Federal Eye: 10 things to watch across government in 2011
The Washington Post Share
The Federal Eye lists 10 issues across the government worth tracking as the new year — and the new Congress — begin. More
Instant 2 percent payraise, 2011 payroll taxes lowered
Jan. 1 marks the date of change for payroll taxes in the U.S., at least throughout 2011. The tax received will put more money into the pockets of working Americans. President Obama signed a bill during December that lowered payroll taxes for the entire year of 2011. Prior to the tax cut, employees paid about 6.2 percent of their earnings into Social Security. However, in 2011, employees will only pay 4.2 percent. This cut in taxes could result in a savings of more than $2,000 for some Americans, according to tax information supplier CCH. More
Workers' compensation beats retirement for federal workers
The Washington Times Share
The Federal Employees' Compensation Act of 1916 was never intended to be a retirement plan, but critics say for thousands of government employees, that's just what it's become. That's because under the federal system, disabled employees unable to return to work get to choose between receiving higher-paying workers' compensation benefits or the lower-paying federal retirement plan. For most, the choice is clear. More
Incoming House Oversight chair pledges hard line on waste
Government Executive Share
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., the incoming chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, issued yet another warning to the White House that he will launch in-depth investigations into wasteful government spending when he takes the gavel. And Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., who will be the Democrats' ranking member on the committee, indicated that he may be on board with some of Issa's investigations. More
Cummings warns against Oversight Committee 'witch hunts'
The Hill Share
The top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee is warning GOP leaders against partisan "witch hunts" when they take over the panel this year. Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., recently said that such investigations might play well politically, but they ultimately undermine the bipartisanship required to tackle the many problems facing the country. "We can't have witch hunts. We can't have these fishing expeditions," Cummings said on CNN's "State of the Union." More
7 health care changes that begin Jan. 1
Los Angeles Times Share
The new year always brings some changes, but 2011 will usher in some big ones for consumer health and health care spending. Here are seven changes to be aware of beginning Jan. 1. More
Should you pay a relative to take care of mom?
The Wall Street Journal Share
Growing numbers of families are compensating relatives who serve as caregivers to elders. But to avoid exacerbating tensions, it is important to disclose such arrangements to the entire family. According to a report by the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, 43.5 million Americans looked after a friend or relative age 50 or older in 2009, 28 percent more than in 2004. More
10,000 boomers a day need jobs
Yahoo recently reported that more than 10,000 baby boomers a day will turn 65, a pattern that will continue for the next 19 years. Brentwood Executive Search strategist Marcia Basichis, suggests that job hunters do what any good negotiator would – learn potential employers' interests, and tailor the resume to match them. "All job candidates," says Basichis "should research companies they would like to work for, thoroughly going over their websites to understand the business." More
Boomers who can't sell houses turn to remodeling
Toledo Blade Share
Uneasiness is keeping some aging baby boomers in their current homes, even though that's not what they had planned. David Crowe, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders, said, "National conditions for this sector have not yet turned the corner," and they will not improve "until employment improves and consumers are more confident of keeping their jobs." More
Travel deals dominate in 'dark' January
It's a dark spot on the travel industry's calendar, but January's full of bright prospects for deal-seeking excursionists with excess vacation days. Labeled "dark weeks" and "dead zones" by travel experts, much of January is marked by airports and attractions clear of holiday crowds and hotels with more vacancies than vacationers. In January 2010, for example, the Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics says U.S. airlines carried 52.6 million passengers. More
Consumer Ally's top 5 scams of 2010
The worst economic crisis since the Great Depression has provided happy hunting grounds for legions of unscrupulous scammers looking to take advantage of financially strapped consumers. Thanks to the collapse of the housing bubble, Wall Street's suicidal tendencies and unemployment rates nearing 10 percent, millions of consumers are desperate to dig themselves out of debt. Untold numbers of them have been victimized by fraudsters, and the Federal Trade Commission and states have been working overtime to put them out of business. More
A NARFE member asks why annuity payments weren't available Jan. 1
Question: I noticed that my annuity payment was not available to me Jan. 1. What is the reason? More
Put NARFE's Legislative Training Conference on your 2011 to-do list
With the debate over the federal budget heating up, NARFE legislative advocates should have March 5-8 circled on their calendars for the 2011 NARFE Legislative Training Conference. The conference will take place at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, Va., and will feature plenary sessions with guest speakers on policy issues as well as breakout advocacy training. NARFE buses will bring attendees to Capitol Hill, March 8, where they will pay calls on their members of Congress. Members who have never attended a Legislative Training Conference in the past are particularly urged to attend. Conference registration deadline is Feb. 8. More
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