Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Surf's Up

American Thinker's C. Edmund Wright has the  Top Ten Reasons to Support Herman Cain for President.  I don't know much about Cain, but if half these things turn out to be true, I would love to see that campaign.  My favorite reason:
4. Never held office before: While Cain's opponents -- on both sides of the aisle -- are licking their chops over this one, they should rethink this.  Mr. Cain already has a lethal (can we still say that?) response to this one: "Everyone in Washington has held public office before.  How's that working out for you?"  Case closed.
I would love to see someone pose that question to Cain and see him respond to that in a debate.  It would be absolutely brilliant.

Last night was the State of the Union speech and I have to say, I am completely underwhelmed.  Yeah, it was delivered well, I have never claimed that Obama can't deliver a speech, but like most SOTU speeches it lacked any kind of coherent theme or message and delved into the typical laundry list of items on a to-do list.  My biggest problem is that the President and indeed many national leaders, except maybe Paul Ryan and a few others, are looking at the biggest problem we as a nation face:  DEBT.  Reason Magazine's Peter Suderman points out the same thing, much better than I.
But the mounting national debt is not just a problem. It is the problem. We are out of money. The national wallet is virtually empty, the bank account dollars are all spent, and the line of credit is about to get more expensive. All other policies—from health care to unemployment to infrastructure spending to the tax code—must be considered in the context of the debt.
Of course, that is something Congress should have been doing since the time of FDR, but has largely abdicated that responsibility.

I have engaged in a debate with friends about why there is so much scorn heaped on public sector employees and/or unions.  My beef is not so much with individual employees--unless they don't do their job or treat me like an afterthough when they are supposed to provide a service.  My beef has always been with unions and here is a good reason why:

Despite the dire financial condition of his state, and the fact that it was (and still is) a sovereign deadbeat that fails to pay its bills, Illinois Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn found room to cut a sweetheart deal with its public employee unions in September. They were guaranteed two years of cost-of-living increases and no layoffs. Quinn, in turn, got the union's endorsement and won his 2010 election by less than 1 percentage point.
This provides a dramatic illustration of what has for years been political business as usual for liberals in public office. To save their own jobs, they cut deals with your money, offering premium benefits and exorbitant salaries to public workers. Much of the cost is deferred until these employees retire, and so the unfunded liabilities of public pensions have become enormous, threatening states and cities with imminent insolvency. By some estimates, state and municipal governments will have to come up with $3.5 trillion in new funds just to keep the pension checks going out. Things are so bad in California that state officials had to commission an independent Stanford University study just to get a handle on its pension liabilities, which turn out to be a staggering $535 billion.
Now, of course, part of the blame has to go to politicians who have refused to either 1) adequately fund the pensions at the proper time and 2) failing to show some spine and say no.

Tired of politics and can't give a toss about the Oscars and entertainment award season--check out this Toy of the Year nominee list.

I hate meetings--I find them utterly unproductive in 99.5% of the cases.  When I was a lobbyist, so much of my time was wasted in meetings.  If you hate them too, and have control of the agenda, I recommend this and a stopwatch.  Man what a deal.

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