From the annals of state austerity budgets…

To the Editor: Thank you for your editorial about Illinois and Kansas as examples of states where policy makers do more harm than good (“Sorry Tales From Two Statehouses,” April 25). Illinois’ record 10-month budget impasse is eroding much of its educational and social service systems. According to a poll …

Welfare and the politics of poverty

Great recap of the welfare reform travesty – in which Clinton admits that the poorest families in the U.S. are worse off after welfare reform. Also describes how state control, combined with fiscal downturns, pulled money away from the poor.

States fighting the minimum wage

What rights to cities have to regulate the conditions under which their residents work? If some state legislatures had their way: none. With federal efforts to increase pay for the lowest earners stalled by Republican opposition, a slew of states, cities and towns across the country have hiked the local …

We’re not in Kansas anymore – or are we?

Great clip from the Daily Show about tax cut strategies gone wrong, prompting Kansas Republicans to endorse the Democratic opponent of Sam Brownback, the current Republican Governor. The Daily Show Get More: Daily Show Full Episodes,Indecision Political Humor,The Daily Show on Facebook

States budget cuts leave poor in a fix – SFGate

California has apparently “fixed” its budget deficit, but at what cost? One of the fallouts from the unfolding budget crises in cities and states has of course been cuts to social programs. But the scale of those cuts often gets masked by the noise of political fighting. One could be …

NYT series on subsidies, part 2 (Texas)

The New York Times is running part two of its series on state and local corporate welfare. Today’s piece focuses on Texas, the biggest grantor of such subsidies, and a state at the forefront of both radical cuts to education spending and aggressive state tax cuts that have left both …