Time for another roundup of Texas vs. California:
Archive for the ‘Budget’ Category
Time for another LinkSwarm, still top-heavy with ObamaCare failure news:
*Real Fascist, not just in the liberal name-calling sense.
OK, I’m exaggerating a bit, since the least I could possibly write is nothing. But instead of trying to cover every bill, I’m going to point you at Blue Dot Blues, where the indefatigable MJ Samuelson is covering each amendment, so at least I don’t have to write much. Go over there and keep scrolling. Empower Texas also has a handy scorecard. I may disagree on an amendment or two, but not strongly.
I do want to go ahead and urge a No vote on Proposition 6, which authorizes taking money out of the rainy day fund for various ill-defined water projects. This one is getting a big direct mail push from realtor and business PACs and is favored by Rick Perry, Joe Straus, Gregg Abbott and Wendy Davis. Opposing it is an odd coalition of fiscal conservatives and green party types, including Save Our Springs Austin. Some of what is covered is probably needed, but the rest has the smell of a construction boondoggle/slush fund. And what is needed should be allocated from the general fund, not raiding the rainy day fund.
Arlene Wohlgemuth at TPPF has a bit more.
The election is Tuesday, November 5th.
The indomitable Walter Russell Mead has been traipsing around Europe, and has much of interest to report from various countries there regarding the continuing slow-motion Euro crisis.
The Italians? Not happy.
The Italians feel caught in a cruel trap; the euro is killing them but they don’t see any alternative. When a German visitor gave the conventional Berlin view (the southern countries got themselves into trouble by bad policy, and austerity is the only way out; budget discipline and cutting labor costs are the only way Italy can once again prosper), a roomful of Italians practically jumped on the table to denounce his approach.
The Italian position is basically this: it’s crazy to blame Italy or the other southern countries (except Greece, which nobody seems to like very much) for the euromess; Germany played a huge role in designing the poorly functioning euro system in the first place and remains its chief beneficiary. When German banks lent billions to Spanish real estate developers and hoovered up the bonds of southern countries, where were the German bank regulators? German politicians, say the Italians, don’t want to admit to their voters that incompetent German bankers and incompetent German bank regulators wrecked the German financial system by making stupid loans worth hundreds of billions of euros. In a “normal” world, German politicians would have to go to their taxpayers to fund a huge bailout of insolvent German banks thanks to their cretinous euro-lending. Pain would be more equitably distributed between borrowers and lenders.
From an Italian point of view, much of Europe’s austerity isn’t the result of German moral principles; Italians think that a cynical absence of moral principles led the German political class to scapegoat garlic-eating foreigners in a desperate attempt to prevent the voters from noticing just how recklessly incompetent the German elite really is. Germany is using the mechanisms of the euro to force southern governments to bail out German (and French and other northern) banks at immense social pain and economic cost. The Italians, even sensible and moderate ones who want to cooperate with Europe, totally reject the logical and moral foundations of the German approach to the crisis, and they feel zero gratitude or obligation to make life easier for Germany as the drama unfolds.
The French? Not happy.
In France, the people I spoke with worried about the rise of the National Front. According to some polls the ultra-right could emerge as the biggest party in France in the next round of regional and European elections. The French Socialists under the increasingly unpopular President Hollande don’t seem to have much idea about how to move forward; their most popular politician at the moment is a Minister of the Interior who is trying to compete with the National Front for the anti-immigrant vote by breaking up encampments of Roma and denouncing them as immigrants who don’t want to assimilate.
Also they, and the rest of Europe, seriously misunderstand the Tea Party:
One of the reasons Europeans are so fearful of the Tea Party is that they assume that because it is right wing and populist it is like the National Front in France or Golden Dawn in Greece. Today’s small government American Tea Partiers are much farther from Huey Long and Father Coughlin in their political views than some European right wingers are from the darker demagogues of Europe’s bloody past, and until the European establishments understand this, they will likely continue to misjudge the state of American politics.
The Germans? It’s complicated.
There are Germans who sympathize with the Italian critique of EU austerity policy, but Germans on the whole seem to feel that in pushing a tough reform agenda in Europe, and linking further payments and bailouts to that reform agenda, they are doing their neighbors a favor. They sincerely believe that their own relatively strong economic performance is the result of their willingness to accept some liberalizing reforms coupled with a commitment to fiscal prudence. They think that by exporting this model they are helping other European countries on the path to lasting prosperity, and they believe that with some patience, the other European countries will soon begin to experience the benefits of German-style economic reform.
Europe, of course, has a very unhappy history with things labeled “German-style.”
Mead feels that Europe is rich enough to continue subsidizing it’s Euro-folly for the immediate future, but it comes at a cost:
The bitter public feelings generated by the euro crisis and its long, painful aftermath are still working their slow and ugly way through the European political system. In country after country we are seeing steady gains by political movements that bear a superficial resemblance to the American Tea Party, but in fact flirt much more with the kind of dangerous nationalist and chauvinist ideas that have proven so destructive in Europe’s past.
It’s a sobering, moderately lengthy read, and I commend all of it to your attention.
With budget issues occupying the nation, now’s time yet again to compare Texas’ successful Red State model with California’s failing Blue State model:
We believe the State continues to face eight other significant high-risk issues: the state budget, funding for the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, funding retiree health benefits for state employees, funding for deteriorating infrastructure, ensuring a stable supply of electricity, workforce and succession planning, strengthening emergency preparedness, and providing effective oversight of the State’s information technology.
In the myriad actions the Obama Administration has undertaken in the wake of the government shutdown triggered by Harry Reid’s refusal to consider legislation duly and constitutionally passed by the house, it should now be obvious that it is the most spiteful, petty and vindictive presidential administration in history. It is one thing to play political hardball as part of the shutdown, it is quite another for Obama’s minions to go out of their way to inflict harm on innocent Americans because Obama isn’t getting his way.
These actions do not befit the President of the United State of America. Indeed, they do not befit a small town city councilman, much less the leader of the free world. He’s like a co-worker who didn’t get their way and who thenceforth makes life difficult for everyone in the office who disagreed with them out of sheer spite.
Further, when you consider that Obama didn’t let the shutdown close the golf course on federal land he wanted to use, it’s obvious that he believes that sacrifice is for other people. It’s impossible to imagine Ronald Reagan or either George Bush attempting to inflict pain on innocent Americans merely because they didn’t get their way, much less any of them insulting America’s veterans.
By his actions, Obama has proven himself a petty, spiteful, vindictive little creep who is unworthy being being President of the United States. All his mean-spirited attacks on common Americans should do is stiffen the spines of Republicans in congress, and convince them never to give in to his petty tyranny.
Liberals have staged another one of their regular hissy fits over the government shutdown. What they don’t seem to realize is that this is exactly how divided government is supposed to work. The Founding Fathers were tremendously suspicious of investing too much power in any one person, which is exactly why they set up the executive legislative and Judicial branches in opposition to each other. This is why the executive and legislative have to work together to pass laws, and why the House and Senate must agree with each other. If everyone gets a veto on the process, then no one portion of the federal government can seize power over another. By refusing to go to conference, Harry Reid is shirking the legislative branches constitutional duty to pass a budget.
Forcing the White House and the Senate to come together and negotiate is part of the constitutional design. This is why Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill had to negotiate compromises during several shutdowns in the 1980s.
But Obama, as he’s proven time and time again, is no Reagan.
Stockton, California can now breath a small sigh of relief. It’s no longer the largest American city to declare bankruptcy. Detroit has filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy.
Bonus: The city has more than 100,000 creditors.
This is the endpoint of the cradle-to-grave welfare state. Certainly Detroit got there faster than most will, thanks to endemic corruption, horrific mismanagement, and an overwhelmingly unionized (and thus expensive and inflexible) manufacturing base workforce. But the problem of overspending, bloated government, overregulation, declining population and cronyism are endemic to blue states and members of the European Union. Greece’s future is Detroit (with possibly fewer race riots), California’s future is Greece, and deficit spending continues, eventually the United States’ future is that of California.