the people actually eating it.

The proposal seemed like a radical overhaul of the country’s core food assistance program — once called food stamps but now commonly known as SNAP. The idea was to shave about $21 billion a year from the federal deficit over the next 10 years. But the reaction was immediate, and largely negative.

Democrats claimed the plan shackled the poor while business groups, led by big food retailers, would stand to lose billions of dollars in lost SNAP business. The head of one trade association typically supportive of President Trump’s economic policies accused the administration of reneging on its pledge to cut “red tape and regulations.”

Instead, the idea, according to two administration officials who worked on the proposal, was a political gambit by fiscal hawks in the administration aimed at outraging liberals and stirring up members of the president’s own party working on the latest version of the farm bill. The move, they said, was intended to lay down a marker that the administration is serious about pressing for about $85 billion in other cuts to food assistance programs that will be achieved, in part, by imposing strict new work requirements on recipients.

“I don’t think there’s really any support for their box plan. And, I worry that it’s a distraction from the budget’s proposal to cut SNAP by some 30 percent. That’s the real battle,” said Stacy Dean, vice president for food assistance policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a progressive Washington think tank. “The dangers are these other proposals to cut benefits. But all anyone is talking about today are the boxes.”

Senator Debbie Stabenow, the ranking Democrat on the agriculture committee, doubted the motives behind the plan.

“This isn’t a serious proposal and is clearly meant to be a distraction,” Ms. Stabenow said.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue stealthily pitched the idea over the last few weeks to the White House’s Domestic Policy Council as a novel way to reach the administration’s self-imposed goal of slashing federal food assistance programs by $214 billion over the next decade. It was quickly embraced by Mr. Mulvaney, a fiscal hawk who is seeking to steer a debate increasingly dominated by free-spending Republicans and Mr. Trump, who has insisted on major budget increases for the Pentagon and Homeland Security.

Neither man had any illusions that the plan would be immediately embraced by congressional Republicans, who were not given advance notice of the proposal, the officials said.

That the food-box approach has been tried only in small demonstration projects and never been seriously discussed during dozens of congressional hearings on the SNAP program in recent years did not stop administration officials from putting the force of Mr. Trump’s presidency behind it.

The budget documents released on Monday omitted other important details, including the real costs of creating a nationwide distribution network for the boxes, especially in rural areas hard hit by the economic downturn and the opioid crisis.

“We have had like 25 hearings on SNAP. The witness list was controlled by Republicans and this idea was never, ever broached,” said Representative Jim McGovern of Massachusetts, ranking Democrat on the House subcommittee that oversees federal food assistance programs. “I think it’s dead on arrival — I hope it is — but either way it’s a cruel joke. My God, these people are awful. In addition to being totally misinformed on policy, they are really just not nice people.”

In a statement, Mr. Perdue defended the proposal as humane and cost effective, saying his plan offered the “same level of food value” provided by the SNAP program, which replaced the food stamp program in the late 1990s.

He described the boxes as “a bold, innovative approach to providing nutritious food to people who need assistance feeding themselves and their families — and all of it is grown by American farmers and producers.”

Still, the idea landed with a thud. It was quickly dismissed by two Republican committee chairmen, Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas, who leads the Senate agriculture committee, and his counterpart in the House, Representative K. Michael Conaway of Texas.

 

Mr. Conaway is drafting a farm bill that is expected to slash billions in spending in the SNAP program through the tightening of some eligibility requirements. Mr. Roberts is overseeing an effort to craft a version of the bill that is expected to include fewer cuts in hopes of gaining the bipartisan support needed to push the measure through the Senate.

SNAP, like many other safety net programs, is designed to expand during hard economic times and contract when the economy improves. Nonetheless, the program’s rolls have remained at historically elevated levels, reaching a peak of 47.8 million recipients in 2012 before edging down to 45.6 million last year, according to federal estimates.

Mr. Perdue, in particular, has been outspoken in his call to reduce its rolls, criticizing what he calls a culture of dependency among SNAP recipients.

But Mr. McGovern said the administration was painting “a distorted picture” of the poor and ignoring the fact that most SNAP recipients are employed and more than a quarter are disabled and unable to seek work.

“They have to stop playing to the cheap seats,” he said. “The majority of people in the program are children and seniors and people working in jobs that pay too little to feed their families.”

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

Am I Eligible for SNAP?

Last Published: 06/27/2018

To get SNAP benefits, you must apply in the State in which you currently live and you must meet certain requirements, including resource and income limits, which are described on this page. SNAP income and resource limits are updated annually. The information on this page is for October 1, 2017, through September 30, 2018.

There are special SNAP rules for households with elderly or disabled members.

Frequently Asked Questions

Am I eligible for SNAP?

Your household must meet certain requirements to be eligible for SNAP and receive benefits. If your State agency determines that you are eligible to receive SNAP benefits, you will receive benefits back to the date you submitted your application.

To see if you might be eligible for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, visit our pre-screening tool.

Note: The FNS SNAP pre-screening eligibility tool is an interactive site with general information about eligibility requirements and how benefits are determined. Sharing your information in that form does not mean you filed an application for benefits. You will still need to submit an application through your State SNAP agency or local SNAP office.

How do I apply for SNAP?

You must apply for SNAP in the State where you currently live. Because each State has a different application form and process, a member of your household must contact your State agency directly to apply.

You can contact your State agency by visiting your local SNAP office, visiting your State agency’s website, or calling your State’s toll-free SNAP Information hotline. Some States have online applications that can be completed from the State agency website.

Where can I get my State information?

If you are unable to go to your local SNAP office or do not have access to the internet, you may have another person act as an authorized representative by applying and being interviewed on your behalf. You must designate the authorized representative in writing.

Note: Please contact your SNAP State agency directly to apply and to request information about the status of your application. FNS does not process applications or have access to case information.

What happens when I apply for SNAP?

In most cases, once you submit your application, your State agency or local SNAP office will process it and send you a notice telling you whether or not you are eligible for benefits within 30 days.

During the 30 days, you will need to complete an eligibility interview and give proof (verification) of the information you provided. The interview is typically completed over the telephone or in-person. If you are found eligible, you will receive benefits based on the date you submitted your application.

You may be eligible to receive SNAP benefits within 7 days of your application date if you meet additional requirements. For example, if your household has less than $100 in liquid resources and $150 in monthly gross income, or if your household’s combined monthly gross income and liquid resources are less than what you pay each month for rent or mortgage and utilities expenses. Contact your State agency for additional details.

How do I receive SNAP benefits?

If you are found eligible, you will receive SNAP benefits on an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card, which works like a debit card. Benefits are automatically loaded into your account each month. You can use your EBT card to buy groceries at authorized food stores and retailers.

How long will I receive SNAP?

If you are found eligible, you will receive a notice that tells you how long you will receive SNAP benefits for; this is called your certification period. Before your certification period ends, you will receive another notice that says you must recertify to continue receiving benefits. Your local SNAP office will provide you with information about how to recertify.

Who is in a SNAP household?

Everyone who lives together and purchases and prepares meals together is grouped together as one SNAP household.

Some people who live together, such as spouses and most children under age 22, are included in the same SNAP household, even if they purchase and prepare meals separately.

If a person is 60 years of age or older and unable to purchase and prepare meals separately because of a permanent disability, the person and the person’s spouse may be a separate SNAP household if the others they live with do not have very much income (no more than 165 percent of the poverty level).

Normally you are not eligible for SNAP benefits if an institution gives you most of your meals. There are exceptions for elderly persons and disabled persons.

What resources can I have (and still get SNAP benefits)?

Resources

Households may have $2,250 in countable resources (such as cash or money in a bank account) or $3,500 in countable resources if at least one member of the household is age 60 or older, or is disabled.

However, certain resources are NOT counted when determining eligibility for SNAP:

  • A home and lot;
  • Resources of people who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI);
  • Resources of people who receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF; also known as welfare); and
  • Most retirement and pension plans (withdrawals from these accounts may count as either income or resources depending on how often they occur).

Vehicles

Vehicles count as a resource for SNAP purposes. States determine how vehicles may count toward household resources.

Licensed vehicles are NOT counted if they are:

  • Used for income-producing purposes (e.g., taxi, truck or delivery vehicle);
  • Annually producing income consistent with their fair market value;
  • Needed for long distance travel for work (other than daily commute);
  • Used as the home;
  • Needed to transport a physically disabled household member;
  • Needed to carry most of the household’s fuel or water; or
  • If the sale of the vehicle would result in less than $1500.

For non-excluded licensed vehicles, the fair market value over $4,650 counts as a resource.

Licensed vehicles are also subject to an equity test, which is the fair market value less any amount owed on the vehicle. The following vehicles are excluded from the equity test:

  • One vehicle per adult household member; and
  • Any other vehicle used by a household member under 18 to drive to work, school, job training, or to look for work.

For vehicles with both a fair market value over $4,650 and an equity value, the greater of the two amounts is counted as a resource.

Additionally, the equity value of unlicensed vehicles generally counts as a resource, with some exceptions.

What are the SNAP income limits?

In most cases, your household must meet both the gross and net income limits described below or you are not eligible for SNAP and cannot receive benefits.

Gross income means a household’s total, non-excluded income, before any deductions have been made.

Net income means gross income minus allowable deductions.

A household with an elderly or disabled person only has to meet the net income limit, as described on the elderly and disabled page.

If all members of your household are receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or in some places other general assistance, your household may be deemed “categorically eligible” for SNAP because you have already been determined eligible for another means-tested program.

The information provided in the table below applies to households in the 48 contiguous States and the District of Columbia that apply for SNAP between October 1, 2017, through September 30, 2018.

Table 1: SNAP Income Eligibility Limits – October 1, 2017, through September 30, 2018

Household Size Gross monthly income

(130 percent of poverty)

Net monthly income

(100 percent of poverty)

1 $1,307 $ 1,005
2 $1,760 $1,354
3 $2,213 $1,702
4 $2,665 $2,050
5 $3,118 $2,399
6 $3,571 $2,747
7 $4,024 $3,095
8 $4,477 $3,444
Each additional member +$453 +$349

* SNAP gross and net income limits are higher in Alaska and Hawaii.

What deductions are allowed in SNAP?

The following deductions are allowed for SNAP:

  • A 20-percent deduction from earned income.
  • A standard deduction of $160 for household sizes of 1 to 3 people and $170 for a household size of 4 (higher for some larger households and for households in Alaska, Hawaii, and Guam).
  • A dependent care deduction when needed for work, training, or education.
  • Medical expenses for elderly or disabled members that are more than $35 for the month if they are not paid by insurance or someone else. This is described on the elderly and disabled page.
  • In some States, legally owed child support payments.
  • In some States, a standard shelter deduction for homeless households of $143.
  • Excess shelter costs as described below.

SNAP Excess Shelter Costs Deduction

The shelter deduction is for shelter costs that are more than half of the household’s income after other deductions.

Allowable shelter costs include:

  • Fuel to heat and cook with.
  • Electricity.
  • Water.
  • The basic fee for one telephone.
  • Rent or mortgage payments and interest.
  • Taxes on the home.

Some States allow a set amount for utility costs instead of actual costs.

The amount of the shelter deduction is capped at (or limited to) $535 unless one person in the household is elderly or disabled. The limit is higher in Alaska, Hawaii, and Guam. For a household with an elderly or disabled member all shelter costs over half of the household’s income may be deducted.

Table 2: How to Calculate SNAP Gross Income

Gross Income Calculation Example
Determine household size . . . 4 people with no elderly or disabled members.
Add gross monthly income . . . $1,500 earned income + $550 social security =  $2,050 gross income.
If gross monthly income is less than the limit for household size, determine net income. $2,050 is less than the $2,665 allowed for a 4-person household, so determine net income.

 

Table 3: How to Calculate SNAP Net Income

Net Income Calculation Example
Subtract 20% earned income deduction . . . $2,050 gross income

 

$1,500 earned income x 20% = $300. $2,050 – $300 = $1,750

Subtract standard deduction . . . $1,750 – $170 standard deduction for a 4-person household = $1,580
Subtract dependent care deduction  . . . $1,580 – $361 dependent care = $1,219
Subtract child support deduction . . . 0
Subtract medical costs over $35 for elderly and disabled . . . 0
Excess shelter deduction . . .
Determine half of adjusted income . . . $1,219 adjusted income/2 = $609.50
Determine if shelter costs are more than half of adjusted income . . . $700 total shelter – $609 (half of income) = $90 excess shelter cost
Subtract excess amount, but not more than the limit, from adjusted income . . . $1,219 – $90.50 = $1,128.50 Net monthly income
Apply the net income test . . . Since the net monthly income is less than $2,050 allowed for 4-person household, the household has met the income test.

How much could I receive in SNAP benefits?

The total amount of SNAP benefits your household gets each month is called an allotment.

Because SNAP households are expected to spend about 30 percent of their own resources on food, your allotment is calculated by multiplying your household’s net monthly income by 0.3, and subtracting the result from the maximum monthly allotment for your household size.

Table 4: SNAP Maximum Monthly Allotment Based on Household Size

People in Household Maximum Monthly Allotment
1 $   192
2 $   352
3 $   504
4 $   640
5 $   760
6 $   913
7 $ 1,009
8 $ 1,153
Each additional person $ 144

Note: The allotments described here are for households in the 48 contiguous States and the District of Columbia. The allotments are different in Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Table 5: Example of SNAP Benefit Calculation

Benefit Calculation Example
Multiply net income by 30%…  (Round up) $1,128.50 net monthly income  x 0.3 = 338.55 (round up to $339)
Subtract 30% of net income from the maximum allotment for the household size… $640 maximum allotment for 4-person household – $339 (30% of   net income) = $301, SNAP Allotment for a full month

What are the SNAP work requirements?

In general, people must meet work requirements to be eligible for SNAP. These work requirements include:

  • Registering for work;
  • Not voluntarily quitting a job or reducing hours;
  • Taking a job if offered; and
  • Participating in employment and training programs, if assigned by the State.

Failure to comply with these requirements can result in disqualification from the Program.

In addition, able bodied adults without dependents are required to work or participate in a work program for at least 20 hours per week in order to receive SNAP benefits for more than 3 months in a 36-month period.

Some special groups may not be subject to these requirements including:

  • Children;
  • Seniors;
  • Pregnant women; and
  • People who are exempt for physical or mental health reasons.

Are non-citizens eligible for SNAP?

SNAP eligibility has never been extended to undocumented non-citizens. Specific requirements for non-citizens who may be eligible have changed substantially over the years and become more complicated in certain areas. The Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 limits eligibility for SNAP benefits to U.S. citizens and certain lawfully present non-citizens.

Generally, to qualify for SNAP, non-citizens must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Have lived in the United States for at least 5 years.
  • Be receiving disability-related assistance or benefits.
  • Be children under 18.

Additionally, these individuals must also satisfy other SNAP eligibility requirements such as income and resource limits in order to qualify for benefits.

If certain members of a household are ineligible for SNAP, State agencies must still determine eligibility for SNAP for any remaining household members who are seeking assistance.

For additional information see: SNAP Policy on Non-Citizen Eligibility and SNAP Guidance on Non-Citizen Eligibility.

What if I disagree with a decision made on my SNAP case?

If you disagree with a decision in your case, you may request a fair hearing with an official who is required by law to review the facts of your case in a fair and objective manner.

Note: You must request a fair hearing within 90 days of the day your local SNAP office made the decision in your case that you disagree with.

You can request a fair hearing over the phone, in writing, or in person at the local SNAP office.

Although a fair hearing cannot change the laws or regulations governing SNAP, it can ensure that decisions on your case have been made correctly.

Nondiscrimination in SNAP

SNAP benefits are available to all eligible households regardless of race, sex, religious creed, national origin, or political beliefs.

The USDA prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital and family status. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).

To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326- W, Whitten Building, 14th and Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964 (voice and TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Where can I get additional information about SNAP?

For additional information about SNAP in your State, to file an application for SNAP benefits, or to get information about your SNAP case, you must contact your local SNAP office.  Where Can I Get My State Information?

https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/eligibility

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

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SNAP logo

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP),[1] formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, provides food-purchasing assistance for low- and no-income people living in the United States. It is a federal aidprogram, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, under the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), though benefits are distributed by each U.S. state‘s Division of Social Services or Children and Family Services.

SNAP benefits cost $70.9 billion in fiscal year 2016 and supplied roughly 44.2 million Americans (14% of the population)[2] with an average of $125.51 for each person per month in food assistance. Beneficiaries and costs increased sharply with the Great Recession, peaked in 2013 and have declined through 2016 as the economy recovered.[3] It is the largest nutrition program of the 15 administered by FNS and is a component of the federal social safety netfor low-income Americans.[4]

The amount of SNAP benefits received by a household depends on the household’s size, income, and expenses. For most of its history, the program used paper-denominated “stamps” or coupons – worth US$1 (brown), $5 (blue), and $10 (green) – bound into booklets of various denominations, to be torn out individually and used in single-use exchange. Because of their 1:1 value ratio with actual currency, the coupons were printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Their rectangular shape resembled a U.S. dollar bill (although about one-half the size), including intaglio printing on high-quality paper with watermarks. In the late 1990s, the Food Stamp Program was revamped, with some states phasing out actual stamps in favor of a specialized debit card system known as Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT), provided by private contractors. EBT has been implemented in all states since June 2004. Each month, SNAP food stamp benefits are directly deposited into the household’s EBT card account. Households may use EBT to pay for food at supermarkets, convenience stores, and other food retailers, including certain farmers’ markets.[5]

History

First Food Stamp Program (FSP) (May 16, 1939 – Spring 1943)[edit]

An effort to manage agricultural surpluses, the first food stamps came off the presses April 20, 1939.
Orange stamps were good for any grocery item the purchaser chose, except drugs, liquor and items consumed on the premises.
Blue stamps bought only surplus foods—dairy products, eggs, citrus fruits, prunes and fresh vegetables.

The idea for the first food stamp program has been credited to various people, most notably U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Henry Wallace and the program’s first administrator, Milo Perkins.[6] Of the program, Perkins said, “We got a picture of a gorge, with farm surpluses on one cliff and under-nourished city folks with outstretched hands on the other. We set out to find a practical way to build a bridge across that chasm.”[7] The program operated by permitting people on relief to buy orange stamps equal to their normal food expenditures; for every $1 of orange stamps purchased, 50 cents’ worth of blue stamps were received. Orange stamps could be used to buy any food; blue stamps could be used only to buy food determined by the department to be surplus.

Over the course of nearly four years, the first FSP reached approximately 20 million people in nearly half of the counties in the U.S., at a total cost of $262 million. At its peak, the program assisted an estimated four million people. The first recipient was Mabel McFiggin of Rochester, New York; the first retailer to redeem the stamps was Joseph Mutolo; and the first retailer caught violating program rules was Nick Salzano in October 1939. The program ended when the conditions that brought the program into being—unmarketable food surpluses and widespread unemployment—ceased to exist.[8]

Pilot Food Stamp Program (1961–1964)

The 18 years between the end of the first FSP and the inception of the next were filled with studies, reports, and legislative proposals. Prominent U.S. Senators actively associated with attempts to enact a food stamp program during this period included George AikenRobert M. La Follette, Jr.Hubert HumphreyEstes Kefauver, and Stuart Symington. From 1954 on, U.S. Representative Leonor Sullivan strove to pass food-stamp-program legislation.

On September 21, 1959, P.L. 86-341 authorized the Secretary of Agriculture to operate a food-stamp system through January 31, 1962. The Eisenhower Administration never used the authority. However, in fulfillment of a campaign promise made in West Virginia, President John F. Kennedy‘s first Executive Order called for expanded food distribution and, on February 2, 1961, he announced that food stamp pilot programs would be initiated. The pilot programs would retain the requirement that the food stamps be purchased, but eliminated the concept of special stamps for surplus foods. A Department spokesman indicated the emphasis would be on increasing the consumption of perishables.

Of the program, U.S. Representative Leonor K. Sullivan of Missouri asserted, “…the Department of Agriculture seemed bent on outlining a possible food stamp plan of such scope and magnitude, involving some 25 million persons, as to make the whole idea seem ridiculous and tear food stamp plans to smithereens.”[9][10]

Food Stamp Act of 1964

The Food Stamp Act of 1964 appropriated $75 million to 350,000 individuals in 40 counties and three cities. The measure drew overwhelming support from House Democrats, 90 percent from urban areas, 96 percent from the suburbs, and 87 percent from rural areas. Republican lawmakers opposed the initial measure: only 12 percent of urban Republicans, 11 percent from the suburbs, and 5 percent from rural areas voted affirmatively. President Lyndon B. Johnson hailed food stamps as “a realistic and responsible step toward the fuller and wiser use of an agricultural abundance”.[11]

Rooted in congressional logrolling, the act was part of a larger appropriation that raised price supports for cotton and wheat. Rural lawmakers supported the program so that their urban colleagues would not dismantle farm subsidies. Food stamps, along with MedicaidHead Start, and the Job Corps were foremost among the growing anti-poverty programs.

President Johnson called for a permanent food-stamp program on January 31, 1964, as part of his “War on Poverty” platform introduced at the State of the Union a few weeks earlier. Agriculture Secretary Orville Freemansubmitted the legislation on April 17, 1964. The bill eventually passed by Congress was H.R. 10222, introduced by Congresswoman Sullivan. One of the members on the House Committee on Agriculture who voted against the FSP in Committee was then Representative Bob Dole.

As a Senator, Dole became a staunch supporter of the program, after he worked with George McGovern to produce a bipartisan solution to two of the main problems associated with food stamps: cumbersome purchase requirements and lax eligibility standards. Dole told Congress regarding the new provisions, “I am confident that this bill eliminates the greedy and feeds the needy.”[citation needed] The law was intended to strengthen the agricultural economy and provide improved levels of nutrition among low-income households; however, the practical purpose was to bring the pilot FSP under congressional control and to enact the regulations into law.

The major provisions were:

  • The State Plan of Operation requirement and development of eligibility standards by States;
  • They required that the recipients should purchase their food stamps, while paying the average money spent on food then receiving an amount of food stamps representing an opportunity more nearly to obtain a low-cost nutritionally adequate diet;
  • The eligibility for purchase with food stamps of all items intended for human consumption except alcoholic beverages and imported foods (the House version would have prohibited the purchase of soft drinks, luxury foods, and luxury frozen foods);
  • Prohibitions against discrimination on basis of race, religious creed, national origin, or political beliefs;
  • The division of responsibilities between States (certification and issuance) and the Federal Government (funding of benefits and authorization of retailers and wholesalers), with shared responsibility for funding costs of administration; and
  • Appropriations for the first year limited to $75 million; for the second year, to $100 million; and, for the third year, to $200 million.

The Agriculture Department estimated that participation in a national FSP would eventually reach 4 million, at a cost of $360 million annually, far below the actual numbers.

Program expansion: participation milestones in the 1960s and early 1970s

In April 1965, participation topped half a million. (Actual participation was 561,261 people.) Participation topped 1 million in March 1966, 2 million in October 1967, 3 million in February 1969, 4 million in February 1970, 5 million one month later in March 1970, 6 million two months later in May 1970, 10 million in February 1971, and 15 million in October 1974. Rapid increases in participation during this period were primarily due to geographic expansion.

Major legislative changes (early 1970s)

The early 1970s were a period of growth in participation, concern about the cost of providing food stamp benefits, and questions about administration, primarily timely certification. During this time, the issue was framed that would dominate food stamp legislation ever after: how to balance program access with program accountability. Three major pieces of legislation shaped this period, leading up to massive reform to follow:

P.L. 91-671 (January 11, 1971) established uniform national standards of eligibility and work requirements; required that allotments be equivalent to the cost of a nutritionally adequate diet; limited households’ purchase requirements to 30 percent of their income; instituted an outreach requirement; authorized the Agriculture Department to pay 62.5 percent of specific administrative costs incurred by States; expanded the FSP to GuamPuerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands of the United States; and provided $1.75 billion appropriations for Fiscal Year 1971.

Agriculture and Consumer Protection Act of 1973 (P.L. 93-86, August 10, 1973) required States to expand the program to every political jurisdiction before July 1, 1974; expanded the program to drug addicts and alcoholics in treatment and rehabilitation centers; established semi-annual allotment adjustments, bi-monthly issuance, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) “cash-out” (which gave the option to states to issue Food Stamp benefits to SSI recipients in the form of their estimated cash value consolidated within the SSI grant, in order to reduce administrative costs); introduced statutory complexity in the income definition (by including in-kind payments and providing an accompanying exception); and required the Department to establish temporary eligibility standards for disasters.

P.L. 93-347 (July 12, 1974) authorized the Department to pay 50 percent of all states’ costs for administering the program and established the requirement for efficient and effective administration by the States.

1974 nationwide program

In accordance with P.L. 93-86, the FSP began operating nationwide on July 1, 1974. (The program was not fully implemented in Puerto Rico until November 1, 1974.) Participation for July 1974 was almost 14 million.

Eligible access to Supplemental Security Income beneficiaries[edit]

Once a person is a beneficiary of the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Program he (or she) may be automatically eligible for Food Stamps depending on his (or her) state’s laws. How much money in food stamps they receive also varies by state. Supplemental Security Income was created in 1974.[12]

Food Stamp Act of 1977

Both the outgoing Republican Administration and the new Democratic Administration offered Congress proposed legislation to reform the FSP in 1977. The Republican bill stressed targeting benefits to the neediest, simplifying administration, and tightening controls on the program; the Democratic bill focused on increasing access to those most in need and simplifying and streamlining a complicated and cumbersome process that delayed benefit delivery as well as reducing errors, and curbing abuse. The chief force for the Democratic Administration was Robert Greenstein, Administrator of the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS).

In Congress, major players were Senators George McGovernJacob Javits, Humphrey, and Dole and Congressmen Foley and Richmond. Amid all the themes, the one that became the rallying cry for FSP reform was “EPR”—eliminate the purchase requirement—because of the barrier to participation the purchase requirement represented.[citation needed] The bill that became the law (S. 275) did eliminate the purchase requirement. It also:[citation needed]

  • eliminated categorical eligibility;
  • established statutory income eligibility guidelines at the poverty line;
  • established 10 categories of excluded income;
  • reduced the number of deductions used to calculate net income and established a standard deduction to take the place of eliminated deductions;
  • raised the general resource limit to $1,750;
  • established the fair market value (FMV) test for evaluating vehicles as resources;
  • penalized households whose heads voluntarily quit jobs;
  • restricted eligibility for students and aliens;
  • eliminated the requirement that households must have cooking facilities;
  • replaced store due bills with cash change up to 99 cents;
  • established the principle that stores must sell a substantial amount of staple foods if they are to be authorized;
  • established the ground rules for Indian Tribal Organization administration of the FSP on reservations; and
  • introduced demonstration project authority.

In addition to EPR, the Food Stamp Act of 1977 included several access provisions:[citation needed]

  • using mail, telephone, or home visits for certification;
  • requirements for outreach, bilingual personnel and materials, and nutrition education materials;
  • recipients’ right to submit applications the first day they attempt to do so;
  • 30-day processing standard and inception of the concept of expedited service;
  • SSI joint processing and coordination with Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), the major cash welfare program;
  • notice, recertification, and retroactive benefit protections; and
  • a requirement for States to develop a disaster plan.

The integrity provisions of the new program included fraud disqualifications, enhanced Federal funding for States’ anti-fraud activities, and financial incentives for low error rates.

The House Report for the 1977 legislation points out that the changes in the Food Stamp Program are needed without reference to upcoming welfare reform since “the path to welfare reform is, indeed, rocky….”[citation needed]

EPR was implemented January 1, 1979. Participation that month increased 1.5 million over the preceding month.

Cutbacks of the early 1980s[

The large and expensive FSP proved to be a favorite subject of close scrutiny from both the Executive Branch and Congress in the early 1980s. Major legislation in 1981 and 1982 enacted cutbacks including:

  • addition of a gross income eligibility test in addition to the net income test for most households;
  • temporary freeze on adjustments of the shelter deduction cap and the standard deduction and constraints on future adjustments;
  • annual adjustments in food stamp allotments rather than semi-annual;
  • consideration of non-elderly parents who live with their children and non-elderly siblings who live together as one household;
  • required periodic reporting and retrospective budgeting;
  • prohibition against using Federal funds for outreach;
  • replacing the FSP in Puerto Rico with a block grant for nutrition assistance;
  • counting retirement accounts as resources;
  • state option to require job search of applicants as well as participants; and
  • increased disqualification periods for voluntary quitters.

Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) began in ReadingPennsylvania, in 1984.

Mid-to-late 1980s

Recognition of the severe domestic hunger problem in the latter half of the 1980s led to incremental expansions of the FSP in 1985 and 1987, such as elimination of sales tax on food stamp purchases, reinstitution of categorical eligibility, increased resource limit for most households ($2,000), eligibility for the homeless, and expanded nutrition education. The Hunger Prevention Act of 1988 and the Mickey Leland Memorial Domestic Hunger Relief Act in 1990 foretold the improvements that would be coming. The 1988 and 1990 legislation accomplished the following:

  • increasing benefits by applying a multiplication factor to Thrifty Food Plan costs;
  • making outreach an optional activity for States;
  • excluding advance earned income tax credits as income;
  • simplifying procedures for calculating medical deductions;
  • instituting periodic adjustments of the minimum benefit;
  • authorizing nutrition education grants;
  • establishing severe penalties for violations by individuals or participating firms; and
  • establishing EBT as an issuance alternative.

Throughout this era, significant players were principally various committee chairmen: Congressmen Leland, Hall, Foley, Leon Panetta, and, de la Garza and Senator Patrick Leahy.

1993 Mickey Leland Childhood Hunger Relief Act

By 1993, major changes in food stamp benefits had arrived. The final legislation provided for $2.8 billion in benefit increases over Fiscal Years 1984-1988. Leon Panetta, in his new role as OMB Director, played a major role as did Senator Leahy. Substantive changes included:

  • eliminating the shelter deduction cap beginning January 1, 1997;
  • providing a deduction for legally binding child support payments made to nonhousehold members;
  • raising the cap on the dependent care deduction from $160 to $200 for children under 2 years old and $175 for all other dependents;
  • improving employment and training (E&T) dependent care reimbursements;
  • increasing the FMV test for vehicles to $4,550 on September 1, 1994 and $4,600 on October 1, 1995, then annually adjusting the value from $5,000 on October 1, 1996;
  • mandating asset accumulation demonstration projects; and
  • simplifying the household definition.

Later participation milestones

In December 1979, participation finally surpassed 20 million. In March 1994, participation hit a new high of 28 million.

1996 welfare reform and subsequent amendments

The mid-1990s was a period of welfare reform. Prior to 1996, the rules for the cash welfare program, Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), were waived for many states. With the enactment of the 1996 welfare reform act, called the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA), AFDC, an entitlement program, was replaced that with a new block grant to states called Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF).

Although the Food Stamp Program was reauthorized in the 1996 Farm Bill, the 1996 welfare reform made several changes to the program, including:

  • eliminating eligibility to food stamps of most legal immigrants who had been in the country less than five years;
  • placing a time limit on food stamp receipt of three out of 36 months for Able-bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWDs), who are not working at least 20 hours a week or participating in a work program;
  • reducing the maximum allotments to 100 percent of the change in the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP) from 103 percent of the change in the TFP;
  • freezing the standard deduction, the vehicle limit, and the minimum benefit;
  • setting the shelter cap at graduated specified levels up to $300 by fiscal year 2001, and allowing states to mandate the use of the standard utility allowance;
  • revising provisions for disqualification, including comparable disqualification with other means-tested programs; and
  • requiring states to implement EBT before October 1, 2002.

As a result of all these changes, “participation rates plummeted” in the late 1990s, according to Slate online magazine.[13][quantify]

The Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (BBA) and the Agricultural Research, Education and Extension Act of 1998 (AREERA) made some changes to these provisions, most significantly:

  • using additional Employment and Training (E&T) funds to providing work program opportunities for able-bodied adults without dependents;
  • allowing states to exempt up to 15 percent of the able-bodied adults without dependents who would otherwise be ineligible;
  • restoring eligibility for certain elderly, disabled, and minor immigrants who resided in the United States when the 1996 welfare reform act was enacted; and
  • cutting administrative funding for states to account for certain administrative costs that previously had been allocated to the AFDC program and now were required to be allocated to the Food Stamp Program.

The fiscal year 2001 agriculture appropriations bill included two significant changes. The legislation increased the excess shelter cap to $340 in fiscal year 2001 and then indexed the cap to changes in the Consumer Price Index for All Consumers each year beginning in fiscal year 2002. The legislation also allowed states to use the vehicle limit they use in a TANF assistance program, if it would be result in a lower attribution of resources for the household.

Electronic Benefits Transfer

In the late 1990s, the Food Stamp Program was revamped, with some states phasing out actual stamps in favor of a specialized debit card system known as Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT), provided by private contractors. Many states merged the use of the EBT card for public welfare programs as well, such as cash assistance. The move was designed to save the government money by not printing the coupons, make benefits available immediately instead of requiring the recipient to wait for mailing or picking up the booklets in person, and reduce theft and diversion.[5]

Renaming the Food Stamp Program

The 2008 farm bill renamed the Food Stamp Program as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (beginning October 2008) and replaced all references to “stamp” or “coupon” in federal law with “card” or “EBT.”[14][15]

Temporary benefits increase from April 2009 to November 2013

SNAP benefits temporarily increased with the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), a federal stimulus package to help Americans affected by the Great Recession of 2007.[16] Beginning in April 2009 and continuing through the expansion’s expiration on November 1, 2013, the ARRA appropriated $45.2 billion to increase monthly benefit levels to an average of $133.[16][17] This amounted to a 13.6 percent funding increase for SNAP recipients.[17]

This temporary expansion expired on November 1, 2013, resulting in a relative benefit decrease for SNAP households; on average, benefits decreased by 5 percent.[16] According to a Center on Budget and Policy Priorities report, the maximum monthly benefit for a family of four dropped from $668 to $632, while the maximum monthly benefit for an individual dropped from $200 to $189.[16]

Corporate influence and support

In June 2014, Mother Jones reported that “Overall, 18 percent of all food benefits money is spent at Walmart,” and that Walmart had submitted a statement to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission stating,

Our business operations are subject to numerous risks, factors, and uncertainties, domestically and internationally, which are outside our control. These factors include… changes in the amount of payments made under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Plan and other public assistance plans, [and] changes in the eligibility requirements of public assistance plans.[18]

Companies that have lobbied on behalf of SNAP include PepsiCoCoca-Cola, and the grocery chain KrogerKraft Foods, which receives “One-sixth [of its] revenues … from food stamp purchases” also opposes food stamp cuts.[18]

Eligibility

Because SNAP is a means-tested program, recipients must meet all eligibility criteria in order to receive benefits. There are income and resource requirements for SNAP, as well as specific requirements for immigrants, elderly persons and persons with disabilities.[19][20]

Income requirements

For income, individuals and households may qualify for benefits if they earn a gross monthly income that is 130% (or less) of the federal poverty level for a specific household size. For example: the SNAP-eligible gross monthly income is $1,245 or less for an individual. For a household of 4, the SNAP eligible gross monthly income is $2,552 or less. Gross monthly income is the amount an individual makes each month before any deductions, i.e. taxes, insurance, pensions, etc.[19]

Resource requirements

There is also a resource requirement for SNAP, although eligibility requirements vary slightly from state to state. Generally speaking, households may have up to $2,250 in a bank account or other countable sources. If at least one person is age 60 or older and/or has disabilities, households may have $3,500 in countable resources.[19]

Housing expenditure

The lack of affordable housing in urban areas means that money that could have been spent on food is spent on housing expenses. Housing is generally considered affordable when it costs 30% or less of total household income; rising housing costs have made this ideal difficult to attain.

This is especially true in New York City, where 28% of rent stabilized tenants spend more than half their income on rent.[21] Among lower income families the percentage is much higher. According to an estimate by the Community Service Society, 65% of New York City families living below the federal poverty line are paying more than half of their income toward rent.[22]

The current eligibility criteria attempt to address this, by including a deduction for “excess shelter costs”. This applies only to households that spend more than half of their net income on rent. For the purpose of this calculation, a household’s net income is obtained by subtracting certain deductions from their gross (before deductions) income. If the household’s total expenditures on rent exceed 50% of that net income, then the net income is further reduced by the amount of rent that exceeds 50% of net income. For 2007, this deduction can be no more than $417, except in households that include an elderly or disabled person.[23] Deductions include:

  1. a standard deduction that is subtracted from income for all recipients,
  2. an earned income deduction reflecting taxes and work expenses,
  3. a deduction for dependent care expenses related to work or training (up to certain limits),
  4. a deduction for child support payments,
  5. a deduction for medical expenses above a set amount per month (only available to elderly and disabled recipients), and
  6. a deduction for excessively high shelter expenses.[24]

The adjusted net income, including the deduction for excess shelter costs, is used to determine whether a household is eligible for food stamps.

Immigrant status and eligibility

The 2002 Farm Bill restores SNAP eligibility to most legal immigrants that:

  • Have lived in the country for 5 years; or
  • Are receiving disability-related assistance or benefits; or
  • Have children under 18

Certain non-citizens, such as those admitted for humanitarian reasons and those admitted for permanent residence, may also be eligible for SNAP. Eligible household members can get SNAP benefits even if there are other members of the household that are not eligible.[19]

Applying for SNAP benefits

To apply for SNAP benefits, an applicant must first fill out a program application and return it to the state or local SNAP office. Each state has a different application, which is usually available online. There is more information about various state applications processes, including locations of SNAP offices in various state, displayed on an interactive Outreach Map found on the FNS website.[25] Individuals who believe they may be eligible for SNAP benefits may use the Food and Nutrition Services’ SNAP Screening Tool, which can help gauge eligibility.

Eligible food items under SNAP

As per USDA rules, households can use SNAP benefits to purchase:

  • Foods for the household to eat, such as:
    • fruits and vegetables;
    • breads and cereals;
    • dairy products;
    • meats, fish and;
    • poultry
  • Plants and seeds which are fit for household consumption.

Additionally, restaurants operating in certain areas may be permitted to accept SNAP benefits from eligible candidates like elderly, homeless or disabled people in return for affordable meals.

However, the USDA clearly mentions that households cannot use SNAP benefits to purchase the following:

  • Wine, beer, liquor, cigarettes or tobacco
  • Certain nonfood items like:
    • soaps, paper products, deodorant
    • household supplies, and
    • pet foods
  • Hot foods
  • Food items that are consumable in the store
  • Vitamins and medicines[26]

Soft drinks, candy, cookies, snack crackers, and ice cream are classified as food items and are therefore eligible items. Seafood, steak, and bakery cakes are also food items and are therefore eligible items.[26]

Energy drinks which have a nutrition facts label are eligible foods, but energy drinks which have a supplement facts label are classified by the FDA as supplements, and are therefore not eligible.[26]

Live animals and birds may not be purchased; but live fish and shellfish are eligible foods.[26] Pumpkins are eligible, but inedible gourds and solely ornamental pumpkins are not.[26]

Gift baskets containing both food and non-food items “are not eligible for purchase with SNAP benefits if the value of the non-food items exceeds 50 percent of the purchase price. Items such as birthday and other special occasion cakes are eligible as long as the value of non-edible decorations does not exceed 50 percent of the price.”[26]

State options

States are allowed under federal law to administer SNAP in different ways. As of April 2015, the USDA had published eleven periodic State Options Reports outlining variations in how states have administered the program.[27] The USDA’s most recent State Options Report, published in April 2015, summarizes:

SNAP’s statutes, regulations, and waivers provide State agencies with various policy options. State agencies use this flexibility to adapt their programs to meet the needs of eligible, low‐income people in their States. Modernization and technology have provided States with new opportunities and options in administering the program. Certain options may facilitate program design goals, such as removing or reducing barriers to access for low-income families and individuals, or providing better support for those working or looking for work. This flexibility helps States better target benefits to those most in need, streamline program administration and field operations, and coordinate SNAP activities with those of other programs.[28]

Some areas of differences among states include: when and how frequently SNAP recipients must report household circumstances; on whether the state agency acts on all reported changes or only some changes; whether the state uses a simplified method for determining the cost of doing business in cases where an applicant is self-employed; and whether legally obligated child support payments made to non-household members are counted as an income exclusion rather than a deduction.[28]

State agencies also have an option to call their program SNAP; whether to continue to refer to their program under its former name, the Food Stamp Program; or whether to choose an alternate name.[28] Among the 50 states plus the District of Columbia, 32 call their program SNAP; five continue to call the program the Food Stamp Program; and 16 have adopted their own name.[28] For example, California calls its SNAP implementation “CalFresh“, while Arizona calls its program “Nutrition Assistance”.[28]

States and counties with highest use of SNAP per capita

According to January 2015 figures reported by the Census Bureau and USDA and compiled by USA Today, the states and district with the most food stamp recipients per capita are:[29]

State % of population
receiving
SNAP benefits
District of Columbia 22%
Mississippi 21%
New Mexico 22%
West Virginia 20%
Oregon 20%
Tennessee 20%
Louisiana 19%

According to June 2009 figures reported by the state agencies, the USDA, and Census Bureau, and compiled by the New York Times, the individual counties with the highest levels of SNAP usage were:

County (or equivalent) % of population
receiving
SNAP benefits
Kusilvak Census Area, Alaska 49%
Owsley County, Kentucky 49%
Oglala Lakota County, South Dakota 49%
Pemiscot County, Missouri 47%
Todd County, South Dakota 46%
Sioux County, North Dakota 45%
Dunklin County, Missouri 44%
East Carroll Parish, Louisiana 43%
Humphreys County, Mississippi 43%
Wolfe County, Kentucky 42%
Perry County, Alabama 41%
Phillips County, Arkansas 39%
Rolette County, North Dakota 39%
Ripley County, Missouri 39%
Ziebach County, South Dakota 39%

Impact

During the recession of 2008, SNAP participation hit an all-time high. Arguing in support for SNAP, the Food Research and Action Center argued that “putting more resources quickly into the hands of the people most likely to turn around and spend it can both boost the economy and cushion the hardships on vulnerable people who face a constant struggle against hunger.[30] Researchers have found that every $1 that is spent from SNAP results in $1.73 of economic activity. In California, the cost-benefit ratio is even higher: for every $1 spent from SNAP between $3.67 to $8.34 is saved in health care costs.[31][32][33] The Congressional Budget Office also rated an increase in SNAP benefits as one of the two most cost-effective of all spending and tax options it examined for boosting growth and jobs in a weak economy.[33]

Participants

A summary statistical report indicated that an average of 44.2 million people used the program in FY 2016, down from 45.8 million in 2015 and below the 2013 peak of 47.6 million.[34] SNAP is able to support 75% of those eligible for the program. Nearly 72 percent of SNAP participants are in families with children; more than one-quarter of participants are in households with seniors or people with disabilities.[35]

As of 2013, more than 15% of the U.S. population receive food assistance, and more than 20% in GeorgiaKentuckyLouisianaNew MexicoOregon and Tennessee. Washington D.C. was the highest share of the population to receive food assistance at over 23%.[36]

Average number of persons participating in the SNAP, 2000–2016. The number of participants increased due to the Great Recession, peaking in 2013, and has since fallen.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (based on a study of data gathered in Fiscal Year 2010), statistics for the food stamp program are as follows:[37]

  • 49% of all participant households have children (17 or younger), and 55% of those are single-parent households.
  • 15% of all participant households have elderly (age 60 or over) members.
  • 20% of all participant households have non-elderly disabled members.
  • The average gross monthly income per food stamp household is $731; The average net income is $336.
  • 37% of participants are White, 22% are African-American, 10% are Hispanic, 2% are Asian, 4% are Native American, and 19% are of unknown race or ethnicity.[37]

Costs

Total program costs from 2000 to 2016. The amount increased sharply after 2008 due to the Great Recession, and has fallen since 2013 as the economy recovers.

SNAP benefits cost since the 1960s

Amounts paid to program beneficiaries rose from $28.6 billion in 2005 to $76.1 billion in 2013, falling back to $66.6 billion by 2016. This increase was due to the high unemployment rate (leading to higher SNAP participation) and the increased benefit per person with the passing of ARRA. SNAP average monthly benefits increased from $96.18 per person to $133.08 per person. Other program costs, which include the Federal share of State administrative expenses, Nutrition Education, and Employment and Training, amounted to roughly $3.7 million in 2013.[5] There were cuts into the program’s budget introduced in 2014 that were estimated to save $8.6 billion over 10 years. Some of the states are looking for measures within the states to balance the cuts, so they would not affect the recipients of the federal aid program.[38]

Food security and insecurity

While SNAP participants and other low-income nonparticipants spend similar amounts on food spending, SNAP participants tend to still experience greater food insecurity than nonparticipants. This is believed to be a reflection of the welfare of individuals who take the time to apply for SNAP benefits rather than the shortcomings of SNAP. Households facing the greatest hardships are the most likely to bear the burden of applying for program benefits.[39]Therefore, SNAP participants tend to be, on average, less food secure than other low-income nonparticipants.[39]

Self-selection by more food-needy households into SNAP makes it difficult to observe positive effects on food security from survey data.[40] Statistical models that control for this endogeneity suggest that SNAP receipt reduces the likelihood of being food insecure and very food insecure by roughly 30 percent and 20 percent, respectively.[41]

Poverty

Because SNAP is a means-tested entitlement program, participation rates are closely related to the number of individuals living in poverty in a given period. In periods of economic recession, SNAP enrollment tends to increase and in periods of prosperity, SNAP participation tends to be lower.[39] Unemployment is therefore also related to SNAP participation. However, ERS data shows that poverty and SNAP participation levels have continued to rise following the 2008 recession, even though unemployment rates have leveled off. Poverty levels are the strongest correlates for program participation.

A 2016 study found that SNAP benefits lead to greater expenditures on housing, transportation, and education by beneficiaries.[42]

SNAP is closely related to poverty and unemployment

Income maintenance

The purpose of the Food Stamp Program as laid out in its implementation was to assist low-income households in obtaining adequate and nutritious diets. According to Peter H. Rossi, a sociologist whose work involved evaluation of social programs, “the program rests on the assumption that households with restricted incomes may skimp on food purchases and live on diets that are inadequate in quantity and quality, or, alternatively skimp on other necessities to maintain an adequate diet”.[43] Food stamps, as many like Rossi, MacDonald, and Eisinger contend, are used not only for increasing food but also as income maintenance. Income maintenance is money that households are able to spend on other things because they no longer have to spend it on food. According to various studies shown by Rossi, because of income maintenance only about $0.17–$0.47 more is being spent on food for every food stamp dollar than was spent prior to individuals receiving food stamps.[44]

Diet quality

Studies are inconclusive as to whether SNAP has a direct effect on the nutritional quality of food choices made by participants. Unlike other federal programs that provide food subsidies, i.e. the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), SNAP does not have nutritional standards for purchases. Critics of the program suggest that this lack of structure represents a missed opportunity for public health advancement and cost containment.[45][46] In April 2013, the USDA research body, the Economic Research Service (ERS), published a study that examined diet quality in SNAP participants compared to low-income nonparticipants. The study revealed a difference in diet quality between SNAP participants and low-income nonparticipants, finding that SNAP participants score slightly lower on the Healthy Eating Index[47] (HEI) than nonparticipants. The study also concluded that SNAP increases the likelihood that participants will consume whole fruit by 23 percentage points. However, the analysis also suggests that SNAP participation decreases participants’ intake of dark green and orange vegetables by a modest amount.[48]

A 2016 study found no evidence that SNAP increased expenditures on tobacco by beneficiaries.[42]

Macroeconomic effect

The USDA’s Economic Research Service explains: “SNAP is a counter-cyclical government assistance program—it provides assistance to more low-income households during an economic downturn or recession and to fewer households during an economic expansion. The rise in SNAP participation during an economic downturn results in greater SNAP expenditures which, in turn, stimulate the economy.”[49]

In 2011, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack gave a statement regarding SNAP benefits: “Every dollar of SNAP benefits generates $1.84 in the economy in terms of economic activity.”[50] Vilsack’s estimate was based on a 2002 USDA study which found that “ultimately, the additional $5 billion of FSP (Food Stamp Program) expenditures triggered an increase in total economic activity (production, sales, and value of shipments) of $9.2 billion and an increase in jobs of 82,100,” or $1.84 stimulus for every dollar spent.[51]

A January 2008 report by Moody’s Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi analyzed measures of the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 and found that in a weak economy, every $1 in SNAP expenditures generates $1.73 in real GDP increase, making it the most effective stimulus among all the provisions of the act, including both tax cuts and spending increases.[52][53]

A 2010 report by Kenneth Hanson published by the USDA’s Economic Research Service estimated that a $1 billion increase in SNAP expenditures increases economic activity (GDP) by $1.79 billion (i.e., the GDP multiplier is 1.79).[54] The same report also estimated that the “preferred jobs impact … are the 8,900 full-time equivalent jobs plus self-employed or the 9,800 full-time and part-time jobs plus self-employed from $1 billion of SNAP benefits.”[54]

Local economic effects

In March 2013, the Washington Post reported that one-third of Woonsocket, Rhode Island‘s population used food stamps, putting local merchants on a “boom or bust” cycle each month when EBT payments were deposited. The Post stated that “a federal program that began as a last resort for a few million hungry people has grown into an economic lifeline for entire towns.”[55] And this growth “has been especially swift in once-prosperous places hit by the housing bust”.[56]

In addition to local town merchants, national retailers are starting to take in an increasing large percentage of SNAP benefits. For example, “Walmart estimates it takes in about 18% of total U.S. outlays on food stamps.”[57]

Fraud and abuse

In March 2012, the USDA published its fifth report in a series of periodic analyses to estimate the extent of trafficking in SNAP; that is, selling or otherwise converting SNAP benefits for cash payouts. Although trafficking does not directly increase costs to the Federal Government,[58][59][60] it diverts benefits from their intended purpose of helping low-income families access a nutritious diet. Also trafficking may indirectly increase costs by encouraging participants to stay in the program longer than intended, or by incentivizing new participants seeking to profit from trafficking. The FNS aggressively acts to control trafficking by using SNAP purchase data to identify suspicious transaction patterns, conducting undercover investigations, and collaborating with other investigative agencies.

Trafficking diverted an estimated one cent of each SNAP dollar ($330 million annually) from SNAP benefits between 2006 and 2008. Trafficking has declined over time from nearly 4 percent in the 1990s. About 8.2 percent of all stores trafficked from 2006 to 2008 compared to the 10.5 percent of SNAP authorized stores involved in trafficking in 2011.[61] A variety of store characteristics and settings were related to the level of trafficking. Although large stores accounted for 87.3 percent of all SNAP redemptions, they only accounted for about 5.4 percent of trafficking redemptions. Trafficking was much less likely to occur among publicly owned than privately owned stores and was much less likely among stores in areas with less poverty rather than more. The total annual value of trafficked benefits increased at about the same rate as overall program growth. The current estimate of total SNAP dollars trafficked is higher than observed in the previous 2002–2005 period. This increase is consistent, however, with the almost 37 percent growths in average annual SNAP benefits from the 2002–2005 study periods to the most recent one. The methodology used to generate these estimates has known limitations. However, given variable data and resources, it is the most practical approach available to FNS. Further improvements to SNAP trafficking estimates would require new resources to assess the prevalence of trafficking among a random sample of stores.[62]

The USDA report released in August 2013 says the dollar value of trafficking increased to 1.3 percent, up from 1 percent in the USDA’s 2006–2008 survey,[61] and “About 18 percent of those stores classified as convenience stores or small groceries were estimated to have trafficked. For larger stores (supermarkets and large groceries), only 0.32 percent were estimated to have trafficked. In terms of redemptions, about 17 percent of small groceries redemptions and 14 percent of convenience store redemptions were estimated to have been trafficked. This compares with a rate of 0.2 percent for large stores.”[63]

The USDA, in December 2011, announced new policies to attempt to curb waste, fraud, and abuse. These changes will include stiffer penalties for retailers who are caught participating in illegal or fraudulent activities.[64] “The department is proposing increasing penalties for retailers and providing states with access to large federal databases they would be required to use to verify information from applicants. SNAP benefit fraud, generally in the form of store employees buying EBT cards from recipients is widespread in urban areas, with one in seven corner stores engaging in such behavior, according to a recent government estimate. There are in excess of 200,000 stores, and we have 100 agents spread across the country. Some do undercover work, but the principal way we track fraud is through analyzing electronic transactions” for suspicious patterns, USDA Under Secretary Kevin Concannon told The Washington Times.[65] Also, states will be given additional guidance that will help develop a tighter policy for those seeking to effectively investigate fraud and clarifying the definition of trafficking.

According to the Government Accountability Office, at a 2009 count, there was a payment error rate of 4.36% of SNAP benefits down from 9.86% in 1999.[66] A 2003 analysis found that two-thirds of all improper payments were the fault of the caseworker, not the participant.[66] There are also instances of fraud involving exchange of SNAP benefits for cash and/or for items not eligible for purchase with EBT cards.[67] In 2011, the Michigan program raised eligibility requirements for full-time college students, to save taxpayer money and to end student use of monthly SNAP benefits.[68]

In Maine, incidents of recycling fraud have occurred in the past where individuals once committed fraud by using their EBT cards to buy canned or bottled beverages (requiring a deposit to be paid at the point of purchase for each beverage container), dump the contents out so the empty beverage container could be returned for deposit redemption, and thereby, allowed these individuals to eventually purchase non-EBT authorized products with cash from the beverage container deposits.[69]

The State of Utah developed a system called “eFind” to monitor, evaluate and cross-examine qualifying and reporting data of recipients assets. Utah’s eFind system is a “back end”, web-based system that gathers, filters, and organizes information from various federal, state, and local databases. The data in eFind is used to help state eligibility workers determine applicants’ eligibility for public assistance programs, including Medicaid, CHIP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and child care assistance.[70] When information is changed in one database, the reported changes become available to other departments utilizing the system. This system was developed with federal funds and it is available to other states free of charge.

The USDA only reports direct fraud and trafficking in benefits, which was officially estimated at $858 million in 2012. The Cato Institute reports that there was another $2.2 billion in erroneous payouts in 2009.[citation needed] Cato also reported that the erroneous payout rate dropped significantly from 5.6 percent in 2007 to 3.8 percent in 2011.[citation needed]

Role of SNAP in healthy diets

Background[edit]

The 2008 Farm Bill authorized $20 million to be spent on pilot projects to determine whether incentives provided to SNAP recipients at the point-of-sale would increase the purchase of fruits, vegetables, or other healthful foods.[71] Fifteen states expressed interest in having the pilot program and, ultimately, five states submitted applications to be considered for HIP. Hampden County, Massachusetts was selected as the Healthy Incentives Pilot (HIP) site. HIP is designed to take place from August 2010 to April 2013 with the actual operation phase of the pilot program scheduled to last 15 months, from November 2011 to January 2013.[72]

HIP offers select SNAP recipients a 30% subsidy on produce, which is credited to the participant’s EBT card, for 15 months. 7,500 households will participate HIP and an equal number will not; the differences between the two groups will be analyzed to see the effects of the program.[73] Produce, under the HIP, is defined as fresh, frozen, canned, or dried fruits and vegetables that do not have any added sugar, salt, fat, or oil.

Administrative responsibility[edit]

The Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) is the state agency responsible for SNAP. DTA has recruited retailers to take part in HIP and sell more produce, planned for the EBT system change with the state EBT vendor, and hired six new staff members dedicated to HIP. DTA has agreed to provide FNS with monthly reports, data collection and evaluation.

Proposals to restrict “junk food” or “luxury items”

Periodically, proposals have been raised to restrict SNAP benefits from being used to purchase various categories or types of food which have been criticized as “junk food” or “luxury items”. However, Congress and the Department of Agriculture have repeatedly rejected such proposals on both administrative burden and personal freedom grounds. The Food and Nutrition Service noted in 2007 that no federal standards exist to determine which foods should be considered “healthy” or not, that “vegetables, fruits, grain products, meat and meat alternatives account for nearly three-quarters of the money value of food used by food stamp households” and that “food stamp recipients are no more likely to consume soft drinks than are higher-income individuals, and are less likely to consume sweets and salty snacks.”[74] Thomas Farley and Russell Sykes argued that the USDA should reconsider the possibility of restricting “junk food” purchases with SNAP in order to encourage healthy eating, along with incentivizing the purchase of healthy items through a credit or rebate program that makes foods such as fresh vegetables and meats cheaper. They also noted that many urban food stores do a poor job of stocking healthy foods and instead favor high-profit processed items.[75]

See also

General:

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supplemental_Nutrition_Assistance_Program

Story 4: Obesity Expanding In America — Fat Ass Americans — Pandemic — Keeping America Fat — Promises Kept — Videos

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The Complete Skinny on Obesity

Adult Obesity Facts

Obesity is common, serious and costly

  • The prevalence of obesity was 39.8% and affected about 93.3 million of U.S. adults in 2015-2016. [Read CDC National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) data brief PDF-603KB]
  • Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable death. [Read guidelines]
  • The estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the U.S. was $147 billion in 2008 U.S. dollars; the medical cost for people who have obesity was $1,429 higher than those of normal weight. [Read paper]

Obesity affects some groups more than others

[Read CDC National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) data brief [PDF-603KB]]

  • Hispanics (47.0%) and non-Hispanic blacks (46.8%) had the highest age-adjusted prevalence of obesity, followed by non-Hispanic whites (37.9%) and non-Hispanic Asians (12.7%).
  • The prevalence of obesity was 35.7% among young adults age 20–39 years, 42.8% among middle-aged adults age 40-59 years, and 41.0% among older adults age 60 and over.

Obesity and socioeconomic status

[Read the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)]

The association between obesity and income or educational level is complex and differs by sex, and race/ethnicity.

  • Overall, men and women with college degrees had lower obesity prevalence compared with those with less education.
  • By race/ethnicity, the same obesity and education pattern was seen among non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, and Hispanic women, and also among non-Hispanic white men, although the differences were not all statistically significant. Although the difference was not statistically significant among non-Hispanic black men, obesity prevalence increased with educational attainment. Among non-Hispanic Asian women and men and Hispanic men there were no differences in obesity prevalence by education level.
  • Among men, obesity prevalence was lower in the lowest and highest income groups compared with the middle income group. This pattern was seen among non-Hispanic white and Hispanic men. Obesity prevalence was higher in the highest income group than in the lowest income group among non-Hispanic black men.
  • Among women, obesity prevalence was lower in the highest income group than in the middle and lowest income groups. This pattern was observed among non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic Asian, and Hispanic women. Among non-Hispanic black women, there was no difference in obesity prevalence by income.

Top of Page

Related Links

  • Obesity Prevalence Maps
    State-specific data on adult obesity prevalence using self-reported information from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) shows that obesity prevalence remains high in the United States.

https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html

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Gary Taubes on How Big Government Made Us Fat

The Complete Skinny on Obesity

Sweet Revenge Turning the Tables on Processed Food (no vegetarian/vegan propaganda)

My Big Fat Body Full Documentary YouTube

The Weight of the Nation: Poverty and Obesity (HBO Docs)

The Weight of the Nation: Part 1 – Consequences (HBO Docs)

The Weight of the Nation: Part 2 – Choices (HBO Docs)

The Weight of the Nation: Part 3 – Children in Crisis (HBO Docs)

 

Our Fat Pets

Sixty percent of cats tip the scales at unhealthy weights, slightly more than the 56 percent of dogs. It’s not good for them.

Image
CreditiStock

By Susan Jenks

Like most cats, Max had a swagger in his walk. But because he was slightly overweight, the 15-year-old Maine coon began having trouble “jumping up on things,” his owner says, the extra pounds worsening his arthritis.

So his owner, Jaime Wilson, decided her pet needed to go on a diet — barely two tablespoons of dry food in the morning and again at night, along with a larger portion of canned wet food once a day and a supervised exercise program that included treadmill work and running through stationary poles.

“He was ravenous all the time,” his owner concedes. But after six months, “he’s very sleek and thin,” says Mrs. Wilson, who works at the University of Florida’s Small Animal Hospital in Gainesville, Fla. “Not having the extra pounds has been great for his joints.”

The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention estimates that in the United States, veterinarians now classify more than 100 million dogs and cats as overweight or obese, up from 80 million five years ago. Sixty percent of cats tip the scales at unhealthy weights, slightly more than the 56 percent of dogs.

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Worse yet, many pet owners fail to recognize the potential severity of the problem, finding their pets’ weight gain of little concern or even “cute,” says Dr. Justin Schmalberg, service chief of integrative medicine at the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine in Gainesville. And show animals, often held up as exemplary models, he says, sometimes tend toward the pudgy side.

“In part, it’s an issue of perception,” Dr. Schmalberg says. “Generally, the public is more tolerant of obese animals than they are of thin ones. There’s not as much stigma with animals being overweight as with people.”

Obesity and the inflammatory effects of excess fat can bring a host of health problems. Max’s six-month journey to a healthier weight reduced his risk for insulin-dependent diabetes, the most common health problem veterinarians see in overweight or obese cats. Overweight dogs rarely develop this form of diabetes, veterinarians say, though large breeds often face joint injuries from excess weight, while smaller ones can have breathing difficulties if airways collapse.

Along with diabetes and arthritis, extra heft puts pets at increased risk for liver and kidney diseases, high blood pressure, heart failure and even some cancers. And at least one widely cited study in Labrador retrievers found that even moderately overweight dogs have shorter life spans than their lean counterparts.

Veterinarians assess a pet’s overall body health using a system similar to the body mass index, or B.M.I., used in people. Emaciated dogs or cats get the lowest score on a nine-point scale, obese ones the highest, with a desirable weight usually in the four to five range, says Dr. Deborah Linder, head of Tufts University’s obesity clinic for animals in Boston. An animal at six is considered clinically overweight, with a score of seven or more, obese.

Veterinarians also complete a physical exam to assess obesity, feeling over the rib cage by the animal’s armpit, “where tissue should be no thicker than the back of your hand,” Dr. Linder says. Another sign of healthy girth, she says, is a tuck in the belly, similar to an “hourglass figure.”

Image

Although some pets are genetically vulnerable to unwanted pounds, others may have diseases like hyperthyroidism or Cushing’s disease, in which the adrenal glands pump out too much of a stress hormone, stimulating appetite. Once these conditions are ruled out, veterinarians say, aging itself poses an ongoing risk as metabolism slows — the pet version of middle-age spread.

Neutering or spaying also decreases an animal’s energy needs by a third, Dr. Schmalberg says, so “calories in, calories out,” takes on greater importance in maintaining a pet’s proper weight.

Researchers have recently identified another risk factor for pet obesity: rapid growth in early life, though the reasons for this remain poorly understood. “Dogs and cats that grow quickly are highly likely to become obese later in life,” says Dr. Alex German, a professor at the University of Liverpool in England.

But veterinarians single out overfeeding as the greatest contributor to pet obesity. Giving pets easy access to food around the house, or “free feeding,” can quickly add unwanted pounds, they say, as can an overindulgence in high-calorie treats. Throw small children into the household mix with “sneak feeding” and the situation becomes worse, says Dr. Sarah Nord, a staff veterinarian at Trupanion, a Seattle-based pet insurer. “It’s definitely not uncommon,” she says with a laugh.

Whether pets, like some owners, “stress eat” is difficult to measure. “In my experience, when animals are stressed, they tend to go off feeding,” Dr. Nord says. “But we don’t know.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/02/well/fat-pets-dog-cat-health.html

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The Pronk Pops Show 393, January 5, 2015, Story 1: Dallas Cowboys Win 24 -20 Over Detroit, Dallas Citizens Pockets Picked By City five-cent environmental fee for each single-use bag — plastic and paper bags! — It Is A Tax Stupid — Vote Out of Office All Representatives Who Passed This Tax — Videos

Posted on January 5, 2015. Filed under: American History, Baseball, Basketball, Blogroll, Books, Budgetary Policy, Business, Cereal, City, College, Communications, Corruption, Crime, Diets, Disasters, Economics, Education, Employment, Environment, Federal Government, Food, Football, Government, Government Spending, History, Investments, Language, Law, Media, Milk, Nutrition, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Radio, Resources, Scandals, Sports, Success, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Unemployment, United States Constitution, Videos, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 393: January 5, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 392: December 19, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 391: December 18, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 390: December 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 389: December 16, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 388: December 15, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 387: December 12, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 386: December 11, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 385: December 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 384: December 8, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 383: December 5, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 382: December 4, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 381: December 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 380: December 1, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 379: November 26, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 378: November 25, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 377: November 24, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 376: November 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 375: November 20, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 374: November 19, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 373: November 18, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 372: November 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 371: November 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 370: November 13, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 369: November 12, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 368: November 11, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 367: November 10, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 366: November 7, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 365: November 6, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 364: November 5, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 363: November 4, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 362: November 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 361: October 31, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 360: October 30, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 359: October 29, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 358: October 28, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 357: October 27, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 356: October 24, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 355: October 23, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 354: October 22, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 353: October 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 352: October 20, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 351: October 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 350: October 16, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 349: October 15, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 348: October 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 347: October 13, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 346: October 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 345: October 8, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 344: October 6, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 343: October 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 342: October 2, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 341: October 1, 2014

Story 1: Dallas Cowboys Win 24 -20 Over Detroit, Dallas Citizens Pockets Picked By City five-cent environmental fee for each single-use bag — plastic and paper bags! — It Is A Tax Stupid  — Vote Out of Office All Representatives Who Passed This Tax — Videos

 

jerry-chris-jones-christie-hugWhere Can I Put Them?

An Inconvenient tax: picking people’s pockets

By Raymond Thomas Pronk

Warning, when you check out, be on the lookout for pickpockets.

The latest green movement cause du jour is the banning or taxing of disposable plastic and paper bags. These laws or city ordinances are designed to nudge or coerce customers to bring their own reusable tote bag when they shop for groceries and other merchandise.

A number of United States cities including Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Boulder, Austin and now unfortunately Dallas have either banned or taxed disposable plastic and/or paper bags or so-called “single-use carryout bags.” According to the Earth Policy Institute, over 20 million people are currently covered by 132 city and county plastic bag bans or fee ordinances in the U.S.

For decades most American and European businesses have provided their customers bags, at no additional charge, to carryout and transport their purchase. In the 1980s businesses began to give their customers a choice of paper or plastic.

On March 26, 2014, the Dallas City Council passed an 8 to 6 City Ordinance No. 29307. It requires business establishments that provide their customers “single-use carryout bags” to register with the city annually each location providing these bags and charge their customers an “environment fee” of 5 cents per bag to promote a “culture of clean” and  “to protect the natural environment, the economy and the health of its residences.”

Give me a break. It is a new tax to raise millions in new tax revenue for the City of Dallas. Who are the elected Dallas-8 council member watermelons (green on the outside, red on the inside) that ordained this tax on the people and businesses of Dallas? The names of the Dallas-8 are Tennell Atkins, Carolyn R. Davis, Scott Griggs, Adam Medrano, Dwaine R. Caraway, Sandy Greyson, Philip T. Kingston, and Mayor Mike Rawlings.

The Dallas-8 are led by council member Caraway, who wanted to completely ban plastic and paper single-use carryout bags. Instead they decided to shake down Dallas businesses and their customers with a new highly regressive tax. Caraway refuses to call it a tax and claims the new ordinance which went in effect on January 1 is “a ban with a fee, such as other cities are doing across the United States.”

The eight-page ordinance includes the definition and standards that reusable carryout bags must satisfy: “A reusable carryout bag must meet the minimum reuse testing standard of 100 reuses carrying 16 pound.” Reusable bags may be made of cloth, washable fabric, durable materials, recyclable plastic with a minimum thickness of 4.0 mil or recyclable paper that contains a minimum of 40 percent recycled content.

All of the above reusable bags must have handles with the exception of small bags with a height of less than 14 inches and a width of less than 8 inches.

Business establishments can either provide or sell reusable carryout bags to its customer or to any person.

The city ordinance exempts some bags from the single-use carryout definition including:

  • Plastic bags used for produce, meats, nuts, grains and other bulk items inside grocery or other retail stores,
  • Single-use plastic bags used by restaurants to take away prepared food only where necessary to prevent moisture damage from soups, sauces, gravies or dressings,
  • Recyclable paper bags used by restaurants to take away prepared food,
  • Recyclable paper bags from pharmacies or veterinarians for prescription drugs,
  • Laundry, dry cleaning or garment bags,
  • Biodegradable door-hanger and newspaper bags, and
  • Bags for trash, yard debris and pet waste.

The Dallas 5 cent paper and plastic bag tax or environment fee applies only to single-use carryout bags defined as bags not meeting the requirements of a reusable bag.

Businesses that violate the ordinance can be fined up to a maximum of $500 per day.

Lee Califf, executive director of the American Progressive Bag Alliance, a bag manufacturing group, said “This legislation applies to a product that is less than 0.5 percent of municipal waste in the United States and typically less than 1 percent of litter in studies conducted across the country;” “Placing a fee on a product with such a minuscule contribution to the waste and litter streams will not help the environment: but it will cost Dallas consumers millions more per year on their grocery bills, while hurting small business and threatening the livelihoods of the 4,500 Texans who work in the plastic bag and recycling industry.”

Stop the shakedown of Dallas businesses and their customers. Repeal the inconvenient tax on paper and plastic disposable bags by voting out of office the Dallas-8 city council members who voted for this tax, Dwaine Caraway. Support your Texas state representatives in passing a new law that would prohibit cities such as Dallas and Austin from banning or taxing paper and plastic carryout bags.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

taxesdc-chart-feeOregon-Plastic-bag-tax-banbird_bagTax-Day-6Plastic_bagsingle-use-plastic-bags-areplastic bag12009-04-08plastic_bags_600Watermelons

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John Stossel – Green Road To Serfdom

Carryout Bag Ordinance

Disponible en español      NEW⇒Tiếng Việt

On January 1, 2015, the Carryout Bag Ordinance will start in Dallas. 

Are you ready?

 

Shop
shoppers

RETAILERS

CUSTOMERS

Retailers offering single-use bags to customers must:
  • Register ELECTRONICALLY HERE; works best on Chrome or Firefox (if you need to register using a paper form via USPS, clickhere)
  • Assess a five-cent environmental fee for each single-use bag; the environmental fee is not subject to sales tax
  • Print total number of bags and fee on each receipt
  • Keep records available for inspectors
  • Post signs in controlled parking lots reminding customers to bring their bags
  • Post signs in the store, within six feet of each register, per the ordinance SAMPLE HERE 
  • The full link to the Code Compliance carryout bag website, with forms and additional information, is here

Retailers offering only reusable bags, as defined by the ordinance, have different requirements.

All retailers should look at their operations and determine if their bags are single-use, reusable, or exempted from the single-use definition. Consult the full ordinance for all details pertaining to the ordinance and what is expected for each type of bag including thickness, language on the bag, durability, signage, and other considerations.

Customers, you are encouraged to bring your bagand keep your change.Single-use carryout bags have a five-cent per bag environmental fee.  A single-use bag can be paper or plastic.Reusable bags do not have the environmental fee, though stores may charge you to offset costs.  Reusable bags stores offer can be made from cloth or other washable woven materials, recyclable paper, or recyclable plastic so long as they meet certain requirements.  However, any bag you bring with you to use is considered reusable since you are reusing it.There are some bags that are exempted from the single-use bag definition:

  • Laundry, dry cleaning or garment bags;
  • Biodegradable door-hanger and newspaper bags;
  • Bags for trash, yard debris or pet waste;
  • Plastic bags used for produce, meats, nuts, grains and other bulk items inside grocery or other retail stores;
  • Recyclable paper bags from pharmacies or veterinarians for prescription drugs; and,
  • Recyclable paper bags used by restaurants to take away prepared food.
  • Single-use plastic bags used by restaurants to take away prepared food only where necessary to prevent moisture damage from soups, sauces, gravies or dressings.

Remember to recycle the bags you can recycle appropriately.

Why

Many wonder why the City passed this ordinance.  The Dallas City Council passed the ordinance to help improve the environment and keep our city clean.  The City is currently spending nearly $4 million dollars to remove litter from our community to keep it beautiful and thriving.

The Carryout Bag ordinance is intended to encourage shoppers to use reusable bags to carry goods from stores, restaurants, and other locations to reduce the number of bags that can end up loose in the environment as litter. 

To help you understand, we have created this list of frequently asked question.

whatThe carryout bag ordinance outlines the City’s “desire to protect the natural environment, the economy and the health of its residents,” and the “negative impact on the environment caused by improper disposal of single-use carryout bags.” The Dallas City Council approved the ordinance on March 26, 2014.

whenThe ordinance takes effect on January 1, 2015.

Retailers and customers should be ready and know all the details.  This website and the City’s Code Compliance Services website have details to help retailers prepare.  The links to the Code website on DallasCityHall.com are below.

howSome are still unclear how the ordinance may impact them.

Businesses will have to register each location with the City in order to offer single-use bags.  No registration is necessary if a business is only offering reusable bags or bags that are exempted from the single-use bag definition in the ordinance.  Businesses must be registered before distributing single-use carryout bags starting January 1, 2015. Businesses are required to collect a five-cent environmental fee for every single-use bag used by a customer.

Customers will be charged a five-cent environmental fee for each single-use bag, paper or plastic, they receive from retailers.  Again, reusable bags and bags exempted from the definition of single-use bags do not carry the environmental fee.  You can avoid the environmental fee by bringing your own bags with you.  The five cent fee assessed for the single-use bag is not subject to sales tax.

Will I still be able to get plastic carryout bags?
Yes, provided your retailer chooses to offer them and collect the environmental fee.

Can I bring my own reusable bags to carry out items I purchased?
Yes. Customers are encouraged to bring their own reusable bags to carry out their items instead of paying the five-cent environmental fee per single-use plastic or paper bag.

If I reuse a single-use carryout bag, will I have to pay the fee again?
Whatever bag you bring — tote bag, golf bag, diaper bag, satchel, purse, or produce bag — if you bring it with you to reuse, you do not have to pay the environmental fee.

Where does the money go?
A portion of the fees will be used to pay for enforcement of the ordinance and for public education efforts.  Stores keep 10 percent of the five-cent fee to help offset administrative costs.

Does this ordinance apply to all businesses?
All retailers that offer single-use carryout bags in Dallas are subject to this ordinance.

What about non-profits or charities?
If the non-profit or charity offers food, groceries, clothing, or other household items free of charge to clients, they may still use single-use carryout bags for the specific function of distributing those items.  However, the ordinance will apply to any bags used at the point of sale for any goods sold through the non-profit or charity.
Additionally, any non-profit or charity that collects goods for donation from the public or which leaves informational material for the public must be sure any door-hanger bags left for collecting those goods or providing that informational material are biodegradable.

Does the ordinance include all bags?
The ordinance applies to single-use paper or plastic carryout bags used by businesses as defined in the ordinance language.

What if businesses don’t follow the ordinance?
Businesses that violate the ordinance could face fines of up to $500 per day.

How will the ordinance be enforced?
City Code Compliance inspectors will respond to complaints and provide proactive enforcement.

How can the City know if businesses aren’t complying with the law? Will they be doing more inspections?
There will be proactive enforcement and periodic audits.  Additionally, the City will respond to complaints from residents.

Will the ban on single-use bags at city facilities apply to retailers at American Airlines Center, city museums, the Omni Dallas Hotel, and Fair Park?
Yes.  The City Attorney’s Office will work with Code Enforcement to determine which facilities are affected and how.

Whom should I contact if I have additional questions?
Call 3-1-1, the Office of Environmental Quality, Code Compliance or email us atgreendallas@dallascityhall.com.

NEW⇒ Where can I find the forms?
Forms and more information are available on the Code Compliance website dedicated to the Carryout Bag Ordinance here.

http://greendallas.net/carryout-bag-ordinance/

 

Dallas City Council OK’s fee-based ordinance that says retailers must charge five cents for carryout bags

For months Dwaine Caraway has insisted he had the votes to pass at least a partial ban on the single-use carryout bag. He was right: By a vote of 8-6 the Dallas City Council passed the so-called “environmental fee ordinance,” which bans single-use carryout bags at all city facilities and events while still allowing retailers to use plastic and paper bags.

But beginning January 1 retailers will have to charge customers who want them “an environmental fee” of five cents per bag, and they will get to keep 10 percent of that money. The ordinance also says retailers who want to keep handing out plastic and paper bags will have to register with the city and keep track of bags sold.

The city says the money raised from the bag fees will help go toward funding enforcement and education efforts that assistant city manager Jill Jordan told the council could cost around $250,000 and necessitate the hiring of up to 12 additional staff members.

Wednesday’s vote came a year after council member Dwaine Caraway asked the city attorney to draft an ordinance that completely banned the bag. The council member says the ordinance passed today was a compromise born out of “a fair process” that included environmentalists, bag manufactures and retailers. Several of his colleagues wanted to send the proposed ordinances back to committee for further debate. But Caraway wanted a vote now.

“You get to a point where it’s time to make decisions, decisions that will have a great impact on the city of Dallas and our environmental status … and the beautification of our city,” he said. The process has “been pretty tough. it’s been back and forth. We listened and listened fairly.”

But six of his colleagues disagreed: Sheffie Kadane said the fee-based ban will result in a lawsuit from retailers and manufacturers. Rick Callahan called it a “government intrusion.” Jennifer Staubach Gates said it wouldn’t do any good, because in five years the reusable bags supported by the environmentalists will end up in landfills too. And Jerry Allen said the three options being considered by council, including a full-out ban, represented “a lack of clear conviction,” which he found disappointing.

And then there was Lee Kleinman, who on Friday indicated he supported the fee-based ordinance. Five days later he’d changed his mind and said he no longer cared what happened in his colleagues’ districts.

“I would personally probably stay more focused on my own district, which does not have the same trash problems as others,” he said, to the amazement of some of his southern sector colleagues. “Why should I care if someone is shopping like at Southwest Center Mall and they want a plastic bag? If people in that community are satisfied with the conditions around that mall, why should I utilize my position in North Dallas to improve those conditions? I should just focus my energies on North Dallas redevelopment projects and not help another improve quality of life in other areas of the city.”

That entire speech is above, thanks to my colleague Scott Goldstein.

Vonciel Jones Hill, who has said in the past she opposes any ban or bag tax, was no present for today’s vote. Monica Alonzo also voted against it, but said nothing.

In a statement released following the vote, the American Progressive Bag Alliance said it’s “a move that will fail to accomplish any environmental goals while jeopardizing 4,500 Texas jobs and hurting consumers.”

Its executive director, Lee Califf, said in a statement that “the vote to approve a 5-cent plastic and paper grocery bag fee in Dallas is another example of environmental myths and junk science driving poor policy in the plastic bag debate.”

But it’s not clear if the state will allow Dallas’ new bag “ban” — or bag tax, more appropriately.

Attorney General Greg Abbott is going to weigh in on the legality of bag bans, following a request by state Rep. Dan Flynn of Canton on behalf of the Texas Retailers Association. Jerry Allen asked Dallas City Attorney Warren Ernst if the state allows bag bans.

“We are ready to defend that position,” Ernst said. “If it’s the will of the council to pass the ordinance, we’ll defend that as a legal action by the city.”

Allen was not convinced, insisting “there’s a tremendous amount of uncertainty.” Ernst appeared to agree.
Those council members opposed to the ordinance said Dallas needs to do a better job of enforcing its litter laws. Jordan told the council that the city spends $4 million annually on trash pick-up, “and we still have litter.”

In the end, said council member Scott Griggs, “this is just one step. We tackle the bags then we can move on to Styrofoam and other issues that cause trash. This is a large elephant we’ll have to take on as a city and a council.”

Kroger’s Gary Huddleston, also of the Texas Retailers Association, shared a hug with Dwaine Caraway following today’s council vote.

Following the vote, Gary Huddleston, head of the Texas Retailers Association, said he wasn’t sure whether his organization would sue the city. He noted that they are awaiting the attorney general’s ruling on the legality of a fee.

“It will affect the retailers in the city of Dallas and it will affect our customers,” Huddleston said. “They’ll have to pay for their paper and plastic bags or they bring in their reusable bags.”

“We personally believe the solution to litter in the city of Dallas is a strong recycling program and also punishing the people that litter and not punishing the retailer,” Huddleston said.

The fee means that businesses will have to institute additional programming and training in order to enforce ordinance and track the fees. Customers will “have to pay a nickel a bag, whereas maybe they use that nickel to buy more product in my store.”

But Huddleston’s concerns didn’t stop him from hugging Caraway outside chambers. The two men smiled and embraced in front of television cameras.

The council member said he was pleased with the result of more than a year of work. He refused to call the fee a “tax.”

“It’s a ban with a fee, such as other cities are doing across the United States,” Caraway said.

He said it’s important for residents to know the ban does not cover a variety of bags, such as those in the produce section of grocery stores or at restaurants

“Folks need to understand that these are single-use carryout bags,” Caraway said. “These are simply those thin, flimsy bags that take flight and that are undesirable and bad for the environment.”

Staff writer Scott Goldstein contributed to this report.

http://cityhallblog.dallasnews.com/2014/03/dallas-city-council-approves-partial-fee-based-ban-on-single-use-carryout-bags.html/

Dallas Will Charge Fees for Plastic Bag Use
By Josh Ault and Ken Kalthoff

The City of Dallas has implemented new rules for plastic grocery bags, imposing a 5 cent fee on single-use plastic or paper grocery bags. The rules go into effect in January. (Published Wednesday, Mar 26, 2014)
Thursday, Mar 27, 2014 • Updated at 5:56 AM CST
The Dallas City Council has passed a proposal ordering retailers to charge a fee for one-time use plastic bags while partially banning them from city-owned facilities.
In a 8-6 vote, the council passed the ordinance requiring retailers to charge customers a $0.05 fee if they request single-use plastic or paper bags.
Dallas Plastic Bag Ban Vote Wednesday[DFW] Dallas Plastic Bag Ban Vote Wednesday
The Dallas City Council is expected to vote on plastic bag ban issue on Wednesday. (Published Monday, Mar 24, 2014)
Dallas City Councilman Dwaine Caraway accepted the compromise of a bag fee after spending a year fighting for a ban on single-use bags.
“This is an opportunity for us to clean our city, to clean our environment and to move forward, and to be like the other cities across the country and around the world,” Caraway said.
Zac Trahan with Texas Campaign for The Environment said Austin and eight smaller Texas cities have taken stronger action by banning single-use bags, but he still supported the Dallas regulations.
“It’s still a step in the right direction because it will still result in a huge reduction in the number of bags that will be distributed,” he said.
The ordinance also requires those retailers to register with the city and track the number of single-use bags sold.
The retailer would keep 10 percent of the environmental fee with the remainder going to the city to fund enforcement and education efforts.
Lee Califf, the executive director of the bag manufacturers’ group American Progressive Bag Alliance, released the following statement after the ordinance was passed.
“The vote to approve a 5-cent plastic and paper grocery bag fee in Dallas is another example of environmental myths and junk science driving poor policy in the plastic bag debate. This legislation applies to a product that is less than 0.5% of municipal waste in the United States and typically less than 1% of litter in studies conducted across the country. The City Council rushed through a flawed bill to appease its misguided sponsor, despite the fact that 70% of Dallas residents opposed this legislation in a recent poll.

“Placing a fee on a product with such a minuscule contribution to the waste and litter streams will not help the environment; but it will cost Dallas consumers millions more per year on their grocery bills, while hurting small businesses and threatening the livelihoods of the 4,500 Texans who work in the plastic bag manufacturing and recycling industry. Councilman Caraway may view this vote as a victory for his political career, but there are no winners with today’s outcome.”
Several Council Members opposed any new restrictions.
Rick Callahan said grocery bags are only a small part of the Dallas litter problem and better recycling education is needed.
“Banning something or adding a fee, putting more regulation on business is not the answer,” Callahan said.
The ordinance does ban single-use plastic or paper bags at city-owned facilities and events.
It still allows distributing multi-use, or stronger, paper or plastic bags for free so stores can get around charging the fee by offering better bags.
The ordinance goes into effect Jan. 1, 2015.

http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Dallas-Council-to-Consider-Plastic-Bag-Ban-252427601.html

 

Dallas’ new plastic bag fee: for and against

By Steve Blow

After more than a year of considering a ban on disposable shopping bags, the Dallas City Council voted instead last week to impose a 5-cent “environmental fee” on each bag.

In previous columns, Steve Blow had opposed a ban, while Jacquielynn Floyd had supported it. Today, they debate the council’s new approach.

Steve: Leave it to the Dallas City Council to take a bad idea and find a way to make it worse. I thought a ban on shopping bags was a bad idea, but slapping a new tax on Dallas shoppers is even more pointless.

This isn’t just a new tax, it’s a new mini-bureaucracy at City Hall. There’s talk of hiring 12 new people to run the program. And I’m sure someone is already writing a job description for a Deputy Junior Assistant City Manager for Retail Packaging Assessment and Oversight.

Good grief. I had little faith that a ban would accomplish much. I’m even more dubious about a bag tax — except as a tool of government growth.

Jacquielynn: Dude, it’s a nickel. Nobody’s getting taxed into bankruptcy here.

I hope, in fact, that this modest 5 cents is enough to assign at least minimal value to these awful bags. The reason they end up on fences, in fields and as tree garbage is that they’re so free and plentiful.

Almost everybody collects them every day — yet they have virtually no value. It’s human nature to take something for free, then toss it or lose track if you don’t need it.

Like it or not, this is the direction cities are headed. Los Angeles has had a ban in effect for more than a year. New York and Chicago are talking about either banning or limiting plastic bags.

I don’t think this is a case of forcing people to bow to the authoritarian rule of government overlords — we’re asking for a very minor change in their habits. It makes environmental sense, like other conservation and recycling measures that have become routine.

Steve: They don’t end up as litter because they’re free and plentiful. They end up as litter because a few dopes among us litter. A nickel is not going to transform those dopes into responsible citizens. Anyone careless with trash is not going to suddenly become careful with 5-cent trash.

On a fundamental level, this issue chaps my inner libertarian. I don’t think “government regulation” is automatically a dirty word. But I firmly believe the need must be obvious and compelling before we add more regulation.

Jack, you may be fixated on plastic bags as you drive around, but I promise they make up a small percentage of the litter that’s out there. I see more cups than anything. Will we be required to carry around reusable cups next? Or pay a cups tax?

Jacquielynn: Steve, I agree that clueless dolts dump all kinds of garbage, from burger wrappers to moldy old sofas.

Plastic bags are a particular problem, though, for the very qualities that make them such a successful consumer product: They’re cheap, durable, lightweight and water-resistant. They’re mobile, easily blown into trees, creeks, fences and even for miles out into rural areas. A farmer who lives outside Dallas told me this week he hates plastic bags because when they land on his property, baby calves can choke on them.

Most of us don’t have calf problems, but the bags’ weightlessness makes them vulnerable to any breeze. Even if they’re responsibly discarded, they’ll blow out of open trash cans, trucks, you name it.

They’re not just a blight — they’re a highly contagious blight.

Steve: Oh, c’mon. How am I supposed to rebut choking baby calves?

I will point out that Washington, D.C., has a real paradox on its hands. It implemented a 5-cent fee on disposable bags in 2010. And in a survey last year, residents reported using 60 percent fewer bags.

But get this: Tax revenue from the bags has been going up, not down as was expected. The city had originally projected to collect $1.05 million in fiscal 2013. Instead, bag fees topped $2 million.

The dollars don’t lie. More bags are being used after four years. Sure, some people will switch to reusable bags. But this sure isn’t going to make plastic bags disappear. Is a regressive new tax really worth it?

Jacquielynn: I’d be happy to sidestep the entire “tax” issue by banning bags outright. If you want groceries, make sure you have a way to get them home.

But if cities aren’t ready to take that step, and they actually see a windfall out of bag taxes, maybe that should be dedicated to cleanup efforts.

Ideally, though, stores wouldn’t have the things at all. They can make boxes available (a la Costco). They can sell heavier plastic multiple-use bags for 25 or 50 cents. Shoppers buying just one or two items could learn to use the flexible appendages at the ends of their arms to carry stuff away.

The mail I’ve received from angry readers makes it plain that a lot of people loathe this plan, whether you call it a ban or a tax.

But I just don’t think we’re asking for a dramatic change in the way we live our lives. If we don’t stop assuming that everything we send to the landfill magically disappears, the landfill is going to start coming to us. Do you really want to live in a city that has garbage in the trees?

Steve: No, it’s not a drastic change. Just a needless one. And I’m looking out my office window at six or seven trees with nary a bag in sight. Except for a few spots, the litter problem has been overblown.

I just wish we had tried a major public-awareness campaign before imposing more taxes and more regulation. 1. Recycle bags where you get them. 2. Try reusable bags. 3. Don’t litter, you dope.

Jacquielynn: On those points, we’re in wholehearted agreement.

http://www.dallasnews.com/news/columnists/steve-blow/20140329-dallas-new-plastic-bag-fee-for-and-against.ece

 

Attorney General asked to weigh in on bag bans

Don’t bag it. Butt out. That’s the message Wednesday to Attorney General Greg Abbott from supporters of efforts to ban the use of plastic bags in Texas. The Attorney General has been asked to determine whether or not city ordinances like the one in Austin go too far and violate state law. While Abbott was told to back off, the state lawmaker who asked the Attorney General to get involved explained why he made the request.

It’s no longer legal in Austin for a retailer to provide customers with plastic bags. Wednesday, those who want to keep the bag ban on the books gathered at the state capitol to send a message.

“We call on the Attorney General today to keep his nose out of local government’s business of protecting the health of their residents and local communities, and leave well enough alone,” said Robin Schneider who is the Executive Director of Texas Campaign for the Environment.

The group is filing a legal brief to convince the Attorney General that cities in Texas have the Home-Rule authority to out-law plastic bags. Austin is among nearly a dozen towns that have passed bag ban ordinances. Wednesday is the deadline to weigh in before the Attorney General issues an opinion. The question is whether or not a municipal ban violates the state health and safety code.

The state lawmaker who requested the legal opinion, state Rep. Dan Flynn (R) Vann said his concern is not necessarily about the use of plastic bags but about the perceived abuse of power.

“The last this particular law was looked at was about 20 years ago,” said Rep. Flynn.

The Republican from Van heads up a House Committee created to make government more transparent. According to Flynn, he made the request for a legal opinion after getting several calls asking for clarification.

“It’s not about Austin, it’s all about state authority and the power grab by some cities over state law, that’s just about the easiest way to say it.”

When a ban on plastic bags was approved in Austin, the lack of a similar, free, option spurred much of the opposition. Shoppers are required to buy their own reusable cloth of thick plastic bags. Some stores in Austin do provide paper bags but typically charge for them,” said Flynn.

“They’re not charging in Fort Stockton,” said Darren Hodges, Mayor Pro Tem of that west Texas town.

The Fort Stockton city council worked with local retailers before being one of the first to pass a ban. According to Hodges, free biodegradable bags are offered to Fort Stockton shoppers. That kind of option, he agreed, could help reduce back lash in communities considering similar action.

“It’s best to get with your big bag people and work with them on something that they can live with, at least get everyone involved in the process and see if you can move forward,” said Hodges.

An A.G. ruling against bag bans will not strike down any ordinance. It could provide a legal foot-hold for any group that takes a city to court.

The Dallas city council, earlier Wednesday, considered its own bag ban. Instead of out-lawing them, in a close vote, the Dallas council passed an environmental fee ordinance, which is essentially a new tax.

Starting next year shoppers in Dallas will be charged 5-cents for every plastic and paper bag that they use.

In reaction to the Dallas council vote, the American Progressive Bag Alliance issued the following statement:

“The vote to approve a 5-cent plastic and paper grocery bag fee in Dallas is another example of environmental myths and junk science driving poor policy in the plastic bag debate. This legislation applies to a product that is less than 0.5% of municipal waste in the United States and typically less than 1% of litter in studies conducted across the country. The City Council rushed through a flawed bill to appease its misguided sponsor, despite the fact that 70% of Dallas residents opposed this legislation in a recent poll.”

http://www.myfoxaustin.com/story/25082745/attorney-general-asked-to-weigh-in-on-bag-bans

 

Plan B Updates
APRIL 22, 2014
Plastic Bag Bans Spreading in the United States
Janet Larsen and Savina Venkova

Los Angeles rang in the 2014 New Year with a ban on the distribution of plastic bags at the checkout counter of big retailers, making it the largest of the 132 cities and counties around the United States with anti-plastic bag legislation. And a movement that gained momentum in California is going national. More than 20 million Americans live in communities with plastic bag bans or fees. Currently 100 billion plastic bags pass through the hands of U.S. consumers every year—almost one bag per person each day. Laid end-to-end, they could circle the equator 1,330 times. But this number will soon fall as more communities, including large cities like New York and Chicago, look for ways to reduce the plastic litter that blights landscapes and clogs up sewers and streams.

While now ubiquitous, the plastic bag has a relatively short history. Invented in Sweden in 1962, the single-use plastic shopping bag was first popularized by Mobil Oil in the 1970s in an attempt to increase its market for polyethylene, a fossil-fuel-derived compound. Many American customers disliked the plastic bag when it was introduced in 1976, disgusted by the checkout clerks having to lick their fingers when pulling the bags from the rack and infuriated when a bag full of groceries would break or spill over. But retailers continued to push for plastic because it was cheaper and took up less space than paper, and now a generation of people can hardly conceive of shopping without being offered a plastic bag at the checkout counter.

The popularity of plastic grocery bags stems from their light weight and their perceived low cost, but it is these very qualities that make them unpleasant, difficult, and expensive to manage. Over one third of all plastic production is for packaging, designed for short-term use. Plastic bags are made from natural gas or petroleum that formed over millions of years, yet they are often used for mere minutes before being discarded to make their way to a dump or incinerator—if they don’t blow away and end up as litter first. The amount of energy required to make 12 plastic bags could drive a car for a mile.

In landfills and waterways, plastic is persistent, lasting for hundreds of years, breaking into smaller pieces and leaching out chemical components as it ages, but never fully disappearing. Animals that confuse plastic bags with food can end up entangled, injured, or dead. Recent studies have shown that plastic from discarded bags actually soaks up additional pollutants like pesticides and industrial waste that are in the ocean and delivers them in large doses to sea life. The harmful substances then can move up the food chain to the food people eat. Plastics and the various additives that they contain have been tied to a number of human health concerns, including disruption of the endocrine and reproductive systems, infertility, and a possible link to some cancers.

Graph on Population Under Plastic Bag Bans and Charges in the United States, 2007-2014

California—with its long coastline and abundant beaches where plastic trash is all too common—has been the epicenter of the U.S. movement against plastic bags. San Francisco was the first American city to regulate their use, starting with a ban on non-compostable plastic bags from large supermarkets and chain pharmacies in 2007. As part of its overall strategy to reach “zero waste” by 2020 (the city now diverts 80 percent of its trash to recyclers or composters instead of landfills), it extended the plastic bag ban to other stores and restaurants in 2012 and 2013. Recipients of recycled paper or compostable bags are charged at least 10ȼ, but—as is common in cities with plastic bag bans—bags for produce or other bulk items are still allowed at no cost. San Francisco also is one of a number of Californian cities banning the use of polystyrene (commonly referred to as Styrofoam) food containers, and it has gone a step further against disposable plastic packaging by banning sales of water in plastic bottles in city property.

All told, plastic bag bans cover one-third of California’s population. Plastic bag purchases by retailers have reportedly fallen from 107 million pounds in 2008 to 62 million pounds in 2012, and bag producers and plastics manufacturers have taken note. Most of the ordinances have faced lawsuits from plastics industry groups like the American Chemistry Council (ACC). Even though the laws have largely held up in the courts, the threat of legal action has deterred additional communities from taking action and delayed the process for others.

Ironically, were it not for the intervention of the plastics industry in the first place, California would likely have far fewer outright plastic bag bans. Instead, more communities might have opted for charging a fee per bag, but this option was prohibited as part of industry-supported state-wide legislation in 2006 requiring Californian grocery stores to institute plastic bag recycling programs. Since a first attempt in 2010, California has come close to introducing a statewide ban on plastic bags, but well-funded industry lobbyists have gotten in the way. A new bill will likely go up for a vote in 2014 with the support of the California Grocers Association as well as state senators who had opposed an earlier iteration.

Seattle’s story is similar. In 2008 the city council passed legislation requiring groceries, convenience stores, and pharmacies to charge 20ȼ for each one-time-use bag handed out at the cash register. A $1.4 million campaign headed by the ACC stopped the measure via a ballot initiative before it went into effect, and voters rejected the ordinance in August 2009. But the city did not give up. In 2012 it banned plastic bags and added a 5ȼ fee for paper bags. Attempts to gather signatures to repeal this have been unsuccessful. Eleven other Washington jurisdictions have also banned plastic bags, including the state capital, Olympia. (See database of U.S. plastic bag initiatives and a timeline history.)

U.S. Plastic Bag Laws Map

(Click for a live map)

A number of state governments have entertained proposals for anti-plastic bag legislation, but not one has successfully applied a statewide charge or banned the bags. Hawaii has a virtual state prohibition, as its four populated counties have gotten rid of plastic bags at grocery checkouts, with the last one beginning enforcement in July 2015. Florida, another state renowned for its beaches, legally preempts cities from enacting anti-bag legislation. The latest attempt to remove this barrier was scrapped in April 2014, although state lawmakers say they will revisit the proposal later in the year.

Opposition to plastic bags has emerged in Texas, despite the state accounting for 44 percent of the U.S. plastics market and serving as the home to several important bag manufacturers, including Superbag, one of America’s largest. Eight cities and towns in the state have active plastic bag bans, and others, like San Antonio, have considered jumping on the bandwagon. Austin banned plastic bags in 2013, hoping to reduce the more than $2,300 it was spending each day to deal with plastic bag trash and litter. The smaller cities of Fort Stockton and Kermit banned plastic bags in 2011 and 2013, respectively, after ranchers complained that cattle had died from ingesting them. Plastic bags have also been known to contaminate cotton fields, getting caught up in balers and harming the quality of the final product. Plastic pollution in the Trinity River Basin, which provides water to over half of all Texans, was a compelling reason for Dallas to pass a 5ȼ fee on plastic bags that will go into effect in 2015.

Washington, D.C., was the first U.S. city to require food and alcohol retailers to charge customers 5ȼ for each plastic or paper bag. Part of the revenue from this goes to the stores to help them with the costs of implementation, and part is designated for cleanup of the Anacostia River. Most D.C. shoppers now routinely bring their own reusable bags on outings; one survey found that 80 percent of consumers were using fewer bags and that over 90 percent of businesses viewed the law positively or neutrally.

Montgomery County in Maryland followed Washington’s example and passed a 5ȼ charge for bags in 2011. A recent study that compared shoppers in this county with those in neighboring Prince George’s County, where anti-bag legislation has not gone through, found that reusable bags were seven times more popular in Montgomery County stores. When bags became a product rather than a freebie, shoppers thought about whether the product was worth the extra nickel and quickly got into the habit of bringing their own bags.

One strategy of the plastics industry—concerned about declining demand for its products—is an attempt to change public perception of plastic bags by promoting recycling. Recycling, however, is also not a good long-term solution. The vast majority of plastic bags—97 percent or more in some locales—never make it that far. Even when users have good intentions, bags blow out of outdoor collection bins at grocery stores or off of recycling trucks. The bags that reach recycling facilities are the bane of the programs: when mixed in with other recyclables they jam and damage sorting machines, which are very costly to repair. In San Jose, California, where fewer than 4 percent of plastic bags are recycled, repairs to bag-jammed equipment cost the city about $1 million a year before the plastic bag ban went into effect in 2012.

Proposed plastic bag restrictions have been shelved in a number of jurisdictions, including New York City, Philadelphia, and Chicago, in favor of bag recycling programs. New York City may, however, move ahead with a bill proposed in March 2014 to place a city-wide 10ȼ fee on single-use bags. Chicago is weighing a plastic bag ban.

In their less than 60 years of existence, plastic bags have had far-reaching effects. Enforcing legislation to limit their use challenges the throwaway consumerism that has become pervasive in a world of artificially cheap energy. As U.S. natural gas production has surged and prices have fallen, the plastics industry is looking to ramp up domestic production. Yet using this fossil fuel endowment to make something so short-lived, which can blow away at the slightest breeze and pollutes indefinitely, is illogical—particularly when there is a ready alternative: the reusable bag.

 

A Short History of the Plastic Bag: Selected Dates of Note in the United States and Internationally
1933 Polyethylene is discovered by scientists at Imperial Chemical Industries, a British company.
1950 Total global plastics production stands at less than 2 million metric tons.
1965 Sten Thulin’s 1962 invention of the T-shirt bag, another name for the common single-use plastic shopping bag, is patented by Swedish company Celloplast.
1976 Mobil Oil introduces the plastic bag to the United States. To recognize the U.S. Bicentennial, the bag’s designs are in red, white, and blue.
1982 Safeway and Kroger, two of the biggest U.S. grocery chains, start to switch from paper to plastic bags.
1986 Plastic bags already account for over 80 percent of the market in much of Europe, with paper holding on to the remainder. In the United States, the percentages are reversed.
June 1986 The half-million-member-strong General Federation of Women’s Clubs starts a U.S.-wide letter writing campaign to grocers raising concerns about the negative environmental effects of plastic bags.
Late 1980s Plastic bag usage estimated to catch up to paper in U.S. groceries.
1989 Maine passes a law requiring retailers to only hand out plastic bags if specifically requested; this is replaced in 1991 by a statewide recycling initiative.
1990 The small Massachusetts island of Nantucket bans retail plastic bags.
1994 Denmark begins taxing retailers for plastic bags.
1996 Four of every five grocery bags used in the United States are made of plastic.
1997 Captain Charles Moore discovers the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” in the remote North Pacific, where plastic is estimated to outweigh zooplankton six to one, drawing global attention to the accumulation of plastics in the ocean.
2000 Mumbai, India, bans plastic bags, with limited enforcement.
2002 Global plastics production tops 200 million metric tons.
March 2002 Ireland becomes the first country to tax consumers’ use of plastic bags directly.
March 2002 Bangladesh becomes the first country to ban plastic bags. Bags had been blamed for exacerbating flooding.
2006 Italy begins efforts to pass a national ban on plastic bags; due to industry complaints and legal issues, these efforts are ongoing.
April 2007 San Francisco becomes the first U.S. city to ban plastic grocery bags, later expanding to all retailers and restaurants.
2007-2008 The ACC spends $5.7 million on lobbying in California, much of it to oppose regulations on plastic bags.
June 2008 China’s plastic bag ban takes effect before Beijing hosts the Olympic Games.
September 2008 Rwanda passes a national ban on plastic bags.
2009 Plastics overtake paper and paperboard to become the number one discarded material in the U.S. waste stream.
July 2009 Hong Kong’s levy on plastic bags takes effect in chains, large groceries, and other more sizable stores; it is later expanded to all retailers.
August 2009 Seattle’s attempt to impose a 20ȼ fee on both paper and plastic bags is defeated before it can take effect by a referendum financed largely by the American Chemistry Council (ACC).
December 2009 Madison, Wisconsin, mandates that households recycle plastic bags rather than disposing of them with their trash.
January 2010 Washington, D.C., begins requiring all stores that sell food or alcohol to charge 5ȼ for plastic and paper checkout bags.
2010 Major bag producer Hilex Poly spends over $1 million in opposition to a proposed statewide plastic bag ban in California.
2010 Plastic bags appear in the Guinness World Records as the world’s “most ubiquitous consumer item.”
October 2011 In Oregon, Portland’s ban on plastic bags at major groceries and certain big-box stores begins.
May 2012 Honolulu County approves a plastic bag ban (to go into effect in July 2015), completing a de facto state-wide ban in Hawaii.
July 2012 Seattle’s plastic bag ban takes effect nearly three years after the first tax attempt failed.
March 2013 A bag ban takes effect in Austin, TX.
September-October 2013 During the Ocean Conservancy’s 2013 Coastal Cleanup event, more than 1 million plastic bags were picked up from coasts and waterways around the world.
January 2014 Los Angeles becomes the largest U.S. city to ban plastic bags.
April 2014 Members of the European Parliament back new rules requiring member countries to cut plastic bag use 50 percent by 2017 and 80 percent by 2019.
April 2014 Over 20 million people are covered under 132 city and county plastic bag bans or fee ordinances in the United States.
Source: Compiled by Earth Policy Institute, www.earth-policy.org, April 2014.

 

Selected Plastic Bag Regulations in the United States
Boulder, CO Boulder grocery stores charge 10ȼ for plastic and paper bags. The city’s reasons for applying the fee to both were that plastic bags are difficult to recycle and paper bag production is also energy- and water-intensive. Stores keep 4ȼ and the rest of the money goes to the city to cover administrative costs, to provide residents with free reusable bags, and to otherwise minimize the impacts of bag waste. Just six months after the fee began in 2013, the city announced that bag use had dropped by 68 percent.
Chicago, IL The Chicago City Council has visited the idea of limiting plastic bags giveaways several times over the last six years. In 2008 a proposed bag ban was rejected in favor of a bag recycling program. A bill banning plastic bags at most retailers is under consideration.
Dallas, TX Plastic bags and bottles make up about 40 percent of all the trash in the Trinity River that provides water to over half of all Texans, including those living in Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston, according to estimates by Peter Payton, Executive Director of Groundwork Dallas, a group that does monthly cleanups in the watershed. In March 2014, a 5ȼ fee on plastic and paper bags at all grocery and retail stores, along with a ban on plastic bags at all city events, facilities, and properties, was approved by the City Council. It will go into effect in January 2015. Nine tenths of the revenue generated from bag sales will go to the city.
Hawaii In April 2012, Honolulu County joined the counties of Maui, Kauai, and Hawaii in banning non-biodegradable plastic bags. This amounts to a de facto statewide bag ban—a first for the United States. The ordinances state that plastic bag use must be regulated “to preserve health, safety, welfare, and scenic and natural beauty.” Retailers have until mid-2015 to comply.
Los Angeles County (Unincorporated), CA In July 2011, a ban on plastic bags in large stores took effect in the unincorporated area of Los Angeles County, home to 1.1 million people. In January 2012, that ban expanded to include small stores, like pharmacies and convenience marts. Nearly 800 retail stores are affected. This was the first in California to add a 10ȼ charge for paper bags; since its enactment, all other California municipalities have included a paper bag charge. In December 2013, the Department of Public Works announced that the ordinance had resulted in a sustained 90 percent reduction in single-use bag use at large stores.
Los Angeles, CA In June 2013, the City Council of Los Angeles voted to ban stores from providing plastic carryout bags to customers, as well as to require stores to charge 10ȼ for paper bags. Large retailers are affected in January 2014; smaller retailers are affected in July 2014. The city was spending $2 million a year cleaning up plastic bags.
Manhattan Beach, CA After passing a plastic bag ban in 2008, the city became the first to be sued by the Save the Plastic Bag Coalition—a group of plastic bag manufacturers and distributors—for not preparing an environmental impact report as required under the California Environmental Quality Act. The Coalition claimed a shift from plastic to recycled paper bags would harm the environment. Two lower courts sided with the Coalition and ruled that a report was required, but in 2011, on appeal, the California Supreme Court said that any increased use of paper bags in a small city like Manhattan Beach would have negligible environmental impact and therefore a report was unnecessary. This precedent allowed many California cities to proceed with banning plastic bags without such a report.
Nantucket Island, MA Nantucket, a small seasonal tourist town, banned non-biodegradable plastic bags in 1990. Facing a growing waste disposal problem, the town envisioned building a facility where as much material as possible could be diverted from the landfill to be recycled or composted; such a facility would only be able to accept biodegradable bags.
New York City, NY Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed a 5ȼ tax on plastic bags in 2009, but the idea was later dropped in a budget agreement with the City Council. In March 2014, the City Council began to consider a proposal mandating a 10ȼ charge per plastic and paper bag at most stores.
San Francisco, CA San Francisco was the first U.S. city to regulate plastic bags. The original ordinance, which was adopted in April 2007, banned non-compostable plastic bags at all large supermarkets and chain pharmacies. In October 2012 the law was applied to all stores, and in October 2013 the law expanded to restaurants. The Save the Plastic Bag Coalition sued the city, contesting the extensions to the ban, but those were upheld by the First District Court of Appeal in December 2013. In April 2014, the Supreme Court of California denied the Coalition’s first appeal, allowing the city to keep its bag ban.
Santa Monica, CA Santa Monica has banned plastic bags from all retailers since September 2011. Grocery, liquor, and drug stores may offer paper bags for 10ȼ each, while department stores and restaurants may provide paper bags for no fee. Because the Save the Plastic Bag Coalition had sued other cities for not conducting an environmental impact review prior to the announcements of their bag bans, Santa Monica conducted a review and thus avoided a lawsuit. Plastic bags for carryout food items from restaurants and reusable bags made from polyethylene are allowed.
Seattle, WA In July 2008 the Seattle government approved a 20ȼ charge on all paper and plastic checkout bags, but opponents collected enough signatures to put the ordinance up for a vote on the August 2009 primary ballot. The Coalition to Stop the Seattle Bag Tax—consisting of the American Chemistry Council’s Progressive Bag Affiliates, 7-Eleven, and the Washington Food Industry—spent $1.4 million on the referendum campaign (15 times more than fee supporters), and voters chose to reject the ordinance. It took until July 2012 for the city to enact its current ban on plastic bags and place a 5ȼ fee on paper bags. Seattle residents are largely in favor of the ban, and attempts to gather signatures to repeal it have not been successful.
Washington, DC In January 2010, Washington, D.C., began requiring a 5ȼ charge for plastic and paper carryout bags at all retailers that sell food or alcohol. Businesses keep a portion of the fee, and the remainder goes to The Anacostia River Clean Up and Protection Fund. A survey conducted in early 2013 found that four out of five District households are using fewer bags since the tax came into effect. Almost 60 percent of residents reported carrying reusable bags with them “always” or “most of the time” when they shop. Two thirds of District residents reported seeing less plastic bag litter since the tax came into effect. One half of businesses reported saving money because of the fee.
Source: Compiled by Earth Policy Institute, www.earth-policy.org, April 2014.

 

http://www.earth-policy.org/plan_b_updates/2014/update122

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The Pronk Pops Show 305, July 30, 2014, Story 1: Advanced Estimate: U.S. Economy Grew Based On Incomplete Data at 4% Rate in Second Quarter of 2014 — Wait To End of September For Final Estimate — Expect 2% or Less Growth Rate — Videos

Posted on July 30, 2014. Filed under: American History, Banking System, Beef, Blogroll, Bread, Budgetary Policy, Business, Cereal, Communications, Constitutional Law, Economics, Education, Employment, Energy, European History, Fiscal Policy, Food, Foreign Policy, Government, Government Spending, Health Care Insurance, History, Housing, Illegal Immigration, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Investments, IRS, Labor Economics, Law, Legal Immigration, Media, Milk, Monetary Policy, Natural Gas, Natural Gas, Nuclear, Obama, Oil, Oil, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Pro Life, Resources, Scandals, Tax Policy, Technology, Terror, Terrorism, Unemployment, United States Constitution, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 305: July 30, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 304: July 29, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 303: July 28, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 302: July 24, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 301: July 23, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 300: July 22, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 299: July 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 298: July 18, 2014

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Pronk Pops Show 294: July 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 293: July 11, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 292: July 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 291: July 7, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 290: July 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 289: July 2, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 288: June 30, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 287: June 27, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 286: June 26, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 285 June 25, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 284: June 23, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 283: June 20, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 282: June 19, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 281: June 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 280: June 16, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 279: June 13, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 278: June 12, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 277: June 11, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 276: June 10, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 275: June 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 274: June 6, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 273: June 5, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 272: June 4, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 271: June 2, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 270: May 30, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 269: May 29, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 268: May 28, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 267: May 27, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 266: May 23, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 265: May 22, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 264: May 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 263: May 20, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 262: May 16, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 261: May 15, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 260: May 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 259: May 13, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 258: May 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 257: May 8, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 256: May 5, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 255: May 2, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 254: May 1, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 253: April 30, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 252: April 29, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 251: April 28, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 250: April 25, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 249: April 24, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 248: April 22, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 247: April 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 246: April 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 245: April 16, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 244: April 15, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 243: April 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 242: April 11, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 241: April 10, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 240: April 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 239: April 8, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 238: April 7, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 237: April 4, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 236: April 3, 2014

Story 1: Advanced Estimate: U.S. Economy Grew Based On Incomplete Data at 4% Rate in Second Quarter of 2014 — Wait To End of September For Final Estimate — Expect 2% or Less Growth Rate — Videos

us-economy-2q

 real_GDP_quarter

Mark Zandi Discusses U.S. Second-Quarter GDP, Economy: Video

United States economy grows by 4%

US Dollar: 2Q US GDP Data May Outshine FOMC in Driving Volatility

KeiserReport: Liam Halligan on UK economy frauds (29July14)

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts: Fed Laundering Treasury Bonds in Belgium, Real GDP was Negative & More

 

Still Report #245 – U.S. GDP is a Lie

Published on May 2, 2014

Recently announced U.S. GDP numbers would be negative 4.6% if the effects of the Fed’s Quantitative Easing program were subtracted. As QE is tapered away, so will the artificial appearance of growth it produced. Please consider supporting us there for as little as $1 per month. Go to billstill.com, click on the Subscribe button. You can Unsubscribe at any time.

US GDP Drops

BEA Real GDP Growth PDP

Sadie doesn’t want her brother to grow up

U.S. Economy Grows at 4% Pace in 2Q

U.S. economic growth accelerated more than expected in the second quarter and the decline in output in the prior period was less steep than previously reported, bolstering views for a stronger performance in the last six months of the year.

Gross domestic product expanded at a 4.0 percent annual rate as activity picked up broadly after shrinking at a revised 2.1 percent pace in the first quarter, the Commerce Department said on Wednesday.

That pushed GDP above the economy’s potential growth trend, which analysts put somewhere between a 2 percent and 2.5 percent pace. Economists had forecast the economy growing at a 3.0 percent rate in the second quarter after a previously reported 2.9 percent contraction.

A separate report showing private employers added 218,000 jobs to their payrolls last month, a decline from June’s hefty gain of 281,000, did little to change perceptions the economy was strengthening.

U.S. stock futures added to gains and yields on U.S. Treasuries rose after the data. The U.S. dollar hit a seven-week high against the yen and an eight-month high against the euro.

The economy grew 0.9 percent in the first half of this year and growth for 2014 as a whole could average above 2 percent. The first quarter contraction, which was mostly weather-related, was the largest in five years.

Employment growth, which has exceeded 200,000 jobs in each of the last five months, and strong readings on the factory and services sectors from the Institute for Supply Management underpin the bullish expectations for the rest of the year.

The government also published revisions to prior GDP data going back to 1999, which showed the economy performing much stronger in the second half of 2013 and for that year as a whole than previously reported.

EYES ON THE FED

The GDP data, which was released only hours before Federal Reserve officials conclude a two-day policy meeting, could fuel debate on whether the central bank may need to raise interest rates a bit sooner than had been anticipated.

Growth in the second quarter was driven mainly by consumer spending and a swing in business inventories.

Consumer spending growth, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, accelerated at a 2.5 percent pace, as Americans bought long-lasting manufactured goods and spent a bit more on services.

Consumer spending had braked to a 1.2 percent pace in the first quarter because of weak healthcare spending.

Despite the pick-up in consumer spending, Americans saved more in the second quarter. The saving rate increased to 5.3 percent from 4.9 percent in the first quarter as incomes rose, which bodes well for future spending.

Inventories contributed 1.66 percentage points to GDP growth after chopping off 1.16 points in the first quarter.

The economy also received a boost from business investment, government spending and investment in home building.

Trade, however, was a drag for a second consecutive quarter as some of the increase in domestic demand was met by a surge in imports. Domestic demand rose at a 2.8 percent pace, the fastest since the third quarter of 2011. It increased at a 0.7 percent pace in the first quarter.

Solid demand, which underscores the economy’s firming fundamentals, led to some pick-up in price pressures in the second quarter, a welcome development for Fed officials who have long worried about inflation being too low.

A price index in the report rose at a 2.3 percent rate in the second quarter, the quickest in three years, after advancing at a 1.4 percent pace in the prior period.

A core price measure that strips out food and energy costs increased at a 2.0 percent pace, the fastest since the first quarter of 2012. It had increased at a 1.2 percent rate in the first quarter.

U.S. Second-Quarter GDP Expands at 4.0% Rate

Economy Grew at Best Six-Month Stretch in 10 Years in Second Half of 2013

By  ERIC MORATH And NICK TIMIRAOS

he U.S. economy surged in the second quarter, more than offsetting a first-quarter contraction and putting growth back on an upward trajectory in 2014.

The U.S. economy rebounded strongly this spring after a first-quarter contraction, eking out positive growth over the past six months and raising hopes for sustained growth in the second half of 2014. Josh Zumbrun joins MoneyBeat with Paul Vigna.

Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of goods and services produced across the economy, advanced at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.0% in the second quarter, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had forecast growth at a 3.0% pace for the quarter.

An upturn in inventory building by businesses and an acceleration in consumer spending led the broad gains and offset a larger drag from increased imports.

The solid improvement comes on the heels of a first quarter when the economy shrank at a 2.1% pace. While still the worst quarter of the recovery that began in mid-2009, the first-quarter figure reflects an upward revision from a previously estimated 2.9% contraction.

Over the past year, the economy grew 2.4%—slightly ahead of the 2.3% average annual gain from recovery’s start until the end of 2013, before an unusually cold winter socked the economy.

The first quarter “was an anomaly and growth will be much stronger through the rest of this year,” said PNC Financial Services Group economist Stuart Hoffman. “Consumers are spending thanks to job and income gains, and with borrowing costs still low businesses are investing to meet stronger demand.”

Household spending—roughly two-thirds of the economy—advanced at a 2.5% rate last quarter. That’s an increase from the first quarter’s modest 1.2% gain. Spending on total goods accounted for its highest contribution to GDP since late 2010, and spending on long-lasting durable goods was near a five-year high, led by a big jump in auto sales.

Annual revisions, also released Wednesday, showed the economy expanded at a 4% pace in the second half of 2013, the best six-month stretch in 10 years. But figures over the past five years, including new revisions back to 2011, continue to tell a familiar tale. Unable to string together several quarters of steady growth, the recovery that began in 2009 is still the weakest since World War II.

There is reason to be guarded about last quarter’s rebound. The initial reading on GDP relies on estimates of trade flows, health-care spending and other aspects of the economy and could be significantly revised in subsequent takes.

The U.S. second-quarter GDP increased at a 4% rate, well above expectations, raising hopes for sustained growth in the second half of 2014. WSJ’s Polya Lesova joins Simon Constable on the News Hub with the details. Photo: Getty

The strong advance in consumption is at least partially payback for a cold winter to start the year. If weather gets the blame for a bad first quarter, it deserves some credit for the second.

The second quarter was also strongly aided by businesses restocking. The change in private inventories added 1.66 percentage points to growth during the quarter. The gain mirrors the strong buildup in inventories that helped propel growth in the second half of last year, and stands in contrast to the reversal that contributed to the first-quarter contraction.

Some economists said the inventory boost raised questions over whether the strong pace of growth in the second-quarter gain was sustainable. Real final sales, a measurement of GDP that excludes changes to inventories, expanded at a 2.3% pace in the second quarter. After accounting for the 1% contraction in the first quarter, sales rose by almost 0.7% in the first half of 2014. That suggests the inventory gain may have been “excessive,” said Chris Low, chief economist at FTN Financial, “as if business put a little too much faith in the bounce-back-from-bad-weather story.”

The report showed the personal consumption expenditure price index, the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge, advanced at an annualized 2.3% in the second quarter.

The reading, reflecting increased costs for food and gasoline, was above the Fed’s 2% inflation target during a quarter for the first time since early 2012. But from a year ago, consumer inflation is up a milder 1.6%.

Market Talk

On GDP, a Word of Caution on the RevisionsThere’s a reasonable chance the 4% 2Q GDP number will change. Consider what has happened to 1Q13. Growth was initially reported to be occurring at an annual rate of 2.5%, before being revised down to 1.8% and then 1.1%. Wednesday’s latest set of revisions brought that figure back to 2.7%. (nick.timiraos@wsj.com)

GDP Catches Up with Jobs Growth A strong rebound in 2Q economic growth resolves the discrepancy between recent weak GDP readings and strong job numbers, BNP Paribas economists write, adding the rebound bodes well for July jobs data out Friday. “We will get another solid payrolls print of around 225,000 on Friday,” the firm says. Still, BNP Paribas notes that an average growth rate of 1% in 1H shows the economy is far from achieving the 2.1% to 2.3% growth rate forecast by the Fed for this year. (jonathan.house@wsj.com)

Market Talk is a stream of real-time news and market analysis that’s available on Dow Jones Newswires

Wednesday’s report also showed business spending on items such as equipment, buildings and intellectual property rose at a 5.5% pace from April to June. Spending on equipment increased at a 7% rate in the second quarter after declining in the first.

Residential fixed investment—spending on home building and improvements—increased at a 7.5% rate in the second quarter. The category had declined the prior two quarters. The decline that began last fall wasn’t actually due to a slowdown in home construction, but instead reflected a drop in brokers’ real-estate commissions after sales of previously owned homes slumped.

Trade was a drag on economic growth during the quarter despite a solid 9.5% increase in U.S. exports. That is because imports, which subtract from economic growth, rose 11.7%. Still, the number suggests renewed demand for foreign goods among U.S. consumers.

The government added to second-quarter growth. Government expenditures and investment rose at an 1.6% pace in the spring. Federal outlays fell for the seventh straight quarter but were more than offset by increased spending at the state and local level.

 

Table 1.1.1. Percent Change From Preceding Period in Real Gross Domestic Product

[Percent] Seasonally adjusted at annual rates

Last Revised on: July 30, 2014 – Next Release Date August 28, 2014

 

U.S. Economy Grew at 4% Rate in Second Quarter, Beating Expectations

“We made up some of the ground lost in the first three months of this year, but there’s nothing in today’s data to indicate that the economy is growing more strongly than it has for the past couple of years,” the Economic Policy Institute, a left-leaning nonprofit group focused on low- and middle-income workers, said in a release Wednesday.

More important economic data will be released this week. Besides the Labor Department’s latest figures on unemployment and payrolls to be announced Friday, the Federal Reserve’s policy-making committee continues meeting on Wednesday, with the central bank announcing its latest plans on Wednesday afternoon.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/31/business/economy/us-economy-grew-4-in-second-quarter.html?_r=0

Stock market loses early gains…what’s up?

Stocks start up then move down. Why, you ask?

It’s a disappointing day so far…the S&P 500 rocketed up almost eight points at the open, but within a half hour began a slow but steady decent into negative territory. What happened?

First: On the strong Q2 GDP, up 4.0 percent, there were detractors the minute the report came out.

Read MoreSurging US growth pushes fledgling IPOs into the backseat

A lot of inventory building, some complained. But most felt the numbers didn’t change their outlook for the second half dramatically. Barclays is a good example: “We do not view the outperformance in this report as a signal that the outlook for growth has improved,” they said.

Second: There’s the inflation-fearing camp. Modest growth or not, many fear that interest rates could move dramatically on any sign the economy is putting together a consistent series of above-expectation economic stats.

Treasury yields are up this morning, and many are wondering if the Fed will make some comment about the possibility of a rate increase sooner than expectations (mid-to-late- 2015).

I’m not in that camp, but some are: Interest-rate sensitive stocks like Utilities, Telecom, Housing are all underperforming the market.

Third: There are continuing issues with the Ukraine. Reuters is reporting comments from NATO that the number of troops continue to increase along the Russian-Ukraine border.

Finally: Let’s drag out the “market is tired” argument and that it is long due for a 10 percent correction. Alan Greenspan, on a competing network this morning, said stocks were due for a “significant correction” at some point. Really, Mr. Greenspan? The market IS tired, but we have been hearing about a 10 percent correction for two years. Those that got out then, when the S&P was at 1400, are now watching stocks up 40 percent since then.

My take? Things are continuing to get better, but they are getting better at a very slow rate. And the data is still choppy. And that is good for the markets.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/101879844

 

EMBARGOED UNTIL RELEASE AT 8:30 A.M. EDT, WEDNESDAY, JULY 30, 2014
BEA 14-34

* See the navigation bar at the right side of the news release text for links to data tables,
contact personnel and their telephone numbers, and supplementary materials.

Lisa S. Mataloni: (202) 606-5304 (GDP) gdpniwd@bea.gov
Jeannine Aversa: (202) 606-2649 (News Media)
Nicole Mayerhauser: (202) 606-9715 (Revision)
Brent Moulton: (202) 606-9606
National Income and Product Accounts
Gross Domestic Product: Second Quarter 2014 (Advance Estimate)
Annual Revision: 1999 through First Quarter 2014
      Real gross domestic product -- the output of goods and services produced by labor and property
located in the United States -- increased at an annual rate of 4.0 percent in the second quarter of 2014,
according to the "advance" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.  In the first quarter,
real GDP decreased 2.1 percent (revised).

      The Bureau emphasized that the second-quarter advance estimate released today is based on
source data that are incomplete or subject to further revision by the source agency (see the box on page 3
and "Comparisons of Revisions to GDP" on page 10).  The "second" estimate for the second quarter,
based on more complete data, will be released on August 28, 2014.

      The increase in real GDP in the second quarter primarily reflected positive contributions from
personal consumption expenditures (PCE), private inventory investment, exports, nonresidential fixed
investment, state and local government spending, and residential fixed investment.  Imports, which are a
subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased.

Box.___________
Annual Revision of the National Income and Product Accounts

      The estimates released today reflect the results of the annual revision of the national income and
product accounts (NIPAs) in conjunction with the "advance" estimate of GDP for the second quarter of
2014.  In addition to the regular revision of estimates for the most recent 3 years and the first quarter of
2014, GDP and select components were revised back to the first quarter of 1999 (see the Technical
Note).  More information is available in "Preview of Upcoming NIPA Revision" in the May Survey of
Current Business and on BEA's Web site.  The August Survey will contain an article describing the annual 
revision in detail.
________________

FOOTNOTE.  Quarterly estimates are expressed at seasonally adjusted annual rates, unless otherwise
specified.  Quarter-to-quarter dollar changes are differences between these published estimates.  Percent
changes are calculated from unrounded data and are annualized.  "Real" estimates are in chained (2009)
dollars.  Price indexes are chain-type measures.

      This news release is available on BEA's Web site along with the Technical Note
and Highlights related to this release.
________________


      Real GDP increased 4.0 percent in the second quarter, after decreasing 2.1 percent in the first.
This upturn in the percent change in real GDP primarily reflected upturns in private inventory
investment and in exports, an acceleration in PCE, an upturn in state and local government spending, an
acceleration in nonresidential fixed investment, and an upturn in residential fixed investment that were
partly offset by an acceleration in imports.

      The price index for gross domestic purchases, which measures prices paid by U.S. residents,
increased 1.9 percent in the second quarter, compared with an increase of 1.4 percent in the first.
Excluding food and energy prices, the price index for gross domestic purchases increased 1.7 percent,
compared with an increase of 1.3 percent.

      Real personal consumption expenditures increased 2.5 percent in the second quarter, compared
with an increase of 1.2 percent in the first.  Durable goods increased 14.0 percent, compared with an
increase of 3.2 percent.  Nondurable goods increased 2.5 percent; it was unchanged in the first quarter.
Services increased 0.7 percent in the second quarter, compared with an increase of 1.3 percent in the
first.

      Real nonresidential fixed investment increased 5.5 percent in the second quarter, compared with
an increase of 1.6 percent in the first.  Investment in nonresidential structures increased 5.3 percent,
compared with an increase of 2.9 percent.  Investment in equipment increased 7.0 percent, in contrast to
a decrease of 1.0 percent.  Investment in intellectual property products increased 3.5 percent, compared
with an increase of 4.6 percent.  Real residential fixed investment increased 7.5 percent, in contrast to a
decrease of 5.3 percent.

      Real exports of goods and services increased 9.5 percent in the second quarter, in contrast to a
decrease of 9.2 percent in the first.  Real imports of goods and services increased 11.7 percent,
compared with an increase of 2.2 percent.

      Real federal government consumption expenditures and gross investment decreased 0.8 percent
in the second quarter, compared with a decrease of 0.1 percent in the first.  National defense increased
1.1 percent, in contrast to a decrease of 4.0 percent.  Nondefense decreased 3.7 percent, in contrast to an
increase of 6.6 percent.  Real state and local government consumption expenditures and gross
investment increased 3.1 percent, in contrast to a decrease of 1.3 percent.

      The change in real private inventories added 1.66 percentage points to the second-quarter change
in real GDP after subtracting 1.16 percentage points from the first-quarter change.  Private businesses
increased inventories $93.4 billion in the second quarter, following increases of $35.2 billion in the first
quarter and $81.8 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013.

      Real final sales of domestic product -- GDP less change in private inventories -- increased 2.3
percent in the second quarter, in contrast to a decrease of 1.0 percent in the first.


Gross domestic purchases

      Real gross domestic purchases -- purchases by U.S. residents of goods and services wherever
produced -- increased 4.5 percent in the second quarter, in contrast to a decrease of 0.4 percent in the
first.


Disposition of personal income

      Current-dollar personal income increased $208.0 billion in the second quarter, compared with an
increase of $176.6 billion in the first.  The acceleration in personal income primarily reflected an upturn
in personal dividend income and a smaller decrease in farm proprietors' income that were partly offset
by a deceleration in wages and salaries.

      Personal current taxes increased $15.2 billion in the second quarter, compared with an increase
of $24.4 billion in the first.

      Disposable personal income increased $192.7 billion, or 6.2 percent, in the second quarter,
compared with an increase of $152.1 billion, or 4.9 percent, in the first.  Real disposable personal
income increased 3.8 percent in the second quarter, compared with an increase of 3.5 percent in the first.

      Personal outlays increased $138.8 billion in the second quarter, compared with an increase of
$76.1 billion in the first.

      Personal saving -- disposable personal income less personal outlays -- was $682.9 billion in the
second quarter, compared with $629.0 billion in the first.

      The personal saving rate -- personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income -- was
5.3 percent in the second quarter, compared with 4.9 percent in the first.  For a comparison of personal
saving in BEA's national income and product accounts with personal saving in the Federal Reserve
Board's financial accounts of the United States and data on changes in net worth, go to
www.bea.gov/national/nipaweb/Nipa-Frb.asp.


Current-dollar GDP

      Current-dollar GDP -- the market value of the nation's output of goods and services -- increased
6.0 percent, or $250.7 billion, in the second quarter to a level of $17,294.7 billion.  In the first quarter,
current-dollar GDP decreased 0.8 percent, or $34.3 billion.


Box._____________

      Information on the assumptions used for unavailable source data is provided in a technical note
that is posted with the news release on BEA's Web site.  Within a few days after the release, a detailed
"Key Source Data and Assumptions" file is posted on the Web site.  In the middle of each month, an
analysis of the current quarterly estimate of GDP and related series is made available on the Web site;
click on Survey of Current Business, "GDP and the Economy."  For information on revisions, see
"Revisions to GDP, GDI, and Their Major Components."

_________________


Revisions for the first quarter of 2014

      For the first quarter of 2014, real GDP is now estimated to have declined 2.1 percent; in the
previously published estimates, first-quarter GDP was estimated to have declined 2.9 percent. The 0.8-
percentage point upward revision to the percent change in first-quarter real GDP primarily reflected
upward revisions to private inventory investment, to nonresidential fixed investment, and to PCE.


                                             Previous Estimate    Revised

Real GDP...............................             -2.9           -2.1
Current-dollar GDP.....................             -1.7           -0.8
Real GDI...............................             -2.6           -0.7
Gross domestic purchases price index...              1.3            1.4



                       Revision of the National Income and Product Accounts


      The revised estimates reflect the results of the annual revision of the national income and product
accounts (NIPAs).  In addition to the regular revision of estimates for the most recent 3 years and the
first quarter of 2014, this "flexible" annual revision results in revisions to current-dollar GDP beginning
with the first quarter of 1999.   The reference year remains 2009.  When the estimates for the reference
year (2009) are revised, the levels of the related index numbers and chained-dollar estimates are also
revised for the entire historical period; revisions to percent changes before the first quarter of 1999 are
small and mostly due to rounding.

      Because of the additional data shown, tables 3, 11, and 12 of this release are each divided into
two separate tables -- 3A and 3B, 11A and 11B, and 12A and 12B.  There are also a number of special
tables that compare the revised and previously published statistics for select periods:

*	Table 1A shows the percent change in real GDP and related measures; table 1B shows revisions
        to current-dollar GDP, to national income, and to personal income; table 2A shows contributions
        to the percent change in real GDP; and table 4A shows the percent change in the chain-type price
        indexes for GDP and related measures.

*	Tables 7A and 7B show annual levels, percent changes, and revisions to percent changes for
        current-dollar GDP and for real (chained-dollar) GDP, respectively.

*	Table 12C shows revisions to corporate profits by industry.

      With the release of the annual revision, statistics for select NIPA tables will be available on
BEA's Web site (www.bea.gov).  Shortly after the GDP release, BEA will post a table on its Web site
showing the major current-dollar revisions and their sources for each component of GDP, national
income, and personal income.  Additionally, the August 2014 Survey of Current Business will contain an
article describing these revisions.  That issue will also contain an analysis of the current quarterly
estimate of GDP and related series ("GDP and the Economy").


Revisions to real GDP

      For this annual revision, the most notable revisions are generally limited to the period from 2011
through the first quarter of 2014 and largely reflect the incorporation of newly available and revised
source data for the underlying components (see the box below). The revisions for earlier periods are
small.

*	For 2011–2013, real GDP increased at an average annual rate of 2.0 percent; in the previously
        published estimates, real GDP had increased at an average annual rate of 2.2 percent.  From the
        fourth quarter of 2010 to the first quarter of 2014, real GDP increased at an average annual rate
        of 1.8 percent, the same rate as in the previously published estimates.

*	The percent change in real GDP was revised down 0.2 percentage point for 2011, was revised
        down 0.5 percentage point for 2012, and was revised up 0.3 percentage point for 2013.

        o  For 2011, the largest contributors to the downward revision to the percent change in real
           GDP were a downward revision to personal consumption expenditures (PCE) and an
           upward revision to imports.
        o  For 2012, the largest contributors to the downward revision were downward revisions to
           PCE and to state and local government spending.
        o  For 2013, the largest contributors to the upward revision were upward revisions to PCE
           and to state and local government spending; these revisions were partly offset by a
           downward revision to private inventory investment.

*	The revisions to the annual estimates for 2012 and 2013 reflect partly offsetting revisions to the
        quarters within the year.  For 2012, the annual rate of change in GDP was revised down 1.4
        percentage points for the first quarter and was revised down 0.3 percentage point for the third
        quarter, while the growth rate for the second quarter was revised up 0.4 percentage point; the
        growth rate for the fourth quarter was unrevised.  The upward revision to the percent change in
        real GDP for 2013 reflects upward revisions to the first, third, and fourth quarters that were
        partly offset by a downward revision to the second quarter.

*	For the first quarter of 2011 through the first quarter of 2014, the average revision (without
        regard to sign) to the percent change in real GDP was 0.6 percentage point.  The revisions did
        not change the direction of the change in real GDP (increase or decrease) for any of the quarters.

*	For the expansion from the second quarter of 2009 to the first quarter of 2014, real GDP
        increased at an average annual rate of 2.1 percent, the same rate as in the previously published
        estimates.

*	Current-dollar GDP was revised down for all 3 years:  $15.9 billion, or 0.1 percent, for 2011;
        $81.4 billion, or 0.5 percent, for 2012; and $31.6 billion, or 0.2 percent, for 2013.


Revisions to price measures

*	Gross domestic purchases -- From the fourth quarter of 2010 to the first quarter of 2014, the
        average annual rate of increase in the price index for gross domestic purchases was revised up
        from 1.6 percent to 1.7 percent.

*	Personal consumption expenditures -- From the fourth quarter of 2010 to the first quarter of
        2014, the average annual rate of increase in the price index for PCE was 1.7 percent, the same
        rate as in the previously published estimates; the increase in the "core" PCE price index (which
        excludes food and energy) was revised up from 1.5 percent to 1.6 percent.


Revisions to income and saving measures

*	National income was revised down $43.4 billion, or 0.3 percent, for 2011, was revised up $97.9
        billion, or 0.7 percent, for 2012, and was revised up $34.7 billion, or 0.2 percent, for 2013.

        o  For 2011, downward revisions to corporate profits and to nonfarm proprietors' income
           were partly offset by an upward revision to net interest.
        o  For 2012, upward revisions to net interest, to nonfarm proprietors' income, and to
           corporate profits were partly offset by a downward revision to supplements to wages and
           salaries.
        o  For 2013, upward revisions to nonfarm proprietors' income and to net interest were partly
           offset by downward revisions to farm proprietors' income and to wages and salaries.

*	Corporate profits was revised down $61.1 billion, or 3.3 percent, for 2011, was revised up $13.3
        billion, or 0.7 percent, for 2012, and was revised up $4.8 billion, or 0.2 percent, for 2013.

*	Personal income was revised up $10.7 billion, or 0.1 percent, for 2011, was revised up $143.9
        billion, or 1.0 percent, for 2012, and was revised up $32.2 billion, or 0.2 percent, for 2013.

*	For 2011–2013, the average annual rate of growth of real disposable personal income was
        revised up 0.1 percentage point from 1.7 percent to 1.8 percent.

*	The personal saving rate (personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income) was
        revised up from 5.7 percent to 6.0 percent for 2011, was revised up from 5.6 percent to 7.2
        percent for 2012, and was revised up from 4.5 percent to 4.9 percent for 2013.


Gross domestic income (GDI) and the statistical discrepancy

*	For 2011–2013, real GDI increased at an average annual rate of 2.6 percent; in the previously
        published estimates, real GDI had increased at an average annual rate of 2.5 percent.  From the
        fourth quarter of 2010 to the first quarter of 2014, real GDI increased at an average annual rate of
        2.2 percent; in the previously published estimates, real GDI had increased at an average annual
        rate of 2.1 percent.

*	The statistical discrepancy is current-dollar GDP less current-dollar GDI.  GDP measures final
        expenditures -- the sum of consumer spending, private investment, net exports, and government
        spending.  GDI measures the incomes earned in the production of GDP.  In concept, GDP is
        equal to GDI.  In practice, they differ because they are estimated using different source data and
        different methods.

*	As a result of the annual revision, the statistical discrepancy as a percentage of GDP was revised
        up from -0.3 percent to -0.2 percent for 2011, was revised down from -0.1 percent to -1.3 percent
        for 2012, and was revised down from -0.8 percent to -1.3 percent for 2013.


New and revised source data

      This annual revision incorporated data from the following major federal statistical sources:

Source Data Agency                                Data                               Years Covered by Data and
                                                                                          Vintage of Data
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
 Census Bureau                   Annual surveys of merchant wholesale trade                2011 (revised)
                                 Annual surveys of retail trade                            2012 (new)

				 Monthly indicators of manufactures, merchant wholesale
                                 trade, and retail trade                                   2011–2013 (revised)

                                 Service annual survey                                     2011 and 2012 (revised)
                                                                                           2013 (new)

                                 Annual surveys of  state and local government finances    Fiscal year (FY) 2011 (revised)
                                                                                           FY 2012 (new)

                                 Monthly survey of construction spending (value put in
                                 place)                                                    2011–2013 (revised)

                                 Quarterly services survey                                 2011–2013 (revised)

                                 Current population survey/housing vacancy survey          2011 and 2012 (revised)
                                                                                           2013 (new)
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Office of Management and
Budget                           Federal Budget                                            FY 2013 and 2014 (revised)
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Internal Revenue Service         Tabulations of tax returns for corporations               2011 (revised) 2012 (new)

                                 Tabulations of tax returns for sole proprietorships and
                                 partnerships                                              2012 (new)
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
BLS                              Quarterly census of employment and wages                  2011–2013 ( revised)

                                 Survey of occupational employment                         2012 (new)
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Department of Agriculture        Farm statistics                                           2011–2013 (revised)
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
BEA                              International transactions accounts                       1999–2013 (revised)
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Changes in methodology and presentation

      The annual revision also incorporated improvements to estimating methodologies and to the
presentation of the NIPA estimates, including the following:

*	Beginning with the estimates for 1999, the presentation of foreign transactions in the NIPAs is
        changed to reflect the comprehensive restructuring of BEA's international transactions accounts
        (ITAs), released in June.  The new presentation of both goods and services in the foreign
        transactions tables is consistent with the corresponding items in the ITAs. The definition of
        exports and imports of travel is broadened to include travel for health and for education and
        expenditures by short-term workers; these services had previously been included in the exports
        and imports of "other" private services. The new presentation of foreign transactions enhances
        the quality and the usefulness of BEA's international accounts statistics and brings them into
        closer alignment with new international statistical guidelines.

*	The presentation of the pension sector is expanded to include a table of transactions of defined
        contribution pension plans and a table that presents transactions of both defined benefit and
        defined contribution pension plans. (Tables presenting the transactions associated with defined
        benefit pension plans were introduced in last year's comprehensive revision.)

                                           *          *          *

      BEA's national, international, regional, and industry estimates; the Survey of Current Business;
and BEA news releases are available without charge on BEA's Web site at www.bea.gov.  By visiting
the site, you can also subscribe to receive free e-mail summaries of BEA releases and announcements.


                                           *          *          *


                            Next release -- August 28, 2014 at 8:30 A.M. EDT for:
                        Gross Domestic Product:  Second Quarter 2014 (Second Estimate)
                        Corporate Profits:  Second Quarter 2014 (Preliminary Estimate)




		                       Comparisons of Revisions to GDP

     Quarterly estimates of GDP are released on the following schedule:  the "advance" estimate, based on
source data that are incomplete or subject to further revision by the source agency, is released near the end of the
first month after the end of the quarter; as more detailed and more comprehensive data become available,
the "second" and "third" estimates are released near the end of the second and third months, respectively.
The "latest"” estimate reflects the results of both annual and comprehensive revisions.

     Annual revisions, which generally cover the quarters of the 3 most recent calendar years, are usually carried
out each summer and incorporate newly available major annual source data.  Comprehensive (or benchmark)
revisions are carried out at about 5-year intervals and incorporate major periodic source data, as well as
improvements in concepts and methods that update the accounts to portray more accurately the evolving U.S.
economy.

The table below shows comparisons of the revisions between quarterly percent changes of current-dollar
and of real GDP for the different vintages of the estimates.  From the advance estimate to the second estimate (one
month later), the average revision to real GDP without regard to sign is 0.5 percentage point, while from the
advance estimate to the third estimate (two months later), it is 0.6 percentage point.  From the advance estimate to
the latest estimate, the average revision without regard to sign is 1.3 percentage points.  The average revision
(with regard to sign) from the advance estimate to the latest estimate is 0.3 percentage point, which is larger
than the average revisions from the advance estimate to the second or to the third estimates.  The larger average
revisions to the latest estimate reflect the fact that comprehensive revisions include major improvements, such as
the incorporation of BEA’s latest benchmark input-output accounts.  The quarterly estimates correctly indicate the
direction of change of real GDP 97 percent of the time, correctly indicate whether GDP is accelerating or
decelerating 72 percent of the time, and correctly indicate whether real GDP growth is above, near, or below trend
growth more than four-fifths of the time.

                           Revisions Between Quarterly Percent Changes of GDP: Vintage Comparisons
                                                     [Annual rates]

       Vintages                                   Average         Average without     Standard deviation of
       compared                                                    regard to sign      revisions without
                                                                                         regard to sign

____________________________________________________Current-dollar GDP_______________________________________________

Advance to second....................               0.2                 0.5                  0.4
Advance to third.....................                .2                  .7                   .4
Second to third......................                .0                  .3                   .2

Advance to latest....................                .3                 1.3                  1.0

________________________________________________________Real GDP_____________________________________________________

Advance to second....................               0.1                 0.5                  0.4
Advance to third.....................                .1                  .6                   .4
Second to third......................                .0                  .2                   .2

Advance to latest....................                .3                 1.3                  1.0

NOTE.  These comparisons are based on the period from 1983 through 2010.

http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/national/gdp/gdpnewsrelease.htm

 

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Obama Seen Gaining on Putin as U.S. Prods EU on Sanctions

By Terry Atlas and Jonathan Allen

President Barack Obama’s response to the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine reflects the consensus of U.S. officials that time, evidence, and world opinion are increasingly on his side as he takes on Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Secretary of State John Kerrycited the tragedy yesterday in an effort to prod Europeans into expanding sanctions against Russia, even at some peril to their own economies, in an effort to break Putin’s support for pro-Russian Ukrainian separatists.

“We are trying to encourage our European friends to realize this is a wake-up call,” Kerry said on “Fox News Sunday,” invoking a phrase used last week by Obama.

Related:

U.S. officials, some speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss administration strategy, said the shooting down of the civilian jetliner —- blamed by the U.S. on pro-Russian separatists armed by Russia —- should ignite anti-Putin sentiment and push reluctant EU countries to catch up to the more stringent sanctions the U.S. had imposed last week. Dutch and other European citizens were among the 298 passengers and crew that perished.

This gives Obama confidence that the U.S. and EU can prevail over Putin in the short-run — overcoming European reluctance to expand sanctions — just as the Obama administration believes it will prevail in the long-run over a Russia that has a battered economy and a leader who is overplaying a weak hand, the officials said.

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

U.S. President Barack Obama.

Crash Site

Obama said today at the White House that the “burden is now on Russia’” to ensure separatists let international investigators recover remains and collect evidence at the crash site. A short time later, Malaysian Prime MinisterNajib Razak said rebels in eastern Ukraine agreed to hand over bodies of crash victims and grant access to the site.

Waging Financial War

While the timing for EU decisions isn’t set, two European diplomats said previously resistant members such as Italy now are shifting. The bloc’s foreign ministers are scheduled to meet tomorrow, and top leaders also may meet as early as this week, according to the diplomats, who asked that they not be identified because the plans haven’t been announced.

The U.S. and its allies have the capability to further squeeze Russia through punitive measures such as sanctions against entire sectors of its economy, though they want to leave open a course for Putin to back down, according to several officials,

Putin Associates

The EU foreign ministers at their meeting in Brussels may consider blacklisting more Putin associates and, for the first time, Russian companies accused of profiting from Ukraine’s woes. Yet the Europeans may hesitate to ramp up a fight when they need Putin’s influence with the rebels to permit the recovery of passengers’ remains and an international investigation.

The U.K. is pushing for the EU to sanction the entire Russian defense industry, a British official said in London on condition of anonymity. France has repeatedly rebuffed calls to cancel its sale of two Mistral helicopter carriers to Russia. “With so many European Union citizens lost in the Malaysian Airlines crash, it is hard to see how the French Mistral deal can go ahead,” said Timothy Ash, head of emerging markets research at Standard Bank Plc in London.

‘Coercive Statecraft’

The airline disaster follows months of U.S. efforts to persuade the Europeans to raise the costs on Putin for his efforts to destabilize Ukraine. Obama now is “absolutely prepared” to consider more sanctions, and the EU should do likewise, Kerry said on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.”

The top U.S. diplomat appeared on five U.S. Sunday morning talk shows to make the case for further action.

“Since sanctions are the administration’s default instrument of coercive statecraft, I would expect an escalation of U.S. sanctions pressure, specifically targeting more Russian financial institutions, energy companies and military firms,” said Mark Dubowitz, executive director of the Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a nonprofit group that focuses on national security issues.

“People are looking for sanctions that are severe enough to change Putin’s mind, but won’t do harm to the U.S. and European economies,” said Andrew Weiss, vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, who specializes in Russia and Eurasia.

Putin’s Options

Putin has levers of influence too, including sending Russian forces into eastern Ukraine, as he did in Crimea; reducing natural gas supplies to Europe; and undermining international negotiations seeking to curtail Iran’s nuclear program, one of Obama’s top diplomatic priorities.

Some of the U.S. officials said they see Putin fighting a losing geopolitical battle over time as neighboring states such as Ukraine, once regarded as the breadbasket of the Soviet Union, shift toward western European economies. That also may make him unpredictable and dangerous, they said.

The long-term strategy, these officials said, is to further isolate Putin, who they say is presiding over the decline of a country facing economic, demographic and social problems. While it has an economy comparable in size to Italy’s, Russia’s per capita gross domestic product, at $14,612, is less than half of Italy’s $34,619, according to World Bank data for 2013.

‘Diminished Stature’

“From the beginning, Russia’s aggression in Ukraine has been a reflection of its diminished stature and influence in Europe and the world,” said former White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, who worked for Vice President Joe Biden during the Russia reset and once worked in Time Magazine’s Moscow bureau.

The U.S. last week imposed targeted sanctions on selected Russian banks, military, and energy companies including OAO Rosneft, Russia’s largest oil company, after the EU was unable to agree on more than limited additional sanctions.

“The president imposed a greater cost on Vladimir Putin the day before this shoot-down took place,” Kerry said. “And what we are doing now is trying to bring our European counterparts along” because 4 percent of Russia’s trade is with the United States while “50 percent of their engagement is with Europe.”

The U.S. has been urging the EU to act more forcefully despite its reliance on Russia for about 30 percent of its gas imports. U.K Prime Minister David Cameron said he agreed with his French and German counterparts that Europe should be ready to impose further sanctions this week.

Financial Sector

“There’s value, political and economic,” in waiting to see what the Europeans do because Obama wants to show a united front, said Robert Kahn, a former Treasury official who is now a senior fellow for international economics at the Council on Foreign Relations.

The U.S. could consider adding more companies to the list of those it has sanctioned, he said. “First and foremost you look to the financial sector,” he said. “That’s where our sanctions are most powerful because of our central role in the financial system.”

Some Republicans in Congress, such as Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, are pressing Obama to impose sectoral sanctions and begin providing weapons to Ukrainian government forces fighting the pro-Russian rebels.

The U.S. and European allies should impose “very severe economic sanctions” and also consider “symbolic” actions, such as canceling the 2018 World Cup in Russia and banning landing rights toOAO Aeroflot, Russia’s largest airline carrier, Representative Peter King, a New York Republican, said yesterday on CBS’s “Face the Nation” program.

‘Significant Toll’

Already, the existing sanctions are threatening to tip Russia into a recession as they exacerbate a bond sell-off and drive credit risk higher.

“While aggressive unilateral U.S. sanctions would impose a significant toll on Russia’s economy and U.S. business interests, the efficacy of further sanctions really turns on the resolve of the European Union,” Michael L. Burton, a sanctions lawyer at Jacobson Burton Pllc in Washington, said in an e-mail. “Member states of the EU must reconcile the tension between their sense of morality and their economic interests, recognizing that the EU ultimately will bear the highest costs and be judged most critically.”

Incremental Action

Stephen Myrow, managing partner of Beacon Policy Advisors LLC, an independent research firm in Washington, said the U.S. is likely to increase sanctions only incrementally absent strong steps by the EU.

“The big picture here, though, is whether the increase in pressure — whether through sanctions, diplomacy or other means — prompts Moscow to begin to take meaningful measures to reduce tensions,” Howard Mendelsohn, managing director at the Camstoll Group in Washington and previously an acting assistant secretary at the Treasury’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis, said in an e-mail. “First and foremost that is what officials are looking to see.”

There’s no guarantee that more sanctions will push Putin in the right direction, said Samuel Charap, a fellow at the Washington branch of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a London-based policy group.

“The moral and political case for more sanctions is clearly easier to make now,” Charap said. “The problem is that the theory of the case remains as questionable as before — that this kind of pressure will produce the kind of policy change from Moscow that the West is seeking. In fact, it might well have the opposite effect.”

In a phone call with Cameron, Putin said it’s “important” to refrain from “hasty conclusions and politicized statements” before international investigators determine the reasons for the Malaysian Air crash, according to an e-mailed statement from Russian government.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-07-21/obama-seen-gaining-on-putin-as-u-s-prods-eu-on-sanctions.html

 

BREAKING-Obama: Handling of Malaysia Airlines Crash Site is ‘An Insult’

July 21 2014

BREAKING:Obama: Handling of Malaysia Airlines Crash Site is ‘An Insult’
Obama: ‘Burden Is on Russia’ to Push for Access to Jet Crash Site

Saying that pro-Russian separatists’ behavior “has no place in the community of nations,” President Barack Obama said on Monday that “the burden is on Russia” to push the separatists to allow unfettered access to the crash site of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17.

“We have to make sure that the truth is out and that accountability exists,” he said in remarks at the White House.

“Given its direct influence over the separatists, Russia — and President Putin in particular — has direct responsibility to compel them to cooperate with the investigation,” he added. “That is the least that they can do.”

The international community has ramped up pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin to allow investigators access to the site and the bodies of the nearly 300 victims of last week’s Malaysian Airlines crash. Armed pro-Russian separatists who control the area have “repeatedly” prevented investigators from doing their work, Obama said.

“All of this begs the question: What exactly are they trying to hide?” the president asked.

In a brief statement Monday, Putin said that investigators must have access to the crash site but excoriated unnamed nations for exploiting the jet crash for “mercenary political goals.”

Pres Obama Continues to Point Fingers at Others for Ukraine Malaysian Airline [ MH-17]

July 18, 2014

 President Obama addresses the media regarding the recent plane crash of Malaysian Air Flight MH-17 over the Ukraine.

President Obama Addresses Malaysian Plane Crash 7/17/2014

July 17, 2014

Obama says plane crash “looks like it may be a terrible tragedy,” says U.S. working to determine whether Americans on board.
Malaysia Air Crash ‘Leaves 23 Americans Dead’
President Obama Remarks on Malaysian Plane disaster
Delaware – President Obama says Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine was a “terrible tragedy”
Malaysia Airlines Flight Crashes in Eastern Ukraine With 295 People on Board
US’ first priority is to determine if US citizens were aboard downed Flight MH17
Putin Noted Crash to Obama in Call Over Sanctions
(WSJ) The White House said that Russian President Vladimir Putin noted early reports of the downed Malaysia Airlines passenger plane at the end of a call with President Barack Obama this morning over the latest round of U.S. sanctions on Russia.

The White House said Mr. Obama was briefed on the reports this morning and has directed officials to be in close contact with senior Ukrainian officials. Mr. Obama was traveling to Wilmington, Del., Thursday, to give a speech on transportation infrastructure.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the White House has seen reports of the crash, “but I’m not in a position to confirm any details of those reports.” Asked about calling allies about the plane crash, Mr. Earnest said, “The president has not placed any calls like that.”

 

Defiant Putin warns the West not to use MH17 tragedy for ‘selfish political ends’, as Ukraine accuses Russia of spiriting away shrapnel-hit bodies to avoid implicating rebels

  • Russian president urges Western leaders not to politicise MH17 disaster
  • Says nobody has the right to use tragedy for ‘any kind of vested interest’
  • Also called on separatists to give investigators full access to crash site
  • Comments come amid threats Russian billionaires could have international assets frozen unless the country cooperates with crash investigation
  • David Cameron issued stark warning that Putin’s ‘cronies’ were under threat
  • New sanctions could be imposed at a meeting of EU ministers tomorrow
  • Meanwhile bodies of 200 MH17 victims are still decaying on motionless train
  • Undignified scene with swarms of flies has sparked international outrage

By John Hill

Vladimir Putin has issued a defiant warning that the MH17 crash must not be used for ‘selfish political ends’ and urged separatists to allow international experts access to the crash site.

Wearing a dark suit and looking tired and drawn during a rare television address, the Russian president insisted ‘all people’ in Ukraine had a responsibility to the families of the 298 passengers and crew who died last week.

But he added: ‘No-one has the right to use this tragedy for any kind of vested interest in the political sense. Such incidents should unite people rather than separate them.’

His comments came just hours after David Cameron issued a stark warning to Putin that his billionaire ‘cronies’ will have their assets frozen in London unless Russia co-operates with the investigation.

Putin: MH17 shouldn’t be used to achieve selfish political goals

Hitting back: Wearing a dark suit and looking tired and drawn, Russian president Vladimir Putin issued a defiant warning that the MH17 crash must not be used for 'selfish political' advantage

Hitting back: Wearing a dark suit and looking tired and drawn, Russian president Vladimir Putin issued a defiant warning that the MH17 crash must not be used for ‘selfish political’ advantage

 

Rows of bodies: Bagged victims can be seen above lined up in front of a truck yesterday at the crash site, ready to be moved to the refrigerated trains

Rows of bodies: Bagged victims can be seen above lined up in front of a truck yesterday at the crash site, ready to be moved to the refrigerated trains

 

Final indignity: Rescue workers, pictured above, loaded the corpses onto trucks at the crash site in eastern Ukraine, which were then taken to refrigerated train carriages nine miles away

Final indignity: Rescue workers, pictured above, loaded the corpses onto trucks at the crash site in eastern Ukraine, which were then taken to refrigerated train carriages nine miles away

Meanwhile, Putin has been examining samples of aviation equipment at the Production Rocket Space Centre

Meanwhile, Putin has been examining samples of aviation equipment at the Production Rocket Space Centre

 

 

VLAD HITS BACK: RUSSIAN PRESIDENT’S STATEMENT ON MH17 CRASH SITE IN FULL

There are already representatives of Donetsk and Lugansk working there, as well as representatives of the emergencies ministry of Ukraine and others. But this is not enough.

This task force is not enough. We need more, we need a fully representative group of experts to be working at the site under the guidance of ICAO, the relevant international commission.

We must do everything to provide security for the international experts on the site of the tragedy.  We need to do everything to provide its [ICAO commission’s] safety, to provide the humanitarian corridors necessary for its work.

In the meantime, nobody should and has no right to use this tragedy to achieve their narrowly selfish political goals.

We repeatedly called upon all conflicting sides to stop the bloodshed immediately and sit down at the negotiating table.

I can say with confidence that if military operations were not resumed on June 28 in eastern Ukraine, this tragedy wouldn’t have happened.

During his television address this morning, Putin said it is necessary for ‘all people’ involved in the current conflict in Ukraine take responsibility for their actions.

He said there was a duty to: ‘improve their responsibility to their own people, and to the people of the countries whose representatives have been victims of this crash’.

Putin added, ‘We need to do everything to ensure the security and safety of the observers and the experts working at the crash site.’

The comments came as Chancellor George Osborne said the UK was prepared to take an ‘economic hit’ in order to put pressure on Moscow over its involvement in the Ukraine crisis.

Cameron, meanwhile, is due to make a statement to MPs later spelling out what measures he believes should be taken following the apparent shooting downing of the plane by rebels.

In what was described by Downing Street as a ‘frank’ conversation last night, the Prime Minister told Mr Putin his support for insurgents in eastern Ukraine had ‘contributed to an appalling tragedy’ and the delay in experts being able to investigate was ‘indefensible’.

The chaos surrounding the handling of the crash has compounded the grief of families all around the world bereaved by the crash, who have been left unable to arrange funerals or properly mourn their dead.

Victim’s relatives have made emotional appeals for the bodies to be returned as soon as possible, amid reports that the refrigeration in the carriage has only been inconsistently working.

 

 

Earlier the bodies of almost 200 victims of the MH17 plane disaster were seen decaying for a fourth day in a refrigerated train.

Since the bodies of the 298 victims fell from 33,000ft after their plane was struck by a surface-to-air missile, they were left in the open in sweltering heat for three days before being gathered up in bags, bundled on to trucks and driven away.

Grisly: The bodies of almost 200 victims of the MH17 plane disaster were seen for a fourth day in a refrigerated train which has done little to hold back the stench of decay which has already overtaken the corpses

Grisly: The bodies of almost 200 victims of the MH17 plane disaster were seen for a fourth day in a refrigerated train which has done little to hold back the stench of decay which has already overtaken the corpses

Stench: A rebel can be seen holding his nose as the door to a carriage containing the heaped bodies is opened

Stench: A rebel can be seen holding his nose as the door to a carriage containing the heaped bodies is opened

The bodies were taken from there to the town of Torez, nine miles away, where they have been piled up in four refrigerated train carriages.

The refrigeration has done little to hold back the stench of decay which has already overtaken the corpses amid accusations the rebels are holding up the return of the bodies unnecessarily.

Rebel commanders have reportedly promised that the train will leave this afternoon, but gave no indication of where or whether the bodies would be handed over.

Further pressure will be put on Russia to cooperate with the crash investigation at the United Nations, after Britain, Germany and France came to the agreement that the EU must be prepared to ratchet up sanctions if they refuse.

A meeting of EU foreign ministers tomorrow is expected to result in a more punitive sanctions regime, with Mr Putin’s ‘crony group’ possible targets.

The threats of extensive sanctions on Russian billionaires has already spooked a number of wealthy pro-Kremlin businessmen and women.

‘The economic and business elite is just in horror,’ Igor Bunin, the head of the Center for Political Technology in Moscow, told Bloomberg news.

‘Nobody will speak out because of the implicit threat of retribution… Any sign of rebellion and they’ll be brought to their knees,’ he added.

One billionaire, speaking on condition of anonymity, added that Putin risks becoming a pariah figure as wealthy and powerful Russians seek to distance themselves from him to keep hold of their money.

David Cameron: Pressure mounting on Putin over MH17

 

Cameron

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said Russia risked becoming a 'pariah state' if it carried on arming and backing rebel militias

The Prime Minister likened the failure to tackle Vladimir Putin to the appeasement of Hitler in the 1930s, while Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said Russia risked becoming a ‘pariah state’ if it carried on arming rebels

 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel

French President Francois Hollande

The Prime Minister likened the failure to tackle Vladimir Putin to the appeasement of Hitler in the 1930s, while Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said Russia risked becoming a ‘pariah state’ if it carried on arming rebels

 

French arms sales and German dependence on Russian fossil fuels have been seen as possible barriers to tougher measures, but Britain will argue that the whole union must share the burden.

A No 10 source said the UK wanted additional names to be added to the list of Russians subject to travel bans and asset freezes under the existing criteria for EU sanctions.

These could include ‘entities’ – firms or organisations – as well as individuals involved in supporting efforts to destabilise Ukraine.

But there will also be an effort to extend the scope of the sanctions, to allow those who are influencing or supporting the ‘Russian regime’ to be targeted for sanctions, meaning oligarchs within Mr Putin’s inner circle could be named.

In a round of broadcast interviews this morning, Mr Osborne accepted that Britain could not escape unscathed from taking such action against Moscow.

‘This is about living in a world where international borders are respected, where commercial airliners are not shot down,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

‘It is absolutely in Britain’s national economic interest that that is the case.

‘Of course any sanctions will have an economic impact, and we are prepared to undertake further sanctions.

‘But think of the economic hit… of allowing international borders to be ignored, of allowing airliners to be shot down. That is a much greater economic hit for Britain. We are not prepared to just allow that to happen.’

Investigation: Russian president Vladimir Putin has urged separatists (right) to allow international experts (left) access to the crash site

Investigation: Russian president Vladimir Putin has urged separatists (right) to allow international experts (left) access to the crash site

 

Masked and armed: A pro-Russian fighter guards the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 near the village of Hrabove in eastern Ukraine

Masked and armed: A pro-Russian fighter guards the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 near the village of Hrabove in eastern Ukraine

 

The separatists placed bodies from the downed Boeing 777 in refrigerated train carriages in the rebel-held town of Torez, nine miles from the crash site, and said they would remain there until the arrival of an international aviation delegation.

They also claimed the plane’s black boxes had been recovered and would be handed over to the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

The UK is supporting an Australian attempt to secure a UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution, which would demand ‘safe, full and unfettered access to the site” and for the bodies to be handled with respect and dignity.’

A Downing Street source said Russia had blocked an attempt to agree a press statement by the UNSC and the Government was ‘realistic’ about the prospect of success in getting a resolution through without it being vetoed.

Meanwhile, the US set out the evidence it claimed it had for Russian separatists being behind the atrocity.

Secretary of State John Kerry said it was ‘pretty clear’ that an SA-11 missile system had been transferred by Russia into the hands of the separatists.

 

Russia challenges accusations that Ukraine rebels shot down airliner

Russia’s Defence Ministry on Monday challenged accusations pro-Russian rebels were to blame for shooting down a Malaysian airliner and asked the United States to produce satellite images to support its assertions.

At a briefing in which generals used flashing radar images on big screens in a state-of-the-art conference room, the ministry said a Ukrainian fighter jet had tracked the airliner despite Kiev’s assertions that no aircraft were nearby.

The ministry also denied supplying the separatists in east Ukraine with SA-11 Buk anti-aircraft missile systems, known as “Gadfly” in NATO, or “any other weapons”.

The hi-tech presentation appeared a direct response to video and audio recordings used by Ukrainian security officials to back up their accusations of Russian and rebel involvement – recordings the ministry’s comments suggested were fabricated.

“Russian air space control systems detected a Ukrainian Air Force plane, presumably an SU-25 (fighter jet), scrambling in the direction of the Malaysian Boeing … The distance of the SU-25 plane from the Boeing was from 3 to 5 kilometres (2 to 3 miles),” Air Force Lieutenant-General Igor Makushev said.

“Earlier, Ukrainian officials said that on the day of the Boeing 777 crash there were no military aircraft in the region – as you can see this does not appear to be true.”

Another officer, Lieutenant-General Andrei Kartopolov, said that, “whether it is a coincidence or not”, a U.S. satellite had been monitoring the area at the time.

“We also have some questions for our U.S. partners,” he said. “According to the U.S. declarations, they have satellite images that confirm the missile was launched by the rebels. But nobody has seen these images.” “If the American side has pictures from this satellite, then they should show the international community.”

PROPAGANDA WAR

Russia and Ukraine have been waging a fierce propaganda war over the crisis in eastern Ukraine, where the rebels rose up in April against Kiev’s rule.

In an echo of the U.S. State Department’s use of lists to debunk what it calls “misinformation” in the Ukraine crisis, Russia issued its own list on Monday of 10 leading questions it wanted Kiev to answer about the downed passenger jet.

President Vladimir Putin has pointed the finger at his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko, saying the disaster would not have happened if Kiev had not ended a ceasefire with the separatists.

Putin, looking drawn, made brief televised comments on the crisis that signalled a new determination to get Russia’s version of events across, although they were first released in the middle of the night.

He said the downing of the airliner, killing all 298 people on board, must not be used for political ends, but did not respond directly to the accusations of Russian involvement by supplying arms to the rebels.

Monday’s military briefing was the first detailed comment by Russia – which has radar stations and military bases near the border with Ukraine – since the passenger plane came down on Thursday in territory controlled by the rebels.

At the presentation, the officers said the Malaysian airliner was one of three civilian aircraft in the skies over eastern Ukraine at the time.

Kiev later said it stood by its accusations.

“There is evidence that the missile which struck the plane was fired by terrorists, who received arms and specialists from the Russian Federation,” said Andriy Lysenko, a spokesman for Ukraine’s Security Council.

http://news.yahoo.com/russia-challenges-accusations-ukraine-rebels-shot-down-airliner-133233867–finance.html;_ylt=AwrBEiLfPM1TfwUABWjQtDMD

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The Pronk Pops Show 243, April 14, 2014, Story 2: President Obama Proposed 442 Tax Hikes Since Taking Office — “You will not see your taxes go up by a single dime.” — Just Another Obama Big Lie –Videos

Posted on April 14, 2014. Filed under: American History, Banking System, Beef, Blogroll, Bread, Budgetary Policy, Cereal, Communications, Crime, Diets, Disasters, Economics, Education, Employment, Energy, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Food, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Health Care Insurance, History, Media, Milk, Natural Gas, Natural Gas, Nutrition, Oil, Oil, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Public Sector Unions, Radio, Regulation, Resources, Scandals, Security, Success, Tax Policy, Taxes, Technology, Terror, Unemployment, Unions, United States Constitution, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Story 2: President Obama Proposed 442 Tax Hikes Since Taking Office — “You will not see your taxes go up by a single dime.” — Just Another Obama Big Lie –Videos

 

Obama’s LIE to Never to Raise Taxes on Anyone Making Less Than $250,000 a Year

Obama’s lie about taxes

 

13 Obama Tax Hikes on the Middle Class in 2013

Obama Lies Compilation 

 

 

Obama has Proposed 442 Tax Hikes Since Taking Office


Posted by Max Velthoven, John Kartch, Ryan Ellis


Since taking office in 2009, President Barack Obama has formally proposed a total of 442 tax increases, according to an Americans for Tax Reform analysis of Obama administration budgets for fiscal years 2010 through 2015.

The 442 total proposed tax increases does not include the 20 tax increases Obama signed into law as part of Obamacare.

“History tells us what Obama was able to do. This list reminds us of what Obama wanted to do,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.

The number of proposed tax increases per year is as follows:

-79 tax increases for FY 2010

-52 tax increases for FY 2011

-47 tax increases for FY 2012

-34 tax increases for FY 2013

-137 tax increases for FY 2014

-93 tax increases for FY 2015

Perhaps not coincidentally, the Obama budget with the lowest number of proposed tax increases was released during an election year: In February 2012, Obama released his FY 2013 budget, with “only” 34 proposed tax increases. Once safely re-elected, Obama came back with a vengeance, proposing 137 tax increases, a personal record high for the 44th President.

In addition to the 442 tax increases in his annual budget proposals, the 20 signed into law as part of Obamacare, and the massive tobacco tax hike signed into law on the sixteenth day of his presidency, Obama has made it clear he is open to other broad-based tax increases.

During an interview with Men’s Health in 2009, when asked about the idea of national tax on soda and sugary drinks, the President said, “I actually think it’s an idea that we should be exploring.”

During an interview with CNBC’s John Harwood in 2010, Obama said a European-style Value-Added-Tax was something that would be novel for the United States.”

Obama’s statement was consistent with a pattern of remarks made by Obama White House officials refusing to rule out a VAT.

“Presidents are judged by history based on what they did in power. But presidents can only enact laws when the Congress agrees,” said Norquist. “Thus a record forged by such compromise tells you what a president — limited by congress — did rather than what he wanted to do.”

The full list of proposed Obama tax increases can be found here.

 

Read more: http://www.atr.org/obama-has-proposed-442-tax-hikes-taking-office#ixzz2ytgu5HnM
Follow us: @taxreformer on Twitter

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The Pronk Pops Show 243, April 14, 2014, Story 1: When will Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Roundup 2,000 Plus Wild Horses On Utah Rangeland? — The BLM Should Do Its Job and Not Harass Neveda Ranchers! — BLM’s Appropriate Management Level (AML) of 27,000 Wild Horses and Over 40,000 Wild Horses Nationally Plus Over 50,000 in Feed Lost Costing The American Taxpayer Millions! — Herd Size Doubles Every 4 Years — Sell The Wild Horses To China and Mexico — Beef and Food Prices Soaring — Connect The Dots People — Videos

Posted on April 14, 2014. Filed under: American History, Beef, Blogroll, Bread, Budgetary Policy, Business, Cereal, Climate Change, Communications, Constitutional Law, Crime, Disasters, Economics, Education, Employment, Energy, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Food, Foreign Policy, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, History, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Investments, Law, Media, Milk, Monetary Policy, Natural Gas, Natural Gas, Oil, Oil, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Radio, Regulation, Resources, Scandals, Security, Social Science, Tax Policy, Taxes, Terror, Terrorism, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 243: April 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 242: April 11, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 241: April 10, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 240: April 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 239: April 8, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 238: April 7, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 237: April 4, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 236: April 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 235: March 31, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 234: March 28, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 233: March 27, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 232: March 26, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 231: March 25, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 230: March 24, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 229: March 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 228: March 20, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 227: March 19, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 226: March 18, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 225: March 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 224: March 7, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 223: March 6, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 222: March 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 221: February 28, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 220: February 27, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 219: February 26, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 218: February 25, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 217: February 24, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 216: February 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 215: February 20, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 214: February 19, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 213: February 18, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 212: February 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 211: February 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 210: February 13, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 209: February 12, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 208: February 11, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 207: February 10, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 206: February 7, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 205: February 5, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 204: February 4, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 203: February 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 202: January 31, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 201: January 30, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 200: January 29, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 199: January 28, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 198: January 27, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 197: January 24, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 196: January 22, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 195: January 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 194: January 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 193: January 16, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 192: January 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 191: January 13, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 190: January 10, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 189: January 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 188: January 8, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 187: January 7, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 186: January 6, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 185: January 3, 2014

When will Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Roundup 2,000 Plus Wild Horses On Utah Rangeland? — The BLM Should Do Its Job and Not Harass Neveda Ranchers! — BLM’s Appropriate Management Level (AML) of 27,000 Wild Horses and Over 40,000 Wild Horses Nationally Plus Over 50,000 in Feed Lost Costing The American Taxpayer Millions! — Herd Size Doubles Every 4 Years — Sell The Wild Horses To China and Mexico — Beef and Food Prices Soaring — Connect The Dots People — Videos

 

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Wild Horses on Public Lands and the impact on Ranching and Communities

We took the show to Beaver County this week to get an on the ground look at how wild horses impact the range. In Utah the population of wild horses is over the Appropriate Management Level (AML) by 1,300 animals. Nationally the problem of dealing with the number of wild horses increases to 14,000 beyond the AML. The management of wild horses costs the BLM tens of millions of dollars every year but despite the efforts to gather wild horses off the range; the numbers keep increasing.
Chad Booth talks to Beaver County Commissioner, Mark Whitney; Iron County Commissioner, David Miller; and local rancher Mark Winch about the impacts on ranchers and the ultimate impact it has on the economies of rural Utah.

Transfer of Public Lands

Public Lands in Utah County Seat Season3, Episode 8

In recent years there has been a public outcry from Utahans asking the State to take a more active role in how management decisions are made on public lands. The take back Utah movement has looked at the history of public lands in the United States and began to ask why hasn’t Utah received the same treatment as other states in the Union. Utah has about 67% of its lands controlled and managed by the federal government. Some counties in the state are about 90% federally owned which creates a burden on the local governments because there is no property tax base to pay for the services that citizens need.

Last year Utah passed the Utah Public Lands Transfer Act, HB148; which basically asks the federal government to dispose of the remaining unallocated federal lands within the state by 2014. HB148 has opened up a conversation about what the proper role of the federal government should be in the management of public lands. Today’s show takes a look at the issues from a federal, state, and county perspective.

Who Really Owns the United States of America? – Stefan Molyneux

WARNING! MORE FOOD INFLATION COMING 2014 STOCK UP ASAP

Grocery Prices Soar

Spike in food prices has shoppers feeling effects – Mar 19th, 2014

U S Government Says ‘No Inflation’ As Food Prices Soar New update 2014

Preppers: Food Prices Rise Sharply – Up 19% for 2014!

Milk Prices PKG

Food Prices The Shocking Truth

Food Prices The Shocking Truth 1 of 2

Food Prices The Shocking Truth 2 of 2

Worldwide Food Shortages

GLOBAL FOOD CRISIS to Usher in Worldwide Famine

Where’s the (Cheap) Beef? US Prices Soar

Meat Beef Bacon Costs Rise due to Drought? Inflation! Starvation Great-Depression Dollar$

Beef prices explained

BLM Wild Horse Strategy

The BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program

BLM Socorro Water Trap Method Wild Horse Gather

The World Food Crisis ~ Special Report

Don’t Fence Me In – Roy Rogers & The Sons of the Pioneers –

Roy Rogers & Sons of The Pioneers Sing “The Last Roundup”

Wild horses targeted for roundup in Utah rangeland clash

Reuters
Two of a band of wild horses graze in the Nephi Wash area outside Enterprise, Utah

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Two of a band of wild horses graze in the Nephi Wash area outside Enterprise, Utah, April 10, 2014. REUTERS/Jim …

By Jennifer Dobner

ENTERPRISE, Utah (Reuters) – A Utah county, angry over the destruction of federal rangeland that ranchers use to graze cattle, has started a bid to round up federally protected wild horses it blames for the problem in the latest dustup over land management in the U.S. West.

Close to 2,000 wild horses are roaming southern Utah’s Iron County, well over the 300 the U.S. Bureau of Land Management has dubbed as appropriate for the rural area’s nine designated herd management zones, County Commissioner David Miller said.

County officials complain the burgeoning herd is destroying vegetation crucial to ranchers who pay to graze their cattle on the land, and who have already been asked to reduce their herds to cope with an anticipated drought.

Wild horse preservation groups say any attempt to remove the horses would be a federal crime.

On Thursday county workers, accompanied by a Bureau of Land Management staffer, set up the first in a series of metal corrals designed to trap and hold the horses on private land abutting the federal range until they can be moved to BLM facilities for adoption.

“There’s been no management of the animals and they keep reproducing,” Miller said in an interview. “The rangeland just can’t sustain it.”

The conflict reflects broader tension between ranchers, who have traditionally grazed cattle on public lands and held sway over land-use decisions, and environmentalists and land managers facing competing demands on the same land.

The Iron County roundup comes on the heels of an incident in neighboring Nevada in which authorities sent in helicopters and wranglers on horseback to confiscate the cattle herd of a rancher they say is illegally grazing livestock on public land.

In Utah, county commissioners warned federal land managers in a letter last month that the county would act independently to remove the horses if no mitigation efforts were launched.

“We charge you to fulfill your responsibility,” commissioners wrote. “Inaction and no-management practices pose an imminent threat to ranchers.”

The operation was expected to last weeks or months.

“The BLM is actively working with Iron County to address the horse issue,” Utah-based BLM spokeswoman Megan Crandall said, declining to comment further.

Attorneys for wild horse preservation groups sent a letter this week to Iron County commissioners and the BLM saying the BLM, under federal law, cannot round up horses on public lands without proper analysis and disclosure.

“The BLM must stop caving to the private financial interests of livestock owners whenever they complain about the protected wild horses using limited resources that are available on such lands,” wrote Katherine Meyer of Meyer, Glitzenstein and Crystal a Washington, DC-based public interest law firm representing the advocates.

LONG-RUNNING PROBLEM

The BLM puts the free-roaming wild horse and burro population across western states at more than 40,600, which it says on its website exceeds by nearly 14,000 the number of animals it believes “can exist in balance with other public rangeland resources and uses.”

Wild horse advocates point out that the tens of thousands of wild horses on BLM property pales into comparison with the millions of private livestock grazing on public lands managed by the agency.

Wild horses have not been culled due to budget constraints, according to Utah BLM officials, who say their herds grow by roughly 20 percent per year.

Pressure on rangeland from the horses may worsen this summer due to a drought that could dry up the already sparse available food supply, according to Miller.

“We’re going to see those horses starving to death out on the range,” he said. “The humane thing is to get this going now.”

Adding to frustration is BLM pressure on ranchers to cut their cattle herds by as much as 50 percent to cope with the drought, Miller said.

A tour of Iron County rangeland, not far from the Nevada border, illustrates the unchecked herds’ impact on the land, said Jeremy Hunt, a fourth generation Utah rancher whose cattle graze in the summer in a management area split through its middle by a barbed wire fence.

On the cattle side of the fence, the sagebrush and grass landscape is thick and green. The other, where a group of horses was seen on Thursday, is scattered with barren patches of dirt and sparse vegetation.

“This land is being literally destroyed because they are not following the laws that they set up to govern themselves,” said Hunt, who also works as a farmhand to make ends meet for his family of six.

“I want the land to be healthy and I want be a good steward of the land,” he added. “But you have to manage both sides of the fence.”

 

 

Wholesale Prices in U.S. Rise on Services as Goods Stagnate

 

Wholesale prices in the U.S. rose in March as the cost of services climbed by the most in four years while commodities stagnated.

The 0.5 percent advance in the producer-price index was the biggest since June and followed a 0.1 percent decrease the prior month, the Labor Department reported today in Washington. The recent inclusion of services may contribute to the gauge’s volatility from month-to-month, which will make it more difficult to determine underlying trends.

Rising prices at clothing and jewelry retailers and food wholesalers accounted for much of the jump in services, even as energy costs retreated, signaling slowing growth in emerging markets such as China will keep price pressures muted. With inflation running well below the Federal Reserve’s goal, the central bank is likely to keep borrowing costs low in an effort to spur growth.

“Every six months or so service prices seem to pop, but over the year, service prices tend to dampen inflation more often than not,” Jay Morelock, an economist at FTN Financial in New York, wrote in a note. “One month of price gains is not indicative of a trend.”

Also today, consumer confidence climbed this month to the highest level since July, a sign an improving job market is lifting Americans’ spirits. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary April sentiment index rose to 82.6 from 80 a month earlier.

 
Photographer: Craig Warga/Bloomberg

Rising prices at clothing and jewelry retailers and food wholesalers accounted for much… Read More

Shares Fall

Stocks dropped, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index heading for its biggest weekly decline since January, as disappointing results from JPMorgan Chase & Co. fueled concern that corporate earnings will be weak. The S&P 500 fell 0.4 percent to 1,826.29 at 10:02 a.m. in New York.

Today’s PPI report is the third to use an expanded index that measures 75 percent of the economy, compared to about a third for the old metric, which tallied the costs of goods alone. After its first major overhaul since 1978, PPI now measures prices received for services, government purchases, exports and construction.

Estimates for the PPI in the Bloomberg survey of 72 economists ranged from a drop of 0.2 percent to a 0.3 percent gain.

Core wholesale prices, which exclude volatile food and energy categories, climbed 0.6 percent, the biggest gain since March 2011, exceeding the projected 0.2 percent advance of economists surveyed by Bloomberg. They dropped 0.2 percent in February.

Past Year

The year-to-year gain in producer prices was the biggest since August and followed a 0.9 percent increase in the 12 months to February. Excluding food and energy, the index also increased 1.4 percent year to year following a 1.1 percent year-to-year gain in February.

The cost of services climbed 0.7 percent in March, the biggest gain since January 2010. Goods prices were unchanged and were up 1.1 percent over the past 12 months.

Wholesale food costs climbed 1.1 percent in March, led by higher costs for meats, including pork and sausage. Energy costs fell 1.2 percent last month.

Food producers and restaurants say they’re paying more for beef, poultry, dairy and shrimp. At General Mills Inc. (GIS), maker of Yoplait yogurt, Cheerios cereal and other brands, rising dairy prices helped push retail profit down 11 percent in the third quarter, said Ken Powell, chairman and chief executive officer of the Minneapolis-based company. Powell called the inflation “manageable.”

Food Prices

“While the economy is improving slowly and incomes are strengthening slowly, they are improving,” Powell said on a March 19 earnings call. “As incomes continue to grow and consumers gain confidence that will be a positive sign for our category.”

Today’s PPI report provides a glimpse into the consumer-price index, the broadest of three inflation measures released by the Labor Department. The CPI, due to be released April 15, probably climbed 0.1 percent in March, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg survey.

The wholesale price report also offers an advance look into the personal consumption expenditures deflator, a gauge monitored closely by the Fed. Health care prices make up the largest share of the core PCE index, which excludes food and energy costs. The next PCE report is due from the Commerce Department May 1.

This week, Fed policy makers played down their own predictions that interest rates might rise faster than they had forecast, according to minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee’s March meeting. The minutes bolstered remarks made by last month by Chair Janet Yellen.

“If inflation is persistently running below our 2 percent objective, that is a very good reason to hold the funds rate at its present range for longer,” Yellen said at a March 19 press conference following the committee meeting.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-11/wholesale-prices-in-u-s-rise-more-than-forecast-on-services.html

 

 

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