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State Fiscal Problems
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5112

PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There you go again. Now let me connect the dots for you. Phil Gramm, Republican, Texas, wrote a deregulation law that allowed Wall Street to invent new financial instruments without regulation. Wall Street brokers managed to convince their friendly auditors to rate these instruments, which consisted almost entirely of sub-prime loans to people that should never have qualified for loans, as triple A investments. Why? Because regulation of the instruments was forbidden by a Republican-written law. Then Wall Street sold those instruments to various investors--including pension funds that lost trillions. Suddenly the pension funds lost about 1/3 of their value and governments were in trouble keeping the contracts they had made with employees. (I'm skipping, for brevity, the various conflicts of interest and pressure points that convinced pension fund managers to buy these toxic investments--each one is a sordid story on its own.) So now the unions are to blame, and the teachers are the perpetrators? Sorry mrgybe, the story won't wash.

The funding part is true. Even though corporate donations exceed union donations by an order of magnitude--that is 10 times for those of you weak in math--the Republicans motive in Wisconsin--and all anti-union battles--is to cripple the Democratic party's fund raising capacity.
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pointster



Joined: 22 Jul 2010
Posts: 210

PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The original post of this thread asked if state efforts to balance budgets, whether through service cuts, and/or tax increases, would slow the rate of recovery from the recession. The answer is, of course, yes - aggregate demand will be reduced. (If we had a functioning political system, the federal government would still be engaged in fiscal stimulus, part of which would be continued aid to the states. But we don't, so to meet mandatory requirements to balance their budgets, tax and cut it will be, with the burden largely on the poor and working class, since they have the least political influence.)

With the complicity of a largely economically-illiterate mass media, the Republicans have shifted attention from the Fed and SEC policy and regulatory failures which caused the recession, to the resultant government budget deficits. Using Frank Lutz's masterful reframing techniques (which would inspire envy in Goebbels), they have conflated deficits and debt, and pushed the meme that we have a debt crisis that can only be solved by cutting social services. Adopting the Republican approach will cause immediate economic, emotional and physical damage to a lot of people, and long-term damage to our educational system and infrastructure, as well as social and economic instability.
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stevenbard



Joined: 11 Nov 1993
Posts: 4036

PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The so called "rich" comprise 1% of the u.s. population. Even if you taxed all their wealth, it would only put a small dent in these deficits. There would be no jobs though. If you taxed the top 10%, real estate values would collapse, and local revenues would fall.

Food for thought:

Subject: Fwd: Fw: He told us in advance what he planned to do. Few were listening....

Yes, he told us in advance what he planned to do. Few were listening.

The following is a narrative taken from a 2008 Sunday morning televised "Meet The Press'.

From Sunday's 07 Sept. 2008 11:48:04 EST, Televised "Meet the Press" THE THEN Senator Obama was asked about his stance on the American Flag.

General Bill Ginn' USAF (ret.) asked Obama to explain WHY he doesn't follow protocol when the National Anthem is played.

The General stated to Obama that according to the United States Code, Title 36, Chapter 10, Sec. 171...

During rendition of the national anthem, when the flag is displayed, all present (except those in uniform) are expected to stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. Or, at the very least, "Stand and Face It".

NOW GET THIS !!

'Senator' Obama replied:

"As I've said about the flag pin, I don't want to be perceived as taking sides". "There are a lot of people in the world to whom the American

flag is a symbol of oppression.." "The anthem itself conveys a war-like message. You know, the bombs bursting in air and all that sort of thing."

(ARE YOU READY FOR THIS???)

Obama continued: "The National Anthem should be 'swapped' for something less parochial and less bellicose. I like the song 'I'd Like To Teach the World To Sing'. If that were our anthem, then, I might salute it. In my opinion, we should consider reinventing our National Anthem as well as 'redesign' our Flag to better offer our enemies hope and love. It's my intention, if elected, to disarm America to the level of acceptance to our Middle East Brethren. If we, as a Nation of waring people, conduct ourselves like the nations of Islam, where peace prevails - - - perhaps a state or period of mutual accord could exist between our governments ..."

When I become President, I will seek a pact of agreement to end hostilities between those who have been at war or in a state of enmity, and a freedom from disquieting oppressive thoughts. We as a Nation, have placed upon the nations of Islam, an unfair injusticewhich is WHY my wife disrespects the Flag and she and I have attended several flag burning ceremonies in the past".

"Of course now, I have found myself about to become the President of the United States and I have put my hatred aside . I will use my power to bring CHANGE to this Nation, and offer the people a new path..My wife and I look forward to becoming our Country's First black Family. Indeed, CHANGE is about to overwhelm the United States of America "

Yes, you read it right.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5112

PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brilliantly said poinster. It's actually Luntz, and I wasn't aware of him until you cited him. Thanks. Check him out: http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-op-luntz15jul15,0,842023.story
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mrgybe



Joined: 01 Jul 2008
Posts: 2602

PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The markets have recouped most of the 2008 losses as Boggsy has pointed out to us. Therefore everything should be OK? No. Adequate funding for public sector pensions and medical benefits has never been in place......that realization has finally dawned upon our noble representatives and they are scrambling to put a finger in the dyke. Governors across the country will bring forward proposals to curb public sector benefits which are completely out of line with those in the private sector. Unions will grudgingly accept those as they apparently have in Wisconsin. No longer much of an issue..........the broader public clearly supports such changes.

The central dispute is the continuing ability of unions to extract dues from their members and direct them to the Democratic party. The Unions want to retain the influence that buys them, the Democrats want the huge slugs of cash that come their way from unions, and Republicans want to find a way to stop that flow. The numbers are huge. That's why President Obama and other national figures are involved in a local dispute. Democrats want to nip this in the bud before it spreads and eats into their campaign cash...........Republicans want to press home their advantage from the last election while they can. It's all about politics.
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boggsman1



Joined: 24 Jun 2002
Posts: 3510
Location: at a computer

PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

All true Mr G. but MAC's point is important. Pension managers like Calpers LOADED the boat with fraudulent MBS, laced with subprime elements, and bought tons of land as well, kind of like free-basing. Now, newly elected tea baggers are targeting unions, comprised of teachers, and others to cut expenses. I will note that Obama has been absent in Wisconsin, maybe a sign he wants to send the Democratic party in a new direction. Obama has been more friendly to Wall Streeters Very Happy than to Unions.
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pointster



Joined: 22 Jul 2010
Posts: 210

PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mac, thanks for the correction. Spell check strikes again!

Mrgybe
, while there are pension funding problems, they are not the cause of the deficits, the recession is. Underfunding of pensions is not confined to the public sector or union employers. The public sector unions accepted better benefits in lieu of salary in good faith collective bargaining. The government has an obligation to uphold those agreements, or modify them in collective bargaining.

Unions, including public sector unions, have the same right to engage in politics as corporations. (See Citizens United). Not every stockholder agrees with the political positions of a corporation, and not every union member agrees with the political position of the union. But remember, unions are democratic organizations with elected officers. Further, not all unions support Democrats all the time. In Wisconsin, the Milwaukee police and fire unions supported the Republican candidate for governer, and, infamously, PATCO supported Reagan.
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coboardhead



Joined: 26 Oct 2009
Posts: 1925

PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mac wrote

Quote:
......Suddenly the pension funds lost about 1/3 of their value and governments were in trouble keeping the contracts they had made with employees. (I'm skipping, for brevity, the various conflicts of interest and pressure points that convinced pension fund managers to buy these toxic investments--each one is a sordid story on its own.) So now the unions are to blame, and the teachers are the perpetrators? Sorry mrgybe, the story won't wash......


True enough. But we all took hits on this too. The difference; is that many folks in private sector employment have had to delay retirement to make up for these losses. Many of those with public pensions have contracts that are not dependent on the performance of the economy. The taxpayers are on the hook to honor those contracts. Moving ahead, this is not sustainable.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14024

PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

coboardhead wrote:
in Wisconsin, the State Governor may be overstepping in the political fury to reduce the deficit. Using the budget crisis to effectively eliminate the public employee unions is going beyond what is necessary to accomplish the cuts.

That said, using a crisis to advance a political agenda is not productive long-term governing. ... using threatening political games.


Please enlighten us about how, what, and why you know more about WI finances than its present and recent government and financial managers do. I don't blindly take politicians at their word, and I SURELY don't take internet wankers like you or me at their word. I want proof before I repeat or take significant action on significant information.

Besides, wasn't Emanuel's mantra "Never let a good crisis go to waste"?
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boggsman1



Joined: 24 Jun 2002
Posts: 3510
Location: at a computer

PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ISO, if you want to research Wisconsin law, what are you going to use as a search engine, now that Beck has waged war with Google?
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