California's state and local governments are going broke. Public employees unions have demanded compensation and pension plans that are unsustainable. Politicians have shown incredibly little courage in confronting a very real collapse of confidence in the governments of California.
Of the variety of issues plaguing America's economy today, unfunded public pensions are perhaps one of the greatest. CNBC News reports that a study expected to be released today shows major American cities may be faced with a $574 billion funding gap as a resulted of unfunded public pensions.
A YouTube ad that has generated a lot of attention in the major news media accuses the U.S. Chamber of conspiring with GOP operatives Karl Rove, former political adviser to President George W. Bush, and former Republican National Chairman Ed Gillespie for the purpose of "Stealing Democracy."
The word has been handed down, from MSNBC's Rachel Maddow all the way up to President Barack Obama, and the talking points have come out. Political speech that isn't reported to the federal government is a “threat to our democracy,” in the words of President Obama. The Democratic National Committee has released a television ad accusing the U.S. Chamber of Commerce of diverting foreign members' dues toward political ads in the United States.
At mid-term, politicians face a challenge regarding what voters really think about government. A new survey, "The Role of Government," indicates that their thoughts are somewhat contradictory. However, with one question — "How big and how invasive should government be?" — the Tea Party movement has seemingly touched some nerves in voters' thinking, if not their actions.
President Obama is trying to prevent major Democrat losses in November 2010 by accusing corporations of providing large amounts of unaccountable funds to support Republican candidates. Obama also raised the specter of foreign corporations and “oil companies” intruding into our nation’s electoral process. David Axelrod has called such spending a “threat to democracy” and called upon business associations to open their internal records for public inspection.
New York Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino continues to make headlines with his off-the-cuff remarks. On Sunday, October 10, Paladino told Orthodox Jewish leaders at Karlsburg Rabbinical College in Brooklyn that he does not want children to be “brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality” is acceptable. Now Paladino contends that he is owed an apology by the mainstream media, who allegedly reported inaccurately on his comments.
Last November, Chris Christie ran for governor of New Jersey with a “tough love” approach to government. He promised not to increase taxes. He promised to reduce the size of government, even beyond the standard “cut waste and fraud” approach that nearly every politician promises when running for office. One public expense that Christie said he was willing to support, however, was the planned New Jersey-to-Manhattan rail tunnel.
Massachusetts ultra-liberal Democrat Barney Frank has a real race for the first time in more than two decades, in part because of his record of coddling -- and taking campaign contributions from -- the financial institutions at the center of the housing bubble.
It is that time in the wild kingdom of politics where all the elephants and donkeys make their biennial migration toward the great electoral watering hole known as the Swing Voter. This lake lies right in the middle of Campaign Land and gets awfully crowded as scores of thirsty office seekers stampede to stake claim to their little patch of ground close enough to irrigate the quest for electoral victory.