National Review: Does government need to grow?
Does government need to grow in order for the economy to grow? Data from around the world do show that as economies grow, government spending tends to rise even faster. But this isn’t to say that big government causes economies to grow.
The Wall Street Journal: The audacity of 51%
The annual budget deficit has been running at around $1.2 trillion. Raising taxes on "the wealthiest 2%," it is estimated, would increase government revenues $829 billion over a decade. When Van Roekel says the tax hike "takes us a long way there," he's off by an order of magnitude.
Must-Reads for November 15
Reuters: How a vicious circle of self-interest sank a California city
On close examination, the city's decades-long journey from prosperous, middle-class community to bankrupt, crime-ridden, foreclosure-blighted basket case is straightforward — and alarmingly similar to the path traveled by many municipalities around America's largest state. San Bernardino succumbed to a vicious circle of self-interests among city workers, local politicians and state pension overseers.
The Wall Street Journal: Why lower tax rates are good for everyone
It is also true that when Bill Clinton raised tax rates in the 1990s, the economy boomed and the share of taxes paid by the rich increased. But the otherwise depressive effect of higher tax rates was counteracted by the lighter burden of government on the private sector—federal spending declined to 18% of GDP in 2000 from 22% in 1993.
Must-Reads for November 14
Chicago Tribune: 'I want to go to school'
Tribune reporters found that nearly 32,000 Chicago students in public elementary schools — roughly 1 in 8 students — missed four weeks or more of class during the 2010-11 year.
Real Clear Markets: All tax increases are not created equal
And there's the rub: Republicans are so averse to raising taxes that they won't do it even if what they're really doing is cutting spending. And Democrats are so wedded to spending that they can't cut it, even when we face a budget crisis and that spending disproportionately benefits the very rich.
Must-Reads for November 13
Reason: Hooray! Bankrupt California is now a one-party state!
The last month that California had an unemployment rate of less than 10% was January 2009. The last month its unemployment was lower than the national rate was April 1990. The 2010 Census marked the first time California didn't gain a seat in the House of Representatives since basically ever.
Chicago Tribune: Ex-Dixon comptroller pleads guilty in $53 million scam
A former longtime treasurer of Dixon pleaded guilty today to fraud in federal court in Rockford for stealing $53 million from the coffers of the small northwestern Illinois city over two decades.
Must-Reads for November 12
Washington Post: It’s the welfare state, stupid
In 2011, "payments for individuals," including health care, constituted 65 percent of federal spending, up from 21 percent in 1955. That’s the welfare state. Yet, the subject is virtually taboo.
Chicago Tribune: Keep your promise
Illinois Democrats have scored a political trifecta: With veto-proof majorities in both chambers of the General Assembly and an incumbent governor, they ought to be unstoppable for the foreseeable future.
The Wall Street Journal: The hard fiscal facts
The feds rolled up another $1.1 trillion deficit for the year that ended September 30, which was the biggest deficit since World War II, except for each of the previous three years. President Obama can now proudly claim the four largest deficits in modern history.