Election ’07: Lessons Learned
Tuesday’s elections proved once again that all politics is local as voters in three states soundly rejected governors’ pet projects and others put big-ticket spending items on the state’s credit card while providing possible clues to the voters’ mood for ’08. Also a graphic look at the before and after in three states where the entire legislatures were up for grabs.
Thompson Stands with GOP Rank and File during First Debate
In his first appearance on a debate stage with his rivals for the Republican nomination, the former Tennessee senator stuck to very traditional — and very popular — positions among his party’s voters.
Florida is Test Bed for Medicaid Overhaul
Halfway through a two-year test run, Florida’s nationally acclaimed pilot program to introduce competition to its Medicaid program has met mixed success.
Governors Expect Tighter Budgets in 2008
Only three states ran into red ink this year, while more than half sailed through with higher-than-expected revenues. States overall are finishing a spending spree, but the best revenue picture in six years may be behind them.
Surge in Support for Social Safety Net
Support for government programs to help disadvantaged Americans, as well as sympathy for the plight of the poor, have surged since 1994 and returned to levels last seen in 1990 prior to welfare reform, with gains occurring among virtually every major social, political and demographic group.
Vouchers See Mixed Success This Session
After a string of successes, voucher advocates see setbacks in this year’s legislative session.
Want to Buy the Brooklyn Bridge?
It’s not for sale yet, but in the latest trend of revenue generating strategies, states have taken to selling off, leasing out and cashing in on some of their most valuable assets, primarily toll roads. Several big deals were consummated in 2006, including a $3.8 billion deal in Indiana to lease a state toll road to a private Australian-Spanish consortium.
The Complicated Politics of Free Trade
Crafting effective U.S. trade policies in an era of rapid economic globalization is tough. But the politics of free trade are even tougher — particularly for Democrats, according to a recent national survey conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.
Free Trade Agreements Get a Mixed Review
The American public continues to have a mixed opinion about free trade agreements such as NAFTA and the WTO. On balance they are seen as a good thing for the country, but Americans are divided over the impact of free trade agreements on their own personal financial situations.
Addicted to Gambling
Although a handful of states are moving this year to ban certain types of electronic gambling machines, experts say tax-averse states are growing increasingly dependent on gambling revenues while ignoring the social cost of problem gamblers.