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Category Archives: Government Documents

Social Security Seemed Like a Future Problem. The Virus Changed That.

The New York Times – “Even before the pandemic, Social Security’s finances were under growing pressure. The next president and Congress will play a crucial role in what happens next…If nothing is done to shore up the program, all benefit checks will need to be cut by roughly one-quarter in perhaps 11 years — or, if the recession is protracted and severe, maybe even sooner. “We thought we had more than a decade, and now it could be less than a decade,” said Kathleen Romig, a senior policy analyst at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. “That makes a big difference both psychologically and in policy terms.” The pandemic has hastened the cash crunch’s arrival by wiping out jobs and the payroll taxes — Social Security’s dedicated source of revenue — that they provide. Fewer people are paying into the retirement trust fund, and the longer they’re out of work, the deeper the problem becomes. (Even more pressing may be a fix for Social Security’s disability program, which has a trust fund of its own. A report issued by the Congressional Budget Office last month projects that fund could be exhausted in 2026.) Despite such grim projections, Social Security hasn’t received a lot of attention during the presidential campaign, given everything else going on. But whoever wins next week will have little choice but to stretch out his hand toward the third rail of politics. And both candidates have offered ideas that could significantly shift how Social Security works. President Trump hasn’t released a proposal, but he has said he wants to eliminate the payroll taxSocial Security’s lifeblood — as an expansion of the temporary holiday enacted by executive action over the summer. (Few companies have stopped collecting the tax, which would have to be repaid in 2021.) “At the end of the year, on the assumption that I win, I’m going to terminate the payroll tax,” he said in August. Instead, he said, he would pay for the program through the general budget, which could count on “tremendous growth.”…

New Foreign Legal Gazette Collection Database

In Custodia Legis: “The Law Library of Congress has developed a guide to our collection of foreign legal gazettes. Gazettes are generally the first place that a ruling body will publish its laws, making them an invaluable resource for foreign legal research. The Law Library has been collecting foreign legal gazettes since the mid-19th century. We… Continue Reading

Postal Service ordered to increase late trips for election mail

Bloomberg News via Seattle Times – “Postmaster General Louis DeJoy was ordered to immediately begin expanding mail delivery with extra trips and later deliveries after the U.S. Postal Service failed to improve performance less than a week before the election. U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan in Washington late Tuesday granted an emergency request to enforce… Continue Reading

The impact of President Trump’s energy dominance agenda

The Wilderness Society Action Fund – Four years later: Our public lands and waters under Trump — in 7 maps – “As President Trump’s term comes to an end, his energy dominance agenda has already left deep scars on our wildest places and on the health and well-being of communities across the nation. We’re taking… Continue Reading

NARA – Presidential Elections & Inaugurations

“Every four years, on the first Tuesday (after the first Monday) of November, we cast our votes for President of the United States. The National Archives and Records Administration has a unique role in the election process: NARA’s Office of the Federal Register administers the Electoral College. On the following January 20, the President of… Continue Reading

The U.S. Presidential Election: Managing the Risks of Violence

International Crisis Group – 28 October 2020 – The U.S. Presidential Election: Managing the Risks of Violence: “The 2020 U.S. presidential election presents risks not seen in recent history. It is conceivable that violence could erupt during voting or protracted ballot counts. Officials should take extra precautions; media and foreign leaders should avoid projecting a… Continue Reading

Here Is The Last Day Mail-In Ballots Will Be Accepted In Every State

BuzzFeedNews – “Millions of people are voting by mail in the 2020 election — many for the first time due to the coronavirus pandemic. In order to ensure your ballot is counted, officials suggest mail-in ballots be sent in early, especially given USPS delays. Many states suggest sending your ballot at least one week before… Continue Reading

How Long Will Vote Counting Take? Estimates and Deadlines in All 50 States

The New York Times -“Although many winners may quickly be evident on election night, the increase in mail voting because of the pandemic is expected to push back the release of full results in many key states. The New York Times asked officials in every state and the District of Columbia about their reporting processes… Continue Reading

Where Did Trump Get the Idea That Americans Have the Cleanest Water?

Slate – “It was overshadowed among Donald Trump’s other outrageous claims in Thursday’s debate, but once again the president asserted that Americans enjoy the cleanest water in the world. “We have done an incredible job environmentally, we have the cleanest air, the cleanest water, and the best carbon emission standards that we’ve seen in many,… Continue Reading

How politicians target you: 3,000 data points on every voter, including your phone number

Washington Post – “Our quest to find what politicians know about voters uncovered data troves with intimate information about income, debt, family, religion, gun ownership and a whole lot more…I’ve been on a crusade to find out what politicians know about me. So over the past few months, I’ve used California’s new data privacy law… Continue Reading

Over 40 million people already voted by mail. Here’s how to track your ballot online

CNET – “You may be able to track your ballot using BallotTrax, or through the website for your state’s Secretary of State. “Americans have been voting early this year ahead of the 2020 elections, with more than 61.2 million votes already in and nearly 41 million of those being mail-in votes. And if you’ve decided to vote by mail… Continue Reading