October 19, 2016
State public pension plans are underfunded by nearly $5.6 trillion nationwide, according to a new American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) study. Naturally, the level of pension funding and the size of liabilities vary widely across states. Given that, the new ALEC report provides useful comparisons based on three criteria:
- Funded ratio;
- Total unfunded liabilities; and
- Per capital unfunded liabilities.
In terms of funding ration, Wisconsin scores the best, at 63.4 percent funding, the only state with a ratio above 50 percent. Connecticut scores worst, at 22.8 percent.
Vermont has the nation’s smallest total pension obligation sum, at $8.7 billion; California the greatest, at $956 billion.
Of course, Vermont is a small...
September 21, 2016
The single most important action the president can make is appoint competent, non-partisan officials to the primary federal labor agencies—the Department of Labor (DOL) and National Labor Relations...
September 14, 2016determined that there is no better way to spend tax dollars than to give them to government unions so that they can use them for their own private gain.
In a 3-2 decision, the State Supreme...
September 7, 2016
However, many state and local governments grant government unions a direct subsidy known as union release time, a...
August 29, 2016
That reform model has solid...
July 8, 2016
Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL) and Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA) have co-sponsored legislation this session to ensure reporting of federal employees using “official time,” the practice of the government paying federal employees who are serving as union representatives instead of performing their official, federal duties.
As Rep. Ross put it, “This bill will require the Office of Personnel Management to submit an annual, detailed report to Congress on the use of ‘official time’ by federal employees, outlining specific types of activities or purposes for which this time was granted.”
“Ross’ bill was brought into the ‘Government Reform and Improvement Act’ which passed on...
June 30, 2016
While unions representing government employees are still private entities, it is shocking just how much tax dollars they receive for performing union business that does not benefit the public. In the last year data was reported, federal employee unions received over $157 million in taxpayer dollars to conduct union work.
This phenomenon is known as “official time” and it allows federal employees to forgo their duties to the taxpayers and instead act as a union representative, often for years at a time.
Americans for Limited Government Foundation has filed numerous FOIA requests, uncovering the reported costs of “official time” for employees who spend 100% of their time working for their union rather than for the taxpayer. And this is on top of all the...
May 16, 2016
Air traffic control is in dire need of reform and modernization, and there is a great plan in the House FAA bill to do just that. But a handful of conservative activists have launched a campaign to roil reform. Last week, I published two posts debunking false claims made by critics. While the vast majority of free market advocates familiar with the issue support the air traffic control corporatization plan contained in the House’s AIRR Act, a small group of anti-union conservative advocates opposes these reforms, citing concerns over labor unions.
The reform plan would transfer the...
Conservatives for Big Government: Air Traffic Control Reform Opponents Have Lost Their Minds or PrinciplesMay 10, 2016
Right now in Congress, there is a proposal to end a government monopoly, replace it with a customer-driven corporation, slash taxes, and eliminate nearly two-thirds of a government agency’s budget. Not surprisingly, some Washington insiders oppose it. Surprisingly, some of those opponents are self-described conservatives.
The conservative opposition, led by the Manhattan Institute’s Diana Furchtgott-Roth, wants to scuttle a proposal to spin off the Federal Aviation Administration’s Air...
April 15, 2016
A California appeals court yesterday restored a series of education policies that harm students by making ineffective teachers extremely difficult to fire. The court overturned a lower court ruling, Vergara v. California, which had struck down teacher tenure, “last in, first out” personnel policies, and a complicated process to challenge dismissals.
The plaintiffs have said they plan to appeal to the California Supreme Court. They should, given the stakes involved and the appeal court’s strange reasoning. Moreover, education reform activists in other states should continue pursue their own challenges as well. There is an ongoing case in New York State...