Must-Reads for October 12
Chicago Tribune: Quinn's job approval rating just 26 percent
The Democratic governor's job approval rating stands at 26 percent. The survey found that dissatisfaction with Quinn extends across all age, income and ideological groups, the suburbs and especially Downstate. African-American and city voters narrowly approved of Quinn's job performance, but even then, support did not reach a majority.
Reason: Greece used to be an economic miracle, then the socialists got in
As per usual, Greece’s economic misery is largely the fault of government officials who managed to ruin what should have been a success story in development and recovery.
Must-Reads for October 11
Chicago Tribune: Rahm's problem: ZIP code 62706
While Emanuel can coast for two more years, the city in 2015 is required by law to set aside an additional $700 million a year for two of its four pension funds, all of which are woefully underfunded: That year's budget will include a total of $1.2 billion for the retirement accounts of teachers, police, fire and municipal workers. Such a steep ramp-up threatens to gobble city resources for everything from parks to schools to transportation.
Washington Examiner: California gas prices are a warning
On Monday, California gasoline cost $4.67 per gallon, compared with the $3.81 U.S. average. California's environmental standards are the most stringent in the country, and Californians are paying the price.
The New York Times: The wrong way to help the poor
Each year, American taxpayers spend nearly $1 trillion trying to help the poor, according to a recent study by the Cato Institute. It’s easy to miss that headline number, though, because the money flows into and out of scores of federal, state and local government programs.
Must-Reads for October 10
USA Today: California pension plan is a bad trend
With voters growing increasingly angry at lawmakers for agreeing to gold-plated retirement plans for unionized public workers, pro-union forces have sought a way to deflect some of that anger. They believe that a private-sector retirement fund, even one considerably less generous than what public-sector workers enjoy, will do the trick.
Real Clear Markets: Want to enrage a lefty? critique aspects of Medicaid
The result is that medical care under the program is being degraded. The medical literature is replete with hundreds of clinical studies showing bad outcomes under Medicaid, largely because patients can't get suitable and well-timed access to care.
City Journal: Gotham to D.C.: Drop dead
Washington didn’t help cities much. A wealthy metropolis like New York, in particular, would do better today if Washington ignored it even more.
Must-Reads for October 10
National Review: Bankrupt California
On any given day, beautiful weather, the Pacific Coast, and the majestic Sierra Nevada are trumped by released felons, $5-a-gallon gas, and a 1970 infrastructure crumbling beneath a crowded 2012 state.
RealClearMarkets: Small businesses innovate around government barriers
With a combined membership representing some 500,000 small businesses in America, the consensus of these two "peak" small business associations is that government, in its roles of tax collector, deficit spender, and business regulator, is the primary concern of American entrepreneurs in this sluggish, low-growth U.S. economy.
The Wall Street Journal: The imaginary teacher shortage
Let's hope state and local officials have that discretion—and choose to shrink the teacher labor force rather than expand it. Hiring hundreds of thousands of additional teachers won't improve student achievement. It will bankrupt state and local governments, whose finances are already buckling under bloated payrolls with overly generous and grossly underfunded pension and health benefits.
Must-Reads for October 8
Chicago Tribune: Chicago Symphony Orchestra strike reflects deeper financial woes
Of the major U.S. orchestras, the CSO has the highest base salary — $144,040 — and the second-highest total payroll after the New York Philharmonic, according to an analysis by Oak Park-based arts consultant Drew McManus.
State Journal-Register: Backlog of unpaid Illinois bills will shrink
The Civic Federation says state officials didn't include enough money for the Medicaid program and insurance claims from public employees. It also argues some of the projections for trimming Medicaid costs are unrealistic.
Chicago Sun-Times: Why Illinois’ budget is as clear as mud
This lack of transparency matters because, in addition to contributing to the budget crisis, incomplete information makes solutions harder to find. Understanding the state’s true fiscal situation depends upon how clearly, consistently and broadly budget information is presented.