’s Drew Carey Project Episode 26: Hasta La Vista, Arnold! – What California’s Budget Mess Means for America

Posted on May 29th, 2009 by bile
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He was the perfect political superhero, sent to rescue California from spend-happy politicians at just the right time. And yet Arnold Schwarzenegger’s reign as governor has turned into a disaster flick that could spell catastrophe for the Golden State—and the whole nation.

In 2003′s historic recall election, the former Mr. Olympia pummeled dozens of candidates—from incumbent Gray Davis to former child actor Gary Coleman to porn star Mary Carey—on the road to Sacramento. He promised to abolish the odious car tax hike implemented by Davis. And to balance the budget, cut taxes and spending, and make California more business-friendly.

“He promised to stop the crazy deficit spending, cut up the credit cards, live within our means. And he did exactly the opposite. Schwarzenegger increased spending faster than we saw under Gray Davis,” says Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.), who was a state senator—and one of Arnold’s challengers—six years ago.

Now the Golden State faces yet another spending-induced catastrophe. California could simply go broke by July. Sacramento reacted to the latest crisis by passing a massive tax increase in February, squeezing another $1,100 from the average family. Even the dreaded car tax, the issue that catapulted Arnold to office, is back.

How could it all have gone so horribly wrong, especially after it looked so wonderfully right? Well, it turns out there’s a force in California politics that’s much more powerful than the Governator: a culture of spending pushed by public-employee unions, money-grubbing corporate-welfare cases, and more.

Sadly, California and Schwarzenegger are hardly alone in spending well beyond their means. As many as 40 states face whopping deficits that are only going to get worse as the recession continues.

If country-wide trends do start in California, Rep. McClintock worries about what’s in store for our nation. “As high taxes, high borrowing and high spending destroy California’s economy, Californians are moving to those 49 other states. If we allow the same policies to destroy our country where are we going to go?”

“Hasta La Vista, Arnold” is written and produced by Ted Balaker. Director of Photography is Alex Manning and Associate Producer is Paul Detrick.

Ed Rendell: None of the colleges in Pennsylvania are profitable. None.

Posted on April 26th, 2009 by bile
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Writes Katie:

So–my high school had a conference call today with the PA governor, Ed Rendell. Now, I already knew this guy was a true-blue thuggish socialist, and what’s more, he was holding this conference call to whip up support for his new state/taxpayer/theft-funded “tuition relief” program. Our journalism teacher told us to create a list of questions to ask about the new program. Most people asked if accepting this money would lessen their debt, how much would they receive, the whole “where’s my handout” spiel. A lot of kids did want to know where the heck this money was coming from, since our state has a budget deficit of over ONE BILLION DOLLARS.

Well, the conference call was at four o’clock, and I was the only student able to stay, so I got to ask the governor any question on the sheet. Now, since the questions were pre-reviewed, my teacher and I weren’t sure if he’d even let us ask any of them. We waited through many skim-the-surface kind of questions from other students about how much they would owe after the new program “helped” them and their families, how the state government would pay with it (they would tax video poker in bars–Fast Eddy loves to condemn gambling, then legalize it and tax it to death), and to ask if out-of-state residents could enjoy the same benefits.

My teacher and I were getting ready to pack up and hang up the phone when the moderator said, “Well, we have time for one more question, and this one’s from Katie…” We both leapt for the phone, and after pressing the speaker button, the moderator said that Rendell wanted to address the first question. I said, “Actually, governor, I want to talk about how government aid inflates college prices. Colleges can keep raising their prices because they know that the government will pick up the tab, and they’ll keep their same profit margins. But no responsible business would raise its proces above what its consumer base could afford! I think we should stop all government aid to make them lower their prices.”

“Cutting aid programs would be disastrous,” Rendell growled. “And colleges depend on the endowments the state gives them…”

“So they’re not profitable? They’re losing money? Every year?” I asked incredulously.

“Yes, they are,” Rendell said. He mentioned public AND private colleges not making any profit whatsoever. “None of the colleges in Pennsylvania are profitable. None.”

Even if he’s wrong and some are profitable it’s only because of the State and it’s subsidies.

The lack of basic economics or human nature is amazing. It makes one wonder if they are actually ignorant of fascists.

2009 Federal Deficit: $490 billion

Posted on July 28th, 2008 by beetlbumjl
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From Marketwatch:

The U.S. is on track to post a record budget deficit in 2009, the White House is expected to announce Monday, according to reports.

The federal deficit will jump to almost $490 billion in the next fiscal year, U.S. media said, citing White House officials. Meanwhile, this year’s deficit will swell to more than $410 billion, a White House budget update to be released Monday afternoon will show.
The White House is scheduled to release its mid-session budget review at 1:45 p.m. EDT.
The continuing economic slowdown and bills for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan are behind the record deficit.
The U.S.’s biggest budget deficit to date was $413 billion, according to figures cited by USA Today. President Bush inherited a budget surplus of $128 billion when he entered office in 2001.
An adviser to Republican presidential contender John McCain told the Washington Post that the new surge of red ink won’t have implications going forward since it’s tied to cyclical developments like the slowing economy and economic stimulus checks.

Movement warns of US bankruptcy

Posted on July 13th, 2008 by beetlbumjl
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From the Boston Globe:

WASHINGTON – A new nationwide campaign is warning Americans that unless the federal government puts its financial house in order, the country could be bankrupt in a generation.

The project, organized by Peter G. Peterson, an investment banker who served as commerce secretary in the Nixon administration, and David M. Walker, the former comptroller general of the United States, aims to build grass-roots support for wholesale changes to the federal budget – though the overhaul would require middle- and upper-income Americans to give up some cherished government benefits.

Peterson and Walker said yesterday that the campaign, sponsored by the nonpartisan Peter G. Peterson Foundation in New York, will kick off next week with a documentary called “I.O.U.S.A,” the first salvo in an aggressive, multimillion dollar effort that will include television advertisements and Internet outreach.

Peterson, the foundation president, and Walker, the chief executive, said the widening gap between government revenues and spending will eventually destroy the confidence in the American economy that has led international lenders to continue to finance the national debt.

“We are going to get a crisis like most Americans have never seen,” Walker said during a breakfast sponsored by The Christian Science Monitor.

The national debt is now more than $9 trillion.

See the link for the rest of the article. Peterson’s group also puts out a color brochure titled, The State of the Union’s Finances.