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By Anonymous Mike, pseudonymously.



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Thursday, October 2, 2008
 
Fecklessness of Finance

Two stories, one new and one old.

First the new, to be filed under "Emergency, Not Acting Like One Exists"....

The revised bailout bill includes tens of billions of dollars in tax breaks for the middle class and for homeowners who don't itemize their deductions; $3 billion for rural-school programs over the next five years; and $8 billion over the same period in disaster aid, much of it for Midwestern states. It also includes a requirement that insurance plans provide better benefits for mental health.

I am sure that any House Republican who changes their vote will say it was because it was to save the country or something like that, as opposed to getting the tax break of their choice; so it will be hard to find the guilty. However given the stakes and threat to the economy and nation, this is analogous to deciding to declare war on the Japanese based on the amount of pork you can get out of FDR.

Yeah, yeah I know... financial crisis as the equivalent of going to war on all of that but it is a critical vote and should be done on whether you think it's right for the country and not on getting your pet project through.

Put it this way, was it all it took to spend $700 billion about $15 billion or so in tax credits?

Second, the old to be filed under "To be Done, When I'm Long Gone"

Yesterday, JLBC released the monthly fiscal highlight for September and an FY 2009 economic and budget update. Long story short? The budget and Arizona's economy is getting worse; those who offered the band-aid and borrow approach this past Spring to get us through a short rough spot have been exposed with the current fiscal year shortfall up to $300 million only 3 months in. So how does the Republic build the lede for the article?

State government will continue to tighten its belt - perhaps to the point of cutting off circulation - while looking for new ways to bring in money without raising taxes, Gov. Janet Napolitano said Wednesday in discussing a state budget deficit that could amount to $800 million.

Well yes "could amount" is true in the sense that if things dramatically improve it may only be "$800 million." Why the Republic decided to quote in the lede the one person who has been the most consistently wrong on the State's fiscal crisis is beyond me. However here's the killer:

Weiers said he will meet with the governor today to begin laying the groundwork for a budget fix. Both he and Napolitano said it was unclear if there would be a special session of the Legislature this year, or whether the work would be done in the new year, when a new Legislature is seated.

Cabinet appointments are usually made by Christmas, so it's possible by the time the Legislature sits down to clean up the mess Napolitano could be long gone.