Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: State Budget

Illinois Governor Vetoes Chicago Bailout Bill

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, December 5, 2016:  

English: Source: http://www.chicagob2b.net/lin...

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed a bill on December 1 that would have provided a $215 million bailout of the Chicago public schools. So certain were school officials that he would sign it — allowing them to make a past-due payment to the Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund — that they made it a part of their budget for next year.

The original bill passed by Democrat supermajorities in both houses was for $700 million, but during negotiations Rauner, a Republican, agreed to $215 million instead, in exchange for a promise that the Democrats would institute real pension reform. Once the bill hit Rauner’s desk, however, all deals were off: Give us the money, said the Democrats, and forget pension reform.

Rauner’s veto message is instructive in several regards.

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Chicago Dreaming

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, December 5, 2016:  

Chicago Public School Officials were so sure that they would get another bailout from the state that they actually put it into next years budget. The city is behind on making a $730 million pension payment due its teachers pension plan, and the $215 million they were expecting from the state would allow them to make it.

The bill that passed the state senate unanimously and the house overwhelmingly was headed for Governor Bruce Rauners desk for signing until Rauner (pictured) learned that the Democratic leadership had no intention of keeping their promise to institute significant pension reform in order to get the bailout.

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Dallas to Declare Bankruptcy?

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, November 21, 2016:  

The New York Times just reported that the Dallas police and firefighters pension plan is $7 billion short of meeting its obligations and needs an immediate bailout of $1 billion just to stay afloat. The problem is that Dallas’ annual budget is $3 billion.

Three years ago Dallas wasn’t on anyone’s “watch” list.

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Treasury Rules Axe $160 Billion Merger; Obama Calls it Good

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, April 7, 2016:  

Map of USA highlighting states with no income ...

Map of USA highlighting states with no income tax on wages (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

New Jersey’s wealthiest resident, David Tepper, decided to move himself and his business, Appaloosa Management, to Florida in order to take advantage of Florida’s much more favorable tax climate.

It’s going to make a big difference.

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Memphis Police, Firemen Quitting Following Pension Plan Reductions

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, March 16, 2015: 

English: Memphis, Tennessee skyline from the a...

Memphis, Tennessee skyline from the air

Last July more than half of Memphis’ police officers took sick days off to protest the reductions in the city’s contributions to their pension plan and increases in their contributions to the city’s health benefits plan. The national media was sympathetic with cases of “blue flu,” instead of recognizing the new economic reality: Because public pensions are underfunded, everyone expecting benefits from the city will now take a hit, not just new hires.

Some of those who took sick days in July now are quitting altogether, finding other better opportunities elsewhere. In fact, other departments from nearby states are advertising in local papers and setting up job fairs to entice the discontented to new positions.

In a word, those unhappy with the new reality are adjusting.

Most solutions proposed to bring underfunded pension plans back into balance have involved

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Oil Price Decline Hurting Alaska the Most

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, January 26, 2015:

State Seal of Alaska.

Although oil-producing states such as North Dakota and Texas are expected to suffer declines in revenues if oil prices continue to drop, other states such as Wyoming, Louisiana, and especially Alaska will feel much more than just a temporary pinch. According to the Standard & Poor’s (S&P) Ratings Service,

If lower prices persist through 2015, the economies and finances of the energy producing states — Louisiana, Alaska, Wyoming, New Mexico, Oklahoma and North Dakota — will be put to the test.

Oil and mineral revenues account for a third of Wyoming’s budget, one-sixth of New Mexico’s, and one-eighth of Louisiana’s, while Texas — the state that, standing alone, would be the eighth-largest oil-producing country in the world — counts on less than

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Ron Paul’s Freedom Movement is Just Getting Started

Ron Paul's Rally for the Republic.

Ron Paul's Rally for the Republic. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In his latest statement to his supporters, Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul answered a number of questions but left open many more. After announcing in May that he would no longer participate in any other presidential primaries but would concentrate instead on states where primaries had already been held in the hopes of generating additional support, his supporters now know two things: First, he has no chance of winning the Republican nomination in Tampa, Florida, over the weekend of August 27, with just 200 bound delegates. Second, he expects there will be more than 500 delegates there supporting his position, which is far more than anyone anticipated.

He wrote:

We stand to send nearly 200 bound delegates to the Republican National Convention in Tampa. This number shatters the predictions of the pundits and talking heads and shows the seriousness of our movement.

What’s more, we will send several hundred additional supporters to Tampa who, while bound to Romney, believe in our ideas of liberty, constitutional government, and a common-sense foreign policy.

When it is all said and done, we will likely have as many as 500 supporters as delegates on the Convention floor…and while this is not enough to win the nomination, it puts us in a tremendous position to grow our movement and shape the future of the GOP!

This clarifies the purpose of his efforts during the presidential campaign. He likely never expected to win the nomination. What he hoped would happen is exactly what did happen:

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States’ Budget Shortfalls: Pressure from Above and Below

Recovery.gov

Image by swanksalot via Flickr

With all the attention being focused on extending the “Bush tax cuts,” granting additional unemployment benefits, and the arrival in Washginton of newly minted congressional Representatives and Senators, a major piece of the fiscal puzzle has been ignored altogether: states’ increasingly pressured budgets for next year. As noted by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), the Great Recession “has caused the steepest decline in state tax receipts on record.”

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“NFL” Means No Free Lunch for Taxpayers

View from an aircraft on approach to Newark-Li...

Image via Wikipedia

When the 82,566 fans of the New York Giants cheer their team at the home opener of the season this Sunday at the New Meadowlands Stadium, they will likely enjoy the game more than the taxpayers of New Jersey who still owe $266 million on the old Giants Stadium which was demolished to make way for the new one. Those taxpayers may also be dismayed to learn that the revenue stream from the old stadium has now all but disappeared, putting them on the hook for $35 million in principal and interest payments each year to service the bonds that built the old stadium as part of the Meadowlands Sports Complex back in 1976.

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New York’s Plan: Kick the Can

An empty tin can.

Image via Wikipedia

New York Governor David Paterson said in a radio interview on June 10 that his state might have to issue IOUs to pay its bills, or else face “anarchy in the streets.” The state faces a $9.2 billion deficit, and the legislature is two months late in voting on the budget.  An actual shutdown of state services has been avoided, temporarily, by enacting temporary emergency spending bills.  Even if the government shuts down, there is serious question about whether police, firefighters, prison guards and emergency and healthcare workers could continue to work without pay. “You could have anarchy literally in the streets if the government shuts down,” Paterson said.

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.