The Hole Truth: Celebrating a Huge Day in Doughnut History

The Hole Truth: Celebrating a Huge Day in Doughnut History

20th Century Fox Television
By Suelain Moy

Whether you’re a Dunkin’ devotee or are crazy for Krispy Kremes, July 9 is a date you should celebrate.

On that date back in 1872, the doughnut took a big step toward becoming the billion-dollar business it is today: John F. Blondel of Thomaston, Maine received a patent for a “new and useful” improvement in doughnut-cutters that would speed the production and consumption of the humble pastry in the United States.

The device described in Patent No. 128,783 was intended to automate the process of cutting those dastardly doughnuts — holes and all — as efficiently as a hole punch. The desired edge could be plain or scalloped. This ingenious contraption would push the dough out of the center tube, leaving it free for making the next doughnut.

Related: Made in the USA: 24 Iconic American Foods

But as Art Cashin — the director of floor operations for UBS Financial Services who regularly sprinkles historical tidbits into his commentary — pointed out in a note Wednesday, before you can talk about Blondel’s doughnut innovation, you have to know the story of one Hanson Crockett Gregory, the young genius who forever changed what you and I get when we order our plain, glazed or chocolate with sprinkles. While the history of the doughnut is disputed, Gregory claimed to have invented “the first doughnut hole ever seen by mortal eyes” as a 16-year-old sailor on a lime-trading ship and then taught the technique to his mother, Elizabeth Gregory.

In case you’re still hungry for more doughnut history, this Friday, July 10, Krispy Kreme is celebrating its 78th birthday by offering a sticky sweet deal at participating locations: Buy any dozen doughnuts at regular price and get a second dozen for 78 cents.

Oh, and if you want to purchase those pesky doughnut holes that get unceremoniously shoved from the middle? You can buy those, too. They’re simply called Doughnut Holes, and they can be bought by cup or box in assorted flavors of Original Glazed, Dipped Chocolate, Powdered, Chocolate Cake, Blueberry Cake and Plain Glazed Cake.

Hanson Crockett Gregory would no doubt be amazed. 

Increasing Number of Americans Delay Medical Care Due to Cost: Gallup

By The Fiscal Times Staff

From Gallup: “A record 25% of Americans say they or a family member put off treatment for a serious medical condition in the past year because of the cost, up from 19% a year ago and the highest in Gallup's trend. Another 8% said they or a family member put off treatment for a less serious condition, bringing the total percentage of households delaying care due to costs to 33%, tying the high from 2014.”

Number of the Day: $213 Million

A security camera hangs near a corner of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) building in Washington
Jonathan Ernst
By The Fiscal Times Staff

That’s how much the private debt collection program at the IRS collected in the 2019 fiscal year. In the black for the second year in a row, the program cleared nearly $148 million after commissions and administrative costs.

The controversial program, which empowers private firms to go after delinquent taxpayers, began in 2004 and ran for five years before the IRS ended it following a review. It was restarted in 2015 and ran at a loss for the next two years.

Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA), who played a central role in establishing the program, said Monday that the net proceeds are currently being used to hire 200 special compliance personnel at the IRS.

US Deficit Up 12% to $342 Billion for First Two Months of Fiscal 2020: CBO

District of Columbia
By The Fiscal Times Staff

The federal budget deficit for October and November was $342 billion, up $36 billion or 12% from the same period last year, the Congressional Budget Office estimated on Monday. Revenues were up 3% while outlays rose by 6%, CBO said.

Hospitals Sue to Protect Secret Prices

iStockphoto/The Fiscal Times
By The Fiscal Times Staff

As expected, groups representing hospitals sued the Trump administration Wednesday to stop a new regulation would require them to make public the prices for services they negotiate with insurers. Claiming the rule “is unlawful, several times over,” the industry groups, which include the American Hospital Association, say the rule violates their First Amendment rights, among other issues.

"The burden of compliance with the rule is enormous, and way out of line with any projected benefits associated with the rule," the suit says. In response, a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services said that hospitals “should be ashamed that they aren’t willing to provide American patients the cost of a service before they purchase it.”

See the lawsuit here, or read more at The New York Times.

A Decline in Medicaid and CHIP Enrollment

Dr. Benjamin Hoffman speaks with Nancy Minoui about 9 month old Marion Burgess, who suffers from a chronic heart condition, at an appointment at the Dornbecher Children's hospital in Portland
By The Fiscal Times Staff

Between December 2017 and July 2019, enrollment in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) fell by 1.9 million, or 2.6%. The Kaiser Family Foundation provided an analysis of that drop Monday, saying that while some of it was likely caused by enrollees finding jobs that offer private insurance, a significant portion is related to enrollees losing health insurance of any kind. “Experiences in some states suggest that some eligible people may be losing coverage due to barriers maintaining coverage associated with renewal processes and periodic eligibility checks,” Kaiser said.