It’s Not Just You – Politics is Stressing out America’s Youth

“I can’t sleep.” – A 16-year-old “It’s been extremely hard to concentrate.” – A 22-year-old “I got behind in school.” – A 22-year-old “I feel like I could get killed any second.”- An 18-year-old “I’m nervous about whether I need to go to school wearing a gas mask.”- A 14-year-old “I’m scared for my safety.” – A 15-year-old The current political climate has been difficult for Americans of all political stripes. People have been so stressed that, just before the 2016 presidential election, the American Psychological Association released a list of coping strategies to help adults deal with election-related stress. The focus has been on adults, yet teens and college-aged Americans are exposed to the same headlines. Turns out – youth are feeling it, too. In our survey of 80 youth across the nation, published Feb. 13, we found that a majority experienced physical or emotional distress before and after the …

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The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 is Law

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 is Law: The Detailed Provisions to Know The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, a measure that has been characterized as the first major reform of the Internal Revenue Code in 31 years, received final approval from the House and the Senate on December 20, and was signed into law by President Trump two days later on December 22. The legislation slashes the top corporate tax rate to 21%, lowers the top marginal rate for individual taxpayers to 37%, eliminates or scales back several popular deductions, reduces taxes on business income earned by pass-through businesses, doubles the estate tax exemption, and substantially enhances immediate expensing of capital investments. The legislation is expected to add around $1.5 trillion to the Federal deficit over 10 years, before accounting for any economic growth. Under the Senate’s budget reconciliation rules, the final bill could be approved by …

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What Impact Will the New Tax Policy Have?

While Republicans are touting a victory in the passage and signing of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, it will take some time before most changes go into effect. And with all the sweeping changes in the law, tweaks and fixes are likely in the coming months, experts say. “It’s important to remember that it could be years before the IRS does its interpretation of the tax changes and even longer, if ever, before those interpretations are tested by courts,” says Steven Weil, Ph.D., president and tax manager of RMS Accounting, an accounting and bookkeeping firm. “There are sure to be errors, and corrections that Congress will have to make. How long these will take and how many there will be is anyone’s guess.” In the meantime you may see a few changes sooner, depending on some variables. It Depends on How You File One of the main changes is …

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DOL Proposes Changes to AHP Rules

President Donald Trump issued an executive order last year to expand access to association health plans (AHP). The Employee Benefits Security Administration, part of the U.S. Labor Department, recently issued proposed rule changes that would help expand AHPs under the Affordable Care Act. It’s an effort to help provide more options for small employers looking for other insurance plans besides the small group health insurance market, which has been plagued with higher prices and fewer coverage options. “Association health plans are typically offered as packaged insurance programs to employers within a certain geographic region, such as from local chambers of commerce, or industry, such as statewide trade associations as a benefit of membership of the association,” says Chris Wolpert, managing member and employee benefits adviser at Group Benefit Solutions, an employee benefits management firm. Expanding the rules could mean changes for the insurance industry. Here’s what you need to know. …

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Will a Government Shutdown Damage the U.S. Economy?

The federal government shut down for the first time in a little more than four years after Republicans and Democrats failed to agree on a last-minute deal to keep funds flowing for another few weeks. The immediate and most visible impact will be in the government’s day-to-day operations. Many departments and offices, like the Department of the Treasury, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Library of Congress, will be closed, and nonessential federal employees across the government would stay home. Families hoping to take their kids to a national park will usually be out of luck in a shutdown, but the Trump administration hopes to keep some of them open. Meanwhile, the men and women who protect our food supply and national security will still be doing their jobs – without pay. But beyond the individual workers and families affected, could a short or lengthy shutdown affect the broader U.S. …

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