The Department of Labor reported an unemployment rate of 6.1percent for August 2014, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point. It reported an increase of 142,000 nonfarm jobs over last month. Employment for June was revised down from 298,000 to 267,000 jobs created, and July was revised up from 209,000 to 212,000.
Over the past month, the IRS released drafts of seven new tax forms it will use to monitor Americans’ compliance with Obamacare’s individual and employer mandates, as well as the law’s complicated subsidy scheme. Together, these forms take 13 pages and contain 206 lines for entries. Instructions for five of these forms make up another 19 pages – the IRS has not yet posted the instructions for the other two forms. Even many of the law’s most ardent supporters describe the forms as complex and dense.
As President Obama noted in his prime-time address on Wednesday, America continues to face grave threats around the world. A comprehensive response to those threats – in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and other unstable regions – should incorporate America’s abundant fossil energy resources.
In early August, the Highway Trust Fund is expected, by law, to stop making payments to states to avoid a negative balance. In the past, Congress kept the HTF solvent primarily with general fund money – transferring $54 billion since 2008. But the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 stipulated that any transfer to the HTF now must be offset. Congress is currently working through options to keep the HTF solvent.