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The Washington Times: “The corrupt pay-for-play arrangement with Democrats has brought the nation to the brink of insolvency. The time has come to roll back the unfair advantages and benefits Democrats have created for their financial benefactors.”
Terry Paulson writes at Townhall: In cash strapped CA, higher taxes have just stifled the private sector, motivated corporations to leave the state, and strangled job growth. The economic pain is not shared equally. According to the Employment Development Department, while private-sector workers have lost over a million CA jobs since the recession began, CA government employment has increased 1,200 jobs. CA now has over 489,000 state workers who are paid by a million fewer taxpayers, many of whom have seen their incomes compromised.
“That the new CR doesn’t contain the pro-life provisions has upset some Republican lawmakers and one pro-life group that says it will score votes on the short-term bill as pro-abortion vote because the pro-life policy measures are not included.”
Conservative Movement Leaders Oppose Short-Term CR: Heritage Action, Family Research Council and Club for Growth to Key Vote
“Today, three leading organizations in the conservative movement made clear their opposition to any additional short-term continuing resolutions and announced their intent to key vote the next such measure.”
The Hill: “Frustrated Senate Democrats gave senior White House advisers an earful Thursday afternoon during a private meeting, telling them that President Obama needs to get more involved in the budget battle, according to Democratic sources.”
Reuters: “The Iowa House began debate of a controversial labor bill on Wednesday that Republicans say makes common sense changes to Iowa’s labor rules, while Democrats say it will “gut” the state’s collective bargaining law.”
The Hill: “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Thursday he’s ready to compromise on spending after a GOP spending-cut bill won more votes in the Senate than the Democratic alternative.”
The Hill: “The Democratic bill attracted two fewer votes than the rival GOP measure that would cut spending by another $57 billion this year. The 11 defections will give Republican leaders ammunition in subsequent talks, as they were able to keep their caucus more unified. ”
NCPA Policy Digest: To make ends meet, cuts must be made where the money is — and since state and local governments spend nearly half their budgets on employee salaries and benefits, public-employee compensation costs will be front and center in budget discussions all over the country, says Josh Barro, the Walter B. Wriston Fellow at the Manhattan Institute.
“Within an hour and a half of the vote, the protesters had seized the building’s lower floors, creating an ear-splitting free-for-all of pounding drums, screaming chants, horns and whistles. Police gave up guarding the building entrances and retreated to the third floor.”
Bloomberg: “Bill Gross, who runs the world’s biggest bond fund at Pacific Investment Management Co., eliminated government-related debt from his flagship fund last month as the U.S. projected record budget deficits.”
n 2010, Megan Sampson was named an Outstanding First Year Teacher in Wisconsin. A week later, she got a layoff notice from the Milwaukee Public Schools. Why would one of the best new teachers in the state be one of the first let go? Because her collective-bargaining contract requires staffing decisions to be made based on seniority.
Politico: The efforts to fund the federal government for the rest of the fiscal year represent just one “small battle” in a bigger fight that Republicans need to have, Rep. Mike Pence said Wednesday. “It’s time to pick a fight,” the former House Republican Conference chairman said Wednesday morning on Fox News
National Review: “Mike Pence’s battle is not just another social-issue skirmish. It’s a test of economic and budgetary seriousness. March 18 and a second continuing resolution are looming. Planned Parenthood must be privatized. Economic and social conservatives agree — this one is non-negotiable.”
The Hill: “Today America is literally on its knees to China and other countries for the credit we need to run our economy,” DeMint said in a floor speech Tuesday afternoon. “We are also on our knees to the Middle East, which is very unstable right now, for the oil we need to run our economy, to even take our food to market, the essentials here at home.”
The Hill: “Sensing they have the political advantage, some GOP officials on Capitol Hill say they are content with cutting government spending two weeks at a time if necessary. Democrats are strongly pushing back against that idea.”
Government payouts—including Social Security, Medicare and unemployment insurance—make up more than a third of total wages and salaries of the U.S. population, a record figure that will only increase if action isn’t taken before the majority of Baby Boomers enter retirement.”
Wall Street Journal (via Google): “Just over 100 ago, the company we know as Caterpillar began building track-type tractors at a plant on the banks of the Illinois River. From these humble origins in East Peoria—the factory had 12 employees when it started—this icon of the American Midwest has grown into one of the world’s most competitive manufacturers, recently forecasting record profits for 2011. The question is, how come its home state of Illinois has so little to show for it? Part of the answer has to do with the unvirtuous circle created when organized labor—public as well as private—forgets it has an interest in a growth-friendly environment.”
The Hill: Rep. Doc Hastings (R-Wash.), the chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, announced his panel would hold hearings to examine how “to develop our own American energy resources and also what has or hasn’t been done since President Obama took office.”
Washington Times: “The federal government posted its largest monthly deficit in history in February at $223 billion, according to preliminary numbers the Congressional Budget Office released Monday morning.”
Christian Science Monitor: Today’s Employment Situation report showed that in February “total unemployment” including all marginally attached workers declined to 15.9% while the traditionally reported unemployment rate declined to 8.9%.
The Hill: “Where Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and his 87 Republican freshmen draw the line on spending will shape the entire 112th Congress. For now, the GOP and Obama are about $50 billion apart — and the clock is ticking.”
FoxNews: “With recall efforts pending against nearly half of the members of the Wisconsin state Senate and Badger State residents weary of the 18-day shutdown in the legislature caused by the Democratic minority’s exodus to Illinois, the end seems to be in sight.”
NY Times: Quantifying the employment impact of these new technologies is difficult. Mike Lynch, the founder of Autonomy, is convinced that “legal is a sector that will likely employ fewer, not more, people in the U.S. in the future.” He estimated that the shift from manual document discovery to e-discovery would lead to a manpower reduction in which one lawyer would suffice for work that once required 500 and that the newest generation of software, which can detect duplicates and find clusters of important documents on a particular topic, could cut the head count by another 50 percent.
Reuters: “U.S. Republicans denounced as inadequate on Friday a White House proposal to cut an additional $6.5 billion out of this year’s federal budget, as the battle over spending cuts headed toward Senate votes next week.”
NCPA Policy Digest: “In fiscal year 2010, the federal government spent $3.6 trillion dollars, or 24.6 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), well above the historical average . . . at its current trajectory, spending will increase to 25.9 percent of GDP in 2020 and to 32.2 percent in 2030. The harsh reality is that if the country does not deviate from its current path, the majority of future federal spending will finance the spending of the past. ”
NBCNewYork.com: Three union workers who called out sick to attend a labor rally at the New Jersey Statehouse last week have been suspended. The move comes a day after Gov. Christie told NBC New York in an interview that “people who call in sick better be sick.” Christie issued his warning ahead of another labor rally that drew thousands on Thursday.
Reuters: China hopes to allow all exporters and importers to settle their cross-border trades in the yuan by this year, the central bank said on Wednesday, as part of plans to grow the currency’s international role.
“For decades the dollar has served as the world’s main reserve currency, but, argues Barry Eichengreen, it will soon have to share that role. Here’s why—and what it will mean for international markets and companies.”
AP: “Burbank and her husband, John Clark, epitomize the dreadful economic situation these days in Nevada, where a once-mighty construction boom has given way to a historic recession and a record 14.9 percent unemployment in Las Vegas.”
Wall Street Journal: “Any state that the Administration decided deserved a waiver would still need to cover the same number of uninsured, and its coverage would still need to include the same comprehensive benefits and be as “affordable” as the Administration says it should be. That is, it must be as heavily subsidized. So perhaps states could opt out of some consumer or employer mandates, which is a minor release valve. But they would still need to find other mechanisms to achieve the same liberal priorities . . . ”
The Hill: The Senate on Wednesday fell short by two votes of passing a non-binding “sense of the Senate” resolution calling on Congress to pass a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. The final vote was 58-40, with 60 votes needed to pass the amendment.
Bloomberg: “In Ohio Senate committee passed a bill to limit collective-bargaining rights for public employees that has sparked protests at the Statehouse in Columbus. The move allows the full Senate to vote on the measure.”
Holman W. Jenkins writes at the Wall Street Journal (full text via Google): Solidarity House is the headquarters of the United Auto Workers in Detroit, whose windows gaze figuratively across the labor hinterland of the upper Midwest. At least it used to be a labor hinterland, though its politicians this week are taking an axe to public-sector unions. In Indiana and Michigan, proposals even target private-sector unions with bills to turn those states into “right to work” states, like Tennessee or South Carolina.
Washington Post: “Thousands of union supporters descended on the Ohio Statehouse on Tuesday to protest a proposal that would dramatically curtail bargaining powers of government workers, as the state becomes the latest flash point in the fight over union rights.”
Patrick J. Buchanan writes at CNSNews: “Actually, what the governor wants to end is the scandalous practice of powerful unions raising millions and running phone banks and get-out-the-vote operations for politicians who thank them with wages, benefits and job security no private employer can match.”
Walter E. Williams writes at CNSNews: “From my view, the only controversy regarding unions is what they should be permitted and not permitted to do. According to the Department of Labor, most union members today work for state, local and federal government. Close to 40 percent of public employees are unionized. As such, they represent a powerful political force in elections.”
Wall Street Journal: “The NLJ crunched the numbers, and found that hiring of graduates of the top law schools by the nation’s largest law firms slid by 10% during 2010 compared with 2009.”
AFP on Yahoo: “China’s holdings of US bonds reached $1.16 trillion at the end of December, almost $270 billion more than previously estimated, new data showed Monday.”
Charles G. Koch writes at the Wall Street Journal: “Crony capitalism and bloated government prevent entrepreneurs from producing the products and services that make people’s lives better.”
The Hill: That’s the message Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) sent to the Obama administration on Monday when the Interior Department announced it had approved the first Gulf of Mexico deepwater drilling permit since last year’s massive oil spill.”
NCPA Policy Digest: “The U.S. effective corporate tax rate on new investment was 34.6 percent in 2010, which was the highest rate in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the fifth-highest rate among 83 countries.”
Washington Times: Evidence outlined in a Pentagon contractor report suggests that financial subversion carried out by unknown parties, such as terrorists or hostile nations, contributed to the 2008 economic crash by covertly using vulnerabilities in the U.S. financial system. The unclassified 2009 report “Economic Warfare: Risks and Responses” by financial analyst Kevin D. Freeman, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Times, states that “a three-phased attack was planned and is in the process against the United States economy.”
AP: “Wisconsin’s Republican Gov. Scott Walker said on Monday that absent senate Democrats have 24 hours to return and vote on a measure to reduce the power of public sector unions or the state will miss out on opportunity to refinance its debt.”
Lindsey Burke writes at the Heritage Foundation: “Wisconsin is a microcosm for a larger problem with education unions. According to Mike Antonucci, who specializes in research on education unions, during the 2007–2008 election cycle, the National Education Association (NEA) and American Federation of Teachers spent more than $71 million on campaigns for issues and candidates, or more than $100 per teacher in five states. These national unions receive their money from the dues of teachers forced to send money to their local affiliate, which then sends the funds to the state affiliate and then on to the national union.”
The Hill: “The law allows states to request a waiver for the requirement in 2017, but Obama said he will support moving the date up to 2014, when the so-called individual mandate goes into effect.”
Rasmussen: “Reports national telephone survey finds that just 33% of Likely U.S. Voters would rather have Congress avoid a government shutdown by authorizing spending at the same levels as last year. Fifty-eight percent (58%) says it’s better to have a partial shutdown until Democrats and Republicans can agree on what spending to cut.”
AP: “A union representing teachers in the state’s financially troubled capital city says it has met with the mayor to discuss the decision to send them all termination notices.”
FT.com: Mr Buckley, who has run the diversified manufacturer since 2005, said: “There is a sense among companies that this is a difficult place to do business. It is about regulation, taxation, seemingly anti-business policies in Washington, attitudes towards science.”
NY Times: “It would give tenured teachers who are rated unsatisfactory by their principals a maximum of one school year to improve. If they did not, they could be fired within 100 days.”
AP on MyWay: “Republicans in the Wisconsin Assembly took the first significant action on their plan to strip collective bargaining rights from most public workers, abruptly passing the measure early Friday morning before sleep-deprived Democrats realized what was happening.”
CNBC: “China should overtake the US to become the largest economy in the world by 2020, then be overtaken by India by 2050,” he predicted.
NCPA Policy Digest: When the Federal Reserve was created in 1913, Congress did not give it a monetary policy goal as we understand that term today. The Fed’s monetary policy role evolved gradually, and congressional mandates — such as achieving full employment and price stability — came later, says Robert McTeer, a distinguished fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis.”
Andrew Biggs and Jason Richwine write at the Wall Street Journal: “Leaders across the country are proposing restrictions on public employees’ pay and benefits in order to put their budgets on a more sustainable path. The political left’s counterattack is that government workers aren’t overpaid compared to those in the private economy. Who’s right?”
Rep. Jim Jordan writes at The Hill: “Uncle Sam is spending you into the poorhouse. Taxes, inflation, unemployment, interest rates – all could skyrocket if Washington keeps spending trillions of dollars it doesn’t have. Unless we begin to cut spending now (a lot of spending) these four horsemen of debt will ride roughshod over families and businesses already struggling to get by. Fortunately, we still have a chance to kick the spending addiction and keep the American Dream alive.”
The Hill: Unions are not the cause of the country’s economic woes, Vice President Biden said Wednesday. “Public employees are not the problem. The problem is much deeper,” Biden said during a fundraiser in New York for Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.).
The Hill: “Democratic strategists believe their Tea Party moment has arrived. Working with labor unions and liberal groups, they are using the Presidents Day congressional recess to organize a public backlash against billions of dollars in cuts to federal programs.”
AP: “Republicans and Democrats in the Wisconsin Assembly have agreed to a deal that will limit further debate on a bill taking away collective bargaining rights for public workers and lead to a vote on the measure later Thursday.”
CNSNews: “Public school teachers in Wisconsin earned a combined $75,587 in total average compensation – wages and benefits – in 2010, according to figures from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI).”
Heritage Foundation Morning Bell: “Walker is right: Government unions are inherently different from private-sector unions. The purpose of private-sector unions is to get workers a larger share of the profits they helped create. But government is a monopoly and earns no profits. All government unions do is redistribute more tax dollars from taxpayers to unions. The left used to understand this. ”
AP: “Democrats kept the Wisconsin Assembly up overnight with a droning filibuster in another desperate attempt to block the Republican governor’s bold plan to strip public sector workers of nearly all of their bargaining rights.”