Texas’ debt obligations have state headed for hard financial times

Robert Montoya | Texas Scorecard | July 30, 2021

By Robert Montoya, includes “Because of irresponsible spending practices by elected officials, Texas is $97 billion in debt."

Chicago finances worsened by $2 billion during pandemic despite federal funds

Courtney Houtz | American News Observer | July 29, 2021

TIA press release, includes … “Although the city's grants and contributions increased from $497 million in 2019 to $1.17 billion in 2020 due to the CARES Act and other COVID-19 related grants, the city’s pension and retiree health care debt also continued to increase. … ‘Because of its dire financial condition going into the pandemic, aid from the federal government was needed to prop up the city’s finances,’ says Sheila Weinberg, founder and CEO of Truth in Accounting. …”

Coalition urges fiscal restraint on infrastructure package

Nan Swift | R Street Institute | July 21, 2021

Coalition letter signed by 20+ organizations, includes “… Taxpayers would be better served by a legislative package that focuses on traditional infrastructure."

Illinois public pensions plans are 32.9% funded, 2nd lowest in US

The Center Square | Cities Talk FM 92.9 (Illinois) | July 20, 2021

Includes “The funded ratio of the Illinois public pension plans is estimated at 39 percent, the second-lowest percentage among the 50 states."

In Biden’s America, everyone is entitled to everything

Stephen Moore | Washington Examiner | July 19, 2021

Op-ed by Stephen Moore, includes “Despite its liberal tendencies, the Washington Post editorial board once acknowledged that in a democracy, ‘everyone can't be entitled to everyone else's money.’"

New York City taxpayers owe $85,400 each in city debt burden

Adam Andrzejewski | RealClear Policy | July 19, 2021

By Adam Andrzejewski, includes “… That $85,400 number is stark because regular citizens could never pay that kind of government debt."

Too much money chasing too few goods and services, Part II

Bill Bergman | Bill’s Blog | July 15, 2021

Includes “… Some have questioned whether the G (Government Spending) belongs there at all, from an opportunity cost perspective, as government spending relies on taxes or borrowing money that could have been spent by somebody else. But let’s put that interesting debate aside and consider whether what is good for the goose is good for the gander. If GDP should include government spending, should our government do a better job of including the cost of government in its measures of the cost of living?”

Chicago struggles financially despite federal cash, watchdog says

The Center Square | KPVI News (Illinois) | July 14, 2021

Includes “Despite an influx of federal taxpayer dollars going to the city of Chicago during the COVID-19 pandemic, an analysis of the city’s finances by Truth In Accounting said the city’s position worsened. The city saw federal funds of nearly $1.2 billion during the previous fiscal year. But the city’s debts continued to increase, the group says. By Truth In Accounting’s review, the city needs $38.7 billion to pay its bills.”

The Fed says it stabilizes the economy. I’m skeptical

Bill Bergman | Mises Institute | July 13, 2021

By Bill Bergman, includes “Before, during, and after the 2007–09 financial crisis, the masthead of the Federal Reserve Board’s main webpage included the following assertion right below its name at the top of the page … ‘The Federal Reserve, the central bank of the United States, provides the nation with a safe, flexible and stable monetary and financial system.’ ”

Wirepoints

Mark Glennon | Look below the surface on Chicago’s new financial statements | July 9, 2021

By Mark Glennon, includes “The city’s financial report also appears to have been distorted by the ridiculously obfuscated ‘deferral accounts’ that have become common in government accounting in the past few years. I can’t claim to have figured them out and I am not alone, so I checked in with Sheila Weinberg and Bill Bergman at Truth in Accounting, which specializes in dissecting government financials. Here’s what they said …”

Some skeptical of Pritzker’s statements about bond upgrades

Kevin Bessler | Advantage News | July 9, 2021

By Kevin Bessler (Illinois Radio Network), includes “Ted Dabrowski, president of the nonprofit fiscal watchdog Wirepoints, said the upgrade is deceiving. ‘The only reason that we got an upgrade from Moody’s is because we were flooded with almost $150 billion in money from the federal government,’ Dabrowski said. ‘That is the reason we got an upgrade, not because the government is doing anything better today.’ …”

Our opinion: Illinois financial picture still isn’t improving

Editorial | Dubuque Telegraph Herald (Iowa) | July 7, 2021

Editorial, includes “For the first time in 23 years, Illinois’ credit rating actually improved, thanks to what Moody’s Investors Service considers a stronger state budget. … But let’s not get too excited. … Although Gov. J.B. Pritzker hailed the announcement as a convincing indication of Illinois’ improving economy, that might be overstating it. …”

Illinois receives first upgrade from Moody’s in more than 2 decades

Kevin Bessler | The Center Square (Illinois) | July 6, 2021

By Kevin Bessler, includes “… ‘It's ironic that Illinois government officials are claiming their financial management is responsible for the turn in fortune, when a widespread public calamity coupled with their own edicts unleashed a massive federal bailout. In some ways, this is even more disgusting than government's responsibility for, and reaction to, the 2008-2009 financial crisis,’ Bergman said.”

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