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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Daily Ditties: Miscellaneous Thoughts

So, let me get this straight. Eighty percent of the Stimulus money already spent--which is from 40 to 60% of the $826 billion approved--went to saving government jobs(cops, firemen, office workers, etc.), paying for Medicaid to the states, padding existing programs and basically throwing money around to the usual suspects. If you don’t want your head to explode, don’t read the following:

Ah, nothing quite like the smell of burning tax dollars in the morning.

I don’t usually disagree with Stuart Varney or Fox Business, but this morning was one of those times. Mr. Varney made the statement that over $1trillion is needed, by the states, to fulfill pension promises to retirees.

Well now, ain’t that special. When you say “promises” in the same sentence as “labor negotiations” or the very warm and fuzzy term, “collective bargaining”, you could also refer to Somali pirates as unregistered guests on hijacked cruise ships.

The “promises” go something like this, “If you don’t guarantee my union employees a defined benefit pension plan (where member pension losses due to economic downturns will be made whole by taxpayers), we will call for a strike against you and take your business or government to a grinding halt until our demands are met. Have a nice day.”

So you see (as Mr. Varney does NOT) that “promises” mean different things to different people. Moreover, as luck would have it, these “promises” are usually extracted from either very large companies or public entities, where either taxpayers or stockholders have too much to lose to deny the demands.

Well, we now see what happens when “promises” are made that don’t consider the perfect storm of high unemployment, poor revenues or taxes, a recession and an Administration planting barriers to optimism at every turn.

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