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Thursday, Dec 18th

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Social Security disability on verge of insolvency

Social Security DisabilityLaid-off workers and aging baby boomers are flooding Social Security's disability program with benefit claims, pushing the financially strapped system toward the brink of insolvency.

Applications are up nearly 50 percent over a decade ago as people with disabilities lose their jobs and can't find new ones in an economy that has shed nearly 7 million jobs.

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Super rich still making money in crisis

Super rich get richerFinancial advisers to the world's richest people report some of their top clients have continued to make money throughout recent market turmoil by harnessing sophisticated investments out of reach to mainstream punters.

With equity markets plunging, most investors have suffered losses to their pension funds and portfolios, but those able to meet the multi-million dollar investment thresholds of private equity and some hedge funds are coming out ahead.

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Regulators Close Banks In Florida, Georgia, Illinois

Bank closuresU.S. regulators on Friday closed a large bank in Florida and two smaller ones in Georgia and Illinois, with the three total closures pushing this year's tally of failures to 68.

The Florida bank--Lydian Private Bank based in Palm Beach--is the fifth-largest failure this year by assets. The Georgia bank--First Southern National Bank, based in Statesboro--pushes that state's tally to 17 this year, the most in the country.

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The Day The Middle Class Died 30 Years Ago Today

On August 5, 1981, President Ronald Reagan fired every member of the air traffic controllers union (PATCO) who'd defied his order to return to work and declared their union illegal. They had been on strike for just two days.

It was a bold and brash move. No one had ever tried it. What made it even bolder was that PATCO was one of only three unions that had endorsed Reagan for president! It sent a shock wave through workers across the country. If he would do this to the people who were with him, what would he do to us?

Reagan had been backed by Wall Street in his run for the White House and they, along with right-wing Christians, wanted to restructure America and turn back the tide that President Franklin D. Roosevelt started -- a tide that was intended to make life better for the average working person. The rich hated paying better wages and providing benefits. They hated paying taxes even more. And they despised unions. The right-wing Christians hated anything that sounded like socialism or holding out a helping hand to minorities or women.

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How JP Morgan Took Over All Kentucky's Financial Services, And Why You Should Be Scared

JP Morgan Chase takes over Kentucky banksOn July 1, JP Morgan Chase became the Commonwealth’s bank. As the state’s official depository, JP now receives all deposits, writes all checks and makes all wire transfers on the $12-15 billion that flow through Kentucky state government in the course of a fiscal year.

It will cut payroll checks, receive federal and other funds earmarked for the state, and disburse educational or transportation or any other funds to their appropriate monetary endpoints. For its trouble, the bank will receive $1.3 million in state fees and the ability to re-lend idle state funds out to customers for private gain. Yes, you should be worried.

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American Millionaires: 1,400 Paid No U.S. Income Taxes In 2009

1400 millionares paid no US income taxesNew tax data from the Internal Revenue service shows that in 2009, incomes fell, unemployment claims rose, and the U.S. economy shed nearly two million taxpayers.  And of the 235,413 taxpayers who earned $1 million or more in 2009, 1,470 of them paid no taxes.

According to the data, the average income for American taxpayers fell to $54,283 -- a drop of $3,516, or about 6.1 percent, between 2008 and 2009. Not only that, but the overall number of taxpayers -- that is, individuals or married couples filing with the IRS -- fell by almost two million.

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REPORT: Debt Ceiling Deal Will Cost 1.8 Million Jobs In 2012

Debt ceiling deal will cost 1.3 million jobsThe Economic Policy Institute, a top nonpartisan think tank, estimates that the deal struck this weekend to raise the nation’s debt limit will end up costing the economy 1.8 million jobs by 2012.

Today the Senate is expected to approve the package passed yesterday by the House and send it to President Obama. But while the unemployment rate remains above 9 percent, the deal does nothing to address chronic joblessness.

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