Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

3/4/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Early dividends paid out added to sudden drop in take-home income

If you have a lot less money to go around for bills this month, you're not alone. Americans across the board saw a monthly decline in income, the biggest in 20 years, as certain things conspired to meddle with the worker's average take-home pay.

All of that said, consumers are benefiting from a housing recovery and rising stock prices. The Consumer Confidence Index rose in February, showing that Americans are more upbeat about the economy than they have been in a very long time.

All of that said, consumers are benefiting from a housing recovery and rising stock prices. The Consumer Confidence Index rose in February, showing that Americans are more upbeat about the economy than they have been in a very long time.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

3/4/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Income, dividends, consumer confidence, drop


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Personal income decreased by $505.5 billion in January, or 3.6 percent, compared to December. It represented the most dramatic decline since January 1993, according to the Commerce Department.

As is usually the case, it was a lot of little things adding up to one big thing. For example: Monthly income was unusually high in December because companies paid out early dividends to avoid upcoming tax hikes. Companies like WalMart, Oracle and Costco Wholesale Corp paid special dividends to their shareholders at the end of 2012, instead of waiting for this year.

They helped their high-income shareholders, who are defined as individuals earning at least $400,000 a year, or married couples earning $450,000 avoid paying higher taxes on their gains. Lawmakers decided to raise dividend tax rates for high-income households from 15 percent to 20 percent as part of their "fiscal cliff' strategy.

The payroll tax cut's expiration also played a role in January's drop, because most workers have to pay two percentage points more in taxes this year. The Commerce Department's "personal income" calculation subtracts out individuals' contributions to government social insurance programs like Social Security, which are funded by the payroll tax.

The Commerce Department estimates that after-tax income actually increased 0.3 percent in January.

Economists in the meantime are closely watching consumer spending, which accounts for about two-thirds of the U.S. economy. They're waiting to see how the payroll tax hike will affect the broader recovery.

Economists such as Chris Christopher, Jr. of IHS Global Insight, called that "anemic" and pointed to weak retail sales at low-end and mid-tier retailers as proof that consumers are being squeezed.

The payroll tax cut "hurt many Americans where it counts -- in their pocket books," Christopher said.

Retail giant WalMart, the nation's largest retailer, said it's late January and early February sales have been slow, which it blamed on higher payroll taxes, delays in income tax-refund processing, and higher gas prices.

Rising gas prices in February could also cut into consumer spending temporarily. Gas prices rose 10 percent in February, according to AAA, but are expected to fall in coming weeks.

All of that said, consumers are benefiting from a housing recovery and rising stock prices. The Consumer Confidence Index rose in February, showing that Americans are more upbeat about the economy than they have been in a very long time.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2015
Universal:
That, rejecting the culture of indifference, we may care for our neighbours who suffer, especially the sick and the poor.
Evangelization: That Mary's intercession may help Christians in secularized cultures be ready to proclaim Jesus.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Politics & Policy

All for naught? FBI admits that Patriot Act didn't lead to cracking major terrorist cases Watch

Image of Opponents, with the inspector general conclude that no major cases have been broken by use of the Patriot Act's records-snooping provisions.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It granted the Federal Bureau of Investigation bold new powers - but now the FBI admits that the Patriot Act didn't help them crack any major terrorism cases. The Justice Department's Inspector general Michael E. Horowitz now says there are issues that keep key ... continue reading


Karl Rove's American Crossroads no longer as powerful as it once was Watch

Image of American Crossroads began by Karl Rove and other powerful Republicans were at one time a most powerful force in American politics.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

American Crossroads, created by Karl Rove and other powerful Republicans, was at one time a most powerful force in American politics. There is evidence, however, that this is changing. The American political landscape is changing, and the group is seeing the ... continue reading


Disappointing Congress: Both the right and the left ladle out heavy disapproval for Congress Watch

Image of Republicans at 36 percent are about as likely as Democrats at 38 percent or independents at 38 percent to say Congress is accomplishing less than they expected.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Even republicans have very little good to say about the republican-led Congress. Just 23 percent of Americans say congressional Republicans are keeping the promises they made during last fall's campaign. The vast majority, at 65 percent say they are not. LOS ... continue reading


ENROLLMENT ZERO: No one signs up for Obamacare in Hawaii - NO ONE Watch

Image of Suppose they gave universal health care - and no one came?

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Suppose they gave universal health care - and no one came? That appears to be the case in Hawaii, where Hawaii's Obamacare Exchange enrolled a grand total of ZERO - simply no one, people during its special enrollment period. While Hawaii's enrollment was a ... continue reading


ANOTHER LIE: Hillary Clinton's email scandal grows Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Hillary Clinton is caught in another lie regarding her private email account usage. According to the New York Times, Clinton used more than one private account while serving as secretary of state. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The news of another private email ... continue reading


President Obama seeks to end immigration enforcement on part of local police Watch

Image of President Obama hoped to rebut the notion that he is insensitive to the plight of police officers on the front lines.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

President Barack Obama, while in Camden, New Jersey, said that in order for local police to rebuild trust within their communities, immigration enforcement must be taken away from state and local police and remain strictly the domain of federal law enforcement. ... continue reading


The Clintons have earned WHOPPING $25 million to deliver speeches since last year Watch

Image of Hillary Clinton has made $3.2 million from the tech sector. One of her last speaking gigs on the paid lecture circuit; she addressed an eBay summit aimed at promoting women in the workplace. Her 20-minute chat garnered a $315,000 check.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Former first family, the Clintons, at one time claimed they were broke. If so, this was before last year, when both Bill and Hillary delivered 104 speeches for a total of $25 million. Hillary Clinton is especially popular with high-tech firms, who eagerly shell ... continue reading


President Obama cracks down on military equipment for U.S. law enforcement Watch

Image of Making his announcement in Camden, New Jersey, the president praised efforts by the police department to improve their relationship with a poor community struggling with violence.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

U.S. President Barack Obama gave law enforcement a dressing down this week - literally. Obama has placed new restrictions on the amount of combat-style equipment local law enforcement can use. The gesture is intended to smooth over relations with racial ... continue reading


'Iraq is the biggest disaster in American history,' former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright declares Watch

Image of Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright believes

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright spoke plainly when discussing the ongoing Middle East crisis. "Iraq is the biggest disaster in American history," Albright declared late last week. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "I have believed that Iraq is the ... continue reading


Somebody's 'Mook?' Hillary Clinton's campaign manager interned for George Stephanopoulos Watch

Image of Yo, Mook!

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

George Stephanopoulos is in hot after currently donating to the Clinton Foundation. Adding to the web of deceit, it was discovered that Stephanopoulos thanked Hillary Clinton's campaign manager, Robby Mook in the acknowledgement section of his 1999 tell-all ... continue reading


All Politics & Policy News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 2:1-11
1 When Pentecost day came round, they had all met ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 104:1, 24, 29-30, 31, 34
1 Bless Yahweh, my soul, Yahweh, my God, how great ... Read More

Gospel, John 20:19-23
19 In the evening of that same day, the first day of ... Read More

Reading 2, First Corinthians 12:3-7, 12-13
3 Because of that, I want to make it quite clear to ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 24th, 2015 Image

St. David I of Scotland
May 24: David, the youngest son of Scotlandís virtuous queen, (Saint) ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter