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    An argument against expanding Social Security

    Andrew Biggs explains at National Review Online why policymakers should resist the urge to expand one of the federal government’s largest entitlement programs. Few issues better illustrate the leftward shift of American economic policy than Social Security. In the late 1990s, moderate Democrats such as Senators Daniel Patrick…
    Mitch Kokai, December 6, 2019
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    Barron’s addresses public pension crisis

    Randall Forsyth of Barron’s highlights the long-term funding problem plaguing public pension systems. State and local pensions have $8.8 trillion of liabilities, of which only 52% is funded after a decadelong bull market. Falling interest rates have been a major propellant of higher asset prices, but also have…
    Mitch Kokai, September 30, 2019
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    Pension funding assumptions

    North Carolina had the sixth-best funded pension for state employees and teachers in the country in 2017, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts. Past and present state leaders deserve credit for regularly setting aside enough money to meet those pension obligations. The pension system also holds up well in…
    Joseph Coletti, July 18, 2019
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    Yes, there is a federal debt crisis

    The lack of attention given to the national debt crisis by politicians, pundits, and policymakers is always disheartening to me – and it is a crisis. Make no mistake, Republicans and Democrats are guilty of contributing to this problem. The importance of responsible government spending was…
    Jordan Roberts, June 19, 2019
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    This weekend on Carolina Journal Radio

    Two recent news stories paint a very different picture of targeted tax incentives. While Winston-Salem recently landed a major aircraft industry company without offering a single tax break, S.C. legislators continue to squabble over a multimillion-dollar package designed to lure the Carolina Panthers business operations south of the state line.
    Mitch Kokai, May 3, 2019
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    Causes and effects of unfunded public pensions

    Unfunded pension liabilities are driving up the cost of state government borrowing. For states, there may not be much difference between Republicans and Democrats. But for local governments, Democratic control means more unfunded promises. When people voter with their feet, the problem gets worse: Today’s public-sector employees…
    Joseph Coletti, March 5, 2019
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    The real root of retirement risks

    Andrew Biggs provides a reminder that governments are the main source of concern for future retirees’ incomes. while household retirement savings are growing, government retirement plans—Social Security, government employee pensions and the federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.—are underfunded by up to $26 trillion. The World Economic Forum estimates that…
    Joseph Coletti, March 1, 2019
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    A questionable plan for Social Security

    Andrew Biggs uses a National Review Online column to question a new proposal for changing Social Security. On January 31, over 200 House Democrats jointly introduced the Social Security 2100 Act, legislation that would expand Social Security both by raising the 12.4 percent payroll tax and by phasing…
    Mitch Kokai, February 14, 2019