PNS Daily Newscast - December 12, 2018 

Trump clashes with Democrats and threatens a government shutdown if he doesn’t get his border wall. Also on the Wednesday rundown: Lawmakers agree on an $867-billion Farm Bill; and a new report finds private community correction centers failing to rehabilitate people who live there.

Daily Newscasts

Report: State Budget Cuts - Not the Best Route During Recession

March 31, 2010

RICHMOND, Va. - Balancing the state budget in Virginia has been a challenge, as it has for almost every state. And Virginia, like most others, has focused on cutting spending. A new report suggests there are alternatives to spending cuts, and they can help states get on track toward economic recovery.

David Shreve, report co-author and an economist with the Virginia Organizing Project, says legislators need to put politics aside, because cutting state spending hurts the economy. Instead, he suggests states focus on fine-tuning their tax code so it reflects a progressive structure -- meaning those who make the least pay the smallest share and those who make the most pay a larger share.

"This is not only much, much easier to do than anyone would imagine, it's very economically sound to approach it this way. If you're looking for the optimum way to move Virginia more quickly out of the recession, this is it."

While many would argue against raising taxes in tough economic times, Karen Kraut, the director of the Tax Fairness Organizing Collaborative, Boston, says the discussion is more complex than that. She urges lawmakers to focus on getting rid of unsound and unfair taxes.

"We're looking at things like closing corporate loopholes and ending tax breaks for businesses that don't produce the jobs that they say they're going to produce."

The report also suggests tapping into rainy day funds, scrutinizing existing tax breaks and encouraging more federal revenue sharing.

The complete report is available at

Monique Coppola, Public News Service - VA