Mike Flynn

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Austerity Myth: State Spending Up Big Over Pre-Recession Levels

Ever since the economy failed to return to strong economic growth following the federal stimulus and action by the Federal Reserve, liberal commentators have insisted that government "austerity" is to blame and has acted like a brake on potential economic growth. Mar 24, 2014 7:23 AM PT

States Exploit Loophole to Defy Congress on Food Stamp Cuts

Earlier this year, Congress finally wrapped up work on a new Farm Bill after years of contentious negotiations. Ultimately, Congress agreed to trim a modest $8.6 billion in spending on the food stamp program over the next ten years. The savings amount to less than 10% of total food stamp spending over the next decade, but even these small savings may not materialize as states are already using a loophole to block the spending cuts. Mar 18, 2014 7:36 AM PT

New Jersey Gives Sony $1.6 Million Tax Credit to Move 50 Jobs

On March 13th, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority unanimously voted to award Sony Corporation a $1.6 million tax credit to move 50 jobs from Manhattan to New Jersey. Erin Gold, a spokesman for the Authority, said the credit would be for $162,000 a year for 10 years. Mar 17, 2014 8:24 AM PT

Civil War: 3 Primaries to Watch

I love primaries. The first campaign I managed was a primary, decades ago. With most districts, and many states, firmly in either the "red" or "blue" camp, primaries are an important mechanism for voters to ensure that their elected officials remain true to the values and principles that won them office in the first place. It is also an important way for voters to signal their priorities. In the next 6-8 weeks, three primaries, in particular, will say much about the current state of the Republican party and the conservative movement. Mar 14, 2014 5:47 AM PT

NBC/WSJ Poll: Sugar More Harmful Than Marijuana

On Wednesday, NBC/WSJ released its latest poll of the nation's political environment. The poll found that Obama's approval rating had dropped to 41%, the lowest of his presidency. Given recent political developments, that is noteworthy, but hardly surprising. The poll did have one surprising finding, however. Almost twice as many Americans believe sugar is more harmful to one's health than marijuana. Mar 12, 2014 9:25 AM PT

Democrats Midterm Hopes Rest on Florida Special Election

On Tuesday, voters in Florida's 13th District will select a replacement for the late GOP Rep. Bill Young, who represented the St. Petersburg-based district for decades. Democrats secured their top recruit, Alex Sink, former financial officer for the state, who narrowly lost the Governor's race in 2010. Long-time Young aide, David Jolly won the GOP primary. Democrats entered the race with the clear edge. Mar 11, 2014 8:56 AM PT

CPAC Straw Poll Vote Drops 34% Since 2011

(National Harbor, MD) -- Kentucky Senator Rand Paul won the CPAC Presidential Straw Poll for the second year in a row. The support he received from 31% of voters was almost three times the support of his nearest rival, Texas Senator Ted Cruz. The more surprising news, however, is the steep drop in the number of CPAC attendees participating in the straw poll. The number of ballots cast has dropped more than 34% since 2011, when the GOP had just swept the 2010 mid-term elections. Mar 10, 2014 8:48 AM PT

Disabled Unemployment Jumps to 14.3%

On Friday, the Labor Department reported that the unemployment rate for Americans with disabilities jumped to 14.3% in February. This is a 16% increase over last year, when the unemployment rate for the disabled was just 12.3% Mar 7, 2014 7:42 AM PT

Economy Adds 175k Jobs, Unemployment Up to 6.7%

On Friday, the Labor Department reported the economy gained 175,000 jobs in February. The consensus among economists had been for a 149,000 increase in jobs for the month. The unemployment rate ticked up a notch to 6.7%. Mar 7, 2014 5:33 AM PT

Weak: ADP Jobs Report Misses Expectations

National payroll firm ADP reported Wednesday that just 139,000 private sector jobs were added in February. The number was below economists' forecast of 155,000. ADP also revised downward its estimate of new private sector jobs in January, falling to 127,000 from an initially reported 175,000. The two months showed the least amount of job growth in over a year. Mar 5, 2014 5:37 AM PT

Only One in Three Voters Approve of Dem Sen. Kay Hagan

North Carolina Freshman Senator Kay Hagan is one of the most vulnerable Senators running for reelection this year. Her challenge to winning reelection is evidenced by a new poll from Elon University showing that just one-third of Tarheel voters approve of her job performance. Almost half of voters, 49% disapprove of her job performance. She suffered a net 9 point loss since the last poll in November, the only state politician to lose ground with voters. Mar 3, 2014 9:33 AM PT

Senate Dems to Skip Budget Resolution... Again

In the five years that Obama has been President, the Senate Democrats have produced only one budget resolution. During Obama's presidency, the government has been funded by a series of "continuing resolutions" which simply extend all current government programs, preventing any review or reform. On Friday, Senate Budget Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) said her chamber would again forgo their requirement to produce a budget resolution for next year. It is a political, not a fiscal decision. Mar 1, 2014 5:51 AM PT

4th Quarter GDP Slashed 25%

The Commerce Department announced Friday that its revised estimate of GDP growth in the 4th Quarter was revised down to 2.4% annual growth. Initial estimates had put GDP growth at 3.2%. Economists had expected a downward revision to 2.5%, making Friday's report a disappointment. It is a dramatic drop from the 3rd Quarter estimate of 4.1% growth. Feb 28, 2014 5:35 AM PT

Dem Sinks as FL Special House Election Moves to Toss Up

Democrats have been heavy favorites to capture the seat of the late Rep. Bill Young (R-FL) in a special election on March 11th. Their nominee, Alex Sink, lost a close race for Governor in 2010 and has both high name recognition and a strong fundraising edge. A new poll from the Chamber of Commerce, however, finds the GOP nominee, David Jolly, moving into a slim 2-point lead. Jolly now leads Sink 44-42. Feb 26, 2014 12:12 PM PT

Federalism Doesn't Stop at the Online Poker Table

It seems the good Senator’s support for federalism stops there. Calling it the “wild wild west” of gambling, Heller is promising to introduce legislation to trump states that have legalized online gaming with a federal prohibition. It seems that state laboratories for democracy are good only until they begin to affect the home town industry. Feb 25, 2014 12:00 PM PT

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