The January 2009 issue of Budget & Tax News leads with (bad) news about the federal deficit and (largely good) news about state and local ballot measures that helped taxpayers keep control of their pocketbooks.
Among this issue’s other top stories:
* A federal judge is threatening to hold California officials in contempt of court unless they turn over $8 billion to construct seven new prison hospitals—while the state is already struggling with an $11 billion-plus deficit.
* Hawaii has shut down its free “universal” health care program for children after just seven months. Enrollment had skyrocketed as parents took their children out of a private health plan.
* Economists and market analysts are suggesting private alternatives to government takeovers of troubled loans, offering better risk reduction, more upside potential for lenders and borrowers alike, and a lower burden on taxpayers.
* In another example of growing public-private transportation partnerships, the state of Florida has chosen a Spanish company to design, build, and operate an interstate highway toll expansion to cut traffic congestion in Broward County.
* An undiagnosed and still-untreated cause of the mortgage crisis is overzealous land-use regulations in many big metro areas across the nation.
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