Commentaries

from Rolfe Winkler:

Obama’s blowout budget

February 1, 2010

Now that the worst of the financial crisis is behind us, one would think the budget deficit might start to come down. Actually, no. Obama's proposed budget sets a new deficit record -- $1.6 trillion this year compared to $1.4 trillion last year.

California debt rush

September 2, 2009

Talk about a comeback. After a bruising budget fight that forced it to issue IOUs, California plans to sell as much as $10.5 billion in short-term debt later this month.

California’s topsy-turvy trickle-down

July 22, 2009

The proposed California budget is looking an awful lot like trickle-down economics. But instead of the classic theory of wealth at the top seeping down to the bottom, the budget would have the state push losses down the pecking order to local governments.

California IOUs don’t look so hot anymore

July 20, 2009

Reuters is reporting that California lawmakers are close to inking a deal to close the $26.3 billion budget gap. You know what that means: no more IOUs. So don’t expect to see the IOUs popping up on a trading screen near you.

A Timmid measure reinforces UK pensions apartheid

July 7, 2009

At the lower end of the income scale, Britain’s pensions apartheid is well established. Public sector workers are guaranteed an index-linked¬†pension based on their final salary, while private sector workers must just hope their contributions are enough to buy a decent income. Now it is to be applied at the top end as well.

California dreams shouldn’t include the federal government

June 30, 2009

Don’t underestimate the power of California, and its ability to suck in a reluctant federal government to bail it out of a fiscal mess of its own making.

California faces its moment of truth

June 29, 2009

agnes1The California budget impasse comes to a head one way or the other this week, with state¬†lawmakers needing to make nice by June 30 to close a $24 billion budget gap. If they don’t, rating agencies have threatened to downgrade the state’s credit ratings.