Budgets

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    Two steps toward repairing damage linked to fractured politics

    Christopher DeMuth offers National Review Online readers two ideas that would help address problems linked to our current state of polarized politics. [L]et me argue for two concrete institutional reforms. First, the Senate should abolish the filibuster and the single-member “hold” on nominations and legislative motions. It should…
    Mitch Kokai, January 12, 2018
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    State budgets across the country

    State revenues across the country are growing at 2.5%, but increasing expenses for schools and health care mean appropriations will grow 3.5% without focused attention on policy and process changes to restrain spending, says National Conference of State Legislatures Executive Director William Pound in the most recent episode of NCSL’s…
    Joseph Coletti, January 11, 2018
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    What is the General Fund?

    This is one of a series of blog posts to help understand common budget terms. The General Fund is what people tend to think of as the State Budget. Money raised for general, unspecified purposes goes there. Between July 1, 2017, and June 30, 2018, roughly $23.6 billion from state…
    Joseph Coletti, January 9, 2018
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    Questioning the ‘deaths of despair’ argument

    A new paper challenges the notion that the rise in overdose deaths is tied to economic conditions. The authors conclude, “the fatal overdose epidemic is likely to primarily reflect drug problems rather than deaths of despair.” I’m not sure if that’s reassuring, but it does suggest caution when examining…
    Joseph Coletti, January 8, 2018
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    Bryson highlights North Carolina’s growth

    Donald Bryson, state director of Americans for Prosperity, provided National Review readers a counterpoint to the recent Washington Post story that didn’t include anything from the reporter’s interview with Roy Cordato. Instead of an anecdote and some “did you notice anything?” questions, Bryson offers facts and statistics. He…
    Joseph Coletti, December 14, 2017
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    A limited approach to entitlement reform

    Jibran Khan writes for National Review Online about the next round of reform that could follow a federal tax bill. Khan is underwhelmed. In the 2008 presidential election, Democrats and Republicans both spoke about the need to control entitlement spending; indeed, even Obamacare was meant “to bend the…
    Mitch Kokai, December 14, 2017
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    Congress’ spending problem

    Michael Tanner explains at National Review Online that one item seems to inspire clear bipartisanship on Capitol Hill. With the divisiveness of tax reform now hidden behind the closed doors of a conference committee, Congress has returned to the only thing that restores bipartisanship on Capitol Hill: spending…
    Mitch Kokai, December 14, 2017
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    New Carolina Journal Online features

    Lindsay Marchello reports for Carolina Journal Online that a recent change in state law makes North Carolina the only state to comply with all of the Pew Charitable Trusts’ best practices for “rainy day” budget reserves. The Daily Journal explains that the last round of opinions from the…
    Mitch Kokai, December 12, 2017