Original Reporting

Original Reporting | By Meade Klingensmith | Budget deficit, Role of government, Taxes
If all Bush era tax cuts had been allowed to expire and if capital gains and dividend rates had been equalized with that of ordinary income, many “unaffordable” programs could have been paid for — even with the AMT being fixed. More
Original Reporting | By Mike Alberti | Health care, Insurance
Any hopes that large employers would be penalized for failing to offer affordable insurance coverage to the spouses and dependent children of their employees under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) were recently dashed by a proposed interpretation of the law from the Obama Administration. More
Original Reporting | By Kevin C. Brown | Infrastructure, NYC, Transportation
In part 2 of our story on New York’s failure to get a full build-out of the long-needed Second Avenue subway, we focus on the area’s politicians — especially those who hold themselves out to be advocates of mass transit. Most hid from our questioning; some accepted the idea that key infrastructure needs will not be met; a few insisted that the decision to shortchange the Second Avenue subway and similar projects was indefensible. More
Original Reporting | By Heather Rogers | Energy, Infrastructure, Regulation
The Northeast seaboard is chock-full of nuclear power plants. Sandy, for all its wrath, was only a Category 1 hurricane. Climate change will drive more severe storms, raise sea levels, and increase flood risks. To what extent has the industry and its regulator taken these projected climate change consequences into account? More
Original Reporting | By Meade Klingensmith | Elections, State government, Taxes
Though the supporters of Proposition 30 (Prop 30), the California ballot initiative to raise income tax rates on high earners as well as sales taxes across the board, put together a highly successful campaign, some wonder whether the techniques used to sell Prop 30 carry with them the risk of undermining future efforts to bolster government services. More
Original Reporting | By Mike Alberti | Legislation, State government
At least five bills proposed in the last session — including bills focused on campaign finance disclosure, affordable housing, and an oil severance tax — received substantial support. All, however, fell short of the two-thirds vote needed to pass. Despite the potential that their new legislative power gives them to pass these and other measures, the tone set by Democrats in Sacramento has thus far been decidedly cautious. More
Original Reporting | By Kevin C. Brown | Infrastructure, NYC, Transportation
A fully realized Second Avenue subway would replace service lost decades ago, help meet ever growing transit demand, and provide a wide range of economic and environmental benefits to New York City and its residents. Even though the entire line could be built at one time, and even though delay is more costly than action, all that has been funded is a less-than-two-mile stub. More
Original Reporting | By Meade Klingensmith | Elections, State government, Taxes
In ratifying Proposition 30 last month, California voters seem to have signaled that support for a tax increase is not political suicide in all circumstances. But to what extent does the marketing of the measure — a ballot initiative that raises taxes on annual income greater than $250,000 — provide a model for others to be successful in raising revenue for a spectrum of needed government services? More