President Biden will get his minimum wage hike, even if he has to piece it together one person at a time. The President announced Tuesday that all federal contractors must pay their employees a minimum of $15 per hour.
The President did this by executive order, given he is not likely to get a federal minimum wage through Congress. Recall that he tried to do that with his Covid relief fund and Republicans found a way to stop it.
The current minimum pay for federal workers is $10.95 per hour. The executive order also eliminates the tipped minimum wage, which allows employers to pay $7.65 per hour to any worker that can earn tips. The tipped minimum wage will disappear by 2024 and the $15 minimum wage will take its place.
The President will address Congress later today to lay out the details of his American Families Plan, which is said to provide free preschool, community college and childcare. It is expected to come with a $1 trillion price tag.
The Tax Man is about to come into some money! The Biden administration is set to approve a big budget increase for the Internal Revenue Service to the tune of $80 billion dollars over the next decade.
Charles Rettig, head of the IRS, has been lobbying Congress and public opinion for more money in recent months, saying that if he had a bigger budget, he could hire more auditors to catch more tax evasion and increase federal revenues.
The IRS says that its staff and enforcement resources have been steadily shrinking in the last decade. By some estimates, hiring more firepower at the IRS could bring in an extra $700 billion in taxes that would otherwise fall through the cracks.
The current IRS budget is $12 billion. The President’s proposal of an $80 billion budget is more than a 50% increase! If we think that the agency will take this money and beef itself up into a friendly agency, we are fooling ourselves. As the Wall Street Journal points out, “Getting all of that money would require a much more intrusive government than many Americans are likely to accept. But getting some of it is plausible, and nonpartisan analysts project that additional money for IRS enforcement would more than pay for itself.”
Rettig originally asked for a $1 trillion budget.
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A new study shows that coffee does in fact lead to more alert and beneficial brain waves and in some cases, it can also increase the ability to learn and focus, as well as process and store memories.
Phew! This isn’t one of those coffee-is-bad-for-you studies!
The study out of Portugal’s University of Minho School of Medicine monitored brain images of coffee drinkers vs non-coffee drinkers to measure blood flow and neural activity. In addition to these positive outcomes, they also found that coffee can be linked to a higher degree of stress. So indulge in your morning brew but gently friend. You don’t want to end up like Kramer.
News By The Numbers
$20,000. That is the opening bid for a bottle of whiskey that was made during the Revolutionary War. It will go up for auction in June and experts used carbon dating to estimate that it was made between the years 1762-1802.
5.4 minutes. That is the average time of sex, according to a recent survey of 500 couples who actually reported their times using stopwatches. The reported data ranged from 33 seconds (????) to 44 minutes.
25. That is how many volunteers the National Park Service needs to go kill bison in the Grand Canyon. The NPS is concerned about bison population growth and its impact on the park’s ecosystem so they are seeking a volunteer hunting team.
A census was taken in the Netherlands last week for bees. More than 11,000 people across the country participated in a bee counting exercise to track the powerhouse pollinators.
The results were encouraging! The nation’s bee population is steady, which is a refreshing change from the decline we’ve seen in recent decades.
"An average of 18 to 20 bees and hoverflies were recorded in each garden during the count. These numbers have remained steady over the years, indicating that there is no strong decline in urban gardens,” said Vincent Kalkman, an entomologist who led the bee census.
The Netherlands has employed tactics to promote a healthy bee population in recent years. There are bee hotels in Amsterdam, grassy fields have been replaced by wildflowers and many bee-harming chemicals have been outlawed. It is an encouraging piece of data that shows that conservation works, friends! There is hope yet!
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