In 1930 two brothers from Europe brought a wonderful old world coffee-making process to America. They soon discovered that their great tasting cup of coffee was the only “luxury” many ordinary people could afford in those grim days of the Great Depression. Understanding how important their coffee was to their customers, the brothers demanded that it live up to a higher standard. Now, three generations later, their family continues that tradition of excellence. Our loyal customers have come to love a brew that is crafted from the highest quality Arabica beans, slow roasted to perfection by Baronet’s master roaster. Now, this great coffee is available to you in single serve coffee pods. Our individually wrapped coffee pods will stay fresh, down to the last pod in the box. This allows you to keep several of our outstanding varieties in your kitchen, without worrying about getting to the bottom of the bag. Taste the tradition of Baronet Coffee! You’re sure to find its rich character mirrors the commitment of two brothers who used to say, “One cup invites another.”
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Chairman Ben Bernanke said Wednesday that the Federal Reserve is open to another round of bond purchases to lower long-term interest rates and boost growth if the job market doesn’t improve.
“If we don’t see further improvement in the labor market, we will be prepared to take additional steps if appropriate,” Bernanke said at a news conference after the Fed’s two-day policy meeting.
The Fed agreed at its meeting to extend a program to swap short-term bonds for longer-term bonds through the end of the year. That doesn’t expand the Fed’s portfolio. But it still puts downward pressure on long-term rates, which helps encourage more borrowing and spending.
Still, Bernanke said the Fed would consider expanding its portfolio with a third major round of bond purchases, if the outlook for hiring doesn’t’ pick up. Such purchases would lower rates even further.
The Fed has completed two such programs, known as quantitative easing, since the start of the Great Recession. It bought more than $2 trillion in Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities, expanding its portfolio to more than $2.8 trillion.
“Additional asset purchases would be among the things that we would certainly consider if we need to take additional measures to strengthen the economy,” Bernanke said.
Investors seemed disappointed that the Fed didn’t take such action after its meeting. Stocks had been mostly flat before the news conference started. They fell sharply after Bernanke started answering questions.
The U.S. economy looks weaker than it did when the Fed last met in April. Growth was more sluggish in the first three months of the year than first estimated.
Job growth averaged only 73,000 in April and May, after average gains of 226,000 a month in the first three months of the year. And the unemployment rate rose in May to 8.2 percent from 8.1 percent in April.
In its updated quarterly forecast, the Fed lowered its prediction for growth in 2012 to 2.4 percent, a half percentage point weaker than its previous forecast in April.
And the Fed said it doesn’t expect the unemployment rate to fall lower than 8 percent.
Still, Bernanke rejected a suggestion that the Fed has limited options left to boost growth. But he said that Fed actions were “not a panacea” for an ailing economy, a point he’s previously made. The Fed would welcome action by Congress and the administration, he said.
Bernanke was asked about criticism from GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who has said that the Fed’s last round of bond purchases had little success.
Bernanke disagreed. He said the purchases boosted growth and removed the threat of deflation, a period of falling prices that the United States last experienced during the Great Depression of the 1930s.
He also said Europe’s debt crisis has affected the U.S. economy. But he said U.S. policymakers were taking steps to make sure financial institutions could withstand any shocks from the region. He specifically mentioned recent stress tests conducted on America’s largest banks.
“It is important to be prepared for any further problems that might emerge from Europe,” Bernanke said.
In 1930 two brothers from Europe brought a wonderful old world coffee-making process to America. They soon discovered that their great tasting cup of coffee was the only “luxury” many ordinary people could afford in those grim days of the Great Depression. Understanding how important their coffee was to their customers, the brothers demanded that it live up to a higher standard. Now, three generations later, their family continues that tradition of excellence. Our loyal customers have come to love a brew that is crafted from the highest quality Arabica beans, slow roasted to perfection by Baronet?s master roaster. Now, this great coffee is available to you in single serve coffee pods. Our individually wrapped coffee pods will stay fresh, down to the last pod in the box. This allows you to keep several of our outstanding varieties in your kitchen, without worrying about getting to the bottom of the bag. Taste the tradition of Baronet Coffee! You?re sure to find its rich character mirrors the commitment of two brothers who used to say, “One cup invites another.”
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California’s sputtering economic recovery is putting a heavier-than-expected drag on state tax revenue, leading Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday to propose deep budget cuts across an array of government services and warn again that even more cuts are ahead if voters reject his tax-hike initiative in November.
Brown’s latest budget plan for the fiscal year that begins July 1 proposes $8.3 billion in spending cuts to close a revised deficit of $15.7 billion deficit, an amount equal to 17 percent of the state’s entire general fund.
The plan would reduce child care for mothers trying to get off welfare, in-home supportive services for the needy and health care for the poor, as well as cut funding to courts and postpone payments to schools.
Those reductions come on top of tens of billions of dollars in state budget cuts implemented since the recession started in late 2007.
Brown, a Democrat, also is asking state workers to share the pain by taking a 5 percent pay cut, most likely by reducing their work hours. The pay reduction would be handled in contract negotiations with the state’s public employee unions.
In addition to the cuts, Brown hopes to close the deficit with $5.9 billion in new revenue from the tax initiative he proposed earlier this year that would temporarily add a quarter cent in the state sales tax and collect higher income taxes on those who make $250,000 a year or more.
If voters reject the tax increases in the fall, Brown is proposing $6 billion in additional automatic spending cuts, almost all of which would fall on K-12 schools.
“Cutting alone really doesn’t do it,” Brown told reporters in releasing his $91 billion general fund budget plan. “And that’s why I’m linking the serious budget reductions — real increase to austerity — with a plea to the voters: Please increase taxes temporarily on the most affluent and everyone else with a quarter of a cent sales tax.”
Another $2.5 billion would involve delaying paying debt and other internal borrowing.
Brown said his balanced approach was a fair and reasonable way to balance the budget. The sales tax increase would last four years while the income taxes on the wealthy would be raised for seven.
The revised budget deficit is $6.5 billion more than the $9.2 billion gap Brown anticipated in January.
He blamed the widening shortfall on court judgments that prevented him from making cuts to programs such as MediCal and In-Home Supportive Services and on the state’s sagging economy.
Unlike many other states, California has yet to show significant progress in emerging from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.
Unemployment has crept back up to 11 percent, among the highest rates in the nation. The national unemployment rate has dropped a full percentage point since August — to 8.1 percent in April.
Also in California, home foreclosures also remain among the highest of any state. Home construction, a key driver of the state’s economy, continues to be depressed, while home prices in many parts of the state have not recovered.
Those factors have depressed household spending and led to a decline in most tax collections for the state and local governments.
Democrats who control the Legislature said they would cut as much as they can while trying to preserve what they deem essential services.
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, said Democrats are not looking for a public fight with the governor.
Republicans said the majority party has refused to enact reforms such as public worker pension and teacher accountability.
“When you have unsustainable policies, you have unsustainable budgets,” said Republican Senate leader Bob Huff of Diamond Bar.
Speaking to reporters, Brown addressed the difference between the optimistic state revenue projections he expected months ago and the reality of today’s numbers.
Based on the best figures the state could gather, he said he believed at the time that there was a “reasonable shot” at getting an additional $4 billion in revenue.
“We didn’t get it. … We always have to prepare for getting less than we expect or in some cycles we get more. That’s the way it is,” Brown said. “But the point is, it’s very easy to play gotcha. But when I have to cut and people lose their jobs — a mother loses her child care, maybe her job — I’m reluctant to do that if there’s a plausible reason why we might not have to.”
Public schools, which account for about 40 percent of state spending, would see a funding increase of 16 percent if voters approve Brown’s tax initiative. More money also would flow to the state’s three higher education systems, which have been the subject of student and faculty protests as courses have been cut and tuition has soared in recent years.
Brown acknowledged that the Democrats who control the Legislature do not want to make more budget cuts, but he said doing so was unavoidable.
“Given the decade of fiscal disconnect, I’ve committed to righting the ship of state and getting it into balance,” Brown said. “Otherwise, we borrow and sink deeper into debt.”
Mitt Romney on Friday encouraged young Americans facing bleak job prospects to “take risks” — and even borrow money from their parents — to help improve their economic fortunes.
The presumptive Republican presidential nominee noted that the nation’s economy is recovering but blamed President Barack Obama for presiding over the “most anemic and tepid” comeback since the Great Depression. Continuing his recent focus on younger voters, Romney said Obama’s policies are making it harder for college graduates to be successful.
“This kind of decisiveness, this attack of success is very different than what we’ve seen in our country’s history,” Romney told students and supporters gathered at Otterbein University in central Ohio. “We’ve always encouraged young people — take a shot, go for it, take a risk and get the education, borrow money if you have to from your parents, start a business.”
Romney then shared the story of sandwich magnate Jimmy John, who Romney said borrowed $20,000 from his parents to launch his first sandwich shop.
“This is kind of an American experience,” he said of John’s story.
Romney’s call for “economic freedom” was a familiar theme for the former Massachusetts governor, who faced the public for the first time since declaring himself the Republican presidential nominee-in-waiting earlier in the week. But some Democrats said his suggestion that young people borrow thousands of dollars from their parents shows that he’s out of touch with ordinary Americans.
Romney’s comments came the same day the Commerce Department reported that the nation’s recovery may be slowing, although he ignored the news while speaking at Otterbein University.
“The president is going to want to take credit for the economy getting better, and I am convinced it will get better. Every recession ends. Every recession ultimately becomes a recovery,” he said.
Romney added: “This just happens to be the most anemic and tepid recovery we’ve seen since Hoover.”
President Herbert Hoover was in office when the stock market crashed in October 1929 and, as the nation struggled amid an economic depression, lost re-election to Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932.
The Commerce Department estimated that the economy grew at 2.2 percent over the first three months of the year. That’s compared to 3 percent growth in the previous three months.
Romney offered a more measured tone than he had in the final weeks of the competitive phase of the GOP primary season. He did not mention Obama by name in a speech that spanned more than 40 minutes, although he condemned the president’s policies that target the wealthy.
“I will try and unite the American people, not divide us,” he said.