Fiscal survival of Individual States
Many Americans assumed that the country contained its own Greece already. The fate of profligate California has been a topic for discussion for at least the last thirty months. Well, it turns out we have at least three Greeces among us: Michigan and New York join California in their history of unionization and now like Greece and California, in their history of financial collapse. The matter is coming to a head . . . . You may have heard that Nancy Pelosi has just reconvened the House of Representatives (called them back from their vacations) to vote on a bailout package that narrowly passed the senate thanks to both Republican senators from Maine allowing the cloture vote to succeed 61-39 joining with Harry Reid’s Democrats for another rubberstamp bailout in accord with the desires of Dictator Barak. It appears there is nothing Obama, Pelosi and Reid will NOT do in their pursuit of union votes. Here’s what’s going on . . . .
After pretending to be conservatives for a few days, Olympia Snow and fellow Maine senator Susan Collins collapsed the Republican filibuster and both voted with the Democrats on cloture and passed the motion 61-39 . . . in due course the Dems bailout bill then passed on simple majority lines. Snow said she supported the Democrats’ bill with the understanding that the states would “have to act more responsibly in the future.” That is – like Michigan’s Bart Stupak when he allowed Barack Obama to pass Obamacare with federally-funded abortions mandated --she sold her senatorial birthright for a bowl of soup. Snow and Collins and Massachusetts’ Scott Brown are setting records for killing Republican filibusters against the Obama agenda. One, two or three of them are often required to side with the Democrats, depending upon how many Democrats find a particular bill in question repugnant, and this threesome have been very willing to advance the Obama progressive agenda without receiving any important concessions time after time after time.
For those readers unfamiliar with Senate procedure, large majority parties like today’s Democrats love to ram across their programs and would do so and then easily win every vote with at least 51 votes. We are protected against such tyrrany of the masses by the need of a party to gain at least a 3/5 majority (for example 60-for and 40 against) to then allow them to actually take the senate into the voting phase for or against passage of a particular bill – the idea is that unpopular bills will at least have to be amended significantly or the minority party can filisbuster (bring up arguments, amendments, discussion, witnesses, etc.) endlessly until some significant compromise occurs to change the balance of voting power. Of course, in the case of particularly loathsome attempts at law, the filibuster option can definitely save the nation if the minority party stands tough, which the Republicans have NOT done.
Snow is, along with Brown and Collins clearly aligned with progressive (we need to “progress” well beyond the out-of-date and flawed U.S. Constitution) interests in the left-wing of the Democrats . . . despite all the bright promise shown when Brown was elected in November, the progressives have passed virtually all their hearts’ desires except for Cap and Trade and Amnesty for Illegals (a.k.a. “Comprehensive Immigration Reform”) thanks to these progressive Republican senators acting alone or in concert with each other to harmonize with the progressive Democrats.
What this means is that now 47 other states will be required to bail out Michigan, California and New York from their unionization and other spending excesses. California and New York have the largest contingent of state employees unions and Michigan of course still is dominated by the United Auto Workers’ Union as well as its own state employees unions. That is, 47 other states thanks to their own senators will be required to jeopardize their own fiscal solvency to buck up California, New York and Michigan. Doesn’t that remind you of the European Union stepping into save Greece? Why should taxpayers from states that have cut their budgets and observed spending restraint, pay for the extravagances of other less responsible states? That’s the issue with the $26 Billion bailout Pelosi has reconvened the House to vote on.
According to DickMorris.com, “State government employment has risen by 16 percent since 1995 and overly generous Medicaid and other spending has climbed alongside it. Pension obligations, initially incurred as a cheap alternative to pay raises for public workers, are increasingly driving state budgets over the brink.
“State and local governments and school boards are hostages to the public employee labor unions that control their finances through their contracts and their politics with their donations and votes. These nominally democratic government bodies are as much under the sway of their union captors as the auto companies are of the UAW.”
If a Republican Congress turns off the spigot of federal bailouts, Morris adds, “the municipal and state bond markets are going to take the hint and stop buying state paper at any interest rate. California will find its debt has become unmarketable and will comeback again begging Congress for relief. First it will seek federal money and then its demands will escalate into a federal guarantee of its state debt. The Greek financial crisis will come to our shores in the form of state bankruptcies.”
States should be allowed to go bankrupt without federal interference this would require a new bankruptcy law. Minimal and reasonable federal help should then be allowed if the state involved dissolves all its union contracts, pension requirement and starts over negotiating with the unions for a fiscally-sound state budget. Morris put it this way, “By freeing states and local governments (including school boards) of their union obligations on wages, work rules, staffing, and pensions, they have a chance to survive and, indeed, to prosper. But merely subsidizing these massive expenditures just prolongs the misery of the states in question. The collapse of overspending state governments must trigger the diminution of the power unions hold over their budgets and their politics. Their coming bankruptcies offer an opportunity for reform and the Republican Congress - backed by newly elected Republican state governments - give us precisely the opportunity we need to effectuate it.”
Rajjpuut can only add, AMEN, AMEN, AMEN!
Ya’all live long, strong and ornery,