The economist contracted by the Legislature for consultation and analysis has sent a scathing report back to the Joint Fiscal Office in regards to a bill before the Senate Finance Committee called “Vermont Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (S.137).” Tom Kavet is an economist from Williamstown. As part of his introduction, he says, “Virtually none of the proposed programs that reduce revenues or increase spending represent any net economic stimulus benefit to the State.” He questions essentially all of the measures as benefitting near-term economic stimulus. He suggests that maximizing federal stimulus funds is by far the best opportunity for the state to recover from the current recession. He also makes a case that a fully funded “rainy day fund (a reserve fund used to make up for lost tax revenues in bad times and replenished during good times)” would be logical public policy, rather than cutting taxes in good times and raising taxes in bad times, but which would require a significant change in political will. The current balance of this fund is $60 million.He goes on to say that the state lacks a comprehensive economic development plan. And even mentions that the popular “sales tax holiday” from last summer and touted as a stimulus measure, “probably actually resulted in a small net economic loss.” He also says that cutting state programs or laying off state workers also would result in a net loss to the economy over the next two years. Below is his overview to the report (click here for the full report).To: Steve Klein, Legislative Joint Fiscal OfficeFrom: Tom KavetKavet, Rockler & Associates, LLCWilliamstown, VermontWebsite: www.kavetrockler.com(link is external)CC: Senate Finance CommitteeDate: April 8, 2009Re: Requested Review of Proposed Vermont Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, S.137OVERVIEWPer your request, I have summarized perspectives on the: 1) Costs, 2) Near-Term Economic Stimulus Effects and 3) Policy Considerations, associated with the 121 relevant sections proposed in S.137, the Vermont Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.While the bleak economic conditions that were originally cited as the rationale for this legislation are real and present, the efficacy of many of the 121 measures contained withinthem to address these conditions can only be described as minor, and in some cases, misguided. Many of the measures are revised versions of programs that have either had little or no beneficial impact as previously enacted or proposed measures that have been rejected in prior legislative sessions.Many of the measures represent substantial State expenditures of revenues – whether as tax expenditures that reduce revenues, loan loss guarantees that may reduce revenues, or direct expenditures – at a time of severe revenue stress. Virtually none of the proposed programs that reduce revenues or increase spending represent any net economic stimulus benefit to the State. This is because they must be funded with offsetting tax increases or spending cuts (see page 2 insert for more a more detailed discussion). Few of the proposed measures provide clear goals stating expected public benefits for these public expenditures, and fewer still provide transparent public oversight to insure that these benefits are achieved. Most importantly, the larger policy framework and supporting analysis within which these measures fit, is absent. As noted in comparable pending House legislation, Vermont lacks a shared statewide vision of its economic future ¦[and] lacks a single, holistic, integrated state plan for economic development. (See H.313)Without a coherent plan and credible planning entity, such measures accumulate, overlap and add to administrative (and user) chaos with those already passed, many of which are unused, unevaluated and of uncertain benefit. Without a strategic plan, the efficiency of public expenditures is diluted and policy priorities remain vague. Economic development becomes a catch-all for anything any other state is doing and anything that might help. While the political impetus to do something is understandable at times like this, it is important to understand the limitations of state economic policy options that can truly impact the broader economy. For example, the beneficial economic impact of almost all of the non- ARRA measures proposed in the subject legislation would be exceeded by the expenditure of the State Rainy Day Fund (about $60 million) and would be dwarfed by the negative economic impact of laying off substantial numbers of state workers and cutting expenditures for essential state services.The most impactful portions of the proposed legislation are those related to maximizing the receipt and expenditure of federal economic stimulus dollars. There is no other single public policy action the State can take with greater beneficial impact on the State s economy over the next two years than measures to aggressively attract and utilize the massive ARRA funds now becoming available (see chart, next page). Proposals in this legislation that maximize and rely on this funding have powerful beneficial economic and fiscal impacts because, for the most part, they do not require any additional State taxation or offsetting spending cutbacks to finance. With nearly $1.5 billion in potential state investment, these policy areas should receive the highest legislative priority.Administrative concerns associated with these proposals should also be given fair weight. All too often, programs are rushed into existence without careful planning regarding compliance, operation and public oversight. The VEPC EATI program, for example, was developed with the best of intentions, but without careful consideration as to how the program would be policed and managed, and resulted in the loss of millions of dollars in taxpayer money due to program loopholes and abuse. All of the large programmatic proposals should be thoroughly vetted by the Tax Department, Joint Fiscal Office and other administrative agencies to determine administrative costs and concerns regarding program operation before passage, and all should have some form of public oversight and follow-up to insure that the expected benefits are received.The below assessments for individual sections of this bill should be considered preliminary, since new information is being made available daily and statutory revisions are being constantly introduced. This memo is based on statutory language as of March 27, 2009. Updated analyses will be made available to various committees upon request as these proposals move through the legislative process.
Jeremy Thornton won the Saturday main event for IMCA Modifieds at Central Arizona Speedway. (Photo courtesy of Central Arizona Speedway)By Jeff McSpaddenCASA GRANDE, Ariz. (May 19) – Jeremy Thornton was the IMCA Modified star Saturday at Central Arizona Speedway.Starting seventh in the sixteen car IMCA Modified field, Thornton quickly made his way into the fourth spot diving low on the speedway entering turns one and two after the drop of the green flag, sixth starting Trevor Miller also made a bold move into the second spot behind pole starter and early leader, Mike Strobl.Trevor Miller drove by Mike Strobl for the lead on lap two while Thornton was working his way up from seventh starting to third. Thornton made quick work of Strobl for the runner up position and set out after Miller.Taking advantage of a lap five restart, Thornton pulled even with Miller and edged ahead as the sixth lap was scored. Thornton got a great jump on the next restart and began to put some distance between himself and Miller, with Tyler Mecl climbing into the third position.Thornton’s advantage of better than a second held up until the caution waved again with two laps left. Another yellow set up a one-lap dash to the finish and Thornton held his line to win ahead of throughout the remainder of the last lap and crossed the finish line just .737 seconds ahead of Miller and Mecl.
National football team of Croatia is the last semi-finalist of the World Cup in Russia.Last night, Croats won against the host, the team of Russia, with the score 4: 3 after better penalty shootout. The result after 90 minutes of the match was 1: 1, and after 120 minutes it was 2: 2.Russia took the lead in the 31st minute with the goal of Denis Cheryshev, who scored with a powerful and precise shot after he got the ball from Artem Dzyuba.However, their joy did not last for too long. Andrej Kramaric, assisted by Mario Mandzukic, scored a goal in the 39th minute of the match and tied the score.Both teams had numerous opportunity to score in the second half of the match, and Ivan Perisic was the closest to scoring a goal in 59th minute of the match.The result was the same after 90 minutes of the match, and they played the extra time during which were scored two goals. Domagoj Vida brought the lead back to Croatia with the goal he scored from 11 meters distance after Luka Modric’s corner, and Mario Fernandes scored in 115th minute for Russia.Alan Dzagoev performed a free kick, and Fernandes handled the situation and sent the ball between the goal stands.Croats were more successful in the performance of penalties, and Ivan Rakitic scored the decisive goal.In the semi-finals that will take place on July 11, in Moscow, Croatia will play against the team of England, which won against the team of Sweden with the score 2: 0. Belgium and France will fight for the finals a day earlier in Saint Petersburg.(Source: fena)
Week 16 starts on Saturday with three games: Buccaneers vs. Texans, Patriots vs. Bills and 49ers vs. Rams. Much like Thanksgiving, that provides the possibility of playing three, single-game NFL DFS contests throughout the day. We’re here with DraftKings Showdown advice and picks to help you get the weekend off to a good start, especially if you’ve missed out on the fantasy football playoffs.All three lineups go a bit off the top option at captain, but that allows us to jam in most of each game’s studs into the main portion of our lineups. Our two big fades are Breshad Perriman and Julian Edelman, but we go into why a bit more below. WEEK 16 NON-PPR RANKINGS:Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | KickerDraftKings Showdown NFL DFS Picks: Buccaneers vs. TexansCaptain (1.5x price, 1.5x points): WR Justin Watson, Buccaneers ($9,600)The big risk we’re taking in this lineup is fading Breshad Perriman, but we wanted to get both passing games in here as much as we could, so our captain is Watson. The assumption that Chris Godwin and Mike Evans would both be out with hamstring injuries is now official, and so Watson is the No. 2 WR in a pass-happy offense that should see plenty of targets.FLEX: QB Deshaun Watson, Texans ($12,400)One of the best quarterbacks in football going up against one of the league’s worst secondaries? Yes please.FLEX: WR DeAndre Hopkins, Texans ($12,200)No one on the Buccaneers will come close to covering Hopkins, and he and Watson are a chalky but much-needed stack here as they light up Tampa Bay.WEEK 16 DFS LINEUPS:FD Cash | FD GPP | DK Cash | DK GPP | Y! Cash | Y! GPPFLEX: QB Jameis Winston, Buccaneers ($11,600)He’ll throw a few interceptions, and it won’t shock anyone. But it will be the consistent deep-ball throwing that will pay off big time — and if many others have played Perriman, we’ll get a piece of it through Jameis.FLEX: WR Ishmael Hyman, Buccaneers ($3,000)With Evans, Godwin and Scotty Miller out, Hyman should be the Bucs’ No. 3 WR, which means he’ll see more than half the snaps and probably six or more targets. In an offense built on downfield passing and in a game that should feature lots of points, there are a ton of routes to value for Hyman.FLEX: RB Dare Ogunbowale, Buccaneers ($1,000)If we’re believing in Tampa Bay’s passing game playing such a huge role Saturday, we’ll use our final dollars on the Bucs’ passing-down back, in hopes that he gets solid playing time on a day no one will be running at all.SATURDAY DFS: DraftKings main slate lineup | Showdown lineupsDraftKings Saturday Showdown Advice: Patriots vs. BillsCaptain (1.5x price, 1.5x points): WR Cole Beasley, Bills ($12,000)Beasley has a couple things going for him in this game. The first is DK’s PPR scoring. The second is that Pats’ stud corner Stephon Gilmore should take John Brown out of the game on the outside. And the third is that New England should blitz Josh Allen a lot, which means quick passes to Beasley should be the order of the day.FLEX: QB Josh Allen, Bills ($10,400)Allen has too many ways of putting together a solid fantasy day to fade him in a game where we’re already fading Julian Edelman. Even in a sort of bland game against Pittsburgh, he ran for a touchdown and threw another.FLEX: QB Tom Brady, Patriots ($10,200)Brady hasn’t been good this year, but it doesn’t make sense to fade a QB from the team we’ll have two WRs from. We never really know what New England will do with their gameplan, so maybe it will decide to work the passing game early and often anyway.FLEX: RB Sony Michel, Patriots ($7,200)Michel followed up a nine-snap Week 14 with a 19-carry Week 15, so we could be looking at any number of outcomes here. He’s just a bit too cheap for a back who could end up with 19 carries again.FLEX: WR N’Keal Harry, Patriots ($5,200)We’re fading Edelman because if he plays, he’ll definitely be hindered by injury, and if he doesn’t, it sets everyone below him up for success. I’d actually make the case that Harry’s pricing should be flipped with Mohamed Sanu’s, but both can come at values (and one could return extreme value) with Edelman hurting.FLEX: WR Mohamed Sanu, Patriots ($4,400)Sanu led New England wide receivers in snaps and was targeted eight times a week ago. The fact that he caught only two is slightly concerning, but we’ll bet on the workload leading to more production this time around.WEEK 16 PPR RANKINGS: Running back | Wide receiver | Tight endDraftKings Showdown NFL DFS Lineup: 49ers vs. RamsCaptain (1.5x price, 1.5x points): RB Raheem Mostert, 49ers ($12,900)As long as Kyle Shanahan doesn’t do anything crazy, Mostert will continue leading this backfield and provide a good mixture of touch floor and big-play ceiling out of our captain spot in a game the Niners should be seeking to bounceback.FLEX: QB Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers ($9,400)We’re going to try and lock down as much San Francisco scoring as we can here by getting involved in the running and passing game. Garoppolo doesn’t throw a ton, but when he does, he’s effective.FLEX: TE George Kittle, 49ers ($9,200)Kittle is the focal point of the San Francisco offense, and he’s worth every bit of this price. Even his floor game is a decent outcome.FLEX: RB Todd Gurley, Rams ($8,800)San Francisco’s defense doesn’t necessarily have a weakness, although it’s a bit dinged up and might give some room for the L.A. offense to work. Gurley makes the most sense as our highest-priced Ram thanks to the built-in workload floor of a starting RB.FLEX: WR Brandin Cooks, Rams ($5,000) Cooks had a bit better game in Week 15 than he’d been having, and we all know what he used to be capable of. We’ll hope on a strong finish to the season for Cooks. At the beginning of the year, you’d never expect to be able to get him at this price.FLEX: K Robbie Gould, 49ers ($4,000)If all our San Franciso offensive players can’t finish the job, Gould will with a leg that’s been locked in the past few weeks. You could also use Greg Zuerlein here, but he’s hurting at the moment.