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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
According to the Associated Press, Americans United for Life, a pro-life organization, is running ad campaigns against 12 Democrats, nearly all incumbents, who voted for -- or support -- ObamaCare. AUL argues that these candidates should be defeated on the grounds that the healthcare law fails to prevent taxpayer funds from being spent on abortions. The group points out, for example, that while the House of Representatives had passed an amendment to the bill banning federal funding of abortion under ObamaCare, the amendment was not in the final version, yet these allegedly pro-life Democrats voted in favor of the bill anyway.
A review of California welfare recipients shows that almost $70 million was spent by these recipients out of state. This includes $12 million spent in Las Vegas and $1.5 million spent in Florida. These welfare recipients also spent significant amounts of money in Hawaii and on cruise ships. This has drawn heat from California legislators who note that their working, taxpaying constituents cannot afford to go to Hawaii, take a cruise ship, vacation in Florida, or gamble in Las Vegas.
According to a Gallup generic ballot for Congress among registered voters, Republicans maintain a 3-point lead over Democrats, 46 to 43 percent. To boot, polling of likely voters from September 23 to October 3 show Republicans with a double-digit lead under two separate turnout scenarios: Likely voters, higher turnout: 53 percent Republicans to 40 percent Democrats; likely voters, lower turnout: 56 percent Republicans to 38 percent Democrats.
Several neoconservative writers have recently expressed nervousness about Tea Party supporters threatening to make substantial cuts in military expenditures in order to rein in government spending. Articles in the Washington Post and at Heritage.com, by Danielle Pletka, Thomas Donnelly, Arthur Brooks, Edwin Fuelner, and William Kristol have made it clear that “the conservative movement — and the party that seeks to represent it — is at a crossroads.” One road will continue funding the military-industrial complex in “defense of freedom,” while the other road “beckons in an almost Calvinistic call to fiscal discipline” resulting in potentially severe defense department cuts.