More children are likely to have increased access to educational options after state legislators across the U.S. advanced a slew of bills this year expanding school choice, according to several state-by-state surveys.
“This is a banner year for the educational choice movement. Hundreds of thousands of children nationwide will now have greater access to educational opportunities,” Jason Bedrick, director of policy at Ed Choice, a national nonprofit organization that promotes state-based educational choice programs, told The Center Square.
At least 50 school choice bills have been introduced in 30 states so far, designed to create or expand vouchers, tax-credit scholarships and education savings accounts, among other measures.
Along with a working vaccine, Joe Biden inherited a V-shaped economic recovery, but he is now planting the seeds of its destruction. Inflation, federal deficits, high taxes, incentives for workers to stay home, and incentives to avoid investment – they’re all coming back. Together, these elements create the perfect brew for a Lyndon Johnson-style stagflation. If Biden and the Democrats so quickly wreck the good economic path they were given, it will be one of the worst examples of government malpractice in U.S. economic history.
In the first, dark days of the COVID-19 national economic shutdown last spring, there was a clear need for major stimulus. Both parties united to pass an effective and much-needed response.
The U.S. gross domestic product saw a 33.4% surge in the July-September third quarter of 2020, after plunging 31.4% in the April-June second quarter. The economy continued to grow at a 4% rate in the fourth quarter, and the stock market (despite COVID) ended 2020 with the S&P 500 index up 16% for the year as a whole.
President Joe Biden touted a key part of his education initiative Monday, pushing for two years of free community college nationwide, but some critics question the long-term efficacy of his plan.
Biden spoke at Tidewater Community College in Norfolk, Virginia, to promote his proposal, which would provide, among other things, $109 billion for two years of tuition-free community college.
“Do we want to give the wealthiest people in America another tax cut, or do you want to give every high school graduate the ability to earn a community college degree?” Biden asked during his speech, arguing that 12 years of schooling is not long enough in the modern economy. “That’s why the American Families Plan guarantees four additional years of public education for every person in America – two years of universal, high-quality pre-school and two years of free community college.”
Rising Republican star U.S. Rep. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., is sponsoring a new measure that would give unprecedented tax cuts to parents with children, and now he is saying his bill is on the front line of the nation’s “culture war.”
The plan in question would give a fully refundable tax credit of $12,000 for married parents and $6,000 for single parents who have children under the age of 13.
“Starting a family and raising children should not be a privilege only reserved for the wealthy,” Hawley said. “Millions of working people want to start a family and would like to care for their children at home, but current policies do not respect these preferences. American families should be supported, no matter how they choose to care for their kids.”
A Chinese-born chemist who worked for Coca-Cola was found guilty Thursday of multiple spying-related charges including economic espionage and stealing trade secrets.
Xiaorong You, a Chinese-born American citizen, stole trade secrets related to the development of the bisphenol-A-free (BPA-free) coating found within soda cans and used it to start a new company in China, which subsequently received millions of dollars from the Chinese government in grants, the Department of Justice announced Thursday. The BPA-free technology trade secrets that You stole was worth almost $120 million.
Documents and evidence presented during You’s 12-day trial showed that she intended to benefit the Chinese Communist Party, the DOJ said. Dow Chemical, PPG Industries, Sherwin Williams and other major U.S. chemical corporations had developed the BPA-free technology that You stole.
President Joe Biden hosted a virtual climate summit with dozens of world leaders Thursday, the same day the White House released a set of aggressive climate goals. Critics say the plan could jeopardize the economy at a time it is recovering from record-breaking unemployment because of the pandemic and governments’ response to it.
First among those priorities is a pledge to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in half by the year 2030.
“The United States is not waiting, the costs of delay are too great, and our nation is resolved to act now,” the White House said in a statement. “Climate change poses an existential threat, but responding to this threat offers an opportunity to support good-paying, union jobs, strengthen America’s working communities, protect public health, and advance environmental justice.”
A group of Republican U.S. senators have unveiled a $568 billion plan that would look to rebuild and expand infrastructure nationwide and counter a more expensive proposal by President Joe Biden.
The GOP plan includes $299 billion for roads and bridges, $61 billion for public transit systems and $65 billion for broadband infrastructure. Also included in the plan is $20 billion for rail, $35 billion for drinking water and wastewater, $13 billion for safety, $17 billion in ports and inland waterways, $44 billion for airports and $14 billion for water storage.
Emphasized in the bill is the expediting of projects through regulatory processes and several measures to minimize new spending. The plan calls for repurposing federal COVID-19 relief funds that have remained unused, along with ensuring the federal debt is not increased.
In 2019, Florida homeowners accounted for 8.16 percent of the nation’s property insurance claims, but more than 76 percent of property insurance lawsuits lodged against insurers.
Pointing to this “disparity,” Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier in a five-page April 2 letter to House Commerce Committee Chair Rep. Blaise Ingoglia, R-Spring Hill, outlined four proposals to reduce property insurance litigation.
Insurers cite rampant litigation, ballooning reinsurance costs, “loss creep” from 2017-18 hurricanes and coastal flooding as a “perform storm” of coalescing factors leading to double-digit property insurance rate hikes that Florida businesses and 6.2 million homeowners are seeing or will see when renewing policies.
An estimated 46 million people — or 18% of the country — would be unable to pay for health care if they needed it today, a recent poll conducted by Gallup and West Health found.
In another survey by the Texas Public Policy Foundation, the majority of hospitals in the U.S. have yet to comply with a transparency ruling implemented this year that would help patients shop around for the most affordable prices.
Gallup’s findings are based on a poll conducted between February 15 and 21 among 3,753 adults with a margin of error of 2%.
The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims increased to 719,000 last week, even as the economy continues to slowly recover from the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of Labor.
The Bureau of Labor and Statistics figure released Thursday represented an increase in the number of new jobless claims compared to the week ending March 20, when 658,000 new jobless claims were reported. That number was revised down from the 684,000 jobless claims initially reported last week.
Roughly 18.2 million Americans continue to collect unemployment benefits, according to the report.
Virginia businesses will benefit from the federal government extending the deadline to apply for Paycheck Protection Program forgivable loans, according to associations representing industries.
With bipartisan support, federal lawmakers passed legislation to extend the loan application from March 31 to May 31 and give the Small Business Administration an additional 30 days to process the applications. The legislation is expected to be signed by President Joe Biden.
The loans allow businesses economically harmed by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic restrictions to borrow money from the federal government. If businesses use the money in accordance with federal guidelines, the loans will be forgiven, meaning that the businesses will not have to pay the money back.
Red states are leading economic growth in the U.S., a new report by the U. S. Commerce Department shows, with South Dakota, Texas and Utah reporting the highest growth.
The report is based on 2020 fourth quarter gross domestic product (GDP) data and February 2021 unemployment rates.
Real GDP increased in all 50 states and the District of Columbia in the fourth quarter of 2020. Real GDP for the U.S. as a whole increased at an annual rate of 4.3%. The percent change in real GDP in the fourth quarter ranged from 9.9% in South Dakota to 1.2% in the District of Columbia.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is directing $20.1 million in grants for 11 projects in the commonwealth to strengthen broadband infrastructure, his office announced Thursday.
The projects are designed to increase broadband connectivity throughout 17 localities. The projects will connect more than 13,400 establishments, which will include households, businesses and anchor institutions and is leveraging $18.8 million in private and local investments.
“Quality broadband service is key to growing our economy, and learning, competing, and succeeding in today’s digital world,” Northam said in a statement. “This funding will have an enormous impact on thousands on unserved Virginians and bring us closer to our goal of every community in our Commonwealth having access to high-speed internet.”
President Joe Biden said Thursday night that he is directing U.S. states to open COVID-19 vaccinations to all American adults by May 1 in an effort to more quickly reopen the country and prop up the staggering U.S. economy.
“To do this we’re going to go from a million shots a day … to 2 million shots a day,” he said.
In most U.S. states currently, only older Americans, front-line workers and those with pre-existing conditions are eligible, though getting scheduled for a first dose has been problematic in many states even for the most at-risk.
President Biden’s $1.9 trillion “American Rescue Plan” could soon become law.
The budget-busting legislation, sold as emergency COVID response and “stimulus,” passed the Senate over the weekend. But even the liberal-leaning fact-checking website PolitiFact is pointing out that almost all of the bill’s spending is unrelated to the health effects of COVID-19.
“Total spending directly on COVID-19’s health impacts ranges from $100 billion to $160 billion,” fact-checker Jon Greenberg writes. “At the high end, direct COVID-19 spending represents about 8.5% of the bill’s $1.9 trillion cost.”
Last summer, millions of dollars in taxpayer money were spent in response to protests that turned violent throughout Ohio. A bill proposed in the Ohio Senate looks to make sure those responsible will pay for it.
Senate Bill 41, currently being discussed by the Senate Judiciary Committee, calls for restitution from those who are convicted of property damage during riots, including vandalism. The restitution would pay the expenses of police and emergency crews who have to respond to riots. The bill also allows the government to take possession of any property left behind by those who end up convicted.
State Senator Tim Schaffer, R-Lancaster, is sponsoring the bill. Lou Tobin, the Executive Director of the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association, offered his support before the committee recently.
America’s economic freedom ranking has fallen to an all-time low, according to The Heritage Foundation’s 2021 Index of Economic Freedom.
The United States fell three places since last year and now ranks 20th in the world among countries evaluated, with an economic freedom score of 74.8 out of 100.
The 27th annual Index of Economic Freedom was released Thursday during a Heritage virtual event featuring Charles Payne, host of Fox Business’ “Making Money With Charles Payne.”
At least 13.9 million of the nation’s small businesses are at serious risk of shuttering their doors by April 1, a recent industry report found.
Forty-four percent of the country’s 31.7 million small businesses are at risk of closing by the end of the first quarter, according to small business group Alignable. Small businesses on the brink of closure expect to earn less revenue than their owners estimate is needed to stay afloat.
In another devastating blow from 2020, we sadly suffered the loss of Professor Walter E. Williams, a distinguished scholar of economics at George Mason University. While his nationally syndicated Townhall columns and stints on the Rush Limbaugh Show made him a household name, I knew him personally as my graduate microeconomics professor.
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) bemoaned President Trump’s “shot to the foot’” over tariffs on Fox News’ Journal Editorial Report. Tennessee’s senior senator, praising globalism, introduced the Automotive Jobs Act of 2018 Wednesday to delay the tariffs. He said, “Zero tariffs is exactly the right policy.” He also called for an…
by Luis Pablo De La Horra Milton Friedman is probably the most important free-market thinker of the twentieth century. His ideas in defense of capitalism and economic freedom had an enormous influence on the shift towards free-market policies that took place from the 1970s onwards. Countries like the UK, China,…
During Monday’s broadcast of The Gill Report – live on WETR 92.3 FM in Knoxville – conservative political commentator and Tennessee Star Political Editor Steve Gill questioned whether the left truly understands the dynamics of equality and economics and how mandating the rise of minimum wage may inadvertently deplete a human…
Media giant Gannett has compiled a list of what it says are the 50 worst cities to live in, and some of the top locations are towns where it operates newspapers, including two in Tennessee. USA TODAY compiled the list using data from 24/7 Wall Street, a website that publishes…
by Roger W. Garrison The economics of John Maynard Keynes as taught to university sophomores for the last several decades is now nearly defunct in theory but not in practice. Keynes’s 1936 book, The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money, portrayed the market as fundamentally unstable and touted government as…