As we approach Thanksgiving, you may have heard (or personally experienced) that the cost of Thanksgiving…
CFIF on Twitter CFIF on YouTube
Stat of the Day: Thanksgiving Costs Up a Record 20%, but Prescription Drug Prices Decline

As we approach Thanksgiving, you may have heard (or personally experienced) that the cost of Thanksgiving dinner this year is up a record 20%.

Meanwhile, guess what's actually declined in price, according to the federal government itself.  That would be prescription drug prices, which declined 0.1% last month alone.

Perhaps the Biden Administration should focus on helping everyday Americans afford Thanksgiving, rather than artificially imposing innovation-killing government price controls on lifesaving drugs, which are actually declining in price and nowhere near the inflation rate afflicting other consumer costs.…[more]

November 17, 2022 • 11:48 AM

Liberty Update

CFIFs latest news, commentary and alerts delivered to your inbox.
Jester's Courtroom Legal tales stranger than stranger than fiction: Ridiculous and sometimes funny lawsuits plaguing our courts
The Public Pension Time Bomb: Coming Soon to a State Near You Print
By Troy Senik
Thursday, July 15 2010
With unfunded pension liabilities of approximately $500 billion...the nation’s most populous state has backed itself into a corner from which it cannot escape.

In this age of fiscal sophistry, the language of public finance is riddled with economic alchemy. The federal government moves $877 billion from Washington’s coffers to those of its most favored interest groups and calls it “stimulus.” The Speaker of the House declares that unemployment benefits serve as “one of the biggest stimuleses [sic] to our economy” – a perverse formulation by which growth is contingent on impoverished Americans spending what little money they have as quickly as possible. Even President Obama’s fiscally reckless health care entitlement is sold as an “investment” that will produce “long-term savings.”
 
But what each of these polices lack in economic sensibility they make up for in reversibility. The stimulus is mercifully self-extinguishing. Unemployment benefits can be restructured or, more hopefully, reduced through an improving labor market. Even ObamaCare may yet be reformed or even repealed.
 
No such luxury presents itself in the case of the nation’s public pensions, which are perilously close to creating a fiscal doomsday unlike anything the nation has ever seen. And here the rhetorical dishonesty is even more pronounced. What has been sold as a promise of financial security threatens to tear apart the infrastructure of public finance in our most profligate states. The beneficiaries are thus being promised a golden throne in a demolished castle.
 
On the topic of things that are not as golden as they seem, California is, as always, the cautionary example du jour. With unfunded pension liabilities of approximately $500 billion (which is to say more than 25 times the amount of the deficit currently bringing the state to a political and economic standstill), the nation’s most populous state has backed itself into a corner from which it cannot escape.
 
Though liberals (who are usually more concerned with extinguishing the sentiment behind pension reform than acknowledging the facts behind it) like to point to the current recession as the culprit in creating this yawning financial gap, that explanation leaves something to be desired. True, California’s two largest pension funds did lose nearly $100 billion between them in 2009. But that doesn’t obviate the state government’s responsibility for increasing pensions for public safety workers by 20-50 percent in the last decade. And with a business climate recently ranked worst in the nation by over 600 CEOs, the Golden State has little prospect of growing itself out of the hole.
 
Despite the best efforts of those who’d like to quarantine the madness, however, California looks to be a leading indicator. As Northwestern University professor Joshua Rauh has noted, “half the states’ pension funds could run out of money by 2025.”  And with a federal government staring at $14 trillion in debt, the states shouldn’t expect relief from Washington anytime soon.
 
None of these numbers have been kept secret in the recent past. Economists have been warning of an entitlement tsunami for decades. But perhaps where cold, hard reason has failed, theater can suffice. One need only look to the bonfire of the public sector vanities sweeping Greece to know where this road ends. Whether the states summon the courage to act in time will be dispositive. There are no second chances to be a first-rate nation.

Quiz Question   
The first U.S. oil-producing well was founded in 1859 near which of the following towns?
More Questions
Notable Quote   
 
"Florida is divesting from investment giant BlackRock, becoming the latest state to pull assets from the firm over its environment, social, and governance (ESG) policies.The Sunshine State's chief financial officer, Jimmy Patronis, announced Thursday that the Florida Treasury would immediately begin removing roughly $2 billion in assets from BlackRock's control in a process that should be completed…[more]
 
 
—Breck Dumas, Fox Business
— Breck Dumas, Fox Business
 
Liberty Poll   

Congress is debating adding $45 billion more than requested to defense spending for 2023. Considering a fragile economy and geopolitical threats, do you support or oppose that increase?