“Unions like to portray such reforms as GOP assaults on labor, but Garden State Democrats are demonstrating that saving taxpayer money isn’t always partisan.”

Republican Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey and the state’s top two Democratic leaders struck a deal on Wednesday to modify public employee retirement and health benefits, which would save the state at least $122 billion over the next 30 years. Unions like to portray such reforms as GOP assaults on labor, but Garden State Democrats are demonstrating that saving taxpayer money isn’t always partisan.

Thanks to union giveaways by governors of both parties, New Jersey’s pension system is running a $54 billion unfunded liability. Joshua Rauh, a finance professor at Northwestern University’s business school, last year forecast that the system would go broke in 2018 without reform.

While the compromise with Democrats scales back Mr. Christie’s original proposal, it’s still a large step in the right direction. The deal would raise the retirement age for new workers to 65 from 62, and increase pension contributions to 7.5% from 5.5% for state workers and to 10% from 8.5% for public safety officers. The legislation would also suspend annual cost of living adjustments until the fund reaches a more healthy status. This provision alone could reduce retirees’ pension value by 30% over the next decade. TEXT

Latino Dems Should Rethink Loyalty

By Joel KotkinSeptember 26 2010
Appearing in:
Politico

Given the awful state of the economy, it’s no surprise that Democrats are losing some support among Latinos. But they can still consider the ethnic group to be in their pocket. Though Latinos have not displayed the lock-step party loyalty of African-Americans, they still favor President Barack Obama by 57 percent, according to one Gallup Poll — down just 10 percentage points from his high number early in the administration.

This support is particularly unusual, given that probably no large ethnic group in America has suffered more than Latinos from the Great Recession. This is true, in large part, because Latino employment is heavily concentrated in manufacturing, and even more so in construction.

A half-million Latino workers in the construction sector — in which their share of the work force is double what it is in the broader economy — have lost their jobs since the start of the recession.

Unfortunately, the Obama stimulus plan was light on physical infrastructure. It favored Wall Street, public-sector unions and large research universities. Big winners included education and health services — in which Latinos are under-represented.

Not surprisingly, Latino communities across the country are in trouble. Today, of the 10 most economically “stressed” counties, seven are majority or heavily Latino, according to The Associated Press.

Theoretically, Republicans should be able to take advantage of this situation. But not with the party’s increasing embrace of its noisy nativist right — evident not only in support of the controversial Arizona immigration law but also in the strong move against “birthright citizenship.” This makes the prospect of earning back President George W. Bush’s 40-plus-percentage-point support difficult at best. Click here to read more.

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Behold the Inmates who are Running the Asylum: Nasty, Vulgar, Crass. Your Public Servants in all their Noble Glory.


How about an apology, and another, and another. Hope this goes on the air, everywhere.

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Dems release their inner totalitarian

OrangePunch Liberty Blog
August 7th, 2009, 1:32 pm
posted by Steven Greenhut
I guess it’s not a surprise that President Barack Obama and Democratic leaders (with the help of their union goons) are trying to intimidate Americans into silence. They believe that the government should provide health care, even if it means long lines and other forms of rationing, and they therefore think that those Americans who show up at town hall meetings to protest their latest step down that path are Nazis, Republican hacks and lack civility. It would be so much better if people who fear the loss of their health care, or at least its provision in DMV-style agencies would be more polite and just go home and shut up. When the union gangs showed up at the meetings to show what real thuggery is about … well, that’s OK.

Personally, I prefer the current situation, whereby the Democrats are overreaching and are showing their totalitarian tendencies to the public (complete with a call for people to turn in improper anti-health-care information to a White House email address, where the authorities will look into the matter), rather than the alternative, which would have been a John McCain health-care plan that went 70 percent down the road that the Great Leader Obama is taking us. Had that happened, the GOP would have been strong-armed into supporting their Great Leader and the Democrats would have jumped on board and passed it, all the while decrying how insufficient the McCain health-care plan happened to be. In other words, the Dems are bungling this because they truly believe that their opponents (average Americans) are Nazis and fools. So it won’t pass. The Republicans would have passed something that wasn’t quite as bad but was still pretty bad. This is an opportunity for advocates of freedom to stop a bad plan in its tracks and reframe the health-care debate. Click here to continue

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