December 3, 2011
Have Republicans gone mad? Now they are opposing the payroll tax cut proposed by President Obama unless there are budget cuts equal to the lost revenue. Aren't these are the same politicians who used to say tax cuts don't cause lost revenue? They certainly didn't demand any spending cuts when they approved tax cuts in 2001 and 2003. Last year, when they opposed ending tax cuts for people earning more than $250,000 a year, they didn't support cutting spending to match that lost revenue either.
December 1, 2011
Sorry, Virginia, there is no contractual sanity clause for those who serve in Congress. Once again, the clock is ticking for Washington to fashion a compromise over legislation that would both stimulate the economy and provide tax relief to middle-class Americans. President Barack Obama's proposed payroll tax reduction sure would make a nice Christmas gift (or New Year's Eve surprise), but how many of us expect to take delivery within the next 30 days? If recent history is any guide, probably not too many - even among the most optimistic young Virginias of the world.
September 28, 2011
The Yankees and Phillies are in the playoffs, again. The Royals and Pirates are not, again. Same teams, same big money, same October story? Not so fast. The Diamondbacks just went from last to first. The Tigers won a division championship for the first time in 24 years, the Brewers for the first time in 29 years. This is a big deal to the fans of those teams, perhaps a bigger deal to a commissioner who has worked toward weakening the correlation between player payroll and postseason participation.
September 15, 2011
Employees of the West Baltimore mental health and substance abuse clinic Baltimore Behavioral Health Inc. have complained of bounced paychecks in recent weeks, and state health officials say they are monitoring to make sure patient care doesn't suffer as a result of low morale among the staff. Executives at the private, nonprofit clinic acknowledge recent financial struggles and say they have moved to resolve them, getting up to date on the payroll and negotiating a deal to sell and lease back a portion of the clinic's West Pratt Street campus.
September 7, 2011
America is in crisis. The new normal is not good enough. The unemployed can't find jobs, the old can't retire and those in between live in constant fear of being tapped on the shoulder and thrust into the abyss. Property values are lower than a snake's belly, stocks are diving and gold - the "fear asset" - seems the only sound investment. Thursday, President Barack Obama will address Congress and is expected to propose ideas that only maintain the status quo, or perhaps even make things worse.
September 2, 2011
A rare air of controversy has marked the new school year at the Baltimore School for the Arts, with administrators disclosing this week that the school's payroll practices are being investigated. The revelation comes as parents say they want to be included in decisions made at the school, citing the layoff of a longtime teacher last year as an example of critical decisions the school has made unilaterally. "We've all felt that 'if it ain't broke don't fix it,' said Bob Cronan, the parent of a visual arts student, in an interview about staff cuts.
August 22, 2011
Shannon Ward, owner of Sazor Financial Solutions, of Fallston, has expanded her business to include payroll. Sazor Financial Solutions was established in 2010 with the goal of helping small businesses better manage their financial records. As a student of the Universal Accounting Center's Professional Bookkeeper Program, and a Certified Quickbooks ProAdvisor, Ward is excited to be offering additional services to the business community. Ward's main focus is in helping businesses evaluate their financial standing and improve their returns.
August 5, 2011
American employers added more jobs than forecast in July and wages climbed. Payrolls rose by 117,000 workers after a 46,000 increase in June that was larger than earlier estimated, the Labor Department said Friday. The median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey called for a gain of 85,000. The jobless rate dropped to 9.1 percent as discouraged workers left the labor force. Average hourly earnings climbed 0.4 percent. Faster job gains are needed to bolster consumer spending, which makes up 70 percent of the economy and rose last quarter at the slowest pace in two years.
June 28, 2011
With freedom on our minds as we celebrate the Fourth of July, our state employees will be experiencing a diminishing of their freedom. Beginning with the July 1, 2011 pay period, the state will be withholding an "agency fee" from all state employees, including the two-thirds of state employees who do not want to join the union (higher education employees are specifically excluded). This is due to the passage in the 2009 Legislative Session of Senate Bill 264, a bill requested by the O'Malley Administration which authorized the unions to negotiate with the administration the collection of service fees from non-members.
March 4, 2011
Madeline Victoria Svec, a retired Westinghouse payroll clerk and musical theater patron, died of a stroke Feb. 22 at St. Elizabeth Rehabilitation and Nursing Center. She was 96. Born in East Baltimore, she was the daughter of Josef Svec, who came to Baltimore from the village of Velešice in what is today's Czech Republic, and his wife, Frances Skrivan. Except for a few years living above her stepfather's business, the Tyc Bakery at Montford Avenue and Madison Street, she lived for 92 years in the home of her birth on North Port Street.