No government has ever spent its way to prosperity. Our proposals help governments be fiscally responsible so citizens can be prosperous.
With a population of 14,500 and a location south of Yuma, until recently I had never even heard of Somerton, Arizona. Yet, this tiny town serves as one of the best examples of what financial transparency by the government ought to look like.
The automatic spending cuts that have been enacted at the federal level – the “sequester” – have generated concern and outrage in some quarters. Breathless press releases from the White House and trade association groups that may receive slightly less federal money than they did last year have permeated the media reporting.
(By Darcy Olsen, National Review Online)
In his State of the Union address Tuesday, President Obama announced an initiative to make preschool universal, citing studies that purport to show academic benefits from earlier school enrollment. Unfortunately, this plan flies in the face of overwhelming evidence that preschool has no lasting impact on children’s future educational success.
A recent article in Time magazine by Steven Brill documents the enormously high prices we pay in this country for health care, including the markups and significant profits of “nonprofit” hospitals. For example, M.D. Anderson marked up an anti-cancer drug some 400 percent. Stamford Hospital billed an individual $8,000 for a test that Medicare would have reimbursed at $600. Blood tests are often marked up by more than 1,000 percent over verifiable costs. Brill’s article is 28 pages long and includes dozens of examples.
I recently wrote about reasons the Arizona legislature should reject efforts to expand Medicaid as part of the implementation of the federal health care law. The governor’s office took umbrage with the points I made, and after carefully reviewing their response, my conclusion remains that expanding the program is a bad idea.
After years of pursuing a command-and-control approach to energy regulation and providing massive corporate welfare to the solar industry, the Arizona Corporation Commission has signaled a possible shift in approach.
What happened to bring about this challenge?
In September, Goldwater Institute investigative reporter Mark Flatten released an investigative report showing that Phoenix and other Arizona cities spend millions of dollars every year to pay employees to perform union work on city time. It's called "release time." The Goldwater Institute is taking on the city's contract with the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association (PLEA). By executing this deal with PLEA, the members of the Phoenix City Council have violated the Arizona Constitution and their duty of loyalty to the taxpayers.
Congress’s deal to avoid falling over the so-called “fiscal cliff” has dominated headlines since New Year’s Day. That “cliff” was automatic spending cuts that would kick in at the beginning of the year coupled with a number of tax rates (a.k.a. the “Bush tax cuts”) that would expire.
In 2000, Arizona’s pension funds were considered some of the healthiest in the nation. Just over a decade later, Arizona now has the dubious distinction of seeing the third worst decline in its pension fund health among the states from 2000 to 2009. For too long, policymakers and pension fund managers have assumed their investments would have endless high returns and little or no risk. The last decade and two recessions have proven otherwise, and Arizona’s retirement systems are on shaky ground.