I don’t usually cover politics here, but Congress has passed a couple of recent bills that have the potential to affect your pocket book.
For starters, the STOCK Act has been gradually making it’s way through Congress. This is the legislation that would stop Congressmen from using insider information when making investments.
The Senate was the first to pass the STOCK Act, followed by the House — but not before the House leadership removed a key provision regulating firms that collect “political intelligence” for hedge funds, private equity funds, etc.
The two versions now need to be resolved, either in committee, or via informal negotiations between the House and Senate. Hopefully they’ll get this worked out quickly, and send a strong bill to the President for his signature.
In other news, Congress has just passed an extension of the payroll tax cut. In case you don’t recall, this was set to expire at the end of 2011, and they ended up passing a two month extension near the end of the year to buy time.
This time around, they’ve extended the 2% cut (from 6.2% to 4.2%) for the rest of 2012. The bill also included an extension of long-term jobless benefits and a provision to avoid a cut in Medicare payments to doctors.
I’d be happy to hear your thoughts on both of these issues, though I’m going to have to ask you to keep it civil. Please steer clear of the underlying political issues, and stick to the financial side of things.