A surge in COVID-19 cases in Michigan has prompted Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to promote a two-week, voluntary lockdown of indoor dining, suspension of school sports and a full return to remote education.
Although she noted more than five million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, the governor added the pandemic continued to wreak havoc in the state.
For example, Michigan hospitals reported 3,508 COVID-19 patients on Thursday. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also released data on Thursday that revealed the state’s COVID-19 positivity rate was 492.1 cases per 100,000 people, the highest positivity case rate in the nation. Read More
Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-East Gull Lake, and Sen. Zach Duckworth, R-Lakeville, on Friday announced a package aiming to spend billions of federal dollars on hard-hit industries, filling the unemployment fund, and infrastructure plans.
“These one-time funds provide us with the chance to set Minnesotans on a path for long-lasting growth. By targeting our spending for maximum impact, we are setting Minnesotans up to rebuild their community connections, invest in their families, and help our businesses recover and grow.” Duckworth said in a statement. “Most importantly, these investments are being made without increasing taxes on Minnesotans who have already sacrificed so much in the last year.”
The bill language, expected to be released next week, seeks to direct $2.5 billion of the American Rescue Plan to Minnesotans hardest hit by the pandemic and promote economic growth, according to a press release. Read More
Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed former NYU Professor Dr. Michael Rectenwald to the newsmakers line to outline his thoughts on the current woke ideology of corporate America and warns of impending economic hardship that may be the only remedy to awaken those possessed by indoctrination. Read More
A little more than eight months after the billion-dollar government bailout of the state’s nuclear energy industry led the arrest of former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder, Gov. Mike DeWine officially put it to rest.
DeWine signed House Bill 128 into law late Wednesday. It repeals the nuclear provisions of the infamous House Bill 6.
Gone is the bailout for the Perry and Davis-Besse nuclear power plants in northern Ohio. Also eliminated was the ability for FirstEnergy to have its revenue levels relatively the same even during years when energy consumption decreases. HB 128 directed refunds of money already collected under the guarantee. Read More
An estimated 46 million people — or 18% of the country — would be unable to pay for health care if they needed it today, a recent poll conducted by Gallup and West Health found.
In another survey by the Texas Public Policy Foundation, the majority of hospitals in the U.S. have yet to comply with a transparency ruling implemented this year that would help patients shop around for the most affordable prices.
Gallup’s findings are based on a poll conducted between February 15 and 21 among 3,753 adults with a margin of error of 2%. Read More
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine praised the $8.3 billion state transportation budget he signed into law despite it missing the increased vehicle fees and massive cuts for public transportation he proposed.
The two-year budget, House Bill 74, provides money for road and bridge construction and maintenance, as well as other transportation priorities established by the committees in the House and Senate, along with DeWine.
“The budget ensures that we can continue to maintain and invest in Ohio’s roadways,” DeWine said Wednesday. “Ohio’s transportation system continues to be a critical part of our economy, moving materials and people safely across our state. This budget advances our commitment to invest in state and locally-maintained roadways.” Read More
The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims increased to 719,000 last week, even as the economy continues to slowly recover from the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of Labor.
The Bureau of Labor and Statistics figure released Thursday represented an increase in the number of new jobless claims compared to the week ending March 20, when 658,000 new jobless claims were reported. That number was revised down from the 684,000 jobless claims initially reported last week.
Roughly 18.2 million Americans continue to collect unemployment benefits, according to the report. Read More
The Georgia General Assembly has approved a $27.2 billion spending plan for the 2022 fiscal year, which starts July 1.
The Senate and House agreed to spend more money on health care, education, transportation, state positions, internet access and economic initiatives.
The House approved the measure, 148-21, late Wednesday night after it cleared the Senate unanimously, 52-0. Lawmakers now must send the proposal for state spending through June 30, 2022, to Gov. Brian Kemp for consideration. Read More
Red states are leading economic growth in the U.S., a new report by the U. S. Commerce Department shows, with South Dakota, Texas and Utah reporting the highest growth.
The report is based on 2020 fourth quarter gross domestic product (GDP) data and February 2021 unemployment rates.
Real GDP increased in all 50 states and the District of Columbia in the fourth quarter of 2020. Real GDP for the U.S. as a whole increased at an annual rate of 4.3%. The percent change in real GDP in the fourth quarter ranged from 9.9% in South Dakota to 1.2% in the District of Columbia. Read More
Virginia businesses will benefit from the federal government extending the deadline to apply for Paycheck Protection Program forgivable loans, according to associations representing industries.
With bipartisan support, federal lawmakers passed legislation to extend the loan application from March 31 to May 31 and give the Small Business Administration an additional 30 days to process the applications. The legislation is expected to be signed by President Joe Biden.
The loans allow businesses economically harmed by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic restrictions to borrow money from the federal government. If businesses use the money in accordance with federal guidelines, the loans will be forgiven, meaning that the businesses will not have to pay the money back. Read More
A bipartisan bill claims it would reduce the cost of prescription drug costs to save taxpayers a potential millions – if not billions – of dollars.
Sen. Michelle Benson, R-Ham Lake, held a Friday news conference with Rep. Mike Howard, D-Richfield, highlighting the bill
SF 2178 would allow the state to share bid information submitted by pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) for public employee contracts. The reverse auction process incentivizes PBMs to compete against each other by submitting lower offers in bidding rounds to win a contract, which is meant to achieve cost savings without impacting the quality of state health benefit plans. Read More
The Ohio Senate approved more than $8 billion it hopes will spur both economic development and job growth while tackling the state’s transportation needs over the next two years.
The state’s proposed transportation budget passed the Senate unanimously Thursday with some adjustments made by the Senate, including additional money for public transportation, local road projects and emergency road repair. It also requires the Ohio Department of Transportation to reopen currently decommissioned weigh stations to serve as overnight parking areas for commercial truckers.
“This transportation budget makes critical investments in Ohio’s communities and local infrastructure,” said Senate President Matt Huffman, R-Lima. “I am confident House Bill 74 will improve roads and infrastructure that Ohioans use every day and will enhance Ohio’s economy and promote job growth.” Read More
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced 21 state highway projects for the 2021 construction season.
The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) projects are funded through its budget and the $3.5 billion Rebuilding Michigan bonding program.
Whitmer announced the projects on Tuesday. Read More
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is directing $20.1 million in grants for 11 projects in the commonwealth to strengthen broadband infrastructure, his office announced Thursday.
The projects are designed to increase broadband connectivity throughout 17 localities. The projects will connect more than 13,400 establishments, which will include households, businesses and anchor institutions and is leveraging $18.8 million in private and local investments.
“Quality broadband service is key to growing our economy, and learning, competing, and succeeding in today’s digital world,” Northam said in a statement. “This funding will have an enormous impact on thousands on unserved Virginians and bring us closer to our goal of every community in our Commonwealth having access to high-speed internet.” Read More
Ohio’s professional sports teams want a piece of sports gambling in the state when and if it ever comes.
Testifying this week before The Ohio Senate Select Committee on Gaming, Cincinnati Reds Chief Financial Officer Doug Healy told lawmakers professional sports organizations recognize the potential benefits of sports gaming.
“It is imperative that Ohio’s sports betting market include access to both mobile and retail sportsbooks for Ohio’s professional teams so that, as the content creators, we share in both the risks and the benefits, just like the casinos,” said Healy, who also said he was speaking on behalf of the Cleveland Indians. Read More
Ohio had the slowest weekly unemployment claims recovery in the nation last week, based on a new report from the personal finance website WalletHub.
The report compared all 50 states and the District of Columbia over three metrics: changes in claims during the latest week compared with 2019 and 2020 and changes in claims filed from the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic versus the previous year.
Based on the data, Ohio ranked 51st out of 51 in recovery over the latest week and 37th since the pandemic began. Ohio ranked behind Colorado, West Virginia, Mississippi and Virginia in weekly recovery. Read More
President Joe Biden said Thursday night that he is directing U.S. states to open COVID-19 vaccinations to all American adults by May 1 in an effort to more quickly reopen the country and prop up the staggering U.S. economy.
“To do this we’re going to go from a million shots a day … to 2 million shots a day,” he said.
In most U.S. states currently, only older Americans, front-line workers and those with pre-existing conditions are eligible, though getting scheduled for a first dose has been problematic in many states even for the most at-risk. Read More
Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency Director Liza Estlund Olson was grilled Thursday morning by the state House Oversight Committee.
Committee members asked pointed questions about recent revelations relating to the departure of Olson’s predecessor, Steve Gray, in November. Gray received a $76,626 payout and another $9,246 in attorney fees and signed a confidentiality agreement with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration. Read More
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost claims in lawsuit filed Thursday a health care giant raised prices for taxpayer-funded care to maximize company profits.
Yost said Ohio sued Centene Corp. in Franklin County Common Pleas Court, alleging its subsidiary, Buckeye Health Plan, used a web of subcontractors for the provision of pharmacy benefits to be able to misrepresent pharmacy costs. That, Yost said, resulted in millions of dollars of overpayments by the Ohio Department of Medicaid. Read More
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration paid former CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC) Jeff Mason $128,500 –26 weeks of pay – to “retire” last year.
The Detroit News reported Mason’s deal was among eight other employees separated from MEDC, bringing the total cost of payouts to $308,623 over the last four years. Those agreements included non-disparagement clauses limiting ex-employees from diminishing the MEDC’s reputation.
However, agency employees said the deals weren’t funded by taxpayer money. Read More
President Biden’s $1.9 trillion “American Rescue Plan” could soon become law.
The budget-busting legislation, sold as emergency COVID response and “stimulus,” passed the Senate over the weekend. But even the liberal-leaning fact-checking website PolitiFact is pointing out that almost all of the bill’s spending is unrelated to the health effects of COVID-19.
“Total spending directly on COVID-19’s health impacts ranges from $100 billion to $160 billion,” fact-checker Jon Greenberg writes. “At the high end, direct COVID-19 spending represents about 8.5% of the bill’s $1.9 trillion cost.” Read More
As legitimate and fraudulent unemployment claims rose over the past year, and with additional federal jobless assistance most likely on the way, Ohio lawmakers have introduced legislation they hope cracks down on system abuse.
If the bill passes and is signed into law, Ohioans would be required to provide proof of identification at a local employment office before state or pandemic unemployment assistances would be paid.
Senate Bill 116 outlines proof as either a driver’s license or any of the two documents required to obtain an Ohio driver’s license that contain the applicants name and address, including a birth certificate, Social Security card and proof of Ohio residency, legal presence or name change. Read More
Last summer, millions of dollars in taxpayer money were spent in response to protests that turned violent throughout Ohio. A bill proposed in the Ohio Senate looks to make sure those responsible will pay for it.
Senate Bill 41, currently being discussed by the Senate Judiciary Committee, calls for restitution from those who are convicted of property damage during riots, including vandalism. The restitution would pay the expenses of police and emergency crews who have to respond to riots. The bill also allows the government to take possession of any property left behind by those who end up convicted.
State Senator Tim Schaffer, R-Lancaster, is sponsoring the bill. Lou Tobin, the Executive Director of the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association, offered his support before the committee recently. Read More
America’s economic freedom ranking has fallen to an all-time low, according to The Heritage Foundation’s 2021 Index of Economic Freedom.
The United States fell three places since last year and now ranks 20th in the world among countries evaluated, with an economic freedom score of 74.8 out of 100.
The 27th annual Index of Economic Freedom was released Thursday during a Heritage virtual event featuring Charles Payne, host of Fox Business’ “Making Money With Charles Payne.” Read More
One of the nation’s leading economic development publications ranked Ohio as No. 1 in its state economic and business attraction rankings for bringing more corporate facility projects per capita than any other state.
Ohio also ranked second for total projects.
Site Selection, a corporate real estate economic development magazine, recently announced its rankings as part of its 2020 Governor’s Cup. Read More
At least 13.9 million of the nation’s small businesses are at serious risk of shuttering their doors by April 1, a recent industry report found.
Forty-four percent of the country’s 31.7 million small businesses are at risk of closing by the end of the first quarter, according to small business group Alignable. Small businesses on the brink of closure expect to earn less revenue than their owners estimate is needed to stay afloat. Read More
The federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) could decide in a matter of weeks whether it will remove the work or activity requirement in Georgia’s partial Medicaid expansion plan.
The CMS said the plan, which was approved by former President Donald Trump’s administration in October, does not “promote the objectives of the Medicaid program” and would be impossible to accomplish because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read More
Georgia will provide $552 million in rent and utility assistance to landlords and tenants, Gov. Brian Kemp announced Friday.
The federal government provided the COVID-19-related aid through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, and it will be paid directly to landlords and utility companies. Read More
Tennessee entered into a consulting contract with Washington-based McKinsey & Company consulting firm while the state attorney general was investigating the firm for its role in the opioid epidemic, state records show.
Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery recently announced the state would receive more than $15 million from a multistate lawsuit settlement with McKinsey over the firm’s role in consulting opioid manufacturers on how to best market and profit from opioid drug sales. Read More
In another devastating blow from 2020, we sadly suffered the loss of Professor Walter E. Williams, a distinguished scholar of economics at George Mason University. While his nationally syndicated Townhall columns and stints on the Rush Limbaugh Show made him a household name, I knew him personally as my graduate microeconomics professor. Read More
Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed economic reporter for Breitbart News John Carney to the show to discuss the decline of New York City and the false narrative that Trump has caused an economic recession. Read More
Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed American economist Art Laffer to discuss his move to Nashville and his upcoming debate with Leslie Marshall at MTSU. Read More
by Lawrence Reed Everybody knows who America’s first president was, but can you identify the country’s first economist? If any man or woman deserves that description, it is surely the one who wrote this and so much more: I propose . . . to take off every restraint and… Read More
President Donald Trump will present Arthur B. Laffer with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The presentation will take place on June 19. Dr. Laffer is called the “Father of Supply-Side Economics” and is one of the most influential economists in American history, the White House said in a press… Read More
by Evan Osborne For almost a quarter century I have been a professor of economics at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. After years of working there, I have learned something about how my department’s academic radicals, who by dint of personality but not numbers have near-decisive control over… Read More
In the most recent N.C. Consensus Revenue Forecast, the Tarheel state boasts a revenue surplus of $150 million as well as “solid employment and wage growth.” “Results for the public and private sector are what really matter,” State House Speaker Tim Moore (R-District 111) said in a statement. “People are… Read More
by Alexandra Staub When large companies move into an area, politicians often proclaim how the new business will create jobs, increase tax revenues, and thus lead to economic growth. This is one reason local governments offer tax incentives to businesses willing to move in. Amazon’s decision to locate… Read More
by State House Majority Leader Glen Casada (R-Franklin) It won’t be listed with the candidates’ names this November, but Tennessee’s economic boom will most certainly be on the ballot. Tennesseans have an important choice on Election Day: we can either back Donald Trump’s agenda of economic prosperity or fall… Read More
President Donald Trump will hold a Make America Great Again (MAGA) midterm rally Oct. 1 in Johnson City. The rally will be the president’s sixth in Tennessee – and first in Johnson City – since he began his first presidential race in June 2015, his campaign announced Monday. The rally… Read More
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) bemoaned President Trump’s “shot to the foot’” over tariffs on Fox News’ Journal Editorial Report. Tennessee’s senior senator, praising globalism, introduced the Automotive Jobs Act of 2018 Wednesday to delay the tariffs. He said, “Zero tariffs is exactly the right policy.” He also called for an… Read More
by Luis Pablo De La Horra Milton Friedman is probably the most important free-market thinker of the twentieth century. His ideas in defense of capitalism and economic freedom had an enormous influence on the shift towards free-market policies that took place from the 1970s onwards. Countries like the UK, China,… Read More
During Monday’s broadcast of The Gill Report – live on WETR 92.3 FM in Knoxville – conservative political commentator and Tennessee Star Political Editor Steve Gill questioned whether the left truly understands the dynamics of equality and economics and how mandating the rise of minimum wage may inadvertently deplete a human… Read More
Media giant Gannett has compiled a list of what it says are the 50 worst cities to live in, and some of the top locations are towns where it operates newspapers, including two in Tennessee. USA TODAY compiled the list using data from 24/7 Wall Street, a website that publishes… Read More
by Roger W. Garrison The economics of John Maynard Keynes as taught to university sophomores for the last several decades is now nearly defunct in theory but not in practice. Keynes’s 1936 book, The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money, portrayed the market as fundamentally unstable and touted government as… Read More
by Michael Novak Capitalism, it is usually assumed, flowered around the same time as the Enlightenment–the eighteenth century–and, like the Enlightenment, entailed a diminution of organized religion. In fact, the Catholic Church of the Middle Ages was the main locus for the first flowerings of capitalism. Max Weber located… Read More