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  • Pension Obligation Bonds No Panacea for State Budget Liabilities

    February 27, 2019
    Illinois has a new governor and Chicago will soon have a new mayor—and the same old underfunded public pensions. Inheriting a predecessor’s debts is never fun, but the need to address them is unavoidable. The question is how, and there is both a right way and a wrong way.
  • Warren Buffett Warns about Unfunded Public Pension Liabilities—Again

    February 27, 2019
    Would you invest in a state with large unfunded pension liabilities? Warren Buffett likely wouldn’t. In a long interview with CNBC this week, the famed billionaire investor was asked by viewer, “How do you see the unfunded pension liabilities across the United States affecting our economy over the next 10 years?”
  • Virginia Legislature Restricts Privately-Funded State Legal Staff

    February 27, 2019
    As revealed in detail in “Law Enforcement for Rent: How Special Interests Fund Climate Policy through State Attorneys General,” former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg established a “State Impact Center” at New York University Law School with the goal of privately financing state attorneys general to investigate and litigate on issues surrounding climate change.
  • How Much Will the Green New Deal Cost Your Family?

    February 26, 2019
    The American Action Forum (AAF) yesterday posted a preliminary analysis of the scope, implications, and costs of the Green New Deal (GND). I can’t wait for the Senate to debate this proposal. As AAF’s analysis shows, the Green New Deal would be financially devastating to millions of middle-income households.
  • Fintech and the Future of Consumer Finance

    February 26, 2019
    Everyone understands the need for access to credit. No matter how well we budget, we occasionally come up short due to an unexpected circumstance or expense—a car repair, a sick pet, a friend’s wedding. All kinds of things pop up and disrupt our financial plans, and this can be a real problem for millions of Americans. For example, a survey from the Federal Reserve recently found that 4 in 10 Americans would not have enough liquid savings to cover a $400 expense.
  • Costs of Regulatory Takings and Property Value Destruction

    February 26, 2019
    Takings issues noted here are just the beginning of government neglect of the institution of private property, notable especially in emergent sectors. But the disdain for compensation is a feature, rather than a bug, of the administrative state. The very point of regulatory takings, as distinct from an outright seizure, is to circumvent and hide costs.
  • This Week in Ridiculous Regulations   

    February 25, 2019
    The federal government was on a four-day work week in honor of George Washington’s birthday, but agencies still found time to issue regulations ranging from frozen mango promotion to oral appliances.
  • White House to Create President’s Commission on National Climate Security

    February 23, 2019
    The Washington Post obtained leaked Trump administration documents this week that reveal that the White House is preparing an executive order to create a President’s Commission on National Climate Security. The commission will be charged with reviewing several official reports that claim that climate change presents multiple national security challenges. 
  • More New England Natural Gas Pipelines Needed, But Unlikely

    February 22, 2019
    New England continues to struggle with barely-adequate electric reliability, especially during the region’s winter cold spells. This is due in large part to the retirements of coal-fired generation across the region over the last decade. Natural gas-fired generation has taken up much of the slack, but the limiting factor is pipeline capacity into the region.
  • Say No to Trump's Proposed Auto Tariffs

    February 22, 2019
    President Trump is mulling a tariff on automobiles. Joining a long list of people urging him against it is the Japanese auto industry. That opposition is obviously self-interested, but has merit. Japanese automakers directly employ 92,000 U.S. workers. Counting in dealerships, parts suppliers, and others, they support over 1.5 million jobs, at least by their own estimate.

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