Topic: Public Finance
News
Sept. 8, 2017

The Nixon episode shows, says Mr. Cogan, that entitlements have been the main cause of America’s rising national debt since the early 1970s. Mr. Trump’s pact with the Democrats is part of a pattern: “The debt ceiling has to be raised this year because elected representatives have again failed to take action to control entitlement spending.” . . . Can an entitlement expansion, once granted, ever be taken back? Mr. Cogan refuses to say “never,” but says such rescindments “occur under rather extraordinary circumstances.” He offers a remarkable example: “You might ask, ‘Who achieved the largest reduction in any entitlement in the history of the country?’ Well, surprisingly, it was FDR, a person whom we normally associate with launching the modern era of entitlements.”

News
Sept. 7, 2017

Some mistake the corporate income tax as the entirety of a business’s tax burden. However, businesses pay many types of taxes outside of the corporate income tax, including sales tax, property tax, excise tax, payroll tax, and more. The corporate income tax makes up only 9.5 percent of total business taxes.

Today’s map shows how much state governments collect in corporate income taxes per capita. New Hampshire collects the most at $433 per capita, with Delaware shortly behind at $424 per capita. Delaware also levies a gross receipts tax in addition to the corporate income tax. Alaska’s ranking of fifth highest in the country may surprise people, but it is mainly due to a large number of extractive companies and the relatively small population.

News
Sept. 5, 2017

Concern over soaring tuition rates and ballooning student debt has propelled a rapidly expanding campaign for free public higher education at the local, state and even national level. In California, lawmakers, gubernatorial candidates and education advocates are among those pushing for ways to get rid of fees and other costs for some students.

News
Sept. 2, 2017

A state Senate bill to allow local authorities to place a 1/8-cent sales tax for Caltrain on the ballot in Santa Clara, San Francisco and San Mateo counties cleared the Assembly on Friday, pushing it close to the finish line. Senate Bill 797, by Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, is part of an effort to raise $100 million annually for the popular train that shuttles more than 60,000 riders on weekdays up and down the Peninsula between San Francisco and San Jose.

News
Sept. 1, 2017

California safety regulators for the first time publicly posted safety ratings for the hundreds of dams under state jurisdiction on Friday, bowing to public pressure for more transparency after the failure of the Oroville Dam spillway in Feburary. Eight percent of dams under jurisdiction of the Division of Safety of Dams have deficiencies that keep them from being rated satisfactory, which is state’s the highest rating. Eleven of 229 dams in Los Angeles and five surrounding counties show up on the state’s list with a rating of fair or poor.

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