Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Duped Illinois Taxpayers "Assumed" Massive Tax Hike Money Would Pay Off Bills, But Instead It Paid Off Public Employees

" 'I think the public assumed...that the money would be used to pay off our unpaid bills and make us fiscally sound.... That money is gone. It's spent' on state pension payments and Medicaid, she said."

The "she" is Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, a Republican who, per the Wall Street Journal (link), "warned [today] that the state is on track to end its fiscal year June 30 with $8.3 billion in unpaid obligations." 

I have commented before on the precarious state of Illinois' finances.  It is worst among states in unfunded public employee pension liabilities, and it has one of the worst business environments.  Democrats, aided and abetted by some Republicans, have created this mess over many years.

This year, Democrats, who hold the governor's office and have solid control of both chambers of the state legislature, enacted massive income tax hikes of 67% on individuals and 45% on corporations, along with what to many were token and largely symbolic spending cuts.

But it's still not good enough to fill the seemingly bottomless pit that is the state's public employee pension obligations.  Private workers who pay for state government took a hit during the Great Recession, but not public workers.  But a day of reckoning may not be far off.

John M Greco

Related Posts:
Illinois Now Worst Among States in Risk of Default on Debt. And Illinois Voters Like It That Way. We’re Number One!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Annals of Inanities -- Obama Edition: Obama Now Predicts Republican Genocide, Obama Enriches Friends, Don't Buy Mansions & Fancy Suits, and Voters Must Think I'm a Republican

Republican Genocide?:  An Obama official predicts that proposed Republican budget cuts will lead to 70,000 deaths (link).  Well, two can play this game.  I predict that not enacting those cuts will lead to an economic collapse that will cause 71,000 deaths. How's that?

Obama Spreads the Wealth Around -- To His Friends:  In the first two years of Obama's presidency, "Bosses at bailed-out Fannie, Freddie were paid millions" (link).  That's $17 million, to be exact.  Obama doesn't hate the rich, he just hates the rich who aren't Democrats.

Do As I Say, Not As I Do, Obama Style:  Obama, who owns a mansion, once told graduating seniors not to “take your diploma, walk off this stage, and chase only after the big house and the nice suits...." (link).  Now it turns out he buys expensive suits.  When will this all end?  Next thing we know he'll be starting wars in Muslim countries.

*  I'm Not Unpopular, It's All Those Guys Who Just Got Elected:  Ultra-liberal media talker and Obama acolyte blames Obama's unpopularity on voter unhappiness with all those Republicans it just sent to Congress (link).  That's what passes now for analysis in Democrat circles.

John M Greco

Monday, April 25, 2011

Annals of Inanities -- Liberals Edition: Dissent is Now Unpatriotic, Repubs Are Always "Extreme," & Will Race Trump Sexual Tilt at McDonald's?

Republican Dissent is Unpatriotic:  Remember when liberals proclaimed dissent to be the highest form of patriotism?    Remember when being anti-war was the moral high-road?  Remember when kinetic military actions in a petroleum-rich Muslim country was just a war for oil?  Remember all the vicious anti-war protests?  Well, that was during the Bush/Hitler/Darth Vader/Haliburton administration.  Now wars are OK.  A virulent hateful ultra-liberal speaks up (link) about Obama's Libyan war:  "Republicans are attacking the Commander-in-Chief during a time of war! . . . There should be no debate: we should be kicking [Gaddafi's] ass . . . Whose side are you on, Sarah: are you with the terrorists, Sarah, or are you with the President of the United States? . . . Where's the patriotism of the Republican party? . . ."  This is what liberalism is to many -- a principle-free 24/7 all-politics zone.  You can't make this stuff up.

Democrat Schumer Being Honest:  Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, the No. 3 Democrat in the Senate and a vicious liberal partisan, lets the cat out of the bag in an open mike flub, which even the liberal New York Times felt compelled to report(link):  'apparently unaware that many of the reporters were already on the line, [Schumer] began to instruct his fellow senators on how to talk to reporters about the contentious budget process.... Schumer told [fellow Democrat Senators] to decry the spending cuts that [Republican Rep. Boehner, the Speaker of the House] wants as extreme. “I always use the word extreme,” Mr. Schumer said. “That is what the [Democrat] caucus instructed me to use this week.”'  Jay Homnick at The American Spectator comments (link) on Schumer: "To me he is the Bernie Madoff of moral capital. He got all the Orthodox Jews to invest their moral capital with him and he cleaned them out."

Watch liberals' heads explode -- does race trump sexual orientation, or is it the other way around?:  Black girls feel disrespected and so beat the crap out of a transgendered man (link).  Although my observation in these situations is that the race card trumps the homosexual rights card, these two factors more or less cancel each other out, so that not much will come of this from the liberal grievance lobbies. 

John Greco

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

April 12, 1861: Mystic Chords of Memory Will Yet Swell the Chorus of the Union

The American Civil War began 150 years ago today.

Detail from the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Indianapolis, Indiana (click to enlarge).  I see liberty, victory, longing, waiting, reunion; an African slave holding up his broken chains to Lady Liberty, the symbol of America.  The monument was formally dedicated on May 15, 1902; Civil War General Lew Wallace (Indiana native and author of Ben-Hur) was the master of ceremonies.

Lincoln closed his First Inaugural Address, on March 4, 1861, with this plea:

"We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature."

Richard Balsamo

Friday, April 1, 2011

Annals of Inanities -- Obama Edition #4

* Obama's Justice Department now brings a lawsuit to force a school district to accede to a patently unreasonable demand to accomodate the Muslim faith of a teacher (link).  Some religions are more equal than others.

* Obama returns from vacation in South America and is locked out of the White House (link).  If this had happened to GW Bush, this story would have been headline news for weeks in the liberal media -- Bush the idiot, Bush the moron.  Remember when Bush tried to open a door that was locked when he was at a meeting abroad and was ridiculed in the liberal media?  It was a momentary, meaningless incident and not even at his own house.  But what's good for the goose is good for the gander.  To my liberal friends -- now who's the "moron"?  Remember when Obama, the Commander-in-Chief, mispronounced "corpsmen"?  No, well, you're not alone, but if Bush had done that it would have been front page news for a week.  My thought -- why not stop all this nonsense.

* Do we need a Cray super-computer to understand Obama's oil exploration policy?  The liberal Washington Post observes (link) in a recent editorial: "As for offshore drilling, Mr. Obama’s enthusiasm for punching holes in the ocean floor off Brazil is hard to reconcile with his decision, announced Dec. 1, to keep the waters off the East and West coasts and the eastern Gulf of Mexico off-limits to exploration indefinitely."  The answer is No, we don't.  Encouraging offshore drilling in Brazil and elsewhere while blocking such in the US is not about the environment, it's about the ultraliberal goal to cut America down to size, to attenuate its strengh toward some vision of a global economic rebalancing.  Obama makes perfect sense.

* The Obama team has now so expanded the definition of who is disabled that one observer speculates (link) that a majority of American adults might now be classified as disabled for purposes of the Americans With Disabilities Act.  Give Obama a little more time and he'll have everyone down as disabled, for special protections and government services, except most white males of course.

* Obama is, no surprise, against Republican efforts to restore the D.C. public school choice program, even though he himself sends his children to a private school (link).  That's pretty common, of course, among Democrat politicians (cf. Jesse Jackson).  Arron Goldstein at The American Spectator:  "If the Obamas truly believed in public education they would send their daughters to a public school. But when it comes right down to it President Obama doesn't really believe in the efficacy of public education. His support for public education begins and ends with the teachers' unions. In the grand scheme of things, it is a classic case of public education for thee but not for me."

John M Greco