Federalism

GOP Govs Prepared to Punch Federal Gift Horse in the Mouth?

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The Christian Science Monitor reports on some Republican governors' discontent and fear over the longterm results of taking federal stimulus money:

Gov. Butch Otter is one of at least half a dozen Republican state executives who have said they may reject some, even all, of the money their states would get under a stimulus package expected to enlarge the government's slice of gross domestic product and slow, if not reverse, the economic downturn….Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry have joined Otter's revolt.

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels has also raised concerns about future state obligations especially for education, welfare, and healthcare spending, which make up the bulk of the $787 billion package.

"Some school systems will see a gusher of money the like of which no one has seen before," said Governor Daniels at a press conference last week. "When federal funds stop coming, there will not be any way to replace all of that."………

In a study released late last week, the Rockefeller Institute found that states are wise to take the money, but should plan judiciously. By the time the money runs out in 2011-12, conservative estimates show states could face budget gaps equaling 6 percent of general revenues, or about $100 billion nationwide. Spending cuts or tax hikes would be inevitable, the report concluded.

"This stimulus gives states some time, but it doesn't make the problem go away," says Donald Boyd, who wrote the report. "There is a risk of losing discipline, [but] in the end, I'd be very surprised to see a state reject the money. It's fine to take a stand, but retreat may look pretty good."

While I have strong doubts that there will be much follow-through on these misgivings, what these governor's fear is true of stimulus politics as a whole: trying every expedient to seem to be solving a short-term problem with very little thought to whether it's sustainable or just slightly postponing a terrible problem for a few years, with no thought for permanent solutions. And such permanent solutions will never involve the constant outflow of federal money that the government doesn't even have.

[Link via Rational Review.]

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  1. Are these the Republican contendenders in the 2012 presidential elections?

  2. just slightly postponing a terrible problem for a few years, with no thought for permanent solutions.

    Like, for instance, discouraging massive/illegalimmigration in order to prevent having to keep spending billions on schoolconstruction? I’m sure Brian Doherty means something like that, except the Kochtopus brand ShockCollar prevents him from articulating it.

    Likewise with another issue: the money is a massive PatronageScheme for Dem mayors, with some of the money they dole out coming back to them as contributions.

    For instance, Reason could ask a stim bill proponent to go to usmayors.org/mser and find projects from major city (i.e., Dem) mayors that will go to industries etc. that are NOT known to be major contributors to Dem mayors.

    Oops. The ShockCollar prevents them from asking questions like that too.

  3. Like, for instance, discouraging massive/illegalimmigration in order to prevent having to keep spending billions on schoolconstruction?

    In a world overrun with dumb fucks, you manage to make yourself stand out.

  4. Chris!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    *shakes fist in air*

  5. Shut the fuck up, Lonewacko.

  6. I would post Chris Kelly’s information again, but that got me banned last time…

    I cannot help myself

  7. Shut the fuck up, Lonewacko.

    It’s just as satisfying the second time, just like gyros after a night of drinking.

  8. TAO,

    LA? No wonder he’s freaking out all the time. Can you imagine the febrile rage that must grip him every time he’s “forced” to drive past a taco truck?

  9. It’s just as satisfying the second time, just like gyros after a night of drinking.

    Wow that’s a good line.

    Which is the one who’s a racist which slapped the face of every black American by considering turning down the money?

  10. wait, wait, wait…you mean there are politicians that have no expectation of tackling long term issues and are only concerned with short term self interests? My God, where have I been 🙂

    Oh well….Shrugg

  11. “Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry have joined Otter’s revolt.”

    With the exception of Barbour, I would say all of them are Presidential contenders in 2012. It makes a lot of sense to turn down the money. In 2012, the big issue is going to be “why the hell did we blow all the money and run up this huge deficit”. The Dems and the media will go after anyone who objected and took any money from the porkulus as a hypocrite. These guys are insulating themselves from that charge.

  12. So does this mean more money for the states that do accept the money?

    If so, then if I was a resident of one of the non-accepting states, I’d be pretty pissed off at my governor, principle be damned.

  13. Which is the one who’s a racist which slapped the face of every black American by considering turning down the money?

    Mark Sanford

  14. “If so, then if I was a resident of one of the non-accepting states, I’d be pretty pissed off at my governor, principle be damned.”

    You are assuming the money will do any good. The point the governors are making is that the money will go to teacher’s unions and other hoodlums and raise the baseline spending above what it is now. Then in a few years, the feds will stop sending the money and the hoodlums will still want their cash and any politician who objects to it will be accused of “cutting education spending” or whatever. I would say those governors are saving their states from bankruptcy.

  15. This story clearly illustrates that the Democratic party is the home of libertarians of conscience.

    After all, Republicans don’t like gays. And if anything defines libertarianism, its the freedom to be gay.

    Leaving your money in your pocket? That’s so 1980s.

  16. RWR – dude, +10 for total irrelevancy AND commenting on the wrong thread.

    Do I have to post your information again? Actually, I think I’m going to shop it around at 4chan.

  17. TAO,

    I’m linking ideas from two different threads. Do try to keep up.

  18. you’re linking them based on what? Complete non-sequitur, dude.

  19. RWR: Individual liberties being attacked by the state are all in libertarians interest. That includes government preventing gay marriage as well as government taking your money. Get used to it.

    And stop threadjacking, you bloviating fuck.

  20. “After all, Republicans don’t like gays. And if anything defines libertarianism, its the freedom to be gay.”

    What a crock of bigoted shit.

    “Leaving your money in your pocket? That’s so 1980s.”

    Ooooh! That’s so clever and biting!

    “I’m linking ideas from two different threads. Do try to keep up.”

    Me too! Only for me it’s three threads! From thread one “eat”, from thread two “shit” and from thread three “bigot-bitch”.

    Kiss, Kiss!
    YFQ

  21. I would say good for them, if I believed for even a second that they’d go through with it…

    And besides, that would mean they’d spend just as much, but in different states.

  22. “”” It makes a lot of sense to turn down the money. In 2012, the big issue is going to be “why the hell did we blow all the money and run up this huge deficit”. “”””

    The citizens of these states will be paying the tab too. These Govs are making their state pay and get nothing in return, over a matter of prinicple. Since the citizens of these states will be paying the tab, why not let them get something in return?

    By no means am I a fan of these bailouts. But I think it’s silly to not accept the money when you’re required to contribute.

  23. I shouldn’t have said the Govs are making them pay. That’s the feds, which the Govs have no control.

  24. “By no means am I a fan of these bailouts. But I think it’s silly to not accept the money when you’re required to contribute.”

    See point above. It is not like this money is just being given away. The money goes to specific things which are going to have to be sustained. It is nothing but a trojan horse to get states to tax and spend more. There is nothing silly about it at all.

  25. The threads have been really slow today. Is it the case that Joe actually drove traffic? I am starting to feel like Cartman after Kyle moved to San Fransisco.

  26. Individual liberties being attacked by the state are all in libertarians interest. That includes government preventing gay marriage as well as government taking your money.

    That may be so, but with so many threats to liberty out there we have to prioritize. Gay marriage should be way down somewhere around legalizing ferrets on the list of priorities, but to hear some libertarians it’s the central issue of our time.

  27. John:

    Could be that its just Monday. I’ve been too busy to even lurk the comments much today.

  28. John, enjoy your Peace Dividend while it lasts. As we found out after the end of the Cold War, sometimes the devil you know is better than whatever replaces it.

  29. “The citizens of these states will be paying the tab too.”

    How about they divide the amount they would be getting by the number of Federal tax returns in their state and cut the Federal tax returns by an across the board percentage that adds up to the total? Yeah, even less likely than them actually following through with this proposal… On top of the fact that it might be well nigh impossible to implement. Oh well.
    -K

  30. YFQ,

    I don’t have the time to get in a slap fight with you. There is too much government for me to reduce the size and scope of. Someone needs to do it while the libertarians are spending all their energies on repealing prop 8 and electing Democratic politicians.

  31. By no means am I a fan of these bailouts. But I think it’s silly to not accept the money when you’re required to contribute.

    But if you accept it you’re going to have to maintain a higher baseline of spending in the long-term, after the money runs out. That’s the crux of the governors’ argument — it’s not a question of getting hosed now or breaking even, it’s a question of getting hosed now or getting hosed with Niagara Falls a few years down the road.

  32. Is it the case that Joe actually drove traffic? I am starting to feel like Cartman after Kyle moved to San Fransisco.

    I have to confess. joe was just Jesse trying to max out hit revenue, and I was complicit in it.

  33. Someone needs to do it while the libertarians are spending all their energies on repealing prop 8 and electing Democratic politicians.

    QFT.

    When your libertarian magazine has nearly half of its contributors preferring Obama to Barr, you have to wonder. And it’s not like Bush who dumped his “humble foreign policy” and fiscal conservatism platform out the window once he got elected. We knew who Obama was all along.

  34. One of the strings attached to the bailout money has to do with forcing states to permanently change their state unemployment programs to expand coverage for part time workers who get laid off.

    In other words, it’s another back door attempt to permanently expand the welfare state and entitlement programs.

    The states would have to permanently increase the unemployment taxes paid by businesses to cover those increased benefits when the stimulus money runs out.

  35. “Is it the case that Joe actually drove traffic?”

    I’m delighted that he’s gone. He devolved into little more than a self-important, argumentative nuisance. “I double-dog dare you to prove I ever said?” gets old fast and really doesn’t add value.

    Someone better will take his place. That’s how free markets work.

  36. ” There is too much government for me to reduce the size and scope of.”

    Well good luck with that you great big superhero, you!

    Kiss, Kiss!
    YFQ

  37. “Enough About Palin | February 23, 2009, 3:33pm | #
    “Is it the case that Joe actually drove traffic?””

    Not him personally, but his Hatedom did.

  38. “The states would have to permanently increase the unemployment taxes paid by businesses to cover those increased benefits when the stimulus money runs out.”

    THIS is what we need to fear:

    Executive Order: Establishment of the White House Office of Urban Affairs

    Sec. 3. Functions. The principal functions of the Office are, to the extent permitted by law:

    (a) to provide leadership for and coordinate the development of the policy agenda for urban America across executive departments and agencies;

    (b) to coordinate all aspects of urban policy;

    OBAMA WANTS “TO COORDINATE ALL ASPECTS OF URBAN POLICY”. That is so fucked up!

    more at:

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Executive-Order-Establishment-of-the-White-House-Office-of-Urban-Affairs/

  39. Joe would just reduce to his level and beat you with experience. He never brought out anything thoughtful or interesting in people. At best he was annoying and at worst he made you as padantic and partisian as he was.

  40. Really, joe could get obnoxious sometimes but the group of posters bizzarely obsessed with him was worse. Ex., posting as “anti-joe”. I mean, really?

  41. The continual barrage of Chris Kelly sockpuppets is more annoying than joe ever was.

  42. The real reason he left is because last week I let it slip that the reason he was pixelated was because as a child, he drank from the toilet.

  43. The continual barrage of Chris Kelly sockpuppets is more annoying than joe ever was.

    FTFY.

  44. Gov. Butch Otter is one of at least half a dozen Republican state executives who have said they may reject some, even all, of the money their states would get under a stimulus package …

    Ain’t.

    Gonna.

    Happen.

    That is all.

  45. That is your bet J sub D. What if it does? Will you admit how wrong you were?

  46. YFQ, you know joe used to say “kiss kiss” whenever people would obsess about him. Interesting…

  47. Governor Perry is at least open to accepting highway money from the federal government, per the Startlegram (er, Fort Worth Star-Telegram) article at this link:

    http://startelegram.typepad.com/politex/2009/02/campaign-what-campaign-asks-perry-standing-outside-white-house.html

    I thought I read an article a few days ago about him deciding to go ahead and accept the stimulus funds, but I can’t find it now. :-/ Will post it if I do.

  48. Tulpa,

    Ferret ownership is far more important than gay marriage.
    Property rights are a matter of negative liberty
    while state-recognition of marriage is one of positive liberty.

  49. Missing from the list: Ahnold. Maybe that’s because he never saw a dollar of public spending he didn’t like. Even Gray Davis thinks he’s a profligate spender.

  50. “””The money goes to specific things which are going to have to be sustained. It is nothing but a trojan horse to get states to tax and spend more. There is nothing silly about it at all.”””

    Not necessarily so, and it doesn’t really matter what the legislation says. If states don’t have the money in future they will drop the programs. I seriously doubt that the feds will ask for money back.

    In the end, these states will be paying for a bailout for everyone else and get nothing in return. It’s not like they won’t have to pay their states share. That’s the funny thing with taxes and pork spending. People pay their taxes and want something (pork projects) in return. People want their elected officials to bring the bacon home since they paid for part of the pig.

  51. “””The states would have to permanently increase the unemployment taxes paid by businesses to cover those increased benefits when the stimulus money runs out.”””

    Not a chance. The states will throw up their arms and say we can no longer sustain it, give us more or we have to quit. What are the feds going to do? Nothing.

  52. That is your bet J sub D. What if it does? Will you admit how wrong you were?

    Yep. Just because I didn’t put the “throw this in my face” caveat, doesn’t mean I’ll go urban planner on y’all.

    Ain’t … Gonna … Happen.

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