Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Texas, the jobs engine? Or Texas, the jobs-laundering engine?

by Beverly Mann Update: Business journalist Merrill Goozner has a terrific in-depth deconstruction of the so-called Texas Miracle at TheFiscalTimes, at Perry’s Texas Miracle less than meets the eye, published last Friday. Texas, the jobs engine? Or Texas, the jobs-laundering engine? An op-ed piece mentioned by a reader two weekends ago in the LA Times, […]

Town Hall Meetings on the Ryan Budget Raise Concerns

Various congressional representatives held town hall meetings recently, and the news channels and print media were abuzz with the lively give-and-take, including shouting matches. See, e.g., House G.O.P. Members Face Voter Anger Over Budget, New York Times, Apr. 26, 2011; Republicans facing tough questions over Medicare overhaul in Budget Plan, Washington Post, Apr. 22, 2011. […]

MA Teacher Retirement System (and WI a bit)

H35 provides for these amendments to the MA teachers retirement system by Gov. Duval Patrick: An Act Providing for Additional Pension Reform and Benefits ModernizationThis legislation filed by Governor Patrick proposes further pension reforms to achieve the following objectives: Update the system to reflect demographic changes, such as the fact that people are living and […]

Where is the Budget Crisis?

Brendan Fischer via PR Watch writes on the budget process in Wisconsin, with links here: Where is the Budget Crisis?. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker alleges that dismantling public sector collective bargaining rights is made necessary by a $3.6 billion deficit in the next budget, and a $137 million shortfall this year. Setting aside the fact […]

More on Illinois’ income tax increase –thinking about globalization

by Linda Beale More on Illinois’ income tax increase –thinking about globalizationcrossposted with Ataxingmatter As states continue to face difficult times and vulnerable residents unemployed by the Great Recession come to the end of their ropes with the last of their unemployment support checks (those unemployed for 99 weeks don’t get any more help under […]

The Data Shows that State "Beggar Thy Neighbor" Policies Don’t Work.

by Mike Kimel The Data Shows that State “Beggar Thy Neighbor” Policies Don’t Work.Cross posted at the Presimetrics blog. Many states seem to believe a “beggar thy neighbor” approach to taxes works best. That is, the state with the lowest taxes will “steal” business from other states and produce the fastest economic growth. A lot […]

Illinois’ deficit reduction scheme

by Linda Beale Illinois’ deficit reduction scheme crossposted with Ataxingmatter States have generally suffered during this economic crisis much the way most people have–there’s been less money coming in as sales receipts slowed during the recession, more services needed as many become homeless, insuranceless and generally more vulnerable during the recession, and bills have continued […]

State budgets and finances

The National Association of State Budget Officers reports on the growing concern for state budgets. (hat tip MG) Spending Remains Lower than Pre-Recession Levels State general fund spending is forecast to rise 5.3 percent in fiscal 2011 as 35 states enacted a fiscal 2011 budget with general fund spending levels above those of fiscal 2010. […]

I Take No Joy in Raping and Pillaging

Chris Christie moves New Jersey into the 17th century: Christie is cutting $475 million in aid to school districts, $62 million in aid to colleges and $12 million to hospital charity care. He is pulling all funding from the department of Public Advocate….He is cutting state subsidies for NJ Transit, a move Christie said could […]

Tax Gimmicks then and now–sunsetting tax cuts; temporary tax hikes

by Linda Beale When the Republicans wanted to enact huge tax cuts for individuals and businesses in 2001 and 2003 (as well asadditional cuts in other years), they realized that it would result in long-term deficits of unforgiving amounts. So they scaled back their package with a gimmick–a sunsetting tax provision that, like Cinderella’s fairy […]