Forbes magazine has completed a comprehensive look at "The Global Debt Bomb" and in the course of compiling the results found this very interesting tidbit:
"The five states in the worst financial condition--Illinois, New York, Connecticut, California and New Jersey--are all among the bluest of blue states. The five most fiscally fit states are more of a mix. Three--Utah, Nebraska and Texas--boast Republican majorities and two--New Hampshire and Virginia--skew Democratic."
But wait, it's actually more serious than that when you look at the 10 states in the worst financial condition, according to Forbes:
"Of the 10 states in the worst financial condition, eight are among a total of 23 defined by Gallup as "solidly Democratic," meaning the Democrats enjoy an advantage of 10 percentage points or greater in party affiliation. These states include the ones listed above as making up the bottom five, plus Massachusetts, Ohio and Wisconsin.
Why do Democratic states appear to be struggling more than Republican ones? It comes down to stronger unions and a larger appetite for public programs, according to Kent Redfield, professor emeritus of political studies and public affairs at the University of Illinois' Center for State Policy and Leadership.
Our LG (Limited Government) system has been beset on several fronts. We know that in the past the BG Communists and Hard Socialists have been trying to undermine our society for almost 100 years. We now know that radical Islamists want to tear us down and have been at it for awhile. But the BG statists have failed in many of their goals. The worst threat to our country has come from within — from some of our own elite and political class.
Many American elites were enamored of the control that a Marxist government promised. It meant mastery over every aspect of society. In the minds of these elites, it could be used to create a utopia of their own devising. These people called themselves Progressives. They started in the 1880s before the Soviet revolution. They did not agree with Marx entirely, but they liked his theories overall. They wanted to break up the power structures in America in order to redirect industry toward their goals. They moved to prevent blacks, illiterates and immigrants from voting so they had more control over the results. They pushed political and moral reforms including prohibition, to try to control behavior and the direction of the country.
They saw the Constitution as a hindrance to their efforts because it limited the powers of the leaders. It promised rights that people would not want to lose without a fight. In order to convert the United States to the system they wanted, people would have to lose those rights. So they began to change the system from within.
The first progressive president was Theodore Roosevelt. He increased regulation of businesses, which was a progressive mandate. Many of these moves were good at the time, like the Meat Inspection Act of 1906 and the Pure Food and Drug Act which tried to shut down snake oil remedies. He also finished the Panama Canal and earned a Nobel Peace prize for helping to end the Russo-Japanese War. “Teddy” Roosevelt left office as a popular president and even has his face on Mt. Rushmore, But when he tried to run again for president later, against Republican William Taft, he split the vote and Democrat Woodrow Wilson was elected in 1912. That is where the problems really started.
Wilson gave us the Federal Reserve, which was designed to prevent depressions and bank problems.
He gave us the “progressive” income tax which was designed to pay for the expansion of the federal government. He gave us the League of Nations, an the early form of the United Nations. It was designed to prevent wars. Only the income tax “worked,” but not as promised. It was originally supposed to be a marginal 7% tax on the rich. They promised that was as high as it would get. But they raised it to 75% on almost everyone in short order. The Federal Reserve was given unprecedented powers over the economy but it has not prevented depressions. The greatest one was to follow shortly after it was created. The income tax has been used to bribe citizens with their own money, and to pit Americans against each other in the name of “class.”
In a revealing piece post-State of the Union, Edward Luce, writing in the Financial Times, London, referred to "a fearsome foursome", the team seem most often in the Oval Office and constituting Obama’s ‘inner circle’ during this past year. "Just over a year into his tenure, America’s 44th president governs a bitterly divided nation, a world increasingly hard to manage and an America that seems more disillusioned than ever with Washington’s ways," said Luce. "What went wrong?"(from island.lk)
By way of answer, he noted that pundits, Democratic lawmakers and opinion pollsters offered a smorgasbord of reasons, all of which could have contributed to the quandary Obama finds himself in. "But those around him have a more specific diagnosis – and one that is striking in its uniformity. The Obama White House is geared for campaigning rather than governing, they say."
In dozens of interviews Luce had with Obama’s closest allies and friends in Washington – most given unattributably to protect their access to the Oval Office – each had observed that the President drew on the advice of a very tight circle. "The inner core consists of just four people – Rahm Emanuel, the pugnacious chief of staff; David Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett, his senior advisers; and Robert Gibbs, his communications chief."
Stop Valerie Jarrett is a project of Americans for Limited Government and NetRightNation.com
So what does the future hold? Obviously, much depends on the flow of the economy. If 2010 resembles 2009, cities all over the state, indeed all over the nation, will be looking for a lifeline.(from directorblue.blogspot.com)
In Cuyahoga Falls, we will be negotiating with all six of our public employee unions. We do not anticipate these negotiations will be easy, however, with a keen eye on fiscal responsibility, the administration will be resolute in its demands to lower expenses. And indeed, with payroll representing 75–80% of our general fund budget, the public sector unions are the obvious place to go.
Which brings up the question that I have raised in this forum in the past: Is it time to eliminate public sector unions?
The history of public sector unions goes back to 1962 when President John F. Kennedy signed executive order 10988 allowing unionization of the federal workforce. This changed everything in the American political system. President Kennedy’s order swung open the door for the unrelenting rise of the unionized public workforce in many states and cities.
And of course, 47 years ago, the American workforce landscape looked very different. As recently as 1980, there were more than twice as many private sector union members than there were public sectors. Today 51.4% of America's 15.4 million unionized workers are employed by the government. This is the first time in American history that there are more public sector union members than there are private. So my question is, can we the taxpayers continue to afford this expense?
The problem for the economy is that the public sector unions create a self-reinforcing cycle of higher spending and taxes. The union helps elect politicians who repay the union with more pay and benefits and dues-paying members, who in turn help to re-elect those politicians.
I recall the 2006 example of former New Jersey Governor John Corzine shouting to a rally of 10,000 public workers “We will fight for a fair contract”. Mr. Corzine was supposed to be on the other side of the bargaining table representing taxpayers, not labor.
...As we can see from the desperate economic and fiscal woes of California, New Jersey, New York and other states with dominant public unions; this has become a major problem for the U.S. economy and smaller “d” democratic governance. The agenda for American political reform needs to include the breaking of public unions' power to capture an even larger share of private income.