Washington, DC - A normal water supply is predicted for much of the West, while the Southwest, Sierra Nevada region and Pacific Northwest are beginning the year drier than normal, according to data from the first 2015 forecast by USDA's National Water and Climate Center (NWCC). California, Arizona and New Mexico as well as parts of Colorado, Utah and Nevada are experiencing prolonged drought, focusing attention again on the winter snowfall.

Washington, DC - In this week’s address, the President recounted the stories of letter writers from around the country who will be joining him when he delivers his annual State of the Union Address this Tuesday: Carolyn, who was able to expand her small business through a Small Business Administration loan, and this year raised wages for their hourly employees; Jason, a wounded warrior who served in Afghanistan and is now back home with his wife and first daughter, born in November; and Victor, who affords his student loans with help from the Income Based Repayment Plan, and has health insurance because of the Affordable Care Act.  

Washington, DC - Last night, Vice President Joe Biden sent a message to the White House email list, letting readers know that the very best place to watch the State of the Union is at:

Washington, DC - The Association of Mature American Citizens is actively encouraging Congress to act on Social Security in a timely and comprehensive manner.

Washington, DC - Two payday lending companies have settled Federal Trade Commission charges that they violated the law by charging consumers undisclosed and inflated fees. Under the proposed settlement, AMG Services, Inc. and MNE Services, Inc. will pay $21 million – the largest FTC recovery in a payday lending case – and will waive another $285 million in charges that were assessed but not collected.

Washington, DC - For most people, January offers a lull after the holidays. But if you’re a tax professional, the busy season just started. Now that figures are flying, the FTC reminds tax preparers, accountants, and others in the industry about the role they can play in fighting back against tax identity theft. Participate in events scheduled for January 26th through 30th – Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week – and consider five timely tips from the FTC.