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    Morning Bell: Revealing What States Are Hiding

    How much are we spending on education? Actually, far more than we know—because as it turns out, states are hiding some of the teachers’ benefits. In a new paper, Heritage expert Jason Richwine reveals that “Proper accounting would reveal tens of billions of dollars in extra teacher pension costs, equivalent … More

    Chart of the Week: The Impact of an Aging America

    Sequestration has taken effect, and yet government spending continues growing. Sequestration’s 2.4 percent reductions are not enough to fix Washington’s spending and debt problem because they do nothing to reform entitlement programs, whose costs will grow rapidly with America’s aging population. As more Americans age and retire, more Americans will … More

    Morning Bell: Should We Pay Government Employees More?

    Federal employees—who work on average a month less than private-sector workers and get paid more—are lobbying for higher pay. Government unions know that Congress is looking for ways to nip and tuck the federal budget, and they’re counting on being left out of the deal. “The Federal-Postal Coalition—a group representing … More

    Google+ Hangout: Should Federal Workers Get a Raise?

    Government employee unions are using a flawed study of federal pay to lobby for an end to President Obama’s freeze on cost-of-living salary increases. Obama’s decision will be significant: salaries and benefits for civilian workers totaled an alarming $271 billion last year. Heritage’s Jason Richwine and Andrew G. Biggs of … More

    Morning Bell: Welfare Spending Shattering All-Time Highs

    It’s been a pretty big year for welfare—and a new report shows welfare is bigger than ever. The Obama Administration turned a giant spotlight on the welfare system in July when the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proclaimed it had the authority to gut the work requirements from … More

    What Caused Drop in Unemployment Insurance Claims?

    The news that new Unemployment Insurance (UI) claims dropped sharply to 339,000 last week has raised eyebrows—and aroused suspicion the Department of Labor had massaged the numbers. In truth, there is both more and less to this story than meets the eye. The numbers are incomplete, but because of bureaucratic … More

    On "Costless" Benefits for Public Workers

    In our work on public sector compensation, Andrew Biggs of the American Enterprise Institute and I have routinely counted enhanced job security as a benefit for public workers, and we have tried to quantify just how valuable it can be. Some critics have argued that public workers actually have no … More

    Members of Congress Earn Big Salaries and Fringe Benefits

    Congress’ job approval ratings have sunk to around 20 percent, while their disapproval is up to an average of 73.4 percent. Yet for all of America’s dissatisfaction—and Congress’ failure to combat the nation’s fiscal crisis—Members of Congress are earning salaries and fringe benefits that far exceed those of the average … More

    Health Benefits Are Part of Worker Pay

    George Mason University economics professor Don Boudreaux writes a letter to The Washington Post correcting columnist E.J. Dionne’s mistaken defense of Barack Obama’s health care plan: According to E.J. Dionne, “Few investments would help businesses more than offloading a share of their health-care costs to the government. It’s social justice … More

    All Pain and No Gain

    The costs of Congress’ ethanol mandate have been well documented. It is diverting more and more corn away from food and into fuel (25% this year and 35% next year) causing the price of both go to up. Consumers here in the U.S. are paying for Congressional shortsightedness at the … More