Commentary

Every rule of government budgeting — not to mention common sense — says using a one-time windfall to finance ongoing commitments is a very bad idea.

It’s the political equivalent of hitting the lottery for $1,000, then rushing to put a down payment on a Ferrari.

So it was disturbing that Gov. Cuomo — when asked how he would spend an unprecedented $4.2 billion in legal settlements flowing into state coffers this year — threw out the following list of options:

| |

One of the most unnoticed labor trends in the past few decades has been the rise of “just-in-time scheduling,” the practice of scheduling workers’ shifts with little advance notice that are subject to cancelation hours before they are due to begin.

|

Citing clear evidence that numerous low-income Arizona residents have been denied the opportunity to register to vote, the League of Women Voters of Arizona and the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) sent official notice today to Secretary of State Ken Bennett, as well to the heads of three Arizona public assistance agencies (the Department of Economic Security, the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, and the Department of Health Services), that the state is vio

| |

Analyzing a government report is like eating and digesting a meal — better to take it slowly than gobble quickly and suffer the possible consequences.

Example: last Thursday’s report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) on whether or not large financial institutions were still perceived as “too big to fail.”

| |

The economy grew at an impressive rate of four percent in the second quarter of this year, according to a government report released on Wednesday. But the stock market promptly tanked. The Dow lost more than 317 points Thursday and another 70 points Friday.

| |

Today's economy doesn't contain a lot of good news for working people. While the Great Recession officially ended five years ago, millions of Americans are still out of work and wages continue to lag. Yet this week, working people made some hugely significant gains as the fruits sowed by organizing efforts, lawsuits, legislative action -- and above all, workers standing up for themselves despite tremendous risk -- began to be visible.

| |

No think tank commands more respect among liberal policy wonks and Capitol Hill Democrats than the D.C-based Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, founded over 30 years ago by the indefatigable Robert Greenstein. The center is revered for its analytical rigor, its rapid response time, and its sheer relentlessness. The place is like a machine: Any time a proposal appears that whacks the poor, you can use a stopwatch to clock how it long it takes the center to whip out a scathing critique, often written by Greenstein himself. Does the guy sleep? 

|

When I was young, a mantra among progressives was that America had to stop operating as global policeman. Vietnam was the signal episode of arrogant and ultimately self-defeating American overreach. But there were plenty of other cases of the U.S. government doing the bidding of oil companies and banana barons, and blithely overthrowing left-democratic governments as well as outright communists (or driving nationalist reformers into the arms of communists.)

| |

Nate Silver has already dubbed the 2014 election as "the least important in years." But this year's midterms are still breaking records for at least one thing: Secret political spending.

| |

If being a parent often feels like a constant juggling act, it can be that much more challenging for single parents. Between work and parenting, it can feel like there’s never enough time, energy or money for the things you want to do. And that feeling may extend to your credit too. You may barely have time to check your credit, much less fix it.

| |