The presence of some biofuel language in the health care reconciliation bill has been explained -- sort of. It has to do with a tax credit that was intended to make the health care bill seem cheaper, but doesn't, really.
Under the health care reconciliation proposal, individuals with earnings over $200,000 and couples with earnings over $250,000 will have to fork over 3.8 percent of their capital gains. But the bill isn't calling this a tax.
A provision in the health care reconciliation bill could save the government billions by curbing a biofuel tax credit. A recent change in the credit has rewarded paper companies for simply continuing a process they have used for decades.
ProPublica offers a side-by-side comparison of the Senate health care bill and the one likely to go before the House this weekend, highlighting the changes the House proposes to make.
Compare the Senate version of the 2010 Health Care overhaul bill with the final bill.
Twenty-nine states plus the Virgin Islands are now borrowing money from the federal government to pay jobless benefits. Kansas and Vermont have joined the list, and increases in their employer taxes are not expected to solve their problems.
Massachusetts has joined 26 other states with unemployment insurance funds that are insolvent. So far, the states have borrowed more than $30 billion from the federal government just to keep benefit checks in the mail.
The spending freeze announced by President Obama will affect only about one-eighth of the federal budget, meaning the other federal programs could continue to add to the deficit. So Obama’s 2011 budget would increase overall spending by 5 percent overall.
Tracking how long state unemployment insurance trust funds will hold up.
The record 20 million Americans who collected unemployment insurance benefits last year landed on a safety net that was already deeply frayed. Now 25 states have borrowed more than $25 billion to keep benefits flowing after their trust funds ran dry, and the situation is deteriorating fast elsewhere.
With the recession emptying unemployment insurance trust funds, many states are raising taxes on business owners, from a few dollars to nearly $1,000 per worker. And some states have started reducing or freezing the benefits that are paid out to the unemployed.