What Does Thomas Friedman Have To Do With Sean?

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Re: What Does Thomas Friedman Have To Do With Sean?

Postby Jay » Sun May 09, 2010 12:22 pm

To me, it seems the Greeks are acting like spoiled children who have been told it's time for bed, and they don't want to go.
I see the same kind of thing happening here, with parents up in arms about school boards who have to cut ''beloved'' programs, such as swimming, instituting a payment for participating in sports, and so on.

Where do these people, both in Greece and here, think the money is going to come from to keep things the way they were?
When the cash was flush, no expense was spared for social programs, raises, benefits, ''entitlements'', sports programs at schools that never were funded before and the list goes on.

The money isn't there any more, and the people won't accept the fact. They want things to remain the same, and it can't be done. "You can't get blood from a stone" as the old saying goes.

The plunge in the value of homes around here, both in Montgomery and Frederick counties, has wreaked havoc with the county governments.

I used to live in the neighboring county, Montgomery county. It is a 'nanny' county, having all these social programs, the county does everything for you...and it had the tax rate to go with it. Now they have a deficit in the hundreds of millions of dollars, and the sheeple are up in arms over any cuts the county government wants to make, yet they don't want their taxes raised, or contribute towards the cost of anything...no higher fees, no fees, keep the services the same, increase the school budgets....like everything else, reason does not enter into the picture.

The former governor of MD, Ehrlich(R), is running again for office. He has vowed to repeal the 1% increase in the sales tax the current governor, O'Malley(D) put in place to help offset the short fall in the state budget. The sales tax is now 6%. What the hell does Ehrlich plan to do to make up the revenue that the state needs? He's an idiot. All this makes my head want to explode.

This post is kind of rambling, but hopefully you get the gist of what I'm trying to say.
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Re: What Does Thomas Friedman Have To Do With Sean?

Postby Jay » Sun May 09, 2010 12:39 pm

Here's a related article from CNN--I know, it's Fox's blood relative, but the article actually makes a good point.

Goodbye, stimulus. Hello, state budget cuts
By Tami Luhby, senior writerMay 9, 2010: 8:10 AM ET


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Think states have made deep spending cuts? You ain't seen nothing yet.

States have been struggling with huge budget gaps since 2008, but this year could be worse as federal stimulus funds wind down.

Until now, stimulus money spared governors and state lawmakers from making some of the most brutal budget cuts. But with this lifeline running out, officials are looking at making significant cutbacks to public services, particularly schools and health programs.

"The stimulus funds have staved off what could have been even deeper cuts," said Todd Haggerty, policy associate at the National Conference of State Legislatures. "You're seeing states now are coming to that point where they will have to make additional cuts or find new sources of revenue for fiscal 2011 and that will continue in fiscal 2012."
Stimulus safety net
0:00 /4:50Don't ask for a state job

As of mid-April, states and localities have received nearly $109 billion since the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act was passed in February 2009, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office. The vast majority of that money went to help states maintain their Medicaid services and education funding in the face of steep drops in tax revenues due to the recession.

In all, the stimulus funds helped plug between 30% and 40% of the $291 billion in budget gaps that states have faced over the past two years, experts said. But Recovery Act money will only be sufficient to plug 20% or less of the coming fiscal year's shortfalls, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. By fiscal 2012, most of the money will be gone.

Already, many states will have used up much of their education allotments by the start of fiscal 2011, which begins on July 1 in 46 states. And the Medicaid assistance will dry up by the end of the year, unless Congress extends it.
What'll they tax next?

Compounding the problem is that many states have already slashed services and raided their rainy day funds to balance their budgets, as they are required to do. And a recent analysis by the Rockefeller Institute shows that the all-important personal income tax revenue for April is likely to decline steeply.

All this means that state officials are being forced to make some of the tough decisions they've been able to put off for the past 18 months.

"States had this one-time money that helped them bridge a difficult period in state finances," Haggerty said. "Now they have to face the absence of those funds and a whole new set of difficult issues."
Cuts on the horizon

Meanwhile, states are looking to Capitol Hill to renew some of the stimulus provisions, particularly the increased federal funding for Medicaid. Both the Senate and House have passed a six-month, $25 billion Medicaid extension, but they have to find a way to pay for it before sending it to President Obama for his signature.

At least 21 states, in fact, have already included the extension in their fiscal 2011 budgets, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. If the measure doesn't become law, these states would be in big trouble and would have to make even deeper cuts, said Nick Johnson, director of the center's state fiscal project.

In Pennsylvania, for instance, that extension translates into $850 million. Without it, the state would have to slash half its funding for domestic violence and rape crisis services and chop 25% off the budget for child welfare services, Gov. Ed Rendell wrote in a letter last month to his state's congressional delegation. In addition, state payments to hospitals, doctors and nursing homes would be reduced.

"If the extension of federal fiscal relief is not enacted, most states will have to lay off thousands of workers and make wrenching cuts to public and private sector services," he said.

School districts, meanwhile, are also feeling the pain. Some 275,000 education jobs could be eliminated in the coming school year due to budget cuts, according to a new survey by the American Association of School Administrators. This would nearly wipe out the estimated 300,000 jobs saved by stimulus funds.

"Faced with continued budgetary constraints, school leaders across the nation are forced to consider an unprecedented level of layoffs that would negatively impact economic recovery and deal a devastating blow to public education," said Dan Domenech, executive director of the association, which is pushing Congress to give states additional funds for education.

Take New York as an example. Some 14,800 teachers -- 8,500 of them in New York City -- could lose their jobs if Gov. David Paterson's proposed $1.4 billion cut in state education aid is enacted, according to a survey by the New York State Council of School Superintendents and the New York State School Boards Association. That represents 10% of the city's teachers and 4.1% of educators elsewhere in the state. (Some school districts have negotiated concessions from their unions that will save some jobs.)

Another 2,600 non-teaching staff, including student support staff, administrators, and other employees, such as custodians, kitchen workers and bus drivers, would also be laid off.

Stimulus funds had staved off some of these harsh cuts. But New York only has $700 million left of the $2.7 billion it received to prop up education aid, said David Albert, spokesman for the school boards association.

"This is the largest state aid cut we've seen in the last two decades," he said. "If you think this year is bad, next year is going to be worse because stimulus will run out." To top of page
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Re: What Does Thomas Friedman Have To Do With Sean?

Postby Jay » Sun May 09, 2010 3:26 pm

Well, actually two nice Ford products, or in my case, 4......and the buck a gallon gas.
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Re: What Does Thomas Friedman Have To Do With Sean?

Postby Sean » Sun May 09, 2010 4:35 pm

Screw you guys, I'm buying an old diesel and converting it to run on WVO which is FREE! :P :lol:

Excellent article. I've been thinking this (and probably saying it) for a while now; we NEED to cut frivolous spending and raise taxes to pay for everything. As much fun as I'm sure debt is, I hate it. Absolutely positively detest it. 'Buying' a house will kill me, because I hate the idea of paying someone money for money. I want to kill the sheep who think they can have their double chocolate cake with fudge icing and chocolate chips on top and not pay a goddamn thing for it! I am sick of the idiots around here who are complaining about the shitty roads and then raising absolute HELL over a 3 cent a gallon increase in fuel taxes. Makes no effing sense, but the average American doesn't seem to give a damn. :cry:
Those who say it cannot be done shouldn't interrupt the people doing it.
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Re: What Does Thomas Friedman Have To Do With Sean?

Postby meteorite » Sun May 09, 2010 5:45 pm

You catch on quick, Sean - it's a pity so many of your compatriots apparently don't know that the most basic question exists.

Every time a politician talks about cutting taxes, your first question to him should be "so what am I going to have to do without?" And remember talk about freezing taxes is also a cut, because inflation will increase the price of everything, but the tax bases will not necessarily expand to raise revenue.

And when he talks about his bright shiny new program, ask him how much it will cost and where the money will come from. And when the reply is "I'll make government more efficient and cut waste", ask specifically which civil servants he plans to fire, and if he knows the waste is there, why hasn't he stopped it long ago?.

And when he tells you teh Tooth Fairy will bring it, remember - TANSTAAFL.
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Re: What Does Thomas Friedman Have To Do With Sean?

Postby Sean » Sun May 09, 2010 6:06 pm

Sounds about right, though my chances of getting ahold of a politician making such comments are slim, and my chances of getting an actual response that answers my questions drops to very, very close to nil.
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