Saturday, October 23, 2010
Why State Spending Is Enigmatic
We all are keenly aware that there is always a way to get things for less, perhaps privatize more of government, and certainly cut those social programs that have earned such a terrible record.
Well no one doubts that spending needs to be streamlined, especially during hard economic times when government and the deficit grows in tandem with poverty. Sadly what is being overlooked is the paradox of tax cuts during a Recession/Depression (depending on your view of the current economy.)
The paradox in state spending today is accompanied by its rhetoric. Rhetoric that reminds voters that people are hurting, there are few good jobs out there and several other preventable conditions exist that are agitating poverty. With the spread of rich to poor now at at record 14.5% Connecticut, and many other states for that matter, has to factor this increase in poverty into its budget. We also have to consider the cost of Un-employment (at a record 99 weeks for some) , food aid, and a record level of need as requested by the Connecticut Department of Social Services. Lets also factor in the interest on our debt, accompanied by inflation and the associated cost of dealing with increases in crime and punishment, and then it becomes easy to understand how our state ran some record deficits.
Connecticut has the highest debt to person ration in America and a pension fund set to run out by 2019 because of negligent cuts that are threatening everyone. The disingenuous nature of economic repair men is dangerous and irresponsible. Once again we have a tax paradox in Connecticut, whereby we all overwhelmingly agree that the poor should be helped, children deserve health care, and that the tide of poverty must be reversed. But few dare offer a genuine solution by way of new jobs and economic opportunity.
There are several places where money can still be saved in government but those cuts will hardly match the money that is needed to solve the basic humanitarian issues we have incurred in our state. For this reason I question the MRTC produced graph as little more than a political ploy emblematic of a half truth. A half truth that will become self evident in time when all cuts that have been made get made. Then it will become clear that such a graph accompanied by more conservative tax rhetoric will amount to severe austerity losses. Austerity losses accompanied by the unwelcome sight of homeless people living on the street, children being left uninsured, and pension funds being denied to new employees while older employees receive less.
The answer is as I stated in previous articles, and that is Connecticut needs to challenge the monetary policy of the Federal Government, resist austerity measures, challenge the supremacy clause of the Federal Government, sue the Feds against all job killing treaties and consider rebuilding our state from the vantage point of the sovereign position of individual states rights. This may require us to pass new "xeno-tax" laws that specifically target the Federal Government and the glut of outside slave produced goods dumped on our markets. Lastly and most importantly we need to embrace the green economy and protect our remaining jobs from export. Connecticut cannot "fix the world," but Connecticut can independently work to fix its economy from within our own borders by not allowing "the world" to "drag us down."