Budgets (page 255)

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    Public-sector pension problems

    Regular Locker Room readers are familiar with the problems associated with governments’ neglect of their public-sector pension obligations. The latest Bloomberg Businessweek also shines a light on the problem: San Diego provides a revealing case study. It costs a sum…
    Mitch Kokai, April 5, 2011
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    The problem of treating unemployment payments as an entitlement

    Is an unemployment check “welfare” or an “entitlement”? The discussion matters, as other observers have noted. Cheryl Strauss Einhorn examines the distinction in greater detail for the latest Commentary. (There’s a subscriber link here.) With the Obama administration’s historic extension of unemployment benefits to two years, fully 50 percent longer in duration than the prior record in the 1970s, the matter of the program’s true nature demands clarity. The unprecedented extension of benefits, combined with today’s dramatically high national unemployment, pushes the program out of the realm of political compromise and into the uncharted territory of grand social experimentation.
    Mitch Kokai, April 5, 2011
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    Fiscal realities

    Live Blog Clive Crook in this morning's Financial Times forgets how we got to this point in state and federal budgets. The federal stimulus was mostly absorbed in offsetting the automatic tightening of fiscal policy by individual states, whose borrowing is strictly constrained. … Now the federal stimulus…
    Joseph Coletti, April 4, 2011
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    All Republican U.S. senators are on board with a balanced budget amendment

    Shortly after publicizing three Republican governors‘ endorsement of a federal balanced budget amendment, Human Events reports that all GOP U.S. senators support the same goal: The key provisions of the new balanced budget amendment (BBA) are: Congress must pass a balanced budget; the President…
    Mitch Kokai, April 1, 2011
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    This weekend on Carolina Journal Radio

    As the new Republican majority in the North Carolina General Assembly pursues policy changes, some of its ideas are raising questions about the state constitution. Former N.C. Supreme Court Justice Bob Orr of the N.C. Institute for Constitutional Law addresses some of those questions during the next edition of…
    Mitch Kokai, April 1, 2011
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    Smart students inspire Stossel

    John Stossel says when he went to Princeton in 1969, professors taught him “government could solve the world’s problems.” Now that he knows better, he’s glad to learn that some of today’s college students have a better idea about how the world really works. Stossel discusses those students…
    Mitch Kokai, March 31, 2011
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    New Carolina Journal Online features

    Don Carrington’s latest Carolina Journal Online report documents the continued use of legislative slush funds for state transportation projects. John Hood’s Daily Journal spells out three tests for every potential government action.
    Mitch Kokai, March 31, 2011
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    These poll results are depressing!

    ? President Obama gets higher marks than either the Democrats or Republicans in Congress on being “truly serious” about reducing the budget deficit, according to a new bipartisan Fox News poll. A bare majority of respondents believe he is serious. The response is interesting because, when Americans are…
    Michael Sanera, March 30, 2011