FFM Bulletin - 4/8/11

Register now: Calculating the Social Costs of Gambling with Dr. Earl Grinols –April 28

Join us on Thursday, April 28th as we welcome Dr. Earl Grinols as he discusses "Calculating the Social Costs of Gambling in Minnesota". Dr. Grinols, a Distinguished Professor of Economics at Baylor University, is one of the leading economic experts on gambling in the nation and has authored numerous reports and studies, including his book in 2004: “Gambling in America: Costs and Benefits.”
The event will be held at the Best Western Kelly Inn, 161 Saint Anthony Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55103. Registration will open at 6:30 followed by Dr. Grinols remarks at 7:00 p.m.  This free event will end at 8:30PM.
To register for the event, please visit: ffmgambling.eventbrite.com/

Accountability Alert: 
MN Companies, Unions and Governments Get Millions in Subsidies Under Stealth Provision in National Health Care

Consider it the most recent surprise provision uncovered in the federal health care law.

A FFM Accountability Alert recently exposed the Minnesota beneficiaries of the latest taxpayer-subsidized surprise buried inside the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).  According to investigators for the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee, the law gives federal subsidies to supplement health insurance costs for early retirees under the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program (ERRP).  To date, 235 Minnesota employers and unions have received more than $15 million in ERRP payments.

The piece was featured this week on BigGovernment.com and can be found in its entirety on our website

St. Cloud Airport still searching for flights

FFM has previously reported on the St. Cloud Regional Airport (STC) that boasts several new amenities, including a $5 million newly renovated terminal and a $750,000 passenger boarding bridge. Yet the airport still lacks its most important asset: flights.

The Star Tribune featured an article on the St. Cloud airport being used to relieve congestion at MSP, something St. Cloud officials have been pursuing since Delta cancelled regularly scheduled flights in December 2009. According to the article, officials from the Metropolitan Airport Commission (MAC) and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak have proposed recasting the MAC as a “Minnesota Airports Commission” that would oversee the St. Cloud and Rochester airports as well.

Unfortunately, St. Cloud needs more than bureaucracy to lure airlines to fly into its terminal. It needs an airline that sees potential for profitability, something not always a priority for government. 

This week from Minnesota State News 

With the budget debates heating up at the Capitol, MN State News has featured several stories on key topics:
  • Senate Republicans pass LGA freeze, say times are a’changin
    The tax debate at the Capitol is ramping up, as Senate Republicans on Tuesday passed a tax bill that would reduce spending by $580 million, largely by freezing state aid to local governments at 2010 levels.
    Read more…

  • HMOs pass on state contributions, agree to one-year profits cap
    The state’s four largest HMOs agreed to a one-time cap on earnings in 2011, according to a release from Gov. Mark Dayton’s office.
    Read more…
  • Budget Buster: Phase I proposed for Capitol security and access improvements
    Lawmakers proposed a bill last week to appropriate $6.1 million from the general fund for improvements in Capitol security and access. The plan, according to the legislation, is to coordinate the construction of the tunnel with that of the Central Corridor light rail.
    Read more…
Be sure to continue checking back at Minnesota State News (mnstatenews.com) for up-to-date stories from the Capitol and around the state. 

Noted Government Expert Now Advising the Obama Administration on the Necessity of Increased Government Spending

While much of the inside the beltway establishment is engaged in dramatic hand-wringing regarding the potential government shutdown, it's good to see that Hollywood has once again offered up one of their finest political prognosticators to offer his nuanced critique on the current fiscal mess.  Appearing at a recent Capitol Hill news conference on campaign finance reform (apparently another topic he's well versed in) with Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.), Emmy-award-winning actor and parental authority Alec Baldwin said that President Barack Obama was unable to do any "new spending".  The actor continued by saying, "[w]hat's crippled Obama's administration, as far as I'm concerned, is the financial crisis and it's prevented him from doing any new (emphasis ours) spending." 

Oh.  I guess Mr. Baldwin doesn't count President Obama's 2009 budget that spent over $4 trillion dollars and increased domestic discretionary spending by 24%.  Or the over $1 trillion price tag taxpayers are shelling out for ObamaCare.

Mr. Baldwin concluded his remarks on Capitol Hill by saying "I think a second term of Obama, we'll see a lot more of what we want to see from him."  By that time, the mark left by President Obama may be more like a permanent scar.

If you'd like to know some real facts about what may happen with a government shutdown, read this piece.

Freedom Foundation calendar of appearances

Saturday, April 9th Annette Meeks speech at the monthly meeting of the Washington County Republican Women in Lake Elmo

Sunday, April 10th:  Annette Meeks on KSTP-TV's "At Issue"

Friday, April 15th:  The Freedom Foundation's CEO will be one of the keynote speakers at the Rochester Tea Party Patriot's Tax Day Rally at 6:00 p.m.


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