2011 January FIRE Policy News

Issue Date: 
January, 2011
Newspaper PDF: 

The January issue of FIRE Policy News reports that cash from the federal government is now the largest revenue source for state and local governments, surpassing sales and property taxes. Fed monies include funding for education, housing, Medicaid, and other state programs.

Also in this issue:

  • A new Illinois law banning employers from using credit scores in hiring decisions has led to strong debates over whether the common practice is a fair measure of an applicant’s eligibility.
  • Many people have been singing the praises of the Federal Reserve’s new round of “quantitative easing” to the tune of nearly $1 trillion, but prominent critics warn the Fed’s plan risks “currency debasement and inflation.”
  • The Federal Reserve is moving to involve government more deeply in credit card regulation, unveiling plans in October to tighten several regulations and block some industry practices.
  • Florida voters on Election Day overwhelmingly rejected a constitutional amendment that would have required a local referendum on each and every proposed change in city, town, and county comprehensive land-use plans.
  • U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has been pressing China to raise the value of its currency, but some economists and policy experts say his complaints amount to scapegoating Beijing for economic problems the United States and other Western nations have brought on themselves.
  • Government unemployment insurance funds across the country are running low, with several states, including Maryland and Rhode Island, considering either tax increases or calling for federal bailouts to generate additional funding.

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