Pandemic Triggers 89 Percent Increase in U.S. Food Stamp Spending

Spending on food stamps has increased by $53.5 billion – an 89% increase – in the two pandemic years. By comparison, that’s how much the entire program cost in 2009 during the Great Recession.

Spending on the U.S. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program grew 88.5% from $60.3 billion in 2019 to $113.8 billion in 2021. Spending on the SNAP program had previously peaked at $79.8 billion in 2013 before declining for the next six years.

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Virginia Unfunded Pension Liabilities Could Triple This Year

If investment returns for Virginia’s pension system come in around negative 6%, the commonwealth’s unfunded liabilities could nearly triple for Fiscal Year 2022, according to a report from the Reason Foundation.

Virginia’s unfunded liabilities for FY2021 were slightly less than $6 billion, but early indicators estimate an average negative 6% return on investments for FY2022. If the commonwealth’s returns are at that rate, its unfunded liabilities would increase to slightly more than $17 billion.

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U.S. Home Ownership Rate Sees Highest Annual Surge Ever Recorded

The rate of homeownership in the United States saw its highest surge ever recorded in 2020, with homebuying rates jumping significantly even as the country continues to see record-low stock in most states.

The homeownership rate “climbed to 65.5% in 2020, up 1.3% from 2019 and the largest annual increase on record,” the National Association of Realtors said in a press release this week.

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Critics Pan Biden’s Claim $3.5 Trillion Spending Bill Costs ‘Zero’

President Joe Biden is taking fire for comments he made about his $3.5 trillion legislation just as the bill faces a deeply split Congress.

Biden made headlines for claiming the bill would cost “zero dollars,” despite media reports and members of both parties commonly naming the bill’s cost at $3.5 trillion for the last several months.

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Report: Home Prices 41 Percent Higher Than Previous Peak in 2006 Before Great Recession

A beige house in a suburban community during the day

Home prices in the U.S. are more than 41% higher than the previous peak recorded in 2006 during the housing boom that preceded the Great Recession, according to a national index.

Home prices hit a new peak in June, increasing at an annual rate of 18.6%, and 2.2% compared to May, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index published Tuesday. The index is 95% higher than it was in 2012 when the housing market bottomed out following the recession.

“June 2021 is the third consecutive month in which the growth rate of housing prices set a record,” S&P DJI Managing Director of Index Investment Strategy Craig Lazzara said in a statement. “The National Composite Index marked its thirteenth consecutive month of accelerating prices.”

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Analysis: Deficit Will Top $3.6 Trillion in Fiscal Year 2021 as $7.27 Trillion of the National Debt Comes Due in the 2022

United States currency

The annual budget deficit has already hit $1.9 trillion and counting for the fiscal year that will end in September, according to the U.S. Treasury’s April statement, and it will reach as high as $3.6 trillion this year, says the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Comparatively, in 2020, the deficit totaled about $3.1 trillion for the entire year.

This comes amid the massive government spending in response to the Covid pandemic, including the $2.2 trillion CARES Act in March 2020, the $900 billion phase four legislation in Dec. 2020 and then President Joe Biden’s additional $1.9 trillion Covid stimulus bill in March 2020. Another $2.1 trillion infrastructure plan is in the works. And now, Biden is offering his $6 trillion budget, which will blow another $1.8 trillion hole in the deficit in 2022.

As a result, 33 percent of marketable national debt, or about $7.27 trillion of the $22 trillion of publicly held debt, will be coming due within the next year, according to the latest data by the U.S. Treasury. For perspective, that’s more debt than existed as recently as 2003.

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Progressive Activist Running For RVA Mayor Wants Equity

Alexsis Rodgers is running for mayor to bring equity to Richmond’s impoverished and minority communities, but she said that doesn’t leave behind other parts of the city.

“We all thrive and we all succeed when more of us are able to have access to economic opportunity, when more of us are able to be healthy, and lead healthy lives,” Rodgers told The Virginia Star.

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