MacIver News Service | August 2, 2019
The dog days of summer are upon us, but life never slows down for the fiscal conservative. Whether you missed the news cycle and are recovering from a bizarre MLB trade deadline or enjoying the lovely weather, keep up with all things MacIver on Twitter.
This week, the Federal Reserve officially cut interest rates; the middle class is actually getting richer; and Bernie gave his staff a $15 minimum wage at a cost.
Before you cheer on the final stretch for the Brew Crew, here are some important articles for the fiscal conservative, in case you missed it.
The Federal Reserve decided to cut interest rates into the target territory of 2.0 percent to 2.25 percent for the first time since 2008. This decision, after months of uncertainty and pressure from President Trump, aims to maintain the current economic growth and steady the economy in case of a recession. This lower interest rate is expected to strengthen small businesses, encouraging investment as a result of lower capital borrowing costs.
Left-wing politicians continue to push the false narrative that the middle class is getting poorer. AEI scholar Mark Perry debunks that talking point, which shows those making more than $100,000 a year has tripled since 1967. Meanwhile those considered low income and making less than $35,000 has decreased from 37 percent of Americans to 29.5 percent since 1967. Politicians are right that the middle class is shrinking, but in general they are getting richer, not poorer.
Democratic presidential candidate and socialist Bernie Sanders continues to push a $15 minimum wage, but his campaign staffers were making around $13 an hour with a 60 hour work week. In response to disgruntled staffers on this hypocrisy, Bernie decided to enact his own policy on his campaign, but it came at a cost. In order to pay $15 an hour, he had to cut staffers’ work hours, so there is no real increase in money earned. Bernie’s grand plan does not work, even on his own campaign – if only he had read MacIver’s recent report on the minimum wage.
Many state pension plans face severe underfunding, with the average funding level at only 72.1 percent. But the Wisconsin Retirement System is the only pension system with a funding ratio of above 100 percent. In a special guest column, Wisconsin’s own Kerri Seyfert, an intern at the Reason Foundation, outlines what Wisconsin did to create a pension system that is self-sustainable.
The progressive group, Indivisible, came out with a plan that would transform the U.S. government as we know it. Their first hope is to seize complete control over the government after the 2020 elections. They then wish to roll out radical leftist reforms across the nation. This includes granting statehood for D.C. and Puerto Rico, widely expanding who has the ability to vote, and creating new seats on the Supreme Court with term limits.
The governor of Illinois signed a massive gas tax increase that will hike gas prices immediately across the state and discourage the purchase of gasoline. In Wisconsin, DOT Secretary Secretary Craig Thompson still insists on raising the gas despite an influx of new money for his department, as well as the growth of electric vehicles. A gas tax is not the most effective way to raise revenue anymore, and people will continue to find ways around paying it. Wisconsin should not follow the poor policy decisions of their southern neighbors.