GOP Tax Cuts Don’t Repeal Mortgage Deductions
But they would make that deduction less valuable. In return for doubling the standard deduction – which would benefit most families nationwide – the House bill caps mortgage debt eligible for deduction at $500,000. The Senate bill leaves the cap at its present level of $1 million. Read more here, from The New York Times. We suspect the two chambers will compromise in the final bill at $750,000.
We Spent More Time in the Hospital in 2016
Government-run general hospitals saw more business last year, with Americans spending 28,267,000 days as patients in government-run general hospitals in 2016, up 1.9% from 27,735,000 days in 2015, the Census Bureau said. We also spent 144,878,000 inpatient days in private general hospitals last year, up 1.3% from 142,973,000 days in 2015.
The number of inpatient days in government-run psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals declined slightly, to 14,657,000 days last year from 14,662,000 days in 2015. That’s a 3.4% drop.
But privately operated psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals saw inpatient usage grow, rising to 12,575,000 inpatient days in 2016 from 11,923,000 inpatient days in 2015. That’s a 5.4% increase.
In terms of outpatient usage, both government and privately operated general hospitals saw increases. The number of outpatient visits to government general hospitals rose 7.1% to 393,364,000 in 2016 from 367,292,000 visits in 2015. Nongovernmental general hospitals saw the number of outpatient days rise 6% to 523,120,000 days from 493,444,000 days.
The number of outpatient visits to government-run psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals actually declined, to 10,643,000 from 10,928,000, a 2.6% drop, while the number of outpatient visits to privately run facilities grew 5.4% to 12,575,000 from 11,923,000, the Census Bureau said.
Colleges Turn to Foreign Students as Legislators Slash Funding
When you hear employers explain they hire foreign workers because there aren’t enough qualified Americans, here’s one reason: From 2008 to 2016, the number of new foreign students at U.S. colleges and universities increased 104%, far outpacing overall college enrollment growth, which was 3.4% during the period, Pew Research Center found in analyzing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement data. Most of that growth was at public colleges and universities.
The number of new foreign students pursuing bachelor’s degrees at public universities grew 151% between 2008 and 2015, compared with 3% growth among all public university students.
The number of foreign students pursuing associate degrees at public schools rose 99%, compared with a 19% decrease among all U.S. students pursuing associate degrees.
Why the surge in foreign students? To make up for revenue lost as state legislatures slashed funding for public higher education.
Adjusted for inflation, states spent $5.7 billion less on public higher education last year than in 2008, even though they were educating more than 800,000 additional students, according to the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association.
Utility Revenue Rose in 3rd Quarter
Americans spent more for utilities in the third quarter, the Census Bureau said, with utilities revenue rising 13.9% to $156.1 billion from the second quarter and 1.2% from the 2016 third quarter.