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Finance

May 23, 2022

IRS Paying Interest to People with Delayed Tax Refunds

The Internal Revenue Service has announced that it will start paying 5 percent in guaranteed interest to individuals with delayed tax returns in July.

The agency will also pay 4 percent interest on delayed corporate tax returns, 5 percent on underpayments on tax returns, and 7 percent for “large corporate underpayments.”

Law allots the IRS 45 days to process a tax refund.

“The IRS is sitting on 13 million unprocessed tax returns and over 26 million tax returns that are waiting needing further IRS action,” Rep. Tom Rice (R-S.C.) said during a House subcommittee hearing last week.

“At the same time, IRS phone service levels are near all-time lows, making it nearly impossible to reach an IRS agent for help with tax or audit matters.”

According to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report published last month, the IRS has paid out nearly $14 billion in delayed refund interest over the last seven fiscal years.


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IRS to pay 5 percent interest to individuals with delayed tax refunds

May 22, 2022

10 US Cities with the Highest Median Home Prices

The price of just about everything has gone up amid ongoing record-breaking inflation — and housing prices are no exception.

Data shows that median housing prices in the first quarter of 2020 were at $329,000, and they hit $428,700 by the first quarter of 2022.

Here are the U.S. cities with the highest median prices:

San Jose, CA – $1,390,000

Los Angeles, CA – $998,330

San Francisco, CA – $978,478

Ventura, CA – $943,967

San Diego, CA – $921,000

Stamford, CT – $900,000

Seattle, WA – $782,997

Boston, MA – $746,000

Honolulu, HI – $721,667

New York City – $692,333


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Ten cities with highest median home list prices

May 21, 2022

Gas Prices Hit $4 in Every State for First Time

Gas prices crossed the $4 mark in every state for the first time ever.

According to AAA, the last three states with an average gas price of under $4 per gallon —Oklahoma, Georgia, and Kansas — crossed the threshold this week.

“The high cost of oil, the key ingredient in gasoline, is driving these high pump prices for consumers,” AAA spokesperson Andrew Gross said.

“Even the annual seasonal demand dip for gasoline during the lull between spring break and Memorial Day, which would normally help lower prices, is having no effect this year.”

AAA said that while the demand for gas has slightly dropped, it has failed to lower gas prices due to the ongoing erratic costs of crude oil.


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Gas prices cross $4 in every state for first time

May 20, 2022

House Passes Gas “Price Gouging” Bill

House Democrats passed a measure to combat gasoline “price gouging.”

The Hill noted that the measure is unlikely to fare well in the Senate, where it would need 10 Republican votes to advance, “but it’s part of a major messaging push by Democrats as they try to blame the oil industry for skyrocketing prices.”

The bill passed 217-207, along party lines, with Democratic Reps. Stephanie Murphy (FL), Lizzie Fletcher (TX), Kathleen Rice (N.Y.), and Jared Golden (ME) voting against it.

“The Consumer Fuel Price Gouging Prevention Act would not fix high gasoline prices at the pump, and has the potential to exacerbate the supply shortage our country is facing, leading to even worse outcomes,” Fletcher said in a statement. 

“At best, this bill is a distraction that won’t actually address the problem. At worst, it could make the problem more severe,” Murphy said in a statement, citing comments from former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, in which he said the measure could “cause and contrive all kinds of shortages.”

Republicans argued that Democrats were looking to shift the blame for skyrocketing fuel prices.

“First they blamed it on COVID, then they blamed it on Putin…and now they’re blaming it on mom and pop gas stations who are often just struggling to get by,” said Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ).


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House passes gasoline price-gouging bill

May 19, 2022

Mark Cuban Backs Biden’s Polarizing Initiative

Entrepreneur Mark Cuban said that he supports President Joe Biden’s polarizing proposal to cancel at least $10,000 in student loan debt per borrower.

But, the Dallas Mavericks owner says the more urgent problem is addressing the “ridiculous” tuition fees.

“We don’t want this being a perennial problem,” Cuban told Insider. “It has to be fixed. As far as how much should be forgiven, I’m good with the Biden proposal.” 

Cuban’s comment marks a turn from 2015, when he said he was against canceling student debt because “all it does is bail out the universities.”

Late last month, multiple reports confirmed that Biden is weighing action to cancel at least $10,000 per borrower, though the White House has not made any official announcements.


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Mark Cuban supports Biden’s proposal to forgive $10,000 in student debt per borrower as long as ‘ridiculous tuition fees’ are addressed alongside it: ‘We don’t want this being a perennial problem’

May 18, 2022

House Takes Steps to Address Formula Shortage

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), chair of the House Appropriations Committee, is introducing an emergency measure to address the ongoing nationwide baby formula shortage.

“The stories of mothers and fathers struggling to find formula and the images of empty store shelves are heartbreaking,” DeLauro said.

“Parents and caretakers across the country cannot wait – they need our support now. This bill takes important steps to restore supply in a safe and secure manner.” 

The measure would provide $28 million to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to bolster “the workforce focused on formula issues and [increase] FDA inspection staff,” DeLauro’s office said in a press release.

The funding would also help the FDA “acquire better data on the infant formula marketplace.”


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House Appropriations Committee preps $28M emergency bill to address baby formula shortage

May 17, 2022

Owner Furious After $87.8M Mansion Flops at Auction

A man listed his Bel Air mansion for $87.8 million for an auction this week, but he was furious after the highest bid came in at about $45.8 million.

“Horrible, Horrible, Horrible!” Alex Khadavi told CNBC when asked to characterize the auction.

The mansion boasts such features as a hidden DJ booth that rises out of the living room floor, a black marble car gallery, and a glass and marble bridge above the foyer. The fancy abode failed to garner a $50 million bid, the lowest amount that Khadavi would consider.

“Nobody told me this thing’s going to go below, below this level,” he said.

Khadavi, who is tens of millions of dollars in debt, claims that his deal with the auctioneer, Concierge Auctions, precluded them from starting the bidding below the reserve price of $50 million. The five-day auction opened with a starting bid of $40 million.

Concierge Auctions had no comment on Khadavi’s confusion over the starting bid, but the company did provide an emailed statement to CNBC.

“After a spirited auction, the bidding is closed and the high bid is in the hands of the Trustee. With over 80 qualified showings in the last 60 days, we are confident market value was delivered,” Concierge Auctions president Chad Roffers wrote.


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This flashy Bel Air mansion that was listed at $87.8 million flopped at auction — and now the seller is furious

May 15, 2022

Biden’s Plan to Cancel Student Loan Debt Will Have “Enormous Consequences”

Experts are sounding the alarm over President Joe Biden’s plan to cancel student loan debt, warning that it could lead to “tremendous consequences.”

“[A sweeping cancellation of student loan debt] will produce the most inflation,” said former Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Holtz-Eaken. “If you forgive some of the debt, that’ll create a little more inflation. The least inflationary thing to do is to have people actually go back to paying their bills. That would take care of it.” 

Economist Nicholas Eberstadt said that “waving a magic wand… would have enormous unintended consequences.”

According to the current director of the Congressional Budget Office Phillip Swagel, widespread student debt cancelation has created a gap between those who’ve paid off their student loans, those who didn’t take out student loans, and those who didn’t go to college.

“These sort of apparent horizontal inequities is probably an unintended consequence,” Swagel said. “Different people are being treated differently in ways that might be difficult to explain.” 


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Consequences of Biden’s plan to cancel student loan debt, according to experts: ‘Enormous consequences’

May 14, 2022

Taxpayer Dollars Pay for Staffers’ Peloton Memberships

The House of Representatives is set to give staffers free Peloton memberships, paid for by taxpayer dollars.

The office of the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) wrote in a draft email that the “premier employee benefit,” which will also be made available to all Capitol Police, will provide staffers with both Peloton All-Access and a Peloton App membership at no monthly cost.

Starting May 18, approximately 10,000 House staffers and 2,300 Capitol Police officers will receive the free subscriptions.

According to Fox Business, the government contract consists of a $10,000 upfront payment to Peloton, plus an extra $10 per month charge for each employee that utilizes the benefit. For instance, if 12,000 staffers took advantage of the perk, it would cost taxpayers $120,000 a month.

Peloton provided a statement to the outlet, confirming “that the US House of Representatives is extending Peloton Corporate Wellness to all House staff and Capitol Police.”


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House of Representatives to give staff free Peloton memberships, costing taxpayers

May 13, 2022

Baby Formula Shortage Adds to Ongoing Problems

Stores are limiting the purchases of baby formula due to a nationwide shortage, concerning parents and adding to the Biden administration’s ever-growing pile of problems.

Retailers, including Target, CVS, and Walgreens, announced a purchase limitation for infant formula after a prominent supplier Abbott Laboratories issued a recall in February over concerns of bacterial infection in infants.

According to Reuters, about 40% of baby formula products were out of stock across the United States last month.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is working closely with Abbott to get operations restarted at its Michigan plant. The company has estimated that it will take six to eight weeks to get products to stores after it continues production.

The baby formula shortage is exacerbated by supply chain problems that have also caused inflation to rise, The Hill reported.

“Like we didn’t have enough problems,” one Biden ally told the outlet. “Sure, throw in baby formula.”


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Baby formula shortage adds to Biden’s growing stockpile of challenges

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