Marriage is a great anti-poverty program. So why does government discourage it?

Marriage is one of the most effective anti-poverty programs around. But far too often, government assistance programs for people with low incomes discourage marriage, because tying the knot reduces government welfare assistance payments. . . . According to the Brookings Institution, the U.S. would have 25 percent less poverty today if we had the marriage […]

Read More

Illinois careens into financial meltdown – and not even the lottery is safe

Illinois is grappling with a full-fledged financial crisis and not even the lottery is safe – with Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner warning the state is entering “banana republic” territory. Facing billions in unpaid bills and pension obligations, the state is hitting a cash crunch that is rare even by Illinois standards. . . . But the problems are years in the making, caused in large in part by the state’s poorly funded pension system— which led Moody’s Investors Services to downgrade the credit rating to the lowest of any state. The state currently has $130 billion in unfunded pension obligations, and a backlog of unpaid bills worth $13 billion.

Read More

California Drivers Brace for Costly New Gasoline Tax

Californians already pay the nation’s second highest gas tax at 68 cents a gallon — and now it will go up again in January to pay for a first-in-the-nation climate change law.

Read More

Shale Oil Deposit A Possible Boon to Struggling California

A vast, untapped oil reserve in California is emerging as perhaps one of the state’s best opportunities to improve its still struggling economy, but exploration and production efforts face resistance from the powerful environmental lobby and Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration, which appears not fully sold on the potential.

Read More