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New Jersey's Self-Inflicted Fiscal Woes May Bring Statewide Property Tax

Regina M. Egea - April 23, 2021

Bipartisan legislative concern is brewing over the self-inflicted crisis that lies ahead for New Jersey. Governor Phil Murphy’s (D) proposed budget would increase spending by 7.2% above this year. Sen. Paul Sarlo (D), Chair of the Appropriations and Budget committee, echoing comments made by legislative Republicans, warned that reliance “on federal aid with a limited lifespan and on long-term borrowing” may trigger a “fiscal cliff” once that revenue disappears. Senate President Steve Sweeney (D) expressed remorse about agreeing to borrow $4.3 billion and adding...

Americans Do Not Want the Woke Racism Our Schools Are Peddling

Samuel J. Abrams - April 23, 2021

In the past few weeks, it has become apparent that the extreme progressive impulses infecting higher education in the United States have moved from campus quads and dormitories into our nation’s middle and high schools and even into our kindergartens. In New York City alone, the uptown Dalton School has seen an uprising and departure of numerous high-level staff over questions of curriculum and social justice. Downtown, a Grace Church School teacher published an open letter explaining that the school’s new “anti-racist”...

An Old Form of Media Helping to Fight a Modern Pandemic

Anna Bager - April 23, 2021

Sixty-five years ago, mega-star Elvis Presley was vaccinated against polio on the widely watched Ed Sullivan television show. Millions felt reassured — especially teenagers — and followed the singer’s lead, helping to defeat the deadly disease. Today, health authorities again need to persuade reluctant Americans to get vaccinated, this time to combat COVID-19. Nothing short of an end to the pandemic is at stake. Celebrities will do their part once again. Basketball Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, for example, has taped a message aired during NBA games, encouraging others...

Utah Gets a $1.5 Billion Congressional “Bailout” – Utah Already Had a $1.5 Billion Budget Surplus!

Adam Andrzejewski - April 23, 2021

Blessed with an embarrassment of riches, Utah will have a $1.5 billion surplus and get a match from the federal government. The Beehive State is collecting another $1.5 billion in federal stimulus funds from The American Rescue Plan. The coronavirus “bailout” for Utah is just part of the $350 billion in aid for state and local governments after a year of pandemic shutdowns and struggling economies. But for Utah, its economy has been able to withstand the downturn that has hurt other states. As Gov. Spencer Cox said in a press release about the financial health of the state,...


Meeting Earth Day's Promise Means Reducing Immigration

Roy Beck - April 22, 2021

When I covered the inaugural Earth Day teach-ins as a reporter 51 years ago, one of the top concerns was the rapidly growing U.S. population — and its negative impact on America's wildlife and ecosystems.At the time, the United States was an affluent nation of 203 million hyper consumers and polluters — and it was adding more than 20 million each decade. Environmental leaders such as Senator Gaylord Nelson — often dubbed the Father of Earth Day — called for the United States to model population stabilization for the rest of the world, as well as...

'Infrastructure' Bill Could Harm Hispanic Workers

Daniel Garza - April 22, 2021

There’s a lot of hot air coming out of Washington right now about the need to do something to improve “infrastructure,” but the proposal under consideration won’t accomplish that. Instead of a carefully crafted bill with a focus on genuine problems, leaders are trying to cobble together votes to spend as much as $4 trillion on programs that will do little to improve roads and bridges, but which will hurt our economy, increase taxes, and damage small businesses trying to recover from the pandemic. For America’s Hispanic community, it’s critical that...

States Shouldn't be Introducing Content Moderation Bills

James Czerniawski - April 22, 2021

Four years ago, then-president Donald Trump railed against a little-known law that protects websites from liability for content posted on their websites by third parties. Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act has been a hot-button issue to this day, with Democrats and Republicans alike clamoring for reform. Still, in all that time, nothing has been done. That’s because those on the right and left have vastly different ideas for what reform should look like. The lack of movement has led several states to introduce bills to deal with content moderation on their...

$1.7 Billion Revenue Loss for The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Adam Andrzejewski - April 22, 2021

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is facing a $1.7 billion revenue loss because so few people were driving during the Covid-19 pandemic, yet its workers get the benefits of an expensive pension plan and bloated overtime. Looking back, a Port Authority police lieutenant retired in 2013 with a $129,000 salary and then began collecting a $172,000 pension. An assistant airport operations manager retired with a $89,000 salary, but soon began collecting a $103,000 pension. An electrician with a base salary of $76,000 quit and started collecting a pension of $79,000. In 2016, our...


Build Back Better by Empowering Communities

Jennifer Blatz - April 21, 2021

Americans don’t just need relief; we need a bold plan. We need a plan that is grounded in vision for equity that is supported by the best data available. We need something that can move us from recovery to sustainability. We need something rooted in the future, informed by lessons from the past. In other words, we don’t want to just build back better; we want to build to last.  The newest analysis from the Urban Institute on the impact of President Biden’s stimulus package shows promising results, including the ability to cut poverty rates in half. The Center on...

The Teacher Pay Gap is Really About the STEM Salary Premium

Andrew G. Biggs & Jason Richwine - April 21, 2021

With classrooms finally reopening and hundreds of billions of federal dollars earmarked for public schools, the issue of teacher pay will soon re-emerge. Before the pandemic, public school teachers were fighting against a widely perceived “teacher salary penalty.” President Biden vowed to “correct this wrong,” promising a dramatic increase in federal education funding to “give teachers a raise.” But what causes these pay differences? New Census Bureau data suggest that most teachers are paid roughly what they’d receive in other jobs. But if public...

$1.7 Trillion Federal Budget Deficit in March – Up 454%!

Adam Andrzejewski - April 21, 2021

A recent article by The Wall Street Journal outlines how, as stimulus money flowed to states and taxpayers, the U.S. budget gap widened to a record $1.7 trillion in March, 454% deficit growth. The spending, well-intentioned to help the economy during the disastrous pandemic, sent the federal debt sky high to levels unheard of since the end of World War II as a proportion of the economy. The budget gap is now more than double what it was for the same period last year, the U.S. Treasury Department said. While revenue rose 13% to $268 billion, the WSJ reported, spending increased 161% to $927...

In Defense of Vaccine Passports

Isaac Daniel - April 20, 2021

As a lifelong privacy advocate, I feel it is necessary to highlight issues that may jeopardize the privacy of individuals and consumers. In 2007, when I created the original GPS embedded sneakers to keep Alzheimer’s patients and other vulnerable people safe, many encouraged me to overlook the need for a privacy component on the shoe in exchange for convenience and affordability. I ignored that advice and ensured that the users of the shoes had the option to apply the GPS function using a button only when necessary and when desired. To this day, I believe in and champion...


Illinois' Pension Bomb Has a Short Fuse

Adam Schuster - April 20, 2021

A crisis exposes weaknesses. The COVID-19 economic crisis showed the danger of government making promises it can’t afford. Here in Illinois, the crisis has served as a dress rehearsal for the kind of havoc the state’s pension crisis could inflict on the Illinois economy and government retirees if nothing changes. More than 1 in 10 Illinoisans – 1.1 million, or about 11.4% of the adult population – are members of an Illinois public pension system. Those government retirment systems are sitting on mountains of debt. There's $144 billion in debt just in the five statewide...

No Way to End California's Homelessness Crisis

Kerry Jackson & Wayne Winegarden - April 20, 2021

In late January, a survey conducted by Data for Progress, a progressive activist group, found that an overwhelming majority of Californians favor increasing taxes on corporations to fund “a range of efforts to help” alleviate the homelessness crisis in California. But California is already home to one of the highest state corporate income tax rates and one of the least competitive business climates in the country, according to the Tax Foundation. Not only would imposing additional burdens make the state even more unfriendly to business than it already is, more revenues will not...

Arizona's Telehealth Reform Could Supercharge American Healthcare

Naomi Lopez - April 20, 2021

For Claudia, making an all-day drive to get needed medical treatment was simply a fact of life. Twice a week, Claudia drove three hours each way, plus frequent stops, to take her disabled daughter from their Yuma, Arizona, home to Phoenix to get the regular care she needed. But now, she’s able to see the doctor on a computer or a smartphone for most of the appointments, and the mother and daughter only need to make the trip to Phoenix once a month. Why the change? During COVID-19, rules regarding telehealth — technology that enables people to get help from their healthcare...

Nearly $1 Billion in Taxpayer Cost – If Election Day Becomes a New Federal Holiday

Adam Andrzejewski - April 20, 2021

Forty-three states and the District of Columbia offer in-person early voting for between four days and 45 days, for an average period of 19 days. But new legislation (H.R.1) – that just passed the U.S. House – seeks to give federal workers a paid day off on Election Day. Estimated taxpayer cost? $818 million every two years or more than $4 billion over a ten-year period. The Democrat-led House passed the bill in March and still needs to pass the Senate. Supporters say it seeks to strengthen voting access. Of those 43 states and the District of Columbia, 24 states and the...


Think of Amazon as a Big Box Retailer, Not a Tech Giant

Steve Pociask - April 19, 2021

Is big tech too big? Do online platforms censor political views? These are among the questions posed to executives from Google, Twitter, Amazon, and others during recent Congressional House and Senate hearings. One legislative solution, proposed by Senator Klobuchar, would be to change U.S. antitrust laws to make it easier to punish big tech, but that solution may result in punishing small and mid-sized businesses, and ultimately consumers too. Whatever the stated goals of these hearings, legislative efforts to revamp the current antitrust laws appear to be less about reining in monopoly...

Congress Needs Gender Parity Quotas

Richard V. Reeves - April 19, 2021

Good news: the U.S. jumped from 53rd to 30th on the World Economic Forum’s global ranking of gender equality, flanked by Denmark and Holland. The rise was largely the result of progress on the political front, especially President Biden’s appointment of women to his Cabinet. But progress in Congress remains painfully slow. It is time for quotas in order to move the needle here. Overall, the Forum’s Global Gender Gap report made for less upbeat reading, especially in terms of the prediction that the world will not reach gender equality until the year 2156, a date that has...

Chinese Communist Defense Contractors Reaped $200- $400 Million In U.S. Covid Relief Payments

Adam Andrzejewski - April 19, 2021

Yes, it is PPP for the CCP. A Covid relief program – Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) – meant to help U.S. small businesses on Main Street was hijacked by 125 defense firms with strong ties to the Communist Chinese Party (CCP). A legal loophole sent millions of taxpayer dollars to Chinese companies. The $660 billion Paycheck Protection Program created in March 2020 to help struggling small businesses in the U.S. has allowed American subsidiaries of foreign companies to get the forgivable loans, sending millions to Chinese companies, according to The New York Times. The paper...

Human Dignity and the New Values Voter

Rachel Kopec Barkley - April 16, 2021

The “values voter” of the political right has, in recent years, become a meaningless term, if not one of ridicule. A generation that came of age watching the Clinton impeachment and listening to conservative leaders proclaiming that “character counts” witnessed many of these same leaders go on to defend womanizers like Donald Trump and Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore — simply because the political ends justified the means. Herein lies the danger of pinning our values to fallible political heroes to fight culture wars for us. What is needed today is an...