Today in Congress, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (Wash.) and Representative Robert “Bobby” Scott (Va.) introduced the Raise the Wage Act, which would benefit 37.7 million workers—and the businesses that serve them—by gradually raising the minimum wage to $12 by 2020.
Thanks to crucial input from EPI researchers, the Raise the Wage Act establishes automatic increases in the minimum wage starting in 2021 to keep pace with rising wages overall. This means that workers will receive annual raises without the need for future congressional action.
Low-wage workers, like all workers, deserve an incremental and predictable raise each year.
The bill would also eliminate the subminimum wage for tipped workers, which has been frozen at $2.13 an hour since 1991. In states that have a subminimum wage, tipped workers are twice as likely as non-tipped workers to live in poverty.
If passed, the Raise the Wage Act would benefit 32 percent of wage-earning women, 37 percent of African American workers, and 40 percent of Hispanic workers. Three-fourths of all Americans—representing all demographics—support raising the federal minimum wage to over $12 an hour. This is a tremendous opportunity to raise America’s pay. It’s a bold step toward ensuring that American prosperity is broadly shared.
The Economic Policy Institute Policy’s Center has been providing critical research to members of Congress as well as activists on the ground who are fighting for a stronger minimum wage. Join us in our fight to increase workers’ wages and create an economy that works for all, not just the wealthy and large corporations.
With the April 15 filing deadline approaching, Americans’ top complaint about the tax system is not the amount that they pay in taxes. Rather, it is the feeling that some corporations and wealthy people do not pay their fair share of taxes.
When those who cite multiple frustrations with the tax system are asked what bothers them most, a similar hierarchy of concerns is evident: About a quarter of the public (28%) says they are most bothered by the feeling that corporations do not pay their fair share and 25% say the same about wealthy people not paying their fair share. Fewer (19%) point to the complexity of the tax system, while much smaller percentages cite the amount they pay in taxes (7%) and the feeling that the poor don’t pay their fair share (4%).
Conservative Republicans are the only ideological group to say they are as bothered by the poor not paying their fair share of taxes as by the wealthy not paying their fair share (38% each). Among moderate and liberal Republicans, 64% are bothered a lot by the wealthy not paying their fair share, while 20% say the same about the poor not paying their fair share. Among Democrats, 72% are bothered a lot by the wealthy not paying their fair share of taxes; just 14% express the same concern about the poor failing to pay their fair .
Republicans, especially conservative Republicans, have become more supportive of overhauling the tax system while Democrats have become less supportive. As a result, Republicans are now 18 points more likely than Democrats to say that the tax system needs to be fundamentally revamped: 66% of Republicans say this, compared with 48% of Democrats. Independents’ views are unchanged since 2011; currently, 63% say the tax system should be completely changed.
1. The Affordable Care Act has led to a significant drop in the number of African Americans who are uninsured. Health care reforms associated with the ACA reduced the percentage of uninsured African Americans from 24.1 percent to 16.1 percent between 2013 and 2014.
2.The passage of the ACA has greatly expanded access to quality health care for the African American community. Nearly 6.8 million African Americans have become eligible for health coverage since the implementation of the ACA due to Medicaid expansion and the financial assistance available to qualified individuals.
3.Increased funding for community health centers through the ACA will have a substantial impact on the African American community. The ACA has allocated approximately $11 billion to fund community health centers, enabling them to increase the number of patients they serve. Nearly 25 percent of these patients are African American.
4. ACA provisions provide access to preventive care at no additional cost; this may help curtail African American health disparities. African Americans currently suffer from a litany of health disparities. For example, their infant mortality rate is 2.3 times higher than that of non-Hispanic whites. African American women are more likely to die from breast cancer than the larger U.S. population, even though they are less likely to develop the disease. Access to preventive care can help reduce this disparity, as earlier detection decreases the likelihood of death.
5. African American women are eligible for additional insurance benefits, which can lead to better health outcomes. The ACA requires that close to 5 million African American women enrolled in private health insurance have access to HPV testing, mammograms, and prenatal care, among many other preventive services, at no additional out-of-pocket cost. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE AT CAP
Even though debit cards can be used almost anywhere credit cards are accepted, there are key differences.
CASH FLOW: Unlike credit cards (which allow you to carry a balance if desired), debit cards are tied directly to your bank account, making debit cards a good choice to prevent you from spending more than you have.
SAFETY: Like credit cards, debit cards have fraud protections, but your liability depends on how quickly you report it. Recovering funds stolen via your debit card can take days or weeks.
BENEFITS: Debit cards typically don’t offer reward programs. And if your bank regards debit card purchases as cash transactions, you might not be able to dispute undelivered goods or services.
A version of this story appears in the May/June 2014 issue of AAA Living magazine.
Trap #2: Line 6 – Tax calculations for recent buyers and sellers
If you bought or sold a home in the middle of the year, figuring out what to put on line 6 of your Schedule A Form is tricky. Don’t simply enter the number from your property tax bill on line 6 as you would if you owned the house the whole year. If you bought or sold a house in midyear, you should instead use the property tax amount listed on your HUD-1 closing statement, says Phil Marti, a retired IRS official.
Here’s why: Generally, depending on the local tax cycle, either the seller gives the buyer money to pay the taxes when they come due or, if the seller has already paid taxes, the buyer reimburses the seller at closing. Those taxes are deductible that year, but won’t be reflected on your property tax bill. (Houselogic 1/30/14)