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The Hill: Polls show likely voters are increasingly wary of America’s overseas wars after a decade of fighting, and that economic issues will dominate the 2012 presidential race. But where the candidates stand on several high-profile national security issues will play a role in the campaign
Bloomberg: And no one calculated until now that banks reaped an estimated $13 billion of income by taking advantage of the Fed’s below-market rates, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its January issue.
The Associated Press: European lawmakers narrowly rejected Ireland’s nominee to the European Court of Auditors on Wednesday after deeming him responsible for a €3.6 billion ($5 billion) error in calculating the Irish national debt.
Boston.com: Rhode Island’s Supreme Court is declining to hear an appeal from state officials who sought to reverse a lower-court ruling that public pensions amount to a contract and cannot be arbitrarily changed.
Robert Costrell at the Wall Street Journal (via Google): In the heated debates over government collective bargaining, a simple fact is often lost: Benefits for teachers and municipal workers are often more expensive than they are for state employees, let alone for workers in private business. The disparity between runaway local costs and more restrained state benefits is the key rationale—often misunderstood—for the efforts of Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Ohio and other states to limit local collective bargaining over benefits.
The Hill: Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) said that “after months of hard work and intense deliberations, we have come to the conclusion today that it will not be possible to make any bipartisan agreement available to the public before the committee’s deadline.”
AOL: Each year newly minted college graduates head straight to law school hoping that another degree will help land them a job. This is increasingly looking like a bad idea.
CSMonitor.com (includes video): Spaniards handed the conservative Popular Party a historic landslide victory and the incumbent Socialist Party its worst defeat in history in this weekend’s general elections, highlighting their overwhelming dissatisfaction with the status quo and a demand for new leadership that could help the country climb out of its worst economic crisis in decades.
The Hill: “The President designed a political strategy that doomed the committee to failure first by insisting the committee include $450 billion of his failed stimulus policies in any agreement, making deficit reduction much harder and second by issuing a veto threat warning he would not accept an agreement that did not include a job-killing tax increase,” the memo obtained by The Hill states.
NCPA Policy Digest: While it is tempting to cluster private-sector and public-sector unions together (as many believe they are more or less equivalent), their economic and political impacts differ drastically.
Dale Alhquist at Crisis Magazine: But just as most people don’t want to hear about the sin of contraception, most people don’t want to hear about the sin of usury. Because most people don’t want to hear about sin. That continues to be a problem.
Paul.House.Gov: The public is increasingly unwilling to be bilked to make bankers whole. The riots and the violence in Greece should tell us something about the sustainability of this system. If we continue to bail out banks and bankers so they can continue to lose money, if we cavalierly put this burden on the taxpayer, it is all too predictable what will happen here.
Heritage Foundation: Unfortunately, Washington does not appear poised to take action to rectify the problem, and those with their hands on the wheel are ignoring the root of the problem: spending.
The Hill: The bill, H.R. 2112, was approved in a 70-30 vote in which Senate conservatives and some moderate Republican opposed it. All fifty-seven Democrats and the two independents voted in favor of the bill.
Yahoo! News: But now the Fed is holding many of the same types of assets and is levered 51-to-1! If the value of their portfolio were to fall by just 2%, the Fed itself would be wiped out.”
News from The Associated Press: China, the largest foreign holder, bought 1 percent more to bring its total holdings to $1.15 trillion. China had cut its purchases 3.1 percent in August.
Findlaw: Step back, New York Times. Law students and attorneys no longer need you to tell the world that law school is a losing game. No, the hedge fund managers have entered the discussion, and they’ve got numbers on their side.
TheHill.com: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) met Tuesday, a sign they may take a larger role in deficit talks, say congressional aides.
The Atlantic: Two months ago, I posed the question, Who’s Had the Worst Recession: Millennials, Gen-Xers, or Boomers? A Pew analysis of Census data released yesterday makes a strong case that it’s the youngest generation that faced the worst of the economy — and that’s even before the recession started. To review the litany of shocks visited on Generation Y, or the Millennial Generation, I’ll break it down into employment, income, and wealth. You could argue that the youngest generation has had it worst in all three categories.
The Sean Hannity Show: Senator Rand Paul exclusively has JUST told Sean that not only are Democrats rejecting offers put on the table, but now they won’t even continue to negotiate and have “walked away from the table…refusing to talk to the Republicans.”
WSJ.com: In Italy, as in Greece, Spain and Portugal and eventually France, the welfare-entitlement state has hit a wall. Successive governments on the Continent, right and left, have financed generous entitlements with high taxes and towering piles of debt.
Rasmussen Reports™: There’s a lot of anger in America today, but voters seem to reserve a special place in hell for Congress and the large banks bailed out by the federal government.
TheHill.com: This strange fact occurs almost entirely because of our tax laws. If a company wants to bring back money it has made in China or India, it must pay a 35 percent U.S. tax on that repatriation.
CNBC: While Greece’s teetering government continued to debate whether to stay in the euro on Thursday, European leaders talked for the first time of a possible Greek exit to preserve the single currency.
Telegraph: Global stock markets dropped sharply as investors sold off shares after Greece’s shock decision to hold a referendum on its eurozone bail-out package thratened to intensify the region’s debt crisis.
The National Law Journal’s Law School Review: U.S. Legal Education is in the midst of a large, structural transformation. This structural shift is driven by a confluence of factors, which includes three significant trends:
Reuters: Germans expressed fury and frustration at Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou’s shock decision to call a referendum on the latest aid package, with some saying the gamble would push Greece out of the euro zone.
Balkinization: Nearly 90% of graduates have law school debt. The average debt for the class of 2010 was $92,500 (not including undergraduate debt). To comfortably manage the monthly payment on this debt, a graduate needs to earn $120,000 . . .
TheHill.com: House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Thursday rejected a proposal by the Democratic members of the congressional supercommittee on deficit reduction, declaring its $1.3 trillion in tax increases unacceptable.
News from The Associated Press: Greeks have launched a wave of civil disobedience against the embattled government’s austerity measures designed to appease international creditors, which provided rescue loans to the country.
The Guardian: Workers angry with Silvio Berlusconi’s pledges to make it easier for companies to sack employees, but hold back from strike call
South Korea: Unlike most other countries, credit card users in South Korea have no option to pay off their debt over months or even years. Instead, they must pay off the full balance in 30 days, which makes it easy for borrowers “paying 25% plus annual interest rates to fall behind.” It is not uncommon for lenders to take possession or even repossess borrowers homes to pay their debts. When a poor woman like You Mi Kim, becomes delinquent, she often turns to private lenders for quick cash.
Education News: The fault lies, once again, in Congress. In an effort to make college “affordable” for the voters, it expanded the student loan program dramatically in the past 20 years. More student loan money meant colleges were free to raise tuition at more than twice the rate of consumer price inflation every year. In fact, the College Board just announced that the average cost of in-state tuition at a four-year public university rose 8.3 percent this year!
News from The Associated Press: Shares on Greece’s stock market rose sharply Thursday following a debt deal reached by European leaders, but opposition parties blasted the landmark agreement, with conservatives warning it condemned the country to “nine more years of collapse and poverty.”
ABC News: The College Board reported today that average in-state tuition and fees at four-year public colleges surged 8.3 percent this fall, just as President Obama released details of his plan to help students deal with a debt burden that has expanded to more than $1 trillion.
CBS News: It was a transformation that was, by historical standards, remarkably swift: The decade of the 2000s saw a fundamental shift in how Americans answer the question “Who will pay for college?”
NCPA Policy Digest: Since 2007, Americans’ collective net worth has fallen about $5.5 trillion, or more than 8.6 percent, with $4.7 trillion of this loss coming from the depreciation of real estate value.
Education News: The American Bar Association and 200 law schools it accredits are under growing pressure from Congress to quell complaints that colleges are misleading students about job prospects and saddling graduates with loans they can’t afford to repay.
WSJ.com: Maybe it’s a sign of the tumultuous times, but the federal government recently wrapped up its biggest spending year, and its second biggest annual budget deficit, and almost nobody noticed. Is it rude to mention this?
WSJ.com: You can see why young people like Taylor would feel aggrieved. Growing up, they were told they needed a college education as a ticket to a productive life. Now they find themselves deeply in debt, their employment prospects limited in the Obama economy. So they’re lashing out at the banks that hold their debt and at the corporations that have made a college degree into a license to hunt for a job.
Ron Paul at WSJ.com: The continued existence of an organization that can create trillions of dollars out of thin air to purchase financial assets and prop up a fundamentally insolvent banking system is a black mark on an economy that professes to be free.
USATODAY.com: “It’s going to create a generation of wage slavery,” says Nick Pardini, a Villanova University graduate student in finance who has warned on a blog for investors that student loans are the next credit bubble — with borrowers, rather than lenders, as the losers.
News from The Associated Press: House Democrats are advising Congress’ supercommittee to create jobs, raise revenues and avoid damaging cuts to crucial public works, education and health programs as the panel searches for ways to curb the government’s growing debt.
Pat Buchanan at Townhall: Deadlock. There will be no big jobs-for-taxes deal. The can will be kicked down the road into the next administration. A second truth is emerging. When the cutting comes, as it shall, the Pentagon will be first to ascend the scaffold. Why so? Consider.
NCPA Policy Digest: The Small Business Lending Fund was meant to raise capital at smaller banks, which tend to lend more heavily to small businesses, in the hopes of jumpstarting growth and employment. But instead of directly lending to small businesses, many of the banks used the money to rid themselves of higher cost TARP debt and tougher restrictions.
News from The Associated Press: Only about one-third of chief executives of the nation’s largest companies expect to hire or spend more in the next six months, down sharply from about half who said so three months ago.
The Hill: Schweikert said his bill would save billions of dollars over the next few decades by transitioning to a dollar coin in four years, or as soon as $600 million worth of dollar coins are in circulation. Schweikert said 3 billion paper dollars are shredded every year, and the constant need to destroy these dollars and create new ones is a cost the government can no longer bear.
NCPA Policy Digest: More than 4,100 legislators in 33 states are positioned to benefit from special retirement laws that they and their predecessors have enacted to boost their pensions by up to $100,000 a year, a USA Today investigation found. Even as legislators cut basic state services and slash benefits for police, teachers and other workers, they have preserved pension laws that grant themselves perks unavailable to voters they serve or workers they direct.
Spiegel Online: US President Obama has given the Europeans a harsh lecture on the dangers of their ongoing debt crisis. Offended by the unsolicited advice, Europeans have suggested the US get its own house in order first. Obama’s remarks were “arrogant” and “absurd,” German commentators say on Wednesday.
NCPA Policy Digest: Third, while the federal government may be pretending in this case that state governments are too big to fail, the truth is that bankruptcy of state governments is not a new phenomenon.
NCPA Policy Digest: Government employees in Galveston, Brazoria and Matagorda counties have controlled their private retirement plan for 30 years, called the Alternate Plan. They opted out of Social Security before Congress changed the law in 1983 to prevent others from withdrawing.
In record-setting numbers, young adults struggling to find work are shunning long-distance moves to live with Mom and Dad, delaying marriage and buying fewer homes, often raising kids out of wedlock. They suffer from the highest unemployment since World War II and risk living in poverty more than others – nearly 1 in 5.
The Hill: The House on Wednesday afternoon surprised Republican leaders by rejecting a temporary spending bill allowing the government to operate through November 18, due to strenuous objections from Democrats who opposed cuts to a Department of Energy program in order to pay for more disaster funding, and members of both parties who favored more disaster funding than was in the bill.
TheHill.com: Led by Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), more than 50 Republicans have signed on to a letter asking the leadership to abide by the $1.019 trillion spending cap for fiscal 2012 in the House-passed GOP budget, not the $1.043 trillion ceiling included in the debt deal.
NYTimes.com: President Obama called on Monday for Congress to adopt his “balanced” plan combining entitlement cuts, tax increases and war savings to reduce the federal deficit by more than $3 trillion over the next 10 years, and said he would veto any approach that relied solely on spending reductions to address the fiscal shortfall.
Big Government: The new S&P warning follows President Obama’s efforts to sabotage bipartisan cooperation on the “Supercommittee” deficit reduction panel by making confrontational demands for half of a trillion dollars more in stimulus spending and trillions of dollars of new class warfare tax increases on investment and charity.
The Hill: A bipartisan group of 37 senators said Thursday it will urge the deficit-reduction committee to cut the deficit by at least $4 trillion over the next 10 years, including previously enacted deficit measures.
Telegraph: China has called for major strategic concessions from Europe before agreeing to rescue the eurozone, chilling hopes for immediate purchases of Italian bonds.
France 24: The eurozone crisis could wreck the European Union, top EU officials warned on Wednesday as the leaders of Germany and France held talks with Greece to avoid a default and widespread chaos.