Heartland Audio

Tom Tresser: 'TIF Illumination' Shines Light on Dubious Economic Development Tool

FIRE PODCAST - All around the country, municipal governments have been using tax increment financing. It's supposed to be used to redevelop blighted areas, but it's often used as a political slush fund to hand tax money to politically connected real estate developers and property owners in areas that no reasonable person would consider blighted. With one-third of its land in TIF districts, Chicago could be the poster child for TIF. This high-tax, financially troubled city has $1.7 billion sitting in TIF accounts, says Tom Tresser of the CivicLab's TIF Illumination Project. He discusses Chicago's TIF districts and the implications for the city's taxpayers. Much of what he says applies to TIFs elsewhere.

Isaac Orr: Park Foundation and Anti-Fracking Movement

ECN PODCAST - Heartland Research Fellow Isaac Orr discusses the Park Foundation and the NY Anti-fracking movement.

Brian Wise: 'Operation Choke Point' is Fundamentally Changing Commerce for the Worse

FIRE PODCAST -The Obama Administration has launched a program called "Operation Choke Point" with the justification of preventing consumer fraud, but legitimate businesses including those in the firearms, lending, tobacco and gambling industries are losing their bank accounts and ability to stay in business. "This fundamentally changes the liability that banks have when they do business with their customers . . . If you could imagine, now the bank that a certain casino does business with, that bank is now liable for not only knowing how that casino is receiving their money, but it's also now liable for knowing how the casino's clients are receiving their money."

Issac Orr: Wastewater Disposal Wells

ECN PODCAST - Heartland Research Fellow Isaac Orr discusses GAO Findings on EPA Fracking Injection Wells.

Paul Horton: Why Kids Need Slow Reading

SRN PODCAST - You’ve heard of slow food, but what about slow reading? Paul Horton is a history teacher currently at the Chicago Lab School, and has been teaching for 30 years. He’s recently written an article “in defense of slow reading.” He joins the podcast to discuss how overuse of technology isolates children, disrupts a teacher's relationships with students, and prevents the thoughtful analysis that only comes from sustained reflection. Here's a book we mention in the podcast: "SlowReading in a Hurried Age," by David Mikics.

Scott Hodge: How Government Skyrockets College Costs

SRN PODCAST - Tax credits for higher education disproportionately benefit higher income families, have failed to stop the increase in student loan debt, and contribute to the rising cost of college tuition, says a new report from the Tax Foundation. Joining the podcast to discuss this report is its coauthor, Scott Hodge. Hodge is also president of the Tax Foundation. He explains how, in trying to help families pay for college, government has instead made college astronomically expensive.
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