And So I Go: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Budget Crisis Rhetoric and the Chick is running around yelling, “The sky is falling!”

Posted on: January 18, 2011

Budget Crisis Rhetoric – HUMAN EVENTS.

As is usual Dr. Sowell gets right to the point and shows the farce for what it is.  IF WE WOULD ONLY LISTEN! I have no doubt that the debt limit will be increased—none at all, because our lily-livered Congress hasn’t the guts or brains to do otherwise. They will do this so that the federal government can bail out the cities and states that have been irresponsible and even reckless.  Politicians all over have kicked the can down the road and now the can is about to hit a very high wall.  Congress however will leap that wall and land in the fire pit on the other side even knowing the fire pit is on the other side.

Dear Lord please send us a Chris Christie in congress with the power to move mountains.  If he is there please give him the will to stand up and make himself heard.   That probably is the most useless prayer I have ever offered up to my God.  Useless because there is no such individual in our Congress and the most important: God the Father does not interfere in our stupid petty little games we play here on Earth.  He just shakes His head and hopes that with time His children will mature.  But considering the many, many civilizations (some greater than ours) that have fallen under the weight of stupidity He will have a long wait.  BB


Thomas Sowell
Budget Crisis Rhetoric
Government budget crises can be painful, but the political rhetoric accompanying these crises can also be fascinating and revealing. Perhaps the most famous American budget crisis was New York City’s, back during the 1970s. When President Gerald Ford was unwilling to bail them out, the famous headline in the New York Daily News read, “Ford to City: Drop Dead.” 

President Ford caved and bailed them out, after all. 

The rhetoric worked. That is why so many other cities and states– not to mention the federal government– have continued on with irresponsible spending, and are now facing new budget crises, with no end in sight.

What would have happened if President Ford had stuck to his guns and not set the dangerous precedent of bailing out local irresponsibility with the taxpayers’ money?

New York would have gone bankrupt. But millions of individuals and organizations go bankrupt without dropping dead.

Bankruptcy conveys the plain facts that political rhetoric tries to conceal. It tells people who depended on the bankrupt government that they can no longer depend on that bankrupt government. It tells the voters who elected that bankrupt government, with its big spending promises, that they made a bad mistake that they would be wise to avoid making again in the future.

Legally, bankruptcy wipes out commitments made to public sector unions, whose extravagant pay and pension contracts are bleeding municipal and state governments dry.

Is putting an end to political irresponsibility and legalized union racketeering dropping dead?

Politics being what it is, we are sure to hear all sorts of doomsday rhetoric at the thought of cutbacks in government spending. The poor will be starving in the streets, to hear the politicians and the media tell it.

But the amount of money it would take to keep the poor from starving in the streets is chump change compared to how much it would take to keep on feeding unions, subsidized businesses and other special interests who are robbing the taxpayers blind.

Letting armies of government employees retire in their fifties, to live for decades on pensions larger than they were making when they were working, costs a lot more than keeping the poor from starving in the streets.

Pouring the taxpayers’ money down a thousand bottomless pits of public and private boondoggles costs a lot more than keeping the poor from starving in the streets.

Bankruptcy says: “We just don’t have the money.” End of discussion. Bailouts say: “Give the taxpayers a little rhetoric, and a little smoke and mirrors with the book-keeping, and we can keep the party rolling.”

One of the political games that is played during a budget crisis is to cut back on essential services like police departments and fire departments, in order to blackmail the public into accepting higher tax rates. Often, a lot more money could be saved by getting rid of runaway pension contracts with public sector unions.

Bankruptcy can do that. Bailouts cannot.

What the public needs are current policemen and current firemen, not retired policemen and retired firemen, much less bureaucrats retired on inflated pensions.

The political temptation to create extravagant pensions is always there, not only at state and local levels, or at the federal level, but in countries around the world. Why? Because pensions are benefits that can be promised for the future, without raising the money to pay for them.

Politicians get the votes of those to whom pensions are promised, without losing the votes of taxpayers– and they leave it up to future government officials to figure out what to do when the money is just not there. It is a sure-fire guarantee of political irresponsibility.

All of this works politically only so long as the voting public accepts budget crisis rhetoric at face value, without bothering to stop and think about what it means and implies.  (We have the Tea Party Movement this time around so I have some hope—not a lot, but some.  BB)

Dr. Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and author of “Applied Economics” and “Black Rednecks and White Liberals.”


6 Responses to "Budget Crisis Rhetoric and the Chick is running around yelling, “The sky is falling!”"

Right on the MONEY Brenda.

Thank you Jon. I am again working my email to congressmen just as I did over the TARP fiasco, the Stimulus rip off and the Obamacare cancer, and I expect to have as much success unfortunately. BB

All ready the rhetoric has begun on bankruptcy filing of states vs bailouts. Questions as to constitutionality of such, even by so called Republicans (Lamar Smith (R Texas) Of course the left is decrying such as nonsense and sure to destroy their socialist Utopian plans. Sowell is correct, why bail out States that have funded the Unions, both private and government sector. Hell, why even have unions in the government sector? Oh, I know, without those numbers the unions would be almost zilch and without union protection of useless, incompetent paycheck drawers the government might run more efficiently.

It is so much rhetoric about the states filing for bankruptcy because their Constitutions will not allow them to. This is Leftie smoke leading us to the ultimate bailout of states by the tax payers. Considering how many states are in over their heads it will be an impossible task so Congress will have to act to allow states to go bankrupt. It will start in the House okay but may have a problem in the Senate but will pass then Obama will veto it and it will die with not enough support in the Senate to carry it over a veto. Which brings us right back to I believe the figure is 42 states being in debt. It seems to me that some of them will get the idea from Christie in NJ and start cutting. It may also finally bring some states back to the sanity of disallowing public employees to unionize.

Ticker do you remember who started all the unionization of public employees? I think it was Kennedy but am not sure. Have to make note to look that up. BB


States going bankrupt? Where is all that Lottery money going? You know the part that the states keep? Try and find out, no one has been able to, at least not in Michigan. That money was supposed to be for Education and Roads. Our roads have been in need of repair for 40 years. They started to do repair work in the last year, but I believe it is from Federal government money not State money. Hey, there has been lots of lottery money collected, so what was it spent on???

We need to pass laws with changes to State union pension funds. We can’t afford them and they need to be cut down to a lower payout. Sorry, but change hurts. If you don’t want to go that route then eliminate them for those on the job now. If they quit, hire those who are unemployed with new pension laws in place. There is a way around these things, it’s just no one has the guts to implement them.

I am so tired of hearing about the States going bankrupt, as they continue spending money where it doesn’t need to be spent. Personally, I’m also tired of the fact that the only way they find to cut back is on the backs of those they are sent there to represent. I remember Obama last year telling the American people that things will get worse and that they need to cut back on their spending.

They start with cutting back on Education, the one thing this country really needs. The kids either drop out of high school before they graduate, or they go to college and come out with a degree but no smarts. Of course, some are very smart, but too many just party their way thru.

Next they take away from Medicare and Medicaid, completely ignoring the fact that if they paid back the money they borrowed from them as they has promised over the last 40 years, Medicare and Medicaid would be solvent, and there would be no need for a $1.6 Trillion Health Care plan forced on the American taxpayer by elites who have exempted themselves from the plan, because we pay for their World-wide top notch Health Care. The fact that Congress wouldn’t be caught dead dropping the plan they have that we, the taxpayers pay for, to include themselves in the plan they have required us to join or we will be fined and/or imprisoned, should be a clue to the rest of us, that something is wrong with this picture. But hey, they have brainwashed the lower income, uneducated Americans that this is all FREE and it’s for them, so here we are, trying to repeal a law that never should have been passed.

Then we pay truck loads of cash to tribal leaders in Afghanistan and Iraq, and oh, so many countries to play along with us, and no one knows how much is spent on this scheme. Really, so many people in government have their hands in the proverbial “Cookie Jar” that no one knows where all the money has gone. It’s not just in the Federal Government either. Look at what was the name of that city in California? Bell? Where the Mayor and City Police Chief were getting 100’s of thousands of dollars a year, and locked in a pension fund for themselves that is disgusting. This city is a very small city, and could not afford the paychecks of their elected officials, but these guys got away with it. Maybe it’s time to pay attention to whom you are voting for. Duh!

The way to cut expenses always seems to be at the expense of the middle and lower class. It’s time the Upper class, “Man’s Up” and takes some cutbacks. It needs to be done now.

We can turn things around but the American people will have to stand up and do something about it. The elected officials won’t. Why would they, they are reaping the benefits.

Stand up America. It can be done. We can turn things around. Don’t let these elitists make you believe that it is you that needs to carry the brunt of the mess they made. It’s time for Congress and all State elected officials who have had the benefit of Main Street America’s generosity, to take a “Hit” for the team.

Look, we have already started to make Changes, Rahm Emanuel was taken off the Ballot for running for Governor in the State of Illinois, to day. Who says there is no justice???? ss

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