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Didn’t Nero Fiddle While Rome Burned?
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Well apparently the economic equivalent is spending freely when the economy is in decline.
Even as the economy slides into recession, many state and local governments continue to spend freely and expand their workforces.

State and local spending jumped 7.4% in the third quarter compared with a year earlier, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reports. Hiring increased faster than in any sector except health care.

Total state and local revenue grew just 2.6% in the third quarter. Sales tax collections fell 0.6% as consumers cut spending.

The government spending boom has helped cushion the economic downturn. It also has put many states and cities on a path toward large budget shortfalls during the next year if spending isn't cut or taxes raised.
My guess is we're already beyond this being an either/or question. If you don't understand that both are going to happen, you're not paying attention. Well, let me amend that just a bit - government will give lip service to spending cuts and real service to raising your taxes.
The National Governors Association estimates states' budget shortfalls at $26 billion this year, and that could rise sharply if the economy worsens. Governors in Arizona, California and several other states plan to call legislatures into special session in the next few weeks to fix budget problems.
Any guess as to how they plan on "fixing the problems?"

Yeah, that's not hard to figure out, is it:
The federal government may help state and local governments. President-elect Barack Obama says federal assistance is a top priority so the nation's economic troubles aren't compounded by government layoffs or tax hikes.
Can't have any layoffs in those oh, so productive government jobs can we? So the message is, hire what you need, we'll cover you. And so you won't have to hike taxes, we'll cover that as well.

Of course the unasked question is, "with what?" The other unasked question is, "from whence shall it come?"

Oh and you'll love this:
Ray Scheppach, executive director of the National Governors Association, says states have done a good job preparing for the downturn, including building nearly $80 billion in budget reserves.
Well good - let the governors figure it out between them. Let's see 26 billion shortfall, 80 billion reserves, easy stuff (ok, ok, it's a joke - sort of).

BTW, just as an aside - do you know what an 80 billion, with a "b", reserve means?

It means that a whole bunch of citizens were overtaxed and the money they may have put in a personal savings account as a personal priority (or spent on some need they had) instead went in to a government account as did any interest that may have earned. Ironically, there are those out there who will call that 'good government'.

In summary:
•Hiring more. State and local governments added 160,000 workers in the past year, when the private sector cut 1.38 million jobs. The hiring continued in October: The federal government added 6,000 workers, and state and local governments added 17,000 — mostly in education — while businesses cut 263,000 jobs, for a net loss of 240,000.

•Borrowing more. States and cities borrowed heavily in recent years. Debt was on a record pace in 2008 until credit markets froze in September, reports The Bond Buyer, a financial newspaper. More borrowing is likely: Voters approved 82% of a record $67 billion in bond issues on the Nov. 4 ballot.

•Collecting less. Revenue is up from a year ago but fell from the second to third quarter. Income and sales tax drops pushed revenue down 0.4%.
While the economy heads into recession, local and state government jobs are up (an obvious spending increase), government borrowing is up (voters continue to enable the spending spree like fools) and revenue is headed down.
Budget analyst Chris Edwards of the fiscally conservative [libertarian] Cato Institute says states should not be rewarded for high spending. "State governments are like drivers coming off the interstate and having a hard time slowing down," he says.
And bailing them out teaches them what again?
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
We’re gonna git Federal assistance! woo hoo! that money comes from magic monkey butts! It don’t come from us!
Okay, maybe it comes from RICH FOLKS! Preferably CONSERVATIVE RICH FOLKS!
But the Fed will be there to help with the money from Rich FOLKS and the other magic monkey butt money, don’t you worry none!
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
"from whence shall it come?"
"Whence" means "from where", so you’d never say "from whence". Handy cheat sheet to archaic usage: http://www.wolaver.org/WordPlay/wherewhither.htm
 
Written By: Skorj
URL: http://
Never mind the jobs, that’s a drop in the bucket compared to the underfunded pensions of all these municipalities.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
Not only that, it gets worse when state governments are actually working to decrease jobs in the private sector. An example...


Wikipedia political Quote of the Day comes to us courtesy of Maryland Delegate LeRoy E. Myers, Jr. (R):
Political Activity

Has been extensively involved in activism against Truck nuts.
Ha ha! This guy wants to castrate your truck.

Tell me Mr. Myers, if we start castrating our trucks, where are all the little baby trucks supposed to come from? Will we have to start importing Tonka Toys from China where trucks are still potent?
Haven’t thought this through, have you LeRoy?

This prude Myers calls them "vulgar and immoral", but I don’t know. I mean, I know that I like a little hot Flatbed on Minivan action (Baby’s got back). But not quad cab, that’s just sick and wrong.
But Mr. Myers here thinks we’ve crossed a line,
"People are making a joke out of it," Myers said yesterday. "But I think it’s a pretty serious problem. You have body parts hanging from the hitches of cars. We’ve crossed a line."
Another question I would have is what if your from out of state just passing through? What would a cop think of this "serious problem"?
Would a cop take into consideration your out of state plates and give you just a warning?

Ummm... Sir, while passing though our great state, your truck is going to have to stop exposing itself to other vehicles.

But my truck’s boys need to breath, officer!



David Ham of "Your Nutz" - "The World’s Finest Automotive Novelty Testicles Made for Cars, Trucks, Quads, Scooters, Skateboards, Wheelchairs, Heck, for Whatever Needs Them!" - is not amused that Myers here wants to wreck an industry that employs tens of dozens.
Ham said he shipped about 100 orders last year to customers in Maryland and Virginia. He said those who support a ban would do well to recall that 50 years ago, many people in the nation lived on farms. "Did all the little donkeys and sheep walk around with their panties on so children wouldn’t see their bodies?" he asked.
Maybe, Mr. Ham. But you would do well to recall that fifty years ago, everyone was perverted.
Not anymore though.

Down here in conservative Texas, I’ve only seen these exhibitionist trucks once or twice. At first I wasn’t quite sure what they were. I first thought they might be some kind of strange counterweights for something that wasn’t evident. But then I quickly realized what they were.
And my mind was forever corrupted.

But not Chairman Hattie N. Harrison (D-Baltimore), she loves her some shiny ballz.

The bill is now in the House Rules Committee. "I think it’s a terrible bill," Chairman Hattie N. Harrison (D-Baltimore) said yesterday, but she agreed to defer to her colleagues on whether to let it die a quick death in committee or assign it to another one for a full debate.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
But not Chairman Hattie N. Harrison (D-Baltimore), she loves her some shiny ballz.
good for her.

So long as the Democrats keep their policies focused on your truck nuts rather than our collective nuts then we will all be better for it.
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
Al Qaeda wanted sheep to wear diapers so no one could see their junk, too.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Al Qaeda wanted sheep to wear diapers so no one could see their junk, too.
Yeah, they just don’t want the trainees to be distracted all day.

"If you train good today, we let you look at sheep ass tonight!"
 
Written By: CaptinSarcastic
URL: http://
good for her.

So long as the Democrats keep their policies focused on your truck nuts rather than our collective nuts then we will all be better for it.
That’s the spirit, capt joe. That’s what I call reaching around reaching across the isle.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
That’s the spirit, capt joe. That’s what I call reaching around reaching across the isle.
Hey man, you are the one talking about truck nuts.
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
Truck nutz are vulgar.

But who am I to stop someone else from making an ass of themselves. That’s called free speech, though I’m not sure what the point is. I figure most of those who hang them have something their compensating for.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
I figure most of those who hang them have something their compensating for.
Absolutely, Pogue, something to add??
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
Absolutely, Pogue, something to add??


Why do you ask, capt?
You interested in a teabag or something?

Tell you what I’m willing to do for you.
I’ll buy some Truck Nutz for my Dodge and you can give it an oil change. Who knows, crawling underneath it, you might get lucky.
You might have to treat it to a tank of gas and a drive-in movie first.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
As far as the title goes, the answer is "no", as the fiddle wasn’t invented until much later. Whether or not Nero played the lyre as Rome burned is up to debate; Tacitus reported that Nero wasn’t even there at the time.
 
Written By: KR
URL: http://
Whence" means "from where", so you’d never say "from whence".
You mean "whence" isn’t a place?

Drat.
 
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