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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Yoo-hoo, here comes reality

Gov. Mitch Daniels, writing in The Wall Street Journal:

Most governors I've talked to are so busy bailing that they haven't checked the long-range forecast. What the radar tells me is that we ain't seen nothin' yet. What we are being hit by isn't a tropical storm that will come and go, with sunshine soon to follow. It's much more likely that we're facing a near permanent reduction in state tax revenues that will require us to reduce the size and scope of our state governments. And the time to prepare for this new reality is already at hand.

The coming state government reset will be particularly wrenching after the happy binge that preceded this recession. During the last decade, states increased their spending by an average of 6% per year, gusting to 8% during 2007-08. Much of the government institutions built up in those years will now have to be dismantled.

The choice state governments face, he says, is between "a major downsizing or consigning themselves to permanent decline. Wishing for an improbably huge boom while chasing your own tail through self-destructive taxes won't prove much of a strategy." So some of seem likely to get the small, saner government we've asked for by the simple fact of states hav


Bob G.
Fri, 09/04/2009 - 11:35am

Looks like all those gov't "gravy-trains" have finally reached the final stop...'ya think?
(we hope)
We've lost too many jobs and companies thanks to "the bottom line" over the decades. That certainly caused (and contimues to cause) revenue loss in a MAJOR way!

And I wonder how much tax revenues have declined since the inception of "welfare", anyway?
(and in too many cases, that is a relatively UNTAPPED source of labor...hence, jobs...hence, revenue)
Interesting conundrum.

Einstein would have difficulty balancing THIS equation!

Fri, 09/04/2009 - 12:09pm

So, why has our productivity declined? Why can't we manage the same levels of prosperity our parents and grandparents could?

Bob G.
Fri, 09/04/2009 - 2:09pm

We sold our manufacturing souls to the overseas devils...
(but that's just my "wild" guess)
In actuality, those jobs that STILL remain here are producing MORE than they ever have...so I guess Americans CAN do MORE...with LESS.

tim zank
Sat, 09/05/2009 - 5:34pm

Doug, It's hard to be a prosperous civilization when roughly half of the citizenry is on the public dole in some way, shape or form. The work ethic we witnessed after WWII is long gone. Nowadays, everybody thinks they are OWED a job, food, health insurance, home, car etc. Personal responsibility is so passe....

Andrew J.
Tue, 09/08/2009 - 10:53am

Half of the citizenry? Hyperbole or truth? What constitutes the public dole? Would like to hear the definition to determine then if, in fact, half of the American public is getting some for of food stamps.

tim zank
Tue, 09/08/2009 - 8:49pm

Probably more than half Andrew. Do you know anyone with an artificially sudsidized mortgage (fannie/freddie/fha/usda) or maybe rec'd a subsidized rebate on a car (cash for clunkers) or maybe somebody who bought a house and get's a $8000 check (1st time buyers if you haven't owed a home in the last 3 years), or anybody at school that receives a free luch (and breakfast and now weekend take home meals), or maybe a student receiving pell grants, or subsidized college loans at reduced rates, or maybe just the old stadbys, welfare, medicaid, medicare, food stamps, wic, planned parenthood, subsidized corn, subsidized sugar, subsidized tobacco, subsidized....oh hell, there's too many to list them all.

Odds are pretty good, more than 50% of the citizenry is collecting something for nothing at the expense of the rest of us, and Ol' Barry is gonna jump that up to about 75% by the time he's done writin' checks and printing greenbacks.

Andrew J.
Wed, 09/09/2009 - 9:53am

Does my mortgage interest deduction on my income taxes qualify me as a government freeloader, as someone collecting something for nothing?

How about my tax-deductible donations to charity?


tim zank
Wed, 09/09/2009 - 7:59pm

Yes it actually does. You (and I) are using our neighbors tax dollars (by getting deductions etc) to support a never ending stream of government largess "for our own good".

There is no free lunch.

Andrew J.
Thu, 09/10/2009 - 10:55am

But if everybody (seems if you expand the criteria, then just about everybody gets some sort of tax break) is getting a break, how am I using my neighbors tax dollars. Seems like everybody is using every neighbors tax dollars, the only difference is to what degree. And if that's the case, sounds like a progressive system doing what it's supposed to be doing, softening the ugly, rough edges of capitalism.

tim zank
Thu, 09/10/2009 - 1:26pm

I would much prefer a system whereby the government doesn't "incentivize" anybody and simply collects flat taxes from everyone to pay for roads, cops fire depts etc.

Too bad we're waaaaay past that.

Andrew J.
Thu, 09/10/2009 - 3:09pm

You'd be OK with billionaire Bill Gates paying the same tax so he can drive on the road as the McDonald's fry cook for the privilege of driving on that same road?

tim zank
Thu, 09/10/2009 - 9:40pm


Andrew J.
Fri, 09/11/2009 - 5:43am

Might just as well have a barter society in that case.

tim zank
Sat, 09/12/2009 - 6:25pm

In what universe would it be fair to charge Bill Gates $100 for a Big Mac and the next guy in line $3.00?????
Or $100 to cross the toll road and $3.00 for the next guy in line.

If you are a socialist, I guess it makes sense. To me it makes NO sense and is patently unfair. But fair doesn't matter to liberals, anyone with means is just supposed to fork over their earnings and pay the freight for all the downtrodden, right?

Andrew J.
Mon, 09/14/2009 - 10:39am

We've had a progressive tax system, and accepted the concept of ability to pay, for at least the past 80 years. Time to stop pining for the days of horse and buggy, and addition by abacus. Do you honestly believe this country would have become an world economic power if people paid their freight regardless of ability, or without the existence of credit or the practice of borrowing?
History shows: societies that don't pay attention to the downtrodden face social and political upheaval, leading to revolution.


tim zank
Mon, 09/14/2009 - 7:31pm

AJ's Quote: "History shows: societies that don

andrew j.
Tue, 09/15/2009 - 9:23am

French revolution.

Heck, we exist as a country in large part because we are the world's melting pot, taking in immigrants like Jews and Irish and Italians persecuted by their homelands.

Think of the Statue of Liberty.
It has a plaque that reads:

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"