Must-Reads for September 7
Chicago Tribune: CPS board president joins contract talks with teachers union
The 60 faith-based organizations that are part of the district's contingency plan all operate CPS-sponsored camps during the summer, spring and winter breaks. Those churches would be paid through the $25 million set aside for the contingency plan.
Cato Institute: Details of the auto bailout you won’t hear in Charlotte
The administration didn’t save the auto industry. The stronger case is that it damaged the auto industry along with several important institutions vital to capitalism’s proper functioning.
Forbes: Tax hungry politicians In Ohio and California stimulate...North Carolina
Many economists, including those at Missouri’s free-market think tank, the Show Me Institute, have studied how states with high marginal tax rates on personal income tend to lose wealth compared with those economies with relatively low tax regimes.
Must-Reads for September 6
Reason: The worst welfare benefits the best-off: corporations
Corporate welfare’s sole redeeming quality, to the extent it has any, is its relative size...about $100 billion a year. That is a minute fraction of federal outlays for social welfare (Medicare alone will cost more than $670 billion this year). But it is still roughly $100 billion too much.
Chicago Tribune: Gas prices and political mythology
But it also exposes something even more important: how little the conscious decisions of our elected officials affect this issue they invest with such importance. In this area, they are loath to admit that they are often unimportant and sometimes completely irrelevant.
State Journal-Register: Pension meeting? Don't expect miracles
Unless one side or the other is willing to give some ground, the meeting will be just some more wheel-spinning, finger-pointing and lofty talk about how critical it is to do something to control pension costs.
The Wall Street Journal: Are entitlements corrupting us?
Within living memory, the federal government has become an entitlements machine. As a day-to-day operation, it devotes more attention and resources to the public transfer of money, goods and services to individual citizens than to any other objective, spending more than for all other ends combined.
Must-Reads for September 5
Chicago Tribune: If only union-hugging Democrats could learn to say 'no'
They have allowed pension costs for towns, cities and states to spiral upward, with not nearly enough intervention. The retirement inflation cannot be sustained politically, since private-sector workers won’t continue to stomach retirements for government workers that far outstrip their own — particularly when it comes to firefighters, cops and prison guards.
Investors Business Daily: 'Bait and switch' taxes
When businesses advertise one thing and then actually sell something else, that is called "bait and switch" advertising. That is exactly what President Obama is doing with his proposed tax increases on "millionaires and billionaires."
RealClearPolicy: The accounting trick that will haunt public pensions
If accrued pension benefits are valued using riskless Treasury yields, unfunded liabilities today top $4 trillion, an amount that makes most current pension plans financially unfeasible.
Must-Reads for September 4
Chicago Tribune: Dynamiting the status quo
There's compelling new evidence that teachers will respond to economic incentives. In a new study, economists at the University of Chicago (including "Freakonomics" superstar Steven Levitt) and Harvard University reported on a bonus system for 150 Chicago Heights elementary school teachers
State Journal-Register: Illinois tops among states for number of governments
Illinois has 6,968 local governments, according to preliminary data released Thursday. That’s 2,000 more than Pennsylvania, which is No. 2 on the list.
Reason: Debt and loving it
Because of the aging of the population and the growing cost of health care, paying for those old programs won’t be possible on historical revenue levels. Which means that the status quo can’t continue, and will require some sort of reform. Higher taxes. Reduced spending. Restructured entitlements. The alternative is to continue running giant-sized deficits, let debt levels grow even further, and wait for a debt crisis to attack. In other words, something’s got to give.