federal budget

South Florida Food Banks Prepare For Funding Cuts

Oct 28, 2013
Gloria Lewis

Florida's food programs are bracing for cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that kick in Nov. 1 --- while watching warily as U.S. House and Senate conferees prepare to negotiate a federal farm bill, which could have much more far-reaching consequences for hungry Floridians.

Talk to economists about the government shutdown's impact on their forecasts and you'll hear this phrase again and again:

Flying blind.

For economists and investors, "at this moment, we are flying blind," said Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve and now president of Greenspan Associates LLC, a consulting firm.

Greenspan is not alone in feeling a little lost without the compass of government reports.

Bringing to an end an episode that once again exposed Washington gridlock at its worst, the House approved a Senate deal that will end a 16-day federal government shutdown and avert the first government default in U.S. history.

The 285-144 vote came at the eleventh hour, after weeks of partisan bickering and a very public airing of deep divisions within the Republican party. President Obama signed the bill into law after midnight Thursday.

Tom Hudson

The picture above shows the beginning of a second runway at Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport that, once completed, is expected to cost $2.3 billion. The runway is just part of a multi-billion dollar expansion project already underway.

More than half of the project is being paid for with borrowed money. The Broward County Aviation Department will eventually assume $1.5 billion in public debt. Last week, it successfully sold $450 million worth of public bonds to continue the construction project.

Schools and students in Florida are in trouble if the money runs out.

Ambro / freedigitalphotos.net

How The Federal Shutdown Affects South Florida

Oct 11, 2013

Payday comes and goes with pinched paychecks for thousands of federal government workers, as the partial U.S. government shutdown continues. We look at how South Florida, from Palm Beach to the Keys, is dealing with it.

Fail once, try, try again. The state takes a second swing at purging voter rolls.

And in this odd-year election season, we look at some local races and ballot questions - and the big drama at Doral City Hall.

Animals and transportation. Those are two areas Broward County Administrator Bertha Henry says residents would like to expand county services. And while the county has seen its finances improve as the housing market has recovered somewhat, the county is not looking to expand its workforce.

Tom Hudson

Paul Krugman is a lightning rod for economic criticism. He's used to it. For several years Krugman has argued in his New York Times columns for more government stimulus spending, not less.

Tom Hudson

Since 2008, Nobel Prize-winning economist and Princeton University professor Paul Krugman has been a loud and consistent voice calling for more government stimulus to help the American economy recover from the Great Recession, induced to a large extent by the financial implosion on Wall Street.

RELATED: The Sunshine Economy: Public Debt

The work that Shaun O'Connell does is required by law, yet now he's sidelined by the government shutdown.

O'Connell reviews disability claims for the Social Security Administration in New York, checking that no one's gaming the system, while ensuring people with legitimate medical problems are compensated properly.

Billions of dollars are at stake with this kind of work, yet O'Connell is considered a nonessential employee for purposes of the partial government shutdown.

Tourists, Workers Turned Away As U.S. Shutdown Hits South Florida

Oct 2, 2013
MARICE COHN BAND / Miami Herald Staff

“Closed” signs went up at national parks, and federal employees went home across South Florida on Tuesday as the federal government limped its way through the first day of a shutdown.

This week's government shutdown could be just a warmup for an even bigger budget battle in a couple of weeks.

Congress has to raise the limit on the amount of money the federal government is allowed to borrow by Oct. 17. If the debt ceiling is not raised on time, President Obama warns that Washington won't be able to keep paying its bills.

"It'd be far more dangerous than a government shutdown, as bad as a shutdown is," Obama said Tuesday. "It would be an economic shutdown."

C. DiMattei

South Florida branches of the Internal Revenue Service are among the agency offices being affected by the current U.S. government shutdown.

And the situation is leaving some local taxpayers angry and frustrated.

Seventy-one-year old Alfonso Valencia of Sunrise said he was summoned by letter to the IRS' Plantation office several days ago to settle a real estate tax matter in person.  

When told that the office is closed until further notice, he took it in stride. Nevertheless, he stomped his foot down on the pavement -- hard.

A Look At The Impact Of The U.S. Shutdown On South Florida

Oct 1, 2013
Fang Zhe /Xinhua/Landov

Much of South Florida may not notice that large parts of the federal government shut down early Tuesday, but Washington’s budget stalemate promises to bring a list of challenges for the region.

After weeks of wondering what would happen, Americans now know:

1. Congress missed the midnight funding deadline for the new fiscal year, triggering disruptions in government operations.

2. That will slow economic growth, at least in the short term.

But just how far the damage will go is far from clear. Economists say they can't refine their predictions because they have no idea how long the shutdown might last or how many federal workers may be furloughed.

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