QUOTE OF THE DAY
Fiscal Times: $1 Trillion Platinum Coin: Fighting Stupid with Silly
We’ve crossed over into Bizarro Wonk World, where the nonsensical is clever and crazy is sane. Maybe it was bound to happen given the state of our politics and the string of artificial crises we’ve staggered through, but the notion of another showdown about the debt ceiling has taken the discussion about our fiscal policy to the level of the absurd. Exhibit A is the growing chatter on the internet and from TV talking heads about the Treasury minting a trillion dollar platinum coin to avoid a debt-ceiling debacle.
As that crisis nears, our newly sworn in House of Representatives is out of session until January 14 and our newly sworn in Senate doesn't return until January 22. And why not? Now that we’ve come through a 13th hour resolution to the fraught fiscal cliff negotiations, we've got more than a month to go before our next self-inflicted calamity hits.
MarketWatch: Krugman joins the $1 trillion coin brigade
Paul Krugman, the liberal economist who pens a widely read column for the New York Times, on Monday joined the calls for the U.S. to mint a $1 trillion platinum coin as a way around the debt ceiling.
The idea is that the treasury secretary can take advantage of a loophole allowing him to mint a platinum coin of any denomination. Print a $1 trillion coin, and — presto — there’s a $1 trillion in spare capacity under the debt ceiling. Plus, since the coin isn’t going to make it into circulation, it should not be inflationary. And further, it still leaves Congress in control of the purse.
Telegraph: California 'suffering unprecedented decline' in child population
California is in the midst of an unprecedented decline in its child population. Falling birth rates, a decrease in migration and the retirement of the 'baby boom' generation are threatening the future prosperity of America's most populous state, a new report has revealed.
The report, by the University of Southern California (USC), shows that in 1970 children made up one third of the state's population. By 2030 that number is expected to have declined to one fifth.
Reason: First Parent-Triggered Charter School Clears Final Hurdle
After nearly two years of fighting the district that’s supposed to serve them, parents in Adelanto, Calif., succeeded Tuesday night in turning Desert Trails Elementary into a charter school. It’s the first successful implementation of the California law passed in 2010 allowing parents to force a school district’s hand and select a charter program to take over a failing school. And Desert Trails was definitively failing, falling among the bottom 10 percent of California schools.
Stateline: Surpluses Await Some States in 2013 Sessions
With a $500 million budget surplus and $2 billion in reserves, Indiana Governor-elect Mike Pence has pledged to give back some of that money when he takes office next week by cutting personal income taxes.
“An across-the-board tax cut for all Hoosiers would send a strong signal that we are managing our funds wisely and also reducing the tax burden on our taxpayers and businesses,” the former U.S. Congressman said while campaigning to replace outgoing fellow Republican Mitch Daniels as governor.
Indiana is not alone going into the 2013 legislative session with extra money in the coffers and policy makers figuring out how to spend it. Through a combination of downsizing, changes in tax policy and sometime the luck of having energy and commodities, some states have weathered the recession better than others.
Iowa is looking at an $800 million surplus. Florida’s is more than $400 million. Michigan, which was in a recession years before the country entered one in 2007, has an extra $1 billion in its general funds.
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