In today's news: Raising the debt ceiling might not happen till the end of summer, states are cutting back unemployment benefits, small businesses are failing faster in some states than others, boating is riding a wave, and some tax refunds are delayed.
Congressman Paul Ryan, author of the controversial “Ryan Plan” to reduce the federal deficit, doesn’t expect a quick and peaceful vote on raising the debt ceiling. “A congressional agreement to increase the U.S. debt limit and reduce federal spending may take until August,” Bloomberg reports.
If you’re newly unemployed, better not to live in Michigan, Missouri, or Arkansas. Those states “recently reduced the maximum number of weeks that the jobless can get state unemployment benefits,” MSNBC reports. “Florida is on the verge of doing so.”
SMALL BUSINESS: States with worst business failure rates
Speaking of states, if you own a small business, better to live anywhere else than in California or Nevada. “California’s small business failure rate was 69 percent higher than the national average, the worst of all the states,” CNN reports. “Nevada is next, with a rate 65 percent higher than the national average.”
We may be driving less, but we’re boating more. “While other industries sank as the recession took hold, recreational boating saw numbers hit a record in 2010,” USA Today reports. “32.4 percent of American adults participated in the leisure activity. That’s the highest percentage since 1999.”
The First Time Home Buyers Tax Credit is a great way to save a few tax dollars, but the program swamped the agency’s staff and “overwhelmed IRS systems, and an unspecified number of taxpayers have been forced to wait four months or more for their tax refunds,” MSNBC reports. “In fact, many are still waiting.”