Rolling Back Excessive Public Pensions (Townhall.com) July 25, 2011Posted by daviddavenport in Radio Commentaries.
Cities and states that were already under water financially are beginning to
drown in public pension obligations. Estimates range as high as $3 trillion in unfunded debt, with some cities paying as much as 70-80 percent of their budgets to pensions.
Governors and legislators traded political support from public employee unions for overly generous pensions, and now those fringe benefits have become entitlements.
Economically the tide has turned and in some states—such asWisconsin,Indiana,OhioandNew Jersey—the political tide has turned as well.
Finally, two recent court decisions inColoradoandMinnesotasay that it is legal to roll back certain pension benefits, denying the union argument that these pensions are now contracts that cannot be changed. It will take political courage and help from strong judges turn this mess around.
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Public Employees by the Number (Townhall.com) July 22, 2011Posted by daviddavenport in Radio Commentaries.
Seemingly out of nowhere came the unbelievable expenses of public employee
pensions. But there are some other numbers we should focus on, especially how many employees it takes to serve the public.
In San Jose, California, just to the south of me, there are 6,000 city employees—or one for every 158 residents. But a smaller city just to the north, San Franciscohas five times more city employees—or one for every 27 residents. The mayor of Detroit says he can’t drastically reduce his work force, but he has 1 employee per 55 city residents.
How about your city? Perhaps Mayors Dave Bing of Detroit or Ed Lee of San Francisco need to send delegations to Indianapolis, Forth Worth, Charlotte or any number of cities that have learned to operate leaner in these difficult times.
The Changing Family (Townhall.com) July 15, 2011Posted by daviddavenport in Radio Commentaries.
Take a guess. What percentage ofCaliforniachildren would you say grow up in a
traditional household—with one male and one female parent married to each other? New data from the U.S. Census says the answer is just 23 percent of households.
Instead is a host of new living arrangements: single-parent households (up 20 percent since the last census), same-sex households (up 25 percent), unmarried opposite sex partners and so forth.
But what does this mean for children? Shuttling back and forth between parents? Greater financial pressures? Studies still show that kids born to unmarried parents or raised in single-parent households are more likely to be poor and more likely to commit crimes.
Since these changes have taken place so recently, research does not yet have answers. But I fear that new freedoms and structures in families may not bode well for children.
To hear the audio click on this link:
Superman, Citizen of the World (Townhall.com) July 5, 2011Posted by daviddavenport in Radio Commentaries.
Perhaps you missed Action Comics #900, but Superman has renounced his
American citizenship, saying “truth, justice and the American way—it’s not enough anymore.” Now he wants to be a “citizen of the world.”
But according to Hoover Fellow Bill Damon, this is a problem for American young people. American values and patriotism have given way to a vague sense of global citizenship. In Damon’s new book, Failing Civics 101, he points out the crisis of American young people, who are no longer taught to value country and civic purpose and no longer willing to engage in the fight for freedom and democracy.
Not only are we failing to prepare young people with basic civic knowledge, but also with civic purpose and commitment. This does not bode well for the future of “truth, justice and the American way.”
To listen to the audio: