Steven Greenhut

Business & Economics

What’s keeping state in sorry shape

SACRAMENTO – Technically speaking, it’s not hard to figure out how to solve California’s permanent fiscal crisis – if you just ignore the political mountains that would have to be moved to implement the fixes. A few good starting points: imposing a strict spending limit on legislators, reducing pension benefits …

Business & Economics

Now You Should Be Really Fiscally Afraid in California

If you really want to be scared, you need to listen to the types of people who are now sounding the alarm bells. I’m a libertarian, and it’s not a surprise to hear me warn about the ill effects of government spending. But listen to what former California Assembly Speaker …

Business & Economics

Class War

How public servants became our masters In April 2008, The Orange County Register published a bombshell of an investigation about a license plate program for California government workers and their families. Drivers of nearly 1 million cars and light trucks—out of a total 22 million vehicles registered statewide—were protected by …

Business & Economics

PRI’s CalWatchdog Seeks to Expose Waste, Fraud and Abuse in the State

Sixteen years ago, as a building and remodeling editor for Better Homes and Gardens magazine in Des Moines, I desperately wanted to get my opinions heard – not the ones about the latest kitchen remodeling or home addition, but about the hot political debates of the day. I had little …

Business & Economics

Califailure: Steven Greenhut on the governor

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s final State of the State Address, delivered Wednesday in the Capitol, was a microcosm of his entire failed administration. It was a reminder that those who govern the nation’s most populous state have no clue how to solve the fiscal mess they have created, are drunk on …

Business & Economics

2010 initiatives: good, bad and silly

Any reform that will actually help fix the ongoing California government’s fiscal mess (serious spending limits, pension reform, limits on union power, cutbacks in the size of state government, educational privatization, etc.) cannot possibly pass, given political realities. Anything that can actually pass will not fix anything – or might …

Business & Economics

Misguided move to the middle

As a believer in limited government, free markets and low taxes, I rarely find myself in agreement with the state’s liberal Democrats, and my libertarian bent sometimes puts me at odds with conservative Republicans, at least when it comes to their approach to law-and-order and social issues. But both factions …

Business & Economics

We’re increasingly ruled by rules

To the extent that anyone still thinks about the former Soviet Union and its satellite communist states, they understandably think about the suffocating oppression – the Berlin Wall, the gulags, the KGB, the political prisoners, the persecution of religious people and minorities. Yet, in talking to refugees from that nightmarish …

Business & Economics

Frosting on an already-sweet pension deal

When people have an entitlement mentality, enough is never enough. Even though government employees enjoy absurdly generous defined-benefit pensions that often allow them to retire with 80 percent to 90 percent of their final year’s pay guaranteed forever, employees game the system by taking advantage of various pension-spiking schemes. A …

Business & Economics

Derailing public pension gravy train

Orange County Register (CA), November 22, 2009 Defenders of government employees’ current retirement system depict critics as haters of government workers who want public “servants” to spend their retirement years eating cat food and living in dire poverty. That’s the response I always get when I point to the absurdity …

Business & Economics

What’s keeping state in sorry shape

SACRAMENTO – Technically speaking, it’s not hard to figure out how to solve California’s permanent fiscal crisis – if you just ignore the political mountains that would have to be moved to implement the fixes. A few good starting points: imposing a strict spending limit on legislators, reducing pension benefits …

Business & Economics

Now You Should Be Really Fiscally Afraid in California

If you really want to be scared, you need to listen to the types of people who are now sounding the alarm bells. I’m a libertarian, and it’s not a surprise to hear me warn about the ill effects of government spending. But listen to what former California Assembly Speaker …

Business & Economics

Class War

How public servants became our masters In April 2008, The Orange County Register published a bombshell of an investigation about a license plate program for California government workers and their families. Drivers of nearly 1 million cars and light trucks—out of a total 22 million vehicles registered statewide—were protected by …

Business & Economics

PRI’s CalWatchdog Seeks to Expose Waste, Fraud and Abuse in the State

Sixteen years ago, as a building and remodeling editor for Better Homes and Gardens magazine in Des Moines, I desperately wanted to get my opinions heard – not the ones about the latest kitchen remodeling or home addition, but about the hot political debates of the day. I had little …

Business & Economics

Califailure: Steven Greenhut on the governor

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s final State of the State Address, delivered Wednesday in the Capitol, was a microcosm of his entire failed administration. It was a reminder that those who govern the nation’s most populous state have no clue how to solve the fiscal mess they have created, are drunk on …

Business & Economics

2010 initiatives: good, bad and silly

Any reform that will actually help fix the ongoing California government’s fiscal mess (serious spending limits, pension reform, limits on union power, cutbacks in the size of state government, educational privatization, etc.) cannot possibly pass, given political realities. Anything that can actually pass will not fix anything – or might …

Business & Economics

Misguided move to the middle

As a believer in limited government, free markets and low taxes, I rarely find myself in agreement with the state’s liberal Democrats, and my libertarian bent sometimes puts me at odds with conservative Republicans, at least when it comes to their approach to law-and-order and social issues. But both factions …

Business & Economics

We’re increasingly ruled by rules

To the extent that anyone still thinks about the former Soviet Union and its satellite communist states, they understandably think about the suffocating oppression – the Berlin Wall, the gulags, the KGB, the political prisoners, the persecution of religious people and minorities. Yet, in talking to refugees from that nightmarish …

Business & Economics

Frosting on an already-sweet pension deal

When people have an entitlement mentality, enough is never enough. Even though government employees enjoy absurdly generous defined-benefit pensions that often allow them to retire with 80 percent to 90 percent of their final year’s pay guaranteed forever, employees game the system by taking advantage of various pension-spiking schemes. A …

Business & Economics

Derailing public pension gravy train

Orange County Register (CA), November 22, 2009 Defenders of government employees’ current retirement system depict critics as haters of government workers who want public “servants” to spend their retirement years eating cat food and living in dire poverty. That’s the response I always get when I point to the absurdity …

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