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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

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Project_1

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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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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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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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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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

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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

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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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obama

Rising-Food-Prices

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FRED_food

cereals_bakery

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

.

View gallery

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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