[Re Pennsylvania Risks worst fiscal crisis]:
This article, from the Republican leaning Tribune-Review, places part of the blame where it belongs, on the Rendell administration. But it fails to address the fact that the Republicans have controlled the Senate the entire time Rendell has been in office.
No one forced them the Senate, under Juberlier and now Scarnati, to acquiese to this massive budget and deficit growth. They had every opportunity to stand up and stop the insanity.
But they didn’t. In addition to the unconscionable growth in spending and the deficit, the Republicans and Democrats together, starting around 2001, began a pension “holiday” and failed to properly fund the pensions of state employees and teachers as required by the law.
Because of this, as Pennsylvania property owners and taxpayers, we are now facing a calamity the extent of which is not actually known.
Shame on all of them.
From the HUFFINGTON POST:
Democrats may be launching a new offensive against the secretive independent expenditure groups that are springing up daily, with attendees at Wednesday’s House Democratic Caucus meeting encouraged to confront these organizations and shine a light on their practices.
Last week, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), accompanied by journalists from The Huffington Post and The Washington Post, went to the Capitol Hill headquarters of a group that has been airing attack ads against him and attempted to ask them to make its donors public. The man who answered the door, however, denied being associated with the group, even though subsequent research showed he was. DeFazio’s encounter marked the first time a lawmaker has so pointedly confronted one of these groups, which, because of recent court rulings, are largely able to operate without public scrutiny.
“We’ve got to take it to them,” he told The Huffington Post. “I’m an activist, always have been my whole life, and I’m going there to confront them and say, ‘Who are you, and why are you so afraid to disclose where your money comes from?’”…
Click here to read the full article.
It has often been said that government would be much more efficient if it were run like a business. What businessman in their right mind would tolerate 76 different divisions in an area the size of Lancaster County (60 municipalities plus 16 school districts)? This is the height of inefficiency.
Imagine the millions of taxpayer dollars that could be saved every year simply by eliminating duplicate management and facilities in Lancaster County!
From the FINANCIAL TIMES:
… “We are very pleased that this agreement vastly simplifies current government support of AIG, sets forth a clear path for AIG to repay the FRBNY in full, and sets in motion the steps for the US Treasury to exit its ownership of AIG over time.”…
Meanwhile, AIG, which has $49.1bn of Tarp preferred shares outstanding, will give the Treasury 1.655bn shares of its common stock. It will also issue up to 75m warrants with a strike price of $45 a share to existing common stockholders. …
“The exit strategy announced today dramatically accelerates the timeline for AIG’s repayment and puts taxpayers in a considerably stronger position to recoup our investment in the company,” said Tim Geithner, US Treasury secretary…
Click here to read the full article. You can also click here for even more information.
Under the heading “The tea kettle movement”, Thomas Friedman writes: “The issues that upset the tea kettle movement – debt and bloated government – are actually symptoms of our real problem, not causes. They are symptoms of a country in a state of incremental decline and losing its competitive edge, because our politics has become just another form of sports entertainment, our Congress a forum for legalized bribery and our main lawmaking institutions divided by toxic partisanship to the point of paralysis.”
WATCHDOG: Three wags of the tail!!!
NEWSMAX: For two bunches of folks who claim either that there is no God, or there’s no way of knowing whether there is a God, atheists and agnostics score better in their knowledge about God than do their religious brethren who regularly settle into pews. Good Lord! Won’t that tickle Bill Maher? Close on atheists’ and agnostics’ heels when it comes to theological moxie are Jews and Mormons, according to the new religious knowledge survey of the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life.
Those four groups outperformed evangelical Protestants, mainline Protestants, and Catholics in answering the survey’s questions about the core teachings, history, and leading figures of major world religions. By a good margin, too, with Americans scoring an average of 16 out of 32 religious knowledge questions correctly, compared with the average of 20.9 among atheists and agnostics. Jews and Mormons averaged 20.5 and 20.3 correct answers, respectively.
As a whole, Protestants average 16 correct answers, while Catholics managed only 14.7. Atheists and agnostics, Jews, and Mormons performed better than other groups on the survey even after controlling for differing levels of education, Pew reported… (more)
PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: Wealthy donors are influencing state and federal elections more than ever, while the prospects for reforming campaign-finance laws fade.
Big-money donors are exploiting a landscape without limits in Pennsylvania. Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Corbett and Democrat Dan Onorato are piling up unprecedented numbers of six-figure contributions.
Corbett has received a dozen donations of $100,000 or more from individuals or groups, including $280,000 from Terrence and Kim Pegula, who earned their fortune in the methane-gas industry. … (more)
PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETETE: With an estimated five applicants for every job, times are tough for Pennsylvania’s unemployed, and there’s no relief in sight, according to a report released Wednesday by the state Department of Labor and Industry.
The report shows that by the end of the year, 157,500 Pennsylvanians will have been unemployed so long they will longer be eligible for regular and emergency unemployment compensation, which ends after 99 weeks. That number could be as high as 304,000 by April.
“We are facing the longest period of high joblessness since the Great Depression,” Labor Secretary Sandi Vito said…. (more)
From the PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW:
State spending increased at nearly twice the rate of inflation since 2003 when Gov. Ed Rendell took office, and the state’s financial situation could worsen dramatically next year, Auditor General Jack Wagner said Wednesday.
The state budget grew about 33 percent, from $21 billion to $28 billion, during Rendell’s tenure as the Consumer Price Index rose about 18 percent, Wagner said.
As a result, the Legislature and the next governor “face the worst fiscal crisis in our history” when they craft a 2011-12 budget next year — one that could have a deficit of as much as $5 billion, said Wagner, a Democrat like Rendell…
Click here to read the full article.
“When FDR ran for reelection in 1936, his Republican opponent, Alf Landon, called Social Security ‘a cruel hoax’ and a ‘fraud on the working man.’ The Republican National Committee convinced employers across the country to put fliers into pay envelopes warning their workers that, starting January 1, 19397, ‘New Deal law’ would take 1 percent of their paycheck. ‘You’re sentenced to a weekly pay reduction for all of your working life,’ read one inflammatory flier. ‘You’ll have to serve the sentence unless you help reverse it Nov. 3, Election day.’
“Roosevelt carried every state except Maine and Vermont, and Landon later confessed that attacking Social Security was the worst mistake of his campaign.” —“The Defining Moment” by Jonathan Alter.
Will attacks on Obama Health and defense of tax cuts on earnings over $250,000bring about a similar result come November 7th?