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Watchdog.org Podcast

Watchdog Podcasts. Taking you behind the headlines and inside the stories. We examine the news that matters to you - from the school board to the state Capitol and Washington DC - because we know that someone has to keep an eye on how government is spending your money. Education, health care, budgets and more; our reporters have the inside story that you need to know - and a free market perspective that you won't find anywhere else.
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Now displaying: Page 5
Apr 8, 2015

This is Behind the Headlines, Watchdog.org’s podcast that takes a deeper look at the political news our Watchdog reporters uncover.

In this week’s episode, host Ben Yount sits down with Jonathan Williams, the vice president for state fiscal policy at ALEC, to discuss the group's eighth annual report on "Rich States, Poor States."

For more on the report, check out Watchdog's story about the states at the top of the survey and those who are slipping in the wrong direction.

Apr 7, 2015

Code Blue is Watchdog Radio’s weekly look at heath issues, ranging from the latest public health debates to small government views on health care reform.

Medicaid and Medicare are breaking the budgets of states and the federal government, but there are other options out there. Is Obamacare the best we can do?

Well, no, it's not.  From Paul Ryan's budget plan to idea cooked up by think tanks across the country, there are plenty of ideas about how to repair or replace the Affordable Care Act.  In this week's episode, hosts  Katie Watson and Jason Hart take a look at a few of them.

 

Apr 6, 2015

Say It Loud, Say It Proud is Watchdog Radio’s weekly look at free speech and First Amendment issues — examining the rights that are some of the most important to our society, but also some of the most frequently under attack.

In this week’s episode, host Chris Dobrogosz examines the limitations on free speech. Just because you're allowed to say something, doesn't  mean that there won't be consequences for saying it. And when you're dealing with another person or private company, there are rules that you might have to follow, but that doesn't mean your right are under attack.

 

Apr 3, 2015

Breaking The Piggy Bank is Watchdog.org’s weekly look at the national public pension crisis, how it’s affecting state and city budgets and what can be done — if anything — to fix it.

In this week’s episode, hosts Eric Boehm and Steve Greenhut take a look at the fine mess in Jeanette, Pennsylvania, where local officials raised taxes in order to restore the funding levels of the town's pension plan. Then, only a few months later, they handed out increased pension benefits that made a bad situation worse.

And in California, where a massive drought continues to cause problems, the state is ready to lend a helping hand. But doing do will include boosting retirement benefits for some public workers. Never let a good crisis go to waste, after all, and never miss an episode of the Watchdog podcast!

Apr 2, 2015

This is “In Our Backyards,” Watchdog.org’s podcast that examines local government — because the government that is the closest to you often can be the most important, even if you don’t hear much about it.

We’ll look at city councils, school boards and even water treatment authorities, because your tax dollars can be wasted by local officials just as easily as they can be wasted by member of Congress.

In this episode, host Ben Yount chats with Will Patrick of Florida Watchdog about a new proposal that would have property owners in the Tampa metro area paying for a new light rail line and the expansion of mass transit options.  Should property taxes fund a questionable expansion of services by requring those who don't use mass transit to pay for it?

Apr 1, 2015

This is Behind the Headlines, Watchdog.org’s podcast that takes a deeper look at the political news our Watchdog reporters uncover.

In this week’s episode, host Eric Boehm sits down with Kevin Glass, director of outreach for the Franklin Center, the nonprofit which owns Watchdog.org.

Glass recently attended a bipartisan summit on criminal justice reform, which he says is a growing force in conservative politics. Though it signals a shift away from their long-standing "get tough on crime approach," Republican lawmakers are realizing that America's high incarceration rate is at-odds with their small government values.

Mar 31, 2015

Code Blue is Watchdog Radio’s weekly look at heath issues, ranging from the latest public health debates to small government views on health care reform.

Medicaid and Medicare are breaking the budgets of states and the federal government, but there are other options out there. Is Obamacare the best we can do?

In this week’s episode, hosts Katie Watson and Jason Hart take a look at the ongoing problems in the Department of Veteran's Affairs, particularly those affecting how veterans get access to medical care.  It might not be front-page news anymore, but there's a long list of problems at the VA and the department's lack of transpaency isn't helping matters.

Hart and Watson attempt to answer a tough question: why is the government so incapable of providing quality care?

 

Mar 30, 2015

This is “In Our Backyards,” Watchdog.org’s podcast that examines local government — because the government that is the closest to you can often be the most important, even if you don’t hear much about it.

We’ll look at city councils, school boards and even water treatment authorities, because your tax dollars can be wasted by local officials just as easily as they can be wasted by member of Congress.

This week, we look at property taxes.  Nearly everyone has to pay them, and they keep getting more expensive.  But in Pennsylvania, there's hope for a tax-shift that would eliminate, or at least reduce, property taxes.

Andrew Staub of the PA Independent sits down with Eric Boehm to discuss the proposal, who would benefit from it and whether political disagreements will prevent it from getting to the finish line.

Mar 27, 2015

This is “Sit Down And Shut Up,” Watchdog.org’s podcast examining education issues at the national, state and local levels. Hosts Ben Yount and Bre Payton take a critical look at the education establishment, the growth of school choice and the ways free markets can be a part of fixing America’s broken school system.

In this week's episode, Yount and Payton are joined by Watchdog education reporter Moriah Costa, who explains some of the problems facing charter schools inWashington, D.C.

The nation's capital has dozens of charter schools, and 44 percent of all students in the city attend charter schools. The charter system was recently ranked number one in the country for a seventh consecutive year, but there are questions about funding - and about whether some charter operators are doing the right thing with that funding.

Mar 26, 2015

Say It Loud, Say It Proud is Watchdog Radio’s weekly look at free speech and First Amendment issues — examining the rights that are some of the most important to our society, but also some of the most frequently under attack.

In this week’s episode, host Ben Yount sits down with Wisconsin Reporter's Matt Kittle to talk about the latest developments in the John Doe investigation - if you haven't read about the startling attacks on free speech in Wisconsin, you can do so here.

Kelly Rindfliesch is now the first political prisoner in the wide-ranging probe that has targeted conservative supporters of Gov. Scott Walker. Her story will make you wonder how it could happen in the United States, where political speech is supposed to be protected by the constitution.

Mar 25, 2015

This is Behind the Headlines, Watchdog.org’s podcast that takes a deeper look at the political news being uncovered by our Watchdog reporters.

In this week's episode, host Eric Boehm sits down with Art Kane, a national reporter for Watchdog.org, to discuss Kane's recent investigations into crony capitalism at the Small Business Administration.

As Kane explains, the SBA - despite its name - regularly subsidizes huge corporations with taxpayer-backed grans and loans.  Not only that, but some of its activities fly in the face of other goals the government is trying to accomplish - like getting Americans to be healthier. 

Mar 24, 2015

Code Blue is Watchdog Radio’s weekly look at heath issues, ranging from the latest public health debates to small government views on health care reform.

Medicaid and Medicare are breaking the budgets of states and the federal government, but there are other options out there. Is Obamacare the best we can do?

In this week's episode, hosts Katie Watson and Jason Hart wish Obamacare a happy 5th anniversary.  The Affordable Care Act has booted millions of Americans off their health insurance plans, forced them to use a crappy website to find a more expensive alternative and caused premiums to rise.  Other than that, it's a rousing success!

 

Mar 23, 2015

Say It Loud, Say It Proud is Watchdog Radio’s weekly look at free speech and First Amendment issues — examining the rights that are some of the most important to our society, but also some of the most frequently under attack.

In this week’s episode, host Chris Dobrogosz sits down with Joseph Cohn, from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, to discuss how free speech is coming under attack on America's college campuses.

Even when free speech is offensive, or hateful and bigoted, it's still important to defend the right to be a jerk.

 

Mar 20, 2015

This is “Sit Down And Shut Up,” Watchdog.org’s podcast examining education issues at the national, state and local levels.

Hosts Ben Yount and Bre Payton take a critical look at the education establishment, the growth of school choice and the ways free markets can be a part of fixing America’s broken school system.

In this week's episode, our hosts look at how school choice is making parents' and students' lives better, as Minnesota is considering a bill that would allow for educational savings accounts.

Then, what the heck is Yik Yak? It's a new, anonymous social media program that is causing all sorts of issues in schools and on college campuses.

Mar 19, 2015

This is Behind the Headlines, Watchdog.org’s podcast that takes a deeper look at the political news being uncovered by our Watchdog reporters.

In this week's episode, host Ben Yount sits down with Tori Richards to talk about the latest developments in the still-ongoing scandal at Veteran's Affairs. Richards has uncovered a case in Lousiana where a VA hospital employee was fired for blowing the whistle on his boss for making fake patient waiting lists.

The boss? Oh, he got promoted. Isn't government great?

Mar 18, 2015

Code Blue is Watchdog Radio’s weekly look at heath issues, ranging from the latest public health debates to small government views on health care reform.

Medicaid and Medicare are breaking the budgets of states and the federal government, but there are other options out there. Is Obamacare the best we can do?

In this week's episode, hosts Katie Watson and Jason Hart take a look at one of the biggest myths surrounding Medicaid expansion: If your state decides not to expand Medicaid in accordance with the Affordable Care Act, does that mean other states get to take "your" share of the federal dollars?

It's a claim that has been repeated from coast-to-coast by proponents of Medicaid expansion, but the Congressional Research Service says that's just not true. 

Mar 17, 2015

Breaking The Piggy Bank is Watchdog.org’s weekly look at the national public pension crisis, how it is affecting state and city budgets and what can be done — if anything — to fix it.

In this week’s episode, hosts Eric Boehm and Steve Greenhut enjoy a little green beer in honor of St. Patrick's Day and discuss the changing public perception of pension promises.

According to a recent Reason-Rupe poll, 72 percent of Americans are worried that their governments won't be able to afford the pension promises that have been made. Is that the seed for a political push for pension reform? A whopping 80 percent of Americans say they would rather re-negotiate pension promises than raise taxes or cut services, but Greenhut and Boehm explain why the choice is not that clear-cut.

Mar 16, 2015

This is In Our Backyards, Watchdog.org’s podcast that examines local government — because the government that is the closest to you can often be the most important, even if you don’t hear much about it.

We’ll look at city councils, school boards and even water treatment authorities, because your tax dollars can be wasted by local officials just as easily as they can be wasted by member of Congress.

In this week's episode, host Ben Yount sits down with Watchdog.org editor Johnny Kampis to discuss a failed $80 million aquarium project that was supposed to be built along Mississippi's gulf coast. City officials in D'Iberville held a groundbreaking on Dec. 9, 2011, for the project that called for a 175,000-square-foot facility filled with dolphins, sea lions and birds and offering interactive exhibits, an aquarium and eco-tours.

But more than three years later, nothing has been built, and city leaders are moving forward with the sale of the property to another developer.

Mar 13, 2015

Breaking The Bank is Watchdog.org’s weekly look at the national public pension crisis, how it is affecting state and city budgets and what can be done — if anything — to fix it.

In this week's episode, host Eric Boehm sits down with Ben Yount of Illinois Watchdog Radio to discuss the ongoing legal battle over pension reform in Illinois. The state Supreme Court heard arguments this week on the reforms, which would not touch retirees' base pensions but would place limits on annual cost-of-living-adjustments.

States like Illinois are stuck between a rock and a hard place because pension benefits are generally protected by state constitutions and cannot be reduced for current workers and retirees. But states that are facing insurmountable pension bills in the coming decades are looking for any way out - the case in Illinois could be an important precedent.

Mar 12, 2015

In this week's episode, hosts Katie Watson and Jason Hart take a look at the oral arguments in the King v. Burwell case that was before the Supreme Court this week. At the center of the case is a question about the text of the Affordable Care Act: are people enrolled through the federal exchange eligible for subsidies. The federal government (particularly the IRS) says yes, but others don't agree.

Then, what the heck is up with the rising costs of health care? Premiums are continuing to skyrocket, and many households can't afford it anymore.

Mar 11, 2015

This is “Sit Down And Shut Up,” Watchdog.org’s podcast examining education issues at the national, state and local levels.

Hosts Ben Yount and Bre Payton take a critical look at the education establishment, the growth of school choice and the ways free markets can be a part of fixing America’s broken school system.

In this week’s episode, our hosts discuss the rising cost of college education and how federal subsidies are causing an inflationary bubble, rather than making college more affordable. Then, Ben sits down with an Illinois high school student who helped organize a walk-out at her school over student opposition to Common Core tests.

Mar 10, 2015

This is Behind the Headlines, Watchdog.org’s podcast that takes a deeper look at the political news being uncovered by our Watchdog reporters.

On this week's show, we take a look at the passage of right-to-work legislation in Wisconsin. The bill was signed into law by Gov. Scott Walker on Monday and makes the Badger State the 25th state in the nation with a law that allows workers to choose whether they want to join a union or not.

Matt Kittle, bureau chief for Wisconsin Reporter, joins host Eric Boehm to talk about the passage of the law in Wisconsin and what it means for Walker's rising political star.

Then, Trey Kovacks from the Competitive Enterprise Institute stops by the show to discuss the national context of the right-to-work debate. Will other states soon follow the path taken by Wisconsin?

Mar 9, 2015

Say It Loud, Say It Proud is Watchdog Radio’s weekly look at free speech and First Amendment issues — examining the rights that are some of the most important to our society, but also some of the most frequently under attack.

In this week's episode, host Chris Dobrogosz takes a look back at the history of the Federal Communications Commission and its past with regulating speech — including its long-standing fights with shock-jocks like Howard Stern and how the FCC limited the development of talk radio for decades until some of those limits were lifted in the 1980s. Now, the FCC is going to be able to regulate the Internet too, thanks to net neutrality.

Berin Szoka, president of Tech Freedom, joins Dobrogosz to discuss how and when the FCC might be able to exert control over content on the Internet. And Jeremy Gillula, from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, stops by the show to talk about the limits of the FCC's new net neutrality rules.

Mar 6, 2015

Code Blue is Watchdog Radio’s weekly look at heath issues, ranging from the latest public health debates to small government views on health care reform.

Medicaid and Medicare are breaking the budgets of states and the federal government, but there are other options out there.

The Medicaid expansion math doesn't add up. In this week's edition of Code Blue, Jason Hart and Katie Watson get out the calculators and go through the real numbers on Medicaid expansion in the states. And they find that while adding millions of people to Medicaid as part of Obamacare was easy, paying for those people will be next to impossible in the coming years.

Mar 5, 2015

This is Behind the Headlines, Watchdog.org’s podcast that takes a deeper look at the political news being uncovered by our Watchdog reporters.

You might have heard the news, but if you haven’t gone behind the headlines, you don’t know what you might be missing.

In this week's episode, host Eric Boehm sits down with Aloyisuis Hogan of the Competitive Enterprise Institute to discuss the true costs of being part of a union. Hogan and his colleagues at CEI have attempted to quantify how much union membership can cut a worker's take-home paycheck - and the final numbers might surprise you.

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