Must-Reads for August 17
State Journal-Register: Pension changes in more jeopardy as Radogno backs off Senate plan
Once GASB completes its work, Radogno and Cross believe Illinois’ pension liability will be calculated at nearly $130 billion, instead of the current estimate of $83 billion.
National Review: There is no California
How to explain the seemingly inexplicable? "California" is a misnomer. There is no such state. Instead there are two radically different cultures and landscapes with little in common, the two equally dysfunctional in quite different ways. Apart they are unworldly; together, a disaster.
MarketWatch: The case for supply-side tax cuts
The academic and empirical evidence is clear: Lower taxes result in higher economic growth, all other things being equal.
The Wall Street Journal: The regulatory cliff is nearly as steep as the fiscal one
Americans are learning more about the "fiscal cliff" approaching at the beginning of next year, when tax rates for families and small businesses are set to spike and new taxes in President Obama's health-care spending law take effect. But unless there's real change in Washington, we're also headed for a steep "regulatory cliff" that could compound the damage.
Must-Reads for August 16
Chicago Tribune: A stronger pulse
As is, the county health system clings to annual fantasies of overly optimistic revenues, only to bust its budgets year after year.
Marketwatch: The economy: less bad or much worse
No matter who is elected, the same unavoidable truths exist. The United States has too much debt, deficits are not under control, and something needs to be done to stem the problem.
Forbes: Too big to fail has become a permanent bailout program
The Dodd-Frank Act compounds the problem by declaring that every banking organization larger than $50 billion is "systemically important." This is pure fiction, but it signals that these banks — simply because of their size — are more likely than others to be rescued if they are in danger of failing.
Must-Reads for August 15
Chicago Tribune: More holidays than Hallmark
We wish the Senate would think three times about all this legislation that panders to niche constituencies. Those resolutions are PR trophies for the recipients and vote-fetchers for the sponsors, but what's in it for the rest of us? If the answer is "nothing" — and it usually is — then forget it.
Forbes: America's alleged economic recovery is slower than Japan's during its lost decade
Our so-called "recovery" is slower than Japan’s during its Lost Decade. In response, many are calling for even more government largess to promote prosperity, yet they conveniently ignore the magnitude of our attempts thus far.Investors Business Daily: Obama promises 'shared prosperity' but delivers shared misery
All Obama's "shared prosperity" policies have done, in fact, is choke off economic growth, producing a stagnant economy in which businesses and investors hunker down because they don't know what's next.
Must-Reads for August 14
The Wall Street Journal: Greece staves off default with debt sale
Greece successfully staved off a default on debts owed to the European Central Bank, but at the same time more information dribbled out on the parlous state of its economy and banking system.
Forbes: Unions vs density
When tallying the pros and cons of unionization, one cost that is often ignored is the negative impacts that unionization of construction trades can have on density.
Real Clear Politics: The Paul Ryan choice
This election is a test, not just of the opposing candidates but of the voting public. If what they want are the hard facts about where the country is, and where it is heading, they cannot vote for more of the same for the next four years.
Der Spiegel: Investors prepare for Euro collapse
On the financial markets, the political wrangling over the right way to resolve the crisis has accomplished primarily one thing: it has fueled fears of a collapse of the euro.
Must-Reads for August 13Rockford Register Star: No reason Illinois State Fair prizes are subsidized
The state will be giving out $883,500 in premiums to contestants competing next week in Springfield.Reason: Congress isn’t gridlocked—it’s just totally irresponsible
But there isn’t gridlock, which usually results from Democrats and Republicans sharing power and clashing over alternative positions. Gridlock slows things down—almost always a good thing—but it doesn’t stop serious legislation from happening.Back in the Black: Fixing the budget: what’s in it for us
Still, fixing the budget is an economic imperative. We just need to understand the relevant laws of physics to do it right, and not wind up causing more harm than we avoid.