State budget review points out pension problem

By   /  July 31, 2014  /  Budget and Spending, Iowa, News, Pensions  /  No Comments

PENSION PENNIES: Pennsylvania's two pension funds have a combined unfunded liability of more than $47 billion.  That's expected to grow to as much as $65 billion within a few years.

By Paul Brennan | Iowa Watchdog
DES MOINES, Iowa — There’s good news and bad news in the new state budget.
First, the new state budget spends $171 million more than it takes in during the coming year.
Weirdly, that’s the good news.
“This is a sustainable budget. This is a budget making good progress,” State Auditor Mary Mosiman [...]

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Off the rails: Here are three ways to look at the Twin Cities’ proposed rail line

By   /  July 29, 2014  /  Accountability, Budget and Spending, Finances, Issues, Minnesota, News  /  No Comments

SOUTHWEST LRT: The proposed light rail would cost $1.7 billion - but how much is that really?

For a cool $1.7 billion, the Twin Cities could have a third light rail operating by 2018.

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Mississippi pension fund heads for final ‘Jeopardy’

By   /  July 21, 2014  /  Budget and Spending, Mississippi, National, News, Pensions, State House, State Politics, State Senate  /  No Comments

PERS

We’ll take pension reform for a thousand.

Make no mistake, Mississippi is playing “Jeopardy” with its retirement fund.

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One-vendor broadband contract represents sweetheart deal

By   /  July 17, 2014  /  Budget and Spending, Economy, Mississippi, Public Utilities, Uncategorized, Wasteful spending  /  No Comments

Eagle-NET is providing unfair competition to smaller companies, critics say

Sweetheart deals don’t get any better than this.

A 10-year contract with no competition gets a two-year extension, even before the contract expires.

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Kansas think tank argues truth being twisted in deficit warnings

By   /  July 15, 2014  /  Budget and Spending, Kansas, News  /  No Comments

fingers crossed

Words can be a tricky thing, with different meanings in different scenarios.

Take, for example, the word “deficit.” Now, nearly anyone can tell you what in means in reference to, say, the federal government. And most who know the basics of the Kansas Constitution will tell you the state is forbidden from running a fiscal deficit.

But you wouldn’t know that listening to the political chatter as of late.

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Lobbyists keep Export-Import bank alive despite economists concerns about cronyism

By   /  July 7, 2014  /  Budget and Spending, Business, Economy, Federal Government, Finances, Issues, National, News  /  No Comments

TRUCK LOADS OF CORPORATE WELFARE: The Export-Import Bank uses American tax dollars to subsidize loans to foreign companies so they will buy American goods - but it's turned into a scheme to benefit politically well-connected companies.

By Eric Boehm | Watchdog.org
For four years running, Gina Rinehart has been ranked the richest person in Australia.
This year, her estimated net worth exceeds $20 billion, though that’s down a bit from an estimated $29 billion net worth in 2012, according to Business Review Weekly, which tracks the richest people in the Land Down Under.
Hancock [...]

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