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Keyword: spending

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  • Adequacy Study Shows the State Already Spends Plenty on Education

    08/26/2016 6:56:50 AM PDT · by MichCapCon · 4 replies
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 8/22/2016 | Ben DeGrow
    In late June 2016, the state released the long-awaited Michigan Education Finance Study, better known as an “adequacy study.” Twice delayed from its original March 31, 2016, deadline due to errors by different parties, the report purchased by December 2014 state legislation has been greeted with an underwhelming reaction. Colorado-based Augenblick, Palaich, and Associates (APA) secured a $399,000 taxpayer-funded contract to produce the report. Every one of the company’s 13 earlier studies of different states’ school finance systems concluded with the same call: Spend more money. As even the adequacy study shows, a massive increase in spending absent any changes...
  • State Board of Education Not Immune To School Funding Myths

    08/24/2016 8:20:15 AM PDT · by MichCapCon · 2 replies
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 8/23/2016 | Tom Gantert
    Perhaps the most persistent myth about public school funding in Michigan is that low-income communities have low-revenue school districts. According to a report in The Detroit News, even elected members of the State Board of Education sometimes repeat the myth. Board member Kathleen Straus was quoted in the school funding story as saying, “The wealthy get better education, have more funding, when it should be the opposite.” Except, data from the state Department of Education, over which the state board presides, refutes this claim. The neighboring Berrien County cities of St. Joseph and Benton Harbor are often cited by the...
  • Honest Education Discussion Requires Counting All the Dollars

    08/23/2016 10:21:05 AM PDT · by MichCapCon · 1 replies
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 8/23/2016 | Ben DeGrow
    Though the evidence for Michigan spending its way to educational success continues to disappoint, its champions have turned to misdirection and misinformation to keep pressing their cause forward. The release of the $400,000 Michigan Education Finance Study (better known as the adequacy study) was far more of an early summer flop than a box office hit. As Detroit Free Press editorial page editor Stephen Henderson laments, the study “landed with the force of a feather on desks in Lansing.” His call for the adequacy study to start “a bigger conversation” about school funding was echoed a few days later in...
  • Pa. Turnpike wedded to toll hikes, mired in debt

    08/20/2016 8:06:18 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 35 replies
    The Lehigh Valley Express-Times ^ | July 31, 2016 | Express-Times Letter to the Editor
    Is it possible that a toll road could price itself right out of its market? That's essentially what the Pennsylvania Turnpike is prescribing for itself. Last week the Turnpike Commission informed us that tolls will go up a ninth consecutive year in 2017 — and stay on a steadily upward trajectory until 2044. And of course, there's no guarantee after that. By then, we can only hope, the turnpike will have morphed into a giant solar-powered car-train — for self-driving cars, of course. "Unsustainable" is an overused word these days, but it applies to the toll road's future. The turnpike...
  • Proposed legislation would crack down on Pennsylvania Turnpike toll cheats

    08/20/2016 4:10:22 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 15 replies
    The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review ^ | August 1, 2016 | Brad Bumsted
    HARRISBURG — Motorists blow past Pennsylvania Turnpike toll booths every year, resulting in millions of dollars of losses. The agency that manages more than 500 miles of highway is supporting legislation to punish those scofflaws. A bill pending in the state Senate would “give us the hammer we need to go after habitual toll cheats,” Turnpike Commission Chairman Sean Logan said. “This measure would ensure that everyone pays their fair share. There are no free rides.” The bill by Senate Transportation Chairman John Rafferty, R-Montgomery County, and Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa, D-Forest Hills, would allow PennDOT to suspend the...
  • Ludicrous legislation takes toll on Pennsylvania Turnpike

    08/20/2016 7:49:57 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 25 replies
    The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review ^ | August 7, 2016 | Eric Heyl
    Slam on the brakes. That's what state lawmakers want to do to increasingly frequent instances of motorists skirting payment of Pennsylvania Turnpike tolls. The problem wouldn't be nearly as prevalent had many of those same legislators years ago taken a detour around the lame-brain idea that directly resulted in turnpike travel becoming significantly more costly. How costly? Pretty soon only Saudi Arabian sheiks will be able to afford the outrageous tolls, though those guys probably prefer to fly their personal planes from Pittsburgh to Breezewood. Those lacking private jet transportation sidestep the tolls in renegade fashion. They fly through toll...
  • Insanity Once More: The Hillary Clinton Economic Plan

    08/13/2016 2:24:05 PM PDT · by Kaslin · 10 replies
    Townhall.com ^ | August 13, 2016 | Larry Kudlow
    Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, when in fact the results never change, is one definition of insanity. That definition works for economic insanity, too. Over the past seven-and-a-half years, President Obama has maintained a steady course of burdensome new regulations, significant tax increases, and massive federal spending on so-called infrastructure. He has unconstitutionally ordered executive actions, favored labor over business, attacked banks, insulted successful corporate leaders, and backed federal-government mandates on business. And with all this, strong economic recovery from a deep recession -- which has been an American tradition -- never came...
  • Trump Just Promised To Double Down On Obama's Failed Stimulus

    08/04/2016 5:16:07 AM PDT · by expat_panama · 95 replies
    Investors Business Daily ^ | August 03, 2016 | Editorial
    2016 Elections: Largely overlooked because of the dust over his attacks on Khizr Khan, Donald Trump made an eye-opening promise on Tuesday, saying that he'd spend twice as much as Hillary Clinton on fixing roads and bridges. It's an outlandish proposal for any politician to make. But it's almost inconceivable that the Republican nominee for president would be trudging down this dreary big-government path. "We need much more money than (Clinton's plan) to rebuild our infrastructure," Trump told Fox... The numbers we're talking about here are massive. Clinton says that if elected she would boost federal spending... Trump says he'll...
  • Hillary's solution for our struggling economy

    07/29/2016 1:25:34 PM PDT · by Jim Robinson · 34 replies
    Hillary's solution for our struggling economy: Massive government spending. Massive tax increases and new taxes on individuals and corporations. Massive increase of regulations. Step up the war against coal, gas and oil. Bankrupt all traditional producers of energy. Massive new government spending on "green" technologies and "green" jobs. Bankrupt as many capitalist industries as possible. Implement universal government provided "free" healthcare. Double the minimum wage. Guarantee a minimum income to all "working" families (and non-working families). Free college education, free healthcare and free lunches for all. Open our borders, grant amnesty, citizenship, welfare and voting rights to all comers including...
  • Medicaid - Georgia

    07/23/2016 1:27:35 PM PDT · by spintreebob · 3 replies
    Georgia Public Policy Foundation ^ | 7-22-2016 | Benita Dodd
    Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent annually in Georgia on uncompensated care for the uninsured. The uninsured may not have coverage but they do get sick; one way or another, we all pay for their care in a way that is terribly inefficient. • Money should follow people. It is important to support the institutions and providers that make up Georgia’s safety net, but solutions should be people-centered, not institutioncentered. • Innovation requires flexibility and choices. Micromanaging every last detail is a recipe for the status quo. The accompanying table shows the most recent data on the average enrollment...
  • Dems block Senate defense bill, fear domestic spending cuts

    07/07/2016 11:10:34 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 8 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Jul 8, 2016 12:41 AM EDT | Alan Fram
    Senate Democrats sidetracked a $575 billion defense bill for next year late Thursday and threatened to shut down Congress’ work on spending legislation, accusing Republicans of shortchanging domestic programs. The move prompted the leaders of each party to testily accuse the other side of dysfunction. Both parties support the defense measure itself. But Democrats fear that if it is completed and sent to President Barack Obama, they would lose leverage with the GOP for future spending measures financing health, public works, law enforcement and other domestic programs. The Senate voted 50-44 to head off a Democratic filibuster of the bill...
  • More School Spending is Still Unlikely to Boost Achievement

    07/01/2016 5:40:52 PM PDT · by MichCapCon · 6 replies
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 6/29/2016 | Ben DeGrow
    In a critique of our recently published study on the relationship between school spending and academic achievement, Bruce Baker, a professor at Rutgers University, raises technical concerns that lead him to question our empirical methodology and qualitative conclusions. The nature of his comments suggests that a select group of previous research, which stand in contrast to our research in both empirical approach and qualitative findings, are methodologically superior and show a positive relationship between spending per pupil and student achievement. We address both the general and technical concerns Baker raises and describe why our research improves over the earlier papers...
  • Fewer School Districts Borrowing to Cover Expenses, But Pension Debt Rising

    07/01/2016 8:50:04 AM PDT · by MichCapCon · 1 replies
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 6/29/2016 | Tom Gantert
    A recent state report indicates that by the end of June, as many as 18 school districts are projected to emerge out of red ink, leaving just 22 districts in a deficit situation. Although some media reports have cast this as a story of underfunded schools, they do so by ignoring the fact that just three years ago 55 districts had a deficit, a state record. Michigan school districts are required by state law to balance their budget each year and not spend more than they take in. Nevertheless, every year some do have expenses exceed revenues, which is labeled...
  • How They Spin 'Underfunded Schools': Ignore the Federal Money

    07/01/2016 6:20:38 AM PDT · by MichCapCon · 3 replies
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 6/29/2016 | Tom Gantert
    One of the most inaccurate narratives promoted in the Detroit school bailout debate is that poor urban districts like Detroit are underfunded compared to schools in more affluent suburbs. What this storyline fails to acknowledge is the role of federal money in hiking funding for poorer urban school districts. All school districts get some federal money, but poor districts get a lot more, and the difference is significant. Click to enlarge To illustrate, the average amount of federal money received by all Michigan school districts was $513 per pupil during 2014-15, but poor districts like Detroit ($3,494 per pupil), Benton...
  • Highway project delays rack up $700 million cost overruns

    06/24/2016 9:54:35 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 20 replies
    The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ^ | June 13, 2016 | Catie Edmondson
    Madison— Faced with delays and inflation over the past five years, four major state highway projects — including a Madison artery — have accumulated overruns in excess of $700 million. While some of these increases come from faulty cost estimates or unavoidable inflation, the new figures underline the obvious: Delays can be costly for Wisconsin taxpayers. When projects are paused because of financial challenges in the state's road fund, the price of materials, labor and real estate can rise. The numbers compiled by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel underline the urgency of a divisive issue for Wisconsin's Republican leaders: finding a...
  • Spain's public debt surpasses 100% in 20-year high

    06/15/2016 10:34:36 AM PDT · by familyop · 7 replies
    AFP, Yahoo News ^ | June 15, 2016 | AFP
    Madrid (AFP) - Spain's public debt rose above 100 percent in the first quarter to its highest level in 20 years, the central bank said Wednesday as Madrid faces an EU sanctions threat for public overspending. Debt as a proportion of economic output hit 100.5 percent in the first quarter up from 99.2 percent at the end of 2015, the bank said in a statement.
  • Bursting the false narrative -- Economic growth suffers from overspending, not undertaxation

    06/15/2016 6:06:54 AM PDT · by expat_panama · 5 replies
    The Washington Times ^ | Monday, June 13, 2016 | Richard W. Rahn
    At the end of this past week, The Washington Post ran a long story on the Center for Freedom and Prosperity (CFP), an organization that I have long supported. It appeared that the original goal was to do a hit piece on CFP because it had been a leader in the fight for global tax competition and smaller government. The irony was that the authors of the story quoted a number of people from around the world... ...who support bigger government and higher taxes, to the effect that those at the CFP had been highly successful in blocking a number...
  • School Pension Debt Grows Again

    06/07/2016 1:08:44 PM PDT · by MichCapCon · 5 replies
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 6/4/2016 | Tom Gantert
    Michigan public school districts received bad financial news recently when the latest audit for the school employee pension plan showed that unfunded liabilities had increased again, this time by $200 million in 2015. The statewide pension plan known as the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System (MPSERS) saw its unfunded liabilities increase from $26.5 billion in 2014 to $26.7 billion in 2015. The unfunded liabilities were just $12.0 billion in 2009 but have more than doubled over the past six years. The state has spent about $1 billion more on pension payments over the past six years, but it hasn't...
  • Congress Should Not Use Defense Budget as Piggy Bank for Personal Priorities

    06/07/2016 9:21:19 AM PDT · by milton23
    The Daily Signal ^ | 6/7/2016 | Justin Johnson
    The defense budget should be used to pay things that make our country more secure and help the men and women in uniform accomplish their mission. Unfortunately, some in Congress use this funding as a piggy bank for their own unrelated priorities. In fact, for the current fiscal year, Congress took almost $500 million from the defense budget to pay for non-military research projects. This is the wrong way for Congress to operate, and is particularly concerning given how seriously underfunded our military currently is. The U.S. military is in rough shape due to crushing budget cuts over the last...
  • Private Schools Cost Significantly Less Than Public Schools

    06/07/2016 7:53:09 AM PDT · by MichCapCon · 23 replies
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 6/4/2016 | Jacob Weaver
    LANSING — Due to their nature as independent, self-supporting institutions, private schools do not disclose data about themselves in a standardized format, which sometimes clouds the public's understanding of them. A new report, though, sheds some light on the private school landscape in Michigan. Rachel White, a doctoral candidate at Michigan State University, gave a presentation on Thursday about her new study of the private education sector. White spoke at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy’s Issues and Ideas Forum. While 601 private schools serving 113,000 students operate in Michigan, little research has been done to understand these institutions. When...
  • History Shows Delayed Adequacy Study Will Call for More Money

    06/03/2016 6:09:32 AM PDT · by MichCapCon · 3 replies
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 5/28/2016 | Ben DeGrow
    Those anticipating the release of Michigan’s education adequacy study learned this week that, once again, they will have to wait a little longer. While the precise detailed findings are unknown, the embargoed report’s general conclusions should not remain a matter of mystery. Last September the state granted Colorado-based Augenblick Palaich & Associates a $399,000 contract to determine how much money Michigan needs to spend in order to provide “adequate” services to students. Our state currently ranks 21st in per-pupil spending but 43rd in math and reading achievement on the nation’s report card. Michigan has been spending more than the national...
  • Consumer Spending Climbs By Most In Almost 7 Years [GOOD NEWS ALERT]

    06/01/2016 4:16:13 AM PDT · by expat_panama · 44 replies
    Investors Business Daily ^ | 5/31/2016 | BLOOMBERG NEWS
    Consumer spending climbed in April by the most in almost seven years, a sign U.S. households are ready to help jump start growth after a first-quarter slowdown. Key Points Consumer purchases climbed 1% in April (vs. 0.7% forecast) after little change in March Personal income climbed 0.4% for a second month Fed’s preferred measure of inflation (tied to consumer spending) climbed 0.3% from month before, the biggest May 2015; 1.1% from year before Big Picture Households will need to do the heavy lifting if a growth rebound is to materialize... [snip] The Details After adjusting for inflation, which generates the...
  • State Expects to Take $2.4 Billion More; Media Cries 'Deficit!'

    05/26/2016 11:56:58 AM PDT · by MichCapCon · 2 replies
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 5/24/2016 | Tom Gantert
    Based on recent media headlines, readers and viewers could be excused for believing the state of Michigan’s budget is in crisis mode. It’s not. Over the next two fiscal years, Michigan’s state government expects to collect almost $2.4 billion more from sales, income, business and property tax payments than it gets now. While the increases are slightly less than earlier estimates suggested they might be, even in Lansing a nearly $2.4 billion cumulative raise over two years is considered real money. Yet “budget crisis” is exactly how most media outlets characterized the recent changes in revenue estimates produced by the...
  • South Florida drivers feel they're spending more money on tolls

    05/25/2016 7:49:30 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 25 replies
    Local 10 News ^ | April 29, 2016 | Amy Viteri
    MIAMI - Drivers throughout South Florida have said no matter where their daily commute takes them, they feel they're spending more money, more often on tolls. Local 10 News spoke to several drivers who said the tolls are another expense and don't necessarily help them reach their destination any faster. "Three hundred to four hundred (dollars) a month," Maribel Masvidal estimated she spends commuting from Homestead to her job in South Miami. "A lot of money that could be used on other things for my family." Masvidal said that commute can take her up to two hours one way on...
  • Conflict analyst: EU would have ‘second most powerful military on Earth’

    05/21/2016 10:44:17 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 32 replies
    EurActiv ^ | May 20, 2016 | Catalina Guerrero, euroefe.es | Translated by Samuel Morgan
    The EU would have “the second most powerful military” in the world if its members pooled its resources, insisted the co-director of the Institute of Studies on Conflict and Humanitarian Action in an interview with EurActiv Spain. “If we added the capabilities we have in the EU together, we would automatically become the second most powerful military force on Earth and the reason we aren’t is because there is no political will. This is because each national government would rather be the head of a mouse rather than the tail of a lion,” said Jesús Núńez, a conflict analyst. …
  • The Sixty Three Hundred Billion Dollar Question

    05/17/2016 4:52:01 AM PDT · by detective · 17 replies
    Conservative Treehouse ^ | May 17, 2016 | Sundance
    Just because the so-called “conservative” and “liberal” punditry and politicos refuse to answer this question, doesn’t mean we should stop asking it. In 2009 President Obama along with congress passed the roughly $900 billion stimulus bill, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The “non-shovel ready” spending took place within fiscal year 2010/2011. The amount is significant because the injected stimulus was 30% more than the entire federal budget for the same year.
  • First Senate Appropriations Bill Passed Spends More Than Obama Requested

    05/12/2016 3:54:32 PM PDT · by milton23 · 23 replies
    The Daily Signal ^ | 5/12/16 | Philip Wegmann
    The U.S. Senate’s first spending bill of 2016 spends more than President Barack Obama requested and lacks significant conservative amendments, but it still sailed to passage in the Republican-led Senate Thursday. An overwhelming number of U.S. senators on both sides of the aisle approved the energy and water development appropriations bill by a vote of 90-8. Conservatives had objected to the higher spending levels and lack of policy riders in the weeks leading up to the vote.
  • Herb McMillan: Democrats try to handcuff Hogan

    05/09/2016 12:33:05 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 8 replies
    The Capital Gazette (Annapolis) ^ | May 9, 2016 | Herb McMillan
    Ancient Rome declined because it had a Senate; now what's going to happen to us, with both a Senate and a House?" — Will Rogers Most Marylanders are wondering the same thing. This year, the liberal majority in the Senate and House launched a fiscal attack on Gov. Larry Hogan's efforts to balance the budget, reduce the deficit and cut taxes. Their goal: to handcuff Hogan and prevent him from doing the job we elected him to do. Fencing and mandated spending are the manacles Senate President Mike Miller and House Speaker Mike Busch are using. Here's how they work....
  • After 10 Years of Deficits, How One District Escaped Being Dissolved

    05/06/2016 10:47:13 AM PDT · by MichCapCon · 5 replies
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 5/1/2016 | Tom Gantert
    For years, Ecorse Public Schools was a poster child for claims of ineffective oversight of school finances by the Michigan Department of Education. Despite laws that require school districts to balance their annual budget, and rules that require offenders to eliminate deficits within two years, Ecorse spent more on operations than it collected in revenue for 10 consecutive years. Only one other school district has managed to stay out of balance for as long (New Haven Community Schools in Macomb County). But by June 2015, the district had eliminated its $661,000 deficit and projected a positive balance — $343,000 —...
  • Here's how much was spent to stop Trump from winning the nomination

    05/04/2016 8:40:16 AM PDT · by detective · 25 replies
    Msn Money ^ | May 4, 2016 | Jacob Pramuk
    Donald Trump will likely become the Republican presidential nominee after a decisive victory in the Indiana primary and the departure of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz on Tuesday night.
  • Actually, Hillary Clinton Is A Fiscal Conservative -- Look It Up

    05/03/2016 6:44:35 AM PDT · by Cyberman · 35 replies
    The Washington Post ^ | 05/03/2016 | Catherine Rampell
    Suppose you're a hardcore fiscal conservative. You don't give a hoot about social issues, and you don't follow any of this nonsense about identity politics or insiders and outsiders. All you care about is getting the nation's fiscal house in order. Are you sitting down? I hope you’re sitting down. Because the candidate you should vote for might surprise you. According to a new report from the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, the most fiscally conservative presidential contender left standing is . . . Hillary Clinton. Seriously....
  • State's Priority: Defend Its Budget

    04/26/2016 8:45:22 AM PDT · by MichCapCon
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 4/23/2016 | Michael LaFaive
    The Michigan state agency in charge of government programs to attract and subsidize businesses, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, runs a “Pure Michigan” ad campaign with annual spending of $33 million. The program has been criticized as a pure corporate welfare handout to the Michigan travel and leisure industry. The MEDC's response has been to seek to refute the criticism, suggesting that its own budget, rather than an independent evaluation of its programs' effectiveness, is the key consideration of its officials. As described by previous articles in this series, the MEDC has granted several no-bid contracts to a Canadian company...
  • Saudi Arabia Approves Economic Reform Program

    04/25/2016 6:40:41 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 15 replies
    The Wall Street Journal ^ | April 25, 2016 | Margherita Stancati and Dahlia Kholaif
    RIYADH—Saudi Arabia, crimped by low crude prices, approved Monday a long-term blueprint for the kingdom’s economic transformation aimed at reducing its dependence on oil. The multiyear plan, dubbed “Saudi Vision 2030,” was approved by the cabinet, according to Saudi Arabia’s monarch, King Salman. The Saudi cabinet, in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency, said the government’s economic council would be in charge of overseeing the vision’s implementation. Saudi officials later Monday were to present a broad overview of the country’s most extensive economic shake-up in decades. The steep drop in oil prices has given new urgency to...
  • Pure Flummery: Seeing Double on Corporate Welfare Spin

    04/15/2016 12:53:26 PM PDT · by MichCapCon · 1 replies
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 4/14/2016 | Michael LaFaive
    Background Previous articles in this series have documented the secrecy surrounding what have been called “budget justification” reports purchased through no-bid contracts by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation from a company called Longwoods International. (See “Pure Michigan Puffery” Parts I and II as well as “Puffery or Proof?”) Longwoods produces very similar products for agencies in at least eight other states, claiming high returns from taxpayer-funded tourism ads. The MEDC is this state’s agency in charge of business subsidy and assistance programs. Last year it got a $33 million appropriation to run its “Pure Michigan” ad campaign. The agency would...
  • Bill meant to redirect highway money to state general fund

    04/10/2016 9:06:15 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 11 replies
    KSNT ^ | April 10, 2016 | Chris Arnold
    WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — A statewide, month long initiative to put the clamps on a Senate bill is underway. Senate Bill 463 is aimed at redirecting highway money to the state general fund. This weekend, the Kansas Contractors Association is running ads targeting lawmakers to get them to just say no. It’s called Detour Greenlight and it’s pointed to 24 legislators they believe detour, or normally vote against protecting road and bridge funding. It also names some who they say are for strong spending on roads. “To redirect the little bit of sales tax that goes into the pot to...
  • Jerry Brown signs $15 minimum wage in California

    04/04/2016 11:37:19 AM PDT · by EagleUSA · 105 replies
    Sacramento Bee ^ | 4/4/2016 | David Siders
    Gov. Jerry Brown, casting a living wage as a moral imperative while questioning its economic rationale, signed legislation Monday raising California’s mandatory minimum to $15 an hour by 2022, acting within hours of a similar bill signing in New York. The bill’s enactment comes one week after Brown, Democratic lawmakers and labor leaders announced an agreement on the wage increase, averting a brawl on the November ballot. [snip] California political leaders and labor have struck a deal to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour over the next seven years. One excited fast food worker hugged Gov. Jerry Brown...
  • Here’s how to really make America great again

    03/30/2016 12:59:55 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 14 replies
    Market Watch ^ | March 17, 2016 | Jeff Reeves
    What the heck is wrong with us? On Wednesday, Washington, D.C.’s entire Metro subway system shut down with almost no notice to perform emergency inspections, just days after a cable fire “crippled” three lines. The nation’s second-busiest rail system has been plagued by safety problems in recent years, including a 2015 incident where smoke from an electrical malfunction killed one person and a deadly 2009 crash on the system’s Red Line that killed nine people. And with a new Metro chief that has been vocal about returning to a culture that puts safety first, many say that Wednesday’s move is...
  • Metro Shutdown Highlights Risks of Democratic Transportation Autopilot Formula Proposal

    03/24/2016 7:45:56 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 17 replies
    MCGOP ^ | March 22, 2016 | Mark Uncapher
    In an unprecedented move to protect Washington Metro riders’ safety, the entire transit system was closed for a day last week in order to conduct emergency inspections of electric cables. This had to be done, since a rash of fires, fatalities and other breakdowns has raised concerns about the 40-year-old rail system’s continued capacity to deliver safe, reliable service. Currently the Metro Rail fares cover only a portion of its operating expenses. The system is completely dependent on its parent jurisdictions for paying any capital costs. Without state support, the necessary money would not be available. Few events better highlight...
  • New Bill Fixes a Pension Problem, Leaves Major Problem Untouched

    03/24/2016 8:57:04 AM PDT · by MichCapCon · 2 replies
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 3/21/2016 | James Hohman
    Rep. Pat Somerville (R-New Boston) introduced a bill last week that would prevent local government employees from using overtime and other extra compensation to boost their taxpayer-funded pension benefits. The bill could can lower the costs of those benefits and make them more predictable, but unfortunately it will do little to contain the runaway costs of an underfunded pension system. The problem with public pensions in Michigan is not how generous they are, but how politicians tend to kick the costs of funding them into the future. When public employees work for one year, they earn credit towards a pension...
  • House Budget Plan: It’s The Spending, Stupid

    03/17/2016 3:18:26 AM PDT · by IBD editorial writer · 16 replies
    Inestor's Business Daily ^ | 03/16/2016 | Staff
    Fiscal Policy: House Republicans have a budget plan that would balance the budget in 10 years entirely through spending cuts. But it’s not likely to go anywhere because of the $30 billion in extra spending this year.
  • Poor Cities Don't Equal Underfunded Public Schools

    03/07/2016 10:05:39 AM PST · by MichCapCon · 9 replies
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 3/2/2016 | Tom Gantert
    Rick Joseph, the 2016 Michigan Teacher of the Year from Birmingham Public Schools, wrote a column for Bridge Magazine in which he cited funding as one of the big problems facing Detroit Public Schools. Joseph cited poverty as another factor that has an impact on school performance. The Michigan Department of Education doesn't factor in a student's economic background when evaluating student achievement. School rankings published by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy do adjust for student backgrounds, however, as do similar ones from the Center for Michigan, which publishes Bridge Magazine. The Birmingham teacher also wrote about the important...
  • Unions are Super PACS

    03/02/2016 9:15:24 AM PST · by MichCapCon · 1 replies
    Capitol Confidential ^ | 2/29/2016 | Jack Spencer
    An unexpected burst of plain speaking recently swerved the race for the Democratic presidential nomination off the customary narrative. Howard Dean, the former head of the Democratic National Committee and candidate for the party's 2004 nomination, not only admitted but asserted that labor unions are super PACs. While on the campaign trail, Dean — a Hillary Clinton supporter — described unions as super PACs while attempting to counter suggestions that Clinton was beholden to Wall Street, after collecting significant sums for speeches at financial industry events. “Why does Hillary Clinton have to put up with a double standard?” Dean asked....
  • Hospitals Cutting Jobs While Obama Continues to Throw Away Billions to This Industry

    03/01/2016 6:48:54 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 25 replies
    Constitution.com ^ | March 1, 2016 | Dave Jolly
    During the 2008 presidential campaign, Sen. Barack Obama began peddling his national healthcare system. On more than one occasion, he pointed to Canada and the United Kingdom as examples of a workable national healthcare system. When I first heard him point to them, I instantly thought of Rachel, a work acquaintance who lived and worked in the United Kingdom. She was experiencing abdominal pains and having problems eating for months before England’s National Health Service doctors finally diagnosed the problem to be her gall bladder. The doctor said it needed to be removed. However, from the time they wrote the...
  • Lawmakers Consider Bills on Bikes, Historical Markers, and Skunks

    02/26/2016 10:27:55 AM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 8 replies
    Memphis Flyer ^ | February 25, 2016 | Toby Sells
    Tennessee's rule factory is cranking at full tilt, and Nashville lawmakers want to tell Memphians how to pay for bike lanes, what monuments we can move, and whether or not we can own skunks (seriously). No gas tax for bike lanes A new bill would prohibit spending any gas tax revenues on bike lanes, pedestrian walkways, and "other non-vehicular facilities." Portions of the state gas tax are required to go to cities and counties. Those governments sometimes use the gas tax funds for matching dollars to get federal money for bike and pedestrian projects. The new bill says all of...
  • Pension Funds See 20% Spike In Deficit

    02/14/2016 8:04:37 AM PST · by Lorianne · 13 replies
    Argus Obsever ^ | 14 February 2016 | Ted Sickinger
    Oregon Treasurer and Portland mayoral candidate Ted Wheeler issued a statement last week noting that the state pension fund’s investment returns were 2.1% in 2015. That beat the Standard & Poor’s 500 index and topped the performance of 88% of comparable institutional investment funds. What Wheeler’s statement didn’t mention was that investment returns for the year still fell 5.6 percentage points below the system’s 7.75% assumed rate of return for 2015. That’s terrible news for public employers and taxpayers. It means the pension system’s unfunded liability just increased by another 20% — growing from $18 billion at the end of...
  • Politician Tell a Reporter She's a B**ch on Camera

    02/02/2016 7:49:02 PM PST · by Morgana · 21 replies
    ktrh.com ^ | February 2, 2016 | Michael Berry
    Politician Tell a Reporter She's a B**ch on Camera VIDEO ONLY ON LINK warning language.
  • Hit Rewind: Union Trots Out False 'School Cuts' Claim (Again)

    01/29/2016 1:12:18 PM PST · by MichCapCon · 2 replies
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 1/28/2016 | Tom Gantert
    The president of the Detroit Public School teachers union made what has now become a clichéd and erroneous claim when she said the state has been cutting money to state education. Ivy Bailey, the interim president of the Detroit Federation of Teachers, wrote in a Jan. 15 column that appeared in The Center for Michigan’s Bridge magazine: "State lottery money for education just replaces (but doesn’t add to) state education funding. The state has been cutting school funding for years." ForTheRecord says: State funding for K-12 schools has increased every year under Gov. Rick Snyder. And the state lottery is...
  • Bank of Japan introduces negative interest rates

    01/28/2016 9:43:05 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 16 replies
    CNN Money ^ | January 28, 2016: 11:29 PM ET | Jethro Mullen
    The Bank of Japan is stepping up its efforts to kick-start the country's struggling economy by taking interest rates into negative territory. The central bank announced Friday that it will introduce an interest rate of minus 0.1% and will go even lower if needed. In theory, negative rates encourage consumers to save less and spend more. They can also weaken a country's currency, helping exporters. ...
  • Oil crash sends Dow diving 500 points

    01/20/2016 10:13:11 AM PST · by Signalman · 33 replies
    cnnmoney ^ | 1/20/2015 | Matt Egan
    The Dow plunged 540 points on Wednesday after crude oil plummeted another 7% and crashed below $27 a barrel. The S&P 500 slumped 3.5% to its lowest intraday level since October 2014. The Nasdaq is down another 3.5%. It's the latest blow in what's already been the worst start to a year on record for the stock market. The Dow is now down more than 11% in 2016. "Despite improving valuations, global equities continue to get hammered," Bespoke Investment Group wrote in a client note. The firm said the appetite for risk remains "awful." Turmoil in China and the crash...
  • Pentagon: 2 U.S. Navy Boats Held by Iran Military

    01/12/2016 1:30:18 PM PST · by SeekAndFind · 67 replies
    NBC News ^ | 01/12/2016 | by JIM MIKLASZEWSKI and COURTNEY KUBE
    Iranian military forces seized two U.S. Navy boats Tuesday and are holding them in custody on Iran's Farsi Island in the middle of the Persian Gulf, senior U.S. officials told NBC News. Officials said it's unclear whether the 10 American sailors aboard one of the small riverine boats had strayed into Iranian territorial waters before they were captured. The officials said the Americans were on a training mission around noon ET when their boat experienced mechanical difficulty and drifted into Iranian-claimed waters and were seized by Iranian Coast guard. The crew was described as being safe. Following reports of the...