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Keyword: spending

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  • Trump Attacks Hillary’s Wild Spending Binge of Taxpayer Dollars

    10/28/2016 9:18:24 AM PDT · by monkapotamus · 6 replies
    Donald J. Trump ^ | October 27, 2016 | Donald J. Trump
    Excerpts As Prepared For Delivery Now, in another new report, we are learning that Hillary Clinton’s State Department wasted hundreds of millions of your hard-earned taxpayer dollars on a wild spending binge. Here are some of the shocking revelations about Hillary’s spending habits. These are all State Department expenditures during her tenure:--$5.4 million on a no-bid contract for Crystal Stemware--$167.5 million on cost overruns at the Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan--Over $200 million on mostly unused police training facilities in Iraq--$79,000 to buy copies of President Obama’s books--$53,000 to polish marble at the Brazilian Embassy--$630,000 to try to make State Department...
  • State Spending Up and Up, But Spending Interests Cry Poverty

    10/24/2016 5:52:30 AM PDT · by MichCapCon · 1 replies
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 10/20/2016 | Tom Gantert
    Total spending by the state of Michigan has increased for five consecutive years. The first state budget Gov. Rick Snyder signed, for 2011-12, authorized spending $47.6 billion from state, federal and local sources. Spending increased in each of the next five fiscal years. For the 2016-17 state budget that began Oct. 1, the Michigan Legislature authorized $54.0 billion in government spending. The current state budget spends more from all sources than ever. State spending from state sources was $25.2 billion in 2009-10 and $31.0 billion in the current 2016-17 budget. Yet tax and spending advocates said there is a need...
  • Obama administration: Budget deficit increases to $587B

    10/14/2016 3:03:18 PM PDT · by bushwon · 18 replies
    McClatchy ^ | October 14, 2016 | Andrew Taylor
    WASHINGTON The government ran a $587 billion budget deficit for the just-completed fiscal year, a 34 percent spike over last year after significant improvement from the record deficits of President Barack Obama's first years in office. Friday's deficit news, while sobering, does not appear bad enough to jolt a gridlocked Washington into action to stem the flow of red ink. It came in an annual report by the Treasury Department and the White House budget office. In the presidential campaign, intractable budget deficits and growing debt have been mostly neglected by Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump. The latest...
  • Will next governor pave the way for more public-private partnerships?

    10/11/2016 7:05:15 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 5 replies
    The Indiana Lawyer ^ | October 11, 2016 | Hayleigh Colombo, IBJ Staff
    The controversial 2006 lease of the Indiana Toll Road paved the way for highway projects funded by public-private partnerships in Indiana — including the relatively smooth and nearly finished building of a bridge over the Ohio River at Louisville and the beleaguered construction of a 21-mile stretch of Interstate 69 from Bloomington to Martinsville. Indiana’s next governor — whose road-funding agenda will likely shape discussions at next year’s budget session of the Indiana General Assembly — will have a major role in crafting future deals to fund projects and maintain the state’s infrastructure. The question is whether the state will...
  • SCDOT Still Pimping Interstate 73

    10/06/2016 11:13:57 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 13 replies
    FITSNEWS ^ | July 21, 2016 | FITS
    AGENCY LOBBYING HARD FOR MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR BOONDOGGLE South Carolina’s corrupt transportation “leaders” still desperately want to foist Interstate 73 on dirt poor Palmetto State taxpayers … even as government’s embarrassing inability to do basic maintenance continues to be on display all over the state.How desperate are our powerful “roads czars” to get this Interstate built? Let’s recap …First, they’ve spent more than $100 million on an interchange for the highway (even though it’s not clear if it will ever be built).Next they’ve proposed spending millions more on wetlands mitigation related to the road (again, even though it’s not clear if...
  • In Round Numbers (to keep it simple)

    09/28/2016 2:43:56 PM PDT · by Sean_Anthony · 3 replies
    Canada Free Press ^ | 09/28/16 | Bob Christie
    Listen up now. You paying attention here? During Obama’s tenure in the White House the federal government collected $20 trillion in taxes. Oughta be enough to pay for all our stuff, you say! Unh Unh! Not so fast pilgrim! Over the same period the government spent $29 trillion. Where did it find the extra $9 trillion? We weren’t taxed to fund that additional expenditure because the proletariat would have stormed the barricades surrounding the White House if taxes went up that much, roughly 44%. How would you behave if every regular purchase . . . milk, bread, etc. . ....
  • Budget Gimmicks, Debt and Deficit Smokescreens Preceded Flint Lead Crisis

    09/27/2016 9:53:41 AM PDT · by MichCapCon · 4 replies
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 9/22/2016 | Tom Gantert
    Years before the city had a crisis with lead in its water, the Flint City Council and mayor ran unbalanced budgets by making "fund raids" on budget funds dedicated to specific functions. Among the targets was a fund dedicated to providing uncontaminated drinking water to residents. But there were other budget gimmicks city leaders used to avoid making needed reforms. In addition to the fund raids, Flint officials also relied on state-backed loans, but these came with a requirement that the city develop a plan to climb out of its deepening financial hole. Its 2007 deficit- reduction plan projected a...
  • In New Spending Bill, McConnell Sides With Liberals, Ignores Conservative Priorities

    09/24/2016 5:16:24 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 43 replies
    The Daily Signal ^ | September 22, 2016 | Rachel Bovard
    After voting to proceed to a bill that didn’t exist earlier this week, the Senate has finally produced text of the continuing resolution, a short-term government spending bill. The bill, written behind closed doors by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, was brought to the floor late Thursday afternoon, and for the majority of Senate Republicans, represented their first opportunity to see the text. According to McConnell, senators will have four days (two of them on a weekend) to review the bill before having to cast their votes next week. As far as conservative priorities go, the bill is a failure....
  • Clinton Air War Fails To Sink Trump

    09/21/2016 6:24:51 AM PDT · by Helicondelta · 70 replies ^ | 09/21/16
    Hillary Clinton’s campaign and its allies are outspending their Republican counterparts by a factor of about five to one, according to a new analysis released Tuesday. But the former secretary of State has failed to put away Donald Trump, and many anxious Democrats are baffled as to why the race remains so close.
  • KDOT sweeps: Kansas is going backward with more projects stalled

    09/16/2016 1:11:52 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 13 replies
    The Garden City Telegram ^ | September 15, 2016 | Dena Sattler / Topeka Capital-Journal
    Kansas has more than 140,000 miles of public roads — the fourth most in the U.S. Such a massive network requires substantial public investment in maintenance and new projects, and some transportation advocates are worried that the state’s revenue crisis will prevent much of this necessary work from getting done. For example, the Brownback administration has transferred more than $1 billion from the Kansas Department of Transportation to the state general fund over the past few years. … Earlier this year, $185 million was removed from the highway fund to counteract meager state revenue collections. This sweep was announced alongside...
  • Critics Decry Gov. Walker Plan to Delay Zoo Interchange and Other Highway Projects

    09/16/2016 7:11:28 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 15 replies
    WUWM Milwaukee Public Radio ^ | September 16, 2016 | Ann-Elise Henzl
    Gov. Scott Walker is drawing sharp criticism for his plan to delay highway projects, including the Zoo Interchange in Milwaukee. In the past, the governor has hailed the interchange as key to state businesses that transport products throughout the region. Walker mentioned MillerCoors in his 2013 State of the State address. "MillerCoors is in a hyper-competitive industry. They're looking to find a competitive advantage: who can get a cold beer on a bar in Madison or Green Bay or even Chicago, the fastest. Beer trucks are tied up in the Zoo Interchange? The MillerCoors brewery here in Wisconsin is at...
  • Almost Entire County Commission Overthrown After Spending Splurge

    09/07/2016 9:39:57 AM PDT · by MichCapCon · 10 replies
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 9/2/2016 | Anne Schieber
    While primary elections for local offices rarely garner much attention, the results of the August election were dramatic for one county in northern lower Michigan. Of seven members of the current county commission, only one will be on the fall ballot. “I did not anticipate such a dramatic and historic turnover on the Emmet County board,” said Commissioner Charlie MacInnis, who ran unopposed in the primary. “The community clearly didn’t support the massive spending projects that were undertaken without adequate planning or voter approval.” Four of the seven incumbents lost primary contests while another two did not seek re-election. Last...
  • How Republicans in Congress Would Respond to Big-Spending Infrastructure Push

    08/29/2016 8:55:10 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 17 replies
    The Daily Signal ^ | August 26, 2016 | Josh Siegel
    Fresh after Congress and the White House scored the largest transportation spending package in a decade, both presidential candidates this year are proposing billions in funding to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure. While both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump—and the parties they represent—agree the nation’s roads, bridges, airports, rail system, and ports are in need of repair, the new proposals invite familiar questions over how the spending would be paid for, and whether the federal government is the best provider to pay for it. Those questions, and the lack of a must-pass infrastructure initiative requiring Congress’ attention in 2017, mean that...
  • Adequacy Study Shows the State Already Spends Plenty on Education

    08/26/2016 6:56:50 AM PDT · by MichCapCon · 4 replies
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 8/22/2016 | Ben DeGrow
    In late June 2016, the state released the long-awaited Michigan Education Finance Study, better known as an “adequacy study.” Twice delayed from its original March 31, 2016, deadline due to errors by different parties, the report purchased by December 2014 state legislation has been greeted with an underwhelming reaction. Colorado-based Augenblick, Palaich, and Associates (APA) secured a $399,000 taxpayer-funded contract to produce the report. Every one of the company’s 13 earlier studies of different states’ school finance systems concluded with the same call: Spend more money. As even the adequacy study shows, a massive increase in spending absent any changes...
  • State Board of Education Not Immune To School Funding Myths

    08/24/2016 8:20:15 AM PDT · by MichCapCon · 2 replies
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 8/23/2016 | Tom Gantert
    Perhaps the most persistent myth about public school funding in Michigan is that low-income communities have low-revenue school districts. According to a report in The Detroit News, even elected members of the State Board of Education sometimes repeat the myth. Board member Kathleen Straus was quoted in the school funding story as saying, “The wealthy get better education, have more funding, when it should be the opposite.” Except, data from the state Department of Education, over which the state board presides, refutes this claim. The neighboring Berrien County cities of St. Joseph and Benton Harbor are often cited by the...
  • Honest Education Discussion Requires Counting All the Dollars

    08/23/2016 10:21:05 AM PDT · by MichCapCon · 1 replies
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 8/23/2016 | Ben DeGrow
    Though the evidence for Michigan spending its way to educational success continues to disappoint, its champions have turned to misdirection and misinformation to keep pressing their cause forward. The release of the $400,000 Michigan Education Finance Study (better known as the adequacy study) was far more of an early summer flop than a box office hit. As Detroit Free Press editorial page editor Stephen Henderson laments, the study “landed with the force of a feather on desks in Lansing.” His call for the adequacy study to start “a bigger conversation” about school funding was echoed a few days later in...
  • Pa. Turnpike wedded to toll hikes, mired in debt

    08/20/2016 8:06:18 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 35 replies
    The Lehigh Valley Express-Times ^ | July 31, 2016 | Express-Times Letter to the Editor
    Is it possible that a toll road could price itself right out of its market? That's essentially what the Pennsylvania Turnpike is prescribing for itself. Last week the Turnpike Commission informed us that tolls will go up a ninth consecutive year in 2017 — and stay on a steadily upward trajectory until 2044. And of course, there's no guarantee after that. By then, we can only hope, the turnpike will have morphed into a giant solar-powered car-train — for self-driving cars, of course. "Unsustainable" is an overused word these days, but it applies to the toll road's future. The turnpike...
  • Proposed legislation would crack down on Pennsylvania Turnpike toll cheats

    08/20/2016 4:10:22 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 15 replies
    The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review ^ | August 1, 2016 | Brad Bumsted
    HARRISBURG — Motorists blow past Pennsylvania Turnpike toll booths every year, resulting in millions of dollars of losses. The agency that manages more than 500 miles of highway is supporting legislation to punish those scofflaws. A bill pending in the state Senate would “give us the hammer we need to go after habitual toll cheats,” Turnpike Commission Chairman Sean Logan said. “This measure would ensure that everyone pays their fair share. There are no free rides.” The bill by Senate Transportation Chairman John Rafferty, R-Montgomery County, and Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa, D-Forest Hills, would allow PennDOT to suspend the...
  • Ludicrous legislation takes toll on Pennsylvania Turnpike

    08/20/2016 7:49:57 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 25 replies
    The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review ^ | August 7, 2016 | Eric Heyl
    Slam on the brakes. That's what state lawmakers want to do to increasingly frequent instances of motorists skirting payment of Pennsylvania Turnpike tolls. The problem wouldn't be nearly as prevalent had many of those same legislators years ago taken a detour around the lame-brain idea that directly resulted in turnpike travel becoming significantly more costly. How costly? Pretty soon only Saudi Arabian sheiks will be able to afford the outrageous tolls, though those guys probably prefer to fly their personal planes from Pittsburgh to Breezewood. Those lacking private jet transportation sidestep the tolls in renegade fashion. They fly through toll...
  • Insanity Once More: The Hillary Clinton Economic Plan

    08/13/2016 2:24:05 PM PDT · by Kaslin · 10 replies ^ | August 13, 2016 | Larry Kudlow
    Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, when in fact the results never change, is one definition of insanity. That definition works for economic insanity, too. Over the past seven-and-a-half years, President Obama has maintained a steady course of burdensome new regulations, significant tax increases, and massive federal spending on so-called infrastructure. He has unconstitutionally ordered executive actions, favored labor over business, attacked banks, insulted successful corporate leaders, and backed federal-government mandates on business. And with all this, strong economic recovery from a deep recession -- which has been an American tradition -- never came...
  • Trump Just Promised To Double Down On Obama's Failed Stimulus

    08/04/2016 5:16:07 AM PDT · by expat_panama · 95 replies
    Investors Business Daily ^ | August 03, 2016 | Editorial
    2016 Elections: Largely overlooked because of the dust over his attacks on Khizr Khan, Donald Trump made an eye-opening promise on Tuesday, saying that he'd spend twice as much as Hillary Clinton on fixing roads and bridges. It's an outlandish proposal for any politician to make. But it's almost inconceivable that the Republican nominee for president would be trudging down this dreary big-government path. "We need much more money than (Clinton's plan) to rebuild our infrastructure," Trump told Fox... The numbers we're talking about here are massive. Clinton says that if elected she would boost federal spending... Trump says he'll...
  • Hillary's solution for our struggling economy

    07/29/2016 1:25:34 PM PDT · by Jim Robinson · 34 replies
    Hillary's solution for our struggling economy: Massive government spending. Massive tax increases and new taxes on individuals and corporations. Massive increase of regulations. Step up the war against coal, gas and oil. Bankrupt all traditional producers of energy. Massive new government spending on "green" technologies and "green" jobs. Bankrupt as many capitalist industries as possible. Implement universal government provided "free" healthcare. Double the minimum wage. Guarantee a minimum income to all "working" families (and non-working families). Free college education, free healthcare and free lunches for all. Open our borders, grant amnesty, citizenship, welfare and voting rights to all comers including...
  • Medicaid - Georgia

    07/23/2016 1:27:35 PM PDT · by spintreebob · 3 replies
    Georgia Public Policy Foundation ^ | 7-22-2016 | Benita Dodd
    Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent annually in Georgia on uncompensated care for the uninsured. The uninsured may not have coverage but they do get sick; one way or another, we all pay for their care in a way that is terribly inefficient. • Money should follow people. It is important to support the institutions and providers that make up Georgia’s safety net, but solutions should be people-centered, not institutioncentered. • Innovation requires flexibility and choices. Micromanaging every last detail is a recipe for the status quo. The accompanying table shows the most recent data on the average enrollment...
  • Dems block Senate defense bill, fear domestic spending cuts

    07/07/2016 11:10:34 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 8 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Jul 8, 2016 12:41 AM EDT | Alan Fram
    Senate Democrats sidetracked a $575 billion defense bill for next year late Thursday and threatened to shut down Congress’ work on spending legislation, accusing Republicans of shortchanging domestic programs. The move prompted the leaders of each party to testily accuse the other side of dysfunction. Both parties support the defense measure itself. But Democrats fear that if it is completed and sent to President Barack Obama, they would lose leverage with the GOP for future spending measures financing health, public works, law enforcement and other domestic programs. The Senate voted 50-44 to head off a Democratic filibuster of the bill...
  • More School Spending is Still Unlikely to Boost Achievement

    07/01/2016 5:40:52 PM PDT · by MichCapCon · 6 replies
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 6/29/2016 | Ben DeGrow
    In a critique of our recently published study on the relationship between school spending and academic achievement, Bruce Baker, a professor at Rutgers University, raises technical concerns that lead him to question our empirical methodology and qualitative conclusions. The nature of his comments suggests that a select group of previous research, which stand in contrast to our research in both empirical approach and qualitative findings, are methodologically superior and show a positive relationship between spending per pupil and student achievement. We address both the general and technical concerns Baker raises and describe why our research improves over the earlier papers...
  • Fewer School Districts Borrowing to Cover Expenses, But Pension Debt Rising

    07/01/2016 8:50:04 AM PDT · by MichCapCon · 1 replies
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 6/29/2016 | Tom Gantert
    A recent state report indicates that by the end of June, as many as 18 school districts are projected to emerge out of red ink, leaving just 22 districts in a deficit situation. Although some media reports have cast this as a story of underfunded schools, they do so by ignoring the fact that just three years ago 55 districts had a deficit, a state record. Michigan school districts are required by state law to balance their budget each year and not spend more than they take in. Nevertheless, every year some do have expenses exceed revenues, which is labeled...
  • How They Spin 'Underfunded Schools': Ignore the Federal Money

    07/01/2016 6:20:38 AM PDT · by MichCapCon · 3 replies
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 6/29/2016 | Tom Gantert
    One of the most inaccurate narratives promoted in the Detroit school bailout debate is that poor urban districts like Detroit are underfunded compared to schools in more affluent suburbs. What this storyline fails to acknowledge is the role of federal money in hiking funding for poorer urban school districts. All school districts get some federal money, but poor districts get a lot more, and the difference is significant. Click to enlarge To illustrate, the average amount of federal money received by all Michigan school districts was $513 per pupil during 2014-15, but poor districts like Detroit ($3,494 per pupil), Benton...
  • Highway project delays rack up $700 million cost overruns

    06/24/2016 9:54:35 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 20 replies
    The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ^ | June 13, 2016 | Catie Edmondson
    Madison— Faced with delays and inflation over the past five years, four major state highway projects — including a Madison artery — have accumulated overruns in excess of $700 million. While some of these increases come from faulty cost estimates or unavoidable inflation, the new figures underline the obvious: Delays can be costly for Wisconsin taxpayers. When projects are paused because of financial challenges in the state's road fund, the price of materials, labor and real estate can rise. The numbers compiled by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel underline the urgency of a divisive issue for Wisconsin's Republican leaders: finding a...
  • Spain's public debt surpasses 100% in 20-year high

    06/15/2016 10:34:36 AM PDT · by familyop · 7 replies
    AFP, Yahoo News ^ | June 15, 2016 | AFP
    Madrid (AFP) - Spain's public debt rose above 100 percent in the first quarter to its highest level in 20 years, the central bank said Wednesday as Madrid faces an EU sanctions threat for public overspending. Debt as a proportion of economic output hit 100.5 percent in the first quarter up from 99.2 percent at the end of 2015, the bank said in a statement.
  • Bursting the false narrative -- Economic growth suffers from overspending, not undertaxation

    06/15/2016 6:06:54 AM PDT · by expat_panama · 5 replies
    The Washington Times ^ | Monday, June 13, 2016 | Richard W. Rahn
    At the end of this past week, The Washington Post ran a long story on the Center for Freedom and Prosperity (CFP), an organization that I have long supported. It appeared that the original goal was to do a hit piece on CFP because it had been a leader in the fight for global tax competition and smaller government. The irony was that the authors of the story quoted a number of people from around the world... ...who support bigger government and higher taxes, to the effect that those at the CFP had been highly successful in blocking a number...
  • School Pension Debt Grows Again

    06/07/2016 1:08:44 PM PDT · by MichCapCon · 5 replies
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 6/4/2016 | Tom Gantert
    Michigan public school districts received bad financial news recently when the latest audit for the school employee pension plan showed that unfunded liabilities had increased again, this time by $200 million in 2015. The statewide pension plan known as the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System (MPSERS) saw its unfunded liabilities increase from $26.5 billion in 2014 to $26.7 billion in 2015. The unfunded liabilities were just $12.0 billion in 2009 but have more than doubled over the past six years. The state has spent about $1 billion more on pension payments over the past six years, but it hasn't...
  • Congress Should Not Use Defense Budget as Piggy Bank for Personal Priorities

    06/07/2016 9:21:19 AM PDT · by milton23
    The Daily Signal ^ | 6/7/2016 | Justin Johnson
    The defense budget should be used to pay things that make our country more secure and help the men and women in uniform accomplish their mission. Unfortunately, some in Congress use this funding as a piggy bank for their own unrelated priorities. In fact, for the current fiscal year, Congress took almost $500 million from the defense budget to pay for non-military research projects. This is the wrong way for Congress to operate, and is particularly concerning given how seriously underfunded our military currently is. The U.S. military is in rough shape due to crushing budget cuts over the last...
  • Private Schools Cost Significantly Less Than Public Schools

    06/07/2016 7:53:09 AM PDT · by MichCapCon · 23 replies
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 6/4/2016 | Jacob Weaver
    LANSING — Due to their nature as independent, self-supporting institutions, private schools do not disclose data about themselves in a standardized format, which sometimes clouds the public's understanding of them. A new report, though, sheds some light on the private school landscape in Michigan. Rachel White, a doctoral candidate at Michigan State University, gave a presentation on Thursday about her new study of the private education sector. White spoke at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy’s Issues and Ideas Forum. While 601 private schools serving 113,000 students operate in Michigan, little research has been done to understand these institutions. When...
  • History Shows Delayed Adequacy Study Will Call for More Money

    06/03/2016 6:09:32 AM PDT · by MichCapCon · 3 replies
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 5/28/2016 | Ben DeGrow
    Those anticipating the release of Michigan’s education adequacy study learned this week that, once again, they will have to wait a little longer. While the precise detailed findings are unknown, the embargoed report’s general conclusions should not remain a matter of mystery. Last September the state granted Colorado-based Augenblick Palaich & Associates a $399,000 contract to determine how much money Michigan needs to spend in order to provide “adequate” services to students. Our state currently ranks 21st in per-pupil spending but 43rd in math and reading achievement on the nation’s report card. Michigan has been spending more than the national...
  • Consumer Spending Climbs By Most In Almost 7 Years [GOOD NEWS ALERT]

    06/01/2016 4:16:13 AM PDT · by expat_panama · 44 replies
    Investors Business Daily ^ | 5/31/2016 | BLOOMBERG NEWS
    Consumer spending climbed in April by the most in almost seven years, a sign U.S. households are ready to help jump start growth after a first-quarter slowdown. Key Points Consumer purchases climbed 1% in April (vs. 0.7% forecast) after little change in March Personal income climbed 0.4% for a second month Fed’s preferred measure of inflation (tied to consumer spending) climbed 0.3% from month before, the biggest May 2015; 1.1% from year before Big Picture Households will need to do the heavy lifting if a growth rebound is to materialize... [snip] The Details After adjusting for inflation, which generates the...
  • State Expects to Take $2.4 Billion More; Media Cries 'Deficit!'

    05/26/2016 11:56:58 AM PDT · by MichCapCon · 2 replies
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 5/24/2016 | Tom Gantert
    Based on recent media headlines, readers and viewers could be excused for believing the state of Michigan’s budget is in crisis mode. It’s not. Over the next two fiscal years, Michigan’s state government expects to collect almost $2.4 billion more from sales, income, business and property tax payments than it gets now. While the increases are slightly less than earlier estimates suggested they might be, even in Lansing a nearly $2.4 billion cumulative raise over two years is considered real money. Yet “budget crisis” is exactly how most media outlets characterized the recent changes in revenue estimates produced by the...
  • South Florida drivers feel they're spending more money on tolls

    05/25/2016 7:49:30 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 25 replies
    Local 10 News ^ | April 29, 2016 | Amy Viteri
    MIAMI - Drivers throughout South Florida have said no matter where their daily commute takes them, they feel they're spending more money, more often on tolls. Local 10 News spoke to several drivers who said the tolls are another expense and don't necessarily help them reach their destination any faster. "Three hundred to four hundred (dollars) a month," Maribel Masvidal estimated she spends commuting from Homestead to her job in South Miami. "A lot of money that could be used on other things for my family." Masvidal said that commute can take her up to two hours one way on...
  • Conflict analyst: EU would have ‘second most powerful military on Earth’

    05/21/2016 10:44:17 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 32 replies
    EurActiv ^ | May 20, 2016 | Catalina Guerrero, | Translated by Samuel Morgan
    The EU would have “the second most powerful military” in the world if its members pooled its resources, insisted the co-director of the Institute of Studies on Conflict and Humanitarian Action in an interview with EurActiv Spain. “If we added the capabilities we have in the EU together, we would automatically become the second most powerful military force on Earth and the reason we aren’t is because there is no political will. This is because each national government would rather be the head of a mouse rather than the tail of a lion,” said Jesús Núńez, a conflict analyst. …
  • The Sixty Three Hundred Billion Dollar Question

    05/17/2016 4:52:01 AM PDT · by detective · 17 replies
    Conservative Treehouse ^ | May 17, 2016 | Sundance
    Just because the so-called “conservative” and “liberal” punditry and politicos refuse to answer this question, doesn’t mean we should stop asking it. In 2009 President Obama along with congress passed the roughly $900 billion stimulus bill, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The “non-shovel ready” spending took place within fiscal year 2010/2011. The amount is significant because the injected stimulus was 30% more than the entire federal budget for the same year.
  • First Senate Appropriations Bill Passed Spends More Than Obama Requested

    05/12/2016 3:54:32 PM PDT · by milton23 · 23 replies
    The Daily Signal ^ | 5/12/16 | Philip Wegmann
    The U.S. Senate’s first spending bill of 2016 spends more than President Barack Obama requested and lacks significant conservative amendments, but it still sailed to passage in the Republican-led Senate Thursday. An overwhelming number of U.S. senators on both sides of the aisle approved the energy and water development appropriations bill by a vote of 90-8. Conservatives had objected to the higher spending levels and lack of policy riders in the weeks leading up to the vote.
  • Herb McMillan: Democrats try to handcuff Hogan

    05/09/2016 12:33:05 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 8 replies
    The Capital Gazette (Annapolis) ^ | May 9, 2016 | Herb McMillan
    Ancient Rome declined because it had a Senate; now what's going to happen to us, with both a Senate and a House?" — Will Rogers Most Marylanders are wondering the same thing. This year, the liberal majority in the Senate and House launched a fiscal attack on Gov. Larry Hogan's efforts to balance the budget, reduce the deficit and cut taxes. Their goal: to handcuff Hogan and prevent him from doing the job we elected him to do. Fencing and mandated spending are the manacles Senate President Mike Miller and House Speaker Mike Busch are using. Here's how they work....
  • After 10 Years of Deficits, How One District Escaped Being Dissolved

    05/06/2016 10:47:13 AM PDT · by MichCapCon · 5 replies
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 5/1/2016 | Tom Gantert
    For years, Ecorse Public Schools was a poster child for claims of ineffective oversight of school finances by the Michigan Department of Education. Despite laws that require school districts to balance their annual budget, and rules that require offenders to eliminate deficits within two years, Ecorse spent more on operations than it collected in revenue for 10 consecutive years. Only one other school district has managed to stay out of balance for as long (New Haven Community Schools in Macomb County). But by June 2015, the district had eliminated its $661,000 deficit and projected a positive balance — $343,000 —...
  • Here's how much was spent to stop Trump from winning the nomination

    05/04/2016 8:40:16 AM PDT · by detective · 25 replies
    Msn Money ^ | May 4, 2016 | Jacob Pramuk
    Donald Trump will likely become the Republican presidential nominee after a decisive victory in the Indiana primary and the departure of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz on Tuesday night.
  • Actually, Hillary Clinton Is A Fiscal Conservative -- Look It Up

    05/03/2016 6:44:35 AM PDT · by Cyberman · 35 replies
    The Washington Post ^ | 05/03/2016 | Catherine Rampell
    Suppose you're a hardcore fiscal conservative. You don't give a hoot about social issues, and you don't follow any of this nonsense about identity politics or insiders and outsiders. All you care about is getting the nation's fiscal house in order. Are you sitting down? I hope you’re sitting down. Because the candidate you should vote for might surprise you. According to a new report from the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, the most fiscally conservative presidential contender left standing is . . . Hillary Clinton. Seriously....
  • State's Priority: Defend Its Budget

    04/26/2016 8:45:22 AM PDT · by MichCapCon
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 4/23/2016 | Michael LaFaive
    The Michigan state agency in charge of government programs to attract and subsidize businesses, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, runs a “Pure Michigan” ad campaign with annual spending of $33 million. The program has been criticized as a pure corporate welfare handout to the Michigan travel and leisure industry. The MEDC's response has been to seek to refute the criticism, suggesting that its own budget, rather than an independent evaluation of its programs' effectiveness, is the key consideration of its officials. As described by previous articles in this series, the MEDC has granted several no-bid contracts to a Canadian company...
  • Saudi Arabia Approves Economic Reform Program

    04/25/2016 6:40:41 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 15 replies
    The Wall Street Journal ^ | April 25, 2016 | Margherita Stancati and Dahlia Kholaif
    RIYADH—Saudi Arabia, crimped by low crude prices, approved Monday a long-term blueprint for the kingdom’s economic transformation aimed at reducing its dependence on oil. The multiyear plan, dubbed “Saudi Vision 2030,” was approved by the cabinet, according to Saudi Arabia’s monarch, King Salman. The Saudi cabinet, in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency, said the government’s economic council would be in charge of overseeing the vision’s implementation. Saudi officials later Monday were to present a broad overview of the country’s most extensive economic shake-up in decades. The steep drop in oil prices has given new urgency to...
  • Pure Flummery: Seeing Double on Corporate Welfare Spin

    04/15/2016 12:53:26 PM PDT · by MichCapCon · 1 replies
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 4/14/2016 | Michael LaFaive
    Background Previous articles in this series have documented the secrecy surrounding what have been called “budget justification” reports purchased through no-bid contracts by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation from a company called Longwoods International. (See “Pure Michigan Puffery” Parts I and II as well as “Puffery or Proof?”) Longwoods produces very similar products for agencies in at least eight other states, claiming high returns from taxpayer-funded tourism ads. The MEDC is this state’s agency in charge of business subsidy and assistance programs. Last year it got a $33 million appropriation to run its “Pure Michigan” ad campaign. The agency would...
  • Bill meant to redirect highway money to state general fund

    04/10/2016 9:06:15 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 11 replies
    KSNT ^ | April 10, 2016 | Chris Arnold
    WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — A statewide, month long initiative to put the clamps on a Senate bill is underway. Senate Bill 463 is aimed at redirecting highway money to the state general fund. This weekend, the Kansas Contractors Association is running ads targeting lawmakers to get them to just say no. It’s called Detour Greenlight and it’s pointed to 24 legislators they believe detour, or normally vote against protecting road and bridge funding. It also names some who they say are for strong spending on roads. “To redirect the little bit of sales tax that goes into the pot to...
  • Jerry Brown signs $15 minimum wage in California

    04/04/2016 11:37:19 AM PDT · by EagleUSA · 105 replies
    Sacramento Bee ^ | 4/4/2016 | David Siders
    Gov. Jerry Brown, casting a living wage as a moral imperative while questioning its economic rationale, signed legislation Monday raising California’s mandatory minimum to $15 an hour by 2022, acting within hours of a similar bill signing in New York. The bill’s enactment comes one week after Brown, Democratic lawmakers and labor leaders announced an agreement on the wage increase, averting a brawl on the November ballot. [snip] California political leaders and labor have struck a deal to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour over the next seven years. One excited fast food worker hugged Gov. Jerry Brown...
  • Here’s how to really make America great again

    03/30/2016 12:59:55 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 14 replies
    Market Watch ^ | March 17, 2016 | Jeff Reeves
    What the heck is wrong with us? On Wednesday, Washington, D.C.’s entire Metro subway system shut down with almost no notice to perform emergency inspections, just days after a cable fire “crippled” three lines. The nation’s second-busiest rail system has been plagued by safety problems in recent years, including a 2015 incident where smoke from an electrical malfunction killed one person and a deadly 2009 crash on the system’s Red Line that killed nine people. And with a new Metro chief that has been vocal about returning to a culture that puts safety first, many say that Wednesday’s move is...