Entries by Mike Shedlock

Philadelphia Selling Assets to Delay Financial Meltdown

A recent report entitled Philadelphia, 5th Largest City in US is Effectively Bankrupt; Mayor Holds Closed Meeting With Wall Street to Discuss Asset Sales generated several emails from disgruntled people hoping to leave the area for the usual complaints: unions, schools, crime. One reader sent a link to a Philly.Com article by Joseph N. DiStefano titled Philly effort to keep well-known […]

Hard To Keep Up With Economically Illiterate Proposals

Editor’s Note: In a provocative recent book “The Great Rebalancing,” economist Michael Pettis writes “thanks to the internet, much of the best writing and debate has taken place in the modern equivalent of the nineteenth century’s pamphlets, broadsheets, and coffeehouse discussions – economic blogs. For many years the development and understanding of economic theory was […]

Update on Detroit’s Looming Bankruptcy

The hollowing out of Detroit is nearly complete. All that’s left is a bankrupt shell of a city with no services and scattered citizens that do not pay taxes. The Detroit News reports Half of Detroit Property Owners Don’t Pay Taxes Nearly half of the owners of Detroit’s 305,000 properties failed to pay their tax […]

How Unions Artificially Inflate Costs for Infrastructure

Inquiring minds are watching an excellent video on The Kudlow Report between Larry Kudlow and David Harkin. Harkin is the author of a study on US infrastructure and a professor at the University of North Carolina Charlotte. Partial Transcript Kudlow: President Obama wants to spend another $50 billion on repairs to our infrastructure. Do we […]

California Tax Revenue Surge Turns Out to be One-Time Anomaly

Last month writers were all aglow on the state of finances in California. For example … The Christian Science Monitor reported Surprise! California has a budget surplus Reuters reported California Governor’s budget has surprise: a surplus Accounting Anomaly Today we learn the surprise $5-billion bump in revenue in January is likely an accounting anomaly as […]

Unions Demand Special Exemptions From Obamacare

Obamacare, officially known as the “Affordable Care Act”, is quickly proving to be so unaffordable that neither businesses nor labor unions want anything to do with it. In increasing numbers, US business complain about ‘Obamacare’ costs (but they are not the only ones). David Dillon, chief executive of the Kroger supermarket chain, told the Financial […]

Illinois: Corporate Welfare State with a Unionized Government

Here’s an interesting email from John Tillman at the Illinois Policy Institute, a non-partisan watchdog of the ongoing mess in Illinois. Tillman’s source is an excellent article on Illinois Review written by Ben VanMetre, a Senior Budget and Tax Policy Analyst at the Illinois Policy Institute. Please consider a repost of Quinn’s Illinois: regulations and […]

At Least the Texans Know How Much They Owe

Editor’s Note: In this report by Mike Shedlock, which provides details from the recent Texas State Comptroller’s report entitled “Your Money and Local Debt,” you can see that in Texas, state and local government total outstanding debt combined equals $233.2 billion, which equates to nearly $9,000 for each and every one of the 26 million […]

Federal Court of Appeals Upholds Stripping of Collective Bargaining Rights of Public Unions

Those looking for excellent news in the midst of a clearly-souring global economy can find it in Wisconsin, where a Federal appeals court upholds Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s restrictions on public unions A federal appeals court on Friday upheld Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s contentious law stripping most public workers of nearly all of their collective […]

Social Security Trends and Data

Editor’s Note:  If you want links to core data on Social Security finance, this post by UnionWatch contributor Mike Shedlock is a good place to start. Shedlock correctly notes that during the most recent 12 months the Social Security program ran a deficit for the first time in history. The 2013 resumption of full 6.25% […]

Union Activist Threatens Michigan Governor

Courtesy of the Weekly Standard, please check out the following union thuggery: Pro-Union Activist Threatens the Michigan Governor: ‘We’ll Be at Your Daughter’s Soccer Game’ A speaker at a protest against Michigan’s right-to-work legislation said that Republican governor Rick Snyder will “get no rest” from pro-union activists if Snyder signs the bill into law. “Just […]

California’s Liberals Will Get All the Government They Want

On Tuesday voters in California went the wrong way on three propositions. Voters approved Proposition 30 “temporarily” increasing the state sales tax and income tax on individuals making over $250,000. They voted against Proposition 31 that would allow the governor to cut the budget in fiscal emergencies. They voted against Proposition 32 that would prevent […]

Illinois State Government Faces Insolvency

I just finished slogging through a 69 page PDF by the State Budget Crisis Task Force outlining the dire state of affairs in Illinois. I knew in advance that pension funding is the biggest issue facing Illinois. The task force shows exactly that. Here is a summary. Pension Funding Levels Teachers Retirement System (TRS) – […]

Atwater, California Faces Bankruptcy

The California hit parade keeps on rolling as yet Another California city scrambles to avoid bankruptcy. Atwater, a city of roughly 28,000 in California’s Central Valley, may declare a fiscal emergency as soon as next week, but it is trying to avoid becoming the fourth California city to file for municipal bankruptcy this year, its […]

Chicago Teachers Go on Strike

The average teacher in Chicago makes $76,000 a year for nine months of work. They were offered 16% salary increase spread over four years. Given the system has a $665 million deficit this year and a bigger one next year, I am wondering why there should be a raise at all. Nonetheless, the New York […]

Douglas County Colorado School Board Rebels Against Teachers Union

Three members of the Douglas County School Board have floated proposals to terminate dealings with teacher’s unions. Three board members proposed three separate ballot questions, each chipping away at what have been traditional district-union relationships in the affluent county south of Denver. Should the district be prohibited from using public funding for the compensation of […]

Syracuse New York Headed for Bankruptcy

Without a doubt Syracuse, New York is headed for bankruptcy. Not only is there an “official denial” but the mayor of Syracuse is seeking legal guidance on municipal bankruptcy. Once again, public union wages and benefits, especially police and firefighters’ pensions are smack in the midst of it. Please consider this news headline which I […]

Zombified Cities – The Consequences of Extreme Labor Costs

Space does not permit a complete discussion of zombified cities. Such a list would be in the many hundreds. Rather this post is about four cities in recent news that are among the walking dead. One is even a dumping ground for the dead. <strong>Fourth Financial Urgency in Miami in Four years</strong> The <em>Huffington Post</em> […]

San Bernardino Files Bankruptcy Petition

Fearing action by creditors, San Bernardino, California, Files Chapter 9 Bankruptcy Petition San Bernardino, California, after disclosing a $46 million shortfall in the city’s budget, filed for municipal bankruptcy. San Bernardino listed assets and debt of more than $1 billion in a filing yesterday with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Riverside, California. It’s the third […]

Flood of City Bankruptcies Coming

In a welcome, common sense ruling, Court lets Stockton, Calif. cut retiree health care A federal bankruptcy judge on Friday cleared the way for Stockton, California to cut health care benefits for retirees while it is in bankruptcy proceedings. Stockton is seeking Chapter 9 protection from its creditors and said that it would cut retiree […]