US finance news: live updates
After two years of the pandemic, and the related economic consequences, there is another major financial worry that is reducing the buying power of millions of households.
Gasoline prices remain at historically high levels and there is now greater focus being placed on the state-defined gas taxes. States, like the federal government, can levy taxes on motor fuel like gasoline and diesel. We take a look at the states with the highest and lowest rates of gasoline tax…
Pelosi promises action on gas company profiteering
Initially the sharp rise in the price of gasoline was put down to the high rate of inflation in the United States and a shortage of crude oil due to the sanctions placed on Russia for the invasion of Ukraine. However efforts made by the Biden administration to address those two issue have not been as successful as the President would have hoped, suggesting that another factor may be at play.
Many lawmakers have pointed the finger at profiteering gas companies in the US who are allegedly using the unique economic conditions to justify higher prices. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has promised swift action on the offending companies to help bring the costs down.
Why are gas prices still so high?
Earlier this year the price of gasoline rose significantly across the country, due to a combination of the economic sanctions against Russia and the prolonged spell of high inflation. However, despite Biden’s decision to release millions of gallons from the US’ strategic supply and a fall in the price of crude oil globally, the cost of gasoline for consumers has barely dipped.
This is at least in part due to some pretty blatant profiteering on the part of major oil companies in the US. Some states and local governments have considered implemented financial relief for consumers, but there is understandable concern that the support money will simply end up in the pockets of big business.
SNAP benefits are monitored to ensure that the money is used for the intended expenses and the Food and Nutrition Service from the Department of Agriculture uses an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) system to do so.
EBT is used in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Guam, and is accepted in approved retail stores.
This is the make-or-break period. I think we need to have a come-to-Jesus moment. The backroom approach [with Manchin] has not worked.
Anything we can do along the lines we did on the infrastructure bill would be great if we could. We’re determined to do something on a path to reliable energy so we have reliable energy for our country. I want to work in a bipartisan way.
It seems highly improbable that anything that involved Republicans will also be serious on climate, at this stage.
Will the reconciliation bill ever get passed?
Sen. Joe Manchin’s moves are fueling new doubts that he could agree to any legislative package on President Biden’s agenda. With midterm elections coming up, with little to nothing passed, something will need to be completed to give a boost to the Democrat election hopes.
The reconciliation bill, which was known as Build Back Better, was first touted to be in the region of $7 trillion before being negotiated down by Sen. Manchin before it was binned. Without Manchin’s vote, the Dems can’t get anything passed in Congress.
Social Security awareness
Social Security provides payments for over 63 million beneficiaries and currently around one in five Americans receive a Social Security benefit of some kind. The far-reaching programme has been hailed as the most successful anti-poverty implement in US history, but there is still some confusion about it is structured.
Two of the most common programmes from the Social Security Administration (SSA) are the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).
Before applying for disability benefits, you have to prove to the SSA that your disability fits their criteria of one that prevents you from working. Furthermore, the claimant must also have been disabled for at least five full months. The only exception is for claimants with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) whose benefits can start immediately.
While there are hurdles to pass in beginning the benefits regime, as long as your disability persists you are not going to be removed as a recipient.
Welcome to AS USA!
Hello, good morning, and weclome to AS USA. We’ll be bringing you all the latest financial news, with updates on the prospect of student loan forgiveness after President Biden confirmed that he will be announcing his plans soon.
Inflationary pressures continue to hit consumer in the pocket, while gasoline prices remain high across the country.