Top News Stories of the Day – No Particular Order!
The top NH stories of 2010, or just the ones that got the most comments?: NH, These were the stories you talked about in 2010
Gee really, this is the what the media ignored throughout the election: Current recession hitting NH state budget harder than last
If only it were that easy: Ivory Coast president refuses phone call from Barack Obama
RNC Man of Steele, meet Wonder Woman: The next RNC chairwoman? Amb. Ann Wagner wary of transatlantic creep of socialism — and Michael Steele
Snowballing controversy in NY: SNOW PROBE: NY Gov calls for criminal investigation of union’s snow clean-up ‘budget protest’
Sure Democrat’s can misuse terms like Fascism, and the press sees him as a hero: Congressman: America at Risk of Fascism
Budget doom on the horizon: New budget crises loom for states and municipalities in 2011
Switch hitters flee the party of the donkey: State legislators in the South are switching from Democrat to Republican
Ann Coulter is great. There is no one on the planet that can get under the skin, and in the minds, of liberals like Coulter. Not Rush, not Beck, and not O’Reilly. Ann has a special quality that knows how to turn the most passive, socialist hippie into a raging maniac. So once she published her article, with the title “SCROOGE WAS A LIBERAL,” that stated that conservatives were more generous than liberals, she managed to ruffle the feathers of those that know so much that is just not so.
But this news is not new. Author Peter Schweizer wrote two great books that exposed liberals for who they are: “Do As I Say, Not As I Do,” and the even better book “Makers and Takers.” Schweizer detailed the hypocrisy of famous liberals in “Do As I Say, Not As I Do,” and further details the hypocrisy of liberalism in general in the book “Makers and Takers.” So as much as many liberals hate to admit it, the fact of the matter is that true conservatives are more generous on a whole, than the entirety of those who profess to be social conscience liberals.
But don’t take my word for it, read both of Schweizer’s books (or listen to my interview with him over at our Archives section)
From the article “Scrooge was a liberal (link to the full story below):
“Syracuse University professor Arthur Brooks’ study of charitable giving in America found that conservatives give 30 percent more to charity than liberals do, despite the fact that liberals have higher incomes than conservatives.
In his book “Who Really Cares?” Brooks compared the charitable donations of religious conservatives, secular liberals, secular conservatives and “religious” liberals.
His surprising conclusion was … Al Franken gave the most of all!
Ha ha! Just kidding. Religious conservatives, the largest group at about 20 percent of the population, gave the most to charity — $2,367 per year, compared with $1,347 for the country at large.”
But flaming socialist Lawrence O’Donnell tries to rebut Coulter (this was really pitiful):
During her recent 2010 review, head CBS cheerleader Katie Couric made the following insightful, thought provoking nugget of wisdom:
(regarding the controversy surrounding the mosque at Ground Zero (Park 51) project - “The bigotry expressed against Muslims in this country has been one of the most disturbing stories to surface,” Couric stated. A little later, Katie observed “a seething hatred many people feel for all Muslims,” which Katie feels could be resolved with a feel-good, lighthearted narrative: “Maybe we need a Muslim version of The Cosby Show.”I also think sort of the chasm, between, or the bigotry expressed against Muslims in this country has been one of the most disturbing stories to surface this year. Of course, a lot of noise was made about the Islamic Center, mosque, down near the World Trade Center, but I think there wasn’t enough sort of careful analysis and evaluation of where this bigotry toward 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide, and how this seething hatred many people feel for all Muslims, which I think is so misdirected, and so wrong—and so disappointing.”
The ever peppy Katie Couric demonstrates why in a few short years she has managed to do something to CBS News that even Dan Rather wasn’t able to achieve…..make it completely irrelevant. Keep up the good work Katie!
The saga of why parts of New York remained inescapably covered in snow days after this weekend’s blizzard got a strange twist this morning when The New York Post reported City Councilman Dan Halloran’s claims that sanitation workers had admitted to him that the slow clean up was part of an intentional protest by the unions over budget cuts.
Public sector unions are out of control. For far to long they have abused the taxpayers, and this story is just another example how far unions will go.
Suggested reading regarding this topic:
In 2010, the Diversity Committee of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) began a quest to get American journalists to stop using the terms “illegal aliens” or “illegal immigrants” and instead use “undocumented immigrant.” Is this really the purview of the SPJ?
Rep. King: We must break from politically correct nonsense that prevents debate on Islamic extremism
Congressman King’s point follows what our guest this past weekend (Dec. 26, 2010) Andrew McCarthy stated. We must be prepared to have an open, honest debate on Islamist, or we will continued to be ill-prepared for the actions of these extremist.
Charlie Arlinghaus, pretty much the smartest person in the room when it comes to the NH budget process, and a frequent guest on my show, offers another insight look at the issues with the current shape of NH’s financial future. New NH House Speaker O’Brien has mentioned Charlie as one of the people he would seek advise from as the new NH House shapes the upcoming budgets. That would be a great first step to solving NH’s budget crisis.
Don’t let N.H. history repeat itself
Original Post – @ Foster’s: Don’t let N.H. history repeat itself
Sometimes we can learn a lot about our budget troubles by looking back at the past fiscal history of the state. The state ran a deficit for the first time in 1968. It was looked on at the time as an aberration but the causes of the problem then have become a fixture of modern state fiscal policy.
The immediate causes of the current budget crisis are well known. Essentially, from four years ago, we increased spending in the operating budget by $600 million while revenues declined. Borrowing and one-time federal bailouts that supported the spending will go away and leave us a gigantic hole forcing dramatic reductions in spending.
The late 1960s were a very different budget time but some problems were the same. Spending increases were not supported by available revenue. The governor was forced to make mid-year changes because revenue estimates were too high. The result then was not emergency spending cuts but instead an emergency tax increase that never really did solve the problem of rapid spending increases.
For decades, the legislature and governor had budgeted cautiously and produced small surpluses at the end of each year that carried forward to give them a cushion. The rainy-day fund would not be established until the Sununu administration in the 1980s so carrying forward a surplus was important.
The fiscal report of the state department of Administration and Control warned in 1968 that “for the first time in the state’s fiscal history, the appropriations authorized by the 1967 Laws produced an $18,486 general fund deficit.” Just two years before, the state’s reserves had been $4 million, about 11% of the state’s unrestricted revenue or the equivalent of $240 million in today’s budget.
Yet, very large spending increases had eaten away at that surplus. The two-year operating budget had skyrocketed to $125 million, more than double its level just six years before. By the way, if you adjust for inflation that bloated two-year budget is the equivalent of $723 million today but our two-year general and education fund budget is actually $5 billion.
The legislature was naturally distraught over its inability to budget sensibly. But what had gone wrong? In March, the governor was forced to revise the revenue estimates down by $3.4 million, about 6% of the total. Since the change was made while the budget was under consideration, you’d think they might have pared back their spending requests.
Instead they decided to make a big change to the tax structure. At the time liquor, beer, tobacco, and horse racing made up 69% of state regular revenues. Today they account for only about 20% with tobacco at three-quarters of that. The legislature wanted a new, broader-based tax so they created a sales tax on Meals and Rooms.
That new tax didn’t change the world — it was only about 6% of the state budget. However it saved them from worrying about how they had just drained the state’s reserves to nothing.
Interestingly, some things aren’t all that different. The university wanted a much larger contribution that the state was willing to give them. The state contribution for UNH was $6 million, the equivalent of $35 million today. Actually, the state contribution has more than kept pace with inflation as we budgeted $53 million last year for UNH.
Also legislators were worried about the increasing debt. In five short years, state debt had increased by 60%. Today, we worry about general fund debt that has increased by 30% in the last five years. Back then, they worried about debt that was 20% higher than the national average. Today, we’re trying to keep from going down that road.
In 1968, the total number of state employees was climbing rapidly and had reached 6,232 at a payroll of $42 million, the equivalent of $250 million today. Today, the state reports that we have 12,764 employees at a payroll closer to $600 million before you add in benefits and retirement.
The problems of 1968 are the problems of today. The comptroller recognized that “there is tendency to approve authorization by bond issues without the same careful consideration given to the operating budget.” In addition, significant increases in appropriations created budget pressures which far outpaced the growth in revenue.
The draining of state reserve funds, the large increase in debt, the increase in appropriations beyond available revenue all created budget instability. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
News from Around the Region
A 21 year-old with a gun and no brains: Gun shown in Route 101 road rage incident
A sad lose: Veteran Woburn officer killed during robbery
Maybe we should change our tolls for presidential candidates to solve our budget crisis: GOP hopefuls trip, explain in early 2012 jockeying
We do not have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem: Repel attempts to downshift tax burden
News from Around the Country
Banks, car makers, what the hell…why not a city that has been irresponsible: Feds may have to bail out Detroit for a second time
This provision was removed from the bill that passed due to protest: Obama brings ‘DEATH PANELS’ back under new Medicare policy
What, I thought the bailouts were meant to prevent this: A ton of bailed-out banks are on the brink of collapse
111 Congress was big businesses best friend: Farewell to the Congress of corporate interests
News from Around the World
A weapon meant for only one use; to hunt a Super Power: China deploying carrier-sinking missile
Wait a minute, I thought President Obama’s election would improve our relationships: Somali Islamist group threatens U.S. attack if Obama doesn’t embrace Islam
Opinions that Matter
What America really thinks: The new cool
They have killed the economy, now they need to kill the engine of that economy: Obama’s regulators kowtow to Big Green, imperil economy