Although tax reform has been in the national spotlight lately—between the Obama team's April Buffett Rule push and the Republican primary candidates' proposals (remember 9-9-9?)—don't expect corporate tax reform to be a legislative priority in the near future. “From the beginning, we acknowledged that this would be a heavy lift and take time,” an official from the Treasury Department said.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, President Obamasaid that the 2012 election will be "as sharp a contrast between the two parties as we've seen in a generation." While this may be true on the policy front, the campaigns have one key thing in common: Both have hired attack dogs as chief advisors, adding some bite to their candidates' even keel.
While the global economy is still on shaky terrain, Apple is having a good 2012. In the first quarter, the tech behemoth sold 35 million iPhones—an 88 percent increase from last year, representing 59.7 percent of Apple's overall sales—and 11.8 million iPads. These sales nearly doubled Apple's profits, and sent Apple's stocks up 7 percent, up $40.55 to $600.83 yesterday.
Social Security will run out of funds in 2033—sooner than forecast last year—according to a new government report. Medicare's hospital insurance fund will be gone by 2024. Together, the programs account for 35 percent of all federal spending, and if the trust funds—which are made up of the difference between the payroll taxes paid toward the programs and the benefits doled out—were depleted, benefits would be automatically cut by 25 percent. Social Security's disability insurance faces the soonest expiration—it is now scheduled to run out of money in 2016, two years earlier than projected last year.
François Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy will face off in a May 6 runoff election after the Socialist challenger won 28.6 percent of the vote in the first round of the French presidential elections yesterday.