Month: July 2015

Western Pennsylvania school districts brought down by pension debt

By Yaël Ossowski  /   July 31, 2015  / Watchdog.org A frank assessment from Moody’s rating agency this week has given several Pennsylvania school districts sour financial notes, and western PA’s schools top the list. Schools in Allegheny, Washington, and Fayette County have all been downgraded to junk status, according to the rating service’s latest […]

Rand Paul’s ‘Economic Freedom Zone’ a fix for western PA?

By Yaël Ossowski | Watchdog.org Rand Paul wants troubled cities declared “Economic Freedom Zones,” with targeted tax cuts and reduced regulation to promote growth and spur jobs. So-called Economic Freedom Zones — known as Zones for Employment and Economic Development in their more developed form in places like Honduras — offer targeted areas the benefits […]

Erie stocks up on prison gear after shootings, but leaves community without answers

By Yaël Ossowski  | Watchdog.org In 2013, the U.S. Department of Justice awarded Erie, Penn., $600,000 to revitalize its crime-troubled Little Italy neighborhood, and another $300,000 to help combat violence throughout the city. The money never came. Last week, following several shootings, the Erie City Council agreed to spend $25,000 to boost police equipment in […]

The European Union’s fate lies in its embrace of open borders

By Yaël Ossowski | 3H Magazine, translated into Turkish by Zübeyr Kavık Spanning over 420 million people and thousands of kilometers of territory, the Schengen Area, the area of complete freedom of movement within Europe’s borders, is one of the greatest successes of the modern era. Though less than 20 years old, it is one […]

Obama’s ‘girl power’ foreign policy boosts UN aid

By Yaël Ossowski | Watchdog.org The U.S. government’s ‘girl power’ foreign policy has been signed into law, boosting support for a UN aid project to empower girls in developing countries. Just last month, President Barack Obama signed the Girls Count Act, promising government resources “to effectively address the needs of birth registries in countries where […]

Welfare program for laid-off workers doesn’t work; renewed anyway

By Yaël Ossowski | Watchdog.org A billion-dollar welfare program to help laid-off workers displaced by foreign competition has been saved from extinction, even though it’s been judged ineffective and wasteful according to the federal government’s own commissioned studies. Flexing his bipartisan muscle, President Obama signed the bill Monday renewing the Trade Adjustment Assistance program until […]