Must-Reads for April 13
Beloit Daily News: Illinois bad, Wisconsin good at tracking tax breaks
The report released Thursday by the Pew Center on the States found that no state regularly takes a hard look at the effectiveness of all of its tax breaks. Twenty-five states and Washington, D.C., do little if any evaluation, including Illinois, which is among the states facing major budget struggles.
Washington Times: What's the next step after Obamacare?
Several members of Congress, led by House Republican Study Committee Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, have introduced the State Health Flexibility Act to streamline federal funding for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program into one block grant to the states. The legislation would give the states maximum flexibility to tailor the program to meet the unique health care needs of their citizens without having to plead with Washington for every minor improvement they want to make.
Must-Reads for April 12
Marc Levine in the State Journal-Register: Rhode Island has right idea on pensions
to its recent reform, Rhode Island was home to the second (behind
Illinois) most dire pension crisis in the country. In response, last
year the state adopted a “hybrid” pension approach that includes both
defined benefit and 401(k) components. Support was bipartisan and
included the votes of 77 of the General Assembly’s 94 Democrats. As a
result, Rhode Island is progressing back to fiscal health.
Chicago Tribune: Madigan offers higher bar for pension increases
The Democratic leader from Chicago introduced a state constitutional amendment that would ask voters this fall to require the Legislature to approve pension benefit increases by a three-fifths vote instead of a simple majority.
National Review: No Obamacare exchanges
Exchanges are the new government bureaucracies through which millions of Americans will be compelled to purchase Obamacare’s overpriced and overregulated health insurance. Without these bureaucracies, Obamacare cannot work. Here are just a few reasons why states should refuse to create them.
Must-Reads for April 11
Heartlander: Why Medicare's pilot program failed
Bureaucracies can’t do what only markets can do.
National Review: Free the markets, Mr. Romney
There’s a huge difference between being pro-business and pro-free market. The government’s role in the free market is to keep it free and fair, not to play favorites.
Chicago Tribune: Why did Rahm blink?
If you knew only one item on Rahm Emanuel's agenda to make this city a mecca for high-skill jobs, it was his resolve to have longer-running schools produce high-skill workers. On Tuesday, though, the mayor downsized the plan.
Must-Reads for April 10
Washington Post: Health-care law will add $340 billion to deficit, new study finds
President Obama’s landmark health-care initiative, long touted as a means to control costs, will actually add more than $340 billion to the nation’s budget woes over the next decade, according to a new study by a Republican member of the board that oversees Medicare financing.
Bloomberg: Illinois is pension basket case you forgot about
Rod Blagojevich is in prison. But the worst things the former governor did to Illinois (BEESIL) weren’t even illegal. This month, the Teachers’ Retirement System of the State of Illinois made a dire announcement to its members.
Must-Reads for April 9
Chicago Tribune: Surprise! You owe another $54 billion
A new report forces the question: How could Illinois pols do this to taxpayers?
State Journal-Register: TRS chief dares to speak truth
In Illinois, he who commingles “real math” with “Illinois pension math” does so at his own peril.
Reason: States and unemployment
If the governors who have had some success have some wisdom to share on lowering unemployment and fostering growth, the rest of the country sure could use it.