Buried in the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on the Consumer Price Index was some disconcerting news. On the surface, there appeared to be little to be concerned about, with the index “for all items, less food and energy” rising just 0.2 percent in April. On an annual basis, the BLS “all items” index increased just 3.2 percent over the past 12 months.

Print COver StoryThe Idaho Statesman in a June 6, 2010 story extolled the efforts of Idaho’s Commerce Secretary Don Dietrich and Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter to lure Chinese investors to their state: “‘The Chinese are looking for a beachhead in the United States,’ said Idaho Commerce Secretary Don Dietrich. Idaho is ready to give them one,” the Statesman reported.

pensionDon’t let Walker take away our rights.” That claim is repeatedly heard in Wisconsin as public-union workers try to recall Republican state Senators who voted for Governor Scott Walker’s plan to require the workers to contribute more to their retirement and healthcare costs and limit their ability to use “collective bargaining” to increase pay and benefits.

In 1987, as a freshman in college, I walked into the university library and took down a tome entitled the House of Rothschild. The book told a story of a humble Jewish family from Frankfurt that began as money lenders to the German aristocracy and expanded its wealth exponentially and geographically until its interests extended into the ruling houses of Austria, France, Italy, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. The Austrian branch was endowed with titles and lands by the Hapsburg emperor and the British branch was similarly ennobled by Queen Victoria.

The latest study by The Pew Center on the States shows not only that states have not funded the promises they made to their employees when they retire, but that the gap between those promises and the states' contributions to pay for those promises is widening.

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