South Carolina lawmakers have undertaken reforms to address some of the serious issues with their state’s pension system, but major changes are still needed to prevent future budget problems. In 2012, the state increased employee and employer contribution rates for the South Carolina Retirement System (SCRS), the state’s public pension fund. The increase affected current members as well as new hires. The 2012 reforms also reduced the expected rate of return for pension investments and reduced the minimum cost-of-living benefit increase. In 2000 and 2002, the state created optional defined-contribution plans for existing and new state and local government employees and teachers.
In this episode of The Heartland Institute’s weekly Budget & Tax News podcast, managing editor and research fellow Jesse Hathaway talks with Mercatus Center at George Mason University’s State and Local Policy Project scholar Adam Millsap about a new study ranking each US state’s financial health, based on factors such as short- and long-term debt, fiscal obligations, unfunded pensions and entitlement spending.
Venezuela is an official Socialist Utopia disaster area. (It would be nice if Team Bernie Sanders and his Democrat cohorts were paying attention – but who are we kidding.)
The United States State Department issued a travel warning back on September 18 (which still appears to be in place). The news, meanwhile, is chock full of horror stories for the people of Venezuela – the victims of full government’s inexorable conclusion.
New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan signed into law on April 5 House Bill 1696 to modify and renew through 2018 the state’s Medicaid expansion program under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which state lawmakers first adopted in 2014.
In this episode of the weekly Budget & Tax News podcast, managing editor and research fellow Jesse Hathaway talks with Cato Institute policy analyst Dan Ikenson about how international trade is not a scoreboard to measure a nation’s economic success against other countries, but the best way to improve the lives of everyday Americans, and everyday people all over the world.
Everything in Washington, D.C. established to do X – ends up doing X, Y, Z, and triplets of every letter in the alphabet. This anti-federalism is fueled by several basic precepts. Of course DC wants as much power as it can grab. The more power it wields – the more it can lord over us and the more favors it can dole out. And the more coin it can spend – and the more coin it can justify taking from us.
Uncle Sam has added nearly an additional half a trillion dollars to the national debt over the past twelve months. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the Federal government ended its fiscal year on September 30, 2015 with a budget deficit of a “mere” $435 billion. Total Federal expenditures for the fiscal year were nearly $3.7 trillion, while Federal tax receipts came to around $3.3 trillion.
In this episode of The Heartland Daily Podcast, managing editor Jesse Hathaway talks with Mercatus Center senior fellow Todd Zywicki. Zywicki’s new paper, “The Law and Economics of Consumer Debt Collection and Its Regulation,” examines the pitfalls of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau’s proposals to protect consumers from abuse by debt collection agencies.
The Congressional Budget Office just estimated that the federal budget deficit would reach $425 billion this year. That’s an additional $1,300 of debt for each American man, woman and child.
As is clear from the rise of Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and Carly Fiorina in the Republican presidential primaries and the groundswell of support for socialist Bernie Sanders among Democrats, a large portion of the American public has become fed up with the national government’s apparent takeover by powerful special-interest groups. Each new day brings another story of bad legislation and worse court decisions giving certain classes of people advantages denied to the rest of the people.
With the stated purpose of improving public health by making politically unpopular behaviors more expensive, Chicago City alderman Proco Moreno (D-Ward 1) is proposing to add $1.25 to the price of e-cigarette cartridges and $0.25 per milliliter of e-cigarette liquid.
The entirety of the United States is now a federal disaster area – rendered thus by Washington, D.C. Unlike areas hit by hurricanes, tornadoes and other acts of God – our cataclysm is entirely man-made. Decades of anti-Reality policies have left our nation an uber-addled mess.
The U.S. territory of Puerto Rico owes more than $70 billion—about $19,729.43 per resident—in debt to creditors and investors. First to note the territory’s fiscal problems were the credit rating agencies, which downgraded the territory’s bond status to “speculative,” the first of three steps along the junk-bond path to loan default.
In today’s edition of The Heartland Daily Podcast, we listen in as Heartland Senior Fellow Peter Ferrara joins the Ayn Rand Institute’s podcast, The Debt Dialogues. Ferrara, author of the new book – Power to the people, is on to discuss the growing entitlement crisis in America and what to do about it.
Reckless government spending and an uncontrollable federal debt have created an unavoidable monetary disaster ahead. The door to unlimited federal spending was opened by President Nixon in 1971 when he severed the last link between the dollar and gold by ending foreign central banks’ ability to exchange dollars for U.S. gold. Politicians realized that more spending produced more votes to keep them in office; and with no limit on federal spending, the mountain of debt just kept on growing.
For months, now, the mass media and the financial markets have anxiously watched and waited to see the outcome of a war of words, accusations, and threats that have been fought between Greece and its Eurozone and European Union partners.
The federal government alone spends almost $4 trillion a year – that is a LOT of garbage. Hundreds of billions of that is borrowed, which is debt and interest for which We the People are responsible – more garbage. Then there’s what they do with so much of that money – create ever more regulations. More garbage.
In today’s edition of The Heartland Daily Podcast, Jesse Hathaway, managing editor of Budget & Tax News speaks with Bill Bergman. Bergman is the vice president of Truth in Accounting. Bergman joins Hathaway to talk about a new report on the federal government’s “credit card statement.”
One of the challenges the seemingly never-ending list of Republican presidential candidates must face in what is sure to be an all-out political brawl in 2016 is finding a unique way to explain that America does not have a tax revenue problem; it has a massive spending addiction.