Must-Reads for September 28
Washington Post: Chicago teachers strike underscores shift among Democrats
At the heart of the debate was a focus on teacher quality. We know that great teachers can have a tremendous impact. Yet we don’t have policies in place to ensure that all children are taught by great teacher.
Chicago Tribune: Higher and higher
In the Chicago-St. Louis corridor, for instance, Uncle Sam has poured at least $1.4 billion into crossing improvements and other upgrades. Between Chicago and Detroit, more than $400 million has been spent. How would you feel, taxpayer, if we told you that some of the work might need to be torn up and redone? Angry? You bet.
Reason: Strangulation by union
Workers’ lives improved in America because of free enterprise, not because of union rules. Union contracts helped workers for a while, but then they hurt—even union workers—because the rigid rules prevent flexibility in response to new market conditions.
Must-Reads for September 27
National Review: The IRS has gone rogue
In 2016, these tax credits will trigger a tax of $2,085 on many families of four earning as little as $24,000. An employer with 100 workers could face a tax of $140,000 if even one of his workers is eligible for a tax credit.
Chicago Tribune: Quinn vs. AFSCME
Quinn's people also might explain to AFSCME that in these dire times for Springfield, taxpayers have sacrificed (with a 67 percent hike in their income tax rate). Social services providers and state vendors have sacrificed (the state remains $8 billion behind in paying for goods and services already delivered).
Washington Times: The Fed keeps on printing money
The inevitable results of QE will damage the earning power of the most productive working-class Americans. When the dollar loses value because of inflation, it’s the equivalent of a tax on those who can least afford it.
Must-Reads for September 26
RealClearPolicy: No Real Justification for Green Jobs
The renewable fuels standard is a prime case in point. This program is one of the most costly of all green energy initiatives. A recent MIT study found that this one regulation alone will cost the U.S. economy nearly $10 billion a year.
AEI: Why the stimulus failed
The emerging evidence on various spending programs shows that Americans' intuition is correct: The Keynesian deficit spending has been poorly designed and badly executed, and it has had little benefit for our economy.
Chicago Tribune: Housing comes back
Millions of Americans remain in housing purgatory. About 27 percent of mortgage balances exceed or nearly exceed the value of the property — making them "underwater" in real estate terms.
Must-Reads for September 25
Mr. Madigan's bill, Ms. Purkey's pension
Whenever Tribune reporters delve into these scummy pension favors for lawmakers' cronies, there tends to be an outbreak of amnesia.
Investor's Business Daily: Health premiums up $3,000; Obama vowed $2,500 cut
States that have tried these reforms — which forbid insurers from denying coverage based on preexisting conditions or charging the sick more — have seen insurance premiums spiral upward as healthy people leave the market, knowing they are guaranteed coverage when they get sick.
Defining Ideas: How to stymie the teachers unions
Public unions have been exempt in large measure from these global changes, given that public education is run by a dominant firm—one with the lion’s share of the market that its small fringe competitors cannot displace. Today, the monopoly position of the teachers remains strong enough that they can muscle their way to a new contract.
Must-Reads for September 25
State Journal-Register: State spending cuts keep trickling down
Few weeks go by these days without a reminder of how the state’s budget mess has trickled down to local governments, private businesses, not-for-profit organizations and ordinary citizens.
Chicago Tribune: Dumb enough to bail us out?
Who would be stupid enough to buy Illinois bonds, probably the riskiest investment outside of Europe? And why should American taxpayers be put in the position of backing anyone stupid enough to buy those bonds?
Reason: Chicago teachers' strike illustrates the need for choice
Charter schools are just one way to enhance competition among different educational models for the benefit of kids and parents. Voucher programs, which let them use public funds to pay for private schooling, are another. Both have gained a place in our educational system, over the bitter resistance of teachers unions.