What’s the matter, bunky? Depressed over Porkulus? Worried about insane spending? Unable to achieve an Obasm? Fear not, and ask your doctor about Stimulusol XR:
(hat tip: The Jawa Report)
I was emailing back and forth with a friend the other day and wrote that, while Obama’s economic policies really don’t scare me (they’ll fail and we’ll recover from them), what does scare me is his international weakness and how he’ll react to a crisis. Michael Ledeen is reminded of President Jimmy Carter, and he’s worried, too.
The loonies truly run the asylum there.
RELATED: Ayers’ and Dohrn’s manifesto from their underground days. They’ve never renounced this, either.
First, more and more among the corrupt politicians of Illinois (redundant, I know) must be ruing the day they decided to back Blagojevich for anything. Now, like a horde of Frankenstein’s monsters, everything his corrupt fingers touched is coming back to haunt them. The son of Senator Roland Burris, the man Blago appointed to
slap Harry Reid in the face fill Barack Obama’s seat, is about to lose his home to foreclosure. Oh, by the way, young Burris is counsel to the Illinois Housing Development Authority and makes $75,000 a year from the job. And the icing on the cake? He was hired by Blagojevich.
I wonder if he’ll get a mortgage bailout under his Dad’s predecessor’s plans?
(h/t Michelle Malkin)
Next, thank goodness the downtrodden of the San Francisco Bay Area have Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-Limousine Liberal) in their corner. Without her, these upper-middle class buyers of overpriced properties might not be able to keep the homes they shouldn’t have been buying, anyway
But, they’re just victims … whom we have to bail out.
(h/t Malkin, once again)
Dan Walters of the Sacramento Bee (my hometown paper), provides an important clarification to the question of what is a budget cut and why the answer should be born in mind when talking about California’s (or any state’s) budget:
“This myth is behind the $42 billion deficit figure we see all the time,” Reed wrote recently. “That’s based on the bureaucratic assumption that spending just has to go from $103 billion this year to $111 billion next year. Why should this assumption be the bedrock of all newspaper stories about the budget?”
Reed’s criticism, often echoed by radio talkers and some politicians, would be legit if the state had a zero-based budgeting system. But in fact, provisions of law or, in some cases, the state constitution, dictate much of the spending, such as welfare grant levels, aid to schools or who is locked up in prison.
The governor and legislators cannot arbitrarily change those numbers; they must change the law to reduce them. So using $111 billion as the basis for closing the 2009-10 gap was not a “bureaucratic assumption.”
Walters is right: exigent circumstances, such as spending levels mandated by statute, the state constitution, or court order, can require increases in spending. And it’s true that the budget cuts the rate of increase. So, yes, it’s a real cut — of a sort.
But Walters’ analysis avoids the larger question of the overall growth of California’s budget. An increase from $103 to $111 billion is still an increase. It has to be paid for by either raising taxes and fees (a dumb thing to do in a serious recession), or by borrowing. Given California’s trashed credit rating, any borrowing is going to be more expensive because the interest lenders (bond buyers) will expect will be much higher. And money has to be raised for that interest, too, on top of the budget items funded by the borrowed money.
See the vicious cycle forming?
Whether through legislators creating infinite commitments based on finite revenues, voters thoughtlessly authorizing more borrowing to pay for useless feel-good initiatives (fetal stem-cell research and bullet trains come to mind), or court mandates, California simply spends irresponsibly and is heading for a French grave. If cuts are within the discretion of the legislature, they need to make serious cuts. If state law mandates unsupportable increases, the law must change. We don’t just need cosmetic decreases in the rate of increase, we need a genuine austerity budget that doesn’t punish the people for Sacramento’s profligacy.
Businesses and residents are already fleeing the high taxes here. If things keep on the way they have been in recent years, who will be left ?
(hat tip: Flap via Twitter)