By Derek Melot/Bridge Magazine
* “Looking solely at the federal budget, an elderly person receives close to seven federal dollars for every dollar received by a child.” I’ll repeat that: For every $7 the federal budget spends on an elderly person, it spends $1 on a child.” Discuss amongst yourselves.
* David Eggert of AP’s Lansing bureau reports on the changes on Michigan’s tax front as residents start filing their forms: “A refundable credit for low-income workers was reduced, impacting about 783,000 returns. Eliminated are state credits for city income taxes, college tuition, adoptions and donations to universities, public radio and TV stations, food banks and homeless shelters.
* A fascinating tale of the nature of the ketchup market: “They had been asking the wrong question. There was no such thing as the perfect Diet Pepsi. They should have been looking for the perfect Diet Pepsis. It took a long time for the food world to catch up with Howard Moskowitz. He knocked on doors and tried to explain his idea about the plural nature of perfection, and no one answered.”
* The term “universal” is something of a misnomer when applied to President Obama’s pre-K proposal, says The Atlantic’s Garance Franke-Ruta: “That said, the fine print shows that despite Obama’s call “to make high-quality preschool available to every child in America,” what he’s proposing is not really a universal program as much as a slate of initiatives to expand early options for children of the poor and lower middle class.”
* Do you have a great business idea for Michigan? Well, you have a day or so left to enter it in Greenlight competition: “The Greenlight Business Model Competition will bring together businesses that have been in existence for one year or less with new student run start-up ventures.”
* Matt Yglesias, writing about the minimum wage debate, advances another policy option: “The real policy mix you’re looking for is a blend of wage subsidies (to encourage work) and something like a Guaranteed Basic Income program that just hands out cash to people regardless of what they do.”
Can you imagine Michigan ever agreeing to something like a government check for able-bodied adults? Oh wait, the state used to have just such as program.