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Archive for October, 2015

Inside a Bad Debt Deal

Tuesday October 27th, 2015   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 10:15pm PDT   •   0 Comments

In 2011, U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner realized the most significant achievement of his entire career in the U.S. Congress when he reached a deal with the White House to restrain the growth of U.S. government spending: the Budget Control Act of 2011. Here, using the leverage of the threat of not…
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Bullet Train Has Costly Tunnel Vision

Monday October 26th, 2015   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 8:52am PDT   •   6 Comments

We have been keeping track of California’s bullet train boondoggle, or as some call it, a “Browndoggle” after governor Jerry Brown. He backs the train and wants to dig two massive tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta at an estimated cost of $25 billion. Now taxpayers learn that the bullet train also has…
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Negotiating in Bad Faith

Sunday October 25th, 2015   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 9:09am PDT   •   0 Comments

Puerto Rico is proving to be something of a case study for how politicians and bureaucrats, when finally faced with the consequences of their excessive spending as they run out of money to pay the debts they racked up to sustain it, will engage in even more unethical conduct to escape them. In today’s…
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The Truth on Unfunded Pension Liability

Wednesday October 21st, 2015   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 9:07am PDT   •   0 Comments

In 1999, Dan Walters of the Sacramento Bee notes in a recent column, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, “abetted one of the most irresponsible political acts in state history – a massive increase in public pension benefits.” CalPERS did this by telling legislators, “the benefit increase state worker unions were seeking could be…
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Illinois “Technically Defaults” on Debt

Monday October 19th, 2015   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 6:17am PDT   •   0 Comments

In mid-August 2015, the state government of Illinois began to “technically default” on payments it owes on its outstanding debt, joining the fiscally troubled U.S. territory of Puerto Rico in the hall of debt shame. Writing at Business Insider, Certified Financial Advisors Michael Comes and John Mousseau describe how that happened and what that…
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More Taxpayer Money for Nothing

Friday October 16th, 2015   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 9:01am PDT   •   0 Comments

As we recently noted, the California Department of Transportation employs 3,500 full-time engineers who do little more than sit at their desks. The state’s Legislative Analyst wants to cut these positions, but Caltrans executives cried foul. So did union boss Bruce Blanning, executive director of Professional Engineers in California Government. Blanning told reporters the…
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Central Banks Dumping U.S. Government Debt

Thursday October 15th, 2015   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 7:10am PDT   •   0 Comments

When the economy gets rocky, investors often turn away from riskier alternatives to the world’s safest and most risk-free investment, the debt securities issued by the U.S. federal government, in what is often described as a “flight to quality.” The same phenomenon holds true for the world’s central banks, where the primary financial institutions…
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Tuesday October 13th, 2015   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 10:01am PDT   •   0 Comments

As Lawrence McQuillan has noted, unfunded pension liabilities have soared to $4.7 trillion nationwide and California accounts for $550 billion to $750 billion of the total. A case outlined by Brad Branan in the Sacramento Bee shows why California is a leader in this field. In Loomis, near Sacramento, town councilman Brad Wheeler was…
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The EPA: Armed and Dangerous

Monday October 12th, 2015   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 6:45am PDT   •   0 Comments

The troubled Environmental Protection Agency has a lot of problems, but according to Adam Andrzejewski of Open the Books, a lack of military-style weapons for the agency’s 200 environmental law enforcement agents isn’t among them. The Washington Times reports on Andrzejewski’s findings of how the agency has spent millions of dollars over the past…
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National Debts vs National Revenues

Thursday October 8th, 2015   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 6:32am PDT   •   1 Comment

Not long ago, we featured a creative visualization of data developed by Jeff Desjardins of Visual Capitalist showing how all the money owed by all the governments of the world is broken up between them. Desjardins has surpassed himself with a new world debt infographic, which digs into the ability of the world’s nations…
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