Archive → February 10th, 2017
President Trump is going to leave his mark on the U.S. Supreme Court. In addition to Justice Scalia’s replacement, it is likely that another seat will be vacated during his term.
Donald Trump’s nominees could keep the court split or they could tip the court back toward limited constitutional government for an entire generation. An opportunity exists to undo the Progressive judicial activism that has undermined our Constitution the past century. This court’s docket will certainly include controversial issues–such as Obamacare and immigration–and Donald Trump’s nominees will play an important role in the direction of our country.
Although the Supreme Court is tasked with interpreting the Constitution, many today think of the Supreme Court as the final authority on the Constitution. This was not the intention of those who wrote it. All three branches were to be responsible for upholding the Constitution, and the ultimate responsibility was to lie in the hands of those who established it – “We the People.”
To this purpose, I invite you to enroll in Hillsdale College’s new free online course, “The U.S. Supreme Court.”
Hillsdale’s Supreme Court course looks at several of the most important cases in the Court’s history-cases that have had a dramatic effect on our politics and our society today. We will also look at the intended role of the Supreme Court, how that role has changed, and the ways in which that change has undermined our Constitution and our freedom.
I teach the first and last lecture, and the others are taught by our world-class Hillsdale faculty. There is no cost to take the course and you can watch the lectures at your leisure. I hope you’ll take the opportunity to learn about this important topic.
Source: Will County News
By Illinois Policy
Lawmakers are proposing a range of new tax hikes as a “compromise” solution to the state’s budget woes. But simple reforms to Illinois’ teacher pension system are a better way to fix the state’s finances without hurting taxpayers.
School districts across Illinois might be eager for more state funding in any budget deal. But taxpayers should know these subsidies encourage bad practices, such as pension pickups – which cost taxpayers approximately $380 million per year.
Under state law, teachers are obligated to pay 9.4 percent of their salary into the state retirement system. But for decades, school districts have “picked up” all or part of that obligation, which state subsidies have encouraged. It’s a financially unsustainable practice, yet widespread throughout the state.
Nearly two-thirds of all school districts – and by extension, taxpayers – pick up some or all of each teacher’s required contribution. In Chicago, which has its own teachers’ pension fund, pension pickups cost taxpayers $134 million in fiscal year 2015.
Pension pickups are just one part of the burden teachers’ pensions impose on taxpayers. Teachers’ Retirement System, or TRS, the pension system for teachers outside of Chicago Public Schools, has admitted it can’t meet the lofty investment return targets it previously had set for itself, leaving taxpayers with the tab for the shortfall. TRS’s investment return failures combined with pension pickups mean taxpayers are getting hit by pension costs on three sides. First, taxpayers pay the state’s employer pension contribution through income taxes. Second, many pick up their teachers’ required contributions through local property taxes. And finally, taxpayers have been solely responsible for bailing out the billions in pension fund failures.
Illinois lawmakers should end pension pickups. Asking teachers to pay their fair share – a simple standard across both public and private industries – would save taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars per year. The Senate’s budget proposal fails to address this or any similar reform, and dramatically increases the burden on Illinois taxpayers.
Source: Will County News