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    Pension Smoothing on UI Bill Is an Accounting Trick That Could Lead to Taxpayer Bailout

    The Senate is trying to use an accounting trick to claim deficit-reduction from a bill to extend federal long-term unemployment benefits. Far from that, the proposal to “smooth” pension contributions would merely shift tax revenue from the future into the present while destabilizing pensions even further and increasing the risks … More

    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

    Morning Bell: 25,000 Chicago Teachers Walk Off the Job

    This morning, about 350,000 students in Chicago Public Schools will be without teachers. While the 25,000-plus unionized teachers take to the picket lines in a strike over benefits and teacher evaluations, working parents are scrambling to figure out what to do. “We know a strike is really going to be … More

    Postal Service Finances: Yes, It Can Get Worse

    It is becoming hard to keep the billions of dollars in missed payments and recorded losses by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) straight. Today, tack another multibillion-dollar chunk of change onto the list: The USPS reported a third-quarter net loss of $5.2 billion, bringing year-to-date losses to $11.6 billion. But … More

    Postal Service in Default: The Beginning of the End?

    Today the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) will default on $5.5 billion in payments to the Treasury for future retiree health benefits. That is no small sum, to be sure. But much to the dismay of the USPS—and the ire of taxpayers—it marks the first of several anticipated and potentially larger … More

    Pensions Are Deferred Compensation—a Lot of Deferred Compensation

    Last week, The Heritage Foundation released important new research on the real cost of public pensions. In response, many different public-sector advocates have offered the same, curious, fallacious argument. Heritage found that, in Wisconsin, for example, total pension costs are more than two-and-a-half times what government actuaries estimate. (The difference … More

    Citing Pension Liabilities, Fitch Downgrades NJ Credit Rating

    The Fitch ratings agency announced on Wednesday that it has downgraded New Jersey’s bond rating to AA- from AA. A press release from the ratings agency placed the blame for the downgrade squarely on the state’s massive unfunded pension liabilities – estimated at about $55 billion. The release notes recent … More

    Federal Housing Funds Used to Boost CA County Employee Pensions

    California’s Santa Clara County used $16 million in federal housing funds not for affordable housing programs or similar services, but to increase guaranteed pension benefits for county workers. Employees of the county’s Housing Authority can now retire as early as age 50, receive as much as $40,000 annually during retirement, … More

    10 Two-Letter Words That Inspired Gov. Paul LePage to Reform Maine

    He left home at 11 after a rough childhood, spending time on the streets, yet managed to finish both high school and college. He later went on to work as a Pepsi-Cola truck driver, at a meat-packing plant and as a short-order cook. This is the story of Gov. Paul … More

    Scribecast: Iain Murray Exposes the Bureaucratic Masters of the Universe

    Government bureaucrats are living the good life. Salaries and benefits are 30 percent to 40 percent higher for federal workers than their private-sector counterparts. They enjoy great benefits, such as early retirement with generous pensions. And now, the rest of America is starting to take notice. This week on Scribecast, … More