- March 21, 2017
State and local governments report the funding status of their pension plans in financial statements following standards set by the Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB). Historically, those standards allowed state and local governments to use an actuarial model and to discount liabilities based on the long-term yield on the assets held in the pension fund. The Colorado Public Employees’ Retirement Association (PERA) uses an 8 percent discount rate comparable to that used in most state and local pension plans. GASB also allowed state and local governments to use a smoothing technique to calculate the funding status of the plans. With this smoothing technique, losses incurred on assets in one year could be averaged over several years.READ MORE
Policy debates frequently turn on whether the government is spending at a reasonable level, and that is defined by the relative spending in other states. Relatively low rankings are presumed to indicate of under-spending by Colorado governments. The low rankings, however, are inconsistent with Colorado’s overall ranking for tax burden, which is close to the national median. We examine many claims relating to Colorado government spending overall, in K-12 education, in higher education, and in healthcare, and we conclude that most are misinterpreted or overstated. Colorado collects the national average in taxes,
so how could it be that support for government programs is so uniformly near the bottom?
Residents of Colorado should know how their tax burden compares with Americans throughout the nation. Colorado ranks 26th nationally, compared to all other states for the combined state and local tax burden, on a per capita basis.READ MORE
On Wednesday March 2nd, the Independence Institute held a panel event at the University Club in Denver to discuss the solutions presented in the Citizens’ Budget project. Presenters included project director Penn Pfiffner, Education Center policy analyst Ben DeGrow, Health Care Policy Center director Linda Gorman, and Fiscal Policy Center senior fellow Barry Poulson. EachREAD MORE
Thanks to our friends at the Independent Institute out in Oakland, California, regular folks like us can figure out just how much the government is costing us in direct payments and in lost earnings over our lifetime. From the About Page on the MyGovCost website, The Government Cost Calculator is a unique service from TheREAD MORE