Tag Archive for Ron Baiman

CPEG Issues Additional Comments Following Legislative Hearing on LaSalle Street Tax

Following a June 7th presentation to the Illinois legislature by CPEG members Ron Baiman and Bill Barclay, which occured during a hearing on proposed bills to create a “LaSalle Street Tax”, CPEG has issued additional clarifying comments. The comments are in response to a number of issues raised during the hearing.

CPEG LaSalle Street Tax Additional Comments (PDF)

CPEG to Illinois Legislature: LaSalle Street Tax Now!

On June 7th, CPEG members Ron Baiman and Bill Barclay testified before the Illinois House of Representatives on House Bill 106, Introduced by Rep. Mary Flowers of Chicago, which would create a “LaSalle Street”, or Financial Transactions Tax in the state.

Baiman testified that a LaSalle Street Tax would be fair, feasible, and beneficial, adding billions in revenue to the ailing state budget. Barclay testified that talking points from opponents of such a tax are not grounded in real experiences. Download the powerpoint presentations that accompanied their testimony:

Ron Baiman’s Testimony (.pptx)

Bill Barclay’s Testimony (.pptx)

The Poverty of Neoclassical Economic Analysis

The Poverty of Neoclassical Economic Analysis, by CPEG’s Ron Baiman, is a response to recent denunciations of economic analysis regarding economic proposals from U.S. Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders. Baiman writes “When I first got wind of the denunciation of Prof. Gerald Friedman’s Bernienomics impact estimates by prominent liberal Economists, two questions came immediately to mind. Who were these “liberal economists” and what were their objections? A little googling around got me the first answer in a jiffy. The liberal economists were four former Chairs of the Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) under Democratic Presidents Clinton and Obama: Alan Kreuger, Austan Goolsbee, Christina Romer, and Laura D’Andrea Tyson. It took more time and more work to establish the second answer.” Click below to read the full essay.

Illinois’ New Class-Based Pension Math

This article, authored by CPEG’s Ron Baiman, originally appeared on the Dollars and Sense; Real World Economics blog in December 2013.

Having boxed themselves into a political dead-end by adopting the austerity agenda of the business community as represented by the Illinois “Civic Federation,” Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan and Illinois and Democratic Governor Pat Quinn on Tuesday, Dec. 3, rammed through a state Pension cutting bill that would reportedly reduce the state’s $ 100 B unfunded pension liability by $160 B. The Democratic President of the Senate, John Cullerton (a supporter of a Senate bill negotiated with the unions that would have cut less and given workers a choice of options), voted for the House bill, but warned it had “serious constitutional problems” and was reportedly silent during the debate, not present when the final deal was announced and a no-show at an earlier meeting attended by the three other legislative leaders. As is documented below, Cullerton’s concerns are well-founded as this bill presumes that $160 B of pension liability reductions are somehow equivalent to a roughly $26 B cut in the value of pension contributions from state workers.

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Beowulf’s Brilliant Idea: Take Away the Fed’s and Private Finance’s Exclusive Right to Create Public Money

Written by CPEG’s Ron Baiman

Though Congressional Republicans have apparently backed off of their plan to immediately take the federal government hostage by temporarily extending the federal debt limit, the threat remains.

As many of you probably have heard by now a blogger with the screen name of Beowulf has come up with a unique and apparently perfectly legal method for the Treasury to do an end-run around (questionably legal) Congressional debt limit extortionism.1 Beowulf proposes to take advantage of a 1995 act that apparently gives the U.S. Mint the ability to assign any value to platinum coins that it mints and transfer these coins, or more to the point, their value, to a U.S. Treasury account at the Federal Reserve. The Treasury could then use these funds to pay its bills. Readers will recognize that this is effectively a form of “coin seigniorage,” that is a creation of money by fiat using platinum coins.2 Beowulf proposes that the Treasury mint a few platinum coins and value them at $ 1 trillion dollars each.3

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