Must-Reads for May 4
National Review: A nation of Julias
The point of view of “The Life of Julia” is profoundly condescending. It assumes that giving people things will distract them from larger considerations of the public weal — the economy, debt, the health of the culture. It devalues self-reliance and looks at us less as independent citizens than as drab Julias, bereft without the succor of our life partner and minder, the state.
Wall Street Journal: Wisconsin recall amnesia
Democrats and unions will still do all they can to recall Mr. Walker to prove to would-be reformers nationwide that unions can't be crossed. But it speaks volumes that Democrats are running on everything except their real goal—which is to restore the political dominance of government unions.
Chicago Tribune: Illinois voters to decide on pension proposal in November
If approved by voters, the amendment would require a two-thirds vote for lawmakers to override a governor's veto or accept a governor's proposed changes on a rewrite of pension increase legislation. Currently, it takes a three-fifths vote to override an outright veto and only a majority to accept a governor's changes.
National Review: Ignore the income gap
Consider two job offers: (a) You will earn $50,000, while your boss makes $55,000, just 10 percent more. (b) You will earn $500,000, while your employer gets $1 million — twice your salary. “Unfairness” suddenly looks spectacular.
Must-Reads for May 3
Telegraph: Transparency bill could help expose government fraud, supporters say
A bill requiring local governments to post financial information could help to expose and prevent fraud, supporters of the measure say.
Chief Executive: Another triump for Texas - Best/worst states for business 2012
In Chief Executive’s eighth annual survey of CEO opinion of Best and Worst States in which to do business, Texas easily clinched the No. 1 rank, the eighth successive time it has done so. California earns the dubious honor of being ranked dead last for the eighth consecutive year.
Must-Reads for May 2
Chicago Tribune: How Daley beefed up his pension payouts
Two years into his reign as Chicago's longest-serving mayor, Richard M. Daley took advantage of the state's convoluted pension system to significantly increase his potential payout while saving $400,000 in contributions, a Tribune/WGN-TV investigation has found.
New York Times: The purpose of spectacular wealth, according to a spectacularly wealthy guy
Edward Conard understands that many believe that the U.S. economy currently serves the rich at the expense of everyone else. He contends that this is largely because most Americans don’t know how the economy really works — that the superrich spend only a small portion of their wealth on personal comforts; most of their money is invested in productive businesses that make life better for everyone.
City Journal: Unions versus the poor
United Wisconsin, the group responsible for organizing an attempt to recall Governor Walker from office, accused the governor of “balancing the budget on the backs of the people.” The numbers, however, tell exactly the opposite story: the governor is allocating more money to those who need the most help.
The Atlantic: Let teachers teach
After 20 years of teaching and leading in public schools, I've seen firsthand what happens when you free up teachers to teach and principals to lead. In my experience, giving educators the freedom to innovate is the key to setting up underserved students for success in college and in life.
Wall Street Journal: Exposing the Medicare Double Count
One of the enduring mysteries of President Obama's health law is how its spending constraints and payroll tax hikes on high earners can be used to shore up Medicare finances and at the same time pay for a massive new entitlement program. Isn't this double counting?
Must-Reads for May 1
Wall Street Journal: Paul Ryan's cross to bear
Alas, a "serious but respectful discussion" is the last thing Mr. Ryan's critics want. For one thing, the critics don't have a real alternative: Democrats haven't passed a budget in years precisely so they won't have to defend their spending philosophy.
Chicago Tribune: CPS principals facing longer day to get $130M boost
Chicago Public Schools still have not tallied up the cost of the longer day, but as district officials continue to hand out school-based budgets over the next few days, principals are learning that they collectively will get an additional $130 million in discretionary money next year.
Daily Must-Reads for April 30
Chicago Tribune: Momentum for school choice (except in Illinois)
The Bayou State is part of a "Top this!" competition among many states to open public schools to competition. Indiana has set up an expansive voucher program that covers students in families that have incomes below $61,000 a year. Wisconsin has expanded school choice programs in Milwaukee and Racine. Ohio will give tuition vouchers to as many as 60,000 students by 2013. And Illinois? Left in the dust.
Wall Street Journal: How retirment benefits may sink the states
State and local governments across the country have accumulated several trillion dollars in unfunded retirement promises to public-sector workers, the costs of which will increasingly force taxes higher and crowd out other spending. Already businesses and residents are slowly starting to sit up and notice.
Chicago Tribune: Seven ways to shrink government
If your township supervisor skipped work and frolicked in the sand in Maui for the next six months, would your life be changed? No? That's what we suspected. And yet the township perseveres, a relic that collects your money.
National Review: The sorry Stafford panderfest
The Stafford program is a middle-class entitlement. We’re not talking about Pell grants for poor students. We’re talking about whether students can get an even bigger subsidy on already-subsidized loans. And, while everyone on Capitol Hill is busy offering an offset to “pay” for the extension, it’s useful to remember that we’re borrowing a trillion bucks this year. That means that none of this is paid for.
Townhall: Why your doctor secretly hates Obamacare
It’s a choice between complete government control over limited medical care resources or a more freedom-based system where prices are lower because competition exists and health insurance is actually insurance. Insurance should only be involved in major medical care; otherwise, it’s not insurance, it’s maintenance.