There has been a great deal of talk in recent years among Washington’s professional politicians about making government more transparent. President Barack Obama famously promised during his 2008 campaign that all deliberations on his landmark Obamacare health reform law would be televised on C-SPAN. When it came time to actually write the law and do the hard bargaining to get it through Congress, however, there were no C-SPAN cameras behind the closed doors where the action was. Read More
Thanks to the debt-ceiling deal that sailed through Congress and was signed Tuesday by President Barack Obama, the federal government will spend slightly less on domestic discretionary programs in 2012 than it did in 2011. This will be the first such annual decrease in federal outlays since the Korean War. Read More
Assuming President Barack Obama and congressional leaders do reach a deal on the debt limit, taxpayers should carefully assess both the spending and revenue sides of the resulting federal budget.
Politicians will likely herald the revenue “enhancers” in the agreement as the most significant. But that’s the wrong way to look at a problem that’s fundamentally a product of the federal government spending too much, not taxing too little. Read More
With or without an agreement from labor unions, Mayor Ed Lee will introduce a proposal Tuesday for the November ballot that would rein in San Francisco’s skyrocketing pension costs, City Hall sources said.
Lee has just six days to solidify an agreement with labor unions before the May 24 deadline to submit a charter amendment to the Board of Supervisors for placement on the Nov. 8 ballot. While both sides have for months insisted a deal is close, consensus has remained elusive. Read More
No-bid government contracts generally make for dirty public policy, and this includes the agreement for The City’s garbage collection monopoly, held for decades by the company first known as Sunset Scavengers and then as Norcal Waste and since 2009 as Recology.
Despite voters in 1993 and 1994 strongly rejecting measures to reopen the competitive bidding for San Francisco trash hauling, Supervisor David Campos is trying again with a November ballot measure. Read More