With the 2006 elections quickly approaching, a small group of highly energized right-wing activists are working hard to export a failed policy from Colorado to other states around the nation. The idea is known variously as the Taxpayers' Bill of Rights (TABOR), the Stop OverSpending Amendment (SOS), or as Tax and Spending Control (TASC). Fundamentally, though, all of the amendments boil down to a single policy idea: arbitrarily capping increases in state spending based on only two factors -- population growth and the consumer price index.
Hawaii is the latest state moving in that direction with a proposed Hawaii Innovations Fund which could grow to $200 million in government funds over four years to invest in Hawaii's renewable energy, life science and technology companies.
An old rule of politics is to not let the perfect be the enemy of the
good. A new corrolary may be: Be wary of letting the good become the
enemy of the perfect. In both Michigan and Pennsylvania, conservatives reading the polls are looking to defuse a ticking political time-bomb: the minimum wage.
North Carolina was the first state to pass a law reining in shady
predatory lending practices, such as steep prepayment penalties,
balloon payments and the sale of high-cost loans to borrowers who could
qualify for lower rates. Soon a number of other states followed with
similar laws and the result, according to a new study, is that homeowners now save $9.1 billion per year.