department of agriculture

The Weirdest Things Your Taxes Pay For

Sen. Tom Coburn has released his Wastebook 2012, a look at over $18 billion in projects that are bizarre and hard to justify. Admittedly, that's just a drop in the federal budget. But ... Thoreau-based video games? Robot squirrels?! Take a peek at our gallery of weird government expenditures.

What Kate's Royal Pregnancy Is Reminding Us About Raising Kids

The announcement of Kate Middleton's pregnancy this week was joyous for the Windsor family and royal-watchers alike. But all the fuss around the story hides an uncomfortable truth: For many of us, having an heir is getting unaffordably expensive and folks feeling the pinch are putting it off.

Why Our Catastrophic Drought Won't Bankrupt U.S. Farmers

If you've been worried that this year's drought will put farmers out of business and leave Americans short of the staple crops they need to survive, relax. In its latest farm income forecast, the Department of Agriculture is reporting that U.S. farmers will make more money in 2012 than ever before, even as the country is facing its worst drought in 50 years. Here's how:

7 Ways To Bite Back at Rising Food Costs

The U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts you' ll be paying about 3% more for your groceries the remainder of the year, and as much as 5% more in 2013, due in part to the nation's worst drought in 50 years. Increased food price don't have to take an oversized bite out of your budget: Here are seven ways to cut your supermarket bill.

Your Summer Forecast: High Temperatures, Higher Food Prices

That unrelenting sun that's been scorching your lawn and straining your air conditioner? It's about to send your grocery bill soaring too. Record-breaking heat and reduced rainfall are wreaking havoc on the corn crop -- and corn goes into practically everything we eat.

The Middle-Class Squeeze: Falling Wealth, Rising Costs

It's no secret that many middle-class families are in a financial bind, caught between rising costs and falling incomes. But according to recent government reports, the middle-class squeeze is not a recent development, and isn't likely to disappear anytime soon.

Waiting to Inherit: Not a Sound 'Financial Plan'

An estimated two-thirds of baby boomer households will receive an inheritance at some point, with a median amount of $64,000, according to an AARP study. I recently received an email from a reader who has fallen deeply into debt in anticipation of her legacy -- and is now worried that her bailout may not be at hand: