Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Can Democrats manage anything?

Yes, of course Democrats can manage to destroy the dollars they collect in taxes.  Check the recent results for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, both licking boots of Congress to get more money for continued massive losses.  But they've cut back on risky sub-prime-like loans.  Not to worry those of you who can't afford a home, the Democrats to the rescue.  The Federal Housing Administration, formerly an also-ran in lousy loans, is stepping up in new risky loans and already-bad ones.  It was started by FDR's New Deal and did what it was supposed to, until recently Congress gave it marching orders to save defaulting "families".  It expects 24% of its loans made in 2007 to default.  24%!  But tightening up in 2008, it expects only 1 in 5 (20%) to fail.  It has run out of margin and may join Fan and Fred in boot-licking for money.  It is another in a long line of Democrat losers.

This might be a corollary to my "Government Successes in Running Businesses" post of September 1, 2009, and upgraded from time to time since then. There is an article in today's Wall Street Journal, September 4, 2009, page one: "States Shut Down to Save Cash". [http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125202235182685075.html]. It is an interesting article with a chart on page A 6, listing states with budget gaps of more than $1,000,000,000. Of the top 10, only one is a Republican-dominated state and 9 are Democratic: (In order of size of edficit) California, New York, Illinois, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Connecticut, Oregon. Combined Democrat budget deficit: $114,400,000,000.

And a corollary to the corollary is an editorial in the same paper (page A17, "The Coming Reset in State Government" [http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204731804574390603114939642.html], in which governor Mitch Daniels of Indiana, a Republican, opines that states will continue to be financially challenged way into the future. Over the past decade he writes that states have increased their spending 6% a year (8% in 2007 - 2008), building up government bulk. GDP growth over history is 3.5%. A collision is underway. Governor Daniels' state has met its obligations and has $1,000,000,000 in reserve he writes and explains why in the article. He reformed his government, cut taxes and government employees, and cut spending an average of 1.4% a year. REDUCED a total of 7% since 2004. REDUCED to being the 6th thriftiest state after being near bankruptcy five years ago. He then says his state is attracting companies with its relatively low taxes. But in searching about Indiana, its unemployment reached 10.6 percent versus the national unemployment average in June was 9.5 percent. (The state’s monthly unemployment record was 12.8 percent, set in November 1982.) While its rust belt location is affecting it, according to its governor, Indiana is ready for the future, unlike most Democrat-Party controlled states.

And yet another article ("The Michigan Example", page A 16, same issue [http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204313604574328792152010638.html] highlights the folly and failure of central command and control of economies. Copied by the always trendy Mr. Obama, Michigan for the past 14 years has been making centralized anti-free market decisions about its economy. For $3,300,000,000 in tax credits and another $1,600,000,000 in direct spending(nearly $5,000,000,000 for a single state) to create new jobs, it has completely and utterly failed. The goal was to create 500,000 jobs and $440,000,000,000 in new investment by 2010 -- coming up pretty soon. The result? Lost jobs! (Its thorough study indicated 95 LOST JOBS for each $1,000,000 of tax credits.) And the highest unemployment rate in the nation, 15%. The subsidies and tax credits went to broadband ("One of the biggest flops in state government" said the Democrat State Senate Majority Leader.) Hollywood liberals got another bunch, creating $700,000 in income for a $4,000,000 "investment" as liberals like to characterize spending. And on and on. Michigan's Democrat answer? Raise taxes on companies in industries its government eschews, to become the third most anti-business state. But crows Governor Granholm: "President Obama's priorities are nearly identical to ours." Really.

But prudence aside, what are these states doing? California is delaying $1,200,000,000 of checks and calling it "savings". New York is putting advertising on garbage trucks, taxing sugary drinks 18%, increasing taxes on cigarettes 46% and wine 58%. Illinois has suspended a poor-people stipend for funerals of $1,103 and $552 for burial. Pennsylvania is legalizing video poker, and taxing gambling takes 50%. Oregonians must be smoking something because it asked to tax medical marijuana and for the state to grow it. These, however, died in committee. Even though Michigan isn't on the list, it's proposed a $250 licensee fee on strippers at the state's 83 topless clubs. What can top- that? -Less government?

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