Daily Must-Reads for October 5
Chicago Tribune: Shhhh. We're litigating
Judges in Cook County make it too easy for well-connected people to hide court filings that would expose the litigants to unwanted scrutiny. Their reporting uncovered lax practices that undermine the guiding principle of conducting the people's business where the people can see it for themselves.
Washington Post: This is no jobs recovery
The economy is creating so few jobs that millions are staying out of the labor market, thereby prevent the unemployment rate from soaring. In September we created a measly 114,000 jobs, but the rate declined to 7.8 percent.
The Economist: Investors, beware
America is set for a fiscal squeeze worth roughly 5% of GDP as the Bush tax cuts and a host of more recent temporary tax reductions expire at the end of this year, and deep cuts to defence and other types of federal spending kick in. If politicians do nothing, that fiscal squeeze would eventually send the weak economy back into recession.
State Journal-Register: 114,000 New Jobs Is Not Nearly Enough
The most effective jobs program appears to be to convince working-aged adults they don't need a job.
Must-Reads for October 4
National Review: Obamaís November surprise
Unlike the case with conventional loans, when an FHA borrower defaults on his mortgage, the American taxpayers have insured 100 percent of the value of the loan and will be forced to cover any losses on it.
RealClearPolitics: We fund dependency
Once politicians figured out that welfare creates dependency and hurts poor people, they (logically) assumed that employment services and job training would help. Job training does help -- when employers do it. But government does everything badly.
National Review: Unleash the mind
The belief that wealth consists not chiefly in ideas, attitudes, moral codes, and mental disciplines but in definable static things that can be seized and redistributed ó that is the materialist superstition.
Must-Reads for October 3
Crain's Chicago Business: Head of teacher pension fund says state will need to cut COLAs
Mr. Ingram is fairly certain that TRS members, which include about 362,000 Illinois teachers and retirees outside of Chicago, won't get the full $89 billion in pension benefits they've been promised no matter what..."It's very likely that benefits are impaired today, that we're looking at the possibility in the future of not being able to pay them," Mr. Ingram said.
CNBC: US is debt addict on 'budgetary crystal meth'
The CBO, BIS and IMF have concluded that the U.S. balance sheet "is in flames and that its fire department is apparently asleep at the station house," he added. The current budget deficit is running at more than $1.2 trillion while the total national debt is more than $16 trillion and there is a fiscal gap of 11 percent of gross domestic product, which is currently $15.6 trillion.
Chicago Tribune: The Rhubarb Patch: the legacy of Obama's recovery act
The federal government borrowed money from the public, transferred those funds to state and local governments, which then used the money to reduce the amount borrowed from the public. Thatís wasteful churn, not real economic activity.
Forbes: Yes America, your fellow citizens do abuse federal aid programs
The sloppy process used to determine Social Security disability eligibility should alarm taxpayers given that the lifetime cost of each award averages $300,000. The life-time costs are so high because once on, few leave the programís rolls.
Must-Reads for October 2
RealClearPolitics: Capital gains taxes
If a country wants investors to invest, it cannot tax their resulting capital gains the same as the incomes of people whose incomes were guaranteed in advance when they took the job.
Chicago Tribune: Moody's votes 'no'
CPS officials haven't said how they'll close fiscal 2014's $1 billion gap, or an even larger gap in 2015. The schools are in grave financial condition. Moody's doesn't like the silence. Nor should Chicago parents and taxpayers. This isn't some far-distant financial calamity that can be averted down the road. It's here, now.
BusinessDay: Euro blame game will determine how crisis is resolved
Rather than attacking each other, Europeans should blame the "great Europeans" of the past...when it came to the euro, they pursued their grand vision while ignoring the objections of those who questioned whether a single currency could work for such diverse economies. Todayís Europe is living with the consequences of their hubris.
Chicago Tribune: Teachers strike in Evergreen Park District 124
The union also opposes offering salary increases to teachers based on their students' performance. The school board is offering lower annual increases and a 1 percent "bonus" raise tied to student outcomes.
Must-Reads for October 1
Chicago Tribune: A crop shortage should provoke policy changes. Are you listening, Congress?
Federal policies that subsidize row-crop production act as a form of protectionism. They shield the ag industry from market forces. In the long run, they do more harm than good. They open the door to self-defeating, centrally planned schemes ... such as requiring the use of corn for ethanol.
The State Journal-Register: Statehouse Insider: Quinn draws line in the sand
"The union of state government employees fails to recognize that the salaries and benefits the average state employee receives are unsustainable and at levels far exceeding the salaries and benefits of other unionized state employees."
The Wall Street Journal: The next battleground in the state labor wars
The amendment says that no "existing or future laws shall abridge, impair or limit" the collective-bargaining rights of Michigan workers. That may sound innocuous, but according to Patrick Wright of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, the amendment would hand a broad mandate to unions to challenge virtually any law they don't like.