Focus on State and Local Government

Focus on State and Local Government

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In a January 11 commentary, Harvard economist Ed Glaeser observed that population growth has been faster in politically conservative states than progressive states, suggesting that people are attracted to conservative policies.

On January 5, the Census Bureau reported that state revenues fell 31 percent in 2009 over 2008.

On December 29, the Census Bureau released new data on the status of state and local government employee retirement systems.

In a December 21 commentary, Harvard economist Edward Glaeser argued that although he supports federalism, there are cases where the federal government must step in to prevent state malfeasance. Such a case would be where states misstate their pension liabilities, he says.

On December 13, the Mercatus Center published a working paper on how to properly calculate state pension liabilities. It urges greater uniformity in such calculations to prevent chronic underestimation of liabilities.

On December 11, UCLA law professor Kirk Stark posted a paper which found that many provisions of federal tax law contribute to the volatility of state revenues.

On December 6, the Tax Policy Center reported that 40 states have raised taxes in response to the falloff in revenue due to the economic downturn.

I last posted items on this topic on December 13.

Bruce Bartlett is an American historian and columnist who focuses on the intersection between politics and economics. He blogs daily and writes a weekly column at The Fiscal Times. Bartlett has written for Forbes Magazine and Creators Syndicate, and his work is informed by many years in government, including as a senior policy analyst in the Reagan White House. He is the author of seven books including the New York Times best-seller, Imposter: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy (Doubleday, 2006).

Bruce Bartlett’s columns focus on the intersection of politics and economics. The author of seven books, he worked in government for many years and was senior policy analyst in the Reagan White House.