Q: Can you tell us what percentage of American families fall in the $200,000-$250,000 range? Below that? Above?
—Chris Picon, Roswell
A: Data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that an estimated 1.89 percent of U.S. households, or 2.29 million, were in the $200,000-$250,000 range in 2011. An estimated 2.8 million U.S. households, or more than 2.3 percent, had income of $250,000 and up. The data was released in the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey, 2012 Annual Social and Economic Supplement. According to the Census Bureau, the median household income in 2011 was $50,054, a 1.5 percent drop from the 2010 median and the second consecutive annual drop in household income.
Q: What is the status of repayments by General Motors and Chrysler on the auto bailout monies received from the government?
—Robert H. Parrish, Thomasville
A: GM repaid $23.1 billion of the $49.5 billion it received as part of the bailout and all of its outstanding loans, but the U.S. government owns more than 30 percent of GM stock, or about 500 million shares, according to published reports. The Wall Street Journal reported in September that GM offered to buy 200 million shares owned by the government last summer, but the Treasury Department didn’t go for it because the company’s share price was too low at the time. Chrysler repaid $11.2 billion of its $12.5 billion, with the government losing about $1.3 billion, according to CNN.com. The Treasury Department has sold all of its shares of Chrysler.
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The members of the state ethics commission, eager to bring order to one of the most disordered corners of state government, hired a “receiver” last week to heal their agency and then did they only thing they could.
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