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JUNE 21, 2015


Hour 1:

"California Dreaming" with Dr. L. J. McQuillan            

Hour 2:



California Dreaming

Our 1st guest: Dr. Lawrence J. McQuillan WE THE PEOPLE RADIO
About Lawrence McQuillan

Lawrence J. McQuillan is Senior Fellow and Director of the Center on Entrepreneurial Innovation at the Independent Institute. Lawrence McQuillan is a frequent media guest who has appeared on radio and television outlets nationwide, including NPR, Fox Business, CNBC, CNN, and C-SPAN. His writings have been featured in such publications as the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, New York Post, Investor’s Business Daily, and Forbes. Lawrence McQuillan earned his Ph.D. in economics from George Mason University, and previously served in positions at the Hoover Institution, Illinois Policy Institute, and Pacific Research Institute. He has also served as a respected advisor for governments nationwide. SEND EMAIL

California Dreaming

Lessons on How to Resolve America’s Public Pension Crisis

By Lawrence J. McQuillan

Washington, DC—A politically created crisis of epic proportions is brewing across the United States. For decades, public pension officials and politicians of both parties have promised their employees increasingly generous retirement benefits—while low-balling the contributions from government agencies and employees that are required to cover these promises. As a result, state and local governments from California to New York now face an impending public pension tsunami—presenting our greatest financial challenge since the Great Depression.

In CALIFORNIA DREAMING: Lessons on How to Resolve America’s Public Pension Crisis (Independent Institute, June 2015) economist and Independent Institute Senior Fellow Lawrence McQuillan exposes how skyrocketing costs of public employee retirement benefits have created a massive unfunded liability crisis. He describes the true extent of the problem, explains the critical factors that are driving public pension debt sky-high, and reveals the perverse incentives of lawmakers and pension officials that reward them for not fixing the problem and letting it escalate. Finally, he offers the six crucial reforms needed to restore the financial health of California—where the crisis is worst—and other threatened jurisdictions in states and cities across the United States.

The total unfunded pension liability of state and local governments across America has ballooned to a staggering $4.7 trillion. In California, state, county, and city governments collectively can meet only 51 percent of their total pension obligations. The predicted $576 billion shortfall threatens to seriously disrupt public services such as schools, roads, parks, libraries, police, and fire departments; slash pension payouts to millions of public retirees; hurt the investment portfolios of bondholders; trash the credit ratings and borrowing capabilities of state and local governments; and impose huge tax burdens on current taxpayers and future generations.

This financial and moral crisis is not limited to California. Massive public pension debt and pension costs are devouring government services across the United States as similar problems confront Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, West Virginia, and other states, as well as major cities such as Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and Philadelphia. Taxpayers are on the hook to make up the difference between pension promises and pension assets. Immediate reform is needed.

Lawrence McQuillan’s CALIFORNIA DREAMING provides an essential roadmap for America on how to measure the true extent of the pension crisis, identifies the political drivers of the crisis, and makes compelling fiscal and moral arguments for the reforms needed to permanently fix the problem. Lawrence McQuillan offers six reforms that would solve California’s pension problem in an equitable, responsible, and moral way by preserving pension benefits already earned; allowing governments, if they choose, to provide competitive defined-contribution pensions going forward to all employees; and granting governments the flexibility needed, so that future generations are not paying for deals they did not make. These same reforms could be applied effectively anywhere in America.

And the specific recommendations—most of them already in place in the private sector—would require financial transparency and full annual funding of each pension plan without issuing “pension obligation bonds.” Also, the reforms would give state and local governments the flexibility to switch to sustainable 401(k)-style defined-contribution pension plans going forward for all government employees. Voters would also be required to pre-approve any pension plan change that increases financial obligations. These reforms are the crucial elements of a comprehensive solution. They would stop the problem from getting worse, fully fund the pension plans without severe hardships on future generations, and guarantee that the crisis is never repeated.

To arrange an interview with California Dreaming author Lawrence McQuillan, please contact Stephen Manfredi at:

ph# 202.222.8028 or .

Hour 2:   NASA  Scientists: 
"In God we trust, all others bring data"   WE THE PEOPLE RADIO
Show appearances: DECEMBER 7, 2014   FEBRUARY 8, 2015   APRIL 26, 2015
Our 2nd guest: Leighton Steward

Leighton Steward is a geologist, environmentalist, author, and retired energy industry executive. He has written about the reasons for the loss of much of the Mississippi River delta (Louisiana's National Treasure) and has given advice on how the nation can achieve "no net loss" of wetlands in the future; advice that has been accepted by the EPA and U. S. Corps of Engineers. Leighton was lead author on a book about nutrition and health (Sugar Busters) that gave advice on how to lose weight and prevent and or treat diabetes. The book became a #1 New York Times Best seller for sixteen weeks and made a significant contribution to the changes that have occurred regarding the availability of no-sugar-added, higher fiber, and low-glycemic products in the super markets. More recently, he has written a book (Fire, Ice and Paradise) that is an endeavor to educate the non-scientist about the many causes of global climate change so that the reader will be better prepared to understand what they hear, see, and read about in the media and from the politicians. In recognition of his many environmental efforts, Leighton has received numerous environmental awards, including the regional EPA Administrator's Award for environmental excellence.

There are competing points of view regarding the causes of climate change in our current environment. One group has concluded that human activities in the burning of fossil fuels have increased the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere which has caused a recent acceleration of a 300 year trend of global warming. This point of view is usually called "Anthropogenic (man-made) Global Warming" (AGW.)  The most prevalent alternative point of view is that natural variations account for most, if not all, of changes in climate.  The professional conflict between the advocates of these two hypotheses generally comes down to a debate between AGW advocates attempting to predict future climate change through unproven computer models, and the AGW skeptics point of view based on observed data and effects of CO2 on temperature changes in Earth’s present and past climates. In addition, there is often disagreement about how the existing climate data is interpreted, and the conclusions drawn from these interpretations.  continued



Video: Weathermen's Cold Truth - Leighton Steward
Leighton Steward's significant work with a team of former NASA scientists known as “The Right Climate Stuff” who have looked carefully at the science of climate change. Their report concluded that there is no convincing physical evidence of catastrophic human caused global warming. And they’ve recently taken this message to the International Conference on Climate Change.

Leighton Steward is a leading scientist, environmentalist, and New York Times best-selling author. He contends that this global warming alarmism is dishonest and should not be used as a scare tactic to propose radical environmental policies. He argues that true environmentalists should recognize that modestly rising carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere have fueled a “greening” of the earth that is good for plant life and human life.

President Obama has vowed to “respond to the threat of climate change.” But a team of former NASA scientists with expertise in physics, chemistry, geology, climatology, engineering, biology, and other fields has carefully analyzed the evidence for global warming, and has concluded that there is no evidence of catastrophic global warming. They determined that current models are un-validated and clearly deficient for climate forecasting, Earth's sensitivity to CO2 is much less than commonly claimed, empirical evidence does not support a catastrophic warming scenario, calling CO2 a "pollutant" is scientifically embarrassing and we should not be spending huge sums to reduce CO2 in light of the above. In fact, the team leader projects a maximum of one degree Celsius of warming by the end of this century based on a look back at empirical evidence.

Leighton Steward: “There is no convincing physical evidence of catastrophic man-made global warming…This is not settled science and this group supports more government-sponsored climate change research to remove critical areas of prediction uncertainty.”

Leighton Steward: “Instead of attempting to make costly public policy decisions of dubious effectiveness based on un-validated computer simulations predicting earth’s future surface temperature—we strongly recommend taking our time to improve our knowledge of the critical factors driving temperature prediction uncertainty…There is no impending climate disaster that requires immediate action. We need to get the science right first, and then determine the proper public policies. Forcing our nation to prematurely use the most expensive energies in the world will kill jobs and is a recipe for economic suicide.”

learn more about The Right Climate Stuff at…
 Stunning proof that CO2 improves plant growth!




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