The next time you pour yourself a cold one, give yourself a pat on the back in the name of patriotism. On average, 40 percent of the price you paid for that beer is going straight to Uncle Sam and the state.
Lobbyists in Washington are pushing to reduce those taxes, at least by a few cents. The Beer Institute is supporting legislation cleverly titled the BEER Act, which would reduce the federal excise tax from $18 per 31-gallon barrel (an amount that doesn't actually exist; a keg is 15.5 gallons) to $9 for large brewers. Smaller operations would pay nothing in excise taxes on the first 15,000 barrels they produce, while kicking in a mere $3.50 through 60,000 barrels. Read The Full Story
Congressman Jared Polis is calling on the Treasury to ban physical dollars in response to Senator Manchin’s plea to ban Bitcoin. “The exchange of dollar bills, including high denomination bills, is currently unregulated and has allowed users to participate in illicit activity, while also being highly subject to forgery, theft, and loss,” wrote Polis in a statement.
To be sure, the Congressman is being cheeky. “This is just a satirical version of Senator Manchin’s letter, meant to draw attention to the fact that BitCoins are not any more susceptible to the problems that the Senator points out than dollars,” said Spokesperson Scott Overland. “Congressman Polis is not actually calling for a ban on physical currency, but hopes this helps move the debate forward so we can come up with ways to improve BitCoins, not ban them.” Read The Full Story
Western countries voiced concern on Thursday that tensions in Libya could slip out of control in the absence of a functioning political system, and they urged the government and rival factions to start talking.
Two-and-a-half years after the fall of former leader Muammar Gaddafi, the oil-rich North African state is struggling to contain violence between rival forces, with Islamist militants gaining an ever-stronger grip on the south of the country.
"The situation in Libya is very worrying," French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told reporters on the margins of a conference in Rome to discuss the Libyan crisis.
He said the uncertain security position, especially in the south, worsened an unstable political situation which required Libyan political forces to come together to reach a solution. Read The Full Story
Perhaps two of the least liked organizations that we know of around here are ICE, also known as the Department of Homeland Security's 'Immigrations and Customs Enforcement' group -- recently subject to a sort of rebranding as Homeland Security Investigations, and GoDaddy. So here's a story of the two of them teaming up to censor a political website in Mexico that was a key site in protesting the current Mexican administration, as well as opposing attempts to criminalize protests. Read The Full Story
Warding off the specter of election-year health insurance cancellations, the Obama administration Wednesday announced a two-year extension for individual policies that don't meet requirements of the new health care law.
The decision helps defuse a political problem for Democrats in tough re-election battles this fall, especially for senators who in 2010 stood with President Barack Obama and voted to pass his health overhaul.
The extension was part of a major package of regulations that sets ground rules for 2015, the second year of government-subsidized health insurance markets under Obama's law - and the first year that larger employers will face a requirement to provide coverage.
Hundreds of pages of provisions affecting insurers, employers and consumers were issued by the Treasury Department and the Department of Health and Human Services. It will likely take days for lawyers and consultants to fully assess the implications. Read The Full Story