When the congressional super committee failed to find more than one trillion dollars in budget cuts, it triggered automatic reductions throughout the entire federal budget. It could force the Pentagon to close bases and cut military spending in places like Kentucky.
The wait is over! A 131-word constitutional amendment to expand gambling in Kentucky was announced this morning by Republican Senator Damon Thayer and Democratic Governor Steve Beshear. Let the war of words on the expansion of casino-style gambling in the Commonwealth begin. Here is an excerpt released this morning from the governor’s press office: “We’ve been debating this issue in Frankfort for more than 15 years. The citizens of our state are clamoring to have their voices heard,” Gov. Beshear said. “Two recent polls show more than 80 percent of Kentuckians want to cast a ballot on gaming. Are we going to listen to them or not?”
Kentucky Senate President David Williams has several criticisms for Governor Steve Beshear's recently-appointed tax commission. Williams proposed creating such a commission during his bid for governor last year. But says Beshear’s commission lacks the guidance and experience to change Kentucky’s tax code. The Senate President says the majority of the commission is made up of Beshear’s friends and political allies.
The Greece debt crisis has forced the country to look to the eurozone for a bailout. But Greece is looking less and less like part of Europe. In the capital Athens, they are still cleaning up from the weekend riots. Even in its tourist precincts, the area is shabby and covered with graffiti.
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We're following several developments in Iran's confrontation with the west. President Obama's administration is talking of even stricter sanctions against Iran's financial system. That's part of an effort to pressure Iran to abandon its nuclear ambitions.
Congress appears to have avoided another showdown over the payroll tax reduction that has been pumping billions of dollars back into the economy. There may even be a deal ahead on jobless benefits and payments to Medicare doctors.
The last time Congress extended the payroll tax holiday was in December, when it passed a two-month extension tied to two other measures. One extended unemployment benefits, and the second fixed a formula by which Medicare doctors are paid. The Medicare fix would stop big cuts in reimbursements for doctors.
If you buy organic products, your options may be about to expand. The U.S. and the European Union are announcing that they will soon treat each other's organic standards as equivalent. In other words, if it's organic here, it's also organic in Europe, and vice versa. Organic food companies are cheering because their potential markets just doubled.